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  • 5 Steps to Developing an Outstanding Brand Voice on Social Media

    Your social media posts say a lot about your brand. But are they saying the right thing? Because social media has become such a vital part of digital marketing, many businesses have found themselves creating hasty profiles on three or four social media platforms, and posting what they can when they can – sometimes, simply just to maintain a presence on the channel. While this is a fairly common situation, even among large enterprises with lots of resources, it’s hardly ideal. The problem is that you’re not telling a unified story. You’re not speaking with a defined, recognizable brand voice. And that means that you’re missing out on a major opportunity to connect with your customers. How do you go from having a haphazard social media presence to one that clearly identifies what your brand is all about? The key is developing your brand voice. Follow these five steps to get started. 1. Delve into your company’s culture. Your brand voice is really an expression of your company culture, so a good place to start is to spend some time defining that culture. Is your company youthful and on-trend, like PopSugar? Or is it established and traditional, like Farmers Insurance…

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  • Winning the Hashtag Wars: How to Use Hashtags to Increase Your Reach and Strengthen Your Brand

    Hashtags can have a huge effect on your content and, therefore, your brand. How can you use them strategically to strengthen that brand and increase..

  • 21 Common Questions About Social Media Marketing Answered

    Here at Marketing Zen, we often get questions from businesses about online marketing, and we do our utmost to answer every one. But it occurred to us recently that it might be helpful for us to put together a little blog series answering some of the most common questions we get related to web marketing. Today’s installment? The 21 most common social media marketing questions we receive, answered just for you! 1. Can social media marketing really help my business? Most definitely! It’s been proven again and again by business after business. In fact, 73% of businesses surveyed by Constant Contact in 2011 had already started using social media marketing with measurable results.  Not utilizing social media marketing can actually harm your business, since having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable firm these days. 2. What are the benefits of social media marketing for my company? Whether your business is taking advantage of it or not, social media has forever changed the way that consumers communicate with businesses, and vice versa. Being accessible to your customers – and your prospective clients – via social media is a vital means of developing relationships with them…

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  • How to Market a Resort or Vacation Destination Online

    The travel industry has perhaps the greatest potential to grow and market online. Sadly, most hotels and resorts treat online marketing very much like they do traditional marketing – they setup a brochure website, and then forget about it. To truly engage an audience and sell more rooms, you need to look at web marketing as a living, breathing, entity. These online marketing tips don’t apply to local motels which would be best served by billboards and local marketing. Instead, I want to focus on true vacation destination hotels and resorts. Places people research and book in advance. Get the Basics Right – I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. No amount of marketing will make up for a poor product or service. If the rooms are dirty or checking in is a hassle, don’t expect marketing to make up for it. Of all the things people talk about online, hotels top the list. Do yourself a favor, take a percentage of your marketing every month, and use it to better the customer experience. Provide Tongue Candy – No, not mints at the front desk. But, stories that people will repeat when they go back home. I…

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  • The 5 Worst Digital Marketing Campaigns of All Time

    In this day and age of sophisticated, 24-hour marketing, there are plenty of inspiring, happiness-inducing, hilarious campaigns – and then there are the ones that make you wonder, “Who could possibly have approved that?” This post is dedicated to those. We’ve listed our picks below for five of the worst digital marketing campaigns of all time. Why? For one thing, it’s kinda fun, and for another, we all know that you can always learn something from your mistakes. Sometimes it’s nice, though, if those mistakes belong to other people. The Bud Light “Up for Whatever” campaign. Let’s start with one of the most recent glaring failures, shall we? Bud Light launched this campaign this past spring, with the idea being that with Bud Light in hand, you’re “up for whatever.” They printed various sentences about what that means on their bottles, including “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night. #upforwhatever” @m_lamor24 ummm… Yes it did. pic.twitter.com/VZKeZkbi1B — DE Mom (@Momof2inDE) April 30, 2015 Well, that didn’t go over so well. Immediately, people who saw the bottles started tweeting and posting images, picking up on the slogan’s – unintended, one imagines  and hopes- implications when it…

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  • 7 Tips for Increasing Twitter Engagement

    If your brand is not on Twitter, you need to get on or get out. With 500 million Tweets being pushed each day between 271 million active users, this is a marketing tool you cannot afford to ignore. To increase your brand’s number of Twitter followers and your level of influence, you want your followers to be engaged and motivated to reTweet your work. Being clever and interesting certainly helps. But there are some basic tricks that you should have in your toolbox to be as reTweetable as possible. Let’s look at some key Twitter statistics. Know the Rules of Engagement A picture is worth a thousand words and your Tweets are only worth 140. Take advantage of the bonus 860 words your image will get you. How effective is an appropriate image to your reTweetability? Twitter published the following guidelines. A Photo URL will increase your RTs by 35% A Video URL will increase your RTs by 28% Quotes will increase your RTs by 19% Using Digits will increase your RTs by 17% Using Hashtags will increase your RTs by 16% Please, You, reTweet and Post to Twitter! Poor grammar aside, the 5 most reTweeted words ranked from first…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round Up: Buffer, Twitter and Apple

    SEO: After suffering an unusual Google penalty today, the Buffer blog encountered a 90% drop in traffic to the site. However, the penalty was fraudulent, as an apparent Google bug caused the issue. Buffer noticed the traffic decrease and quickly checked their status in Google Webmaster Tools. According to Buffer’s Courtney Seiter, the manual action listed in Webmaster Tools didn’t line up. So Buffer and its SEO called Google’s John Mueller to inquire about the discrepancy. Apparently, Mueller admitted the fault lay with Google, and the bug was immediately fixed. Nevertheless, this isn’t the first time that Google has encountered trouble with certain sites. Back in 2012, Google had a bug within its parked domain classifier, which resulted in several sites dropping from the index. Although Google has taken steps to clear up all of these issues, their bug problem may persist for a little while longer. Social Media: Late Thursday, Twitter released significant updates to its iPhone app. According to Twitter’s blog, “the updated profiles focus on your bio, Tweets and photos, making it easy for you to get a glimpse into the people you care about on Twitter.” This is done through an updated design and instant access…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: News from Google, Twitter and Apple

    SEO: This week, Bing announced that they’ve implemented certain filters to target a spam technique called URL keyword stuffing. Used to manipulate search engines, URL keywords give pages that employ this tactic higher page rankings than they actually deserve. Although Bing did not release any specific details regarding the new filters, they did provide the public with signals to help detect keyword stuffing. If you’re searching the web, be sure to check out the Host/domain/path keyword co-occurance, the page quality and popularity signals, and the percentage of the site cluster comprised of top frequency host/domain name keywords. Bing’s update has only impacted about 3 per cent of users. This has resulted in over a 75 percent reduction in traffic to these sites from Bing. On Wednesday, Google Analytics announced that it will be rolling out new benchmark reports that will let users compare their search results to industry standards. The report states that that users can sift through data among 1,600 industries, 1,250 markets, and 7 size buckets. Accompanying the benchmark reports, a heat map feature also helps to identity places that more time and/or resources could be applied in order to yield better results. The company’s CMO, Ross Twiddy,…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Bing’s Conversational Search and Google’s FASTER

    SEO: Google’s latest update to their webmaster guidelines shows, once again, that the company is cracking down on guest blogging for SEO purposes. In the “little or no original content”guideline, the search engine has added “low-quality guest blog posts”as an example of scraped content. In the past, Google has penalized several guest blog networks and is still continuing to set targets on low-quality guest blogging that blatantly attempts to manipulate search results. Bing is continuing to build a search platform that is based on “entity and conversational understanding,”and its newest feature is a step in the right direction. With this feature, the search engine will be able to keep the context of a search query in mind as it goes on to perform a subsequent search. For example, if someone was to search for “who is the president of the United States,”followed by a search for “who is he married to,” the results for the second query would be based on both searches. In this case, results would show pages related to Michelle Obama. Social Media: Twitter has announced that it will begin beta testing a new feature called “Promoted Video,”for brands who are looking to upload and distribute videos…

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  • How To Successfully Market Music Online

    Today we’re excited to have the opportunity to share a blog post written by one of Marketing Zen’s content marketing interns, Matthew McFarlane. Matthew is an English major at the University of Missouri – Columbia. In this article, he gives musicians insight into how they can increase their fan base through online marketing.   With the advent of the Internet and the current ability of its users to share music, legally or illegally, the way artists and bands market their music has changed dramatically. The ability of an artist to expand their listening base and find more fans across the country, and even the world, has increased exponentially, but the way those fans consume their music has changed as well. Without using the Internet to their advantage, an up-and-coming artist can be hurt by its disadvantages, namely piracy. Let’s take a look at some of the more creative ways a band or recording artist can make use of online marketing. Social Media Using social media to connect with fans is a must. There is no easier way to expand your fan base and keep them updated as to what you are doing. Someone who hears your biggest song might use Shazam to…

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  • Navigating Twitter’s New Analytics

    Earlier this year, Twitter unveiled its new analytics platform, promising to give users greater insight into their social media footprint than ever before. Although marketing companies have been using SEO optimization tools for many years to analyze and increase their clients’ visibility on search engines, it has taken many years for this technology to be adapted to the social networking phenomenon. Twitter’s new software combines the best of both worlds, so to speak, by giving users free access to the most personalized analytical software on social media so they can improve their visibility online. By merging aspects of existing SEO optimization programs with modern social networking platforms, Twitter has provided users with personalized, in-depth data about their influence on Twitter and beyond. All of the data collected by Twitter is compiled in one easily navigable dashboard, and all of it can be exported into a spreadsheet for further use. Below, we’ll explore how this information can be utilized to optimize users’ experience. 1. Tweets On the analytics dashboard, the data is divided into three tabs. The first tab collects information about the user’s Tweets, Twitter’s primary avenue of communication. Similar to their previous analytics platform, Twitter’s new software tracks a…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Twitter Breaks Records and Chromecast Gets an Update

    SEO:You’ve probably noticed that when you “delete” a campaign in Google AdWords, it isn’t truly deleted. It is not currently possible to delete a campaign from an account because the data remains in a user’s history forever. In a semantic response to this observation, Google will be replacing the word “delete” with “replace” in a forthcoming update. The company hopes that this change will help advertisers understand that removed objects will always remain available for future reference. People living in the European Union, which just passed the “Right to be Forgotten” act, are finding that when they ask Google to “forget”l inks that involve their names, the search engine is forgetting more than what they bargained for. Google is also removing links for any search that involves names combined with additional words. For examples, if there’s someone named John Smith in Spain who asks for links with his name to be forgotten, searches for his name won’t appear, and searches for “John Smith Barcelona” or “John Smith investment banker” also will ignore him. Social Media: Whether you’re celebrating or mourning Brazil’s loss in the World Cup this week, chances are that you either read or wrote something on Twitter about…

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