Google Test Pilots Canada For Launch of New Partners Program.

Google+ logo

Google+ logo

So what is the new Partners program that is offering agencies resources, training and support all about?  The new program, Google Partners was announced Monday May 27th by Google that it would launch a test pilot in Canada.

The program is targeting agencies and web professionals helping businesses succeed online.  If successful, they will expand the program to other countries in the future.

Google Partners currently amalgamates their existing programs under new platform making it simpler for agencies to gain access to Google for such things as support, resources and training.  Along with this is a Partners community where knowledge may be shared and fostered within the industry.  The community would also provide further opportunities to have dialogue with Google specialists.

As a Google partner, one would be able to place the partners badge on their website showing that you are a trusted Google Partner, along with using the Hangout feature to connect with exclusive community members, and further connect with customers.

For more information, check out http://tinyurl.com/mqer4nc

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An Interesting Marketing Article About How Stock Photos Must Die, Along With Other Undefined Trends.

Marketing Stock PhotographyI had been doing my usual search about marketing articles and found one that caught my eye.  Perhaps because of the title, “Stock Photos Must Die…”.

I had read the article, and have mixed feelings about the par of how stock photos must die.  That being said, there were some other very interesting points about other marketing trends including:

– How ROI of Everything Is Here

– Creativity Is Currency

– People Aren’t Capable Of Unplugging

– Social Networks Are Secretly Becoming the Same Thing

The part I wonder about, with the mention of the death of stock photos, is designers for web sites and blogs will still need images.  Many government corporations have rules that they are not allowed to just “use” an image, that it must be a licensed image that is paid for in order to use the image, to protect themselves from any potential legal issues.

Some people will even use stock images within a press release, combined with either their own images or their corporate logo.  Whether they are paid for or not is only known by the individual that created the document and possibly the owner of the image.

Have a read and make your own decision, it is very interesting at the very least.

http://tinyurl.com/lcxwpzk

A Little About Great PR and Your Brand – Is Any PR Really Good PR?

PR For Your BusinessI had once heard a saying, that any PR is good PR, because you are in the spotlight. Positive or negative, it was PR, which meant it was great.  Is this really the truth?  If you were to ask someone in the general public, they might tend to agree with you, however if you asked someone directly in marketing, they may tend to disagree and advise there are two types of PR; positive and negative.

I guess this depends on the product, how long you have been in business and what your objectives currently are.  If you are promoting a new product or service, and the general public do not know who you are, any attention you attract might be alright.

To read more about this, and how some absolutely over the top ads (now banned from airing) worked for people like Go Daddy, check out this article on Brand Reputation and Why All PR Actually is Good.

Our Finger Is On The Pulse With What Is Happening In The Industry, Including Google’s Last Penguin 2.0 Update!

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It is Official, Google Has Now Released Penguin 2.0 as of May 22, 2013 – Have Your Rankings Been Affected?

Google Penguin 2.0 Officially Released

Google Penguin 2.0 Officially Released

There have been mixed reviews on the new release of Penguin 2.0.  Some say that they have seen some excellent ranking changes, while others have mentioned that although they have remained transparent and white hat about everything they do, they are still being trampled by garbage scraper sites (as one user commented).

For the complete info on Google Penguin 2.0, get it directly from Matt at: http://tinyurl.com/nfspvlh

Mobile Technology Advantages for Small Business

Mobile technology marketing

Mobile technology marketing

According to an article at MarkeingProfs.com, over 65% of small-business owners are using mobile devices to their advantage.  This is a combination of phones or tablets that were taken into account.  Over 70% say they use they use mobile devices for both social media marketing and email marketing.

The major platforms of interest for social marketing include:
YouTube
Pinterest
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

Check out the rest of this interesting marketing article at: http://tinyurl.com/kayh9at

A Saw is to a Carpenter as a Press Release is to a Marketing Consultant: Tools for Marketing That You Should be Aware of and Using

Your marketing toolkit should include a press release and PPC.

Your marketing toolkit should include a press release and PPC.

Google was founded on September 4th, 1998 and it was not long after that the term SEO became more prominent. The actual start time of when development began, according to Wikipedia.org, was March of 1996. The project began with a goal by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, which was “to develop the enabling technologies for a single, integrated and universal digital library”.

It was not long after the launch of Google (which started to rapidly gain the trust of users for returning the most accurate search results), that the term “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) appeared (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization).  Search engine optimization, which started to gain momentum in the mid-90s (see Wikipedia.org), was the real buzzword in the industry. It seemed this buzzword went hand-in-hand with the word “marketing”. In fact, it became so big, that rather than getting a BA Marketing degree from a university, some claimed to be an SEO expert after merely watching a 20-minute YouTube video.

With the introduction of Google Penguin last year, times have changed. The way business is marketed on the web has changed. Some are now claiming that the term SEO is seen in a very negative light by Google. When you think about it, this does make sense. Why would someone need to “optimize” their site for search, when one should be developing their site for the best possible user experience?

Part of optimizing a website for the best user experience breaks down to points such as communication, colours used, where the user will look on their screen for items, how well written help files are, et cetera. This is not SEO, this is a combination of marketing and usability (a part of marketing).

This is just the user experience side. Great, you have an excellent website that has a wonderful user experience – now how do you get the users to your website? Marketing.

There is a large array of tools for a marketing agency to draw upon to help drive traffic to a particular website, but the mainstay tools are:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Press release distribution
  • Some basic directory listings
  • Company blog

    strategy

    Having a strategy and the right tools for marketing are key to success.

  • Social media
  • Affiliate programs

Pay Per Click

Pay per click is one of the easiest and fastest ways to “get going” on the web. Although some programs can become quite extensive to set up, for the most part, depending on your business, you can start to drive traffic almost instantly. Google, which is very high on many marketers’ list of PPC resources, has many attractive options and features on offer.

Press Release Distribution / Press Release Service

A press release would be a very close second to the PPC program for many marketers.  The main difference between the two is that a press release, if you do the math on the numbers, is much more cost effective.  PPC however, if set up properly, may draw a more targeted audience that might be more inclined to actually make a purchase.  A press release (such as one from 24-7PressRelease.com) will definitely gain exposure, especially if picked up by some key media outlets.

Basic Directory Listings

Directories are no longer what they used to be, however there are a few key directories that are still useful to be listed in. A couple that we have always liked are Yahoo Directory, DMOZ, Bing, and Joe Ant. Directories used to be all the rage; however, this is no longer the focus.  The focus now is more on social media.

Company Blog

A company blog is a must in this day and age. I had read a saying not too long ago that if you do not have an online presence, including a company blog, that you are either not attracting business, or are losing existing customers. Many websites now point to their blog which is a more interactive place to see everything from what is new with a company, current discussions to potential coupons and discounts.

Social Media

Social media and a company blog some say may go hand in hand. Social media would include your Facebook page, Linked In profile, and now, ever more importantly, a Google Plus page.  Google Plus has become more and more popular and will continue to increase in popularity.  I remember about 18 months ago looking for other people and business acquaintances whom were active on Google Plus and I could barely find anyone. I revisited Google Plus a few months back to find nearly 80% of friends and business acquaintances now active on that network. When you think about it, Google search and Google Plus are both the same company.  Why wouldn’t it help improve your website’s rankings?

Affiliate Programs

This is the last main tool in a marketer’s toolkit. The affiliate program, such as one from a place like CJ.com, is a brilliant way to both receive exposure on the web, and also help cast a larger net for your product or service. There are many companies out there that perform this service, and it will take some research to find one that best suits your requirements. Like PPC, these services can become quite extensive, to the point where some companies have just one person that handles only their affiliate work.

Whether you use these tools above or you hire a professional marketing company that uses these tools, remember to keep in mind that your online presence is about marketing and not “optimizing”. The only thing that should be optimized is your site for the best user experience possible. Not for a search engine.

Are You Resting on your Laurels While Your Customers Silently Leave?

Customer LeavingI do my best to try to keep up with articles about marketing as I am a firm believer that in this day and age you need to really keep on top of technology.  Sometimes, sifting through some of the garbage can be daunting and a task.  Throughout my sifting through all the garbage, I try to pull out a couple of gems here and there for our audience so they can learn.

This particular article is short, and to the point.  It isn’t about selling, it isn’t about marketing strategies, but most important, about YOUR PRODUCT.

Are you innovative? Do you keep on top of technology and keep up with the times?  Are you losing customers and sit back and think to yourself, what part of your marketing strategy is not working properly? Stop yourself right there. It may have nothing to do with your marketing strategy. It might be your product!

Just because someone has been with your business since day 1 or for the last ten to fifteen years does not guarantee they are going to stay with you forever.  Remember, they are a customer too and customers want quality AND value from any given product.  If you do not deliver, why should they stick around?

Have a read: http://tinyurl.com/n4vqwjp

Corporate Brand Refresh. 12 Critical Points You Should Know About.

Marketing and your brand

Marketing and your brand

I love top lists, and I think many people do.  They are usually in an easy to read, and follow point format that can be read quickly and does not take a lot to absorb, while making sense.

Most marketing articles have been about “how to sell your product” or “get people to buy a product” or “attract new customers”.  This top list was one that grabbed my attention, just because it is something you do not see or hear much about very often, and it has to do with your brand.

It is the 12 most critical prerequisites of a brand refresh from 12most.com.  The points for discussion include:

–    Getting leadership on board
–    Explaining the brand
–    Making it about everybody
–    Strategy
–    Getting qualitative and quantitative
–    Managing expectations
–    Architecture and sub-brands
–    Targeting and segmentation
–    Keeping it simple
–    Being creative
–    And being true

The full marketing article may be found at: http://tinyurl.com/kf6ukv6

Have a read, I found it to be quite interesting and a little off beat of the normal marketing ra ra which was a little refreshing.

Is Facebook Going to Lose Ground by Sending Their Site Into MySpace with Video Ads?

Video ads

Video ads

I came across an interesting article about Facebook coming out with video ads and how they may run the risk of “MySpacing” the world’s most popular social network.

Personally, I am not a fan of video ads, especially the ones that make you wait 3 – 30 seconds before you can continue to an article.  I can honestly say that I do not even remember any of those ads, so are they a waste of money?  Does the irritation factor also cause dislike toward the company that purchased the ad creating a negative campaign?  The full article may be found here: http://tinyurl.com/a6b5yjb  What do you think?