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How Pinterest and Instagram are Changing your Brand Strategy

how pinterest and instagram are changing your brand strategy

In 2008, Steve Jobs took the stage at the Macworld Expo and shared what seemed like a startling statistic: "Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year...People don't read anymore." Many are saying this statement could be seen as a foreshadowing of the explosive growth in visual content. But that wouldn't really be accurate. Direct marketers have long known this; creating compelling visual content has been at the center of their world for years.

People are compelled by strong visuals -- it's why we watch the movie without reading the book, why (prior to digital channels) we scrapbooked ideas for decorating our houses, and why "before and afters" make us buy stuff. Visuals matter. It's also why, nearly a decade ago, platforms like Smugmug, Flickr, and Photobucket were created -- to let people take their photo sharing online.

The biggest difference today is that the new players in the visual platform space -- Facebook, Pinterest, Instragram, and more -- have made it easy; it's easy to collect, easy to share, and, most importantly, easy for brands to get involved.

Yet with that ease of sharing comes important brand considerations. These new platforms are social at their core. So it's instantly about more than putting a few images on a page; it's opening a window into your brand. What companies share must strike a balance between bringing to life a genuine brand story and providing content that inspires and compels action. Furthermore, marketing strategies for how brands engage with consumers should reflect how and why consumers are using those channels.

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Don't Get Scammed: What You Need to Know When Hiring an SEO Company

dont get scammed what you need to know when hiring an seo expert

Ring, ring, ring... your small business phone probably rings off the hook. But between important customer service calls you are also likely bombarded with cheesy sales scripts – where in a dingy room scattered with pizza boxes someone breathing heavily into the phone asks to speak with the boss.

He says they have a revolutionary way for your company to grow leaps and bounds – they have search engine optimization (SEO).

The man claims he only wants ten minutes of your time, time in the middle of a busy workday.

You have a million things on your mind. You are on the verge of losing your largest client, your kid is sick at home, and... oh... you forgot about the presentation you are supposed to give to your investors in an hour. Crap. You blew the last meeting... you really need to prep.

Sensing you will hang up, he interrupts your train of thought and says, "you will regret not talking to me – I will call your competitor next."

Scenarios like the one above occur all too frequently. Between relentless phone calls and contact form spam, search engine optimizers have made a bad name for themselves - a name that has cast a dark shadow over an already murky industry.

So is search engine optimization a real marketing tactic? And how can you make sure you are hiring a legitimate company?

1. SEO can generate leads and revenue

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Top 2013 Social Marketing Mistakes You're Likely to Make and How Not To

top 2013 social marketing mistakes youre likely to make and how not to

Social media can deliver the kind of return few other marketing tactics can, if you use it wisely.

As a marketing tool, social media seemingly knows no bounds. Businesses large and small, B2B and B2C, and all manner of brands are flocking to it like monster truck fans to free beer hour. Any time something experiences such rapid growth, be it a technology or a marketing tactic, there are bound to be growing pains, and social media use among marketers is no different.

As we ease our way into 2013, here is a look at some of the top social media marketing mistakes marketers are making now. Recognition is the key to avoidance for your organization this year. Take a look at this social media mistake 6-pack, and plot a course around them to social media marketing success in 2013.

Not Enough Segments.... or Worse, None at All

Failure to segment is a massive fail indeed, yet it one of the most common social media marketing mistakes organizations make. They embrace social media, but their hug grabs everything at once. Better to take a step back and address each market segment individually.

Who Are They?

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Good Content Will Drive Thousands of Visitors from Social Media Channels

good content will drive thousands of visitors from social media channels

As an on line marketing consultant, I have to constantly search out inventive ways to generate traffic to my clients' offers. It is not always easy, because every business is different. The approach I take will vary according to what industry and marketplace I am targeting.

But, having said that, I find that there is a basic set of rules you can follow to make sure you reach your target audience and convert at a higher rate. In my opinion there are 5 important parts to making sure your marketing via social media is effective. 

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Top Memes of 2012 and What We Can Learn From Them

virality of memes

People in the business of figuring out why some content goes viral on the Internet are still trying to figure out what goes viral on the Internet. Let's face it: no one has any clue – unless it's a 15-second video of a kitten attacking a dolphin. If someone told you last year that the video of a Korean techno-rap song would be the biggest Internet hit since "David after Dentist," you would have scoffed at that person, and yet here we are living in the shadow of Gangnam Style.

So while we ponder what sort of content might achieve viral lift in 2013, let's take a quick look back at the viral memes of 2012. It will do very little to help us anticipate or generate future viral content, but it will be fun and we can pretend like it's research.

Here's a quick and unofficial rundown of the best of the social Internet's viral memes of 2012:

1. Gangnam Style
What can be said about Korean pop star Psy and his crazy dancing that hasn't been said already? With over 847 million views, Psy's Gangnam Style became the most watched video in the history of YouTube (link bonus: AMA performance with MC Hammer), beating out #2 – Justin Beiber's "Baby," which is currently stuck at a mere 807.5 million on YouTube.

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