What You Should Be Tallying On Your Social Media Scorecard

shutterstock_176186546-cockpit-instruments Ah, the simplicity of American baseball: three strikes is an out, and a team's chance at the bat is comprised of three outs. In cricket, the math is a bit more extensive: an inning is considered complete once ten batters have been struck out, and matches can last several days. It's no wonder that as far back as the time of the American Revolution, enterprising printers back in England were producing scorecards so that spectators could keep track of the games. The idea of businesses using scorecards can be traced to the 1950s in postwar France, with what were called Tableau de Bord. W [...]


5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing

puzzle The content explosion and the search engines’ shift toward meaning-based content in 2013 has led to a tipping of the scales in the opposite direction from where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was before Panda and Penguin. Gone are the days of black hat practices like keyword stuffing and paid linking schemes that resulted in a bad user experience and little focus on content quality. While the increased focus on quality has created a better user experience, now the challenge of the marketer is to integrate SEO best practices into the content creation process. User-friendly conten [...]


Pros & Cons Of Date Stamping Your Content

Pros and Cons of Date Stamping Your Content - Blog Stat As content marketing continually increases in popularity, more and more content is being published each and every day. In fact, more than two million blog posts are written daily. With all that content being published, date stamping is an easy way for users to gauge the newness and relevancy of a blog post or article. But lately, I've noticed that many blog posts and articles lack a date stamp. In fact, Joe Pulizzi recently posted about this very topic on Facebook, which prompted a conversation among marketers and consumers about date stamping content. The opinions were divided, with som [...]


4 Steps To Scaling Enterprise Content Marketing

content-marketing-model Back in beginning of the 20th century, the automobile was an item of luxury -- it took a long time to build (with workers "crafting" each one), cost well beyond the means of most consumers and was complex to drive. As most people know today, Henry Ford changed all that with the Model T and his innovations with the assembly line. He made a simpler-to-drive car at a much cheaper cost, making it available to the masses and bringing tremendous value to his customers. So, what does this have to do with content marketing? New Marketing Tactic? If you ask a group of people if the Model T was [...]


Why Brands Should Turn To Bloggers Instead Of Celebrity Spokespeople

Influencers_Altimeter Pop quiz: what famous celebrity do you associate with JELL-O pudding? I'm guessing you had no problems coming up with Bill Cosby, which isn't surprising given the fact that his spokesperson relationship with JELL-O lasted nearly thirty years. For those of us of a certain age -- *ahem* -- Cosby's homey kid-friendly delivery will forever be linked with a creamy dessert product. (Not to mention Pudding Pops, which Kraft tragically discontinued.) Companies have been using celebrity spokespeople for decades, with varying degrees of success. While hiring A-listers to promote products will likely [...]


4 Elemental Problems With Low Converting Web Pages

The Vinegar and Baking Soda Reaction As “power” marketers, our work can look more like scientific experiments than creative campaigns. More and more, power marketers make decisions with data. The collection and interpretation of this data requires a new set of skills. Nonetheless, the goal remains the same for our online initiatives. We want to get a reaction from our visitors. We want to get them to do something. Complete the form. Download the document. Buy the product. Subscribe to the list. Water the camel. When we aren’t generating reactions on our site, we can see the results clearly in analytics. High b [...]


It’s Omni-Channel, Stupid! Don’t Adopt Mobile-Focused Marketing

shutterstock_133481336 Some of you may remember James Carville's famous slogan, "It's the economy, stupid," coined during Bill Clinton's successful 1992 Presidential campaign. The purpose of the slogan was  to remind campaign workers to focus on the economy, given the fact that the country had slid into recession during then-President George Bush's time in office. Meant to be used as an internal phrase, the slogan took on a life of its own and was mimicked often. In the world of mobile, it's time for a similar cry. The plea is this: let's stop focusing on "mobile" as a channel or marketing strategy and sta [...]


The Sale After The Sale: The New Reality Of Selling Display Ads

shutterstock_124544959 In my current role leading the sales organization at Simpli.fi, I have the pleasure of interacting with all levels of media buyers representing local and national brands, advertising agencies, trading desks, publishers, ad networks and resellers. Predictably, the contacts making media-buying decisions within these companies span a broad range of age and experience levels. While no universal statement is true for every individual, I can confirm that those that buy online media today are genuinely confused. They are under a sales and marketing assault by vendor representatives that are often [...]


What Does The WhatsApp Deal Mean For Brands?

social-comms-facebook-600x450 Unless you’ve been hiding under the digital equivalent of a rock, or perhaps living in China, it’s almost certain that you’ve heard by now about Facebook buying mobile messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion. There has been a huge amount of discussion and speculation about why Facebook spent more than it cost to put men on the moon to buy a product built off the back of open source software, but as WhatsApp is an ad-free product, it’s more important to think about what broader lessons the purchase has for brands and marketers. First is the fact that WhatsApp’s founders have alwa [...]


Why Spending Big On Extraordinary Content Marketing Is A Good Bet

content-writing-money-featured There is more to ranking for your target keywords than just writing great blog posts and then hoping you will eventually rank for what you want to. Many marketers that have found great success by spending thousands of dollars creating exclusive tools, content and videos. Though the tools themselves aren't set up to adequately monetize their use by online visitors, thus leading to an overall loss when it comes to comparing investment versus direct revenue, they've still been a good investment for marketing purposes. One good example of this is Neil Patel, who blogs over at QuickSprout and [...]


Digital Marketing Disaster? Hope You Have An Emergency Plan!

thG4VD10Z8 With 54 inches of snow so far in New York this year, we have officially broken into the top ten worst winters on record. It's been one snow emergency after another. Enough already! That said, being prepared has definitely made this harsh winter much easier to handle. The same goes for marketing disasters. Whether it's a PR crisis, a search algorithm update or a major technology change, a marketing disaster can strike at any moment. Yet, few marketers are prepared for it. Instead, the response often looks like this: ...which is usually soon followed by something like this: B [...]


Everything You Need To Know About Gmail’s Auto-Unsubscribe

gmail-featured Gmail recently announced the addition of an auto-unsubscribe feature to promotional messages, making it easier for Gmail users to unsubscribe from messages they no longer want to receive. On most promotional messages with unsubscribe options, Gmail users are seeing a more prominent link at the top of the email beside the sender's name, allowing them to unsubscribe without looking around for the typical place at the bottom of the message. Marketers have asked if this is a good thing or bad thing for them, and others have asked how they need to get it implemented. In this post, I’ll explain [...]


5 Reasons To Migrate To Universal Analytics Sooner Rather Than Later

Universal Analytics custom dimensions "Universal Analytics is the new operating standard for Google Analytics. All accounts will soon be required to use Universal Analytics." --  Google Is the fear, uncertainty and doubt setting in yet? Well, no reason to panic quite yet, but before you have to switch, let's talk about why you want to switch sooner rather than later. Universal Analytics (UA) is still in beta for now, but at Cardinal Path we’re lucky to have been working with UA as a Google Analytics Certified Partner since its very early stages. And we can tell you it's come a long way; in all but a handful of cases i [...]


Five Must-Have Mobile Elements To Incorporate Into Your Marketing

mobile-apps-200px Take a look around any party, office or public event and you’ll see someone texting on their smartphone or checking Facebook on their tablet. It’s undeniable that mobile devices have become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Adults actually now spend more time on mobile media than they do on newspapers and magazines combined, and some experts are predicting mobile Internet usage will overtake desktop browsing this year. On a practical level, this means that if you’re not incorporating mobile into your integrated marketing strategies, you are missing a huge opportunity to connec [...]


WTF Is Tag Management? Do You Really Know, Or Just Think You Do?

data management In last month’s column (WTF Is A Cookie, Anyway? Do You Really Know, Or Just Think You Do?), I covered the basics of cookies and touched briefly on the idea of tag management. This month, I am going to dive deeper into those tools and explain why you should consider this as an option for your site... or not. Let's start with a definition. What exactly is a tag? A tag is a chunk of code -- often JavaScript -- that performs a given task on your site. Here's an example of a retargeting tag (click to enlarge): Tag code can be meant to gather analytics data, or to cookie a site visitor you [...]


Grabbing Attention Vs. Getting People To Care About Your Content

content A Conductor study from July 2013 highlights an increasingly pervasive problem in the digital media industry. There is so much content being produced on a daily basis that the supply of content far outstrips what the attention economy can sustain. Every day, there are 2 million blog posts, 294 billion emails, 864 thousand hours of video created, and that's before you take into account social media, instant messaging and other digital interactions. As a result, 80 percent of readers only read the headline of an article and either skim or skip over the rest. The common response to these typ [...]


6 Things To Watch For Better Gmail Deliverability

gmail-app-logo For most email marketers, reaching the inbox at Gmail is difficult, and trying to discover why emails aren’t reaching the inbox is downright confusing, if not nearly impossible. (Though Google is reportedly piloting a feedback loop program for email service providers (ESPs) that might help address this.) For now, Gmail’s Bulk Sender Guidelines offer general advice for marketers sending to Gmail subscribers, but they lack specifics. At Return Path, we recently analyzed hundreds of thousands of campaigns from thousands of senders to find out what marketers should be paying attention to. [...]


Digital Ad Spend Quickly Shifting To Mobile: Are You Ready?

mobile-devices-featured Recent projections from eMarketer show that mobile ad spending will surpass desktop spending by 2017, reaching more than $35 billion compared to desktop based advertising at $27B. The ultimate force behind the growth in ad spend is the massive increase in mobile web usage and smartphone activity by consumers. In order for the market to reach these lofty projections, it will be of paramount importance to work through key challenges such as fragmentation and cookie-based targeting. The Opportunity eMarketer reports that the global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 [...]


Content Marketers: Concrete Steps To Finding Your Brand’s Voice

tone of voice video Take these two groups of words: "High octane," "shine adrenaline," "super-charged." "Fortified," "amino acids," "neutralize." Funnily enough, both are used to describe shampoo. The first set – from Bed Head – positions the brand’s hair care products as expressions of a fast, exciting lifestyle; we picture ourselves strapped to a speeding motorbike, possibly while checking for split ends. In contrast, the second set – from Nicky Clarke – frames the products within a dependable world of science, innovation and men in lab coats. The above example shows how two compa [...]


You Can Love Your Marketing Data, Just Don’t Fall Under Its Spell

I Love Data I admit it: I have a conflicted relationship with data. On the plus side, I believe that data is one of the three biggest benefits that the digitization of the world has given us marketers. (The other two are malleability, the ability to easily change, experiment with and personalize the digital canvas, and intimacy, more direct interactions with customers.) I believe that good, data-driven decision-making can compensate for many of our irrational mental biases and lead us to better outcomes. And, I believe that every modern marketer should become adept at using data properly. If you' [...]


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