Recent Posts

A Valentine’s Day Love Letter…To Online Marketing

February 13, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Dear Online Marketing, I don’t quite know how to say this, but I’ve felt this way for a pretty long time now, so I guess I’ll just come right out and tell you… I love you. My parents think I’m crazy to fall for a marketing method like you. They would have been much happier if I’d started going out with a TV commercial, or even a magazine ad. But nothing on TV or in print compares with you. You’ve got everything that they have and more! So what if TV commercials can be cool sometimes…you’ve got YouTube! And any online content worth its salt beats a print ad, hands down. You’re so hot – all the offline marketers are totally jealous of us. Have you noticed they keep trying to get a piece of what we’ve got going on? Whatever. You’re mine. I had a dream about you the… read more

7 No-Sweat Ways To Write Fantastic Content – Even If You Hate Writing

February 11, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Remember when your English teacher told you that you’d need to be able to write in order to succeed in your future career? And remember when she deplored the rise of email and texting, and the accompanying decline in spelling and grammar skills? Well, she was right about one thing, but wrong about the other. Writing well is an essential skill in today’s business world – but it’s precisely because of the rise of technology that this skill has become so all-important. Websites need compelling copy written for each page, carefully crafted to guide visitors through the sales funnel. Blogs are a nonnegotiable part of any solid online marketing plan, providing both the fresh content needed to satisfy search engines, and the high-quality articles necessary to get social media engagement. And guest blogging, even according to Google’s Matt Cutts, is still one of the best ways to gain credibility as… read more

15 Cringeworthy Email Marketing Mistakes – And How To Avoid Them

February 6, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Email marketing is by far one of the most effective ways to reach out to your online audience, and yet many businesses commit gaffes that are nothing short of cringeworthy when it comes to their marketing emails. We’ve put together a list of the 15 most common email marketing mistakes, along with advice on how to avoid making each one. Mistake #1: Not having an email subscriber list in the first place. Email addresses are extremely valuable assets to have. In fact, after your website, they’re probably most important. Social media pages are vital, but you don’t actually own them, so they get to make the rules as to what your fans see and how you can contact them. With an email subscriber list, on the other hand, you have a direct way to contact your online audience on a regular basis, and you own that list – no one… read more

3 Tips For Achieving Online Marketing Success…By Going Offline

February 4, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

In the world of online marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in the many purely virtual ways of reaching out to potential customers. There are so many ways of interacting with people online that never require any tangible connection with the real world. For instance: A company’s tweets point people to their blog, the blog gets them to sign up for emails, those emails promote a webinar, and that webinar convinces people to buy online…  Never once do these interactions touch the offline world. That’s definitely not a bad thing. Virtual, online marketing is beneficial to businesses and consumers alike, which is why both groups have embraced it wholeheartedly. And we’re pretty partial to it ourselves, here at Marketing Zen! But precisely because it’s not as common to see an integration of online and offline marketing tactics, companies who do utilize offline methods to gain online success tend to… read more

Best Super Bowl Commercial – Based On Google SERP!

January 30, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Well, folks, it’s here. The only time of year when people across America actually want to watch commercials. So much so, in fact, that they’ll search for them online, share them with their friends, and talk about them endlessly. It’s Super Bowl time. The Super Bowl commercial craze isn’t limited to football fans, either – even people who couldn’t care less about the game will still tune in just to watch the commercials…or at the very least, they’ll watch a few online. And for those who don’t actively seek Super Bowl commercials out on their own, most nightly news broadcasts will spend a few minutes recapping the most memorable ones. Of course, with all the buzz surrounding Super Bowl commercials, the companies paying for them would be crazy not to wrap entire online campaigns around these ads, as well. And most do, releasing them early on YouTube, posting teasers about… read more

Why Your Content Isn’t Good Enough

January 29, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

We’re sorry to be the ones to have to tell you the cold, hard, unvarnished truth, but truth it is: your content just isn’t good enough. You may be writing your heart out every single day. You may have found your brand’s ideal voice – whether it’s witty, professional, warm, sarcastic, or something else entirely. You may be researching topics late into the night, and then spending hours crafting the perfect headlines to grab people’s attention. Heck, you may even have taken a course or two on how to write blogs, learning all the nitty-gritty about how to structure your sentences to make them more effective. But even after all that, we’re here to tell you. Your content still isn’t good enough. Why’s that, you may ask? Well, let’s take a step back for a moment. What’s the purpose of content? Of course, everyone knows the answer to that, right?… read more

Building Community Online By Helping Others

January 27, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

We talk a lot here at Marketing Zen about how vital it is to develop meaningful relationships with your online audience, how the whole purpose of online marketing is really to create a community based on mutual support. How it’s all about giving selflessly – offering people free content that’s truly valuable, engaging them in real conversations without salesy undertones, and connecting with them in an authentic way. Companies that understand this dynamic and incorporate it into their business strategy are getting it right. One such company is Software Advice. Software Advice is a company with generosity built right into their business model. Businesses who call them receive personalized, in-depth counseling as to which software would best fit their current needs – all for free. And they’ve now come up with a new online tool that offers even more free assistance in choosing the right software for your company –… read more

Is Guest Blogging Still Worth It?

January 21, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

In spite of the fact that Google’s Matt Cutts is such an esteemed figure as to have been immortalized in verse by online marketers (or maybe because of it?), yesterday he threw yet another SEO curveball our way. In his blog post, entitled, “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO,”  he makes the case for abandoning guest blogging for SEO purposes, calling the practice “spammy” and one with only “the barest trace of legitimate behavior.” Wow. That’s harsh, Matt. But what’s even harsher are these statements of his: “Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward,” and “So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.” So is that it, then?… read more

Social Media Marketing Is For Chumps

January 20, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Isn’t chump a funny word? It’s vaguely reminiscent of chimp, but also champ… It even calls chomp to mind. But none of those words has quite the same ring as chump. And of course, none of them means dolt, or fool, as chump does. While we’re on the subject of semantics, let’s talk about the word marketing. If you look it up in the dictionary, its definitions are surprisingly old-fashioned. says it’s “the act of buying or selling in a market,” which conjures up images of peasant maidens traipsing gaily to market, swinging a basket of eggs to sell. Merriam-Webster insists it’s “an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer,” which includes “promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.” Is that what you think of when you hear the word marketing? I think most of us associate the term with “advertising” or “promotion,” rather… read more

Facebook Marketing Hacks: Virtual Events Bypass Recent Changes

January 16, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Facebook’s recent algorithm changes have many businesses and marketers asking themselves if they should focus their social media marketing efforts elsewhere. But just because things are changing doesn’t mean that there aren’t still ways to use Facebook to market your business. One way to work around the recent changes to the newsfeed and connect with fans is to schedule a Facebook event. More Access When you create an event on Facebook, and get people to join, you’ll have more guaranteed access to that audience than you do to your regular Facebook fans. First of all, you can send out mass messages to everyone who has signed up. These are great tools for building anticipation leading up to the virtual event, and sustaining interest in your brand, now that updates are iffy. Secondly, Facebook will automatically post a reminder on your guests’ profiles on the day of the event, ensuring that… read more

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