Google Plus Infographic

As with any social network, the answer to the perennial question of what to post on Google+ depends entirely on your social media goals.

If you saw Pagemodo’s Posting Playbook infographic a few months ago, you know the rules for what to post on Facebook and Twitter depending on your business goals. If you’re curious how to similarly strategize your Google+ posting practices, CircleCount and Digital Information World have some answers in the form of the infographic below.

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Email marketing alternatives

The smartphone explosion has created a number of ways for digital marketers to reach out to potential customers. And while email marketing was once an effective—and cutting-edge—way for marketers to deliver their messages, things are rapidly changing. The rapid shift of mobile users away from email to other communications platforms calls for digital marketers to use new avenues in order to stay in front of their audiences.

To that end, here are 6 alternatives to email that organizations can use to make their marketing campaigns more relevant and effective.

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Cyber Monday Email Envelope

Ever since 2005 when the Monday following Thanksgiving became the blessing/curse that we call Cyber Monday, marketers have done their very best to capitalize on the opportunity – mostly through our inboxes. Before I became one of those marketers myself, I saw the inundation of emails as a bit of a nuisance. Now, I see it as an opportunity.

If you market a small business (which you probably do if you’re reading this blog) you should make sure that today of all days you view your inbox not as a consumer, but as a marketer. If its anything like the Promotions tab of my Gmail account right now, it’s a veritable treasure trove of email marketing dos and don’ts.

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Top posts on LinkedIn Pulse

We could go on and on about how important content marketing is to any small business marketing plan (and we have). Not only is it a great way to establish yourself/your brand as a thought leader in your industry, it’s also a very effective SEO strategy for boosting your rank on search engines. One of the big reasons content marketing is great for SEO is that it creates links back to your website from other places – social media, other people writing and referencing you, etc. These inbound links from other domains are very valuable for signaling to Google that your website is legitimate and important.

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shop-small-logo-banner

The fifth annual Small Business Saturday may be just a few weeks away (November 29th, people!), but there are still lots of opportunities to get involved and take advantage of everything this event means for small businesses.

First introduced in 2010 by American Express, the goal of Small Business Saturday is simply to help the country’s smaller businesses get more customers in their doors and on their websites. This is ideal because the biggest challenge for most small businesses is simply a lack of exposure to new audiences. Marketing and advertising can be expensive, and when a business is just getting off the ground, there always seem to be much bigger expenses that need to be covered first.

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Google's Iam.Soy website header

You might remember back in January this year we talked about the release of hundreds of new generic top-level domains. These included specific brand names like .NIKE, .APPLE, and .AMEX, as well as more generic terms like .GURU, .COMPANY, and .SHOP. While small business owners and individuals were excited about this at the time, it’s been awhile since there was any news on the gTLD front – until yesterday.

If you follow Google’s business blog, or spent any time on Twitter yesterday, you no doubt heard about the launch of Google’s first new top-level domain in the United States: .SOY

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Screenshot of Tory Burch accessories

Today we’re going to talk about one of my personal pet peeves as a brand marketer: the assertion that functionality is what truly wins customers. Or, more simply, that consumers don’t judge a book by its cover.

One would have thought that after Apple came in and crushed the personal computer market that the proponents of the ‘function over form’ argument would have been silenced for good. However, this line of thought seems to have no expiration date. Every time I see a commercial from a company-that-shall-not-be-named comparing its products side by side with Apple products, I can’t help but roll my eyes a little.

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laptop on a desk at night

I was browsing the internet the other day (because I had writer’s block) and I came across the article 6 Ways To Power Through Writer’s Block. I found the advice to be pretty spot-on for those times when I am staring at a blank screen, drumming my fingers on the keys and not actually pressing them. But the most sure-fire way I’ve found to beat writer’s block is to never get it in the first place.

Before I shifted my career toward content marketing, I had experienced patchy creative blocks here and there while writing college term papers, creating ad copy, or putting together newsletters. I have become much more intimately acquainted with writer’s block in recent years, however. Since joining Webs, I have written around 500 blog posts. That’s 500 staring contests with blank screens – not all of which did I win. But over the years I’ve learned some tricks of the trade that I’d like to share with you here today for avoiding that all-too-familiar situation in the first place:

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Collection of sports gear

Looking for ideas for a fun and engaging promotion to share with your audience this season? Look no further than the world of sports. Fall here in the US is rife with opportunity for sports-related marketing, but no matter what time of year or where you live, there’s always some opportunity to newsjack sporting events and create relevant coupon codes.

The first thing you’ll need to do in order to run this type of promotion is take a look at your target audience. Of the people whom you wish to engage, where do their sports loyalties lie? Here in Washington, DC, we have dozens of area sports teams, so local marketers would need carefully gauge who the majority of their customers are rooting for when planning a promotion. There are, of course, some events – like the World Cup – where it’s safer to assume who your audience is pulling for.

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experiment

As digital marketers, here at Webs we’re obsessed with testing and optimizing. As important as gut feelings and marketers’ intuition are, they simply must be backed up with data in order to be successful in the long term.

There are myriad ways to perform tests that will help you optimize various areas of your business. One option is user testing, in which you select participants to give you feedback about something you have questions around. A larger-scale option is to do A/B testing on your website in order to optimize your design and functionality. But your website it’s the only thing you can test – you should also be constantly optimizing your promotions, like A/B testing your email marketing.

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