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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ tag

4 Tips to Help Your Online Business Succeed   no comments

Posted at Mar 16, 2017 @ 10:31am Small Business

online business

With today’s technology, just about anyone can start and run a business online. However, you need a lot more than a simple HTML page to be successful on the internet. By focusing on key areas, you can help your online business stand out and become a success. Below are four tips to help you get started:

 

Smart, Mobile-Friendly Website Design

Desktop computers were once the primary method of browsing the Internet. Today, people can view the web through a long list of devices, including video game consoles, smartphones and tablets. If your website only has a desktop design, customers using other methods to browse may have significant trouble reading or interacting with your website. A responsive design offers an ideal solution; the design cleverly adjusts to best fit the screen of the user, no matter how big or small.

 

Become a Social Media Master

Social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are not going away anytime soon. Finding your own voice on social media is a great way to gain a wide audience of customers. Some businesses choose to do the bare minimum with social media, such as tweeting the occasional new product or posting on Facebook every other month. This approach may not win you too many followers, however. If you want to take an active approach instead, start by interacting directly with your customers. If someone tweets a question about a product that you make or sell, respond as soon as you can. Every time you post a new blog entry, share it on all your Social Media accounts.

 

Improve & Optimize Your Search Results

Improving and optimizing your businesses search results can be done through a variety of means, including building organic links with other companies or individuals. For example, you could ask bloggers to become brand ambassadors for you in order to get your links on their websites. Fresh content can also be a big boost for your ranking; updating your blog regularly can help with this. Keeping your social media profiles updated with frequent links to your fresh content can also help. If you produce videos, make sure that your video posts link back to your website as well.

 

Develop a Marketing and Advertising Plan

There are many ways to market your company online, including some that won’t cost you a dime. Dutifully building your brand through tweets and Facebook shares will net you some customers, but it may take some time to see the full benefit of your labors. Targeted advertising can help you generate customers more quickly. You can use a number of methods to achieve this, including soliciting bloggers to post about your company and paying for banner advertising on popular websites. You can also produce videos and other multimedia content about your company’s products and services to improve your online presence and build customer loyalty.

 

 

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Written by David Maurer on March 16th, 2017

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Online Essentials That Every Successful Business Needs   no comments

Posted at Jan 17, 2017 @ 9:32am Small Business

Online Essentials

No matter what your business offers, building an online presence is an essential part of becoming a global brand. Any business owner can put up a website with little trouble. However, you need a lot more than a simple HTML page to make an impact on the crowded stage of the Internet. Engaging content, elegant designs and a willingness to embrace the latest changes in technology and social networking can help your business website stand out.

 

Fresh Content

Your website’s content can have a major impact on your audience and your search engine ranking. Evergreen content, which refers to content that is almost always relevant regardless of when a visitor views it, can continue to serve your website well for years. Time-sensitive content, such as a special event guide from three years ago, will not rank highly with search engines after the event has passed. Take the time needed to go through your website’s content, retiring old content and updating pages that are still useful.

 

Strong Presence on Social Media

Social media networks are not going away anytime soon. Finding your own voice on social media is a great way to gain a wide audience of customers. Some businesses choose to do the bare minimum with social media, such as tweeting the occasional new product or posting on Facebook every other month. This approach may not win you too many followers, however. If you want to take an active approach instead, start by interacting directly with your customers. If someone tweets a question about a product that you make or sell, respond as soon as you can. Every time you post a new blog entry, share it on Facebook.

 

Fast Website with a Responsive Design

Desktop computers were once the primary method of browsing the Internet. Today, people can view the web through a long list of devices, including video game consoles, smartphones and tablets. If your website only has a desktop design, customers using other methods to browse may have significant trouble reading or interacting with your website. A responsive design offers an ideal solution; the design cleverly adjusts to best fit the screen of the user, no matter how big or small.

 

Multiple Methods of Contact

Your customers have their own preferences for how they like to get in touch with companies. Customers who are versatile with smartphones and social media may prefer to contact you through Twitter. Other customers may want to stick with email or use a form on your website. Make sure your website is equipped with a simple page detailing all of the methods of contact available. A live chat feature is another great way to connect with your customers and quickly solve minor issues; if this method of contact makes sense for your business, be sure to include it.

 

A Blog with Regular Updates

Blogs are powerful tools that let you connect with customers, offer useful information and build your search engine ranking. Even if you don’t consider yourself an expert writer, you can still make a meaningful impact through your blog. Write about topics that are closely related to your business and offer something of value to your readers. If you sell gym equipment through your website, for example, your blog should include articles about eating healthy and new exercises to try. It’s not a bad idea to post blogs that address timely issues, but you should focus on writing blog entries that will generate search traffic throughout the year.

 

A Comprehensive Branding Strategy

Developing a brand for your online presence is a good way to build recognition for your company. Start by unifying all of your online profiles, including your social media accounts. Each profile should use the same imagery so that your audience can instantly recognize your company whenever you post. Your branding should reflect your website through either the use of logos or color scheme. If possible, use the same username across all of your profiles, and opt for a username that is simple and memorable. Once you’ve built your brand, you can work on boosting your brand’s reputation through positive reviews and good customer outreach.

 

Marketing Plan

There are many ways to market your company online, including some that won’t cost you a dime. Dutifully building your brand through tweets and Facebook shares will net you some customers, but it may take some time to see the full benefit of your labors. Targeted advertising can help you generate customers more quickly. You can use a number of methods to achieve this, including soliciting bloggers to post about your company and paying for banner advertising on popular websites. You can also produce videos and other multimedia content about your company’s products and services to improve your online presence and build customer loyalty.

 

Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

A good search engine ranking will help you become the popular choice when customers are searching for your product or service. Optimizing for search engines can be done through a variety of means, including building organic links with other companies or individuals. For example, you could ask bloggers to become brand ambassadors for you in order to get your links on their websites. Fresh content can also be a big boost for your ranking; updating your blog regularly can help with this. Keeping your social media profiles updated with frequent links to your fresh content can also help. If you produce videos, make sure that your video posts link back to your website as well.

 

The strength of your company’s website and online presence can help drive your success. A winning online strategy helps your company to live where your customers are. Putting time and money into developing a quality online brand will generate long-term returns on your investment and help your company to thrive in today’s competitive economy.

 

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Written by David Maurer on January 17th, 2017

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The Disaster Recovery Trivia Challenge has a new home   2 comments

Hey there, everybody who has been playing our weekly Disaster Recovery Trivia Challenge! Hey, also, everybody who should be! If you’re confused, you should read this article, explaining what the Disaster Recovery Trivia Challenge is. Trust us, it’s not something you’ll want to miss out on. Especially if you like T-shirts and/or United States Dollars in quantities of one hundred.

Now that you’re up to speed and that we’ve gotten the more unfortunate news out of the way, we can proceed to the purpose of this article.

Our Disaster Recovery Trivia Challenge has been such a success, everyone! This is a fact that we are beyond psyched about. However, it’s outgrowing its home on our social sites faster than you can say “Disaster Recovery Trivia Challenge”, so we decided it’s time to relocate it to somewhere it has a little more room to breathe… like our blog, for example.

The game is the same in all other aspects; this is just a relocation of the weekly facts and answer reveals. You can still feel free to chat away on social media, since we–quite obviously–love to.

Here’s a round-up of what has happened so far:

torfDR1

torfDR1-a

And the winner is… BILL Y.!

torfDR2

torfDR2-a
And the winner is… DAVID W.!

torfDR3

torfDR3-a

And the winner is… NICK J.!

torfDR4

torfDR4-a

And the winner is… ALEX E.!

torfDR5

torfDR5-a

And the winner is… Russell G.!

torfDR6

torfDR6-a

And the winner is… Mike H.!

torfDR7

torfDR7-a

And the winner is… DARREN C.!

torfDR8 (2)

torfDR9-a

 

And the winner is… Empty Mirror Books!

 

Now that we are up to speed, here is this week’s TRUE or FALSE question:

torfDR9

So what do you think? Is it TRUE or FALSE? Tell us, and you could win a T-shirt and a shot at the grand prize of $100! You can post your guess here, or continue the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We don’t care how, we just want to give away T-shirts! Check back here later in the week to see if you’re our new winner! GOOD LUCK!

Even though the Disaster Recovery Trivia Challenge has a new home, you should still follow our social sites. We’re constantly on the look-out for share-worthy content on a vast array of super-cool topics–everything from hosting to gadgets to sustainability–and we’d love to hear your voice in the crowd.

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Swing by our social sites, play a game, get a t-shirt… win $100…   16 comments

True or false?Big news, everyone! Starting Monday, February 25th, 2013–also known as next Monday–we will be holding a contest on our social sites!

After the panic that both Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo brought about, it has become clear to us that far too many people are uninformed about the importance of being prepared. Back up your data, guys! Prepare for disaster! It’s so, so imperative in running a business successfully, and ensuring its continuity. You wouldn’t drive a car without insurance, would you? Maybe you would, how would I know? But if you do, cut it out.

With that being said, we decided to take action. Introducing: The Disaster Recovery Trivia Challenge!

HOW TO PLAY:

–   Every Monday morning, stop by our Facebook and/or Twitter page(s). There, among the piles of awesomeness, you’ll find a fact about disaster recovery, or businesses’ lack thereof.

–   Read the fact, and decide if you think it’s “True” or “False”.

–   Once you’ve made up your mind, tell us what you think! You can submit your guess on Facebook in the comment section of the fact post, or tweet it to us on Twitter. Luckily, both “True” AND “False” are 140 characters or less—for all you little blue birdies out there. Phew!

Casting your guess (when and IF—that’s a big “if”, see?—you “like” us on Facebook or “follow” us on Twitter…or both, if you just really like hanging out with us) automatically earns you an entry to win— DRUM-ROLL, PLEASE…

SAMSUNG

Oooooohhh…

SAMSUNG

Aaaaaaahhh…

GTP1R *

Wooooowww…

—A free shirt! As a proud owner of one of these babies and a lover of all items acquired through winning giveaways, I can confidently tell you that you shouldn’t sit this one out.

At the end of every week, also known as Friday, we will not only be revealing the answer, but choosing a winner at random. Did you see I said “every week”? That means that with every new fact that we present, comes another opportunity for you to win. So, if you play and aren’t selected, bet your bottom dollar that the sun will come out next week.

We have 10 disaster recovery facts to talk to you about, so that means there are 10 chances to win. That also means that there will be 10 winners of TurnKey finery when all is said and done. However, we want to have a grand-prize winner, because, well… why not? At the end of this 10-week period, when we’re done making it rain T-shirts on you all, we will draw one grand-prize winner from the pool of weekly winners. That one, final, lucky winner will receive $100! Don’t spend it all in one place! Unless you’re spending it at TurnKey Internet, that is.

So what do you think? Will you play along? At the very least, check in on Fridays for some valuable information that just might end up saving you.

 

 

* Recognize this image, anyone? This T-shirt is the answer to this week’s  “Guess that photo” puzzle! For those of you who haven’t heard yet, “Guess that Photo” is another game we play on our social sites! Tune in every week for a new picture, and see if you can guess what it is.

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TRUCKLOADS of TurnKey value! Seriously, though.   no comments

“Let’s Make a Deal!” was a terrific run, wouldn’t you agree? We had a ton of fun deal-making and prize-awarding, through the original promotion and then again with its revival. However, like all good things, “Let’s Make a Deal!” must, too, come to an end. If you find yourself in tears, we understand. Take a moment. We’ll wait…

We would like to extend a final, congratulatory shout-out to our winners of “The Deal of a Lifetime” (Jesse C., Steven S., Danny F., Hendra S., and Adam B.), and an enormous “Thank you!” to everyone who entered. This will not be the last TurnKey Internet giveaway of its kind—mark my words!

With that being said, we have something brand new to share with you! Come on; would you really expect anything less from us? At this point, we hope you know as well as we do that we would be bored to tears without some kind of event going on.

Without further ado, we would like to introduce… The Truckload Sale!

An 18-wheeler just arrived at the TurnKey Internet data center, bursting at the seams with a medley of 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB Intel E3 dedicated servers. To celebrate the arrival of this glorious mountain of technology, we are packing in the savings and marking every single one of them 40% off! All you have to do is enter the coupon E3TRUCK at check-out. That’s it! We’re all about making things easier.

E3’s are what’s hot right now, and they are being snatched up left and right. Don’t miss your chance to get in on this discount, because—trust us!—it won’t last long! Check out the Truckload Sale > 

Also… Yes, there is an “also”. Have you noticed there’s almost always an “also”? The E3 sale isn’t the only new thing starting up at TurnKey Internet this week. Since the truck arrived carrying only servers, we realized that we needed to show our other products and services some love as well. Naturally, we decided to offer savings on… well, everything. We just feel like a new year is started best when there’s a deal involved, you know? Especially when it’s a TurnKey deal, because those are our very favorite kinds of deals. So, see for yourself! Whether you’re looking for a reseller package or a virtual private server or anything in between, with this sale (and the coupon code TK2013), we know you’ll be able to kick off 2013 correctly.

So, are you as excited as we are? We hope so! But save some room for more, and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We may or may not have another contest all cooked up and coming your way in the VERY near future.

 

Pssttt… I’ll have it be known that by “may or may not” I mean “definitely do without question”, but that’s between you and me…

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Six second videos — Twitter acquires Vine   3 comments

For the past two decades, social media has enabled people to keep in touch with loved ones, to reconnect with old classmates and friends, and to research floppy trunk syndrome (if you consider Wikipedia social media,which has been a hot debate with a fellow TurnKey team member… but I won’t mentions names), all from within the comfort of your home. It has also allowed us to write about our lives and share it with people all around the world, to find true love (or fake love, if you happen to play football at Notre Dame), and to fill our spare time with videos of cats, funny babies, and Gangnam Style-esque dances!

Lately, however, social media has been gradually encouraging us to condense the way we document our day-to-day lives. Social sites like Twitter allow short interactions and fleeting insights into the way people spend their time. Whether it is people you know or people you don’t, what people want to share of their daily existence has been captured in 140 characters or less.

A new form of this condensing idea recently sparked interest across the web and landed under the wings of Twitter. Its name is, simply, “Vine”. Now, let me take a second (or six) to tell you a little bit about Vine.

Vine is a free app that allows users to record video clips and edit them into a 6-second, repeating video (think your own easy, personal GIF’s, in a way!). Since Twitter recently acquired this company, you can easily upload and tweet your video to your followers. You can also share it with your friends on Facebook, if you please.

Vine says that this app makes “capturing life in motion fun and easy” and that it’s a “shortened form of something larger.” Now, I think this app is pretty cool, but I am not yet a consistent user. It took me a little while to get interested in Twitter, because I didn’t understand the whole constant-status-update deal. 1) Who has the time to do that all day? And 2) Whoever cares enough about what I am doing at all times—besides my mother—is crazy! I’ll admit, it wasn’t until a friend of mine forced me to sign up for a Facebook account about 6 years ago, that I ever really had interest in getting one.

To me, there are clear pros and cons to Vine and other apps like it. To start, Vine is very simple to use. That, right there, is probably the most important part. Second, it is a great tool to give people a quick insight into where you are, whom you’re with, and what you’re doing. It truly is a “shortened form of something larger.”

The Brooklyn Nets hopped on the Vine train right away, posting a video of a few of their players warming up. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video of Kris Humphries actually finishing a dunk is worth, well, 2 points. Actually, I’ll give him an and-one following his divorce with Kim Kardashian.

You can also be artsy or funny with Vine! In a way, it feels like a stop-motion video. I stumbled upon a Vine video of two men having a staring competition, and since it is a 6-second, ever-repeating video, I waited hours for a winner and ended up falling asleep before the battle was won.

Here is where I am critical: We have seen books “go digital”, and photography “go Instagram”. Now something as a beloved as home videos are “going Vine”—I was happy with stagnation at YouTube for a while. Like I said, the “shortened form of something larger” is great, but with Vine, we will never get to see the full picture, or in this case, video.

Another problem I see with Vine stems from that which we refer to as “selfies.” We all know what those are. It started with teenage girls on MySpace, and has become popular on Instagram. Some people love themselves so much that they feel the need to post 20 photos a day of them sitting in a car, then at a desk, then eating a salad, then with their cat, then in their new outfit, then in a mirror, then close up, then at a low angle, then at a high angle, then at a side angle, and then … well, you get the point. I feel like Vine will be another outlet for this, but on repeat! I do know it is my choice whom I follow, and I will definitely take that into consideration if Vine takes hold.

This is where I shall leave you! My question is: Will Vine really catch on? Is it the new Instagram in video form, or is it something that will come and go? As with any technology, it’s there for everyone to use, and the way in which we do so is what defines its future. I am just glad that Vine was not around when I was a child … It would have made it a whole lot easier for my parents to share embarrassing videos of me with my girlfriends.

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January round-up   3 comments

Posted at Jan 31, 2013 @ 3:25pm News,online marketing,social media,TurnKey Marketing

Hey, everyone!

January has been a big month for us, as we’re sure those of you who frequent the TurnKey Blog have noticed. We welcomed two new team members, Alan and Dylan, and have been working super hard to put together some exciting plans for the TurnKey community this year (psst… stay tuned!). We hope that 2013 is off to a great start for each and every one of you, as well.

As some of you may know already, I run the social media here at TurnKey. In my Twitter and Facebook adventures, I couldn’t help but notice that January was also a fairly eventful month on the social scene. There was a big response to the article I wrote regarding Instagram’s Service Agreement amendment a little while back, so I wanted to dig up some similar news to chat about this time around. I was trying to figure out which topic I wanted to cover, but then I realized: why pick just one when there are so many good ones to choose from? Here is a round-up of my personal favorites from the social side of the tech world this month:

3. GOOD

I spy…a new social network? Thank goodness, because we obviously didn’t have enough already. No, but on a serious note, GOOD has a lot of potential.

From what I can tell, GOOD is an online community with users (businesses, organizations, independent groups, and just people riding solo) who possess progressive initiatives and are working to do some good in the world. With a GOOD account, you have access to three components that make up the network. The first is a site-run news-feed of sorts, where relevant stories, articles, websites, etc. are published in several categories. Similarly, the second component is a community-run news-feed  where GOOD initiatives can be searched for, shared, and discussed. The last GOOD puzzle piece, and—in my opinion—the most interesting, allows community members to post a goal. The other users can then contribute their ideas about how to reach the goal, and to vote for the ones they support the most. The winning goal is then awarded some kind of aid to see the initiative through to completion.

Good.is is an interesting concept in general, and there are a multitude of reasons why I think we should all join, or at least keep an eye on it. At the top of that list, however—especially as a member of the TurnKey Internet team—is the fact that I believe any initiative to make the world a better place should be of the utmost importance to us all. As the TurnKey Internet team member responsible for Social Media, what could be more fun to watch and help advance than a social network devoted to making the world a better place? Not much else, is what.

Check it out, guys: www.good.is

2. Wikivoyage

I’m honestly surprised someone didn’t think of this sooner. Although, when you think about it, someone, somewhere most likely did, and just didn’t have a Wikipedia-sized foundation to build off of. Regardless, how cool and useful does Wikivoyage sound?!

First things first. If you are unfamiliar with Wikipedia, I am so sorry to hear that. But to fill you in: Wikipedia is a free, online encyclopedia, collaboratively written by its community. You can read more about it on the Wikipedia page about Wikipedia. BOOM. INCEPTION. Anyway, Wikivoyage is a brand new online travel guide brought to us by the same people who brought us Wikipedia (which is The Wikimedia Foundation, by the way). What’s really awesome is that it’s for the readers, by the readers, just like Wikipedia! It just left beta, so all of you lucky ducks with vacations in your near future should definitely break it in for the rest of us.

1. Facebook Graph Search

I’m not sure about you, but when this story started peppering our newsfeeds and the news/blog sites I frequent, my immediate reaction was, “well, it’s about time…” Facebook rumors are always flying around, and chatter of this-or-that project that its developers are fine-tuning is ever-abundant. A while back, however, I caught wind of a Facebook search engine, and actually put some stock into it. Sure enough, this month, Facebook rolled out a “Graph” announcement.

Check out Facebook’s “About” page for a complete run-down on the Graph feature. I found the “Building Graph Search” video to be particularly informative, if you find yourself a little short on time or interest. Regardless, I have high expectations for Graph, and think that Google, Bing!, and other leaders in the search engine world could potentially find themselves getting a run for their money. This could also end up becoming another Little Engine that Could Have (like Google+, in my opinion) but only time will tell. What do you predict is next for Facebook? Mark my words, I think it will be Facebook Maps.

 

So what do you think? Did I overlook something bigger or were these at the top of the list for you, too? Was any of this news to you? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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Written by Emily on January 31st, 2013

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Meet Dylan Youngs   1 comment

Posted at Jan 17, 2013 @ 11:00am Staff Interviews

People of the World Wide Web:

My name is Dylan Youngs, as you may have predicted from the title “Meet Dylan Youngs.” As TurnKey Internet’s newest member, I am here to introduce myself and to tell you some things that you probably don’t know about me!

I recently graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications. Along with spending my four years of college in Oneonta, I also spent the first 18 years of my life there. The “City of the Hills” is known for its cold cheese pizza, the legendary “Squirrelman”, and Brook’s Barbeque—where Hillary Clinton once stopped in for a finger lickin’ good time.

At SUNY Oneonta, I had the opportunity to study abroad in London, England, and also to gain some professional experience in Burlington, VT. I now like to think of myself as an International Man of Mystery (although I am the only one who has ever actually used that title for myself). In Vermont, I worked as a Marketing and Promotions Intern for a Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the Oakland A’s. There, I got to meet Billy Beane of Moneyball and Mini Kiss—for all you baseball and little Gene Simmons fans out there. I also put my Speedo on and dipped my toes in the great sea of Marketing, and realized that I would like to swim with the great white sharks of the biz one day (from now on, I am referring to myself as a blacktip reef shark, which is approximately six feet in length, as am I).

TurnKey hired me to take on a new position, Direct Marketing Ambassador, and I am thrilled to be here! This is a great opportunity to get my foot in the door at a company that is rapidly growing, and in an industry that that is developing just as fast. I have found that everyone who works here has their own awesome, unique personalities, which—amazingly—somehow blend into a big, happy ball of high-fives and “hip-hip hoorays”. Now I am here to bring chest-bumps and The Wave to this TurnKey Stadium.

Well, that is all for now. Signing off!

 Read more about Dylan…

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Written by Dylan on January 17th, 2013

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Out with the Black Friday, in with the Cyber Monday!   no comments

Cyber Monday Digital ShoppingAfter the overwhelmingly positive reaction we received for our Black Friday Special, we have decided to keep the wheels in motion. Today, we’re announcing our Cyber Monday promotion! We’re basically taking our Black Friday Special and changing its clothes, so that you can all enjoy a little extra time with the sale that has everyone (us, included!) buzzing with enthusiasm.

If you happened to miss the sale, don’t you worry! Here’s a little overview:

With the coupon code CM2012, you can get 75% off of  pretty much anything we sell – servers, reseller packages, SEO hosing; if we sell it and you want it, it’s probably 75% off. And guess what? It’s locked-in at 75% off. For life.

Here’s the really exciting part, though. For Black Friday ONLY, we packed in even more savings to the Early Bird Special I told you about earlier this week. Initially, the 75% was only valid with the selection of an annual payment plan, and for Black Friday we decided to throw the restrictions out the window and discount monthly and semi-annual plans as well. Cyber Monday is every bit as exciting for us–if not more, because we heart the internet–so we’re going to put the all-encompassing 75% off into affect again.

Lastly, if you hadn’t noticed, we like to go out with a bang here. Did you really expect us to run a special without giving it a little extra bit of awesomeness? Surely not. As a gift, to thank you for your business and for being so great, we would like to offer your fourth month absolutely free. That’s right, if you participate in our Cyber Monday sale, you will receive the fourth month of your service for exactly $0.00.

Jump over to our Cyber Monday page and save yourself some money! Happy–online–shopping!

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Written by Emily on November 25th, 2012

Tagged with , , , , , ,

EU Targets Google’s Latest Privacy Policy   no comments

Posted at Oct 18, 2012 @ 1:44pm News,online marketing,social media,tech news

google magnifying glass

 

Recently, there has been quite a stir over the EU’s response to Google’s most recent privacy policy…

 

From PARIS (Reuters): “Google has four months to make its privacy policy comply with requests from European Union data protection watchdogs or start facing the possibility of disciplinary action at a national level.”

France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique, working on behalf of the EU’s 27 national data regulators, said on Tuesday it had found legal flaws with a new approach to user data that Google adopted in March.

Among CNIL’s concerns was the way the U.S. group combines anonymous data from users’ browsing histories across its services to better target advertising.

From theguardian:  “Google’s latest privacy policy means that users get a simpler experience when signing up for a new Google-owned service. But it also means that Google can build up a more comprehensive picture of the user for advertising – for example, monitoring a person’s use of YouTube to help better target adverts within Gmail.”

 

I find it interesting that the EU’s various sanctioning bodies have an issue with this.  What do they think Google is going to do with the information?  Seriously!?  Google is in business to make money.  They make money by helping advertisers get in front of people who are most likely to purchase their products and services.  Let me give a perfect example – Let’s say that a feminine hygiene advertisement is placed in front of male audience members. I dare say, that is a waste of the advertisers’ money because odds are probably REALLY good that there isn’t a single purchaser in the group.

Another example: I watch YouTube all the time.  99.8% of my YouTube views are music.  Actually, I can’t imagine life without YouTube – but that’s another blog.  In the past year alone, I’ve probably watched in the neighborhood of 2,500 music videos – and once, ONCE, was an advertisement placed in front of me that I was interested in.  I actually sat there and watched the advertisement because it was something I was interested in.  That means the other 2499 times that ads were placed in front of me were a total waste.  From both efficiency and user-experience standpoints, wouldn’t it be better if YouTube, Google, or whoever is displaying the content, knew something about the viewer’s likes, dislikes, sites visited, etc.?  It irks me a little bit that I have to wait the 5 seconds before I can click on the “Skip Ad” button.  I’d much rather see an advertisement that actually interests me.

In other words, by being able to target your viewer, as Google is allegedly doing, it serves both the advertiser as well as the viewer.  My question is: Why does the EU want to make it harder on advertisers (businesses within the European Union) and the citizens of the European Union?  Ah, government regulatory bodies at their finest, once again. Apparently the EU wants advertisers to pay for ads that get displayed in front of randomly selected people who might not have any interest at all in the product or service being touted, rather than be able to target their ads to those who have shown some type of behavior that identifies them as a potential buyer.  Also, why should anyone have to sit through an ad that they have no interest in?

Now, I do agree that people should have the ability to opt out of certain things like email, but isn’t what Google is doing beneficial for everyone?

If I were an advertiser and it was costing me X dollars each time my ad was presented, I would want to be darn sure that my ad was being placed in front of people who are most likely to take advantage of what I’m offering.

I’d be interested in hearing other views on whether Google, who is allegedly doing what the regulatory bodies claim, is right or wrong.  Perhaps you are indifferent? How do you feel about the use of this alleged data?

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Written by Dave on October 18th, 2012

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