How to Make News Content Viral Using People-Based Marketing

May 27, 2015

Guest post by Jack Dawson.

There are a lot of resources online that can help you move from newsjacking – “stealing” potentially viral news items before they become viral – to creating potentially viral news yourself. The most important technique to date is through people-based marketing.

Using PPC ads to promote newsWhat this means for marketers is that it is no longer necessary to research and pitch thousands of publications, hoping and praying that some of them stick and make news. By creating your own news, you gain an opportunity to earn greater PR for your organization as well as win over higher traffic and more inbound links.

Pay-per-click marketing provides an important platform through which content promotion and other social PR efforts can be successfully driven, and just a minimal investment can lead to huge returns for your business. This article describes just how to do this.

Introduction to people-based marketing

Also called identity targeting, people-based marketing is founded in creating audience segments based on different characteristics; this allows you to actually target a certain person with a specific ad that will appeal to them. Some characteristics include location, employment status, age, income level, purchase history, interests, among others.

Essentially, PPC harnesses the power that email and social media marketers have had in their arsenal for a while now.

PPC Marketing for PR Pitching

Online marketing technological advances have enabled us to automate many time-consuming and tedious processes. PR pitching also has the potential for automation, which would be a breath of fresh air compared to the present technique:

  • Create stellar content which you are ready to transmit to the world
  • Identify news media and opinion influencers within your niche
  • Pray that you have some kind of previous relationship, at least a few, so that they are not all cold pitches
  • Find their Twitter handles, emails or other contact info
  • Draft a personalized form letter which can still be considered impersonal, or spend hours personalizing all pitches you send out
  • Pitch and pray and pitch and pray some more, until you catch someone’s interest before you’ve annoyed them so much they block your contact

As an alternative, you can take the same stellar content from about and share it on all your social media profiles. In Twitter, for instance, you can create a customized list of your influencers using Twitter Ads.

On Facebook, you can do even better. Facebook allows you to get more granular by creating different layers according to demographic information. For instance, you can target people within your contact list that have a specific interest, or job title.

Within a few minutes, you have placed your content within the reach of industry experts, journalists, or influencers with huge social followings. Your content will show up on their activity streams/newsfeeds, where it’s difficult to miss. They can then click, read through and share within their networks and voila! Job done!

Value of Virality through PPC

Using the scheme presented above can get your publicity within a few hours, and all for less than 10% of the effort you use on old-fashioned pitches. You can earn hundreds of mentions on media, not forgetting backlinks to the post and your site in the process, all of which improve your search engine optimization strategy.

All you need to do is have newsworthy content, and have it picked up by just one journalist. Soon, others will flock in on it to stay ahead of the curve before it blows up, and then all you need to do is sit back and watch traffic, links and mentions come in by the truckloads. They may not all be potential consumers, but it is a more effective way of content marketing and raising brand awareness.

 

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10 Top Marketing Thought Leaders in Social Media

May 21, 2015

If you were asked to name the top thought leaders in marketing today–the 10 marketers you’d definitely advise others to follow on social media–how would you proceed?

You’d probably start by looking at those you’re connected with on the major social networks, then do some additional research. Perhaps you’d look at existing “top” lists from other sites. You’d develop a “long list” of worthy experts, then gradually narrow it down based on followers, level of engagement, quality of posts, and other factors. You’d carefully develop your final list, possibly using a method like pairwise ranking.

Top 10 Social Marketing ProsBut—what if you had to answer on the spot? What if you had to respond immediately, or within just a few minutes? You’d forget some important names, of course, but your answers would reveal those you keep top of mind.

If you’re up for it, try this now; spend no more than five minutes listing your top 10—then come back to this post.

This recently happened to me. Below is my list in response to the question:

“Tell me the top ten marketing people you would follow on social media, those people that you think are the top ‘thought leaders’ in the marketing space today?”

Cheryl Burgess would unquestionably be on the list. In addition to being an expert on enterprise b2b marketing, she’s the co-author (with Mark Burgess) of The Social Employee, and the authority on how to inspire employee social media advocacy inside large organizations.

Ann Smarty knows SEO inside and out, and is the guru-ess of online tools. She also hosts the highly popular weekly Viral Content Buzz Twitter chat.

Meghan M. Biro is an acknowledged thought leader at the intersection of HR, social media and marketing.

Carla Johnson is one of the top experts on enterprise content marketing. Plus, she went to grade school in a one-room schoolhouse, making her ascent all the more impressive (or perhaps that just explains it?).

Robert Rose is another top resource on enterprise content marketing, co-author with Carla Johnson of Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, and an original member of the Lebron team.

Jeff Bullas — does anyone know more about blogging than Jeff? He’s one of those guys who seems to defy the laws of time and space by being able to consistently churn out bookmark-worthy blog posts, speak at events all over the planet, write ebooks, and still engage actively and prolifically on social media.

Glen Gilmore has long been known as an author and expert on the intersection of social media and the law. But not content with that, he’s more recently emerged as a top authority on the Internet of Things (IoT) as well.

J-P De Clerck is a “digital business and marketing strategist” whose expertise stands in the crossroads of content, search, and social media. Plus he’s from Belgium, so along with Jeff Bullas (Australia) he keeps this list from being too U.S.-centric.

Gini Dietrich is a top PR pro, author of Spin Sucks and co-author of Marketing in the Round (incidentally a great primer on building a team to execute a web presence optimization strategy), and tweeter of consistently good stuff.

Wendy Marx is a brilliant b2b PR strategist whose B2B PR Sense blog is a must-read for any marketing or PR pro seeking wisdom and insights into b2b content marketing and social media.

In the moments after rattling off this list, my first thought was: not bad, for a group quickly compiled off the top of my head.

But my second thought was: wow, I missed a lot of important and worthy names!

How could I have left off some of the most engaging social media marketing and PR pros like Harry Hoover, Judy Bellem and Jayme Soulati?

Or within just the PR realm, thought leaders and key influencers like Deb Weinstein, Lisa Buyer, Jeff Domansky and Arik Hanson?

In the realm of content marketing, Michael Brenner, Neal Schaffer, Rebecca Lieb, Heidi Cohen and Ann Handley are certainly worthy additions. As are, getting more granular, experts in developing b2b buyer personas, like Ardath Albee and Tony Zambito.

Closer to home, I could have highlighted the fact that some of the smartest people in social media marketing are fellow Minnesotans, including Lee Odden, Marty Weintraub and Angie Schottmuller.

How about CMOs and others focused on leadership, like Patrick Strother, Tony Karrer, Chris Schenk, Kent Huffman, Eric Fletcher, and Margaret Molloy?

Or leaders in academics on social media, such as Gary Schirr, Mike Johansson and Dorie Clark?

Even at that, there are deserving names left off the list.

If I’m ever again asked to name a list of the top 10 social media marketers, I think I’ll answer—I can’t name 10. But I can give you 75 or so.

Who’s on your “top of mind” top 10 list?

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How To Turn Video Marketing Into a Successful SEO Strategy

May 12, 2015

Guest post by Jason Parks.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, yet the SEO aspect is often overlooked. The simple truth is that a majority of search marketing specialists do not invest the necessary resources into the largest video-sharing website in the world. Videos can raise brand awareness and appear in Google’s organic search results, so it’s smart to take advantage of that.

YouTube SEO tips and techniques

IQ Visibility states that you can double your search traffic by having a video thumbnail in the search result. While doubling your search traffic from a YouTube video certainly isn’t guaranteed, the thumbnail appearing in the search results is more likely to capture the users’ attention than a standard search result. If the video is of a high quality, this rich media can allow users to learn more about your product or service.

Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, summarized our sentiments perfectly when he noted, early in YouTube’s existence, that YouTube is becoming much more than an entertainment destination. It can be educational while also helping businesses gain exposure.

Merely posting any video onto YouTube though will not generate desired results.  A marketing strategy behind the video must be in place in order for Google to recognize the content as compelling and deserving of a rank on the first page of Google’s search results. For instance, we implemented a video SEO strategy for a local tennis club in Columbus. They are now ranking in the first overall position on Google for an extremely popular search query in the tennis world. The video has been viewed all over the world and now has over 150,000 views. This tennis club has established themselves as a leader in their industry for creating tennis videos on a wide variety of topics. Moreover, the video has generated an influx of clients for the tennis club. Specifically, the instructor featured in the video has been in high demand for lessons due to the video’s popularity.

Video search result example for tennis

Here is the six-step process we use to ensure tremendous success for your next video marketing campaign.

  1. Select a Topic That Will Be Beneficial To The User
    When we deliberated with the tennis club, we determined there were very few “how to” videos on “how to hit a faster tennis serve.” By reviewing Google Adword’s keyword planner, we were able to recognize the popularity of this query and concluded tennis players would benefit from this professional advice.

We created a script with the club professional instructor and set a date to film the video. Selecting a topic that users will enjoy and benefit from is a crucial component for laying the proper foundation down for your video marketing strategy.

  1. Invest in a Quality Production
    If you are going to take the time to create a video, you want the user experience to be good. Google can detect whether or not someone visits your video and drops off within five seconds, just like they can on your website. By creating high-quality video content, you are going to receive higher quality traffic that Google will take note of.American Relocation Connections spent a lot of time creating a video on the topic, “Best Tips for Hiring a Mover.” {Watch video}. An attorney for the law firm Alvin H. Broome and Associates created a video showing off the personality of his firm. {Watch video}.This video content needs to be informative and benefit people seeking this information on Google or on their website.

    If you think you can stuff keywords into the title of a mediocre video, think again. This might work for a low competitive keyword but the strategy won’t pay off if you really want to achieve true video marketing success.

  2. Upload a Transcript
    After selecting a topic, the next step is to create a script. The script can actually be uploaded to YouTube as a transcript. It automatically syncs with the speakers and voiceovers in the video and allows those who are hard of hearing or deaf or those without volume or working sound on a computer to read the transcript and comprehend the content of the video.How to add a video transcriptGoogle offers support on proper formatting of transcripts and proper implementation of transcripts into a video.
  3. Make Your Content Desirable To Share
    After the tennis video was complete, we developed a list of 50 websites that would benefit from having this video embedded on their website. We then reached out to each website on our list, requesting they embed the video on their websites, describing the advantages of the video’s existence, and offering an article to correlate with the video written by the tennis club’s head professional instructor. Five different tennis sites agreed to feature the video on their website, including TennisNow.com, one of the most well-known and visited websites in the industry.Once the video was embedded on these sites, the visibility increased dramatically on YouTube and within the search results of Google. Once the visibility increased, the video took off.
  4. Advertise Your Video 
    Video advertising on YouTube can be a great bang for your buck if implemented correctly. When you create a video, it is helpful to allocate advertising dollars to the videos to give the media momentum. With a cost per view as low as $0.02, you can get 2,500 views on your video with a $50 budget. In the eyes of Google and YouTube, this adds legitimacy to the video and can help catapult your video higher on the YouTube and Google organic search results.
  5. Proper Title Tags and Description
    Title tags are an extremely important element that Google detects when determining the ranking power of a video. For the tennis video, we had previously performed our research on popular search queries. If you are a business, you cannot merely stuff keywords into the title tag. Make the title organic. For example, if you are a Dentist in Dayton, Ohio, you should not make the title tag, “Dayton Dentist.” If the video featured client testimonials, a better title would be, “Testimonials for Dr. Smith, a trusted Dayton Dentist.”In following the six steps for a successful video campaign, you will add a key component to your marketing efforts, which will give you a leg-up on the competition.  If you dedicate the proper time and implement a memorable strategy, your YouTube video will receive great exposure across numerous marketing channels.

Jason Parks, owner of The Media Captain, contributed content to this article. The Media Captain is a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO, web development and online advertising. Jason has been quoted in the New York Times, Success Magazine and Yahoo! News. Jason has assisted in launching successful digital campaigns for publicly traded companies, national brands, and local, family-owned companies that have gained national notoriety.

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The SEO Journey – How long before you start seeing results?

May 5, 2015

Guest post by Jack Dawson.

Everyone implementing SEO usually has the same question – how long before I rank first for my keywords? This question does not have a simple answer, mostly because it’s not in itself a legitimate question. It comes from misunderstanding the current nature of SEO and it is stuck in the rudiments of what SEO used to be.

Old vs. new SEO

In the past, SEO was about identifying the best keywords for businesses. These are relevant words with little competition and high organic traffic. You had to pick out 5-10 of those “golden keywords” which would help you capture the majority of your online traffic. If you’re still telling your SEO professionals that you want first rank for this keyword or that, then you’re stuck in the old paradigm.

Old SEO tactics vs. new SEO strategies

Today, there isn’t a single keyword, or keyword group that can solely drive most of your traffic, especially when long-tail search is considered. If your focus is on a group of keywords, you’re missing out on the majority of users looking for you.

Currently, natural language searches drive SEO, i.e., users are searching in much the same way they would ask a normal question, instead of inserting a keyword or two. Google in fact offers voice search options, so that people can speak out their questions. This allows people conveniently to carry out more detailed searches that will provide them with better results.

The result is long-tail keywords, which are less competitive and therefore easier to rank on. They are also more relevant and hence lead to higher conversion rates. Therefore, you should base your ranking objective on a larger group of natural language queries, which is constantly shifting.

Rankings are important, but not quite

There are more important metrics you should focus on rather than just ranking. If you stay focused on getting top rankings, you will have a skewed view of the really important things. It’s not just about getting top rankings. Your rank is worthless if it does not come with leads, conversions and revenue increases, which are the real outcomes.

How to do SEO in 2015

The right question

Rank is a mere output, your SEO firm/professional should be focused on these more than just getting you higher ranking. As you search for the right SEO partner, your question shouldn’t be how long it will take for you to get the top rank but rather how long before efforts culminate in leads, conversions and sales.

How long SEO takes to work

The real answer to this question is highly subjective. A lot of factors come into play to make SEO efforts effective, or not. A few of those include:

  • How long the website has existed
  • How much and what SEO techniques had been applied in the past
  • The layout and general shape of the website
  • How much content is uploaded on the site
  • The website’s link profile, among many others

Even when there are two businesses in the same field competing for the same target market, SEO won’t work the same for both of them because of the above differences. However, here is a brief outline of the kind of results to expect from a valid SEO strategy over time:

Month #1

Website audit, discovery and research, keyword strategy building and general planning. If you get through the research fast, you can start to make technical changes by the first month of operation. For larger or more complicated sites, the research and discovery phase can spill over longer than a month.

Month #2

Implementation of major technical SEO techniques. Basing on results of the audit, you will make modifications to the site. Sometimes, the site requires a complete overhaul, a process that can take several months. Other SEO techniques include building one’s link profile and content marketing, which you can carry out along with technical changes.

During this phase, and especially if a complete overhaul is in progress, you’re likely to see little or no results for SEO efforts. You must complete the changes before seeing any real impact.

Month #3

Major focus on improvement of content and content marketing. These include whitepapers, FAQ section updates, blogging, expanding product descriptions and company information. Where the budget is not a severely limiting factor, you can do this simultaneously with the technical overhaul phase; otherwise technical changes come first.

You may see some ranking improvements towards the end of the month. This may or may not lead to conversion and sales improvement yet, but if they’re not there quite yet that’s okay.

Month #4

Involves a continuation of content creation, technical optimization and link profile building, including link audits to clean out bad/low quality links. This month should produce a notable rise in rankings, traffic as well as lead generation. It won’t be as big as what you’d see after a year, but enough to show that efforts are paying off.

Month #5

By now, social media management and marketing is also part of the SEO strategy to increase direct traffic and promote content created. This simultaneously builds up healthy natural links. Content creation goes on, coupled with PR and other media outreach techniques (collectively, these techniques encompass a web presence optimization strategy). You’ll see more traffic by now, and your leads and conversions should also be increasing.

Month #6

If you have traffic of 5,000 visitors monthly and higher, you can begin to direct SEO efforts towards conversion rate improvement. This converts the traffic coming in to leads and eventually sales. After this, your strategy revolves around content creation and promotion. Any other specific techniques will differ depending on the nature of your business, your website and your business goals.

Conclusion

The majority of SEO professionals and firms tell clients that results are visible in 4-6 months. This is an accurate description, but clients must remember that results only start to show within this time, growing as the time passes. By the time your hit one year, your results should be significantly better than what you saw at the sixth month.

Also, you may notice a tapering in results after a certain point, after which SEO efforts will be directed at maintaining the results as opposed to improving them. The key is not to stop just because there aren’t any results in the first 2-3 months. The minimum budget time for SEO should be 6-12 months, because SEO is a long-term marketing strategy. Plan properly and invest knowing you’re in for the long haul.

Author bio: Jack Dawson is a web developer and UI/UX specialist at BigDropInc.com. He works at a design, branding and marketing firm, having founded the same firm 9 years ago. He likes to share knowledge and points of view with other developers and consumers on platforms.

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24 Extraordinary Facebook Guides, Tips and Rants

April 21, 2015

Facebook remains the undisputed Goliath of social networks. It offers marketers  creative flexibility and sophisticated targeting options.

Yet with recent changes including prohibition of “like-gating” and dramatically decreased organic reach, some brands are questioning the value  of the platform.

Cost to reach 1000 people on Facebook

Image credit: Moz

How can marketers best respond to the loss of organic exposure? What Facebook marketing tactics are most effective today? Which page apps are most helpful? What are the best tools and tactics for Facebook advertising? Or is  the best course of action to focus more on other platforms?

Find the answers to those questions and more here in two dozen of the best Facebook marketing guides, tips, and rants of the past year.

Facebook Marketing Guides and Tips

8 Brilliant Facebook Marketing Tactics to Use Right Now by Social Media Today

Betsy KentBetsy Kent explains how to use some lesser-known Facebook marketing tactics such as copying and pasting a post to use elsewhere by clicking on the timestamp and getting the URL (“Now you can repost on other Social Media sites [such as LinkedIn] or shorten the URL and use it on Twitter”), and determining the best time of day to post by looking at your Facebook Insights.

The End of the Facebook Like-Gate Era: What Marketers Need To Know by V3 Integrated Marketing

Shelly KrammerShelly Kramer lists several of the most common “like-gating” tactics no longer allowed by Facebook (including offers to free access to special content in exchange for a “like,” sweepstakes or contests, giveaways, or polls where visitors have to “like” your page in order to vote), and provides guidance on what to do in place of these now-banned activities.

Essential Facebook Marketing Resources: A Complete Guide by Social Media Examiner

Lisa D.  JenkinsWant to learn how to market your brand on Facebook? Lisa D. Jenkins here collects more than three dozen categorized resources to help everyone from newbies to experienced Facebook marketers up their games. The articles are grouped into categories including getting buy-in, marketing with your personal profile, creating a Facebok business page, using Facebook’s tools, running contests, and understanding Facebook advertising.

Organic Reach on Facebook: Your Questions Answered by Facebook for Business

Brian BolandFacebook’s Brian Boland contends that organic reach is not “dropping because Facebook is trying to make more money,” but rather because 1) there is now much more content being shared on Facebook, and 2) Facebook has responded by changing the way News Feed works—using “thousands of factors relative to each person” in order to surface the most valuable and engaging content for each user.

Infographic: How to Get More Facebook Likes by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal

Jim DoughertyyJim Dougherty shares an infographic outlining several tactics for increasing page likes, such as using email: “Invite your email subscribers via email, provide them with a description and an incentive to like your page” (being careful not to violate the rules outlined by Shelly Kramer above)…”According to HubSpot, 80% of social media users like to connect with brands via Facebook.”

How to Compare Your Facebook Page With the Competition by Social Media Examiner

Ian ClearyFrequent best-of honoree Ian Cleary reviews five tools “to help you compare your Facebook Page against competitors and identify tactics to help you improve your Facebook marketing,” including Fanpage Karma, a freemium tool that provides a wealth of competitive Facebook stats like fans, growth, ad value, response rate, post interaction, and page performance (which “is calculated using a combination of the growth of fans and engagement and is scored out of 100″).

What 11 Experts Are Saying About Facebook Marketing by Louder Online

Aaron AgiiusAaron Agius shares tips on how to get more out of your Facebook marketing efforts from top experts including JD Lasica (“To attract customers and generate sales, you first have to show customers that you aren’t just interested in selling them something. You have to build that trust”…[so, for example] “Highlight your vendors’ successes and talk about good customers. Stick with JD’s rule of thumb above-4:1 status to promo ratio [and] focus on providing value”) and the brilliant Mari Smith, who explains why and how to post effectively outside of regular business hours.

A four-step antidote for declining Facebook reach by Ragan’s PR Daily

Mairead RidgeMairead Ridge offers practical tips illustrated by an accompanying infographic “to help you reclaim your brand’s digital reach lost to Facebook’s changing algorithm.” Among the recommendations here: test a variety of content types (“Monitor the differing engagement levels of status updates, photos, videos, and links”), share links, and diversify your channels (e.g., “Create Web versions of your emails, and include ‘share’ buttons”).

How to Make Your Facebook Marketing Work for B2B by Social Media Examiner

Ben Harper details four tips to help maximize results from Facebook marketing, such as creating and curating thoughtful content: “When you understand how your B2B audience reacts to content on Facebook, you can start creating content they want to share—the kind of content that lets them reinforce their own interests and expertise.”

Guides and Tips for Facebook Pages and Apps

New Facebook page layout: 18 things you need to know by Agora Pulse

Richard BeesonRichard Beeson steps through 18 key page layout changes implemented by Facebook in the summer of 2014, among them three changes to the ways apps are displayed (“Apps tabs are still present on your page, but they are below the fold…All apps are still in the top menu, but hidden behind the ‘more’ dropdown…[and] You can have one app featured on the main menu, above the fold, but only one, and no sexy visuals here”). He explains the details behind and ramifcations of each change.

The new layout for Facebook brand Pages: what you need to do by Smart Insights

Marie PageWhile the post above focused on what was changed, this article from Marie Page details four areas in which marketers should make changes (or at least check to be sure all is still working) in response to Facebook’s page layout changes. For example, with regard to your Facebook page cover image, “Although the dimensions of your cover image are still fine, you may well find that content is now hidden by some of the new features.” She shows how elements can be rearranged to take advantage of this modification.

15 Types of Facebook Apps to Enhance Your Facebook Page by Social Media Examiner

Andrea VahlNoting that “Facebook apps let you customize your Facebook page in many ways,” Andrea Vahl shares “15 ways Facebook apps can enhance and customize your Facebook page.” Among her categories of useful apps are custom tab apps (“you can use them to create so many different things. For example, you could include an image, a restaurant menu, a video, and an opt-in form on a single custom tab to basically install a mini-website on Facebook”), email capture forms, blog / RSS feed apps, and job listing apps.

Facebook Advertising Guides and Tips

15 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ads by Social Media Examiner

Rocco BaldassarreRocco Alberto Baldassarre details 15 techniques for getting better performance and ROI from Facebook ads, among them keeping mobile and desktop ads separate; installing a conversion pixel (with instructions on how to do this); and testing bidding strategies (“Test different bidding methods to find out what reduces the cost per conversion but still gets enough volume. I recommend starting with CPC and conversion optimizer”).

Facebook Getting Closer to Being an Entirely Paid Media Site for Brands? by Strut Marketing

Steve GoldnerYes, everyone knows that organic reach has been greatly diminished for brands on Facebook, but what’s really behind this? Steve Goldner speculates that there are several reasons (including Wall Street pressure), but believes “If you lump all of the issues together, the key fact that emerges is that most Facebook users are turned off by brand interruption in their social platform.” He explains four important impacts of these changes on how you should approach social media marketing.

Here’s What Happens When Facebook Advertising Fails by KISSmetrics

Sherice JacobExpanding on Steve Goldner’s post above, Sherice Jacob observes with regard to diminished organic reach that “The brand wants the viewers’ eyeballs, the viewer wants the brand to give them something more relevant.” She then offers three approaches designed to please both sides, incuding link posts: she cites recent research which found that “of posts made by fifteen different major brands, text-based updates dropped 65%, video and photo-based updates stayed about the same, and link-based posts jumped 30%.”

How to Use Facebook Ads for Content Marketing: The Ultimate Guide by Content Marketing Institute

James SchererNoting that “Successful content marketing isn’t always just about the content. Sometimes the marketing aspect (i.e., WPO) needs to take center stage,” James Scherer points out that Facebook ads remain “one of the cheapest ways to increase brand awareness” and details how Facebook ads work, how Facebook’s ad auction works, how to use Facebook’s targeting options, how to generate leads from your content, and how to retarget lost readers.

How To Knock 70% Off Your Facebook CPA by Moz

Ben Harper (again) details how a three-step process combining data insight, smarter targeting, and aggressive optimization can lead to as much as “70% reductions in CPA through Facebook adverts.” The process begins with a data phase in order “to gain a deep audience understanding so that you can more effectively target your campaigns. By drawing out audience insight, you can identify where your audience are active, and identify lower competition targeting segments.”

3 Facebook Advertising Tools That will Save You Significant Time and Money by RazorSocial

Amanda WebbGuest author Amanda Webb reviews three useful Facebook ad tools (two of which are free), explaining how each works; for example, Social Stats “assesses how much you should spend on your advertising campaign, depending on the size of your audience…When you are planning a Facebook advertising campaign, one of the hardest questions to answer is how much should you spend, and there is no simple answer to this. If you are very specific with your targeting, a little can go a long way.”

9 Facebook hacks that will blow your mind by iMedia Connection

David ZaleskiDavid Zaleski explains how to use several interesting capabilities of Facebook many users may not be aware of, such as how to embed a Facebook post onto your website (also noting that “Visitors can also like your page right from the embedded post”), how to use Facebook Insights to determine the best times to post (based on when your fans are online), and how to track the level of “like” activity on competitor or friend pages.

Easier, More Effective Ways to Reach the Right People on Facebook by Facebook for Business

This post explains how to use four main targeting types: location, demographic, interests and behaviors—plus Partner Categories in the U.S.—to target Facebook ads more effectively. Within location, for example, “you can build campaigns around any combination of geographies: country and city (France and London), country and state (Canada and New York), state and city (California and Las Vegas), state and ZIP code (US only), etc. It’s also easier to exclude certain areas  i.e., New York City, except 11211, or the UK, excluding Cambridge.”

Why Every Business Should Spend at Least $1 per Day on Facebook Ads by Moz

Brian CarterBrian Carter calls Facebook Ads “the biggest marketing opportunity ever,” based on their exposure potential (“they can reach as many people or more people as radio or TV, and in whatever country”), sophisticated targeting options, and low cost. While the economic of Facebook ads have changed a bit since this post was written, the essential points still hold.

And Finally…Not Fans of Facebook

‘Facebook Zero': The End Of Social Media Engagement by The Holmes Report

Arun-SudhamanArun Sudhaman analyzes the changes to organic reach implemented by Facebook in the spring of 2014, reporting on research showing “marketers can now reach just 6% of their fans via organic reach, a decline of 49% from last October’s peak” (and the situation’s gotten no better since then). He quotes Forrester that “Facebook has abandoned social marketing” in favor of an ad-driven model, and notes Ogilvy is now “encouraging clients to look more closely at other social networks, particularly Twitter and Instagram and, for B2B players, LinkedIn.”

Why You Should Forget Facebook by LinkedIn Pulse

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas (who knows a thing or two about social media) quantifies the drop in organic reach on Facebook, and points out that brands like Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, and Charity Engine are either quitting Facebook or focusing more on other content and social channels. He then outlines “two key strategies that you can pursue” in response to Facebook’s declining reach, and three tactics for earning free traffic outside of Facebook.

Is Facebook afraid of its future? by iMedia Connection

Brian Easter“Facebook has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons lately,” according to Brian Easter. He speculates about the motives behind the giant social network’s recent moves, and wonders if the company’s leadership will find their higher purpose, or if instead of “trying to build a great company, Facebook leadership decided to monetize everything they could, in every way they could, before they join AOL and MySpace as ‘has been’ tech giants?”

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