Could your business benefit from a dedicated community? Wondering where you should build your community? To explore why building community and groups is essential for marketers, I interview community-building expert Gina Bianchini. She’s the former CEO and co-founder of Ning. She’s also the founder and CEO of Mighty Networks. Gina explains how a community differs […]
The post Building a Community in a Changing Social Media World appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Imagine for a moment that you’re the advertising director for Burger King, and your goal today is to figure out how to take a chunk out of McDonalds’ market share in PPC advertising. You know the ad networks they’re using, you know the keywords they’re targeting, and you know what kind of budget you have to use.
What would you do if I told you that you could target McDonalds itself, as a keyword, and get a share of the people who are searching for McDonalds on Google, Facebook, or another PPC network? What if you could simply poach their potential traffic? Would you do it?
If you’re an older marketer, you might remember a time when this wasn’t a legal practice. Well, specifically, it wasn’t illegal, but it was against Google’s policies. They prohibited anyone but the brand to bid on brand names.
These days, though, it’s perfectly acceptable, so long as you stay within certain guidelines. You can bid on your competition’s brand name, but you can’t mention their brand name in your ad copy. That can be a trademark violation. For those curious, Google lifted this restriction all the way back in 2008.
This is the situation you’re in when you consider bidding on the brand names and primary branded keywords of your competitors in a PPC network. Is it a good strategy? Does it work? Let’s look deeper.
The Pros of Bidding on Competitor Brand Names
First, let’s talk about the pros of the situation. You know the brand name of your competitors, and you can bid on it at an ad auction, so why not do it? Here are some of the benefits you can get out of it.
Brand name keywords are less competitive than generic keywords. If you’re bidding on “burgers”, you have to compete with every restaurant that sells burgers, every business that sells ground beef, and every grilling supply company looking to target people searching for cookout information, not to mention everyone looking for burger recipes. That’s a lot of competition!
On the other hand, if you bid on “McDonalds”, you’re going to be competing with, well, McDonalds. You may also find yourself competing with a few other brands that are also bidding against McDonalds, but chances are the competition is quite slim. Lower competition generally means lower costs for your ads.
You can gain brand awareness. Okay, so this is where the McDonalds and Burger King example falls apart; very few people in the world are unfamiliar with either brand. On a smaller scale, though, you can gain brand awareness by reaching the audience your competitors have built. Anyone searching for your competitors will see your name pop up in the ads, and may choose to investigate you further. This is doubly true if those customers have issues or problems with your competitors; they may be looking for a reason to jump ship, and you can present them the opportunity.
You can promote what makes you unique. Let’s say Bissel is running ads targeting the keyword “Bissel Vacuums”. You’re Dyson, and you know you make a vacuum with a different mode of operation and a stronger suction. You can run advertising targeting Bissel Vacuums and use your ad copy to point out explicitly that your vacuums are stronger than theirs. Anyone searching for vacuums who hasn’t heard of your brand before will now see both your brand name and a reason why your vacuums are better than theirs.
You open a new avenue for conversions. When you have a comparable or dominant market position, you can simply steal conversions from your competitors just by making yourself available. If you have benefits for switching from one service to another, like a lower introductory price, you can promote that to facilitate the switch.
The Cons of Bidding on Competitor Brand Names
Now, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when you’re bidding on competitor brand names. In fact, there are some pretty potentially serious downsides when you try.
You’re likely going to have a low click-through rate. Most of the time, when someone is searching for a specific brand name, it’s because they want that brand. They may not be aware of you, but they may have a good reason to be loyal to the brand they’re searching for. Conversely, they may be aware of you and have zero interest in you. In PPC terminology, you can consider a competitor’s brand name to be a middle to low relevance keyword, simply because you are not that brand.
You’re going to start a war. This is a high-risk strategy for two reasons. For one thing, you’re spending extra money to bid on competitor keywords, which will drive up competition for those keywords and end up charging you and your competition more for the ads.
More importantly, though, you’re telling your competitors that all bets are off. Absolutely nothing stops them from targeting your keywords. Is this a fight you can win?
Think about it objectively. If public perception favors your competition, when they start bidding on your keywords, they poach more of your traffic than you poach of theirs.
Plus, when they start bidding on your keywords, your own ad costs rise, and then you have to spend more just to maintain position. Are you getting more out of bidding on theirs than you lose from them bidding on yours?
Common Mistakes When Bidding on Competitor Names
If you’re considering the pros and cons of bidding on your competitor’s brand name, you need to be aware of the common mistakes marketers make.
The first and most important mistake is thinking it’s universally a good strategy. In fact, while bidding on your competitor’s name is potentially valuable, it can also have no returns.
If you have a limited budget, it’s better to spend that budget elsewhere. Even if the cost of ads on your competitor’s name are low, you’re going to end up paying a lot per action simply because of the extremely low click rates and conversion rates. It’s often much better to spend your money elsewhere, at least until you’ve established enough of a consistent budget that you can expand.
The second mistake you might make is bidding on the wrong competitors. I’ve used the example of McDonalds and Burger King, but they aren’t the only players in the world of fast food burgers. They have to contend with the likes of everyone from Sonic to White Castle to Dairy Queen. Which ones do you try to bid on, and which ones do you ignore? Which ones are more likely to fight back?
It can be tempting for a small-time burger joint to start running ads competing with McDonalds or Burger King, hoping to poach away the fast food audience with their gourmet offering. The thing is, while the food item is superficially the same, they aren’t actually competing. People who want a burger are going to go get a good burger. People who want fast food are going to go get a cheap burger from a fast food joint. You’re not likely going to sway people away from a $1 burger with your $9 offering.
Finally, you have to understand mobile intent when bidding on advertising. If you only take away one point from this entire article, this should be it.
Mobile has been an increasingly large and important aspect of search, and consequently, of PPC advertising. It makes sense that you would want to bid aggressively to capture mobile traffic. And yet, when bidding on competitor brand names, you’re going to find dramatically lower returns on mobile. Why is that?
Mobile intent is actually quite a bit different than desktop intent. When I’m searching for a brand name on a desktop, I’m likely doing research. I might be looking up reviews, or reading pricing pages, or comparing services. I’m fairly open to looking at competitors, because I’m not necessarily immediately planning to purchase.
When I’m searching on mobile, chances are I’m not at home, I’m out on a shopping trip. If I’m looking for burgers while I’m out, am I looking to compare different burger joints? Maybe, but more likely I’m just looking for the closest store for the brand I’m looking for. If I search for Burger King while I’m on a road trip, I want Burger King, not someone else.
What this means is that mobile traffic is much less likely to click and convert when you’re bidding on competition names than desktop traffic. That means it’s even more expensive and even less effective. Frankly, bidding on your competitors’ names on mobile is a waste of money in almost every situation.
How to Cope if it Happens to You
Let’s flip the scenario on its head for a moment. What if you’re the one whose competitors are bidding on your brand name? What can you do? Alternatively, what might your competitors do if you’re bidding on their brand name?
First up, coming to terms with this new reality is step one. Your competitors may be testing your keywords, and if they perform well enough, they may never stop. It’s simply a new form of competition you have to deal with.
That’s not to say you should ignore it, though. Keep an eye on the ads they’re running, and specifically look for ad copy that includes your trademarks. Using your brand name in targeting is fine, but using it in ad copy is a violation. If they’re using brand names, product names, or anything that you have as a trademark, you can report it to Google. Trademark violations are actually vectors for legal repercussions, so Google will generally take action to remove the offending ads.
You might also consider checking Bing and other major advertising networks. Google isn’t the only company that runs PPC, and you never know how much traffic you’re missing out on by not using some of these other networks. At the very least, if you find your competitors targeting you in a PPC network you don’t you, you should consider signing up and testing if it’s worth starting to use. There’s no sense in letting your competition run unopposed, right?
If you’ve been running ads against them and they’re picking up the fight, or if you’re being targeted but you haven’t countered by targeting them yet, you might consider sending a (polite) email to whoever manages the company. Why not ask them to stop targeting your brand name, in the interest of fair play? A few things might happen.
They might ignore you and keep on targeting your keywords, in which case, you’ve lost nothing.
They might agree and withdraw, especially if you agree to stop or avoid targeting their brand as well.
They might find out the advertising agency they hired is targeting you without their permission, and solve the issue internally.
The worst that can happen, really, is that they say no. If they’re particularly spiteful they might double down, assuming you’re asking because it hurts your brand. Otherwise, well, you’re just back to square one.
If you feel like you’re well positioned to continue the war by attacking their keywords as well, you can go for it. As long as you’re willing to spend the money for what few conversions you can get, there’s nothing wrong with it. And hey, if you’re particularly effective, maybe they’ll be the ones sending you the surrender email.
If all else fails, just double down on your own advertising, primarily in the ads targeting your own brand name. If your competitors are trying to out-do you in your own space, focus on optimizing those ads to make sure you’re giving them as little room as possible. The less effective their ads are, the less incentive they have to keep running them.
The post How to Bid on Your Competitors Brand Names for PPC appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
Are you selling products on Instagram? Wondering how to create Instagram posts that interest shoppers? In this article, you’ll discover four ways to showcase and promote your products on Instagram. First, Attract an Audience That’s Likely to Convert To have success selling on Instagram, you first need to build a following of people who have […]
The post How to Sell More Products on Instagram: 4 Tips That Work appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Is your video marketing working? Could you be making mistakes that are hurting your results? We asked top industry experts which video marketing mistakes they see most often and how to avoid making them. #1: Losing Video Viewers Due to Lengthy Intros The biggest mistake I see people making with videos on Facebook and Instagram […]
The post 5 Video Marketing Mistakes and What to Do About Them: Advice From the Pros appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Wondering how to take your Facebook advertising campaigns to the next level? Looking for ideas to improve your Facebook ad conversions? In this article, you’ll discover seven ways to scale your Facebook ad campaigns. #1: Make Small Salary-Like Bumps to Facebook Ad Spend Every 4–7 Days As the name suggests, “salary-like” bumps are small increases […]
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What is an Amazon Affiliate Site? Simply put, it’s a website you build and fill with content as a means to float your affiliate link, to get referrals, sales, and commission payments.
What is an Amazon Affiliate Site Builder? Well, a site builder is a tool that helps you build a website, usually from stock templates or assets rather than having to code it from the ground up.
Is there such a thing as an Amazon Affiliate Site Builder? Not really. Any site builder can build a website capable of being an Amazon Affiliate site. There’s nothing really special about an affiliate site compared to other websites, except maybe the lack of a storefront and landing pages.
That said, let’s look at the sort of site builders you might come across.
Amazon Affiliate Site Builders
There are a ton of different site builders out there. Some of them are simple and easy to use, and others are more complicated. Some of them are open to anyone, while others require that you have web hosting with a specific host to use their builder.
In fact, pretty much every web host has their own site builder built in, since it’s an easy feature to add and it helps them get more customers.
Squarespace. This is one of the more common and widely advertised site builders around. Since you don’t need a storefront, you can use the cheaper versions, which come with a handful of default features you may find useful, like analytics and a mobile website format.
Weebly. This is a free site builder that is simple and easy to use, but lacks many of the top-end features that a high end site would want to use. It’s simple, and perhaps that works to its detriment.
Format. This site builder is more suited to photography and art, and is aimed at being a portfolio rather than a blog or a storefront.
Shopify. This site builder is aimed at e-commerce and includes a ton of features for running a storefront that you don’t need as an affiliate site.
Wix. This is a free website builder with a ton of flexibility. It’s often one of the best entry-level website builders around, and while it lacks some advanced features, it’s very flexible and works as a good base for a new site owner.
WordPress.com. Not to be confused with the self-hosted WordPress system, the .com version is a hosted blog platform with a site builder attached. It’s not as robust as the .org version, but it works if you want to set something up for free.
There are dozens more out there too. There are so many site builders available primarily because setting up a website based on some basic templates is not difficult to do. It can be a daunting task if you’re not otherwise experienced with web and code shenanigans, but it’s really a low bar to clear in terms of education. You can teach yourself to set up something like a WordPress.org site in a few days, at most.
You’ll note that none of these are Amazon Affiliate site builders. That’s because there’s functionally no difference between an Amazon Affiliate site and a normal blog-based website. All you need is something that hosts content, possible with the support of a few advanced features like URL redirects and charts, but even those aren’t strictly necessary.
Setting up an Amazon Affiliate site is simply a matter of knowing what you want to do with it. Things like choosing a domain name and producing content will rely on you knowing your niche ahead of time. Therefore, choosing your niche is the first major decision you have to make when it comes to setting up a site.
Choosing an Affiliate Niche
If you’re not already eyeing a deal and know exactly what you want to promote, you probably have to choose your niche. The right niche is the lifeblood of a site. The days of broad-spectrum “deals” sites are long over. Google likes focus in the content it indexes, and a site that tries to cover too many bases will cover none of them well.
One potential mistake you might make in choosing a niche is choosing something you’re passionate about. I say this is a “potential” mistake, because it’s not always a mistake.
Passion is good for marketing. Your readers will be able to sense when you know and care about what you’re talking about. It’s not always easy to portray passion for some topics, of course; the author of the-best-water-faucets-and-spigots.biz isn’t going to be a passionate purveyor of faucets, because very few people in this world are passionate about faucets.
However, someone passionate with the idea of outdoor life, with expertise in hiking, camping, mountaineering, and other outdoor activities, will be able to convey their passion to their audience. There’s a certain level of authenticity and personality that comes through even in promotional writing that you can’t find elsewhere.
That said, passion can be a mistake in two cases. The first is when you really love what you’re trying to promote, and you find your impression of the industry systematically decaying. They say that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, but that’s not quite right. If you do what you love, the corporate oppression of free thinking and inspiration will drive the passion out of you and will leave you with no love of what you formerly enjoyed. Turning a hobby into a job is often the end of your enjoyment of that hobby.
The other reason following your passion might be a mistake is if you’re passionate about something that just isn’t a very deep niche. You might be very passionate about a hobby of yours, but if only 1,200 other people in the world share that hobby, your audience for your affiliate links is going to be very small. Affiliate programs only work when you send in volume.
To pick a solid niche, you need to find something that has two things. First, it needs to have a level of traffic sufficient to promote your items. Second, it needs to have an array of high value products to sell.
With Amazon Affiliates, you earn something like a 4% commission on sales at base, with scaling fees based on sales volume. If you’re selling a $4 can of spraypaint, you’re not going to be making a lot of money on that sale, so you have to sell hundreds of them to make any real profit. By contrast, if you’re selling a $2,000 television or other high value item, you might only need to sell one or two items a month to make a reasonable profit.
At the extreme end, there are affiliate programs for things like yachts and private jets. You might only get one sale a year, but that sale bankrolls you for the year. Amazon doesn’t really sell those kinds of products though, so that’s for another post.
Neil Patel published a pretty good guide on finding an affiliate niche a while back, which you can read here. If you’re not entirely sold on the niche you’ve been eyeing, or if you have no idea where to start, this is a great article to help you solidify your plan.
What an Amazon Affiliate Site Needs
So you have a niche, and now you want to set up a site. What does your site need to be a success?
At the top level, you need a good domain name. I know a lot of the free website builders don’t let you use a custom domain name without a fee, but it’s a fee that’s well worth paying. People don’t trust the free .wix.com or .wordpres.com sites anymore. Moreover, they have a harder time ranking in Google search, and thus a harder time attracting an audience. Come up with a domain name that is both relevant to your niche and easily brandable. You can try using an exact match domain if you like, but I would caution you against it. EMDs are often expensive, they’re difficult to get ranking, and they’re subject to more scrutiny.
Next, your site needs a strong architecture. Most website builders are fine with this. You can’t really screw up a site made with a website builder, they don’t let you. Just make something that has normal user navigation and doesn’t try to do anything screwy like scroll horizontally. Many site builders even have templates you can choose that do most of the work for you.
Make sure any site builder you’re using makes a responsive site. You want your site to be mobile compatible. This is a search ranking factor, and it’s a usability factor. With over half of the modern day web traffic coming from mobile devices, if you can’t present your content and links to mobile users, you’re leaving half or more of your potential money on the table.
If you want to go a little more advanced, you can purchase web hosting from a reputable seller – something like Bluehost, HostGator, or InMotion – and set up a WordPress.org site. That process is a little more involved, but you have a lot more room for customization than you do with a site builder.
Once you build your site, you need a few structural pages that will hold important information. Primarily, you want an About page that contains information about who you are and why you’re into the niche you’re into. Feel free to lie, no one is going to fact check you here. I mean, unless you start breaking laws, anyways. You also want a disclosure page that mentions that your links can be affiliate links. Keep in mind that your links need to be disclosed in your blog posts as well, as per FTC guidelines.
Creating Content for Your Affiliate Site
Once everything is up and running, you need to start populating your site with content. I recommend creating somewhere around a dozen articles, preferably in-depth articles, which you can publish all at once. Create more on an ongoing basis, at least once per week, to keep your site fresh and alive.
So what kind of content should you be creating – or paying to have written for you?
The in-depth review. These are the bread and butter of affiliate marketers. You pick a specific product and you write a lengthy, detailed review of that product. Ideally you want personal experience with the product so you can point out specifics unique to that item, like a design flaw you encountered or a personal use you didn’t think of. You want something that provides information for the user to use when making the decision to buy. Avoid being all glowing praise; it comes across as insincere.
The comparison post. These are staples for your site, but generally work best once you have enough other pieces of content up that you can use them as a sort of table of contents as well. Basically, you take 2-4 products that are similar to one another and write a post comparing each of them. How do they stack up in terms of price, features, durability, and so on? If you can link these to the deeper reviews of each individual product, all the better.
The tutorial post. This is a post you write when you know the typical use case and pain point for a product. You know the problem, you know how the product solves it, so write a blog post giving a tutorial on how to use that product to solve that problem. Alternatively, create a tutorial on how to install one of the products you’re promoting.
The clickbait post. No, we’re not going all-in on clickbait headlines. Those have mostly died out, and good riddance to them. No, I just mean the low-bar gimmick posts that serve as a shell for links to some of your products. For example, “the top 50 patio designs” could be a nice list to show 50 designs of patios where you identify and link to patio furniture you can sell through them.
As you populate your site with content, you will see more and more traffic coming in and more and more sales going through. That’s pretty much it! Everything else is optimization. Not to say that optimization is trivial, of course, but the hard part is setting everything up.
The post Ultimate Guide to Using an Amazon Affiliate Site Builder appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
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 new Instagram chat stickers and ad placements, as well as updates to LinkedIn’s pages and algorithm with […]
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ATLANTA — DC BLOX, a multi-tenant data center provider delivering the infrastructure and connectivity essential to power today’s digital business, announces the opening of its fourth center facility in Birmingham, Alabama. The first phase of the facility, now customer ready, delivers up to 5MW of power, 18,000 square feet of white space and 13,000 square feet of office space, featuring conference rooms, demo space, hoteling cubes and workstations. This location is DC BLOX’s flagship facility and is capable of expanding to over 200,000 square feet with over 60MW of critical IT load to serve as a technology and innovation hub for the surrounding area.
As data centers move more toward the edge of the network to accommodate a growing number of applications demanding local processing and storage – low-latency, high-capacity connectivity is a key component of this evolving architecture. DC BLOX’s Birmingham data center offers access to the company’s full breadth of solutions including cloud storage, colocation and rich connectivity to support enterprise, government and education customers, as well as managed service providers, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies and content providers that do business in the Southeast. The facility is part of DC BLOX,s private, high-speed network fabric, which provides 100Gb+ bandwidth, low-latency connections to Internet Exchanges, access to numerous carriers across data centers and secure cloud connectivity.
“We live in a digital age, and the world is not standing still. DC BLOX’s new data center is certainly a welcome addition to the Birmingham community,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. “It will connect the city with high-performance networks to ensure business continuity, and ultimately, it will drive the digital economy. In addition to elevating Birmingham’s technological capabilities, the new data center will bring several high-paying jobs for Alabamians. DC BLOX’s efforts are a much-appreciated investment into Alabama’s future success, and their increased presence in this great state will help propel us forward.”
DC BLOX offers the highest data center performance, reliability and connectivity available in the markets it serves. The company is dedicated to meeting the infrastructure needs of businesses and communities in emerging and underserved markets throughout the Southeastern U.S., where robust connectivity and Tier 3 data center availability is limited. This new local data center enables Birmingham-area businesses and government entities to offload the cost and complexity of managing their own data centers and provides the connectivity needed to address an increasingly distributed IT ecosystem. The grand opening of the Birmingham, AL data center is taking place on July 11th.
“With construction designed to withstand 150+ mph winds, N+1 power and cooling systems, a fully-protected private network and enhanced security developed to accommodate Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) standards, the Birmingham facility is designed for security and reliability,” states Mark Masi, DC BLOX Chief Operating Officer. “Our data hall is designed to accommodate cabinets of varying densities and can be adapted for custom solutions as well.”
“We are thrilled to be joining the Birmingham community,” adds Jeff Uphues, Chief Executive Officer of DC BLOX. “The State of Alabama and the City of Birmingham care deeply about the prosperity of their citizens and are working to bring in companies like ours to invest in their communities and bring jobs to the region. They understand that a data center is core infrastructure that attracts other technology-dependent companies, and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”
About DC BLOX
DC BLOX is a multi-tenant data center provider delivering the infrastructure and connectivity essential to power today’s digital business. DC BLOX’s software-defined network services enable access to a wealth of providers, partners and platforms to businesses across the Southeast. DC BLOX’s connected data centers are in Atlanta, GA; Huntsville, AL; Chattanooga, TN, and Birmingham, AL. For more information, please visit www.dcblox.com.
BOSTON – Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), a global leader in storage and information management services with more than 42,000 data management customers and 120 exabytes in storage, today announced an expansion to its Data Restoration and Migration Services (DRMS), offering customers seeking to migrate tape-based data into Amazon Web Services (AWS). With the expanded offering, companies will have the ability to modernize their data management strategy while maintaining high levels of security, access, and governance. In addition, Iron Mountain announced it has joined the AWS Partner Network (APN) as a Select Technology Partner, enabling customers to accelerate their digital transformation journey with AWS.
With DRMS, customers will have the ability to seamlessly migrate data stored on tape to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon S3 Glacier (S3 Glacier), or Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive (S3 Glacier Deep Archive) for long-term data retention and storage. Customers can work with Iron Mountain to develop an optimal strategy for migration of their tape-based data to multiple AWS storage classes, either on demand or via bulk transfer. Customers can leverage tape-based data, protected and managed by Iron Mountain for migration to AWS, to further build big-data, artificial intelligence/machine learning-powered applications and solutions.
Iron Mountain partners with customers to formulate a data strategy that helps save time and money and maximizes the value of tape-based data migrated to AWS. The expanded DRMS accelerates IT modernization, aligning to an organization’s digital transformation initiative while providing data protection to meet with regulatory and compliance requirements.
“Bringing together DRMS and AWS delivers on our strategy to align our services with companies like AWS, bringing tremendous value to our mutual customers,” said Tom Fetters, vice president and general manager, Data Protection, Iron Mountain. “As more organizations embrace cloud as part of their digital transformation journey, they seek partners who can help them solve the data protection, integration, migration, access and governance challenges they encounter along the way. Customers understand that their tapes continue to be an essential data source in this journey. Our expanded offering delivers compelling capabilities to AWS customers, leveraging Iron Mountain’s proven experience and trusted expertise in helping store, secure, access, and derive value from their data.”
To learn more about Iron Mountain’s Data Restoration and Migration Services, which feature on-site or off-site support, data shuttle or network transfer options, and hosting within an Iron Mountain Data Center or storage environment of choice, visit www.ironmountain.com/resources/general-articles/t/the-path-to-aws-cloud-starts-with-data-restoration-and-migration-best-practices.
About Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), founded in 1951, is the global leader for storage and information management services. Trusted by more than 225,000 organizations around the world, and with a real estate network of more than 90 million square feet across more than 1,450 facilities in approximately 50 countries, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of valued assets, including critical business information, highly sensitive data, and cultural and historical artifacts. Providing solutions that include information management, digital transformation, secure storage, secure destruction, as well as data centers, cloud services and art storage and logistics, Iron Mountain helps customers lower cost and risk, comply with regulations, recover from disaster, and enable a digital way of working. Visit http://www.ironmountain.com for more information.
GLASGOW – iomart Group plc (AIM: IOM) has been approved to supply a comprehensive portfolio of managed cloud services on the G-Cloud 11 framework which will help public sector bodies reduce management costs and simplify compliance.
In all, iomart, together with its digital transformation consultancy SystemsUp and storage specialist Cristie Data, has been approved to deliver a total of 29 separate cloud services across the three lots of hosting, support and software, to support central government, local authorities, healthcare, education and blue light services as they continue to transform the way they deliver their services to the public.
Declan Sharpe, UK Sales Director, iomart, said: “We have the people, skills, knowledge, technologies, infrastructure and partnerships to offer public sector organisations a one-stop shop for cloud strategy, implementation, security and management. Instead of having to deal with multiple suppliers, we offer a single point of access to a large portfolio of cloud services, producing a better experience and genuine economies of scale for any public sector body that chooses to work with us.”
The approved G-Cloud 11 services from iomart include Backup as a Service, Disaster Recovery as a Service, Desktop as a Service, IaaS Private Cloud, IaaS Public Cloud, Managed AWS, Managed Azure, Microsoft CSP for Azure and Office 365 and Managed Security. The addition this year of Microsoft CSP for Azure and Office 365 means iomart can also help customers in the public sector leverage funding from Microsoft for proof of concepts.
Through its consultancy SystemsUp, iomart can help public sector organisations with cloud strategy and security, application optimisation, workplace collaboration and data analytics, plus secure internet connectivity via partner ZScaler. While through its storage brand Cristie Data iomart offers a number of transitional cloud services for public sector organisations that are still on premise, as well as web security and Office 365 security software from partner Barracuda.
iomart has been an approved supplier since the early days of the G-Cloud framework. To find out more search for iomart on the Digital Marketplace visit https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk.
For over 20 years iomart Group plc (AIM: IOM) has been helping growing organisations to maximise the flexibility, cost effectiveness and scalability of the cloud. From data centres we own and operate in the U.K. and from connected facilities across the globe, we deliver 24/7 storage and protection for data across the most complex of cloud and legacy infrastructures. Our team of over 400 dedicated staff work with our customers at the strategy stage through to delivery and ongoing management, to implement the secure cloud solutions that deliver to their business requirements. For more information visit www.iomart.com
Hivelocity, a leading provider of IaaS, announced today the availability of its bare-metal edge compute services in Frankfurt, Germany. Frankfurt is the first in a line of several new European and APAC locations Hivelocity will be introducing over the coming months as it continues to expand the reach of its edge compute platform.
Frankfurt joins Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta and Seattle in the list of markets Hivelocity offers its suite of infrastructure services. Hivelocity’s platform lets users instantly deploy hundreds of Linux and Windows dedicated servers in any of these 8 global markets. Once bare-metal is deployed users can view server health and resource usage data, establish data recovery points, perform OS reloads, interact with technical support and much more. Each server has the option of being self-managed or managed with the latter including things like proactive security patches and monitoring. Hivelocity’s expansion plans include adding edge compute to new markets like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Singapore, Sydney and Sao Paulo over the next three months.
“With customers hailing from over 130 countries, Hivelocity has long served a global market. As our customers’ businesses have grown and matured, so have their needs to optimize and scale the performance of their applications all over the world. By enabling our customers to deploy their compute and storage resources wherever in the world their end users are best served, we are providing them with a much better opportunity to maximize the end user experience and their own bottom line,” says Hivelocity CTO Ben Linton.
With more and more businesses recognizing the benefits of having their compute nodes at the edge there has been a recent surge in upstart edge providers. Hivelocity believes its 17 years of IaaS experience and its obsessive focus on customer support gives it a leg up on competitors. “Our mantra has always been to be the best service provider our customers have ever worked with. We maintain a Net Promoter Score of 74+ which is a testament to the level of satisfaction our customers feel, and frankly heads and shoulders above our competitors. If a business needs to deploy 1000 servers or just 10 servers around the globe, you can guarantee they are going to need some help and technical support along the way. Most of our competitors are new to the arena and all of their capital is invested in developers and hardware. We spend a lot of money on developers and hardware too, but we also employ nearly 100 technicians and engineers who work inside our data centers 24/7, providing the most exceptional technical support in the industry. Our support solutions involve experts with years of experience working with you in real time, their solution is to have you fix it yourself or reload the OS,” says Hivelocity COO Steve Eschweiler.
Hivelocity was founded in 2002 and serves roughly 6000 businesses out of its 12 North American data centers. For more information please visit https://www.hivelocity.net/.
SEATTLE – Virtuozzo, a global provider of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and virtualization solutions, has announced the latest update for its next-generation HCI product, Virtuozzo Infrastructure Platform. The update introduces new features that give service providers and enterprises the ability to launch cloud solutions with increased agility and performance in their data centers with low cost of ownership.
Virtuozzo Infrastructure Platform combines resilient compute, networking, storage and management in an entirely software-based solution. This update enables customers to improve the stability of their infrastructure and drastically lower their operating costs. It uniquely supports numerous use cases, such as virtual private cloud, hybrid cloud, managed private cloud, and storage-as-a service. Virtuozzo Infrastructure Platform partners around the world include United Hoster (Germany), OCS (Russia), Tsukaeru (Japan), Cloudmatika (Indonesia), Treemind (Africa), and TLine (Latin America).
“This latest version of Virtuozzo Infrastructure Platform allows service providers to deliver self-service functionality and multi-tenant support to their customers, which enables fast time-to-value for both parties,” says Virtuozzo Chief Executive Officer, Alex Fine. “It also addresses the increasing demand for high VM performance from enterprise customers.”
Tline, a full-service virtualization and cloud solutions provider with operations in Latin America, is a great example. Carlos Pino, Tline Chief Executive Officer says, “We chose Virtuozzo Infrastructure Platform because it allows us to give our clients a robust, secure, and scalable cloud experience with the freedom to manage their own resources,” while adding, “and it also supports a subscription-based business model that is important to our growth.”
Additional new features include:
– High availability of VMs with automatic restoration of workloads in case of node failure.
– Floating IPs and Virtual Router support to enable users to expose VMs on public networks.
– VM shelving support that allows users to release vCPU/RAM resources in their projects
– Application-consistent snapshots of Linux and Windows virtual machine volumes.
– Guest OS support for Microsoft Windows Server 2019 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8
– SSH keys management for VMs to ensure users can access to compute resources securely
To learn more about how service providers and enterprises can take advantage of the benefits of Virtuozzo Infrastructure Platform, visit www.virtuozzo.com/vip.
Do you want to learn more about creating ad funnels on Facebook? Wondering how to build a Facebook ad funnel that works for your business? To explore how to set up a Facebook ad funnel, I interview Charlie Lawrance. Charlie is a Facebook ads expert and the founder of Gecko Squared, an agency that targets […]
The post Facebook Ad Funnels: A Framework for Any Business appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Do you want more warm leads from LinkedIn? Wondering how to use LinkedIn to schedule more calls or meetings with new leads? In this article, you’ll discover how to use four LinkedIn marketing features to nurture leads. #1: Recommend a Group Post for More Exposure to All LinkedIn Group Members In the past, LinkedIn groups […]
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Looking for proven ways to reach and engage your Facebook fans? Wondering how live video could help? In this article, you’ll learn how to use Facebook Live as the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. Why Facebook Live Video Is Still Relevant for Businesses and Marketers When it comes to video, Facebook wants pages to focus […]
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Do you use video in your Facebook ads? Wondering how the new ThruPlay optimization will affect your Facebook video ad campaigns? In this article, you’ll learn what ThruPlay optimization is and what it means for Facebook video ad campaigns. What Is Facebook ThruPlay Ad Optimization? In September 2018, Facebook introduced ThruPlay ad optimization for video […]
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It’s no secret that there are a lot of different factors that tweak the cost of your PPC ads. Everything from your target audience to your ad copy will impact how much you have to spend, and the only hard limitation is the amount of money you have available.
Here’s a question: how much does time impact the cost of PPC advertising?
Time definitely has an impact, in several different ways. Let’s look at those different ways.
Time of Day Impacts Costs
First up, we can consider the smallest amount of time that, in a discrete block, can show variations in ad pricing. For most ad systems, this is hour by hour.
With PPC ads, many systems now offer something called Dayparting. Dayparting is the concept of parting out the day, or dividing it up and scheduling your ads hour by hour.
You know your customers have jobs and lives, so you know there are times of day when they are likely to be browsing the web, and other times where they are less likely to be browsing. For example, if your target audience is a very traditional family, you might have qualities like these:
Your audience is browsing your site around 8am on their commute to work.
Your audience is not browsing your site between 9am and 11am while they work.
Your audience is browsing your site around noon during their lunch break.
Your audience is not browsing your site between 1pm and 5pm while they work.
Your audience is browsing your site around 5pm on their commute home.
Your audience is not browsing your site around 6pm while they eat dinner with their family.
Your audience is browsing your site around 7pm during their post-dinner break.
Now, this assumes your audience is the kind of people who have a family and a regular 9-5 job, which is not always the case. It’s just an example for educational purposes.
With Dayparting, you can schedule your ads to show to your audience during the hours when they’re most likely to be browsing, and turn them off during hours when they’re not likely to be browsing.
To reach users during the low volume times, you typically have to pay more. Dayparting saves you some money, then, because you’re only reaching your audience when they’re most available and cheapest to reach.
Time of day isn’t the only chunk of time that can impact the cost of your ads, however.
Day of the Week Impacts Costs
In addition to the time of day, you also have to consider what day of the week you’re running your ads. Different businesses tend to have different audience performance cues, so you need to know when your audience is most active.
Let’s say you’re a company selling recreational equipment for the water. Everything from kayaks to scuba gear to life jackets and swim suits. You may see some common trends for what days of the week people are searching for your content.
Monday, people aren’t all that likely to be looking for your items, because they’re primarily just looking at the long work week ahead.
Tuesday, likewise, people aren’t too likely to be looking for most of your items. Some users who like to swim for exercise may be looking for relevant items, but most of your inventory is not of interest.
Wednesday, as the hump day in the middle of the week, tends to attract a bit above average attention because people are starting to fantasize about their upcoming weekends and what they might need.
Thursday may be lower than Wednesday, but higher than Monday and Tuesday, because the weekend is almost here and some users are starting to actively plan weekend trips and getaways.
Friday is when interest starts to spike. Some people are off early and are looking to buy equipment for their weekend. Some people are just looking to prepare for Saturday.
Saturday is high volume, high traffic, high interest. The people who researched on Friday are making purchases, and the people who are embarking on last-minute excursions need to make their purchases as well.
Sunday is lower volume, but still relatively high. People buy to prepare for the next weekend, some people still have day events to attend, but some are done for the weekend.
As with Dayparting, the higher volume times often mean lower costs because there’s more of an audience to reach. On the other hand, if you have a lot of competition in your niche, the higher volume times can also mean increased costs. Your competition is bidding for that same traffic, and auctions are competitive. You need to spend more to reach people in a preferential position over your competition.
Month of the Year Impacts Costs
If the time of day and the day of the week both impact costs, why wouldn’t the month? Indeed, some months tend to be more expensive than others. The thing is, it’s not always the same months for every business.
For example, a business that sells school supplies is going to be busiest in July and August, when schools are picking up, back to school sales are in full swing, summer break is ending, and parents need to pick up school supplies for their children. This is when office stores and the school departments for various online retailers do a lot of their business.
Costs for those businesses rise during those months because there’s a lot of competition and a lot of demand for those items. Again, since advertising is almost always run by auction, the more competition you have, the higher you need to bid to get the volume you want to see.
Conversely, a store that sells primarily gifts and Christmas ornaments year-round – and yes, they exist – will see a huge uptick in volume and demand in December. Christmas is generally a huge and expensive time for pretty much everyone, of course. Everyone is trying to sell their products as gifts, or sell incidental gift-related items. Competition is fierce in pretty much every niche as everyone struggles to reach their audiences as much as possible. A similar phenomenon occurs after Thanksgiving in late November, around Black Friday.
Not every business is affected that heavily by seasonality, though. An industrial lab equipment production company might not see much impact from month to month at all. It’s not like industrial research has seasonal swings, really. Though, these same companies may not be doing quite so much PPC advertising either.
Geographic Time Costs
Geotargeting impacts the costs of your ads too. When you’re a relatively smaller local business and you’re targeting the geographic region near your business, you can reach more qualified people for lower costs.
That’s not the only way that geographic targeting impacts costs, though. Time is also a factor. For example, if you’re targeting Boston-local audiences, the time surrounding the Boston Marathon is going to be a higher volume time, which means higher costs as more businesses – including a lot of transient businesses that don’t normally target a regional Boston audience – are targeting that region.
Large events with national or global significance, even when they aren’t holidays, can have an impact on advertising costs. In our current capitalist society, everything is commercialized, and every event becomes an excuse to hold a specialized sale with specialized advertising. If you’re not doing it, someone is, and that someone may be your competitors.
Non-Time Related Factors
I may have made it sound like it’s fairly clear when your costs are rising and when they aren’t, but the reality is, it’s a muddy world out there. Costs rise and fall on a daily or hourly basis, and there may not be a rhyme or reason to it.
The presence of competition is a big factor in how much your ads will cost, and it will rise and fall almost unpredictably. If your costs suddenly go up, who knows, maybe a new competitor hit the scene, or maybe an old competitor decided to invest more as a lead-up to a sale or product launch. This might not have anything to do with what month it is.
Advertising costs can be dramatically impacted by political changes as well, and those don’t follow any pattern. Any time Trump decides to initiate or threaten a trade war with China, Mexico, Europe, or whoever else he happens to be mad at that week, stocks rise and fall, businesses suffer, and advertising costs have to adjust to compensate. You may not feel like your business is directly affected by tariffs from Mexican imports, but your customers may be, and if they suddenly have less potential disposable income, you’re going to have a harder time getting those clicks.
Large weather systems and natural disasters can also impact advertising costs. A huge hurricane in the Gulf will make advertising to Gulf regions very difficult, particularly in the immediate aftermath when cell service and power are sporadic. Other disasters, like Tsunamis and earthquakes in foreign lands, can impact imports and have a similar effect to political jockeying.
And, of course, there’s always the major factors that have nothing to do with time at all. The industry your business is in may have seasonal rises and falls, but that’s to be expected. Different industries have different costs.
Additionally, your choice of keyword targeting for your ads will have a dramatic impact. Finding the right high-volume long tail keywords with minimal competition can give you very low costs for your ads. Conversely, trying to target high volume primary keywords means you’ll be spending a ton of money just to get a tiny slice of the pie.
Why Costs Aren’t Important
So here’s the thing: the specific cost of your PPC ads isn’t really that important. Sure, the cost of your ads does matter from a purely monetary standpoint, but it’s just a component of what makes a good ad. Look at these two situations and tell me which one is better:
You have a budget of $100. You have a keyword that costs $1 per click. You have a 10% conversion rate. You earn 10 conversions out of 100 clicks, meaning your cost per conversion is $10.
You have a budget of $100. You have a keyword that costs $2.50 per click. You have a 50% conversion rate. You earn 20 conversions out of 40 clicks, meaning your cost per conversion is $5.
The more expensive ads in this scenario earn you fewer clicks within your budget, but more of those people convert, meaning your clicks are of higher quality. Going for the cheaper ads doesn’t get you more profits at all. I’ve talked about this before when discussing penny clicks, and I’m not alone in recommending looking at the more expensive ads. Neil Patel is here to remind you that the cost per click is irrelevant; what you really need to care about is cost per acquisition.
So, to sum everything up: yes, the month of the year will have an impact on the cost of your ads. That’s simple human nature; there’s seasonal swings in culture, and those swings will be commercialized. The more businesses there are targeting your keywords and your audience, the more you’re going to have to pay to be part of the pack that’s doing the advertising. However, the raw cost of the ads isn’t what should concern you, so much as the cost to profit ratio.
The post Are PPC Ads More Expensive During Certain Months? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
Do you want to create more content for your LinkedIn page? Wondering which new features can help? To explore creating content for LinkedIn pages, I interview Michaela Alexis. Michaela is a LinkedIn expert and LinkedIn creator who helps businesses master their LinkedIn presence. She has a course called Building Your Empire on LinkedIn and is […]
The post LinkedIn Page Content Strategy: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
It was an early Saturday morning and I was catching up on some print reading. I had an edition of Wired magazine in my hands and an article caught my attention. It was about Alexa. As I dove in, one paragraph grabbed me and forced my eyes to gaze into the future. What I saw […]
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Wondering how to get more marketing tasks done in a day? Looking for some fun tools to try? In this article, you’ll find 24 mobile apps and desktop tools from the Social Media Marketing podcast’s Discovery of the Week. #1: Stories Creator Stories Creator helps you create batches of images for Facebook or Instagram Stories. […]
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