Tag Archive | "pinterest"

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

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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 MarketingComments (2)

7 Fresh Ideas for Your Holiday Social Media Posts [Infographic]

Are your holiday social media posts starting to feel as stale as a re-gifted fruitcake?

If so, it is most likely time to give your social media marketing game a make over. Most companies are flooding consumers’ social media feeds this time of year with themed posts, sale announcements, and all kinds of other holiday goodies…. in order for your brand to break through all the competition it is absolutely essential to try out new approaches.

So what can you do differently? To find out, check out MDG Advertising’s new infographic, 7 Fresh Ideas for Your Holiday Social Media Posts. It highlights a number of effective tactics that have not been overused by marketers.

The areas covered include:

  • Create a 360° Holiday-Themed Video: This engaging format, which is now available as an option on multiple major networks, including Facebook and YouTube, lets users experience scenes from different angles. Learn how it can be paired with virtual reality headsets/add-ons to create even bigger wow moments for consumers.
  • Develop a Custom Snapchat Geofilter: On-Demand Geofilters, which are provided as Snapchat options within defined physical areas, are a fun way for consumers to share that they’re interacting with your brand. Understand why these addictive filters are the ultimate example of modern word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Post Disappearing Holiday Coupons: This easy Snapchat and Instagram Stories tactic allows you to create offers/discounts that only show up in posts that stay live for a relatively short period of time. Find out how encouraging this limited-time urgency can be a big boost for your brand in two different ways.
  • Use Pinterest Rich Pins for Holiday Gift Ideas: This often overlooked feature allows marketers to to include key information—such as location data, purchase links, app downloads, etc.—directly in Pinterest pins. Delve into why Rich Pins can close the gap between browsing and action.
  • Host a Holiday-Themed Twitter Chat: Consumers are often in desperate need of advice this time of year, and your brand’s employees might be well poised to provide that. Learn why Twitter chats are a smart, cost-effective way to fulfill this demand.
  • Showcase Gift Ideas in Instagram Carousel Ads: Instagram Carousel Ads allow you to include three to five images in one post, and to also incorporate short calls to action, which can link to external information/product pages. Understand how they connect social media to sales.
  • Inspire with a Facebook Live Charity Stream: To get in the true spirit of the holiday season, you can use two powerful digital tools— social media and live video streaming—to share good deeds directly to Facebook Live. Learn how to feature non-profit partners you’re working with and recognize participating employees.

To find out how to make the most your social media efforts this season, check out MDG’s 7 Fresh Ideas for Your Holiday Social Media Posts.

Holiday Marketing 2016: 7 Fresh Ideas for Your Holiday Social Media Posts [Infographic]

Infographic by MDG Advertising

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, CPA Marketing, ecommerce, Social Media MarketingComments (0)

How To Get Your Hands On Pinterest’s Analytics Tool

Pinterest has launched their very own Pinterest web analytics tool. It’ll allow you to track each and every pin and like users have with your content. Finally you’ll be able to tell how cool Pinterest users think your content is.

How pinteresting indeed Pinterest. Here’s a screenshot of what the analytics system looks like.

pinterest analytics

If you want to get access you’ll have to jump through a couple of hoops first.

1. Get early access to Pinterest’s new look.
2. Make sure you have a verified website. If you have a website listed on your profile with a check mark next to it, you’re verified. If not, follow these steps to verify.
3. Once your website is verified, go to the top right menu and click on Analytics.

Some are saying that this analytics launch is simply a step toward monetization for the image based social network:

The analytics tool is an early stage effort to monetize the content-based micro social networking service. Pinterest’s blog post even hints at a rapid expansion of this sort of service: “Over the coming months, we hope to add new tools and more detailed insights, so let us know what else you would like to see.”

The announcement has made waves already. Amongst the speculation of monetization has also been a major hurdle for an existing Pinterest based analytics company. Formerly known as Pinfluenzer they have rebranded and are now called Piqora.

Piqora owner Sharad Verma had this to say about the name change:

Though Verma insists that the name change isn’t a departure from its core offering as a Pinterest-centric tool, the new name and new product indicates Verma’s continued efforts to broaden his company’s offerings.

Whether Pinterest is on the move toward monetization or not – we all get the benefit of analytics. Finally you’ll be able to see exactly what people appreciate about your content from a Pinterest perspective.

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Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest Part 2

Last week we talked about the future of affiliate marketing on Pinterest. Since the crackdown on affiliate links on Pinterest pictures, it’s become nearly impossible to make direct affiliate sales from Pinterest traffic. While we may not be able to directly link to a product with our affiliate link we can link to the product on our own website. That’s where we monetize. Our own websites.

There’s a bit of science and art that goes into creating a “persona profile.” If you missed it, go back and read part 1 of this series to find out how to develop a persona. In this part, we’re going to focus on taking what we know about our persona and building our Pinterest profile.

Setup Your Account

Pinterest accounts are by invite only. You can get an invite easily by requesting one on their homepage. See the image below.

get a pinterest invite

It may take a day or two before you get the invite, sit tight. You can then use this account to create new invites for other personas, if you wish.

In the mean-time, be sure to have your profile info ready. Have an image and a short snippet of info about you (or your persona). You may want to practice writing this short bio info a couple of times. It may not come out very natural your first crack at it. Remember to try and put yourself in that person’s shoes. What do they like, how do they act, what’s motivates them? When you answer those questions it will become very clear.

Build Up A Presence

Now that you’ve got a profile and you’ve uploaded a picture of yourself or your persona you need to build a presence. It’s pretty simple really… What makes Pinterest work?

Pinterest is a social network focused on uploading and sharing pictures!

So it’s time to get social and start pinning.

Step 1 – Repin

Start browsing Pinterest. Repin products and pictures that relate to golf. But don’t stop there. We really want to make this profile top notch. Repin things that you believe your persona would be interested in.

Remember our golf persona? He was a fifty something, affluent, caucasian male.

What do you think rich, old, white guys like? (sorry for the crude description)

Well… I’m going to take a guess and say that guy likes stuff like BMW’s, steak, beautiful women, and sandy beaches.

Yes – I’m sort of playing off of stereotypes. As much as people detest stereotypes they exist for a reason.

Repin stuff within your persona’s “world” – not just golf stuff.

Step 2 – Like

When you repin – hit the like button too.

You can also simply hit the like button on some photos when you’re browsing… keep it real!

Step 3 – Follow

Find pictures of golf that you really liked and repined? Follow that guy or gal. They’re obviously in your target market.

Step 4 – Pin

This is opportunity to pin product images from your affiliate site. Remember, in part 1 we built an affiliate site focused on golf products? You should have many pages dedicated to a single product.

Each of those pages should have an image of the product you want to sell. Take the url and Pin it. Pinterest will let you pick which image on the page you want to use. Pick the one of the product!

Don’t over do this in the beginning. Yes it’s true that this is what makes this strategy work. But Pinterest doesn’t want you to self promote in excess.


img source

Promote Your Account

Simply being active on Pinterest is going to help here. In particular repining will get attention of others. However to take it up a notch we’re going to do the following…

Commenting – Yep, you’re going to have to converse with people. It’s not that big of a deal. Simply comment on pictures that strike your fancy. Do yourself a favor and make the comment worth reading… not just the generic “Great pic!” garbage. That gets no one’s attention.

Submit to Pinfaves.com – This is a little known Pinterest treasure. Pinfaves is like a bookmarking site for Pinterest. Think of it like digg.com or delicious. Submit your repins here as well as dropping in a few pins of your affiliate products from time to time. Don’t over do it though. You’ll get shut down. Try to stick to a 3 to 1 ratio.

Cross Post Your Pins on Social Media – Again, you’ll want to be mindful of how much you’re doing this. You may start to annoy the people that like your page or follow you. Once a day is a good schedule to shoot for.

So what does all of this do for you?

After a month or two of following this you’re going to have a legitimate Pinterest profile that can and will drive traffic to your affiliate site. Will you make a million dollars off of this strategy? No… probably not. But you will have undoubtedly built a traffic source to diversify your overall traffic strategy. That my friends, is never a bad thing.

Have any super ninja Pinterest promotion tricks? Please share with the rest of us in the comments.

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Spammers Are Killing It on Pintrest

As all massively popular sites discover, there’s a price to pay for popularity.  Today it’s Pinterest’s turn to feel the growing pains of their success.

Spammers are eating up Pinterest at alarming rates.

It’s become so prevalent, so profitable for spammer’s in the know, there’s even a WSO sellingaspambot.  Word to the wise – when bots show up in public forums they’re most likely on their last legs in terms of effectiveness.

Here’s how the spammers are doing it

 1.     Acquire an account (Pinterest acct’s are invite-only)

2.     Generate invites to create new accounts (lots of ‘em)

3.     Auto-confirm accounts

4.     Implement auto-following based on keywords (to create a “human” looking account)

5.     Post Pins of product images with affiliate links built in by the hundreds, if not thousands per day

a.     The most popular bot does this by searching Amazon rss feeds by keyword.  Enter “mp3 player” and you’ll be creating pins of ipods and zunes in no time.

6.     Re-post the most popular pins

a.     The bot simply looks at what’s been most popular on Pinterest and re-pins that in your account inserting your affiliate link.

7.     Repeat indefinitely…

Pretty simple concept really.

Simple and deadly effective (at least until now).  Check out this quote from an interview done with a prolific Pinterest spammer

As the days came my earnings increased and increased and increased. First week of doing this I made around $2,000 which was Feb. 20-29. I stepped my game up and changed the way I was doing some things, and I saw a dramatic increase in my earnings. Went up to $500-800 a day.  Kept at it and for the past two weeks I have made over $1,000 a day with the highest earnings being around $1,900.


That’s a lot of cash.  Pretty hard to ignore that kind of money for a lot of folks.  Especially for those with the technical skill to make it happen.

And for those of you who are salivating thinking you’re going to go buy the bot and make a million dollars.  Hear this.

Pinterest knows what’s going on… They’ve been informed and even toldaboutthebotsforsale.  It’s only a matter of time before they pay a skilled technician to reverse engineer the bots and shut them down for good.  And, believe it or not, there are actually ETHICAL ways to profit from Pinterest traffic.  But that’s for another day, another blog post.

On a bright note…Not everyone with the skill is a spammer.  In fact I was just talking with a talented programmer friend last night.  Here’s what he conversation looked like:

Me : “Can you build something like this?”

Mr. S: “not going there even if I could, not my taste”

You can bet your butt he can do it.  I wouldn’t doubt it for a second.  But, as Yoda would say, the ethical fiber is strong with him.

So there you have it.  Which side are you on?  Would you take advantage of Pinterest’s growing pains to make a few bucks?  Or does just the thought of it leave a bad taste in your mouth?  Hit the comments and let me know.


This article was brought to you by: Dustin Bow

Dustin Bow is on the cutting edge of Internet Marketing.  His 8 years of experience in SEO, affiliate marketing, teaching, and consulting combines to create a unique voice in our industry.  He writes from an “in the trenches” perspective any level of marketer could find useful in their own campaigns.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, CPA MarketingComments (7)

Taking Advantage of the Pinterest Buzz

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past few months you probably get bombarded by buzz about pinterest.com.

For those of you that are living under a rock, Pinterest is a visual-based social networking site that is absolutely exploding. According to most sources I’ve seen Pinterest has grown more than 40x in the past six months and it’s currently in “invite-only” status.

This crazy explosive growth has caught the attention of not only direct advertisers and fortune 500s, but quite a few affiliate marketers as well. For good reason: Pinterest drives a lot of traffic.

In fact Pinterest themselves attempted to monetize “pins” by using a company called skimlinks. The basic process they were was that any “pin” on the site that contained an affiliate link, pinterest changed to include their own affiliate code…thereby earning the affiliate commission. This seems a lot like cookie stuffing to me (although they are not currently using skimlinks).

Now that Pinterest is not currently replacing affiliate codes with their own, some pretty interesting doors open up again (at least for now).

I suggest getting into the Pinterest game early while things are still a testing ground. Nearly every time affiliate marketers really cash in big with a new traffic source…it’s during the wild west days of the explosive growth of that particular service. Once things begin to calm down and stabalize, competition changes as do ad pricing and rules…and many times this wipes out the big easy earnings for affiliates. Who wants to work hard for less money? So get in now and innovate.

As we are able to play more with the Pinterest platform and test our creative marketing methods there, we will be sure to keep you informed.

One quick tip that we are currently using pinterest for is to look at it as a giant split-testing platform for images. Because everything is image-driven on Pinterst and you can see how many people are pinning and re-pinning posts, you can get a decent idea of the power of specific images and imagery. This applies to not only the things that you post of course but to the images everyone posts. This is powerful.

We’ve already started to implement the most popular imagery for things like weightloss directly into our banner buys and it’s working quite well.

Not only do we have hopes for Pinterest to become a solid traffic source, but for the time being it looks like a great place to swipe powerful image ideas. I’d call that a hint if I didn’t just outright spell it out.

Happy pinning!


Posted in Affiliate Marketing, CPA MarketingComments (13)


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