December 20, 2014

Twitter Ads Soar, But Beware This AdWords Hack

reading in the park

Twitter ads are doing stupendously well but watch out for a new hack, if you use Google AdWords. Keeping up with important news stories like these that may affect your small business is tough. That’s especially true when you’re busy running your small business at the same time. The Small Business Trends editorial team has your back. Here’s our roundup of the week’s top stories potentially touching your business.

Online Advertising

Twitter Posts $277 Million In Ad Sales, 81 Percent From Mobile. For those who wondered whether advertising on Twitter was a good bet, this may settle the question. The microblogging platform got a surprise 30 percent boost in stock value following the announcement of $283 million in sales, $277 million from Twitter Ad sales, on Tuesday. That’s a 129 percent increase in ad revenue compared to a year ago.

Are Your Competitors Stealing Your AdWords Budget? A new kind of click-fraud seems to be emerging. If your business is advertising online through a service like Google AdWords, your competitors could be employing an underground service that actually clicks your ads repetitively without giving you any traffic or sales.

Email Marketing

VerticalResponse Lets You Collect Emails Without a Website. VerticalResponse, an email marketing solution for small business owners and entrepreneurs, has announced they are including custom hosted sign up pages within their marketing platform. The new sign up pages will be free to new and existing VerticalResponse customers with lists of up to 1,000 subscribers.

10 of Our Best Email Marketing Articles for Small Business. If you think that email marketing is dead, think again. With most online businesses making most of their money from their email followers, it’s clear the approach is still quite vital. First, email has always been one of the main communication channels on the Internet. It was there even before social media was born.

eCommerce

eBay Shuttering ProStores, Some Magento E-Commerce Platforms. eBay recently announced that it is shutting down ProStores, leaving many merchants faced with a difficult decision. ProStores, of course, is a standalone eCommerce platform where you upload your products and sell them directly from your own site. ProStores was acquired by eBay recently and the auction site made the decision to cease operations.

31 Percent of Daily E-Book Sales Are Now by Self-Published Authors. It used to be that publishing an ebook could be an effective branding or marketing effort. It could establish you as an expert in your field, help you market other products or services, and perhaps get you more clients or speaking engagements. But now ebooks are becoming a viable business of their own. Even very small publishers are getting in on the action.

45 Standalone eCommerce Carts for Your Website. When creating an e-commerce website, one of the must-have items is a standalone shopping cart. After all, how will your customers buy your products if they have nothing to put them in? Many may think that integrating a cart into your site is really hard work and requires a lot of programming. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Video

Google and Twitch: Why You Need A Video Content Marketing Plan Now. Think you don’t need a video content marketing plan now? Think again. The recent development of Google buying livestreaming service Twitch for $1 billion is a red flag that video marketing is going to explode. So knowing that – Google and Twitch – what does it really mean for marketers? Let’s explore.

6 Second Examples of Effective Vine Marketing Videos. Have you tapped into the 6 second visual impact that Vine offers your small business? Vine creates an opportunity to use video, the most popular content on the Web, in a very unique way. It combines video with another powerful force in online marketing, social media, by making it short, versatile and very easy to share. But Vine also creates a unique challenge for brands of all sizes.

Legal

Dogged by Negative Anonymous Reviews? Here’s One Solution. If your business sells products online, chances are you’ve received some anonymous negative reviews. Online reviews are intended to better inform consumers about online retailers (and can give businesses feedback), but it can be nearly impossible to please everyone.

Can Bloggers Be Fined for Ruining a Business? Online reviews can promote your business if they’re positive. They’re essentially like word of mouth. Of course, the other side of this is that not all reviews are good. Consumers have the right to leave reviews that are as positive or as negative as they please, provided the information included is true.

Entrepreneurship

This Coffee Shop is Selling More Than Just Coffee. Offering a quality product or service is essential for success in any business. But if you run a local business, that alone might not be enough. You also need to create an atmosphere within the business that customers will want to be a part of. That’s the aspect of business that Phil Jaber focused on when launching Philz Coffee in San Francisco in 2002.

Startup Uses Facebook to Sell Cotton Candy for a Cause. Tasha Kornegay launched her startup, Oscar William’s Gourmet Cotton Candy, less than a year ago. But she’s already recouped her original investment 20 times over. And there’s one tool she credits with that success – social media. The company currently has more than 1,000 Facebook fans, and recently launched accounts on Twitter and Instagram as well.

improveit! 360 Serves Software in The Cloud. If you’ve visited a home improvement site or done business with a home improvement company, you may already have experienced this company’s services. improveit! 360 builds customer relationship management (CRM) software for the home improvement industry. At one time that software was actually installed on a client’s computer system.

Local Marketing

Local Marketing and the Google Pigeon Update. Recently, Google made a change to the algorithm to help improve the accuracy and relevancy of local results. To be clear, the algorithm was coined “Google Pigeon” by Search Engine Land and not Google, but the change happened nonetheless. When Google comes up with a name for the algorithm, we’ll update you right away.

This Hotel Rewards Guests for Retweets. Social media is a powerful promotional tool for businesses, in part because it allows customers and connections to do some of the work for you. If you’re a business that can leverage your social connections to share information about your business, you should be able to reach quite a few people. The tricky part is actually getting your customers to post about your business.

Tech

Canva Button: What it Means and Why You’ll Be Seeing it More. If you’re stuck with a boring website design and don’t have the technical skill to improve it, the new Canva Button may be an option. The Canva Button allows website owners to quickly design their own site elements like headers and banner ads using drag and drop technology.

Your Chrome Browser is Draining Your Battery. The idea that Google’s Web browser Chrome is draining your laptop battery is beyond urban legend. The company admitted recently that Chrome does put a strain on your laptop’s battery power, namely its ability to hold a charge for very long while it’s running. And recently, Google said it has assigned a team to come up with a fix for the bug and is working on a solution.

This Podium Works like a Touch Screen Computer. Imagine showcasing your product demo on a drafting table that works like your iPad. Imagine hooking a projector to this table for large screen presentations on the nearest wall. Now imagine all you need is your laptop to bring these features, and many more, to life. Creators of the IKKUT touch screen podium have been working to make all of this a reality.

Box Integrates with Office 365, Ends “Storage War”. While just a few short years ago, the cloud was still a bit sci-fi for most small businesses, it’s ramped up in ways we couldn’t imagine. We’ve gone from paying exorbitant sums for relatively small amounts of storage to larger and larger amounts of cheap storage and integration across more and more platforms.

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  1. I hate the Adwords hack. Good business owners are paying money to get their brand out there. But if it is only going to be stolen by advertisers, then you’re spending money for nothing. That’s just sad.

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