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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Malvertising is a word that has been bouncing around the internet for a while now. It refers to an increasingly common type of online hack, which involves infected links hidden in advertisements online.

However, many marketers fail to realize the significance of this seemingly simple and common hack. In reality, if you aren't versed in the risks and security elements around malvertising, then it's possible that all of your future campaigns could be affected – and not in a positive way. 

Here's the basic scoop that will allow you a good understanding of this nasty type of malware and keep you and your work safe in the future.

What Is Malvertising?

Simply put, malvertising is what is says on the tin: malicious advertising. It takes the visual form of an advert for a website or service that, when clicked, will redirect your computer to criminal servers. From here, there may be a virus which finds its way into your computer or a malicious hacker on the other end trying to farm your bank details.

While some cases of malware, such as the classic porn pop-up, are easy to spot as they seem obviously out of place, some are not so blatant. Often, cybercriminals will use legitimate channels to ensure their advert is placed on a website. Because the infected code is so well camouflaged, site owners and visitors will regularly not be aware there's even a problem until it's too late and the damage has been done.

Malvertising and Me

For bloggers, marketers and small businesses, being aware of the potential effect malvertising could have on your online endeavors is essential. While many of us find ourselves procrastinating when working and clicking on obscure links to quench our boredom, this simple practice could secure your role as a victim of malvertising.

Here's why you don't want that to happen: once malware has accessed your computer, particularly when gaining entry unnoticed, it can cause havoc in your files. A worst-case scenario could include important work documents corrupting or even sensitive customer and client information finding its way into the public domain.

 As well as the frustration and stress required to put right these situations, there's even the possibility of financial loss. This could be via the infiltration of your bank details or through having to pay compensation to a business affiliate whose data you also lost during the attack.

Malvertising & Marketing

Unfortunately, it's not just in terms of our own personal security that malvertising can become a nuisance. If you're running any type of online marketing, promotion or sales campaign then it's also imperative that you take steps to secure yourself from one of these ads jumping on your operation and causing problems for both yourself and your customers.

The main reason for this is to protect the face of your brand. Online reputation is a powerfulthing and companies who fail to properly harness the power of an expansive and positive online presence very often fall short. So when a customer is alerted to potential malware on your website and they subsequently avoid your domain and company like the plague, this is bad news for business. Once the message spreads, it could be enough to bring down your whole brand.

How To Stay Safe

Fortunately, there are several layers of protection and security practices you can apply to every element of your internet use to ensure that all your hard work doesn't become insignificant thanks to a full-blown malvertising attack. These few steps will take you on your way to securing yourself from any significant problems, both with your personal systems and your visible marketing campaigns.

·         Be stringent with clicking. By far the best way to avoid contracting a virus from a malvertising link is not to click on it. When surfing the internet, be sure only to click on trusted sources.
·         Pick the right security suite. There are many great antivirus packages out there that will give you strong automatic protection from infections trying to enter your computer. Picking the right one for your needs is essential so be sure to do some research. 

·         Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). To avoid third-party injections of malicious malvertising code on websites that you run, be sure to use a VPN when away from your office to stop remote hackers gaining access to your admin panel. SecureThoughts provides VPN reviews if you want more information on this. 

·         Employ website specific security. There are several great plugins available, particularly if you have built your site with WordPress. These will provide dedicated antivirus protection and will alert you to suspicious code. 

It's true that malvertising is on the rise and there is a significant threat to all those who use the internet to promote or share content. However, it most certainly isn't anywhere near a doomsday situation just yet. By employing these simple strategies, you can markedly reduce your chance of contracting malware or hosting it on your website or blog.

Have you encountered malvertising while working on your own projects? How did it affect you? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author: Caroline is a technology blogger and internet security expert who has their fair share of marketing experience. She knows how closely connected security and promotion can be and wants to share all she knows to help make the internet a safer place! 

Monday, August 29, 2016

I was recently talking to a friend by the name of Evett Shulman about publishing information online. We started talking about specific types of information and how it becomes distributed across the web.  As Google continues to update their algorithm, professionals of all kinds are seeking to enhance the information provided to prospective donors and employers and learning how to do so.

Evett Shulman is a development professional, skilled in the planning and implementation of a comprehensive philanthropic program, bringing new avenues for collaboration between the nonprofit organization and community businesses. As a result, she was seeking a few basic guidelines for managing information about her accomplishments and background.
The days of simply having a resume online are long gone.  The majority of donors, philanthropic organizations, and potential employers now rely on the internet to collect their information.  Here are some guidelines for helping professionals like to create a strategic, responsive approach managing information online.

1. Be proactive. If you want to put your best foot forward, you must proactively manage your online information.  For example, having a well built out Linkedin Profile is a great place to start. (ex: This is ideal because with a site like Linkedin, you control the information that's published.

2. Think about your audience.  Who are you positioning yourself for?  Is it a future employer, mate, or class that you're teaching. Be mindful of your audience and craft messages that work for them.

3.  Stay active. It's not enough to publish a few things and walk away.  Get active on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  By having an active network, you're continually building mentions and other information online about who you are and how others should perceive you.

Managing your online reputation, whether you're Evett Shulman and John Doe, doesn't have to be a chore.  Start small.  Build a few social media accounts, and get active.  If all else fails, go out and buy a URL with your name in it.  Build your own website and point to other online assets from that resource.  Over time this will build in authority and come out on top of local search results.

Don't forget to link all of your resources together.  Also, be sure to link to sites that have already published your information.  Evett Shulman has done so and you can too.  Google the names of other professionals in your space. Take notice of the sites they've published their information on a do the same.  In not time, your online reputation will be stronger than ever before. D

Thursday, April 21, 2016

People who have been in the internet marketing world for years know how dynamic SEO marketing tips can be. In 2016, the keyword-stuffing habits of the past are more than obsolete; they can actually destroy your search engine rankings and leave your small business website lingering in obscurity on some never-seen results page.

Although SEO marketing has changed considerably since the early days, it is still one of the most powerful ways to get targeted traffic to a website, page or blog. These SEO quick tips can help you regain or retain those high SERPs for your small business site and continue to improve traffic, conversions and profits.

SEO Small Business Tips

These tips for SEO use evergreen techniques that focus on the searcher or site visitor instead of the bots and spiders that crawl pages for search engines. The main goal of modern SEO is to provide value for real people.

1 - Keywords still count, but current keyword trends really focus on phrases that people actually type in search engines. Many more people type, "How to get my dog to roll over" rather than simply "dog training."

2 - Find these phrases by exploring the intention of your small business website. Are you trying to sell a skin care product or get people to sign up for a newsletter so they can learn more? Instead of doing SEO for words or ideas, do it for purposes that benefit visitors.

3 - Get social. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram have become big players in the search engine optimization world. Interactions can boost rankings because when people talk about a site or something posted there, it rises in importance in the industry or subject.

4 - Go local. Directories and review sites that focus on local businesses improve search engine rankings these days. This is especially true for companies that have a physical, brick and mortar location, but virtual businesses who want to market to their community can also benefit.

5 - Focus on new popular technologies like mobile computing and voice activated computer usage. Every website needs to be mobile ready because an ever-increasing number of people access sites from their smartphones or tablets. Also, voice commands from systems like Siri or Cortana mean people are searching in different ways than ever before.

6 - Create content that excites search engines and visitors to the small business websites. Although you never have to be a world-renowned writer or videographer to create content for a site or blog, knowing how to do so effectively will do more good than other SEO small business tips.

SEO Writing Tips, Content and Video Creation

1 - Do not stuff a particular keyword or phrase into page content, an article or blog post. Major search engines are now working with algorithms that can recognize synonyms and related terms just as easily as a particular keyword. Write naturally and use plenty of words that all have to do with the specific topic. For example, if you are writing about dog training, you will also include terms that describe tricks you can teach or synonyms for training.

2 - Write long. Search engines and people value in-depth coverage of a topic more than a quick blurb about it. Most people use searches to find answers to questions or solutions to problems and the people who create the SEO rules know this. Web pages on your small business site and blog posts should be at least 1,000 words to make the most impact.

3 - Make the content interesting enough that people are inspired to read it, share it with friends on social media sites and comment on it. The more sharing and interaction you get, the better that page will do in the SERPs.

4 - Include photos, graphics and video whenever possible. Multi-media content on websites is ranked higher by search engines than ever before. Using unique graphics, pictures you took or created yourself or self-made videos have the greatest benefit because they are unique and more engaging for site visitors.

When presented with a neat list of SEO marketing tips for modern internet usage, small business owners may think the process can be done quickly and then left alone. In some ways, effective SEO does provide on-going organic traffic for the long term. However, the greatest benefits occur when the site owner or marketing team creates more optimized content consistently, builds brand recognition through social media and local directory presence and keeps tracking, analyzing and tweaking what works and what does not.

About the Author: Riya Sander is a freelance writer and a small business owner. She currently writes for several companies including Andaman SEO. In her free time, she always improve herself by reading the finance and management blog.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Having a proper marketing budget can make or break your business - it's one of those facets of owning a company that is absolutely crucial. This isn't an aspect of running your business where you want to cut corners. Taking the time to consider the cost of marketing for your company is something you'll want to take slowly and with a lot of careful planning and consideration. Let's take a look at a few very important points to successfully dividing and evaluating your marketing budget.

First Things First: Get Organized

Financial organization is the cornerstone of marketing channel management. It's likely that you'll have to estimate your projected future earnings and expenses, but try to be as accurate as possible.

Begin by having as crystal clear of an understanding as possible regarding your net 30 (monthly) revenue. For example, let's say that after expenses, your business earns anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 monthly - what you're trying to determine here is your reliable revenue, which is the term for the funds that you can expect to bring in each and every month.

To determine your reliable revenue, you'll want to use the lowest possible figure. So in this example, that would be $10,000. Anything you happen to earn over that amount becomes additional revenue which can be allocated at the time, but not before.

Think of this as starting your budget from a "worst case scenario" position. If you're uncertain when calculating your monthly expenses or mezzanine debt rates, tools like a monthly budget calculator or the help of a financial manager can be very useful.

Deciding Which Marketing Channels to Utilize

Even if you can successfully apply for loan, you'll want to allocate your funds based on the figures you determined in the first step we discussed here. You'll first want to figure out where and how you'd like to spend your marketing budget.

There are usually three considerations successful business owners make before spending their marketing budget:

      The size of his or her budget

      Where and how the target demographic will be reached (i.e., which marketing channels

      Past experience and expertise

For example, even with the best construction loan, a building company should take these points into consideration. Organizing your marketing budget will likely begin with considering just how much money you have to spend - if your budget is quite small, you'll want to consider relatively inexpensive options like email advertising and lead generation, online advertising, creating a strong social media presence (which can be quite cost effective and, in many cases, cost nothing at all), and even reasonably priced print advertisements.

If your marketing budget is larger, you may also wish to consider marketing channels such as television, radio, or other forms of targeted media. Don't be afraid to find and use a marketing budget template to use as a helpful reference as you work out the details.

Knowing Your Target Demographic

In order to determine the best marketingchannels for your specific needs, the best place to start is to develop a demographic profile of your target audience. Begin by considering some of the following points of your target audience:



      Income level

      Interests, hobbies, and behaviors

      What kind of media they are most likely to consume

The last point is perhaps the most important and often the most difficult to accurately determine, however this will likely shed quite a lot of light on which marketing channels you should be using. Once you know where the eyeballs of your target audience are the most likely to be, you can begin working on developing your integrated marketing communications.

Test, Test, Test

A portion of your marketing budget should be allocated to testing. This should only be money that you can "afford to lose" - however, don't think of losing money on a failed marketing campaign as a hard loss. This is money you spent to gather data - you paid to find out what did and did not work.

If you haven't already, familiarize yourself with split and/or A/B style testing. This means that you'll develop multiple versions of each advertising campaign and test to see which works better. A/B testing involves two versions (A and B). If campaign B yields you a higher return on your investment, it's the "winner" and gets pitted against another variation of the same ad. This process repeats so that you are continually optimizing your marketing channels.

Analyze Data and Adjust Accordingly

The final step to finding the optimal marketing channels for your business is to take all of the data that you've gathered from your tests and analyze it. Ruthlessly cut out the channels that failed and optimize the ones which were successful. By repeating this process over and over, you'll eventually reach a point of peak marketing channel efficiency.

Marketing Channel Management is an Ongoing Process

Understand that marketing channel management is often an ongoing process that will need to be adjusted over time. Trends, shopping habits, and audiences themselves will change over the span of years and sometimes even months, so it is necessary to continually develop new marketing strategies and test new channels. As your audience changes, so should you.

About the Author : This article was written by Tully  with the help of HoldenCAPITAL, a specialist construction finance group in QLD, recognized as a market leader through its successes in deal structuring and the sourcing of debt and equity solutions.

Friday, February 12, 2016

How to Market Your App to the Masses

Friday, February 12, 2016

Developing and releasing a mobile app can be an expensive and time-consuming project. But the work does not end once the programmers figure out how to start an application and finish it. Without a well-done launch, all that time and effort will go to waste. With millions of apps now on the most popular marketplaces, it can be difficult to get attention and market the app to the right user base. Once there, it can be even harder to get consistent users. In fact, 1 in 5 apps never get used more than once after download. The key is proper marketing. 

Define Your Goals
Before you begin the actual marketing, you need to have a realistic measurement of how you define a successful launch. The exact metric you use depends on the type of app that you have made. The metric could be how many people install the app, how often people use it, the retention rate of those who install and do not uninstall, the number and quality of ratings received, or in-app purchases made. Keep in mind that this goal should focus on sustainable returns. Expect installation to be highest during the first month.

Use Social Media
Make sure to claim all the relevant social media accounts for your app prior to launch. This should go side-by-side with creating a website for the app. With registration so easy there is no need to be scrambling after the fact. Claim the accounts on all the most popular social media sites and apps, even if you do not plan to use them all. It is better to have your name already reserved in Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else rather than finding them unavailable when you need them. Consider Go Far, a company which launched a driving optimization app, they set up a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, and even a Podcast to promote their app launch.

Use these social media accounts to advertise the app even while in development. Showing features in progress can build a community before that crucial first week in the wild. It also shows good interaction with potential customers, something that people find comforting and that can be essential in getting the app shared naturally between people. Make sure that all bios get switched over on launch day to include a link to where the app can be downloaded. 

Create the Narrative
Instead of waiting for the buzz to build on its own, give it a push. For many, app downloads are spur of the moment decisions so you need to put out interesting content to draw them in for just long enough. Make press releases and send them to websites that cover your industry, as well as websites that write about apps on the marketplaces you use. Write blog posts about what the app can do and how to use it and post these on a number of blogs, not just on the company website. 

Video serves an even more important role than text these days. Use a program like Camtasia to capture footage of the app being used. Add voice over to make a slick demo that can be posted to YouTube and Facebook. Make sure to detail what the app is used for, and more importantly what problems it can solve for a user. You will be surprised how quickly just a glimpse can lead to clicks. Do not stop at a simple demo. Make more videos that showcase different problems being solved by the app; title these videos after the problems primarily to draw in those searching for the solutions. Those who already need answers are easy to sell the answer to. 

Consider inviting early followers to a closed beta that makes them feel exclusive and appreciated. These people are your front line evangelists; make them happy. 

Supplement with Paid Advertising
Know your demographic and where they go. Use available tools like targeted Facebook ads, Google ads, and ads within other apps to grab that demographic. While this does not attract as many users as individualized and organic marketing, it brings in additional users that you need for launch. 

Respond to Customers
Use those accounts you set up. Keep customers informed and respond to their issues. Nothing makes a company look better than providing personal service. Use social media and the app itself to encourage those who love your app to review. Those reviews increase your visibility.

Copyright 2015. The Marketing Blog.