All posts in September 2012

  • Facebook’s Custom Audience Ads – And What They Mean for You

    With a user base that includes hundreds of millions of active and highly engaged members, Facebook has established itself as an excellent way for brands to reach out to and connect with potential customers through either establishing Facebook communities on brand pages or purchasing in Facebook Ads. The problem for some, however, was that the two options for Facebook marketing often seemed to exist on opposite ends of the spectrum of “social media” and “marketing”. Facebook’s recently released Custom Audience advertising builds a bridge across that divide by giving brands the opportunity to include relationships built outside of Facebook in their targeting process. What is a “Custom Audience”? Facebook advertisers have long had the ability to target a specific audience segment through using some basic and fairly broad filters. These included general demographic information, such as age, gender, relationship status and location, as well as targeting options based on users’ self-described interests and what they have “liked” on Facebook. Until now, these filters created a smaller targeted audience that was narrowed down from Facebook’s entire user base. Custom Audience ads allow advertisers to include another filter: those who have previously purchased from you or otherwise interacted with you in a…

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  • Celebrate Social Media Week With These Fun and Interesting Facts

    A few fun facts that you may have known about social media marketing. All week long, we here at The Marketing Zen Group have been celebrating one of our favorite weeks out  of the entire year―Social Media Week. Given our teams passion for social media marketing and the web, it should come as no surprise that we jump at the chance to celebrate the power of Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. on marketing in our current society. But other than being a chance for us to geek out about our love for social media, what exactly is Social Media Week? This worldwide event was held for the first time in February 2009 and has since become a global platform that connects people, content and conversation around the many growing trends in the worlds of social and mobile media. It is predicted that over the next 10 years, 3 billion new people will sign up and connect to each other through the Internet. That’s more than three times the number of people who are currently online. Social Media Week is a great time to connect with people all over the world using these sites and to share their learning experiences. It…

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  • Why Cheap SEO and Content Writing May Cost Your Business More than You Realize

    In order to succeed, a business must make smart financial decisions. Often, this means saving money by cutting out unnecessary costs and finding solutions that have the least impact on their budgets.  There are some instances, however, in which the cheapest solution may wind up costing the most in the long-run. To the uninitiated, both search engine optimization and content creation can seem deceptively simple. After all, how hard can it be to write some website content describing your company, add some links, and throw some keywords in for good measure? Yes, doing those things is simple: doing them right, however, is an entirely different story. Quite simply, good results require experience, expertise in the latest industry changes, and dedication to producing the best possible results. Quality SEO and online content don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but if it sounds too good – or too cheap – be true, it probably is. Going cut-rate is taking a huge risk that could seriously damage your online reputation, waste valuable time, and, by time the damage has been repaired, end up costing far more than hiring a professional from the outset. Search Engine Optimization It seems that everyone…

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  • New Study Shows Why More Workers Are Declaring Their Independence

    Many dream of taking control of their careers: setting their own hours, choosing their own projects, and calling all the shots. But, according to a new report, an increasing number of people are making their dreams of independence a reality. The 2012 State of Independence in America report was recently released by MBO Partners, a client of The Marketing Zen Group, as a follow up to their inaugural 2011 report. This hot new study takes a look at the demographics, attitudes and trends of independent workers in the United States. Below are some of the report’s significant highlights. The number of independent workers is growing. This year, there are nearly 17 million independent workers in America, up from 16 million just one year ago. Why is there such a gain in popularity? For some – particularly younger, “Generation Y” workers – the shifting economy the country has faced over the past few years encouraged resilient and industrious workers across the country to shift their own business goals in order to adapt, leading them to striking out on their own as independent workers. For the majority of independent workers, however, their decision was based on allure of the benefits offered by working…

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  • How To Get The Most Out Of Your Twitter Hashtags

    Using hashtags to further your businesses Twitter marketing campaign. In the world of social media, it is not simply enough to create a profile page or account for your business in hopes of reaching out to clients and furthering your online marketing efforts. Instead, you must take advantage of the many elements and features that these sites offer as a way to help your company create a unique identity for itself, while also connecting with your audience in a way that you are unable to do through traditional marketing. If you already have a Twitter account that is dedicated to your business, there are several tools that you can incorporate into your existing social media strategy to improve your engagement among readers and also increase your Twitter following. One of the best ways to do this is by using hashtags. Designated by a number sign (#) at the start of a word or phrase, a hashtag is a Twitter feature that helps to spread information among different Twitter profiles, while also helping to organize it throughout the entire website. Twitter users also will use hashtags within tweets as a marketing tactic during certain promotions or events. Research has also found…

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  • The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Business Marketing Efforts

    What are the advantages of using outside marketing for your business? When it comes to the growth and success of your company, there is perhaps no department that is more influential or integral than marketing. While sales, purchasing or production departments each play a large role in the overall grand scheme of company growth, each of them could not survive or flourish without the constant adjustments and refinements that are being made through marketing. Think about it―when it comes down to your company’s reputation, sales goals or overall image, marketing is what truly drives every department’s goals together as one cohesive loop. However, despite how important marketing is in the long-term, there is still a huge lack of understanding about just how it all works together and how important it is to the success of your business. In fact, because of the limited knowledge and resources that often surround each company’s marketing department, it is often the first area of business to suffer layoffs during difficult times. Often, companies will even do away with their marketing departments all together because they do not truly understand the importance of it. One way that company’s can retain the many benefits of marketing,…

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  • How to Change Your Twitter Header Image

    This morning, Twitter rolled out a slew of new updates and features. These changes include new options for customizing the appearance and layout of user profiles, as well as mobile app updates that support these profile changes while adding speed, functionality, and a more user-friendly design. The profile changes are designed to look great on both the website and on mobile apps, emphasizing shared visual content by prominently displaying the last six images uploaded by a user. However, the biggest change announced earlier today is undoubtedly the ability for users to add a header image to their profile, much like the ones that currently exist for Facebook and Google+. These aesthetic changes may seem minor at first, but for brands – or individuals – seeking to establish a defined, unique identity on social media, the ability to add more eye-catching and identifying visual elements to their profiles can help them create a more unified online marketing branding message to their Twitter profiles. How to Get the New Twitter Header For now, Twitter isn’t pushing the new profile changes automatically, which means you have the option to do nothing and keep the old profile layout, if you choose to. If you’re…

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  • The 5 Elements of Excellent Content

    Transcription of “The 5 Elements of Excellent Content” Shama: Hi, this is Shama Kabani, CEO of the Marketing Zen Group, and I have recently been wondering about what makes excellent content different from just good content, and I have come up with these five R’s of excellent content.  [inaudible 00:00:17] and there is no actual letter R in the word content but these five R’s really define what makes up excellent content. The first is relevance.  Is it relevant to the person reading it and that context can make all the difference and you know that if you’ve ever been married and had to plan a wedding or you’ve ever renovated your house or worked on any project for a specific amount of time, you know that you’ve delved deep into everything related to that and all of a sudden it mattered so much more to you because it was relevant.  When you are creating content on the web, you want to make sure that you’re keeping it relevant to your audience and recognize that not everybody will love it.  Recognize, not one of our R’s but still important. Number two excellent content keeps it real.  We can relate to it. …

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  • Facebook Marketing: 6 Steps to Facebook Marketing Success

    Transcription of “Facebook Marketing: 6 Steps to Facebook Marketing Success” Shama: Hi, I’m Shama Kabani, CEO of the Marketing Zen Group, and the number one question that I get and the team gets here is Facebook marketing related.  How do we engage people on Facebook?  What’s the best way to get our business out there to people and so Facebook tends to be a big question mark for a lot of folks out there and perhaps even yourself.  Today we’ll talk about Facebook marketing.  There are six things that you should be doing if you are engaging and participating in Facebook marketing and this is my list to try to make it easy for you as possible. The number one is design.  A lot of people overlook the importance of the Facebook timelines, the cover timelines that they have.  While Facebook gives a lot of importance to the visual aspect, and so if you can get your brand across in a visually appealing manner and it doesn’t matter if you’re B to B, doesn’t matter if you’re professional services.  Remember you are trying to design to be able to reach out to your brand audience.  Whatever will resonate with them…

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  • Overhaul Your Email Marketing Campaign This Fall

    Tips for bringing a fresh new look to email marketing during autumn. Fall is often thought of as a season for change. Each September, kids across the country head back to school for a fresh new year, while adults celebrate the change in the season with a new wardrobe, a new job or even a new set of goals for the rest of the year. However, we as individuals are not the only ones who make important seasonal changes each September. Fall is also one of the most popular times of the year that businesses overhaul their own brands and marketing efforts. One particular area of marketing that company’s should edit and refresh often is their email marketing campaign. Your readers may be getting bored of seeing your content or business updates in the same boring template week after week. However, by freshening up your email campaign this fall, you are not only creating a buzz around any seasonal promotions that you may have, but you are also able to test out new marketing elements that you may have always wanted to try. Launching a fun seasonal campaign can also help to add value to a stale marketing campaign that…

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  • Tips For Using Facebook As A Successful Marketing Tool

    Essential marketing tips that will ensure a successful Facebook campaign. It is no major secret that many businesses are now taking to Facebook to market their company and connect with new consumers. After all, there are more than 900 million people on Facebook who are liking, subscribing, posting or sharing information with their friends and family on a regular basis. Given this major statistic, it only makes sense that many businesses are flocking to the site in order to increase their customer base and build a lasting relationship with the ones they already have. However, what many companies do not realize is that simply registering on Facebook is not enough  to reach your business objectives. There is an actual science behind the art of social media marketing and there are many different resources and tricks that marketers can utilize in order to become more successful with their online marketing efforts. If you are looking to amplify your Facebook marketing efforts in order to build up your company’s fan base and stay connected with your consumers on a day-to-day basis, then you first need to understand the best ways for reaching your business goals in the most successful, effective ways possible….

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  • The Marketing Zen Group Named to the 2012 Empact100 List

    Here at The Marketing Zen Group, we are passionate about what we do. We have a dedicated, hard working team committed to putting our wide range of skills and experience to work for our clients to deliver creative and effective results. Our satisfaction comes from what we are able to accomplish for our clients – and every day we feel immensely honored to have the opportunity to work with all of the talented people who make up The Marketing Zen team. That’s why we are so proud to announce that The Marketing Zen Group and Founder/CEO Shama Hyder have been included on the 2012 Empact100 list. Empact, an organization dedicated to supporting and recognizing young entrepreneurs, presents the Empact100 list, now in its second year. The Empact100 annually recognizes the United States’ “Top 100 Companies Founded by Young Entrepreneurs”. The honor was designed to recognize the hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, and perseverance of young leaders who are making a positive impact on our country’s economy and giving future leaders inspirational role models. The final Empact100 honorees were chosen from a group of 513 founders included in the Empact Showcase. To be eligible for inclusion in the Showcase, companies must have annual…

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