An Intro to Paid Search by Business.com’s SEM Analyst


Search Engine Marketing SEMSearch engine marketing is an important focus for us at Business.com. In an effort to make sure everyone in the company understands what it really is, I presented an overview of paid search during one of our lunchtime learning sessions. So I figured, why not share it with all of you as well?

This presentation was designed for people who have heard about SEM but do not have direct knowledge about it. We explored the very basics of how search engine marketing works, and all the basic tenants of paid search. Here’s the rundown.

What is paid search?

  • Paid search, or search engine marketing, is the management of ads that show next to organic search engine results. Advertisers can get traffic to their website on a cost-per-click basis.
  • Like anything, paid search takes time and money to run effectively.
  • Typically users that search for a keyword on a search engine have high intent. They either wish to buy an item or wish to learn more about something. This is one of the advantages of paid search compared to other paid advertising channels.

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Future Selling: The Role of Ad Tech and Programmatic in B2B Media


ad tech and digital media convergeTwo weeks ago, I spoke at the Business Information & Media Summit on the impact of ad technology and programmatic buying on B2B media. The title of my talk: “Future Selling in B2B Media: Yes, there is a future.”

To give you a sense of perspective, #BIMS14 brought together 400 senior executives from business media, information, data and software companies ranging from some of the largest in the world, to start ups.

It was an audience of smart, experienced professionals, many of whom are still struggling with the havoc that the Internet has wrought on their traditional media and information businesses. To create a sense of context, I started with the major milestones that have shaped the digital landscape in which we currently live and do business:

  • 1995: Birth of the commercial web
  • 2000: First phase of the Internet as a platform
  • 2004: Social Networks introduced
  • 2006: Online targeting emerges
  • 2014: The Intention-Based revolution begins

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Content Marketing Metrics: Write, Measure, Repeat


Content Marketing Metrics to Measure SuccessContent marketing is all sorts of huge, with only 12% of companies NOT focusing on it. But how do you know if your content is successful? In three words, successful content marketing has to have the following: write, measure, repeat.

The new Business.com is a content-centric approach to our mission: to help people grow their businesses. Every day, we publish multiple pieces of content daily that all have that exact goal, but that’s just where it starts. In order to learn if our efforts are working, it is imperative that we dig into the analytics and to find out. Below are the content marketing metrics that we measure, how we do it, and what comes after. Read the full entry


3 Insights On How Brands Can Create Disruption for a #BrighterFuture


Creating DisruptionI recently attended the iMedia Brand Summit where top brands from around the country come together to share insights, trends and tips. The theme of the conference was “Marketing in an Always-On World,” and couldn’t be a more accurate statement about the landscape brands and marketers are in today.The good news? The scene is set for marketers and brands to really step up.

As marketers, there are a few challenges we are currently facing:

  1. Tackling the content conundrum
  2. How to master the art of storytelling

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9 Monstrous Copywriting Mistakes, care of Halloween’s Michael Myers


Monstrous Copywriting Mistakes

My favorite things in life are writing and watching the original masterpiece, Halloween. And today I get to combine the two!

Viewing after viewing, I’m consistently impressed by the fact that Michael Myers, the fictional psychopath of the cult classic Halloween, is able to slay so many victims without saying a single word. I’m equally perplexed at how many content marketers persuade customers to buy their product by using terrible copywriting tactics.

We don’t like to shame specific businesses, but if Michael Myers were a copywriter, we’d gladly point out his creepy copywriting mistakes (that marketers are guilty of too). Here are the 9 most horrific copywriting offenses as demonstrated by the monster himself, Michael Myers. Read the full entry


The SMB Guide to Mobile Marketing


Mobile Marketing OpportunitiesTo say that mobile marketing is exploding is an understatement. With consumers and businesses alike utilizing their devices for everything from playing a game to making major business purchases, marketers cannot ignore that mobile has to be a part of their plans and budget. Mobile is not only a different animal than traditional forms of marketing, but also than it’s older digital sibling. The game has changed once again, so we’ve created a guide to help you navigate the waters ahead.

Overview

Mobile marketing is advertising via cell phone, smartphone, tablet, or any other such device connected wirelessly to the Internet. Unlike traditional mass marketing, mobile marketing is most likely to be user-initiated; consequently, you are already targeting an audience interested in and predisposed to buy your products and services.

Another unique characteristic of mobile marketing is that it targets consumers based not only on their personal buying patterns and interest profiles, but also their geographic location. Thus, diners interested in Indian cuisine can receive an alert whenever they are near an Indian restaurant when it’s time for lunch or dinner. Read the full entry


Up-and-Coming Digital Agency Scenes


mobile apps conceptWhen you think creative hubs, Manhattan, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are some of the long-deemed cities that come to mind, but that is changing. With established, traditional agencies losing business to smaller, more nimble digital agencies, the advertising landscape is being reshaped, as are the cities that they call home.

Portland and Minneapolis are some of the hottest up-and-coming digital scenes. Below are some of the agencies that are putting them on the map, and the incredible work they’re putting out.

Portland Read the full entry


19 Pieces of Great Marketing Advice from the Pros


marketing advice illustrationThe work of a marketer is never done, but with a little advice from the experts, your marketing efforts can be more inspired, effective and engaging. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, these insightful tips from the pros will get you thinking about marketing in a different way.

Here are 19 of our favorite words of wisdom from some of the great minds paving the way, especially in the digital landscape.

“The biggest titles don’t always have the biggest brains. Instead, go after key influencers.” Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist, Canva (Tweet This!)

“A story is at its best when it’s not intrusive, when it brings value to a platform’s consumers, and when it fits in as a natural step along the customer’s path to making a purchase.” Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO, Vayner Media Read the full entry


How to Make the Most of What You Have: Lead Conversion Optimization Tips from Jim Wang of Microblogger.com


Flat computerWhat is top-of-mind for B2B marketers right now? According to a 2013 survey from The B2B Technology/Marketing Community on LinkedIn, 61% of responders said the biggest challenge they face is generating leads. And not just any old lead, but quality leads that actually convert.

For the B2B marketers who feel held to time-consuming and expensive campaigns, there’s good news: the same study also found that the most effective lead generation tactic used by marketers is the company website, and another survey from MarketingSherpa found that marketers are increasing their spend yearly, with most of the focus on website optimization.

Despite the additional spend, lack of resources in staffing, budgeting, and time makes it difficult for marketers to efficiently optimize business’ web pages. Luckily, there are some simple and inexpensive tactics you can apply to your business website conversion efforts. Read the full entry


3 Major Marketing Fails, Risks, and Fixes


ID-100261902He was wearing a robe and slippers, day-old stubble, jeans, and a dirty T-shirt. A cigarette dangled from his lips as he leaned underneath the “No Smoking” sign and muttered: “You hiring?”

“Why, where have you been? You’re exactly what I’m looking for!” (Not!)

As business owners, we can’t help but look outside and wonder “what in the world are people thinking?” when they unsuccessfully market themselves as employees.

Before we cast judgment, though, let’s talk about how difficult marketing our own businesses can be (and the ways it can go just as badly). Read the full entry