Marketing Boring Products? Give’em Sexy Content!

Who says “boring” industries can’t have sexy content created for them?

Often times, if you can figure out a way to tie current events back to your “boring” product, or re-interpret recently published statistics about your “boring” industry, you can put your brand right in the middle of all conversation about your line of work.

To put your brand in the middle of all online conversations about your “boring” industry - you need to have something tangible worth talking about. Your community needs something to jump start their talk, or a piece of content they “click” with that shares their stance.

Give your community something to talk about - give them some sexy content.

“Boring” Product, Sexy Content: Infographic From KUKA

In the infographic I’m sharing below from KUKA Robotics, a global corporation that manufactures industrial robots, the myth of industrial automation taking jobs away from the US is reviewed - and pretty much debunked.

If anything, according to the sources cited in the graphic, industrial automation is actually an aid to bringing jobs BACK to the good old USA.

Robots And Automation Bring Jobs Back To The U.S.

With election season in full swing and jobs near the forefront of the issues, this infographic does a great job of outlining how the automation of manufacturing in America is not the culprit for job losses in mfg. If you are involved in the world of manufacturing - you likely feel something about the subject of automation. KUKA has reviewed all the statistics on the issue, drawn some interesting conclusions, and is sharing them with the world wide web for you - others, to talk about.

This infographic is not the first ever developed around current events, and it certainly won’t be the last. It is a great example, however, of what an attractive piece of - *cough* online content - can do for your “boring” industry.

How can your business leverage the 24/7 news cycle or the biggest issues facing your potential customers and put yourself in the middle of those conversations? Please share in the comments.


The Biggest Mistake You Can Make With PPC [Guest Post]

About the guest poster: Mike Fleming stays on top of the latest strategies in Paid Search and Web Analytics to make sure every campaign he manages for Pole Position Marketing brings measurable, profit-maximizing value to their company and their website visitors. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a beautiful, sweet, caring and admirable girl who threw a snowball at him one day… then married him.

There are lots of mistakes that one can  make when trying to build a PPC account; and as PPC platforms continue to add new and exciting features that make advertising better, it can also tend to complicate things for those that don’t have the time or energy to continuously monitor changes to these systems.  A couple examples include the recent AdWords changes to ad rotation settings and keyword matching options.  If you manage your own PPC account and haven’t heard about these yet, I suggest you check it out.  Yes, Google (cough) changes your account without you opting in to the changes (gasp).  This causes you to make some mistakes just because of ignorance.


But there’s one mistake that you can make with your PPC campaigns that has been around since the beginning.  It applies not only to PPC, but to all marketing online.  For this post, I’ll focus on its application with PPC.

Maintaining Customer Scent

I continuously get chances to look at the PPC accounts of various companies and most of them fail to build scent trails that match what users are hunting for with the solutions they provide that will satisfy their hunger.  They either end up showing ads to users that don’t match the search intent that caused the searcher to type their specific query into the search engine (causing the searcher to not even pick up the scent of their solution), or they fail to keep the scent once the user goes to interact with their website.


Since the Internet gives ultimate control in the buying process to the customer, businesses must learn to deliver the type of information searchers need to be motivated to keep going, to not get frustrated and to not return to the scent trail’s starting point to find another path to go down (meaning your competitor’s).


With PPC, this all starts with specific ads and how the account manager controls the search queries that each of their ads are shown for (what we call “account organization”).  It’s very common for business owners and marketing executives to try and manage their accounts themselves, and for those that do, this is one of the big mistakes that is commonly seen.

Why You Might Have Trouble Providing Scent

Two reasons I can think of for this are
  1. They bring an offline advertising mindset to online advertising and
  2. They simply don’t know how to optimally use the organizational tools given by PPC platforms (campaigns, ad groups, keyword match types, etc.) to control the serving of their ads.
With regards to the first one…in the online world, the web user has total control.  They simply click their mouse to go wherever they want to go as fast as they want to go there.  If they are not interested in what they’re consuming, they simply go somewhere else.  So, if you’re spending your time, energy and money on trying to attract these customers to you instead of your competitors, it serves you much better to simply give them what they’re looking for instead of trying to use fancy tricks to grab attention and be memorable.


When someone does a search, you’ve already got their attention.  They’re already looking for what you have to offer.  Your goal should simply be to develop the scent trail that is the most satisfying to the searchers’ needs and desires.

Control What You Can Control

But, just because the buyer has total control, doesn’t mean you’re totally out of control. With regards to #2, a PPC campaign manager is given the opportunity to decide how much control they have over the serving of their ads with different organizational tools provided by the PPC platforms.  What do I mean by this?  Let me give you an example with one of these tools – keyword match types.


I frequently see many people that manage their PPC accounts by entering keywords into their chosen PPC platform in an ad group inside of a campaign.  That seems standard, right?  The problem?  They have no regard for keyword match types!  In fact, many of them don’t even know what keyword match types are!  (If you’re reading this and you don’t, please don’t manage your own account.  You’re wasting money.)


Why is this problem?  Let’s say you’re selling business cards.  You craft a nice little ad about your big sale on business cards and what an awesome company you are to work with.  You add the keyword business cards to an ad group and let it run.  Since you don’t know what keyword match types are, by default Google lets you enter the keyword as a broad match keyword (because they have no problem accepting wasted money).  Well, you sell the standard paper business cards.  The problem is that you’ve given Google the freedom to show your ad on ANY search query THEY deem to be relevant to your keyword.  You can be quite sure that this will include queries like clear business cards, plastic business cards and gift cards for my business.  Well, you don’t sell any of these.  So, you’ve failed to even start a correct scent trail because you’re trying to lure the wrong customers.


But, this is just one way of many in which you can incorrectly structure scent trails to match user intent and satisfy their needs and desires.  If you want to master online marketing, maintaining scent from first interaction to checkout and beyond for your target audience in the places they are found online is a critical component.  In the realm of PPC advertising, you’ve got to learn and correctly apply the tools that are provided for you to help pull this off, or you’ll continue to cost yourself money.

Tips For Preparing Your E-Store For International Customers

Want to take your website global but not sure where the best ecommerce markets are or how to attract international customers?

Below, in this infographic published by Brokers Worldwide - an international provider of mail services - you’ll find a list of tips and tricks for attracting international customers to your site.

With shopping cart abandonment at an all time high and international e-retail markets exploding you don’t want to take that first step toward going global before “checking out” these secrets to beating your competition:

Oh - and if you do want to download a PDF copy of the infographic, click here.


5 “Super” Ways The Man Of Steel Would Use Twitter

This morning, I streamed Superman II on Netflix for my kids while getting ready for work.

In one of the opening scenes, Clark Kent is assigned a three-page sidebar story on terrorists. Having no idea what Perry White is talking about, Clark asks again about the terrorists. To which Mr. White replies…

“Get your head out of the closet, Kent! Where’ve you been for the past twelve hours?” To which Clark replies… “Home.” Credit: IMDB

After overhearing that statement this morning, I started thinking (first problem). I then said to my wife (second problem)… “If Superman was ever going to use social media, it’d definitely be Twitter.”

She rolled her eyes.

Because of what transpired this morning, I have since spent the rest of my day creating a strategy for how Superman would use the different elements of Twitter to go about his daily life. From PR to staying informed to throwing off his enemies, I think I have it all covered.

I am now ready to share this with all of you. Your welcome.

Tweeting Updates

I’ve seen a couple takes online as to how Supes would go about updating his social media statuses. The most famous of these approaches (based on YouTube views, anyway) is from…

Not bad. But that approach seems a little redundant, don’t you think? Probably not helpful for attracting RTs, building up a real following, and keeping many followers.

If I were Superman’s social media messaging consultant: I’d suggest he use microblogging to tweet about what matters the most to him… you know - truth, justice, and the “American Way.” Or at least about things that he believes encompass all of those subjects. It would make sense that he would share inspiring or thought-provoking quotes, too. Updating his status on Twitter would be a part of an overall PR campaign - even if Superman isn’t interested in doing his own PR.

In addition, Twitter could also play a part in his ability to throw bad guys off. They all know he is headquartered in Metropolis, of course. But with some strategically placed updates and check-ins from the Fortress of Solitude, he could give the appearance of being out of the way.

Twitter Lists

If Superman took the time to develop lists on Twitter, he would almost certainly have geographically-targeted and topically relevant lists to stopping crime and bringing bad guys to justice. Some examples of those lists (thanks Listorious) might just be:

A case could also be made for him to create private lists of “enemies” and of the members of the Justice League so that could keep tabs on all of his friends and enemies.

Twitter Saved Searches

If Superman took the time to save searches on Twitter, he would save searches for things he needs to be updated on in real time without regardl for who is tweeting, thus making it more effective for him to learn about problems faster. Some examples of Superman’s saved searches on Twitter might be:

  • “trouble”
  • “need help”
  • natural disaster types (think “earthquake”, “tsunami”, “hurricane”, etc.)

It would also make sense for Superman to have saved searches about himself (“superman” and “clark kent”) and the people in his life he most frequently saves/fights - “lois lane” and “lex luthor” - as a way to keep tabs on anyone talking about them.

Twitter Direct Messages

Superman is a busy guy. And when he’s not flying around the world to save the day and pull cats out of trees, he is fronting as a mild mannered reporter. In the modern day, even a mild mannered reporter would have a smartphone. And because the smart phone would belong to “Clark Kent”, Superman would have to use the DM function on Twitter to communicate privately with his fellow superheros (or Lois) when in uniform.

Sending texts from Clark’s phone number would cause a potential disaster for Superman. And if there’s one thing a man leading two lives doesn’t need - it’s a reputation management problem for using a fake identity. Because c’mon, who would believe that the Kansas-bred reporter and the Man of Steel would use the same phone?

That’s right, no one.

Twitter Trends

Similar to Twitter saved searches, Twitter trends would be a way for Superman to see what Twitter users are talking about en mass around the world. This way, he could keep track of disasters both natural and human-caused, and respond to them in an “ASAP” fashion.

As opposed to his saved searches, Twitter trends would also allow him to stay on top of less common (but equally important) crimes and ill will events.

Are there ways that Superman would use Twitter that I missed? How do you think your favorite superhero would use Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.


The Cheat Sheet For Link Building Using Pinterest

A Pinterest board with several dofollow links included

There’s a lot of chitchat amongst the throngs of social networking-philes about the rise of Pinterest this year as a player in the social media universe.

While there are still tons and tons of consumers seeing their Facebook and Twitter friends (mostly female) using Pinterest who want to get in on the “pindemonium” (cheesy - sorry), the internet marketing community is actively trying to figure out the best way to leverage Pinterest and its reported ability to drive more referral traffic on the web than Twitter as a way to aid client campaigns.

There’s no question that there are benefits for referring traffic - and that’s very important. However, like many internet marketers who have come up through the ranks as link builders, I often look at the web as connections via blue words. With the knowledge that search engines are increasingly looking to social signals as a way to establish website quality and relevance for keyword rankings, it’s becoming harder as Pinterest grows to deny its potential to positively effect an SEO campaign (aside from the dofollow links :) ).

After taking some time to read other people’s opinions on the subject (as well as gather my own), I’d like to share my cheatsheet for link building using Pinterest.

How do you build links using Pinterest?

To me, the link building process on Pinterest is very similar to link building using any other social bookmarking tool. Here’s the step by step process I take…

  1. Identify images on each of your top product or service pages that are most compelling. Try to avoid company logos or call to action images (like your BUY NOW button), however.
  2. Create a board that includes a target keyword phrase for a series of the images you’ve selected. If you’re a tobacco retailer and want to feature your premium product, maybe your board should be called “Premier Cigars from Santo Domingo.”
  3. Make sure you have the “Pin It” bookmarklet installed on the toolbar of your web browser and that you’re logged in to Pinterest.
  4. Navigate your website to pull up the unique pages of each product/service that host the images you want to pin.
  5. Click your bookmarklet and make sure you have the right image selected as well as the right board assigned to your pin.
  6. Type in a caption, trying to use the primary keyword.
  7. Click “Pin it.”
  8. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

What type of websites should be using Pinterest as a link building resource?

In my opinion, any website that sells a product or offers a service where visuals play an important role in the buying process have just cause to build boards of their best images on Pinterest. Some of those particular industries include:

  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Any e-commerce for consumers
  • Health clubs and spas
  • Home improvement companies
  • Hotels and travel destinations

How can Pinterest links help my brand online in other ways?

A Pinterest board of all images from

As I briefly mentioned above, Pinterest can send a ton of referral traffic and does provide “dofollow” links for shared photos. While links from Pinterest do not contain that highly coveted anchor text that most pro linkers are in search of, it is my belief that having content on Pinterest will begin providing a positive boost in the “social signals” area of the algorithm.

Monitoring your links that have been shared on Pinterest is also a great way to see what products people love on your site, which can lead to helping make decisions for products to target with traditional link building.

There are also individual pages on Pinterest that collect all images shared on the site for a specific domain. If you want to keep track of what types of content and how many times the content on your website that has actually been pinned, the steps are pretty simple:

  1. Go to (of course, insert your ACTUAL URL where I put the placeholder “your.url”)
  2. Check out the images people are pinning from your website.
  3. Prepare to be amazed what some people find on your site and pin to their boards!

Final thoughts on links and Pinterest

Now that you’ve beared with me through these steps, you should be better prepared to begin using Pinterest as part of your link building, link popularity, or link marketing strategy. And because the information I included above certainly wasn’t enough… here are five OTHER great posts on link building using Pinterest: