Hosting One of the Most Special Dinners with Awesome Friends and Partners

By Sinan Kanatiz, Founder & Chairman of the IMA

Last Thursday night was the setting of what could arguably be one of the greatest dinners of all time, with over 20 global leaders in attendance, representing different industries including tech, hospitality, real estate, defense, artificial intelligence and Internet marketing. Bree Jacoby, House of Style put on an exquisite Men’s Fashion Show to share her upcoming line with several of our friends.

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Together, we had a five course gourmet dinner crafted by Brian Bornemann and Laura Klein, followed by a modeling showcase of the latest outfits for the modern executive fashioned by Bree Jacoby, home of style. IEC co-sponsored the event and I was proud to share the moment with our organization’s co/founder Kevin Maloney. The evening ended with a fire dancing show and cigar display that left everyone wanting more.

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The dinner was paired with a tasting of rare Clase Azul tequilas, as well as a multi wine pairing by Aperture Wines facilitated by wine impresario Jesse Katz who flew in for the affair.

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The blend of good conversation, quality spirits, and entertainment made for one of the most memorable and impactful dining experiences ever. It is moments like these that empower the work I do, bringing leaders together around common purpose, goals and network. All of whom support philanthropy, giving back and helping the next generation.

Among the individuals in attendance included Bree Jacoby, Kevin Maloney, Craig Atkins, Larry Armstrong, Shawn Dougherty, Bob Olson, Thomas Horton, Matt Greco, Kevin Dunlap, Tim Smith, Reed Dickens, Palmer Luckey, Rob Hutter, Chris Brearton, Josh Kreitzer, Bill Lyon, Joe Stapleton, Steve Craig, Peter Desforges and Jeremy Krout.

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Revolutionary ThinAir Data Security Solution Announced

Security start-up ThinAir labs is launching their product at the Black Hat cybersecurity show in Las Vegas this year.  The company pre-publicized the launch July 26th with a press release and along with a new website at www.thinair.com

For the last three years, ThinAir has been quietly working on a mission that will change the way security products are built. Their goal is to protect organizations with security through simplicity — building incredible protections that allow everyone, not just security professionals, to keep their most important files safe.

The company is now ready to deliver their exciting new product that provides unprecedented control and visibility to data, and is easy to implement and use.  They will be displaying the product at Black Hat and providing demonstrations on the unique power and simplicity of the ThinAir platform.

To learn more about ThinAir, sign up on their website or follow them on Twitter @thinairlabs

Tech Giants Fight For Our Online Privacy

In June of 2012, an individual named Edward Snowden went into hiding after leaking information on the United States’ PRISM Program, which had the permission and the capabilities to perform wide-scale surveillance on national and international countries.

In the following months, Snowden continued to leak information on spying initiatives, as well as a plethora of NSA emails and documents, pressuring corporations such as Google and Yahoo to release user information, all in the name of National Security. The repercussions were dire in all scenarios. 

After widespread public outcry of NSA’s programs, many tech giants made online privacy their top priority, by informing users of tactics utilized to seize private information. Additionally, many companies, such as Google, Apple, Yahoo, and Twitter are collaborating, lobbying for greater protection of users through updated legislation.

The aforementioned legislation is the Email Privacy Act, which seeks to provide owners of digital properties the same rights given to owners of physical objects. The bill classifies digital and physical objects as equivalent. It was first introduced in May 2013, yet remains in subcommittee hearings.

The legislation seeks to update the outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1988, which states, “Data stored in the cloud should be afforded less protection than data stored locally.”

In response to the ousted NSA programs, Microsoft sued the U.S. Government arguing that a search warrant issued within the U.S. cannot be legally enacted to access user data in overseas servers. Microsoft has since lost the lawsuit, but has announced intent to appeal the decision.

 Similarly, other corporations have taken measures to increase security; Google has introduced full-encryption to Gmail that will be turned on by default. Apple has secured iOS 8 to such an extent that the FBI has approached Congress to mandate reductions.

We fully expect online privacy innovation to continue, as worldwide concerns for security mount. As tech giants lead modernization efforts, we look forward to new technology to keep us all safe.

Ten Twitter Tips

We all know how big social media is today, and there’s no denying it helps with your SEO. After their latest updates, the stronger your brand name, the better your website is going to rank. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media outlets all help you build a presence on the web that search engines love and will also be in the best interest of your business.

Let’s start with looking at why having more followers on Twitter is good:

• The advantage of Twitter is that once people follow you, they will invariably see your tweets, while Facebook will block out certain updates or charge to make posts more prominent. With Twitter, you know your tweets will get to your fan base.

• The number of followers you have is a reflection of your brand. The more followers you have, the easier it is to get even larger – and we will see why.

• The larger your user base, the more likely Twitter is to recommend you on their “who to follow.”

Here’s a set of ideas to make your Twitter account more interesting to follow and how you can get the most from your current user base.

• Tweet at the right time. Tweet at a time when your followers are most likely to view your tweets. If you’re a restaurant, try around meal times. For businesses, 10 a.m. works best. Look at when most of your tweets are coming in from followers to decide.

• Talk to people. Since Twitter users like to talk, @message people who are authority figures in your field and you’ll be surprised with the number that respond.

• Engage your user. When talking to people, give them a bone, drop a link to your blog post or infographic so that when you message someone they have something more than just a tweet to look at. The more you engage with your user base, the larger the chance they will talk back to you.

• Keep it going. When you get a reply from your customers, don’t end the conversation with a thank you. Try to get more from them. Hear what they are really saying and keep asking them for more. This will increase your tweet count and make your account look bigger.

• Have more followers than friends. Don’t follow back everyone that follows you. That way, your account looks unprofessional.

• Keep your profile clean. First impressions count. If you have very few tweets of value in your last four (which is all that shows in the preview), then you may not be taken seriously. Ensure that you don’t just have @replies to people, unless you’re just doing customer service.

• Tweets go far. Ensure that when you tweet, it stays relevant. If you keep tweeting with @mentions, it will only engage the person you’re speaking with and not the majority of users. Keep in mind that general tweets will often be retweeted and marked as favorite.

• Check unfollowers. You can use a free service for checking unfollowers. This will let you see who has unfollowed you and allow you to ask why they don’t find your tweets compelling anymore.

• Follow the right people. If you are using your official Twitter handle, don’t follow your kids and friends. This will just give the wrong message to Twitter’s algorithms and to users who want to follow you. Try following those with equal followers, which is likely to ensure a follow back.

• Quick replies. When someone @mentions you on Twitter, try to respond quickly. This will let users feel heard and will encourage them to follow you and be happy with your feedback.

Keep checking with us for more tips on how to make the most of your Internet marketing strategies. We are constantly updating and always welcome your feedback on what you’re doing with your verticals, so do keep messaging us!

 

Ways to Build an Effective Mobile Website

Internet usage on mobile devices has risen significantly and will continue to rise as data plans and mobile phones become cheaper. Most importantly, people are beginning to make purchases from e-commerce sites using their mobiles rather than their computers. Even offline companies are witnessing an increase in offline business sales activities. For this reason, many businesses have realized the significance of mobile websites for increasing business sales. Businesses have the option of either developing an interactive/responsive site or creating a separate website for mobile devices.

Options for Developing Mobile Websites

An array of options is available for creating a separate mobile website that comes complete with its own separate URLs. You can develop a separate mobile website in place of your main online site to allow easy access to mobile users when they want to access your online page. One can even create a mobile website that is smaller as well as a mirror image of the original site.

Mobile websites are usually built in two main ways. The first method is that the mobile website contains the same content as the current site. The second method is to create a site that contains different content. Before creating the content, you need to decide on the purpose that the mobile website will be serving for your business. This can be determined by analyzing the activity of the mobile users visiting your existing site. Many businesses make alterations in their mobile websites to meet different and diverse browsing habits and queries of various search engines. But similar content for mobile and main sites is perfect for those businesses that want to save time and cost on regularly updating the mobile edition of their sites.

Creating a Responsive Website for Mobiles

A mobile website with similar content like the primary online site needs to be “responsive” in nature. A responsive mobile website offers the following advantages:

– With a responsive site, the need for separately updating the primary and mobile websites does not arise.

– An interactive and responsive design allows for using one type of content for both the mobile and primary sites. This allows easy and better editing of content for both the mobile and main site.

– This kind of design allows the use of links that will direct users to both the existing as well as the mobile site.

– The pages that are most frequented by users should be identified and made responsive, which can spread to other pages, too.

For building a separate but similar mobile website, the same URLs are usually used for these sites. In such cases, servers send out the mobile edition of the website to mobile users. In this way, businesses do not have to tackle problems like broken URLs that can delay the implementation of a responsive site.

Benefits of a Separate Mobile Website

A separate mobile website, on the other hand, allows for the creation of different content for mobile users. Separate mobile websites come with the following benefits:

– The mobile website can be totally different by catering to the specific needs of mobile users.

– The mobile website can also be the same by just making slight changes with regards to search engine friendly keywords.

– By creating a separate mobile site, the current site does not require redesigning.

– A separate mobile website allows for the experimentation of new ideas which can be incorporated later into the primary website.

Despite the many advantages of separate mobile websites, many businesses prefer to develop responsive sites. Yet, separate mobile websites can be easier to design and can transform into highly responsive websites.

Using Google’s Research Tools to Create Search Engine Friendly Keywords

The success of various online business sites depends on search engine optimized campaigns that use appropriate and search engine friendly keywords. This is an ongoing process that requires the use of fresh and unique keywords. In other words, businesses need to modify their existing keyword lists from time to time. All kinds of SEO tools are available for creating new sets of keywords. To continue to rank high on various search engines, here are some suggestions on various Google tools that you can use to make your business site attractive to search engines and web users.

Google Analytics

The list of keywords can be further expanded with the help of Google Analytics. Though many ways are available for segregating the data generated by the keyword research tool, a simple way of doing it is by selecting keywords that attract a huge volume of user traffic for a specific landing web page.

Google Trends

Another very useful tool for SEO experts is Google Trends. It provides a deep and comprehensive insight into the usage of a particular keyword. It keeps a record of the search importance for various keywords over a given time. Along with the relevant search engine trends of the various keywords, it also provides users with related terms at the bottom of the page.

Google Webmaster Tools

Another very powerful keyword research tool that one can use for modifying keyword searches is Google Webmaster Tools. It not only reveals the most popular keywords that rank high in search engine results leading to user traffic to your site but also highlights keywords that are search engine friendly which you can use for your own business website.

Google Autocomplete

In order to find fresh keyword ideas for your business, consult Google Autocomplete for realizing untapped opportunities for building your ranking among various search engines. Google Autocomplete is the most easy (and quickest) way of finding new keywords. Simply type in the most used or popular keywords related to your business to get an insight into related searches. In other words, besides the keywords being used by your business, you will get an idea of what kind of searches web users make when they use the same keywords that have been used by your business. Avoid pressing the enter key while conducting a keyword search using Google Autocomplete tool. Likewise, leave some space before your search engine friendly keywords in order to get more ideas on how best to modify your list of keywords. In place of the space in front of the keyword, you can make use of terms like when, where, who, what and why to get interesting ideas for creating unique web content.

Though Google has introduced many search engine friendly products and services, it has also discontinued the usage of certain services like the tilde tool for finding synonyms that are connected to your keywords. This research tool from Google is highly effective and helpful for carrying out keyword research and expansion of the existing keyword list. Yet, there are many other useful tools that can be used for finding synonyms related to your keyword. For instance, Google Sheets can be used for carrying out synonym related searches. Even the search results that come at the bottom of the result page play an important role in being a source for new and innovative ideas and opportunities for your list of keywords.

Besides the usage of the abovementioned research tools from Google, there are other equally popular tools that you can use for bringing about much needed change in your list of keywords and subsequently in your business.

The Significance of User Friendly Mobile Content

Nowadays mobile is playing an important role in business promotion campaigns. Mobile websites have become a necessity for many businesses. Mobile phones are now looked upon as providing widespread economic and commercial opportunities to various online businesses. For this reason, mobile websites are being designed with the aim of providing user friendly mobile content to a variety of users.

Create Neat and Precise Structure

Mobile users are always on the lookout for mobile websites that are easy to read and take less time to download. While creating business web pages for mobile, only the most relevant information should be included. To fully utilize the small screen space available on mobile devices, aspects of computer-based websites like content links and side menus should not be incorporated into the pages of your mobile website.

To generate maximum mobile sales for your business, it is important to emphasize information that is relevant for sales conversion such as contact details, product information, prices, etc. Avoid overfilling your pages with needless information, as that will only make it difficult for people to find the information they want and need. You’ll only end up making mobile users angry if they will have to look deeper for the content they’re looking for.

Navigation links should be placed on the top of your home page. And the other pages should contain only content and navigation links leading back to the home page. By placing your navigation links at strategic points, users will be able to navigate your mobile site easily without losing focus on your valuable content. Again, due to the small screens of mobile phones, users only get to read a few lines of your copy. So your content should be short and brief.

Optimize Layout to the Maximum

Simplifying your content to make the most of the page layout for mobile phones will help provide an improved mobile surfing experience for your users. Just transferring your current website to mobile will create a negative impression of your business among mobile users, which will also lead to a high jump rate. Users will encounter like small text size, multiple menus and others. The ideal layout for a mobile website should contain just one column of content. Additional content should be placed at the bottom of the page and not across it. This kind of layout allows mobile users to scroll down for further reading.

In order to make your content interesting, you should use bullet points, appealing headlines and snippets. This will not only highlight your best products and services, but give people easy access to your web pages which will lead to greater sales conversion. Since mobile users do not spend much time going through all the content, call-to-action messages should be prominent and written in a direct manner so they stand out and are present throughout your mobile content.

Since the Internet is being increasingly accessed through mobile devices, online businesses need to provide those users with a smooth surfing experience of their websites. By following the above guidelines, you will increase your chances of capturing a large chunk of your target market.

Importance of Email Marketing

Email marketing has become the most preferred internet marketing tool of varied businesses. When done in the right manner, this method of marketing can generate the right business leads for online businesses. Among the many facets of email campaign that requires careful attention from businesses effective engagement with your email lists deserves the highest importance. Given below are some helpful tips for organizing a successful email campaign:

Create segmented email lists for better management

In order to better manage your email lists, create email lists based on the different types of consumers. Demarcation of your email lists will help to improve your engagement with the target consumer base; it will enable you to create personalized emails that will best address the needs of your clients. This will help to build trust with your target market as they will be receiving emails which they will find to be useful. By implementing such a personalized approach in your online marketing campaign your business will fetch higher returns.

Send friendly messages to your clients

The first point of contact between businesses and potential clients in any email campaign is the welcome message. A cold welcome message reflects badly on any kind of email campaign. The welcome message should make the email receiver hooked on to your business the moment he starts reading your mail. The aim of the email campaign should be to make each and every potential customer feel important and valuable in order to further connect with them. Your message should contain something interesting that will immediately draw their notice like gift coupons so that they will be driven to know more about your services and products.

Send confirmation mails that will generate more business

Every buyer expects confirmation emails after making their purchase from the online stores. Since this kind of email is important to buyers, it shouldn’t be just a typical confirmation email. Your confirmation email should contain information that will lead to additional purchase by the customer from your online business. This is usually achieved through suggestions of similar products which the buyers might be interested in purchasing. Based on this tactic, many online businesses receive additional orders every time this kind of confirmation letter is send to their consumers.

Build strong client- business relationship through reward programs

Incentive programs form an important part of online marketing promotions as they help to build a long lasting relationship with your target consumer base. Reward programs are wonderful opportunity for businesses to showcase their appreciation for their customers.   This is another approach that your online business can use for making your business grow. The offer of loyalty rewards to customers will further serve to enhance your brand name as well as strengthen the relationship between your business and customers. Reward programs will encourage your loyal clients to continue to support and utilize your diverse and varied services and products. They will always look into your emails as they will contain valuable information that will always help them.

Evaluate your emails thoroughly

In order for your hard work to pay off, you need to test your emails before you send them out to your prospective customers. The various advertising pitch and enticing schemes that are part of the email marketing promotion might become useless if your receivers fail to understand them. Various email elements like font size, images, headings, link placement, text message etc need to be thoroughly evaluated before they are send out.  This will ensure that your clients receive well written business emails that will immediately connect them to your online business. Such a step will save your email campaigns from being futile as the purpose of any email campaign is to connect with your potential subscribers.

By building your email campaigns around these important approaches, your business will reap numerous benefits in the form of long lasting relationship with your clients.

Guidelines and Roles for Content Management

Today nine out of ten companies are managing their own website content. This content is used to retain customers, bring in new ones, pass on to social media, blogged about, sent in newsletters, used in webinars, and even handed out at events and fairs! That’s a lot of reuse for the same content and a heavy strain on specific resources.

The Content Marketing Institute has said that just one in three companies feel their content is actually being used in the right manner and bringing in customers. This is because most organizations don’t have the specific skills to create the right content to drive in new customers. With content being used in so many different ways, it takes vertical knowledge and specific research to understand what is going to work and where.

Take these statistics for instance:

  • Sans-serif fonts work on the web, while serif can work on paper.
  • Warm colors tend to draw more customers on paper, with the opposite online.
  • Online content is generated to be optimized for size, while offline has no such restrictions.
  • Online media are “first-fold” oriented, meaning the first part of the page you see without scrolling down

 

These are some examples that show the differences in approach required for your content management strategy.

Content as an Asset
Strong brand advertising uses specific content that is meant to pull at your heartstrings, cause you to engage with the brand, and build a connection that is endearing over the long term.

However your marketing strategy changes, your content is going to rise to the top if it has value. It will remain accessible for years and will continue to engage people. Once you create an active audience for your content, you can sell current products and services as well as cultivate your target audience to introduce new and similar products.

Robert Rose says, “In many businesses (especially in B2B), the marketing department is an order-taking, tactical function that runs on the hamster wheel of demand generation, trying to keep up with ‘client’ orders for new collateral, press releases, case studies and, at times, marketing-qualified leads (MQLs).”

In the next decade, we will need to build and grow audiences that are genre specific and have been nurtured to like our content. This will require some thinking as Internet marketers and a change of mindset when companies are hiring new talent.

New Age Marketing Roles
With the changes that marketing will face, there are new roles to be filled. Whether you are a marketing firm that is scaling up to new demand or a small store that is planning its expansion strategy, you need to start thinking about these roles and how you can best fill the gaps in your organization.

Chief Content Officer
This position is your king of the castle. The CCO will be the one who tells the story for your organization. They will be the person spelling out the direction that the content is required to take, based on the mission that the organization has in mind. As different parts of the organization spin out different content for newsletters, brochures, search optimization, social media, etc, the CCO will be required to go through it all and ensure that the mission of the organization is intact.

Managing Editor
The managing editor will push into action the CCO’s content plan and vision. The managing editor is responsible for the execution of the strategy the CCO has planned out for different departments and verticals. This includes ensuring that style, scheduling and tone are in sync with the company’s vision.

Chief Listening Officer
The CLO is the eyes on the ground, the person in charge of listening to what the feedback from the market is saying. He/she also ensures that the content is received correctly and people have access to the correct content they require.

Director of Audience
The DoA ensures that the content generated is in sync with the mindset of the target audience, that the content has the right passion points, and that it is pushing towards the right action. They are also responsible for building mailing lists, both online and offline, and social media interactions.

Channel Master
With the differences in media, there is a requirement for someone to define how content is generated and how it will be optimized for different channels. The channel master provides the strategy for different areas of content. What time it should be released, what technology should be used, how it is to be released and so on.

As you can see, the future of content marketing is huge. It will weather search engine updates, changes in fashion and taste. We need to ensure that we use media correctly and plan out our strategies effectively. Keep in mind that these roles are not necessarily unique. Depending on the people available and the size of your organization, you will probably need to tweak them based on your specific requirements.