7 signs that mobile marketing has passed you by.

7 signs that mobile marketing has passed you by.

Over half of all web pages are now viewed on mobile devices, and the number is climbing. Sure, a lot of that traffic is checking email, goofing around on social media, and taking online quizzes like “What’s your hippie name?” But it’s also serious business. People aren’t just shopping online, they are buying online, and they are doing it from their phones and tablets. According to the Salesforce 2014 Mobile Behavior Report, 85% of all respondents said that mobile devices are a central part of everyday life. If your new mantra isn’t “mobile first” in all your marketing, you are likely missing a huge chunk of potential business. Here are some signs that mobile may have passed you by: 1. Your website was built in 2009. That would mean it wasn’t built on a platform with “responsive” design, allowing your website to adjust itself to the device on which it is viewed, giving the user a good experience. For a nice example of how responsive web design works, click here. If you’re looking at this blog post on mobile…mazel tov! 2. Your emails aren’t designed for mobile first. If you use a professional email platform like MailChimp, most of them are set up with responsive design, but that doesn’t mean that your headers and graphics look well on all devices. Look at your last e-newsletter on your smart phone, and adjust. 3. You’re not looking at your Google Analytics. This is where you see exactly how much traffic is coming to your site via mobile devices. It will be about half, unless your target market is age 85 or older. Even then, their kids may be researching what you’re selling. Google gives some weight to responsive sites in search results, so if your site isn’t, you are being penalized. Read more about how to fix that. 4. Your competition cares about mobile. When someone is looking for what you do on Google and find that your competitor’s site is easier to use, where will they go? 5. You don’t use mobile for business. You may be in the half of the world that doesn’t, and that’s okay. But if you want to experience your company the way a potential customer does, you have to go see your website where they see it. Push back from the desktop. 6. You think of your website as an online brochure. Websites that are static, never offer new content, or expect visitors to visit every page in the order of navigation don’t recognize how people take in information. Nobody is going to read your long, dry mission statement or product specs. Maybe your home page is a simple call-to-action landing page. Whatever the user...

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Clear and Conspicuous: Old Rules Apply for Online Advertising

Clear and Conspicuous: Old Rules Apply for Online Advertising

You’ve heard the car-dealer ads on the radio where the announcer speed-reads 250 words of disclaimers in 3.5 seconds: “Taxtitleandlicensenotincluded…” You’ve seen the mortgage loan ads with teeny-weeny “fine print” that stays on the television screen for a nanosecond. This sort of disclosure in advertising has become so commonplace we scarcely even notice how little of it is “clear and conspicuous.” But that’s the rule, and it applies just as equally to what happens on your smartphone as it does to print and broadcast advertising. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission issued guidelines about the proper way to make proper disclosures in online advertising. In general, the guidelines serve as a reminder that, when it comes to consumer protection, a change in the method of delivering advertising doesn’t release the advertiser from the responsibility to tell the truth. The whole truth. If an ad’s claims and/or limitations need to be explained, the disclosure has to be clear and conspicuous. But how can I possibly put all the fine print about my new weight-loss product in a 140-character tweet, you ask? You probably can’t, and you may be able to tweet about it with a link, but it has to be clear that the tweet is an ad, and the fact that the link leads to a disclaimer must be conspicuous: a cryptic link like http://1.usa.gov/13U7Uin won’t do. The guidelines go into helpful detail about what factors make a disclosure clear and conspicuous, like its proximity to the claim, its prominence, whether other elements distract from it, and tracking to be sure people are actually seeing it. Unlike some regulatory documents, this one gives 22 examples of cool/uncool uses of disclosures across a range of digital platforms. Some of those platforms are space-constrained, like social media, and some are not, like websites. Websites which have not been optimized for mobile run serious risk of being out of compliance. (Worse than that, they do a poor job of selling.) In some ways, the additional scrutiny called for by “new” media seems more stringent than for “old” media, and that’s not always a bad thing. For example, bloggers who are paid (with samples or cash) are required to disclose that fact when writing about a product. In television advertising, we sort of know that former senators who talk about reverse mortgages are being paid to do so. The guidelines don’t directly address hybrid forms like “native” advertising. Is it obvious that Forbes.com’s Brand Voice articles are actually paid placements? Do we much care? The days of the firewall between advertising and editorial are clearly over. The technology is simply too good and the copywriters too clever to issue government rules that cover every communications...

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Old-School Advertising Wisdom that Works in Digital Marketing

Old-School Advertising Wisdom that Works in Digital Marketing

The grandfather of the advertising industry, David Ogilvy, has some wisdom for us newbies to the digital marketing age. No matter your age, digital marketing is still pretty new; predicting human behavior and adjusting to it is, however, not. Here are 15 of Ogilvy’s gems: Timeless Marketing Wisdom From David Ogilvy from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing Software (If you’re having trouble viewing the slide show, click here.) Aside from honesty in advertising, which should be a given, a pearl of wisdom stands out: Do not address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium (#4). If you start out your copy with “Our customers…” you’ve already lost the prospect. Individuals like to think they are special and that you are speaking to them personally. Do you? Note that Ogilvy understood the concept of “content marketing” before it was called that, before “advertorials” even. Ogilvy died in 1999, but I can say for sure that his brilliance has been a treasure for all of my 30+ years in marketing. The means of delivering the message may change quickly, but we learn from the masters what endures. Was this post helpful? If so, please share with a colleague, and please subscribe. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn | Google+ | Click to Tweet Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this site.  ...

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Want to be first in Google search? Stop blocking the way.

Want to be first in Google search? Stop blocking the way.

Joe Shlemiel, owner of Joe’s Outrageously Cheep Hammers in Newark, New Jersey, types the following into his browser:  www.joesoutrageouslycheephammers.com and badda-boom, badda-bing! His website turns up first in Google search results. I’m good to go, thinks Joe. He doesn’t check his Google analytics, so he doesn’t know that only his current customers or people who find him completely by accident have ever clicked on his site. If they have. He had his nephew put up an all-Flash website 10 years ago, and he hasn’t changed it since. He’s never tried searching on “tools Newark” or “affordable tools” or anything that an actual person who never heard of him might type into their browser. Even if he did, his website is built on technology so old that it won’t be seen by search engines anyway. He’s not registered with any online directories. He did a postcard once, a few years ago, but it didn’t bring him any business. He runs a two-inch ad every week in the local newspaper he never reads. And he wonders why his hammers are getting dusty. It’s the bad economy, he tells himself. “Build it and they will come” may work in baseball fantasies, but it’s not marketing. Joe has competition… really, really big competition. If he’s going to sell hammers, what he really needs to sell is a better experience; people can get hammers lots of places, and they will probably buy a hammer at the first place they see that has them. Joe would do better to engage his prospects with the results of the hammer purchase… DIY tutorials about home improvement projects, thrilled spouse over a repair finally done, happy kid in tree house built with dad’s hammer… whatever moves the buyer emotionally. Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share with colleagues. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn | Google+ Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this...

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Are you a digital sharecropper?

Are you a digital sharecropper?

You may have noticed that some of your Facebook posts went missing from your Timeline recently. Most folks were able to get the content back when Facebook restored it, but what if they never had? Posterous, since it was bought by Twitter, has been notorious for inaccessibility, missing content, and unresponsiveness to it’s blog users.* Notice I didn’t say “owners,” because when someone else controls your digital assets – blog posts, photos, website content – you’re sharecropping. You can slave over brilliant prose and gorgeous images, only to have them disappear on you. Given the fleeting nature of digital existence, it may not matter to you that your creations can simply disappear. But if you have created content that is worthwhile, that you want people to share and to refer back to, you’ll need your own site. Don’t be a digital sharecropper. * See Posterous’ Facebook page – click on Highlights, then on Posts by Others – to read their users’ desperate attempts to get responses. If this post was helpful, please share it with a colleague. Subscribe to receive a notice when there is a new post: click here. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn | Google+ Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this...

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Tutorial Tuesday: How to Set Up a Google Alert, and Why You Should

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Set Up a Google Alert, and Why You Should

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up a Google Alert. Read on for the why… 1. If you don’t have a Gmail account, sign up now. You’ll be glad you did. Even if you never use it for email, it gives you many free tools. 2. While you’re logged into Gmail, click on “More” at the top, then on “Even More.” This will bring up the list of Google products. 3. Scroll down until you see “Alerts” under Specialized Search (click on image to enlarge):               4.  Click on Alerts, then choose your options:               (click on image to enlarge) 5. You see “bonsai tree” in quotes; that means that Google will show you results for online references to “bonsai tree” rather than results like “bonsai gardener shows tree to brother” or “if a tree falls in the forest.” Without the quotation marks, you get every result that has the words “bonsai” or “tree” anywhere in it; that’s probably more than you want. 6. Notifications will come via email when content is found on the web that meets your search criteria, according to the schedule you set. Even though you have to have a Gmail account to use Google Alerts, you can have the notifications sent to any email you like. 7. After you set up Alerts, you can manage them (see the button in the image) by logging into Gmail and making the same clicks:  (at top) More > Even More > Alerts. Why Use Google Alerts? There are probably as many reasons to use Google Alerts as there are people, but here are just a few… · Watch what your competition is doing. · Look for industry trends. · Follow the news on topics of interest. · Get ideas for your own content, based on what topics people seem interested in. · Learn what others are saying about you. · Discover useful information like tutorials, industry forums, and best practices. · Hear about regulatory changes and legal rulings. · See if anyone is stealing your content. This last one is interesting. If you suspect someone may be swiping your content, put a distinctive phrase, either a long one or something so distinctive that it could only be yours, and set up a Google Alert (in quotes) on it. There are online services who will do this for you for a price, but you can do it yourself for free. That’s how to set up a Google Alert. Now try setting up one of your own, and check out the full suite of Google products. Was this tutorial helpful? If so, please subscribe for...

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