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Facebook announced it will be implementing some major changes to their News Feed in 2015. Marketers for brands of all sizes will need to adapt their posting strategy to these new algorithm changes in order to continue to reach their owned Facebook audience.  The first step in a revised strategy is to understand the changes that coming. Here are the top 5 things you need to know to be prepared:

1. The Changes Facebook is Making and What Marketers Need to Know

October was positively stuffed full of marketing knowledge and valuable insights, thanks in large part to two conferences brought to the Kansas City area. The digiSTORY conference was first up on October 22nd, focusing on the power of digital storytelling. The following week, BMAKC hosted a half-day “Create / Curate” content marketing conference on October28th.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a great way to target those searching for solutions and products like yours. In fact, at emfluence we often recommend PPC as a way for our clients to find new customers, leads or email subscribers, fast. On Google’s search results page, PPC ads are the listings at the top and down the right side, usually marked “Ad”. This is a pay-to-play game and the company that bids the most per click on a specified keyword usually gets the top spot.

In my eight years in email marketing, there are a few questions I hear about once a week:

1. What works in email subject lines?
2. What is the best day of week or time of day to send? (Short answer: test it!)
3. How often should I be sending? Monthly vs. weekly?

Jason White from DragonSearch.net provided a great synopsis of earning authority via link acquisition at SMX East 2014. Below is a collection of the actionable insights I took away from his presentation.

“Downtime” may seem like a foreign concept to us busy bee marketers, but let’s face it. There are extra pockets of time in all of our schedules that we can capitalize on to make ourselves better at our jobs (or better job candidates). When you find yourself twiddling your thumbs in-between meetings or find that rare opportunity of free time before bed, consider checking out these apps and sites to inspire you and make you a better marketer.

Google Trends

It's October 1st. Sure, we still have Halloween to look forward to, but many of you are likely planning your holiday promotions calendar, working up your ideas for email and social media campaigns. What are the benchmark dates this year (2014)? Take a peek:

Taking the stage on the first day of SMX East is Marshall Simmonds, famed CEO of Define MG and longtime SEO professional. I am excited to be reporting from New York all of the excitement and adventure surrounding this years Search Marketing Expo! Blog posts will be coming rapidly and I frantically try to share all of the valuable information shared for the next four days.

Technology might have thrown the traditional publishing industry into turmoil, but BookDaily.com is thriving—and helping authors succeed—thanks to a digital marketing strategy, that emphasizes Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.

The connectivity of the digital world has transformed how we seek out and build our relationships online and offline. (Tinder, anyone?) It goes beyond our interactions with peers. Now, brands also have to maintain online relationships with their audience. Just as a customer pays money for a brand’s product, a brand’s marketing should also offer a give-and-take relationship with its audience that exchanges value for audience interaction and exposure. This trend is called “utility marketing” and here are some ways to integrate this concept into your marketing game plan: 

Back in July, Alyssa posted about one of Twitter’s newest marketing tools, Twitter Lead Gen Cards, that can help convert social media connections into email contacts.

As a marketer, the goal for Twitter Lead Gen Cards is to do away with traditional landing page email sign-ups that take consumers out of their native browsing experience all together, and instead capture it seamlessly within the social platform.

The content management system for your website allows you to easily create new webpages and modify existing content on your website without knowing a programming language. Before content management systems, even simple copy and image updates had to be requested from a web developer, making it very challenging to keep sites up-to-date and add new content regularly.

How do you define your brand? Trick question! It doesn’t matter what you’re thinking. More importantly, how does your audience think of your brand? I’m referring to the collective social audience that consumes and interacts with your brand messaging. They judge how your brand’s content is received and they shape how it is communicated between peers. So, they define your brand. This is the (relatively) new reality for all brands that want to survive in a consumer-driven world.

You're using first name personalization and maybe even location in your email marketing campaigns, but are you wondering how far you can take personalization? One of my favorite examples is from Huttig.

In 2013, Twitter announced that it would be testing an exciting new addition to its suite of marketing tools. Realizing that marketers saw value in converting social media connections to email contacts, Twitter introduced Lead Generation Cards. Think of these cards as mini lead generation forms that you can attach to tweets. Twitter Lead Gen Cards are free and easy to set up via ads.twitter.com.

Over the last few months, something very exciting has been happening at emfluence. For years, our Marketing Platform developers have been slaving away at improving our online Marketing Platform. Recently, they’ve unveiled a feature that promises to multiply their efforts and rapidly increase the potential of the platform. 

At the 2014 emfluence Marketing Platform User Conference -- dubbed "RE:one-to-one" -- I shared the big trends I see in my day-to-day work in email marketing. (Check out the full Prezi "Trends Email Marketing in 2014" to see all 17 trends!)

First, I revisited some of the trends I called in 2013 that are still growing or finally hitting. For example:

At the Bank Director Conference in April, I sat down to chat about growing customer relationships. Check out my 4-minute intro to how automated email messaging can cultivate your new banking customer relationships. (Click below to be taken to BankDirector.com for the interview.)

As a data-driven marketer, I cringe at the idea of sending emails out into space and not taking advantage of the engagement data I get back. Knowledge is power, people! You can use what you know about how your subscribers engage with your emails to follow up with them – called re-marketing – and get the best return on investment from your emails possible. You can re-market to both engaged and unengaged subscribers in different ways.

Here’s a few of my favorite re-marketing campaigns to get you started:

Banks and Credit Unions call it “onboarding:” A series of communications that cultivates the relationship with a new customer and provides an opportunity to (eventually) talk about other services that they could provide for the customer. The rest of us may know this process as a “welcome series,” “lead nurture campaign,” and “customer loyalty campaign.” It’s all the same – and it’s great marketing automation!

Real-time marketing has always been at the root of social media. The interest consumers have in interacting with brands on social media largely stems from the anticipation of a real-time reaction from the brand. It’s why Twitter, built for in-the-moment conversation, has become such a natural tool for customer service. However, the playing field shifted, tilted and completely fell on its head with the epic Oreo Superbowl tweet.

At the 2014 emfluence Marketing Platform User Conference, Kristin Kenney with Polsinelli gave us some straight talk about what marketers need to know about Canada's new Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

What marketing channel boasts a $28 return on investment for every $1 you invest? (Hint: there’s only one.) What channel combines emerging digital tactics with proven data-driven strategies? What channel requires both left and right brain thinking to really nail it? Easy: it’s email marketing.

Thank you to our speakers, our Platform team and, of course, our users (clients) for another great user conference! Photos of the day are up on our Facebook page. Give us a like and see the photos here.

Join us for the emfluence Marketing Platform User Conference

Read more at the EventBrite Page:      Agenda     |     Speaker Bios     |     Parking Info

Last year, Gmail got email marketers all in a tizzy by introducing its new tabbed inbox. Now, Gmail is testing a new visual “grid” layout for emails in the Promotions tab that gives users a peek at the contents of the email without ever having to open it.

Things have finally warmed up in the Northern Hemisphere as summer arrives. It’s time for vacations, great food, and a surge in flip-flop sales. Just in time for summer travel, Google has been hard at work updating Google Maps for iOS and Android devices, offering new features, like an alert when you should change lanes and more advanced offline map functionality.

Automated emails used to be just for advanced marketers, business-to-business sales cycles and bigger retail companies. Now, every marketer should have at least three basic automated emails. Most email platforms (including emfluence) make it pretty easy to set up, and if you find that you’re doing the same list segmentation or same campaign regularly, you may be able to take advantage of setting up an automated message instead.

Earlier this week, Tyler wrote a great post about Google Analytics’ new demographics data, and how it offers a treasure trove of information about visitors to your site. For social, this information can help you make carefully calculated content decisions if you know what to look for:

#1 - Compare Demographic Information

Google AnalyticsLast fall, Google announced that they would be phasing out keyword data in its Analytics toolbox, and replacing it with new features for search engine marketing professionals to use. One of these features is DoubleClick Demographic Data.

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