Tag Archives: cpa marketing program

What time of day should I post?@@

 

I’ve seen this going around a bit today. It’s pretty meaningless, I fear. There’s no data attribution, but I strongly suspect that some of the data comes from this bit.ly research paper which I’d recommend you read: their data are good, and their analytics pretty impeccable. But you should also note that the paper dates back to May 2012. Much has happened in the intervening years. Many other vendors have released “best time to post” research; it’s a perennial favourite. Run a Google Image search on “best time to post”; it’s instructive — if a bit depressing.

Let me share two reasons why you shouldn’t pay any attention to them.

1. The feedback loop

Let’s assume, for a moment, that the data were correct back in 2012, and that some competitive advantage was to be had by posting between 1pm and 3pm EST. That information has now been shared several hundred thousand times. Does that competitive advantage still exist?

2. It’s all mostly nonsense, anyway

We spent over a year looking at a number of accounts we managed, trying to work out when we’d see optimal reach — and more broadly (across a large number of Facebook Pages) whether there was a predictable relationship between post times and engagement.

What we discovered was (in no particular order) that:

Peak Facebook tracked peak TV. Much of our audience was at work, school or doing chores or childcare during the day. Posting later sometimes appeared to confer an advantage, but there was no robust correlation.
Notwithstanding this, almost every brand Page in the UK posted between 9 and 5 during weekdays.
Changes to Facebook’s editorial algorithms had a massive impact on our data.
There were massive discrepancies between Pages.
There were massive discrepancies between content types
There were massive discrepancies

Whenever we thought we’d picked up a pattern we discovered (much to our disappointment) that we hadn’t.

We tried to adjust for confounding factors, but the reality was that almost everything other than time of day appeared to have more impact on reach, engagement and clicks.

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The Ryan Gosling Story That Will Change The Way You Talk About Your Business@@

This is one of my favorite stories.

I used to think Ryan Gosling was just okay. Sure, he seemed like a good actor. And yeah, there was a bizarre amount of Internet meme activity around him. But, you know, whatever. He was okay.

But then I learned his backstory.

It learned it one day when I was sitting at a boring event of some sort, browsing the Wikipedia worm hole on my phone. I don’t remember the exact occasion, other than I was wearing a tie. After clicking through several random topics, at some point, I ended up on the entry for Ryan Gosling. Here’s the gist:

Ryan Gosling grew up in Canada. His dad was a traveling salesman, so they moved a lot. The family fell apart when Ryan was young, and he ended up being raised by a working mom and his sister. The family trouble affected him. He didn’t learn to read until far later than most kids. He brought knives to primary school and threw them at other kids, because for some reason his mom let him watch Rambo, and it was one of his favorite movies. (Imagine a skinny six-year-old sitting cross-legged in front of a 15-inch TV day after day, watching Sly shoot explosive arrows at helicopters, while Mom works late.) He had ADHD. He loved Marlin Brando. Kids picked on him; he had no friends.

At age 12, Ryan decided to go to a Mickey Mouse Club audition in Montreal. He was a cute kid, and they let him in. He then moved to Orlando, where he was adopted by none other than Justin Timberlake’s mom! (She became his legal guardian, so pseudo-adopted.) He learned to perform. He learned to read. He learned to focus. He grew up.

…and then he became Ryan Gosling.

And now, I watch every one of his movies when they come out. In the theater.

Ten minutes on Wikipedia turned me from apathetic to advocate. I’m on Team Gosling, and I’m on it simply because I learned his story. He still makes the movies he would have otherwise, but now I see them, because I feel like I have a relationship with him.

Think about that. The relationship-building power of story. We’re all trying to win people to our causes, to get them to believe in our companies or products or missions. Fact is, all other things being equal, we choose the products and movies and stores and people we deal with because of their stories. This is why story-driven companies like Whole Foods exceed financial expectations over competitors. It’s why a lot of us bought Apple products after reading Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography. It’s why people who hate sports watch the Olympics, and root for people they’ve never heard of. Once we know the underlying stories, we’re driven to support.

Of course, stories can be fabricated. They can be used for evil—as many a corrupt politician has proved. But in the same way that technology can power homes or power nukes, storytelling has the potential energy to fuel incredible good for business. And the more personal a story we share, the closer it can bring people to us. We all love a good insider’s story, especially when it’s not dressed up in PR trappings.

Ask yourself this: if your company (or you, yourself) could win complete strangers’ loyalty like Gosling won mine by telling your story—knives and ADD and all—would you?

We all can. So why don’t we?

How To Develop A Local Marketing StRat@@

For many small businesses, salvation has come in the form of local Internet marketing efforts. Never before has it been easier for a local business to get their name out to customers, giving them a much-needed edge over nationally marketed competitors. But local marketing isn’t something that happens by accident; to make the most of it, local businesses need to go on the offensive and push their brand harder than ever. Here are a few tips to help maximize your local marketing campaign.

Marketing in the past used to mean buying space in the Yellow Pages and ads in the local newspaper. But today more and more people are looking to the Internet to find new businesses. Over the next 3 years, businesses that have and maintain web presences are expected to grow 40% more than sites that do not have websites.
A common excuse for not having a website is the costs associated with creating it, but even that is becoming less of a hurdle. In 2011, Google launched a promotion to build websites for small businesses for free as a way to bring them into the 21st century. Even without this promotion, the costs of building a website can cost as little as $1,200 dollars which will quickly pay for itself.

Once you have a site, the most important step is to connect your business with your region using the correct keywords. For example, focusing on the keywords “hardware store” is almost useless; “hardware store Albany, NY” can help draw people who are looking for a local hardware store nearby (assuming you own a hardware store in Albany, NY). The advantage that local stores have over large businesses is that the local site can focus on a particular area. Programs like WordTracker or Google AdWords will show you the level of competition for each keyword and suggest variations that may offer you more success.
Once you have the keywords decided, the next step is to implement those across your site. Add them to your site’s title tags, meta description, images, and header tags; anywhere search engines are looking.

Use sites like Google+ and Bing Places for Business to their full potential. These sites often are favored by search engines and require very little technical know-how. Your business will then show up on sites like Google Maps and Bing Maps. All that’s required of you is fill out the pages with as much information as possible about your business. Creating a profile on sites like Yelp! is also an important step. Because Yelp! pages are constantly updated with reviews, they show up at the top of search results pages and can drive significant amounts of traffic.

In SEO, links are a great way to boost your site’s reputation. Getting reputable, published sources to link to your webpage boosts your search rating significantly because they are, in essence, vouching for your site. One of the most common methods of link-building is to have a local blogger link to your site; keep in mind, the bigger the blog, the more it will affect your SEO. With that in mind, when link building focus on quality over quantity. There are plenty of services that promise to link to hundreds of sites across the web, but search engines aren’t that blind anymore. As a result, these packages are usually just a waste of time and money.

Mobile Marketing is the quickly becoming one of the most important methods of marketing for local businesses. 97% of mobile users have used their device to search for local stores and services and over half are not targeted to a specific business. Also, the majority of customers who search for local businesses act upon the search results within the hour, which means the returns on a well-made mobile site can be seen very quickly. While mobile is an emerging market trend, many sites have failed to capitalize on it which means having a well-designed mobile-friendly site could put you miles ahead of the competition.

While it may seem archaic, word-of-mouth marketing is still an extremely effective way to increase awareness of your business locally. Connect with other local business owners and ask to hang flyers or put business cards in their shops. In the same way that link building from reputable sites will boost your SEO, getting a word-of-mouth recommendation from local shop owners that are trusted in the community can boost business, and referral bonuses can increase loyalty among customers.

There isn’t one end-all-be-all fix to local marketing. Successfully spreading the name and reputation of your business takes time and effort, but will pay off in the end.

Should Startups Get “Patent Troll” Insurance?@@

A patent lawsuit can be a deathblow to a startup – whether a patent troll or legitimate issue to be adjudicated, the cost is not only crippling but the uncertainty of outcome makes their business nearly unfundable to outside investors. Ditto finds themselves subject to two lawsuits – one is clearly a patent troll, the other more complex – but whether they’re in the right or not, it puts them in a very tough position. That’s why they’ve taken to Indiegogo to crowdfund help.

IANAL but I did participate in several lawsuits during my time at Google, including the 2012 notable ruling against Eolas for an “interactive web.” It was such a bullshit patent but many companies – even large ones – just chose to pay the shakedown fee, err license, instead of fight because of the cost and risk in pursuing litigation. Google went to the mat and put lots of time and resources into fighting. Thank goodness they did. One less parasite. But startups can’t afford to do this and are left often with no choice other than close up shop or settle out of court.
 
What are some ways that startups can deal with this risk while we as an industry work for patent reform? Could you purchase insurance against IP lawsuits? Should large VC firms signal they will protect their startups by helping to chip in money to fight frivolous lawsuits? First Round Capitalbacked a lawsuit to prove a point. I don’t know if there’s an easy or obvious answer but feels like an industry solution would be better than leaving companies to one-off fight on their own.Image