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6 Tips for Writing Social Media Ad Copy That Converts

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Do you want to create more effective social media ads? Wondering how to write ad copy that produces conversions? In this article, you’ll discover six tips for writing social media ad copy that converts. 6 Tips for Writing Social Media Ad Copy That Converts by Ashley Ward on Social Media Examiner. #1: Extend Your Brand Voice to Your Ad Copy Every business needs to have its own voice, one that mimics that of its followers. When users scroll the feed, they should be able to recognize your brand voice immediately. If your brand is more of a cargo short and t-shirt vibe, avoid using words that reflect a suit and tie mentality. The wording in your ad copy needs to mimic your other posts and include the language your demographic uses. Incorporate local lingo, slang, and grammar to match. Yes, how you spell the words in your ad makes a huge difference here. The same goes if you’re a B2B that uses more professional and business-like language when you speak and write. Mimic that style in your ad copy. #2: Clearly Communicate the Who, What, When, Where, and Why Your social media ads not only need to include a call to action but also answer the who, what, when, where, and why. Communicating these details helps ensure users have all of the information they need to know so when they do engage with the ad, they become a warm engagement and not just a casual liker who double-taps on everything they scroll through. If you look at this WeWork ad, here’s how they answered each W: Who: WeWork What: Flexible workspace for any size company When: Today Where: WeWork offices Why: Because they’re here to help my business grow Go back to the social media ads you’re currently running. Does the ad copy answer the who, what, when, where, and why for the user? It should, and if it doesn’t, pause, edit, and republish those ads. If you’re having a hard time trying to get an answer for all of the W’s above, think about your target demographic’s pain points. For WeWork, their target demographic is startups that need office floor plans from a business that can customize them. To make a great story out of your ad copy, you need to know your audience and understand not only what makes them tick but also what they need. #3: Test Ad Copy Length for Performance On some social media platforms, you have the option to use longer ad copy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should use all of that real estate. If you can communicate your call to action or primary point in three to five words, do so. Some social media experts argue that shorter copy is more effective, while others say longer copy converts better; split testing will help you discover which copy length your audience prefers. What’s most important is getting to the point and ensuring users understand the message you’re conveying. In the WeWork ad above, the point is crystal clear. The ad is both informative and provides an incentive for users to act. If you want to take a tour of the WeWork offices because you’re looking for a custom floor plan for your new startup office space, click Learn More and schedule a visit. The imagery is an added bonus and harmonizes the text point perfectly by showing the interior of a WeWork custom office floor plan. The image helps paint the picture of what the text is describing. About Split Testing The more engagement your social media ads receive, the more those social platforms will want to show your ad—given budget restrictions, of course. If you’re competing with businesses that have large ad budgets, focus on creating ads that followers naturally want to like, comment, share, or even click through. A/B test different ad copy, ad copy length, and jargon to better understand what makes people click. Once you have that data, it’s time to amplify. Put a majority of your budget on those sweet spot ad copy ideas and set the rest aside to go back and A/B test even more. Remember, testing never ends. People’s preferences change as fast as technology changes. When photography gets better, and videography becomes more accessible, we only want to engage with the best. #4: Combine Your Copy With Complementary Visuals and Targeting One of the reasons users flock to social media platforms is to take a break and be entertained by what they read and see. They’re bored at the DMV, they’re waiting for their food to arrive at the table, or their attention span of 3 seconds has expired, and it’s time to look down at their phone again. Whatever the reason, it’s important that both your text and content space are harmonious. Having creative to enhance your text is like adding extra-credit points on a quiz. Your text gets the call to action (the primary point) made, but the visual further communicates that point. I’m a bride-to-be who’s also a business owner and entrepreneur, so Ringly’s targeted ad stopped my scrolling fingers in their tracks specifically because of how they combined the text with the image. After looking at the ring and being impressed, I then gazed up to read the ad copy. Hmm, what’s a “smart ring”? Naturally, my eyes then scrolled down to the headline and then it made sense: It’s a personal assistant inside the ring. Now I’m intrigued to learn more. Make sure all of the components of your ad (the description, headline, URL) all work together and deliver a story to users. This will make users more likely to want to learn more and not just “like” the ad. #5: Align Your Ad Copy With Specific Sales Funnel Targeting Ad copy is essentially sales copy. But with social media ads, it can’t look or feel like sales copy at all. There is no intent on social media platforms so you can’t come in with a hard sell like you can on AdWords. That’s a big reason why the conversion cycle for social media ads can take a bit longer than other marketing efforts and have more hurdles to jump through. To help get around the anti-sales hurdle, think of the TOFU (top of the funnel) > MOFU (middle of the funnel) > BOFU (bottom of the funnel) strategy. While this entails creating lots of ads and custom audiences, the results will make it worth the effort. TOFU This ad is designed for the top of the funnel sales copy. It’s light, harmless, and a friendly neighborhood wave. Your ad copy should let users know that your brand or business exists and you’d just like to say hello. You’re not trying to sell or force users to take any action with this ad. I repeat, no selling! This is a very soft touchpoint. Each person who engages with this ad gets categorized into a new custom audience and is shown a MOFU ad. MOFU All right, now they know you exist. They’ve heard your brand voice, seen imagery to match, and developed a light feel for who you are. Now let them know how you can help. In the ad copy, explain what you provide and what pain points you solve. Again, you aren’t selling yet. You’ve waved to the user from across the street and are now knocking on their door with a plate of freshly baked cookies. All of your TOFU audiences that engage with this ad get placed into a separate custom audience, a warmer audience. BOFU Now’s the time to ask for the sale. Here’s where you include the discount code, the hard call to action, the immediacy, the full story. You already have a warm audience that knows your brand and understands what you offer. Now give them all you’ve got and convert those users. Anyone who engages with this ad is officially a hot lead and more likely to convert than the nice TOFU audience that waved back from across the street. You’ve officially been invited inside the house and you have a chance to talk business over coffee in the kitchen. Conclusion A good social media ad isn’t just a high-contrast image or a 45-second video. The ad copy itself can make or break engagement rates. It’s time to get past the idea that we’re all too busy to read. Your ad copy needs to inform and entertain social media users to grab their attention in the news feed. If you’re going to interrupt them and stop them in their scrolling tracks, give them something worth their while. What do you think? Do you use some of these tactics when writing copy for your social media ads? What tips would you add to this list? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. More articles about social media advertising: Learn how to create six refined target audiences for your Facebook and Instagram campaigns. Find out how to target your prospects and customers using Matched Audiences on LinkedIn. Discover seven common factors that impede Facebook ad performance. The post 6 Tips for Writing Social Media Ad Copy That Converts appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

How to Use LinkedIn Elevate to Manage an Employee Advocacy Program

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Want your employees to share curated on-brand content with their own social audiences? Wondering how to measure the impact of those shares across multiple social media platforms? In this article, you’ll learn how to use LinkedIn Elevate to manage and measure the impact of an employee advocacy campaign for your business. How to Use LinkedIn Elevate to Manage an Employee Advocacy Program by Karlyn Williams on Social Media Examiner. What Are the Benefits of Employee Advocacy for Your Business? Employee advocacy is when you engage your employees to be ambassadors to grow your company’s reach, generate more prospects, and convert them into paying clients without spending excess advertising dollars. Let’s look at a few reasons why employee advocacy works, according to LinkedIn: Content shared by employees has double the engagement than when shared by a company. People want to interact with other people, not a faceless brand. So let employees be that face (if they want to be). Let them share in and contribute to the online voice of the brand. Salespeople who regularly share content are 45% more likely to exceed quota. They’re the employees who are building the initial rapport with prospects. They’re the ones who want to be the experts in their fields so they can showcase their knowledge and position themselves for the sale. Assisting them in sharing safe and on-brand content would be a smart idea, right? By positioning employees as advocates, you’re also giving them the freedom to create a personal brand. A personal brand is when you, as an individual, actively market yourself as an expert in your industry or chosen field. In today’s digital age, personal brands are becoming the vehicle by which larger brands are being seen. National Geographic is one of the most authentic brands when it comes to employee transparency. The photographers who snap the amazing photos run their main Instagram. This means their employees out in the field are creating the content and the copy that goes with it. Here, Christina Mittermeier shares one of her photos for National Geographic and links to the magazine’s Instagram: Employee advocacy is the employee equivalent to influencer marketing. It’s a win for your employees because they get to show their expertise online and it’s a win for your company because you get more exposure to different audiences. How to Manage Your Program Many companies haven’t adopted a social media employee advocacy program for a few reasons: They don’t understand the tools that will be used to implement the plan. They don’t trust their employees to be their frontmen and -women. They’re scared of what employees might say about their company online that could damage their reputation. (Hint: Employees are already talking about you, so don’t you want to give them something relevant to say?) They can’t get their employees engaged. They don’t have someone to run the program to ensure its success. What can assist with some of these objections, and make the plan simple and effective to implement is having a tool that manages it all for you. Enter LinkedIn Elevate. To give you a jump start, this tool will quickly identify your most active employees on the platform. These employees are the ones you want to get on board first and maybe even have them take ownership of some of the program’s implementation. Elevate also will suggest trending content based on relevant topics you’ve selected, and help ensure you engage key employee audiences and customers. Just like anything that makes marketers’ lives easier, there’s a price tag involved. It varies based on the size of your business and number of participants; you’ll have to contact LinkedIn directly to get a price breakdown. Now let’s look at how to set up an employee advocacy program with LinkedIn Elevate. #1: Plan Your Employee Advocacy Program Crafting a plan for your employee advocacy program gives you clarity before making the case to leadership. Ask yourself, “What’s the main objective for our program?” Here are a few to consider: Drive traffic to your website. Attract top talent. Amplify your brand story to new audiences. Further position your leadership insights. Develop relationships among employees and customers. The list could go on, but narrow it down to one or two main objectives. It’s important to note you should choose objectives that relate to your business’s primary audience. Also decide what types of content you want to make your employees aware of to share with you and other employees (yes, it’s a two-way street): Curated content (sources outside your company website) Company-only content (sources like your blog, press releases, recent company news) Whatever content mix you decide, it’s important that there’s consistency with relevant categories/topics. Set Up a Simple Employee Advocacy Program If you don’t want to use a tool like Elevate to manage your advocacy program, you can simply create a daily or weekly email to send to your top social media employee influencers. This email can include content that’s curated or owned (from your company’s blog/website). To make it quick to consume, include the headlines, short descriptions, and the native link to the complete article. Also include share buttons linking to appropriate social channels. Adding these share buttons makes it easy for your influencers to share and you can pre-fill copy for the articles if you want. #2: Use LinkedIn Elevate to Push Approved Content to Employee Advocates Now that you’ve developed your plan, you’re ready to set up your LinkedIn Elevate account. Once it’s up and running, click Sources in the top navigation bar to pull up the pre-populated content from Elevate based on the Trending in Industry list in the left column. Click the Broadcast button to the right of any articles you want to share. Employees will see content you (or your admin) have published and/or scheduled on the main Elevate dashboard. Each piece of content is labeled with the appropriate topic, helping employees select content that most interests them. Employees can also recommend content to you to be broadcast on the company’s Elevate feed. You may want to set your own parameters for what fits within the content topics that are relevant for your company and industry. To see what employee participants want to share, toggle over to Employee Suggestions. You have the option to broadcast right from this window. #3: Use LinkedIn Elevate to Measure the Impact of Employee Advocacy Across Platforms LinkedIn Elevate offers metrics to highlight employees’ shares and how they’re driving key business metrics. That’s why you want to have your goals written down before implementing the program so you can properly measure success. Some key analytics collected through Elevate include: Trends (number of broadcasts, shares, total reach, and engagement) Reach, engagement, and earned media value (Elevate integrates with Facebook and Twitter, so it captures the data from each platform) Audiences engaged (based on industries, professionals, and companies) Employee share rates (by topics) Top sharers (participants in Elevate who are sharing the most content) Top broadcasts (the pieces of content that performed the best) Explore the LinkedIn Elevate Dashboard To access your analytics data, click on Analytics from the top navigation. You will see a dashboard with a snapshot of trends. Scroll down to view reach and engagement data, earned media down to the cent, the most engaging topics, and the top employees sharing and suggesting content. Examine the Leaderboard To dig deeper into these metrics, toggle over to the Leaderboard tab. On the leaderboard, view which employees are your best ambassadors based on how much they share. You can also see what topics interest them most so you can continue to provide topic-rich content for them to share. This measurement will be useful if you put together a rewards system for the top sharers of the month. Also notice the drop-down menus on the right that allow you to filter the data further. You can select the type of analytics category, the timeframe, and topics. Get Broadcast Insights Next up is the Broadcasts tab. This data is similar to the Posts Insights that many of us are familiar with on Facebook. From the drop-down menus at the top, select the topics for which you want to see metrics, the curators who shared those broadcasts, and the groups most active when broadcasting. Groups are how you segment employees within your Elevate community. Are they part of the sales team, marketing team, or C-suite? And as always, you can change the timeframe for a different look at the data presented. View Stats for a Specific Share Of course, you can always take a deeper dive into specific posts. Click on a headline to open a new window where you can see the trends of the broadcast and the reach, engagement, and earned media. You can also view the top sharers of the content and where they shared it. Run a Report The last feature I want to point out within the metrics is the Reports function. My business primarily uses it for downloading “seats” reports, which means it runs the numbers of all employee groups and pulls out the top sharers, and lets us check in on how many employees exist within each segmented group. To run a report, toggle over to the Reports tab. From the drop-down menu, select the type of report you’d like to run. It takes a few minutes to run a report. Once the data is scraped, you’ll see the option to download the report from the page. All reports are in Excel format. Sometimes it’s nice to have monthly reports outside of the platform to give you a broader overview of where your employees are with their engagement with the platform. This analytics data is essentially for social proof, and to see how many of your employees are engaging with your online advocacy program and how many aren’t. Other Tools Similar to LinkedIn Elevate Although I haven’t yet had the opportunity to use the following tools, here are my takeaways from walking through demos with a representative: Hootsuite Amplify: Many social media managers and employees who create content for companies are familiar with Hootsuite. What you may not know, though, is that the Enterprise version (pricing varies by organization) offers an employee advocacy feature. A positive for some businesses is the adaptability because you don’t have to open another tool or learn another system. GaggleAMP: This tool caters to the medium-sized business crowd. Pricing is based on the size of your company and your needs. If you have 10 employees or fewer, you can get started for $200/month, which includes onboarding and support. EveryoneSocial: This is a more robust yet user-friendly tool. This platform is geared toward businesses with 200+ employees. Plans start at $1,500/month. Conclusion I love it when organizations use a tool in a creative way that benefits their audiences but doesn’t align with how the tool was originally meant to be used. For example, organizations like American Public University System, an online university, are leveraging LinkedIn Elevate to engage not only staff in the main office but also faculty and alumni—a fun and relevant influencer program. “Organizations should think of advocacy programs as more than an employee-only focus. As a higher education institution, we have an incredible community of faculty, students, and alumni with expertise in so many fields with wide-reaching networks,” said Madeline Kronfeld, Marketing Director, American Public University System. She went on to say, “By extending our advocacy program beyond staff, we’ve been able to reach people in industries from intel to health sciences and share relevant information from our own subject matter experts.” Just like any type of social media, blog, or video episodic program, you have to stay consistent with cadence and relevance of content for employees to begin to adopt it and stick with it. In addition, you need either a dedicated staff member to run the social employee advocacy program or recruit a small team internally to kick off the program and decide later, based on social proof, if it’s worth bringing on a dedicated employee to run the initiative. All in all, your employees can and should be your company’s greatest asset. The question is: Are you leveraging them as willing participants to become the driving force behind organically building your social media presence? What do you think? Do you have an employee advocacy program for your business? Will you consider using Elevate to help manage it? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. More articles about LinkedIn marketing: Find a step-by-step process to help you create a LinkedIn content marketing plan. Learn how to maximize your exposure with LinkedIn hashtags. Discover a five-step plan for turning cold LinkedIn prospects into warm leads. The post How to Use LinkedIn Elevate to Manage an Employee Advocacy Program appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

NTT Communications to Establish NTT Global Data Centers Preparatory Corporation to Strengthen Data Center Business

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TOKYO, JAPAN — NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group (TYO:9432), announced that it will establish the NTT Global Data Centers Preparatory Corporation as the first step in creating a wholly owned subsidiary to comprehensively handle data center construction, asset management and wholesale services for NTT Group companies on a global basis. The company will respond to rapidly growing demands for data centers across countries worldwide and further strengthen data center-related business within the group. NTT Com will launch the preparatory company by the end of this December. Going forward, the envisioned data center “investment company” is expected to begin constructing data centers from April 2019. In particular, the preparatory company will integrate the NTT Group’s special expertise in data center-related real estate and finance, creating a new data center business structure for faster decision-making and more efficient investment in data center construction. Initially, the NTT Global Data Centers Preparatory Corporation will lay the ground for unifying NTT Com’s global investments in data center construction and asset management. Thereafter, the envisioned data center investment company will enable NTT Com to develop globally unified strategies and specifications as well as deliver services to customers as the core of the NTT Group’s data center business. The company will also enable NTT Com to centralize its own worldwide data center businesses to satisfy the demands of NTT Com customers for globally unified and standardized services. Going forward, NTT Com expects to accelerate its investment in data center business, especially in the U.S., Europe and APAC including Japan, by responding more flexibly to the scale and speed of services required by customers. About NTT Global Data Centers Preparatory Corporation Location: Tokyo Capital: 100 million JPY Ownership: NTT Communications Corporation: 100% CEO: Ryuichi Matsuo : Vice President, Data Centers, Cloud Services : NTT Communications Corporation Business: Data center construction investment, asset management and wholesale service for NTT Group companies About NTT Communications NTT Communications solves the world’s technology challenges by helping enterprises overcome complexity and risk in their ICT environments with managed IT infrastructure solutions. These solutions are backed by our worldwide infrastructure, including industry leading, global tier-1 public and private networks reaching over 190 countries/regions, and more than 400,000m2 of the world’s most advanced data center facilities. Our global professional services teams provide consultation and architecture for the resiliency and security required for your business success, and our scale and global capabilities are unsurpassed. Combined with NTT Data, NTT Security, NTT DOCOMO and Dimension Data, we are NTT Group.

Interxion Announces New Data Centers in Frankfurt and Marseille

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AMSTERDAM – INTERXION HOLDING NV (NYSE:INXN), a leading European provider of carrier and cloud-neutral colocation data center services, today announced that in response to continued customer demand, Interxion will construct new data centers in Frankfurt (“FRA15”) and Marseille (“MRS3”). “Interxion Frankfurt is the leading cloud and connectivity hub in Germany with over 20 cloud deployments from the leading global cloud platforms and 235 network service providers present,” said David Ruberg, Interxion’s Chief Executive Officer. “Similarly, Interxion Marseille already has over 130 network service providers present and is now established as a primary gateway for submarine cable connectivity between Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa with 13 cables currently active and additional cables due to become operational before the end of 2019. Strong demand from global customers is driving our growth in each of Frankfurt and Marseille as they seek to benefit from the highly-developed communities of interest that we have created in these markets.” In Frankfurt, FRA15 will be constructed in four phases, delivering in aggregate 9,600 square metres (“sqm”) of equipped space and 19 megawatts (“MW”) of customer available power when fully built out. The first phase of FRA15, which is expected to provide approximately 2,300 sqm, is scheduled to open in 1Q 2020. The capital expenditure associated with FRA15 is expected to be approximately €175 million. In Marseille, MRS3 will be constructed in three phases, delivering approximately 7,100 sqm of equipped space and 17 MW of customer available power when fully built out. The first phase of MRS3, which is expected to provide approximately 2,300 sqm, is scheduled to open in 4Q 2019. The capital expenditure associated with MRS3 is expected to be approximately €140 million. The anticipated capital expenditures in the current year related to FRA15 and MRS3 are included in the most recent 2018 capital expenditure guidance provided by the company on 14 September 2018. About Interxion Interxion (NYSE:INXN) is a leading provider of carrier and cloud-neutral colocation data center services in Europe, serving a wide range of customers through more than 50 data centers in 11 European countries. Interxion’s uniformly designed, energy efficient data centers offer customers extensive security and uptime for their mission-critical applications. With over 700 connectivity providers, 21 European Internet exchanges, and most leading cloud and digital media platforms across its footprint, Interxion has created connectivity, cloud, content and finance hubs that foster growing customer communities of interest. For more information, please visit www.interxion.com.

Huawei to Launch Public Cloud in South Africa to Boost Digitalization in Africa

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Johannesburg, South Africa – Huawei is set to build its Public Cloud in South Africa to provide cloud services to all Sub-Saharan African countries. This is another significant move by the leading global leading ICT solutions provider to accelerating its cloud business across the world. South Africa is an important piece of HUAWEI CLOUD’s globalisation map. According to the plan, Huawei will hold a launching ceremony on 14th November in Cape Town for its first African station in Johannesburg. Huawei believes cloud services are essential for digitization of economies. Huawei Cloud is committed to providing open, flexible, easy-to-use and secure cloud services, laying a solid foundation for a fully connected, intelligent world by bringing digital to every person, home and organisation. HUAWEI CLOUD Another Jigsaw Puzzle Piece of Globalization Since it was established in March 2017, the Huawei Cloud Business Unit (BU) has unveiled more than 120 cloud services in 18 major categories. These cover more than 60 general solutions including SAP, high-performance computing (HPC), Internet of Things (IoT), Security, DevOps and more than 80 industry scenario solutions; covering manufacturing, e-commerce, gaming, finance and Internet of Vehicles (IoV). In 2018, HUAWEI CLOUD officially launched the Hong Kong, Russia and Thailand Stations. By end September 2018, HUAWEI CLOUD had provided services in Asia Pacific and partner public cloud services in Europe and Latin America, outside of the Chinese market. Huawei Cloud and Huawei partner public cloud are available in 14 countries and regions, and will be available in most of major the regions around the world by end of 2018. Referring to globalisation strategy, Deng Tao, Vice President of Huawei Cloud BU said, HUAWEI CLOUD was globalised since its inception because Huawei had been providing its products and technologies in the form of cloud services to partners like Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Orange (France), Telefonica (Spain) and China Telecom. “Based on Huawei’s 30 years of ICT infrastructure experience and nearly 10 years of continuous R&D in cloud computing technologies, Huawei Cloud can provide a one-stop solution to large enterprises; addressing their challenges in digital and cloud transformation, as well as to small and medium-sized companies that aim to expand their business.” Deng said. From AI to EI This month, Huawei launched its comprehensive Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategy and full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio which is designed to provide powerful support for Huawei Cloud EI (Enterprise Intelligence), an AI service platform for enterprises and governments, was released in September 2017. To turn AI into a practical reality, Huawei come up with the concept of EI. The company believes that a cloud will prosper only when it helps customers create value on an ongoing basis. Talking about how to combine industry insight with AI, Jia Yongli; General Manager of EI Product Department of Huawei Cloud BU said, Huawei Cloud EI is a scenarios-based service. “Huawei Cloud EI drives industry modernisation in three scenarios, including repetitive and high-volume work, tasks that require expert experience and work that needs multi-domain collaboration. These will help improve efficiency, pass on expertise, and break the limits of human intelligence,” according to Jia. On April 17, 2018, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the world’s top open source community in cloud technology, officially announced Huawei election to the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), making Huawei the first Asian company to be admitted into the CNCF TOC. In May, HUAWEI CLOUD became an SAP-certified platform for deploying SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver. Huawei predicted that there would be five major cloud platforms in the world and promised that it would be one of those five. HUAWEI CLOUD is positioned to be an open, cooperative, mutually-beneficial and customer-centric ecosystem that creates values. The needs of enterprises in business development have become more complex and diverse, as they need not only to develop new applications on public clouds but also migrate some of their traditional services to public clouds, while continuing to provide support for these services. Huawei Cloud is committed to working with partners to build sustainable partnerships that can lead to an open ecosystem to better meet customers’ needs. For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com

IBM and VMware Advance Partnership to Accelerate Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Adoption and Digital Transformation

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BARCELONA, Spain – At VMworld® Europe 2018, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) announced new offerings to help accelerate enterprise hybrid cloud adoption. This includes a new IBM Services offering to help migrate and extend mission-critical VMware workloads to the IBM Cloud, and new integrations to help enterprises to modernize applications with Kubernetes and containers. To date, the IBM and VMware partnership has helped more than 1,700 enterprises including Banca Carige and CNH Industrial adopt IBM Cloud for VMware solutions. According to research from Ovum, while 20 percent of business processes have already moved to the cloud, 80 percent of mission-critical workloads and sensitive data are still running on-premises because of performance and regulatory requirements [1]. Businesses need an open, hybrid cloud approach to developing, running and deploying applications in a multi-cloud environment. IBM and VMware are delivering new solutions to help enterprises accelerate hybrid cloud adoption without incurring the cost and risk typically associated with retooling operations, re-architecting applications and re-designing security policies. As part of today’s news, IBM is enabling a fully automated, highly available managed global cloud architecture for mission-critical VMware workloads designed to help enterprises prevent downtime for cloud applications and automate failovers within an IBM Cloud region. This architecture will be managed by IBM Services and can be deployed across IBM Cloud’s 18 availability zones in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific. Mission-critical workloads are defined as essential to the survival of the business and so critical that outages affect brand integrity. The IBM solution is designed to support these workloads at a targeted aggregate availability higher than many clients can currently achieve with on-premises environments. The solution includes IBM Cloud infrastructure, VMware software-defined data center technologies, Intel® Optane DC SSD and IBM Services that cover a variety of enterprise needs including networks, storage, resiliency and other tools built for monitoring and troubleshooting cloud applications. Additionally, IBM and VMware announced new technology collaborations to help enterprises to modernize applications with containers regardless of whether they are deploying on-premises, in the private cloud or in the public cloud. IBM Cloud Private Hosted can now be installed on VMware vCenter Server on IBM Cloud, which supports the management and orchestration of virtual machines and containers within a common security model and private network. With IBM Cloud Private Hosted on VMware vCenter Server, clients can containerize stateless components of a virtualized application while maintaining stateful components such as databases within the virtual machine. It also enables clients to modernize applications with the IBM Cloud Private catalogue of services including Blockchain, AI and event services, among many others. In addition to IBM Cloud Private Hosted, IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions are now integrated with the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, which provides a fully managed Kubernetes environment so customers can concentrate on application development. To provide a unified networking solution that will bridge IBM Cloud Private and the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, IBM is expanding use of virtual cloud networking with the adoption of VMware NSX-T Data Center. As the foundation for a software-based network architecture that delivers services to applications and data wherever they are located, NSX-T provides consistent networking and security for all deployment models, including VM, containerized and bare metal. NSX-T has been validated by IBM as a supported network stack for IBM Cloud Private. To support on-premises workloads, VMware vRealize Operations is now available on IBM Power Systems. With VMware vRealize Operations for Power, IT managers can monitor a heterogenous infrastructure from a single dashboard, allowing them to more efficiently allocate resources and free them from the time-consuming process of switching between multiple tools to manage a sprawling infrastructure. IBM and VMware also announced that VMware will use Watson to help improve customer service across VMware support portals. Instead of static drop downs, now VMware customers can leverage Watson to quickly and easily communicate with the portal in natural language. Watson is designed to detect product type and version, analyze issues and match those issues with an expert engineer for faster resolution and a better customer support experience. IBM and VMware remain committed to delivering new solutions and services to help enterprises advance their cloud journey. Today at VMworld Europe, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, and Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, Hybrid Cloud, announced on stage the formation of a Joint Innovation Lab with dedicated engineers that will bring even more game changing solutions and services. “The VMware and IBM partnership builds upon the strengths of both companies. VMware is relied upon by virtually every large enterprise today, including 100 percent of the Fortune 100. Today these organizations can easily and securely extend these workloads into IBM’s global public cloud using Hybrid Cloud Extension for large-scale bulk migration and bi-directional application mobility,” said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. “Now with the latest advancements in our relationship, we’re making it possible for customers to move, modernize and operate any application – VM or containerized, traditional or mission-critical – in the IBM Cloud.” “Today’s announcement is a testament to our successful and long-standing partnership with VMware that has yielded remarkable business results for thousands of clients globally on their path to digital transformation,” said Martin Jetter, senior vice president, Global Technology Services, IBM. “With these new services and solutions, enterprises can migrate and modernize their most important VMware workloads on the IBM Cloud in a highly secure, open, multi-cloud environment. Our goal is to help clients reduce risk and prevent any disruptions in a cloud environment so they can remain laser focused on innovation.” Global Businesses Adopting IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions for Hybrid Cloud Strategy Adoption of IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions continues to grow as enterprises embrace hybrid cloud strategies to help them generate new business value from their data. CNH Industrial, a leader in the capital goods sector operating in the agricultural and construction equipment, commercial vehicles, specialty vehicles and powertrain segments, has signed a multi-year cloud agreement with IBM. As part of its cloud strategy, CNH Industrial will extend VMware workloads from on-premises infrastructure to the IBM Cloud to provide greater flexibility, cost efficiencies, output resilience and consistency in conducting its operations to provide best in class customer service. Through the cloud agreement, CNH Industrial will also use IBM Cloud Private and Watson Artificial Intelligence to transform its business processes. Banca Carige, one of the leading Italian banking groups with more than 500 years of tradition, 519 branches and over 1 million customers, is adopting a hybrid cloud strategy to simplify its IT environment and optimize its applications as it evolves into a digital bank. Banca Carige will use IBM Cloud for VMware solutions across public and private cloud environments to enable the adoption of big data methodologies, analytics and cognitive tools, with the aim of improving commercial competitiveness. For information on all news announcements issued at VMworld 2018 Europe, please visit the Online Press Kit. About IBM Cloud With $19B in annual cloud revenue, IBM is the global leader in enterprise cloud with a platform designed to meet the evolving needs of business and society. Moving past productivity and cost improvements, the IBM Cloud is tuned for the AI and data demands that are driving true differentiation in today’s enterprise. IBM’s private, public and hybrid offerings provide the global scale businesses need to support innovation across industries. About VMware VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s compute, cloud, mobility, networking and security offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to over 500,000 customers globally, aided by an ecosystem of 75,000 partners. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, this year VMware celebrates twenty years of breakthrough innovation benefiting business and society.

Docker Launches New Program for Migrating Legacy Windows Server 2008 Applications to Alleviate End of Support Issues

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SAN FRANCISCO – Docker announced the Windows Server Application Migration Program, the best and only way to containerize and secure legacy Windows Server applications in advance of the end-of-support deadline for Microsoft Windows Server 2008. With industry-leading Docker Enterprise 2.1 and best-in-class tools and services specifically designed for Windows Server application migration, customers can quickly and easily migrate and modernize legacy Windows applications while driving continuous innovation across any application, anywhere. With a large percentage of Windows Server applications still running on Windows Server 2003 or 2008, companies that postpone migrating legacy applications and systems are vulnerable to security risks and a higher cost of maintenance. Traditional methods such as upgrading the underlying operating system or migrating applications on to new systems or the cloud, require significant resources and only serves to add to the existing technical debt. Docker’s new program helps organizations seamlessly migrate legacy applications with the only container platform capable of containerizing Windows Server applications. Additionally, enterprise customers can take advantage of services and tools that leverage Docker’s experience in application migrations to quickly discover, containerize and migrate Windows Server applications with immediate cost savings. “The majority of our legacy product portfolio at Mitchell runs on Windows Server. We sought a solution that would allow us to containerize all of our applications so we could reap the benefits of DevOps, increase portability and align operational modalities across the board,” said Marius Domean, Director R&D, Mitchell International. “Only Docker Enterprise was able to provide us with a robust, enterprise-grade solution that enables us to transform our legacy application stacks while reducing operational costs, minimizing our footprint of thousands of virtual machines and allowing us to adopt a hybrid cloud hosting architecture.” Docker Enterprise 2.1: The Only Platform for Containerizing Windows Server Applications Docker Enterprise is the leading enterprise-ready container platform that provides companies the choice, agility and security needed to efficiently build and manage their entire application portfolio, while reducing overall costs by more than 50 percent. The latest release, Docker Enterprise 2.1, enables organizations to easily migrate and modernize legacy Windows Server applications while driving continuous innovation across any application, anywhere. New features of Docker Enterprise 2.1 include: Improved performance and compatibility for Windows Server Applications: updated support for Windows Server 2016, 1709, 1803 and 20191 in addition to smaller image sizes, improved compatibility and expanded networking options. Greater insights and availability with out-of-the-box dashboards: new dashboards and management console including health status visibility and deeper service and platform benefits. Enhanced security and compliance: support for industry standard security and authentication including SAML 2.0 authentication and the cryptographic modules in Docker Engine – Enterprise have been validated against FIPS 140-2 standards for both Windows and Linux. “Because we have been working with customers on Windows Server containers from the beginning, Docker has a proven model for migrating and modernizing legacy Windows Server applications quickly and cost-effectively to any infrastructure, on-premises or in the cloud,” said Scott Johnston, Chief Product Officer for Docker. “Windows Server customers come to us for help designing a container strategy for their legacy applications that will help mitigate end of support issues. Through this program many customers experience a 50 percent reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO) of applications using Docker Enterprise, freeing up budget for strategic IT initiatives such as cloud migration or edge computing.” Industry-proven Services and Purpose-built Tooling Automates and Accelerates Application Conversion The Docker program includes a new service offering based on the experience of proven methodologies from Docker’s Modernize Traditional Application (MTA) program and from working with enterprises like Mitchell International on migrating applications using Docker Enterprise. As part of the services engagement, customers will be able to accelerate discovery and conversion using Docker Application Converter, a tool that automatically scans systems for target applications and speeds up the conversion process by automatically creating Docker artifacts. Additionally, customers will have access to Docker Certified Infrastructure which automates implementation and configuration best practices for integrating containers into enterprise IT infrastructure like VMware vSphere, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. When combined with Docker’s expertise, organizations will have a “blueprint” for future migration projects and new application development. Foundation for Continuous Innovation Once implemented, the Docker Enterprise container platform and methodologies enable organizations to both modernize existing applications and adopt new technologies based on business requirements and customer needs. With Docker Enterprise, companies can standardize the software platform and adopt new technology stacks and architectures without changing how the organization operates – whether applications are cloud native applications, AI or edge computing workloads. Traditional application migration techniques lock companies into a specific infrastructure or operating system. With Docker Enterprise, organizations have a secure repeatable model that doesn’t lock into a specific infrastructure or cloud, enabling companies to modernize applications and adopt new technologies as business requirements evolve. About Docker Docker, the leader in the container platform market, enables developers and IT operations to build, secure and manage applications without technology or infrastructure lock in. By bringing together traditional applications and microservices built on Windows, Linux and mainframe under one operating model, Docker’s container platform enables the world’s largest companies to accelerate key digital initiatives including cloud migration, application modernization and edge computing. For more information, please visit: https://www.docker.com.

Tier1, Inc. Announces New Office and Website to Support Rapid Growth

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PITTSBURGH – Just weeks after announcing their 11 recent hires, Tier1 is now announcing their move to a new office location in order to support their rapid and continuous growth. For the last 15 years, Tier1 has been headquartered out of the South Side of Pittsburgh, PA. They are now located in a Northern Suburb of Pittsburgh – Warrendale, PA – at 100 Global View Drive, Suite 100, Warrendale, PA 15086. Tier1’s new office is not only significantly larger to support the growth that they have already experienced, but it will also allow for the additional growth that they anticipate. The expansion of Tier1’s Enterprise Technology services and cloud hosting solutions into new markets has accelerated the company’s growth and resource requirements. Rob Guidarelli, Tier1 CEO, states his excitement for taking this next step towards Tier1’s future. He stated, “2018 has been a really exciting year for us [Tier1] so far. We’ve expanded our service offerings, hired many new team members, and now we’ve moved to a new office. I knew that the future for us [Tier1] was bright, and I’m confident that the best is yet to come.” This new location also provides the majority of Tier1’s staff with a shorter and easier commute, which was another major deciding factor for the move. Additionally, it is centrally located to many large retail shopping centers, a wide variety of cafes and restaurants and numerous flagship hotels. The building itself is even surrounded by walking trails for the tenants. All of this was considered when choosing a new location to provide the staff with not only a better working space, but also the ability to enjoy the surrounding area, as well. Guidarelli explains, “I really want to make Tier1 the best possible place to work for our employees and I know that a commute and work environment have a large impact on people’s day-to-day attitude and productivity. I hope that the shorter commute and the newer, larger workspace, as well as the endless opportunities surrounding the building, will help our team arrive to work happy and remain happy throughout the day.” Tier1’s newly designed website is another recent change demonstrating the effects of Tier1’s rapid growth and forward-thinking mindset. The website has been re-organized and updated to include their new services with their already expansive array of offerings. The new design was built to reflect Tier1’s mission of simplifying Enterprise Technology, which can often be complex for users, by adding streamlined navigation and easily accessible information for its visitors – along with a more modern look and feel. Readers are invited to explore the new website and stay up-to-date with Tier1 at: www.tier1inc.com. Guildarelli goes on to state his enthusiasm for the future of Tier1, “These are just a couple of the many changes to come to support Tier1’s growth. With these changes, I am more excited than ever about the future of Tier1.” About Tier1, Inc. Founded in 2003, Tier1 is a forerunner in providing consulting and outsourcing services for enterprise technology applications and databases. With 50+ employees that have a minimum of 10 years experience and over 350 clients, Tier1 has built a world-class consulting and support organization. Based in Pittsburgh, but serving clients across the United States, Tier1’s services – to an extensive range of industries – include managed services, implementations, upgrades, development services, cloud hosting, cloud services, and staffing needs.

How to Optimize Your Ad Budget Between Facebook and Instagram

Social Media Examiner -

Do you advertise on Instagram and Facebook? Wondering how much to budget for each platform placement? In this article, you’ll learn how to use Facebook’s split test feature to reveal how best to distribute your ad spend on Facebook and Instagram. Is Allocating Ad Spend via Automatic Placement in Your Best Interest? When you advertise [...] The post How to Optimize Your Ad Budget Between Facebook and Instagram appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

Why Social Media ROI CAN Be Measured – Here’s Why #190

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

Good marketing includes careful measurement of your return on investment (ROI). But can you do that for social media? In this episode of our popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Mark Traphagen shares what ROI looks like for social media campaigns, and gives tips on what to measure.  Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why Resources Why You Should Tag Your Inbound Links Why You Need to Adopt a Winning Analytics Philosophy See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript Eric: How can you measure ROI from social media?    Mark: First, let’s define what we mean by ROI. Obviously, it stands for return on investment. But a lot hangs on what you mean by the two nouns in that phrase. Now, what is the investment you’re making? And what return are you expecting?    Since ROI came out of the financial world, it’s typical to assume that both the investment and return are in dollars and cents. But there are other kinds of significant investments and returns you can measure.    Eric: So how do you know what the investment and the expected return are?    Mark: Well, that depends on your business goals for social media, which is always the place you should start. Are you trying to drive sales? Then the traditional dollars and cents are what you should measure. But there are other legitimate goals such as Brand Awareness Sentiment Brand Mentions Audiences And others all of which can be driven by social media as well.    Eric: So let’s start with the traditional monetary measurement of ROI. Can that be driven by social media, and what are you measuring exactly?    Mark: The short answer is yes, it can. But only for some types of businesses. For example, if you’re selling a commodity product and competing mostly on the basis of price and you have a relatively short buying cycle.   Eric: Meaning people see the product or offer and tend to either buy it right then or not?    Mark: Right. So in that case, it’s pretty easy to measure actual sales generated from a social media campaign. Of course, as with any of these measurements, they’ll only be accurate if you set up correct goals in your analytics, and if you carefully tag the URLs in your social posts so you know which actually drove a sale. At the more advanced level you should also be measuring things like lifetime value of a customer.    Eric: Does revenue-based ROI only work for those short buying cycle situations?    Mark: No. It is possible to do some measurement of the situations where it might take many touches and perhaps through different mediums before someone buys. But the attribution gets murkier. The truth is that no analytics set up is going to track and correctly attribute every sale. So in these cases, it’s more important to look at trends. Is the average sale per campaign going up or down?    Eric: Let’s move onto those other non-revenue based ROI investments then.    Mark: Okay. Sure. With these, it becomes even more critical to have a clear idea of what your goal is. For example, if your goal is brand awareness, what does that look like on social? Deeper reach? More engagement with your post? More shares of your content? You need to determine what matters to you and then measure that.    Eric: All right. So that covers the return side of ROI. But what is the investment for things like brand awareness or audience-building campaigns?    Mark: If you’re using paid social campaigns, the ad spend is an obvious part of that. But for any campaign, paid or organic, you should be keeping track of the time your staff spends creating and promoting the social content. The value of their time becomes the primary investment factor. And before we go, I want to emphasize again the importance of learning how to tag your campaign links using consistent tags and setting up correct goals in your analytics. Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

IGTV Video Previews Now Sharable to Instagram Stories

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore the option to preview IGTV videos in Stories and new Pinterest ads tools. Our special guests include Jenn [...] The post IGTV Video Previews Now Sharable to Instagram Stories appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

How to Create Ads That Move People to Action

Social Media Examiner -

Want a faster, better way to optimize your ads? Did you know that focusing on customers’ emotions can help? To explore how to use emotional messaging to move people to action, I interview Talia Wolf. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover [...] The post How to Create Ads That Move People to Action appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

6 Collaboration Tools for Social Media Teams

Social Media Examiner -

Is your social media team working well together? Need to improve communications? In this article, you’ll discover how to use six collaboration tools to keep social media teams and stakeholders on the same page. #1: Set Up Front and Trello to Manage Facebook Messages Front is a tool designed to help teams collaborate efficiently and [...] The post 6 Collaboration Tools for Social Media Teams appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

Failing and Rapidly Regrouping: The Journey: Season 2, Episode 9

Social Media Examiner -

Do you ever come up with a great plan and then it fails? Then watch the Journey, Social Media Examiner’s episodic video documentary that shows you what really happens inside a growing business. Watch the Journey In episode 9, Michael Stelzner (founder of Social Media Examiner) and his team work through a failed launch of [...] The post Failing and Rapidly Regrouping: The Journey: Season 2, Episode 9 appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

18 Ways to Promote and Sell Your Music on Bandcamp

Grow Traffic Blog -

Bandcamp is a global platform for hosting and selling music, used predominantly by small independent musicians. It’s excellent for its purpose, but it’s also a crowded platform. How can you make effective use of Bandcamp for music promotion? Let’s talk about it. About Bandcamp Using Bandcamp is free and pretty easy for musicians and artists. Sign-up is a quick and painless process, as is uploading music. Music fans can create accounts and follow individual artists, maintain wishlists, and explore similar music to what they already like. Artists can sell directly, with complete control over pricing and how accessible the music is to stream. I’ve seen some albums available on Bandcamp with unlimited streaming, and others that only allow each track to be played 2-3 times before it’s locked behind a purchase. Bandcamp also works directly with some music labels, and it can be a great discovery platform. Since we’re talking about selling music, I’m going to look at things from the perspective of an artist looking to sell. So here’s what Bandcamp offers musicians: Easy accessibility for fans. The website and mobile apps allow unlimited streaming of purchased music in high quality formats. Total control. You can charge any price and change prices whenever. You can charge a minimum price and let users pay more if they choose. You can even require nothing more than an email address. Global availability. Bandcamp accepts 18 different currencies from around the world. Analytics. Bandcamp offers fairly rich analytics about links to albums, music embeds, track popularity, purchasing, search terms, and more. Product sales. You can bundle music sales with physical items, ranging from CDs or vinyl to apparel to whatever else you want to sell. You can even sell tickets to your shows directly through Bandcamp. Chart access. Bandcamp submits sales reports to several global music charts, meaning you can place on them if you’re popular enough. Search engine visibility. Everything is indexed, so band names, lyrics, and song titles can all show up on Google’s results page. Album codes. Artist accounts come with the ability to generate 200 codes for free albums to send out and give away. You earn more by selling, an additional thousand codes for every $500 in sales, or you can purchase more directly for a few cents each. Customizable band and album pages. You can make your pages look pretty dang slick with minimal effort. Plus, of course, there’s the element of trust. Bandcamp is a trusted platform that processes millions of dollars in payments on a monthly basis. Users know that if they pay for something on the platform, they’ll get it. The only major downside to Bandcamp is them taking a cut of the profits off any album sold. That’s not a big surprise, though; every platform and every record label, manager, and anyone else involved in selling music is going to want their cut. Bandcamp only takes 15% of digital sales and 10% of merch sales, which decreases once you top $5k in total sales. That’s a lot less than a lot of other alternatives. Bandcamp also has a Pro version, for artists who want to pay a fee to gain access to additional features. Batch uploads, to queue up uploading an entire album + assets all at once instead of track by track. Messaging to reach fans, with geographic targeting and other features. Private streaming organization, you can send invites to specific people via email, message, or any other contact method, and stream to a DIY audience. Video hosting without ads. A custom domain name for your Bandcamp profile page. More advanced analytics, and Google Analytics integration. The ability to disable streaming for specific tracks. All of this comes at the cost of $10 per month, which is pretty reasonable if you’re getting any sales at all from the platform. Which, if you follow the tips I’ve accumulated below, you should be! Tips for Bandcamp Success I’m going to divide up these tips into a few categories to make things simpler. For example, this first category is off-site benefits. You want to establish a presence outside of Bandcamp, because no one platform alone (except maybe Facebook) can reach enough people to become a great success. Build a website. You want at least one web presence that you 100% control on your own. You can do it through a website builder like Squarespace, you can set up a WordPress template and run on a cheap web host, you can pay for a web developer and set up a custom site, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you have a bandname.com URL people can use to find you and find information about your band, your show dates and locations, your albums, and so on. Build social media profiles. Social media is how millions of people interact with the bands, brands, and people they want to engage with on a daily basis. At the bare minimum, you should have a Facebook band page and a Twitter profile. You might also consider an Instagram account, possibly something like Snapchat, and – depending on how modern savvy you are – something like one of the new platforms, like TikTok. Build a mailing list. It might seem strange for a band to keep an email newsletter going, but a mailing list is a great way to ensure your fans always know when you’re touring, playing shows, or releasing new music. You don’t have to rely on going viral or reaching the front page of some suggested music feed; you have your fans already at your fingertips. It’s pretty simple to set up something like Mailchimp to maintain a list and send out a new newsletter once a month. Run a blog. Much like a newsletter, you don’t often think of a blog when you think of a band, but a blog can go a long way towards increasing visibility. You don’t have to write frequently, even once a month is fine; just enough to keep fans aware of what you’re doing and remind people you’re alive. Share stores of being on the road, of composing, of performing, or even just life. Your fans won’t complain. Set up your Bandcamp pages. Bandcamp is very easy to get up and running, and you can customize your album pages with colors and uploaded imagery quite nicely. Do so, and make sure to upload your albums and configure them properly. Writing album descriptions, uploading album covers, and a proper credits section are all quite useful for helping your music stand out. Once you have your presence established, you need to get down to optimizing your presence on Bandcamp. One element too many musicians miss is the opportunity to optimize the little details that can have a big impact. Specifically, these details can help you reach the Discovery section of Bandcamp, which means front page exposure and a lot of new listeners. Choose a Main Genre and Sub-Genres. You have to understand your own music and, more importantly, the way others categorize your music. Maybe you feel like “Acoustic” as a genre fits you, but if most people think of you as Folk, you want to tag yourself as Folk so you can show up in those searches. Your choice of Main Genre is incredible important, as you can only have one, and it dictates your sub-genre choices as well. If you try to pick sub-genres that are outside of the main genre, you get zero visibility for them. Make sure to do plenty of research, and consider reading up on some case studies for ideas of how the Bandcamp algorithm works. Pick a geographic location. Bandcamp’s Discover section has city sections in it, but only a limited selection of cities. Browse through their available cities and see if one of them is close to you. If it is, choose that as your home city. It’s ideal if you can visit the city on a regular basis, particularly for tours and establishing a presence. Then, if you take off, you can be one of the top musicians in your genre in that city, which is a great jumping off point for future gigs, bookings, local press, and other benefits. It’s also why you shouldn’t choose a city you can’t visit; what if they want to interview you, see your studio, or have you perform, but you chose a city across the country? Pay attention to your album art. Album art is quite important, as it’s an introduction to your album and your aesthetic. People choose whether or not to tap on something from the discovery queue based on imagery, since there aren’t audio previews. You should also make sure your album art works at a small scale, since a lot of users will be seeing a scaled-down version of it displayed on a smartphone screen. If your art loses a lot of fine detail, you lose out on those potential listeners. Specify your lyrics. If your songs have lyrics, that is. I know a lot of musicians use ambient and electronic or even just instrumental music as the basis of their albums, with lyrics a rarity. Still, any song that has lyrics, you should upload the accurate, proof-read, typo-corrected lyrics. This helps you show up in Google search for the lyrics whenever someone wants to find a song they half-remember, plus it fills out your album page and allows users to follow along with the song more accurately. Choose your pricing. I don’t have a wealth of pricing data available, but you should be able to see what prices have worked the best in the past, and you can do some research into recommendations from other successful artists. One great recommendation, though, is enable flexible payments. If you set a minimum at $5 for an album but allow users to pay more than the minimum if they want to support you, chances are a sizable number of users will. Bandcamp themselves say a whopping 50% of purchasers pay more than the minimum when they buy, and I’ve done it myself. Use image maps for links. Bandcamp allows you to put an image map on your page header. This converts sections of the header image into clickable links. Design your header to include symbols or words that call out your website, social profiles, storefront for merch, tour dates, and any other critical pages. Then use the image map to map links to those pages on the relevant parts of the image. Essentially, you’re making top-bar navigation out of a header image. Now let’s get into a few of the more traditional marketing tips that help bring users to your page. Then we can convert those users into paying customers. Take advantage of your free album copies. As I mentioned above, Bandcamp gives you a handful of codes for free copies of your album. Run contests and giveaways, reward band ambassadors, and send previews to influencers to make the most of these codes. Share new music posts, blog posts, and newsletters on social media. Bandcamp’s algorithms aren’t quite as focused on traffic as other social networks and storefronts, but more traffic means more listeners, more listeners means more buyers, and more buyers means more chance to end up on best seller lists in your genre and in your city. It can’t be overstated: ending up on a discover list is one of the best things that can happen to an artist on Bandcamp. It opens a lot of doors. Offer discount codes. Discounts on an album you release, which go directly to your newsletter, reward your fans. This works quite well in conjunction with flexible pricing; many users will pay full price or more, even with a discount code! Learn your listener persona. Who is listening to your music? More importantly, who is paying for your music? Learn about those people, and use that knowledge to adjust your imagery to appeal specifically to them. Be cynical about it, and don’t be afraid to sell out. Everyone needs to eat. Consider split testing. Split testing is when you run one option for a while, see how it works, then run an alternative and compare the results. You can split test album imagery and tags on your albums in an ongoing process to capture the most attention. Unlike more chronologically-focused social networks, Bandcamp will happily throw a years-old album in the discovery queue for a new tag just added to it. Make sure your content is high quality. Very high quality audio recordings can be downscaled for streaming, but please the audiophiles amongst your audience. There’s no reason not to upload high quality masters. Consider applying for PayPal’s micropayments. Since Bandcamp is likely a lot of small payments, the PayPal fees can eat up a lot of your potential profits. Micropayments allow you to process low-value transactions at a lower cost. What are your favorite or most successful ways you’ve sold your music on Bandcamp? Let us know in the comment section to share with others! The post 18 Ways to Promote and Sell Your Music on Bandcamp appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

7 Reasons Your Facebook Ads Do Not Convert

Social Media Examiner -

Are your Facebook ad campaigns underperforming? Wondering how to diagnose the problem? In this article, you’ll discover seven common factors that impede Facebook ad performance and find troubleshooting tips for fixing them. #1: You’re Targeting Your Facebook Ads to the Wrong People The Ads Manager wizard guides you step by step in creating ads and [...] The post 7 Reasons Your Facebook Ads Do Not Convert appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

How to Set Up an Instagram DM Workflow

Social Media Examiner -

Wondering how to better manage all of the Instagram direct messages (DMs) you receive? Want to use DMs to connect with followers and customers? In this article, you’ll learn how to set up an Instagram DM workflow that lets you professionally and successfully manage direct messages for business. #1: Determine the Tone for Instagram DM [...] The post How to Set Up an Instagram DM Workflow appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

How to Use the Facebook Attribution Tool to Measure Your Marketing Impact

Social Media Examiner -

Want to better understand your customer’s journey across devices and channels? Have you heard of the Facebook Attribution tool? In this article, you’ll learn how to use Facebook’s new Attribution tool to measure the effectiveness of your ads. What Is the Facebook Attribution Tool? Before we dive into the Facebook Attribution tool, it’s worth looking [...] The post How to Use the Facebook Attribution Tool to Measure Your Marketing Impact appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

Why Search Ranking Factors are Constantly Changing – Here’s Why #189

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

The top experts observing search ranking factors agree on one thing: the situation is more volatile than ever before. In this episode of our popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Eric Enge shares insights from some of the most respected experimenters and testers in SEO.  Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why Resources Ranking Factors Session Recap from SMX Advanced 2018 See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript Mark: Eric, every year one of the highlights of the SMX Advanced Conference is the search ranking factor session. You covered that session for Search Engine Land. Let’s start with who presented.    Eric: We had three excellent data-diggers this year, starting with Marcus Tober of SearchMetrics, who’s become a regular fixture of the search ranking panel year after year. Next was Jeff Preston of Disney Interactive and finally Mordy Oberstein of Rank Ranger. Marcus Tober: Ranking in Niche Segments Marcus Tober decided to do something different this year: take a deep dive on eight very different niche segments. They were pretty diverse such as dating, wine, fitness, and divorce. He looked for correlations with several aspects some might suspect as being ranking factors, including microdata, videos, length of content, social signals, and factors in Google Lighthouse. In some cases there was no real correlation, in others a strong correlation could be explained by other means. For example with social signals, top ranking dating sites had way more Facebook engagement than divorce sites, but one would expect dating sites to be much more active in social media than divorce sites.   Mark: Sounds like Marcus’s presentation was best at dispelling some SEO myths. How about Mordy Oberstein of Rank Ranger?  Mordy Oberstein: Rate of Change in Search Rankings  Eric: Rank Ranger has been tracking the rate of change in search results since 2015 across five different niches. Mordy said that by 2016 they saw the same results in the same order only 27% of the time, and by 2018 that had dropped to just 10% of the time. So search results, at least in those niches, have been pretty volatile. If you’re in a competitive niche, even if you have a number one ranking you have no guarantee of holding on to it for the long term. A particular takeaway Mordy shared was the increasing amount of purely informational content showing up for commercial queries. Clearly E-commerce sites should pay more attention to creating informational content. For example, if the E-commerce query you’re competing for has four informational posts on page one, you’re competing for just six slots with your commercial page, not ten. Might be easier to grab one of those informational slots.    Mark: And how about Jeff Preston of Disney? Did he have a magical presentation?  Jeff Preston: Gaining Perspective on Ranking Study Data Eric: Of course, he did. Jeff took a different tack actually, urging us to do our own testing and to cultivate case study sources we trust for good insights. While data is undeniably valuable, too much data can overwhelm and lead to false conclusions. He told the story of Air France flight 447 which plunged into the Atlantic Ocean because one faulty sensor caused other sensors to give bad readings. The pilots literally followed their instruments right into the sea. In contrast, when a Qantas flight blew an engine, the pilots were confronted with over a hundred different alarms. They ignored the panic signals, held to their experience and training, and landed safely. The morale isn’t to ignore data, but to let your experience and the experiences of others you trust tell you when data might be misleading you. One of the experiences he shared was that in dozens of migrations to https, they saw no material impact on ranking one way or the other. Same with moving to AMP, no ranking impact, although there were ranking rises in some of their international sites after going to AMP. In another case they saw a dramatic increase in traffic after removing 80,000 low-quality URLs, but that increase reversed itself later when they removed the 301 redirects that were part of a prior site move. It appears Google was still dependent on those old redirects for the rankings.    Mark: What are your overall takeaways from that session?    Eric: For one thing, we’re seeing big changes in how Google ranks site. Most clear of all is that Google is getting seriously better at judging user intent and which pages best fulfill it. You’d better have user intent in mind if you want to rank in 2018 and beyond. Also you need to cultivate the skill of reading and interpreting data. Don’t get lost in the overall noise and claims about what’s happening out there. Focus on what matters and you’ll be in a much better position to succeed.    Mark: Thanks Eric. Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

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