Is Retargeting Right for Your Business?

This year, retargeting is becoming one of the most sought after marketing tactics. Although it’s not a new concept, businesses are now applying it to their different marketing campaigns with much success. Let’s take a look at how retargeting can benefit your business:

Search Retargeting: In the simplest form, this is a way of rounding up potential customers. This tactic allows a business to find people who have searched for a term related to their business BUT haven’t visited their site yet. For example, a search of “red spike heels” might pull up ads from Zappos or Urban Outfitters at the top of your search results.

This can also go hand-in-hand with site retargeting, where visitors who have been on your site will see recurring ads for your business on other websites that they go. For example, if I visited a flower delivery site, I might see their ad when I’m reading through the Los Angeles Times online.

Social Media: This summer, Facebook introduced Facebook Exchange, which retargets ads based on users’ cookies. As TechCrunch recently reported, the initial run of retargeted ads on Facebook have proven to be successful. Findings show that these ads have an increased conversion rate and lower overall ad cost. What business owner wouldn’t like that?

Paid Search: Tracking ads has become more sophisticated so that you can track different ads at once and see which ones users are bouncing away from. In addition, you can have many options even when you send users to the same place. For example, all users may land on the same landing page, but depending on the section that they’re active on (services, products etc.), they’ll be retargeted with ads relevant to their search intent. For PPC, you can test the language to narrow down user-intent and effectively tailor your campaign to that need, whether it’s a need for more information or to convert sales.

The Bottom Line
Retargeting is a great way to raise brand awareness and remind potential customers about your business. Keeping interested is great but at the same time, it’s important to remember that people are very concerned with their privacy. Let’s say that you’re searching for a divorce lawyer on the family computer. No one would want their children or spouse to see retargeted ads as they browse the internet. On top of that, retargeted ads can be just plain annoying if you accidentally landed on a site that you don’t like or never intend to purchase from. Retargeting can be great for your business and owners have a lot of options to see what works best.

What’s in Store for QR Codes?

It’s been nearly a year since we last discussed QR codes. Do you think these quick response codes are living up to their high expectations?

Benefits
Back in 2011, analysts believed that QR codes were the next big thing because of their easy integration into social media campaigns. The objective was to engage in user experience and reward users as they were able to “unlock” something by scanning the code. For businesses, it is also user friendly as the URL associated with the code can be updated as often as you need.

Improved Technology
Mashable took a more pessimistic view on the staying power of QR codes. And they have good reason… scanning QR codes could also potentially put your personal information at risk, as it could allow full access to everything on your smart phone. Another example, did you know an “infected” QR code could download an app onto your phone that charges a monthly texting fee? But, as technology gets better and becomes more secure, users will be able to use QR codes without these worries.

Trending Upwards?
Despite the skepticism, the number of QR code scans has exploded during quarter two of this year. The top industries benefiting from these scans include toy, health/beauty, wireless and fast food restaurants. Online movie tickets, digital gift cards, even passports are all part of an expanding possibility with QR codes. Overall, the reviews on QR codes are mixed. The businesses that can efficiently benefit from them are niche which shows that this might be a marketing tool that’s not for everyone. Remember, just because it’s out there doesn’t mean that you have to use it! It’s best to pick, test and choose what’s right for your business instead of just relying on general industry trends.

7 Signs That Your Company Blog Sucks

Judging by analytics, social engagement and other metrics, there are plenty of ways to tell if your blog sucks. If you’re indifferent or oblivious, it’s time for a wake up call! Take a look at some ways that your blog content strategy isn’t up to par:

1) You never link to others – ME, ME, ME… is this all you ever talk about? This is definitely not a good sign. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to link to your direct competitors but spread your links out to give readers credible resources or recent news stories that are interesting and relevant. Not only are you being helpful but it shows that you’re keeping up with reliable sites in order to provide them with the best information.

2) Write solely for search engines – If your blog topics seem to be repeating themselves it might be a sign that you should start writing for people instead of robots. Thin content is not a way to win readers. Another tell-tale sign is always using exact match anchor text, scheduling several posts at once and not updating consistently.

3) Your topics are not focused – If your blog is bouncing from topic to topic without a relevant connection, it’s time to stop. There’s a place for that… your personal blog, Tumblr or social media accounts. For niche industries, it’s easier to stay on track but for others, it can be easy to stray away from your main industry if you’re suffering from writer’s fatigue. The cure? Rest, read and write more!

4) You don’t deliver on what you promise – Nowadays, there are many ways to come up with well-written headlines that are destined for link bait fame. But make sure not to skimp out on the content. If you’re going to promise readers something grandiose (like effective li

5) You’re lacking in the spelling and grammar department – Skipping spell check isn’t a good idea and there’s always a chance that a competitor or client will catch it and question your qualifications. Remember, the grammar police do exist! I’ve seen one message recently from a site visitor (pointing out a slight misspelling) with a note that it “takes away from the professional feel of the site.” Yikes.

6) You’re dishonest – Examples include rating a product that you’ve received for free or for compensation without disclosing it. Another example might be a marketing company writing about top marketing campaigns and including one of their clients, also without disclosing it. Also, spewing out facts and statements without proper citations. Trust me, readers aren’t stupid and all it takes is one sentence disclosing your association so that it doesn’t look like your company has something to hide.

7) There’s no clear call to action – Your blog posts must have a point for existing. Are you providing free information, entertainment, resources or offering to help solve a problem? Don’t forget to encourage some action either in the beginning or at the end of your posts.

Do you have any other pet peeves that you’ve seen company blogs succumb to? Comment and let us know or join us on Facebook to continue the conversation!