Back in 2009, a friend of mine told me that “no one in Hawaii is on Facebook,” and it inspired me to write this blog post. About the same time, a local Internet marketer also stood up in front of a room full of small business owners and told them all that “Facebook would be dead in five years.”
Well, it’s now five years later, and just in the state of Hawaii alone Facebook has 470,000 active profiles. Worldwide, the number of users has grown to 1.23 billion and more Americans check Facebook daily than read the Bible.
We're also using Facebook on mobile devices much more than we were five years ago. Today, 91% of Americans have a mobile phone, and 67% of them use it to find businesses. But did you know that less than half of small businesses in Hawaii even have a website? How will businesses without websites get found in a post-Facebook world?
It was only a few short years ago that we first identified a small minority described as "Motivated by Mobility.” They were a rare, and many marketers struggled to explain them. But now, that person is us. All we have to do is look in the mirror.
We’ve gone from talking about who’s online and why to who’s not online and why in just a matter of five years
As marketing consultants, we want to reach the right people in the right place at the right time, and nowhere is that more possible than on the Web. It's where people are spending increasing amounts of time, including time on Facebook and other social platforms.
So what does this all mean for Hawaii marketers?
1. Invest in your website and digital marketing. Stop putting this important aspect of your business on hold. You're just slipping behind and making it harder and more expensive to catch up later. Market leaders invest 2.5% of revenue toward digital marketing and you can too.
2. Invest in social platforms. Google's +1 will help you get found in search and Facebook will help you get others talking about you. Invest an hour each week and encouraage two-way dialogue.
3. Save the sales pitch. People don't want to be sold to on Facebook or social media. Use your relationships to build trust and credibility. Provide value over and over again. Show your sense of style and what you believe in, who you support (but leave the politics and religion out of it.) There will be a time to make the sale later. See #1 above.
4.Don't put all your eggs in one (Facebook) basket. Things are changing fast over at Facebook, and users are moving to other platforms, a trend that will only accelerate in the next two years (Princeton Researchers). Be aware of where people in your community are going and connect with them on thier terms. Be ready for text and SMS apps.
5. Keep growing. Stay active with what's happening and don't take your users or your relationships for granted. Learn what your community wants and give it to them. Investments in your own website will pay you back for years to come.
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Inbound marketing agency Kinoshita Communications earned five awards in the 2013 MarCom Awards competition, two of which were Platinum.
The MarCom Awards is a creative competition organized by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) that recognizes the achievements of marketing and communication professionals across the world. The prestigious Platinum Award is presented to those entries judged to be among the most outstanding entries in the competition. Platinum Winners are recognized for their excellence in terms of quality, creativity and resourcefulness.
One Platinum award was given to Kinoshita Communications for excellence in a Website Element/Infographic on behalf of PAYDAY Workforce Solutions of Orange, Calif. The Infographic provided a one-page summary of new payroll tax laws following passage of the Affordable Care Act. The Payroll Infographic was part of a larger campaign to boost website traffic and new business leads. As part of that effort, Kinoshita Communications received two MarCom Honorable Mention awards, one for the PAYDAY blog and another for a Payroll Toolkit Landing Page. The landing page produced a 49.6% conversion rate.
The second Platinum award was given to Kinoshita Communications for a communications plan developed for MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty of Kamuela. The marketing plan delineated a clear, 8-step process for unifying all marketing activities under one umbrella and aligning specific tactical initiatives to the needs and desires of ideal target prospects. As part of that plan, Kinoshita Communications provided a detailed Online Content Strategy, which aligned important keywords to the purchase process of buyer personas. That content strategy was honored with a separate MarCom Gold Award.
We often get asked, "How long before we see results?" and our answer is often the same: Plant your seeds, water and take care of your contacts, and soon you'll see tender green shoots appear.
If you forget to water, or let the hot sun try out your fledgling sprouts, then your results will take longer than someone who watches over their garden every day.
Also, consider whether you're trying to grow a Christmas tree in a desert. Is your industry a fertile field? How competitive is your industry? Are other companies eating away at your garden like birds or garden pests?
All things being equal -- which means you have a good product, good service and can engage in marketing activities -- then the above graph is fairly typical of what you can expect from your inbound marketing campaign in the first 3 months.
In the above example, we began optimizing the site for industry-related search terms and began building out all the ways a prospect could engage with the business. The more landing pages and offers your site has, the greater the number of your conversions will be.
On November 1st the client changed their domain name and moved their site to another server, and we stopped tracking the older site. Traffic dropped, but what remained was better traffic and site conversions tripled.
You can read more about Conversions in the ABCs of Inbound Marketing or feel free to request a complimentary website marketing audit for more information about how long it will take to achieve your goals.
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With more than 1 billion users, Facebook is a great platform for reaching your ideal target customer. But what are the best ways to turn that audience into actual paying customers?
Being able to advise clients on Facebook strategies that provide ROI has been a key to our success, and that's why we've put together this guide on How to Turn Your Facebook Fans into Paying Customers.
This guide will help you to create a strategy that will engage with fans and direct them into a marketing funnel.
Download this ebook and learn how to:
- Plan Your Facebook Strategy
- Direct Fans to Your Company Website
- Turn Leads Into Customers
- Close the Loop on Facebook Marketing
- ...and much more!
Start running a more effective Facebook campaign!
Click the picture of the book below and get your copy today:
As we explained, "Inbound Marketers Could Benefit From Google's Hidden Keywords," marketers are scrambling to figure out how to move forward from Google’s supression of keywords. As of November 13, nearly 80% of all keywords associated with Google Search were "Not Provided" to Web publishers.
Despite the fact that Bing and Yahoo still provide keyword data, together they currently control just about 30% of the online search market. As a result, many marketers who relied heavily on the keyword data for their inbound marketing campaigns are feeling left in the dark.
But there's a hidden benefit to this many are not considering. By not focusing so heavily on keyword data, inbound marketers are forced to focus on what matters most: providing highly valuable content tailored to their ideal customer prospect, or buyer persona. It may take a little extra thinking, creativity, research, and some good old-fashioned trial and error – but coming out of this guns blazing is a surefire way to prove that you really are a marketing pro.
To get you started, we have a little marketing trick to help you quickly find the best keyword phrases for your online marketing campaign.
You have already seen Google's Auto Complete (or Auto Suggest) feature. That's the phrase that pops up underneath the search bar and predicts what users want before they've even finished their request.
So, go ahead and type in phrases related to your products and services using phrases such as "best" or "how to" or "how can I" and see what Google's AutoComplete feature says are the most common and most-used keyword phrases.
Here is a screen shot of what this would look like for a credit union marketing campaign:
Bingo! Google has done all the work for you!
See all the great things you could blog about? Any one of these phrases would be a great blog post title! And these are the most popular searches overall! What a great opportunity to reach your ideal target customer!
Now go ahead and get even more search results with similar phrases such as: why credit unions, credit unions how, best credit unions, etc.
Use these suggestions in the headline of your next blog post, subheads, anchor text and content and you'll be helping your readers by giving them the information they need most!
With this very simple work-around, inbound marketers can still discover the words and phrases people are using to find the best content. Focus on what people need and want most (price lists, comparison reviews, product features and services, how-to guides, instructions, etc. and you'll see growth in your traffic.
Note: Keep in mind results are based on the most common keywords and phrases for a particular geographic region and language, as well as your own personal browsing history. A person searching for something in Boston will see different results than a person searching from San Diego. So be sure to use "Private Browsing" or an "Anonymous Browsing Window" for the most accurate results. If you don't know what these are, leave a Comment below and we explain further with links to resources.
But overall, Google's Auto Complete feature is a great way for inbound marketers to discover the best keywords and still continue to develop the most useful content, even without the intelligence of Google's keyword data.
Do you have a marketing hack or loophole around the Google Not Provided count? aka the encryption of keyword data? We’d love to hear it! Let us know in the Comment section below.
MIT's Technology Review reports Tweets have become shorter since 2009 and some scientists say it may be proof that Twitter is changing how we communicate.
Between November 2009 and December 2012, researchers Alis and Lim say the median utterance length in words decreased from 8 words to 5 words.
This shortening is a global phenomenon which is true for the dataset as a whole, for tweets in English alone and even when all the links are removed from the dataset. The shorter Tweets indicate more use of jargon, researchers said.
Burt Lum, Executive Director at Hawaii Open Data and host of Bytemarks Cafe thinks shorter Tweets may be due to changes in the way people are using Twitter. "I think people are relying more on their links. I sent out a tweet today without any link or added media and it felt empty."
In looking at a subset of 800,000 tweets, researchers found a clear geographical trend: “Southeastern and eastern US states tend to have shorter utterance lengths,” researchers Alis and Lim say. Just why this is the case isn’t clear.
The only variable that correlated strongly with shorter utterances was the African-American population percentage. Why this should be isn’t clear but Alis and Lim point out that there is evidence that the black population uses Twitter significantly more than other groups and that jargon may be more common in this group. Of course, it's important to remember correlation does not imply causation.
Since 2009 the number of automated tools that post to Twitter have increased. These tools often shrink content. Others just post URLs:
Some marketers use a script that can automatically scan a page of website content for sentences that will fit within Twitter's 140 character limit.
Meanwhile, users may be just be more comfortable and better at using Twitter shorthand in 2013 compared to 2009. For example, leaving out vowels and unnecessary words.
Do you think Twitter is changing how we communicate? Please share your thoughts below.
by Laura Kinoshita
The following is a guest post from Adam Penenberg about the information that others can learn about you from what you share online. As inbound marketers and social media consultants our personally identifiable information is exposed in ways that make this relevant.
So, In honor of Halloween, I present to you one of the more frightening articles of the season:
If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy my other scary article:
(provided by Laura Kinoshita)
All Google keyword data will soon be encrypted or "Not Provided" to online marketers with the exception of advertising clicks on keyword ads. That means keyword data marketers used to rely on for search optimization will now be listed as “Not Provided” – ouch!
Why Are Google Keywords 'Not Provided'?
No one knows for sure, but back in 2011 Google added more privacy protections and began blocking search history from those logged into their Google account. More recently, Google extended this privacy and keyword data protection to all searches made within the Chrome, Safari and Firefox browser search bars.
Now, any search that goes through Google is encrypted and will not be passed through to various analytic tools. The only exception is that advertisers will continue to see keyword data associated with clicks on their Google Ads.
Why Is Google Encrypting Keywords?
Some are speculating this may be Google's way of preventing federal and international agencies (such as the NSA) from spying on private citizens. Others speculate these privacy protections are in response to Facebook's ($FB) criticism of Google's privacy policies. By encrypting keyword data, Google is increasing privacy protection for users and arguably the value of the company ($GOOG).
Remember, Google was referenced heavily by the U.S. National Security Agency as a provider of data included in the PRISM surveillance program, according to secret documents released by Edward Snowden in June of 2013. Google denies any participation in the PRISM program, but the suppression of keyword data could be an added layer of protection. The move to encrypt keyword data could also be an attempt to ease the pressure they’ve been feeling from other search engines, such as Duck Duck Go, a company founded on the promise of "a secure and anonymous search" for their users.
Another reason for the move could be to generate more revenue. Google makes most of its money from advertisers, and recently blew the lid off its Q2 earnings. This policy shift may be a strategy to push marketers towards Google Adwords, where they can see the keyword data.
Finally, Google may be supressing keyword data as a way to fend off keyword clutter. Google processes more than 25,000 terabytes of data (25 petabytes) every day. Perhaps this is an attempt to improve the Google user experience.
How Much Longer Will Marketers Have Keyword Data?
Most analysts expect Google’s “Not Provided” count to reach 100% on or around November 30, 2013. Marketers have already seen an increase in the “Not Provided” section of their analytics reports. The change is rolling out across the U.S. first, and then moving to other countries worldwide.
What Can Inbound Marketers Do?
Don’t panic! This could actually be a positive thing for Inbound Marketers. Why? Because without keyword data you will need to focus even more heavily on doing what we know works best – creating extraordinary value for your users. Users will continue to search for solutions to their problems, and as long as your content continues to solve problems for your ideal customer prospects, they will continue to find you.
This could even be a good thing, as this will deter less ethical marketers from "spamming" the Web and generating lots of content clutter. That means quality content will have an easier time rising to the top!
Without the distraction of keyword clutter, search engines will have an easier time giving Web users what they want -- solutions to their problems.
Just stay focused on what your ideal inbound customer avatar needs from you and what your value to the marketplace really is. Pay attention to how your users interact with your site, and create content the closely aligns to the purchase process. You will find your marketing analytics in other places.
Embrace the next phase of inbound marketing and use it to your advantage now, before others figure it out!
While others are scrambling to figure out how to work in the dark, you can be focused on topics of most interest to your customers.
- by Laura Kinoshita
The folks at Hawaii Tech Events are bringing the Honolulu Social Media Summit, October 25 and 26, to the Neal Blaisdell Center from 9am to 4pm.
Panel sessions will feature Hawaii’s top social media experts:
Social Media Summit Day 1:
Social Media Summit Day 2:
*These panels will include Kinoshita Communications' founder and president Laura Kinoshita
Other featured social media speakers include:
• Peter Shankman: “Being Sociable-Why Posting & Tweeting is Nowhere Near Enough”
• Nick Unsworth: “How to Build Authority and Attract Ideal Clients Using Facebook Marketing”
• Adam Singer: “Social Media Analytics”
• Yan Budman: “Crowd Source Funding”
• Elijah Yip: “Technically Legal: A primer of Social Networking and the Law”
• John Chamberlin: “Social Media-Is it About You or Them?”
• Poni & Andrew Askew: “Building a Mobile Food Community”
• Sue Kunimune: “ Beyond LinkedIn 101-Building and Expanding Your Reach”
Tickets to the 2013 Social Media Summit are available here
• Hawaii Social Media Summit October 25-26, 2013; 9:00am- 4:00pm
• $200/ticket (2 Day Pass)
• Hawaii Social Media Expo October 25-26, 2013; 10:00am-3:00pm.
(Expo is free and open to the public)
-By Laura Kinoshita
Social Media Strategist and Marketer Ali Catalano has joined Hawaii-based marketing and PR firm as account coordinator. Ali will be responsible for developing and implementing inbound marketing campaigns for clients, as well as social media management and development.
Kinoshita Communications is Hawaii’s award-winning inbound marketing agency, offering hybrid marketing, PR, social media management, SEO services and pay-per-click advertising to small businesses.
Previously, Ali worked as an editorial PR and social media intern at Wayfair.com in Boston. She also runs her own social media management company, Map Media, working with clients on a freelance basis.
Ali will be working on inbound marketing projects for Hawaii Resort Homes, Alzheimer’s Care Consultants, Brilliant Studios and more.
Ali holds a bachelor of arts in communication and writing from the University of Tampa. She is HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified and will work directly with clients in expanding social media presence by creating and sharing stellar content to reach each client’s target audience.
Kinoshita Communications recently became the inbound marketing consultant for one of the top destination wedding photographers in the Caribbean, located in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The agency also works with clients headquartered in Miami, Boston and Southern California.
Ali will be based out of Kailua-Kona, working closely with clients in West Hawaii. Kinoshita Communications has offices in Honolulu, Kailua-Kona and Kamuela to provide marketing services statewide and beyond.
Since 2007 Kinoshita Communications has been providing award-winning marketing solutions to small businesses. The agency, an SBA Award Winner, specializes in helping turn website traffic into more new business leads and sales. For a complimentary inbound marketing assessment contact the team at: http://kinoshita-communications.com.