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Who Are You Reaching on the Most Commonly Used Social Media Platforms?

Posted: Monday, April 27, 2015

Keeping up to date on the latest trends in social media audiences can seem overwhelming at times. Let’s take a look at each of the major sites and some of the most recent data about their users so that you can improve communication with your audience and shape a more strategic web marketing plan.

Social media is a collective term for the electronic communication through which people create networks and communities for the sharing of content. The major platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Tumblr are all part of the social media landscape and present opportunities for online marketing.  The ability to identify and interact with your audience is key to determining how to present content to each of these networks. This means taking into account factors including demographics and usage patterns, but it doesn’t end there. Social media strategies balance gaining traffic and attention from your target audience with building a community with which you regularly engage in conversation. The idea is to seek out your audience and to utilize the various platforms as a tool to listen and to learn.

Social media is highly effective at helping users discover new innovations, industry news, and even professional advice. The user’s social connections within a particular network and the intent with which it is used even impact the amount of trust associated with it, as in the case of LinkedIn. As it is utilized as a professional social network which users consult for industry news, there is associated credibility with posted content.

The ongoing shifts in the user base of social media networks inform marketing strategies, and paying attention to these shifts enables businesses to engage with their target audience successfully. Recent Pew Research Center survey data reveals key information about each of the major networks.

Facebook: Ranking in as the most popular network, Facebook is utilized by 71% of adult internet users and 58% of entire adult population. It remains popular among women, and the percentage of internet users over the age of 65 who are on the network continues to climb. This is the platform of choice for most, but an increasing number of its users also participate in other social media sites.  Having made the Facebook “like” a household term, it is the network through which users show their affinity for everything from the neighbor’s cat to their favorite watch grand.

Twitter: This network, which allows users to post content in 140-word posts and popularized hashtags, has seen increased usage by men and urbanites and remains popular with those who have disposable income. Millennials are the most likely to be using this site as well as those who are college-educated.  This is significant, as other research shows that about half of millennials are also more likely to be influenced by the purchasing recommendations of strangers than family and friends.

Pinterest: Women continue to dominate use of this visual bookmarking tool, which also remains popular among younger age groups, suburban and rural residents, and those with at least some college experience.  This is the site where you will relate to users over shared interests.  Think home decorating, food, and holidays, which always rank in as some of the most popular.

LinkedIn:  A professional social network whose use is dominated by college graduates, LinkedIn is also popular among those living in higher-income households.  Users ages 30-64 are more likely to be using it than those ages 18-29. Participating in discussions and answering questions on this site will showcase your expertise and industry knowledge.  Joining or, even better, starting a group will connect you to like-minded people and further your role as a thought leader.

Instagram:  Designed for the sharing of photos and video content, Instagram is popular among younger groups, particularly women, and those who live in suburban or urban areas.  Encouraging users to tag their photos with branded hashtags that you create is a great way to engage with users on this site.

Tumblr:  While Tumblr doesn’t have as many users as the other sites, those who do use it tend to be highly engaged and young, with most being between the ages of 16 and 24. This platform is geared toward longer blog posts involving multimedia elements as opposed to the shorter content of many of the others.  It maintains an underground feel, so it will take some time to craft the perfect voice for this site.  Make sure you incorporate multimedia into your message.

While navigating the social media landscape can seem daunting, the development of more impactful marketing messages will be guided by your understanding of who is most likely to be using each network. Just as importantly, intend to observe changes in the style and format of content on each network. As you begin to converse with your audience on a more regular basis, keep in mind that social media evolves quickly, and your strategies must keep pace.


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Web Marketing: Blogs Versus White Papers

Posted: Monday, April 20, 2015

Let’s first establish what a white paper is and why it is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy. By definition, a white paper is a report on a specific topic related to your business that addresses a complex issue and presents your philosophy or viewpoint on that issue. White papers present in-depth material that is intended to educate an audience and often to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making. While there is no official set of standards for white papers, there are a few generally accepted rules to follow.

Style: A glossy sales pitch is not a white paper. They should be informative, fact-based, and useful for your audience. An executive summary or introduction should be included, and a table of contents may also help to organize the information.

Length: White papers are generally 6 to 8 pages, though they can range up to 50 or even 100 pages if the topic dictates.

Format: Most white papers are produced in portrait orientation PDF format.

Another consideration when determining whether the content you are creating is suitable as a white paper is the amount of research you will be utilizing. Unless you are presenting the first exploration on a topic, it is wise to acknowledge prior analysis by content experts, journalists, and other analysts. The incorporation of statistics and citations of other sources will support your material and establish your expertise.

This brings us back to the main reasons for incorporating white papers in your digital marketing strategy. White papers provide audiences with in-depth, heavily-researched information on a topic while establishing your expertise and thought leadership. They are essential tools for building brand credibility, and they provide a great resource even for teams within your own business.

In contrast to a white paper, a blog does not have an academic feel and takes a much shorter time to produce. Unbound by the research and citations necessary for a white paper, a blog post conveys a lighter tone, is generally much shorter at about 500 words, and is posted publicly online. While a blog post can be a stand-alone piece, it also should fit into your overall content strategy, including established content categories.

The language utilized in a blog post should be clear and succinct, and content should be geared toward the needs and interests of the audience. Blogs can be written in a variety of ways including popular list formats, event reviews, journalistic style pieces, and even commentary.

While white papers will be published more infrequently, the editorial calendar for blog posts will require more management throughout the year as the scheduling and tracking needs are greater. As posts are written, they will need to be evaluated according to SEO best practices to ensure that audiences will find your content.

Here is where your digital marketing strategy gets even more interesting. Blogs are an essential way to promote white papers. They can be used to build interest before the release of a white paper, highlight interesting charts or elements, and promote your expertise.

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What Is Retargeting?

Posted: Saturday, December 20, 2014

10085263354_b886e68249_z-2Most who sell a product or service believe – or want to believe – that buyers follow a straight and direct path when making a purchase. The prospective buyer visits your website, finds what they are looking for, heads to checkout, inputs their credit card information, and then confirms their purchase. This is the simplest route that every business wants their customers to follow but it rarely happens that way. In fact, about 2% of site visitors actually convert to paying customers on their first visit. Why? It can be for any number of reasons why they do not buy into what you are selling. Maybe the website was not easy to navigate. Maybe the price was not right. Or just maybe, life just happens. Sometimes the person was called away from the computer at the moment they were about to click the “Buy it now!” button and forgot. While many would believe these customers are lost forever, that is not true. Retargeting can help you bring them back to complete their purchase. 

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How to Get to Page 1 on Google

Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2014

1NumberOneInCircleGetting to the number one spot on Google for your service or product is the dream of every business. Being number one means exactly that: being number one. Of the millions and billions of people searching the Internet on a daily basis, they will automatically click on the first link on the first page on Google because they believe, and most of the time rightfully so, that it is the first link because it is exactly what they are looking for.

But it is not easy being number one. And more to the point of this article, it is not easy getting there.

But it is very much worth it to be number one on Google which is the most used search engine in the world, commanding well over 65% of the market share. When thinking upon how much of the world is using it, taking the top spot on the search engine results page (SERP) is the goal of every brand with a website.

Now, it is all about how to get there.

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What Is Display Advertising

Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014

What Is Display AdvertisingYou see it all over the place while surfing through the Internet. Even when you are searching for something like your next vacation getaway or the hottest new phone on Google you are seeing examples of display advertising. Still do not what it is? Ads! Display advertising is an ad that shows up at the top or on the sides of search engine results or on the websites themselves. Other avenues in which display ads are used are through email and mobile apps.

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Who Are You Reaching on the Most Commonly Used Social Media Platforms?

Keeping up to date on the latest trends in social media audiences can seem overwhelming at times. Let’s take a look at each of the major sites and some of

Web Marketing: Blogs Versus White Papers

Let’s first establish what a white paper is and why it is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy. By definition, a white paper is a report on a