Author Archives | Caitlynn Cush

Twitter Suspended Over A Half Million Accounts

According to Reuters, Twitter Inc has suspended more than 636,000 accounts since 2015 in an effort to tackle “violent extremism” on it’s social media platform.

In the company’s latest report, it shows that a total of 376,890 accounts have been shut down just inside of the last six months of 2016.

Twitter has also stated that it had begun taking legal requests to remove posts by verified journalists and media outlets.

Is this censor or a positive action towards bullies and “fake news?”

One would also have to ask are these the actions of a sinking company? Wired, earlier this year, did a expose on if 2017 was the year that Twitter either died or thrived.  The company seems to be plagued with either bad luck or just plain old bad business decisions (the end of Vine).

Sure, it’s not easy to turn around a failing company.  But at some point, you have to ask: Are we going to make it?

TWTR – Twitter Stock as of March 21, 2017 – Source Google Finance

 

Twitter’s value, unlike other networks, lies in its power users, the ones use use it to give voice to both people and movements who otherwise might not have had a chance to be heard.

Take the 2016 elections for an example, or even how many use it to share their experiences surrounding a crises.

All in all, Twitter has the numbers and the tools to turn itself upright. The challenge is getting the company itself to be more decisive and to fix the items that according to many users are simply broken.

What are your thoughts? Is Twitter still a reliable source of marketing for your company / brand? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

Posted in Industry News, Social Media Marketing0 Comments

Hottest Social Media Trends of 2017

It would be an understatement to say that social media platforms have had an impact on today’s digital marketing efforts. A huge understatement. In 2016, the social media craze has continued to rise with more than 2.3 billion active users and more of which 1.9 billion are mobile users.

The numbers simply don’t lie.  In fact, they tell a very clear story of why 83% of all marketers have begun to take advantage of social media marketing in order to increase their efforts in both presence and sales conversions.

As we dig deep into 2017, it’s time to ramp up your social media marketing efforts or risk being left behind in the pixel dust of Likes and Shares.

You are in luck though, CJG Digital has put together this handy guide of trends that all savvy digital marketers should be keeping a close eye on.

The Top 8 Hottest Social Media Marketing Trends in 2017 (Infographic) - An Infographic from CJG Digital Marketing

Embedded from CJG Digital Marketing

Posted in Social Media Marketing0 Comments

Top 3 Tactics That No Longer Work for Digital Marketers

Growing up in Florida, I can’t count the times I heard the phrase, “Just wait ten minutes and the weather will change,” which of course was true but that’s besides the point. In this case the phrase also fits very neatly into the world of digital marketing. Trends and tactics for the industry change faster than Clark Kent, making it so the only way to keep yourself in the game is to roll with the punches through innovation and information. 

Below are three of the top once “go-to sure winners” that have might have worked for digital marketers in the past, but just aren’t getting the horse to the finish line any longer.

1. Twitter

No this isn’t going to be a “Twitter is Dead” post or anything of the sort. Only simple numbers, statistics and reality here. Twitter is still a fine go-to tool for many marketers. It’s great for promoting your business and networking with (or following) other like-minded people. Let’s think about that though, what if the problem with Twitter wasn’t the platform but how digital marketers are using it? Stale tweets, low engagement with followers, and both over and under selling.

Is President Donald Trump helping or harming Twitter’s stock prices?

Just recently though, Twitter has begun to regain some of its previous momentum with the media hoop-la surrounding President Donald Trump’s Twitter communication (antics). Twitter was on a downward spiral prior to his campaign and now presidential tweets but encountered a quick spike during the campaign that they are desperately attempting to hold on to. Although, recent events are proving to make it more difficult to accomplish the task.

Reportedly, Twitter saw a sudden and massive drop in share value after some of their high profile accounts were hacked and used to post tweets in favor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodogan. Shares fell nearly 2% to $15.03 earlier this month.

2. SEO Black Hat Tricks

Black Hat Tactics could now harm you, just like the robots in HBO’s series WestWorld.

Today’s SEO efforts no longer look like yesteryears Wild West (or HBO’s Westworld) days of black hat tactics. Gone are the days when messy keyword stuffing, content packed with nonsensical links and spun content were not only passable but worked. Google’s updated Panda and now Penguin algorithms now sort out and condemn shoddy content.

If you haven’t already ceased the following tactics, now (as in immediately) would be a good time to change lanes in your SEO efforts.

  • Keyword stuffing – Keywords are still an essential part of any great piece of content, yet stuffing them willy nilly into posts is a great way to send up a red flag to search engines thus labeling your content as low quality.
  • Link schemes – Buying external links, swapping links with irrelevant audiences, or just filling your content with non-relevant links are all horrible practices that just don’t work any longer.
  • Scraping – Republishing content without permission. Say goodbye to copy & paste. Not only will you get penalized for duplicate content, you could face legal action.
  • Cloaking – If you promise a visitor something on the other end of the link and don’t deliver, then you are guilty of cloaking.
  • Automated content and / or spinning – There are tons of sites out there that will allow you to enter a batch of content that will then be “spun” into something similar. Problem is, it’s often too similar and will be picked up as duplicate content. Same goes for software that automatically produces “basic” content.
  • Invisible text and links – Search engines no longer fall for your hidden or super small text and links.

Bottom line: Do the work and put in the time to churn out proper content.

3. Batch and blast email

Long gone are the days of being able to load up an template inside your email list host platform, pound out a few hundred words or so of text, send it off to your entire list of subscribers and then sit back in your desk chair while hitting refresh to watch the dough roll in.

These days, it requires a little bit more effort to get those dollar signs flying.

While email is still very much the preferred method of communication, however according to Return Path seventy percent of spam complaints filed are from previously opt-in newsletters and offers simply no longer desired by the subscriber.

Pinterest has a leg up on one-to-one personalization.

In walks such platforms as Pinterest, who replaced the old batch and blast way of slinging mail with something that is completely tailored to the viewer. The fastest growing social “sharing” network partnered with SparkPost to ramp up their email efforts. Seth Weisfeld leads up Pinterest’s efforts around all notifications. Everything from desktop, email, push, and SMS he has his hands on.

“Email is an extension of the product. Pinterest itself is very personalized platform, so email needs to be, too.”

Westfield also has stated that the marketer’s dream of one day achieving one-to-one personalized engagement is right at the tip of being a reality.

“The vision we’ve talked about for years, a one-to-one marketing strategy that is natively multichannel, is actually achievable today. The quality of the technology to leverage big data and notifications is there.”

Bottom line.

What it all boils down to is simple. Roll with the tide of change. Don’t get caught up in your easy way of doing things just because it used to work for you. Read, research, and stay up to date on all current trends and changes in this ever changing industry.

Are your current efforts still working for you or have you switched up your game as well? We would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Content Creation, Conversion Optimization, CPA Marketing, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization-SEO, Social Media Marketing0 Comments

Affiliate Summit East 2017 – Are you going?

Yup! It’s that time again – another seminar / convention / networking event for you to put into practice all those skills you have been brushing up on. 

Affiliate Summit East 2017 will take place from July 30 to August 1 at the New York Marriot Marquis.  More than 5,500 digital marketers from nearly 70 countries will gather in one spot on the globe.  If you have never been, it’s like a Disney World type theme park for internet marketers. Everywhere you look – down the street, in the restaurants, and even subways – you are bound to spot a familiar face or badge.

There are three main areas set up for networking, learning, and information gathering. Of course, this does not include the famous “smoking area” outside, the bars/clubs, and restaurants that surround the event.

The Exhibit Hall will be open from Monday, July 31 to Tuesday, August 1.  Here you will find affiliates, merchants, vendors, networks, technology providers and many many more.  I’ll warn you though, get ready to do some walking (and of course talking).

In addition to the Exhibit Hall ASE17 will also offer several educational and keynote speaker sessions.

General admission is free prior to May, 12 but you must apply for an Affiliate Pass. This will gain you entry to the Exhibit Hall, but not to the keynote sessions. There are three other packages available to choose from.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity that could rocket your business to the next level.

Posted in Affiliate Summit East 20170 Comments

Top 5 Crowdfunding Campaigns – Where Are They Today?

Since its establishment back in 2009, Kickstarter has been a level playing field where good ideas can find people with the funding to help make those ideas a reality.

Although the crowdfunding headlines seem to have died down a bit, however that doesn’t mean there is actually a decline in the arena itself.  

  • 84,652 projects were successfully funded on Kickstarter alone.  
  • $1,705,478,513 total dollars have been pledged to Kickstarter projects
  • 22,378,951 total pledges via Kickstarter
  • 2,603,947 repeat backers via Kickstarter

So the numbers seem to be on the rise, but what about all the success stories?  Who are they and where are they now?

Entrepreneur did an expose calling out the top successes and what they are currently up to.  Below are the top 5.

  1. Pebble Time –

Palo Alto based smartwatch maker Pebble earned its entrepreneurial wings back in 2012 with it’s record breaking Kickstarter campaign.  Not only is the company’s latest Pebble Time watch the most funded in Kickstarter history, but it’s also holds the title for the fastest funded. Pebble raised a whopping $1 million in less than an hour.  Pebble went on to raise a total of $20,338,986 (4,067 percent of the original set goal).

Today: Since it’s launch three of so years ago, the company has been working on perfecting the hardware.  They have upgraded the interface, added a Gorilla Glass lens and extended the battery life to 10 days.

 

  1. Coolest Cooler –

More than ten years in the making, inventor Ryan Grepper seemed to have struck crowdfunding gold with his Coolest Cooler campaign. Grepper pulled ahead of the group to become the most funded Kickstarter campaign to date, dethroning Pebble Technology from the top spot. With 62,642 backers, the Portland based company raised $13,285,226. (26,570 percent of the original set goal.)

Today: The innovative handy coolers are selling on both the Coolest Cooler’s website and via Amazon. You can get them in a variety of colors, but they all come with the coolest of technologies for a cooler: built in blender, bluetooth speakers, usb charger, LED lid light, bottle opener, and more.

  1. The Return Of the Reading Rainbow –

 

We all remember the popular children’s tv show that wall pulled off the air in 2006 after a 23 year run.  Well at least I remember it.  In 2012 host LeVar Burton took to Kickstarter to fund an iPad and Kindle Fire interactive reading “virtual field trip.”  It hit 540% of it’s funding goal and raised $5,408,916.  

Today:  Skybrary, comes as a subscription package.  For $50 a year children from all over the world have access to a library or children’s books.  Kinda like Amazon Prime for young readers.  

 

  1.  The Veronica Mars Movie –

The teen detective story went off the air in 2007 after only three seasons, but fans wanted more.  Series creator Rob Thomas started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a Veronica Mars movie.  It raised $5,702,153 on April 12, 2013.  

Today:  The film premiered at the 2014 South by Southwest film festival and went on to gross $3,485,127.  

  1.  Neil Young’s Pono Music Player –

Music legend Neil Young came up with Pono – a device that promised to play your music how it was intended to be heard.  Pono raised $6,225,354, or 778% of its funding goal, on April 15, 2015.

Today: The $399 Pono player came up a little short in it’s delivery of stellar music.  The player commanded a premium price for an increase in music quality that just wasn’t all that noticeable to the average listener.  

Notable mention:  I simply can’t leave out the Potato Salad campaign.  The campaign centered around a guy that stated he was “basically making potato salad.”  The guy was ohio-based developer Zack Danger Brown.  The campaign raised more than $55,000 for his “potato salad” project with nearly 7,000 people pledging donations.  

When he hit the $3,000 mark he wrote: “My kitchen is too small! I will rent out a party hall and invite the whole internet to the potato salad party (only $10 and above will be allowed in the kitchen)! The internet loves potato salad! Let’s show them that potato salad loves the internet!!”

He followed through on his somewhat comical promise with a big potato salad party in Columbus that was later dubbed the “PotatoStock 2014.”  

All the proceeds went to the Columbus Foundation, which fights to end homelessness and hunger in central Ohio.  

 

Posted in ecommerce, Social Media Marketing0 Comments

Pinterest Search Ads: Latest In Social Media Marketing

Recently Pinterest announces it’s latest feature: Search Ads. This advance towards a more strategic search advertising platform is a huge for Pinterest.

The new function allows businesses to run ads using keywords. Pinterest integrated Search Ads will now give businesses both large and small a way to run ads that show up among other relevant content.  Since Pinterest is a visual entity, ads will of course be visually based – heavy on the engaging images and less on the textual aspects.

According to the Business2Community, “Beyond showing up in relevant searches, this feature update includes improved targeting and reporting options, however the details have yet to be released. Nonetheless, with better data and audience insights, brands can more successfully target their audiences with ads that represent their current wants and needs.”

Pinterest created a short video to show how ads will work within its platform.

 

Posted in Social Media Marketing0 Comments

5 Tips To Get You Noticed At Your Next Marketing Event

Both big and small marketing events such as AdTech and Social Media Week often have even the most outgoing marketers huddling in the corner. Coming from someone that sometimes has difficulties breaking the ice in social situations, you all have my sympathies. It can indeed be a daunting task to have numerous networking possibilities right at arm’s length but have absolutely no idea where to even start with your conversation.

There are some sure-fire ways to beat that anxiety knot brewing in your stomach. Tips and tricks that will both make you look and feel confident.  

Here are a few tips to capture the attention of potential clients and associates.

Get Social (Media)

The time to begin putting yourself out there to both clients and prospective customers is not when you walk through the convention doors, but weeks to a month in advance of the event.  This does not mean sending out (email) blasts after blasts filled with mysterious and obnoxious hints that promise them the moon.  Instead, take the reality approach by simply informing your contacts that you will be at the event and that  your booth (if your business should have one) is worth visiting. If you don’t have a booth, possibly choose a restaurant, diner, or pub with a meeting time.

Make a Plan

When you are prepared and have a plan, you are more likely to walk out of the networking event with the right connections. Before you even pack your bags for your next event, do a little research and find out who is going and who isn’t.

  • Make a list of the people that you would like to connect with.
  • Choose those that you believe will further your professional goals.
  • Take the list with you, if you walk into the event and freeze, pull the list out and regroup.

Dress for Impact

Like it or not, how you look is often the first thing that others notice about you. Often, within a few seconds of walking into an event room, others have formed an opinion about you just based solely on what you are wearing.

Not only will an appropriate outfit give you confidence, you are less likely to get looked passed when you approach that guru you have been following for over a decade.  

Let the outfit of your choice speak for you. Your outfit can tell others a lot about who you are.  Rather than choosing an outfit that blends you into the crowd as a whole, pick something that will have you standing out apart from the masses. High-contrast colors and bold styles are a start.

Instead of throwing on your everyday suit, think about what can give you that little extra pop. Red your color? Choose a bright red tie, socks, or even blazer. 

Have an Elevator Speech Prepared

Of course, people are going to ask about you, your business, and your plans for growth. Be able to explain what you do and why you do it in about 30 seconds. If you can weave in a short story with it all the better.  People tend to remember or associate people with tidbits of information that they can recall easily.  

Use Your Voice

Nerves often tend to bring out the worst in us. For instance, up swinging your voice at the end of a sentence will cause your statement to sound more like a question. Another common mistake that can deter others from you and your business pitch is filling your sentences with the word “like” or the dreaded “Umm.”

Gurus and other networking starts speak with purpose and certainty.  They know exactly what they are going to say and aren’t afraid to say it. By lowering the tone of their voices just enough to command attention, they exude the confidence of someone that knows their subject backwards and forwards. A confident voice is the finishing touch to your confident, powerful image.  

 

Getting noticed at marketing events shouldn’t be a daunting task or one that has you breaking out in hives.  Use the above tips to project confidence and pretty soon you will feel it too.

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing0 Comments

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