They’ll Listen if You Speak their Language: Native Advertising Infographic

With the internet growing old, the soft glow and one page scrolls of infinite blogs seem to grow more mundane each day, causing our expectations for better design, advertising, and interaction to rise. With content marketing making a big impact in the online advertising industry late last year and early 2013, we’ve seen a multitude of sponsored and promoted stories fill our social networks. These stories are relevant to the stuff we like and the people in our networks, but the promoted article is still displayed whether we expressed interest or not.

Native advertising is the process of integrating sponsored content into the organic experience of the platform. In this post: 15 Things You Probably Never Knew About Celebrities brought to you by, Cottonelle reaches the Buzzfeed audience in a way that is parrellel to Buzzfeed’s brand image. By taking on a familiar or preferred voice, a brand can reach a new or existing customer segment by playing on the fable of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Author: Anthony Baisi


7 Tips for Blogging

Staying up to date with social and effective marketing can be an arduous task especially when you’re running a blog. It’s true that blogging takes a lot of commitment and thought but it doesn’t have to be so time consuming and complicated. Here are seven easy steps that will put your blog on the right track for success:

Set it up right and keep the momentum strong by publishing your content consistently. When I say consistently I mean if you write three articles a week or if you write one article a month, try to keep that pace going. If your readers don’t see enough consistency they may unsubscribe and replace your blog with a more active one.

Stay organized and if you have great ideas write them down. Make a calendar for publishing dates and new ideas ahead of time to ensure consistency. Archive ideas so you when you hit writer’s block you’ll still have some content on the back burner.

Be a part of the community; get interactive with relevant social groups in Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Google+. These are great places to share the stories you’ve read and to further discuss them with new people. You can share your stories as well and generate new followers and readers. Make sure to show your appreciation with new comments and shares by thanking them and creating conversation.

Properly align your business, internal blog and external blogs with the right keywords and search optimization strategy. This will help keep your network relevant and help your business/blog develop a stronger presence in the industry.

Try adding a call to action at the end of your posts to see if your content can generate leads or sales. You could even try a special offer at the end of your post like a 30 day free trial or exclusive discount option. Make sure you have sharing options with all social media platforms and a subscription to your RSS feed.

Diversify your target market and try promoting your content across a wider range of channels. Remember to be creative and natural when doing so to appear relevant and well suited for the new audience.

Make sure to track results and monitor your blog’s activity including, traffic, links, and shares. You want to know where your traffic is coming from and what platforms provide the most engagement. This will teach you which channels deserve more attention and who you should be targeting.

Together these tactics will help you determine what works and what doesn’t. Remember to rely on your intuition, if it doesn’t sit right with you, don’t do it; unless, however, that is what you’re going for?

Happy blogging!

Author: Anthony Baisi

Keep It Simple, Stupid

After writing “The Cat in the Hat” which had 225 words in total, Seuss’ shortandtothepointpublisher Bennet Serf challenged Seuss to write a book using even less words. Pleased to accept the challenge, Seuss wrote “Green Eggs with Ham” which surpassed Serf’s expectations at exactly 50 words.

I think a lot of bloggers can benefit from this example as Seuss cut off the fat and gave his audience what they want in exactly 50 words. For me, this book was a classic and I still find its humour coming up in pop culture.

While reading blog post, after blog post I find myself skimming and only paying attention when I notice keywords. People want their information quickly, properly decorated with pictures, and with the right amount of white space. Why not give the people what they want? So –throw a catchy title in the mix and whip up another great post!

Why do you think video is so huge with marketing? It’s so popular because the viewer can absorb so much more information than by reading and in a shorter time frame too. This forces me to think of Twitter’s Vine application because we can now diversify and enrich our 140 characters into informative, entertaining and to the point communication.

I find the same theme is consistent with email. Where if you don’t earn someone’s attention within the first few lines chances are slim they’ll continue to the next paragraph. Be brief, be informative and convey what your trying to say without drawing it out too long.

Be creative, trust your intuition and ignore word count recommendations for standard blog posts.

Saves us with brevity.

Author: Anthony Baisi

Quick Guide to Onpage SEO

Website marketing contains many approaches, to name a few: searonpage offpage seoch engine optimization, email marketing, social websites and analytic tools. However, one of the most important elements is SEO because it allows people to find you based on relevant queries. Let’s face it, when the general population has a question about something they usually turn to Google. We now produce around 4.7 billion searches a day where around 20% of those queries have never been searched before.  It only makes sense that businesses become as visible as possible on search engine result pages.

Completing SEO for your company means that you first need to optimize your on page presence. To begin setting your site up you need to review the following:

  • Proper URL – The URL is very important as it serves to catch the reader’s eye in SERPs it should be descriptive and relevant to your product or service, they should be easy to spell, say, remember and they should also be set up in a logical way. Ex: URLs like  makes it impossible to guess what the page will contain, makes it clear as to what the page will contain
  • Keywords – Do proper keyword research, edit the list for moderate competitiveness, decide on a primary keyword for title tags and in first paragraphs of content, use variations of this keyword, such as plural or in a phrase
  • Map your website – organize hierarchy of pages to allow for a relationship based approach in assigning keywords, this provides the most proper and relevant placement of assigned keywords and will eliminate competition on your own website
  • Delete Duplicates – Ensure titles are unique and there are no duplicate pages on your website, this is important because search engines will pull the site’s title for each of the page’s meta description, you also want to remove the brand name from internal pages and create more unique titles and try adding no follows to unimportant pages
  • Implement proper indexing – create xml sitemaps that provide search engines with the right information to properly index your website, add a link with ‘related pages or articles’ to your pages, it helps with indexing as well as with visitor engagement and implement missing pagination guidelines
  • Page content ­– Try t to incorporate primary and secondary keywords in content without appearing unnatural, try to bold or italicize keywords using mentioned tags
  • Include Social Media – Try to  include sharing buttons for social media sites that you wish to be affiliated with, this encourages sharing and higher traffic, try mentioning popular influences and collaborators in your website and give them a shout out, by tagging them in your content it encourages a wider network of sharing
  • Html Tags :
    • <Title> – 20 to 70 characters, the primary keyword should appear first, each page should be unique, separate keyword or phrases with ( | )
    • <meta> – 140 to 170 characters, include primary and a secondary keyword in conversational context, meta titles appear in blue in SERPs and descriptions are the excerpt, make them catchy and appealing
    • <alt> – use keywords in alt tags, do not duplicate, should be a phrase or sentence, are used by images for providing search engines information about the image, the file name should be separated by dashes and the alt text should match the file name minus the dashes
    • <a> – use a variation of your keyword, do not duplicate keywords, represent a link which allows the search engines to credit your website with confidence. Ex: you should link to a page covering monitoring tools and analytics with the anchor text ‘monitor tool’
    • <h1> to <h6> – always use at least one <h1> tag, however you can use 3 or 4, always include keywords, try to incorporate the primary keyword in your <h1> tag, the <h1> tag should be at the top of the page and the first thing people see
      Also use: <b> bold <i> italics <p> paragraph

On page seo optimization is the first place to start when building your websites presence. It provides the right information, structure and confidence to search engines so that they can refer traffic to your site.

If you have any other suggestions or tips, please share with us. For the next article we will be covering the external approach to search engine optimization.

Author: Anthony Baisi

The Kings of Online Marketing

Marketers have to learn that content, design, or big data aren’t and will never be king. The king is the reader, the viewer, the person that follows your company’s tweets, blogs, news or PR. The king is the people that find genuine interest in your content and share your stories within their social circles. Don’t get me wrong, good content and inbound marketing attracts more people with relevant and genuine subjects. However, these elements of marketing are merely the bait marketers use to fill their nets.

While companies strive to build those links and get those visitors the real value is what’s on the other side of the bridge that truly matters, significance. Now this could be content, the product or service, the company’s mission and vision or even the reputation. For example: Patagonia, I love their company vision, ethics and transparency. But, would I pay for the product? No. Do I like product design? Not really.

While the means of bringing the traffic in is important, it’s not what gets people talking about the company. It’s the relation that’s created between you and them, through the engaging factor. As a writer, nothing would make me happier than my boss telling me it’s my writing that is building our reputation; wishful thinking, right?
In the end, it’s about knowing what your customers want and how they want it.

Author: Anthony Baisi

Online Marketing Trends 2013

Both technology and transparency have brought the advertising industry a long way from the droning, one directional communication of the past. It’s now becoming an industry where marketers busy themselves trying to attract and engage their customers in a more meaningful way, by offering more relevant and genuine information. Applying online marketing to a company’s strategy has become essential for any campaign, but with the internet becoming more cluttered the consumer has become harder to reach.  Common themes are emerging that point towards what businesses can do for their customers, instead of what customers can do for business. People want to know how companies can help them reach their goals. Subsequently they are becoming more interested in well thought out and genuine communications. These three trends are the ones that I personally see making the biggest impact in the industry this year.

Mobile Marketing – With the popularity and reach of mobile networks, it’s said that more than 75% of the world has access to mobile devices. Furthermore, these devices offer a multitude of applications that engage the user in an interactive and personalized manner. These apps can now help business owners reach and monitor their audience and marketing activities. From your mobile device, you can monitor, average visit time of your website, page views per visitor, repeat visitors, what site your viewers came from, and who referred them.
The trend is beyond making your website mobile friendly and easy to navigate, it is more about how you engage and interact with your customer. Marketers should be discovering new formats you can you offer the customer while, winning them over with new information and resources.

Inbound Marketing – Inbound marketing is the action of pulling in customers by attracting them with rich content, relevant conversation and new resources. This will ultimately result in more unique visitors and a larger amount of loyal followers. It’s predicted that inbound analytics will see upgrades, therefore helping marketers to plan their next steps and better manage their inbound marketing strategy. Another important part of inbound marketing is the design of the website, usability, and data visualizations. Great design has never been so available and affordable then now; it’s recommended that companies polish their websites for 2013.
Google authorship has become a factor in SEO and will also help writers pull in viewers based on visibility, placement and trustworthiness. This means Google will begin to identify authors online and will measure their influence and trustworthiness. Google is striving to reduce the amount of duplicates and spam by rewarding verified content creators with additional images and links in search engine results. Resulting in a scenario where a high quality and trustworthy writer can pull in a higher amount of views.

Growth in Analytics – Analytics go beyond monitoring the performance of your website; instead they help measure and optimize your marketing efforts. Analytics have grown to new heights where you can find who is talking about your company, the sentiment they have towards you and the influence their opinions carry. This means there will be less time wasted building connections with those whom have a very limited entourage and more time available for structuring an influential and prosperous network.
Influence doesn’t mean building the amount of followers you have with irrelevant or inactive accounts, but instead with followers that share common interests and goals. Some dedicated companies, like My Viral Web have begun working towards this direction as it strives to build richer and more relevant networks for its customers.

Author: Anthony Baisi