Category Archives: Marketing

Search Marketing Expo Advanced and Sunny Seattle

Search Marketing Seattle

Recently, I attended the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) Advanced conference in Seattle, Washington. The three-day conference was jammed packed with new information marketers needed to know in the ever changing world of search marketing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid search were the primary focus so here are some highlights from the conference:

Enhanced Campaigns are Changing Everything about PPC

Everything you may have known about paid search is changing. Pay per Click (PPC) search marketing will move from bidding on separate paid search campaigns for desktops, tablets and mobile devices to bidding on one campaign for all devices. While you’ll no longer be able to bid on a mobile, tablet or desktop only campaign, here are a few recommendations from the search marketing conference:

  • To bid on a mobile device campaign: set the mobile bid modifier at 300% and set low keyword bids for desktop/tablet.
  • To bid on a desktop/tablet campaign: set the mobile bid adjustments at -100%. The ads will display approximately 80% on desktop and 20% on tablet.

For more insights into bidding strategies, download the Google Enhanced Campaigns Whitepaper which provides formulas on how to determine bid modifiers for mobile, location and day-parting.

To run paid search campaigns more efficiently, you may want to consider running a remarketing campaign.  By placing remarketing tags on your website, your ideal target audience can be shown specific PPC ads specific when they search your terms using Google. By optimizing bids for targeted audiences, many marketers have seen better campaign performance and lower CPAs. Learn more by referencing the Google Adwords Remarketing Lists Ultimate Guide.

Latest SEO Factors to Stay on Top of Organic Search Rankings

With so many elements that you can focus on when optimizing your website or blog, the search marketing conference introduced the latest SEO elements that matter most to the search engine algorithms. The SEO Success Factors Periodic Table not only displays the On-Page and Off-Page factors to optimize, but each element has a rating so you can prioritize what is most important. Download the full-version of the updated Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors from Search Engine Land for future reference.

Google’s Matt Cutts talked during the Q&A session at the conference about the increasing importance of mobile. Desktop web pages that redirect to mobile may not rank well as mobile optimized pages.  Consider using responsive design that adjusts the web page to the various device types.

SEO Success Factors

Sunny in Seattle

Thinking about traveling to Seattle? Summertime is by far the best time to visit. During my recent trip, it was sunny every day. Daylight lasted until 10pm so there’s plenty of time to explore this city. Some must see places include the Space Needle where you get 360-degree views of the downtown and surrounding areas. The Chihuly Garden and Glass museum was also a nice surprise to view hundreds of individual glass pieces that create artistic outdoor landscapes, chandlers and sculptural towers.

You can’t visit Seattle without visiting Pike Place Market. To avoid the crowds, go during a weekday especially if you want to go into the very first Starbucks coffeehouse and see flying fish. To try something different, take a break from the city and board the state ferry to Bainbridge Island. The island feels like a world away and you’ll get the best photos of the Seattle skyline.

There are so many great seafood restaurants in the Seattle area. I dined at Anthony’s Pier 66 where you can get a four-course meal for under $20 during the weekdays.  If you have time to drive outside the downtown area, explore Queen Anne, Ballard and Green Lake Park which offers unique restaurants, shopping and outdoor activities. Whether you have two days or an entire week, there’s plenty to do and see in Seattle.

What other Search Marketing or Seattle travel tips would you recommend?

SEO Success Factors image source:

Cynthia Gedemer is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Business Coach with over 15 years of experience in growing revenue with innovative marketing programs for Financial Services, Insurance, Retail, Telecommunications, and Healthcare industries. Cynthia is also a contemporary artist and enjoys Stand Up Paddle Surfing. Connect with Cynthia on Google+Facebook and Twitter.

Stand Up Paddle Lessons for Social Media Marketers

Stand Up Paddle Social Media

Stand Up Paddle Surfing or SUP is a water-sport where a person stands on an oversized surfboard and while balancing on it, uses one paddle to propel themselves forward. The more you paddle the more you can control the board and the steadier you will become. Stand Up Paddle originated in Hawaii as a way for surfers to paddle long distances but more recently surfing legend, Laird Hamilton reintroduced it as a sport. SUP has grown in popularity because it’s emerged as a gentle yet physical form of exercise for all skills levels and has expanded from coastal areas to inland rivers and lakes.  But how does this relate to social media?

After a recent trip to Hawaii, I have found several correlations between SUP and social media. Here are three social media lessons that can be learned from Stand Up Paddle:

  • Engage with your audience – Stand Up Paddling is a social sport. Many paddlers go with others when spending time on the open water. I’ve had many “board meeting” discussions while paddling along a river or shoreline. In social media, make connections by asking your audience questions, providing status updates and engage others by being interesting, insightful and personable.
  • Hang out with your customers – Many SUP events have sprung up more than ever. There are full moon paddle events where a group of paddlers travel along a bay or river and spend time experiencing a fun event during the evening hours while meeting others who also enjoy the sport. In social media, start a community on Facebook, hangout on Google+, group on LinkedIn or develop a specific hashtag feed on Twitter for your business. By having a dedicated place for your customers to hang out with you and others with a shared interest then the conversations you have with them will become more meaningful.
  • Build your audience – The SUP community enjoys sharing information about the sport by encouraging others to try SUP which in turn grows the number of people who love to Stand Up Paddle. In social media, you need to constantly add new connections. Share and write interesting content to give others a purpose to connect with you. Follow others that are similar to you on Twitter and circle them on Google+. Replicate your offline network by adding your colleagues to your social networks as well.

If you’re planning to visit Hawaii and would like to try Stand Up Paddling, there are two locations in Oahu that I recommend for SUP lessons. In the North Shore area visit Surf N Sea in Haleiwa and in the Honolulu area visit Hawaiian Surf Adventures at Maunalua Bay.

What other ways can you apply these SUP lessons in your social media marketing?

Image source (lower part of image):

Cynthia Gedemer is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Business Coach with over 15 years of experience in growing revenue with innovative marketing programs for Financial Services, Insurance, Retail, Telecommunications, and Healthcare industries. Cynthia is also a contemporary artist and enjoys hiking and of course Stand Up Paddle Surfing. Connect with Cynthia on Google+, Facebook and Twitter

Social Media and Mobile Marketing Lessons from the Olympics

Olympics social media mobile marketing

What your business can leverage from the Olympics?

It’s been a few days since the 30th Olympiad had a fantastic closing ceremony in London. It was exciting to see the Fierce Five, Gabby Douglas, Michael Phelps, Misty May Treanor, Kerri Lee Walsh and many others win gold medals and accomplish new records. While many of the athletes are starting new chapters, there are many lessons and takeaways that made these Olympics games different from any other. One of the biggest differences at these games was the engagement of fans using social media. When the last Olympics were held, Facebook and Twitter were fairly new. Today there are over 900 million Facebook and 500 million Twitter active users. Over fifty percent of those on Facebook are global users.

Social Media and Mobile Marketing gets a Gold Medal for Engagement

There were many social media and mobile marketing lessons that I’ve seen during the Olympics, here are a few standouts:

  • Leverage Hashtags– I sent several tweets during the games to congratulate the winners using the hashtag #olympics. Twitter had more than 150 million tweets sent during the 2 weeks of the games. They featured several commercials highlighting key events that were very effective to drive engagement online. Businesses can use hashtags during conferences, webinars and other events to bring more awareness and encourage engagement among attendees and their followers.
  • Status Updates – If you were sharing updates on Twitter and Facebook, consider integrating both applications. Since posting manually on Facebook and including a photo gives you more credibility in the rankings on your fans news feed this can save you time by posting on Facebook and the status will also appear in Twitter. To integrate, go to your Facebook page and click the Edit Page button. Then select the Resources options from the left hand menu and choose Link your Page to Twitter. Follow the rest of the prompts and you’ll be all set.
  • Mobile Apps and Usage –The BBC had reported 12 million viewers watched the Olympics via mobile phones and tablets. Also the Gartner Group predicts that in 2013 the number one way people will access the Internet is through a mobile device. With the large audience activity, it’s no surprise that companies were utilizing mobile marketing, including Coca-Cola which introduced the Move to the Beat app that let users remix the Olympics song ‘Anywhere in the World’ and used rhythms from athletes. If you’re looking to create an app for your business two plug and play options include Mobile Roadie which you can create apps for smartphones and tablets or for no coding required and to build your app for free AppMakr is another good choice.

While we have to wait until 2014 for the next Olympics, many of the social media and mobile marketing lessons from the London Olympics can be leveraged today. What other social media and mobile marketing lessons have you’ve seen from the Olympics?

Cynthia Gedemer is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Business Coach with over 15 years of experience in growing revenue with innovative marketing programs for Financial Services, Insurance, Retail, Telecommunications, and Healthcare industries.

How to Use QR Codes in your Mobile Marketing Strategy?

QR codes mobile marketing

Have you noticed recently an increase in the number of QR codes appearing all over the place? It’s no surprise as a recent comScore report showed that there are more than 100 million smartphone owners in the U.S. with 30 million added in the past 12 months. A QR or quick response code is the new way for businesses to drive consumer engagement in their mobile marketing efforts.

I remember when I first started scanning QR codes, there was no call to action except the curiosity of what they were. As with any marketing campaign, QR codes are another part of your integrated marketing strategy. They can be beneficial if it brings value to the customer.

Where to place QR Codes?

While there is almost any place to print a QR code, there are very few good locations to get the best response. I’ve seen codes on business cards, cups, billboards and clothing. Magazines are one of the best locations because people like to browse through the pages of a magazine as a leisure activity so consumers have the time to explore and scan the codes. Other good places are on packaging, direct mail, in-store displays, train station signs and online. As long as the code can be scan within arm’s reach then customers can easily scan with their smartphones.

If you plan to add QR codes to your mobile marketing there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Have a clear call to action – tell the customer what they can expect when they scan the code and what they need to do after they scan. There has to be an incentive for someone to take the time to use their smartphone, open the app and scan the code.
  • Provide instructions – Many smartphones and tablets in the U.S. do not come with the scanning app already installed. Let them know where they can download the app, especially if you have a preferred scanning app.
  • Optimize your website for mobile – When using a landing page make sure its mobile optimized. Many small business owners use WordPress which offers a responsive design that provides an optimized version of their website for mobile users.
  • Test before going to print – Once a QR code is created the destination link needs to work. Test the link with the scanning app before the code is printed on any of your final marketing materials. The user experience doesn’t stop there, when you decide to use QR codes the video, landing page or other online experience will need to be maintained going forward.
  • Content is key – The destination of where customers are taken is just as important as where you place the codes. The content needs to be informative and relevant to the customer. Think about the best experience you want to provide the customer and deliver it to them.

Ways to Use QR Codes in Your Mobile Marketing Campaigns

  • Sweepstakes or Membership renewal – Online forms are a great way to have customers renew their magazine subscription or enter a sweepstakes contest quickly. It’s also a way to build your CRM database.
  • Engagement through Print – Newspaper articles, product advertisements and books have QR codes that take readers to videos, photos and content. This keeps a printed publication up to date with current information.
  • Enhance Offline with Online – A few years ago New York City created an interactive game through Central park where visitors can scan codes to learn pop culture, arts, music and other interesting facts and videos about the historic park. More recently art exhibits have also been including codes so patrons can view additional artwork photos and get more information about the artists.
  • App Downloads and Social Media – More businesses are creating their own custom apps and participating in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. Having a QR code can take customers directly to the App download or social media page.

How to Create a QR Code?

There are many websites that offer QR code creation services. If you’re just starting out you can create your own free QR codes at Kaywa. There are also several QR reader apps to chose from.  RedLaser is a free app that I’ve been using and is available in the iPhone App store. The reader can scan most QR code types and saves past scanned links.

As more smartphone users engage with QR codes, businesses will create more uses for today’s new hyperlink. How do you plan to use QR codes in your mobile marketing strategy?

Cynthia Gedemer is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Business Coach with over 15 years of business experience in marketing, leadership, project and general management for Financial Services, Insurance, Retail, Telecommunications, and Healthcare industries.