Illustration of a laptop showing LinkedIn product pages.

On December 15, 2020, LinkedIn launched a new “Product” feature for Company Pages. This provides a dedicated space for businesses to showcase product offerings via their LinkedIn pages.

“We’re excited to launch the LinkedIn Product Page feature, a dedicated tab found within your LinkedIn page,” reads an excerpt from the launch notes.

If this is the first you’ve heard of LinkedIn launching Product Pages, the following is a brief overview of the new feature.

What’s a LinkedIn “Product” Page?

A Product Page is a dedicated tab found within your LinkedIn Company Page. This new feature should help spark conversations around your products and build brand affinity with your customers and followers.

The LinkedIn team believes Product Pages can help businesses build enthusiastic communities around crucial products to raise awareness. Product Pages can also help enterprises generate more qualified leads and ultimately spur business growth.

What’s the Purpose of “Product Pages?”

Currently, at least 70% of consumers select products based on online research. This means that the reputation and visibility of your products can make a huge difference.

Product Pages offer an effective way to highlight your products, so products are easier to discover and compare with competing brands. Additionally, this acts as space where your customers can come together as a community. They are able to share experiences, ask questions, and gain general knowledge about the products they are curious about.

Product Pages are explicitly created to address these two needs. The pages;

  1. Give you a platform to display the products you’d like to feature. You can include rich media such as videos, screenshots, and descriptions to highlight these products further.
  2. Provide a unique space to highlight endorsements and testimonials from your users to build trust. You can also leverage the opportunity to generate reviews and ratings for social proof and convert leads with customized forms and CTAs.

Who Needs Product Pages?

The Product Pages target employers on the LinkedIn platform. Specifically, it targets employers looking to build a proper following around a particular product to get attention from the company’s followers.

The company can fill up the product’s details and categorize it effectively with pictures and videos to help it stand out. Once published, the details will be found on the employer’s Company Pages, where both the owner and any users can interact with it.

LinkedIn is urging product marketers who promote various products and social media managers responsible for creating communities that drive conversions to utilize the new Product Pages to connect with the platform’s 722 million professionals.

You can make your Product pages more relevant by targeting up to ten job functions that fit the product’s purpose. “Be comprehensive when adding your target users, as this impacts how your products show up in search results,” LinkedIn advises.

Verdict

The all-new Product Page feature from LinkedIn is a great and timely addition. It allows companies to create a trusted overview of product offerings, distinct from services and business divisions (featured on the Showcase Page) with actual links to users who endorse or review the listed products or brand pages. This instantly boosts product visibility and is likely to drive conversions.

The only downside is that LinkedIn ultimately decides on the products you can have on the list and can refuse to display certain products. Overall though, it could be a valuable addition to your business page.


Looking for help? Tired and believing there has got to be a better way?

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Facebook boosting is a simple Facebook Ad strategy that can work well for small businesses when done properly.  Any post you publish on your company or organization Facebook Page is eligible to boost. Look below any post and you will have the button to select to do this. “Boosting” a post does require a bit of work to make your ad be all it can be. By boosting your posts helps you rise above the sheer volume of posts on Facebook and get seen by an ideal targeted audience, but it's not a one-click solution. Boosting requires you take careful steps to optimize the ad’s effectiveness.

Four Steps To Optimizing Your Facebook Boosted Posts

1. Have A Goal

Before boosting a post ask why you’re boosting it. A boosted post should lead to a tangible result.

This can be to raise brand awareness, share information, promote a blog post, announce a new product, or drive traffic to a website or social media account. The point is a boosted post ad should have measurable real-world results that lead to the desired outcome.

2. Picking A Post

Boost posts strategically and boosting posts that are already generating attention can be an effective strategy. Isolate these posts by going to the ‘Insights’ tab in Facebook and look at which posts reach the most people and generate the most engagement.

Part of ‘going viral’ is not just a marketing push it's also content based. So a post that is already generating attention before being promoted may only need a little bit of attention for it to really take off.

3. Timing Is Everything

Much like commercial television timing is important. You wouldn’t want your television advertisement to air when your target market is at work or asleep. The same applies to boosting a Facebook post.

Time your boost for when your target market is most likely to pay attention and read it. Remember the proper time is dependent on your target market is and traditional advertising time frames may not apply. That means if your target market is on Facebook at night while relaxing, the proper time may be 7:00-10:00 pm.

4. Target Properly

To be successful you must know whom you’re trying to reach. Ads sent out to large nonspecific audiences aren’t effective. You need to reach people who are interested in your products and services.

With targeting your post can reach viewers of a specific age, location, interest group, hobby, gender, or other identifying factors. Your profiling can get very focused (i.e. what model of car they drive) and narrow your targeting to a highly specific portion of the marketplace.

This is useful as many businesses collect a large percentage of their income from highly engaged niche markets. So know who your customers are and reach out to them.

Final Thoughts

Boosting a Facebook post can be a very effective marketing tool. For as little as $1/day or $30 a month, significant results can be achieved. However, it isn’t just clicking a button and you’re done.

To effectively use this tool you have to be careful, specific in your goals, and above all boost to your target market. By making proper preparations you can effectively boost your posts and reach out to a large and receptive audience.

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What-Is-Blockchain-and-What-Is-Its-Impact-on-Marketing

Blockchain, the Internet, and Advertising

2017 saw an explosion in the prices of and consequently the public interest in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s price skyrocketed over 1300% from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017. Bitcoin’s main serious contender, Ethereum, saw even more astounding gains of over 9300%. As the price grew, so did public interest, and businesses certainly took notice. Mainstream businesses have famously started to accept cryptocurrencies, and the free publicity for both the cryptocurrency world and the business has marketers wondering: will crypto affect my business? And if it does, how will it?

What is Blockchain?

The first thing to define is the technology itself. Blockchain is basically a network of computers (called nodes) that collectively process an open ledger of bank accounts. People call these bank accounts addresses, and many people store their information in specialized software called wallets. The most important aspects of cryptocurrencies are immutability, distribution, and decentralization.

Immutability means past transactions cannot be changed without changing the whole blockchain, but the nodes rely on a consensus and none will accept an altered chain. The decentralization aspect of the blockchain means there is no entity that can control it. And finally, the network is distributed around the world on different nodes, so there is always a copy somewhere, even if some nodes are destroyed or shut down by authorities.

So how does this affect marketing?

There are several potential problems with digital marketing today. The user base is fragmented, partially due to bubble worlds created by the advertising networks. Perhaps more importantly, users who have seen their privacy erode through invasive advertising techniques have started to fight back, installing adblockers in droves.

Websites dependent on revenue defend their advertisement networks by refusing to serve content to adblock users, which perpetuates a cycle of mistrust from the users already employing adblockers. Unfortunately, this only serves to exacerbate the problem.

In addition to the adblock issue and fragmentation, there is the issue of the middleman. One of the most touted goals of blockchain is to remove the middlemen, thereby increasing privacy and lowering transaction costs. For content creators, these transaction costs manifest in the form of being permitted to use platforms like Google and Facebook. But Google and Facebook take huge chunks of the revenue, flooding their coffers with cash while the content creators and their advertising teams are starved for income.

Even worse, these behemoth platforms operate for their own benefit under opaque or even hidden frameworks, leaving content developers in the dark about how a change may affect them until it already has. The recent brouhaha regarding YouTube monetization changes shows how much impact platforms have on entire communities, directly aimed at benefiting the platform itself and those at the top already. Blockchain can change this paradigm.

What-Is-Blockchain-and-What-Is-Its-Impact-on-Marketing-1

Blockchain’s Potential

Cutting out the middleman will certainly increase revenues for the content creators and the advertisers who receive their income from said creators. Perhaps more interestingly, though, is the reduction of invasive advertising software. If consumers feel safe in visiting a site that won’t track them, they are more likely to allow advertisements onto their web pages. Most people understand that free-to-consume content is paid for by advertisements. Further, most people do not wish to deprive the creators they love of the revenue they deserve. However, self-preservation takes precedent, and for that reason, many users install adblockers.

One blockchain solution to the invasion and opacity of the platforms and advertising networks is to monetize interaction. When a user views or otherwise interacts with an advertisement, they can be paid for that interaction (in a cryptocurrency). Then, as the user gathers coins, they can pay their favorite creators directly with that currency. Since blockchains are public and transparent by nature, everyone knows which advertisements are recording information. Nontransparent ads will be shunned, but blockchain-connected ads will be allowed by users. Subsequently, the creators will receive payments for their efforts directly from viewers.

When will this become mainstream?

That is a good question. Technology moves fast, but social trends may lag behind. One of the most prominent projects to implement the monetization of ad interaction is the Brave Browser. However, with Google’s strong grip on browsers worldwide (under Chrome), it may take some time for this paradigm shift to occur. Not least because Google, an advertising company, will likely push back against the developments.

GetStencil.com-Image-Maker-315Visual content is an important part of driving social media engagement, but waiting around for a graphic design team to produce images for each status update is inefficient and frustrating. GetStencil.com Image Maker streamlines this process with lots of user-friendly features that allow non-graphic designers to quickly make the digital assets they need to support their social media marketing efforts.

Free Stock Photography and Illustrations

Stencil offers more than 1.4 million photos to act as your social media image backgrounds, as well as 1 million icons and other illustrations. It eliminates the time you would spend chasing the perfect image to go with your status update. You just have to search within the platform itself.

If you already have icons and other visual content you'd like to use, upload them to the Stencil platform. Combining your own image with Stencil's images and features is a great way to minimize content creation time.

Templates

Sometimes you just need a helping hand. Stencil has more than 650 templates to fit everyday marketing needs on social networks. Select the perfect template. Fill in the details to customize it for your small business. Then you're ready to post it.

Google Fonts

Fonts come in all shapes and sizes. Trying to choose the best one when you don't specialize in typography is a tough job. GetStencil.com has 2,000+ Google Fonts integrated into the platform to make this process easier on you. If your brand has its own font, upload these to use them in all of the visual content you make on Stencil.

Multiple Sizes

Each social network for image sizing, and image sizes vary considerably between platforms. Stencil has 38 optimized sizes, so you have the perfect image for the social media sites you want to use, nor do you have to redo your work because you picked the wrong dimensions.

Chrome Extension

When you see the perfect opportunity to make a social media visual, use the Stencil Chrome browser extension to bring it to life. It gives you the chance to react quickly to timely topics.

GetStencil.com is the perfect graphics design platform for people without graphic design skills. You get a user-friendly feature set that guides you through the social media content creation process and streamlines all of the steps so you can quickly post your updates.

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What is Facebook Messenger Day and How Do You Use it for Business-315In its quest to be the one-stop shop for social media, Facebook recently launched another tool called Messenger Day.  Even though Messenger Day does bear many similarities to Snapchat Stories, it has unique features worth exploring that position it as a potential Snapchat rival.

It's worth noting that Messenger has 1.2 billion active users since it is from Facebook’s existing Messenger platform while Snapchat only has around 301 million users. For a business, Messenger Day may prove to be a more helpful tool for many companies than Snapchat Stories.

What's in Messenger Day?

Messenger Day is integrated into Messenger, so if you're already using Messenger, just update the app on your mobile device to get this new feature.

In Messenger, you can use clips or images from a chat, or shoot a new video or photo, and post them to your Day. You can jazz up your Day by adding filters, doodles, and other special effects. But, like Snapchat stories, anything you add to your Day will be viewable for only 24 hours.

How can Messenger Day be used for business?

Behind the Scenes

Using Facebook Live on your business page is a good way to cover a relevant event as it happens. But for exclusive sneak peeks of what's happening behind the scenes, it's better to use Messenger Day on your personal account. This move not only attaches a face to your business (making it more relatable), but it also encourages people in your network to check out your business if they still haven't.

It grows your potential client base because you're pulling in folks from different avenues, and avenues that already know you.

Calls to Action

Among the many filters available to use on Messenger Day are superimposed texts like "Who's up for ..." When used personally, these filters work as simple invitations. But for businesses, these can work as powerful calls to action.

For example, if you own an online retail store, you can use "Who's up for ..." to ask people to check out a sale. You can say something like, "Who's up for a good deal? Visit us now and get 70% off. Offer good until this post lasts." Make announcements more engaging and fun this way.

Employee-curated Content

Since businesses aren't allowed to have Messenger Day...yet, you can leverage this new feature through your personal account and have employees do this through their accounts. If several of your staff members all make a business-related Messenger Day post, you can curate these posts and present them in one clip on your business page. This humanizes your brand. On the internet, people are more inclined to trust a brand with a face.

It's still too early to tell whether Messenger Day can topple Snapchat Stories. But given the bigger user base of Messenger, it would be a smart bet. The last thing you want is for Messenger Day to take off while your business is left behind snapping!

For now, have fun experimenting with Messenger Day. It may not be long before Facebook rolls it out for businesses so get ready!
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What is Geofencing and How to use it in your Mobile Marketing Strategy-315(1)Even if you're comfortable with digital marketing, the term "geofencing" might still be new to you. That's okay because it's new technology, but if you're looking for targeted ways to use mobile marketing to boost your small business sales, it might be just what you're looking for!

What Is Geofencing?

Geofencing is a type of mobile marketing that allows advertisers to limit their advertisements to a specific geographical area. Sometimes, those limitations can be as precise as a single shopping mall, or a block of a street.

Geofencing is tied to your own smartphone app and limited to the area you set. When people who have downloaded your app are in the area, your ads are automatically sent to their mobile devices.

Why Does Geofencing Work?

We all know that targeted ads are the best use of your marketing dollars. Marketing to people you know are interested in your products and services will always be an easier sell.

Geofencing takes targeting to the next level, by targeting ads to people who are a) interested, b) downloaded your app, and c) within the physical geographical area of your store.

With these 3 targeting criteria met, all you need is a little digital nudge to turn prospects into customers.

How to Use Geofencing

This might be the best thing to happen to mobile marketing since the smartphone itself! You might be wondering how to leverage a geofenced app to bring foot traffic into your store. Here are a few ideas:

Geofencing is a great marketing tool, and if you do have a local business, it could be the most effective tool in your mobile marketing arsenal. So if you don't already have an app, get one, and if you do, consider adding this useful feature!

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A Review of Drip.co Email Service Provider - 600It doesn't matter how well-crafted that email is if it is sent before a lead is ready to convert or if that lead moved on. Through automation, drip marketing of emails allows your message to be delivered "on-time" over a set period. From weekly specials to the monthly newsletter, drip marketing connects your lead with your message. Drip.co is an email marketing tool that goes beyond simple email newsletter delivery to give you advanced and helpful, intelligent business features.

Features

Drip's features make marketing automation easy. Here’s an overview of key areas in the online tool and what each part does.

Workflows

Drip's workflows make life easier by uncovering the blind spots in your marketing strategy and strengthening your sales funnel. When it appears that a prospect is on the cusp of leaving or unsubscribing, an email will automatically be sent out to them.

As soon as a subscriber fills out that first form, your workflows applies tags to the subscriber and places them in a campaign. A subscriber stays in a workflow until all emails have been sent or a goal (like closing a sale) has been achieved.

The magic of workflows lies in that it's nearly hands-free once set up. For example, you can automatically funnel new subscribers to a page to download an eBook and thank them after they do so...all automatically.

Tags and Events

Forget juggling multiple subscribers lists. Drip.co uses tags to segment subscribers based on their actions (what they downloaded, what pages have they visited). You can develop a profile of a set of prospects and target them. Events give you the option to pinpoint the circumstances of the tags. For instance, dates when products were purchased and affiliates involved.

Split-Testing

With Drip, you can fine-tune your email content by analyzing the results of an A/B Test campaign. Testing elements of your email will give you an idea of what's working and what isn't. By taking the time to see what customers are responding to, you're ensuring current and future growth.

By creating emails and sending them to 2 separate groups of subscribers (you can select subscribers based on factors like when they subscribed and if they've purchased), you can determine which segments of your subscribers responded to the optimized subject lines and copy.

How to Start with Drip.co

As a bonus, the Drip team offers courses to help you create workflows and boost conversions.
Drip.co is a powerful email marketing tool. This service provides a ton of features at an affordable price (plans start at $1 a month). With Drip, you can harness email marketing automation to improve your marketing efforts and control your marketing campaigns.

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Later for Instagram_ Help with your Instagram Marketing -315We all know a solid social media strategy requires consistency, organization, and timeliness. However, it is not always easy to stay on top of dozens of posts per month and a load of content. With Instagram growing massively in terms of users in the past year and adding many business marketing features, it’s a relevant platform for many businesses to have a strong presence on.

Need help implementing your Instagram marketing plan? There's an actually an app for that. Let's get acquainted with Later.

Top Features of Later

Later (formerly Latergram.me) is a simple (and free!) app that helps keep your Instagram account updated with less effort. The Later app has the following features:

Pre-Scheduling

Have trouble keeping your page consistently updated? Later lets you pre-schedule your posts months in advance. Just upload your content and pick the publish date. Upload your photos in bulk, schedule when they roll out, and you're nearly done.  Simply stay current with your mobile device alerts and you can then easily roll posts out at the scheduled time. Plus, your pics are automatically organized in chronological order in the Media Library, saving you a good amount of time in a search.

Mobile App

Schedule your posts from virtually anywhere with your phone. In addition to a PC version, Later offers a mobile app that lets you create and schedule posts on-the-go.

Preview

Later lets you preview how your posts will look before they get sent. For an entire month, get a chronological calendar and gallery view of your posts as the audience will see them. This gives you a feel for the flow of the content and how each post fits thematically. Want to add more posts? Just drag an image from the gallery to the calendar.

Captions

Writing a proper caption on a mobile device can be nothing short of frustrating, With spacing issues appearing during the transition between mobile and desktop and difficulty typing on tiny keyboards, typos, and weird formatting can crop up in your posts. Later smooths out these kinks by keeping the spacing the same regardless of what device you draft the post on.

Want to go beyond a basic caption and hashtag? With Later, you can flesh out your brand's story. With the ability to start a post on mobile and finish it on a desktop. You can write the kind of engaging content that tells your brand's story and keeps the follower count rising.

Reposting

Add your favorite posts from users in your community to your library with a simple click. You can search for content to repost through location, hashtags, and usernames. Once you've found the posts to share and added them, they can be dragged into the calendar like your uploaded images.

Notifications

When it's time for your content to be scheduled, Later doesn't auto post as this goes against Instagram's terms of service. Instead, notifications are sent right to your phone. Tapping them sends you directly to Instagram, where your post is ready to be activated and sent out to your page.

Later makes managing your Instagram marketing efforts much easier. Schedule and edit posts in advance while staying on track. Gain control over your Instagram content with Later.

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WordPress plugin_ WC Marketplace-315While they might not be the first thing that pops into your head when you think of ecommerce sites, marketplaces have been around for a long time. The concept of a multi-vendor market is not just for the local farmer’s market but now also is an available platform that has spawned many internet success stories.

There are the retail-based marketplaces like Etsy and eBay, and service based platforms like Upwork (formerly oDesk and Elance) that have been generating income online for many years by allowing others to buy and sell on their sites.  You might think these types of sites are outside of your budget or web design skill set, but there are several commercial website tools and plugins that can transform a basic WordPress website into a custom marketplace.  WC Marketplace is one of these robust tools.

What Is WC Marketplace?

WC Marketplace is a WordPress plugin that adds marketplace and multi-vendor functionality to a regular WordPress site or blog that is already using WooCommerce for e-commerce on the site. In other words, instead of having to code your marketplace from scratch, you download this plugin and install it on your site. Configure the backend settings as needed, and launch your marketplace in no time at all where sellers and buyers can all converge.

How Simple Is It?

The truth is, while plugins like WC Marketplace do take hundreds of hours of coding out of the process of launching a site like this, there are still some steps to get your marketplace making money.

You'll need to:

It will take some time to get your marketplace ready for public use. But compared with doing it from scratch, it's practically nothing.

What Can It Do?

WC Marketplace is a very complete and comprehensive plugin for WordPress. It features all the tools you would need to own and manage your marketplace.

Admins have the ability to approve, reject and ban users. They have access to messaging and forums, as well as the ability to approve and edit listings on the site. They can set commissions, and make changes to financial and other areas of the site that users cannot access.

Vendors can create profiles, add their own products and services, invoice and contact customers, and more among many other features.

Buyers can search by category or keyword, create project requests, and communicate and pay via the platform.

In short, anything those big, fancy marketplace platforms like Etsy can do, you can do on your website, with this plugin. Which is pretty phenomenal when you think about it!

Who Should Use WC Marketplace?

You're probably not going to knock Etsy or Upwork off their spot in the internet hierarchy. But if you have a great idea for a new twist on the marketplace idea, then WC Marketplace is a great place to start. Well worth the small investment, and easy enough to figure out if you have basic web design and internet skills.

If you are looking for a multi-vendor ecommerce solution you can manage, this is one to consider!

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FoundonTack Review - 315Putting your company's identity onto a social media platform inherently involves more direct communication with: customers, associates, rivals, the potential trolls, and so on. While the Instagram interface is good for interacting with people, it's not spectacular at analyzing their behaviors and measuring marketing impact.

That's why I love the world of Cloud services. I always get excited when I see software that helps small to medium businesses compete with the big dogs. I recently took a look at an Instagram-focused service named Tack, using both their free area report tool and their Instagram curation service on a Pro-level account trial.

Super pumped for my new purple T-shirt from @foundontack #smmw17

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Scouting the Social Media Landscape

Tack comes swinging out of the gate with free access to their area report tool whether or not you sign up for their service. Either 500 posts or up to 12 months of activity are combed through and picked apart. Then you get a rundown of important data points like what the most popular posts were or which hashtags saw the most activity.

It would be nice to get the updated reports in real-time, but the emailed reports are easy to share with your team. You can run up to 4 locations per hour per account, which is plenty enough to look at a city with a couple neighborhoods and landmarks.

Let's move to the account-based Instagram curation tool. It comes in 3 levels (Starter, Pro, and Enterprise) with the major difference being the number of Instagram user profiles and the maximum number of followers managed.

Once you've connected a profile to an Instagram account, you can look through user activity using a hashtag or a location. Input a hashtag or location into the large boxes, and you'll be treated to posts that match your request. From there, you can quickly like, comment, or request permission to use the media yourself. All of these increase your Instagram visibility in the targeted field. It gives you the opportunity to use user-generated content in your own account.

On the main menu, you can perform several functions. Review activity on your posts, comments, requests, and manage your media library just below the curation fields. The last two fields let you customize your request message and response hashtag to whatever you'd like them to be.

Is It Worth Paying For?

Yes, if you intend to take your social media presence seriously. Also if your audience has a heavy focus on Instagram use or image-based media. Tack is useful for any company looking to run a social media blitz on a specific city or neighborhood. Especially due to the information you get in the free area report and the curation tools. Are you a new restaurant trying to break into a packed downtown scene? Are you an app creator selling a new game that wants you to walk around hunting for monsters? Tack is a useful tool.

Try a two-week trial of the starter and pro versions to see if the curation tool works for you. It doesn't come with training wheels. However, it has a straightforward interface that should be easy for anyone with an understanding of social media. The staff is very responsive. They were more than willing to help walk me through the ropes of using the tools effectively.

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How to Use Board Booster to Ramp Up Your Pinterest Game-315There's no denying the traffic potential for your website that can come from Pinterest. Many business-to-consumer businesses report that Pinterest is one of their top traffic referrers. You can see similar results if you use the platform correctly.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your Pinterest is simply to pin, and pin a lot and consistently. Spending time on Pinterest every day isn't conducive to a busy business owner, which is why there are tools like Board Booster.

What is Board Booster?

Board Booster is an online web software that can help automate your pinning so you're still pinning regularly without putting in the individual effort of everyday pinning.

How does Board Booster work?

Board Booster has several techniques for automating your pinning. Work on your Pinterest account when you have the time and schedule your own pins and pins from other websites to post over the course of a week or so.

Scheduling pins is a great strategy because it allows you to save hundreds of pins at once, but will share them with your followers over time. This is extremely helpful because you increase the possibility that many users will see your pins over time, rather than a handful seeing all of your pins at once.

Campaigns

Board Booster also has a feature called Campaigns, which allows you to create a single pin that will get repinned multiple times over a few days, weeks or even months. This is a great way to share your own pins (i.e, your blog posts, content extras, infographics, quote graphics, etc.) over and over again to your boards and increase their reach and engagement rate.

There are two types of Campaigns: scheduled and random. In a scheduled campaign, you pick the pins that are sent out multiple times during the course of your campaign. In a random campaign (which is great for bloggers who don't have many web pages except their blog posts, but not great for websites with lots of pages that aren't Pinterest-friendly), you choose the URL (i.e., your website) and the campaign pulls random links from that source.

Looping

A third feature that can really increase your website traffic is Looping. Board Booster's Looping tool allows you to revive old pins that you saved before new users followed you. Old blog posts and website links that are helpful but buried deep down in your old boards will be reshared. Effectively put in front of your new followers.

Is Board Booster worth the investment?

Your business should be using the power of Pinterest. Board Booster can help you ramp up your Pinterest game. Also, it's extremely affordable when compared to its competitors. Use tools like Board Booster to help you to grow your Pinterest followers. Therefore increasing the number of people who see your pins and click-through to your website. This increases the potential of becoming paying customers. And that makes the tool 100% worth it in my book.

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The Value of a CTA in your Blog Post and Where to Place ItA blog is the best resource to connect with new website visitors and to keep returning visitors engaged. It’s one of the reasons CMS platforms like WordPress are so popular. They make blogging easy.

There are a few golden rules when it comes to a successful blog. CTAs (Calls To Action) are a must have.

Without a CTA, customers who are interested in your products may not know what to do next. You may lose them even though they were ready to buy. Instead of hoping they contact you, a CTA tells them what the next step is, and invites them to take it.

How Your CTA Helps

More Web Traffic

One of the metrics search engines use to rank websites is traffic. The more quality traffic your site gets, the more online clout your site has. Use a link in your CTA to funnel visitors from your blog to your main website, and get the benefit of the added traffic source.

Encourage Contact

If your CTA includes an embedded form, you'll get leads directly from your blog posts. While you won’t get site traffic, you'll get quality leads from people already reading your blog and interested in what you do.

Lead Your Readers to More Content

Quality content helps to keep visitors on your website and proves you're an expert in your field. Well written content answers questions and establishes a relationship. So when visitors do contact you, they feel like they’re talking to a trusted peer, rather than a complete stranger. That’s a major leap forward in the sales process!

When your viewers read your content, you'll build trust. It’s always a good idea to lead your readers to more content. Do this with links in the post and a “Related Content” section.

Improving Shareability

Billions of people use social media every day. It’s no surprise that “going viral” is the holy grail of digital marketing. Make sure you write killer content and include social sharing buttons, to encourage visitors to share your posts with their networks.

Get More List Subscribers

Another great use for CTAs is to encourage readers to opt into your email marketing list. A simple offer or a reminder there’s more great content in your newsletter can encourage visitors to share their email addresses with you. Now you’re marketing to a prequalified, captive audience.

CTA Must Dos

Get the most out of your Call To Action links and buttons using the following tips:

A well planned CTA can be a powerful marketing tool, so start experimenting, and see what works on your blog.

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There's no denying that market feedback is just as important as ever. Companies still need to get insight into their customers and prospective customers thoughts. The more you know, the better you're positioned to deliver exactly what your customers want.

The good news is that technology has stepped up to the plate. It's easy to poll or survey your customers, website visitors, and even social media followers, and SurveyAnyplace.com is one of the best ways to do just that.

What Is It?

SurveyAnyplace.com is a platform to create “entertaining” surveys and quizzes, to ask questions, engage with prospective customers, and gather data, especially geared for today’s “mobile-first” Internet users.  I especially like the “emoji” selections and ability to use mobile swipe features for fun things like “scratch to see if you win” options and more.

You don't have to be particularly technically minded to create your business surveys and polls. It’s a simple, straightforward setup interface.  As well, thanks to many different plugins and output types, you can post your surveys and quizzes on all sorts of platforms from your own website to social media and beyond. You can even generate a QR code and put it on your marketing materials!

What Does It Cost?

SurveyAnyplace is priced for small business. In fact, since there is a free package, as well as several other paid options. Get started with the platform without spending a dime!

Why It's a Good Idea

Internet marketing is an interactive game. People and companies who succeed are skilled at creating engagement. Customers online don't just want to have information force fed to them. If they did, they could just watch TV like they did in the old days!

The key to engagement with your customers is to make it fun or to allow them to have their say, and SuveyAnyplace does both.

Build fun quizzes on the site and share them on social media. The surveys are a great place for people to feel that they are being heard. Everyone loves being heard!

Is It Easy?

Many small business owners are technophobes who break out in a cold sweat at the thought of doing anything more complicated than sending an email. Fortunately, SurveyAnyplace uses a super easy interface, that feels much like creating a desktop document. Not a whiff of code or anything too scary here!  Simply answer questions and make selections to create your custom survey.

surveyanyplace.com_overview

Grabbed my logo from my email address!

surveyanyplace inerface

Clean, easy to use

The Verdict

If you're looking for low cost, high impact lead generating tools that are easy to use, then SurveyAnyplace is a great choice. Signing up is quick and easy. You can get your first projects up and running in minutes. Best of all, if you try the free version before you buy, there's absolutely nothing to lose!

surveyanyplace pricing

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What is Google AMP_

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages, also known as Google AMP, is a relatively new framework by Google that focuses on mobile content. When you follow this open-source standard, your website page content loads immediately on mobile platforms for the best quality mobile user experience.  With more web users using mobile devices to surf than desktop, it’s an important item to consider. So how does this work, why does it matter and is it worth the time to implement on your websites?

How Does Google AMP Work?

An AMP web page is a static, simplified version of your web page that doesn't have resource-intensive elements on it. When a mobile user clicks on an AMP result, the article loads right away rather than going through a lengthy loading process. While you host the page yourself, you can also take advantage of Google's AMP Cache and third-party providers to cache and distribute the page for better load times.

Why is Google AMP Important?

Google's search engine ranking algorithm has made many mobile-centric changes over the past two years, so staying on its good side by catering to your mobile visitors is a good idea for ranking well. Google is also highlighting AMP pages in some results, which gives your content greater visibility with this audience. They're also marked in the search results, which can help you stand out from competitors that aren't using AMP.

You also provide a better user experience overall for mobile visitors to your site. The majority of your market has smartphones in their pockets, and they're doing a lot of reading on their devices. Your primary website may have a responsive design that adapts to the size of the screen, but the smartphone still has to render all of the visual elements on the page, supported scripts and other resource and data-intensive features. With AMP, all they need to do is load up the particular page without anything that's going to kill your page speed or their data limits.

Is Google AMP Worth It?

You do need to take some time to implement AMP on your site, but your content management system or a good web developer may make this an easy and hands-free task for you. For example, WordPress has an AMP plugin that serves up this content without a lot of hands-on work. Other sites simply need a developer to implement the AMP protocols once and it will be done and ready.

Whether now is the time to implement it will be up to you.  You can join in early and get a headstart on the competition or you can wait and follow suit in due time.

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5 Ways for Non-Profits to Grow their Email List

For all kinds of websites, businesses, and products, email lists are proven to be one of the best marketing tools available. With an email list, you can bring people back to your website and introduce new products or services. It's a great way to stay in touch with people and increase your reputation. Below, you will find 5 tips on how to do just that!

Place A Form On Your Website

It's critical to put an email form on your website and make sure it shows up on all your pages. This form needs to be as simple as possible. Capturing leads and getting people to subscribe, shouldn’t be complicated and it shouldn’t take a lot of effort. Consider adding a pop-up page or a footer widget that follows the page.

Create Special Offers

While subscribing to your newsletter is beneficial. To entice a subscriber offer your email subscribers something special – something that they only get if they're on your list. Offer a free white paper, a free ebook, a free download of something that they can actually use and will benefit them.

Encourage Sharing

Sharing is caring! If you really want to spread the news about your newsletter ask your employees, friends, even your family to sign up and share it with their friends, family, etc. Networking, even in a small group, is a powerful and efficient marketing tool. It doesn’t cost anything and yet can have amazing results. Make sure to include the “share” option in your newsletter so people can forward it via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Every little bit of sharing leads to more potential sign-ups.

Promote Your Newsletter Everywhere You Can!

Don’t stop at putting the form on your website or mentioning it once in awhile on Facebook. Share it to all of your Social Networks, put it on your business cards, place it on your letterheads, put it in the description of all your profiles, and include it in your YouTube video descriptions.

Use Your Newsletter Wisely

It's going to take time, energy and action to build your email subscriptions to your newsletter. Make sure to have a newsletter strategy that compliments your content marketing strategy. Don’t just send out mediocre newsletters. Send out newsletters people can't wait to get. Make sure to send out regular email campaigns to your newsletter subscribers. And don't forget the check if the email addresses are fully valid.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to get even more subscribers to your list and in turn, help your non-profit organization succeed! Need more help? Contact me to build your non-profit newsletter strategy.

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How to Use Coupons and Discounts to Boost Your Email List - 315

Compare the carefully crafted email you wrote to your subscribers to a heartfelt love letter sent to your special someone. You most likely can't wait for your both to open that email. However, the subscriber email often ends up in the trash or it gradually floats out of sight to the bottom of their inbox in many cases.

Eventually, your brand (and reach) can start fading from view. Just because you send email marketing messages does not mean they are viewed. Stop the inbox-to-trash lifecycle by adding discounts and coupons to your email marketing strategy.

Consider the following headlines:

Which one has the most appeal?  Of course, it’s the second headline. The first one reads almost as though you are ordering your customer to buy your services. However, the second is more suggestive, giving the customer the feeling of choice and power. It demonstrates your brand's willingness to provide services with value.

Think like a customer. Would you rather read an email that gives you an offer?  Or do you want to be dictated to? Keep that in mind and get creative on how you incorporate coupons and discounts in your emails.

Using coupons in your email marketing

Seasonal Offers

Seasons and holidays are a prime time to add offers to your marketing schedule. Brainstorm how users can utilize your services seasonally or during cultural events.

Repeat Business

Keep customers coming back by offering a "thank you" coupon 1 to 3 months after their first purchase. By sweetening the pot with a discount, your customers more likely to return.

Coupons and Social Media

Offer a progressive discount when customers take action on social media while using a coupon. If a customer would have received 10% with a coupon, they would receive 15% off for being a Facebook fan and 20% off for sharing posts while being a fan.

Keep it Up

While email marketing is a proven method of capturing customer loyalty, your subscribers can disappear if you aren’t consistent. Your email marketing should keep and grow our list.

Drive Sign-Ups

Use coupons and exclusive discounts in conjunction with your website and social channels. Seed your email list with coupons to keep your audience engaged after signing up.

Convey value over deals. Coupons should not be the end all be all of your marketing. Create engaging and informative content that is relevant to your brand.

Offer Coupons with Waftio!

Waftio makes it easy to offer coupons to your audience. With Waftio, you can create a simple form for your site visitors to fill out. Once they've completed it, they get their discount code or printable coupon and you add another lead to the list.

Waftio can be integrated with marketing tools like MailChimp and Aweber to automatically add visitors to your list.

Do you use coupons for email marketing?

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Tools to Help you Delight your Customers

Today's consumers expect more than standard customer service. They have a lot of choices and your competitors waiting right around the corner. Want to go one step further and delight your customers? Use these tools for the edge you need.

Sugarwish

4 Tools to Help you Delight your Customers sugarwish

Let your customers know that you're thinking about them by sending a personalized sweet gift! Your customer gets a link to an online candy store, and they can pick out their favorites. A few days later, they get to enjoy their favorite candy, courtesy of you! New customers are impressed right off the bat, and these make a perfect current customer birthday gifts.

Send Out Cards

Emails are great, but they often get lost among the hundreds of other messages in the customer's inbox. Stand out by putting yourself in their snail mailbox with Send Out Cards. You personalize the cards with unique messages, and they're great for holidays and other significant events.

Enthusem

Want to send a physical card to your customers but tie it back into the digital experience? Much like Send Out Cards, Enthusem gives you the space to personalize the messaging on the cards, but you also include a special link to a video. You loop this offline experience back into the online world, which creates an excellent foundation for an integrated marketing campaign. You can use this service for pretty much any customer outreach, from thanking them for a recent purchase to sending a "just because" card.

BombBomb

4 Tools to Help you Delight your Customers bomb bomb

Video content attracts a lot of attention and engagement from viewers, so make sure to incorporate it into your customer relationship building strategy. BombBomb sends a personalized video to their email address, so you have a great chance to have them watch your video. Once they open the email and watch the video, you get a notification to track your engagement rates.

Your clients and customers want to know that they represent more than just dollar signs. By using these methods to exceed expectations, delight your customers and build your relationship, you show them exactly how you think of them. That goes a long way to keeping them around as loyal clients and getting word of mouth recommendations coming through your door.

Tell us how you delighted your customers below!

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Facebook Adds Automated Video Captioning Tools to Pages - 315You have the perfect video content for your audience, but your Facebook Insights show low engagement and views.

Not sure what the problem is? Your answer might come from where and how your followers check out your content.

People check Facebook throughout the day, including while they're at work. In fact, they are spending over 40 minutes a day on the platform, far more than on any other social media network. They don't want the boss to know they're on their work device going through social media, so they use their mobile phone.  When on Facebook, the videos auto-play in the news feed, but they do so SILENTLY. Without subtitles, people can't check out the video in detail or understand what's going on.

Now, however, that issue is over! Facebook has added an automated video captioning that tool gives your videos a simple way to gain more viewership and consumption.

What is Facebook Auto-Captioning?

Auto caption for Facebook videos

Facebook videos have always supported manual captioning, but that requires a significant time and resource investment, as well as some technological skill. Facebook wants people to understand and engage with video content, so they created the auto-captioning feature to add context for the people who watch videos without the sound on, and they made it dead simple for the average person to use.

How Facebook Auto-Captioning Works

When you upload your video to your Facebook page, it goes through an automated process that attempts to accurately transcribe the video.

While auto-captioning is very effective, it doesn't always get everything right on the first try. So Facebook gives you a simple way to edit, line by line, the transcription of the video. Generally, Facebook does a solid job transcribing and it can be from 75-95% correct from the start!

Why Businesses Need to Use Facebook Auto-Captioning

facebook auto captioning

Just an FYI ... If you embed a Facebook video into your website the captions do not show up.

You're losing out on a large portion of your audience if you rely entirely on sound to convey your message. Many people on Facebook browse without their sound, and you also have an entire audience of deaf and hard of hearing viewers that can't hear the video.

Captioning your videos gives you a better reach, viewers can watch your content anywhere, anytime. Manually adding subtitles to your videos may not have been cost efficient. But with the automated process, there's no reason not to get captions.

People also engage more with these videos. It doesn't matter if they're in a crowded location or where the sound is difficult to hear. Your audience lingers on the video in their feed, improving your brand awareness and encouraging engagement.

Adding subtitles to on your Facebook page videos will give them a larger audience and more engagement!

Review of Fiverr.com - 315If you've done any sort of online marketing at all, chances are, you've heard of Fiverr.com in some way. Whether it's a good (or bad) review or using the platform yourself. You may wonder whether the platform is legitimate, or a scam that is too cheap for quality work. Here's what you need to know:

What Is Fiverr.com?

Fiverr.com is an online platform that connects buyers of digital services, with people willing to do them. Services used to all cost $5 (hence the name), but that's now been changed to include higher priced services.

How Does It Work?

For users of the service, you simply create an account and link a payment method. Browse available services or create a special request. Choose a service provider, pay, and wait for your service to be delivered in the timeline outlined.

What Are the Benefits of Using Fiverr?

What Are the Drawbacks to Using Fiverr?

As with anything, there are also a few pitfalls you should look out for on Fiverr:

Conclusion

I’ve used Fiverr with a mixture of results, some good, some not so good.

Infographics

The infographics I’ve gotten have been both wonderful and horrible. You definitely need to do so due diligence to find the provider that understands your style. I gave them a link to my website to check out to see what I had posted in the past. Also, I gave them tight requirements for font, colors, layouts and images. What I learned is that I also have to specify how wide the infographic needs to be.

It took a couple of tries to find an infographic artist I was happy with and even then I’m now using Visme for my infographics. Also, the price for an infographic is a lot more than $5. Most people charge by the number of points in your image.

Fillable PDF forms and PDF formatting

This is the service that I love on Fiverr. I’ve found a brilliant provider that is a wiz with PDF forms.  CEBooker is very professional, does multiple revisions if necessary, (I’ve only ever needed 1 revision) and makes complicated PDF’s clickable and fill-in-able. Instead of buying Adobe PDF maker, I create a Word Doc, send it to CEBooker and in a day or 2 I have a beautiful, usable PDF. He’s not $5, but he’s well worth the cost.

Transcription

Again Fiverr shines here. I’ve found a couple of great providers. The cost is well over $5 but the transcripts are virtually word for word. I do read them over and correct grammar. Reading the spoken word can sometimes be confusing, so I make sure they’re understandable when read. This has to do more with the speaker and not the transcriber. AnnPhillPotts https://www.fiverr.com/annphillpotts and TransExpert https://www.fiverr.com/transexpert are my go to transcriptionists. They have both done a wonderful job for me and I switch back and forth as their workload necessitates.

A long time ago, I ordered a logo that was so hideous that I couldn’t even stand looking at it. It was $5.

I’ve ordered a couple of pencil and ink drawings that I’ve used for blog post title images that were wonderful. And they were $5. Probably someone scribbled something quickly while watching TV and it turned out perfect.

Like any service, there are pros and cons to using Fiverr.com, and you do need to be selective and cautious about what you purchase on the platform.

On the other hand, if you have limited time and a small budget, it's a treasure trove of great services, that can help you to build up a quality marketing portfolio quickly and easily.

Choose wisely, and this may well be the best 5 bucks you ever spend.

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Magnet Marketners: 9 Trends for Social Media in 2017

It’s the start of a new year once again, so we have another crop of predictions for social media. Will there be big changes? Find out in this fearless forecast:

Automatic Messaging

For faster response times, chatbots will provide real-time answers to FAQs. The need for responses from humans will be saved for more complicated inquiries. Facebook is already at the helm of this technology when they included automatic responses in their Messenger app.

Better Personalization

With technology getting more precise, expect to get more personalized content in 2017. Your location, browsing habits, search history, and all other influencing factors will all play a role in the delivery of content you’ll find interesting.

Disappearing Content

Snapchat started the trend of offering content that expires after a certain time period (usually 24 hours), and Instagram and Facebook followed suit. Expect more users of this content delivery method in 2017. After all, it’s perfect for time-sensitive announcements and sneak peeks.

Live Videos

Both individuals and businesses alike have embraced live videos in 2016, and that will carry over to this year. From fun clips of parties to controversial shots of current events, live videos prove to be a powerful way of capturing things as they happen.

Micro-Influencer Marketing

In 2017, minor celebrities like bloggers and social media stars will be favored by brands in an effort to reach more people. They’re a step up from an average consumer, but they’re more accessible and relatable than big Hollywood names. The use of these so-called micro-influencers works because they’re effective for word-of-mouth marketing.

Mobile First

More people use smartphones, so it’s no surprise that the mobile platform is given importance over desktop. In fact, Google is already working on a  mobile-first web index to give mobile-friendly sites more leverage. Thus, it’s time for websites to be mobile-friendly if they don’t want to be left behind in search engine results.

Quality Content

Bye, fluff and filler content. Before frequency of posts was seen as more effective so there was a proliferation of short pieces. But now, longer posts, better videos, and richer whitepapers are deemed more relevant and substantial both by search engines and real people.

Response Time

Facebook now lists the responsiveness of a business on its page, so people will know whether or not they can expect an answer within the timeframe they want. This pushes businesses to reply as soon as they can if they don’t want potential customers to look for someone who can give what they want sooner. But how fast is fast? Half an hour is the usual expectation.

Virtual Reality

It’s no longer just the stuff of sci-fi movies. Virtual reality is here, and it’s the perfect opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services. Something as simple as a 360-degree photo added to a listing can make a big difference. Facebook, WordPress, and YouTube already support this format.

It looks like 2017 will usher in many changes in social media. Can your business keep up?

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