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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New Video from Manta Racks

New Video from Manta Racks

MANTA RACKS were designed to solve a long existing problem – to get your boards off the floor of your center console or other fishing boat’s floor and secure them. Our rack systems allow you to organize your boat to keep it clutter free, so that your guests can move freely without tripping over your boards and possibly being injured.

MANTA RACKS simply insert and lock into pre-existing flush mounted rod holders. You will have more fun with your family and friends when you “Take Your Boards.” You can increase your fishing experience when you “Take Your Boards.”



Edited by Chase Gregory from NSG Consulting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Numbers Don't Matter, Influence Does

CEO, Entrepreneur, Investor, Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Jets Fan
The importance that people and brands place on follower counts or the impressions their content receives is grossly overvalued. I can’t say numbers don’t matter, but the value everyone places on these numbers needs to be reconsidered.There is just too much emphasis on the width of engagement—how many potential connections they make—rather than the depth of those interactions which, in my eyes, is far more important.


The entire marketing world is blinded by the notion that more impressions always correlates to a successful piece of content (the sad part is, most of them don’t care about the business outcomes). For example, you might hear somebody say “500,000 people saw my YouTube pre-roll ad!” But, the truth is that they likely didn’t. What probably happened was that as soon as the ad started, the “viewer” clicked away to another tab or did something else until it was over. Or looked at their phone…. So even though they didn’t pay attention, the analytics still show that they saw it.
Not only can an impression count be misleading, but it may not even reflect a positive consumer engagement. There are companies I will never buy from again because their pop-up ads annoyed me so much—you know, the ones that havehundreds of extra “clickthroughs” because someone accidentally clicked on it 8 times because the “close window” icon was too small. While those extra clicks look like engagement, they were only expressions of frustration with the brand. That context gets lost when we are playing in a world that treats impressions as a be-all, end-all.


The same misconception can be applied to follower counts: they only matter if the audience actually cares and actively consumes your content. Followers can be absolutely everything or absolutely nothing.
Let’s say you have 20,000 followers on Instagram and 12,000 of them buy ten copies of your book because you posted about it. That type of conversion means you have an engaged audience consuming your content. That’s valuable.
On the other hand, let’s say you have 200,000 purchased fans. When you post something and it gets zero engagement, those followers have zero value because (1) they either don’t care about your content or (2) they’re not real. Either way, your follower count does not represent their real value to you.
Even the thought that a low number of followers can be considered “irrelevant” makes no sense to me. You can have 10, 10,000, or 1,000,000 followers and all it takes is for one post to be noticed by one person to cause a social media chain reaction. The absolute number does not matter. One retweet, one repost, one link in an email is enough to get the ball rolling.


Instead of talking about how many people see your content, we need to be focusing on how much value that piece of content actually brings your audience. For a consumer to get excited about something, to be compelled to click an ad or watch a video, it comes down to caring about your audience’s attention. And in order for you to win, they really need to consume it. That’s the game.
In terms of organic reach, the #1 platform in the world right now is Instagram (even with the new algorithm). If you have 297 followers on Instagram, 150 of them are actually going to consume your posts. On the reverse side, someone with 3,000 followers on Twitter would not command nearly as much attention due to Twitter’s noise problem. For any platform, you need to understand the context of how your followers are consuming. Once you do that, you can reverse engineer how you can go deep to connect with that consumer and how that “impression” translates into actual interest.
For my newest book release, I sent free advance copies to over 1,000 Instagram influencers and asked them to post a substantial longform review with a photo. Not on Amazon, not on Twitter, not on their blog, but Instagram. Why? Because I day trade attention and I understood that this tactic was going to command the most amount of awareness.
Snapchat also has great organic reach right now. It’s the reason why I’ve been so excited for custom Snapchat filters and Story takeovers. When someone is using a filter or watching a Story, they have intent and you can be sure they’re paying attention. Remember, it’s about depth, not width. It’s not how many you reach, it’s how many you connect with.
Bottom line: I don’t care how many people see something, “I care about how many people see something.” Quality over quantity. Depth over width. Reach does not equal value and follower count doesn’t mean people are listening. We need to stop focusing on optimizing the number of views and instead concentrate on making each one of those viewers care about your brand. Because, at the end of the day, that’s the only way you’ll drive results to your end goal.
This article was originally published at www.garyvaynerchuk.com/blog

Friday, April 22, 2016

The 'A' Word -- Does Advertising Still Exist?

A thoughtful piece on advertising in today's world we wanted to share as we felt it rang very true--especially these two lines : 

As anyone reading this column knows, the idea of talking to (or rather, at) people to sell them something has gone the way of the home rotary phone.

Now more than ever it's about not only starting a conversation, but offering something of value to the consumer.


When people ask you what you do for a living, do you feel an odd sense of discomfort saying, "I work in advertising?" It feels dated, right? It feels perhaps even weirder to explain, "I work at an ad agency." You know they're picturing Don Draper with an easel and Sharpie, not the latest Snapchat filter or paid tweet. So how to describe what we do in a modern, relevant way? What's the right word these days?
As CMOs question the AOR model, watch their budgets shrink or be cannibalized by other divisions, and desperately chase consumers to the next digital platform, the word "advertising" seems more challenged than ever. And is an "ad agency" really the best partner for winning customers, selling products and claiming share in today's frenzied marketplace?
The identity crisis of the word is not dissimilar to the challenges the notion of TV has faced over the last several years. Is it still TV? Or is it "content," "video," "storytelling" or something else?
At Hill Holliday, we've just completed a very eye-opening series of one-on-one interviews with CEOs and CMOs from leading brands of Fortune 500 companies. Their idea of what an ad agency is today and what "advertising" should do for them is as conflicted as our own, yet their need for what we do has never been greater.
For these brand leaders, the advertising agency role is still critical -- not simply as the generator of the big idea (although they state this is still important) but also as the aggregator, curator and steward of the brand, the consumer and all the brand experiences defined by the customer journey (which they believe the ad agency, with its multichannel approach and consumer expertise, should own). The ad agency also helps them make brand choices based on strategic direction, versus simply on what's shiny and new.
Seeking best in class, most clients work with multiple agencies representing different marketing specialties, but they believe their "ad agency" is best qualified to put the pieces together into one brand story. But is that story advertising?
The word carries not only its negative baggage with the industry of old, but also the implication that it's a one-way street -- me the slick marketer, pitching to you, the unsuspecting consumer. "Advertising" implies that one is advertised to versus engaged with. As anyone reading this column knows, the idea of talking to (or rather, at) people to sell them something has gone the way of the home rotary phone. The consumer has never been more sophisticated or better prepared to fend off unwanted messages. Ad blocking, anyone? Appointment viewing? You may as well show up at my door with a briefcase full of Bibles.


Weekly FeatureA PR Partnership That Makes Social Media Easier
Consumers now sift through hundreds of messages every day, and the younger they are the harder it is to catch their attention. That's with an average of 9-10 hours of daily media consumption. Now more than ever it's about not only starting a conversation, but offering something of value to the consumer. Something they choose to spend time with. Something unexpected that provides a connection that is a not just a two-way street, but a freeway of valuable information, useful ideas and sharing.
My conclusion is yes, it's still "advertising," but it's about context and channels now, rather than just the message itself. It's about mapping the customer journey to start a conversation with consumers, one that leads to engagement, purchase, loyalty and advocacy at different touch points against this integrated journey. The same things that were always important but that are much, much more complicated to deliver now.
And while engagement is critical, it is still our job to send relevant messages out there that start the conversation. Here's a silly example. If I wear a T-shirt that says, "Eat Ice Cream," I am advertising ice cream. I'm telling you I think you should eat ice cream. But chances are you're going to come up to me and ask "What's up with that shirt? Why should I eat ice cream?" And we start talking. It's a conversation. At that point, I'd better deliver proof that eating ice cream is advisable. And if I've hired the right designer, chances are you're going to want a T-shirt, too. And then your friends will see that T-shirt ... and hey, you might even start to eat more ice cream.
Advertising -- whether it's Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, radio, outdoor, video or yes, even print -- is the POV of the brand, inspired and informed by culture and consumer insight, but a POV nonetheless that starts or inspires a conversation.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Google kills Right Hand Side Ads: what does this mean for marketers and users?

As we reported over the weekend, Google has removed all PPC ads from the right-hand side of the search engine results page with immediate global effect. 
There’s been a great deal of speculation on what this means for businesses, advertisers and users alike, with many postulating that the top-of-the-page paid search is going to become even more cutthroat (and expensive), organic listings will be pushed even further off the first SERP (Google will start to show four ads at the top instead of three for “highly commercial” search terms) and that Product Listing Ads will gradually take over the SERP (PLAs are still allowed on the right-hand side).
The change has already happened.
Here’s a search for ‘london hotel’ carried out two days ago…
london hotel Google Search with right hand side ads
And here is the same search today…
london hotel Google Search
There are now four paid search results at the top, with nothing on the right. It looks oddly blank now, and worryingly the entire above the fold space is entirely filled with ads.
However there is one slightly positive change. There are more organic results below the fold. In fact there are nine blue links and two news stories, which is an improvement. But this is still probably a case of ‘too little too low-down’.
Google’s decision appears to be entirely commercially driven, it would be naive to think otherwise, but has Google gone too far in sacrificing its own user experience for the searcher?
Or will we eventually get to the point where the entire first SERP is filled with ads and we instinctively click straight to the second page, in the same way we skip past YouTube pre-rolls?
We asked some experts from the search community what they thought of the matter.
Thank you to Julia Logan (SEO consultant at IrishWonder.com), Kevin Gibbons (Managing Director at BlueGlass), Sam Silverwood-Cope (CMO at Pi Datametrics) and Larry Kim (Founder ofWordstream) for answering the following questions…

Why has Google decided to drop ads on the right hand side of search results? Is this a way to extract more revenue from top ads?

[Julia Logan] I would suppose so, given the eye tracking studies, and with reports of typical non-technical users hardly distinguishing between ads and organic results, this step tends to blur the line for such users even more – after all, sidebar ads stood out clearly as ads.
However, I was trying to look into the history of sidebar ads and found this article proving this is not their first attempt to ditch sidebar ads, although the previous one did not involve increasing the number of ads above the organic results.
[Kevin Gibbons] The obvious answer is revenue and I’m sure that is a big factor of course. But I think it’s likely to be a balance between this, and a more modern, perhaps centered, search experience which reflects mobile vs. desktop and tablet results. Ultimately changes like this have to be beneficial to the search experience, otherwise Google ends up chasing short-term revenue instead of long-term market share.
[Sam Silverwood-Cope] My Dad asked me the other day, “How come Google is free?” Well Dad, this is how it makes money. If some people don’t realise the top advert spots are actually advertising (like my dad), I think most are aware that the right-hand side are paid positions. Most people do not click on PPC ads for general searches.
So not content with the existing two or three adverts, plus the Google shopping results, plus any other self-promoting comparison widget they put up, Google in its wisdom, has decided to expand the real estate of PPC in the main bulk of the SERPs at the cost of an organic spot.
new york flights Google Search

What does this do for organic search? What should site owners and SEOs do in response?

[Julia Logan] We could of course panic and bemoan the death of above-the-fold organic SERPs but this may not necessarily be the case. With the rise of adblockers, whatever anybody is doing with their ads can potentially become irrelevant.
Assuming the worst case scenario, site owners and SEOs should do what they have always been doing – compete against paid ads. If you rank for a commercially meaningful keyword, make sure you do everything in your power to make your organic listing stand out – metatag optimisation (yes I do realise this is 2016 now), Schema and other options suitable for your particular site. Ads will evolve, becoming more interactive and visually attractive – this means you should not be left behind.
[Kevin Gibbons] My advice is to aim high. We’ve definitely see a significant shift in first page clickthrough rates over the last couple of years especially in organic search. Ranking on page one is often not good enough anymore, every term is different – but I’d recommend that you really should be aiming top three now, otherwise there’s likely to a big drop-off in clickthrough rates.
Also, become the brand that people think of before they even get to typing a query into Google. Whether it’s paid listings, competitors, vertical search or anything else that may get in the way of potential customers visiting your site, try to make sure they get to you first and then remember who you are, so that they come straight back the next time.
[Sam Silverwood-Cope] Despite my moaning, and hankering for the good old times, I think it makes things quite interesting for SEO. The additional PPC spot is supposed to be for premium terms (for now). These terms are highly expensive per click, so it’s up to the vendor to decide whether the top spot is worth it, or whether it would be an interesting bidding war to lose and then to vie for the organic spot above the fold.
A good strategy would be to push organic and take a lower PPC position. With the right tracking tool, alerts can be used on organic positions to react accordingly for the bidding. This blended search approach will be won by the most competent, well equipped digital teams.

Does this improve or harm the user experience?

[Julia Logan] If the user’s goal is to find whatever they are looking for, the answer will largely depend on whether the AdWords algorithm is better than the organic algorithm, and also whether businesses spend money on ads thoughtlessly and run ads with poor targeting.
[Kevin Gibbons] The jury’s out on this one; the negative could be that searchers want to see the natural listings rather than too many ads at the top, and the positive could be a cleaner layout and improved experience. I have to try and look at this from a non-SEO perspective, and as much as I’d like to see the organic results as high as possible, if I’m honest I think the new layout might improve the experience.
I would add that this isn’t an overnight change and I don’t expect this to be the last experiment we see either.
[Sam Silverwood-Cope] Like a young rock band committed to making quality music and “never selling out” then chasing the mainstream buck with the third album, Google doesn’t seem to prioritise its legacy of organic quality any more.
“In Google we Trust” meant we used this superb search engine above the basic or advertised-burden competition. Too many adverts, and especially poor adverts, will eventually turn the user off. But this will only happen when there is a competent viable competitor.

And finally let’s hear from Larry Kim, who offers the following optimistic advice to Paid Search marketers…

I had a good chuckle reading some of the doomsday predictions this morning.
We did some actual analysis here and what I can tell you is that Side Ad and Bottom ads account for 14.6% of total click volume (this is looking across thousands of accounts). Keep in mind that ‘Bottom of Page Ads’ aren’t going away. So, for starters, we’re talking less than 14.6% of clicks impacted by the change.
Now, those “lost” impressions and clicks can more than be made up by A) the addition of the new fourth ad spot B) 78% of SERPS have fewer than 4 ads above the organic results – there’s plenty of room for that to go down and C) the addition of up to four ads below the organic search results. It’s like we just re-organized the naming of ad positions.
As a result, I see no impact on AdWords auction dynamics (clicks, impressions, CPCs, etc.). The only ‘loser’ is organic search which is completely gone from above the fold space on desktop for any commercial query.
There are also incremental benefits to paid search from the change, for example, now all ads can use call-out extensions, sitelink extensions, location extensions, etc., which were previously only a benefit of top-of-page ads. And the ads appear ‘more native’ which may have additional benefits.
In quantifying the impact of this, I should also add that the change is for desktop only, which accounts for less than half of searches. So we’re talking 14.6%/2 = 7.3% of queries impacted.
Basically, keep calm. This is a net positive for paid desktop search.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Lean on me The evolving world of growth and marketing