Outlasting Facebook: Three Tips to Survive the Next Paradigm Shift

The Facebook Ad Exchange is the current big news item in this current news cycle. Some say monetization attempts will drive people away, some say something better will come along, while others insist Facebook will stand the test of time. The question remains, though, whether or not Facebook will last at its current stature. Facebook’s anticlimactic entrance and steady decline on the stock market casts a dreary shadow on its future path.

A decade ago the Internet was all about amassing information. Today it’s also about social connections. If history tells us anything, it’s that the only thing we can count on is change. If we can count on it so definitively, then why not plan for it?

Email Marketing Under Pressure – 3 Ways to Beat the Clock and Keep Your Readers Happy

You’re a busy marketer, whether for yourself or for your clients. You don’t have time to write a weekly email newsletter that’s compelling and thoughtful enough to keep all your readers happy every time they get something from you/your client. So what do you do? Where does the content come from? Who is in charge of writing that stuff anyway? Do you just scrape your most recent blog posts/new products/left over spaghetti salad?

3 Essential Tactics to Optimize Organic Facebook Posts for Page Post Ads

Mmmm, Facebook Page Post Ads – one of the several other white meats of the FB advertising realm. A delectable combination of clever community management and calculating contextual PPC, Facebook Page Post Ads represent a powerful supplement to traditional social advertising that can help manufacture the warm fuzzy feeling of FB organic dominance many brands, understandably, covet.

In simple terms, a Facebook Page Post Ad is an ad unit in the FB Ads platform that promotes a particular Wall Post made by a Page. Content cannot be doctored from the original Wall post (ergo its organic nature) and targeting capabilities are identical to those of reg’lar ol’ FB ads….

3 Surefire Ways to Become the Coolest Community Manager on the Block

Credit: x-ray delta one

So… your company (or client) finally entered the 21stcentury and got “on the Facebook” and “started Twittering.” Or maybe in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, reassessed its current goin’-nowhere social media campaign, and decided, “Yeeeah, time for a change.”

Most community managers will tell you that the initial jump or reentry into social media on behalf of a brand is kind of like moving to a new town: Fresh start, exciting possibilities, pools of new people to meet, and a weird, driving desire to be accepted, liked, befriended.

Most community managers (CMs) will also tell you that ain’t always easy. It’s one thing to be present on the social scene, whether your brand’s channel of choice is Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or a blended strategy spanning multiple platforms. It’s quite another to be accepted, liked, befriended… dare we say… evangelized….

Show Your Love of Acquisio – And You Could Win a Chromebook!

Update: Since launching the contest, we’ve tweaked the rules slightly and made it simpler. We’re now asking that you just post your photo to Acquisio’s Facebook wall.

Update: The contest is now over, and the winner is : Miss Cassie Doubleday (@doublecass)!!!

Acquisio has had a great year! And we wouldn’t have had such a successful year without the support of our friends, clients and colleagues in the search marketing industry. To show our appreciation, and to close 2011 with a bang, we are giving away a Chromebook! Here is how you can win your very own Chromebook:

Most you know, we like to give away awesome t-shirts. Maybe you’ve seen them around? To enter the contest, all you need is an Acquisio t-shirt, a camera and a Facebook account:

  1. Take a picture of yourself in an Acquisio t-shirt
  2. Upload the photo to Acquisio’s Facebook Page
  3. Get everyone you know to “Like” your photo!
  4. That’s it!

Three entrants with the most “Likes” on their photos will be eligible to win the Chromebook. We will randomly select from the top three entrants. We encourage you to make your picture as funny and memorable as possible. Just an FYI: we may use these images on our website. Don’t have an Acquisio t-shirt yet? No problem! Just request your very own t-shirt! We’ll send out t-shirts as long as supplies last. Once they’re gone, then they’re all gone so don’t waste any time.

The deadline to post your photo and enter the contest is Tuesday, December 13th. And the we will announced the winner on December 15th on our Facebook page.

Again, thank you for a GREAT year – and we look forward to seeing everyone’s pictures and giving away a Chromebook!

The Best Things in Life are Free

Sam Cooke once said that the best things in life are free- the flowers in spring, the robins that sing, and free consulting at Search Engine Strategies Toronto. Okay, he didn’t really say the last one.

This year, SES Toronto is on fire with express and site clinics. You now have the chance to review your site with top industry experts and get solid actionable recommendations… you know, the kind of stuff we don’t all have a budget for.

Site clinics will take place on Day 2 (June 11th) and include:

Search Ads & Landing Page Clinic

Moderated by Bryan Eisenberg, yours truly and Mona Elesseily will show you how to carry out your promises from ad to landing page to ensure a smooth visitor experience, increase your relevancy, and boost your conversions.

Tough Love: Get Your Site Tuned Up

Let experts Jonathan Allen and Dawn Wentzell give you a little tough love about your site in a session moderated by Mike Grehan. They may be tough on you, but you’ll love the tips and tricks you learn in this session.

Here are the express clinics lined up:

  • Express Search Usability Clinic
  • On-The-Spot SEO Site Review
  • 3 Steps to Conversion Nirvana
  • Landing Page Improvement Clinic
  • Socializing your Website
  • If Links are Votes… Is your Site on the Ballot?

These clinics are free for anyone to attend and require no appointments. Best of all, they’re spread out throughout the 2 days, which means you can go to all of them if you choose to.

If you’d like some suggestions for sessions to attend, check out Andrew Goodman’s blog post: Red Hot Topics at SES Toronto 2010.

And While You’re There…

Make sure you stop by the Acquisio booth to say hello and pick up one of our famous t-shirts. People who wore Acquisio t-shirts during SES New York have reported having better social lives, getting promoted at work, and being offered free drinks… no, seriously, see for yourself:

See you in Toronto!

Bad (PPC) Romance

Please don’t think any less of me for titling my post after a Lady Gaga song. But when I hear her sing about bad romance, I don’t think about her and Sir Gaga’s relationship (Ew!). I think about that of advertisers and AdWords.

Every advertising medium has always had its share of challenges and frustrations for advertisers. Back when there were only 3 major television networks, advertisers were complaining about monopoly, prices and rules. Before we knew it, cable came along and fragmented all that, making it harder to reach your audiences. I bet there’s still people out there reminiscing about the good old days.

It’s true that history repeats itself. Because if you fast forward to today, you can still hear the same frustrations and concerns by advertisers. Common complaints include costs, campaign structure issues, AdWords user interface, better client management tools, etc.

They say the first step to recovery is admitting that there is a problem. So when asked about their main frustrations with AdWords, we weren’t surprised to find that top industry experts like Andrew Goodman didn’t hesitate to share.

(P.s.- you can look at content and search CTRs separately in Acquisio SEARCH ;) )

The fact of the matter is, people have always had problems around some of the measurements of the advertising mediums they use. Sure, 3rd party vendors in the PPC management software space have offered amazing features like campaign automation and more user friendly interfaces and continually improve their offerings to reduce the complexities of maintaining effective campaigns. Even Google has been working hard on making Analytics and AdWords play nice. Sure, some of the metrics you are shown are still not necessarily as complete or accurate as you hope. You are forced to work with averages and have to dig deep to find the right data to pull insights from and that gives you every right to complain. But remember, in the good old days of TV, we had to rely on panel measurements. So if given the choice today, which would you rather have?

Last week, someone told me they wish AdWords would just know what they want and do it. And while full automation is possible, that doesn’t mean it is ideal. You certainly need the human touch to make the final decision and work in semi-automated mode.

Be careful what you wish for. Yes, part of our frustrations are high costs and ambiguous rules, but at least it’s easy to reach audiences who are seeking solutions to their problems NOW. While AdWords doesn’t offer your the option of buying your way to success, you can certainly work hard enough to achieve it.

I say bad romance is better than no romance at all. What’s your bad romance story with AdWords? What are your AdWords frustrations? Have you found ways to put the spark back into your PPC romance?

3D PPC Landing Pages

How do you make your PPC landing pages jump off the screen?

a. By giving your visitors cheesy 3D glasses? Everyone looks sexy in those.

b. By designing with animated Gifs, CSS sprites, and excessive Flash?

c. By optimizing your landing pages with the 3 Dimensions of the conversion trinity developed by Bryan Eisenberg?

Did you guess right? Fresh off Bryan Eisenberg’s online presentation 2 weeks ago where he introduced his conversion trinity; a simple but very effective way to optimize your PPC landing pages by examining the following 3 dimensions:

1. Relevance: Focusing on understanding the intent of your visitors and delivering the most relevant content for their needs.

2. Value: Making sure your visitors understand the value of purchasing from you.

3. Call To Action: Making sure that your visitors not only know what action they should take next, but that they feel comfortable taking it as well.

To put this more in perspective for you, I’ll show you how we’ve used the trinity internally to develop a landing page for our new free eBook: You Know You Need a PPC Management Tool When… (see my analysis below the graphic.)

1. Relevance

We’re in the business of PPC, talking about PPC to the people who like PPC.  Think of it the same way you would about your keyword targeting and ad placement.

Just like  a PPC ad, when a visitor clicks on your offer, you’ve only done half the job by making it compelling enough and click-worthy. Finish off the job by making sure that your landing page not only matches the offer, but reinforces it. This offering is about a free eBook and so is the landing page.

Besides, you don’t really want your ads looking like this:

You want them to look more like:

2. Value

I’m sure your offer is unique and valuable, but what are you doing to convey that to your visitors? This is where your unique value proposition (UVP) needs to be prominent on the page to remind your visitors of why you’re not only a relevant, but the best solution for their problem. This where you also get to harness the power of copywriting to convey the value of your offer in an easy way that stands out.

In this case, Acquisio’s UVP (PPC management software for agencies) is loud and clear at the top of the page. We’ve also used concise bullet points that first communicate pains the visitors can relate to, then benefits they can use to overcome their problems.

3. Call To Action

Nothing is worse than a visitor bouncing off your page because they didn’t know what to do next. It’s your job to hold their hand and guide them throughout the whole experience, until you lead them to the action you want them to take.

To ensure that, we’ve designed our call to action buttons using action verbs with implied benefits that are relevant to the offer. “Get Your Copy” vs “Submit” or “Download”.

Finally, a little scent doesn’t hurt. We’ve made sure our e-mail blast and landing page are not visually disconnected by using the same template, pictures, and wording.

Whether you’re currently running some ads you can evaluate, or thinking about creating some new ones, make sure you keep those 3 dimensions in mind to create relevant, valuable, and actionable landing pages that pop off the screen for your visitors.

Can’t We All Just Get Along? Acquisio Teaches the Art of Client/Agency Data Collaboration at SMX Toronto

Marc Poirier, founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Acquisio, will speak about “Unlocking the Toolkit: Enhancing Client/Agency Collaboration” from 1 PM to 2:30 PM, Friday, April 9 at SMX Toronto.

Keywords- Who Gets the Glory?

As we watched the Canadiens score in last week’s hockey game, my brother screamed “nice shot!” while I thought to myself- “that was an awesome pass!

And that got me thinking about Google’s announcement of AdWords Search Funnels at SES NY. Just like any other sport, the player who scores gets the glory, but the credit goes to the team as a whole. Take that same concept online and you’ll see that campaigns work pretty much the same way. The keyword that converts gets all the glory, but what about all the other keywords that “passed” the conversion along or “assisted” in it?