Friday Five Roundup: From 2016 Marketing Lessons to Twitter live video and Building Brand Signals



How to Rapidly Build Brand Signals for SEO

"Google wanted to separate the ‘brands’ that produce happy searchers and customers from the ‘generics’ – sites they’ve often classified as ‘thin affiliate’ or poor user experiences," Rand Fishkin.
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What Are The Marketing Jobs Of The Future?

The landscape and tools used in marketing are constantly changing and so are the jobs that go along with them. Learn about the work possibilities in marketing that are just around the corner.
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Canadian Business

The Seven Most Important Lessons About Marketing from 2016

Feelings trumped facts, and even the most innocuous brands found themselves dragged into public conversations they never intended—or wanted—to be part of. Here are 7 things we learned in 2016.
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Twitter Unveils Live Video: Here's What You Need to Know

After the acquisition of Periscope, a live video streaming app, twitter has recently announced the addition of live video streaming feature to their social media platform.
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Globe and Mail

NHL Hopes to Score with Virtual Advertisements on Rink Boards

Advertising on rink boards has not evolved much since it first began appearing in NHL games in 1980.
But during the World Cup of Hockey this week and next, the National Hockey League is experimenting with a major change that it is hoping may eventually become more widespread.
TV viewers of the games have been seeing a virtual overlay on the boards that allows a single brand at a time to take over all of the boards in the Air Canada Centre.
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Five Ways to Ask for Referrals and Reviews

By: Irangi Gamage
Reviews are important for your business because, quite often, potential customers rely on them when making a purchase or using a service. One less 'star' compared to your competitor on a review site, or one horrible review left by a customer, is sometimes enough for a potential customer to consider not using your service.

What about those companies without any reviews? Are they reliable? Many customers could be as suspect of businesses with no reviews as they are with all positive ones.
Similarly, referrals are as important to any business. When a customer refers to one of their friends, it adds to the credibility and trustworthiness of your business.

Having online reviews about your company or asking your customers for referrals are two of the important components of online marketing today. You should not be afraid to ask your customers for reviews and referrals for your business. After all, customers are the ones who know you the best. They will be able to provide honest reviews and refer your company to the best people.
If you don’t know where to get started with asking for reviews and referrals, here are 5 ways you can ask your customers.

  1. Be Direct
  2. The first step you can take is to be direct and ask your customers for a review/referral. This could either be done in person/in-office or by sending an e-mail, or even prompting from your website and social media. Either way you communicate, be specific about what you want and make sure your tone is polite and not demanding.

    An in-person example:  

    I’m really glad you are satisfied with our work. It would be great if you could refer us to one or two people that would need our services/if you could leave a review for us. Would you like some business cards?

    An e-mail example:

    Mr. John,

    Our business is always looking for referrals and this upcoming year, with our expansions, I wanted to ask if you knew anyone that would need our services, to please forward them this email or a link to our website.
    Thank you for your time.
    A similar template can be used for reviews. After this has been communicated to your client, make sure to follow up after you receive a response from them. It is important not to make the requests sound demanding, while keeping it short and precise.

  3. Make the Process Easy
  4. People are busy with their lives and are not be pleased if they have to do a long and complicated task for free. Since reviews or referrals are favors that you are asking of them, ensure to make this process is as easy as possible.
    It is better to ask the customers for a review when they are at the peak of their satisfaction with your business. This could be during the final stages of a project, once they have received their services, or after they have bought products. This will help not to frustrate your customers and encourages more positive reviews.

    Send customers the links to your review sites to make this process easier for them. If you are doing referrals, you can send them a prepared template that they can use to forward to their referrals. You can also simply ask them what you can do to help them and make this process easy and fast.

  5. Create Incentives
  6. Create incentives to encourage your customers to post reviews and send referrals but don’t pay them. Paying them may not look good for your business and your customers may not take to it well. However, you can set different smaller incentives. For example, a draw for movie tickets, or if you have a customer loyalty program, you can give extra points for referrals or reviews.

  7. Give Out Business Cards

  8. If you want reviews, your first step should be setting up accounts on relevant review websites, but most importantly ensure that your business is listed and verified on Google. These review sites can be advertised on your social media, so customers know where they can go to leave a review. It is also a good practice to give your business cards to customers after they are finished doing business with you. Your business cards can include your review sites as well, which can further encourage customers to write reviews for your business.

  9. Thank Your Customers
  10. After receiving referral contacts or reviews from your customers, you should always thank them immediately. The more personal your thank you is, the better it is. It should be something thoughtful and not expensive (as giving an expensive gift is equivalent to paying them) such as a thank you email, a call, or a handwritten thank you note.
Using these tips you can improve your business by getting more customers through referrals and good reviews. If you receive negative reviews, UpOnline’s 5 Ways to Publicly Respond to a Bad Review blog can help you respond to them in the best way possible.

Friday Five Roundup: From Awards to Effective CTA's and Planning Seasonal Marketing Campaigns

1 The Drum

Samsung, Channel 4, Mozilla & more: Creative directors from 18 Feet & Rising, Now, JWT London and more choose their Creative Work of the Year

Listing the top Creative Ads according to leading Creative Professionals.
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How to Write Effective CTAs on Social Media: A Guide for Marketers

An effective call to action can increase conversions and revenue. Learn how to write a great one with these tips.
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How to Plan a Seasonal Marketing Campaign: A 5-Step Guide

Adding a bit of change to your marketing campaigns for the upcoming holidays can add so much personality to your brand. Here is how you can change up your campaigns to align with seasonal events and celebrations during the year.
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Marketing Land

New wave of referrer spam wrecking Google Analytics data

Now that you filtered out your email spam, you have to start filtering out your Google Analytics referral spam! Google Analytics is powerful. It's no surprise that most other analytics packages have been swept aside to use the ever improving analytics engine. It also should not be a surprise that holding such a position makes it a target as well to folks that don't mean so well.
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18 Things You Need to Know about Marketing Your Local Business on Instagram

Trying to promote your local business on Instagram? Here are 18 things that might help you.
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Snapchat for Your Business

By: Irangi Gamage

Snapchat. If you are not familiar with this word, then you are missing out on one of the greatest ways to promote your business. Snapchat is a social media application that allows you to send live pictures and videos that last up to 10 seconds and disappear from the viewer’s account after. Unless, of course you do ‘stories’. Stories in Snapchat allow you to send live videos or pictures through the app, which are visible to everyone in your contact list for 24 hours. All the features, including capturing videos and pictures, and the use of filters are available within the app and anything from external sources can’t be uploaded.

As mentioned on the Snapchat website, “Over 100 million people use Snapchat every day to Snap with family, watch Stories from friends, see events from around the world, and explore expertly-curated content from top publishers. Snapchatters watch over 10 billion videos per day, which is more than a 350% increase in the last year alone. In short, Snapchat is about great storytelling - our stories, and yours.”

Why Use Snapchat?

In a recent Edison Research paper, Snapchat has grown more in 1 year than Twitter has in 4 years. Snapchat has a higher usage than Twitter and LinkedIn. While Twitter and LinkedIn have been around for awhile now, these statistics say a lot about the success of Snapchat.

Familiarizing yourself with Snapchat, one of the most used social media platforms today, could give you an upperhand in the modernized marketing world. Snapchat works well for businesses that want to launch new products, are holding live events, or have constant promotions.

Here are some tips that will help you get started with Snapchat.

  1. Storytelling
  2. Storytelling is a creative way you can grab and hold someone’s attention. Like other social media, many Snapchat users tend to check their Snapchat at the most random times. This could be while they are waiting for a bus, while having their lunch, or maybe even while sitting through a boring lecture.

    The restrain of 10 seconds per video on snapchat makes it challenging to organize your content wisely. Fortunately, you can string together a few videos and Snapchat will play them one after another as a story. Customers can skip through your videos or stop your story at any time if they are not interested. So the key is to make your material as creative and interesting as possible.

  3. Production and Creativity
  4. You only have a couple of seconds to grab your customer’s attention. Even if you have a number of snap videos tied together, your customers will not go through all your content if your story doesn’t appeal to them within the first few seconds. Therefore, it is extremely important to consider the production and quality of your video, and the creativity of your content. Titles, colours, filters, and transitions can all help your video. Since Snapchat is more of a casual social media platform, remember to keep the content light and easy going to tap into the age range of Snapchat users between 12 and 34 (Entrepreneur).

  5. Snippets
  6. If you have upcoming events or product launches, Snapchat can be an additional promotional tool. Teasing your customers until the official launch of your product will keep the customers on edge, wanting to hear more. The small snippets will create a buzz amongst customers, which will increase the interest for your product or event.

  7. Incentives
  8. According to Business Insider, about 58% of college students have stated they were more likely to buy from a company if they received coupons through snapchat.

    Using incentives such as coupons and hosting contests on Snapchat is a great way to encourage your customers to buy from you. It is not only a great opportunity for you to retain your customers, it also creates an outlet to gain new customers.

  9. Behind the Scenes
  10. Customers are not usually aware of the actions that are ongoing behind the scenes. Capturing some of these moments to show your customers, gives your business a chance to show off its personality. Especially if these behind the scenes show your business’s work ethic and a fun and responsible work culture. This helps in building a stronger brand image in your customers minds. It also allows your customers to get a VIP feel, if such content is only available through Snapchat to the customers that follow you, it could make it feel more exclusive and increase customer loyalty.

Additional Benefits

Through this real-time marketing, Snapchat helps you improve and strengthen your business’s brand image. The features and benefits of Snapchat are not limited to the ones mentioned above.

Snapchat allows you to do Snap ads, for a fee, create your own Snapchat sponsored lenses (filters), and Snapchat geofilters. So, if your business is targeted towards the age of Snapchat users, this small investment could bring you greater benefits.

Given that Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps at the moment, taking advantage of it could benefit your business. When Snapping, make sure to have fun while maintaining the professionalism of your business. Always think from a customer’s perspective to see if you would enjoy the content you are showing them.

UpOnline’s blog focuses on the latest industry and insights on how to maximize your marketing efforts. Articles we post on our blog cover social media tools and news, many that relate to Snapchat. Give us a follow on Twitter for bi-weekly Snapchat tips.

Friday Five Roundup: From the State of Social Media in 2016 to the Dominance of Digital Ad Money


Globe and Mail

Follow the ad money: Digital shift gathers steam

The dominance of digital media over marketers’ advertising budgets is continuing its relentless march, mostly at the expense of print.
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Kickstarter darling Pebble shut down after being bought for $40m

Honouring your commitments in times of change. As unfortunate as it is to hear that one of the unique players in the smartwatch business is closing shop, it's comforting to learn that pebble will be refunding all pledges for products not yet delivered. The money has been surely spend on r&d but the gesture to fund will be appreciated by thousands.
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More content, less traffic: part I

It's important to have high-quality content on your website, but columnist Conrad Saam believes that SEOs might be overdoing it.
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The Future of Social Media (And How to Prepare For It): The State of Social Media 2016 Report

Say goodbye to 2016 with this useful report on developing trends in social media and how you can prepare for them.
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What Customers Really Want from Your Facebook Page

Your Facebook is essential to your business but making effective use of it, for both you and your customer base, can be challenging. Learn how to overcome that barrier with these tips.
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5 Tips to Help You Write a Great Subject Line

By: Irangi Gamage

How often have you received emails that you immediately deleted? The subject line is your reader’s first impression and has the ability to persuade them to open the email. Consider the following tips to help you write a great subject line.

When deciding on a subject line, it is important to know your audience and the tone you want to convey. This will aid you in coming up with a great subject line that is as specific as possible, which in turn will increase both open and click through rates.

Having a great title for your content is crucial. However, when the content is being sent via email, a great subject line might be even more important than the title.

1. Personalization

A more personalized subject line could encourage the reader to open the email since they are being addressed directly. Including the addressee's name on the subject line for certain types of communications can work well as part of your strategy. Even having a simple “you” will make the email more personal.

Some examples:

  • John, look what we found for you!
  • Your personal promotion code ends this Saturday!

2. Short and Simple

It’s usually a good idea to keep your subject line as concise as possible.

Let the reader know what the article or communication is about. Create some curiosity, while keeping it brief. A subject line should typically be no more than 50 characters. These 50 characters should be simple, descriptive, and straightforward. This will avoid the frustration faced by readers who come across emails with long non-descriptive subject lines (Wordstream).

Short and simple subject lines:

  • (Company name): Our next steps
  • Monthly News and Events
  • Your order has been received (which sounds a lot better than: 'order number 5379580138470238 has been received and is being processed’)

3. Clever and Clear

Sometimes when trying to be clever, the message loses clarity. A case study by AWeber Communications in 2011 found that a clear subject line gets 541% more clicks than a clever one. This is because not all clever lines are relevant to everyone, and the meaning is lost on some readers.

Clever subject lines:

  • Don’t open this email
  • It’s finally here!

A great subject line needs to be something that would give the reader a clear understanding of the contents of the email. At times, being as simple as possible will lead to positive results (Aabaco Small Business).

Clear subject lines:

  • Please review us on Google
  • 3 new products we are giving away!
  • Grow your client list faster

4. Timing and Urgency

If your timing is right, then you have done half of your marketing right. Readers usually only read about things they are in need of at that moment.

Perfectly timed subject lines:

  • Uh oh! Your subscription just ended
  • Where to drink beer right now (sent at 6:30 pm on a Friday evening)

Creating a sense of urgency is extremely important, as this will encourage readers to read the contents when they receive the email. If there’s an offer time period or a limited supply, this will create a sense of urgency with customers (Hubspot).

Creating a sense of urgency:

  • Save 50% if you purchase by tonight
  • Buy one and get one free: limited supply

5. Words to Omit

There are certain words that should be avoided when writing a subject line, as certain words might place your email directly in the spam folder.

Omit words similar to these:

- Reminder - Help - Earn $ - Buy - Cash - Urgent - Free
- Claim - Clearance - Prescriptions - Biz - Income - Millions - Collect

UpOnline Examples

Here are some great subject lines we have used in our UpOnline newsletters in the past:

  • Are your patients satisfied?
  • What are your business goals for 2016?
  • Looking to increase practice reviews and referrals?
  • We want to hear from you!

Take these into consideration when writing a subject line for your emails to increase the appeal of your emails to your clients. It is also extremely important that the content within the email is relevant and is consistent with the subject line. Finally, having a call to action in the email is equally important as this will encourage customers to take action right away!

For example: You can subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with everything you need to know about improving your business’s marketing.

Friday Five Roundup: From Facebook ads to new trends, podcasts, and creating a social media calendar



11 Examples of Facebook Ads That Actually Work (And Why)

Have you been posting Facebook ads in an effort to drive people to your website but failing? Here are a few examples to get your Facebook ad just right.
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Capitalize on Trends but Stand Firm on Your Identity

Trends come and go and sometimes they're impossible to escape but learning how to use trends to build your brand is an essential skill for the success of any business
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These 7 Free Podcasts Will Save You $100,000 On a Wharton MBA

Want to learn about digital marketing? Monetizing your content? Scaling your startup? There's a podcast for that.
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SocialMedia Examiner

How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar for a Year

Want to deliver quality social media content for the next year? Interested in planning your social posts in advance? A content calendar helps you deliver the right message to your audience at the right time.
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Marketing Tech Blog

Information Generation: Reaching Millennials With a Data-Driven Approach

While many marketers have shifted their marketing mix to focus on digital activities, it is equally important to take advantage of the same treasure trove of data that today's millennials are utilizing.
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