Increased Costs of Christmas Online Ads means Marketers will have to Pay More

Increased Costs of Christmas Online Ads means Marketers will have to Pay MoreBuying online ads on social media and digital platforms is a highly recommended strategy in the lead-up to Christmas however it comes at a big price. For those new to the game of holiday advertising, you may be caught off-guard by how much costs increase at this time of year.

 Nearly all online advertising platforms, such as Google, select and deliver ads based off of auction. This equates to the more brands that produce ads, the higher that prices become for all stakeholders in the system.

 The holidays are a notorious time for buying ads because brands know that the audience is there for it. Arguably, there’s no time of year where consumers want advertising more than at Christmas. That said, the same ad clicks that you may have paid $1/click in the summer may now cost as high as $5/click or above.

 To combat these big increases in cost for Christmas online ads, here is what we think your approach should be.

 Maximize Organic Engagement

 Unpaid social media posts with a strong organic reach are worth gold at Christmastime. Due to the nature of many ad platforms, organic reach can sometimes be as low as 1% though. If you’re not convinced your organic reach is strong, began engaging more people on these sites. Ask them questions, thank them, and seek active brand engagement with willing consumers.

Free Shipping is Among the Biggest Influences on Christmas Shopping

Free Shipping is Among the Biggest Influences on Christmas ShoppingThe vast majority of consumers shopping this Christmas season will be influenced by the promotions, sales, and deals brands put out. According to recent estimates, as many as 92 percent of consumers will be swayed in purchasing decisions based off of holiday promotional offers.

 Any retailer or brand advertising this Christmas who wants to position their products and/or services as must-haves must understand what offers are more effective than others in attracting customers. According to a recent survey analyzing this exact subject, it was found that free shipping was the most sought after holiday promotional offer with 58% of consumers admitting this to be high priority. The other holiday promotions that made the list included some sort of money-off promotion with 48% of consumers having this on their wish list. Next in line was ‘buy one, get one free’ offers which attracted approximately 37% of consumers.

 For new brands in the holiday retail marketing space, these are key percentages that you will want to remember. By employing offers like these, you may be able to attract business that would otherwise be lost to other brands.

Don’t Swipe, Don’t Type – Smart Speakers are the Newest Assistant Device to hit the Market

Don’t Swipe, Don’t Type – Smart Speakers are the Newest Assistant Device to hit the MarketTech is looking for its next mass market hit. Many still place their bets on wearables or VR headsets. There’s more evidence however to suggest that smart speakers may be right around the corner as the next big thing in consumer tech.

 Recent reports suggest high rates of satisfaction with smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home device. Analyzing current consumer behaviour, a report published by analytics company Invoca showed how 89 percent of respondents used the devices daily. More impressively, among all respondents, approximately 58 percent revealed that they used these as assistant devices, performing tasks that one might otherwise do by typing or swiping.

 As the appetite for content consumption appears to be moving to a new arena, smart speakers may be where it’s at. Currently, admittedly there’s not too much competition in the marketplace. Amazon controls roughly 75 percent of the smart speaker market in the United States. Though rumours are abound of similar devices being in development at tech giants such as Facebook, none have produced a workable model as of yet. Despite that, there does seem to be some interest in assistant based products from Facebook. In this report, more than 58 percent of respondents said they would consider buying a voice assistant from Facebook if they did indeed sell one. If there was one company that could potentially take a big chunk of the market away from Amazon, it may be the social media platform.

4 Tips to Increase Ecommerce Sales and Lead the Competition this Holiday Season

4 Tips to Increase Ecommerce Sales and Lead the Competition this Holiday Season The last three months of the year is easily the most profitable time of year for any ecommerce business. The competition is huge but those who win, win big. Though it can be difficult competing with major brands who have big budgets at their disposal, approaching it strategically and smartly, any ecommerce entrepreneur can increase their holiday sales big-time.

 Website Optimization is the Key to Success

 Before anything else, your website should be designed and maintained with a strict focus on conversion. Ensure the products or services you offer are featured appropriately. Ensure images and descriptions are optimized.

 Any ecommerce website should be responsive in this day and age, as a large part of the audience will be doing their online holiday shopping on smartphones and mobile devices. The content needs to be authoritative and relevant. Consider implementing functionalities to speed up the shopping and purchasing process.

9 Google Chrome Extensions that are a Must-Have for any Social Media Marketer

9 Google Chrome extensions that are a must-have for any social media marketerSocial media marketers, entrepreneurs, and everyday consumers can each benefit from using these Google Chrome extensions. In terms of boosting productivity, increasing brand reach, and making it easier to post and share content, these extensions are highly recommended.

 Check My Links

 The Check My Links extension will search blog posts and articles for broken links which is integral to retaining the integrity of your site’s articles. It’s as easy as opening the page you want scanned, clicking the icon, and then when the check is concluded, you will see links highlighted in red, yellow, and green as appropriate.

 Momentum

 Momentum is a dashboard extension that launches any time a new Chrome tab is opened. The tasks you want to accomplish for the day are all listed. Create to-do lists as you please and check off tasks as you run through them.

 Grammarly

 Grammarly is a very popular extension among blog writers and social media experts. Activating Grammarly makes identifying typos and spelling errors easy. It can be easily applied to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others.

Let 2017 be Known as the year Net Neutrality Died

Let 2017 be Known as the year Net Neutrality DiedThe FCC has officially announced the end of net neutrality, handing over what is essentially control over the internet to major corporations and service providers including Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.

 The consumer protections passed by the FCC in 2015 are being removed in a plan that the organization has oddly titled Restoring Internet Freedom Order. The plan says, among other claims, that it intends to end the government’s micro-managing of the internet. In turns, the FCC is expecting more transparency from service providers. Restoring Internet Freedom Order is set to be put to an official FCC vote on December 14 and it is expected to pass. When it does, many pro-net neutrality activists are calling it the end of the free and open internet. Here’s how it might affect you.

 Slow speeds

 Net neutrality guards against internet service providers creating slow and fast internet speeds, asking websites to pay a premium to be in the ‘fast lane’. Now that changes. Presumably, larger corporations and brands such as Netflix and Amazon could pay a premium to have their websites run significantly faster than small business websites who can’t afford the same luxury. It also means service providers – most of which are attached to designated video streaming platforms – could prioritize their own content over that of the competition. The end of net neutrality could even mean service providers having the right to censor and block sites that are critical to them.

How to Keep your Site’s Content from Google’s Index when it’s still in the Development Phase

How to keep your website from being detected by Google Index when it's still under constructionWhen a site is still in development, you don’t want it coming up in any Google search results. Surprisingly, it’s a very common technical issue whereby inadvertently Google indexes a development server or a staged site.

 By accidentally exposing a site that is not ready for public consumption yet, you run the risk of revealing planned marketing campaigns, personal or company data, business intelligence, and you may be opening yourself up to hacking.

 The first step to keeping your business website from being indexed by Google is to search for it using the site:domain.com format. There are also third party software and apps that will help find subdomains. In terms of login portals and similar pages, blocking them in the robots.txt file is also a healthy habit to get into.

 Beyond the basics, to keep a page out of the index, include server-side authentication on it. There is preferred by many webmasters and is found to help in guarding pages from general browsing and search engines. Also, whitelisting is another method favored in this case. That is, only known IP addresses are allowed to access a certain page. Doing this will help to keep a site secure and, when done correctly, should work in keeping pages off of any search engine.

Internet, Meet the Google Freshness Algorithm

Google's freshness algorithm is designed so that consumers can obtain fresher results when theyGoogle’s algorithm changes over the years have impacted search rankings in a big way, all in an effort to provide more recent, relevant search results. The Google Freshness algorithm is one that gets its name from the official Google “Inside Search” blog announcement and is designated as a way for consumers to arrive at fresher results when they search.

 As experts have predicted that more data is set to be created in 2017 than in every previous year of humanity combined together, the pressure is on Google to provide the most updated, recent, and relevant content. Think of the level of queries Google receives on a daily basis. It’s said that as many as 20 percent of all queries asked daily to Google have never been submitted before. A large part of the Google Freshness algorithm update is to put higher priority on how recent a piece of content is, compared to other factors that can be related to ranking.

 When it was first implemented in 2011, it was believed to have had some degree of impact across approximately 35 percent of all search results. Among all Google search queries, as many as 10 percent saw a noticeable difference in ranking according to the algorithm switch. Evaluating the switch years later, it’s easily viewable how this update has provided more gain to sites that are regularly updating content. The sites that are not keeping up are seeing rankings become lost and reduced visibility, which is something that this algorithm specifically set out to accomplish. The sites that have received the largest benefits are newspaper and online news sites, live broadcast sites, video sharing media networks, and corporate branded sites.

Adapting Color Psychology to your Website can Ignite Positive Sales Growth

Did you know that the colors on your website can influence your sales? Find out morePsychology has such a fundamental role to play in marketing that we oftentimes forget how powerful an influence it is. Identifying different purchasing triggers is key to hitting sales numbers and driving growth.

Color has a massive impact on how people view your brand. It’s something that every entrepreneur should think of when designing their logo, website, mobile app, call-to-action button, email messages, and marketing materials. The right mix of colors can lead to conversion. Meanwhile, the wrong color scheme can turn a customer off from your products and/or services potentially permanently.

For example, analyzing the responses of a study meant to determine the favourite colors of men and women, the winning color on both genders was blue. The least favourite colors selected by men and women within this same study proved to be brown and orange.

This color psychology guide for marketing is a quick rundown of what colors represent and how they can be used.

24 Things to Keep in Mind to Not Lose SEO Traffic when Migrating a Website

24 Things to Keep in Mind to Not Lose SEO Traffic when Migrating a WebsiteSite migration with an emphasis on search engine optimization and maintaining rank is key to ensuring successful completion.

 #1 – Consider the Merits of no Migration

 Site migration is almost guaranteed to result in a loss of traffic because it will take time for search engines like Google to re-index your content.

 With this in mind, the only time a site migration should be launched is when there is strong rebranding, the promise of generating press and links, or when your site needs to be moved, such as to HTTPS.

 #2 – Use a Test Server First

 Before doing a site migration, ensure that all redirects are working and complete all checks before taking it public.

 #3 – Migrate when there is Slow Traffic

 Identify a slow part of the year to perform your migration as a means of minimizing the traffic damage.

 #4 – Crawl before you Migrate

 Crawl your site first to build a complete list of URLs, ensuring all information is kept in the crossover.

 #5 - Copy all Google Analytics Data

 Doing so will help you identify if and where any traffic is lost following the migration. This will make it easy to close these gaps. Monitor closely. Remember, authority may not be properly transferred from old site to new site.

 #6 – Spreadsheet old URLs to new URLs

 This makes it easy to directly connect old pages to new, at least in terms of organization. Connect every page to somewhere. This will communicate to Google that the new site is the same as the old site and help with transferring authority.

6 Ways to Build a Better App Development Timeline

 6 ways to build a better app development timelineThere’s a never-ending battle in app development between fast speeds and quality. When developing mobile apps, the longer development cycles can lead to more problems for both developers overseeing it and the entrepreneurs behind it all.

 The race to being the first to be released can unfortunately lead to compromises. The rewards of being the first are very tempting, with dreams of instant success and hundreds of thousands of potential users.

 No matter if you are an entrepreneur or a developer, every stakeholder can benefit from a better app development timeline. Here are a few simple tricks to keep in mind if you’re looking to develop and roll out a mobile app without an absurdly long app development cycle.

 Low Fidelity Wireframes can be used as a Blueprint

 Low fidelity wireframes can be used in the mapping of an app. They’ll save you time before you ever have to begin building your mobile app. These abstract representations of your app are admittedly rough but these wireframes will provide programmers direction on a number of things such as the functionality and user interface aesthetic.

4 Best B2B PPC Tactics to Generate Sales and Leads

4 of the best B2B PPC tactics that will make you generate more sales and leadsB2B PPC campaigns are much more complicated than a PPC campaign targeting consumers. For a B2B PPC campaign, the sales cycle is much shorter and the sales funnel is actually quite different.

 There may be multiple decision makers you need to speak to in a B2B sale before closing the deal. A recent report published by Salesforce identified the average B2B sales cycle as being 84 days long though admittedly, this number can vary wildly. Also, there’s a greater need for multiple messaging points across such a long, extended cycle.

 When building your B2B PPC campaign, here are four strategies that have worked. Though a successful B2B PPC campaign can win big, there’s more opportunity to lose the decision maker along the way. Be smart and understand the importance of relevant, appropriate messaging that is changeable depending on where a decision maker is in the sales funnel.

 Branded Keywords for Prospects

 After you have drawn in the customer’s eye, they are likely to perform at least some research prior to buying. Comparing features and price points between you and others, to do that, they’ll be using branded keywords to find information on searches.

 Data-Driven Attribution on Google AdWords

 Data-driven attribution uses algorithms to calculate and assign partial credit to different touch points. Though Google will highly recommend that you take this specific algorithm as fact, volume requirements can be high to make them work. Businesses that don’t meet the threshold are not going to find much use necessarily out of this. There are alternatives however, including time-decay attribution and position-based. Be sure to explore these in some detail. An attribution model can also provide value in comparing conversion journeys.

Snapchat Filters targeting Users via ‘Audience Filters’ instead of just Location

Snapchat photo marketing campaigns have just become slightly more advancedSnapchat photo marketing campaigns have just become slightly more advanced, allowing brands to not only target by location as they’ve been able to do in the past but also to target specific segments of the audience.

 This new Snapchat tool is being called ‘audience filters’. Instead of just marketing towards a location, brands are now able to target audience based on interests, age, gender, time of day, and other criteria.

 This marks a major shift in Snapchat’s willingness to bring in more advertisers. In the past, location marketing on the app was seen as the height of what one could accomplish. Now that ads can be directed towards specific users, there is the potential to maximize the effectiveness of such campaigns.

 Snapchat has already reached out to select advertising agencies, seeking to work with them on new ways to maximize the potential of the platform. Snapchat has also been eager to work with brands, help them run campaigns, and ultimately to refine its targeting capabilities.

 Currently, filters are one of Snapchat’s most used features with more than 3 billion uses per day. There are already a wide variety to choose from and the collection is always growing. The model has been proven as a very attractive advertising mechanism for brands.

Finding the Right Influencers to Promote Content and Elevate your Brand

How to find the best influencer to elevate your brandHow to successfully build relationships with influencers in your space is easy if you follow these three steps and abide by the law of averages.

 Chances are by approaching some influencers, you will find one or two who will be interested in providing some assistance. Though the end-game is to boost your content, keep in mind that influencers are people to so you need to bring something of value to them to get them interested. This is why we always advise to choose the most relevant influencers to your brand. If you’re looking for how to tap into the massive fan bases of influencers in your category, here is where we suggest you start.

 Find who is Sharing the most Popular Content in your Niche

 The influencers sharing the most popular content in your category of the marketplace are who you want to seek out. These influencers will be more likely to share similar content when it is put in front of them.

 Identify those who have sizeable followings relevant to your brand. Provide them relevant high-quality content that you can see their followings wanting to consume. There are many tools on the market who can show you the most shared content and that can identify the influencers sharing this content.

Broken Redirects Might be Killing your SEO

How broken redirects are killing your SEOInexperienced website builders run into a range of preventable SEO issues when searching ways to optimize their pages. URL redirects evidently become a major problem that many website managers may not even be aware of.

 Configured when URLs are modified or when content is removed, URL redirects are usually put in as people look to protect their SEO performance. For example, when old URLs in Google’s index reach a 404, all equity in a link is lost. The easy nature of re-directing an old, poorly constructed URL to a redirected, semantic URL makes it a useful tool.

 ‘Broken redirects’ however are when redirects produce errors and/or when they are redirecting to the wrong place. They can be very difficult to detect however it’s something that can be easily prevented. Websites that leave broken redirects ongoing, they see external links coming into their page no longer count towards their page authority and their search engine rank drops instantly. This damage does not only apply to that single page but also cascades across the whole site.

 The first thing to do is to realize how precious links really are. As hard as it is to get links, keeping them should also be made a high priority. How one finds broken links is a little troublesome. After all, a typical audit tool will only examine on-site URLs and will not examine old ones. In addition, old URLs are quickly eliminated from Google’s index so you won’t see no search traffic coming there. The only way to find broken re-directs is to be actively testing them. That’s the difficult truth.

These 7 Holiday Email Marketing Tips are Lighting up the Season!

These 7 email marketing tips are lighting up the season!Marketing experts are using holiday email marketing to build stronger sales, move strategic inventory, and to meet shipping deadlines. These 7 holiday email marketing tips are designed to help in peak season accomplish those three things. Holiday email marketing is the biggest campaign all year. Knowing where to focus your efforts can help save on time and cost. Read ahead!

 Plan Way Ahead of Time

 Less than 21 percent of marketers plan for the holiday email marketing season more than three months in advance. It’s a big mistake that many marketers make when they don’t plan for the busiest time of year months ahead of time. By putting in the effort to plan, it gives you some time to get the right email look, strategy, and dates all set up. Execute your campaigns better by knowing the creative, production, and execution plan weeks before you ever need to deploy.

 Use Interactive Elements

 When a consumer receives your email, it should be exciting. Tastefully using interactive elements such as GIFs can help add interest to messages. It’s all about creating excitement. If big, bright GIFs are not your style, innovating your message with a slider, accordion, menu, flip effect, or something else can be equally satisfying.

 Keep a Customer-Centric Mindset

 Many marketers also make the mistake of sending out more emails during the holidays and not personalizing any of its messages to the actual human beings on the other end of communication. Develop a customer-centric approach and learn what the consumer expects from you during the holiday season. Don’t just distribute sales copy. Look at how other retail marketing brands are doing it. They build trust in the consumer by spreading joy, talking about the holiday experience, and communicating something more meaningful than general sales copy.

Why Social Apps lead to Browsers and Search – a Discussion

Why entertainment, shopping, and lifestyle apps are gaining the most momentum when compared to other mobile appsConsumer time spent on digital media has stabilized in growth and the distribution of a mobile user’s time has seemingly shifted.

 A recent report by Verto Analytics shares how time spent on social media apps has decreased by a small amount while time spent on mobile game apps has remained flat, news and weather apps are losing engagement, and entertainment apps such as Netflix, shopping apps, and lifestyle apps have all gained in engagement growth.

 As the ways in which mobile users spend their time online is continuing to fragment, it’s important to recognize what’s driving this fragmentation – the ability to multi-task and the pattern of app usage.

 With regards to multi-tasking, a single smartphone session for anyone typically results in multiple apps being open at the same time. According to the Verto Analytics report, it is estimated that approximately 143 million adults engage with four or more apps in a single session daily. For most smartphone users, the sequence in which these apps are opened start with social media or social-related apps and then leads towards browsers and searches.

 There are some notable differences between Android and iPhone users however. Android users typically will open a social media app first. iPhone users are more likely to start with their browser. Though it’s not clear what users are doing specifically on browsers or search apps, it can be assumed that it is either direct navigation to a known site, directed by other apps, or with the intention of searching. Entertainment-based apps such as Netflix and mobile games also play an important role in smartphone use but these are largely excluded from the primary consumer mobile pattern of going from social apps to browsers and search.

7 Ways to get the Most out of your Holiday Paid Search Advertising

7 tactics that will make you get the most out of your holiday paid search campaignIncreasing paid search advertising for Christmas and the holidays is not enough. If you want to get the most from your paid search throughout this year’s busy shopping season, there’s more you can do.

 Identify key products to focus on for the holidays

 Holiday marketing can be very broad in the goals one may intend to accomplish. By noting key strategic products you want to promote for the holiday season, you can set aside irrelevant account details and get down to business on what matters.

 Ad extensions direct consumers to the right information

 Ad extension products throughout the holiday season will help a brand receive more qualified leads. Sitelink extensions for all holiday pages, visual sitelinks, callout extensions to highlight delivery schedule and services, promotion extensions to identify ongoing deals and discounts, and structured snippet extensions to help get more optimized words into an ad are all valuable.

 Build from generic terms

 People are more likely to be searching for products to purchase and specifically for ads in the holiday season. By using generic terms with a holiday angle on them, different long-tail combinations may be just what you need. For example, there’s ‘baby’s first Christmas’, ‘Christmas gifts for pets’, and ‘best Christmas gifts for girlfriend’.

A Look into How Digital is attracting more Holiday Shoppers

A look into how digital is attracting holiday shoppers like never beforeShoppers are hitting up e-commerce sites and social media for Christmas gift ideas in big numbers. The days of window shopping in retail are hardly over but the growing presence of digital is unmistakable.

 As consumer behaviour has changed and technology has made it possible to buy products from all over the world, more shoppers are seeking out unique gifts and storefronts on Facebook and Instagram. Subsequently, through app development and advertising technology application, retailers can now advertise entire catalogues of product via social media ads. Everywhere, retailers are putting their focus on social networks for the holidays. Here’s why you should as well.

 It’s Easy Shopping

 A consumer can sit down comfortably in their bed or on the couch and browse an entire catalogue with no pressure to buy. There’s nothing that can really top that. That said, brick-and-mortar stores can provide a more authentic shopping experience and many brands have noticed that. More today than before, online shopping ads for e-commerce websites are simulating a real shopping experience by allowing consumers browse merchandise and come across different ads like they would appear in store. By incorporating direct call-to-action for shoppers, the impulse to buy is still there and arguably stronger than it may be in certain stores.

 By setting up digital storefronts, it plays on consumer interest, can spur brand engagement into purchasing, and provides instant gratification to a shopper without them ever having to leave the seat.

4 Things any Growth Marketer can learn from Tinder

4 things any growth marketer can learn from TinderTinder is the #1 dating app in North America right now, generating impressive growth since it was first launched in 2012. As of 2017 data, there are more than 1.6 billion swipes every day on Tinder. There’s a lot to be learnt for how Tinder has come to dominate this space.

 Building a strong product

 Growth hacking sites that are successful are usually successful because, among other reasons, they offer an excellent product. In Tinder’s case, the goal during app development was to help users seek out romantic pleasures while avoiding rejection and pain that is typically associated with in-person romantic requests. Remember, consumer behaviour is always driven by emotions. Approach anxiety is a very real phenomenon and it prevents some people from approaching someone they find attractive to see if that person feels the same way. Tinder eliminates the risk and provides only reward.

 Instant Gratification-based user experience

 Traditional dating sites have long required a person to fill out catalogues of information and enter in paragraphs of a profile in order to find potential partners. Tinder does not do the same. Tinder requires nothing more than a few pictures and makes participation easy.

 If Tinder was difficult to sign up for or use, even if you were really excited about the app before, you’re less likely to use it after. Also, it’s image-friendly and specifically tailored to mobile devices. This, again, creates an easy, fun, optimized environment for any new or existing user to jump into.

4 key Reminders when Growing your Business, Marketing, and Sales Strategies

4 things to keep in mind when developing your business, marketing, and sales starategiesMany entrepreneurs jump into growing a business under mistaken notions of how sales and marketing are used. To any experienced entrepreneur, they know that what they map out in theory rarely comes true in practice. The realities of growing a business are that it is extremely difficult, and dependent upon many identifiable and unidentifiable variables. To get the most out of marketing and advertising your business, this is how.

 Be Smart about your Investment

 Time, effort, and money. These things we invest in our businesses. When you catch on to marketing that works for your brand, don’t abandon it. The adage, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” applies here.

 There are many entrepreneurs who catch on to an advertising strategy that works only to end up bored with it and then, they turn away seeking new strategies. Wrong approach! When you find success in advertising, ride it until you have the sales you are satisfied with. Then take some of those revenues, and re-invest and diversify. The key to marketing is in finding a medium that is constantly turning out income for your business. Those revenues are what will allow your business success.

How to Deliver Bad News in a Business Environment

How to Deliver Bad News in a Business EnvironmentBad news isn’t easy to deliver. It’s even harder to hear. Advising a client that you will miss a deadline, needing to reprimand a subordinate, and/or providing feedback in a team-based business environment are some examples.

 Luckily, there are research-supported ways to deliver bad news that make it a little easier to do so. Here is some insight into how to deliver bad news in a business environment and different things to keep in mind.

 Bad news is a threat to survival

 Human beings have what is known as a ‘negative bias’. That is, we pay more attention to bad outcomes because in our brains, we see negative news as threatening. This is why some people are not as reasonable as others when hearing bad news. Therefore, any which way you tell them the bad news, it must be done in a way to minimize the blow.

 Be positive

 When people hear bad news presented with a more positive intonation of voice, they do not react in a defensive manner compared to when being given the same info in a negative manner. For example, instead of ‘criticizing’, try for ‘identifying areas of improvement’. Provide negative news in a way that is not meant as a personal attack on the person hearing it.

4 Marketing Strategies E-commerce Businesses should use to Thrive this Holiday Season

4 Marketing Strategies E-commerce Businesses should use to Thrive this Holiday SeasonPaid search marketing strategies in e-commerce and retail have helped to drive sales in the holiday season. By following data culled together from the last year and a half, key paid search marketing strategies can be mapped out to help provide some direction on where to invest time and effort.

 Black Friday continues to gain momentum in paid search

 Though Cyber Monday is the big day for online deals, Black Friday is not just a juggernaut reserved for in-store. As a matter of fact, Black Friday paid search sales currently have more momentum in growth than Cyber Monday. The gap between paid search sales continues to narrow between the two dates. In 2015, Cyber Monday’s paid search sales were 102 percent higher than that of Black Friday. In 2016, that number reduced to Cyber Monday being 69 percent higher. Marketers who invest in Black Friday-based paid search can still see decent rewards and, in some spaces, would be recommended to do so.

 Google Shopping continues to grow every year

 E-commerce sites are well recommended to use Google Shopping as Product Listing Ad (PLA) sales throughout the holiday season have continued to spike every year since 2014. To help support this growth, Google has initiated a number of changes – doubling the size of PLAs on mobile devices in 2015; allowing Yahoo to show Google PLAs on their domain in early 2016; and a roll-out of PLAs on Google image search in the spring of 2016. In the third quarter of 2017, PLA spending is up 37 percent over last year’s numbers. Marketers are well advised to ensure products and services offered on e-commerce are optimized for this medium.

Use these Holiday Marketing Strategies to Increase Revenues into the New Year

These holiday marketing strategies will increase your revenues well into the new yearThe holiday season from early November through to the end of December comes with promises of Christmas decorations, tree lighting ceremonies, and a battle for supremacy among retailers and the world’s biggest brands.

 For your business, holiday marketing strategies are the chance to connect with your customers in a fun way. Reward loyalty with exclusive promotional offers, warm up leads in the marketplace, or launch a powerful branding campaign in your local region. These are all techniques used by small to large companies to heighten their revenues and increase their profits.

 Every business should have some form of a holiday marketing plan in place. Ideally, this is something you want to plan out in the early fall for a Black Friday launch or post-Black Friday launch. Remember, it’s going to take repetition. Whichever strategy you choose and whatever promotional offers you are putting out there, it’s important to market often via emails, direct mailers, or graphic design work published via online platforms. Reach customers often and with strong, consistent messaging. For example, limited time offers does work to drive customers to buy now rather than to wait for tomorrow when they may be susceptible to marketing from a competing brand. Among the most widely used holiday marketing strategy are ‘limited time offers’.

 Most companies are going to be competing against far bigger brands for attention. In your marketing, you need to be specific about what makes you unique. Demonstrate what sets you apart from corporate competitors. It might be quality, experience, service, pricing, or something else. Know what it is and publicize it. Targeting high-traffic areas is also not a bad place to put up posters or flyers, or to reserve advertising space. Though this approach sees varied results, for some companies, it may be an option.

Video-First Publishers are using these 3 Ways to Drive Views

What video-first companies are doing to increase viewsMillions of digital video producers are struggling for space in the overcrowded marketplace. How to have your business succeed in the video realm involves learning different techniques to attract more eyes and keep them coming back for more. There are some brands who generate billions of views every week. Then, there are others who generate little to none. Decide where you want yourself to be amongst this activity.

 The Less Ads on your Videos, the Better

 Consumers are willing to tolerate limited ads but they won’t be impressed if you layer your video with multiple, meaningless advertisements. When most consumers are coming to your video on mobile platforms, that means limited screen space. Limit ads. The last thing you want to do is have your video come across as an excuse to share spam. Create high value content with limited ads and you’re almost guaranteed to generate more plays. Think about it. Nobody is going to want to go back to any site with a spam-y layout. Approaching video content should be done similarly.

 Turn Long-form Video into short, shareable Clips

 Take late night television as an example. YouTube is dominated by short clips from Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and others. They take long-from content and break it down into shorter, easily watchable clips. This approach has worked on all video platforms, including Facebook Video as well. Even for long-form interviews and similar content that would normally be shared in 10+ minute format, it can be much more effective to break that down into clips of 5 minutes or less.

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