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The Easy, Free, No-Designer-Needed Google Display Ad Builder
Getting the word out about your business is hard. We get it. Between running your business or serving a dozen clients, you’re one little hiccup away from feeling completely overwhelmed. Under all that pressure, it’s easy to either fall back on last year’s outreach plan or just do nothing and watch your competitors snap up all your potential leads.

But don’t sweat. Let’s chat about the Google Display Network (GDN).

The power of images

The Google Display Network is a massive ecosystem of websites that reaches 90% of internet users worldwide—a staggering 3.94 billion people!—where you can place display ads via your Google Ads account. Display ads allow you to include images in your ads, not just text, making them a vital tool to raise awareness for your brand.

An example of a display ad (Don’t worry—this blog post won’t explode on you.)

Why? Images both ignite interest immediately and trigger long-term memory. As Miriam Elkorchi, a member of our Customer Success team, shared at her recent WordStream Live presentation in San Francisco, our sense of sight engages 30% of our brains, in comparison to touch engaging 8% and hearing 3%. Plus, images go into our long-term memory, while words go into short-term. So if you want to raise awareness for your brand with a medium that will (a) grab people’s attention right away and (b) make them remember you, then display ads could be right for your business.

Oh, and despite the Display Network’s humongous audience, your display ads’ cost per click would be about 76% lower, on average, than on the search network. Pretty sweet, right?

As you’re very aware, the problem with using display ads to raise awareness for your business is that it kind of requires making the ads. Which requires graphic design skills. Not to mention that most rare commodity of all for small biz advertisers and agencies: time.

Hang tight. Help is on the way.

Introducing the Smart Ads Creator from WordStream

When we saw that one in four small businesses doesn’t advertise on the Google Display Network, we knew we had to help. How awesome would it be if there were a simple, easy-to-use, fun tool that would create animated display ads for you, freeing you up to run your business and go home on time?

Meet our Smart Ads Creator, a new free tool designed to empower you to create custom, animated display ads that look awesome and...
Youtube for Popular Content: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to YouTube Marketing
When it comes to marketing channels, just
about every company knows they need to leverage blogs and social media. Both
have proven to be highly effective at attracting leads and nurturing them into

However, over the past few years, it’s
become harder and harder to ignore that YouTube is also a powerful marketing
asset. In many markets, it’s responsible for some of the most popular content.
So, if your business doesn’t have a YouTube channel yet, it’s time to change

4 Steps to Turning YouTube into Your Company’s Next
Marketing Channel

The good news is that countless companies
have already found success with YouTube marketing, so we have a pretty good
idea of what’s required.

Here are the four main steps you need to
take to create the kind of popular content on YouTube that ends in greater

1. Take a Content Marketing Approach to YouTube

Although many marketers contend that
YouTube should be considered a social media channel, the platform functions
much more like a blog.

Platforms like Instagram and especially
Twitter are all about having conversations. Companies that do well on these
sites know that they need to engage with other accounts and respond to those
that comment on their posts.

Accounts that do well on YouTube tend to focus on regularly creating popular content, not following up with everyone who leaves their videos a comment.

Furthermore, people will most likely discover your company’s YouTube channel just like they discover blogs – by conducting searches. So, the key is consistently producing high-quality popular content around topics for which people are searching.

Try BuzzSumo for Free!

2. Don’t Make Monetization Your Main Goal for YouTube Marketing

Many companies started with YouTube in
order to leverage the growing popularity of video marketing, but later realized
that they could actually monetize their channels through selling ads. Immediately,
they changed tack to enjoy this new source of revenue.

However, last year YouTube changed their rules about monetization. Now, it’s only available to accounts with more than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 annual views.

This underscores why you need to take a
long-term approach to build your channel if you’re hoping to monetize it. Even
if your company doesn’t care about monetization, it’s best to focus on the
quality of your videos...
9 Massive Changes Coming to Google Ads #GoogleMarketingLive 2019
This post was co-written by Conor Bond and Gordon Donnelly. Thanks to our own Tony Testaverde, who was there live on the scene, for the front-row photos!

It’s that time of year again, folks! Brew some coffee, pop a Claritin, and buckle yourself into your office chair—we’ve got ourselves a keynote to recap.

Ever consistent, Google once again brought the heat with the highly anticipated ads innovation keynote at Google Marketing Live. Google uses the annual event to let business owners and marketers know what features and products they can expect to roll out in the near future. Among the most exciting announcements last year were YouTube lead ads, enormous responsive search ads, and smart campaigns.

Last year’s keynote emphasized transparency and trust. While those tenets were still very much in play this year, and while machine learning once again came to the fore, the core message was simple: Be responsible, be there, and be useful. Deliver relevant ad experiences to the right people at the right moments—all while being respectful of their privacy preferences.

There was a bevy of massive new product announcements surrounding these tenets; and whether you’re an advertiser, an agency, or an online consumer, you’ll want to wrap your head around how these changes are going to impact the experience of browsing and advertising online—both in 2019 and beyond.

Let’s dive into the nine biggest announcements from #GoogleMarketingLive 2019.

1. Feed-based advertising gets a facelift with Discovery Ads

Don’t listen to the doomsdayers—the news feed ain’t dead yet! And in fact, it might even be on the rise.

You may remember Google unveiling Google Discover this past September. Now, they’re introducing a new way to advertise on it. Discovery ads provide an open canvas for advertisers to engage consumers in a swipeable image carousel.

Out of the box, Discovery ads offer plenty of reach—you can serve them across the YouTube home feed, Gmail promotions tab,  and the feed in Google Discover. They also leverage machine learning to, over time, deliver the best ad to your prospects.

85% of online consumers take a product-related action within 24 hours. Discovery ads take advantage of that by allowing advertisers to show ads to prospects in the moments when they’re most open to finding something new. And they’ve done so to some legitimate early...
4 Ways to Target B2B Audiences on Social Media
For B2C brands, social media is a great place to engage with your existing audience and target new potential customers to grow your business.

For some B2B businesses, on the other hand, social media audience targeting can be a challenge. It can be tricky to know how or where to find your audience on social media. Customer personas are a good place to start, but that’s just the beginning. How do you actually target your key customer segments? How do those personas change on social media platforms? How do you know you’re targeting the right potential customers?

Well, fear not. I’ve put together a list of four quick ways to target your B2B audiences on social media today.

1. Competitor targeting on Twitter

Twitter can be a tough cookie when it comes to B2B advertising. The Advertising platform has limitations compared to the likes of Facebook. But it does let you target your competitors’ followers, which is a blessing because it does all the hard work and guesswork for you!

Twitter says you should even target up to 30 accounts for the best results, which you can select in “Follower look-alikes.” Make sure the competitors you select here have a good following. This means accounts with over 1,000 followers that are engaging regularly and getting some good audience engagement, too.

The trick with this is stick to your industry: The more specific you are, the better your results will be.

You can also see how well this competitor targeting performs in your analytics—so remember to turn off targeting for the the competitors that aren't performing well after a few days.

Competitor targeting a B2B gold mine—if you get it right, you can get some really valuable traffic and engagement.

2. Job title targeting on Facebook

That’s right. It’s back!

Mid-2018, amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook removed hundreds of targeting options across their network. Well, Facebook brought them back in September and added some fancy new and improved targeting options, too. You can now target page admins, employers, job titles, education, and fields of study.

The most helpful of these for B2B Facebook advertising is probably Job Title targeting. You can search for anything from Recruitment to Farming. And Facebook will even make recommendations and show you audience sizes for the specific fields you’ve chosen....
The World's Most Successful Marketers Are Doing These 8 Things
The world of marketing has changed, and changed, and changed again during the fifteen years that I’ve been in it.

But a few things have stayed the same, and one of them is the mindset characteristics of great marketers.

World-class marketers have something in common. They all share these eight thought patterns. The reason these people are at the top of their game is because of these.

1. They aren’t afraid to try new or crazy stuff

A surefire way to be ho-hum is to do whatever everyone else is doing. Because if you do what everyone else is doing, then you’ll achieve what everyone else is achieving—which is ho-hum.

I am not a fan of ho-hum.

When I founded WordStream, some people might have thought me to be a nutcase.

Oh, I had ideas. Were they good ideas or bad ideas?

I don’t know, because I don’t assess ideas qualitatively. I assess them quantitatively. Some ideas worked really well.

Ideas—the new, the crazy, the shocking, the unorthodox, the off-the-wall, the anything—are marketing fodder. You just have to go forth and try them.

How do you come up with these ideas?

The fact is, they just happen. But you have to be open to them.

Here’s where I’ve come up with some of my ideas:

In the middle of a 14-hour workday when my brain is totally fried
While playing with my kids in the backyard
In my Uber on the way to the office
While sleeping
What matters is your brain’s willingness to accept the zany and try it out.

Which brings us to another thing great marketers do.

2. They cultivate a testing mindset

Want to know how to waste a whole lot of time and money?

Do marketing without testing the results of your marketing.

I can think of nothing more foolish and wasteful than marketing without testing.

There’s a reason that entire careers are focused on data and testing in marketing. There’s a reason why WordStream employs data analysts and I hire data scientists.

When you come up with your marketing idea, immediately put it into motion. And then measure the results.

I repeat: Measure the results.

I cringe when I hear the reasons why marketers aren’t testing.

Or how infrequently marketers are testing.

Or how shoddy some of their testing is.

If testing sounds intimidating, let me try to make it a bit more palatable.

You don’t need a data scientist with advanced degrees, a multi-...
The 5 Types of Blog Posts You Need to Publish for Killer Engagement Rates
Blog engagement is a fickle metric.

Sometimes it’s hard to quantify why it happens for some types of blog posts but not others – especially if your posts and articles are pretty consistent, quality-wise.

If more/better engagement is one of your content goals, you need concrete data to help you decide what to post types you need to see improved numbers. Guesswork will NOT work. In fact, measuring and tracking your content goals/results is an integral component of a successful content strategy – a concept I teach in my Content Strategy & Marketing Course.

That’s why I’m sharing one major method I use to research
content types to focus on for awesome engagement. It sings to this tune:

Using the BuzzSumo Content Analysis Report to Research the Best Types of Blog Posts

For my content platform, the Write Blog at Express Writers, I use BuzzSumo to monitor my top-shared blogs and their respective engagement statistics. This gives me a high-level overview of what blog types have performed well, and a blueprint for what to focus on in the future.

The main BuzzSumo feature I look at for this purpose is the
“Content Analysis”.

It’s a report that breaks down the total engagement on all
your posts, including engagement by content type, by content length, date
published, and more. It also lets you filter the results by date, so you can
see what’s performing right now, within the past 5 years, or a date range you

Digging into the “Content Analysis” report has uncovered the
top 5 content types that tend to perform best for us:


In particular, these content types rise to the surface when
I look at the top-performing pieces of content on our site.

For inspiration for your own content, let’s break down each
type and look at examples from our top pieces on the Write Blog. These
data-backed content types have earned us killer engagement, and may just work
for you, too.

5 Top Types of Blog Posts for Engagement Beyond Belief

Each of these content types represents the posts that get
the most engagement at Express Writers, according to BuzzSumo. They’re tried-and-true
winners you should give a shot for your future content creation.

1. Original Research

Original research is a big deal in content marketing.
According to a...
6 Must-Try White Label Tools for Marketing Agencies
Every day it seems like more and more marketing-related software companies out there are attempting to streamline and improve difficult or monotonous operational tasks. For agencies looking to scale, this is a particularly positive development as many of these tools and technologies have white label functionality.

If you are unfamiliar, “white labeling” in the technological sense, is when a product or service is produced by one company and given to third parties to rebrand as their own. White labeled marketing software allows agencies to brand services and capabilities as their own. For an agency looking to scale without hiring additional personnel, this can be a viable option in some areas. In this post, I’ll walk through six valuable white label tools that I’d recommend to any digital marketing agency.

1. Databox: Analytics and reporting

One of the most important—and arguably the most time-consuming—aspects of running a digital marketing agency is reporting. When you bring on new clients you are often responsible to report on any if all data related to projects that you have taken on. Having to connect the dots between Google, Facebook, Salesforce, HubSpot, and other platforms can be a huge task if done manually. For that reason, you would have to hire additional employees just to pull data and prepare reports for your clients, and even then, it would be done on a weekly or monthly basis. Databox has solved this issue by allowing businesses and agencies to connect multiple sources of data and create visually engaging dashboards and reports that update in real time.

For example, you have a client that you are running Google Ads campaigns for and want to compare that data to what they are seeing in Google Analytics and Salesforce. You can easily connect all three of these data sources and build a dashboard with pie charts, graphs, and funnels—all for the purpose of showing your client the flow of business that is being driven by your efforts. What is especially great about Databox is their white labeling features. You are easily able to brand your dashboards with your agency’s logo and color scheme. Once created, these dashboards are given their own unique URL that refresh in real-time so your client can always stay on top of progress. This eliminates the need for those ugly, cumbersome spreadsheets. And these reports are also...
Your 7-Step Image SEO Survival Guide
SEO might seem complicated because there’s a lot that goes into it—keyword optimization, site speed, link building, meta tag optimization. But SEO is not too complex of a concept to wrap your head around. At a fundamental level, you can think of it this way:

Everything on the internet is either a piece of content or a link (between pieces of content).

The pieces of content that have the most inbound links from the highest-quality places have the best ability to rank in the search engine. They get the most traffic. They rank well for a diverse array of keywords.

Page A has more links from pages of similar quality than Page B; thus, it has more ranking “authority.”

The quality and quantity of a page’s inbound links is the most prominent “off-page” determinant of said page’s ability to rank in the search engine. But there are also a wide range of on-page factors, including image SEO.

Image SEO is one of the more often overlooked elements of on-page SEO, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. In fact, if you’re not careful, poor image SEO can do a heck of a job of sinking your page’s ability to gain links, rise in the index, and, ultimately, drive valuable organic traffic.

The good news: You can make a huge impact on your image SEO with just a few steps. Here are our top seven must-implement image SEO tips to make sure your images are fully optimized for search.

1. Use a compressor to reduce image sizes

Site speed has the single biggest of impact of image SEO on a page’s overall ability to rank and gain traffic. It’s huge—site speed not only impacts a user’s ability to move from page to page along your conversion path; it’s also an active ranking factor. If your pages are slow, Google is not going to look upon them favorably.  That’s where image compression comes in.

You may or not be familiar with PageSpeed Insights. It is super handy. Enter any URL on your website, and Google gives you an in-depth assessment of the elements that are hindering that page’s speed. Run a few of these tests, and you’ll start to notice a common theme.

Improperly sized images are often the primary inhibitor of page speed. And because image SEO and page speed are inextricably linked, image compression is a crucial aspect of image SEO.

Simply expand the requisite tab in your PageSpeed Insights reports and you will see the images that...
How Long Should an Email Subject Line Be?

Your email subject line matters. 47% of people open emails based on the subject line alone, according to research done by Business2Community.

Because of this, marketers ask us about email subject lines often. And one of the most common questions we hear is this: What’s the best length for a subject line?

To find out, AWeber's team of email experts analyzed 1,000 subject lines from 100 of today’s top marketers. Here’s what we discovered.

What is the average length of a subject line?

We found that, on average, these experts’ email subject lines included 43.85 characters.

For perspective, the below subject line from the daily email newsletter theSkimm is 43 characters in length.

Subject line: Daily Skimm: I’ve got the world on a string

Related: Your Guide to Writing the World’s Best Email Subject Lines

How to write a stand-out subject line

71.1% of the 1,000 subject lines we analyzed were between 21 and 60 characters. To stand out from everyone else, we recommend you don’t keep your subject lines within those bounds. Instead, try the 2 methods below:

1. Keep your subject lines really short.

46% of emails are opened on mobile devices, according to research conducted by email testing service Litmus.

Most email clients, like Gmail and Yahoo!, stop displaying an email subject line on mobile devices once it reaches between 33 and 43 characters. The exact number varies from one email client to another.

To optimize your subject lines for mobile readers, use subject lines with less than 30 characters. This way, your subject line won’t get cut off in the inbox.

Or, you might want to experiment with even shorter subject lines. Brian Dean, founder of SEO company Backlinko and one of the 100 top marketers whose emails we analyzed, used to send emails with longer subject lines. These subject lines told his subscribers exactly what they’d find inside the message. The problem with that? "It gave people no reason to actually open my email," he said.

Now, he sends subject lines with an average of 15.1 characters. “After lots of testing, I’ve found that short subject lines get much higher open rates,” Dean said. He contributes this to 2 factors:

Short subject lines reach the inbox more frequently.Short subject lines are more mysterious.

Here are a few of Dean’s short email subject lines. All are under 15 characters long...

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Jun 24 2019