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6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Are Crippling Your Campaigns

6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Are Crippling Your Campaigns

Influencer campaigns are a major trend, one which show no signs of slowing down. If you open your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or just about any social media account, you’ll see influencers from all walks of life promoting various products or services.

So what’s the secret behind successful influencer campaigns? It’s simple – the brands and businesses behind them found out how to avoid the common pitfalls when constructing their campaigns. The good news is, you can too.

Read on to learn about the most common influencers marketing mistakes and how to avoid them easily.

But first, why is influencer marketing a big deal?

If you have tried dipping your toe into influencer marketing without success, you may be a bit bitter. However, when conducted properly, it can help you improve your brand’s reputation (which is always important), generate more traffic, turn more leads into customers, and promote your business to achieve the success you deserve.

No, this is not just mumbo-jumbo! The numbers don’t lie, and the diagram presented below will tell you everything you need to know about the importance of this marketing strategy.

So even if you’ve been burnt, it’s worth trying again – and even more important to identify which mistakes you’re making so you can avoid them.

Mistake #1 – Lacking a detailed campaign plan

Having a battle plan for influencer marketing is a must! You don’t want to implement an influencer campaign just because everyone else is doing it. This is not about jumping on the bandwagon. Collaborating with any old influencer is not what it takes to succeed.

Before you conduct social media outreach and start working with an influencer, nut out a clear vision of the campaign in question. Be decisive, set up measurable and realistic goals, and list all important points to cover. Having a detailed plan will give the campaign a vital dose of purpose and navigation, and ensure that both you and the influencer can work toward achieving a scaleable goal instead of just posting aimlessly.

Mistake #2 – Focusing solely on follower counts

Social media influencers are targeted by brands and different companies primarily because of their follower count. Therefore it is easy to conclude that the more followers, the better. Not necessarily!

Of course, follower count matters, but it is not the only factor to take into account when looking for an influencer. Don’t forget that the success of your campaign depends entirely on choosing the ideal person for the job.

If you focus on the number of followers primarily, you probably ignore engagement rates. It is not enough to have a lot of followers on the influencer’s account; the ideal influencer is one who also motivates and engages their audience.

To get the most out of your campaign, don’t ever overlook the power of engagement. Occasionally, someone with a lower follower count will have more engagement than those who are followed by more people. Instagram is the perfect example of the micro-influencer effect in action.

Image Source: SocialMediaToday.com

Mistake #3 – Sticking to one social media platform

Even when you have a presence on all social media platforms, there’s always one where you have more followers than anywhere else. This often makes marketers feel like they need an influencer who is also popular there, which can lead to the focus falling purely on that platform. Not only does this prevent you from achieving the success you want with influencer campaigns, but it also doesn’t allow your business to reach new and different groups of people.

If you already have a strong presence on one platform, try choosing an influencer from a different platform to branch out and increase the traffic and follower count on your other social media accounts.

Mistake #4 – Making the collaboration a one-time deal

You have a successful influencer campaign with one person yet decide to find someone else for the next gig. Sounds familiar? This is a common scenario primarily because marketers and business owners tend to believe that social media websites are a buffet, and they must try every meal on the menu. While this may seem like fun, it is not overly practical.

You see, just because one campaign ends according to the expectations, there is no guarantee that some other influencer would be the right fit and help you achieve your goals again. When you find an influencer that fits all the criteria and impeccably promotes your business, focus on establishing a long-term relationship. Future influencer campaigns will feel more natural as they truly understand your brand, and less forced or fake.

Mistake #5 – Assuming you ‘own’ an influencer

The ‘I pay you, so I own you’ mentality should not exist in 2018. Under no circumstances should you ever go ahead and assume that you are more important than an influencer, or that they have no power in the equation. They do, and that’s why they’re influencers in the first place.

Influencer marketing is all about forming relationships where both sides have equal power. Remember, you need an influencer just as much he or she needs you.

If you fail to acknowledge this, then your influencer campaign will inevitably not be fruitful due to all the negative energy. There’s an easy fix to this problem: collaborate with your influencer, exchange ideas, try to get to know him or her as a person and, most importantly, trust them. Influencers need creative freedom. Bear in mind that they gained thousands of followers primarily due to their creativity, and that they already know how different people respond to different posts.

Mistake #6 – Ignoring FTC endorsement rules

The days when posting a photo or a post on social media without flagging it as a paid or sponsored post are long gone. Now, influencers have to specify endorsements and sponsored content. Although both you and the influencer may find the legalities boring, they shouldn’t be messed with.

According to the changes in the US Federal Trade Commission’s rules for endorsements, failing to identify which posts are sponsored or act as an endorsement could lead to big trouble. Make sure you give your influencer (or influencers) precise instructions on how to label content associated with your products and services. It’s your responsibility.

In conclusion

Influencer campaigns can work wonders for brands and businesses when run effectively. It’s vital to avoid the common pitfalls that can prevent you from achieving your desired results.

Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to renew your efforts with this marketing strategy. Let me know how you go.

Guest Author: Stevan Mcgrath is a digital marketing professional who has expertise in brand design and development. He is passionate about utilizing his diverse skill set in new and innovative online marketing strategies. He has worked as a freelancer and a contributor to Provenseo, and seeks client satisfaction as his topmost priority. He writes blog posts on digital marketing trends which you can find by following him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

The post 6 Influencer Marketing Mistakes That Are Crippling Your Campaigns appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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Top 5 Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018

The word “trend” can evoke feelings of fear and uncertainty for businesses. You want to stay ahead of the curve, but you don’t want to waste time and money on something that isn’t going to stick around (or that isn’t relevant to your business). To help set you up for success, we put together our third annual social media trends report.

This report is based on a survey of over 300 social marketing practitioners; interviews with 38 industry experts; global data on the evolution of social ROI from Altimeter and Hootsuite; and analyst reports from Edelman, Gartner, GlobalWebIndex, Forrester, and more.

Join Amber Naslund, Hootsuite’s senior director of industry leadership, and James Mulvey, senior social strategist, for a live webinar where you’ll learn the top five social media trends in 2018. Attendees will also receive a download of the report so they can apply the insights to their plans.

Register Now

3 key social media challenges organizations will face in 2018

Through our 2018 trends research and surveys, we uncovered the three biggest challenges organizations will face next year. Read on to learn more about those and what you can do to address them.

1. Finding sustainable solutions to declining organic reach

Brands must accept that organic reach is steadily declining and stop relying on short-term tactics that used to work.

Instead, businesses need to start building sustainable strategies. This means being more selective when it comes to the networks you post content on, and investing more in social ads as well as influencer and/or advocacy strategies.

In our social media trends webinar, we’ll show you how to start building effective strategies.

2. Social video surges ahead—but we’re approaching saturation

Spending on social video advertising grew 130 percent this year with no sign of stopping.

While social video is effective, businesses need to make sure they’re creating content that actually reflects their business objectives. If the social video your organization produces can’t be tied to any real metric or measurable business value, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

3. Brands fatigue from new tools and tactics

During our research, we heard a common complaint from our customers: They’re fatigued with the endless list of new tactics, tools, and content formats.

In 2018, implementation and effective measurement of existing strategies will be more important than the introduction of new tactics.

While social networks continue to innovate and build new ways to reach audiences, marketers are under pressure to prove that their existing social strategies merit continued investment. Future investments need to have a demonstrable business impact beyond classic vanity metrics.

Watch our webinar to discover how to measure and track ROI so you can invest more into what’s working—and improve on tactics that aren’t delivering real value.

Wondering how the top five social trends of 2018 will solve these challenges and produce tangible business results? Register for our webinar to find out.

Register Now

The post Top 5 Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018 appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

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Correcting the Record on vDOS Prosecutions

KrebsOnSecurity recently featured a story about a New Mexico man who stands accused of using the now-defunct vDOS attack-for-hire service to hobble the Web sites of several former employers. That piece stated that I wasn’t aware of any other prosecutions related to vDOS customers, but as it happens there was a prosecution in the United Kingdom earlier this year of a man who’s admitted to both using and helping to administer vDOS. Here’s a look at some open-source clues that may have led to the U.K. man’s arrest.

Jack Chappell, outside of a court hearing in the U.K. earlier this year.

In early July 2017, the West Midlands Police in the U.K. arrested 19-year-old Stockport resident Jack Chappell and charged him with aiding the vDOS co-founders — two Israeli men who were arrested late year and charged with running the service.

Until its demise in September 2016, vDOS was by far the most popular and powerful attack-for-hire service, allowing even completely unskilled Internet users to launch crippling assaults capable of knocking most Web sites offline. vDOS made more than $600,000 in just two of the four years it was in operation, launching more than 150,000 attacks against thousands of victims (including this site).

For his part, Chappell was charged with assisting in attacks against Web sites for some of the world’s largest companies, including Amazon, BBC, BT, Netflix, T-Mobile, Virgin Media, and Vodafone, between May 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016.

At the end of July 2017, Chappell pleaded guilty to those allegations, as well as charges of helping vDOS launder money from customers wishing to pay for attacks with PayPal accounts.

A big factor in that plea was the leak of the vDOS attacks, customer support and payments databases to this author and to U.S. law enforcement officials in the fall of 2016. Those databases provided extremely detailed information about co-conspirators, paying customers and victims.

But as with many other cybercrime investigations, the perpetrator in this case appears to have been caught thanks to a combination of several all-too-common factors, including password re-use, an active presence on the sprawling English-language hacking community Hackforums, and domain names registered in his real name. In combination, these clues provide a crucial bridge between Chappell’s online and real-world identities.

A simple search at domaintools.com for the name Jack Chappell and “UK” returns a handful of results, including the domain fractal[dot]hf. That domain was registered in June 2015 to a Jack Chappell in Stockport, using the email address me@jackchappell.co[dot]uk [full disclosure: Domaintools is an advertiser on this site].

Neither domain is online anymore, but a Google search on fractal[dot]hf reveals several mentions of this site on Hackforums — a sprawling English-language forum that until very recently hosted the most bustling open-air market for competing attack-for-hire services.

According to a review of those Hackforums postings, fractal[dot]hf was a free service that allowed users to test the size and impact of any DDoS attack tool — displaying detailed graphs showing how much data a given attack tool could hurl at an intended target. Multiple forum members told interested users that fractal[dot]hf was owned and operated by a friendly and helpful Hackforums user named Fractal.

A screenshot of the user Fractal advertising his service for measuring the size of attacks. Fractal posted this graphic to illustrate the power of an IRC-based botnet that was being sold on Hackforums in mid-2015.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a very active user on vDOS who went by the same Fractal nickname, using the password “HelloWorld1998” and email address smellyjelly01@gmail.com.

The above-mentioned domain Jackchappell.co[dot]uk appears in the leaked vDOS payments database, which states that a PayPal account tied to the email address “paypal@jackchappell.co[dot]uk” was one of several PayPal accounts used to launder customer payments for online attacks.

As noted in my June 2017 piece Following the Money Hobbled vDOS Attack-for-Hire Service, vDOS was forced to round-robin customer PayPal payments through a series of accounts after academic researchers began signing up for a variety of attack-for-hire services (including vDOS) and then reporting to PayPal the email addresses tied to accounts being used to receive payments.

The paypal@jackchappell.co[dot]uk address was linked to a vDOS user account called “portalKiller” which used the password “HelloWorld8991.” Note that this password is very similar to the one used by the vDOS user Fractal — only the numbers at the end of the password have been reversed (1998/8991).

Portalkiller changed his password several times during his time on vDOS, and one of the passwords he used was “Smith8991.” An Internet search on this password turns up an account in the user database that was hacked and posted online from a similar attack-for-hire service previously run by a hacker group known as the Lizard Squad. The email address tied to that account? Smellyjelly01@gmail.com.

From reviewing Fractal’s posts and reputation on Hackforums it appears that on Dec. 28, 2015 his account received praise and positive reputation points (similar to eBay’s user “feedback” system) from M30w and AppleJ4ck, the nicknames used by the alleged co-founders of vDOS.

Positive reputation points awarded to Chappell by the co-owners of vDOS, who used the aliases “M30W” and “AppleJ4ck.”

Comments in the leaked vDOS databases also suggest Chappell was for a time one of several trusted administrators and/or support personnel of the service. vDOS routinely banned accounts for members who shared their logins, or who logged on via virtual private network (VPN) services to anonymize their connections, but many members ignored this advice.

For example, in one support ticket dated March 13, 2016, a vDOS subscriber named “Bears” who had his account banned pleaded with the administrators to reactivate (or “unban”) his account.

“Hi jeremy pls unban hi p1st i love you hi AJ i love you hi fractal i love you hi whoever else is support is swagdaddy still support?” Bears pleads.

Ironically, both of Chappell’s accounts on vDOS — Fractal and portalKiller — were ultimately banned, the latter supposedly for flouting vDOS’s no-VPN restrictions. In one customer support ticket, portalKiller explains the reason for his use of a VPN: He routinely used a VPN so that he could tunnel his connection to the United States and watch the U.S. catalog of Netflix videos.

“Account Banned’,85801,’portalKiller’,’Hi, My account was banned a couple of days ago for logging in from a VPN. Let me explain, the 82.132.234.244 IP is not a VPN it is my mobile provider (O2), which is not a proxy/VPN. The second IP was a mistake I made, I logged out and logged back in from my normal IP (81.103.71.50) after I noticed my VPN was on (I use it for Netflix). I really want you to re-consider my ban. Thanks, portalKiller.”

Fractal also was eventually banned from using vDOS, although it’s less clear why that account was banished. Perhaps Chappell no longer offered the ability to help the other vDOS administrators launder funds, or maybe he had a falling out with M30W/p1st and AppleJ4ck.

Chappell did not respond to requests for comment. His sentencing has been delayed several times since his guilty plea; it is currently slated for December 2017.

Chappell’s guilty plea reminds me that there are many others who helped launder funds for vDOS that are in all likelihood similarly exposed. Stay tuned for more updates on that front.

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How a Customer Data Platform can improve AdWords performance

According to Hochman Consultants (2017), the average cost of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is increasing – with the average cost-per-click in 2016 being nearly double that of 2013.

When you consider the fact that Google processes over 2.3 million searches per minute (Business Insider, 2016), this is hardly surprising.

But what can marketers do to ensure that they can attract customers on this increasingly competitive channel, while avoiding these burgeoning costs?

In my previous two articles, I looked at how to stop Google AdWords campaigns from failing by using a Customer Data Platform (CDP) to gain a holistic overview of customer behavior, and how data-driven attribution with a CDP can supercharge your paid search.

In this article, I’ll outline five ways that a Customer Data Platform can improve your AdWords performance and ROI by keeping costs down and attracting new business.

Content produced in partnership with Fospha.

1. Data accuracy

Many businesses continue to struggle with optimizing their keyword bids. The simple reason for this is the fact that, regardless of how modern and advanced your bid management platform is, inputting inaccurate data can hinder success – and be costly to your business.

A Customer Data Platform gathers, integrates and centralizes customer data from various sources to give marketers more control of, and visibility over, their data. This data-driven approach stitches together the customer journey, and uses attribution to accurately assign credit to various marketing channels based on their importance in the path to conversion.

Without this true view of their data, businesses are missing the accurate value of their different channels. They also risk making poor decisions about which marketing channels are beneficial, and which are not, which might result in budget being taken away from a channel which has a huge role in the path to conversion.

With more accurate data, Customer Data Platforms are able to highlight the true value of keywords – allowing your business to pinpoint high and low performing keywords and campaigns, and optimize their spend on paid search.

For instance, with a more accurate data source, Fospha were able to help a client identify that 50% of their keywords weren’t contributing to any conversions. Check out the full case study here.

2. Optimize

Manual bid management can be a laborious task, but with the help of a bid management platform to automate the process, this becomes a quick, effortless and efficient process. The next step lies in super-charging the capabilities of this platform. And the answer lies in an accurate data source.

Combining the power of the Customer Data Platform to discover high and low performing keywords across all channels through this data, with the automation of a bid management platform, enables spend on poorly performing keywords to be quickly reallocated – resulting in an improvement in ROI.

3. Real-time access

Unlike most other Customer Data Platforms, Fospha facilitates real-time interactions for bidding, helping reduce and eliminate the amount of wasted clicks on incorrect audiences. A Customer Data Platform integrates seamlessly with bid management platforms like Kenshoo and Marin to support these real-time interactions, such as bidding on ad clicks.

Real-time access through a Customer Data Platform also enables marketers to automate their bid management through advanced machine learning.

4. Personalization

Marketers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of moving away from keyword-based marketing, and towards audience-based marketing. However, they can go one step further – making a move towards people-based marketing.

This is no less of a necessity with your bidding strategies. Understanding your audience is crucial, and by utilizing a data-driven attribution model, a Customer Data Platform provides you with a granular understanding of a single customer. From here, you are able to use your data to optimize your targeting and increase conversions by offering more relevant content to your customers.

In addition to this, keyword performance is largely dependent on types of devices used. It is important to boost keywords that do better on mobile and to suppress those that do not. Marin found that by adjusting bids for mobile, their clients enjoyed 10% higher CTR and 2.5% lower CPC than those that failed to do so.

A Customer Data Platform is able to detect these optimized conditions and adjust your bid management strategy accordingly.

5. Bidding strategies

Defining your bidding strategy can drastically improve the performance of your paid search campaigns. However, in order to reach a truly optimized level, different keywords, audiences and goals will require different bidding strategies.

A Customer Data Platform gives you a granular view of all your marketing channels to ensure the strategy deployed is custom to each specific need.

 

Content produced in partnership with Fospha. Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Search Engine Watch.

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October macOS Patch Fixes FAT/USB Vulnerability

October’s macOS security update contained a fix for a vulnerability that Trend Micro privately disclosed to Apple earlier this year. The vulnerability (designated as CVE-2017-13811), was in the fsck_msdos system tool. This tool checks for and fixes errors in devices formatted with the FAT filesystem, and is automatically invoked by macOS when a device using FAT (such as a USB disk or an SD card) is inserted.

The vulnerability allows arbitrary code to be executed with system-level privileges, which potentially lets a malicious device (such as the mentioned flash disks or SD cards) take over the entire system when the said device is inserted into the vulnerable system. We do not believe that this attack has been used in the wild. We strongly recommend that users update their software to address this flaw, as well as the others that were part of this update cycle.

Figure 1. Error message when a malicious USB device is inserted (Click to enlarge)

The bug lies in the following code, which we’ve taken from Android’s source code repository:

for (k = 7; k >= 0 && dirent.name[k] == ‘ ‘; k–)
dirent.name[k] = ‘\0’;

The variable k has a value of -1.

if (dirent.name[k] != ‘\0’)
k++;

Here dirent.name[-1] is the last byte of the pointer called child as a member of the structure dosDirEntry. In little endian systems, this byte contains the high bits of a memory address, which is often equal to ‘\0’. In such a situation, the variable k will not be subject to the “++” operation, and its value remains -1.

if (p[8] != ‘ ‘)
dirent.name[k++] = ‘.’;
for (j = 0; j < 3; j++)
dirent.name[k++] = p[j+8];

The high byte of the child pointer can be written with an arbitrary value and modified to point to another address. If the target address is sprayed with a malformed dosDirEntry structure, arbitrary code execution is now possible. This can potentially allow an attacker to take over the vulnerable device.

The same tool is used in other BSD-based operating systems, as well as Android. While we disclosed this vulnerability to other vendors, we have not received a reply as of this time. Google has marked this bug as one they will not fix in Android, as “fsck_msdos runs under a very restricted SELinux domain.” They are currently investigating how to address this issue in a future version of the operating system. IT administrators may want to consider restricting USB access to devices, as this method is frequently used to allow malware to enter systems. Physical controls may be considered for especially sensitive devices.

Post from: Trendlabs Security Intelligence Blog – by Trend Micro

October macOS Patch Fixes FAT/USB Vulnerability

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Threat Predictions for Connected Life in 2018

 Download the Kaspersky Security Bulletin: Threat Predictions for Connected Life in 2018

Introduction: To be awake is to be online

The average home now has around three connected computers and four smart mobile devices. Hardly surprising, considering that 86 per cent of us check the Internet several times a day or more, and that’s outside of work. Chatting, shopping, banking, playing games, listening to music, booking travel and managing our increasingly connected homes. The risk of cyberattack can be the furthest thing from our mind.

Every year, Kaspersky Lab’s experts look at the main cyberthreats facing connected businesses over the coming 12 months, based on the trends seen during the year. For 2018, we decided to extract some top predictions that also have big implications for everyday connected life.

So what could the hackers be after in 2018?

  • Security gaps in your connected car. Earlier this year, researchers showed how a hack could shut down all safety features in a car, including airbags. Such attacks will become easier as connected cars contain more and more components that could be accessed digitally. For example: mobile phones can be paired with a vehicle’s head unit via Bluetooth; and Bluetooth was recently found to have more than 8 serious software A hacker only has to use one and they will have an access to car systems to conduct further attacks. Some cars have cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity and almost any modern car has a USB-port – all of these can be used in order to deliver infected code to the car’s systems.

    The data exchange between the internal systems of a car has been proven to be vulnerable to external interference, both by external researchers and Kaspersky Lab own findings. Given the fact that car industry is planning the development and production cycles years ahead, it is unlikely that all reported issues will be fixed in new connected cars coming on the market in 2018. Most of these cars were designed before cybersecurity became an issue for the automotive industry. That said, we expect that cars coming off the production line after that will have the most critical cybersecurity features implemented and will therefore be safer.

  • Vulnerable car apps. Most leading car manufacturers now offer apps to make life easier for drivers – they can locate, lock/unlock your car, check tire pressure, request assistance, schedule maintenance and more. Researchers have already shown how many such apps can be hacked to partly take over a car. 2018 could see the first appearance of an infected app that can manage a car or spy on its owner by tracking their location, or collecting authentication data. This data could then be sold on the underground market. Kaspersky Lab researchers have seen signs that authentication data to access connected car apps is already in demand on underground markets. As the number of connected cars increases, this trend will become a bigger problem.
  • Security gaps in wearable medical devices/implants, for data theft or sabotage. In 2018, there will be an estimated 19 million connected medical wearables, such as insulin pumps, pacemakers, monitors etc. in use, up from 12.8 million today. Companies are already issuing warnings about security gaps, knowing that, in an extreme case hackers could tamper with devices, set them to administer a fatal dose or to otherwise malfunction. This threat will rise in 2018 and probably keep on rising.
  • Still everywhere. The global pandemic that is ransomware shows no signs of abating. Our data shows that just under a million of our users were attacked with ransomware in 2017, only slightly less than in 2016 – but the actual number of those attacked in 2017 will be much higher. For example, the WannaCry ransomware victim count may exceed 700,000 thousand. With malware and distribution tools freely available on the web, attackers have discovered that locking or encrypting people’s data and devices – and those belonging to big companies, hospitals and smart city networks – is an easy and effective way of making money. In 2018 expect more of the same.
  • Malware, ditto – particularly that targeting Android mobile devices. We live in an increasingly mobile-driven world and hackers have upped their game. In 2017, we saw Android malware poisoning hotel booking, taxi service and ride-sharing apps, targeting mobile payments (SMS- and WAP billing), and using new techniques to bypass OS security. In 2018 we expect to see even more innovation.
  • Getting you to mine for cryptocurrency coins or stealing your coins. Cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular, so experts predict hackers will tap into people wanting to get a share of the action. In 2018, this could see more people going over to mining cryptocurrencies on their work-computers. We’ll certainly see more attacks designed to steal crypto coins from users, or install hidden mining tools on machines, particularly mobiles. Kaspersky Lab research shows that the number of people hit by such attacks have already exceeded two million in 2017. On the other hand, if handled properly and with the user’s consent, some forms of cryptocurrency mining may become a legal way of monetization for websites and/or apps.
  • Taking control of your connected stuff to create big botnets. Your home routers, connected webcams and smart thermostats are all great, but they’re likely full of software bugs and if you don’t set a proper password, hackers can pull them into a huge zombie botnet.  The infamous ‘Mirai’ botnet that nearly broke the Internet in 2016 was largely made up of CCTV cameras and connected printers – and in 2017 researchers found attackers improving Mirai’s tools. Proven as reliable and effective denial-of-service tools, new botnets built out of insecure devices may emerge in 2018.

  • Taking control of the world’s connected stuff for large scale disruption. Speaking of smart city technology such as CCTV cameras, what would happen if there was an attack on a city’s light control systems, causing not just blackouts but stroboscopic effects? Over the next year, smart city technologies such as traffic control, lighting, speed cameras, public transport and power supplies, as well as air traffic control infrastructure and more, will be a growing target for hackers. It’s estimated that by 2020 there will be 9.6 billion connected things used in smart cities around the world. Many of them just as buggy and vulnerable as your home router. Disruption to and disabling of these vast connected systems could do untold damage.

Conclusion: Stay awake when online

So there’s some scary stuff and a few not very nice people out there.  That shouldn’t stop you from making the most of what connected devices and systems have to offer over the next year and beyond. Fortunately, there are a lot of simple things that you can to stay safe.  Here’s a few examples:

  • Make use of the security features that come with your devices: set a decent password and keep the software updated. Not just phones and computers, but everything that is connected.
  • Be selective when choosing a smart device. Ask yourself: Does this really need an internet connection? If the answer is yes, then take the time to understand the device options before buying. If you discover that it has hard-coded passwords, choose a different model.
  • Consider cryptocurrencies as another way of saving and treat them accordingly. Just like you treat your ‘regular’ money.
  • Only install apps from reputable stores like Google Play, created by reputable developers.
  • Last but not least, consider supplementing the OS/device security with some additional software – particularly to keep your family and finances safe. A free version of Kaspersky Lab’s security software is available here.

For more information and advice on staying safe online please see the Kaspersky Daily blog.

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25 Facebook Marketing Tips to Increase Sales

Facebook marketing whether it is a for a blogger, business, author or a musician must achieve the goals you have set out in your marketing strategy and plan.25 Facebook Marketing Tips to Increase Sales

The marketing strategy that you have created will keep you focused and on track otherwise you can be heading off  and engaged with all sorts of marketing tactics and activities that don’t achieve much but just keep you busy, distracted and scattered.

The Facebook page and the marketing activities you carry out on Facebook’s eco-system should be viewed as an extension of your blog. So tactics you maybe already doing on your blog can be enhanced and synergised by replicating some of those blogging platform activities on Facebook  that are relevant ad appropriate to the Facebook culture.

There are many goals you could set for yourself for your Facebook marketing.  Goals could include improving customer service, reducing traditional marketing costs, improving customer acquisition and optimizing your brand.

To keep it simple here are 3 core goals and 25 marketing tactics that you can action on your Facebook page that wil keep your blog growing and your business booming .

3 Key Goals for Facebook Marketing

  1. Increasing Facebook Likes – think of this as an additional asset that is similar to building your email subscriber database for your blog or business.
  2. Improve Engagement – This is where your subscribers, fans, followers can be nourished as part of your community from initial low level interest to a highly engaged raving fan.
  3. Increase Sales –  At the end of the day ‘likes’ are nice and engagement is good but you do need calls to action to ensure that something happens. This pays the bills and takes you on holidays.

25 Facebook Marketing Tips & Tactics

This section includes the multiple and various tactics for achieving 3 key goals of increasing Facebook likes (10 tips), improving engagement (10 tips) and increasing sales (5 tips). What needs to be kept in mind is that the first two goals are stepping stones in the process of achieving the ultimate goal which selling that ebook, consultancy or what ever service or product that you as a blogger provide

10 Tips to Increase Facebook ‘Likes’ and Subscribers

Facebook ‘likes’ are only a recent phenomenon in the history of marketing and acquiring Facebook ‘likes’ is a new and exciting additional tactic to distribute your content, news and ideas that build your client list in addition to your email marketing. Facebook likes do not replace your email marketing plans but add and enhance your marketing mix.

Mari Smith’s Facebook page provides a more than obvious example for capturing those important Facebook Likes.

25 Facebook Marketing Tips

So how do I start gaining those Facebook ‘likes”?

10 Tips to Increase your Facebook ‘Likes’

  1. Email existing prospects to let them know you have a Facebook page  and ask for them to drop in and like your page and provide a link to reduce the friction of making that effort. In other words don’t make them ‘think”. Make it easy.
  2. Invite friends to seed you page if you don’t have any likes yet.
  3. Embed a “Facebook social plugin” on your blog in the right side banner preferably up near the top that provides the functionality for readers to ‘like’ your page even when they are not on Facebook
  4. Create a landing page as your welcome page encouraging ‘likes’ that is highly visible and obvious
  5. Create a Facebook reveal page to provide that provides access to exclusive content but only when you ‘like’ the page. This exclusivity can make them feel like they are part of the ‘club’ at a very simple level.
  6. Offer them a free gift or PDF in the email to” like” your page
  7. Link to your Facebook page in your email newsletter banner. This could be at the top of the page the right hand side banner as well as at the bottom of the newsletter. Digtal design dictates that providing several options is much more effective than just one.
  8. Join Facebook groups in your categories of interest – and post a blog post that will drive traffic to your Fan page and connect with you on Facebook
  9. Capture emails for your email marketing database on your Facebook page. You need to keep in mind that email maybe old fashioned but it works and it works big time and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So make it easy for people to subscribe by email to receiving news, updates and your blog posts when they are on Facebook via email.
  10. Provide a link in Facebook to prospects to subscribe to your Blog via RSS

There is one thing to keep in mind with Facebook ‘likes’ and that is that Facebook does not update everyone’s news feeds that ‘like’ your page. Facebook uses a algorithm called “EdgeRank” that determines which fans will receive your page update. It is determined according to how closely engaged you are with the fan. Read more here “EdgeRank: The Secret Sauce that Makes Facebook’s News Feed Tick.
The power of Facebook marketing is that it amplifies your content to not only your fans but the friends of your fans and this where the power and marketing leverage of social media starts to kick in that email cannot do at the same scale. Facebook provides a multiplier effect that is sharing at an “industrial scale”. Read more about that here: “Do People Share more on Facebook or Twitter?

10 Tips to Increase Engagement on your Facebook Page

There are many ways to improve engagement. Content is one of the most effective methods to start engaging your new ‘fans’ who have liked your page. Engagement can start with the low risk and entry level ‘like’  action on Facebook which is the dating equivalent of  “let’s catch up for a coffee” tactic. There are other higher levels of engagement with the end goal to take visitors to your blog from followers to “raving fans” and become an emotional member of your “tribe”.

I post my daily blog posts to my Jeffbullas.com facebook page this allows me to engage with my target audience that are hanging out on “Facebook”. I don’t wait for them to come to me, I go where they are. Valuable content that adds value to your viewers and readers creates deep engagement

Apple Makes Huge Announcement about Twitter Blog Post Update on Jeffbullas.com Facebook page

What are some other ways to increase engagement?

10 Tips to Increase Engagement

  1. Run polls using the standard Facebook ‘Question’ feature (above the ‘Write something’ box) to engage your audience with something that makes them actually do something.
  2. Implement ‘third  party” survey tools. One great service is Survey Monkey that provides much more functionality than the basic entry level Facebook “Questions” feature
  3. Include Twitter in your menu.  This is available as a standard setting on your Facebook fan page and provides another channel for engagement.
  4. As Facebook is a real time media you can publish the latest events, news on topics of interest that are happening in your industry or niche. In essence it is a real time sharing tool that will notify people that have liked your page about the latest ‘hottest’ news
  5. Update your Facebook ‘Page’ with your blog posts straight after publishing
  6. Respond to all comments on your Facebook page in a timely fashion
  7. Run a competition on Facebook
  8. Post your YouTube videos to your Facebook page. This provides another distribution point for your YouTube videos.
  9. Embed your Slideshare presentations on your Facebook page (Slideshare is a social media website that takes your Powerpoint presentations and converts them into a slideshow on the web). Just paste the link and your Slideshare presentation will embed within Facebook
  10. Photos at events can be uploaded to Facebook which humanize and personalize your brand. People just ‘love’ photos on Facebook and this will drive a deeper engagement with your prospects and customers. So mix up your media and this can be a challenge for a ‘text’ blogger. So think like a publisher and publish your content in as many places with as much rich multimedia as time and resources allow.

5 Tips to Make Sales on Facebook

At the  end of the day the final objective is to increase sales. You have  provided the incentives and tactics to let them like your page and become a fan. You have then engaged them with low level engagement from reading your blog post updates on your Facebook page or responding to a survey or a poll. It is now time to provide some calls to action and links and even an online store that can be created within Facebook to start making some sales from your Facebook Marketing.

Guy Kawasaki makes it easy for you to order and buy his book “Enchantment” on Facebook.

Guy Kawasaki's Enchantment Facebook site where you can order and buy his book

5 Tips to Make Sales

  1. Use a reveal tab that is set up as your landing page that provides access to a voucher that can be printed off or even emailed to the prospect that they need to bring into your store or claim online to get a discount on a product or service
  2. Consider an F-Commerce function – convert and sell within the Facebook ‘Page” without the customer ever having to leave Facebook. This will increase conversions. Every click or extra page in the process reduces your conversion rates by 15%.
  3. Provide a link on your Facebook page to your online store
  4. Link to the Apple store that may contains your PDF or if your a musician or band your music
  5. Link to the Amazon store where customers can buy your book or your Kindle ebook online.

So which one of these 25 Facebook marketing tips could you action today?

Image by mag3737

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The Most Effective Ways to Generate Leads for Your Business

To survive, businesses constantly need to come up with new revenue streams.

While you may generate plenty of money by improving customer retention by focusing on your existing customers, you’re only getting a small piece of the pie.

The companies who focus on lead generation do more than just survive—they thrive.

That’s where I want you to be.

People don’t start a business to make the bare minimum.

As a marketing expert with a proven track record, I can help your company generate more leads with simple strategies.

Customers won’t find you unless you put some effort in making yourself visible.

Surprisingly, the majority of these tactics won’t be too much work for you and can be accomplished on a reasonable marketing budget.

You don’t always need to break the bank to get more customers.

Here’s how you can get started.

Use influencers to generate social proof

Look at how FabFitFun got a professional surfer and model Anastasia Ashley to post about their brand on Instagram:

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FabFitFun sends their members a gift box every three months with a bunch of new products.

The box includes some beauty supplies, fashion items, and fitness gear.

Using Anastasia’s platform to promote their brand helps expose their company to a wider range of people.

Anastasia has over 1 million followers on Instagram.

That picture alone generated nearly 12,500 likes.

Let’s dissect the advertisement one step further.

Look at the caption. She included:

  • a tag to the @FabFitFun Instagram page
  • discounted subscription codes
  • a link to the company’s website
  • related hashtags for the brand

Anyone who sees this picture knows what steps to follow if they want more information.

It’s a great strategy for generating new leads.

Anastasia has more than twice the number of Instagram followers the company has.

It’s safe to say the majority of Anastasia’s followers weren’t even aware of this brand.

Employ the same strategy for your business.

Don’t think you’re obligated to use Instagram as the platform for this technique.

YouTube is another effective channel for influencer marketing.

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Even though consumers may not know these influencers personally, they still feel a personal connection with them compared to a more well-known celebrity like a movie star.

Why?

These people may seem more approachable.

Interacting with your favorite television actor may seem unrealistic especially if they have millions of followers on different platforms.

But these lesser-known influencers are more relatable.

They don’t have personal drivers and red carpet access, so consumers are more willing to take their advice.

Find some brand ambassadors and social influencers to help your business generate new leads.

Create an actionable Facebook advertisement

Facebook ads are a great way to gain exposure for your brand, which ultimately generates more leads.

But sometimes displaying your brand name alone with an advertisement isn’t enough.

You need to give your audience a reason to continue.

Make sure your Facebook ad has a call to action.

Let’s look at an example from AdEspresso:

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I love this because, ironically, it’s a Facebook ad about Facebook ads.

I used this example because of the actionable CTA button: “Download.”

Getting a prospective customer to download a free ebook is a great way to generate new leads.

I like this strategy better than simply linking your Facebook advertisement directly to your homepage.

Anybody can do that, so be different and stand out from the crowd.

Facebook ads also let you customize your target audience, so you can generate leads by targeting the right people.

Take advantage of what Facebook for business has to offer:

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When creating a campaign, select lead generation under the Consideration menu.

Facebook will even let you create a split test to see which advertising strategy gets better results.

This is something you should consider, especially if you’re debating between two different CTA buttons.

I like to use Facebook Ads because the platform allows you to completely customize your target audience.

Set parameters such as:

  • gender
  • age
  • location
  • education
  • relationship status
  • interests
  • behaviors

All of these help narrow your focus so you can generate leads from people who would be genuinely interested in your company.

For example, let’s take a look at a Facebook ad from Philips Norelco:

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Their beard trimming products are obviously gender-specific.

But this advertisement focuses on men of a certain age and lifestyle.

It doesn’t belong on the newsfeed of a college female.

Make sure you fill in all the parameters when narrowing your audience to get the most accurate results and leads.

Use Twitter’s advanced search queries

Twitter is another top resource for lead generation, but too many businesses overlook this method.

This is great news for you because you’ll have the chance to capture leads from your competition if you execute this strategy effectively.

There are two main steps to this tactic:

  1. find people who may be interested in your brand;
  2. engage with those people.

It’s that simple.

The advanced search query makes it easy for you to accomplish this.

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There are four main categories of this search:

  • Words
  • People
  • Places
  • Dates

We’ll go through a hypothetical example to see how this works.

Let’s say your company sells sunscreen and sun tan lotion.

Words you might want to include in your search could be:

  • Beach
  • Pool
  • Vacation
  • Summer
  • Sun burn
  • Sunscreen

You can see where I’m going with this.

Include in your search relevant phrases too, such as “pool day” or “going to the beach.”

But what about the “none of these words” query?

If you include “sun burn” as two words, you may want to put a word like “razor” into the “none of these words” field so you don’t get search results for “razor burn.”

Does that make sense? It’s simple.

Now let’s move on to the People section.

You’re already getting notifications when people interact with you on Twitter, so there’s no reason to include your name in the search.

Instead, search for your competition.

As a sunscreen company, you could search for results that include Banana Boat:

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You’ll see Twitter users who engaged with your competition.

Shortly, I’ll talk about what you can do with these users.

But for now, we’ll continue going through the search fields.

If you’re a local or regional company, narrow your search results to your area.

You don’t need to see what people are tweeting about in South Africa if your company doesn’t distribute products outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

For argument’s sake, let’s say your sunscreen company has an ecommerce platform with global distribution.

Should you omit the places field?

Absolutely not.

Enter locations where people need protection from the sun.

You also want to filter the date range.

If someone tweeted they got sunburn back in May 2013, that won’t help you generate leads today.

Narrow your search to the most recent results. The past week or month should be a good place to start.

Now that you’ve completed your search, it’s time to go through the results.

Reach out to users by replying directly to their tweets.

Favorite their tweets.

Follow their profiles.

These types of interactions will help increase your chances of getting more followers.

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My favorite part of this strategy is that it won’t cost you anything, just your time.

Even if you’re paying a social media manager to do this job, it’s an efficient use of their time as well.

But unlike some of the strategies we looked at earlier, such as influencer marketing or Facebook ads, the Twitter advanced search query is free to use.

Focus on your value proposition

Through one avenue or another, let’s say a prospective customer manages to find themselves on your website.

If you used one of the strategies we looked at so far, I’m willing to bet you’re going to see an increase in website traffic.

But what happens from here?

You obviously don’t want them to just visit your website and leave.

Get some information from these visitors by having a strong value proposition.

Check out this example from Crazy Egg:

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It’s a simple and accurate description of what the customer will get.

Your value proposition needs to be easy to follow and straight to the point.

Too many companies have a long and unnecessary “About Us” section on their homepages.

That goes for your company mission statement too.

Neither offers any value to the customer.

Now that you’ve explained why you’re better than the competition, you need to collect some information from the customer.

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After you enter the website address you want analyzed, Crazy Egg will prompt you to create an account and enter your email address.

It’s an effective tactic for generating leads.

I know from firsthand experience because I’m the one who came up with this idea for Crazy Egg.

Once you have the person’s email address, you can continue to contact them with your existing email marketing strategies.

Make sure your website has a blog

Blogs are a top way to increase website traffic and engagement.

They are also a great excuse for you to promote other content on your website.

If you can write SEO friendly blog posts, your website ranking will improve on Google’s search algorithm.

Now when someone is searching for something related to your brand, products, services, or industry, you could be a top hit.

You can also promote blogs across different social channels.

If you are struggling with finding content to post on your Facebook page or Twitter profile each day, you can post links to your blog posts so those social sites stay functional.

Your blog needs to be active.

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If you’re struggling to find good writers or can’t put out blog posts frequently, consider looking for guest-bloggers.

It’s a win-win situation for both you and the guest blogger.

They will gain exposure to a new audience, and you’ll keep your content fresh.

In return, you can ask for this guest-poster to promote and link to your company on their blog.

You should also take advantage of guest-posting yourself.

Whenever other blogs related to your industry are looking for a guest post, jump on that invitation before someone else takes it.

Now you have the chance to do the same thing.

Your guest post will reach people who may not know your company even existed.

Blogging is one of my favorite strategies for generating new leads.

Leverage cold outreach (the right way)

Yes, I am all about inbound marketing, but sometime cold outreach and prospecting is just as effective, if done right.

When I say cold outreach I mean highly targeted cold outreach, not the spray and pray type of grind.

This will allow you to fully personalize your outreach message, which will yield drastically higher ROI.

Here is how you can do it.

First, figure out your exact target prospects.

For example:

  • Company Type: Fortune 1,000
  • Revenue: $1 Billion
  • Employee: 30,000-45,000
  • Position: CFO

Once you figured out what your target prospect look like, head to LinkedIn to do some lead research with their Advanced Lead Search.

After you input the criteria, it’s time to reach out and start prospecting.

But, before you send anything, you need to ignite a first touch point.

You can do this by enabling email notifications for your target prospects inn LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator to get notified whenever they post on LinkedIn. Then you can reply and engage with their LinkedIn updates.

After you do about two to three of these engagements, add them as a connection and send out your first LinkedIn direct message.

In your message, make sure you personalize it by mentioning one of their updates that you engaged with. This will yield a high response rate, because you are not just some random guy messaging out of no where.

In addition, you should follow up with a direct personalized email.

To find your prospects’ email addresses I recommend using VoilaNorber. In addition, you can save loads of time with the chrome plugin Gmass, which allows you to automate your personalized emailing and follow ups.

Conclusion

Your business should always be looking for improvements.

While your existing customer base can help you pay the bills, continuing to grow and expand your company can help put some extra change in your pockets.

While some lead generation strategies will cost you money, you can use some inexpensive and free options as well.

Consider looking for influencers with a big social following to promote your brand.

You’ll have to pay them, but it shouldn’t be too costly.

It’s a great way to expose your brand to a new audience.

Facebook advertisements are a top way to make sure the ads are targeted.

Your company won’t be seen by just any random person.

Instead, you can choose your custom audience for your ad.

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to spend any money, use the Twitter advanced search query to generate leads.

Narrow your search options, and engage with relevant users.

Blogging is another free way to generate leads.

Look for any opportunities to guest-post as well.

Don’t forget to focus on your value proposition.

And last buy not least, give outbound prospecting a try.

What are some effective lead generation strategies you have tried?

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How To Promote An eBook When You Have No Money For Advertising

How To Promote An eBook When You Have No Money For Advertising

Technology has forever changed the way we see our world, as well as how we communicate with one another. Even the way we consume and access information has been transformed with the arrival of ebooks.

An eBook, or electronic book, is the digital form of the traditional book and can be accessed on any digital platform (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc).

There are typically two types of eBooks – paid and free. Businesses and bloggers often offer them for free as a clever tactic for effective lead generation.

Regardless of whether they’re paid or free, eBooks take a long time to write and edit. Authors often spend days, months or even years researching, writing, editing and then finally publishing their eBooks.

That’s why it’s heartbreaking to have to break this news to you: producing a good ebook is NOT enough to generate the sales results you desire.

No matter how many deep insights, incisive research and unique content you provide, all your efforts may go in vain unless your eBook is promoted on the right channels, at the right time, to the right people.

The digital world is an extremely noisy one, and this noise is only going to increase in future years. The eBook market, as it constantly evolves, is becoming oversaturated with products.

According to Statista, of the total book sales worldwide, the eBook market share is expected to reach 26% in 2018, up from just 12% in 2013.

Furthermore, in a 2017 research report by CMI, it was found that 65% of B2B marketers use eBooks as a content promotion tactic.

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

In a nutshell, everyone is jumping on the eBook bandwagon, which means it’s more important than ever to have a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Now, social advertising and PPC campaigns are great (if expensive) ways to promote an eBook. But they are NOT the only ways!

That’s right, you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars on advertising to get results. In this post, I’ll share how to take advantage of the enormous scope offered by the digital world and use a variety of platforms and techniques to popularize your eBook.

Let’s get started!

1. Create a killer landing page

This is not a part of your actual promotional campaign. But if you don’t have a high-converting landing page and a catchy eBook title, people may not click the link you shared and instead bounce right off the page, rendering your promotional efforts useless.

Remember, the goal of your promotional campaign is to drive people to the eBook landing page, then download it.

Take time, research your prospects’ pain points, brainstorm and write compelling copy about it.

If your eBook is a paid one, link the landing page to a payment gateway.

Also, don’t forget to add the all-important social sharing buttons to your landing page.

2. Promote it within your website

Before going all out on promoting the eBook on different platforms, first you need to optimize the platform you already have to encourage visitors to download the eBook. You can do this by:

Image Source: Social Media Examiner

  • Placing ‘Download the eBook’ calls-to-action (CTAs) in your top-performing posts wherever relevant (take a quick peek at your Google Analytics to find these posts).

  • Creating an eBook slide for your homepage slider, if you have one, or a sidebar callout.

3. Use supporting content formats

As I said earlier, the digital arena has various platforms. Each platform is popular for different visual representations – text, images, videos, etc. You can’t share a simple text link all the time that just says, ‘Hey! Here is my new eBook. Download it now!’

I’m going to run through a list of things you can do instead. Here’s the first one: write supporting blog posts.

As soon as you finish writing your eBook, write a couple of blog posts which relate to or complement your eBook. You can repurpose some of your eBook content for this.

Don’t have much time to write? Here’s a quick guide on how you can punch out a blog post in less than 4 hours!

If your eBook is on, say, ‘A social media marketer’s guide to generating leads’, your supporting post can be on ’10 easy social media hacks for increasing engagement’ or ‘Why social media is the greatest channel for lead generation’.

These posts will help establish you as a thought leader on the subject of your eBook, earn your reader’s trust and thereby further compel them to download the book.

You can also try keyword-optimizing the post’s content to convert more website traffic. Everyone may not be willing to go directly to the landing page and download the main asset, so by promoting other posts alongside your eBook, you will give visitors a different reason for them to check out your site.

Once you’ve written your blog posts, be sure to place the eBook CTAs at the end of each article. Here is a great example from HubSpot:

Ready for the next tip on how to use supporting content formats? Great: make quick infographics.

Infographics are a huge part of today’s content marketing. There are many ways and platforms where you can share them and attract your prospects to your landing page. You can use free default templates from Canva to quickly create a bunch of infographics. Just make sure you add the eBook CTA in your infographic’s footer.

Here’s another tip: make a slideshow presentation

Convert your supporting blog posts and even the first few pages of your eBook into a slide deck, MS Powerpoint or Google Slides presentation.

Conversely, create a short piece of video content for your eBook. Video is fast becoming the king of content marketing and according to a recent study published on HubSpot’s blog, online video currently accounts for 74% of all web traffic, and 59% of senior executives prefer video to text when both are available.

Don’t have that much time? Simply convert your slides into a video or use Lumen5 which allows you to quickly convert your blog posts to high-quality videos for free:

4. Go all-out on social media

You can still promote your offering and reach your prospects on social media without spending a lot of money. It’s true!

Social teasers are a critical aspect of your overall eBook social promotional campaign.

These teasers can be actionable tips, quick how-tos, interesting facts or key quotes from your eBook, presented in interesting and relevant content formats (videos, images, etc.)

Your followers won’t be too happy if you spam them with a salesy ‘check out my eBook’ post every single day, but with social teasers, you can keep them engaged and encourage them to download/buy it.

Here’s how you promote your eBook on various social platforms:

  • Facebook

Create a custom tab and integrate the eBook landing page (this requires a little bit of HTML coding, but it’s easy).

Build some pre-launch hype among your followers by promoting the supporting content (blog posts, images and videos). Put the eBook banner as the cover photo. Share the supporting content and eBook in all relevant groups… but don’t overdo it! Group admins hate spammers.

Pin the eBook post to your page. Use a lot of video teasers. Facebook videos have 10x higher reach as compared to Youtube links.

  • Twitter

Use the search box to find out who is tweeting using the related keywords of your eBook and reach out to them directly via email to see if they’re interested in reading it. Tease your followers with mini infographics and images; tweets with these visual representations also get higher engagement when compared to text-based ones.

Change your cover photo to the eBook banner and pin the eBook tweet to your feed. Tweet at least 10 times a day. Neil Patel claims that by increasing his number of tweets from 1 to 10, his monthly visits skyrocketed from 1,100 to 4,700.

  • LinkedIn

Add the landing page link to the publication section of your profile and include a testimonial or a positive review of the eBook in the description box, as below.

Post social teasers 1-2 times a day. Join groups where you think you can promote your asset and start engaging with other group members. Just remember, LinkedIn is a professional network. Group admins will not tolerate spam – craft your messages carefully so they are still relevant to the group and add value.

Linkedin even allows you to direct message 15 group members per month for free. Pick 15 target prospects, engage with them by commenting on their posts and finally message them to check out your eBook. Re-publish supporting articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform and add a CTA to your landing page at the end of each post.

  • Pinterest

Create a separate group board dedicated to your eBook social teasers (in this case, infographics and images). If you don’t have a strong following, contribute to boards which do. You can use Pingroupie to find boards relevant to your category. Reach out to the board owners and ask them to accept your contribution. A single post on these boards can drive a ton of traffic to your landing page!

  • Instagram

 Place the eBook CTA in the bio section of your profile.

Post social teasers (images and videos) continuously (2-3 times a day) and ask people to check out the eBook by clicking on the link in your bio. Search for users who have used your related hashtags and DM them to take a quick look at your offering.

Gary Vaynerchuk clearly explains how to use the Instagram DM for networking in this article.

  • Youtube

Create a channel and post video teasers with attractive titles. Be sure to add the eBook CTA in the video description box!

  • Slideshare

SlideShare has more than 5x the traffic from business owners than any other social media. According to the social media giant, infographics are liked 4x more than presentations. Upload all of the supporting presentations I mentioned earlier. Slideshare allows you to add links after the 3rd slide so put the eBook CTA at the end of each presentation. Convert your infographics into PDFs (I usually use Zamzar for this) and re-upload.

  • Quora

Quora is a great platform to reach a targeted audience and promote your eBook. Follow all the topics related to your niche, and answer all questions which receive a good following.

Repurpose your blog post’s content but don’t just copy and paste it. At the end of each answer, add a CTA to your landing page. Make sure your CTA looks as natural as possible. Quora is a place where people come to find answers so be helpful, not shallow.

  • Reddit

With more than 1 million communities (aka ‘subreddits’), Reddit is easily one of the most powerful places to perform targeted promotions. You can simply share the link to your landing page or write some description with the text post option and post the link.

Since new accounts with low karma scores aren’t generally trusted by Redditors, it is always good practice to engage with fellow subredditors before beginning to promote your eBook. Start by being active on 4-5 relevant subreddits, commenting where relevant, sharing your supporting blog posts and finally announcing the launch of your eBook.

  • Google Plus

 Even though marketers often overlook the importance of Google Plus, its communities feature allows you to promote your resource to a targeted audience.

Even better, Google Plus has the Collections feature. Just like group boards, Collections allow you to organize your posts, like on Pinterest. Create a collection around your eBook theme and start posting!

5. Explore other content sharing platforms

Social media is not the only place you can capture the attention of your audience. There are several platforms in the digital space where you can share/submit your content and subsequently drive a large amount of traffic back to your eBook landing page. The best thing about these sites is they are absolutely free.

Here are a few I always use:

  • Medium

Medium is one of every marketer’s go-to sites for republishing content to get more eyeballs on it. Just copy and paste your supporting blog posts and the first few chapters of your eBook, place CTAs to your landing pages, add the right tags, and hit publish. It’s that simple.

  • StumbleUpon

Used actively and consistently, StumbleUpon is a great way for your eBook to go viral. But for that to happen, you need to have a good following. Follow people in your niche, like and comment on their posts and share your supporting content once you are able to gather an audience.

  • Scoop.it

Just like StumbleUpon, Scoop.it is a dedicated content discovery platform and an amazing place to build exposure for your eBook. Give it a try!

6. Use free tools to make your eBook go viral

Viral Content Bee is my favorite free social media promotion tool and requires a special mention in this post. The whole concept of this tool is based on the mantra, ‘You share my posts and I’ll share yours’.

Basically, you earn credits when you share other’s posts, and they do too when they promote your offering.

A truly remarkable thing about this tool is it allows you to elect on which social platforms you want your resource to be shared. Currently, it allows users to promote on four platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.

The best approach to Viral Content Bee is to accumulate as many credits as possible, elect the platforms where you think your potential buyers are most active, and sit back and relax while others make your eBook popular.

Pay With a Tweet is another effective tool to make your eBook go viral on social media. This tool allows people to access the content of your eBook for free in exchange for a social post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Xing or VK.

It allows you to set the number of free downloads you want to make available as well as an expiration date for the campaign. Don’t worry, a small amount of freebies in exchange for viral reach won’t hurt your sales!

7. Try guest blogging on authority sites

Guest blogging is one the most popular methods used by authors from all walks of life to promote their eBooks. Not only does it enhance your authority and reach, it also promotes your resource to those who are passionate about and interested in your subject.

Do a simple Google search with a keyword + ‘write for us’ + ‘submission guidelines’ and see what you find. Make a list of all the sites with good online authority, then pitch a guest post.

Carefully read the posting guidelines and eliminate the sites which won’t provide a direct backlink to your landing page or book. Remember, the idea here is to bring readers back to your page.

8. Invest time in traditional email outreach

 No, email marketing is NOT dead!

If your goal is lead generation, promoting your eBook instead of your main product makes you look less salesy and more helpful in your cold emailing campaigns.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Update your email signature and add the page URL to it
  • If you already have email subscribers, give them a heads-up about your eBook.
  • Create a Flipboard magazine themed around the eBook
  • Give away the first few chapters of the eBook in an email sequence
  • Do a free webinar with a thought leader in your industry to generate publicity for the eBook.
  • Enrol in Amazon’s KDP Select program and promote for free for up to five days.

Wrapping up

It is perfectly fine if you can’t afford to advertise your eBook. The internet is an enormous place and there are literally hundreds of free ways to grab people’s attention.

Take some time out, prepare a spreadsheet and outline all your promotional activities. You may not be able to undertake all the ideas I mentioned – but try to ensure that your reach isn’t limited to one single platform. Think carefully about your ideal reader so that you don’t miss any opportunities.

While cashing out to Facebook and Google does get the job done, you have probably spent weeks or months creating your eBooks so cut costs to create the same result – maximum publicity. Happy promoting!

Guest Author: Tirumala Vedurumudi is an inbound marketing specialist at The SMarketers, a B2B inbound marketing agency in India that helps companies achieve sales and marketing goals. Feel free to connect with The SMarketers for a free marketing review and evaluate your current marketing efforts.

The post How To Promote An eBook When You Have No Money For Advertising appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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Fund Targets Victims Scammed Via Western Union


If you, a friend or loved one lost money in a scam involving Western Union, some or all of those funds may be recoverable thanks to a more than half-billion dollar program set up by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

In January 2017, Englewood, Colo.-based Western Union settled a case with the FTC and the Department of Justice wherein it admitted to multiple criminal violations, including willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud. As part of the settlement, the global money transfer business agreed to forfeit $586 million.

Last week, the FTC announced that individuals who lost money to scammers who told them to pay via Western Union’s money transfer system between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017 can now file a claim to get their money back by going to FTC.gov/WU before February 12, 2018.

Scammers tend to rely on money transfer businesses like Western Union and MoneyGram because once the money is sent and picked up by the recipient the transaction is generally irreversible. Such scams include transfers made for fraudulent lottery and prizesfamily emergenciesadvance-fee loans, and online dating, among others.

Affected consumers can visit FTC.gov/WU to file claims, learn more, or get updates on the claims process, which could take up to a year. The graphic below seeks to aid victims in filing claims.

The FTC says some people who have already reported their losses to Western Union, the FTC, or another government agency will receive a form in the mail from the claims administrator, Gilardi & Co., which has been hired by the DOJ to return victims’ money as part of the settlement. The form will have a Claim ID and a PIN number to use when filing a claim online via FTC.gov/WU.

The agency emphasized that filing a claim is free, so consumers should not pay anyone to file a claim on their behalf. “No one associated with the claims process will call to ask for consumers’ bank account or credit card number,” the FTC advised.

This isn’t the first time a major money transfer business admitted to criminally facilitating wire fraud. In November 2012, MoneyGram International agreed to pay a $100 million fine and admit to criminally aiding and abetting wire fraud and failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.









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