Mobile-MarketingIn case you missed it, here are some of the top stories in mobile marketing and advertising we’ve been following this week.

Gold, Silver Go to inMarket at the Best in Biz International Awards
MMW learned Wednesday that inMarket, a beacon proximity giant delivering contextual content to consumers in the retail and nightlife spaces, has claimed top honors at this year’s Best in Biz International Awards.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Overlook Emojis in Marketing
The following is a guest contributed post by Sophie Vu, CMO at Vibes Since becoming an official entry in the dictionary in 2013, emojis have skyrocketed in popularity.

Swrve Launches Premium Analytics to Help Drive Successful Mobile Marketing
MMW learned today that Swrve — a leader in mobile marketing engagement — has just announced the availability of its new Premium Analytics offering — an add-on to the existing Swrve Mobile Engagement Platform.

Falcon.io Says New Instagram Measurement Offering Can Enhance Content Strategy
MMW learned Tuesday that Falcon.io — a social media management and customer experience (CX) platform — now allows customers to grow their business and guide social engagement strategy through new Instagram Measurement reports.

Why Online Businesses Should Use Video to Nourish Leads
The following is a guest contributed post by Ronen Menipaz. Days of old fashioned TV-style “spray and pray” approach to advertising are long gone now and what the modern day advertisers need today is a complete overhaul of this philosophy which has become too…

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The post Mobile Marketing: Here’s What Happened This Week appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Cross Audience announced ahead of the weekend the launch of its mobile DSP (Demand Side Platform).

In addition to IAB standard ad formats, Cross Audience’s platform is equipped to serve engaging rich media, native and video formats (including pre-roll, MRAID and VPAID).

The announcement marks an important expansion for the company, which provides a full range of mobile marketing services aimed at driving measurable results for mid- and large-sized companies.

“The new mobile DSP will offer both self-service and full-service options to accommodate any size marketing budget,” a provided statement reads. “Full-service clients will be supported by Cross Audience’s client services team and will receive white glove service at every stage of their campaign, from asset creation through analytics and optimization. Self-service clients will have access to Cross Audience’s robust support site, with available support from the client services team.”

Companies who advertise via the mobile DSP at either service level will be able to leverage Cross Audience’s premium publisher relationships, as well as their troves of high-quality first- and third-party data.

“Our mobile DSP will give advertisers access to some of the most trusted names in digital publishing, as well as the premium audiences they’ve been struggling to reach through other partners – particularly if they don’t have a Fortune 500-sized budget,” says Jeffrey Kamikow, CEO of Cross Audience. “Whether they’re aiming to drive app downloads or sales, we’re offering scalable, data-driven, programmatic advertising that many mid-sized companies haven’t been able to take advantage of previously.”

The post Cross Audience Touts Launch of Mobile DSP appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

4 Steps to Follow When Leaving the Corporate World for Entrepreneurship

After two decades in the workforce, Ohio businesswoman Deborah Wasylko found herself faced with the prospect of having to move to keep her job while dealing with challenges in her family life. Wasylko concluded that she had a choice: continue her corporate career or become an entrepreneur.

“I decided to start a corporate gift company, because that’s what I love to do,” says Wasylko, the founder and president of Baskets Galore, which creates gift baskets for corporate clients. She had long been enthusiastic about visual design and making people feel cared for, she says, and her new venture touched on both interests. “It was my opportunity to re-engineer my career and follow my passion.”

The allure of becoming your own boss seems strong: As of 2014, there were more than 29 million small businesses in the U.S, up 6% from 2010, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

4 Steps to Follow When Leaving the Corporate World for Entrepreneurship

But excelling in an office doesn’t mean you’re bound for entrepreneurial success. In addition to many logistical and financial challenges, the transition from employee to entrepreneur involves a distinct shift in mentality. Before you make the leap, take these steps to make sure you’re ready beyond the numbers.

1. Talk with Other Entrepreneurs

The best way to psychologically prepare for the jump from a corporate job to calling the shots is to talk with those who have already made the transition.

“You don’t want to reinvent the wheel every single time,” says Cathy Posner, a small-business coach in Ohio.

Ask other entrepreneurs how their roles in corporate America prepared — or failed to prepare — them to run a small business. What do they wish they had done differently? What do they wish they had known ahead of time?

And, most importantly, would they do it again?

2. Identify Your Resources

A small-business mentor from SCORE is invaluable to entrepreneurs, Posner says. This free program, which is supported by the SBA, connects seasoned professionals with small-business owners. A mentor can help you turn your understanding of corporate goals into a business strategy. He or she can help you define your services, determine the fees you’ll charge and give advice on daily business tasks you may not have handled before, such as marketing and managing employees, Posner says.

Ultimately, you are your best resource. The skills you developed in a corporate environment — project management, organizational skills, employee management — will be even more important, says Posner. “Everything that you do starts to be magnified.”

Wasylko particularly appreciates having learned in the corporate arena how to remain calm in the spotlight, giving presentations in front of executives or large crowds. As a fledgling business owner, “I wasn’t intimidated, and I had more poise as a result of doing all those things: being clear, being decisive, being organized,” she says.

3. Prepare Yourself for Uncertainty

Being an entrepreneur involves higher highs and lower lows than working in an office, Posner says.

“In many corporate environments, your responsibilities can be pretty segmented,” she says. But when you’re a small-business owner, “the buck stops 100 percent at you.”

Brainstorm ways to keep yourself grounded in the face of uncertainty. After JJ DiGeronimo transitioned from Silicon Valley startups to running a consulting firm for women in tech fields, she found she had to redefine what success looked like.

“I think entrepreneurship brings out your own deficiencies, and for me, a lot of that was around self-identity,” DiGeronimo says. After years of identifying with her title and salary, she found herself in a role that emphasized the less concrete objective of personal and professional growth.

“Our society often aligns success to money, but as an entrepreneur, it can take time to make money,” she says. “Finding ways to align to the goodwill of your work is important.”

DiGeronimo found support from fellow entrepreneurs, blogs and books; a favorite was “The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources.”

4. Network, Collaborate, Repeat

In a corporate environment, you’ve likely already dipped your toes in the networking pool. Take advantage of those connections before you leave your 9-to-5. Contacts and resources may prove invaluable, and you never know who may become a client. Networking events are also a good place to meet other business owners with whom to collaborate, Posner says. For example, wedding photographers and florists often cross-promote services.

And networking groups provide a partial replacement for one of the major benefits you’ll lose after leaving your job: colleagues.

“When you go off and work by yourself, sometimes you need that energy,” DiGeronimo says. “You need that soundboard.”

Ditching the Suit Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Following These 4 Tips will Make Leaving the Corporate World for Entrepreneurship Easier" was first published on Small Business Trends

Facebook Marketing Tips

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) advertising can be overwhelming, especially if you are working on your first campaign. Before you jump in and get started, use these Facebook marketing tips to help you make the most of your time, effort, and budget.

Facebook Marketing Tips

Start with a Clear Goal

Before you can create any kind of successful Facebook advertising campaign, you must define your goals and the metrics you’ll need to measure to determine how successful the campaign is. This will set the stage for the methods you’ll use to optimize the campaign, so skipping this step will be costly to your ROI.

Common Facebook advertising goals include:

  • Generating sales: Your approach will vary depending on whether you’re in the B2C or B2B sector. When in the B2C, your best bet is to use page post ads to promote in the news feed, where you can use larger images to promote your products and services. When in the B2B sector, you should use both page post ads and right-hand column ads to focus on acquiring more leads you can nurture through the sales funnel to convert to sales. Your goal is to send more traffic to your website or landing page, and you should target based on interests, age range, and gender (if appropriate.)
  • Building more brand awareness: Use page like ads to get more likes for your page. You should aim for likes only from highly targeted people, so it means using targeting competitors, similar interests, and custom audiences to get newsletter subscribers to like your Facebook page. Exclude people who are already fans of your page to avoid wasting ad spend.
  • Getting more engagement on your posts: Use link ads, photo ads, and video ads to get more engagement for your posts. Your ad creatives should be extremely visual with stellar photos. If you’ve built a relevant audience, start by advertising to them. If not, target people who fit your ideal customer persona based on interests, age, gender, and purchasing behaviors.
  • Getting installs of your mobile app: Use the mobile app ads for install ad type. Once your app is published in the app store, you should implement Facebook event tracking. Use app screenshots in your creative, and target based on the audience you believe to be most interested.
  • Increasing app usage and profit: Use mobile app engagement ads. These people have already installed your app, so be specific as possible and use the ad to direct users exactly where you want them to go. Use custom audience targeting. Use event tracking in your app so you can see what each user is doing and use that to target them precisely.

Keep Desktop and Mobile Ads Separate

Facebook gives you the option to run various ad types in different locations. You can run on mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, right column, and Instagram. It’s a good idea to keep your desktop and mobile ad campaigns completely separate, even if you’re aiming to achieve the same goal.

Keeping them separate allows you to optimize your ads, bids, and conversions based on device. Your ads and calls to action are likely to perform differently on desktop than they would on mobile, so your ad setup needs to fact that in. If you’re using the Power Editor to design and build your ads, then you can choose the device targeting on the ad set menu.

Test Different Images

Images will draw attention to your ads, but no two images will perform the same way. That’s why you should test the same ad copy with different images, to see which ones your audience responds to better. Then, stop running ad campaigns that use the images with the lower click through rates and conversions, so you can maximize your ROI.

Use Lookalike Audiences

A Facebook Lookalike Audience is a list of users who have similar characteristics to your website custom audience. You can use it to find other people who are already like your customers, or to find people like the ones who are already like your page.

If you want to create a lookalike audience, login to the Facebook ads manager and click audiences. From there, click “Create audience” and choose “Lookalike audience” from the dropdown menu.

Then, choose the source of your look alike audience, such as the people who already like your page, or the people who’ve visited the thank you page on your website. Choose your target company, and select your audience size. The smaller audience size you choose, the more targeted it will be.

Use the Remarketing Pixel

Any potential customers who’ve visited your website from any traffic source, but didn’t convert, are likely comparing prices and providers. They’re in the research phase and are trying to get the best possible deal. So, by the time they’re ready to actually make a purchase, chances are high they’ve forgotten about you.

The Facebook remarketing pixel allows you to target people who’ve visited your website in the past on Facebook with ads. This is an excellent way to make the most of traffic that originally came to you from AdWords. All you have to do to setup a remarketing pixel is login to your Facebook advertising manager, click on Audiences, then click “Custom Audience and Website Traffic.” From there, you’ll be able to start the process of creating a remarketing pixel.

You’ll need to install the code in the footer of your website. It may take a day or so to start pulling in data, but you can then go back to your website traffic menu and choose “people who visit specific web pages.” From there, you’ll be able to create lists of people who are visiting a certain page on your website, and target them or exclude them from your campaigns.

One of the best ways to make use of this is to exclude anyone who has visited your thank you page, since they have already converted. You’re not wasting time or money advertising to them.

Target Your Email List

Facebook lets you create a custom audience based on your email list. Create a .CSV or .TXT file with a single email address per row. Remove any other data your email marketing platform includes in your exported file.

Click “Audiences” and click “Create Audience.” Then choose “Custom Audience” and “Customer List”. From there, you’ll be able to upload your list.

You can also upload a list of phone numbers and target those people on Facebook ads, but it only works if their phone number is listed in their account. You can create a lookalike audience based off of these targeted lists, too.

Schedule Your Ads

On Facebook, you can segment your ads by days and hours, if you have a lifetime budget, rather than a daily budget option. This issue is why many businesses aren’t using this feature. If you use this approach, you’ll need to think of the total budget of your ad set. If you don’t have a successful performance pattern over time, then don’t use this setting. It’s not a good option for the first run of an ad for testing purposes.

If you have an ad you know works, you can set up the days and times you want it o run in the budget and schedule section of your ad set.

Use Carousel Ads

If your audience seems to respond well to a series of product images, you can combine those images into a single ad with the carousel ad. This is a newer ad type that allows you to show more than one image at once within a single ad. Ecommerce brands can use dynamic product ads that allow them to cross-sell complementary products, or even retarget customers who click through to their websites, but don’t make a purchase.

Ecommerce brands can also improve their Facebook marketing strategy using multi-product ads. This allows you to show multiple products in a single ad, giving customers more to choose from.  You can also use these ads to show different benefits of a single product. An Adobe study showed these ads are more cost efficient per acquisition, saving you up to 35 percent in cost per click because of higher engagement. And, they can boost your click through rate as much as 50 percent to 300 percent.

Advertise on Instagram, Too

Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can create the same ads on Instagram that you can run on Facebook. You can choose to run your campaigns solely on Facebook, or duplicate them on Instagram. If you know your audience can be found there too, then it’s a good way to build more traction.

The key with Facebook is to segment, and run multiple ads on a small scale to see what works before spending more money. Always be testing, and paying attention to your conversions.

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "7 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Marketing Strategy" was first published on Small Business Trends

Would you ask your employees to implant a microchip into their hands? Do you think they’d even agree to it?

One tech company in Wisconsin is taking this step. Three Square Market has offered employees the option of being microchipped, which could allow them to easily enter the office, unlock their devices and even make payments. The microchips are implanted between the thumb and forefinger and are about the size of a grain of rice.

Unlike pet microchips, these don’t include GPS features. So they’re not being used to track anyone. And Three Square Market isn’t the first company to take advantage of this type of technology. Other startups in countries like Sweden have tried out the technology already.

But many still have concerns about privacy and other issues. That’s likely one of the big reasons the company didn’t make the program mandatory. But the company reported that more than half of its 80 employees did agree to using the microchip.

Are the Three Square Market Employee Microchip Benefits Worth the Downsides?

So this technology offers a unique opportunity for small businesses and employees. It could make a lot of things easier throughout the day. But is it worth it?

Image: Three Square Market

This article, "Wisconsin Company Offers Optional Microchips for Employees — Would Your Business?" was first published on Small Business Trends