Online Marketing

New Social Media Marketing Study Makes Me Wave Caution Flag

I really like Social Media Examiner. Founder Michael Stelzner and his team create tons of outstanding content. Weighed carefully, the insights can be invaluable for any professional working in social media.

The problem is that social media is only one of many tools that small businesses can use to generate more leads and sales. Nurturing an e-mail database is a must. Creating and updating a reasonable web site is essential. You can always dive into paid search, SEO and link building as well. Where are you hunting for that next customer online?

Social Media Examiner just released the "2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report," a comprehensive resource with 50 pages of analysis and charts based on a study of 2,800 marketers.

Get the social media study.

But I think it's a good time to wave the caution flag because marketers and small business owners can get caught up with the excitement of social media without thinking through whether it's a good fit given their resources and priorities.… Read more

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SEO Speaker at Content Marketing World 2014 Workshop – Promo Code

As an SEO speaker, I'll be leading a half day workshop at Content Marketing World 2014.

It's not until September, but you can register now (prices keep increasing over time).

Register here (the SEO workshop is an extra cost beyond the regular conference).

Promo code: MurrayCMW (save $100).

I'll help marketers look way beyond all of the hype, myths and basics with the hands-on SEO workshop that will show you how to leverage your expertise to define, shape, refine or repair your company’s SEO strategy.

You will walk away with rich insights and tips about practical keyword research and selection tactics that you can easily pick up take to your office to reinforce your brand, develop more leads and boost your sales.

Explore an array of sensible inbound link building methods that you can use on-the-spot.

I'll also dive into web site analytics and help you connect the data with suitable KIPs that work for your company.… Read more

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Native Advertising for Content Marketing in 2014: Use Caution with Ad Format

Native advertising trendsNative advertising continues to get a great deal of attention throughout online and content marketing circles.

Publishers love it as a source of new revenue. Some marketers can’t get enough of it either as they enjoy finding new ways to call attention to their brands.

Like any marketing opportunity, you will want to think through the opportunity. Does native advertising make sense for your business and in what context? How can you make sure it doesn’t backfire?

For simplicity sake, I’m primarily referring to the form of native ads that appear with news publishers’ web site editorial content (not Twitter promoted tweets or Facebook sponsored stories). It’s “native” because the reader typically sticks with the web site page instead of rushing off to the web site for the brand.

Here are a few ideas to consider followed by additional viewpoints:

1. Provide exceptional content.

Readers will decide whether they like the native advertising model.… Read more

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Epic Content Marketing Book Review

If you produce content (and want to do a better job of planning, creating and tracking it), get your hands on Epic Content Marketing, a new book by Joe Pulizzi who founded Content Marketing Institute.

Get your copy:
Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

Joe packs an incredible amount of knowledge in over 300 pages. He doesn't settle for generalizations or waste any space. Page after page is loaded with practical tips and great insights. He supplements his own wisdom with many examples of how companies are succeeding with content marketing (including Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods).

I especially like how Joe sets the bar high - very high. He challenges marketers to be the leading authorities in their industries or niches. People should feel like they're really missing out if they're not keeping up with what you produce.… Read more

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Designers Still Fail Web Site Clients with SEO

I can't believe how many small businesses I'm meeting that have horrible web sites that the miss the mark on so many levels.

I'll primarily focus here on SEO, which seems to be the missing ingredient in web site planning. Sure, the web sites sometimes have page titles populated with keywords. Big deal. Where is the keyword strategy? Where is the content area for text that will contain those essential keywords?

One web site looks absolutely wonderful. Great design instincts. Bad execution. After a few seconds, the visitor won't know if the company is selling bed sheets, pillows or home decorations. And the site has one of those "neat" extended home pages. Do they work for everyone? Is it really fun to scroll and scroll and scroll?

Yes, someone included keywords in the page titles. The problem is that the page titles all include the three main products the company sells.… Read more

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