Ways to Reduce Comment Spam in WordPress

September 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog Optimization

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Once you tweak several codes to secure your blog from the cyber criminals like hackers and a number of malicious bots, it’s time to prevent the comment spam over your WordPress based blogs. In any self hosted WordPress blog the most common problem bloggers often encounter is combating the comment spam on a frequent basis.

Every time when you login at your WordPress dashboard you come across a wide range of spam comments that are waiting to be deleted. Either you are supposed to delete them manually or allow them to die down over the spam queue.

Allowing them to die down is not the recommended option as it will simply enlarge the database size thus affecting the source loading time. You are advised to find ways to prevent spam comments appearing on your WordPress blogs.

The following are some of the best ways to reduce comment spam over WordPress. Let’s check them out:

 

Hold the comment for moderation

You have the choice to add or remove this feature over WordPress; however, it is recommended to do so as this is the best way to avoid the comments coming by any reader.

If it happens to be a bot then the comments coming will certainly not be accepted and thus would go for moderation, however, if you anyone commenting manually in order to get the link juice then you have the choice to either blacklist or mark that particular comment as spam.

In other words, what you do is to simply check (tick) the option that says – ‘comment author having earlier approved comments’.

Once you trust any reader and find the comments are relevant you can approve them. The very next time when this particular reader comes with his or her other comment you do not have to deal with such people with the approving or disapproving thing. Lastly, having the comments containing more than one link would be kept in moderation.

This is really recommended to avoid those who are simply out to get the link juice from different blog posts.

 

Bann the IP address of the spammers

Whenever any reader comment, you will always get to see the IP address over your dashboard. If you find any such IP’s, which you feel that these could be spam bots then you can certainly think of blocking the same from visiting your blog.

This is very much simple, you have the choice of blocking the individual IP or simply the range to avoid comment spam. All you need to do is to add the particular codes (shown below) over the root.htaccess of your blog.

# block ip

order allow,deny

deny from 194.169.45.202

deny from 225.38.168.14

deny from 184.19.5.63

allow from all

 

Close the comments over the older posts

The spammers simply target the posts that receive good traffic and hence what you do is to close these comments over posts that happen to be of old times.

The moment you close the comment over the older post you simply render the spammers less time to target the post. Usually it is recommended to close the comments, which happen to be older than three months or so or the ones, which have made a big difference over a wide range of spammy comments.

In order to close all the comments over the older posts all you need to do is to go Setting and then to Discussion and finally to Other Comment Setting wherein you would check the option -Automatically close the comments on post older than __ days’ and simply add the number.

By hitting the save window can help in saving this settings and remove the comments over the older posts.

 

Installing the anti spam plugins

There are countless of anti spam plugins available for WordPress based blogs but you would use only those, which will not affect the performance of your blog. Trying improper spam plugins can slower down the download speed of your blog and your readers would encounter some errors.

One of the best plugin for spam comments over WordPress is Akismet, it simply filters out the number of comments and track the spam properly. You can find this plugin over WordPress platform, which is often found as default in the WP based blogs.

Though it can filter some of the good comments under spam, but don’t worry, you can easily recover them by visiting the spam comments on a regular basis. The other one is Quiz, which simply prevents the comment spam by posing question to the spammers to answer.

Make sure you create smart questions, which are hard to answer by the bots so that you simply prevent the spam comments.

Final word

Preventing the spam comments over WordPress based blogs or any other blog is important because it can hamper the credibility of your blog before the search engines and your readers. The above are some of the best ways to avoid them.

 

This Post is written by Margaret. She is a writer/blogger. She writes articles on Technology, social media, WordPress, Gamification, luxury interior design, website development, blog and online development etc. These days she contributes on www.punchh.com.

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SEO Tip – Use Content and Inbound Marketing to Your Advantage

September 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Content Marketing

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By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Clint_Maher]Clint Maher

Instead of cold calling, why not look for an effective way to get the customers coming to you for a change?

Outbound online marketing strategies aren’t exactly obsolete but online inbound marketing techniques certainly are much easier to succeed with – if you do it right. Inbound marketing helps you do marketing and SEO together.

Instead of doing the online equivalent of cold calling and banging on doors, inbound marketing helps people find you. Instead of banging on other doors, people could be knocking on your door. SEO can help you substantially, especially if you do it with strong marketing techniques built in to your optimisation approach. And the great news is that a bit of effort can pay off repeatedly.

Offer Information

A big part of succeeding with inbound marketing involves sharing information online. Making information available to potential customers is the way to go in the information age where consumers use the information that they find online to help them make their purchasing choices.

There are many ways to use information to help your site get found. Much of the world of SEO is built on the basic concept of content marketing. By creating and offering content, you’ve got an opportunity to market to interested people and build a relationship with them. Content can be shared via your site and via many web 2.0 properties. It can also be syndicated so that it can be spread far and wide – increasing the eyes that will land on it.

Press releases, SEO articles for content sites, and blog posting are all good approaches to take. Provide information and then work to get the visitor to your website through your byline. Don’t forget keyword rich anchor text to help you increase your page rank.

Tip: Make the Info Keyword Rich

Keyword richness that is done carefully online can be very beneficial. But there’s a fine line to walk between keyword rich and keyword stuffed so don’t make keyword optimisation your primary objective when working on inbound marketing. The best approach to take is to be informative first and think SEO second.

Keyword integration into the title, the headers, the text, and optimisation of various tags on the page can all help your article get found. Making it rich with good and informative content will also help the content get acted upon and shared with others. Strategic positioning of content is also important.

Strive for Opt-In Info

When people do find you via your optimised inbound marketing efforts, make sure you don’t lose out on the opportunity. Strive to get people to opt in to receiving future communication from you. You can do this multiple ways, such as by offering something in exchange for a reader’s opt-in to your newsletter.

Then you’ll have the opportunity to drip-feed future info to that potential customer that could either gradually bring someone closer to a sale or that could even convert them to a buyer over and over again.

Analyse Results

If results are great, lather, rinse, and repeat. If not, tweak, test out, and analyse again. You may opt to change your SEO strategy or to do more of the same but another big benefit of inbound marketing techniques is that they’re easy to measure, especially when compared to 20th century marketing that took a long time to plan and execute and an even longer amount of time to measure.

When doing inbound marketing efforts as part of your SEO strategy, a careful approach is smart. Carefully crafted purposeful content placed in the right online places could do great things for the success of your website. If you need help crafting an SEO approach that will work and help you get people queuing up to do business with you, an SEO company would be happy to help.  They can help you create great informative content and they can position it online in places and in ways that will help you get found.

Oracle Digital is an Expert [http://www.oracledigital.com.au/seo/seo-perth/]SEO Company Perth specializing in a comprehensive range of internet marketing solutions for business. Our personalized and systematic approach to business ensures that we realize the goals of our clients. Our expert services include [http://www.oracledigital.com.au/seo/]Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and many more. Visit us today and get your site on top of the search engines!

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?SEO-Tip---Use-Content-and-Inbound-Marketing-to-Your-Advantage&id=6994341] SEO Tip – Use Content and Inbound Marketing to Your Advantage

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SEO 101: How to Get Backlinks and Traffic at the Same Time

July 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Content Marketing

By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Freddy_Gandarilla]Freddy Gandarilla

Getting back-links for search engine optimization could be a bit of a challenge for many bloggers online that would like to get organic traffic from the search engines.

In my opinion, getting back-links is not really a challenge but a matter of understanding how back-links work and how many back-links you will need to rank up. You can use tools to check how many back-links the other sites on the first page of Google have.

Just imagine how much you will be able to do if you knew how many backlinks you would need to rank up for a keyword?

It will help you a lot, right?

You can use Traffic Travis to check on your competition and be on top of them. The next thing you need to do is write your article and publish it on your site. Once is out there and indexed in the search engines, it is time to check how many back-links you will need to rank up to the number one spot.

Use the tools I recommend or other tools you might have found online. Once you know about how many back-links the other sites ranking up have, it is time to take massive action.

Let me share a few tips on getting backlinks for each one of your optimized articles. This stuff is pretty simple but the only thing that scares many people is that it is a lot of work. But again, how bad do you want the results? And are they worth it for you?

You can get back-links from the following places:

Article Directories
Social Bookmarks
Web 2.0 Sites
Video Hosting Sites
Wordpress Blog Comments
Guest Blog Posts
File-Sharing Sites

These are some of the places you can get back-links from and if you follow a simple process, you can get really good search engine rankings. The process that you will need to follow can be created by you. It is pretty simple to come up with a process you are comfortable doing daily. You don’t need to know so much about backlinks but that you need to get a lot of them.

One thing you will also need to learn is the quality of a back-link. Let me tell you how you can even get more link juice to your optimized articles; all you need to do is give your back-links some back-links. I hope you understand what I’m saying here.

In order for your back-links to help you get good rankings, they will also need back-links. By giving backlinks to your backlinks you will make them have bigger authority in front of the search engines. This will result in better search engine rankings!

You can come up with a simple step-by-step process you can follow every time you publish a new piece of content on your blog. If you do this consistently, and for very long time (at least 90 days), then you will see a good increase on the traffic to your blog.

Now, here is the “getting traffic at the same time” part, there is no way you will not get traffic from the sites you get backlinks from. You will get traffic from the Article Directories, Social Bookmarks, Video Sites and the other places you can get backlinks from.

All you need to do after you have everything ready is to take massive action. Do not procrastinate!

Take action as soon as you learn and you will get results as soon as you do that.

I really hope this information can help you get better rankings in the search engines!

If you would like to learn more about SEO you can get a free report here: http://internet-marketing-blog101.com/free-ebooks-to-download/

I’m a young Internet Marketer that is on the path to success. My goal here is to help you achieve your goals so you can live a better life. The main mission in life is to help others get what they want. Eventually together we will help the world become a better place. Earning money online will allow you to live your dreams, and that will allow you to fulfill other people’s dreams. Learn how to make money online, take massive action and immediately teach others how to do the same. Much success.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?SEO-101:-How-to-Get-Backlinks-and-Traffic-at-the-Same-Time&id=7850959] SEO 101: How to Get Backlinks and Traffic at the Same Time

10 Hottest Internet Marketing Trends for 2013

June 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Content Marketing

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English: A business ideally is continually see...

English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Internet marketing is constantly evolving. Every year different techniques and trends dominate this domain. Marketers are willing to experiment and are ready to take calculative risks in order to achieve success. Ten hottest trends that are likely to dominate this niche in 2013 are as follows.

1. Social media: Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have achieved a cult status. Thousands of users subscribe to Facebook or Twitter on daily basis. These social media platforms are the new emerging markets for internet marketers. Smart marketers will optimize the power of social media platforms in order to generate more business in 2013.

2. YouTube: 2012 witnessed varied viral videos. The masses will start using YouTube for posting engaging videos to attract the audience and communicate powerfully by using this amazing medium. You may witness series of videos that are aimed at brand building and brand recall in 2013.

3. Email marketing: 2013 will definitely see revival of email marketing as one of the top marketing strategies. People will use varied emotions and aesthetically emails for marketing their products and services.

4. E-publications: E-books and e-publications will gain importance for marketing. Free e-publications that educate the consumers about different products and services will dominate the mix and be at the top of the list for many internet enthusiasts.

5. Video posts: 2013 will see a paradigm shift of focus from text to videos. Audience tends to respond quicker to videos as compared to texts. Marketers can deliver powerful messages through videos and they may start including at least one video in their marketing emails.

6. Aesthetic designs: Eye-catching designs with amazing details will be in forefront when it comes to the field of online marketing. They will focus on designs that stand out from the rest. Dominance of abstract designs is foreseen in 2013.

7. Mobile marketing: Growing number of smart phone users has created a need for marketing techniques that are mobile friendly. Entrepreneurs will focus on creating websites that are mobile friendly. The year 2013 shall see increase in number of mobile friendly sites.

8. Emergence of marketing Apps: Internet specialists have realized that mobile Ads are hardly visible to the customers when they are browsing the web. Smart online advertisers will now invest in internet marketing Apps instead of Ads for better conversion rates.

9. Rise of Pinterest: Marketers will rely more on images and videos to convey their message to the target audience. In such scenario, visual sites like Pinterest and Infographic will gain importance in internet marketing.

10. Quality Vs Quantity: Internet marketers will focus on qualitative content especially after witnessing the brutality of Google penguin and Google Panda update. Consumers can expect informative marketing campaigns.

Shah Syed is an Internet Marketing Consultant for WDS. A top notch [http://www.webdesignsingapore.org/seo-singapore.html]SEO Services and [http://www.webdesignsingapore.org]Web Design Company in Singapore.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?10-Hottest-Internet-Marketing-Trends-for-2013&id=7785185] 10 Hottest Internet Marketing Trends for 2013

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The State of B2B Content Marketing [Infographic]

June 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Article Marketing

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Five Killer Video Marketing Tips

June 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Article Marketing

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No matter what you’re selling or hoping to promote, video should be a consideration for your marketing spend and focus. With easy-to-use platforms like YouTube, nobody can blame technology as a hurdle anymore.

Still, it’s difficult to come up with just the right message, tone, and approach to make video marketing pay off for you.

Every business is different, and finding your niche, and your audience, might take some time. But the great thing about starting under the radar, though, is that you can test and tweak and fine-tune at first before making a bigger splash. When that time comes, you’ll have all the information and experience behind you to help inform your decisions.

Here are five tips to get started.

1. Show personality


You’ve probably seen hundreds of YouTube videos of people talking at you while standing in front of a white wall. Video marketing doesn’t have to be that dry or dull. Indeed, it’s a chance to make your own commercial and to illustrate what makes your company, or service, so stellar. Have the camera move around, shoot from different perspectives, and ensure viewers see movement and colors.

Consider this video from a restaurant that shows satisfied customers while the voiceover makes strategic calls to action. It comes at a fraction of the cost of airing TV commercials, and with the popularity of online video these days… such a video could yield great results.

2. Commit to series

Some subjects, like makeup and beauty (see example, below), perform better on social channels than others. But that doesn’t mean your area of business is a lost cause there. What’s important is consistency, as you’ll pick up followers once you produce some valuable and shareable videos.

Set a schedule for yourself that you will stick to, whether it’s weekly or monthly. Then spend the time in between releases to promote the series and to tease the upcoming ones, too; just make sure to keep these short.

Once people find out, and they like it, they’ll look for more of them in the Related Videos section. If they can digest three or five at once, you’ll have them hooked for longer.

3. Make tutorials

The name of the game on the Web is DIY tutorials. If you can educate your audience and help them achieve new skills they can show off, you’ll become a resource they can’t get enough of.

You’ll note that crafts and cooking are very popular subjects online. No matter what your business specializes in, you’ll want to promote yourself as having subject-matter expertise. Don’t give away all your secrets for free, but you can highlight some of the effective ways that you think different from the competition. If people can walk away with something tangible, that’s even better.

To get started, ask yourself what you can teach that will get customers to think the way you do.

4. Be relevant

A hot topic in marketing these days is how brands should speak to children. Kids can be influenced and manipulated more easily than adults, and some parents have expressed outrage over recent decades about how TV commercials relate to their kids. It’s a difficult balance that all companies must think about if they wish to attract young people to their products and stores.

Rather than back down and hide from the controversial issues, MOM’s Organic Market instead did research and presented a comprehensive video on the subject. Efforts like this one will help assuage the concerns of adults. They’re the ones spending the money, more often than not, and you’ll want to use your video messaging to show that you’re all on the same side.

5. Offer testimonials

We’ve always valued the voice of our peers who recommend products and professionals’ services to us, and now video marketers are capitalizing on that sense of goodwill and endorsements in the shape of video testimonials.

It’s a great solution for the camera-shy business owner or for companies that want to give voice to their customers.

Take a look, below, at how Google marketed Google Wallet. You hear credible executives speaking with enthusiasm about the product and how simple it is to use. You walk away from that two-minute video knowing how and why Google has improved business for these people.

How can you do the same?

For more on video marketing, here’s a video marketing tutorial from Skillfeed (opt-in required).

Five Killer Video Marketing Tips

June 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Article Marketing

Comments Off

No matter what you’re selling or hoping to promote, video should be a consideration for your marketing spend and focus. With easy-to-use platforms like YouTube, nobody can blame technology as a hurdle anymore.

Still, it’s difficult to come up with just the right message, tone, and approach to make video marketing pay off for you.

Every business is different, and finding your niche, and your audience, might take some time. But the great thing about starting under the radar, though, is that you can test and tweak and fine-tune at first before making a bigger splash. When that time comes, you’ll have all the information and experience behind you to help inform your decisions.

Here are five tips to get started.

1. Show personality


You’ve probably seen hundreds of YouTube videos of people talking at you while standing in front of a white wall. Video marketing doesn’t have to be that dry or dull. Indeed, it’s a chance to make your own commercial and to illustrate what makes your company, or service, so stellar. Have the camera move around, shoot from different perspectives, and ensure viewers see movement and colors.

Consider this video from a restaurant that shows satisfied customers while the voiceover makes strategic calls to action. It comes at a fraction of the cost of airing TV commercials, and with the popularity of online video these days… such a video could yield great results.

2. Commit to series

Some subjects, like makeup and beauty (see example, below), perform better on social channels than others. But that doesn’t mean your area of business is a lost cause there. What’s important is consistency, as you’ll pick up followers once you produce some valuable and shareable videos.

Set a schedule for yourself that you will stick to, whether it’s weekly or monthly. Then spend the time in between releases to promote the series and to tease the upcoming ones, too; just make sure to keep these short.

Once people find out, and they like it, they’ll look for more of them in the Related Videos section. If they can digest three or five at once, you’ll have them hooked for longer.

3. Make tutorials

The name of the game on the Web is DIY tutorials. If you can educate your audience and help them achieve new skills they can show off, you’ll become a resource they can’t get enough of.

You’ll note that crafts and cooking are very popular subjects online. No matter what your business specializes in, you’ll want to promote yourself as having subject-matter expertise. Don’t give away all your secrets for free, but you can highlight some of the effective ways that you think different from the competition. If people can walk away with something tangible, that’s even better.

To get started, ask yourself what you can teach that will get customers to think the way you do.

4. Be relevant

A hot topic in marketing these days is how brands should speak to children. Kids can be influenced and manipulated more easily than adults, and some parents have expressed outrage over recent decades about how TV commercials relate to their kids. It’s a difficult balance that all companies must think about if they wish to attract young people to their products and stores.

Rather than back down and hide from the controversial issues, MOM’s Organic Market instead did research and presented a comprehensive video on the subject. Efforts like this one will help assuage the concerns of adults. They’re the ones spending the money, more often than not, and you’ll want to use your video messaging to show that you’re all on the same side.

5. Offer testimonials

We’ve always valued the voice of our peers who recommend products and professionals’ services to us, and now video marketers are capitalizing on that sense of goodwill and endorsements in the shape of video testimonials.

It’s a great solution for the camera-shy business owner or for companies that want to give voice to their customers.

Take a look, below, at how Google marketed Google Wallet. You hear credible executives speaking with enthusiasm about the product and how simple it is to use. You walk away from that two-minute video knowing how and why Google has improved business for these people.

How can you do the same?

For more on video marketing, here’s a video marketing tutorial from Skillfeed (opt-in required).

Five Killer Video Marketing Tips

June 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Article Marketing

Comments Off

No matter what you’re selling or hoping to promote, video should be a consideration for your marketing spend and focus. With easy-to-use platforms like YouTube, nobody can blame technology as a hurdle anymore.

Still, it’s difficult to come up with just the right message, tone, and approach to make video marketing pay off for you.

Every business is different, and finding your niche, and your audience, might take some time. But the great thing about starting under the radar, though, is that you can test and tweak and fine-tune at first before making a bigger splash. When that time comes, you’ll have all the information and experience behind you to help inform your decisions.

Here are five tips to get started.

1. Show personality


You’ve probably seen hundreds of YouTube videos of people talking at you while standing in front of a white wall. Video marketing doesn’t have to be that dry or dull. Indeed, it’s a chance to make your own commercial and to illustrate what makes your company, or service, so stellar. Have the camera move around, shoot from different perspectives, and ensure viewers see movement and colors.

Consider this video from a restaurant that shows satisfied customers while the voiceover makes strategic calls to action. It comes at a fraction of the cost of airing TV commercials, and with the popularity of online video these days… such a video could yield great results.

2. Commit to series

Some subjects, like makeup and beauty (see example, below), perform better on social channels than others. But that doesn’t mean your area of business is a lost cause there. What’s important is consistency, as you’ll pick up followers once you produce some valuable and shareable videos.

Set a schedule for yourself that you will stick to, whether it’s weekly or monthly. Then spend the time in between releases to promote the series and to tease the upcoming ones, too; just make sure to keep these short.

Once people find out, and they like it, they’ll look for more of them in the Related Videos section. If they can digest three or five at once, you’ll have them hooked for longer.

3. Make tutorials

The name of the game on the Web is DIY tutorials. If you can educate your audience and help them achieve new skills they can show off, you’ll become a resource they can’t get enough of.

You’ll note that crafts and cooking are very popular subjects online. No matter what your business specializes in, you’ll want to promote yourself as having subject-matter expertise. Don’t give away all your secrets for free, but you can highlight some of the effective ways that you think different from the competition. If people can walk away with something tangible, that’s even better.

To get started, ask yourself what you can teach that will get customers to think the way you do.

4. Be relevant

A hot topic in marketing these days is how brands should speak to children. Kids can be influenced and manipulated more easily than adults, and some parents have expressed outrage over recent decades about how TV commercials relate to their kids. It’s a difficult balance that all companies must think about if they wish to attract young people to their products and stores.

Rather than back down and hide from the controversial issues, MOM’s Organic Market instead did research and presented a comprehensive video on the subject. Efforts like this one will help assuage the concerns of adults. They’re the ones spending the money, more often than not, and you’ll want to use your video messaging to show that you’re all on the same side.

5. Offer testimonials

We’ve always valued the voice of our peers who recommend products and professionals’ services to us, and now video marketers are capitalizing on that sense of goodwill and endorsements in the shape of video testimonials.

It’s a great solution for the camera-shy business owner or for companies that want to give voice to their customers.

Take a look, below, at how Google marketed Google Wallet. You hear credible executives speaking with enthusiasm about the product and how simple it is to use. You walk away from that two-minute video knowing how and why Google has improved business for these people.

How can you do the same?

For more on video marketing, here’s a video marketing tutorial from Skillfeed (opt-in required).

Facebook aims to simplify advertising for marketers

June 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Article Marketing

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Facebook is gearing up for a new project to simplify its advertising platform, making it easier for marketers to decide how to place ads across the site.

One of the plan’s major goals is to reduce redundancies in the 27 different types of ads that Facebook currently offers to marketers, by either getting rid of some options altogether or merging some tools into one product. Many of the types of ads that                           Facebook currently offers do a lot of the same things, such as encouraging online sales, in-store sales, or in-app downloads, the company said.

For example, Facebook provides an online Offers product to advertisers to let them drive traffic to their website or product page, but many companies just insert a link into a Facebook Page post to drive traffic, so the option to create a dedicated online offer will disappear under the changes, Facebook said.

Details forthcoming

Because the program is still in its very early stages, many of the changes either were not disclosed or are still being worked out. The company announced the project during a briefing with reporters on Thursday at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Most of the new advertising tools will not roll out until late summer or early fall.

For Facebook users, the project is designed to provide a more unified set of ad formats, so advertisements appearing in the News Feed, in the right-hand rail on the desktop, and on mobile devices will look more consistent.

The new program is based on what Facebook has learned over the last year or so from marketers as more of them have opted to advertise on new areas of the site, such as the News Feed.

“A couple of years ago, the question was, ‘Do Facebook ads work?’” said Brian Boland, director of product marketing at the company. “We now know that they do,” he said.

When Facebook sells advertising today, it presents marketers with a long list of options for how to advertise on the site. The marketers then choose which ones to use to target their audience.

What’s coming

In the future, Facebook will present a more streamlined set of options based on specific marketing objectives, such as getting users to go to a company’s physical store or encouraging them to buy an app.

So, instead of choosing among various ad products, companies will be able to tell Facebook they want to create an ad that, say, drives awareness of a message, or gets consumers to look at a video. Facebook will then put together a type of ad that will accomplish that.

“Facebook is starting to realize it needs to really simplify what it offers to marketers and make what it offers actually social as opposed to traditional display advertising,” said Zachary Reiss-Davis, an analyst with Forrester Research.

The project is aimed at reducing complexity, not control, for advertisers, according to the company. Companies will still be able to target and personalize their ads to certain audiences, but it will be easier to align those ads with their objectives, Facebook said.


Finding new ways to target ads to the right users is a perennial goal for Facebook. The company last year rolled out its Custom Audiences tool as a way for marketers to target people they’ve previously done business with by using their phone number or email address.

The program was expanded in February to third-party marketing firms to give advertisers even more data for targeting their ads.

Earlier this year, Facebook also announced its acquisition of Microsoft’s Atlas Advertiser Suite, an ad analysis platform. The acquisition was intended to increase Facebook’s ad revenue and give marketers better information about their campaigns on both desktop and mobile.

Facebook’s ad revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was $1.25 billion, representing 85 percent of the company’s total sales and a 43 percent increase from 2012’s first quarter. Mobile advertising revenue accounted for 30 percent of total ad revenue.

Four Email Tips for Marketing Professionals

June 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Article Marketing

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If you think you’re the only person slammed with email, you’re wrong. Whether it’s working with colleagues, setting up meetings, or closing a deal, email is the main means of work-related communication for everyone.

According to a study by a study by McKinsey, the average “interaction worker” spends 28% of their workweek reading and responding to emails. For most professionals, that is a huge distraction that gets in the way of getting actual work done.

Many books, articles, and blog posts have been written on sending effective marketing emails. There’s a ton of advice on optimizing the subject line, day of week, time of day, font, and pretty much every other imaginable detail.

But little attention has been paid to the importance of being better at receiving and processing email.

Here are some tips to help you process email more efficiently, free up hours of otherwise wasted time, and reduce your stress level.


1. Don’t let email control you

The inherent instant gratification of clearing your inbox provides a brief feeling of accomplishment, but it’s really not productive. Doing email is just one part of work. Determine how much time you want to spend in your inbox on a given day, and don’t exceed it.

When you first open your inbox in the morning, star/flag emails that must be dealt with today, but make sure to focus on your top priorities first before diving into your inbox.

Dedicate 30-minute blocks every two hours to staying on top of email. If you need more time, make it 45-minute blocks, but it’s critical to not let your Inbox control you.

2. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize

When you do make it to your Inbox, it’s key to remember that not all emails are created equal. Most email clients give each email the same amount of real estate on the screen, making it hard for our brain to be discriminating, creating a tendency to give each email the same amount of attention upfront.

In reality, not all emails are created equal. Some need to be read and responded to right away (important and urgent priorities). Some can wait until later (important but not urgent priorities). Others should be archived or deleted in bulk.

Yes, some emails will never be responded to, and that’s OK in the world of limited time and resources. Start with your top opportunities, and make sure you dedicate enough time to them. Even if you don’t get to the smaller stuff, you’ll feel great that you went after your top leads and gave them your best.

3. Be decisive

When checking your email, decide what to do with each email immediately:

  • Respond if it’s absolutely necessary or takes less than two minutes.
  • Delete it.
  • Archive it.
  • Defer it and respond later.
  • Develop a plan of action from the email.

That approach is called Inbox Zero, and it has become a popular email management method. It prevents looking at the same email twice, which is one of the greatest time wasters (and something we are all guilty of!).

4. Use email tools

Though everyone complains about email overload, few realize excellent tools are available to make things better. Some of my favorites:

  • Rapportive shows you everything about your contact right inside your Inbox
  • Awayfind sends you SMS notifications when you get an email from important senders, so you don’t have to keep checking your Inbox.
  • ToutApp offers templates and helps you track open rates on emails you send.
  • SaneBox filters out and summarizes unimportant emails. It has lots of other tools, such as reminders when an email you sent was not replied to by a certain time (Note, I work at SaneBox).

Putting these four tips to work will not only make you more productive but also reduce your stress level as well!

The 5 Essential Resources Every Chief Marketing Officer Needs

June 4, 2013 by  
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While so much emphasis has been placed on the importance of CMOs managing big data, measuring marketing outcomes, and adapting to new responsibilities, there has been little discussion regarding the critical behind-the-scenes resources that can enable a CMO to more effectively manage their job performance, career progression and overall success. In a conversation with Dave Minifie, a prior executive from Procter and Gamble and the current EVP, CMO and Business Integration Officer for Centene Corporation, a $10B multi-line health care enterprise, we identified 5 key resources that every CMO – and future CMO — needs to navigate both their career and jobs effectively.

KEY CAREER RESOURCES

Executive Recruiter: As Dave suggested after having spent 12 years at Procter Gamble, people approach executive recruiters differently. Some tend to cultivate relationships and on the other end, others consider them a problem. Of course, executive recruiters are only a problem until the CMO needs to find a new job. I’ve found over the years that having a strong relationship with a handful of recruiters in executive search is critical. These individuals can provide information regarding the marketplace, specific industries, a particular company, and even insight on individuals. They spend all of their professional time creating successful firm-candidate matches and therefore have a unique bird’s eye view of marketing jobs. As a result, they can provide critical insight that can help a marketer more successfully navigate their career.

I asked Leanne Fesenmeyer, who led Talent Management for Heidrick Struggles’ CMO Practice and was a marketer prior to becoming an executive recruiter, to provide some specific advice.  She suggested the following. “Cultivating a relationship with a recruiter involves a combination of sincere outreach and meaningful introductions from individuals who are respected by that particular recruiter. In conducting this outreach, it is critical to remember that it is never about you … it’s about them”. Leanne went on to suggest that it’s best to apply a version of the golden rule: “Don’t ask … give, don’t boast … compliment, tell … but don’t dwell”. A clever tactic is to ask what other searches they are working on so that you can suggest potential candidates. Not only is this a great way to get in their “good graces” but it gives you valuable insight as to what opportunities exist in the market.

Mentor / Coach: This resource is obvious. However, it is amazing how many people don’t have somebody that they can turn who is more experienced, knowledgeable, and on their side. Career and business challenges can arise and it’s critical to have somebody, especially outside of your firm, to talk with. Dave indicates: “I’m fortunate to have a few key mentors who have provided critical counsel when I needed it.” When asked how he cultivated these relationships, he indicated: “Like most relationships in our lives, ‘fit’ is the most important aspect of any mentoring relationship – either up or down.  I tend to mentor people that have worked for me, and want to continue that relationship.  Likewise, my best mentors have been people with whom I have crossed paths.  Some have been reporting relationships, while others I have met through community involvement.  Regardless, the relationship needs to be on-going and salient to both parties to be worthwhile.”

Social Media Manager: At some point, it will be beneficial to create a social media imprint. Many CEOs / boards are looking for marketers who can demonstrate some social media / digital savvy. While twitter followers are not necessarily a good proxy, they can convince senior executives that at least you are engaged in the social universe. One option is to manage this yourself. However, you can also outsource this for a very reasonable fee with firms like Social Media Guardian, who charge a few hundred dollars a month to create and implement a strategic plan.

KEY JOB RESOURCES

Presentation Expert: At some point on the ladder, marketers start pulling together internal, external, and board-level presentations. Once this occurs, the need to escalate from satisfactory presentation (i.e., powerpoint) skills to expert skills becomes critical for success.  Identifying an external expert who can turn work around on a dime and has the requisite ability to turn a conceptual vision into a spectacular visual reality is quite difficult – yet critical for presentation success.

To identify such a person, I turned to LeAnne Fesenmeyer who always seems to know how to find the best external support resources. She suggested talking with Derrick Waylen who is the founder and CEO of Right Aligned, a firm that specializes in creating C-level presentations that sell ideas. Derrick suggested: “It is amazing that there aren’t more services focused on helping managers create superior presentations. We’ve seen a significant increase over the past 5 years in the need for exceptional presentation skills. We are fortunate in that we tend to work with large, global firms who require a certain quality of presentation, even for internal meetings. It has enabled us to retain a top class team that can provide around the clock services to meet needs anywhere in the world.”

The reality is that even managers who are proficient with powerpoint can take a lot of time to polish a presentation. That time would likely be spent better on their primary job. The key is to find a trustworthy and competent expert.

Speechwriter: At some point, senior level managers have to present. They may present to the organization, to the board of directors, to analysts, or at industry conferences. And yet, not many managers are natural speechwriters, comedians, or storytellers. To help compliment the presentation support, it’s great to have somebody who can help craft a great script. To find a ghostwriter for a book, I went to the association of ghostwriters (link here) to find somebody with the right experience. Leanne Fesenmeyer suggests: “I hired Armin Brott to ghostwrite books and Andy Montgomery to write speeches. Both were great, but the key is to find an expert who understands your industry, subject matter, and preferred style.”

In a world where marketers are increasingly asked to take on broader responsibility, it’s critical to export projects that can be easily outsourced…especially when the quality and results will be much higher. If you have any thoughts on additional resources that marketers must have, please add a comment or join the discussion (@kimwhitler).

Join the Discussion: @kimwhitler


 

 

Facebook, LinkedIn Are Top Social Platforms for Marketers

June 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Article Marketing

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Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategy and content consultant. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. His experience includes working as a strategist and producer of digital content for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and AOL.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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