Recent Posts

Marketing Stars Series: An Interview With John Jantsch

March 24, 2014 - Posted by Deanna Ayres

In our Marketing Stars Series, we bring you insights from some of the top influencers in the world of online marketing. We’ve asked the best of the best to share their insider knowledge with you, our readers, so that you can harness the power of their expert advice, tips, and tricks in your own marketing efforts. Today, we are honored to have the opportunity to bring you our interview with John Jantsch. John is a marketing consultant and speaker, and the best selling author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine, and The Referral Engine.  We are thrilled that he agreed to answer a few questions for us.  1. John, tell us a little bit about what it is you do, and why you’re so passionate about it. I’m a marketing consultant, author and speaker but mostly I just try to make marketing as simple as it really is. 2. Can you give us… read more

Happy Birthday Twitter! Looking Back At Our Employees’ First Tweets

March 21, 2014 - Posted by Rilee Chastain

In honor of Twitter’s 8th birthday today, March 21st, 2014, the popular social media company is getting just a little bit nostalgic. While Twitter itself may spending it’s birthday looking back at all of the amazing changes and growth that has occurred within their company over the last few years, they are also inviting Twitter users to get in on the fun by looking back on their own past and revisiting their first Tweets. With more than 500 million Tweets now being sent each and every day by nearly 240 million active Twitter users, it’s fun to take a look back and see the personal Tweets that kicked off our own Twitter journeys. (Hopefully they’re not TOO embarrassing!) To jump in on the Twitter fun, and in honor of Twitter’s 8th birthday, today we are looking back at our own employees’ first Tweets at The Marketing Zen Group: Shama Kabani, CEO… read more

MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Google Penalties and 8 Years of Twitter

March 21, 2014 - Posted by Deanna Ayres

SEO: Google is beginning to take action against sites that host spammy guest blog posts, and the results are quite tangible. Earlier this week, the owner of MyBlogGuest.com, a large network for guest blog posting, confirmed that she received a penalty from the search engine. Initially there was confusion over whether publishers who participated in the MyBlogGuest network would also be penalized, and it appears that the answer is ‘yes.’ Google’s head of search spam tweeted, “when we take action on a spammy link network, it can include blogs hosting guest posts, site benefiting from the links, etc.” Site owners who have used MyBlogGuest to publish posts are reporting drops in the rankings, as well. While on the topic of rankings, research from comScore is indicating that Google’s share of US search query volume has stayed stagnant over the last year, while Bing’s has grown. In February 2013, Google had… read more

MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Redesigns and Revamps Galore

March 14, 2014 - Posted by Deanna Ayres

Social Media: Following last week’s announcement about the long-awaited changes to the layout of Facebook’s News Feed feature, the company announced this week that their redesigns won’t stop there. Individual business Pages will soon be affected by change, as well. After describing the new look for Pages as “streamlined,” Facebook released an image of what users can expect to see as soon as this upcoming week. The left-side column of Pages will contain most of the general information about businesses, and the right-side column will reflect a Timeline that is more accurate and less buggy. Additionally, for Page administrators, information about the ads they’re running and the “likes” they’re accumulating will be visible no matter where they look on the Page. According to surprising new data published by eMarketer, Google+ may be set to overtake Facebook’s popularity by 2016. G+ is currently the second-most popular social network, with 26 percent… read more

MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Facebook’s Newest Redesign and Amtrak at SXSW

March 7, 2014 - Posted by Shama

What has been happening in the marketing world this week? Let The Marketing Zen Group fill you in on the latest and greatest of online marketing news in our MZ Weekly News Round-Up, published every Friday! Social Media About a year after Facebook initially announced plans for a redesign of its News Feed feature, implementation of an overhaul is set to begin this week. The updated look includes font changes, prominent photos that span the entire News Feed, and other subtle stylistic improvements, such as larger buttons in certain spots. Important to note, too, is that the update will not affect ad specs, ads performance, or optimization, which a company spokesperson was quick to clarify. For Amtrak, the interface design updates to Facebook are coming just in time for their latest social media marketing campaign. It may seem odd at first, but Amtrak has a fairly prominent presence across the… read more

MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Scrapers, Semantics, and Snapchat: Oh, My!

February 28, 2014 - Posted by Deanna Ayres

Social Media: Brand names are about to inherit some serious power on Facebook, thanks to the social media platform’s update to their News Feed algorithm. Now, when a brand’s Page tags another brand, or even a celebrity in a post, followers of either the publishing Page or the tagged Page may see that content appear on their News Feeds. As a consequence, brands will be able to reach out to wider audiences. Facebook’s algorithm will be able to consider which users are engaging with brand content, which then will determine if the content is relevant for followers of both the posting Page and the tagged Page. Why just stop at Facebook, though? According to new data at Sumpto, Snapchat may be the way to go when marketing to college-aged consumers. Not only do over 77 percent of college students use Snapchat at least once every day, but 45 percent of… read more

21 Common Questions About Social Media Marketing Answered

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

  Here at Marketing Zen, we often get questions from businesses about online marketing, and we do our utmost to answer every one. But it occurred to us recently that it might be helpful for us to put together a little blog series answering some of the most common questions we get related to web marketing. Today’s installment? The 21 most common social media marketing questions we receive, answered just for you! 1. Can social media marketing really help my business? Most definitely! It’s been proven again and again by business after business. In fact, 73% of businesses surveyed by Constant Contact in 2011 had already started using social media marketing with measurable results.  Not utilizing social media marketing can actually harm your business, since having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable firm these days. 2. What are the benefits of social media marketing… read more

Facebook Marketing Gold: New Call-to-Action Buttons For Ads and Posts

February 18, 2014 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Well, that was nice! Facebook may have lessened online marketers’ organic reach by changing their algorithm, but they’ve given us a nice little treat to make up for it, by enabling the addition of call-to-action buttons to ads and organic posts. Any salesperson who’s been around for even a little while knows the old sayings – “Ask for the sale,” and “Always Be Closing.” In the realm of online marketing, being salesy according to old sales standards isn’t productive – but some of the same principles still do apply. The fact remains that if you ask someone to do something, they are much more likely to do it. Just as asking for the sale prompts a customer to take action, asking them to “click here” or “sign up” prompts them to do just that. That’s why blogs and social media posts and landing pages the world over have calls to… 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

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

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