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' [...]


The Hazards Of Love: Keeping Mindful Within Long-Term Engagement

relationships No matter your side of the business, you've been conditioned like the rest of us to strive for long-term engagement. If you're an agency, you're bred to eschew the one-off project or single campaign and pitch for Agency of Record status, or at least a retainer-based arrangement. If you're on the sell side, you know how to skillfully sweep aside the pilot or the test proposition and angle for the longer-term contact. Tests are for wimps. We need skin in the game to understand our own capacity for success. There's a lot to be said for having the time and space to conceive, execute and deli [...]


Why Marketers Are Now In The Entertainment Business

media-shutterstock_111209576 In digital entertainment industries like music, film, book publishing and TV, fewer and fewer hits are increasingly responsible for the vast majority of revenue. And this growing trend of a concentration of hits at the head of the long tail is only increasing year over year. According to Eric Schmidt of Google, “While the tail is very interesting, the vast majority of revenue remains in the head.” Here's but one example: “According to Nielsen SoundScan, of the 8MM unique digital tracks sold in 2011, 94% sold fewer than 100 units, and an astonishing 32% sold only one copy. In t [...]


“RIP McDonalds” – Burger King Tweets Its Offline Prank

bk-rip-mcdonalds-600 Burger King was quick on its feed today, tweeting a picture from one of its restaurants that had crafted a well-timed sympathy to the fast food chain's biggest competitor. Originally tweeted by @played_well, the Burger King photo shows a torn down McDonald's restaurant, with only the golden arches standing, across the street from a Burger King location with the condolence message "RIP McDonalds" on its outdoor sign. So far, the tweet has garnered over 200 retweets and 170 favorites. Definitely not a viral tweet by Oreo or Arby's standards, but for sure worth the #Checkmate hashtag Burger [...]


The Power Of Information In Advertising

Cookies There have been a flurry of recent articles stemming from a new study by Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) about how ad value spikes when data is used to boost relevance. Ensuing articles have gushed that "advertisers pay three times more for cookie-based ads" and "advertisers will pay a substantially higher premium for interest-based ads." Part of this is clearly not news: if you use data to refine your ad targeting, you'll get better results. I learned this in business school in 1986, and I'm overwhelmingly confident that it was known well before then. Adweek took the right angle with th [...]


Coke Wants To Give The World A Pet Collar In Spoof Ad Offering A Cure For Social Media Addiction

coke-social-media-guard-featured Coca-Cola's latest online video campaign pokes fun at everyone's obsession with their phones, offering a solution to cure the world of its social media addiction. The ad is a spoof, promoting Coke's Social Media Guard, essentially the same pet collar a vet would use to keep animals from licking their wounds. Fashioned in Coke's signature red color, the Social Media Guard is meant to help people refrain from staring down at their phones. The opening scenes of the ad mocks how great social media can be by claiming, "It connects you to the world and the people you love," while showing famil [...]


How To Use Relative Standing For Online Analytics

Sample Pie Chart I was recently taking a fresh look at some old statistics school books of mine, and I realized how useful many of those basic statistical concepts can be when applied to online marketing analytics. In this post, I'll share a couple of ways you can delve into your data in a simple way by using relative standing -- that is, how individual data values compare to the rest of the group, as opposed to straight absolute values, which are typically hard to put into perspective. Getting Started: Mean Vs. Median First off, if you are not familiar with statistics at all, let me briefly clarify the d [...]


Location-Based Mobile Marketing Is Where It’s At For Consumers

iStock_000028298156Medium The ability for mobile devices to track and report a person's location in real time with a reliable degree of accuracy has come into its own. The tendency of consumers to use that feature is increasing in popularity, as well. According to the Pew Institute, "74% of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location." Use of a geolocation feature is more than a nice-to-have option on a smartphone or tablet -- its use has become a routine part of a consumer's daily life. With U.S. smartphone penetration [...]


State-Level Usage Statistics: How They Can Be Leveraged

retargeting-spying-binoculars-featured For many brands, regionalization of marketing programs represents a key pillar to their overarching strategy. Particularly for those companies operating nationally, it's often difficult and costly to target consumers on a very granular level. Regionalization allows marketers to look at trends across a slightly larger area -- typically several adjacent states that share some cultural elements -- and create campaigns that are more relevant for consumers in that area as compared to national initiatives. However, this strategy can overlook some unique qualities of individual states and cities. [...]


Boost Your Social Strategy With SEO Data

social media We all know that a great social strategy can help your SEO efforts -- gaining visibility and shares, helping create relationships, etc. -- but thinking about things the other way around is a little bit trickier. In other words, can you use your SEO data to help improve your social media strategy? Although this method isn't quite as popular amongst small business owners, it absolutely can help. Your SEO data is full of interesting facts and trends about your audience and your online visibility, all of which can help improve your social efforts. One man who is very knowledgeable as to t [...]


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