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AOL, Facebook, Google, and Twitter Fight Bad Ads With

AOLThe four companies have banded together to prevent ad scams as well as to educate consumers on how to protect themselves from ad scams and report them if they do occur., a new organization created by AOL, Facebook, Google, and Twitter to protect consumers from malicious online ads, has issued a report that shows how the online advertising platforms are combating tech support ad scams and gives tips on how to avoid them.

Through this organization, the companies say they will bring awareness to consumers about this and other online ad scams and deceptive activities by publishing Bad Ads Trend Alerts. They will also collaborate to identify trends and share knowledge with policymakers and consumer advocates.

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5 Real Ways To Leverage Social Media

5 Real Ways To Leverage Social MediaFacebook likes!  Twitter Twitter followers!  Instagram likes!

The marketing buzzwords of the past few years have been all about social media.  If you haven’t picked up on the craze by now, you’ve been living under a rock.  A rock with no wi-fi.

Everyone is scrambling to get on the social media bandwagon.  Huge corporations and small mom & pop outfits now have Facebook profiles; the easiest way to get your lost luggage back from the airline is via twitter.  It’s a mad rush to find and exploit the most profitable social media platforms.

And like most gold rushes, the people who are really going to get rich are the ones selling pickaxes and bacon.  Sure, a few will strike the mother lode, but the real winners here are the platforms themselves (along with the people who market to the platforms for all of those corporations and small businesses).

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Stop Being Lazy: Get to Know Your Prospects and Target Your Marketing

As marketers, we’ve come to rely on technology to do the heavy lifting in sales. But no matter how many amazing lead generation programs or behavior marketing tools we find, nothing beats really getting to know your prospects when it comes to increasing B2B conversion.

Leverage First-Person Interviews

I find that actually talking to prospects and customers (first-person interviews, not email surveys) is the key to understanding buyers and their needs. And you may have more than one buyer involved in the buying and vendor selection process at a company, especially for more complex B2B sales.Interview as many as you can.

But go beyond your customers and prospects and talk to your internal people as well – people in sales, marketing, and customer service to get a sense what they understand about your prospects and customers.

The more people you talk to, the bigger the picture you can paint. Herb in the sales department will likely have a different perspective than Beth in customer service. Neither are more valid than the other, but both present you with opportunities to help this business in multiple ways.

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When Should You Use LinkedIn Long-Form Posts in Your Content Marketing Efforts?

linkedin long-form postEarlier this year, LinkedIn announced they'd be opening up their publishing platform feature to their 300 million+ users. Essentially, this feature allows you to write a blog post directly on LinkedIn and reach a larger audience than your typical posts would. These long-form posts are seen by your connections like normal posts, and are also suggested to other targeted professionals on LinkedIn based on an algorithmic formula.

Long-form posts are a great way to build up topical influence and develop your personal brand. They will also expose your company’s name recognition and topical mastery to professionals likely interested in your products and services.

These longer posts will be helpful in content marketing, but don’t go overboard.  It is just one tool in a myriad of options you should be looking at as you construct your content marketing campaigns. Your blog and website should always be your campaign lead and tools like blogging on LinkedIn should be the supporting actors. I recommend you view them much like a guest blog post, an article pitch or an advertorial. Work them into your editorial calendar and focus on quality over quantity. A few good posts should position you pretty well among your peers.

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5 Ways to Use Instagram For Your Business

5 Ways to Use Instagram For Your BusinessYou may think it's a great idea for your business to jump on the Instagram bandwagon but aren't really sure what to be taking pictures of or what to be sharing? It's really dependent on what type of company and/or industry you're in. For some people it's easy to know what to post. If you're an event company, or a sports team it's pretty straight forward the things you can be posting that your followers will want to see, but these are some ideas to help get the wheels turning for your businesses Instagram profile.

Show a behind the scenes look into your company.

Showcase the things that not everyone gets to see about your company. Things that are happening in the office, cool stuff some of your staff members did, profile your current staff, showcase behind the scenes of events, conferences etc. People love feeling as if they're getting a secret look inside your company. Plus this really puts a face behind your brand.

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