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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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!

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Google-Penalty

What Is a Google Penalty and How do I Recover?

Expert Tips For Google Penalty and How do I Recover?

Just like your parents used to punish you for doing a crappy job on the dishes, or your English teacher gave you a zero after reviewing your term paper and realizing you copied it off the Internet, Google also gives penalties to websites.

If you have noticed a decline in your organic search engine traffic, you may have received a Google penalty.

What is a Google Penalty?

A Google penalty, in essence is a punishment given to a website containing content that does not align with Google’s marketing practices.

Types of Google Penalties

Routine algorithm updates intended to reward high-quality websites that have good content and legitimate SEO practices are commonly confused as Google penalties.

Although algorithm penalties do occur, a routine algorithm update can easily be mistaken for a Google penalty because algorithms rely heavily on calculations and rules to deliver the desired outcome – not allowing for much gray area.

Manual penalties – often easier to identify because they frequently come accompanied by messages from Google to your webmaster account happened typically after Google has flagged something, usually content or a backlink, and Google decides to manually apply a penalty to your website’s rankings.

Common Issues Websites Receive Penalties For

Suspicious links – because Google uses backlinks as a way of tracking quality control for websites that will penalize you if they believe the link on your site was paid for or is believed to be a part of a link scheme.

One example of this would be low-quality, hidden, or keyword-rich links embedded in a site’s widgets.

Because backlinks are so specific, penalties for these are often limited to specific pages rather than an entire website.

Low-quality content – obviously Google wants to provide their users with the best information and experience possible. If your content does not add value, is run-of-the-mill, or believed to be a duplicate from another site you can expect a penalty.

To help avoid the trap of crappy content being on your website, invest time in thinking about what makes you unique and sets you apart from your competitors.

Ask yourself: what is my unique selling proposition?

Try to avoid content that is easily or automatically generated, and if your site allows for guest posts, carefully review their content because if it doesn’t add value you probably don’t need it.

This type of penalty is severely detrimental to your website traffic. This is usually a manual action accompanied by a message from Google indicating “thin content.”

Recovering from a Google Penalty

Just as with many other issues in life you can’t resolve an issue until you completely identify and understand what the issue is. This same logic applies to Google penalties. Before you can begin to recover from a Google penalty you have to understand what type of penalty you’re dealing with.

As mentioned earlier, you need to distinguish whether you’re dealing with a manual penalty one triggered by an algorithm, or is there even a penalty action present?

For instance, if you noticed a recent decline in your website traffic, you need to do some digging to figure out the cause of your traffic decline. Because for each cause of a penalty there are different resolution processes.

Identifying Manual Penalties

To check if you have been hit by manual action, you need to go to Google Webmaster Tools and check your notifications. If Google has taken manual action against your site, you’ll be notified about it clearly in your notifications and oftentimes they will give you the reasoning behind the action.

Identifying Algorithmic Penalties

While identifying manual penalties is a pretty easy and straightforward process the same cannot be said for penalties caused by algorithms.

Because algorithm related penalties don’t come with a notification from Google you will have to do a lot of your own research to isolate the issue if you suspect you have been hit with a penalty.

Take a look at the entire span of time for which your website has declined in traffic. Make a note of it and see if Google announced any algorithm updates that correspond with the timeframe you’ve isolated.

Be mindful that each update comes with its own set of changes so you will need to know how each update is different so that you don’t waste time looking for things that may or may not have been affected.

Is your Website Optimized Properly?

Not every decline in website traffic can or should be attributed to a Google penalty.

If you notice a decline in your website traffic and have done some digging but still can’t figure out what’s going on, it could be because your digital marketing strategies are no longer effective and need an overhaul.

Whether you have been hit by a manual penalty from Google or one triggered by a routine algorithm update all hope is not lost.

Agency Partner and our team of digital marketing experts can get your website back up and running again – better than ever.

Drop us a line and let’s figure out the best course of action for you today!

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “What Is a Google Penalty and How do I Recover?instead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

 

call_to_action_phrases_that_increase_clicks_and_conversions

Call To Action (CTA) Phrases That Increase Clicks And Conversions

Tips From Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Experts

One of the most important parts of any web page is the Call-To-Action (CTA). This component influences web visitors to press action. Regardless of how well-written and persuasive your web pages, you won’t achieve any of the goals you’ve set without an effective CTA.

So, do you want to learn the basics of crafting an effective CTA? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Agency Partner Interactive is one of the Premier PPC Companies in the country, and we’ve mastered the art of building Successful CTAs. 

Continue reading below to learn the top phrases that can impact your CTA’s Performance.

What is a CTA?

A CTA is A Phrase that’s used to get a web user to press action. If you’ve visited any web page online, you’ve likely run into a CTA. One example of a quality CTA is “click here to learn more about how we can help you.”

This phrase is used to direct web users to another page where they’ll be converted. There are Several CTA used that can be used to convert web users. However, since every target audience and web page is different, an ordinary CTA won’t suffice. 

You should test a web page with different CTAs to learn which one works for your business.

How to Write a Perfect CTA

There isn’t any definite way to write a perfect CTA for all businesses. However, you can start by adding a basic CTA to your homepage and then adding a Different CTA To Another Landing Page.

Next, compare the results of both CTAs. If one CTA outperforms the other, then try to figure out why that happened.

Finally, make the necessary adjustments to ensure that all of the pages on your website are achieving optimal Conversion Rates.

Essentially, performing split tests are the only way to write Quality CTAs.

CTA Phrase #1: Read On

If you’re trying to get your target audience to sign up to receive a whitepaper or e-book, then this CTA phrase is right for you. This is also true if you’re trying to advertise these marketing collateral pieces on your social media profiles.

Let’s say that you’re trying to promote a Whitepaper for your target audience on social media. You could say, “A lot of PPC software just doesn’t work for small businesses. Read on to learn what you could be doing wrong.”

This CTA phrase is very powerful because you’re hitting a nerve for Small Business owners who want a fair shot of advancing their CTA efforts. 

CTA Phrase #2: $100 Off

Everyone likes a deal. By offering $100 off, you could heighten the success of your CTA. For example, if a member of your target audience is trying to use a software they wouldn’t be able to normally afford, you could be Successful in including a barrier of entry for brand new consumers. 

Many marketers believe that offering money off their products or services won’t do anything to help their bottom line, but this isn’t true. Companies like Google, Apple, and Verizon regularly offer money off their Top Products.

If you want to reach new consumers, this may be your best bet in doing so.

CTA Phrase #3: Get Started Today

This may seem like the simplest CTA on the page, but it’s also one of the most effective. The reason why this CTA works is that you don’t want to confuse paying consumers on your site. 

Once your prospects read through your landing page, what are they supposed to do? Most of them will be turned off from calling your office to wait 30 minutes for a reply. With that said, go ahead and include a CTA that will allow your web visitors to go ahead and start using your product and service.

Simplicity beats complicated CTAs any day.

CTA Phrase #4: Retweet

This CTA always does well on Twitter. However, here is one caveat. If you’re not providing valuable information for your followers, then you might as well drop this CTA from your tweets.

If you are posting infographics or Statistics, make sure to conclude your tweet with a “Retweet” CTA. This will make your followers more likely to share your information with their followers and gain increased exposure.

CTA Phrase #5: Install Now

Again, this type of CTA allows users to go ahead and press action when they want to. Many marketers make the mistake of telling their target audience to call them. With this CTA, your prospects can reach out when they’re most convenient. 

Elevate Your CTA Today!

Do you want to take your CTA to the next level? If so, give us a call at (214) 295-5845 or visit Agency Partner Interactive Today!

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Call To Action (CTA) Phrases That Increase Clicks And Conversions” instead.

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major_changes_to_google_ad_grants

Major Changes To Google Ad Grants

Tips From Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Experts

Google is undoubtedly one of the Largest Search Engines Online. With that said, its proprietary Advertising Platform, Google Adwords, is being used by billions of users in the world to promote their online presence and Secure Online Revenue through paid ads.

Accordingly, did you know that Google Ads provided Grants to non-profit Organizations to give them a competitive advantage over other organizations? This seems like a well-kept secret from Google because many non-profits were unaware of this opportunity.

In any case, don’t get your hopes up. Google is initiating new changes to this opportunity. If you are looking to sign up soon or want new information, you’ve come to the right place. 

Let’s go over the major changes that are supposed to happen to Google’s Ad Grants. 

What is Google Ad Grants?

Google ad grants are an opportunity extended to non-profit organizations. These grants provide the benefits to secure more website traffic, donations, and they also help users to achieve a higher online presence.

That’s not the only thing. Google ad grants provide users with the opportunity to collect up to $10,000 to spend on monthly Google Ad Campaigns. This is more than some businesses have to spend on their monthly campaigns.

If properly utilized, users can successfully create campaigns where they can drive traffic to their fundraising pages. The best thing about this offer is that it works just like an average Google Paid Ad.

By signing up for this offer, you can rank for common non-profit keywords and appear at the top of corresponding searches. This will improve your engagements in popular searches surrounding non-profit searches in your industry.
This seems like a promising endeavor for any non-profit organization, but Google is unsatisfied with this opportunity. Why? Let’s find out in the next section.

Why is Google Ad Grants Not Working?

Many non-profit organizations don’t make the most of their money, and Google is beginning to make several changes for this opportunity. The reason these organizations aren’t making the most out of these grants are typical because many users don’t have a clue to build a successful ad campaign.

Unfortunately, this can be that non-profits are given free stipend to create effective PPC Campaigns. Traditional users are expected to use their own money on campaigns. Doing so, they’re able to learn effective tactics for making the most of their money.

This isn’t likely possible for non-profits that are just handed free money. This doesn’t reinforce smarter learning habits for these organizations.

How to Sign Up for a Google Ad Grant?

Fortunately, signing up for a Google Ad Grant is pretty simple. All you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. First, you’ll need to determine if you’re eligible for a Google Ad Grant under these Guidelines
  2. Next, sign up for a Google Ad Grant and wait to be approved.
  3. Then, register for Google Grants. This must be one via your official non-profit Google account. 
  4. Set up a Google Adwords account and begin configuring your campaign.
  5. Submit your campaign for review by Google. 

Tips for Building the Best Google Adword Campaign

Many non-profit organizations fail at setting up their own Google Adwords Campaign, simply because they don’t use the right approach, time and time again. Unlike businesses made for-profit, non-profit organizations are just as busy with limited funds and resources.

This can make it difficult for these organizations to give attention to their marketing strategies, especially if the right marketing professional isn’t put in place. With that said, here are a few tips for helping you make the most out of Google Ad Grants.

  • Hire an AdWords Professional – Just because you have some money for your Ad strategy doesn’t mean you should do it all on your own. For example, if you received $10,000 toward your marketing strategy, does that mean your website is going to automatically rise to the top of the search rankings? Hiring a professional is the best way to get the most for your budget. 
  • Develop a Proven Strategy – This is probably the most important step. With $10,000, your ad strategy could go a long way. Again, there aren’t a lot of organizations that have a budget that high. If you have a solid strategy in place, you can succeed in driving meaningful search traffic to your website.
  • Set Goals for Your Campaign – If you have defined goals for your campaign, it’ll become easier to make adjustments and see what’s working and what’s not working.

Give Us A Call Today!

Do you want to delegate your ad campaign to a qualified Google Ads Company, you’ve come to the right place. Give us a call at (214) 295-5845 or visit Agency Partner Interactive to learn more.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Major Changes To Google Ad Grants” instead.

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4_pay-per-click (ppc)_advertising_trends Tnclude In Your Digital Strategy

4 Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising Trends To Include In Your Digital Strategy

Tips From Professional Digital Marketers

As we transition to another new, marketing fundamentals and concepts are steadily evolving. Some sophisticated Pay-Per-Click Advertising Trends of last year have become obsolete. Newer ones are developed and are required to be used by marketers of this year.

If you’re not up-to-date on the current PPC Trends of 2020, then you could be falling behind your competitors.

Needless to say, PPC is a cutthroat way of business. You can afford to gain any slippage from your Competitors.
With that said, new PPC trends have popped up for the year 2020. Let’s dissect which trends you can include in your Digital Marketing Strategy. 

1. Automation & Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Ad publishers like Google and Facebook have made it easier for users to configure their PPC Campaigns. With the implementation of both automation and AI, adjusting a campaign has become straightforward in the following ways:

  • Several monotonous PPC tasks have been automated to streamline configuration.
  • AI gives users the tools they need to make smarter decisions with their advertising budget.
  • Altogether, automation and AI lead to a higher ROI for users.

You can take advantage of both automation and AI to achieve enhanced growth of your PPC Campaign and gain increased real estate online.

2. Fewer Organic Search Results

The first page on Google captures as much as 91% of the search results according to Forbes. With that much influence, why do the other pages even exist? You can usually find the information you’re looking for within the first three SERPs. 

Marketers are predicting that Google will soon condense their SERPs and eliminate a lot of their pages. If this happens, PPC will become more prominent for marketers. This will increase the competition for the top spot of the SERPs.

In addition, more businesses will begin using PPC to gain more exposure. With that said, it’s important that you hire a proven Digital Marketing Company to give you a competitive advantage over your competitors. 

3. Increased Use of Video Ads

According to WordStream, 51% of marketers cite video as the type of content with the highest ROI. For this reason, videos are being featured more as ads on both Google and Facebook.

To mix up your PPC Strategy, try incorporating video ads in your strategy. Before, creating videos used to be a time-consuming and expensive process. Now, modern software has made it possible to create a video with minimal effort and spend.

4. Amazon Paid Ads 

Amazon is becoming a popular channel for purchasing paid ads. Why? That’s because Amazon houses more consumers that are ready to buy, unlike Google and Facebook. You can take advantage of Amazon’s audience who are ready to buy now.

This will help you to diversify your advertising budget on three channels and introduce your products and services to a new audience. It may take some time to optimize the correct ad strategy, but there’s no denying that you could set yourself up for future success.

Create Your New PPC Strategy?

Do you want to begin creating a new PPC Strategy for your Business? If so, Give Us a Call At (214) 295-5845 or Visit our Website at Agency Partner Interactive.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “4 Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising Trends To Include In Your Digital Strategy” instead.

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3_pay_per_click_trends_in_2020

3 Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Trends in 2020

Tips From Professional Digital Marketers

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is one of the most important aspects of Digital Marketing. Millions of businesses across the world use PPC to drive Qualified Leads and generate meaningful Sales Opportunities. 

However, new innovations are being created to make PPC more convenient for marketers. If you’re not following the PPC Trends of 2020, then you’re going to be at a massive disadvantage when it comes time to adjust your strategy.

Therefore, it’s important to begin optimizing your PPC Strategy with the newest Trends of 2020. If you want to start, here are three important PPC Trends you should be made aware of.

1. Artificial Intelligence 

For about a decade now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) was being used in virtually any industry to uncomplicate standard business practices. Now, AI has made its way over to the marketing sector.

Mainly, AI-enhanced PPC Software has been introduced to the fold. This software allows users to:

  • Understand which keywords users should bid for
  • Make sounder judgments that yield better results
  • Improve the ROI of any marketing budget.

Simply put, AI-Enhanced PPC Software gives marketers a smaller margin-of-error, which can result in improved sales and greater exposure online for your dollar.

2. Video Advertising

Video Advertising is not a new trend. Businesses have used video for many years to convert potential Customers. In fact, according to Wyzowl, 81% of businesses leverage video as a marketing tool. 

How does video correlate to PPC? It’s simple. Have you ever heard of Facebook videos? Creating Videos on Facebook is an amazing way to familiarize your target audience with your brand.

For example, if you’re selling accounting Software, you could create a video explaining helpful money-saving tips for businesses. This will help paint your brand in the heads of potential customers that will reach out if they’re convinced or ready to purchase later.

3. Amazon Paid Ads

Since the inception of PPC, Google and Facebook have held a dual monopoly over paid ads. It was simple. Google is the most preeminent search engine, and Facebook is the largest social media network in the world. 

Nowadays, Amazon has become a global power and is hosting paid ads on its platform. Don’t underestimate the power of Amazon paid ads. It does have a noticeable benefit over Google and Facebook. 

People who visit Google are typically still in the awareness stage of the Buyer’s Journey. This means they don’t know what they want yet and are looking for solutions. The same principle applies to Facebook, apparently more so since people only access Facebook to engage in conversations and read others’ feeds.

People who use Amazon are ready to buy now, so if you want to put your ads in the faces of people with more buyer intent, Amazon may be the answer. This doesn’t mean that Amazon is an untapped market.

Nonetheless, you can begin adopting a new platform to your PPC Strategy to begin reaching an entirely new audience. 

Give Your PPC Strategy a Boost!

Are you not sure where your PPC Strategy is headed? If so, give us a call at (214) 295-5845 or visit our website at Agency Partner Interactive for more information.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “3 Pay-Per-Click Trends in 2020” instead.

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how_to_optimize_your_website_for_voice_search

How To Optimize Your Website for Voice Search

Tips From Search Engine Optimization Experts

Voice Search is one of the most growing trends of the past few years. If you don’t believe that, here are a few core voice search statistics you should be made aware of.

  • Smart speaker sales have grown tremendously across the globe and will reportedly surpass $30 by the year 2024, according to Global Market Insights
  • 55% percent of households are expected to own a smart speaker by 2020, according to OC&C Strategy Consultants.
  • 71% of smart speaker owners predict they’ll continue conducting voice searches in the future, according to PwC

That’s not all. Here’s an interesting infographic from Dialogtech that displays how smart speaker owners will use their devices in the future. 

How Often You Will Use Voice Devices in the Future
Question: How Often You Will Use Voice Devices in the Future

As you can see, voice search is a massively growing trend. With that said, here’s how you can optimize your website for voice search.

Perform Long-Tail Keyword Research

If you’re using current technology, chances are that you’ve performed numerous voice searches. For example, if you’re on your way to a new job, you’ve likely asked Google to say, “Google, where are the nearest coffee shops near me?”

If you haven’t, then you’ve probably asked Siri, “what’s the weather looking like outside?” Regardless of the questions you’ve asked using a voice search, there is one thing in common with all of the search terms you’re using.

Almost all of the search terms you’ll use in voice search are long-tail keywords. Integrating long-tail keywords into your SEO Srategy can work wonders if you’re trying to generate qualified leads via a smart speaker.

It’s as simple as using your keyword research tools to find popular long-tail keywords and generating vivid variations of each one you find. 

Use Local Keywords

Like Long-tail Keywords, utilizing local keywords is also important for Optimizing your Website for voice search. People commonly use smart speakers to find local businesses. Therefore, don’t count on Local SEO to go out of style now.

You’ll still need to perform a lot of research on local keywords in your industry and invent creative ways of integrating these search terms in your site. For example, you can produce a FAQ page (we’ll get to this later) to post all of your local keywords and begin accumulating SEO real estate. 

Provide Immediate Results

When people use smart speakers, they expect immediate results. So, what does this mean? If you are trying to find a nearby donut shop on a smart speaker, would you really feel comfortable visiting a shop if your speaker didn’t give you any information on star reviews or even a phone number?

With that said, make sure your Google My Business (GMB) profile is up-to-date and carries all of your business info. Your smart speaker will typically derive all of its information from your GMB profile.

Still, this isn’t all. You’ll also need to make sure you have a fast website that’s extremely informative.

Optimize for the Buyer’s Journey

Regardless of the apparatus people use to conduct a search, optimizing your website for the buyer’s journey is a critical aspect of the sales and marketing process. For example, let’s say that you want to purchase a smart speaker. 

This is what a typical buyer’s journey will look like and what you can expect a potential query to look like for each specific phase.

  • Awareness: “What’s the best smart speaker available?”
  • Interest: “Can you set an appointment with Google Home?”
  • Evaluation:Is Google more intelligent than Siri?
  • Purchase:How much does Google Home cost?”
  • Customer Support: “Why isn’t my Google Home not working?”
  • Loyalty: “What are some products that work with Google Home?”

Predicting which questions your customers are asking via smart speaker will help you to create a roadmap and design content that will guide them through each phase.

Add FAQs

Adding FAQs to your website is a great way to improve your SEO Ranking for popular questions surrounding your products or services. Google is already displaying popular questions in their organic search results.

If you take these questions and provide in-depth and helpful answers, there’s a good chance that Google or another search engine will feature your answer as a rich snippet. Since smart speakers almost always rely on rich snippets for the answers of questions, this can serve as an amazing boost to your website.

Is Your Website Ready?

It takes a lot of effort to make sure that your website is ready for voice search. If you want to receive professional assistance, give us a call at (214) 295-5845 or visit our website at Agency Partner Interactive for more information.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “How To Optimize Your Website for Voice Searchinstead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

what_is_voice_search_and_why_It_matters_to pay-per-click_(ppc)

What Is Voice Search And Why It Matters To Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Tips From Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Experts

Voice search is a growing trend around the world, especially in this quarter of the century. According to OC&C Strategy Consultants, 55% of households will own a smart speaker by 2022. 

In addition, 65% of 25-49 year-olds use a smart speaker at least once per day. With that said, is there a correlation between voice search and pay-per-click (PPC)? If so, can voice search impact the performance of a PPC Campaign?

All of these are interesting questions that have answers. Take a look below for more information.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search is a practical way people use a smart speaker to conduct an online query. Alexa is a popular smart speaker that allows users to search for local businesses, ask questions, and shop digitally.

You can also use your smartphone to conduct a voice search. The reason voice search is becoming more popular is that it’s more convenient than typing out a query. Voice search is set to surpass traditional search by 2020

This means marketers will know how to leverage Voice Search to complement their other Digital Marketing initiatives, particularly PPC.

What is PPC?

PPC is a Digital Marketing Advertising model that’s used to drive traffic to websites. Businesses that use PPC Advertising pay publishers when their ads are clicked. This is a mutual benefit to both parties – publishers make money and businesses receive exposure.

You’ve likely seen a PPC ad recently while searching for a raincoat online. PPC Ads typically are positioned above organic search results. In the near future, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads could be displayed on smart speakers.

Continue reading below to see how this can be taken into effect.

Voice Search May Get Monetized Soon

Voice search is continually growing. However, it hasn’t been monetized yet by major publishers such as Amazon, Google, and Apple. This may become a problem in three major ways:

  • The rise of voice search will cripple traditional PPC Advertising
  • Online advertising would have to change if it can’t be Monetized.
  • Google, Amazon, and Apple would lose out on significant advertising revenue.

Simply put, publishers can’t afford to allow voice search to grow any further without monetizing it. Nonetheless, it will become a challenge to allow ads to be displayed on voice speakers without impeding its usability.

This challenge will have to be embraced very soon since more and more consumers are using voice search everyday for routine tasks. 

What Does This Mean for PPC?

Since it remains likely that publishers will begin to monetize smart speakers in the future, one can’t help but imagine that PPC fundamentals will also change. With that said, marketers must stay on their toes.

Many businesses depend on their PPC Strategy to drive qualified leads and revenue. If PPC were to drastically change, it would become difficult for these businesses to succeed. The only viable solution is to make voice search a part of your marketing strategy.

Leverage Voice Search Today!

Do you want to begin using voice search as a staple in your Marketing Strategy? If so, give us a call at (214) 295-5845 or visit our website at Agency Partner Interactive today.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “What Is Voice Search And Why It Matters To Pay-Per-Click (PPC)” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this Blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

2020_ marketing_trends_for_dallas_businesses

2020 Marketing Trends For Dallas Businesses

Tips From Professional Digital Marketers

Every year, Marketing Strategies fundamentals fluctuate. This makes it important for businesses to adapt to changing policies surrounding their marketing initiatives. Particularly, putting marketing trends into focus can benefit your business in the following ways:

  • You can receive insights on what’s working and what’s not.
  • You can save time and money on more efficient techniques.
  • You can streamline your marketing operations and achieve faster results.

As you can see, following current marketing trends is a big deal. Needless to say, 2020 has brought on an entirely new crop of marketing trends you should be aware of. Let’s take a look at some 2020 marketing trends for Dallas businesses in particular.

Customer Experience is Becoming Paramount

In 2020, it’s not enough to simply have stellar products and services. According to a study from Walker, consumers are leaning towards brands that provide an excellent customer experience.

This makes sense because there are probably hundreds of businesses that provide the same offerings as you. Consumers want to know how you’ll make their purchasing experience different, or they’ll move on to your competitor.

Moving forward, try to create an authentic and helpful customer experience to generate quality leads and keep customers coming back for more. 

Digital Real Estate Will Become Scarce

By 2022, CMO predicts that nearly 87% of Marketing Budgets will be Spent on Digital Marketing. This will inevitably make digital real estate hard to come by. As if SEO wasn’t already a competitive process, this year’s digital playing field will become more saturated.

To combat this, it’s important to invest in Advanced SEO Techniques, such as using schema markup to create rich snippets online and diversifying your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads on both Bing and Google. 

Whatever it takes, you should try to accumulate as much digital real estate as you can before the competition gets hectic.

Hyper-Personalized Advertising is Thriving

Here’s an interesting statistic – 78% of internet users stated that hyper-personalized Content Makes them more inclined to do Business with a Brand. In addition, 63% of those users said that they now expect brands to use their purchase history to create more relevant content for them.

All of this means that solicitation and cold-calling are officially dead. Consumers only want to work with businesses that are providing the most relevant content to their purchase.

For example, an Online Retailer selling video game consoles will find real success if they provide content promoting popular video games to a person who has already purchased a console.

Consumers value magnetic Content, so you should get started crafting a new Content Marketing Strategy for your business.

Email Marketing is Also Becoming More Personalized

In previous years, segmentation was a creative way to personalize correspondence to your Target Audience. In 2020, it’s not enough to segment your email list. You’ll now need to put in more effort to make your emails hyper-personal.

For example, you’ll need to view the purchasing history of past customers, see definite consumer patterns, and understand if people are responding to your emails. Putting a watchful eye on all of these metrics, while using hyper-personalized messaging is a great way to expand your reach in 2020.

Hi-Tech is Evolving into Mainstream

A few years ago, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) was only able to be used by billion-dollar companies. Nowadays, small and medium-sized businesses can affordably hire developers to produce this technology for them.

AI-enhanced Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is one example of how any business can leverage hi-tech to improve their online positioning and drive more qualified leads. Even VR is becoming a driving force in marketing. 

Companies like the New York Times, CNN, and Facebook are all using VR to create interactive content that will drive their Content Marketing Objectives.

E-Commerce Advertising is Becoming More Creative

At any time, 84% of Americans are Currently Shopping. This presents both challenges and opportunities for advertisers. If you want to compete with Google and Amazon, you’ll need to get creative in advertising your products.

One great way of doing so is by using Pinterest. You can try creating captivating photos of your products in action. When your prospects see them and click on your pictures, they’ll be directed to your website where they can shop.

Develop Your New Marketing Strategy Today

2020 is already underway, and it’s never been a better time to devise a new marketing strategy. If you are unsure of how you’ll configure a marketing strategy for your business, then you’ve come to the right place.
Give us a call at (214) 295-5845 or Contact Agency Partner Interactive Today for more information.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “2020 Marketing Trends For Dallas Businesses” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this Blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

google_ad_strategies_for_2019

Google Ad Strategies for 2019

Tips From Digital Marketing Experts

In 2018, 1.3 million businesses, nonprofits, and website publishers in the United States used Google’s search and advertising tools to generate $335 billion USD of Economic Growth. There is no doubt that Google is the most used search engine and its digital marketing platform houses effective tools for any business. To keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape, try implementing these Google ad strategies to keep your business flourishing.

Mobile-Specific Google Ads

With 72 Percent of the World predicted to be using only a smartphone to access the internet by 2025, if your business isn’t implementing mobile-specific ads, you’re missing out on a substantial amount of traffic. You must make sure that your website is mobile friendly and that both load time and site speed are performing at maximum capacity. Depending on your campaign type, it is possible to format mobile-specific Google ads as images, texts, calls-only or digital content. 

Google Ad Extension

Google ad extensions add value to your Google ads and Digital Marketing Campaigns, by including extra information for customers such as location, call buttons and links to particular parts of your website. Ad extensions supplement your ads with a broader scope of immediate information for customers, meaning more exposure and click-through rates for your company. Google Ads choose the extensions used for each individual Google search, but you need to determine which extensions best support your business’ goals and utilize the  options from there. 

Revisit Conversion and Call to Action

Customers on your Website are at different stages in their purchasing journey and shouldn’t be subject to the same Conversion Action. Chart out the different buying stages and work out which conversion action belongs to each stage. Target your customers’ specific needs, to  provide better overall customer experiences, and you’ll likely convert them into repeat customers. Additionally, place your calls to action into your ad campaigns where they make more sense. Then you better understand what and who you are missing and can take action to fill the gaps.

Use Date Ranges to Organize Re-targeting Lists

Ensure your Ad Campaigns work smarter, not harder, by creating ads specific to your re-targeting audiences. Remember that not all visitors should be placed in the same group when creating re-targeting campaigns. Date ranges are a helpful tool when grouping your users into audiences–the user who visited your page two days ago is going to be much different than the one who visited two months ago. The time-frame of when a user last visited, along with how likely they are to convert, should be considered when creating your re-targeting Google Ad, Pay Per Click (PPC), and Digital Marketing Campaigns. 

Implement Test Automation Software

Automation is a powerful way to optimize your advertising strategies. Google Ads has a built-in draft and experiment tool that helps you determine if changes implemented to assist in growing your business. It is a powerful, easy way to test a variety of strategies and provides quality data that enables you to analyze results and make informed decisions for future campaigns.

As you can see, there are many tools and simple, practical steps to take to ensure you are optimizing Google Ads, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and your digital marketing campaigns. However, if you would like to speak to a professional, Contact Agency Partner Interactive to discuss strategies and see where you could add value, create efficiency, and drive growth in your business.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Google Ad Strategies for 2019” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!