clutch_reviews

Agency Partner Interactive is Making Waves in Digital Marketing in Dallas/Fort Worth

API Making Waves in Digital Marketing

For over ten years, Agency Partner Interactive has been at the forefront of leveraging technology to drive revenue for businesses. We give ourselves the goal of changing all our clients for the better.

But we need to prove that, which is why we created our Clutch profile to begin gathering reviews from our clients and partners. After two years of letting the results come in organically, we are happy to say that we are getting an overall positive reception from our clients and partners.

We have so far collected thirty-nine reviews. Our average score through all of them has been five stars. This is an excerpt from the latest one that was published recently.

clutch_review 

We appreciate these reviews and the effects they’re causing for two important reasons. First, they inform the market of the services we offer and the quality they can expect if they choose us as their project partner. Second, they inform our team of our strengths and the areas that require adjustments to further improve our processes.

These kinds of reviews and feedback operate as good barometers for the quality and temperament of any vendor. They come from unbiased sources that have direct experience with how the service provider operates. But that’s not all they have to offer.

This website has areas that showcase leading firms from every industry on their directory based on the scores they get from reviews. It acts much like a top scoreboard except for companies, and the criteria is customer service.

We are happy to say that Agency Partner Interactive is in the top five best digital marketing agencies in Fort Worth according to that list. It quickly communicates that not only are we providing the best services in our field. But that we are causing real positive change to our clients.

This improvement is important because we want our potential clients to know we are a top digital marketing and web design/development agency. Using agencies is a cost-effective way to gain an edge for your business.

We endeavor to spread awareness on the viability of this business strategy because the benefits are too substantial to ignore. Explore our website to learn more about the services we offer and what we can do to improve your operations. Contact us today and get an expert opinion on how we can grow together.

Adam Rizzieri with Newsmax_Will_Trump_Still_Shun_Twitter_if_Musk_Reinstates_Him?

Newsmax: Will Trump Still Shun Twitter if Musk Reinstates Him?

Originally published on April 27, 2022 at Newsmax.com, Written by Marisa Herman

Even though former President Donald Trump is swearing off a return to Twitter, social media gurus aren’t so sure he’ll stick to that promise – if his account is reinstated.

The chances Trump’s account will be reinstated – enabling him to instantly communicate with his 89 million followers – grew significantly after entrepreneur and self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk purchased the social media platform for $44 billion on Monday.

The world’s richest man vowed to make the platform “better than ever” with new features bolstering free speech.

 

But just how much of a free-speech champion the outspoken Tesla and SpaceX boss really is could be put to the test when it comes to deciding what to do about Trump’s account.

Trump was permanently banned due to a so-called “risk of further incitement of violence” following the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol.

While Musk hasn’t specifically addressed plans to continue the ban or overturn it once he takes the reins of the company, he has publicly commented on his feelings toward permanent bans in general.

During a recent TED interview, he said he would be “very reluctant” to delete posts or permanently ban users who violate the company’s rules.

 

 

Big tech experts so far are betting on Musk reinstating Trump’s account. And while Trump has said he is sticking with his own platform, Truth Social, politicians have been known to change their positions.

Andrew Selepak, a social media professor at the University of Florida, said that if Trump is allowed back on Twitter, he has “absolutely no doubts” that he will eventually return to his prolific tweeting.

“There is a very good chance that Trump will be allowed back on,” he said. “And if he is allowed back on, he 100% will do so.”

Considering Trump boasted 89 million followers on Twitter and has just 1.6 million so far on the relatively new Truth Social, experts don’t see him abandoning such a large audience, especially if he plans to make another run for the White House.

Selepak said Trump’s political aspirations could dictate what moves both Trump and Musk make when it comes to Twitter.

If Trump decides to run for another term in 2024, Selepak said Musk won’t want to “limit the voice” or get into “any type of battle” with a person who could ultimately be able to sign executive orders or champion legislation that could hurt his other companies like Tesla or SpaceX.

Selepak points out that Musk’s companies have enjoyed tax breaks, incentives, and government contracts and he won’t want to risk any existing relationships his other ventures enjoy with the government.

“If Trump does run, Musk could make the decision to allow him to be back on to not create an enemy with someone who could be in the White House,” he said.

Because Twitter has a longstanding policy about providing world leaders with a presence on the platform, Selepak said Musk could use that argument to easily reinstate Trump.

“Musk could make a much stronger argument to users and everyone else, if Trump decides to run, to give him access back to Twitter than giving it unilaterally before then,” he said.

Ultimately, he believes that Musk’s decision on Trump’s account will come down to what is going to benefit the entrepreneur.

While Selepak doesn’t believe Trump will be able to stay off Twitter if allowed to return, he said there is still a chance he keeps his word.

Because Musk will have the ability to call the shots on what is and isn’t allowed on the site, Selepak said Trump may decide he does not want to be “beholden to Musk.”

Dallas-based marketing expert, Agency Partner’s CMO, Adam Rizzieri agrees that Musk will likely extend the invitation to Trump to return to the platform, calling it a “good business decision for Twitter.”

But he doesn’t necessarily think Trump should accept — if he is serious about getting Truth Social up and running.

He likened a Trump Twitter return to the CEO of Coca-Cola being caught drinking Pepsi in public because the two platforms are “extremely similar in form and function” and are competing for the users.

Stocks tied to Truth Social fell nearly 13% after Musk’s Twitter takeover was announced Monday. On Tuesday, Trump issued a statement highlighting Truth Social as No. 1 among the “Top Free Apps” in the Apple App Store.

Rizzieri said Trump could use a reactivated Twitter account to promote his own venture. But he cautioned that Trump would have to walk a “very fine line” to do so successfully.

“He has to ensure that exclusive, value-added insights are added to Truth Social alone, and Twitter must be nothing more than a teaser for whatever content he is sharing to a Truth Social audience,” he said. “Anything less and he could undermine the growth of his own social platform.”

Rizzieri points out that Truth Social users have doubted Trump’s commitment to the platform because he has only posted once since creating his profile in February. He also noted that Donald Trump Jr. “posts multiple times per waking hour on Twitter,” while he places only two to four posts per day on Truth Social.

Rather than use Truth Social to promote his appearances and news, Rizzieri said Trump’s updates only seem to reach users via proxy updates from his son’s Twitter account or after broadcasts of weekend rallies on TV outlets.

Trump told Fox News Monday that he plans to formally join his own network within the next week.

Still, Rizzieri said Trump’s absence from the platform since its debut has prompted many to question whether they will receive the “direct, real-time access” they had to the former president when he was on Twitter.

Now that Musk and Trump are competing to promote free speech, he said Truth Social’s team will be forced to “dig deep and more rapidly define a unique value proposition that no one else offers.”

“Today, they are a light version of Twitter but without the annoying and unfair politically biased censorship,” Rizzieri said. “It’s a great start. But with a guy like Elon Musk vowing to make Twitter ‘great again,’ Truth Social has to be more innovative.”

As Musk promises to turn Twitter into a “de facto town square,” Selepak said conservatives, who felt their voices were silenced on the platform, will likely return.

He expects that, even before any major changes are announced or implemented, just the news of Musk being at the helm will prompt many users who backed away from Twitter to “change their mind and come back to start using it again.”

A group of House Republicans immediately rejoiced at the news Musk would be taking over, calling on the new social media mogul to “free” Trump.

“Hey, @elonmusk it’s a great week to free @realDonaldTrump,” tweeted the House Republican Conference, which represents 209 lawmakers.

 

If enough “big voices on the right” return, he said the presence of their posts will increase without Musk even having to institute changes to the site’s algorithm, which dictates how users see certain posts on their timelines.

Musk has proposed making changes to the platform’s algorithm in order to increase trust.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” he said.

Whether Musk will be able to eliminate “wokeness” from the platform, however, is what Rizzieri called the “$44 billion question.”

“Like President Trump, Elon Musk views wokeness as a virus that has infected Big Tech, the mainstream media, and Netflix,” he said. “The common denominator here is an unelected, ruling class of elitists that all march to the beat of their own drum.”

He said Musk knows that Twitter’s “woke algorithm ignores the mainstream user, giving preference to an out-of-touch class of blue check elites,” referencing the journalists, celebrities, and politicians who are “verified” on the platform.

In order to protect “American exceptionalism,” by “effectively standing up to wokeness,” Rizzieri said Musk knows he has to “allow for good ideas to circulate without unfair censorship.”

He believes that, on Musk’s Twitter, “both good and bad ideas will circulate freely – and the best ones will survive.”

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Catch Us In the Media

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

twitter_purchased

CBS News: Elon Musk on Why he Wants to Purchase Twitter at a Premium

Agency Partner joins CBS Austin

Elon Musk, one of the world’s richest men, has struck a deal to buy the platform Twitter at $54.20 a share which was accepted Monday. Making the sale worth about $44 billion.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk stated during his announcement.

During initial negotiations, our co-founder and CMO Adam Rizzieri was asked by Melanie Torre from CBS Austin on his thoughts on the accusation and what the board of directors at Twitter might think of the deal.

Adam believes Musk can bring value to Twitter, especially in terms of growth. He points out, that Twitter reported a $221 million loss for 2021—much of that related to a shareholder-waged lawsuit for misleading investors about user growth.

“I think a guy like him can compel more Americans to go to the platform. I think he can compel more people around the world, in general, to get on the platform,” Adam said.

digital_marketing_tools

Top Tools to Help You Dominate Digital Marketing

Expert Tips For Top Tools to Help You Dominate Digital Marketing

If you’re looking to dominate digital marketing, you need the right tools. With so many different platforms and channels to consider, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s where we come in! In this blog post, we will share 21 of our favorite tools for digital marketing. Whether you’re looking for a tool to help with SEO, social media, or paid advertising, we’ve got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Check out our list and get started today! 

What is Digital Marketing? 

Digital marketing is the process of using technology to promote your products or services. This can be done through a variety of channels, including search engines, social media, email, and paid advertising. With so many different options available, it’s important to choose the right channels for your business. 

What are the Best SEO Tools 

Now that you know what digital marketing is and why it’s important. Let’s talk about the best SEO tools that you can use! 

SEMRush  

SEMRush is a powerful tool that can help you with keyword research, website audits, and more. SEMRush can help you find what your competitors are doing, including advertising! Take a look at your backlinks and find new ways to get to your target audience. 

AHREFS 

AHREFS is great for competitor analysis and link building. View your current SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and find new opportunities to improve your website ranking. 

Moz 

Moz is a well-known tool that offers a variety of features to help with digital marketing. Use Moz to track your keywords, create custom reports, and more. 

SpyFu 

SpyFu is another great tool for competitor analysis. See what keywords your competitors are targeting and find new opportunities to improve your website ranking. 

Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you track your website traffic. This is important because it allows you to see what’s working and what’s not. 

What are the Best Email Marketing Tools? 

Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and promote your products or services. But what are the best email marketing tools? 

MailChimp 

MailChimp is a popular tool that allows you to create beautiful email newsletters. You can also use MailChimp to automate your emails, making it easier to get the right message out at the right time. 

Active Campaign 

Active Campaign is a powerful email marketing tool that can help you automate your email marketing. You can also use Active Campaign to create custom reports, segment your list, and more. 

CampaignMonitor 

CampaignMonitor is an email marketing tool that’s great for bloggers and online businesses. CampaignMonitor makes it easy to create beautiful emails without knowing how to code. 

What are the Best Social Media Tools? 

Social media is a great way to connect with your customers and promote your products or services. But what are the best social media tools? 

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a popular tool that allows you to manage all of your social media in one place. You can also use Hootsuite to schedule your posts, track who’s engaging, and monitor what people are saying about your business – even if they don’t tag you!

Buffer

Buffer is another great tool for managing your social media. With Buffer, you can schedule your posts, track your analytics, and more.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a powerful tool that allows you to manage all of your social media in one place. You can also use Sprout to create custom reports, monitor what people are saying, and more.

What are the Best Advertising Tools?

Advertising is a great way to reach your target audience and promote your products or services. But what are the best advertising tools?

Google Ads

Google Ads is a popular tool that allows you to create and manage your Google Ad campaigns. You can also use Google Ads to track your campaign performance.

StackAdapt

StackAdapt is a great tool if you’re looking to get into programmatic advertising. Unlike other DSPs, StackAdapt has a low starting cost and offers great audience segments.

Bing Ads

Bing Ads is another great tool for creating and managing your online advertising. You can also use Bing Ads to track your campaign performance and find new opportunities to reach your target audience.

What are the Best Analytics Tools?

Analytics are important because they allow you to see what’s working and what’s not. But what are the best analytics tools to use?

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you track your website traffic. This is important because it allows you to see what’s working and what’s not.

KISSmetrics

KISSmetrics is a powerful tool that allows you to track your website visitors. You can also use KISSmetrics to create custom reports, segment your list, and more.

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is another great tool for tracking your website traffic. You can also use Mixpanel to create custom reports, segment your list, and more.

How Can I Get Started with Digital Marketing?

If you’re looking to get started with Digital Marketing, the tools above are a great place to start! Our marketing experts at Agency Partner Interactive can help get you set up with a great plan built just for you!

In_Demand_Digital_Skills

2022’s Most In-Demand Digital Skills: What You Need to Know

As we move further into the 21st century, the world of digital marketing is only going to become more and more important. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest digital skills. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the most in-demand digital skills for 2022. Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, these skills will help you thrive in the years to come!

What are digital skills?

Digital skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to succeed in the digital world. This includes everything from social media marketing to web design to data analysis. As the world becomes more and more digital, these skills are becoming more and more important.

As business owners and employees, it’s important that we keep our digital skills up-to-date. So we stay ahead of the curve in competitive markets.

Why are digital skills important?

Digital skills are important because they can help you succeed in any number of industries. Whether you’re looking to start your own business or get ahead in your current career, digital skills will give you the tools you need to succeed.

Are All Digital Skills Coding?

No! You don’t need to be able to code to have digital skills. While coding is a valuable skill in the digital world, it’s only one aspect of many. There are plenty of other digital skills that don’t involve codings, such as social media marketing, web design, and data analysis.

What are the most in-demand digital skills for 2022?

In 2022 the digital realm has expanded beyond what we could have ever imagined. With technology changing and advancing at breakneck speeds, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the most in-demand digital skills for 2022 so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Digital Marketing Skills

Digital marketing is the process of using digital channels to promote or market products and services. This can include everything from social media marketing to email marketing to search engine optimization (SEO). As the world becomes more and more digitized, businesses are realizing the importance of a strong digital marketing strategy.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is one of the most in-demand skills of 2022. As the world becomes more and more connected, businesses are looking for ways to reach their target audiences through social media. If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, social media marketing is a great place to start.

Email Marketing

Email marketing continues to be strong in the world of digital marketing. In 2022, businesses will be looking for ways to connect with their customers and clients through email. If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, email marketing is a great place to start.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of optimizing a website for Google search. In other words, it’s the process of making a website more visible in Google search results. In 2022, businesses will be looking for ways to improve their SEO in order to reach more customers and clients. If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, SEO is a great place to start.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

PPC is a type of digital marketing where businesses pay to have their ads displayed in Google search results. In 2022, businesses will be looking for ways to improve their PPC campaigns in order to reach more customers and clients. If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, PPC is a great place to start.

Web Design

Another in-demand skill for 2022 is web design. As businesses move more of their operations online, they need websites that are user-friendly and visually appealing. If you have a knack for design, web design is a great career to consider.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is another skill set that will be in high demand in 2022. As businesses collect more and more data, they need people who can help them make sense of it all. If you’re detail-oriented and good with numbers, data analysis could be the perfect career for you.

Software and Technical Skills

While some software skills may seem basic, they will become increasingly important in the next few years.

WordPress

WordPress is a content management system that helps you create and manage a website. While it’s not as popular as it once was, WordPress is still a valuable skill to have. Many websites are built on the WordPress platform, and even having a basic understanding of how it works is very valuable.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office has been a staple of the business industries for decades now. With no sign of going away anytime soon, Microsoft Office is a great digital skill to have in your playbook.

Google Suite

Google Suite, or GSuite, is an important part of daily business for many companies. Being able to work within digital workspaces and docs, as Google offers, is an important digital skill.

Adobe Suite

Adobe has built some of the most powerful image and video editing software that exists. Being able to work and utilize their software, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, etc, is a great way to step up your digital skills!

Project Management

As businesses take on more projects, they’ll need people who can help manage them. If you’re good at keeping track of deadlines and details, project management is a great digital skill to have.

Marketing Automation

As businesses automate more of their marketing processes, they’ll need people who know how to use the software. Marketing automation is a complex but important digital skill that will be in high demand in 2022.

These are just a few of the most in-demand digital skills for 2022. If you’re looking to get ahead in your career, start by learning one or more of these skills. With the right skill set, you’ll be well on your way to success! If you’re interested in learning more digital skills, keep an eye on our blog! And if you want help to start your own digital projects using digital experts, contact us today!

Musk's Twitter Swerve Positions Him for Hostile Takeover - Adam Rizzieri Joins Newsmax to Discuss

Newsmax: Musk’s Twitter Swerve Positions Him for Hostile Takeover

Originally published on April 13, 2022 at Newsmax.com, Written by Marisa Herman

In declining a seat on Twitter’s board of directors, experts say billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is likely positioning himself to take an even bigger role in the social media platform.

Just 24 hours after he invested more than $3 billion to secure a 9.2% stake in the company – instantly making him the company’s largest shareholder – it was announced last week that Musk would serve on the company’s board of directors.

But in a shocking reversal, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said Musk had changed his mind – prompting many to question just what Musk’s plans for the company might be if he isn’t using his influence as a board member.

Because he isn’t serving on the board, Virginia-based marketing expert Eric Alonzi said, Musk is in a “good position to enact a hostile takeover” of the company.

“He does such radical things he very well could take over Twitter and have a unique communication channel in his portfolio of entrepreneurship,” Alonzi said. “He might try to create a platform with true free speech.”

Musk’s decision to abandon the plan to join the board could have to do with a financial stipulation that would have limited Musk to owning no more than a 14.9% stake in the company. It could also have to do with something he has been long advocating for on the platform: free speech.

Dallas-based marketing expert Adam Rizzieri of Agency Partner said Twitter’s leadership team “believed it could tame Musk’s involvement by inviting him to the board with the caveat that he could not own anything more than 14.9% of the company.”

“But there was more to it,” he said. “That invitation also included conditions that could have forced Elon to be less outspoken, less free in his speech.”

In ditching the board seat, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO is free to increase his financial stake above that limit or possibly even become the leader of another company.

Rizzieri points out that Musk owns four times more shares of Twitter than founder Jack Dorsey and has the liquid capital to “do as he pleases,” considering his billionaire status.

“Out of desire he could choose to buy the entire company, even going so far as to remove it from public trading and take it private,” he said. “This would free up the company from regulatory burdens and allow some truly significant changes to take place.”

While Rizzieri believes Musk is more focused on his other business ventures, he said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility.

Andrew Selepak, a social media professor at the University of Florida, agrees that Musk’s decision to turn down a seat on the board of directors is a savvy move that will allow him the freedom to both increase his stake and protect his own presence on the platform.

Selepak said that the more of a financial interest Musk owns in Twitter, the harder it will become for the company to censor the self-professed free speech advocate – who’s now not only the company’s largest shareholder but even, potentially, an outright owner.

While a board seat would have certainly afforded Musk a powerful voice, Selepak said he would have been only “one of many voices.”

“By not taking a seat on the board, he can purchase more of the company and become an even louder voice,” he said. “This gives him the ability to say whatever he wants and not be worried about having his content taken down, or suspended, or de-platformed.”

According to a new document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, in addition to his new financial options, Musk is also able to express his opinions about Twitter freely and is allowed to “change his plans at any time, as he deems appropriate.”

If he became a director, Musk likely would have to adhere to the board’s corporate governance, which would have required him to act in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.

Rizzieri said Musk, who “calls it as he sees it, often via a tweet,” didn’t want to bend to the requests of the board.

Musk also has a history of flouting corporate governance. In 2018, he faced securities fraud charges after inaccurately tweeting that he had secured funding to take Tesla private. He agreed to pay a $20 million fine and step aside as the car manufacturer’s chairman for three years.

Shortly before Musk’s ownership in Twitter became public, he publicly criticized the platform’s commitment to free speech and even pondered creating his own rival platform, tweeting the musings to his 81 million followers.

Last month, he created a poll asking his followers whether they believed Twitter adheres to the principle of free speech. An overwhelming majority – 70% of the more than 2 million Twitter voters who chimed in – selected “no.”

Over the past week, he posted a series of tweets making suggestions for the company, taking jabs at the platform, and even tossing out a few jokes.

He suggested the company he just sunk millions into was “dying,” considering that celebrities with massive followings, such as Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, rarely tweet.

In another snarky post, he suggested deleting the “w” in Twitter in a poll, which garnered support from 57% of his followers.

He then got into a conversation with former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos after he asked users whether Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters should be converted into a homeless shelter “since no one shows up anyway.”

In a way, Selepak said, Musk was sending Twitter’s employees a message that there is a “new sheriff in town,” which he called a “pretty strong move for someone who just purchased into the company.”

While he also deleted some of his posts, it is unclear what role – if any – they may have played in his decision to walk away from the board seat.

Agrawal announced Musk’s change of heart in a lengthy statement he shared on his Twitter page. He said he and the board were excited to work with Musk and, even though he isn’t taking his seat on the board, they will “remain open to his input.”

Alonzi said he wouldn’t be surprised if Musk is just trolling everyone with a “charade,” pointing out he has leveraged tweets about crypto positions that “made him richer” before he ultimately reversed course.

But even without a clearly defined role, Rizzieri said Musk is already shaking things up.

He said just the “idea” of Musk’s involvement in Twitter “sent a positive shock to the market, boosting Twitter’s value.”

“The market knows that Twitter, as is, needs change,” he said.

Rizzieri said the fact that some of Twitter’s internal team has responded negatively to Musk’s presence in the company shows that those working for the platform are “happy with their woke status quo.”

“Contrary to boosts in value, an opposite reaction was detected within the emotionally fragile ranks of Twitter’s employee base,” he said.

He pointed out that some employees flagged Musk’s tweets as “in violation of their HR policies” and asked if Musk would have to adhere to the rules.

Several current and former employees told The New York Times they were concerned about Musk’s tweets criticizing the company considering he has no knowledge of the internal operations. While many were relieved that he wouldn’t be taking a board seat, they told the newspaper they are fearful of what he could do next.

“Even without him on the board and without implementing any actual changes to the platform, Musk’s current involvement in the company has put it on the defensive and already prompted the resignation of many of Twitter’s more politically extreme employees,” Rizzieri said. “Already, that’s a positive return on investment for Twitter, its shareholders, and its users.”

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Catch Us In the Media

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

Adam Rizzieri with Newsmax Discussing Twitter and Elon Musk

Newsmax: Musk’s Free Speech Fight May Hit Entrenched Resistance at Twitter

Originally published on April 6, 2022 at Newsmax.com, Written by Marisa Herman

It took billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk fewer than 24 hours to muscle his way onto Twitter’s board of directors after securing a 9.2% stake in the social media platform Monday morning, instantly making him the company’s largest shareholder – and one not content to remain a “passive” investor.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO’s nearly $3 billion surprise investment came just weeks after he began increasingly criticizing the platform over a dubious commitment to free speech, at one point even mulling the creation of his own rival platform in posts that went out to his 80 million Twitter followers.

Before his role on the board was announced Tuesday, Musk was already flexing his fresh influence, asking Twitter users in a poll if they wanted to see the platform add an edit button – a function long desired by users but that the site has never implemented.

After his board term, which is set to run through 2024, was made public Tuesday, Musk hinted that he would be swiftly pushing for changes.

“Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!” Musk said in a tweet, referring to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal.

But while social media experts never would have expected Musk to take a backseat role in the operations of a social media platform for which he’s now the largest shareholder, they question just how much of an impact he will actually be able to make considering he’s still not in the driver’s seat of the organization.

His board seat certainly affords him a degree of influence, but Big Tech experts don’t expect Musk to parlay that into becoming the new CEO of Twitter anytime soon – mostly due to Musk’s preoccupations and interests in his other ventures, which include Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company.

Tech and media expert Victoria Mendoza, who serves as CEO of MediaPeanut, an online digital media community, said Musk’s investment in Twitter shows he’s, at the very least, banking on an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” strategy in order to have a “voice” in the company.

Mendoza also doesn’t see Musk taking over as the face of the platform, but she thinks he “definitely wants to be part of the decision-making process,” pointing out he’s unlikely to have “spent that much cash without wanting something out of it.”

She said Musk’s involvement “could provide a huge headache” for Agrawal if he puts pressure on the company to make changes to its controversial policies on free speech.

Publicly, Agrawal welcomed Musk to the board tweeting: “Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board.”

“He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term,” he added.

But experts question how cordial the relationship will remain.

Dallas-based marketing and big tech expert Adam Rizzieri noted that Musk’s decision to get involved in Twitter came after founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from the role of CEO and Agrawal took over.

He said that the move from Dorsey to Agrawal signaled “more of the same” was ahead when it comes to “censorship, unimpressive business growth, and more virtue signaling from a notably progressive, often hypocritical leadership team.”

Twitter has faced criticism from Musk and conservatives who feel the platform unfairly censors its content and users.

Last month, Twitter suspended the account of The Babylon Bee, a satirical site, for jokingly naming Rachel Levine, the transgender assistant secretary for health, “Man of the Year.”

The Babylon Bee’s CEO, Seth Dillon, tweeted that Musk contacted him about the suspension and even “mused on that call that he might need to buy Twitter.”

Rizzieri said Musk’s decision to invest in Twitter is his attempt to respond to a “societal pain.”

“This is typical of great entrepreneurs,” he said. “They start with a big problem and then reverse engineer the solution. Society’s problem is that mainstream social media companies unfairly censor free speech, and he believes he can solve that.”

Society’s problem is that mainstream social media companies unfairly censor free speech…

Musk’s move on Twitter was well received by conservatives, many of whom saw the investment as the key to stopping the censorship of right-leaning opinions – and potentially even reinstating former President Donald Trump to the platform. Trump was booted off Twitter following the breach of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, due to what the platform called a “risk of further incitement of violence.”

“Now that @ElonMusk is Twitter’s largest shareholder, it’s time to lift the political censorship,” tweeted Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo. “Oh… and BRING BACK TRUMP!”

But Twitter on Tuesday made it clear that it still has no plans to reinstate Trump’s account.

“Twitter is committed to impartiality in the development and enforcement of its policies and rules,” the company told the DailyMail. “Our policy decisions are not determined by the Board or shareholders, and we have no plans to reverse any policy decisions.

“As always our Board plays an important advisory and feedback role across the entirety of our service. Our day to day operations and decisions are made by Twitter management and employees.”

Whether or not Musk is ultimately able to end Trump’s Twitter exile, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., tweeted that if Musk could “clean up Twitter and stop online censorship” he would be all for him “taking over the whole damn thing.”

And if Musk’s tweets are any indication of his plans, free speech policies appear to be a priority.

He publicly questioned Twitter’s free speech practices in several tweets on March 26. Musk even tweeted a poll on his Twitter account questioning whether Twitter unfairly censors speech.

“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” he wrote. “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”

An overwhelming majority, 70%, of the more than 2 million Twitter voters who chimed in, selected “no.”

Rizzieri believes that Musk’s financial interest in the company has to do with his belief that “free speech is essential” and “still cool.”

“Preserving free speech through social media is a means to an end for him,” Rizzieri said of Musk. “He needs innovation, collaboration, and communication to thrive and promote a marketplace of good ideas. Musk knows that social media plays a big role in facilitating conversations and, with this investment, he’ll promote freedom of speech because he’s passionate about it.”

While Musk’s vision for Twitter involves creating a “public sphere where you have free and open discussion,” Andrew Selepak, a social media professor at the University of Florida, said that achieving that aim is much “easier said than done.”

“A free speech zone, no matter what, is still going to have limitations,” he said.

He points out that Dorsey had been a “huge proponent” of free speech from the platform’s inception, but his initial goals “didn’t happen because there’s a utopian view of what things can be and then there’s the reality.”

He said Musk will ultimately face the same realities that Dorsey encountered when he set out to create a platform that championed free speech, including the competing viewpoints of employees, other shareholders, and users.

And even with a board seat and huge financial stake, Selepak said Musk won’t necessarily be able to unilaterally decide to do things such as reinstating Trump’s account.

“I don’t think people realize that Musk having less than 10 percent of the stock is not going to be this earth-shattering change to the platform,” Selepak said. “Even if he is able to make changes, those changes are going to be limited by the engineers and moderators and everyone who works at the company who are still the same people.”

While Musk’s ability to influence Twitter’s internal operations remains up for debate, Selepak said Musk’s involvement has already had one major impact – it put Twitter “back in the news.”

After Trump was suspended from the platform, he said Twitter has been stagnant and was being overshadowed in the news by stories such as the debut of Trump’s Truth Social, the growth of TikTok, and the decline of Facebook.

“Twitter has not been the social media platform people have talked about,” he said. “People are using it, but not talking about it.”

Now that Musk is involved, he said “it’s going to be a news story and people are going to be talking about Twitter.”

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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google_ads_remarketing

The Best Remarketing Strategies for Google Ads

Google Ads remarketing can be a great way to keep your business in front of potential customers, but using the right strategies is key. In this blog post, we’ll share some of Agency Partner’s favorite simple tips for getting the most out of your Google Ads remarketing campaign. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to optimize your current strategy, we’ve got you covered!

Apply A/B Testing

We love a good A/B test for how much you can learn from such a simple process. Find out what works best for your company, your industry, and your audience by optimizing with all the data an A/B test can gather for you.

Try Dynamic Remarketing

While standard remarketing puts your ads in front of internet users who have already recently visited your site, dynamic remarketing makes it possible for those ads to be automatically tailored even more to what your previous visitors are most likely to respond best to. This can be anything from customizing layouts to optimizing timing.

Expand Your Targeted Segments

Maybe your ‘customer needs’ focus is too narrow. Expand the range of who your ads are reaching by targeting new user segments with different ads. Consider the users of your mobile app, too, and what their needs are versus those who access your site on a desktop. Never underestimate the impact on conversion of user experience.

Change Up Your Max Bids for CPC

If you prefer the control with setting manual bids instead of relying on automatic bids, take another look at what you’ve set as your maximum amount per CPC or cost per click. It may be worth upping the budget so that you increase your chances of having your ad top the high search volume pages.

Leverage Cart Abandonment Opportunities

Cart abandonment has gotten a lot of attention from marketing departments lately, and for good reason. A visitor who already went so far as to click or press ‘Add to Cart’ shows much higher purchase intent than a visitor who just took a lingering glance at a product page.

Savvy remarketing to these easy converts may mean offering a small discount to help get them through the finish line of making the purchase. They’re certainly a segment worth a higher CPC bid in our opinion.

Make the Most of Remarketing Time Limits

Capitalize on the modern short attention span and set your automations to reach out to your remarketing targets quickly before they lose interest or completely forget about why they initially were interested in your product or service. If you have multiple remarketing ads running, you can customize different durations for each of them!

Note: It’s recommended to start with a duration of 30 days, meaning your ad reaches visitors who didn’t take further action on your site in the previous 30 calendar days. Adjust from there to find the best time limits for your particular audience’s response.

Set Up Responsive Ads

Similar to dynamic remarketing, this option helps automatically adjust your ads to the best dimensions for whatever space it appears in. It’s a big time-saver for sure!

Reassess Your Frequency Cap

What’s one of the worst things you can do as a marketer? Annoy your audience to the point it creates a negative brand perception. When making these settings and planning your remarketing campaigns, think about your real motivation with them – you’re not bombarding visitors with your brand or client’s existence; you’re just gently reminding a visitor of that item they may want to revisit.

Keep this in mind, especially when figuring out how often an ad is shown to a user, and it may have to be trial and error as there is no set universal number. How much is too much for your specific audience?

Avoid Negative Brand Associations

Maybe there are particular brands or publications you don’t want your own brand to associate with and advertise on. Google Ads allows you to set specific sites and their categories you want excluded from your remarketing campaign displays.

Widen Your Target Location and Language Settings

Unless you’re a local business and want to keep it that way, consider expanding the locations you reach and the languages your site can be translated into. It’s such a simple switch that can help make sure you’re maximizing audience potential.

Remarketing can be an extremely effective way to reach out to customers who have already shown interest in your product. By using the strategies we’ve outlined in this post, you should be able to create a remarketing campaign that drives traffic back to your site and increases conversions. Need help getting started? Contact our team of experts at Agency Partner. We’d be happy to help you get the most out of Google Ads and increase ROI for your business.

content_marketing_ideas

How to Never Again Run Out of Content Topic Ideas

Are you ever at a loss for what to write or post about? It can be tough coming up with new content marketing ideas, especially if you’re running a small business. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered here with some topic ideas research tips! This post is to help you come up with fresh content ideas that will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more. How do we not run out of content ideas? Agency Partner Interactive is spilling all of its secrets! 

  • Filter Through Quora 

Launched in 2010 by 2 former Facebook employees, Quora was designed for the express purpose of serving as a hub for asking questions and getting crowd-sourced answers. What better research approach than to go right to where those questions are being asked! You can search by keywords related to the industry you’re writing for, filter for when questions were asked to find the most current site queries, and even see which questions have the most views or followers to inform your topic research. 

  • Check Your Chatbot 

Chatbots are on a site to assist and answer questions for visitors, so why not make the most of the info they collect? These conversation logs can give you so much insight into what specifically your potential customer may be wanting answered or may want to know more about. This can help you personalize and customize your content to exactly what your site visitors are looking for!  

  • Try Out Some Keyword Research Tools 

If you’re a small business, long-tail keyword research is your best friend. Targeting these queries will help you most with reaching your niche market to eventually build up you ranking towards the short-tail keywords that the big businesses dominate. Use sites like Answer the Public and SEM Rush to do your research by entering your bits of industry terminology to find out what further terms you can zero in on for both topic inspiration and optimizing your ranking.  

Hot Tip: A new site we at API like is TopicMojo.com. 

  • See what Google Autocompletes Have for You 

By Google’s own admission, typing a term into Google triggers the site to not only search for what you’re initially looking for but also to populate info about related searches and keyword suggestions. Search for things and terms related to your industry, and then mine what all else Google has to offer for it. Some of these results will be location-oriented; if your business is a local one, this is a perfect way to source inspiration for further topics that people are also popularly looking for. 

  • Analyze What Works for Your Competitors 

Sometimes you just need a little push out of your writer’s block, and looking at what gets results for your competition can do just that. Of course, put your own spin on any good topics you spot on their blog or in their monthly newsletter that you think might also work for you. Think about their videos that clearly have an exceptional view rate or their posts that have more comments than other posts… What are common threads between them? Now, you likely won’t be privy to their behind-the-scenes analytics, but there are user-facing stats to look for that let you know if a content type or subject is working for them. Maybe your own spin on it could work for you, too! 

  • Ask Your Audience What They Want 

Why not go straight to the source and put out a social media survey directly asking what your customers and site visitors want to see more of or know more about? It can be a great opportunity for engagement alongside the topic research. 

  • Revisit Your Old Content 

Work smarter, not harder, you know? Sometimes your old content topics are just waiting for you to take a fresh look at them for another angle into them. Maybe the market or industry or your business or audience has changed some since the first time you explored the subject – it’s time for your current content to reflect that! What performed well the first time you shared it? Could it be given a deeper dive this time around? 

Content marketing can be a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be. By using the tips we’ve shared in this post, you can never again run out of content topic ideas. And if you need help putting these principles into action or want someone else to take care of your content for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to Agency Partner. We’d be happy to help you create a successful content marketing strategy that cohesively drives traffic and converts leads! 

social-media-trends

9 Social Media Trends You Need to Know for 2022

Expert Tips For 9 Social Media Trends You Need to Know for 2022

If you’re like most small business owners, you’re probably trying to keep up with the latest social media trends. But keeping up with social media changes can be hard – especially if you don’t know what to expect in the future.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the top social media trends that are expected to dominate in 2022. So, whether you’re just starting out on social media or looking to evolve your strategy, read on for some valuable insights! 

  1. Social Retailing

It’s not enough to post and ghost anymore (if it ever was), and users are all about social commerce this year. Brands need to create a full experience around their product or service – livestreams, shoppable buttons, influencer campaigns. It’s not exactly new, but it definitely will be taken up another notch in 2022.

  1. Customer Service Goes Social Again

For many, customer service has taken a back seat to a lot of the fun and flash of social media. Use 2022 to get back to authentically connecting with your customers when they have an issue or when they just need a little communication with a brand. Don’t forget that social servicing is how many brands built their following in the first place back when social media was still a wild, wild west!

  1. 3. Hiring from Social Platforms

It’s a Gen-Z world now, and even recruiting is turning to social platforms. Finding your new team members through avenues like TikTok marketing will depend on you being upfront about your mission, values, company culture, and the human element of your brand. Whether B2B or B2C, take the opportunity to solidify your branding and appeal to the next generation of the workforce.

  1. Brands Showcasing Their Human Side

Consumers today prefer looking at brands holistically to make sure they align with more than just the great products. Offer a human side to your company by showcasing the personality and points of view that your company values.

  1. Accountability

Brands are being taken to task more and more for the promises they’ve made – environmental, social, cultural – and those same brands better be backing them up with their actions. Consumers vote every single day with their dollars. So, make sure you’re listening and responding to the conversations around your brand on social platforms with sincerity when they come at you with those receipts.

  1. Brand Authenticity

If it isn’t clear yet from this roundup, authenticity is the new way of the future. Consumers are far more attuned to when they’re being sold to, and fake connections just won’t cut it anymore. Meet users’ skepticism with transparency about your company and its values. Empathize with their heightened awareness of social issues and use social media to show them you’re aware, too.

  1. User-Generated TikTok Vids

UGC or User Generated Content is still the pinnacle of social content, and TikTok is the place with the most social currency. Use it to build brand awareness and support the sense of authenticity and accountability around your company culture through shortform videos on the platform. Run contests, repost and share, and just generally show appreciation for your customers who participate in creating content around your brand.

  1. LinkedIn has it’s Influencer moment

It seems each platform has its own distinct slice of the social influencer pie, and LinkedIn is the next spot to get the highlight! In 2022, LinkedIn has begun focusing on creators, especially with the rise of Work from Home culture. This will be the spot for developing your personal professional brand through thought leadership and engagement potential.

  1. #NoFilter

“Perfect” can be so boring. Posting social content without first curating filters and effects has been slowly growing over the last few years, and we think it’s time for the shift to go mainstream. In-the-moment authenticity is the key to engaging a modern audience in a way that will prioritize genuine connections over “perfection”. 

That’s it for our roundup of the top social media trends to keep an eye on for 2022. Of course, things are always changing in the world of social media, so don’t be surprised if some of these predictions change by the time next year rolls around. But as of right now, these are the trends we think will be most important to watch.  If you want help staying ahead of the curve and ensuring your company’s social media is on-trend, contact Agency Partner today. We have years of experience helping businesses just like yours make the most out of social media and stay ahead of changes in this ever-evolving industry.

target-audience-for-small-businesses

How to Identify Your Target Audience for Small Businesses

Expert Tips For How to Identify Your Target Audience for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you know that one of the keys to success is identifying and targeting your ideal customer. But what if you’re not sure who that is? In this post, we’ll give you some tips for finding and understanding your target audience. By the end of this, you should have a good idea of who your digital marketing is trying to reach with your product or service. Let’s get started!

What Is a Target Audience?

A target audience is a particular group of people that fit certain criteria to mean they most likely will buy your product or hire your service. These are exactly the people you want your ad campaigns to be placed in front of. We’ll get to the specific categories of criteria a little later in the post!

Advantages of Targeting in Marketing

Knowing exactly who your product or service is aimed at reaching can be critical in maximizing your digital marketing budget. Sharpen your marketing strategies, develop deeper customer loyalty and better brand awareness, attract higher quality leads, and focus on who will most likely give you the biggest ROI. Niche targeting has never been more powerful!

What Are the Types of Target Audiences?

Market categorizing or ‘segmenting’ can break down into 6 basic types: demographic, geographic, psychographic, behavioral, needs-based, and transactional.

Demographic – The most popular type of segmentation, this type defines the more literal aspects of who the audience is, depending on a B2C (age, gender, ethnicity, profession, education) or B2B (industry, company size, and position, job tenure) context.

Geographic – Sometimes where someone lives can affect their purchasing choices. It probably wouldn’t be very useful to run Google Ads for surfboards in Scandinavia, right? This could be as general as a continent or all the way down to a specific district or zip code.

Psychographic – Interests, values, hobbies, attitudes, lifestyle. Apple is well known for marketing the idea of minimalism and attainable luxury for the modern, forward-thinking consumer. That’s psychographics!

Behavioral – How has your audience previously interacted with your brand? What is their awareness of your brand? Have they made any purchases from your company already? What about their product knowledge?

Needs-based – This one’s pretty straightforward and also breaks down further into 4 sub-categories: problem-solving (low-carb products for diabetics), emotional (anti-aging skincare products), functional (ride-sharing apps), and value-based needs (products for vegans). 

Transactional – You know those offers for free shipping on orders over a certain amount? Or those ‘We miss you – here are 15% off your next order’ emails you get after not shopping at a particular store for a long while? Yep, that’s transactional segmentation.

7 Tips for Identifying Your Target Audience

Now, how to actually figure out who fits into those targeting types…

Audit Your Current Customer Base

Look at who all has already bought your product or service. What do they all have in common, or maybe what’s different among them? Are they all of similar ages or from similar regions? Why did they decide on using your company? Use your social media or send out customer surveys to get started!

Research The Market

Research your market as a whole to find what may be missing. Is there a particular untapped crowd that your company can speak to? Focus there to refine your unique product value messaging.

Study Your Competitors

Who are your competitors targeting? There could be a lot of opportunities to learn from what works and doesn’t work for them. Maybe your competitors are overlooking, again, an untapped crowd or marketing channel.

Dive Into Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a savvy marketer’s secret weapon for all the insights you can gain into your site visitors’ habits and interests, how they’re discovering you, and what they’re engaging with most.

Build Personas

This step is for after you’ve done your initial segmentation work. Take all that great data you gathered and use it to create identities for your customers. Maybe base them around familiarity with your product crossed with the general demographics of your audience to then target how you speak to their more specific needs. We at Agency Partner Interactive recommend crafting 3 to 5 different personas.

Rethink the idea of “Everyone”

It’s impossible to actually appeal to every single person – not even puppies or pizza can do that – but the idea can still lead you to a useful mindset! “Everyone” really can just mean you have multiple audiences and may need to approach each with a different type of marketing. Odds are there will be lots of overlap, too!

Evolve Evolve Evolve

Understand that this is a never-ending process. People change, markets change, needs change, your company will probably also change. Be ready to refine and optimize and re-refine and re-optimize your audience targeting so long as you’re in business. 

It’s clear that knowing your target audience is essential for small businesses. By understanding who your ideal customer is, you can create a more effective marketing strategy that reaches them where they are. You can also tailor your products and services to better meet their needs. If you’re not sure how to identify and segment your target audience or need help reaching them, contact our team of experts at Agency Partner. We’d be happy to help you develop a plan that targets the right customers and helps your business grow!

remarketing-campaign

Is A Remarketing Campaign Worth It?

Expert Tips For Is A Remarketing Campaign Worth It

The user saw your ad – they didn’t click – they moved on. So should you…right?! 

With an average of only 2% of potential online customers that make a purchase after their first visit to an online store, that missed opportunity could be massive. A remarketing campaign can be a great way to reach those potential customers who maybe weren’t ready to convert the first time they viewed your product or service – but now they are! 

What Is Remarketing?

In the world of digital marketing, remarketing is the process of delivering ads to users around the internet who have previously visited your site. The process relies on that thing with a funny name you’ve heard of called “cookies” – a “cookie” is placed on your device when you visit a site that uses them and you also meet their criteria for activation. This could mean that you visited a specific URL for a product or service and left without buying.

Types of Remarketing

  • Display remarketing – the most popular type, these ads are paid to appear on a third-party page thanks to cookie tracking.
  • Search remarketing – as the name suggests, this uses paid ads that track users all the way back to a search engine results page (SERP) like Google.
  • Dynamic remarketing – this type will look different to each unique viewer, as the specific ad deployed depends on a combination of actions to result in a dynamic ad – this option is much more personalized to the viewer.
  • Video remarketing – create a short ad to place in front of YouTube videos, for example, to remind viewers of your product or service
  • Email remarketing – make use of your email marketing lists and send out abandoned cart reminders or newsletters with targeted discounts
  • Social Media remarketing – this tactic focuses on mainly in-feed ads, often based on users’ visiting habits of a business’ social channels

How to Create a Remarketing List in Google Ads

  1. In the Tools & Settings of your Google Ads account, go to Audience Manager under Shared Library to find all your selected audiences.
  2. Create a new audience by clicking the top left blue button.
  3. To make a Remarketing Audience, select Website Visitors.
  4. Give this new audience a name.
  5. From there, determine based on the provided list what sort of remarketing campaign you want to run.
  6. If you’ve chosen a campaign targeted to visitors of a particular URL, next you’ll specify what those URLs and associated keywords are.
  7. Then tell Google to populate the list with visitors from the past 30 days or to start a whole new list.
  8. Choose the length of time those visitors will remain on the remarketing list.
  9. It’s a good idea here to add some details in the description of the audience to help you stay organized.
  10. Finally, press “Create Audience” and wait for the approval from Google Ads – it can take as many as 24 hours.

Remarketing and Retargeting – Are They the Same?

The two terms are commonly used as having the same meaning, but there is some technical nuance you may want to consider.

  • Remarketing is really about reminding and upselling specifically through email with prior customers
  • Retargeting is officially about paid ads to encourage re-engagement with new potential customers

Psst!…Take a look at Agency Partner Interactive’s Guide to E-commerce PPC for some deeper-dive tips on how to get started with paid ads!

Is It Worth Investing in Remarketing?

Here it is – the whole reason you clicked through to this post – Is a remarketing campaign worth it?

YES!

With benefits like these, how could the answer be anything else?!

  • Boosted CTR

No more important a reason, the average Click Through Rate increase alone makes the effort worthwhile. No other type of ad has a better ROI thanks to the inherent fact that the viewer had some interest in your business from the start – they’re already warmed up for the customer journey!

  • The reach of new customers

Remarketing doesn’t just reach people who directly interacted with your site. You can also manage your campaign to reach those who were simply looking at similar items or services.

  • Positive user experience

A lot of users simply get distracted when in the middle of trying to make or decide on an online purchase. Remarketing to them can be a very useful and positive experience with your brand.

So, is re-marketing worth it? The answer is absolutely and unequivocally yes. It’s been shown to increase ROI for businesses of all sizes and industries and can be a major boon to your bottom line when done correctly. That said, it’s not something you should just dive into without some planning – there are different types of retargeting, after all, and not everyone will be appropriate for your business. But our team at Agency Partner knows how to make re-marketing work for you – so contact us today to get started!

Adam Rizzieri Newsmax - Sanctions on Putin Russia-Ukraine War

Newsmax: Big Tech, Business Attempt to Punish Russia Could Backfire

Originally published on March. 11, 2022 at Newsmax.com, Written by Marisa Herman

A flurry of multinational corporations and U.S.-based Big Tech companies have rushed to declare their own economic war on Russia to punish President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine — but some experts fear the offensive will actually embolden the Kremlin.

Since the Ukraine invasion began three weeks ago, a growing number of Western companies spanning various sectors — banking, retail, entertainment, Big Tech — have suspended or completely severed their presence in Russia.

While a spate of stringent international sanctions and the closing of airspace to Russian planes has made it difficult for many companies to carry out business as usual in Russia anyway, Atlanta-based marketing and branding expert David Johnson said many companies opted to withdraw from the region to avoid being seen as supportive or even merely neutral amid the military conflict that’s earned Putin global scorn.

Businesses that opt to cut operations in Russia are currently backed by a majority of Americans and risk losing business in the U.S. and other Western countries if they don’t take a stand. According to a recent Morning Consult survey, more than 75% of Americans support corporations severing Russian business relations.

“As public pressure grows to pull out of the Russian market, businesses are balancing the desire to protect employees working in Russia against the reputational harm they may suffer by continuing to do business there,” said Wendy Patrick, an attorney, business law lecturer at San Diego State University, and Newsmax insider.

She points out that when a company decides to sever ties, it is weighing an impact felt by a “range of relevant stakeholders.”

“Contemporary brand management involves recognizing the risk that unpopular or politically incorrect corporate decisions go viral quickly, and can result in social media-fueled boycotts,” Patrick said.

But despite winning consumer support at home, Johnson fears that many companies’ departure from Russia will ultimately hurt ordinary people in the country, and possibly even embolden Putin as the nation loses access and connections to the West.

In response to the growing number of companies pulling out of Russia — a contingent that includes Disney, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Starbucks — Moscow has retaliated by banning U.S.-based social media companies Facebook and Twitter.

While Putin has managed to control nearly all facets of Russian society since taking charge two decades ago, political expression and non-state media reports could still be found on the internet. That access is fading, however, as Putin reacts to decisions made by TikTok, Netflix, Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft to say “dasvidania” to their business in Russia.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, blocked all Russian accounts from making money from their videos and barred Russian state television outlets from being shown across Europe. While YouTube and messaging app Telegram are still available, tech experts predict they could be the next communication apps tossed by Russian regulators.

“Russia is on course, right now, to be North Korea — that isolated,” Johnson said.

Dallas-based digital marketing and tech expert Adam Rizzieri said he agrees that by pulling American Big Tech out of Russia there is a chance that tensions could escalate.

Putin’s efforts to shut down the free press, however, have been “mostly futile,” with hackers interrupting Russian state television to share antiwar messaging and news of Russian war crimes against Ukrainians. Elon Musk has also chipped in, offering uncensored internet from space.

Rizzieri pointed out that, within hours of Russian missiles destroying Ukraine’s internet infrastructure, Musk’s Starlink service arrived on the ground within 48 hours of a Twitter request.

Without flexing a muscle, Musk used SpaceX to easily, publicly undermine Vladimir Putin,” he said. “Musk has shown how the private sector can be used to mock and undermine global tyrants.”

But if access to the West diminishes, some fear that Russians will fall further victim to Putin’s propaganda, with no other viewpoint present than one which blames the West – and which could ultimately weaken U.S. influence.

To compensate for the missing commerce, Rizzieri said Russia will ultimately develop “government-controlled initiatives” via a “parallel market to try and offer the same goods and services that we enjoy here in the U.S.”

He points out Russia already has Vkontakte, which is essentially just a copy of Facebook.

“Typically, the quality of a knock-off is substandard and the people always find a way to get the real thing,” Rizzieri said. “Somehow, even authentic Levi jeans found their way into Soviet Russia. Socialist markets always allow for a black market to bring in more desirable goods and services.”

Johnson believes companies were forced to take an early stand on the Ukraine conflict because it was “brought into everyone’s living room” via social media.

With the Biden administration initially slow to respond to the growing threat Russia posed to Ukraine, he said multinational companies faced increasing pressure to take a stand from other European countries where they have lucrative contracts.

Rizzieri believes that Ukraine was the “deal breaker” for businesses because the American public “knows that the Biden administration’s weakness makes them directly complicit.”

With Americans seeing a “strong, fearless” leader in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – who is “standing up to what many see as an evil, calculated Vladimir Putin” – he said there is a desire to back Zelenskyy’s example of “strong” leadership.

The voluntary corporate withdrawal from Russia is also not unprecedented. In the 1980s, 200 major companies pulled out of South Africa in protest of apartheid. At the time, the U.S. slapped South Africa with congressional sanctions.

When a company decides whether to remove itself from a market over geopolitics, Johnson said they are calculating the cost of making an exit, which is why many of the companies that pulled out of Russia still have a presence in China, which has a long track record of committing human rights abuses against its Uyghur Muslim population.

But Rizzieri said the fact that the U.S. “business and political establishment continues to protect China and other countries with questionable track records is not OK.”

“The idea that Americans are comfortable buying oil from Iran is laughable,” he said. “Eventually the private sector has to stand up to the public sector and say ‘enough is enough.'”

But considering Russia is a “basket case for business,” while China boasts one of the “strongest economies,” Johnson said it is a much easier decision for a company to cut a minor loss by leaving the Russian market than to suffer a devastating blow by exiting China.

He said the biggest test will be how companies react if China decides to invade Taiwan.

While businesses are certainly aware of the egregious human rights violations taking place in China, he said “we don’t see [the abuses]” in the same way the Russian war has infiltrated social media feeds nationwide. That is partly because China is digitally isolated from the West, which is what is now taking place in Russia as Putin clamps down.

So, while Russia inspires companies to take a stand for human rights, it’s “business as usual” for businesses with a presence in Beijing.

“The big question is, if China goes into Taiwan, will these businesses do the same then?” Johnson said. “That’s when the rubber hits the road. If China invades Taiwan and their bottom line is affected, how do they react?”

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Catch Us In the Media

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

SEO-on-a-budget

10 Ways to Do SEO on A Budget

Expert Tips For 10 Ways to Do SEO on A Budget

As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to save money. But did you know that you can do SEO on a budget? In this blog post, we’ll share 10 ways to get the most out of your SEO efforts without breaking the bank. So, whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking for ways to optimize your current campaigns, we’ve got the tips that will help you achieve results no matter your SEO budget.

For a deeper dive into how much you should spend on SEO, check out Agency Partner Interactive’s guide to How Much to Budget for SEO.

SEO Audits Are Your Friend

To make things better, you have to first understand where it is you’re going wrong. Your first step should be to run an SEO audit to check for…

  • any broken pages
  • error alerts
  • content duplicates
  • domain and page-level factors
  • and more

There are both free and paid tools for doing this SEO audit plus outsourcing options, depending on what your budget allows.

Agency Partner is always available for a consultation to help you figure out what options will work best for your needs!

Get Bigger by Starting Small and Local

Start with where you are. Target your local keywords first. Optimize your searchability in local directories. Naturally, build up your review history in your area. And don’t forget to register your listing on Google My Business with your location in the title tag.

What Have You got That Your Competitors Don’t?

Something clearly works for your competitor, but that doesn’t mean they have the entire range of the marketing edge covered.

Pay attention to their content and social strategizing. Read the comment feedback from their audience for ideas on where to capitalize that they are missing. Conduct a content gap analysis to guide your marketing where you have the best opportunities for breakthrough.

Guest Blogging Is Still a Thing That Still Works

Once you’ve done the analysis and written those freshly tailored blogs, reach out to related content scopes. Begin by building a relationship with the admin through engaging with their content as you would like them to engage with yours. Then approach with your proposal. This is a chance to reach a brand new audience and position your brand as an industry thought leader.

Remember: Guest blogging needs to be mutually beneficial in some way when you approach another digital platform to write for.

DO NOT Keep It Short and Sweet

When you’re on a budget, don’t waste your limited resources by trying to compete with the big guys and their short-tail keyword domination. You won’t win… not yet, at least.

Do your keyword research and figure out what phrases people find you at with all the niche details – but not so detailed and niche-y that you end up with no one being able to find you.

For example, you’re not just a shoe retailer – you specialize in women’s ballroom and salsa dance heels. Use all that balanced info to your advantage when strategizing your SEO.

Rev Your Load Time

This tip does mean you need to first check your analytics to know where you’re starting from. If the current load time is longer than 3 seconds, then this approach is critical for you for sure – anything longer than 3 seconds is inherently damaging to your UX conversions, statistically speaking, and Google definitely doesn’t like that.

Look into…

  • simplifying your HTML and CSS code
  • allowing compression
  • avoiding redirects
  • optimizing images, and
  • upgrading your server response time

This may require a larger portion of your available budget (especially if you’re not super code-savvy yourself), but we can promise the results will be worth the expense.

Use ‘Fetch as Google’ to Re-Optimize Your Pages for SEO

 Google finally made fetch happen. (Yes, a Millennial wrote this.)

It’s a tool that lets users test if Googlebot can ‘fetch’ a URL and show how it’s rendered. If it works, then you can request Google re-crawl your site for better SEO and maybe even re-index it. This can make a massive difference in your SERP ranking at no cost at all.

Identify Any Orphan Pages

You may have some pages that lack internal links directing users to them, known as orphan pages. This can be a problem dragging down your site’s effectiveness, as those OPs don’t benefit from the associated authority of your homepage. From there, you can choose to either remove it entirely or revise your sitemap.

U Got a Bad URL?

It may seem insignificant to you, but that URL of yours that looks more like a scrambled coding language may be part of what’s holding back your SEO efforts. Your URL has to be simple enough for search engines to understand and obvious enough to the user what the page is about. You want people to confidently click through to your link, not worry if they’re about to fall for a phishing scam.

Links on Links on Links

Work smarter, not harder. You’ve already put in the work with initially creating your blog content; now get the most out of them by linking internally in later relevant blogs. If you do it smartly, it’s a great traffic driver and can be a nice boost in both your Average Time on Page analytic AND how easily Google can crawl and index your site.

Just don’t overdo it, okay? Google doesn’t like that either.

Is SEO Optimization Worth It?

As long as you’ve got an effective strategy, SEO optimization couldn’t be a wiser investment. It’s estimated that about 92% of online activity starts with a search engine. Add in a partner like the team at Agency Partner to help you maximize that strategy, you’ll be set for a very successful return on any sized investment! 

Send us a message here to get your site and SEO perfected for Search Engine Success ASAP!

graphic-design-vs-web-design

Graphic Design vs Web Design: Which One Is Right for You?

Expert Tips For Graphic Design vs Web Design: Which One Is Right for You?

When it comes to graphic design and web design, there is a lot of overlap. However, there are also some key differences between the two specialties. Let’s explore those differences that can help you decide which type of design is right for your business or career path. 

Keep in mind there is no wrong answer – both graphic and web design can be effective tools for marketing a business. But it’s important to understand the unique strengths of each field so you can make the most informed decision possible.

The TL;DR Digest

The two terms often get mixed up, but one style of design is not inherently like the other. 

While graphic design centers on artistry and creativity, web design zeros in on how each component of a website operates and behaves simultaneously. 

Web design is action-oriented. A user opens a navigational menu, scrolls through the product listings, or maybe watches an informational video on one of the product pages they’ve clicked through to.

Graphic design, however, is stationary. A user can see it or tap it etc., but there is no responsive action in return like with web design. 

Graphic Design Is…

Graphic design combines art and tech to create a cohesive visual message via the 7 basic elements:

  • line
  • shape
  • type
  • texture
  • image
  • space, and
  • color

This can be used in both digital and print.

Web Design Is…

Web design similarly combines art and tech (hence the confusion between the two) to affect the user experience of website planning and creation. This is focused on the 5 basic web design principles:

  • aesthetics
  • interaction
  • content
  • visibility, and
  • usability

Graphic Designers Use…

  • Typography

Text is a visual tool used to help communicate the who and the what of a brand identity. From the serif and typeface to color and hierarchy, typography must cohesively support the tone, grab attention, and establish brand recognition with every dotting of an i and crossing of a t. 

  • Images

Connecting text to images can be a powerful device to express messaging and directives. Consider also how the placement and context of these images can affect the idea or message the image conveys.

  • Layout

Layouts in graphic design means the arrangement of elements to make sure the messaging is clear, accurate, and coherent in its intent.

  • Color

The strategy of color psychology can be a highly influential device for affecting how an observer feels about and interprets the graphic and its message. If a designer is creating a graphic for a wellness and relaxation company, colors associated with serenity and calmness like sage green and cerulean blue will be a much wiser choice than fire-engine red in order to visually support the brand identity, let alone how color also contributes to establishing brand recognition and, yes, brand voice.

…to name just a few of the elements needed to create designs that are used in print and digital media.

Web Designers Use…

  • Content Management Systems or CMS

A content management system is a type of software used for designing, organizing, and modifying website projects. It’s especially helpful for those that are more novice or are not especially skilled and knowledgeable in writing programming code.

  • Programming Languages

For those web designers that prefer to have the ability to truly customize every element of their design, they use HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, SQL, PHP, and so many other coding languages to help design the visuals for their websites. Generally speaking, each has its own particular design purpose and strength. Knowledge of and experience with these tools is in very high demand for those considering a career in web design.

  • Design Software

Think Photoshop or Sketch. This software is the perfect place for drafting prototypes and guides for how the finished website should look. If not left up to a specific UX designer, they can also help web designers plan and create wireframes for the very structure of the site.

…among many more tools to produce websites that can be viewed on any device.

Check Out a Few of Agency Partner’s Related Posts on Graphic and Web Design

What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

How to Design a Website

Dazzling by Design: The Web Design Process

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design

A Webbed World: Design vs Development

7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Web Designer

To Wrap It Up

So, what’s the difference between the graphic and web design?

  • Graphic designers focus on creativity – how a design looks and feels. That might use typography, color theory, or illustration to create an eye-catching piece of art.
  • Web designers, on the other hand, are more concerned with how all the parts of a design function together as a system. They need to make sure that everything works well together and that all the elements (text, images, navigation bars, etc.) are easy for users to find and interact with.

If you need some help creating beautiful graphics or designing an effective website, contact our team of experts at Agency Partner to get started on your project today!

 

Adam Rizzieri Newsmax Russia Ukraine War

Newsmax: Big Tech Allows Russia-Ukraine Misinformation to Go Viral

Originally published on March. 02, 2022 at Newsmax.com, Written by Marisa Herman
Big Tech has emerged as a key player for Ukraine in the country’s bid to repel Russia’s invasion, as social media feeds throughout the world are flooded with dramatic images of bombed-out buildings, heroic troops, and resilient civilians.

But Big Tech companies aren’t just promoting news and images that are sympathetic to Ukraine’s plight. The organizations also have pushed to restrict pro-Russia news sites and censor what they consider blatant misinformation about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack.

And while the companies may have noble aims, social media experts say it’s also likely the platforms are inadvertently pushing inaccurate pro-Ukrainian propaganda that doesn’t depict the truth on the ground.

While popular social media apps such as Twitter and Facebook are based in the U.S., digital marketing expert Adam Rizzieri said the companies are effectively “no longer American” because they are “owned by international shareholders that only care about profit.”

“In the case of this Russia-Ukraine war, Big Tech has shareholders and users that represent both sides of the conflict,” he said. “So, when it comes to picking a side, they don’t choose Russia, Ukraine, or the United States. They quietly pick the side that aligns with their collective self-interest of making money.”

Rather than reveal a political or geographic bias, Rizzieri said the current conflict has exposed Big Tech’s “inability to make moral decisions related to geopolitical conflicts.”

So far, none of the U.S.-owned tech companies have banned Russian state media from using their platforms – the way in which several of them banned former President Donald Trump during his final weeks in office and beyond – and plenty of unverified pro-Ukrainian posts have gone viral, leaving users sifting through the posts appearing on their feeds to determine whether they are real or fake.

Just one week into the invasion, as social media platforms waffle over what to censor and misinformation has at times flown as fast and frequently as bullets. Andrew Selepak, a social media professor at the University of Florida, said fake or mislabeled posts and those lacking context are dangerous regardless of whether they have a pro-Russia or pro-Ukraine effect.

Because there is “no unifying voice” that “everyone is going to trust,” he said it will be difficult to understand exactly what is going on in Russia and Ukraine, especially because there is no direct U.S. involvement in the fighting.

Since it is very easy for the media to spin a good vs. evil or David vs. Goliath contest between Ukraine and Russia, Selepak said Big Tech companies are backing those portrayals. That could explain why far more pro-Ukrainian propaganda is infiltrating social media feeds – even if much of it isn’t true.

For instance, there have been multiple posts circulating that turned out to be dated or taken in other locations. Photos and videos taken during the 2014 Maidan protests in Ukraine have been recirculated on social media with claims that they depict the most recent Russian invasion, according to Reuters fact checkers.

The team found that the pics, which were posted as a collection of four images, show different scenes with a fiery backdrop. In two of the photos, people are throwing objects that are on fire. A third photo shows a man saluting with his middle finger. The last frame shows a person aiming a slingshot behind a barricade.

Similarly, footage of a military simulator video game, photos of explosions from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip, dated footage of heavy weaponry firing, and even aircraft animations have been shared as if they are representative of the Russian invasion.

Unverified news stories about the conflict are also going viral on social media. Selepak chalks that up to “confirmation bias,” in which people seek out the information that they want to find.

He pointed out that the sharing of heroic stories of Ukrainian troops, even if they aren’t true, “falls into the narrative of what we believe or what we want to believe, is more likely to spread.”

“We are coming into these stories with a bias we want to believe,” he said.

Conflicting accounts have made the case of the “Snake Island soldiers” confusing. The group of 13 defenders, who were reportedly killed after telling an approaching Russian warship to “go f*** yourself” turned out to be “alive and well,” according to the Ukrainian Navy.

But the deaths of the soldiers stationed on the tiny island in the Black Sea were so believed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the 13 soldiers on Snake Island all died “heroically” by Russian bombardment. The navy now claims that soldiers repelled two attacks by Russia before surrendering “due to the lack of ammunition.”

Hype around the “Ghost of Kyiv” – an alleged Ukrainian fighter pilot who is said to have shot down as many as 10 Russian planes – is almost sure to turn out false and is likely nothing more than an urban legend.

Photos and videos shared on social media of the ace supposedly in action are likely not authentic images of a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter pilot. One post is actually footage from a video game and not footage of a Ukrainian airman shooting down a Russian fighter jet.

And as social media platforms appear to rally behind Ukrainian efforts, it wouldn’t be the first time that Big Tech has played a role in Ukraine’s future.

Many credit tweets made by Ukrainian activists and journalists for encouraging Ukrainians to participate in the 2014 Maidan protests, which were sparked by the Ukrainian government’s decision to suspend the signing of the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement. That decision led to closer ties with Moscow – but also soon inspired protests that ultimately led to 2014’s Revolution of Dignity.

“Seekers of truth cannot believe anything they read these days,” Rizzieri said. “They must seek information from a diversity of reliable sources and then use their best judgment accordingly.”

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Catch Us In the Media

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

website-redesign

Why Your Website Needs a Redesign ASAP

Expert Tips For Why Your Website Needs a Redesign ASAP

Think your website looks just fine the way it is? Those homepage sliders and flat color schemes might make you wanna think again…

If you’re not seeing the results you’d like in terms of traffic and conversions, it’s likely time for you to shake things up on your site. Here are Agency Partner’s top reasons why you need to redesign your website ASAP!

On Average…

As a general guideline, it’s recommended you redesign your website about once every two or three years. Quite simply, with the lightning-fast rate of change in the digital sphere, two to three years is all the time it takes for your site’s design to undoubtedly fall behind and look out of date. 

Your site doesn’t mirror your brand anymore
It’s beyond important for your website to match your brand, from aesthetic and identity to voice and messaging. From the second your home or landing page loads for a user, it should be crystal clear who and what exactly the company is. Maybe your site and brand matched when you first launched but you’ve gone through some evolutions into who your entity is today. Time to redesign for who you are now!

Your website is behind the current design trends
Sure, those designs were once fresh and current…but are they still? Take a detailed look at your site and then get to Googling the new ideas and standards in the web design world. This update will keep your company feeling current and savvy. 

Your website doesn’t respond well to all devices

If your site doesn’t automatically adjust and optimize to the device a user is accessing it from, odds are extremely high that the user will either get frustrated or lose interest (or both) in continuing to explore your site. This may be an iPhone, a Tablet, an Android, etc. Think of how it is also very likely negatively impacting your analytics like bounce rate and click-through rate. Don’t miss out on countless opportunities for conversion over a simple user experience issue!

Your website doesn’t give the user your entire service options
You’ve probably expanded your services as your business has grown. Does your sitemap reflect that? If a user isn’t readily aware that you meet their needs, they’re likely to move on to a competitor who they can be sure does meet their needs. It might be time for a redesign to make room for some new pages that cover the details of everything you offer, both old and new!

Your website is not search engine-friendly
The importance of SEO cannot be overstated, and if your site isn’t designed with it in mind, it’s definitely time to redo your website regardless of any other factor! If you aren’t already familiar, read up on best practices for site architecture optimization and even check out our blog post on Web Design Mistakes That Can Harm Your SEO. Ideally, every detail of your site’s coding should be made search engine friendly, from custom landing page URLs and meta descriptions to title tags and even image optimization.

Your website doesn’t maximize your content marketing plan
Site design and content marketing are synergistic for sure. Say you have a blog attached to your company’s site, but the design has the only direct access point buried at the bottom of the page? Because the design isn’t mindful of the user journey to the marketing tool, you’re both limiting your users’ ability to find your content and your own ability to drive lead generation and customer relations – an excellent reason to redo your website!

Your website is based on outdated tech
If your site isn’t current and relevant, why would a potential customer think your company as a whole is up to date? Old tech can weigh down your site processing speeds, dragging down its performance for the user. It also can be a big barrier to search engines and their ability to scan and assess your content for SEO visibility and ranking. Redesign your website for an update that makes it more efficient and supports a positive experience for your users.

Your website is missing important action drivers
Much like design supporting your content marketing, optimized placement of CTAs is so important to the success of your marketing strategies and ultimately your revenue. Make sure the CTA designs are cohesive and thoughtful across all site pages to maximize impact.

Your website is open to vulnerabilities
Using outdated tech can not only harm your credibility and competitive edge but also put the site itself at risk of security attacks. No matter the size of your business, data is always valuable in some way to the wrong set of malicious eyes. Updating your site can be the critical line of defense you need against hacking, viruses, and malware. 

If anything on this list sounds like it applies to your site and its current design, we highly recommend reaching out to our design team at Agency Partner for help. We can work with you to create a site that not only looks great but also reflects the latest digital trends and technologies. Your website is often the first impression potential customers have of your business – let it be one they remember for the right reasons!

Content-strategy

How to Create a Content Strategy That Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

Expert Tips For How to Create a Content Strategy That Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

In case somehow you haven’t heard: Content is king, and there are no signs of that changing. Creating an effective strategy for your content, however, can be tricky without some key marketing principles in mind – and it’s easy to make mistakes that can hurt your brand and your sales. We here at Agency Partner will walk you through the steps for creating an effective content strategy so you can reach your target audience and grow your business.

So, What Exactly Is a Content Strategy

Content strategy is all about thoughtfully planning, creating, and delivering content with a cohesive, overall marketing goal in mind. Depending on what’s relevant to your business, content can refer to blogs, email newsletters, white papers, social media postings, and beyond.

You’ll want to build a framework outlining your plan and the elements needed to create the content. Keep track of things like the characteristics of your defined target audience, your relevant researched SEO keywords, deadlines for creation and publishing, and the intended platforms for the content.

This content strategy is not just about churning out whatever so your business at least looks like it’s still alive – it’s got to be of a quality that engages that audience in a way that drives your business towards that overarching goal.

How to Create a Content Strategy Framework

  • Specify Your Goal

It’s hard to make a plan without a destination in mind. What is it you want to achieve with your content marketing? What is the purpose of the content you’ll be creating?

  • Define Your Target Audience

Who will you be speaking to and trying to reach with your business strategy content? This will guide how you decide what all is relevant and likely to be most effective, from the content platforms you choose to the tone of your brand’s voice.

If you know your audience is mainly men over 45, you can reasonably figure that prioritizing publishing short-form videos on TikTok or linking blog posts to Pinterest won’t be a good use of effort. Clearly define your audience and focus on where they are.

Note: Don’t miss revisiting this step every time you create a new content strategy – your audience may have changed!

  • Perform An Audit of Past to Current Content

This goes for both your own (if you already have current content) and that of your competitors. Look at what content is performing well and not so well and use that information to help decide what you should be putting your efforts into going forward.

A content audit is simply a smart idea to run on a consistent basis to check if your strategies are working or need some adjusting. The frequency will depend on how tightly your campaigns need to be monitored.

  • Choose a Content Management System

It’s almost too easy to get disorganized with content. Do some research and find a content management system that will help you with creating, publishing, and ideally even performance tracking. 

While there are some free options, the most comprehensive systems will likely need consideration of a budget. Just make sure the setup of the particular system you choose works best for your team’s workflow.

  • Decide What Types of Content to Create

Think back to your defined target audience. Where do they spend their time online? What content types are they most interested in? What do you want the audience to do once they’ve seen or read or heard your content? 

  • Think Up Content Ideas and Research SEO Keywords

Here comes arguably the hardest part – what to post?! Get very friendly with Google search suggestions, take a look at your competitors, check out social media comments, or click around sites like Quora to spark some ideas. 

Once you’ve got some relevant topics, consider SEO for the digital content and research which keywords you want to be targeting within the content. Sites like Moz and SEMrush are the classics for SEO research, and that’s because they work and are surprisingly user-friendly, even for those still learning how SEO works.

  • Develop a Content Calendar

Whether it’s through a content management system or just an Excel spreadsheet, plan out what you intend to post and when. This will help you stay organized, make sure you’re staying mindful of supporting that overall goal across multiple platforms, and avoid making mistakes in a last-minute rush. 

It’ll also help in establishing trust with your audience as they see you being consistent with your content and publishing. Reliability goes a long way in building customer relationships.

  • Publish and Manage Your Content

With that content calendar in place, you’ve by now done all your necessary researching and brainstorming and planning to finally put into motion your no doubt brilliantly savvy content strategy – You’re a marketing pro now! 

A content strategy is an important part of any digital marketing plan. It helps you define your goals and set priorities, which can be difficult when there are so many options available. The framework we’ve provided will help get you started creating a content strategy that works for your business. If you need help putting this into action or want to brainstorm some ideas, contact our Digital Marketing team at Agency Partner. Let’s drive your results together!

ecommerce-mobile-experience

8 Killer Tips to Improve Your E-Commerce Mobile Browsing Experience

Expert Tips For 8 Killer Tips to Improve Your E-Commerce Mobile Browsing Experience

If your e-commerce business isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a lot of sales. With 72.9% of people shopping online using a mobile device, it’s essential that your digital storefront is optimized for these mobile devices. Here are Agency Partner’s top 8 tips to help you improve your customers’ mobile browsing experience for maximum sales.

Start with the Search

The product search is where so many conversion journeys truly start, so give it some deep thought. Keep your search bar visible and accessible on every single page leading up to the checkout step. Your search bar also can be used as a navigational tool by incorporating auto-suggestions to guide users through the discovery phase in finding what they want.

Design for Different Devices

We at Agency Partner design and develop for both Apple and Android users, and so should you. Make sure you research the differences between not only phone platforms but also tablet devices; then test your designs for each to optimize every shopper’s experience so that no user ends up feeling left out.

Make Checkout Quick And Simple

Maybe the most important part of a positive e-commerce experience, the checkout process is critical to keep as streamlined as possible. Approximately 35% of digital shoppers in the US decide to not complete their order because of interruptions like having to create an account before even getting to shop the site first. Design your site so it moves at the pace of the user rather than rushing them or causing friction for them.

The checkout process can also be a nerve-wracking one for users unsure about the safety of sharing their personal information. When your user is creating that account (prompted at a more thoughtful stage of the process), show that your company is mindful of security by directly requiring a strong password or offering a variety of payment methods that users commonly trust. Keep the use of those payment methods as native and integrated as possible to also minimize any disruption of the checkout stage.

Offer Multiple Ways for Customers to Reach You

There is any number of reasons your customers may need to contact you, so keep it as easy as possible for them. A clearly displayed ‘Contact Us’ page, a non-intrusive live chat function or chatbot, or an optimized FAQ page can offer a variety of solutions that satisfies the variety of customer preferences. 

Don’t Forget Visual Content

Smaller screens can be an issue for many users. Make it easier on them by focusing the text elements on just what is most important and including more relevant visuals. Where text is necessary, make it skimmable with short sentences and bullet-point lists. If possible, use video to highlight product information. Online shoppers nowadays are overwhelmingly more open to purchase when a product page includes a video about the item, especially for mobile shoppers.

Check How Fast Your Site Loads

Want proof that patience is largely a thing of the past in this digital age? The ideal length of time for an e-commerce site to load in 2 seconds. Yep. 2 seconds. A “long” page load time is one of the biggest causes of a high bounce rate; a whopping 40% of users will abandon your site if it takes them 3 or more seconds to access it. Google offers a tool for testing the speed of your page’s load time.

Use Clear Calls to Action

The modern online shopper prefers being directly told what action to take next. Keep them focused and guided by strategizing your calls to action or CTAs throughout your e-commerce site in terms that are relevant to the mobile experience. Keep them concise, direct, and in the brand voice. Consider the visual elements as well like the contrast of colors, the size and shape of buttons, and the readability of text. 

Note: While a desktop site may (for example) say “Click here”, it wouldn’t make sense for the mobile site to say the same. Don’t forget to update the UX copy to “Tap here” to reflect how the user is accessing your store.

Use Social Media to Your Site’s Advantage

Shoppable posts are fairly commonplace on Instagram and are growing on other social platforms, too. Meet your customers wherever they are with posts tagged with product visuals and info. Then seamlessly lead them back to the product page on your site to make the purchase in as few steps as possible. These actions can be tracked to also give you insight into what social platforms are most effective and how to offer promos to drive mobile conversions more efficiently.

If you’re looking to improve your e-commerce mobile site, we can help! Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to designing sites that are both visually appealing and functionally sound across multiple devices. Let us help you take your e-commerce business to the next level – contact us today!

seo-for-ecommerce

SEO Tips for Ecommerce Businesses: How to Increase Traffic and Grow Your Store

Expert Tips For SEO Tips for Ecommerce Businesses: How to Increase Traffic and Grow Your Store

If you’re an eCommerce business, you know that traffic is key. The more people who visit your store, the more sales you’ll make. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips for increasing traffic to your eCommerce store. We’ll also talk about how to grow your business and attract new customers. And finally, we’ll recommend ways to improve your SEO and get better rankings in search engines. Thanks for reading!

What is SEO?

To understand how to make our website rank better, we have to have a basic understanding of what SEO is. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. It is the process of optimizing a website for Google and other search engines. When done correctly, SEO can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), which means more people will see your site and hopefully click through to make a purchase.

How Does Google Find My eCommerce Shop?

As soon as you’ve launched your eCommerce site, Google knows you exist right? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Google discovers new websites in a few different ways, but the most common is through links. Google looks for a specific file in your website’s code called an “XML sitemap”. This file contains a list of all the pages on your website.

Googlebot (Google’s web crawling bot) visits websites and looks for links to other websites. When it finds a link, it will follow that link and crawl the website it leads to. This is how Google discovers most of the websites on the internet.

It looks for sites that are linked to other sites, these are called “backlinks”. The more backlinks you have, the better chance your site has of ranking higher in Google.

How Do I Increase Traffic to my eCommerce Shop?

The best and most cost-effective way to bring traffic to your eCommerce shop is through SEO. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can bring in more organic traffic (traffic that comes from people who are searching for information on the web). This type of traffic is highly targeted and has a higher conversion rate than other types of traffic.

If you’re able to rank in Google for search terms related to your products, you’ll likely see a significant increase in traffic to your eCommerce store. In order to rank in Google, you’ll need to employ some basic SEO tactics, such as optimizing your website’s title tag and meta description, publishing high-quality content, and building links from reputable websites.

Best Practices for eCommerce SEO

There are some basic SEO practices you can put in place to make sure your eCommerce shop is as visible as possible in SERPs. Here are a few tips:

-Optimize your website’s title tags and meta descriptions.

When you tell Google to crawl your site, it looks for certain information in your website’s code. This includes the title tag and meta description. The title tag is the text that appears in the search engine results page, while the meta description is the text that appears under the link to your website.

Make sure these two pieces of information are well written and keyword-rich. They should accurately describe your product or the page and include some of your target keywords.

-Publish high-quality content.

Google loves high-quality content. In fact, it’s one of the factors that determine a website’s ranking in search engine results pages. When you publish great content on your website, not only will your visitors love it, but Google will too. And it will give you a chance to add even more keywords to your site! Blogs are an easy way to expand into content, but you can try other ways such as videos, infographics, podcasts, and SlideShares.

-Build links from reputable websites.

Links are still one of the most important factors when it comes to ranking in Google. The more high-quality links you have pointing to your website, the better chance you have of ranking higher. Try to get links from websites that are relevant to your business and have good domain authority. This means that the website has a high trust score with Google and is likely to pass some of that authority on to your website.

-Use keyword research to determine the best keywords for your site.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is using the right keywords. Keywords are the terms and phrases people use when they’re searching for information on the web. By targeting the right keywords, you can attract more traffic to your website.

-Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Google has been increasingly focusing on mobile search results in recent years. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll likely lose out on traffic from people who are searching on their phones or tablets. If you want your eCommerce shop to rank well in SERPs, make sure it’s responsive and looks good on all devices and browsers.

What are Some SEO Tools I Can Use?

There are lots of SEO tools you can use to make sure your eCommerce shop is SEO-friendly. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • SEMRush: This tool allows you to spy on your competitors and see what keywords they’re targeting. You can also use it to find out how much traffic those keywords are driving to their websites.
  • Majestic: This tool helps you measure the quality of the backlinks pointing to your website. It also has a feature that allows you to compare your website to your competitors.
  • Google Analytics: This tool is free and provides you with a wealth of information about your website’s traffic, including where that traffic is coming from, what pages are being visited, how long people are staying on your site, and where they’re leaving from.
  • Google Search Console: This tool is also free and helps you track your website’s search engine rankings, optimize your website for search, and find out if there are any problems with your site that Google has detected.

SEO for eCommerce Conclusion

By following these SEO tips, you can help your eCommerce shop rank higher in search engine results pages and drive more traffic to your website. And that means more sales for your business!

If you’re looking for an agency to help with your SEO efforts, contact us today. We would be happy to chat with you about our goals and help you become a successful eCommerce business!

seo-in-2022

SEO in 2022: Is It Really Worth your Time, and Money?

Expert Tips For SEO in 2022: Is It Really Worth Your Time, and Money?

When it comes to digital marketing, SEO is one of the most important strategies you can implement. But is SEO worth the investment? That depends on your business and your goals. If you’re looking to increase traffic and generate more leads, then SEO is definitely worth the investment. However, if you’re not seeing a return on investment, then it might be time to rethink your strategy. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of SEO and how an agency, like Agency Partner Interactive, can help you achieve your desired results.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When someone searches for a term related to your business, you want your website to show up as one of the top results. This is where SEO comes in. By optimizing your website and content, you can improve your ranking and attract more traffic to your website.

SEO is constantly changing as Google updates its algorithm, so it’s important to have an experienced team of professionals who can help you stay ahead of the curve. That’s where Agency Partner comes in. We have years of experience implementing SEO strategies and we stay up-to-date on the latest changes to ensure that your website is always performing at its best.

What are the Benefits of SEO?

There are many benefits of SEO, including:

– Increased traffic: One of the primary benefits of SEO is increased traffic. When you rank higher in SERPs, you’ll get more clicks from people who are looking for information related to your business.

– Increased leads: SEO can also help you generate more leads. By increasing the visibility of your website, you’ll attract more visitors who are interested in what you have to offer.

– Increased ROI: One of the most important benefits of SEO is that it can help you achieve a higher ROI. When done correctly, SEO can provide a significant return on investment, often resulting in more leads and sales at a lower cost than other forms of online marketing.

Is SEO Worth it?

SEO is a long-term investment that can pay off big time. By improving your website’s search engine ranking, you’ll not only increase traffic to your site, but you’ll also generate more leads and sales. An agency partner like Agency Partner Interactive can help you achieve these results by developing an SEO strategy that best suits your business.

If you’re an eCommerce business, like a clothing store, making sure each item up for purchase is properly tagged with the right keywords is essential to your SEO. If you’re a B2B company, creating informative blog posts (like this one!) and optimizing them for search engines can help you attract leads from potential customers.

How Much Should SEO Cost?

SEO should be part of your marketing plan in 2022 and beyond. But how much should you budget for it? That depends on your business and the goals you want to achieve. Generally, expert SEO services cost between $3,000 and $10,000 per month, depending on the scope of the project and your individualized needs. You can find more about this in our blog How Much To Budget for SEO.

SEO can be done by yourself, but it takes a lot of time and effort. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive and effective approach, hiring an agency partner is the way to go. At Agency Partner Interactive, we have years of experience in SEO and can help you achieve your desired results. Agency Partner Interactive can help you develop a comprehensive SEO strategy that will improve your website’s ranking and generate more leads and sales. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Is SEO Different for My Niche?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. SEO is different for every business and every niche. What works for a Hollywood news website might not work for a pet store. That’s why it’s important to partner with an agency that understands your specific industry and can create a custom SEO plan that will help you achieve your desired results.

There is no one size fits all for SEO, follow our blogs in the coming weeks as we discuss more tips for different tips of business!

If you have a specific question related to SEO, reach out to us to get contacted with an expert! Agency Partner Interactive is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO. We have years of experience helping businesses achieve their online marketing goals, and we can do the same for you.

Is SEO Worth it? – Conclusion

In short, yes – SEO

The bottom line is this: SEO is worth the investment if you want to improve your website’s traffic and generate more leads and sales. An agency partner like Agency Partner Interactive can help you achieve these results by developing a customized SEO strategy that is tailored to your business and niche. Contact us today for a free consultation! 

amazon-ads

How Do Amazon Ads Work?

Expert Tips For How Do Amazon Ads Work?

When it comes to online advertising, Amazon is a major player. In fact, Amazon is now the third-largest digital ad platform in the United States, behind only Google and Facebook. That’s a pretty impressive feat for a company that started out as an online retailer! If you’re looking to start advertising on Amazon, or are just curious about how it all works, read on. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of Amazon advertising and outline how you can get started.

Who can advertise on Amazon?

If you have an Amazon storefront, you can advertise on Amazon! This includes sellers who use Amazon to fulfill orders (Fulfilled by Amazon, or FBA) and those who sell through the Amazon Marketplace. Setting up ads for your products is a great way to get your ads in front of the right audience. Running an ad places your product in a high-visibility spot, such as the first shopping result page.

What types of advertising are available?

There are three main types of advertising that you can use for your Amazon products.

Sponsored Products:

This type of ad targets customers who are already looking for products like yours. When someone searches for a product on Amazon, your ad may appear next to the search results. If a customer clicks on an ad, they’re directed to the corresponding product page. Sponsored product advertising is available to professional sellers and vendors.

If you’re looking to promote a specific product, this is a great ad to use! Sponsored Product ads help to increase sales and attract traffic to specific product pages.

Sponsored Display Ads:

Product display ads help you engage customers who have shown an interest in your in categories similar to your products or have viewed your product pages but did not purchase. This kind of Amazon ad shows ads on and off Amazon.

If you’re getting a lot of clicks on your product page but not a lot of purchases, consider using this kind of advertisement to keep your product at the forefront of people’s minds. Sponsored display ads are only available to vendors and sellers registered in the Amazon Brand Registry.

Sponsored Brands:

Sponsored brands allow you to highlight multiple products at the same time, along with your logo and a headline. Using this type of ad, shoppers are directed from your ad to a selection of products or to your brand’s store. This allows you to boost brand awareness and increase sales across all your products.

If you’re wanting to gain more credibility for your brand and you have a catalog of similar products, this is a great ad to use! Sponsored brand ads are available to vendors and sellers registered in the Amazon Brand Registry.

How Do I Pick a Budget?

Now that you’ve decided what and how you want to advertise, it’s time to set a budget for your ads. On Amazon, you pick a daily spend that you want Amazon to use. Every time someone searches for one of your keywords, all the ads Amazon bid for placement. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, the higher the budget the more clicks you’ll likely get.

Keep in mind that your budget should be based on your goals for the campaign and what you’re hoping to achieve. If you’re unsure of how much to spend give Agency Partner a call and our experts can consult you in your Amazon advertising!

How do I get started?

Advertising on Amazon can be a little tricky, but following these steps will help you set up your first ad. First, log in to your seller account and click the “Campaign Manager” tab at the top of the page. This will take you to an advertising dashboard where you can create ads, manage your budgets, and measure the performance of your campaigns.

Next, you’ll need to create a campaign. Give your campaign a name and choose the products that you want to advertise. You can then decide on your budget, how long you want the campaign to run for, and what type of ad you’d like to use. After that, you’ll need to create an ad. This is where you’ll input the details of your campaign, such as your headline, description, and product images.

You can also target specific customers by choosing keywords and interests that you want your ad to match. Amazon will then place your ad in front of people who are most likely to be interested in your products.

How do I know if my Amazon Ads are successful?

Once your ad is live, you can monitor its performance with the “Reports” tab. Reports show how much money your ads have made, the number of clicks and your ad spend. You can use this information to make adjustments to your campaign and improve results over time. If you’re just getting started with advertising on Amazon, you might want to consider using an Amazon advertising agency, like Agency Partner Interactive to help you get the most out of your campaigns.

What’s the Best Way to run Ads on Amazon?

The best way to guarantee results and start making good sales is to partner with an Amazon agency, like Agency Partner Interactive. With over 10 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry and a team of experts who are dedicated to your success, we can help you reach more customers and increase your revenue by creating effective advertising campaigns that get results. 

Ready to Promote Your Brand with Amazon Ads?

If you’re looking to increase sales and brand awareness, Amazon advertising is a great way to do it. With Agency Partner Interactive, you can create effective campaigns that will reach more customers and help boost your bottom line. Contact us today for a free consultation!

ppc-campaigns

How Can I Improve my PPC?

Expert Tips For How Can I Improve my PPC?

No matter the size of your business, it’s always important to make sure you’re using all the tools at your disposal to attract customers. One of the most effective ways to do this is through PPC advertising. But if you’re not seeing the results you want, don’t worry – there are definitely ways to improve your performance! In this post, we’ll outline some tips for boosting your PPC campaigns.

  • Set a clear goal

Unless you know where you’re going, it’s hard to know how to get there. Make sure you’ve set clear, measurable goals in order to strategically and effectively optimize your PPC campaigns. Depending on the intended impact, some PPC goals to set could be:

  • Getting traffic to your website
  • Improving sales
  • Gaining subscribers or downloads

Always keep your goals realistic, too. Success can be very motivating, but only if it’s actually achievable!

  • Strategize using high-performance keywords

Finding the right keywords can make or break any campaign, including PPC, and the most important keywords have a high CTR or ‘click-through rate.’ Thoroughly check their performance on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) platforms like SEMrush or Moz.

Bonus tip: Maybe your users live in a different part of the world than where you’re based. A VPN can help you reroute your searches to include the right regions for your needs.

  • Boost the quality of your keyword score

Loading your campaigns with all the keywords you possibly can may seem like a good idea… but unfortunately, it’s not. ‘Keyword stuffing’ as it’s known is prioritizing quantity over quality. Refine what you include to reach a better, more targeted audience to make your efforts efficient.

Consider if your ad copy truly supports the keyword objective and clearly speaks to your customer’s pain points.

  • Combine Similar Conversion Events Into A Single One

If multiple PPC events can be combined into one, you’re both streamlining the process AND refining machine learning. Whichever PPC platforms you’re using will be much better equipped for delivering your ads at higher optimization. More singular data for conversion = better conversion results.

 

  • Add Google ad extensions

Attach additional company or product info with ad extensions to help searching users learn more about you.

  • Manual ad extensions can be customized with site links, your location, reviews, contact info, etc.
  • Automated ad extensions work, well, automatically and can dynamically include previous visits, consumer and seller ratings, structured snippets, etc. 
  • Create a list of negative keywords

Negative keywords are a good thing to have, we promise! Say you are selling ‘brand new’ TVs, so you wouldn’t want your ads to show up as a result for someone searching for ‘refurbished’ TVs. This list helps keep your PPC targeted to your most relevant click and conversion opportunities, thus further maximizing your campaign budget.

  • Take advantage of remarketing

Instead of looking at a high bounce rate as defeat or frustration, look at it as an opportunity. This is just a sign to implement remarketing tools which send a follow-up ad via cookies to potential customers who have already looked at your site or product. It’s a very cost-effective option that has a proven history of higher ROI (return on investment).

  • Some ideas might be
  • Try A/B testing on lead magnets
  • Promote to users based on YouTube usage
  • Utilize your CRM 
  • Boost your ad copy engagement 

All the remarketing in the world won’t do much unless it’s in support of a solid campaign message. Take another hard look at your ad copy. Is it…

  • concise?
  • Considering character limits, make the most of your available space with a clear, direct copy about what you do and what it can do for the user.
  • relevant?
  • Does the copy reflect the audience segment you’re retargeting? Does it match its attached landing page?
  • attention-grabbing?
  • This is the perfect place for high impact, motivating words like ‘discover’, ‘exclusive’, ‘limited’, ‘instant’
  • coupled with a strong, clear CTA (call to action)?
  • Tell the user exactly what you want them to do next. ’Shop Now!’ ‘Get 1 Month Free’ ‘Learn More’ 
  • Avoid remarketing too frequently 

When setting your remarketing ad frequency, be aware of what you set the amount to. If it’s too often or for too long a timeframe, you run the risk of irritating those potential customers. Keep in mind that these remarketing campaigns cannot account for users who follow through offline, like if your CTA is to call your business for an appointment. 

With so many factors to consider in optimizing your remarketing campaigns, Agency Partner is ready to help you through every step. Give us a call today for a consultation!

UX-writing

All About UX Writing: The Complete Guide

Expert Tips For All About UX Writing: The Complete Guide

User Experience writing is a little-known but very important aspect of web design. If users can’t easily find what they’re looking for or don’t understand how to navigate your site, they’ll leave – and you’ll risk losing potential customers.

Despite its importance, many small business owners are unsure of what user experience writing is or how to go about incorporating it into their website. This comprehensive guide will introduce you to the basics of UX writing and show you how to apply it to your own website. With just a few simple changes, you’ll be able to create engaging and user-friendly interfaces that keep your customers coming back for more!

What is UX Writing?

Let’s start off really simple.

  • Fundamentally, UX stands for User Experience and is the crux of the whole UX design process.
  • UX design is all about the creation and, well, design of a great user experience with a digital product – UX writing serves the same purpose, but instead achieves it with words!
  • A UX writer is in charge of planning and composing microcopy for sites, apps, and other digital interfaces to help direct users through the product and have a great time doing it.

The two elements, writing, and design depend on collaboration with each other to achieve their goal of, you guessed it, a great user experience.

What is Microcopy?

The term “microcopy” refers to the bite-sized bits of writing you see all around sites and apps and products. They help a user understand how to navigate an interface, provide information on a situation, direct a user on what to do next, speak to potential user issues, and help express and convey the overall identity of who your brand is, what the product is, and how you do business.

What does a UX Writer do?

A UX writer writes the copy for a product’s interface to guide users on how to use that product. Commonly, UX writers are in charge of writing almost any interaction a user has with the product, such as:

  • Navigation buttons
  • Push notifications
  • Instructions
  • Error messages
  • Onboarding processes
  • Form fields

In some situations, a UX writer is also referred to as a content strategist, though a content strategist is not necessarily a UX writer. While content strategists typically focus on more overarching layouts of information and UX writing is all about concise details, there is an impressive amount of overlap in the skills both require to do the respective job well.

Why does good UX writing matter?

The growth of UX writing has been begun exploding in the past couple of years thanks to recent hard evidence from studies proving how remarkably effective it can be.

A popular example is of a study showing a hotel booking site changing its microcopy from “Book a room” (too decided-sounding and like a commitment, users explained) to “Check availability” (much more approachable and less committed). The site’s engagement jumped by a full 17% with just this one simple change in UX language.

What makes good UX writing?

Good UX writing follows some simple but distinct principles.

  • Use simple, familiar terms
  • Write in an active voice
  • Keep text and characters minimal
  • Be clear, direct, and concise
  • Speak the user’s language (if your audience is of a particular nationality or of a certain generational demographic, speak in a way that that particular audience will understand)
  • Maintain consistent terminology
  • Always prioritize empathy for your users 

Funnily enough, the less a user notices UX writing, the better the UX was written.

Is UX writing the same as copywriting?

Well, not quite. Simplistically, the biggest difference between the two is marketing: copywriting is marketing while UX writing is anything but marketing. Yes, UX writers write copy, but the purpose of their copy is to help users use a product rather than to sell that product to the user.

What skills do you need as a UX writer?

Effective UX writers tend to put these skills to use most in their job

  • Web Design
  • Content Planning and Management
  • Consumer Psychology
  • Project Management
  • Brand and Product Development 

Is UX writing creative?

Considering the bulk of the task is based on verbal problem solving, we’d say it’s definitely creative. if you know how to do it well! It might not call for flowery language, but imagining user scenarios and journeys and how you might help solve the problem before it’s an actual problem for a real user AND solving it all with just language? A role like UX writer is definitely all about creating ways to make a product interface simple and joyous to use! 

UX writing can be a tricky and highly nuanced skill, but with some time and effort, you can be writing engaging copy to help improve your users’ experience with your digital product. Short on time or effort? Let the team at Agency Partner take over the task for you! Contact us today to get started.

api-vulnerabilities

API Vulnerabilities and How to Protect Them Part 1

Expert Tips For API Vulnerabilities and How to Protect Them Part 1

Cybersecurity has never been more critical. In the last several years, APIs have taken center stage for modern stakeholders dependent upon qualities like productivity, reliability, and programming among others. So many of these things modestly exist under the radar of attention-grabbing, leaving them prone to at risk for attack by bad actors. To help you gain a better understanding of what to look for in keeping your site’s APIs protected, here’s a breakdown of the most common types of attacks and what you can do to prevent them.

What Is An API

API stands for Application Programming Interface, a collection of tools used by web developers and programmers to build new ‘middle man’ software that sends information for a task between a site or app and its user. A site or app’s API(s) is like a car’s engine. APIs can also act as layers of security, too, which we’ll be focusing on here.

Why APIs Are A Big Concern

Why does API security matter so much? Well, sometimes that information transfer includes sensitive data, especially when dealing with business APIs, about the customer, user, or even the business itself. Thus keeping the APIs safe and secure helps prevent those interfaces from becoming compromised in any way. 

Typical API Security Risks

The biggest causes for concern when it comes to the risk of API security are

  • sensitive data exposure
  • misconfigured security
  • inadequate monitoring
  • broken authentication
  • rate-limiting and lack of resources

The implications of these and other risks are huge.

Exposure to DDoS Attacks

This type of attack, a Distributed Denial of Service, generally is led by a network of bots to overload a target with artificial traffic. This prevents genuine users from accessing the site, rendering the site inoperable, and so it typically results in damaged brand reputation and loss of customers and sales.

Parameters Attacks

A parameters attack focuses on the URL field, manipulating the site target without the user’s knowledge or consent. This can involve data like a user’s credentials, product information, etc. Because URLs often follow a pattern, they are popular aims for attackers. 

Broken Object-Level Authorization

broken object-level authorization or BOLA means the application did not actually verify the user has the necessary approval to access an asset of another user. Nearly every single company has an API at risk of BOLA.

Insufficient Monitoring and Logging

When lacking information logs or lacking the right context, format, storage, etc, a company’s APIs can therefore also lack the resources to detect a break in security. If these logs aren’t backed up, intruders can erase the logs, essentially covering up both their tracks and their identities. This is especially dangerous for the financial and medical sectors.

How to Protect Against API Security Issues

Identify Vulnerabilities

In order to know the “how”, you first have to know the “what” – What API vulnerabilities are you or your company most prone to? No easy question to answer, especially as a company grows and integrates more and more APIs. A good first step is using an Extended Detection and Response (XDR). It’s specially designed to check for security flaws and support proper authentication.

Use Access Tokens

Using tokens is always a good idea when it comes to securing APIs. They allow sharing of information without necessarily having to share credentials, too. The tokens are always confidential.

Data Encryption

This is the foundation of securing APIs from attacks. Agency Partner recommends you use TLS or Transport Layer Security to scramble any and all data, especially the uniquely identifying kind. It’s also important that valid identifications be required so that only approved handlers have access to said critical data.

IP Whitelisting

Consider this your VIP list. Only specific IP addresses are granted access to the network. This is very helpful in preventing any unauthorized entry that can affect APIs within a particular private network. Whitelisting tends to work best in centrally administered locations that typically deal with a steady task load. This system can take effect in as little as 24 hours, and If any attack does happen, you can be sure that it came from within. 

API security issues are a real and present danger to businesses of all sizes. By understanding the vulnerabilities that exist and taking steps to mitigate them, you can protect your business and its data. Agency Partner is here to help you do just that. We have the expertise and tools necessary to secure your site or app APIs against attack, so contact us today for a consultation!

 

 

increase-website-traffic

22 Ways to Increase Website Traffic

Expert Tips For 22 Ways to Increase Website Traffic

It’s totally normal for web traffic to be down during the holidays, but maybe you’ve noticed traffic to your site hasn’t picked up again yet as we get further into the start of the new year. Perhaps it’s time to shake things up a little! We here at Agency Partner have put together our top 22 ways and strategies to increase website traffic to get your analytics back on track for 2022!  

1. Leverage on-page SEO 

  • It’s never too late to optimize for SEO. This is a great way to increase site traffic without spending a dime. Meta tags, internal links, alt texts, descriptions, readability – all simple opportunities for higher ranking on SERPs to boost traffic  

2. Cross-promote across social media account channels 

  • Your business has at least one social media channel, right? (…right??) Why not use it to promote the latest blog post on your site to naturally drive traffic? Do the same with your email newsletters? Draw attention by featuring an element of your site as a teaser on your socials that pays off for the user when they follow the link for the full article or freebie exclusively found on your site!  

3. Long-tail keywords 

  • Another facet of SEO, long-tail keywords are the more specific phrases (keywords of 3 or more words) users use as they narrow down what they’re searching for. They account for a big chunk of web searches, so it’s highly useful to know how to wield their highly targeted power.  

4. Influencer marketing 

  • Influencer marketing used to be all about the accounts with hundreds of thousands if not millions of followers. Now we’re seeing the power of micro-and nano-influencers and their hyper-targeted audience. Use that to your advantage with partnerships of features, promotions, and networking. 

5. Guest post on blogs 

  • Help establish you and your brand’s site as an authority by guest posting on other sites about your particular area of expertise. Pitch your content ideas for a feature to both drive free referral traffic and strengthen your position in the market! 

6. Clear out non-performing content 

  • Audit your own site for content that may now be out of date or from early on where your quality or style was still in development. Take the chance to update and revamp it. What’s old is new (and improved) again! 

7. Consider PPC 

  • No shame in Pay Per Click advertising! It’s the fastest route to results, and, exactly as the name suggests, you only pay for the ad whenever a user clicks on it! 

8. Have guests post on your blog 

  • What a great opportunity for some more cross-promotion on this two-way street with creators in similar niches or with audiences relevant to you both! 

9. Email blasts 

  • Email marketing has been around for decades already, and it’s still as powerful as ever to direct traffic to your site with mailing list blasts and automated newsletters about new services or products or blog content features. Just be careful not to overdo it. 

10. Build up your online reviews 

  • Social proof is more powerful than you probably think. Give casual users every reason to click on links to products and services on your site by building up online reviews! 

11. Sign up for Google Trends (aka stay relevant!) 

  • Focusing your content on what’s being talked about Right. Now. is such a simple, efficient tactic to reach audiences. If you’ve done the work for optimizing SEO already, too, a traffic increase is all but guaranteed. 

12. Look at competitors 

  • Get inspiration by seeing what’s working for your competitors – then put your own spin on it! 

13. Link build internally 

  • The longer you can keep your users on your site, the more useful you are to your users and the more SEO will naturally favor you. Look for opportunities in your content to reference your past relevant content via internal links. 

14. Ensure device responsiveness 

  • With mobile device access only continuing to trend upward over desktop access, do not make the mistake of devaluing the responsiveness of your site across all devices. Doing so is essentially telling your users to go elsewhere. 

15. Listen to your analytics data 

  • It’s one thing to know what analytics categories are and that they’re important; it’s another to know how to interpret them. Analytics telling you you have a load time of 4.3 seconds can tell you that your site needs streamlining and that it’s probably too slow a speed to satisfy your visitors’ patience. High bounce rate? Look more critically at your content quality. That’s a ton of valuable info about possible traffic drivers right there! 

16. Write how people read 

  • Speaking of high bounce rates, always remember that people typically don’t read on the internet – they skim. If your content is full of big blocks of text, you likely won’t reach your user in a productive way. Keep your site easily readable.  

17. Use push notifications 

  • Especially useful if you’re a business with a product or service to sell, look into setting up push notifications for your site whenever you have a new feature or sale. Just like with email marketing, though, keep aware of how much is too much for your users. 

18. Don’t forget about Pinterest 

  • People don’t intuitively think of Pinterest as a search engine, but that’s exactly what it is at heart! Do your keyword research for how to caption your pins and create interesting boards featuring your unique content. If your audience demographic is there, you should be there, too. 

19. Appreciate the power of H1 tags 

  • If your content tends to run on the long side, H1 tags are your best friend. They help make your site easier for search engine crawlers to understand the focus of your content, thus helping to boost your SERP ranking and making it easier for your site to be found in searches! 

20. Add social share buttons to your site 

  • Include social share buttons wherever they naturally fit under products or at the top or bottom of blog posts etc. The easier it is for your content to be shared, the more likely the user will help to drive traffic for you. 

21. Retargeting ads 

  • Remind the user of the items they left in their cart on your site as they navigate around the internet. Maybe they just need a gentle reminder to come back for them! 

22. Create a content schedule 

  • It’s so much easier to drive organic traffic when your audience knows when to expect a reason to revisit. Set a realistic content schedule for your output and stick to it!

These ideas will certainly help but know that success takes patience. The change will happen as you implement it wisely and stay consistent with it. It can feel like an overwhelming process as a business owner, and API’s digital marketing and development teams are here to help manage the load for you. Contact us today for a consultation! 

 

ui-ux-design

What is UI design? What is UX design? UI vs UX: What’s the difference

Expert Tips For What is UI design? What is UX design? UI vs UX: What’s the difference

As a small business, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends in design for your company app and website. But what’s the difference between UI and UX design? What do these terms even mean? Let’s take a look at the details of each term and how they can benefit your business!  

First things first…

What is UI Design? 

User interface (UIdesign is the methods and elements with which designers construct interfaces. It is all about the looks, style, and function of a product’s display. This focus on aesthetics includes the interaction between the user and icons, typography, buttons, colors, and beyond.

Examples:

  • Spotify’s pulldown animation
  • Starbucks’ color scheme usage
  • Domino’s’ order progress tracker
  • Duolingo’s consistent dashboard 

What is UX Design?

User experience (UX) is all about what it’s like for the user when they interact with a product’s interface. The experience design is the method of designing how a product is integrated including respects to usability, branding, and function in a meaningful way.

Examples:

  • Marriott’s booking experience.
  • YouTube’s autoplay features.
  • Target’s password guidance.
  • Grammarly’s onboarding

How Are UI and UX Related?

UI and UX are two symbiotic terms, and UI designers and UX designers are used almost interchangeably for how closely related they are. 

Both UI and UX are highly related design approaches but with very distinct nuances. UI design focuses on the visual and graphic aspects of design and the overall induced feeling. But UI design without consideration for complementary UX design and vice versa, however, will result in nothing but a bad experience for the user. 

All UX designers know that the user’s experience is king and focus on the technical aspects. The ironic part? The most telltale sign of good UX design is that the good UX design goes completely unnoticed by the user. A conducive partnership between the two practices is what wins a user’s trust and engagement.

What’s the Difference Between UI and UX?

Here is where all the nuance we mentioned earlier comes into play.

At the heart of it, UI is a single piece of the user’s process, while UX is anything that affects the user’s process.

UI encompasses all the details that allow a user to engage with a site or app’s interface, while UX is the ultimate experience that user has with said site or app’s interface.

UI is the aesthetic and look, while UX is the feel.

How Does Good UI/UX Benefit Businesses?

The ultimate objective of every business is to make sales and grow the business. Strong UI/UX design can affect a business’ online presence and thus impact the success of the business itself in reaching those objectives. 

  • Engagement

Improve your layout, menus, and navigation to harmoniously encourage ease of engagement with your site or app. A smooth flow of interaction will help support conversion rates which leads to increased revenue.

  • Brand Reputation

Understand what features are important to your users and what they dislike. A UI/UX design experience that matches a user’s expectations and preferences will inherently help establish a positive association with your brand in their mind.

  • Customer Satisfaction

Good UI/UX easily attracts customers and supports their retention, meaning the business stays both competitive and lucrative. A satisfied user leads to a satisfied customer!

Achieving good UI/UX can be tricky – it’s a balance of art and science that takes into account user feedback as well as analytical data. That’s why it’s so important to partner with an experienced web design agency like Agency Partner Interactive who understands the ins and outs of the entire development process for your business’ next design project!

landing-page-optimization

How to Optimize a Landing Page

Expert Tips For How to Optimize a Landing Page

Not seeing the results you want from your landing pages? With so much to consider in a marketing strategy, it’s easy to overlook an element that just might be what’s holding you back from maximizing your conversions. Agency Partner’s put together some tips on how to optimize your landing pages in 2022!

What is a landing page

In a tiny nutshell, landing pages are all about serving one single purpose (conversion) led by one single action driver (a call-to-action) all focused on one single offer (selling a product, signing up for a newsletter, redeeming an e-book). Simple enough!

For a more in-depth look, check out our recent blog post all about landing pages!

Tips For Optimizing Your Landing Page

Keep Your Landing Page Focused
Users need to focus only on one thing here – your page’s purpose. Keep the number of actions on the page to a minimum. Try minimizing or entirely not including any further site navigation or unnecessary form questions. Any distractions can hurt your chances of a user’s conversion.

Make Your Offer Clear and Direct
The modern consumer does not have time to search and piece together what your offer is. S-p-e-l-l it out for them. Make sure all of your text content supports that singular message and creates a stress-free user experience.

Analyze Your Page’s Layout, Design, and Content

  • Consider Visual Elements

One of the most important factors of digital design is scanability. Use the contrast of colors to highlight your buttons, your call to action, your headlines to make those key elements stand out to your user in a single glance.

  • Test different headlines and copy

In a visual-obsessed world, words still carry a lot of power. When you’re writing, are you considering your user and the way people consume information online today?

  • Text needs to be concise and scannable rather than in big blocks.
  • Keep your language simple, clear, and appropriate for your target audience
  • Lists, be it bullet point or numbered, are an excellent tool for readable formatting.

Think also about the approach and technique of your writing. Marketing is all about the buying and selling of emotion, so what emotion do you want your users to feel when they’re reading your page? Make sure your writing clearly reflects that.

  • Keep the important parts above the fold.

Remember physical newspapers? “Above the fold” comes from placing the headlines and top stories most likely to grab attention all on the top of the first page.

Think of what your landing page shows when it opens up and before any scrolling from the user. It’s the same principle! Put all your most important and attention-grabbing elements right up at the top. Above the fold = Before the scroll

Bonus Tip: Scroll maps like Hotjar can help you quickly view formatting across devices and even give you insight into where users hover most on your page! 

Show Your Credibility
Consider including elements that reassure the user they’re not about to get duped by a scam. Third-party reviews, customer ratings, partner logos, and client testimonials are an excellent tools for this. Just don’t forget to convert any third-party element to run natively on your page!

Test Compatibility Across Multiple Devices

Check your analytics to see how your users are viewing your page. Considering how high the rate of mobile viewing is, odds are you’ll want to check that your site translates well to mobile devices. Then consider the difference between viewing on an iOS versus an Android. A user will quickly lose interest in your page if it’s not UX-friendly on their preferred device. 

Consider Your Page’s Load Time
Is your bounce rate higher than you’d like? Take a look at your landing page’s loading time. A page that takes longer than approximately 3 seconds to load typically sees dramatic drops in user engagement, no matter how good the page is. Nobody’s got time for that. 

A simple way to increase load time is by simplifying your page, be it minimizing the amount of graphics or reformatting any video content, or editing down the text content. The less your site host has to handle, the faster it can share your message, the happier your users, the better your conversions.

Maximize SEO
Search engines can be very particular about what they prefer with tons of rules and best practices to consider. It’s largely up to you to convince Google, Bing, etc. that your page provides value to their users. Keyword research is the most popular method of appeasing the SEO gods; so be sure to invest some time into ensuring you’re targeting the right market and using language that allows you to reach that audience from an angle that lets you stand out!

And most importantly…

A/B Test EVERYTHING!

A/B testing is arguably the key to mastering landing page optimization. The more tests you run, the greater data you have in understanding what truly works for your landing page, from graphics to CTA to layout. It’s a constant task that requires you to only change one element at a time for comparison. Otherwise, the source of the impact on conversion can be tough to determine. 

Landing pages can be a key part of any digital marketing strategy, and they can be tricky to get right. That’s where our team at Agency Partner comes in!  We’ve been optimizing landing pages for years and know what works (and what doesn’t). If you want help getting your landing page right, contact us for a consultation today!

landing-page-design-1

What Is a Landing Page? Landing Pages Explained

Expert Tips For What Is a Landing Page? Landing Pages Explained

Whether it’s brand-spankin’ new, redone, overhauled, or just touched up, every page of your website development has to have a clear purpose. The About page, the Homepage, the Search, and the Contact page- all pretty straightforward in their function. But what about a Landing page?

What Is a Landing Page?

A landing page also called a “lead capture page,” is a single web page that appears online when someone clicks your link. That link may appear in a banner ad, a marketing email, a SERPs result, or a social media post, to name just a few. It’s designed to collect digital information from website visitors, such as email addresses and other personal information, or to help convert site visitors into leads. Landing pages help you build an online following, a contact list, and even greater sales—positively vital for any modern business.

Why Do I Need a Landing Page?

In the marketing funnel, the conversion happens once that link is clicked within the ad or email. Maybe it’s where the visitor decides to download that eBook they saw advertised or sign up for a free trial! A landing page should feature these elements:

  • One value proposition
  • A primary, clear message
  • One simple call to action, or CTA

It’s all centered around promoting one singular macro conversion and communicating the benefits of following the CTA. This hyper-focus should keep your objective clear and your visitor, well, focused on following through with that objective.

Can Any Page Be a Landing Page?

The answer is yes and no. There are two primary types of landing pages: referential and transactional.

  • Referential

Referential is all about giving relevant information to the visitor. The goal here is to keep the visitor as focused as possible on the specific message by conveniently providing all necessary info to convert that visitor into following your CTA.

  • Transactional

This is a page where the visitor must first fill out an info form (like e-mail capture for a mailing list, for example) to receive a discount code or access to download that e-book. Capture as much information about the visitor as possible, but be cognizant of how much is too much to your visitors!

While any page on your website can technically act as a landing page, it depends on how singularly concentrated the content, and the CTA of that page is. Often but certainly not always, a landing page offers no further website navigation. It can be very convenient and cost-effective to customize a single page rather than invest in building out an entire website. (Psst…Agency Partner can help with both!)

A landing page can arguably also still have some supplementary content. For example, your main navigation could house several subpages that are highly relevant to the primary topic of the landing page. This would require the user to stay on this single URL for extended periods to access all related content. However, make sure these subpages contain information only relevant to that value proposition, primary message, and simple CTA!

What Does a Landing Page Look Like?

Landing pages, be it referential or transactional, typically include some combination of the following:

  • A headline: This is all about your offer’s top-selling point – make sure it grabs attention!
  • A subheading: Add a bit of extra supporting information below your headline.
  • Copy: Tell your visitor all the details about what you’re offering and why they need it. Keep this information easily digestible – bullet point lists are a great option to include here!
  • A lead form: Key to the transactional landing page, this form collects contact information from your visitors.
  • CTA: Make it clear what you want your visitor to do next – “Buy Now,” “Read More.”
  • Permission checkbox: While not required everywhere, it’s a safe assumption that any contact sent to your visitors who fill out the lead form (think marketing emails) will require their indicated permission. Always get consent first!

Other features to consider

  • Comparisons: Need to convey what makes your product or offer different? Create comparison tables to highlight the exact features you have over your competitors.
  • Testimonials: Stats prove that testimonials rank around 90% in content effectiveness. Let your customers share their stories with you to help build trust and credibility.
  • Video: Video is the most engaging format these days. If suitable for reaching your target customer, embed a native video onto your page.

Look out for an upcoming post on how to optimize your landing pages! We’ll see you there!

Need some more detailed help now with your current landing pages or a new, custom landing page made to promote your offer? Head over to our Contact Us page, and let’s see what we can do for you!

Fox Business: Peloton had no plans for viral ad prior to Sex and the City premiere

Originally published on Dec. 15, 2021 at FoxBusiness.com, Written by Tyler McCarthy

Peloton made lemons out of lemonade in a big hurry after it got some negative attention during the “Sex and the City” spinoff “And Just Like That…”

A brief ad that clocks in at less than a minute was quickly thrown together featuring Mr. Big actor Chris Noth narrated by Ryan Reynolds that seemingly pivoted the attention the brand was getting from the show and refocused it into a now-viral video.

[Spoiler Alert for “And Just Like That…”]

The first episode of the series sees Mr. Big suffer a fatal heart attack following a rigorous workout on his Peloton bike led by real-life Peloton instructor Jess King. After that fateful moment, the company saw its stock drop as people mourned the loss of the fan-favorite character and jokingly or not blamed his Peloton workout.

Mere days after the premiere and the ensuing fallout for Peloton, it was able to work with Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort brand to get the viral ad out that features Noth alive and well on a romantic getaway with King as they express the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise provided by Peloton.

Speaking to Fox Business, a representative for Peloton noted that it had no formal product placement agreement with the HBO Max series. Instead, it was viewed by the company as a casting opportunity for one of its instructors. It didn’t even foot the bill for the bike that was used in the scene.

In addition, the company noted that there was nothing in the works prior to the episode premiering. Instead, it was able to swiftly work with Reynolds’ Maximum Effort agency, which recently acquired MNTN and its new Creative-As-A-Subscription service, which Peloton was an early supporter of. As a result, the lines of communication were already in place and both companies were able to be nimble and get the reactionary ad up quickly.

“Together, we created a video to reinforce the important health narrative that Peloton and cardiovascular exercise are good for you, and help millions of real people lead long, happy and healthy lives,” the company’s statement reads.

This is in keeping with information that Reynolds gave to The Hollywood Reporter in which he noted that he was able to get Noth on board quickly while Peloton and Maximum Effort got the ball rolling on the commercial.

“Chris was in right away but it was a whirlwind. For all of us. I certainly helped secure Chris but Maximum Effort has built itself on challenges like these so, while never ever easy, the secret is practice and not losing heart when challenges inevitably occur.”

“The response has been great,” Reynolds added. “It’s been really satisfying to work so hard so quickly towards something which is this much fun and have it work out. I think people like to see the spirit of Maximum Effort — that we want to have fun and bring people together but not ever at anyone’s expense.”

According to Adam Rizzieri, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer with Agency Partner Interactive, the swiftness with which the ad was able to capitalize on the conversation surrounding Peloton was key. Although the heat on the company was negative thanks to the show, he thinks the ad was a big, positive chess move for the company.

“The drastic fall of Peloton’s value seemed to be a perfect visualization of Mr. Big’s death – they both fell unexpectedly and rapidly,” he told Fox Business. “But some great marketing is playfully turning an on-screen loss into a win. As we approach the peak of holiday shopping I think this could be extremely timely for Peloton relative to its competitors. At this stage in the game, it’s all about brand awareness, pricing, and fulfillment.”

Rizzieri concluded: “In just 38 seconds, Peloton tees up holiday purchasing ahead of New Year’s resolution season, complete with a toast from “Mr. Big” stating, “to new beginnings.”

© 2022 Fox Business. All rights reserved.

Catch Us In the Media

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

Twitter New CEO Parag Agrawal - Adam Rizzieri Newsmax

Newsmax: New Twitter Boss Agrawal a ‘Puppet’ for ‘Establishment Leadership’

Originally published on Dec. 02, 2021 at Newsmax.com, Written by Marisa Herman

Many Twitter users — even some of the most vocal critics of founder and outgoing CEO Jack Dorsey — are worried about just how “free” their speech will remain once Parag Agrawal takes the helm of the microblogging behemoth.

Dorsey on Monday announced he was stepping down immediately and would be succeeded by Agrawal, the company’s chief technology officer. The news almost immediately sparked concern among social media experts who sounded alarm bells about the potential for more onerous and widespread censorship and speech crackdowns under the new regime.

“He isn’t a guy who cares about the First Amendment or the Constitution,” digital marketing expert Adam Rizzieri said.

Agrawal certainly hasn’t done himself any favors given previous statements like his Nov. 2020 boast: “Our role is not to be bound by the First Amendment … focus[ing] less on thinking about free speech, but thinking about how the times have changed.”

Agrawal, who first joined the company in 2011 as an advertising engineer, wasted no time after taking over, rolling out a new policy that almost assuredly will limit speech on the platform.

Just one day after Agrawal stepped in as the new boss, Twitter announced a ban on sharing images or videos of private individuals without their consent.

Twitter outlined the new “private information” policy in a vague — but concerning — blog post.

“When we are notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorized representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, we will remove it,” the company explained. “This policy is not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”

Rizzieri swiftly speculated that the new policy potentially spells the end of the many viral memes — especially if they’re conservative — that would likely be banned from the platform under the new policy. He also worried about how the change could lead to additional censorship of important issues such as elections or public health.

“If that conversation isn’t allowed to flow freely, it’s a problem,” he said. “It’s going to make Twitter even less competitive than they already are.”

Andrew Selepak, a social media professor at the University of Florida, said the new policy announcement may actually have been timed to take some of the focus off Agrawal as he settles in.

“The timing of it takes attention off of him and puts it on the platform,” he said. “It could have been purposefully timed.”

Selepak noted that Facebook has used similar distraction tactics when in the hot seat. Whenever the media was deep into a news cycle about Facebook’s potential role in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach or privacy issues that may threaten users’ data and anonymity, he said the company has tried to change the focus.

The most recent such shift, amid a “whistleblower’s” testimony to Congress, was Facebook’s shift toward the “metaverse” — an idea of what the “new” internet would look like.

But Selepak pointed out that if the new Twitter policy is applied fairly and judiciously and can be used to prevent people from being “doxed,” or exposed maliciously, it will have “tremendous value.”

But he said questions such as “who” it will protect and “how” the policy will be used, still don’t have clear answers.

Ultimately, he said it will be Agrawal who will be the one answering why “one person is protected from being doxed and another person isn’t protected.”

Overall, Rizzieri doesn’t expect too much of a change due to the switch from Dorsey to Agrawal.

“Dorsey leaving Twitter has been a long time coming,” he said. “It’s not actually a big change here just because this CTO really is kind of Dorsey’s bobble head.”

He doesn’t foresee Agrawal bringing forth innovative ideas that will provide a better experience for users or strengthen the growth of the company from a business standpoint.

“I don’t think he will do anything positive for the company,” Rizzieri said. “I don’t see growth with its current structure.”

Considering Twitter is mostly an “echo chamber for liberal elitists” and conservatives who do use the platform already “expect to be attacked,” he doesn’t believe much will change under Agrawal’s leadership.

Rizzieri said the fact that Dorsey showered his successor with a glowing endorsement and highlighted his involvement in the company over the past decade indicates that the new face is merely a “puppet for Twitter’s establishment leadership.”

Selepak also agrees that Agrawal’s unanimous support from Twitter’s board of directors and praise from Dorsey should be “taken with a grain of salt.”

“The decision was made not to hire a business person to run the company,” he said. “The person in charge of the company is an engineer.”

He pointed out that Agrawal brings the perspective of “how can we make this platform work better?” to the table and hasn’t been forced to figure out how to make the company profitable or how to navigate a PR crisis.

“There’s going to be a lot more scrutiny on him and what he has said in the past and what decisions are made,” Selepak said.

Rizzieri also found it interesting that Twitter gave Agrawal the nod for the top job.

Typically, if a company wants to implement change and innovate, he said they tend to bring in an outside person to take charge — not someone who has been employed by the company for a decade.

With Twitter execs touting Agrawal’s involvement in “every critical decision Twitter has made,” Rizzieri said it is important to take a close look at the outcomes of those decisions.

He pointed out that Agrawal was around for the company’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump from Twitter while allowing terrorist organizations like the Taliban to have an active presence and also was a key leader when Twitter was determining what posts are considered “misinformation.”

And despite complaints of conservative voices being silenced under Dorsey’s leadership, Dorsey did openly promote free speech. When confronted by lawmakers, he was more apt to fight back on the grounds that the government should not serve as social media’s “free speech police.”

Since Agrawal hasn’t had to be the face of the company, i.e., figuring out how to market it to new users, showing consistent profitability under his leadership to shareholders, or discussing things that are “political in nature,” Rizzieri said what kind of leader he ends up becoming really “remains to be seen.”

“It is easy for him to talk big words when he isn’t in the driver’s seat,” Rizzieri said. “Now that he is, he will be responsible for what he says. His first meeting with Congress will be very telling.”

 

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Catch Us In the Media

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

Facebook Rebrand to Meta - Adam Rizzieri Agency Partner in the news

CMS Wire: Facebook’s Rebranding Embraces the Metaverse, But Not Everyone is Convinced

Originally published on Nov. 4, 2021 at CMSWire.com, Written by David Roe
During the recent Connect 2021 Facebook conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta. Meta, he told, the audience, is a significant re-branding that brings together all the Facebook apps and technologies under one new company brand. The focus will be to bring the metaverse to life.

The Facebook Founder’s Letter

He also explained that the metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together.

In a Founder’s Letter he went further: “Our mission remains the same — it’s still about bringing people together. Our apps and their brands aren’t changing either. We’re still the company that designs technology around people. But all of our products, including our apps, now share a new vision, to help bring the metaverse to life. And now we have a name that reflects the breadth of what we do.”

He even pushed the metaverse ahead of the original offering that has generated a business model worth billions. From now on, the letter reads,  we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other service.”

Premature Rebranding?

Is that wise though?  No sooner had the conference wrapped then major question marks started appearing in a wide range of posts and articles. Denise Lee Yohn, in the Harvard Business Review, for example, argued that the rebranding as a metaverse-first company is pre-mature at best and even foolish in its attempt to distract from the criticism the company has recently faced in the US and Europe.

“The metaverse,” she wrote, “is not well-known or understood, so it’s confusing. But the most critical issue with this rebranding is that the new brand has been introduced without any substantive change at the company. She pointed out that Zuckerberg explained that it was time to adopt a new company brand “to encompass everything we do”.

But that’s just not true, she argued. “The vision behind Meta is still just that, a vision. Facebook’s decision to rebrand is an ill-timed move.” The real problem, she added, is that Facebook is re-branding before its vision is a reality. Right now, social media remains the core of the company’s operations and revenues.

By adopting a brand name that is based on future potential capabilities and a platform and products that, by Zuckerberg’s own admission, may not be offered for a decade, the company sets itself up to confuse people at best; at worst, it will disappoint people and further degrade their trust in the company. So is the rebranding a mistake?

Adam Rizzieri, chief marketing officer, at Addison, TX-based Agency Partner Interactive agrees. He believes that the rebrand is premature and even disingenuous. Facebook’s core business is online advertising fueled by user data that it collects on its social media apps.

This business model is what allowed the company to present an incredibly strong third-quarter earnings report. Social media is exactly what they do. “Yet here we have Mark Zuckerberg trying to distance himself from the business model of social media, in favor of a hypothetical concept of an evolved internet that won’t exist for about 10 years,” he said.

The ‘Meta’ Name

Facebook as a company is more than the big blue social media platform. Facebook is also Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Portal, and other hardware devices, Andrew Selepak at the University of Florida, told us. Changing the company name to Meta allows the company to highlight that they are more than one product or service in much the same way Google changed its name to Alphabet and Google became a subsidiary of the company along with their other properties like YouTube.

“The rebrand to Meta makes business sense especially as Zuckerberg plans to get the company to shift away from focusing on two-dimensional social media platforms to the three-dimensional environment of virtual reality,” he said.

He argues, however, that Meta is a terrible name for the Facebook rebrand. Facebook is years away from creating the virtual environment that Zuckerberg is promoting and virtual reality has been a long-overpromised idea that has never been realized.

Although Facebook does have the money, engineers, and resources to put toward creating a true virtual reality environment that is used by more than just tech enthusiasts, they are years away from completing it and even further away from it being adopted by large numbers of people.

“The Metaverse is currently science fiction rather than science reality and the name is confusing as premature,” he said. “By trying to change the media narrative of the company during a public relations nightmare after the Facebook whistleblower, maybe Metaverse as a name change is a bit appropriate with Zuckerberg as a real-life Marvel supervillain.”

Addressing Facebook’s Competition

There are other problems too, according to Chris Apaliski senior director of paid social at Austin-based performance marketing agency Adlucen. Facebook is just responding to the world around it and its own image in the wider social world. Facebook has evolved over the years.

It started from a limited platform for students to connect to each other and has now turned into a media powerhouse and one of the world’s biggest advertisers. But Facebook still faces threats from competition and needs to shake the image of being the “senior platform” of sorts — with an age demographic that gets older. Rebranding and retaining a focus on the Metaverse enable Facebook to be an early adopter in that space and once again lead the charge in social innovation.

Apaliski points out that Mark Zuckerberg has talked about being the first into the space and how he believes the metaverse can be the next evolution of the mobile web/web 3.0. He has also expressed the desire to continue to innovate in the AR/VR space, as well, including the Oculus purchase. “The metaverse is the next natural step to create structure over Facebook’s book of companies (FB, IG, WhatsApp, Oculus, etc.) similar to the approach Google wants to take with Alphabet,” he said. “A rebrand enables Facebook leadership to continue to focus on this future.

There is also significant opportunity for advertisers in the Metaverse and the digital world. “As we look toward these digital evolutions (Metaverse, NFTs, etc) the most innovative companies will get on board. Simply put — advertisers will find their way into anything,” he said.

What Kind Of Metaverse?

David ‘Ed’ Edwards is VFX product manager at motion capture leader at UK-based Vicon. He says arguments about whether, or even if, there will be a metaverse is redundant as they are already with us. However, he says the delivery timeline of a single ‘Metaverse’ will be a question of strategic benefit to its prospective creator. If one organization pins its future on this concept and wishes to capitalize on it before anyone else, it could even be unveiled within a couple of years, or even sooner.

He cites Facebook’s Oculus as a very obvious thing to focus attention on regarding the company’s ambition to pioneer the metaverse, given its significance in the history of VR (and entertainment, more broadly) and the overall nature of its acquisition by Facebook. “I can’t imagine Facebook won’t explore every opportunity available to make Oculus a central part of their metaverse experience to validate that level of investment,” he said. How significant a component it ends up being, I think will ultimately be the consumer’s decision.”

How Bright Is Meta’s Future?

The future is not all bright and there are many people that remain unconvinced about Facebook’s rebranding and the metaverse in general. Mike Davis, founder and president of the Internet Accountability Project, and organization that lobbys to make big tech companies accountable for their actions.

He says the rebranding is Facebook following in the footsteps of Big Tobacco after the industry was exposed for its toxic and deadly impact on society. Philip Morris got caught preying on kids, so they became Altria. Facebook got caught preying on kids, so they became Meta. But consumers and legislators should make no mistake: this is the same company that lies to its users, Congress and government regulators.

Facebook is also taking a page from the Google playbook when it renamed itself Alphabet to delay antitrust scrutiny and prepare for the day they were inevitably broken up. Facebook is in a crisis of its own making and renaming itself won’t stop Congress and federal law enforcement from updating and enforcing our antitrust laws, according to Davis.

Final Thoughts

Many people in the market have yet to come to terms with Facebook’s business model. Arguably, this is why it has been so difficult for lawmakers to adequately regulate the industry and address privacy concerns. “To ask the market to now conceptualize a real-life version of The Matrix is completely unrealistic,” Rizzieri added. “For those who don’t get the business model, they are now more confused and increasingly apathetic to big tech’s dominance. For those who understand the model, the idea of a Facebook-controlled metaverse should be scarier than the latest Halloween movie.

© 2021 CMS Wire. All rights reserved.

Catch Us In the Media

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

website-design

How to Design a Website

Expert Tips For How to Design a Website

A web presence is essential in a digital world, especially if you’re a business or brand. Did you know that the very first website was launched on August 6, 1991? Now there are nearly 1.9 billion of them! But how do you even design a website in the first place?

A website uses 3 main languages to set its framework, design, and performance

  • HTML defines the basic structure and accessibility of websites
  • CSS sets the presentation, style characteristics, and layout of its pages.
  • JavaScript controls a website page’s interactivity

So how about in plain English this time…

Let’s break that down step by step, shall we?

Set your intent

What’s your purpose in creating the site? Got a product to sell or a service to promote? Maybe you want to start a blog or portfolio or new social hub, and the term “Community Standards” makes your head want to explode. Set your own! Having a clear picture of why you’re creating will make the flow of this process so much easier from start to finish.

Choose a host or website builder

A site host like Vultr or SiteGround may be all you need if you truly want to create your site from scratch. But if that’s a little more in-depth than you’re interested in, check out a website builder such as WordPress and Zyro. Wanna simplify the process even more? Agency Partner can take care of web development for you!

Register your domain name

There are three primary, customizable parts to a domain name:

  • Subdomain: typically ‘www’ (#funfact it can technically be any combo of letters!)
  • Root domain: your unique site address
  • Top-Level Domain: .com, .net, and .org are most common

Depending on availability, you can purchase a domain name for as little as $2.99 annually. Think about what your full URL might look like when choosing each part. Consider the relevance of TLDs in your niche and industry; for example, .org typically doesn’t make much sense for an eCommerce site.

Define the layout

The structure can be critical to the success of a website. If navigation is not clear or intuitive to the user, they won’t stick around, and your bounce rate metric will skyrocket. No Bueno!

Consider your brand

Make sure the site reflects the brand and its messaging. Even an artist building that online portfolio or a non-profit seeking online donations need a clear brand identity. From the micro and UX copy of your hamburger menu to any site error messages, the tone of voice must be consistent across the entire site. How about the color palette? If you have a brand logo, is it being thoughtfully placed in your design?

Prep your content

Think about what relevant types of content can help you build authority and trustworthiness in your industry to drive traffic and engage your ideal customer avatar. Batch create your content as far in advance as possible, try using content calendars to stay organized, and always hit that ‘Preview’ button before you publish anything!

Strategize your SEO  

How do your customers find you in an ocean of competition these days? Through search engine optimization, or SEO! This affects almost everything about your site, right down to that domain name you picked. Consider your keyword strategies when creating content, defining your user interface (UI), and even crafting back-end content like metadata! Ensure these keywords are terms your customers would naturally use when looking for what you offer, and always follow SEO best practices.

Include useful pages 

Could your site’s users benefit from an FAQ? Need a ‘Contact Us’ or booking page? Always keep first in mind your users’ needs and experience while they’re visiting. Anything that you can make native to your site to minimize site redirection is ideal! If you’re a restaurant, make sure to have your current menu, contact info, business hours, etc., directly available within your own site so that the user doesn’t need to go anywhere else for it!

Design your website elements 

Popular user-friendly platform Canva is an excellent resource, both its free and Pro versions, especially if you’re more of a beginner with graphic design, though Photoshop and Adobe XD remain the industry standard. Both YouTube and Skillshare host tons of design tutorials for all skill levels. Remember that a very elements-heavy site will likely run slower for your users than a more streamlined, minimalist approach. Good news for you beginners! For website design ideas, we love perusing Pinterest and Elementor. Also, hiring a pro graphic designer might be a wise investment, time- and money-wise. A site that doesn’t truly look polished and professional is much less likely to be trusted as a legitimate page.

Make it accessible for everyone. 

ADA compliance across the digital space has seen a massive push in recent years, and we at API are here for it. In fact, complying makes you eligible for a tax deduction of up to $5,000! Not sure if yours is up to compliance standards? Check out these tips, or have API do a full site audit for you!

Optimize for device compatibility

Approximately half of all website traffic comes from mobile devices as of 2017, so it’s essential to consider how your site will look and function outside of just a standard computer.

Set up back-end analytics

If your web builder doesn’t have site analytics built-in, or you need a deeper view, consider signing up for Google Analytics for insight into your site’s performance.

Now for the scariest part of all – Hit ‘Publish’!

Yep, it’s definitely a lot, but take it one step at a time. You got this! You no longer have to know the ins and outs of coding to build a beautiful, user-friendly website. Of course, that’s not to say using a site builder is easy enough for absolutely everyone or that everyone has the time to build a site themselves. So, if you don’t get this, remember Agency Partner is one Contact Us page away! 

agency-partner-adam-rizzieri-on-cw33tv-social-media-safety

Nexstar Media: “Morning After” on CW33 TV To Discuss Social Media Safety

Originally aired live on Nov. 3, 2021, on CW33 TV; by the Digital News Desk
DALLAS (KDAF) — More than 7,000 CEOs have been impersonated by scammers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.That alarming statistic hits home for many others across the world as the FTC says they measured about 500,000 imposter scams since 2020.

This problem is now affecting our very own Jenny Anchondo as she battles with social media accounts pretending to be her and scamming people out of hundreds of dollars.

Adam Rizzieri, co-founder and chief marketing officer for Agency Partner Interactive, joined our show to talk about the dangers of social media impersonation and what you can do to prevent it.


 

 

© 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. and Agency Partner Interactive LLC. All rights reserved.

Other Resources

Learn more about “imposter scams” today. These are a growing threat and have increased in frequency since the COVID mandates. Individuals and businesses alike are targets and the FTC has proven to be a great resource on this topic.

Click Here to learn more from the FTC’s official website.

Catch Us In the Media & Leverage The Power of Your Online Presence

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

business-consulting

Consulting Is More Than Giving Advice

Expert Tips For Consulting Is More Than Giving Advice

A consultant is one of those professions that many people will have heard about, but few know what it means.

The global consultancy industry is worth $250 billion and has continued to experience growth in recent years. The success of the consulting industry is relevant to the worldwide economy, and as organizations enjoy growth, they turn to consultants to help guide their future strategies.

Clients can benefit from consulting services when they truly understand what they want, know what to ask of consultants, and deliver appropriate recommendations.

But while businesses look to consultants to provide advice and recommendations, the guidance provided isn’t always taken on board. So what is a business consultant, and how can a consult become more than just giving advice?

What is a business consulting all about?

Management consulting can encompass many things. While consultants typically offer services relevant to their specific industry expertise, steps involved in the consulting process underpin the work.

However, each business will have its objectives for what it wants from the consulting process. The clearer the company’s objectives, the more successful the consulting process will be.

Of the potential steps involved in the consulting process, many clients only focus on some of what could be achieved through consultancy. Understanding the different elements could strengthen the client’s request, enabling a successful consulting process to be completed.

Information gathering

A significant portion of a consultant’s work will relate to information gathering. Consultants can have access to tools and data gathering techniques that businesses may not possess themselves, in addition to having the capacity to carry out the research that companies may not have.

There’s a responsibility on both the client and the consultant to provide clear intentions for the information gathered on how to be used or why it’s needed. This can help inform the process to ensure the most relevant outcome. For the consultant, having a clear brief to work from will help ensure that the work carried out meets the client’s needs.

Working to identify the problem

Businesses engaging with consultants usually do so because they have a problem to solve. This could include expanding into a new location, launching a new product, or adopting a sales or promotion strategy. Clients usually engage a consultant with the problem they need solving, and a consultant will search for the solutions.

However, a great consultant will look deeper into the issue and explore whether the problem present is the real issue at hand. By understanding the background to the issue and even reading between the lines to work out a better solution, a consultant can see broader or related problems at bay.

Presenting this information to the client can lead to an appropriate way forward that provides the best way and ensures the right outcome come for engagement.

Using expertise to provide solutions to the problem

A consultant’s strength lies in their ability to diagnose the issues resulting from the client’s problem effectively. This process, however, can be a difficult one, especially if clients are reluctant to divulge certain information. For clients to get the most from their consultant, they need to answer difficult questions about previous decisions or certain behaviors within the organization.

For clients, being unwilling to aid parts of the process can mean that the consultant can’t do their job thoroughly. An independent consultant is hired for a reason. Management needs to let the consultant in and uncover the internal processes, decisions, skills, and other key factors to diagnosing the problem and coming up with the appropriate solutions.

Making recommendations

Providing recommendations is a vital function of a consultant and is the final step in the process for many businesses, who will then decide how to implement these recommendations. Many don’t implement them, often citing unrealistic recommendations that are not accepted by executives, boards, etc., or are unworkable due to budget or process constraints. However, it doesn’t always have to end this way.

If the client is involved throughout the process, then the recommendations provided will have been developed in line with the achievable objectives set out at the beginning of the process.

Securing agreement and action

Most people believe that the responsibility for implementing a consultant’s recommendations lies with the client. However, if the client does nothing with the recommendations offered, it becomes a waste of the consultant’s time and energy. Clients should explore ways in which a consultant can assist with implementing recommendations in a supportive and constructive way.

Being willing to implement the recommendations is another factor to consider. It’s essential to seek buy-in from the higher-ups who will sign off on the proposals, which involves persuasive action from the consultant and the individuals working on the engagement from the client’s side. Close working throughout the process and a willingness from the client to bring people of all levels into the process can help make the process more collaborative. This can lead to agreement on the proper action to take, helping to get the most effective outcome from the engagement.

Leading change through process

A management consultancy engagement should result in definitive actions to take now. Still, it should also consider future challenges the client may face, with some recommendations and learning that can help them navigate these challenges. Changes to processes could be one of the ways this is achieved, but the client must be open to making these positive changes.

As businesses turn to consult more and more, they’re starting to see the value that making full use of a consultant’s expertise can bring. While information gathering and the subsequent report of recommendations can satisfy some businesses’ needs, they’re missing out on the full value working with a consultant can bring. As businesses learn more about the potential consultancy can bring, consultants will need to adapt their approach to ensure full service to their clients.

If you’re looking for expert consultancy, get in touch with Agency Partner Interactive today. We can provide business consulting services to satisfy your web design and marketing needs. Let us help you find the right solutions for your business.

branding-creation

Branding Creation: The Branding Solution You Need To Tell Your Story

Expert Tips For Branding Creation: The Branding Solution You Need To Tell Your Story

According to Nielsen Media Research, there are over 500,000 registered brands worldwide. And, thinking about it, you can probably name a few hundred and recognize over a thousand of them. But what about the rest of them? 

Branding your company or product is not a process to take lightly. Tailored and innovative branding solutions can elevate the reputation, brand awareness, and image of your business. Oppositely, inconsistent, unappealing, or inadequate branding can cause your company to be quickly forgotten. Essentially, yes – the branding you choose can make or break your project.  

With so much at stake, partnering with an experienced branding agency such as Agency Partner Interactive (API) can truly make a difference. Learn about the elements of branding solutions for small businesses below and discover how we can help you define your brand. 

What is a Brand? Let’s Start From The Basics

When thinking about a brand, the first things that come to mind are a logo, a tagline, or a color scheme. Does “Just Do It” ring a bell?  

But the concept of branding is much more than that and encompasses many aspects of your verbal and visual communication elements. And that’s exactly what makes it so hard to craft a definition of a “brand.”  

The American Marketing Association defines branding as: “A name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” 

Yet, Kotler & Keller, in their Marketing Management, defined “branding” as: “endowing products and services with the power of a brand.” 

Here at API, we understand that a branding solution encompasses many elements – including 

  • Identity elements include logo, advertising, video assets, online presence, social media accounts, print materials, and collaterals. 
  • Every Point of Contact or EPOC – such as your branded stationery, website, and newsletter 
  • Brand perception – the way your employees and your audience perceive your brand makes up your branding. 

And, it’s these perceptions that drive behavior! Let’s look into the elements of API’s complete branding solutions.

Elements of Branding To Tell A Story

In the video below, you can find out more about branding. Once you are ready, let’s dive into the elements of creating your brand’s identity and your story. 

Visual and Verbal Identity

As we have seen above, your logo, tagline, and color scheme are not the only elements of your branding strategy. And yet, statistics show that using a signature color can increase brand recognition by 80%, and consistency in presentation and tone can increase revenue by over 33% 

And, since you only have around half a second to make a long-lasting, memorable impression on your customers, there are some branding elements that you can use as communication tools. These include: 

  • Visual elements – logo, typography, and iconography 
  • Media elements – color scheme, photography, and video content 
  • Defining characteristics – personality, promise, archetype, and brand compass 
  • Verbal elements – integrated systems of words, messages, and voice tone that are known to your audience. These include your brand voice, story, tagline, name, and writing. 

Develop a Story For Your Brand

For just under 90% of consumers, finding authenticity in a brand is critical for their buying decision process. But how can you make your brand appear honest, transparent, open, and authentic? 

Telling a story could be your most powerful tool. Your brand story is at the base of your brand personality and should include elements such as: 

  • The story of your brand 
  • Founders and team bios 
  • Mission and goals 
  • Projects and values 

Don’t forget that even if your company entirely operates online, people still look for the human touch and authenticity.

Get To Know Your Buyer Persona

Knowing your audience is essential to creating a brand that is appealing to that specific target market. However, knowing every person in your audience is impossible. That is why marketers use a buyer persona.  

Creating a customer persona can help you discover the likes and dislikes, traits, history, and needs and wants of your audience so that you can tailor your messaging and identity to them. Here at API, we consider customer persona creation a vital element of branding solution services. 

Analyze The Market and Position Your Brand

If you don’t see the ROI expected, that might be because you are operating at the wrong level on the market. In this case, you will need to change your branding or reposition your company into a more appealing sector.  

Some tips for creating the correct branding for your market positioning include: 

  • Be clear on your value proposition 
  • Define your sustainable competitive advantage and unique selling points 
  • Clarify what the message to your audience is 

Remember that your brand positioning can drive consumer behavior and influence how they perceive your brand.  

Know What Media and Channels to Use

They are deciding what media and communication channels you will use is an active part of brand creation. Indeed, not all channels will reach your desired audience the right way, and selecting the right one is central to branding success and marketing effectiveness.  

Running customer research, focus groups, online surveys, and reviews is an excellent way to understand better what channels your consumers use the most and decide how to target your branding.  

Remember – whether it’s social media marketing or you are connecting with your audience via newsletter, having a brand identity that is bold and outstanding makes every touchpoint more meaningful and memorable.   

Monitoring and Measure Success

Sculpting a brand is not a one-time effort but rather an ongoing project. Since the market, your audience, and your company’s goals and mission will evolve, your brand should do so too. In this way, brand solutions can remain relevant and appealing throughout time. And, don’t forget to have solid KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in place to review and measure the success of your branding or rebranding project.

Discover Your Full Branding Potential With Agency Partner Interactive

Creating a brand is an exciting and intimidating project for all entrepreneurs. But, since adequately branding your company can truly make a difference in your chances of success, you should not think twice about partnering with Agency Partner Interactive.  

Our Dallas-based team can help you create complete branding solutions that encompass visual elements, logo creation, advertising, and collaterals.  

Here are just a few of the services we offer: 

  • Identity Design 
  • Brand Name 
  • Market Research & Buyer Persona Creation 
  • Content Development 
  • Collateral Design 
  • Trademark Consulting 
  • Rebranding 
  • Brand Positioning, Strategy, & Guidelines 
  • Brand Development & Management 
  • Website Optimization 
  • Environment Retail Design 

At Agency Partner Interactive, we believe that each brand is unique and should be its branding solution. Get in touch today with our Dallas-based team of branding experts to find a tailored solution for your needs.  

facebook-metaverse

Newsmax: Facebook Forging Forward With Zuckerberg’s ‘Metaverse’

Originally published on Oct. 21, 2021 at Newsmax.com, Written by Marisa Herman

It has only been a few months since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased the possibility of transforming the powerful social media company into an immersive “metaverse” — and the big tech billionaire isn’t wasting any time creating his unprecedented virtual reality world.

Despite months of high-profile problems — including allegations from whistleblowers, lawmakers calling for more regulation, and numerous lawsuits — Facebook announced plans to hire 10,000 highly skilled workers from Europe during the next five years to develop its metaverse. The social media behemoth is also rumored to be announcing a company name change in the coming days to reflect its new focus.

As imagined, a metaverse is a Matrix-like, virtual form of reality where users are immersed in the internet, rather  than looking at it from the outside. The term was coined nearly 30 years ago in the 1992 dystopian novel “Snow Crash,” and elements of the futuristic metaverse have already debuted in popular video games such as Fortnight and Roblox.

Techies view the metaverse as the internet’s next frontier to be conquered and Facebook appears to be moving quickly toward completing its quest to become the first major tech company to take the plunge, offering the masses a space that combines the physical world with an augmented virtual existence.

Chris Haynes, a political science professor at the University of New Haven, said Zuckerberg’s hiring spree shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because Facebook has been looking into a pivot towards the untapped metaverse for some time.

Facebook has said that this new virtual reality is the next generation of Facebook as opposed to [it] just being a social media company.

“This is something that has been a real buzz in the tech world, especially with the COVID pandemic and the inability for people to get out there and interact,” Haynes said. “Facebook has said that this new virtual reality is the next generation of Facebook as opposed to [it] just being a social media company.”

Back in 2014, Facebook spent $2 billion to purchase Oculus, a company behind virtual reality gaming headsets. Since then, the tech giant has invested more money and manpower in developing the next phase of tech, positioning the company to shift away from tools like messenger and toward services like virtual boardroom meetings.

A few months ago, Facebook rolled out Horizon Workrooms, an app that allows users wearing VR headsets to gather in boardroom-style meetings with cartoon avatars of their co-workers. The app is reported to be part of Facebook’s secret “Horizon” project, which, according to The Verge, is an unreleased VR version of Facebook.

This summer, Zuckerberg shared his vision for the metaverse, which he dubbed “an embodied internet,” on “The Vergecast” podcast.

He said the metaverse will be a “big focus” for Facebook and a “big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet.”

Haynes said the timing of the jobs announcement, however, is no coincidence and comes as Zuckerberg is “attempting to change the narrative and reframe the public image of the company and himself.”

[Facebook] recognizes that they have done a lot of damage,” he said. “One way of shifting the narrative of the news media is to focus on something that is more beneficial.”

Haynes said given the fact that Facebook hasn’t always been completely transparent with its users and the government, the company is betting its public perception will get a boost by touting the benefits the metaverse will bring.

He said the calculus behind the metaverse push is that if there is public buy in for it, the government will back off.

Currently, Facebook is taking heat from users and elected officials on both sides of the political aisle. It has been blasted by lawmakers on the left for not doing enough to manage alleged misinformation posted to the social platform. It’s also been slammed by conservatives who feel the company suppresses the voices of those who lean to the right, including former President Donald Trump. The company is facing a barrage of lawsuits ranging from privacy issues to antitrust concerns, too.

Dallas-based marketing and big tech expert Adam Rizzieri said that, on one hand, Facebook should clean up the mess it faces in the U.S. before it jets across the world to start its new endeavor. He noted the irony in Facebook’s talk about consolidating and strengthening what it has already built even as it builds the metaverse — all while Congress is trying to reel the company in.

But he isn’t surprised to see Zuckerberg brush off the criticism he faces at home for a fresh start elsewhere because “Facebook sees the world as its house” more than it views itself as an American company.

“Anyone who is watching knows that issues within Facebook’s walls are yet to be resolved,” he said. “The focus on the rebrand is an interesting way of ignoring problems that still exist.”

He said Zuckerberg’s move into the metaverse showcases the “power that the company continues to wield” and its desire to “control the future and their destiny in it.”

“Today we are concerned about big tech unfairly wielding its power in our daily online interactions,” he said. “Tomorrow, with the metaverse, we have to be concerned about big tech doing the same in a world that has no boundaries.”

As the physical and virtual worlds become more intertwined, he questions where we will “draw the line of separation between what’s mine and what’s ours?

 

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Catch Us In the Media

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

best-ad-campaigns

The 18 Best Advertisements & Ad Campaigns of All Time

Expert Tips For The 18 Best Advertisements & Ad Campaigns of All Time

While it can often feel like many of the adverts you see in the modern world are cut from the same cloth, there is an art to creating an ad campaign that people remember. Many of today’s ads borrow elements from the best campaigns that have been seen throughout history, using the foundations that other companies have set.

For those that have seen shows like HBO’s Mad Men, though, you will know just how much has gone into creating some of the world’s best advertisements. Join us as we explore some of the most outstanding ad campaigns of all time.

1. Budweiser, “Wassup?!”

Let’s start with a fun one. Budweiser struck gold with their 1999 “Wassup?!” campaign, featuring a series of videos of friends on a group phone call having fun and repeatedly exclaiming “Wassup?!” in silly voices to one another. This made the beer look fun and lighthearted while also painting a picture of kinship amongst its drinkers.

2. Nike, “Just Do It.”

Nike has always invested a lot into advertising, but their “Just Do It” slogan has been on just about every one of their ads since the late 80s. This ad campaign is designed to convey a no-nonsense approach to pushing people to achieve their fitness goals. Can’t be bothered to exercise today? Just do it. Nikes got your back.

3. Coca-Cola, “Share A Coke.”

From changing the color of Santa’s outfit to poking fun at rival companies like Pepsi, Coca-Cola has long dominated the field of marketing. In 2011, Coca-Cola began adding individual names to their bottles for their “Share A Coke” campaign. People love a personal touch, and buying a bottle with your name on it is a genius way to achieve this.

4. Apple, “There’s An App For That.”

It’s tough to say which of Apple’s ad campaigns is the best; there have been so many great ones. The “There’s An App For That” campaign kicked off in 2009 as a way to show off the versatility of the latest iPhone devices. Campaigns like this have paid off for Apple, with iPhones being one of the most popular mobile devices on the market.

5. De Beers, “A Diamond Is Forever.”

Diamonds didn’t use to be that popular, but now most people would associate this rock with wedding and engagement rings, as well as luxury jewelry. In 1947, De Beers launched their “A Diamond Is Forever” campaign, targeting young men who wanted to show their status and give something extra special to the important woman in their life.

6. Cadbury, “Gorilla Drummer Drums.”

Advertising a product like chocolate can be a challenge without relying on the sultry imagery usually found in perfume ads. Just about everyone remembers the famous “Gorilla Drummer Drums” adverts from back in 2009, in which a gorilla drums along to Phil Colins’ “In The Air Tonight.” This ad was for their Dairy Milk brand and was voted the UK’s favorite advert.

7. Old Spice, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.”

Most companies will target the people who will be using their product when they make an advert. Old Spice took a different approach with their “The Man, Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, though, targeting ladies who wanted their partner to smell as good as possible. The tagline is one thing, but the video cuts in these adverts make them stand out.

8. Google, “Year In Search.”

In 2018, Google decided to launch an ad campaign centered around the most common search terms used on their platform throughout the previous year. This proved to be a great way to connect everyone who watched the adverts, especially when it was revealed that the word “Good” had been searched more times than ever before.

9. Volkswagen, “Think Small.”

Even a decade and a half after WWII, American’s were still fixated on the large and fast US-made cars that dominated the market, rather than smaller European models. VW decided to take advantage of this in 1960, producing their “Think Small” ad campaign that sought to highlight the small size of their cars as a selling point rather than something terrible.

10. Skittles, “Taste The Rainbow.”

Skittles have long been using the “Taste The Rainbow” slogan for their advertising, and most people will associate these words with the colorful candy. The tagline works because it gives customers the sense that they will not only see the colors in Skittles; they will be able to taste it. Conveying taste through marketing can be challenging, but Skittles has nailed it with this one.

11. Sony (Bravia), “Colour Like No Other.”

The early 2000s was an excellent time for companies like Sony. Anyone old enough to remember 2006 will likely have seen the “Colour Like No Other” balls advert that hit TVs worldwide. This advert is compelling yet straightforward, with Sony dropping 250,000 bouncy balls down a San Francisco street to get across the idea that their Bravia TV line-up offered better color than anyone else’s. 

12. Leslie’s Weekly, “I Want You!”

It’s time to look back at an ancient marketing campaign, one that is often viewed as propaganda today. Most people know of Uncle Sam and will have seen the famous “I Want You!” poster plastered across the US throughout 1917. This poster was initially published in Leslie’s Weekly to push young people to join the military during WWI.

13. Red Bull, “Stratos.”

Red Bull has long been using extreme sports to advertise its energy drinks. The Red Bull Stratos project was a little different and involved sending a man named Felix Baumgartner up to an altitude of almost 26 miles for the highest free-fall in human history. More than 9.5 million users watched the event live, and Felix was the first human to break the sound barrier without a powered vehicle. Pretty cool, and great advertising.

14. Absolut, “The Bottle Campaign.”

Starting in 1980, Absolut ran their “Bottle” campaign for around 25 years. Making their bottles one of the most recognizable globally, this campaign involved countless printed images of their bottles taking on different forms. These ads have gone down in history from New York taxi cabs to the peel from an orange. 

15. Twix, “It’s Time To DeSide.”

Despite both sides of a Twix bar being identical, this candy manufacturer took advantage of the competitiveness of humans with their “It’s Time To DeSide” campaign. Asking customers which side of Twix was the best, they could poke fun at their product while also creating an ad campaign that stuck in customers’ minds.

16. Dos Equis, “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

Even if you haven’t seen the legendary Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign, it’s likely that you’ve seen the memes that have spawned from it. The catchphrase that comes with these adverts has been enshrined in internet history, and this is an excellent way to sell a product, even if it wasn’t the intended result.

17. Pepsi, “Is Pepsi okay?”

If you’ve ever asked for a Coke at a restaurant or bar that serves Pepsi, you’ve probably heard “Is Pepsi okay?” as the response. Well aware of being widely considered second-best compared to Coca-Cola, Pepsi has long taken advantage of this, with their “Is Pepsi okay?” campaign poking fun at their beverage.

18. Avis, “We Try Harder.”

Much like Pepsi, Avis has long been the second most successful company in its field. Having worked extremely hard to take the top spot, Avis created the “We Try Harder” campaign to show customers that they work much harder than the competition.

Advertising has long been a significant element of human society. No matter where you are in the world, you can see adverts plastered on walls and displayed through your TV screens. While many of history’s most outstanding ad campaigns are behind us, there is still plenty of room for more to join the ranks of those we’ve covered in this article. 

email-marketing-services

7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business (2021)

Expert Tips For 7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business (2021)

Email marketing is one of the most tried-and-true and consistently reliable forms of marketing available – and it comes with a wide variety of benefits that mean it should be a staple in any business marketing arsenal.

For one thing, email marketing is generally remarkably cost-effective by comparison to other marketing approaches. An email itself typically costs nothing to send. Still, for your email marketing campaign to be truly effective, it’s essential to utilize the exemplary email marketing software service for the job – which will entail some cost.

Still, when stacked up against all sorts of other forms of marketing, email marketing is consistently one of the most affordable and cost-effective and likely to prove to be a worthwhile investment of resources.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, businesses in the United States see an average 4300 percent ROI (Return on Investment) with email marketing.

All the same, effective email marketing does largely depend on utilizing the right email marketing software, not least of all to ensure that your emails get reliably delivered.

If you don’t choose wisely, there’s a risk that you’ll end up paying for a service that yields a dismal deliverability rate, therefore costing you money, time and also undermining your entire marketing effort.

Here are seven of the best email marketing services for small businesses as of 2021.

  1. SendinBlue

SendinBlue offers a complete SMS and email marketing service for businesses and has the distinction of being one of the fastest-growing email marketing businesses in all of Europe.

Simplicity is the name of the game with this service, with a simple drag-and-drop email editor allowing for even complete novices to email marketing to create beautiful, elegant, and highly engaging emails that can make all the difference.

SendinBlue also offers a series of beginner-friendly marketing automation tools that allow for the creation of automatic follow-up emails, transactional emails, timed bulk emails, and more.

The free plan for SendinBlue allows for unlimited contacts and up to 300 emails a day, although the emails will Include company branding. Paid plans start at $25 per month, with the option to add SMS services – although these can influence price depending on specific requirements. 

  1. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is known for being one of the most important and rapidly growing email marketing services globally and one of the most beginner-friendly.

With this service, managing email lists, templates, scheduling, and more, is straightforward and intuitive – and the company offers unparalleled customer support, ranging from phone lines to email and live chat to a great library of valuable resources.

Constant Contact also offers excellent live training seminars across the United States, helping anyone proficient in email marketing.

The service begins with a 60-day free trial, with no credit card requirement, and after that, paid services start at as little as $20 a month.

  1. Drip

Drip is an email marketing service that shines for people working in eCommerce and digital marketers and bloggers. It can be described as a powerful enterprise service.

Importantly, their email marketing software integrates seamlessly with the leading website building and content management systems, including WordPress and WooCommerce, which makes it easy to incorporate things like pop-ups and signup forms to your website as a way of drawing in and converting more leads.

Drip is notable for its intelligent automation tools, including split testing features, list groups, a visual automation workflow builder, and more, that help you reach targeted customers very precisely to increase sales.

Recently, Drip has included SMS features.

Drip offers a free trial, after which the service costs $49 per month for access to all features.

  1. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is explicitly aimed at professional marketers, authors, and bloggers and is easy to use and notably powerful at what it does.

The feature of this service that most stands out is that It makes it especially easy to offer content upgrades and various incentives via email signup forms and makes it very easy to set up autoresponders.

ConvertKit allows you to quickly categorize subscribers and divide them between those who have already made a purchase and those who haven’t, allowing for a more targeted and personalised form of marketing.

The company offers a 14-day free trial (complete with a 30-day refund policy), and subscription pricing starts from $29 per month.

  1. AWeber

AWeber is well known for being one of the oldest and most well-established email marketing services in the world and one of the most popular.

The tools they offer are particularly useful for small and medium-sized businesses, and include features for a/b testing, detailed email tracking, list management, autoresponders, and more.

This service integrates seamlessly with most platforms, including WordPress.

AWeber has a limited free plan that allows for up to 500 subscribers, with subscription pricing starting from $19 per month.

  1. GetResponse

GetResponse is popular and easy to use and primarily simplifies email marketing for small businesses.

This service features a drag-and-drop campaign builder, allows for effectively categorizing and segmenting contacts, and has beautiful and responsive signup forms and landing pages, among other things.

Customer support is available by phone, live chat, and email, and the GetResponse help section contains plenty of free learning materials, including videos, how-to guides, webinars, and more.

GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial, followed by a subscription starting at $15 per month. 

  1. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing services globally, not just because of its memorable mascot and name. This service comes with a “forever free” email marketing plan that allows sending 12,000 emails to up to 2,000 subscribers.

Mailchimp features an easy drag-and-drop email builder, as well as autoresponders, the ability to categorize and segment subscribers easily, and more. It is also easily integrated with various eCommerce and website-building platforms, including WordPress, Shopify, Magento, and more.

Mailchimp offers significantly fewer features than many other services but can stand out as an entry-level service.

Paid Mailchimp plans start at $10 per month for 500 subscribers, with the cost increasing for every additional 500 subscribers. However, for an unlimited audience and more advanced features, you would need to pay for the $299 per month plan.

paid-search

What is Paid Search?

Expert Tips For What is Paid Search?

If you are new to the world of paid search, you may feel a little bit overwhelmed by all of the available information. It can feel impossible to know what paid search entails and whether or not this will be a wise advertisement strategy for your business. There is no need to panic, though, as below, we will explain exactly what paid search is so that you can get a better understanding.

What is paid search?

Paid search represents a type of digital marketing where search engines like Bing and Google enable advertisers to display adverts on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Paid search works on a model known as pay-per-click, and so you do exactly what it says on the tin; you only pay when they click on your advert. The aim here is to make sure that the money you spend on marketing is controllable and measurable, which was not always the case with conventional forms of marketing.

Paid ad formats include shopping ads displayed above the search results and text ads, which you can see at the bottom or top of the organic search results. Most businesses will use a mixture of PPC and SEO (aimed at building organic search results) to give their business the best chance of success online.

Understanding what paid search can do for your business.

Now that you know what paid search is and how it works, it is important to understand why it matters! Why should you care? Well, if you think about it, every second, there are thousands and thousands of people typing into that famed Google search bar, looking for different answers, solutions, products, and services.

As a business, this gives you an outstanding opportunity to promote your company to an engaged and relevant audience, i.e., people actively searching for information relating to the sort of products and services you provide.

Some of the other types of advertisement that are available to you are deemed interruption marketing. Banner ads are a good example of this. This means that any person who views the ad may not actually be ready to purchase something at that moment. This is where paid search has an edge. This is because, with paid search, you know that the user has typed something into the search bar that has an intent relating to the sort of service your business provides.

Creating a well-paid search ad

Of course, your paid search efforts are only going to be as good as your ads are. You need to create adverts that engage your audience, guiding them to select your advert over the other ads that you compete with on the page.

There are several different elements you need to make sure your ad has. Unique selling points are critical; they will set your business apart, after all! It would help if you also had phrases and words that are relevant to your keywords, as well as a compelling call to action.

It will help if you track your ROI when implementing paid search.

There are clearly several different benefits that are associated with paid search. However, for paid search to succeed, you need to make sure that you track your ROI, otherwise known as return on investment. This is where a lot of businesses tend to go wrong.

Not only can you see the number of people who have clicked on your adverts when tracking, but you will be able to get important data on how many conversions you have, how much it has cost you, and so on. This helps you refine your campaign to keep on making improvements and extract the maximum benefit from PPC.

Don’t stick with the default broad match keywords.

This is another common error when it comes to those that are new to the realm of paid search. Not only is this is a mistake, but it can be quite a costly one. The default match type of keywords are broad match keywords, so many advertisers and business owners will end up just going with this.

However, if you do that, you will end up being in thousands of variations for the keyword, and so you can end up blowing your budget on keywords you do not really want to be targeting. This is why you really need to refine your strategy to hone in on those keywords you want to target.

Add ad extensions alongside your paid search advert.

In addition to the tips we have mentioned so far, it is also critical to put ad extensions onto your adverts. For those unaware, ad extensions offer extra information snippets about your company, and they can go alongside your adverts. They are beneficial for several reasons.

Firstly, they ensure an improved user experience. Moreover, they help your ad take up more space on the result page and boost your quality score. There are a lot of different ad extensions for you to select from, including seller ratings, price, call, location, callouts, and site links.

Seller ratings are good, as they link to your review score on the likes of TrustPilot and Google My Business, helping to build up a trusted brand image for your business.

Final words on paid search

So there you have it: everything that you need to know about paid search. We hope that this helps you better understand paid search and what it means for your business. Paid search is a vital advertisement medium, but it needs to be used correctly. If you would like to discover more and benefit from the assistance of an experienced and reputable marketing team, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today for more information.

facebook-ads-marketing

A Deep Dive Into Facebook Ads: How to Create, Optimize, and Test Facebook Ads

Expert Tips For A Deep Dive Into Facebook Ads: How to Create, Optimize, and Test Facebook Ads

Marketing is the art of effectively speaking to prospective customers on their terms and convincing them that your particular product or service is genuinely worth spending some money on.

To carry out the subtle art as effectively as possible, people use many different channels. Still, some have only really started to become recognized for their full potential in recent times.

Until quite recently indeed, many marketers believed that Facebook marketing was essentially a waste of time – and if you’re the average Facebook user, you might also be suspicious that very few people end up clicking on those ads.

Though, you’d be wrong if you came to either of these conclusions.

Facebook advertising can be very effective indeed in a variety of different ways. It’s just a b matter of understanding which businesses are the best fit for Facebook ads and then knowing how to properly run successful ad campaigns tailored to the business in the right way.

Here’s a rundown of some of the basics you should understand about Facebook ads.

Are Facebook Ads Right for Your Business?

Although Facebook ads can be very effective, it’s essential to remember that they won’t be the best fit for every business model.

Before getting started with using Facebook ads, it’s essential to investigate whether or not your business is likely to be one of those that will benefit from this particular marketing approach. It’s also necessary to understand how Facebook ads have developed over time – such as the fact that they are now much more helpful than in the past for selling products directly to customers.

Here are some of the types of business models that might be a good fit for Facebook ads.

Low-Friction Conversion Businesses

“Low-friction conversion” refers to a business model where you don’t ask very much of your prospective clients upfront whatsoever.

When it comes to Facebook marketing, it’s important to remember that the people who click through to your site are likely not very invested and are not already highly motivated to purchase your product or service. For that reason, you need to make the process of converting visitors into leads as smooth and easy as possible.

It’s mainly because businesses such as Groupon that only asked for a simple commitment upfront – like signing up with an email address – tend to be especially well-suited to Facebook advertising.

Businesses Based on Small Purchases or Long Sales Cycle

Businesses based on earning revenue from their customers over a prolonged period, maybe as a result of repeated small purchases, are likely to do better in terms of benefiting from Facebook ads than businesses that try to sell expensive goods upfront.

This again is partly down to the fact that Facebook ads tend to attract casual interest. In contrast, people tend to only make large, expensive purchases after plenty of premeditation and consideration.

An ideal approach might see a business earning 20% payback on their Facebook ad on day one and 100% payback after six months.

Tips for Properly Targeting Your Facebook Ads

Facebook ads allow for exact targeting of your advertisements to particular demographics and prospective customer bases to ensure that your ad has the highest likelihood of being correctly effective.

Unfortunately, failing to target Facebook ads appropriately is the number one thing that makes them ineffective for many marketers.

Just a few of the various things that Facebook allows you to target your ads based on include:

  • Language 
  • Relationship status 
  • Location 
  • Age range 
  • Interests
  • Connections 
  • Education

Here are some of the targeting techniques you can employ using Facebook ads.

Targeting to Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Facebook offers the powerful ability to target your ads to “Lookalike Audiences,” which means targeting your ads to audiences that are similar to yours but that exclude your current audience.

If you have Facebook Pixel or other custom audience data that you can plug into the advertising tool, you will be able to use this service to break new ground potentially.

Retargeting to Existing Customers or Audiences

Facebook allows you to “retarget” ads to people who are already familiar with your business, products, and services by focusing on users who – for example – have already clicked on an advertisement of yours or visited your website without completing a purchase.

This can be a great strategy to close the deal and up the ante with new and alluring products or more dynamic and visually appealing ads than previously.

Detailed Interest Ad Targeting

Facebook allows for a truly staggering amount of specificity when it comes to detailed marketing. You can even market to individuals who have “liked” specific films or sports, among other things. As a general rule, the more focused you can get your ads, the likelier you will find an audience that is ideally in line with your particular product or service. On the other hand, if you are too broad, you can easily miss out. Wherever possible, go for maximum nuance and detail when targeting your ads.

Broad Category Ad Targeting

Going for a “broad category” approach to ad targeting instead of detailed interest ad targeting tends to be more expensive and result in fewer conversions.

While this should not be your first-line approach to Facebook advertising, broad category targeting may be helpful alongside detailed interest targeting in some instances. It’s something to try out in a balanced and tentative manner.

Utilizing Visuals for Ads

Visual elements are essential for getting people to click on your Facebook ads, so it’s necessary to go for high-quality images and graphics.

Avoid going for any low-quality pictures or very generic stock images, and don’t make your logo prominent (or even include it at all) unless you are a significant and recognizable company.

Instead, purchase high-quality images or look for unique and high-quality photos with a Creative Commons Licence, and emphasize pictures of people, clearly visible text with easily readable and well-designed typeface, and elements of humor if they work in the context of your ad.

most-disliked-brand

Katy Trail Weekly: Most Disliked Brand in Texas Surprising

Most Disliked Brand in Texas Surprising
Originally published on KatyTrailWeekly.com, Written by David Mullen

A new statistical report asserts that the most disliked brands by state on social media are often not necessarily the ones you might think. For example, Colonel Sanders is not welcome in Des Moines. KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is the most disliked brand on Twitter in Iowa. In Kentucky, it is Uber. Go figure.

Many of the most successful companies and well-known names have become unpopular brands. RAVE Reviews teamed up with research tool SentiStrength to measure the most hated brands across the U.S by state as measured on Twitter. They assessed more than a million brand-related tweets for positive or negative content and calculated what is referred to as the “hate rate” (percentage of negative tweets) by state.

Everyone loves LEGO, right? In six states, the brand is the most unpopular. No data supports if the hate rate coincides with the percentage of parents with young children that walk around the house in their bare feet.

Twitter, as a social platform, doesn’t represent the diverse opinions of states, let alone countries…

“Twitter, as a social platform, doesn’t represent the diverse opinions of states, let alone countries,” said Adam Rizzieri, an SMU and Boston University graduate and CMO at the Plano based Agency Partner Interactive, a marketing company that specializes in working with small business to help them create online experiences to foster growth. “And it is overwhelmingly male and typically more affluent. But that doesn’t mean what comes off Twitter doesn’t matter.”

It is logical that a foreign car brand is most hated in Michigan. But one would think it would be Toyota, Nissan or Honda in America’s automotive center. The most hated brand in Michigan is Ferrari. “I think that might relate to racing fans,” Rizzieri said. “[It could be] throwing hate on whatever [Ferrari Formula One drivers] Carlos Sainz, Jr. or Charles Leclerc had done on the racetrack.

Why do so many people hate KFC or LEGO with so much fury? People are two to three times more inclined to tweet a frustration than a positive experience. With KFC, it could be a delivery experience like “They forgot my gravy!”’

In California, surprisingly, Uber is most hated brand, even though the company is headquartered in San Francisco. “People that hate Uber are still going to use the service,” Rizzieri said. “It’s a little unfair. Think about the volume. I think Uber and Toyota share the same thing. They do so much volume and have a ton of happy customers. But because they have so many users, you are bound to do something — or not do something — to piss somebody off.”

Amazon is the most disliked brand in New Mexico, which seems counterproductive. So does Red Bull not charging up Nevada, America’s 24-hour gaming mecca. McDonalds is not a Maine brand, Minnesota is not gaga over Google, Colorado dislikes Disney, Alaska is not hot on Starbucks and Mississippi hates French luxury fashion brand Chanel. Maybe Mississippians meant to say “channel” because they don’t like their TV shows.

Sony is the most hated brand in Texas. That seems odd. One would think that any company not based in Texas would be tied for No. 1 least liked brand.

“I tried to think about that one because I have literally never heard someone [in Texas] say, ‘I hate Sony,’” Rizzieri said. “As a company, at a higher level, it is a multi-national conglomerate. It is a huge corporation. They are a movie producer. They are an electronics manufacturer. They are also a gaming console brand.

“When I think about Texas and Sony and what the connection might be, I go back to the eSports gaming world,” Rizzieri continued. “All of the people competing may be use Sony consoles or the games themselves and are expressing some sort of discontent. You have [Mark Cuban] and Jerry Jones investing heavily in eSports, and you have a big gaming concentration in Houston and Dallas.”

Tesla is the second most hated brand in Texas, despite building a large plant in Austin. Texas is synonymous with oil and Tesla is synonymous with green energy. Oil and alternative power don’t mix.

The thing that people should recognize is that source of the tweet matters tremendously

“The thing that people should recognize is that source of the tweet matters tremendously,” Rizzieri concluded, “whether it is a troll just throwing some hate or if it is Elon Musk talking about what Tesla’s next big investment or next partnership is going to be. When Elon [Musk] tweets something, you know it is going to be really important.

“Think about Disney. Thirty percent of all the tweets on Twitter about Disney were really hateful, mean tweets. In the same year that they had all of this negativity spewing on social media, their share price rose by 125 percent. Negativity on social media doesn’t always matter. What matters most is who is tweeting and what the customer cares about.”

© 2021 Trail Publishing and Agency Partner Interactive. All rights reserved.

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How To Create a Twitter Marketing Strategy For Your Brand

Expert Tips For How To Create a Twitter Marketing Strategy For Your Brand

As with most social media today, Twitter has moved on from a primary site for social engagement to a powerful Twitter Marketing channel used for brand building and brand promotion. But it isn’t always an easy task, even for those with social media experience.

The Twitter channel is slightly different from other platforms and requires a strategic brand marketing strategy to get the most from it. We look at some of the best ways to use Twitter to market your brand and grow a dedicated following.

Use Twitter analytics

The first step to creating a successful Twitter marketing plan is to crack open your Twitter analytics and takes a closer look at what’s working (or not working) for your brand. Twitter analytics provides valuable insights into engagement rates for different types of tweets – called “impressions.”

Twitter impressions give you the performance of tweets in recent months and over the previous 28 days. It tells you what tweets have been popular and why. You can also look at your marketing strategy and see where your campaign supported more vital impressions.

Tailor your brand voice

A brand voice is crucial for connecting with your audience and strengthening your brand identity. As with your brand logo, packaging, and social media ads, your voice must be consistent across platforms and reassuring for your audience – however, you can still be creative.

Once you have established a voice that is true to your brand and connects with your audience, you can use it creatively on Twitter to generate interest and stay relevant. Of course, that doesn’t mean jumping on trends, but you can still incorporate trends into Tweets using your distinctive voice.

Use trends and hashtags

Did you know that tweets with hashtags get double the engagement rates than tweets without them? Statistics like this suggest you should apply hashtags to every tweet you put out, but this isn’t a good idea either. Instead, it’s best to use hashtags for an intended purpose.

Most brands use hashtags for promotional purposes, and this is very effective. If you have a campaign for a short period – such as discounts on Black Friday – some relevant hashtags can significantly increase engagement rates and help grow your audience and brand awareness.

Use Twitter ads

Twitter ads work like other social media and search engine ads. However, you pay a premium – a monthly subscription in the case of Twitter – and you get to optimize your setting to target different demographics. Your ads then appear on users’ Twitter feeds.

Although this costs money, it’s an effective way to engage new people with your brand and promote a new product or service. Even if someone doesn’t follow your brand, the ads will show up in their news feed if they have an optimized interest.

Time your Tweets

Once you tweet, that post will remain on the Twitter newsfeed until it is deleted, but that doesn’t mean anyone will see it. The Twitter newsfeed moves incredibly fast, so a post that went up thirty minutes ago might well be invisible always. One technique is to time your tweets effectively.

Posting a tweet at the right time can mean the difference between high engagement and none at all. The average half-life is around thirty minutes, and tweets reach 75% of their potential in three hours, so posting at the right time is crucial. Use an engagement schedule to help.

Schedule your Tweets

Consistency is vital when posting to Twitter. Audiences expect regular – often daily posts – from the brands they follow. It helps the Twitter algorithm identify popular and relevant Tweets to boost engagement. So you need to time your tweets, but you also need to schedule them to land consistently.

If you’re a brand, it’s recommended that you post to Twitter at least once a day, but many brands will post much more than that – up to fifteen times a day! The frequency of your posts is usually determined by the relevance and quantity of the content you create.

Engage with Twitter Audiences

To create a successful brand on Twitter, you need to interact with your Twitter audience and anyone on the platform who mentions your brand. Whether positive or negative, you need to communicate with your brand community to build trust and confidence.

As with other social media platforms, Twitter is a two-way channel. If your brand posts regularly but displays low audience engagement, it makes users feel like an overly promotional business, but interacting with creates a strong brand community that users can invest in.

Set brand goals for Twitter

No Twitter marketing strategy is complete without brand goals. Brand goals help to keep your campaign on track and monitor the success of your promotions and campaigns. Brand goals on Twitter can mean “growing awareness” and “brand engagement.”

These are separate things. Growing awareness is measured by “followers” and “reach,” while brand engagement is measured by “replies” and “shares.” There are many other goals you can set, it depends on your overall strategy, but it’s essential to monitor them frequently.

Use a cross-platform strategy.

Today’s effective brand strategy involves more than one social media platform because the platforms have different audiences and different forms of engagement. Your Twitter profile can be integrated into an overall social media strategy to get the most out of every forum.

You might need some help to create an effective social media brand strategy that’s effective cross-platform. Each platform has micro-differences that require separate management. Your Twitter accounts are no different; ensure you have a dedicated team to operate your Twitter brand marketing strategy.

To sum up

Brand awareness and engagement on social media are essential for building and maintaining a lasting brand, but it doesn’t happen by accident. Each social media platform has unique traits that you need to work with to ensure your brand stays healthy and relevant.

Using Twitter Marketing to create goals for your brand and monitor them often, you can engage with existing audiences more effectively and grow your audience using intelligent advertising.

google-ad-ban

Newsmax: Google’s Ad Ban on Climate Skeptics Is About Politics, Not Environment

Originally published on Newsmax.com, Written by Marisa Herman
Google says skeptics of what the company determines to be “scientific consensus” about climate change will be prevented from making money or spreading so-called “misinformation” on YouTube, a major decision that tech experts say is motivated more by politics than sincere environmental concerns.

The tech behemoth announced the policy change in a Thursday blog post that noted the change will “prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change,” and is slated to affect YouTube video creators, advertisers, and publishers.

Critics immediately questioned whether the move was yet another example of a big tech company working in lockstep with the Democratic Party’s agenda to silence those who have the “wrong” thoughts about a debatable issue.

Steve Milloy, a former Trump EPA transition member and the founder of JunkScience.com, said the forthcoming policy “does nothing but validate what climate realists have been saying for years: It’s not about the climate; it’s about the political power.”

“If what we were saying was wrong, we would have been laughed off the Internet long ago,” he said. “Instead, reality is validating us and public support for climate idiocy is going nowhere.”

The new Google policy applies to any content that it determines calls climate change a hoax or denies that greenhouse gas emissions and human activity have contributed to the overall warming of the earth.

Google’s ad team said a “growing number” of its “advertising and publisher partners” have expressed concerns in recent years about “ads that run alongside or promote inaccurate claims about climate change.”

The company says that advertisers don’t want their ads showing up next to content that denies climate change, and publishers and creators don’t want the content to appear on their pages or videos.

Milloy believes the change, which is set to go into effect in November, will “have no effect on climate realist websites for the simple reason that the ad revenue is pretty trivial.”

I don’t know of any climate realist who blogs for the Google ad revenue…

“I don’t know of any climate realist who blogs for the Google ad revenue,” he said. “We do it because we oppose the abuse of science, especially as it is being used to advance totalitarianism.”

Google said it will use a mix of both automated tools and human reviewers to enforce the policy. It says it will “look carefully at the context in which claims are made, differentiating between content that states a false claim as fact, versus content that reports on or discusses that claim” when it evaluates content.

While Google may be responding to pressure from climate activists to “do more,” critics say the policy is another reason why the publisher shouldn’t be protected by Sec. 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a controversial protection afforded to tech companies that shields them from being sued over content that users post on their site.

Marketing and big tech expert Adam Rizzieri called the new policy “par for the course” when it comes to tech organizations protecting the speech of the “elite, VIP class of users, while rapidly silencing and de-platforming all others.”

“Google routinely allows politically divisive issues to dictate how its platforms operate and what its users can do and say,” Rizzieri said. “Unlike private companies, Google wields the de facto power of a government entity and therefore abuses its power in how it actively silences the free speech of users, spanning from daily users to renowned thought leaders.”

When it comes to YouTube, he said the video platform has already “routinely demonetized or suspended credentialed, industry experts” on other topics.

“They target your average YouTube user, but they also go after thought leaders – including Nobel Prize winners and actual history makers,” he said. “When YouTube’s enforcement teams believe themselves to know more than Nobel Prize winners and legal thought leaders like Alan Dershowitz, we have a big problem.”

When YouTube’s enforcement teams believe themselves to know more than Nobel Prize winners and legal thought leaders like Alan Dershowitz, we have a big problem.

Because policies like these “actively violate the First Amendment rights of everyone,” Rizzieri said big tech companies “should not get to enjoy Section 230 immunities.”

James Taylor, the president of the Illinois-based thinktank The Heartland Institute, says concerns about actions like those taken by Google have led 33 states to push legislation in a bid to combat censorship and free speech concerns. Florida and Texas have already had two of those bills signed into law.

“Google and Big Tech are perpetrating Digital Age book-burning,” Taylor said, adding, “It is now The People versus Big Tech — and they brought it upon themselves.”

Milloy added, “Google’s demonetization is an admission that we are winning, a treasure far more valuable than Google ad revenue.”

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

b2b-marketing-2021

The Ultimate Guide to B2B Marketing in 2021

Expert Tips For The Ultimate Guide to B2B Marketing in 2021

When it comes to business marketing, 2021 looks completely different than last year. A few years ago, the strategies and plans you had in place for b2b marketing will need an overhaul for 2021. COVID-19 threw changes at businesses, increasing the need to appeal to customers and clients working from home.

As a marketer, you may already know that business-to-business marketing has to be on-trend, modern, and engaging, and the only way to do this is to follow the latest trends and line up with what your clients will need to see from you.

B2B marketers today have to rethink their plans, rework strategies and consider their current approach and whether it applies. Customer expectations are changing, and the need for digital engagement is on the up. With different digital channels used to build new and existing customer relationships, B2B marketing experts must widen their scope with digital engagement.

Business-to-business marketing strategies will differ from business to business, but the most significant focus needs to be on driving growth and improving consumer experiences. This will boost your business marketing and improve your relationships with your customers at the same time.

The world may look like a different place right now than a few years ago, but digital marketing is steaming forward, and we all need to look at customer engagement and branding. Below, we’ve put together a list of the B2B marketing strategies that will be taking 2021 by storm. 

Widen Digital Engagement

Did you know that over 90% of B2B marketing experts use email as their primary strategy for marketing? Email marketing – despite what people think – is not dead yet! From using interesting subjects to segmenting emails depending on the customer group, B2B marketers are using responsive and user-friendly emails to capture the attention of their customers.

It’s important to broaden this sphere, so missing in web marketing (paid ads, SEO, and a branded website) will help. More than 80% of consumers will check a company website before they commit to a purchase.

Lastly, use content marketing! People are using their phones and their computers to search for information. Excellent content needs to be value-driven, data-driven, and AI-driven, too. 

Invest In SEO

As most of the world moves in and out of lockdown, B2B marketers need to consider their current SEO strategy and adjust it to suit. It will help if you enhance your visibility while generating quality leads for B2B businesses. When you have a strong SEO strategy, your marketing goals can be better realized.

Offer Better UX

User experience is one of the most crucial pieces of the B2B marketing puzzle. It ensures that your business customers repeatedly return, so you need to make the necessary investments in user experience (UX) to grow the business quickly.

Inbound Marketing Increases In Popularity

Did you know that inbound marketing is as essential as any other marketing sphere? It’s going to increase with customers that are looking for tailored content. You must build long-lasting connections with your customers, and to do this, you have to gear your content toward offering them the answers they need to their business problems.

Consider Artificial Intelligence

One of the most popular marketing strategies for this year is artificial intelligence. This can help you broaden the scope of B2B marketing. Marketers in the business sphere can employ automation strategies to gain better insights and make better decisions. In our data-driven culture, artificial intelligence is ready to change the game. AI is going to be an essential tool for delivering user-friendly content.

With our need for instant gratification, chatbots and live help (all AI-based) are becoming more popular for businesses worldwide. It’s all about customer service, and chatbots are there to help you connect better to your customers, providing them exceptional experiences every time.

More Than One Channel

When it comes to your B2B marketing strategies, you need to ensure an omnichannel provider. This is more than a trend; this is the next step in promoting the right message between consumer and brand. Social and digital channels need to be maximized to offer the best possible service.

Consider Software As A Service

This is a business-to-business marketing strategy that is provided to other businesses through cloud-based applications. SaaS uses platforms such as the internet for better accessibility and at a cheaper cost. You can optimize sales and generate more revenue, all the while improving your performance!

Invest In CRM

When was the last time you updated your customer relationship management software? With people staying at home and business leaders working from anywhere, you need to retain your customers. To do that, you need to invest in the best cutting-edge CRM software this year, and it’s expected that many B2B marketers will do precisely that!

Voice Search Soars

Ah, Siri and Alexa have changed the marketing game! Voice search is becoming more and more popular with customers who are more tech-savvy than all the rest, and with the help of AI and ML, more companies are utilizing voice search on their websites to attract more customers.

B2B marketing is full of challenges, but the traditional B2B marketing strategies are in dire need of an overhaul given the changes to the way businesses are working throughout the pandemic. Companies have to do what they can to reach their targeted audiences, and with the help of digital engagement and multi-channel marketing, your business can better connect with consumers.

When it comes down to it, whatever digital tools are at the disposal of your business, you should use them. You can ensure that you reach business customers in the right way and provide them with the best marketing and content options. All of this will keep them coming back for more!

social-media-down

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are Down

 

Facebook and Instagram’s servers are down for nearly 2.85 billion users worldwide. Facebook CTO, Mike Schroepfer, added the following statement via Twitter:

Inside Facebook, the outage has broken nearly all internal systems employees use to communicate and work. Several employees told The Verge they’ve resorted to talking through their work-provided Outlook email accounts, though employees can’t receive emails from external addresses. Employees logged into work tools such as Google Docs and Zoom before the outage can still use those, but any employee who needs to log in with their work email is blocked. 

The Verge reports that Facebook engineers have been sent to the company’s U.S. data centers to try and fix the problem, according to two people familiar with the situation. That means the outage, already Facebook’s most severe in years could be further prolonged. 

What does this mean for your business? 

Having a well-built website that won’t crash is important for sales and customer representation. Depending on when Facebook’s servers will be back up, this could negatively affect their business. Since Facebook went down, its stock $FB has been down nearly 5 points. 

Many businesses are scrambling to cope with this potential loss of revenue due to the outage. The best course of action for businesses is to ensure their email and SEO strategies are included in their marketing strategies 

How can we help you protect your sales during outages? At Agency Partner Interactive (API), we focus on a holistic marketing strategy that does not rely on only social media. Having a proper SEO strategy can prevent your brand from losing out on sales or leads when Facebook or Instagram goes down.
Contact us now! 

b2b-lead-generation

What is B2B lead generation?

Expert Tips For What is B2B lead generation?

Lead generation is a vital aspect of any business that sells a product or service. In marketing terms, B2B lead generation involves the identification of potential customers and conducting marketing or sales activity to encourage their interest. The greater number of leads you bring in, the more revenue you can make.

As a company operating in the B2B sector, you will have a different set of criteria of what is classed as a qualified lead and requires the collaborative and strategic working of the marketing and sales functions within the company.

Historically, sales and marketing have been known to work in silos. As buyer behavior has changed, so has the way sales and marketing departments interact with potential clients. An aligned approach is vital. Marketing strategy is designed to attract potential leads, qualify them as relevant, and push them through the funnel to sales outreach. 

Why your business needed B2B lead generation

In times gone by, sales and marketing were more concerned about telling the client about the existence of your product. But the nature of buyer behavior has changed drastically due to the internet. Inbound marketing is designed to bring your leads to you rather than pursuing them.

How to define B2B leads

Technically, any business that could benefit from your product or service could be a lead, but this doesn’t help your sales team effectively target their efforts. Instead, they should be categorized by their level of interest. These are usually defined as either a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

MQLs 

When potential clients engage with your marketing campaigns, they will be identified as an MQL. This engagement could include downloading content, attending a webinar, interacting on social media.

High-quality MQLs are vital in providing the sales team with a solid pipeline of leads. This will also increase your chance of conversion and improve ROI.

SQLs 

The next stage of the marketing funnel involves moving MQLs to SQLs. When a lead is deemed an SQL, then this is the point where your sales team will usually reach out and initiate contact.

The move from MQL to SQL usually involves more signs of real intent. This can include emailing for more information, filling in an online form, or signing up for a free trial.   

Who is responsible for B2B lead generation? 

B2B lead generation strategies and lead management is usually the joint responsibility of the sales and marketing departments. Whereas it used to be common for sales teams to be solely responsible, that is no longer the case, and the sales and marketing departments must collaborate closely to achieve targets.

Modern sales departments are usually split into separate roles to create efficiencies and focus talent in the right areas. Sales development roles identify possible leads, conduct initial engagement, and set any calls or meetings.

Business development managers are those who work at a more strategic level with leads. They communicate with prospects, give presentations and demos, and close deals. 

By running the sales function in this way, you create a very efficient department where everyone’s roles are clearly defined.

Marketers also fall into different categories when it comes to their main roles. Growth marketers are becoming popular in start-ups where revenue is needed fast and with little budget. They tend to alter strategy quickly, trying new ideas and dropping others that aren’t getting quick results. This approach works well at the start-up stage but generally can’t scale effectively, where a more sophisticated marketing setup is needed.

Inbound and demand generation marketers focus on developing strategies to engage potential clients and fill up the marketing funnel.

Depending on the size of your company, you may use one or more agency partners to handle various parts of your B2B lead generation activity.

Larger marketing departments may consist of digital specialists, content marketers, lead generation, and growth hacking.

B2B lead generation activities  

Several different B2B lead generation strategies can be conducted to bring in new business. There is still a place for traditional sales cold calling when it is targeted to the right organizations.

These include:

Outreach – the traditional approach of calling relevant people and attempting to get them to agree to a meeting, demo, or receive more information.

Email – similar to telephone outreach, this involves emailing potential leads. This can be done via personal email or an email platform.

Social – targeting and developing contacts through social media platforms and LinkedIn.

Alongside traditional sales outreach, the main b2b lead gen strategy is run by the marketing department.

Content marketing – creating and publishing interesting and informative content on a range of channels. Lead capture then pulls leads into the marketing funnel, where they become an MQL. Content can include videos, podcasts, webinars. Ebooks and blogs.

Account marketing – the buyer personas at each company are identified, and campaigns are created to target them specifically.  

Technology in B2B lead generation  

Modern sales and marketing initiatives run on technology. Aside from the platforms you choose to run your campaigns on. Internal systems allow you to capture the campaign data.

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is vital to tracking and recording potential client data and your interaction with them.

Another invaluable platform is marketing automation. Save time and money by automating your entire inbound marketing strategy rather than manually handling all aspects of the funnel.  

Conclusion 

B2B lead generation is an important part of any business. Generating these leads needs strong business direction and an aligned sales and marketing department. By deploying a range of strategies across targeted marketing channels, you’re increasing your chances of attracting and converting more leads through your funnel.

Each lead generation strategy will be slightly different, and you’ll be competing with others in your industry for the attention of your target market. By defining your buyer personas and targeting your campaigns precisely, you’ll improve your ROI as wells as your conversion rate.  

linkedin-for-business

How to Use LinkedIn for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide for Marketers

Expert Tips For How to Use LinkedIn for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide for Marketers

LinkedIn is an excellent place for businesses that are looking to network and grow their reach. Unlike many other popular social networks out there today, LinkedIn is aimed at job seekers and professionals. At its core, it is a professional social network. It is all about business-related activities, including industry discussions, professional connections, career development, and much more. With that being said, let’s take a look at using LinkedIn successfully for your business below.

Set up your page effectively

Many different elements come together when it comes to creating the perfect LinkedIn page. Firstly, you need to fill out your company description. This should make it evident in what your company does, the services and products you sell, your mission, and your vision. Make sure you write in your brand voice. Aside from this, a professional cover photo is needed, and you can add as many as three hashtags to your profile, which will make your profile more searchable, so select your hashtags with care.

In addition to this, you should add the locations your business is based in, i.e., your store or office locations. You need to add multiple locations, which will help you become more searchable when people do local searches on LinkedIn. In addition to this, you can manage your language.

If you have a multilingual audience or global brand, add your description, tagline, and name in more than 20 different languages. Finally, it would help if you thought about adding a custom button to your LinkedIn page. This will encourage visitors to take action. Options include the likes of sign up, register, learn more, contact us, and visit a website.

Find connections and customers that are highly targeted.

Targeting on LinkedIn is a must when it comes to using this platform effectively. The targeting on LinkedIn is unlike any other when it comes to digital advertising. Small companies can zero in on specific industries, job roles, and company sizes they know would typically be interested in their job or service.

For instance, let’s say that you sell inventory management software to small companies in New York. You can set your advertising so that you will only show your campaigns to companies in New York with less than 100 employees.

Add LinkedIn buttons across your online presence.

Aside from the suggestions that we have mentioned so far, we also recommend that you add social media icons to the footer or header of your newsletter or website, which will make it a lot easier for people to find your LinkedIn page. You can also add these buttons to your emails as well.

Consider the right time for your posts.

Use analytics to find out the optimal time to post content to reach your desired audience on LinkedIn. Some of the optimal times for posting on LinkedIn include 5.45 pm, 12.45 pm, 10.45 am, and 7.45 am, according to Hootsuite. Use your research to continue to refine your strategy, though.

Optimize posts for impact and rich

In addition to the benefits that we have mentioned so far, when it comes to posting from your business page on LinkedIn, there are several practices you should consider. The algorithm used by LinkedIn will rank posts based on several different signals, including engagement probability, interest relevance, and personal connections.

This means that you should be looking to create posts that interest people and are highly engaging. You can also notify workers if you believe they would be interested in something you have posted. As an advocate of your business, they will get the engagement started on the post and, therefore, increase its visibility.

Some of the things we recommend you do to boost your LinkedIn posts include:

  • Respond to any comments left on your post to increase engagement 
  • Write solid and robust headlines for your articles 
  • Add a few relevant hashtags to your posts, but do so in a natural manner 
  • Boost engagement and feedback with LinkedIn pools 
  • Lead with a question that encourages people to respond 
  • Tag pages and people mentioned in the post 
  • Name the type of audience you are trying to reach, for example, remote workers or working parents 
  • Include a call-to-action that is simple, clear, and eye-catching 
  • Call out key quotes, points, and statistics 
  • Keep the copy short – If the post is long, make sure it is readable by including bullet points, numbers, and paragraph breaks. 
  • Use video or imagery to capture the attention 
  • Share content that is relevant and timely

Share posts with rich media

Last but not least, another suggestion that we have for when it comes to LinkedIn marketing is to share posts that have rich media, i.e., videos or photos. Posts like this tend to perform much better across social media platforms like LinkedIn. In fact, according to the social media powerhouse themselves, posts with images generate 98 percent more comments when compared to posts that do not have any rich media.

When it comes to adding rich media to your posts, we recommend using custom photographs whenever you can. Avoiding stock imagery is a great way to stand out. You can also support your posts by uploading the likes of SlideShare presentations, PowerPoints, or PDFs.

One of the great benefits of native video on LinkedIn is that it will play automatically whenever someone scrolls by it. As a consequence, it is highly effective in terms of catching people’s attention! When compared with other types of content, videos experience five times the amount of engagement on LinkedIn.

So there you have it: some of the different approaches you can use to maximize LinkedIn when it comes to marketing your business. We hope that the ideas and suggestions mentioned above will help you make the most of this unique and exciting social media platform. 

digital-marketing-myths

5 Digital Marketing Myths Debunked

Expert Tips For 5 Digital Marketing Myths Debunked

Most modern and online businesses have quickly adapted and took advantage of this fast-growing industry regarding digital marketing. Current marketing strategies like digital marketing have given small business owners and marketing teams of established businesses worldwide.

Social Media Marketing is also one of the most effective marketing strategies in the modern day, and businesses not making use of it will be left behind fast. Marketing teams in businesses should have adapted and allowed budgets to generate leads and sales on online platforms. The reach for meager costs will enable businesses to target the correct people while still in the awareness phase.

However, even with evidence and records to prove this, some individuals remain wary. This article will debunk the five most common digital marketing myths.

1 Social Media Marketing Only Works For Specific Industries

This is one of the most common myths because it’s not entirely true. For example, even though social media marketing may be more effective for fashion and retail companies, major brands in every industry have used this strategy to generate leads and sales.

That means as businesses evolve, so does social media marketing; all industries can use it effectively, so there is no need to avoid it! Furthermore, a study conducted by Gartner predicts that by 2020 up to 30% of top-performing companies will abandon their digital campaigns if they don’t start making changes now.

2 SEO Is Dead

No, SEO is not dead! The reverse could be true. This marketing strategy has been around for ages and will continue to exist because it’s still one of the most effective ways to generate leads and sales online. It may not have reached its peak yet either; many other industries can benefit from an increase in search engine rankings, such as healthcare or education—both ranked among the top 20 largest U.S. industry sectors by GDP contribution (Cleveland).

Modern tools like Google Maps also provide hints on where people live, allowing businesses to target neighborhoods they want to reach out to with specific products/services based on location-based searches (Google Trends). As long as these digital marketing myths aren’t true, SEO will remain a powerful way to generate leads and sales. As long as Google considers SEO an essential part of the ranking factors for businesses worldwide, no one can say otherwise.

3 You Don’t Have To Build An Online Presence If Your Competition Isn’t Online.

This myth is not valid. Even though it may seem like the competition might be ahead of you, they’re still vulnerable to being taken over—because your competitors are also running into difficulties with modern marketing strategies.

For example, Facebook’s algorithm changes in late 2016 that led to a decrease in organic content reach meant small businesses and blogs were left behind without enough budget for increased paid ads (Bates). Additionally, since digital marketing requires constant upkeep and care, so does social media; if neglected, there will be consequences!

Of course, established companies can take advantage of this on their own or hire a Top Digital Marketing Agency in Dallas to do all the work for them. Still, no matter what needs to be done, as long as these steps aren’t followed, someone else could come in and take over before you know it.

4 Mobile Website Traffic Doesn’t Drive Conversions

This myth is also not close to being correct. Mobile website traffic has increased steadily over the years, and in fact, mobile-only users have grown to be a top priority market for most businesses. For example, according to Microsoft’s latest report on global internet usage trends (2016), more than 17% of people only use their phones, which means your business must provide easy access via mobile so they can still engage with you effectively.

This also goes for all those competitors out there; if ignored, this could mean lost opportunities when small moments become big deals—such as someone searching nearby restaurants while hungry and finding yours! These digital marketing myths aren’t true, resulting in decreased leads/sales because mobile website traffic is one of the most critical driving conversions.

In more recent years, statistics have shown that mobile users came close to being 50% of all online traffic, making sense. Smartphones have enabled individuals to browse the internet, similar to a PC, conveniently. So make sure your website is optimized for mobile use.

5 Negative Reviews Will Dramatically Decrease Your Sales

This myth is false, especially for high-quality products and services! The truth is that consumers are more likely to buy from a company they know or have heard of before than if they stumble across it randomly, so in this case, negative reviews can be good marketing because people will listen to you through word of mouth. Negative reviews may also lead to increased sales when handled correctly.

By providing customer service with a smile (and sometimes even freebies!), the unhappy customers could become repeat customers who love your business! This goes back to the importance of social media because now these disgruntled customers might spread their happiness on platforms like Facebook. This means all those new potential leads will come knocking at your door, too. Unless, of course, you don’t have the proper digital marketing strategy in place.

As long as these digital marketing myths aren’t true, SEO will remain a powerful way to generate leads and sales. However, it’s essential not to neglect other aspects of modern marketing: social media, for example! Social media platforms like Facebook are just one aspect that businesses need to utilize to get ahead, or they could end up paying the price.

Literally.

This goes back again to those potential customers who might have been interested in your business but decided against it because you didn’t show them any love on their favorite platform. So make sure all bases are covered with Industry-Leading Digital Marketing Services from Dallas Top Digital Marketing Agency today if you want a steady flow of new leads coming in! 

google-my-business

Guide to Optimizing Google My Business

Expert Tips For Guide to Optimizing Google My Business

If you have a business website, why do you need to Google My Business?

Google My Business isn’t a replacement for your website. It’s a summary of your most relevant information so people can find out about you quickly and easily.

Your GMB information includes:

  • Operating hours 
  • Physical Address 
  • Contact Information 
  • Customer Reviews 
  • Who you are

As a business, you also gain crucial information from GMB – like reviews, messages, customer photos, and insights into how customers interact with your business.

Getting Started with a Google My Business Listing

Do you have GMB? Quickly find out by Googling your business name. If no listing pops up or a listing pops up that isn’t claimed, then it’s time you set one up.

Over 56% of businesses never claimed their GMB account! Don’t miss out on potential customers, and claim your business today!

5 Tips for Optimizing Google My Business

If you already have a listing, log into your account and start Google My Business optimization using these five steps. 

  1. Fill Out All Your Business Information Using SEO

GMB optimization begins with filling out your basic information on your Google business page. Carefully add as much information as possible – making sure it’s accurate and up to date. Compare the information with your website as inconsistencies negatively affect your search appearance.

Beyond your basic information, your Google My Business listing includes attributes, a description, and a business category. Fill out these portions according to how you want to be ranked in Google and what search terms you want your business to relate to.

Does your location have free Wifi? Is there onsite parking? Is your location wheelchair accessible? These attributes help your business show up when people search phrases like “Wheelchair-accessible restaurants near me” or “hair salon with wifi.”

Use SEO and keywords to get your Google listings ranked in the most relevant customer searches. Your keywords should include where you are, what you offer, and what makes you unique (your marketable quality). 

  1. Keep your information Updated.

Your business listing isn’t a one-time deal. You should continually update it with the most accurate information.

New phone number? Update GMB. 

New address? Update GMB. 

New product? Update GMB. 

Changed holiday hours? Update GMB. 

You get the idea. Customers should know your Google local listing is reliable, or else it could negatively affect your business. 

  1. Use Pictures

People like pictures. Use them! Over 60% of customers are MORE likely to visit your business if you have an image. Images show you are a real business with live people. This knowledge builds trust in customers and makes them more willing to do business with you.

There are several types of images you should choose carefully and have added to any GMB. 

  • Logo: This image is your face and will show up the most in search results – choose it wisely! 
  • Cover Photo: Summarize WHO you are using one photo to grab people’s attention. 
  • Business Photos: Have fun with the pictures connected to your account. Show friendly interactions, quality products, and relevant images that boost your brand. 
  1. Use GMB to Interact with Customers

In a world filled with robots and automated messaging, finding a human to interact within a business is rare. Build a personal relationship with your customers by giving them that human touch.

GMB offers several ways to interact with customers. First is their messaging app. You have contact forms, email, and phone numbers for customers to use. Also, allow people to directly message you through Google to show you are serious about hearing from them.

Don’t just offer that option, but also respond – even if that means adding in an immediate automated response. Then, have customer service answer personally later. That small gesture lets customers know you are listening.

Reviews are another way to reach out to customers. Over 93% of customers will look up reviews online before deciding on a product. What people say about your business matters!

Show you also care what people are saying by responding to each review using your GMB account. Thank the people who are giving you positive reviews using genuine language. If you can add personal details in your response to prove you’re human and not a robot, add them!

You will sometimes get negative reviews. If you don’t get any negative reviews, customers might start to wonder if you’re a legitimate business. Consider negative reviews as an opportunity to showcase another aspect of your business – customer satisfaction.

Apologize to the person who wasn’t happy, and make a public declaration of your desire to right the wrong. Even if that one customer never returns, other customers know that if they aren’t happy, you’re willing to work with them. 

  1. Post events, products, and discounts

Use your business as your storefront window. Display highlights from your product lineup, discounts, and upcoming events.

The products and services listed on your page should represent the very best of your stock. Use catchy images and titles. Even if people aren’t interested in your highlighted products, the images can encourage customers to click on your website to see more.

Everyone likes freebies! Coupons and promotions are another way to encourage people to shop. When you walk into a store, how likely are you to walk straight to the bright red sign exclaiming “SALE!”? When people pull up your business, draw them in with sales and promotions.

Display your calendar of events for customers to see right there on Google. Plus, your event will add another element to rank in Google. If someone Googles “free events near me this weekend,” your event could rank and attract new customers. 

Make the Most of Your GMB Page

Optimizing your Google My Business listing isn’t an easy task. That’s why you can hire marketing experts to help with your SEO and rankings.

Agency Partner Interactive offers digital marketing services – including Google My Business optimization – through their team of experts that deliver value, accelerate revenue, and increase profits. Talk to a team member today and start getting the most out of your GMB listing. 

change-on-social-media

With a Grain of Data: The Changing Face of Social Media

Why “Alternative” Media is the New Mainstream

Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube may be your go-to tools for marketing content today, due to the majority of attention that they command, but that may not remain the case as alternative platforms promise freer, better, and safer spaces. 
Below is a list of major new establishments that are threatening mainstream networks, and, following that, an idea of what consumers can expect going forth.social-image
In a world where data is not only being collected, but alsoside-by-side sold for profit, it’s no surprise that people are opting for providers who treat them as people, not products. It’s not the next thing, but a core value that customers of any industry have always catered to: connection. It’s the “why.”

The purpose, the mission, the values that a brand stands behind has been and will continue being the driving force behind the building of any community, especially as consumers become smarter, more conscious about who they subscribe to and why. 
Right now, Google’s Chrome or Apple’s Safari may be set as the default browser on your computer; Facebook and Twitter may be your go-to apps for outreach and engagement; Youtube could be the video platform you use to host and stream, but social media as we know it is evolving as you read this to offer more, include more– even the voices that are unpopular or banned entirely.
Some would argue that Big Tech has an unwavering monopoly over the market, and that the small business doesn’t have a fair chance at competing unless they’re willing to cooperate, but public opinion has remained ever-evolving and ever-powerful.

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”

Anna Lappe

A great example of this theory at work is when we vote with our money, or, to be specific, when we’re choosing who to give our data to.

Following the storming of the United States Capitol, for instance, Parler received nationwide  attention as an alternative to Twitter. It was a hit, especially with conservatives as influential voices like the former president himself, Donald J. Trump, continued to be silenced.
While Twitter defends their action as a violation of “the company’s policy against the glorification of violence,” some progressive leaders have expressed discomfort with the suppression of speech:

“…if you’re asking me, do I feel particularly comfortable that the President, the then-President of the United States could not express his views on Twitter? I don’t feel comfortable about that.”

-Bernie Sanders

Parler saw an opportunity in marketing itself as the “Free Speech Platform,” but will those efforts count when small businesses are at the mercy of Big Tech? For example, if an iPhone user is curious about the Twitter alternative today and chooses to download the app via their App Store, they can’t do so.

Why Does This Matter?

The Twitter vs Parler debate makes for a good case study for those interested in conscious consumerism and how choices made by these tech titans trickle down to the individual, and their lifestyle choices.

Since everyone and every business is unique, it’s up to the entities alone to discover and develop a social media toolkit that works for them. 

Questions To Consider:

  • Where is my audience?
  • Where are they most, and least active?
  • Where are we the most, and least active?
  • Am I okay with sharing this data with a third party?

As you go, try auditing the tools that are at your disposal. Do you have a reason for using Twitter, and not Parler— or vice versa? You may choose to use both, but defining those parameters will help provide clarity, and some direction as to how and where you could be optimizing.

Here are some notable up and comers to look out for and how they compare to the mainstream platforms:

MAIN ALT ALT OFFERING
Twitter Parler Pros:
Privacy
Ad-free
Everyone’s verified
Size limit increased (1,000 characters)
Cons:
Limited exposure
No fact-checking
Facebook MeWe Pros: 
Privacy
Ad-free
No Spyware
Cons:
Limited exposure
Costs associated with themes, stickers, page presence, cloud storage, voice and video calls
Youtube Rumble Pros: 
Fastest media player
Free speech protected
Monetization is higher
Simpler policies
Cons: 
Limited exposure
Google DuckDuckGo Pros: 
Data is not traded
Ads are not targeted
Searches are anonymous (like you’ve never been there before)
Cons:
Meta descriptions are small, almost difficult to understand or read
Users may find themselves fact-checking with Google anyway
Search results may turn up limited information
Slack Discord Pros: 
Unlimited messaging across all plans
Unlimited integrations
Free screen-sharing
Cons:
Limited to audio and video

For some, these benefits may not be benefits at all, but an inconvenience. No spyware is great in theory, but doing away with it means doing away with facial-recognition technology, tracking systems such as your GPS, and other personalized services that make our day-to-day tasks efficient. 

Perhaps the real conversation to have here is whether we’re ready to give up comfort and convenience for privacy, or better yet, if it’s possible to have the best of both worlds with alternative media. 

Take Control of Your Feed

Whatever the case is for you, we aim to inform. Algorithms and features are constantly changing, so it’s important that you’re consulting and confirming with the experts to stay true to your potential.
Agency Partner’s award-winning team would be more than happy to sit down and develop an online strategy with you.

frequently-asked-questions-google

FAQ: Google

What is the key value proposition of Google Search campaigns?

This is pretty simple. Google Search Campaigns show your ads when a customer is searching for your product or service.

How can Google Ads help you advance your business goals?

  • By building awareness of your brand.
  • By driving online, in-app, in-person, and over-the-phone sales.
  • By influencing consideration of your products and services.

What is a Universal App campaign?

These ads drive engagement, app installs, and in-app purchases. They appear across the Google Search and Display Networks, as well as on Google Play and YouTube.

What is a Google Ads Video Campaign?

These ads appear on their own or within other streaming video content on YouTube and across the Google Display Network.

What is a Google Shopping Campaign?

These ads promote your products by giving users detailed information about what you’re selling. They appear on Google Shopping and next to search results.

What is a basic Google Ads Search Campaign?

These ads show up next to Google search results and on other Google partner sites, like YouTube, when people search for products or services you offer.

What is a Google Ads Optimization Score?

A Google Ads Optimization score is made up of over 50 recommendations to optimize search campaigns. Some of these factors include shifts in spend mix, changes in tracked conversions, and changes in auction dynamics.

How does Google Ads generate Responsive Search Ads? And what are they?

Responsive search ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text—and more relevant messages—to your customers.
To create a Responsive Search Ad, you simply enter multiple headlines and descriptions into Google ads, and over time, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations and learn which combinations perform best.
What are Dynamic Search Ads?
Ideal for advertisers with a well-developed website or a large inventory, Dynamic Search Ads use your website content to target your ads and can help fill in the gaps of your keyword-based campaigns. Dynamic Search Ad headlines and landing pages are also generated using content from your website, which keeps your ads relevant and saves you time. All you need to do is add a creative description.
Which part of a Search ad isn’t automatically generated by Dynamic Search Ads?
The Description Line is not automatically generated.
How many ads should be implemented per ad group?
3. Every ad group should have at least 3 quality ads.
That way, the system can optimize your performance, and you can check your performance data to learn what message resonates best with your audience.

Which are the three required parts of a Google Search text ad?

A text ad consists of: Headline, description, and URL.

Which of the following is a core benefit of Google Ads automated bidding?
Automated bidding takes the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids to meet your performance goals. Each type of automated bid strategy is designed to help you achieve a specific goal for your business.

The Maximize Clicks autobidding strategy is best suited to which type of campaign goal?

If the campaign goal is to generate site Traffic, use the Maximize clicks bidding strategy.

The Target Impression Share autobidding strategy is best suited to which type of campaign goal?

If the campaign goal is to generate the most visibility, use the Target Impression Share bidding strategy.

The Target CPA autobidding strategy is best suited to which type of campaign goal?

If the campaign goal is to generate the most conversions, use the Target CPA bidding strategy.

The Target ROAS autobidding strategy is best suited to which type of campaign goal?

If the campaign goal is to generate the most revenue, use the Target Return on Ad Spend bidding strategy.

What marketing goal is the Call Extension ad extension best suited for?

This is best for businesses that are focused on driving more phone calls to their listed phone number.

What marketing goal is the Location Extension ad extension best suited for?

The Location Extension is best for companies that operate retail stores and want potential customers to see the distance from their location to the store. This helps drive more foot traffic to a brick and mortar location.

What marketing goal is the Sitelink Extension ad extension best suited for?

The Sitelink Extension is best suited for companies that want to direct people to specific pages on a website.

What marketing goal is the Structured Snippets ad extension best suited for?

The Structured Snippets ad extension is helpful for companies that want to describe the features of a specific product before customers click on an ad. This is a good opportunity to win a click from a similarly suited product or brand.

Which ad extensions can serve automatically?

Sitelink, callout, and structured snippet ad extensions can be served automatically.
Why do search ad extensions matter?
Ad extensions increase the value of your ads. Think of it this way, more ad “real estate” equates to greater visibility.
By adding more content to your ad, extensions give your ad greater visibility and prominence on the search results page. That means you tend to get more value from your ad. Extensions often increase your total number of clicks, and can give people additional, interactive ways of reaching you—as with maps or calls.
If an advertiser doesn’t want to add remarketing tags to a website, what might be a good fit for them?
Try using Customer Match in cases where a remarketing tag isn’t present. Customer Match relies on your own data instead of a remarketing tag.
What is great about Affinity Audiences?
Affinity Audiences allow advertisers to reach people who are actively researching and intending to buy the products or services they offer.
What can be customized with audience signals to make Search campaigns more efficient?
Keywords can be customized with audience signals to add efficiency to search campaigns.
What are the three main factors that determine ad quality?
The three main factors that determine ad quality are: ad relevance, landing page experience, and the expected clickthrough rate.
tiktok-marketing

How to Market Your Business on TikTok

Expert Tips For How to Market Your Business on TikTok

TikTok has been the newest digital marketing venture for a lot of companies. But don’t feel pressure to make an account so quickly. Marketing’s most fundamental concept is to be present wherever your audience is. And if your audience is not on TikTok, your company may not be missing out on much. But if you believe there is an engaged audience that can turn into leads – TikTok might be the marketing platform for you.

TikTok For Business is for brands who want to speak to their audience by unleashing their creative side. The key to being successful on TikTok is being creative and aligning the latest trends with your brand. To start creating content on TikTok, you first need to create a TikTok business account. The business account shares insights into how your content is doing and tips on reaching your marketing goals better.

TikTok For Business also has a learning center with many resources on the ins and outs of operating a business account. In addition, their blog shares best practices for content creation, geo-targeting, and more!

Once you have your TikTok business account, you are going to want to start running ads. TikTok Ad Manager gives you a more accurate reach to users who will likely engage with your content. With TikTok’s advertising, you will be able to customize the targeting by specifying the gender, location, age, interests, and other variables of your target audience.

How to Create a TikTok Marketing Strategy

Explore TikTok

Now that you have a TikTok business account, it’s time to start exploring the app. First, you want to be comfortable with the app to navigate it and learn its features.

TikTok is a video platform, so it is important to understand video editing. Within video editing, you can use effects, music, filters, and more. Watching videos of users who are similar to your brand can help you find inspiration for content. TikTok is big in influencer marketing, so if you have that opportunity to partner with an influencer, it can help bring more exposure to your brand.

Don’t be afraid to explore other video editing apps to create your content. PREQUEL and InShot are great video editing apps that can make your videos stand out. In addition, TikTok has a feature where you can upload videos from your camera roll, making it possible to use different editing apps for your content.

Set Your Goals

Set goals before you start creating content on TikTok. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you plan your content accordingly. Some goals you can try to attain is:

  • A New Audience – discover a new audience that can connect with your brand. Expand your horizons and grow your market.
  • Brand Image – strengthen your brand image by creating unique and authentic content for your brand.
  • Promote Awareness – drive awareness for a product or service by creating content centered around it.
  • Develop Customer Relationships – strengthen the relationship you have with your current customers by connecting with them through content. An example can be a Q&A.

Remember to put a number in your goal to keep track of your progress. The number will show whether your marketing tactics are going towards your goal or away from it.

Find Your Target Audience

Before you start creating content, clearly identify the audience you want to target. Follow the key concepts in building an audience persona. Know the age, gender, and other characteristics of the audience you want to reach.

An excellent method is researching your audience on your other marketing platforms. Then, try to uncover any overlap you see in your findings. TikTok is all about connecting with things you like, so if you can find an underlying characteristic in your audience, it can help you plan content accordingly.

Understand TikTok’s Algorithm

If you know anything about social media marketing, you know there is a thing called an algorithm. TikTok’s algorithm looks at the filters and music you are using in your videos. It then uses this data to target other users using the same sounds and effects, assuming you and these users have the same interest. As you start promoting your business on TikTok, you want to understand how TikTok’s algorithm works, so the “for you page” is in your favor.

As stated before, you want to be present where your audience is. So, if your audience is on TikTok, pay attention to the sounds, effects, and TikTok trends they are doing, and see if you can incorporate this into your content.

Do a Competitive Analysis

When you are building a marketing strategy, it’s good to know what your competitors are doing. Watching other competitor’s videos can help you get some affirmation that you are on the right track. For example, on TikTok, small business communities always post videos of their products, behind the scenes, and other creative content. If you have the opportunity, make these kinds of videos but make them your own.

Also, check if your competitors are using influencers, and if they are, who are they, and what are they like? Finally, partnerships are an effective marketing strategy on TikTok; you will likely reach a larger audience driving more traffic to your page.

Lastly, Have Fun!

Audiences love TikTok for its unique content. It’s different from other social media platforms because its primary source of content is video, which means you only have a few seconds to keep the audience’s attention before they scroll to the following video. But, unfortunately, there is no secret formula on how to go viral. The only thing you can do is authentically create content to show your brand. So, make sure your TikTok marketing strategies appear this way.

Note: TikTok users, especially larger corporations, should know that China-based tech company Bytedance owns TikTok. And in China, there is no private ownership of anything, where the Chinese government retains ownership of all property and economic outputs. TikTok has a history of data harvesting, data mining, and algorithms to learn more about user behavior. Although many businesses do this for profit, many perceive that political parties do this for control.

Agency Partner lives in the digital world, and we know how the digital landscape changes by the minute. So if you have any questions about TikTok’s marketing strategies and want to learn more about our best content services, please contact Agency Partner.

promote-your-podcast

How to Promote Your Podcast

What You Must Know To Promote a Successful Podcast
Digital Marketing Insights from Dallas’ Top Digital Agency

As a podcast host, you are someone that believes in the power of good quality content… you’re not concerned about quantity, though you do recognize the importance of consistency. Your show solves a problem for its listeners, whether it is a need for entertainment, education, enlightenment, or some combination of that. The truth is that you work hard to create great content, but the reality is that you must also work just as hard to distribute your show to engaged listeners.

Dominate iTunes / Apple Podcasts

The key to growing your podcast is all in your ability to dominate iTunes.

Believe it or not, listens on SoundCloud and YouTube are fairly insignificant relative to those who are listening to podcasts on native iOS apps, including iTunes itself.

The reality is that iTunes accounts for about 70% of all podcast downloads and listens. To get started, create an iTunes Connect account and be ready to upload your podcast cover art by designing a great looking image that is sized at 1400×1400 pixels. If you’re just starting out, be sure that you have 3 to 5 episodes that are ready to go.

Hit the “New and Noteworthy” Section of iTunes

When you are ready to launch your podcast, it is best to launch with no less than a few episodes because it is likely that your followers will want to listen to more than just one at a time.

Importantly, you have to play to the favor of iTunes’ ranking algorithm to maximize your discoverability. The more time your listeners spend actually listening to your episode, the more the iTunes visibility algorithm will favor your show.

Some quick engagement to your first episodes during your first two weeks will help you appear as a featured podcast on the iTunes “New & Noteworthy” section. If you’re able to achieve this notoriety within 8 weeks of launching you show, this can be a huge accelerator for boosting your listenership and gaining the credibility that you need to attract sponsors.

Before your podcast launches, put together a list of as many people as you can and utilize the power of email marketing to notify people about your upcoming launch date.

  • 1 month before launch: send a teaser email
  • 1 week before launch: share the name of the show, a few episodes, and perhaps an audio clip along with a reminder of the launch
  • Launch date: be bold and ask people to listen, rate, and subscribe via email and on social media.

Ask your listeners, both in your podcasts and in your marketing database, to subscribe to your show and to also post a review. Be sure that you are telling your fans specifically why they should subscribe.

If you’re not a daily host, try and get 2-4 weeks ahead of your publishing schedule. iTunes and the various podcast platforms love active, consistent publishers. If you can get into the habit of a consistent publishing schedule, you’ll be well on your way.

Too Late for the New & Newsworthy Section? Is Your Podcast Live Already?

Where there is a will, there’s a way! Facebook advertising allows you to target your audience by the type of device they’re using. This means that you can utilize the power of paid advertising to attract iOS users to your Apple Podcasts page. Likewise, you can do the same with Android and Google Podcasts using Google Ads.

The fact is that people often binge their shows and they’re always looking to consume more, similar content. Paid advertising on social media and in search engines allows you to get your brand in front of your future listeners when they’re most likely to engage with your message.

Be Found On These 3 Other Podcast Directories

Look to iTunes first, and then focus your attention on Spotify, the #2 destination for podcast consumption, before looking ahead to Google Podcasts as a third focus.

Podcast hosting sites like PodBean, BuzzSprout, and Captivate are great doors to getting your podcast into Spotify.

Google Podcasts works a bit differently. Google Podcasts matters because it allows your show to be visible in normal Google Search Engine results pages, making individual episodes fairly easy to find and play.

Interestingly enough, you don’t actually upload your shows to Google Podcasts. It works sort of like a website and SEO in that Google crawls the internet to locate and index your episodes.

To be found by Google Podcasts, it is important that you make a URL to your RSS feed and that your RSS feed links to your website. Most of the mainstream podcast hosting platforms will do this for you but if you want to engage in some DIY, this link will help: Guide to Google Podcasts. To see if Google has already found your RSS feed, click here to view Google’s Podcast Publisher tool.

Stitcher is number 4 on the list as it has over 8 million listeners across 65,000 podcasts.

If you do anything at all for distribution, make sure that your show exists on these four platforms and then tackle the rest!

Invite Connected Guests to Your Show

This may seem like common sense, but the more popular or “famous” your guest, the more attention you’re likely to receive. Let your podcast play out in a way that is true to your vision for the show, but do consider how you might layer in an interview format.

Make It Easy For Your Guests to Share Their Podcast

Whether your guest has 30,000 Twitter followers or 1 million Facebook fans, make it easy for your guests to share and promote their podcast episode. Do this by sending them a note on the day their podcast goes live, and also consider including a series of shareable media when you tag them in your social posts. If you utilize pull quotes, banners/images, links, and pre-written tweets and/or status updates, you’re more likely to get a response out of guests and fans.

Be a Guest On Other Podcasts

Make guest appearances on other podcasts that are in your niche. If you are able to expose yourself to someone else’s audience you might just win some folks over. A good PR person can actively pitch you to relevant hosts but scoring a guest appearance is also something that you can do for yourself!

Because of the work that goes into identifying, requesting, and booking guests for weekly or daily podcasts, you may find that your proactive outreach to another show may be very welcome. To find a list of shows worth reaching out to, start with the iTunes listing page to see podcasts in dozens of categories.

Promote Your Podcast All Over Social Media

Social media offers ample opportunity to share soundbites, video clips, images, teasers, and content that may be timely or evergreen in nature. Social media should be used as bait to create awareness and drive people to your show on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.

Every time you publish a new episode, feature your iTunes URL first and consider pinning a link to your Facebook page, Twitter account, and any other platform your fans are present on.

Facebook

When you post a link to your latest show, include that iTunes URL, and paste it alongside a “ “quote image.” For DIY social media banners, tools like Canva allow you to create “quote images” such as the example shown on this Canva template here.

Twitter

Twitter plays quite nicely with Soundcloud, though Soundcloud is not one of the more popular podcast directories. With that said, everything matters. Twitter allows Soundcloud audio to play natively inside the Twitter stream, which is a big deal if yours or your guests have a significant Twitter following. Don’t be afraid to reshare the podcast episode 3 times the first day on Twitter and twice to Facebook within the week that it goes live.

Use Video If You Can

2021 will be the year that video will account for 82% of all internet content. Websites with video will enjoy a boosted Google ranking and podcasts that also have video posted to YouTube will enjoy greater online visibility.

With your podcast already recorded, assuming that it is purely audio, try and convert that audio to video for publishing on YouTube. If you did not happen to record the video of your podcast, you can easily create an audiogram using a service called Auphonic or Waave.

When your video is ready for uploading, be selective about how you Title the episode when publishing to YouTube. If you happened to interview someone, include that person’s name at the start of your title and also include the word “interview” as this is a good move for basic search visibility.

Use Podcast Aggregators to Maximize Visibility

Dozens of apps are designed to play podcasts. The more you’re on, the easier it will be for new listeners to find you. If your show is already live on iTunes, it is also automagically added to a podcatcher called Podcastland.

Here are a few other popular podcast aggregators:

Transcribe Your Audio

The most successful podcasts often offer a full transcript of their shows. Whether you choose to provide a full transcript or just selected excerpts is a matter of resources: time and money. Services such as Rev.com are available to transcribe your audio at a cost that is typically $1 per minute.

A transcript of your show is often a huge SEO booster as it ensures full and proper indexing by Google’s search bots.

If you happen to include a transcript of each episode on your podcast’s website, let it also be combined with lead capture forms, show notes, and things that open doors to new sponsors or listeners.

One of the tools that our friend, Michelle Mendoza of the MyMichelleLive podcast, loves is called Descript. This tool offers podcast editing, transcription, and other powerful features that will help you in your pursuit of excellence. Also, with plans ranging from $0 to $24 for most users, it won’t cost you an arm and leg to try out.

Now What? Next Steps Towards New Growth

Start by setting a specific audience growth goal. Write down exactly how many subscribers you have today and also note how many you want (or need) by a specific date in the future. Is what you are doing today in support of your goal? If not, let’s start asking some questions.

Are you currently able to leverage a great-looking logo and podcast album banners to create a strong first impression? What does your brand look like across all social pages and does it match up at iTunes and elsewhere? What does your brand look like relative to the #1 show in your niche?

What about your website? Have you launched a professional-looking podcast site that allows for easy sharing of content and fan engagement? Many podcast hosting providers, such as Captivate, not only host your podcasts but they also offer the ability to use a templated website. These templates are typically great when first starting a podcast but they offer very little flexibility and customization. It’s easy to outgrow these.

Platforms like WordPress and Webflow offer much more flexibility for show hosts that are extremely active and that leverage a blog for growth. They also are very easy to use such that non-technical users can make basic text, video, and image updates on the fly.

Unlike some of the more templated websites, designing your own, customized blog is a really strong way to improve your online visibility. With flexibility, it will help you:

  • Build your email list (we can help you with that!)
  • Connect with audio, video, and written audiences
  • Maximize your online visibility with SEO
  • Integrate a storefront for product sales
  • Attract advertisers and show sponsors
  • Share your content with a general audience

But it all starts with that goal. Make sure your goal is specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented, and time-bound.

To learn how a Digital Marketing strategy can help your business, contact us today!

inbound-marketing

How to Dominate Local Search with Inbound Marketing

Digital Marketing Insights from Texas’ Hottest Digital Agency

SEO is an excellent way to make customers aware of your business, product, or service online. However, if you want local clients to find your business online, you need to localize your marketing strategy including your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. Local SEO optimizes a website so that it shows up in the local search results. Some of the most common terms are “restaurants near me” or “hospitals near me.” Statistics show that 72% of customers who conduct local searches visit the physical store located within a five-mile radius.

So why is it important for you as a marketer to localize your SEO? Local search marketing makes your business visible online so that customers who search similar businesses like yours will get wind of your company. This method is designed to drive more customers to your site and increase your sales performance. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, helps your business grow using various online tools that promote your brand and engage your customers.

As you read on, we’ll dive into the details of how you can dominate local search optimization and build a solid marketing campaign. We’ll show you how these tools and strategies can help move your business to the next level.

local-search-marketing-seo

What Consumers Search for in Online Listings

Source: Blue Corona

Why Use Local SEO?

Marketers know the value of numbers and statistics, especially when it comes to understanding customer behavior. According to a study, four out of five consumers use online search engines to locate and find information about a business, product, or service. Local searches result in higher purchases versus non-local searches. Customers also prefer to search companies that are located nearby with addresses and phone numbers listed in their ads.

Businesses that utilize local SEO strategies are more likely to generate higher sales from the local niche market. Therefore, you should start adapting the principles of local SEO and digital marketing to move your company to the top rankings. The more people who come across your brand, the more chances you can convert these leads to sales.

The Benefits of Using Local SEO

With the information above, it’s imperative that marketers take advantage of this data to maximize SEO campaigns. Here are some of the reasons why you should start localizing your SEO campaigns and how they can help boost your sales.

  • Builds online visibility
  • Improves search rankings
  • Strengthens your presence in the local market
  • Reaches a more targeted audience
  • Drives more traffic to your website
  • Improves visibility from relevant searches
  • Local visibility leads to more customers and purchases
  • Improves relevance through link building and content marketing
  • Improves reputation and trust from customers
  • Leads to repeat purchases
  • Increases your sales profit
  • Increases visibility in Google Maps

Ranking on top of the local search engine results is one of the indicative signs of a successful digital marketing campaign. However, this strategy is often overlooked by many businesses that are struggling to generate more sales.

By building an efficient local SEO and digital marketing strategy, you’ll be able to maximize the available tools to help propel your business forward. If you want to grow your business further, companies like Red Stag Fulfillment provide quality shipment and fulfillment services to support your sales and marketing strategy.

How to Use Local SEO and Make it Work for your Business?

To strengthen and dominate local search visibility online, you need to optimize your company’s information. This helps position your business in the right places so that customers can easily find everything they need in one click. To optimize your searches, you’ll need to provide accurate information including your company address, website, email, and phone number.

This information will direct search engines to directories that show your location and other relevant information. On the other hand, if your listing provides the wrong information, it can negatively affect your local ranking results.

Some of the sites you should consider listing your company are Google My Busines, Yahoo!, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Before you proceed, make sure to verify if all information is correct and consistent across all platforms. Signing up at these websites can significantly improve your visibility in local search rankings.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a strategy used to grow your business by driving customers to your website. Directing potential buyers to your site allows you to promote your product or service and create awareness about your brand. The main concept of this strategy is to attract, engage, and delight customers.

By attracting the right market using relevant content, you can actively engage customers better. Once you create a conversation with your customers, the higher the chance you can convert the potential customer into a sale. At the same time, you are inspiring your customers to purchase and enjoy your product or service.

inbound-marketing
Inbound Marketing Tools

Source: Hubspot

How to Dominate Local Search with Inbound Marketing

A lot of businesses rely on local SEO to gain better rankings in Google’s search engine. With recent updates, paid ads have higher visibility compared to organic search results. Thus, if you want to make sure your business stands out then you need to find ways to improve your organic search rankings.

Optimize your Local SEO

SEO plays a huge role in digital marketing campaigns. An effective SEO campaign can significantly improve your brand’s visibility on the search engine result pages (SERP). The goal is to get your website visible on the first page.

One way to do that is to optimize your keywords so that when people search for relevant topics, your site will show up at the results. You can also link your content to reputable websites to help move up your website in the organic search results.

Maximize link-building opportunities

Link building is one of the key factors in a successful inbound marketing campaign. One way to get high-quality backlinks is by offering to replace broken links in high-performing sites and posts with your website link in exchange for content. Another strategy is to collaborate with influencers by linking your content to their posts. You can also become a guest blogger and provide resources about the topic by linking your website.

Another option is to research your competitors and identify which websites are linking their content. Check their domain authority, relevant domains, and perform link outreach to those domains. The more links you have, the higher the chance your customers will find you.

Use Local and Longtail Keywords

Optimizing your keywords can improve your rankings. The first thing users see on the SERP is your heading. Make sure your title and description best describe what your business is all about. Add local keywords to your description and relevant tags.

Some examples of longtail keywords are “best Italian restaurant” or “cheapest hotel in New York.” These keywords should be relevant to your business, telling people exactly what it is you have to offer.

Encourage customer reviews

Most online buyers read reviews before deciding to buy a product or service. They are looking for validation that yours is the right product/service for them.

So whenever you can, take the opportunity to encourage customers to write about their experiences. This also creates more opportunities to build links. While there may be a chance of getting a bad review occasionally, all you need is more positive feedbacks to build up your reputation.

Create compelling content

Your website’s content should be interesting enough to keep customers engaged. The longer they stay on your page, the higher your ranking will be. So, how can captivate your audience?

Start by writing high-quality articles that showcase your expertise. You can also feature local events relevant to your brand. Another option is to launch a podcast, webinar, or video series. These strategies can help you attract more potential customers and engage them by bringing life to your brand. After all, when it comes to digital marketing, content is king.

Utilize Google My Business Listing

As alluded to earlier, Google My Business page helps improve your local ranking. It provides a huge opportunity for businesses to show up in the local search results for every relevant search. All you need to do is claim your listing, verify your account, input the complete details, and link it to your website.

You can also upload hi-resolution photos of your business. Once the information is set up and customers review your business, the search engine will optimize it as a local listing.

Final Thoughts

One of the most effective digital marketing practices is localizing your SEO campaigns. To generate a successful ranking on SERPs, you’ll need to identify the best keywords relevant to your business, understand the available tools to help you improve your local rankings, and engage your customers. Local SEO can help you grow your business by increasing brand awareness, driving people to your site, and ultimately, generating more sales.

SEO campaigns take time so you’ll have to be patient with the results. Some local SEO campaigns can take from several months to a year before you can see the results. Just make sure to make the most of your campaign by crafting killer content, improving your local listings across all platforms, making sure all information is correct, consistent, and using quality keywords.

Following the steps above can help your business become more visible online. Localizing your SEO with a well-planned inbound marketing strategy will help you achieve a successful marketing campaign.

To learn how Local SEO can help your business, contact us today!

facebook_ads

Gizmodo: Facebook Wants Your Thoughts and Prayers

Facebook Wants Your Thoughts and Prayers
Originally published on Gizmodo.com, Written by Shoshana Wodinsky

Facebook’s found a new way to capitalize on the thoughts, prayers (and data) from the religious side of its user base. On Thursday, the company confirmed that it’s begun expanding a new feature called “prayer posts” that will let members of particular Facebook groups literally ask for (and offer up) prayers for other folks on the platform.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the feature’s been in testing for “over a year” before quietly rolling out to the masses over the past few months. Back in April, Robert Jones—who runs Public Religion Research Institute in Washington DC—was one of the first public faces to actually ask the company what the hell these posts actually were.feature-facebook-post

His question wasn’t picked up by mainstream outlets at the time, but more than a few religious-facing newswires jumped on the story and got Facebook to confirm that Prayer Posts were indeed being tested on a select few groups, though the company wouldn’t elaborate on which groups they were (hint: probably users who are religious).

At the time, Nona Jones—who has the baffling role of leading “Global Faith Partnerships” for the company—told one of these religious outlets that the idea for prayer posts stemmed from the need to “build community,” with users over the course of the pandemic. It’s not a coincidence that Jones was seeing this post in the lead-up to Easter when churches were expecting to see their attendance to be sliced to a fraction of what they’d expect in the pre-covid era.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve seen many faith and spirituality communities using our services to connect, so we’re starting to explore new tools to support them,” a Facebook spokesperson told Gizmodo.

He added that the feature first debuted in select groups in the US in order to “give people the option of requesting prayer from their Facebook Group,” if they choose.

The company did not answer questions on whether any of the data from these posts would be used to deliver targeted ads at users based on their group-praying habits.

Looking to Use Social Media To Your Advantage?

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Newsmax: “Trump Facebook Ban Upheld”

Trump Beats Facebook No Matter How Panel Rules, Experts Say
Originally published on Newsmax.com, Written by Marisa Herman

A panel stocked with anonymous content-moderation “judges” upheld Facebook’s ban of former President Donald Trump while also leaving the door open slightly to have that ruling revised in six months, but no matter what the group ruled, Trump was poised to claim victory – as the vindicated or the victim.

The social media giant, which froze Trump’s account in the wake of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach, cited a pair of Trump posts as having violated Facebook rules and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed Trump’s posts were meant to “undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.”

But while Twitter – which suspended Trump on Jan. 6 and booted him from the platform Jan. 8 – acted quickly, Facebook waited until Jan. 21 to announce that the company’s oversight board would render Trump’s ultimate Facebook fate — though that board then kicked the can down the road a bit more on Wednesday morning. The determination by the board also applies to Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.

Few of those experts and analysts who’d been hotly watching the drama play out pretended to know which way the board would rule before the odd 9 a.m. decision – but they all acknowledged how momentous the decision was likely to end up being.

“It’s a big day,” said Andrew Selepak, a social media professor at the University of Florida. “The oversight board is looking at something of great significance. This is obviously something that is vastly different from any decision they have made in the past in terms of size and scope.”

Dallas-based digital marketing expert Adam Rizzieri said the board’s verdict was a tossup.

“It really is a coin toss,” he said. “I give it a 50/50.”

If Trump was reinstated, Selepak predicted the president would do a “victory lap” of vindication against big tech and pressure other platforms that banned him to follow Facebook’s lead.

Aside from Twitter, Trump was also booted from other popular platforms, including Twitch, Snapchat and YouTube. On Tuesday evening, his website launched a new page that allowed one-way communication – in real time – from the 45th president at donaldjtrump.com/desk. Notably, Trump’s posts have a social share tool that allows users to push the messages onto Facebook and Twitter.

But the ban being upheld, however, may have represented an even bigger win for Trump.
Selepak expects a Republican-led backlash to be launched against big tech, which has been increasingly accused of silencing conservative voices.

“Being deplatformed makes Trump a victim of social media and gives him a greater voice against it than if he was simply allowed back on,” Selepak said.

Rizzieri agreed that a decision upholding the ban could add “much fuel to the fire” that already exists when it comes to creating new social media platforms and placing more scrutiny on big tech, in general.

And though Twitter “permanently” banned Trump months ago and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in March that the video platform would reactivate Trump’s account only when it was “safe” to do so, those sites and others may be pressured to quickly re-evaluate their decisions if Facebook goes against the grain six months from now, when the company is due to reevaluate its decision.

“If Facebook indicates that they are going to allow him access to his accounts again, it will be very difficult for Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube to say we are still not,” Selepak said.

Facebook created its 20-member oversight board through an endowment it funded. The board and its bylaws were put in place last year, and members come from different countries and a range of professional backgrounds – including lawyers, human-rights advocates, former politicians, and journalists.

In the big picture, the board is tasked with determining whether Facebook correctly followed its policies in either leaving up or taking down content or accounts from the platform. Cases, which are either referred to the board by Facebook or from an individual user via a petition, are reviewed and adjudicated by five of the members.

The group of five who render the decision remain secret.

Once the small anonymous group comes to an agreement, their decision must be approved by a majority of the full board. In the case of a major disagreement, the process restarts under a new panel.

Once a ruling is reached, it’s binding, and Facebook has agreed to abide by the panel’s decision. The board may also recommend policies for Facebook to implement. But in the case of proposed rule changes, it’s up to Facebook officials to decide if new policies – or changes to existing rules – should be enacted.

“Irrespective of the decision, Facebook is looking to the committee for a policy recommendation on how they will ban or not ban world leaders moving forward,” Rizzieri said. “That gives the company the ability to say how they will make decisions moving forward.”

One thing social media experts do agree on is that, no matter which way the ruling goes, there will be plenty of scrutiny over the faceless group rendering the decision.

Rizzieri said while the oversight board’s members are generally respectable, educated, and influential people, the fact that only five total members are American could cause pushback. The interpretation of free speech varies among countries – but Facebook is based in America.

“Do we really want decisions that influence how we view free speech determined by this ‘social media supreme court’ that isn’t fully American?” Rizzieri said. “We really have no idea what might influence someone from a totally different country to make a decision about a policy or law.”

So far, the board has mostly reviewed posts made by users that most people don’t know. But in this case, the board was tasked with determining the fate of a former U.S. president who had some 35 million followers when his account was suspended and may run again for the highest office in the land in 2024.

Rizzieri said the board considered the following questions during its deliberations:

  • Did the content violate Facebook’s policies?
  • Did the removal of the content respect human rights standards like freedom of expression?
  • What was the intent behind the post?
  • Did the user understand Facebook’s terms and rules?

He said the board also takes into consideration nuances of the language used in the post and any surrounding context. It also took some time to review the more than 9,000 public comments that users submitted about the case.

In fact, that flood of public comments led the board to delay its original 90-day deadline to decide Trump’s fate.
Initial rulings issued by the oversight board earlier this year indicated they weren’t afraid to overturn Facebook’s content-moderation decisions. The board has overturned decisions in five of the seven cases it has ruled on so far.

“This independent oversight board is not a bobblehead nodding an affirmation for what Facebook is doing, just looking at how they judged their first five cases,” Rizzieri said.

Despite that demonstrated independence, if Selepak had to place a bet, he wagered the ban would be upheld.
“If I was to place some Las Vegas bet on it, the easiest thing for the board to do is uphold the deplatforming now that [Trump] is a private citizen,” he said. “What is the justification for lifting the ban? Allowing a private citizen the ability to go back on social media because he has a large following?”

Because Trump is now a private citizen, Selepak said Facebook can more easily justify its decision to uphold the ban by arguing he isn’t entitled to the same leeway as a sitting world leader.

Rizzieri completely disagrees. He saw a decision that allowed Trump to rejoin Facebook as the “path of least resistance.”

“If the decision is one that says we are going to keep Trump off of Facebook and uphold the ban, there will be a lot of attention on who is on that oversight board,” he said.

And if Trump does choose to run for office again, Facebook could be forced to reconsider any ban that may be in place at that time. The company has pledged to not limit the voice of any candidate running for office.

Facebook has typically adhered to its policy of not removing a world leader or sitting official from the platform. But it has taken down posts and suspended accounts of sitting world leaders such as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Rizzieri believes there is “no way” Facebook could sustain its ban if Trump were on the ticket in 2024 or became president in 2025.

A new Florida bill, which is expected to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, would actually fine social media companies that knowingly deplatform a political candidate. Under the proposed law, suspensions up to 14 days for rule violations would be allowed, however, and posts that break any terms of service could be deleted.

But the state’s elections commission would be able to fine a social media company $250,000 a day for statewide candidates and $25,000 a day for other candidates if a company’s actions are found to violate the law.

Even if Trump’s account was reinstated, regardless of whether or not he is running for office, Selepak noted he could have faced other sanctions, such as seeing a dip in his posts’ reach.

“There is no guarantee [Facebook] wouldn’t ‘shadow ban’ him or put warning labels on posts and limit his reach and voice,” he said. “These tech companies are very powerful because they can limit anyone’s voice.”

Even if Facebook did reinstate Trump and then use its algorithm to limit the reach of the former president’s posts, it’s something that Selepak said is very difficult to prove is taking place because users have no ability to “look under the hood” to see how the platform operates internally.

“They have the ability through their platforms to downgrade the posts,” he said. “They can do whatever they want to limit the reach of his posts using their algorithm. Posts may not get the reach they had in the past.”

Regardless of the outcome, Rizzieri said big tech can expect Congress to make some noise about how social media companies make content moderation decisions.

Already, there have been several attempts to look at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which gives social media companies immunity from liability, from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Democrats want to go after the protection in order to curb the spread of what they say is disinformation, while Republicans rail against alleged censorship.

“Weekly, there is a new effort to overhaul, rewrite, or undercut Section 230,” Rizzieri said. “There is bipartisan support for a change to the overall system, but there hasn’t been a perfect solution proposed.

“Whether Trump is allowed back on Facebook or the ban is upheld, some sort of regulation is inevitable. The real question is: To what extent?”

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot! Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

Should Big Brands Be Marketing The COVID-19 Vaccine?

ABC and CBS News: Should Big Brands Be Marketing The COVID-19 Vaccine?

Should Companies Advertise the New COVID Vaccines?
60% Of Americans Say It’s An Obligation – Businesses and Health Marketing

A growing number of iconic American brands are utilizing marketing campaigns to create awareness about the coronavirus vaccine. This comes at the same time that 40% of Americans have expressed hesitations about getting the shot themselves. Of the 60% of Americans that feel more positive about the vaccine, a Harris Poll indicates that people believe that big brands have an “obligation” to encourage vaccinationBut is that really the right thing to do? 

Big Brands Are Here To Help Officials Bridge A Credibility Gap

It’s a fact that President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed enabled a record-breaking speed of development and access to this vaccine. Along the way, the cure to this pandemic has been severely politicized, resulting in significant public mistrust. Contradictory statements from Dr. Fauci in respect of mask mandates and their effectiveness are just one example. The public witnessed Vice President Harris bad-mouth the vaccine in October, adding more fuel to the fire of naysayers.

Today, these same people that were against Trump’s vaccine efforts are now the ones that are working to claim credit for the success of Operation Warp Speed. Part of this is why data shows that the public has lost its confidence in public health and governmental officials. That’s why vaccine promoters have passed the torch to the private sector for help in achieving herd immunity.

To Overcome An Objection, Marketers Have To Know What They Are

Of the 40% of Americans who have hesitations about the covid vaccine, 22% of these people say that they’ll “never” get the vaccine and 18% of them said, “maybe but not right now.” While it’s true that about 12% of all Americans are life-long “anti-vaxxers,” mostly citing religious reasons, the public and private elites have made it a goal to convert all of the “maybes” and at least half of the “nevers.” Of those with hesitations, the consistent concerns boil down to questions of side effects that may uniquely impact pregnancies, cancer treatment, and auto-immune disorders. 

So how do government health officials work to influence those 40 percenters to achieve herd immunity? What is the right way to answer obvious mistrust and vaccine hesitancy? So far big brands and government health officials have done very little to explicitly address these concerns. 

Agency Partner CMO Adam Rizzieri joins LaMyiah Harvel of ABC News

Customer Testimonials & Case Studies: Specificity Drives Believability

Today we’re seeing an effort from big brands to influence American culture in such a way that makes the vaccine seem “cool,” while also allowing them to present as empathetic. Walgreens partnered up with celebrity John Legend in their “This Is Our Shot” commercial, flashing a montage of togetherness. Sam Adams and Budweiser, similarly, have done the same with visions of barbecues, sporting events, and friendship.

Most Americans appreciate the nostalgia of good times past while hoping for good times ahead, but in the immediate future, polls indicate that the public would respond better to more education and less indoctrination. 

The Strategic Minds Behind These Campaigns

The strategy behind much of the big brand advertising that we’re seeing comes from the collective decision-making of the Ad Council, a public interest ad association that runs more than 30 public service campaigns a year. The Ad Council is a non-profit organization that is funded by hundreds of millions of dollars in donations that often come from the government and the same big brands that fill its 144-person board of directors. 

About the Ad Council

 

 

 

The Ad Council was formed in 1942 to support President Roosevelt’s “Buy War Bonds” and “Loose Lips Sink Ships” campaigns, and the nonprofit has been the force behind Smokey Bear’s “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires” and the “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” campaigns. Today, their more recognizable ads target the dangers of vaping and Alzheimer’s awareness.

Since October of 2020, the Ad Council has been working on its covid vaccine campaign and its first spot aired on Feb 24, 2021. 

Notable is the fact that marketing executives from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are on the board. Questionable is the fact that in November of 2020, the Ad Council worked with the Covid Collaborative to announce a $50 million fundraising goal before any vaccine had even been authorized.

Big Brands, the Air Game, and Vaccine Advertising

Walgreens, Sam Adams, Budweiser, and Google are similarly encouraging people to get the vaccine so that things can get back to normal.  What we’re seeing from these big brands is called the air game — Big brands are utilizing big budgets to buy air time that is designed to influence the public.  

Prior to the Ad Council’s involvement, much of the big brand advertising was more specific to how these brands can support people through hard times. Since the 2020 presidential election, Google transitioned from advertising how their platform can support small businesses during the lockdowns, to advertising how their search engine could be used as a fact-finding resource for covid-related, individual research. 

When case rates began to diminish and economies started to reopen, the simple message was one of implied responsibility: “it’s up to you to be curious and seek understanding.” Today, these brands are much more direct in saying: “get the shot so we can get back to normal.” 

Many of these ads seem to have the same message and almost identical taglines. This is not a coincidence.

This is likely because the decision-making was largely decided on by the collective mind of the Ad Council. In respect of vaccine marketing, the Ad Council functions as a megaphone for the White House, just as it did under President Roosevelt in 1942. Also, this is not their first rodeo. The Ad Council helped to create awareness for the polio vaccine in the late 1950s and more recently, in the 1990s it worked to spark more activity in the fight against the AIDS virus.

The Bottom Line Of This Health Marketing Effort

These ads are likely to generate greater reward than risk for big brands – but the true measure is not going to be the attainment of herd immunity. For these companies, it will be revenue growth. These campaigns help these brands stay relevant and in context with the American public without leaning into other more polarizing social topics. 

With that said, these efforts are unlikely to directly influence vaccine adoption.

Americans that are on the fence want credible case studies and don’t care if John Legend and Sam Adams are trying to make the vaccine “cool.” Though these ads may be evocative, they do not contain the substance that nearly half of Americans are waiting for. Women that are pregnant want to hear from other women that have been in their shoes and received the shot. Cancer survivors and patients want the same. 

If Not Directly, The Ads Will Indirectly Support Vaccine Adoption

It is possible that the ads will indirectly influence vaccine adoption.

The 60% of Americans that support vaccine advertising are slowly becoming cheerleaders and evangelists for the shot. Big brands, in fact, are succeeding at making the vaccine cool and social media platforms like Facebook have gone so far as to offer custom profile frames that say “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine. We Can Do This.” This sort of momentum creates a social atmosphere that may open the “maybes” up to the idea of vaccination, but only over a slow period of time.

Health Marketing Takes Time, And America Is On Track

With or without these ads, herd immunity is likely to be achieved by or before the summer at our current pace. That’s why these ads pose such a low risk to major advertisers.

According to the CDC, as of May 3, 2021, 44.3% of the US population has received at least one vaccine shot, and over a third of Americans are fully vaccinated. Of those who are not yet vaccinated or who have naturally defeated the illness, many Americans may have the covid antibodies and not be included in the official immunity data. Looking closer at the age data, almost 60% of all adults and nearly 83% of all Americans over 65 years of age are vaccinated. 

Are You Struggling With Your Own Marketing Decisions?

Agency Partner’s award-winning team helps businesses grow. Every brand is a little different and in 2021, access to real-time data and digital tools allow top-performing companies to offer personalized, value-based customer interactions. We utilize the power of digital marketing to measure customer behavior, test advertising concepts and optimize a marketing budget around a specific set of business goals.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy to acquire new customers with Pay Per Click, Email Marketing, Social Media, and other online marketing tactics, make the team at Agency Partner your next call.


Author: S. Adam Rizzieri
Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer // Agency Partner Interactive

 

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When To Redesign Your Small Business Website

Expert Tips For When To Redesign Your Small Business Website

Designs keep on changing. Website designs too. To cut it short, design matters a lot when it comes to any website, along with the functionality. Design elements are essential for small-business websites as they provide the necessary pull that a small business needs in the ever-growing digital world.

If any business website is off-color in terms of design or even design functionality, it can definitely hinder a business’s growth and impede the overall construct of the brand. If the website design is poor, a website redesign is an important step to building a successful enterprise! 

That being said, it is not an easy task. Website redesign involves changing the overall look and feel of the pages on your site and how information flows, improving user experience, and optimizing site performance.

Website redesigns are like redesigning or renovating your home to create an everlasting impression and creating a great living space. Website redesigns help small businesses take the leap, improve performance, and bring more leads, sales, & better conversions.

Why is Website Design so important?

A website is essentially the identity of your business and requires you unprecedented attention, dedication, investment, time & important design updates to keep you ahead of the curve. When you redesign your website, it can result in massive benefits for your business, although it is not as simple as it seems. Redesigning includes the whole makeover of the website and small changes in functions that can help make the user experience better.

No website is perfect and therefore continuously requires improvement. It is your job to evaluate the performance of your website regularly and identify weak areas. No matter how high profile a business is, a dull online presence can be an obstacle to winning over more clients. The game is about engagement and essential functions and design elements that contribute towards that goal, especially when it comes to small businesses. 

Here are a few of the reasons to redesign your website.
Understanding you have a problem but not knowing where to start is standard. Because of this common challenge, we have created seven quick reasons why you should consider a redesign.

It’s outdated – Users expect websites to be clean, simple, and pleasing to the eye. With so many options to choose from, your website must be unique. If you haven’t updated your website in the last 24-months, chances are it is out of date. If you are unsure, ask your colleagues for an honest opinion. Build a beautiful site that you can be proud of.

NO CTAIs it clear what you want website visitors to do once they are at your website? You need a call to action on each page of your website. A CTA could be about making a phone call, subscribing to an email list, downloading a document, and more.

No credibility development – Let’s face it, most websites are created to establish credibility. Are you showing customer testimonials? Are you sharing the logos of your clients? Do you explain the reasons people should trust your business? Any industry developers from healthcare and retail to body shop and law firm web design companies can attest to how critical this element can be.

SEO isn’t part of it – If you rank higher on the search engines, your website must be search engine optimized. You have to use the proper keyword phrases within your content. Optimize your images with the correct alt tags. Use the appropriate web page titles to include your target keywords.

You made it out of Flash – Similar to an outdated design, Flash ages your website. Flash is not compatible with all devices or search engines, and this can hurt your traffic. Because of these reasons, more website designers are moving away from Flash.

It’s slow – You don’t want a website that is frustrating to use. Due to the increasing internet speeds available, users have lower tolerances for wait times. This is crucial on mobile devices. People want sites that load quickly when they are on the move.

It’s not optimized – Review your site on multiple devices: laptops, large monitors, phones, tablets, etc. If your website does not run well on all of these devices, you miss out on traffic and customers.

It doesn’t sell your products – Focus on your return on investment (ROI). All the traffic in the world won’t help you if it doesn’t create money. Reconsider how you advertise your products and services. Make it easy for customers to make a purchase. If you do have a high number of views, consider additional advertising.

Your brand isn’t visible – Are visitors connecting with your company? Do some research to see if people walk away with your intended message.

It’s hard to maintain – Fresh content drives more traffic! If you don’t update your website, people won’t have a reason to come back. Frequent updates start with simple processes. If your site is hard to update, updates will take more time. Content Management Sites (CMS) such as WordPress have built-in solutions to make updating a website easier. If you have a complicated website with few updates, consider simplifying your process.

If some of these factors apply to your website, you have taken the first step to improve your business! But you’re not done yet. You will need to conduct additional research to find the root of your website’s problems. Website updates may seem challenging, but they are worth all the effort in the end.

Your Dallas Web Design Experts. 

Agency Partner Interactive (API) is the Best Custom Web Development and Design Agency in Dallas, TX providing the best-in-class web design solutions inclusive of design tips, insights, small business web development, web-redesigns, WordPress development, & customized redesign solutions. We can help your website be a true source of business intelligence, your sales machine that never sleeps. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go the distance through unparalleled web design solutions from Agency Partner Interactive

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “When To Redesign Your Small Business Websiteinstead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

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Top 10 SEO trends you need to know in 2021

Expert Tips For Top 10 SEO trends you need to know in 2021

It’s time to empower your website & brand with proper SEO-Optimization. For starters, search engine optimization is the most critical aspect of digital marketing for any online business in these times. Every web designer or digital marketer should understand SEO, how it works, and how the traffic potential it can generate for a brand’s website.

SEO has two main goals. The first is to help you understand what users are searching for online so that you can create high-quality content to satisfy their intent. The second is to help you create a website that search engines can find, index, and understand its content.

The most important SEO tasks have to do with identifying what users are searching for related to your products and services, creating content that will make users happy, providing the right signals to search engine crawlers, and algorithms through various SEO techniques.

In today’s competitive market, SEO marketing is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users per day looking for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to attract potential customers to your website. But here’s the thing: you need to use it in the right way. According to stats, there are an estimated 3.5B searches on Google each day. But while only 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the second page, the #1 result in Google’s organic search result gets an average CTR of 31.7%.

The important part.

Many brands and businesses know — or maybe think they know — that they need SEO for their digital brands and websites and the benefits they will receive from that SEO expedition being implemented on their behalf. But in reality, things are way more complex than people think.

SEO in these modern times requires clarity and proper strategic implementation to help your brand leap. With Agency Partner Interactive, you can get the key insights about the best SEO trends and SEO Tips 2021 and use certified SEO experts to curate your SEO digital strategy that performs off the charts. 

Focus on the user & the search intent.

In 2021, it’s time to focus on the user and the search intent. While this is barely a new trend or concept, it’s important to refocus every year because searcher intent and behavior change, especially after the year 2020, when so much rapidly changed due to the ongoing pandemic

Hiring an expert.

Search Engine Optimization requires a lot of time. Apart from this, you must be aware of the current trends, algorithm changes, and strategies. Today, many marketers are aware of the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.

Therefore, they can perform the optimization of their website themselves. However, most of them go on this adventure without being aware of the basics. This is where they end up making grave mistakes. If you don’t have the right skills and tools, we suggest that you hire the services of a professional instead.

Believing in unrealistic promises.

If you are going to hire a professional, make sure you go with one that uses safe methods. There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting your website ranked. Remember that you cannot trick major search engines, such as Google, to gain better rankings for your desired keywords. Today, search engines are brilliant.

In other words, you should never try to cheat the system, or you may get penalized. So, you may want to hire a provider that makes realistic promises.

Check methods.

Before you go with a service provider, make sure you know the method they will use. What you need to do is follow only white hat practices. On the other hand, illegal SEO involves tips and tricks that violate search engine guidelines, such as keyword stuffing, buying backlinks, exchanging links, and hidden text.

Although you can get quick gains through illegal SEO, you will be taking a lot of risks. So we suggest that you follow only white hat methods to improve your search engine rankings. This includes updating your website with quality content and optimizing the content for search engines. 

Don’t ignore the google algorithm changes.

Today, search engines are changing their algorithms to improve the way websites are ranked. The idea is to identify cheaters that manipulate the system. Over the past five years, Google algorithms have gone through many major changes, so Google follows a different method of ranking websites these days. With that in mind, you may want to follow the recent updates if you want to achieve great results. If you don’t have the time to read about this change, we suggest that you hire the services of an SEO expert.

Opt only for the precise keywords.

Lastly, one of the most common mistakes is to follow non-strategic keywords when it comes to SEO. You may not want to waste time optimizing your content for the wrong keywords. For example, you may not want to use overly competitive keywords. Instead, it would help if you used low competition keywords to get a lot of traffic.

Consider personalization.

According to statistics, at least 70% of customers that buy online are drawn to personalization on blogs and sites. For instance, when someone buys something from you, you may send them an email with their name in the email. The good thing is that personalization is not a costly or complicated process. The whole purpose of personalization is to make the buyers realize that you value them.

Visual search features & YouTube SEO.

According to statistics, visual search is quite effective these days. What do we mean by “visual search”? Let us explain: If a user clicks a product photo of their choice, websites such as Pinterest and Google show the buying options right under the picture of that product. That way, the buyers have the ability to buy the product by simply clicking the photo. Through this method, YouTube videos provide one of the most engaging platforms available for consumers. 

Post video content.

Video content is quite popular on social media platforms, such as Facebook. If you look at consumer statistics, you will know that 52% of buyers feel more confident when buying products after watching a video. At least 68% of buyers like to watch short videos to find out more about products instead of reading long articles, manuals, or infographics. 

Utilize Google My Business.

Google My Business helps small business owners stand out in search engines. Whether through a search result or a maps query, over five billion searches are made each day globally through Google. That means that a large audience can find your product or service quickly and easily. Not only does it increase your visibility, but it’s also a free way to optimize your website for local search.

Your SEO experts in Dallas.

Agency Partner Interactive (API) is the best custom web development and design agency in Dallas, TX, providing the best YouTube SEO, off-page SEO, on-page SEO, and SEO strategy solutions — all geared to perfection.

Let us show you how to convert your visitors into lifelong customers with custom, perfectly suited web features. We can help your website be a true source of business intelligence, your sales machine that never sleeps. What are you waiting for?

Let’s go the distance through precision SEO solutions with Agency Partner

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Top 10 SEO trends you need to know in 2021instead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

upcity-award

UpCity’s 2021 Local Excellence Award Winner

Agency Partner Wins Dallas Award

Agency Partner is pleased to announce that it has been honored by UpCity as one of the top 400 service providers in the United States and one of the top 20 digital agencies in Texas.

UpCity is a business marketplace that utilizes a proprietary “Recommendability Rating” to assess B2B web design and digital marketing agencies based on customer reviews, project success rates, the impact of their business solutions.

“Here at UpCity, we are always very proud to announce our Excellence Award Winnings. We are fortunate to work with the best, most trustworthy partners across the U.S. and Canada,” said UpCity SVP of Product and Marketing Heidi Sullivan.

award-winning

 

UpCity is an online marketplace that helps businesses find B2B service providers they can trust. UpCity’s Local Excellence Award winners are proven digital agencies that have proven themselves as the most reputable, capable business service providers in their respective markets.

As a company, Agency Partner Interactive specializes in helping businesses create impactful online experiences. Whether the team is devising technology or digital marketing solutions, the project solutions teams work tirelessly to help businesses accelerate growth and add efficiencies where they otherwise do not exist.

“This is our second time to be granted this honor, and it is a great feeling that our team very much deserves,” said Muhammad Younus, CEO of Agency Partner. “We work tirelessly to help our clients achieve specific, measurable business goals and we look forward to ‘one-upping’ ourselves time and time again. It’s all about continuous improvement.”

About UpCity

UpCity helps businesses find service providers they can trust. Our Marketplace creates and empowers successful relationships between businesses and service providers from marketers to accountants to HR professionals. We provide transparency and insights to dramatically improve the B2B partner selection and purchase experience.

Over 225,000 businesses visit UpCity each month seeking services from over 35,000 providers in over 600 cities in North America. UpCity helps partners in the Marketplace grow their business and build their digital recommendability.

the-wise-business-podcast

Agency Partner Joins The Wise Business Podcast

Adam Rizzieri joins Carmine Mastropierro To Discuss Entrepreneurship

Carmine Mastropierro is a Toronto-based content marketer that works with agencies and businesses to tell compelling stories. He is the founder and host of The Wise Business Podcast and has worked with brands including GoDaddy, Marketo, and Neil Patel.

Adam and Carmine kick things off by exploring various topics related to entrepreneurship, building a company, learning, growth, and achieving big goals. The two discuss what Agency Partner does to help its clients accomplish specific business objectives while also digging into what makes the API team special.

Originally recorded in December 2020.

First Air Date February 2021.

 

Are You Struggling With Your Digital Presence or Online Marketing Decisions?

Agency Partner’s award-winning team works to align business needs with the market. We utilize the power of digital marketing to measure consumer behavior, test advertising concepts, and optimize a technology and marketing budget around a specific set of business goals.

If your business is looking to utilize an online strategy to acquire new customers then make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

google-algorithm-updates-2021

Google: Algorithm Updates 2021

Expert Tips For Google: Algorithm Updates 2021

Google algorithms are the key to every single search — expedited, run, & executed every second. These algorithms are complex systems used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible query results.

The search engine uses algorithms and numerous ranking factors to deliver web pages, ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs). Google possesses a long history of famous and functional algorithm updates, search index changes, and refreshes.

In its early years, Google only made a handful of updates to its algorithms. Now, Google makes thousands of changes every year. Most of these updates are so slight that they go completely unnoticed. However, on occasion, the search engine rolls out major algorithmic updates that significantly impact the SERPs.

At Agency Partner Interactive, we leverage your brand through precision digital marketing and help you take full advantage of Google’s core updates. We are not your average digital agency. We work to understand your business and leverage technology and marketing solutions to generate revenue and increase profits. To do this, we don’t hire just anyone.

Like Silicon Valley’s most impressive tech firms, we take ownership in everything we do, and our fully distributed business model enables us to offer the absolute best digital marketers, software developers, and designers on Earth.

To top it off, our clients enjoy an average 40 to 60% reduction in their cost of investment without any compromises, and our SEO digital marketing experts provide the key insights, core web-vitals, search index changes, and Search Engine Optimization while catering to Google search visibility seamlessly.

Google’s core updates, 2017 to present.

As far back as 2017, Google has started to refer to bigger updates as Google core updates. Since then, there is even less transparency about what those updates are and which parts of the search they are intended to improve. SEOs would often track post-update ranking shifts and figure out what exactly had changed, but there is rarely a conclusive observation. Google core updates are likely just improvements on previous Google updates or perhaps bundles of smaller updates tied together.

Since the effects of Google core updates are often unknown, one thing you can do is track SERP history for the keywords you are targeting. Once the update happens, you can check which of your competitors have moved up or down in rankings and make an educated guess about the contributing factors.

To start tracking your SERP history, launch Rank Tracker, Target Keywords > Rank Tracking > SERP Analysis, and click Record SERP data. The tool will start tracking the top 30 SERP positions for each of your keywords.

Understanding the BERT update.

Hazards: Poorly written content, lack of focus & lack of context.

This Google algorithm update uses natural language processing technology to understand search queries better, interpret text, identify entities and relationships between entities. We’ve seen Panda, Hummingbird, and RankBrain updates move away from keywords, and the BERT update is the culmination of this effort — it allows Google to understand much more nuance in both queries and search results.

We’ve finally lived to see the day when Google is actually rewarding good writing. Like never before, it is important to strive for a meaningful copy. It means you should go easy on fluff words and adopt an expository style of writing.

It is also a good idea to do entity research when creating copy — including relevant entities helps create a context for your content. We at Agency Partner Interactive provide you the level-playing field you need to advance your digital website and brand through good SEO content and marketing.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Google: Algorithm Updates 2021instead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

 

Woke-Airlines-Woke-a-cola-ed-bastian-georgia-voting

Audacy & iHeart: Why CEOs Are Taking Stands on Political Issues

WHY ARE CEOs SUDDENLY TAKING STANDS ON POLITICAL ISSUES
Activist Groups Are Blurring The Lines of Business and Politics

What happened to the days when CEOs would dodge politically divisive issues? There was once a time when any discussions not related to the core operations of a business were left to PR and marketing teams… or they were just avoided entirely! However, since the corporate social responsibility movement of the 1980s, things have been changing from one issue to the next.

Thank mobile technology, social media, and 24-hour news cycles for that! But don’t stop there. Work to identify who is in control at the boardroom level and ask what sort of outside influences may impact their decisions.

On Saturday, Yale management professor and civic activist Jeffrey Sonnenfeld led more than 120 business leaders to discuss action against new voting legislation nationwide.

This same group of business elites consisting of labor leaders, CEOs, investors, and attorneys also met on January 5 to demand that Congress certify then-President-elect Biden’s campaign victory. In November of 2020, again, Sonnenfeld led this group to plan a collective response to President Trump’s lawful challenge of the 2020 election results.

While Sonnenfeld and his clique of like-minded business leaders attacked the presidency in 2020, now the group has focused their attention on state and local governments that seek to promote efforts that expand access to voting while also ensuring election integrity.

 

 

Isn’t it logical to say that one fraudulent vote can effectively cancel out a totally valid, fair one?

Are Business Elites Out of Touch With the Public?

Not so long ago, a Gallup poll indicated that 80% of Americans support voter ID.

The fact is that there is overwhelming support for an “easy to vote, hard to cheat” system.

Actions taken by Georgia lawmakers to enact SB 202 do just that and now other states are rapidly following suit. So why are business leaders suddenly standing up against election reform?

Delta CEO Ed Bastian calls the new law “unacceptable” and argues that SB 202 harms the company’s black employee base and their ability to vote. If that were true, then it would not make sense that the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Alveda King is standing up in support of the new law. She went so far as to mention that the new law may actually be “too little too late” when it comes to protecting the integrity of elections.

When asked, Bastian and other CEOs cannot point to a single part of SB 202 that does anything other than to safely expand voter access. And yet, they’re outraged. But do they even know what they’re talking about?

…this comes at a time when the Texas Attorney General’s office is testifying that election fraud cases are “higher than our historical average by a long shot.

Anticipating similar reform to spread to other states, this comes at a time when the Texas Attorney General’s office is testifying that election fraud cases are “higher than our historical average by a long shot.Jonathan White, the leader of the election fraud section in the Texas AG’s Special Prosecution Division, warns that 80% of new voter fraud cases concern alleged mail ballot fraud, so why not work to ensure that more people can access ballots and that concurrently, every real vote is protected?

Could the truth be that well-funded progressive activist groups are just really good at marketing?

The reality is that progressive activist groups are working to blur the lines of big business and politics to gain money and power. In Texas, 10 activist groups coalesced to purchase full-page newspaper ads that pressure corporate leaders to express disapproval of these new laws. At the heart of the issue is a demand for verifiable voter identification.

Personal Identification and Businesses

Without a personal identification issued by some level of government, there is no way to board a Delta plane or ride an Amtrak train.

Without an ID you cannot prove your identity to pick up your Rangers or Red Sox tickets at the Will-Call booth.

An ID is required to open a bank account at Chase Bank, enter many public and private office buildings, explore the contents of Yale’s library, purchase alcohol or tobacco and obtain certain prescription drugs. You cannot even qualify for public welfare programs like Medicaid without a valid ID.

Why Did the MLB Move the All-Star Game?

So why did Major League Baseball move the All-Star game away from Atlanta? Why are Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines issuing public declarations of disapproval for these new election reforms? Why are President Biden and others calling these voter reforms “Jim Crow 2.0?”

Saturday’s discussion among elites included ideas of refusing to move businesses or jobs to states that pass voting reform legislation, relocating events, and more. In the MLB’s haste to move the All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver, $100 million of business is now being taken from a local economy that is 51% black in preference for one that is 76% white.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred caved to the megaphone of progressive activists and awarded favor to a state that is less diverse and more strict about voter ID requirements.

The reality is that big corporate CEOs are engaging in social issues that they know little about. In their haste, measurable harm is being waged against the same groups of people that they claim to be standing up for.

The New Social Demands of Business Leaders

Even for issues that don’t directly impact how a company delivers its products or services, customers and employees expect CEOs to share in public discourse. It’s also within their constitutional right to do so as individuals.

For the most part, social media platforms and 24-hour news cycles demand responses within 48 hours or less. The trouble is that big companies were not designed to offer such quick opinions on cultural, social, or political issues. This makes it problematic when a CEO is tasked with responding on the behalf of their entire employee base.

Smaller businesses, however, are much more capable of doing this for the simple fact that fewer people are involved in such decision-making.

The fact is that it is impossible to presume that a leader like Ed Bastian, a person that earns $67,000 per day, can effectively speak for the social and political inclinations of an employee base of 50,000 people that earn an average of $35,149 per year.

The people that come together to operate an enterprise often come from diverse backgrounds and live daily realities that are staunchly different from these 120 to 200 business elites that were not elected to speak for the country.

The Right Way To Respectfully Agree AND Disagree

This does not mean that a corporate CEO should shy away from cultural and social issues. Even with that title, every American is entitled to free speech and civil liberties.

With that said, it is true that social issues impact productivity and employee engagement. At an individual level, they also impact well-being and the pursuit of happiness. Social issues can impact hiring and retention, noting that younger employees prefer to work for businesses that share their values.

But as we have seen with Coca-Cola and Delta, too strong a position can lead to a hostile work environment.

Among a large and diverse workforce, it is impossible for a single leader to represent the diverse thoughts of their entire employee base.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a note to employees, Walmart is “not in the business of partisan politics” and from a high level, he supported the need to protect democratic processes by adding that “broad participation and trust in the election process” are paramount to election integrity. McMillon may have his own opinion on the topic of election reform and that’s okay. It also sounds like he respects that his colleagues may respectfully disagree with him, and that’s the American way. And then there is Ed Bastian and Delta.

The only way for an enterprise to take the right political position, one that does not alienate its diverse employees and customers, is to be genuine and explicitly separate the individual viewpoint from the collective brand.

For an enterprise, this means that statements are made not as the CEO of ABC Corporation, but as an individual citizen. This also means that the workplace ensures mutual respect for the diversity of thought that may exist within the workforce and that employees are given the space and respect they require to exercise their First Amendment rights.

It is exceedingly easier and more realistic for a small business leader to represent a workforce of 20 than it is for the CEO of an enterprise to speak for employees they’ve never met.

How We Do It

In our office, the only approach is one that focuses on these two words: Mutual Respect.

The best course of action for any business that loves its employees, customers, and the country is to actively respect the diverse viewpoints of employees and customers.

Diversity of thought is part of what makes our country such a special place.

It yields faster, better decision-making, innovation, and value creation.

At Agency Partner Interactive, we believe in allowing our colleagues the freedom, respect, and trust to work as citizens toward creating a social and political impact on our society.

As a business, we strive to deliver outstanding online experiences that help our clients achieve specific business goals… Like 99.9% of the businesses out there, we are far from being a public policy think tank and we won’t pretend to act like we read every line of every piece of new legislation. As a business, we don’t! But as individual citizens, some of us at the office are definitely paying attention!

During election cycles, we know that as a company, our role is to sit back and facilitate a democratic process. Management does not impose or indoctrinate beliefs about who the team should or should not vote for. That is an individual, not a team decision. We believe that our role is to give each employee the Paid Time Off they need to make a thoughtful, unhurried voting decision.

Are You Struggling With Your Digital Presence or Online Marketing Decisions?

Agency Partner’s award-winning team works to align business needs with the market. We utilize the power of digital marketing to measure consumer behavior, test advertising concepts, and optimize a technology and marketing budget around a specific set of business goals. We love to help businesses grow and we specialize in helping small businesses over $2M in annual revenue double within 12 to 18 months.

If your business is looking to utilize an online strategy to acquire new customers then make the team at Agency Partner your next call.


Author: S. Adam Rizzieri
Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer // Agency Partner Interactive

 

web-design-mistakes

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design

Expert Tips For Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design

Your website is a magnet for judgment when it comes to your prospects and your targeted market. And this judgment isn’t limited to the website functionality itself. It carries over into the user’s tendency to perceive the brand or the company as a whole. All of the stats, all of the elements, contingencies, loading time, content, navigation, and especially the design can be detrimental to the chances of turning your visitors into leads and customers.

In the contemporary world of digital marketing and digital solutions, web design & web design trends are both factors for a brand’s success. A flushed, well-designed, & super-functional website can help the company extend its overall sphere of influence as the first impression is the last impression of website design elements.

The difference between obtaining a lead and losing a lead may be as simple as making minor adjustments that change the way users perceive your website the first time they interact with it. With the best ideas and the best delivery mechanisms, coupled with seamless design trends of 2021, you as a digital marketing agency or a stand-alone digital marketer can help your business or organization soar.

Web design defined.

Web design is a process of iteratively strategizing, conceptualizing, and delivering information and overall business functionality in an aesthetically appealing layout.

Visual components of web design encompass the text content, images, videos, colors, fonts, and different elements and shapes like buttons, forms, icons, the spacing between these elements, and the overall layout itself. Design functionality comprises website speed, navigation, animation, user experience, user interaction, general site’s tech architecture, SEO, cross-browser, cross-platform, cross-device design consistency, and responsiveness.

Why is there so much hype around web design?

It’s no secret that website dynamics coupled with functional designs are the backbone of every business these days. In the post-COVID-19 digital economy, having a well-furnished and well-designed website is the key to success for every business.

A well-designed website can help you grow your business as a flawless design creates a great impression on your potential customers inducing them to take the desired action. Common web design mistakes, however, can quickly derail even your best efforts. And while you hear a lot about what to do when designing your website, do you know what not to do?

To give you an edge, we at Agency Partner Interactive have outlined the ten most common website design mistakes that can cause many businesses’ consequences. As your go-to full-service digital agency, we provide you with the industry-leading insights, dynamics, processes, and information along with trends you need to sail your business swiftly in the world of digital marketing.

Here are the top ten most common slip-ups against users and potential leads that visit your website regarding website design.

  1. Ignoring the design-thinking approach.

One of the most notoriously common web design mistakes that web designers make is that they never realize design-thinking as an approach. Today, websites are all about functional and attractive designs with engaging content. However, designers often assume users’ things instead of carrying out extensive user research to understand user needs.

Understanding the design-thinking approach is the key to designing addictive experiences for users. Not sure what design-thinking is? It is a process that understands and identifies customer needs and motivations. It’s a mindset to empathize with the customers, detail their problems, and build solutions to solve them.

  1. Aesthetic design mistakes.

Another web design mistake that most designers need to avoid is not strategizing the visual hierarchy of content, including CTAs. Well devised user journeys can be efficiently implemented by designing efficient visual hierarchies. This can be achieved by using appealing words, colors, images, and small animations.

  1. Not enabling the right functionality.

Skipping the essential step of brainstorming, site mapping, and wireframing is the basis of several web design mistakes—one of the most prominent ones being the poorly configured menu and navigation layout. An improper navigational structure can drive away your website visitors as it’s a pain to scroll through randomly structured websites.

  1. Not adhering to security first, responsive design approach.

Though website security is more of a technical architecture-dependent aspect, to an extent, it is also related to website design and user journeys. How designers depict the user journeys greatly influences how developers implement the designs. If website security is prioritized right from the design stage, many security loopholes can be avoided. For example, putting the business-critical data behind authentication and payment walls.

  1. Too much content.

You run the risk of not delivering the solution your user is looking for with too little information. With too much information, you may end up building a solution that is hard to understand, consume, or access. In their sheer desperation, designers can overwhelm the visitors with resources and end up delivering a highly cluttered website. This approach continues to be successful because it has been trendy since the early days. And maybe to maintain consistency for its users, they still haven’t changed the website design. But you shouldn’t make the same mistake.

One of the common web design mistakes to avoid is not building scalable designs from the very beginning.

  1. Unclear CTA.

Not having a clear CTA is another common web design mistake. Websites are like marketing and sales funnels or pipelines. Your website visitor traverses within that funnel to go from the prospect stage to the converted client stage. Not giving a clear “call to action” at the appropriate places may lead to not converting many hot prospects.

  1. Unconnected images & graphics.

We all know that images and graphics are a critical part of web design. When done well, images can clearly convey the message to the visitor. Done wrong, they can confuse the reader. Many businesses are still not paying attention to their images and are using low-quality and irrelevant images. Don’t make this mistake, as low-quality images will muck up your website and turn off your visitors, which will hurt your conversions.

  1. Omitting multilingual voice-enabled website designs.

Today it is possible to build websites in multiple languages and even add voice interface-based functionalities. But not many designers and website owners are utilizing these web capabilities. If a business has customers in different countries, then websites can be developed in multiple native languages to appeal to target customers. To boost accessibility, a voice-based interface can be added to the website.

  1. Not embracing the power of analytics.

The design, like content, is a creative work that can be improved iteratively. Using sophisticated analytics tools, your website analytics administrator can give you data on how users navigate your website. Also, analytics testing can help you discover broken links. Based on the analytics input, you can find out the flaws in the user journey.

  1. Page titles with low search engine visibility.

Search is the most important way users discover websites. Search is also one of the most important ways users find their way around individual websites. The humble page title is your primary tool to attract new visitors from search listings and help your existing users locate the specific pages they need.

At Agency Partner Interactive, we provide you with the insights, ideas, designs, and delivery flow you need to take your business further.

We are not your average digital agency. We work to understand your business and leverage technology and marketing solutions to generate revenue and increase profits. From SEO and PPC to WordPress and Magento, our web design, website development, branding, e-commerce, and marketing solutions are custom-tailored to suit your business strategy. Experience the best-in-class web design solutions, digital marketing services, and web designs from Agency Partner.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Top 10 Mistakes in Web Designinstead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

 

sm-and-business

Social Media for the Small Business (Toolkit Included)

SOCIAL MEDIA HACKS FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS
A Simple Guide for the Small Guy or Gal

When you think of the internet today, you think of “social media,” don’t you? They weren’t always so interchangeable. One came before the other, but one forced the other to evolve. And with that, so did we.

Current Social Media Platforms in Order of Popularity:

social-network-ranking

As of Jan. 2021, according to a report published by Statista, Facebook alone recorded at least 2,740,000 active users. Not far behind were Youtube and WhatsApp, with Messenger, Instagram, and WeChat trailing behind. Tik Tok ranked seventh.

Where we can now find limited storage online for free due to services like cloud computing, there was a time when intellectual property as we know it, used to be stored somewhere physically, and there were costs associated with that, too. So much has changed since. Our livelihoods and businesses now depend on social media as a tool to keep bread and butter on the table, especially evident after the year that we just had.

This pressure to hop on the bandwagon that is the internet today has only grown since it’s debut, and it’s not stopping anytime soon.

Last it was recorded, about five million people were actively using social media, and that number continues to rise at exponential rates.

DATE NUMBER OF USERS % WORLD

POPULATION

INFORMATION

SOURCE

December, 1995 16 millions 0.4 % IDC
December, 2000 361 millions 5.8 % Internet World Stats
December, 2005 1,018 millions 15.7 % Internet World Stats
Sept, 2010 1,971 millions 28.8 % Internet World Stats
Dec, 2015 3,366 millions 46.4 % Internet World Stats
Dec, 2020 5,053 millions 64.2 % Internet World Stats

But, fret not. As your friends who keep constant watch over the digital market, we’ve compiled a list of tips, tricks, and tools for making social media work for you. Before we go on to overwhelm you with the facts, allow us to first remind you that everyone, every company, every small business that influences us today, had to start from somewhere.

Where to Begin:

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be everywhere at once. Start with where you are and with the audience you have today.

Say you’re on Instagram and it’s where you’ve found the most potential thus far, develop that before you branch out and add another network under your management. Professionals will go ahead and secure usernames and URLs in advance to not have to deal with the hassle of obtaining them later on. It’s also good marketing as it shows consistency across platforms.

Some general rules to keep in mind (maybe your bylaws, too):

Do Not: Treat people as leads.

Do: Yes, you want the close, you want the deliverables, the hard sell, but don’t miss out on the social aspect of social media. People hop online to take a break from their day, to find inspiration in a quote, a meme to share with loved ones.

Think: How are we engaging with our followers? What tone do we have online? Is there a big holiday coming up that we can prepare content for in advance, maybe a “Happy #NationalBringYourCatToWork Day?” tweet for the Twitter feed?

Do Not: Leave leads unattended.

Do: Follow through on the conversations you’re having. Socializing is important, but so is the service you’re providing, and studies show that 71% of users are more likely to buy from a company following a positive online experience. The whole appeal behind social media is the instant gratification that it delivers; you don’t have to wait to hear back from your audience. Set up a poll, they’ll tell you exactly how they feel and how they want it. Study those interactions.

Consumer data adds to any company’s intelligence, especially if they can make sense of it.

Think: Are we user-friendly? What’s our response time online? Where are we getting the most impressions for? Where are we seeing the least amount of engagement? Should we be allocating our resources elsewhere?

Do Not: Post to post.

Do: Create S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Social media can feel like a chore to the best of us, especially when we’re scrambling at the last minute for content or guilt-posting for not being active enough. And the smaller you are, the more hats you might find yourself wearing at work. Sales and general business goals are good to keep, but neglect creating a social media strategy and you’ll feel disconnected, unaligned with your goals.

Posting for the sake of posting is like shooting in the dark, but having a SMART outcome in mind will help keep you on track to achieve your desired goal.

Think: Do we have a digital marketing strategy in place? How much time can we afford to put aside for social media use each day? Is there a minimum and maximum we can set for day-to-day interactions? For example, one might choose to devote 15 minutes of their day to like and respond to 10 comments in total, with 5 re-shares spaced throughout. Is there a system here that I’m missing, that I could maybe automate for ease of use in the future? Would templates come in handy here?

These are all great questions to have answers to, especially as resources tend to trim down the smaller a business goes.

Do Not: Ignore search engine optimization (SEO).

Do: Optimize, optimize, optimize!

When was the last time you clicked on ‘Page 2’ of a Google search? Exactly. The web has a variety of algorithms at work, all unique to the browser or search engine you have running, not to mention that those backend formulas are also constantly undergoing updates.

Think: Are we using the right hashtags? Is our meta data clear and concise? Have we claimed our Google My Business (GMB) listing yet? What’s our page download speed looking like? Can we do better?

Next, as promised, the toolkit!

“A big business starts small.”

-Richard Branson

Since small businesses come in different shapes and sizes, each unique to the solution they’re offering, it’s only fair that we offer a few selections for you to explore in case one or even two out of four of our options don’t fit. Frankly, the internet is full of amazing resources just like these ones, but we hope this serves as a place for you to start…

We’re also on standby if you’d like to chat! Okay, here we go:

For Content Inspiration or Social Media Monitoring:

For Managing and Scheduling Posts:

For Graphics:

For Photos:

For Tracking Analytics:

Most of these programs come free or low-of-cost, so they’re perfect for entrepreneurs with a tighter budget, but as your business grows, you might find that these tools no longer deliver due to their limited capabilities. At that point, it might be time to look at marketing ROI instead.

As always, we’ll be here for that conversation. In the meantime, feel free to explore our resource pool here.

dallas-seo-expert-adam-rizzieri-from-agency-partner-interactive

SEOblog Interview With Adam Rizzieri

SEO blog Interview: Dallas SEO Expert Adam Rizzieri from
Agency Partner Interactive

We’re excited to have interviewed Dallas SEO Expert Adam Rizzieri, from Agency Partner Interactive, for the next installment of our Featured SEO Expert Series!

Agency Partner Interactive is one of SEOblog’s top SEO companies in Dallas.

Adam Rizzieri is a marketing expert, small business owner, and big tech critic. With over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, Rizzieri was one of the first media buyers on Facebook and among the first to work in the SAG-AFTRA New Media (WebTV) industry, serving the online advertorial needs of major advertisers.

He regularly contributes to national radio and television programs. Weekly, he can be heard speaking about big tech, Section 230, and small business topics on Fox, Entercom/CBS Radio, Cumulus Media, and iHeartRadio news stations.

Agency Partner Interactive became the 28th fastest-growing privately-owned company in Texas, according to Inc. Magazine. In 2021, Agency Partner was honored as part of the SMU Cox-Caruth Institute “Dallas 100” list of high-growth businesses.

What would you say is unique and/or challenging about the Amazon SEO industry?

The world of SEO includes consideration for three primary types of searches: navigational, informational, and transactional. The interesting challenge with Amazon SEO is that almost every search is transactional. To win the Amazon SEO game, marketers must know how to optimize product pages for relevance and performance.

Success depends on an artistic ability to utilize the right combination of keywords on the front- and back-ends of the product pages alongside expertise in choosing the best product pricing relative to the competition.

How does your agency stand out in a crowded market?

Our cross-channel marketing strategies help boost sales for Amazon sellers. But it’s not just about that one sale from a customer – it’s about how we help Amazon sellers get better access to their customers. One of the biggest complaints that we hear from most Amazon sellers is the fact that they do not get much access to their customers who purchase products through Amazon.

Our goal is to help Amazon sellers find creative ways also to acquire the customer data that Amazon typically keeps to itself. By offering certain things at the time of fulfillment, sellers can incentivize loyalty from existing customers and also open the door to future, direct sales that cut Amazon out.

Can you share a success story from a local digital marketing campaign centered around your area?

At the start of the pandemic, March 2020 is when things in our region shut down. One of our clients, a home services company, relies on a very local marketing target. A services provider, the client visits the homes of its customers to service their property. As other businesses shut down, we realized that our clients could still serve the needs of their customers in a way that was safe.

By combining a local SEO campaign with an aggressive pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, we were able to help our client gain the number of clicks, impressions, and conversions to gain record-high sales for four months in a row!

From 50 leads per month to 200 leads per month, measured through calls and form submissions, we helped to double our client’s business despite COVID-19.

What is the best advice you ever received in business?

Seek to understand every conflict as aggressively as you seek to understand every success. Working to understand ‘how we do it instead of looking back on ‘what we did’ has helped me improve our process and boost the quality of our work.

What do you think is the most important quality that makes an agency truly great?

Agility and experience are what make an agency great. To have experience implies that you have a team assembled of industry veterans that have ‘been there, done that, and who know what it will take to make a campaign be successful.

To be agile means that you can quickly adapt to a changing market, and you are able to rapidly create the right kind of value when it matters.

Any predictions for the future of SEO?

The future of SEO concerns me. There are some changes that are being discussed in Congress that may impact how and when private companies are able to make changes to what their search algorithms give preference to.

While I do not anticipate this happening in the United States anytime soon, legislation in Australia recently passed that dictates how companies like Google and Facebook can update their algorithms.

What is your reaction when you hear that “SEO is dying”?

When I hear “SEO is dying” I assume that it either came from a content writer who is seeking to utilize a provocative headline, or I assume that it is being spoken by an uninformed marketer or business manager.

The fact is that SEO is far from dead and it continues to be driven by great content and the pursuit of providing great user experiences.

What do you think is the most important contributor to keeping clients happy?

Aligning around shared goals, measuring success and discussing marketing campaigns during monthly strategy and analytics calls, and ensuring that marketing is considerate of all stakeholders contribute to keeping clients happy every month.

We like to set annual performance goals and then use our monthly meetings to measure our progress and make campaign updates as necessary. At the end of each year, the data doesn’t lie, and marketing’s success should be completely measurable.

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iHeartMedia: How Big Brands Address Social and Political Issues – Companies Face Boycott Threats Amid New Voting Laws

COMPANIES FACE BOYCOTT THREATS AMID NEW VOTING LAWS
How Big Brands Address Social and Political Issues

This week, a few of the world’s largest companies are being pressured to express their opposition to a new voting law in Georgia.

Known as SB 202, Gov. Brian Kemp signed this 96-page bill into law in an effort to streamline elections at the local level while also ensuring integrity behind absentee ballots following concerns of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

SB 202 requires an identification number to apply for an absentee ballot, cuts off absentee ballot applications 11 days before an election begins, limits the number of absentee ballot drop boxes, and makes it illegal for political campaigners to try and influence voters by handing out food or water as they stand in line.

While the bill passed with ease by Georgia state legislators, left-leaning activists are furious.

Now in Texas, Senate Bill 7 is on the table to prohibit efforts such as drive-thru voting and to place limitations on mail-in voting. While progressive activists point to this with alarm that it suppresses voters, state legislators like Senator Bryan Hughes indicate that SB 7 “standardizes and clarifies” voting rules to ensure “every Texan has a fair and equal opportunity to vote, regardless of where they live in the state.”

“Overall, this bill is designed to address areas throughout the process where bad actors can take advantage, so Texans can feel confident that their elections are fair, honest and open,” Hughes said.

As a digital agency, we are not in the business of public policy and we don’t intend to hash out or litigate the details of these new laws. We’ll simply emphasize that the voting laws have been met with controversy and now some of America’s largest brands are being pressured by activists to take a position on the issue. Some of those companies include Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, Aflac, and The Home Depot, all of which are now facing boycott threats.

Back Office Political and Social Conversations

Companies have to navigate a fine line when responding to controversial political and social issues. There is always a risk of taking the wrong position and for some, it’s a nightmare come true when social media is raging with demands for a boycott of your products or services.

Company CEOs, CMOs, or Vice Presidents of Communications are tasked with coming up with a suitable public response. In most cases, the goal is to mitigate any threats of actual or perceived loss. In extremely rare cases, companies like Nike find a way to leverage a social issue to exploit the market for massive growth.

The truth is that in 2021 brands are penalized for saying the wrong thing, but they are also penalized for saying nothing at all.

Inside HR departments, there is always pressure to not alienate the viewpoints of employees or expose the company to avoidable legal risks. Among the marketing teams, degradation to conversion rates or falling sales numbers spark a series of white-boarding sessions to brainstorm new messaging that may send that growth chart up and to the right. The reality is that sometimes there is no win and none of us are Nike.

The Rise of Politics and Business

There was a time when businesses stayed out of politics, for the most part, donating equal sums to both Democrats and Republicans more so as a gesture of support for our democratic process than as an endorsement of policies.

Starting in the 1980s, the “corporate social responsibility” movement brought attention to the sourcing and fulfillment of products, pushing for ethical trade and commerce. Corporate social responsibility is a management concept that companies follow to integrate social and/or environmental issues into their business operations.

Often this includes a dedicated business effort concerned with promoting philanthropy, environmental conversation, diversity and fair labor practices, and charitable giving or volunteerism.

For most of the 1980s and 1990s, however, the public focus was on how businesses did things to fulfill their core value proposition and improve their communities, less so than their explicit endorsement of political policy positions.

Influence of 24 Hour News and Social Media

There was once a time when CNN actually reported the news.

In fact, CNN’s 24-hour coverage of United States foreign policy late into the Cold War transformed how the public was informed of world and domestic events. News coverage kept an hourly focus on politically divisive and polarizing topics.

There was also a time when Facebook was for keeping in touch with friends and family.

The introduction of the first recognizable social media site in 1997, a platform called “Six Degrees,” and the glory days of MySpace seem so far from where we are today.

Today, 69% of all adults in the US are on Facebook and the social platform serves the daily news needs for more than half of all Americans.

Compounded by the sharing and commenting that takes place among daily active users, the frequency of politically charged discussions happens by the second.

Blame It On Social Media Marketing

With the market now conditioned for a high frequency of incoming updates, brands turn to social media platforms to stay relevant and connected. But even well-intended social media marketing teams face unexpected backlash.

For example, immediately following the election, Gap, Inc. released a social post that intended to show solidarity with both Democrats and Republicans with their “unity hoodie” Tweet.

Social media was intended to build loyalty and boost sales for businesses. Thankfully, it is still very capable of doing that. Unfortunately, it has also clouded the lines of “church and state,” and “business and politics” in such a way that presents business leaders with increasingly impossible, sometimes unfair situations to navigate.

Boycotts Don’t Really Hurt Big Brands

All too often we hear advocates from the Left and the Right demanding the boycott of a big brand.

Activists want to use commerce and weaponize consumers to hurt their opposition. That is exactly what is going on in Georgia right now, and we may also see it come to Texas and other states in the near future.

But this is nothing for companies to pay too much attention to. All sides are guilty of calling for boycotts and they are often short-lived and counterproductive.

In fact, some companies even see revenue growth amid the usual hysteria that might exist on MSNBC, CNN, and social media.

Goya Foods is a great example of this. In July of 2020, Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised former President Trump at a White House event, sparking backlash from Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. As social media was set ablaze with demands to #BoycottGoya the company enjoyed $92 million of free publicity and Mr. Unanue went so far as to call AOC his “employee of the month” for their spike in product sales.

Most of the time, such as in the case of former President Trump’s call for a Goodyear boycott, these situations are short-lived. Why? Because we have a 24-hour news cycle and social media.

It doesn’t take long for a newer, juicier topic to start trending on social media.

Companies That Do Not Want To Be Political

Companies that do not take a position expose themselves to some degree of risk.

They may be victim to the internet trolls that live on Twitter, the keyboard of a journalist, or the demands of an activist. The truth is that the larger your company is, the less concern you should have about any long-term impact.

By not taking a position, leadership may be viewed as having flexible values or none at all.

The Goodyear boycott may be viewed as an example of this and there was no significant or long-term impact to the company’s financial performance.

So if your business strives to be excellent at whatever your product or service is, if you choose to stay out of politics, just keep delivering great customer service, quality, and do so at a reasonable price. Do that and studies show that you will be fine to the extent that your employees are well-taken care of.

 

Companies That Take a Side But Are Not Authentic

Companies that take a side but do not practice what they preach face degradation to their credibility.

The NBA is an example of this. On one hand, the NBA painted “Black Lives Matter” on their court and ran campaigns centered on social justice. On the other hand, the NBA continues to do business with China despite rampant human rights atrocities, child exploitation, and a state-sanctioned genocide against Uighur Muslims. There are so many bad things to point to, but the truth is that following government-mandated shutdowns, fans are eager to return to normalcy and want to attend and view games.

Nike is another enterprise that has made some exceedingly terrible decisions, yet the company is more valuable than ever. Today, the social justice warriors that run Nike preach of their commitment to fighting “against discrimination in communities worldwide” but the fact is that since the 1970s, the company has been accused of relying on sweatshops and slave-labor to produce their products in China and other developing nations.

While there is a sad trend in how corporate greed drives hypocrisy, Nike’s value rose by over $26 billion following its brand partnership with Colin Kaepernick.

Why Do Big Brands Mostly Suck At This?

Big brands seem to frequently take policy positions but they easily fail the authenticity test.

Unlike small companies, enterprises employ hundreds or thousands of people with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints. When something that is unjust is being mandated or discussed in a meeting, big companies should expect that a whistleblower will share this type of information with the public. We saw that with Goodyear and we also saw that with racist diversity training that was being imposed by Coca-Cola in February.

In addition to the natural diversity of thought that exists in larger groups of people, big brand leadership also has to report to shareholders and bankers during quarterly earnings calls. They face a great deal of scrutiny to drive monthly financial performance and make decisions based on that pressure. Sometimes business decisions are made in the best interest of performance metrics, excluding the goals of social initiatives.

Given the size and nature of these businesses, it is completely unrealistic to expect an entire employee base to share the same values and opinions as those who live an alternate reality in upper management.

The truth is that a big brand has a much more difficult time hiring around shared values and/or political and social inclinations.

Does Advocacy Change Consumer’s Minds About You?

So the question then is: “does political advocacy have the power to change consumer’s minds, employer hiring abilities, and influence the long-term success of most businesses?”

Recent history would say “yes and no.”

The truth is that corporate advocacy is much less impactful than you might think.

Data shows that Millennials and Gen-Zs will prefer to do business with companies that share similar social and political positions but when it comes down to it, people will almost always purchase whichever product is most convenient, available, and well-priced.

How We Do It

In our office, the only approach is one that focuses on two words: Mutual Respect.

The best course of action for any business is one that respects the diverse viewpoints of its employees and customers.

We believe in allowing our colleagues the freedom, respect, and trust to work as individuals, as citizens, toward creating a social and political impact on our society. As a business, we strive to deliver outstanding online experiences that help our clients achieve specific business goals… Like 99.9% of the businesses out there, we are far from being a public policy thinktank and won’t pretend to act like we read every line of every piece of new legislation.

We hope our legislators do, but we know they also do not in some cases.

During election cycles, we know that as a business, our role is simply to sit back and facilitate a democratic process. This means giving our team a half-day of Paid Time Off to make a thoughtful, unhurried voting decision.

Management does not impose or indoctrinate beliefs about who the team should or should not vote for. Leave that to the campaigns and thinktanks!

Are You Struggling With Your Own Product & Branding Decisions?

Agency Partner’s award-winning team works to align business needs with the market. We utilize the power of digital marketing to measure consumer behavior, test advertising concepts, and optimize a technology and marketing budget around a specific set of business goals.

If your business is looking to utilize an online strategy to acquire new customers then make the team at Agency Partner your next call.


Author: S. Adam Rizzieri
Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer // Agency Partner Interactive

 

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Are Small Businesses at the Mercy of Big Tech?

Short Answer: Yes.

We all experience the web in different ways, but what happens when the web outsmarts us?

Where there’s a problem, there’s someone out there with a solution, or an idea of some magnitude that requires nurturing, maybe they need access to the right resources before they can move to the development phase. Big Tech offers that, and more; yet “Do they really?” is the question on Congress’ floor.

Over the last decade, there has been growing concern surrounding large tech companies and their anti-competitive practices, like buying out the small guy with rivaling potential. Why would a company as big as Facebook, for instance, need Instagram? Did they have a good enough reason for the merge, and can they prove their intentions weren’t to stifle the opposition?

The U.S. government is shifting that burden off of themselves and onto these tech titans, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) spearheading the effort.

“When you start deliberately buying up what we call nascent competitors for the purpose of dominating the market, then you stop that innovation that might develop,” said the newly appointed chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee. “No one has a chance of having a new product when they buy them all up and are the monopoly provider.”

Klobuchar’s bill seeks to revamp present antitrust laws that have been, in her perspective, ignoring the needs of the modern day consumer.

The Past

In truth, these laws were made decades and decades ago to combat the issue of corruption in business and politics. Big firms in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s would consolidate and form one giant entity called a “trust” company, an example of this being the oil industry that merged into Standard Oil Trust, or the tobacco industry coming together to represent the American Tobacco Company. As these enormous trusts banded together, so did their bank accounts.

The real problem wasn’t that they were rolling in dough, it was the threat that their partnership posed to entrepreneurship and competition, not to mention their growing influence over government affairs.

The Present

But where this concern once existed with retail, it has now permeated across a market that is digital, a territory that, to note, won’t be as easy to regulate, especially if Big Tech has also contributed to the success of many of those consumers.

Facebook makes for a good example as very recently the Federal Trade Commission and 48 attorneys general called for the tech giant to be broken up, alleging that the company was “suppressing, neutralizing, and deterring serious competitive threats” in order to establish more dominance online.

On the other hand and in their defense, Facebook has brought about much needed exposure to the smaller players, especially during the pandemic. If anything, the number of users soared as business owners everywhere were forced to get creative. There’s a whole hub of tools that the social network has made available, for free, from taking your store online to making consumer data work in your favor.

And studies from Pew Research Center report that roughly eight-in-ten adults go online daily, with three-in-ten of them being constantly plugged into the world of social media a reach that exists in plain, virtual view for anyone looking to capitalize on that. It gets more tedious when we factor in the role that artificial intelligence plays in accessing, storing, even selling consumer data.

As Big Tech continues to expand, so does their power and influence over the individual and the economy:

Consider the effects that a casual tweet from the “Technoking” Elon Musk had over the market back in February, to be able to make money with “One word: Doge.”

Or consider Amazon, and the convenience it brings for both buyers and sellers everywhere. For the consumer, there are more options and cheaper buys; for retailers, there are cuts to overhead costs and the hassle-free experience of delivery. It’s an empowering platform, until, as critics of the retail giant bring up, the math paints a different story.

According to a study done by ProPublica in 2016, Amazon’s search engine algorithm was set up to bury bargains from independent merchants and utilize sales data to decide which products to create their own versions of, ultimately competing with the very sellers that operated on the platform.

The Effects On SMBs

Scott Galloway, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and author of The Four, a book about digital monopolies, warns of this developing concentration of power that Big Tech has and how it’s the reason for “infanticide” in small firms. “If they’re not stopping (innovation), they’re the main cause behind the slowdown in American startup creation.”

While Congress has been more willing to have the conversation, the pace at which technology is taking over has only accelerated. Some would argue that this gap between inaction and action, respectively, is increasingly killing the economy. By the time any legislation is passed, statistics suggest there’ll be more casualties on the enterprise front.

Maybe another question to consider here is whether there needs to be any government intervention at all.

When these leading tech companies are offering immediate access to vast markets, ability to target ads, budget-friendly and reliable infrastructure, why would startups want to look anywhere else when the framework has already been laid out for them? Developers can reach hundreds of millions of customers overnight via Apple’s and Google’s app store; brands can rent out Amazon’s and Google’s cloud-computing power; Facebook and Instagram might be the smoothest, cost-effective marketing tool in the history of everdom.

That also explains why Congress has yet to come to a consensus over this matter; it’s no easy feat to go against Big Tech, and then there’s the problem of whether our legislators are intellectually equipped to be making those decisions for users of technology.

The Future

One thing is for certain: the small business owner can use more support.

Is the answer here to break companies up? Should they be prevented from buying out up-and-coming ventures, just because they have the capital to do so? Whatever comes of the resolution, Klobuchar’s antitrust bill may be a better place to start than any.

For a market to remain a breeding ground for exploration and innovation, it’s essential that there’s the room and the resources there to foster those ideas.

It might be safe to say that Big Tech is much like that room, a Pandora’s box that’s full of the bells and whistles that appeal to many of its clients, but a box is also just a box: it’s restrictive. And Klobucar’s proposal to put more resources toward smaller agencies could be the backbone that the entrepreneurial spirit of today needs.

As she puts it,

“You can’t take on trillion dollar companies with bandaids and duct tape.”

Work With A Reputable Web Agency

Agency Partner Interactive is a world-renowned web agency that empowers many of its users to lead with more autonomy in the field. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at 214-295-5845 or contact Agency Partner for more information.

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CBS Radio: ‘Woke-opoly’: Will Hasbro Pass Go, Collect $200 for Latest Monopoly Update?

‘Woke-opoly’: Hasbro Updates Monopoly Game
Is This A Good Move To Sell Products, Or Is It Pandering To Make a Buck?

Hasbro, the maker of Monopoly, is the latest company to join brands like PepsiCo, P&G, and Johnson & Johnson in making changes to their logos, product names, or mascots over the past year.

In February, Hasbro dropped “Mr” from the “Potato Head” brand name and logo to make its toy line more gender-neutral. As companies work to address social issues including racism and gender identity, we have watched Aunt Jemima change a 130-year-old brand to “Pearl Milling Company,” Land O Lakes drop an iconic image of an indigenous woman from its packaging and many others.

Now in an attempt to boost revenue and update its product to be more “socially conscious,” Hasbro is allowing the public to vote on 16 new cards that will completely replace the Community Chest game cards.

 

Monopoly Is Part of a Revenue Growth Strategy

Monopoly is incredibly important to Hasbro. In 2021, the company is seeking double-digit revenue growth and this game has earned the company $3 trillion since 1935. Hasbro typically sells 275 million copies of the game every year and to keep things fresh, they have introduced over 1100 versions of the game.

This year, Rich Uncle Pennybags will introduce three new versions of the game: Monopoly Builder, Monopoly Crooked Cash, and this new “Socially Aware” version of Monopoly.

Leading up to the Fall release of this new “Woke-monopoly,” Hasbro is allowing the public to vote on the Community Chest replacement cards. From what we have observed, the newly proposed Community Chest cards will strive to penalize selfishness, as well as failures to recycle and shop locally.

Hasbro Hit With Mockery On Social Media

As a company, it is always important to measure the temperature in the room. Gap, Inc. failed to do this with its “unity” sweatshirt Tweet that was published after the 2020 US presidential election.

So far feedback from users on social media has been very mixed with support from users that are happy to see the change countered by others who say that the company’s attempt to connect with recent events falls way short.

Here Is Some of the Feedback

  • “Don’t tamper with a classic. I still want to win the beauty contest.”
  • “Monopoly was antiquated when I first play it several decades ago. Even as a kid, I always thought it added to the charm of the game.”
  • “What makes the game awesome is the dated quality…”
  • “Add a ‘You’ve Been Canceled’ card that prevents players from collecting any income, even when passing Go.”
  • “Is there a ‘Peaceful Protest’ card that burns down competitors’ houses, hotels, and businesses?”
  • “Base it on Portland – more expensive properties are burned to the ground and you get cash for landing on someone else’s property.”

What To Expect

While the mixed feedback is real, Hasbro’s Monopoly brand is not going away anytime soon. Whether the brand is hoping to make a buck by simply pandering to social justice warriors or it is genuine in its efforts to introduce a more updated, “socially aware” version of the game, the publicity gained around this story alone is good for the company’s product sales. Hasbro leveraged this campaign to create headlines and to get the public talking about their products. This heightened awareness may turn into new revenue.

While the staying power of this new game version is untested and has a mixed response, the classic version is already time-tested and it may never truly go away.

Are You Struggling With Your Own Product & Branding Decisions?

Agency Partner’s award-winning team works to align business needs with the market. We utilize the power of digital marketing to measure consumer behavior, test advertising concepts, and optimize a marketing budget around a specific set of business goals.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy to acquire new customers, learn about your existing customers, and more, then make the team at Agency Partner your next call.


Author: S. Adam Rizzieri
Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer // Agency Partner Interactive

 

Trumpbook-Trumps-New-Social-Media-Network-Coming-Soon

ABC News: Trumpbook? Donald Trump To Launch Social Media Network By Summer 2021

No Surprise To Marketers or Free Speech Advocates

Prior to being banned from mainstream social media platforms, President Trump maintained one of the largest social media followings in the world.

As of January 2021, @realDonaldTrump had 128% more Twitter followers than the total number of monthly active users in the United States. While there are just 69.3 million Twitter users in the United States, Donald Trump counted 88.9 million followers in total. This compares to then President-Elect Joe Biden’s 7.9 million Twitter followers.

Across all of the mainstream social media platforms, Trump’s pre-ban social following totaled around 151.42 million followers.

President Trump’s Social Media Following As Of Jan 2021

Platform Trump’s Followers Total US Users (Monthly Active) Trump’s Following Compared to % of Monthly Active Users in US Trump’s Following Compared to % of Monthly Active Users in World
Twitter 88.9 million 69.3 million 128.28% 26.9%
Facebook 35.25 million 190 million 18.55% 1.31%
Instagram 24.5 million 112 million 31.47% 3.28%
YouTube 2.77 million 126 million 2.2% 0.15%

Not counted in this measure are followers and/or subscribers from Spotify, Snapchat, Reddit, and Twitch. The aggregate of those is a big number as well!

By the first week of January 2021 and immediately following the tragic breach at the US Capitol building, rampant media bias and general public hysteria resulted in a direct attack on the First Amendment, leading to Trump and notable others being banned from social media.

Many social media users and news commentators referred to this as the #TwitterPurge but the general attack on diverse thoughts and ideas stretched far beyond Twitter.

List of Major Tech Companies Banning Donald Trump

Company Comment
Reddit “Reddit’s site-wide policies prohibit content that promotes hate, or encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence against groups of people or individuals. In accordance with this, we have been proactively reaching out to moderators to remind them of our policies and to offer support or resources as needed.”
Twitch “In light of yesterday’s shocking attack on the Capitol, we have disabled President Trump’s Twitch channel. Given the current extraordinary circumstances and the President’s incendiary rhetoric, we believe this is a necessary step to protect our community and prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence.”
Shopify “Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”
Twitter “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Google “In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence.”
YouTube “Due to the extraordinary events that transpired yesterday, and given that the election results have been certified, any channel posting new videos with these false claims in violation of our policies will now receive a strike, a penalty which temporarily restricts uploading or live-streaming. Channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period will be permanently removed from YouTube.” – Alex Joseph
Facebook “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Instagram “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Snapchat “We can confirm that earlier today we locked President Trump’s Snapchat account.” – Rachel Racusen
Stripe No official comment.

 

The fact is that cancellation activity stretched far beyond that of the former president. Accounts such as the whistleblower group Project Veritas were impacted after exposing a video of Facebook executive Guy Rosen discussing a “system” of being able to “freeze commenting” on threads that were flagged as undesirable.

This happened just weeks after Project Veritas leaked an internal video of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggesting that the Trump ban would stretch far beyond just the one account. He was not lying about that. Over 70,000 Twitter accounts were booted from the platform.

twitter-page

Now, more than two months since Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th and current president of the United States, President Trump still has not resumed his usual social media activities.

“…if you’re asking me, do I feel particularly comfortable that the President, the then-President of the United States could not express his views on Twitter? I don’t feel comfortable about that.”

-Bernie Sanders

But life is about grabbing the bull by the horns, right? Things seem to be heading that way now for the former president.

In a statement by long-time Trump aide Jason Miller, Fox News was notified that the 45th president would soon launch his own social media service in “two to three months.” So with that in mind, what are we to expect?

Trump’s Social Media Communication Style Preference

The president’s adversarial relationship with mainstream news outlets and a general lack of faith in receiving fair and balanced coverage from organizations like CNN and MSNBC drove him toward sharing his unedited truths in the form of tweets.

Twitter, being as it is a microblogging service, has been known as the SMS of the internet. It is a short messaging service that allows users to easily comment on trending topics and President Trump was exceptionally active on this social platform compared to the rest.

He had access to over a quarter of all Twitter users across the world and with 88.9 million followers, he had more followers than the total of all US Twitter users. The former president’s following consisted of friends, foes, and journalists that looked to his social media activity as an indicator of what was to come.

Also, tweets are limited to 280 characters so they force you to be succinct and don’t require a major investment of time to get your point across. This is a perfect social outlet for an extremely busy person like the former president.

Market Validation At Parler’s Expense?

Market validation is a process of introducing a product concept, such as a microblog, to a target market to learn whether or not the idea would be acceptable.

The Parler app proved that a competing microblog could attract a healthy and stable user base, having topped the App Store and Google Play, gaining millions of new users between October and December of 2020. Had Apple, Google, and Amazon not teamed up to strongly handicap Parler’s future success, the new app would have continued its strong growth trajectory.

If the concept here is to introduce a Twitter competitor, knowing that it was Trump’s preferred outlet, then the Parler startup team basically already did that!

If there is any substance to this story at all, we anticipate some sort of newer, freer Twitter varietal. You might go so far as to call it a stronger, more connected Parler.

The Tactical Steps That Could Launch a Platform By Summer 2021

The timeline of “2 to 3 months” is an extremely aggressive timeline. To make that sort of schedule a reality, that rules out 1 of 3 of the more common ways to develop a social media app. The ways to go about this are:

  1. Custom Application Development – build it from scratch!
  2. Customize and White Label a Pre-existing Template – quick but limiting.
  3. Buy An Existing Application – then make it yours!

Because of the accelerated timeline, for the sake of argument let’s rule out “Custom Application Development” as a path forward for the former president. Because we know that the former president is going to want to customize and have control over the features and functionalities of the new social platform, it is probably a safe assumption that we can rule out option two as well.

So what does that leave us with?

Donald Trump is a businessman that prides himself on the “art of the deal.” To meet that timeline and mitigate the risk that goes into starting a business concept from scratch, a partnership or acquisition of an already existing platform makes a lot of sense!

We don’t think there will be any sort of relationship with Gab.com, as previous reports have indicated that Jared Kushner encouraged President Trump to stay off that platform. The Parler app does sort of exist today, despite being blacklisted by Amazon, Apple, and Google, though previous partnership negotiations between Trump and the app’s former CEO John Matze went nowhere back in 2020. While there are other platforms out there, Axios has been sharing reports of a seemingly more obscure partnership potential with the FreeSpace app. Will Trump negotiate a controlling interest in FreeSpace? Only time will tell!

How Will Trump’s New Social Platform Impact the Market

Pew Research points out that 53% of Americans look to social media for their daily news. Scholars emphasize that a free and diverse press is critical to a healthy democracy and the public opinion is that it should not be up to mainstream tech leaders to define who is and is not a news source.

That’s why we expect that the most successful, new social media concepts will be those that enjoy Section 230 immunities and respect their role in facilitating, not moderating a healthy conversation — one that offers the same freedom as any public sidewalk.

The fact is that no one elected the leaders of Facebook or Twitter to dictate who can and cannot enjoy the freedom of speech and the Supreme Court recognizes no “fake news” or “disinformation” exception to the First Amendment.

If Trump’s new social media platform is able to function like a truly fair, digital town square, this new business may be well received by the market.

To explore the issue in greater detail, Agency Partner CMO Adam Rizzieri joins former Iowa State Senator Jeff Angelo, host of WHO News Radio in Des Moine to discuss the possibility of a new social platform. Click play (below) and listen in to their conversation.

 

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Cumulus Media: Google and Facebook Must Pay For News

New Law Sets Disastrous Precedent: Big Tech Must Pay for News Content in Australia
How This May Impact Online Marketing In The United States

In an effort to curb the dominance of big tech, Australia is the first mover in passing a law that will make Google Search and the Facebook News Feed pay for news content that is featured on their platforms. The Australian Parliament recently passed a law called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. That’s a long name so… let’s just call it the “News Media Bargaining Code” for purposes of this blog.

Like legislators and small businesses in the United States, Australia has been at odds with Big Tech since last year and beyond. From discussions of online censorship and how these companies compete under century-old antitrust laws, there is wide acceptance of the fact that Big Tech has become too powerful. However, to date, little has been done by regulators and in the courts to make things more competitive for small businesses.

In July of 2020, after a year of investigation, the US House Judiciary Committee called Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple to a salvo of antitrust hearings that teed up lawsuits filed by the DOJ and FTC. Concurrently, Australian lawmakers had been fielding several years’ worth of complaints from news publishers about Facebook and Google’s roles to decimate their abilities to do business effectively.

In a nutshell, the ad platforms that support Facebook and Google and how these companies control clicks and impressions to specific content were crippling to news publishers.

Investigations into the online dominance of these tech firms have been ongoing.

Leading up to the passing of this new law, in Australia, an investigation found that in 2018, for every $100 Australian Dollars (about $78 USD) invested by Australian advertisers, about A$49 of those dollars went to Google and A$24 to Facebook. That’s a huge cut of the overall ad budget — and that’s just data coming in from Australia!

While the passing of this new law is designed to be a remedy to this, the world will now look to Australia as a test case for how similar regulations may be mandated in the United States and beyond.

What is Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code?

This new law, or “code,” fundamentally changes the relationships between news publishers and big tech outlets by ensuring that news companies earn money for use of their content.

This means that big tech outlets must pre-negotiate and agree on payment terms for content that will be featured in Google search results and Facebook shares, among other uses. News content that is not already coming from an approved publisher will not be allowed on the platforms.

In respect of heated debates surrounding Section 230 in the United States, digital marketers have discussed how Facebook and Google adjust their search algorithms to increase or decrease the engagement and visibility that specific publishers enjoy from one day to the next.

It is important to note that big tech companies own the rights to their proprietary search algorithms, and it is within their rights, as private companies, to make unilateral decisions to adjust these algorithms.

At issue is that many of these adjustments have been made in ways that publishers claim are unfair or anti-competitive. With this new law in effect, any major algorithm changes must also include a 28 days notice before the adjustment.

How News Sites Make Money Elsewhere

In most countries, such as in the United States, news publishers earn revenue by displaying ads within their news content, from sponsorships and subscriptions, and from clicks to their website where banner ads are shown.

A high volume of clicks and organic traffic originates from Google and Facebook. This happens when users share links, make comments on original posts, and when advertising dollars are invested into boosting the number of impressions that a particular story can gain.

Publishers with greater visibility attract more site traffic, which equates to greater advertising revenue. In practice, this means that Facebook and Google can unilaterally make decisions that strongly impact the ability of publishers, such as news organizations, to maintain a feasible business model centered around ad revenue.

Claims of bias as to which sites are given preference and which are not is fuel to the fire that Australia is working to extinguish.

What Facebook Has To Say About This

At first, Facebook fought against the imposition of this law by blocking all news content from its platform across all Australian users.

You (publisher) need us more than we (Facebook) need you.

Facebook measures that news content equates to just about 4% of the total content that users are exposed to within its News Feeds.

In large, this is because Facebook’s algorithm deemphasized the importance of news posts and added favor to activity from friends and family. For early Facebook users, this probably felt a bit like a throwback to the mid-2000s when the platform was truly designed to amplify conversations between friends and not 3rd-degree connections.

Facebook argued that social media allows publishers to gain the attention of users that are on their platforms for a purpose other than a news update. In 2020, publishers gained over 5 billion free referral clicks to their websites.

Because of this, there is an argument that Facebook, as is, helps small news publishers more than it hurts them. After significant negotiations with Australian regulators, the company ultimately agreed to work according to the new law.

How This Impacts Small Businesses and News Publishers

Did we mention that this new law requires big tech outlets to pre-negotiate payment terms with their news publishers? News Corp already has a multi-year agreement in place with Google and they’re extremely happy about it. We should be asking ourselves: “why are they so happy about it?”

…the new law will shrink the market by reducing the number of publishers that are able to compete for user engagement.

There is a chance that other big media companies will be strongly in favor of this because the new law will shrink the market by reducing the number of publishers that are able to compete for user engagement.

A law like the News Media Bargaining Code means that big tech can now pick and choose who to do business with.

Prior to the law’s passing, complaints were that big tech was already making decisions about which publishers to censor and boost via changes to their algorithm.

With this new law in effect, this takes control over publishers a step further and requires that news companies jump through additional hurdles to gain visibility. Leadership at big tech companies is now able to decide who is and is not on the “approved publisher” list and the public should be extremely wary of this.

The Presumed Impact On Free Press and Potential Impacts In The US

On one hand, action by Australian regulators validates a strong, global desire to curb big tech’s power. On the other, it points to a lack of understanding of how lawmakers should remedy concerns related to online censorship and competition.

As well-intended as this new mandate may be, the implications of a less diverse, less numerous source of news content may equate to a less free press and diminished free speech. A 2019 Pew survey found that 43% of Americans get their news from Facebook. Considering that Facebook has over 223 million US users, this issue is critical to the future of public access to a free press.

Business and political leaders in the US have to recognize that a shortcoming to this law is that it does not provide clear guidance on the definition of news content. So in practice, who will make that decision before approaching the negotiating table? Big tech has already indicated that it will take a broad definition to respect the law as drafted, but how will this actually play out? As is, un-elected leaders within big tech companies and/or politically motivated decision-makers will be tasked with oversight. This is not a pathway toward a free and vibrant press.

The Remedy Is In The Future of Section 230 and Antitrust Reform

Today, there is bipartisan support for antitrust reform from politicians such as Senators Klobuchar and Hawley, elected leaders who typically disagree with one another.

instead of testing Australia’s attempt to curb giants like Google and Facebook, the US should look to the Aussies as a test case while furthering the discussions related to Section 230 reform and updates to outdated antitrust regulations. The world will observe Australia as the first mover.

However, the expectation is that this new law will inevitably harm small publishers, and it will shrink the market, reducing competition and limiting the diversity of news sources that online users were able to access in 2020.

Agency Partner watches Google’s algorithm and the online market every day. As a digital agency, we know how much value these companies offer the market, but we also respect that with great power comes greater responsibility. If your business is looking to utilize the powers of big tech in an ethical, aggressive way, then the digital marketing team at Agency Partner should be your next call.


Author: S. Adam Rizzieri
Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer // Agency Partner Interactive