Archive for December, 2013

2014 is right around the corner, and you’re probably making all kinds of New Year’s resolutions for your marketing strategy to start the New Year off right. As always, we want to help. Because we’re helpful. So here are a couple tips from the social media angle that are a great way to launch a new year of social media success.

Interact on Google+

You know, you know. Google+ is the hot spot for amazing SEO. At this point, it’s been blasted from the rooftops. But are you actually using it? Honestly? If you’re posting daily, great. But you can do more, and you should be doing more, in 2014. Use it to engage with people: customers, influencers, industry professionals, celebrities. (Okay, maybe not celebrities. Unless it’s a marketing celebrity. Because those are cool.) These days, everyone is on Twitter. So many people are on Twitter, in fact, that engagement can be overwhelming. And while you should still be engaging on Twitter, overwhelming or not, you should take some of that energy and put it into Google+ engagement too. It’s a little quieter and is a great place to spark meaningful dialogue.

Pay Attention to Facebook Interest Lists

Facebook still isn’t the number one place to generate leads, but it remains a great place to develop fans, and it will be even better for you when you utilize Facebook Interest Lists. If you want to create content that appeals to the people you want as customers, you must ask yourself, “What pages do my fans actually like?” Facebook Graph Search is a handy tool for this. You can search using strings like:

  1. Pages liked by people who like [your page]
  2. Pages liked by women who like [your page]
  3. Pages liked by men who like [your page]
  4. Fans of [your page] and [another page]
  5. Restaurants in [your city] visited by people who like [your page]
  6. Pages like by people who live in [your city] and like [your page]

These can give you some great data about what your fans look at and what they enjoy reading so that you can give them more of the same. Give the people what they want! Also, don’t neglect Page Insights on Facebook. Paying attention to who is most likely to engage with your content will give you stronger content foundation as well.

Get Serious About Guest Blogging

Blogging is a big part of your social media strategy and next to “Blog more!” one of the most important things to remember is reach. You want your blog to reach as many eyeballs as possible, and guest blogging is an excellent way to make this happen. So not only should you be looking for guest blogging opportunities in 2014, you should be actively looking for guest blogging opportunities in 2014. Here’s a great guide for using Google Advanced Search for tracking down opportunities and you should read it.

Start Making Videos Regularly

This isn’t about going viral, ladies and gents. This is about an additional dimension of content marketing that you should approach with the same consistency as you do your blogs. Why? Because in 2013, video constituted 50% of mobile wireless network traffic and is expected to rise to 66% by 2017. Because YouTube is now 28% of all Google searches. Because an Internet user watches 186 videos on average each month. Because visitors continue navigating your website for an average extra two minutes after watching video content. You get the picture. So put in the time and effort. Make some video.

We hope this helps, even a little bit, as you approach your social media in 2014. Not satisfied? Want more? Download our free guide, B2B Lead Generation for Social Media.

Author:Olivia Cole     Olivia Cole on the Web Olivia Cole on LinkedIn Olivia Cole RSS Feed

Olivia Cole is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Ifbyphone. In the past ten years she has worked in multiple industries, writing articles, white papers, eBooks, blog posts, and educational material on a wide range of topics…. View full profile


Soar to New Heights: 7 Tips for Reaching Your Potential image 3072744143 8333acd7fa

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.

Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.

Try to be better than yourself.

William Faulkner

If your desire is to live the life of your dreams, it is necessary to concentrate on what you want and keep working toward it. Accept that you will experience periods of time when you lose your focus and it becomes challenging to keep pursuing your goals and dreams. But, are you finding that it is a constant battle trying to give 100% in everything you do? How can you stay motivated and continue to work up to your potential?

Here are 7 strategies to help you soar:

1. Make it count. Make every moment count. Recognize that if you are spending your time doing something, you may as well be learning as much as you can along the way. Stay fully connected to the task at hand. Immerse yourself in each activity to make the most of it.

  • Think about a task at work that you dislike, such as filing. Even though filing may be boring and time-consuming, it is still important that you do a good job and put forth maximum effort. Prove to yourself and others that you can excel at even the most mundane of tasks.
  • Direct your energies toward living in the moment and working up to your full potential.

2. Excel! Think about average versus excellence. Reflect on the difference between performing a mediocre job as opposed to an outstanding job. Which way of working makes you feel more confident about your performance? Strive for excellence in everything you do.

3. Begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself, “If I try as hard as I can, what might happen in this situation?” According to Stephen Covey, beginning with the end of your project in mind is a wonderfully proactive way to set yourself up for success. Identify the “end” that you seek. Then, design a specific step-by-step plan in order to achieve it.

4. Be positive. Positive thoughts will make you feel more content and increase your chance of success.

  • Take a moment to consider the alternative. Is it possible to work toward your potential if your thoughts are riddled with negativity?
  • Choose positive thinking to achieve your highest heights.

5. Be optimistic when approaching a task. If you ever think, “I hate doing these monthly reports because they take forever and a day,” then the report will probably indeed take a long time to complete.

  • When you have a pessimistic attitude, you often will live up (or down) to it.
  • Instead, be optimistic and put forth your very best efforts. Then perhaps that task will not be so horribly bad after all.
  • Perhaps it will help you if you set realistic limits on your performance. For example, if a tasks usually takes you 4 hours to complete, don’t try to finish it in 2. This will help you to focus your efforts and get the job done.

6. Bite-size pieces. Set smaller objectives toward accomplishing larger goals. Avoid getting overwhelmed by creating short-term objectives. For example, if you want to earn a college degree, but it seems overwhelming, just start by taking one class at a time.

  • Think about the process. Referring back to the example of a college degree, you start by taking one course, then completing a semester of classes, and then finishing each year of college until you earn your degree.
  • By setting small, manageable objectives, you will be on a positive path toward your goals and you will be able to see your forward progress along the way.

7. Celebrate your successes. This is something that most of us do not do enough of. When you acknowledge your efforts, you will be inspired to achieve at high levels. The more you accomplish the more success you will experience.

Make the most of your life by working toward your fullest potential. When you use a few of these techniques, you will find yourself on top of the world.

Your potential is endless!

Photo Credit: Sanctu via Compfight cc

This article originally appeared on Martina McGowan and has been republished with permission.

Find out how to syndicate your content with Business 2 Community.


The Retail Season has Begun, and we want you to be seen and heard in thousands of retail locations for only $200. For more info visit


Hurry Sale Ends Monday (12/24/13) at Noon 

It’s that time of year, retail locations are selecting programming for December right now! With a huge increase in retail traffic, this is the best time of year to have your video and song playing in stores, malls and restaurants. Submit your song or video for placement in thousands of major retail outlets such as:

•Footlocker (1,200 locations)

•Journey’s (600 locations)

•Nordstrom (116 locations)

•Macy’s (805 locations)

•Gold’s Gym (900 locations)

•Champs (640 locations) and others



Retail Success:


Thi’sl – “Motivation”

Placed in 100’s of fitness locations including Bally’s Fitness, Golds Gym, NYSC & Power House Gyms.


The Decoration – “There With You”

Placed in 100’s of locations including Foot Locker, Men’s Warehouse & Planet Fitness. Video also accepted for programming on MTV-U & MuchMusic.


Fiona Miss 2.1 – “Up & Down”

Placed in over 800 Journeys locations and 400 Wet Seal locations. Also placed in 100’s of fitness locations including Bally’s Fitness, Golds Gym, NYSC & Power House Gyms.


The Story So Far – “Empty Space”

Placed in over 150 Tilly’s locations & over 30 Harley Davidsons. Video also accepted for MTV-U.


Cara Quici – “Fight”

Placed in select Buffalo Wild Wings & AMF Bowling Lanes across the U.S.


Network Success:


Sage The Gemini – “Gas Pedal”

Video went viral approaching 12 million views!! Also accepted at the MTV networks!


Velous – “Larger Than Life”

Accepted for programming at BET, VH1 Soul, & MTV-U!


Falling Off Maps – “Honest”

Accepted for MTV-U and currently in their MTV-U Freshmen Contest!

“Collaboration isn’t about giving up your individuality. Quite the opposite: it’s about realizing your potential. It’s about bringing your many gifts to the table and sharing them in pursuit of a common goal. It’s about bringing your ideas, your passion, your mind, heart, and soul to your leadership and culture.”

— Meghan Biro, Smart Leaders and the Power of Collaboration

With the collaborative economy pushing businesses into the next phase of social business, executives must learn how to motivate, encourage and lead employees [and customers too] in a way that adds value to everyone involved in the collaborative work environment. Employees and customers are collaborating on products, services and content more than ever before. In preparation for the collaborative economy, consider what role do executives play in fostering a collaborative environment when employees and customers can receive what they need from each other?

During Marissa Mayer’s keynote at Dreamforce last week she explained that one of her greatest responsibilities as CEO at Yahoo! is to clear the path for her employees to easily develop and run forward with their ideas. According to Mayer, your role as a collaborative executive is to play defense — always moving obstacles, bureaucracy and naysayers out of the way in order for your employees to accomplish what is best for the business.

Gianluigi Cuccureddu, co-founder of Damarque, a company offering sustainable solutions to improve performance and innovation, sees collaborative leadership as the way of the future. On Cuccureddu’s blog, he explained that, “In a time where organizations are more and more perceived as platforms, I believe that leaders need to be platforms as well.”

Understanding the Future of Work: 8 Traits of Collaborative Leadership [Infographic] image collaborative leadership

How can leaders and executives help their organizations, employees and even customers be more collaborative? What are the best ways leaders can facilitate a collaborative work experience?

Author:Amy Bishop     Amy Bishop on the Web Amy Bishop on Twitter Amy Bishop on LinkedIn  Amy Bishop on Pinterest Amy Bishop RSS Feed

Amy Bishop works in digital marketing and public relations for digitalrelevance™.  With a passion for marketing and social business, Amy helps organizations improve customer experience and mobilize advocates by breaking down orga


I have been working at and with advertising and digital agencies on their business development programs for over 25 years. You would think that these experts in marketing would have the smartest, most effective sales programs in the services industry. The reality is that many don’t.

Here are 6 mistakes, or better, teachable moments, that all businesses can glean from less than optimal advertising agency marketing.

1. The Business Plan. You would be surprised at how many advertising agencies do not have a master business plan. They haven’t decided on what they are selling, who they are selling it to (most agencies have not defined the types of clients they want) and how they will accomplish their goals. These plans must also take into account the fast pace of ever changing advertising technology and social media as this will affect their service offer and future staff needs. Twitter alone seems like it’s launching a new set of advertising options every week.

2. The Agency Brand Positioning. I just re-read Seth Godin’s bestseller, “The Purple Cow.“ It reminded me of the fact that most advertising agencies do not have a distinctive — or, in Seth’s words, a “remarkable” — brand positioning. I am talking about a brand positioning that would help an agency stand out from the other 4,000+ marketing services companies and clearly announces what the agency can do for its clients. The need for a compelling and distinctive brand position is a critical factor in any company’s sales proposition. To give you an idea how complex choosing a brand position can be here are 24 positioning options for advertising agencies alone. I think that there is learning here for any type of business.

3. The Business Development Plan. A key component of the master business plan is having an active business development plan. This should include what the company’s key sales message is and who the target market is (there could be multiple target markets although focus on a type of client or industry should be a goal.) The plan should also include the details, including schedules, for the agency’s inbound and outbound marketing programs. If the agency has a business development director, it should motivate this salesperson via his or her compensation and commission structure.

4. The Agency Website. Again, you would think that advertising agencies would have the best marketing websites. However, despite the fact that the agency website is most likely the first place a prospective client can learn about the agency, many agency websites act more like brochures that active sales tools. These websites are often more about looking cool than recognizing and concentrating on the sales process – including asking for a meeting. It is also amazing that most advertising agency websites do not use video to help introduce who they are. Why not have the agency principles tell their story and give a brief agency tour? Clients tell us all the time that personal chemistry is a critical element in choosing a marketing agency. Video can begin that job as soon as a client enters the website.

5. The Social Media Program. Social media works 24/7/365. That’s the good news. The bad is that social media is by nature unruly and time-consuming and requires a master plan based on the objectives of the business development plan; a search engine optimized media plan (a blog works differently than Twitter and LinkedIn); a content plan; a publishing calendar and, most importantly, inter-agency responsibilities. Lapsed social media programs abound.

6. Consistency and CEO Attention. The story of the cobbler’s children that had no shoes is a standard advertising agency metaphor. Agencies complain that they are so busy doing marketing for their existing clients that they don’t have the time or resources to do their own. The lesson here is that no matter what business you are in, marketing is and always will be a critical factor in your success. A CEO cannot wait to lose her highest billing client or a customer segment to a disruptive newcomer to re-activate and energize the business development or sales program.

My advertising friends might say that I’ve been a bit harsh on them. But, despite some glaring mistakes, most agencies actually get it right. If you are interested in seeing how agencies market themselves on the web, head on over to my Pinterest Advertising Agency Directory. Yes, many of these websites are of the me-too variety. But, I am sure that you might find some ideas for your own digital marketing programs.

Author:Peter Levitan     Peter Levitan on the Web Peter Levitan on Twitter Peter Levitan on LinkedIn  Peter Levitan on Pinterest Peter Levitan RSS Feed

Peter Levitan is a leading adviser to advertising and marketing agencies across the globe on how to develop intelligent, effective business development programs. He started his advertising career at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide in New York and London where he ran Fortune 500 accounts and business development; was… View full profile


What Are the Biggest Lies About SEO?

The 10 Most Cringe Worthy SEO Myths Ever Told image ID 10048898 resized 600Who doesn’t love mythology?

Dragons, princesses, demi-gods, and epic battles are all fine and good if you’ve willingly tuned into HBO’s Game of Thrones for an hour of entertainment. They’re not so amazing if you’re a professional who’s continually trying to defend your craft to dubious onlookers. You probably know what you’re talking about. Your wife, your friends and even your boss may think that SEO is less like on and off-page optimization, and more like black magic or playing online games all day long. While we can’t help you build your arsenal of witty retorts (that’s another blog post for another day), we can aid you in being aware of some of the most pervasive, hilarious or even dangerous myths about SEO that exist. This list is by no means comprehensive (and sorry, we’re not even going to touch the bit about SEO being a form of magic), but it’s certainly a strong start:

1. Rank #1 or Else

Ranking is incredibly important, don’t get us wrong. We’ve all seen that meme about how “you know you’re desperate if you go to the second page of search results.” It’s typically pretty true. However, the first result doesn’t always get the most traffic – especially if you’ve spruced up your page with Google authorship or other rich snippets.

2. Get as Many Reviews on Google Business as Possible

Yup, reviews on your Google business page are pretty important if you’re in the business of improving your SEO. However, it’s not the only thing – especially if your competitor’s padded their page with saccharine reviews from their Aunt, their neighbor, and their Aunt’s neighbors. SEO expert Don Campbell points out that what Google is really looking for is a “natural, diverse review profile” –  something that’s pretty hard to fake.

3. More Links is Better than More Content

Many well-meaning SEOs have missed their goals by focusing on link-building more than anything else. This myth can be especially dangerous if the focus of the link-building strategy is quantity, not quality or plausibility. Never put all of your SEO eggs in a single basket, especially in an era where fresh content matters more and more.

4. SEO isn’t Usability

I can feel many SEO experts beginning to shake their heads in frustration.

Yes, this myth still exists, and it’s pretty darn annoying. For the record, SEO is a matter of user experience. You can have the best writing since Tolstoy, but if your page takes 3 minutes to load, you’ll annoy both search engines and your potential customers. Optimize your pages, your load time, and your user experience.

5. Local Businesses Should Aggressively Optimize Around Their City

Listing your company’s address and phone number clearly at the bottom of your web pages is a best practice. So is publishing locally-targeted content, and including geo-targeted keywords in your page titles. That being said, some overenthusiastic local SEO practitioners get a little carried away by bordering on keyword stuffing: “We’re a Nashville SEO firm who helps Nashville businesses get found in Nashville.” Get what I’m saying? According to Nyagoslav Zhekov, this myth can quickly become dangerous.

6. We’re a Licensed Google SEO Firm/Person/Specialist

Nope. Google doesn’t endorse, license, or train SEO professionals. They have trusted photographers who can take photos of the inside of your local business, but that’s totally different.The closest thing you can find is an SEO with a healthy respect for Google’s terms of service and quality standards.

7. Google PageRank is Everything

Also false. Google hasn’t updated their PageRank, a public measure of a website’s authority, yet this year. There’s actually tons of speculation that the search giant is about to totally retire this measure.

8. Your MetaTags Need Keywords

Your MetaTags and content tags both matter because they’re a function of user experience. However, this text is no longer used by search engines for ranking, sorting, or categorizing purposes. If you can’t quite fit your primary keyword into your meta description, don’t fret. Make sure it’s enticing and descriptive enough for your readers to click-through, because Google won’t even notice.

9. H1 Tags are an Important On-Page Element

In some research that threw many SEO experts for a total loop, Moz revealed that they’ve found little correlation between a page’s ranking and the H1 tag. To be sure, it’s prudent to ensure yours is superb, but don’t expect an H1 tag to compensate for thin content or a poor page layout.

10. Automated SEO is Automatically Spammy

Let me get this one straight. If an SEO professional uses tools and platforms to make their job a little easier, they’ve crossed the line from white to black hat? Not quite. SEO tools are actually only as spammy as you make them. We recommend Natural Search Blog’s post on whitehat automation practices to those curious about the difference.

What are the funniest, most annoying and cringe-inducing SEO myths you encounter on a regular basis?

The 10 Most Cringe Worthy SEO Myths Ever Told image b0d17428 bb90 4a0e a41b 5e18eac27a01

image credit: akarakingdoms/ The 10 Most Cringe Worthy SEO Myths Ever Told image

Author:Pat Owings     Pat Owings on the Web Pat Owings on Facebook Pat Owings on Twitter Pat Owings RSS Feed

Pat Owings is Partner and CCO at Inbound Marketing Agents, an innovative Hubspot gold partner agency based in Nashville, TN…. View full profile