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I really appreciate the worksheets and info. You are the best marketing guru I know!"

-- Nicole M.

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Meet Our Top Notch WordPress Business Theme!

  
  
  

Sometimes we get really excited about new Wordpress Themes. We found this theme during a strategy session with one of our clients, Big Real Estate Investing. We are completely platform agnostic so when we find something that impresses us, we want to share it with others!

Dixit WP theme resized 600

How to Pick a Wordpress Theme

Get ready, because Windows 10 will be here soon and Apple has already redefined the interface of the Web. The surge of mobile devices over the past three years has meant that Web publishers have had to keep step with mobile-optimized sites and navigation. Here are the essentials:

  • Retina-Ready Graphics. A Fresh and clean design that look outstanding on today's mobile devices, iPads and high-resolution monitors
  • Responsive and Mobile Optimized. A flexible, responsive platform that automatically adjusts to the user's screen size, no matter how small or how large
  • Play Vimeo and YouTube videos.
  • Highly Flexible. You can make the site look exactly like you want it to.
  • Ongoing Support. For updates as new versions of Wordpress become available

Easy Wordpress Development

Has it been more than 5 years since you last updated your website? Tablets and mobile devices have changed the way people interact with the Web, so it might be time for a facelift. If your website is converting fewer than 1% of all visitors, then an outdated website could be part of the problem. Does your site take longer than 1.5 seconds to load? If so you are being penalized by Google and other search engines. Newer, more responsive Wordpress themes can help solve that problem. Do you have to pay someone else to update your own website? In 2015 the ability to update your web page is the most important success factor for digital marketers and technical marketing agencies. Talk to us if you would like to have the ability of quickly updating your own blog, share event photos from your own website (not Facebook) and keep your digital home on the Web current and fresh. 

If you are in need of a website update, look at our website development portfolio projects and examples. We offer a complimentary website review for any business with 10 web pages or more (a $150 value).

Let us show you how we can help your businesses get more inbound marketing leads and sales. We use a proven, 8-step program that brings down your cost-per-lead and increases conversion rates for your website. Our services include content marketing, social media and lead nurturing through email.

Key Website Development Features

This popular business Wordpress theme features a number of impressive features:

  • Accordian & Toggle text. Used to display collapsible text content panels for showing information in a limited amount of space. Users simply tap on a title panel to show/expand content that is hidden into different sections.
  • Featured Works and Blog Posts. Great for artists, photographers and creative studios. You can display the latest or random posts depending on the settings you specify. 
  • Pricing Table. You can set price, description, link and highlight or feature one column over the others so that the best value option pops and is noticeable. No more struggling with tables. Your price chart will fit perfectly for promotion or display.
  • Google Map. Designed specifically for this theme. Simply copy your iframe code from Google map and insert it in the Google code field. Includes full responsive support. 
  • Testimonials. Show new or random testimonials and set the number of testimonials to show. Includes support for a featured image so testimonials will fit perfectly.

Want to see a demo? Contact us for a free live 15-minute walk through. Simply fill out this form.

25 Website Must Haves for Traffic Leads & Sales

Announcing the Google Interisland HubSpot Hawaii Hangout

  
  
  

HubSpot-Hawaii-User-Group

Join Kinoshita Communications and the HubSpot Hawaii User Group for an Interisland Google Hangout on January 29th, 2015 at 8 AM.

HubSpot now provides a sales platform with new CRM and sales tools to help sales professionals deliver a more effective process to prospects. Learn how you and your team can take advantage of these new tools at this Google Hangout. In this one hour, online event, you’ll learn about new marketing features, HubSpot sales tools, and CRM Functionality.

 

RSVP Here

 

Are you new to the HubSpot Hawaii User Group? No problem! The HubSpot Hawaii User Group provides local HubSpot users quarterly meetings to discuss inbound marketing success, tools, and network with other inbound marketers in your area.

Head here to register for this event, and receive an invitation to this Google Hangout. You can also check out our LinkedIn Group to keep up with HubSpot Hawaii discussions, other events, and getting to know other HubSpot Hawaii users. 

Join Us for Google Partners Connect!

  
  
  

We're hosting a livestream Google event on February 11th, and you're invited to join us!

It's a great opportunity to learn about how to grow your business from our in-house marketing agency expert and Google AdWords evangelists. We'll provide the refreshments--all we need is you!

This event WILL be recorded for those who can't join in person, so even if you can't be there in person, please RSVP with your interest and I will send you the link afterwards. Please RSVP as soon as possible, space is filling up:

RSVP Here

Google Partner Event

Who Are the Speakers?

Todd Rowe, Managing Director at Google, and Fred Vallaeys, Google AdWords Evangelist. Todd directs one of the world's fastest growing sales organizations worldwide and is responsible for selling Google's AdWords, video and mobile products to small- and mid-sized companies through third parties in 25 countries. Mr. Rowe will be talking about how to leverage technology to thrive and is a frequent keynote speaker at technology conferences.

Fred Vallaeys is an AdWords Evangelist and will help you better advertise your business online. Fred will talk about how small businesses can navigate the Web and expand their online presence through smarter business intelligence and insights.

You can learn more about both speakers when you click the button below:

RSVP Here

Please arrive early for refreshments and conversation about the value of online advertising and how to achieve success on the Web. This event is complimentary to registered guests.

Marketing Agency Shares Blogging Best Practices for SEO

  
  
  

Blogging Tips for BusinessMarketing agencies know there are two major aspects to having a successful inbound marketing blog – one is having great content, and the other, is knowing how to properly optimize that content so it has the best chance of being found by your target audience. And one doesn’t necessarily work without the other: stellar content doesn’t do much unless it’s found, and keyword optimizing lousy content won’t benefit anyone either.

Once you create a great blog post (and have your editorial calendar mapped out with more excellent content to follow on a regular basis), there are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that you are doing everything you possibly can to have it found.

Keep this guide handy for each and every blog post to achieve long-term success with SEO.

Keyword Phrases

There are a number of keywords that your target audience is searching when your competitors pop up. Adding those keywords or phrases into your website in *useful ways, will allow your site to start ranking higher in search results.

Read your content, and determine two keywords that are most relevant to what you are writing about. If you find yourself having trouble, you may want to reevaluate what the article is about. Chances are, you might be able to break that one post into two or even a series of posts. While this might take up more time, it will work in your favor: if you are having a hard time figuring out what a particular article is about on your own site, search engines and potential customers won’t be able to either. By breaking it down, you’ll have more opportunity to keyword optimize and clarify your topics.

*It’s important to remember to make sure you are keeping the relevance of the blog post you are working on, and not just adding in keywords that don’t make sense in hopes to get higher search results. Stick to the point, and make sure you don’t steer off topic just to add in a particular keyword.

Once you have determined the target keywords, you should try to incorporate those words 1-2 times every 100 words or so. You should also try to hyperlink those keywords and phrases to other relevant content within your site. Having one or two hyperlinks is a great way to get people back to other content you’ve produced.

Article Titles

The title of your article should also include one, if not both of your keywords. Not only is your blog post title the first thing that readers will see, but it’s also the main thing that explains to search engines what your post is about. Make a great first impression with a killer title that is clear, to the point, and packed with your primary keyword.

Meta Description

Putting your keyword in a blog post title is a very important step for SEO, but don’t underestimate the importance of meta data. This short, 150 word (or under) description dives more into detail than the main title, but sticks to the point. By shedding a little more light on what your post is about, you can draw people in with this short description. Include your keywords in this section as well.

How to Turn Facebook Fans into Customers

Images

This is a portion of SEO that often gets overlooked. You may be thinking, “how can I put keywords in images?”

If you save your image file with a name that includes your keywords, you are allowing search engines to read your images. The best strategy would be to put the primary keyword with the most prominent image, and then the photos to follow will have the secondary keyword.

The file name of the image should include dashes between each word. The ALT text of the image should include the same text, but without dashes in between.

Example: 

File name: Blog-Best-Practices-For-SEO

ALT text: Blog Best Practices For SEO

While SEO is not rocket science, it is however, time consuming. By following all of these steps for every page on your website, you are telling search engines what your content is about, and therefore, making it easier for them to rank you higher when those terms are searched. Pair these steps with an editorial calendar and stellar content, you will be well on your way to higher search rank. 

25 Website Must Haves for Traffic Leads & Sales

Marketing Agency Shares 7 Things You Don't Know about Facebook

  
  
  

Facebook for BusinessDo you know the full extent to which Facebook uses your personal information?

Few people do.

The following is provided by a Pasadena marketing agency based on actual published news accounts and interviews with Facebook employees:

1. Facebook keeps everything, forever.

By far the biggest misconception is that once you “remove” or “hide” something on Facebook, it’s gone forever. Not true. Whether you’ve deleted, untagged, hidden, removed or interacted with anything, Facebook keeps a record of it. Click on a profile, upload a photo, update your status, change your profile, Facebook remembers. This is how they keep track of who your best friends are and make the site so engaging and satisfying to use. When you type a letter in the search box, what appears isn’t arranged alphabetically, but rather who you interact with the most. The Friends that appear first in search arearranged according to who you send messages to the most, or whose profile you view the most, or people you interact with the most. So Facebook needs to keep track of every message, chat and poke. They even keep track of which people you are tagged in photos with, and how often.

2. Facebook has multiple versions of every photo you’ve ever uploaded.

When Facebook saves photos, they don’t just make a copy of the original, but instead they make multiple copies to use in various ways. For example, they store one version for the newsfeed, another version for your profile, another for your timeline and so on. And each photo that is uploaded to Facebook carries with it the metadata that digital cameras include with each image. This type of data often includes the manufacturer of the camera, themodel number and even its serial number, as well as properties such as shutter speed and exposure time. On some cameras, such as the iPhone 4, metadata can also include the precise GPS location of where the photo was taken.

 

Turn Facebook Fans into Paying Customers

 

3. Facebook stores multiple data “snapshots” throughout the day.

Snapshots include every viewable screen, and every piece of data behind every screen. These “snapshots” are taken every hour, of every day, of every month, for every year. That’s how Facebook can provide timelines that go back to the day you were “born,” (or the day you started using Facebook.) This data is stored in multiple data centers around the world, including San Francisco, New York and London. In each data warehouse there are approximately 10 thousand servers, and each location has essentially the same data on it as every other location. If a world disaster ever brought the entire Internet down, Facebook could be back online within just a few days, regardless of where the disaster took place.

4. Facebook engineers can look at any message, chat or photo without having to login to a specific profile.

In the early days of Facebook there used to be a “master password” which allowed a few engineers view any user’s profile from within Facebook headquarters, but practically speaking, the use of a password is irrelevant for an engineer who has access to Facebook servers. “It’s just for style,” said one employee. That’s because everything uploaded to Facebook is saved in a simple database. Whether deleted or not, every message, chat history, photo and so forth lives on in a database that can easily be accessed by Facebook engineers.

5. Facebook keeps track of every device you use, and how often.

A privacy group named Europe v. Facebook discovered this fact when they requested a copy of every piece of data Facebook had on record for two European Facebook users. One of the Facebook profiles contained more than 880 pages of information. Included among the messages, chat history, photos and viewing history was also a record of every device the person used to access their profile on Facebook, including how often they logged in from each machine, as well as all the other Facebook profiles which had ever been accessed on that same machine.

6. Facebook uses scientific research to make its site as appealing and addictive as possible.

When Facebook wants to introduce new features, they conduct a variety of scientific tests to find out which ones will be the most emotionally appealing and engaging for the greatest number of users. For example, Facebook used eye-tracking tests to find a better way to display photos. Testing revealed that one design improved the number of page views by 77% while also reducing bandwith and page load time. That test changed the way photos are displayed on Facebook.

7. Facebook’s “Frictionless Sharing” enables the site to track your browsing activity even after you log out of Facebook.

With frictionless sharing, once you approve a website or application to interact with Facebook, all your activity on that website and application will be  automatically shared with Facebook, whether you’re logged into Facebook or not. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the FTC saying that Facebook puts secret, persistent identifiers in users’ browsers. Privacy advocates also complain that the process for people to opt-out of frictionless sharing is confusing and impractical. Facebook responds by saying they provide more granular control of data to users than any other site, and that their privacy controls are superior.
 
So, what can you do to better protect your data? Read the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for all the sites you use most, starting with Facebook, Google and iTunes. Facebook allows you to download an archive of everything you’ve ever uploaded, but be careful—once you have a copy then you will need to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands!

Facebook Tips & Tricks

Marketing Agency Explains Importance of Image Attribution

  
  
  

Blogging Best PracticesWhen it comes to blogging for business, most people are aware of blogging best practices and the necessity of having a visual to go along with your content. But if you are a small business, or even just an individual, you probably don’t have a photography team at your beck and call to get you that perfect image. Sure, you could go out and take that photo yourself, but isn’t it easier just to take one off the Internet and call it a day?

Absolutely. But marketing agencies know there is a right and a wrong way to go about obtaining and using an image found off the Internet when it isn’t an owned image. In many cases, finding an image online is the easy way to go about things, but only if you use it and give proper credit to the person who owns the rights to that image. If you use it incorrectly without giving proper attribution, things can backfire and escalate very quickly.

So why is image attribution so important?

Photographers and graphic designers work very hard at what they do. Just the same as authors and writers work hard to create books, blog posts, or news articles. If you don’t think it’s fair for someone to steal your words or ideas and pass them off as their own, you have just put yourself in the shoes of a photographer in regards to their photos.

Giving proper credit is not only the law, but it’s also just the right thing to do. Even if businesses that use photos incorrectly don’t necessarily get into legal trouble right away, they will likely get a bad reputation. Don’t be that guy.

So how do I get an image to use without violating copyright law?

Luckily, we’re all in the same boat here. And there are many options available to bloggers and small businesses that need an image for their websites, many of which have instructions on how to give proper credit or attribution. Take a look at our list of options below for royalty free or low cost images.

Royalty Free Image Sources:

Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Anything produced by the Government (public domain): http://www.dotgovwatch.com/?/archives/8-The-Best-Copyright-Free-Photo-Libraries.html

Flickr Images under “Attribution” license: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/

Not free, but low cost:

www.iClipArt.com
www.iStockphoto.com

Do you have a source that we didn’t cover here? Let us know in the comments! 

How to Turn Facebook Fans into Customers

4 Practical Ways to Build Your Influence on Twitter

  
  
  

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The ROI of Twitter is associated to larger brand mindshare and better customer service for the hyper-connected consumer.

Surveys have confirmed that a growing number of marketers are using Twitter to promote their business. Of those using Twitter, 27% said it had helped generate new business leads and 33% said Twitter had helped them close new business.

To start using Twitter for your business, start by identifying the reporters and top-tier editors of the publications that write about your industry. A freelance PR consultant can help you if you don’t have the time to do this yourself. But once you have your list, don’t start tweeting high-profile reporters right away. Your Tweets might look like spam. Instead, look for ways to insert yourself into the stream of conversation. Here's how:

Use these 4 Steps to Build Your Influence on Twitter

1. Regularly interact with 15 people that are already connected to someone who influences your industry, but have small or medium-sized followings of their own. Look for 10 or 20 people with a few hundred followers and see who Retweets and Replies to their message. This tip works because it’s easier to get noticed when you’re one of a few dozen rather than one out of a few thousand.

2. Create an “influence map” for your business—the 10 or 20 people that the leaders in your industry pay attention to. You can find these people by looking at Twitter streams and Klout topic lists. If the person you’re trying to engage with regularly Retweets or Replies to the same group of people over and over again, then see if you can establish relationships with those people first. Soon, you might be included in the conversation! As your influence grows, you will eventually become part of a “ladder of trust”—as long as you regularly create and share valuable, compelling content for your followers.

3. Once you’ve identified your “ladder of trust,” ask, “How can I give something of value back to the people I want to engage with?” Look at your own research, industry reports and always be on the lookout for ways you can be helpful. Share their content, but add extra value. For example, ask questions of your followers, then use that feedback to write an article about that subject. Then share that article with the person who originally tweeted the inspiration for your idea. They will likely share your content to their entire network!

4. Be supportive and go the extra mile whenever you can. Always be looking for ways to help and give back. Over time, your extra effort will help you get noticed, while showing the type of value you can bring to a relationship. Be unique and worthwhile. Plan to build relationships for as long as a year or more before asking for something in return. What are other ways that you can think of to help build your influence on Twitter? Start the conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below:

Marketing Agency Explains How to Use Twitter #Hashtags

  
  
  

Twitter is like radio … extremely public …. a stream of information you can casually step in to and out of when it suits you. I don’t always have the radio on, but I like to listen (Tweet) over lunch and breakfast. Similarly, as “broadcasters” we need to be sensitive to our “followers” and only produce content our listeners will be interested in. Otherwise, they’ll switch us off (unfollow).

I use hashtags as a quick way to find groups of people talking about the same thing — #hawaii #marketing #taxes and so forth. I really like to use them when watching an exciting tennis match #federer or #wimbledon or for some people #lost to get live reactions from people as things occur. It can really add a lot of interest to a baseball game, too! (#Angels)

You can also use hashtags to get your profile in front of groups that might not know about you. Or to promote events among select groups of people, such as #editors and #business people. For stock investors, use the $ sign, as in $AAPL or $MSFT. Remember, everything you Tweet is indexed and archived by Google, so many companies use hashtags to add extra publicity to thier events and trainings. In fact, links to your Web site increase your Google search ranking, so your Tweets could even help you get found on the Web.

Hashtags are just simple ways to find other people talking about the same thing. They are often used when you don’t know who or where those people are, and vice versa. Sure, you can use Twitter Search for what interests you, but hashtags offer a highly focused way to find people who want to talk about that specific topic.

Remember: Use hashtags when you want to engage in a conversation topic. Use Search when you want to find instances of people using a particular word in conversation.

Have a tip or trick? Tweet me @lkinoshita!

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Find the Best Twitter Profiles

  
  
  

Everyone has their way of deciding who’s worth following on Twitter and why. Here are three ways to judge.

1. Ratios. These are wonderful ways to compare one aspect of a Twitter user to another. The most reliable ratio is “Followers” to “Following.” Divide the number of Followers by the number of people Followed. At a minimum, the number should be greater than “1″ and I prefer numbers closer to 2 or 3. Typically, the greater the number, the more influential the profile. Most news sites have higher scores. @abcnews follows 68 profiles (Jan 2010) yet has more than a million followers (14,700:1). TV news profiles get followers from widespread media exposure. Same with well-known authors, screen personalities and so on. Spammers will follow large numbers of profiles, knowing many of those profiles will follow back. Spammers almost always have low ratios of .985 or less because they are selling products and seminars. For them, the number of followers is all that counts — more followers = more sales. You can use ratios of 0.985 or less to gauge how likely you are to be “sold to.” Low numbers = more sales pitches; higher numbers, less sales. On average. Truly worthwhile “experts” will have ratios of 10 or more. That tells me they are getting lots of publicity through events, radio, seminars and are delivering outstanding value to their followers.

2. Quality of Followers. You’re about to pay $75 for Social Media traing when you decide to look at your speaker’s profile on Twitter. Do they have a large number of foreign followers? Particularly from India or Russia? This could be a sign they are paying sites to generate large numbers of “fake” followers — empty profiles used to pump up the numbers. Are a lot of the followers young, attractive women soliciting their companionship? Or are there lots of profiles selling vitamins and skin cream? Be wary of social media “experts” who excel at attracting spammers. Ask yourself, “how many of this profile’s followers are like me?” The more in common you have with the other followers, the more relevant the content will be for you.

3. Engagement. How often does a profile engage directly with their followers? I want to follow people who are reaching out to other people. I want to follow conversations. I want to see how people respond to content, and to each other. Some profiles have a policy of not following anyone, using their feed to strictly disseminate news. That might be fine for some, but it gives a profile an “old media” personality, the old-fashioned “one-to-many” model of so many newspapers. It’s like going to a cocktail party and having a guest just sit there and blather on and on about themselves. Isn’t the purpose of conversation to bounce ideas off of other real people?

How do you evaluate Twitter profiles? What tricks of the trade have you learned? Leave me a Comment to share what’s working for you.

Effective Product Positioning Statements from Marketing Agencies

  
  
  
An effective positioning statement includes four things:
  1. Your customers
  2. The problem you’re going to solve
  3. Why you’re different
  4. Your competition

A positioning statement is for internal use only. It is not a “mission statement,” a “tag line,” an “elevator pitch” or anything for selling purposes. Those materials require language intended for external audiences. This is for internal audiences only.

A positioning statement is used to provide guidance during a marketing campaign. Every company and every product will have its own positioning statement. It ensures everyone is working from the same page and toward the same goals.

A positioning statement must be credible. It is not hopeful thinking; it is grounded in truth.

Define Your Customer

Your ideal customer is the person who you can help best, and in return, will receive maximum benefit from your products or services. Who are you trying to serve with your business?

Define What Your Customer Wants or Needs

People will pay a fortune to solve an immediate problem, but will hardly invest a dollar to prevent a problem from happening. What is the urgent desire or pain point that your ideal customer is experiencing right now that you can make better immediately. What is the compelling reason that customers buy from you?

Define Your Product Category

Be clear about who you are—and who you are not. If you don’t, your customers will decide for you, and it may work against you!

Remember, the human mind will categorize things. Your customers will label you in their minds, and they can only remember one thing about you at a time.

Tell your customers how you want to be remembered. Make it something familiar and easy to remember. Otherwise they will reject your label and come up with their own substitution. Be strategic and simple.

Define Your Key Benefit

Make sure your key benefit addresses the true needs and desires of your target customer. Look beyond the obvious. What secret hopes, dreams, fears or frustrations are your customers really dealing with?

Define Your Competition

Who do your customers think of when they think about your product or service category? Who do you lose the most sales to? This might be a single entity, or an industry. If you’re a local provider, you might need to distinguish yourself from larger, more well-known brands. Be specific.

What Makes You Different?

Tell your customers what sets you apart, and make sure that reason resonates with the reasons they need or want your product or service.

Now, tie it all together. Finalize your positioning statement. Sit on it for a couple of days, then look at it again. Are you being clear about who your customers really are? Are you able to succinctly define your key benefit? Does the value you provide align to the needs and desires of your customers? Are you able to explain what makes you different from the competition.

Download my Product Positioning worksheet to help you through this process. Or, leave a comment below with your questions or suggestions.

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