Small Businesses And Google AdWords

Small Businesses And Google AdWords

Gone are the days where the only way to advertise your business effectively was through expensive television or radio ads. The internet has opened the floodgates of advertisement, making way for literally hundreds of different advertising outlets. In the past, small businesses didn’t have much hope of creating effective advertising campaigns, but today businesses of all sizes can see success through their online marketing efforts. One of the most effective tools for online marketing is Google AdWords. Google AdWords is different from other traditional forms of advertising, and it has the potential to be much more effective. You’re In Control, So Start Small.

Google AdWords allows you to be completely in control of your advertising budget. You don’t have to spend a ton of money right off the bat to see success. Start small, and grow your budget accordingly. Google AdWords functions through Pay-Per-Click (PPC), also known as Cost-Per-Click (CPC). This means that you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad. Essentially, you tell Google how much you’re willing to pay for someone to click on your ad, and then you set a daily budget limit. For example, if you have a daily budget of 10 dollars at 50 cents per click, you can yield up to 20 clicks that day.

This method allows you to start small, and fine tune your advertising budget and your audience increases. Most small businesses aim for an ad budget between 3 to 5 percent of their total annual earnings. Soon you’ll be turning those clicks into customers.

Target Your Local Audience

Google AdWords allows you to target a specific area. You can change the radius of your advertisements, so that they will be shown to people within a 10-mile radius, or more. Whatever size radius you decide. In addition to targeting certain locations, you can also target specific time slots. If your target audience is college students, your prime-time slot might be later in the night than if you were targeting full-time working professionals. Take these things into account and plan your advertising windows accordingly. Test what works best for you by paying close attention to engagement rates at certain times or certain locations. Soon you’ll be able to lock in the most effective windows for your advertisements, and expand from there. Once you know the best time and place to put your advertisements, increase your budget as you continue to learn what works most effectively.

The More Success You Have, The More You Should Advertise

Once you start seeing your advertising campaign yielding positive results, you should increase your spending. Calculate the cost of success. Say for example you own a hat shop. If you yield 1000 clicks per month on your advertisements, and you also sell around 100 hats per month, you know that for every 10 people that clicked on your ads, one purchased a hat. Not everyone is selling physical items, and so this analogy may not directly apply to your business. However, the idea is to modify your budget accordingly. If you feel that you’re seeing tangible results from Google Adwords at this point, consider increasing your advertising budget.

Monitor Your Advertising

Once again, you are in complete control of your Google AdWords account. You can make any changes you feel necessary at any time you want, so take advantage of that! Part of monitoring your Google AdWords account means paying attention to your SEO. AdWords allows you to input keywords that you feel your target audience may search for when looking for a product or service that your business offers. Give a lot of thought to this, and ask others around you what they would search when looking for what you offer. Take their thoughts into account when adding keywords to your ads. No two people use Google search in the exact same way, and the words that they use to find your product or service may differ from what you would normally search. Essentially you want to anticipate what your potential customers would search for.

Hopefully these quick tips will help you take your small business to the next level in the world of online marketing!

Will There Be Another Michael Jackson?

Will There Be Another Michael Jackson?

Michael Jackson was indisputably the King of a musical era. He was a powerhouse performer with a boundless passion for entertaining the world. His presence on the stage captivated the attention of millions and continues to do so long after his passing. His legacy and musical style continues to reverberate throughout music today, with artists such as The Weeknd putting their own spin on Jackson’s iconic style in several songs. But will another artist ever come close to reaching Michael Jackson’s level of fame or influence in today’s digital world?

The short answer: Maybe. The long answer gets a bit more complicated.

Michael Jackson’s most influential work was Thriller. The album sold more than 46 million copies, and continues to hold that record today. The issue, is that modern day music sales hardly deal with physical copies. Honestly, when was the last time that you went to the store to buy an album? You probably just went on YouTube or Spotify to listen to that song you couldn’t get out of your head. This is where the biggest discrepancy lies. Even though Jackson’s Thriller album was such an iconic hit, it wasn’t released in the same way that albums release today. People didn’t listen to music then the same way that they listen to music today.

When Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson were producing Thriller, Jones said that his goal with the album was to “get kids out of the video arcades and back into the record stores.” Well, he was successful for a brief time, but here in 2017 the record stores AND the video arcades have landed in our pockets.

People don’t go out to buy physical copies of music like they used to. Streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube, Tidal (well kind of) and others are completely dominating the market. Because of this, it’s almost impossible to draw comparisons between artists then and artists now. 30 years ago, and long before the internet, only a few artists at a time could hold the spotlight. Now on the other hand, famous artists are a dime a dozen. People listen to the music of artists all over the world thanks to the internet, and no one person can hold the title of King. Instead of listening to entire albums, people create playlists of their favorite songs and listen to them on shuffle. Pop music has reached a sort of saturation, where one song is popular only until the next big hit comes out. Long gone are the days when everyone you knew was listening to the same album right when it dropped.

In short, the musical atmosphere is completely different.

But there is a sect of people who believe that the next King of Pop has already risen. They claim that he has already established himself as a musical legend. They claim that that person is Drake.

It’s a bit of a long shot I’ll be honest, but when you look at the numbers it’s easy to see why people draw the comparison. For one, Drakes 2016 album, Views, gained 13 American Music Award nominations, which broke Michael Jackson’s 32 year record of 11 nominations for Thriller in 1984. Michael Jackson received his 11 nominations on his sixth album, while Drake received his 13 on his fourth album. On top of that, we have to take video stats into account. Granted, Michael Jackson didn’t have YouTube when he was making music videos, but it doesn’t diminish how important the platform is when it comes to fame. As of today, Drake has more than 3 billion views on his music videos. That’s 3,000,000,000 views. Heck that number alone was probably some of the inspiration for his 2016 album’s title. With so many views from around the world, and record breaking statistics Drake could actually become the next King of Pop (if he isn’t already).

May is National Barbecue Month. Yes, Really

May is National Barbecue Month. Yes, Really

Just about every month is National something month, and May happens to be the month of barbecue. Yes, May is National Barbecue Month. The weather is getting hotter, so there’s no better time to whip out those barbecues (not grills, mind you) and take part in an American tradition that dates back hundreds of years.

The original method of barbecuing was developed by indigenous Caribbean tribes. When Christopher Columbus and his band of explorers encountered these tribes, they adopted their cooking method. They called it, “barbacoa”. The Spanish explorers brought the cooking technique with them as they traveled North, and eventually it made its way to the colonies. In 1540, explorer Hernando de Soto recorded that he, along with the Mississippi Chicksaw Tribe, cooked a feast of pork over the barbacoa. No one really knows where the term “barbecue” originated, but its widely believed to have originated from the original term “barbacoa”.

Eventually the tradition of barbecue was adopted wholeheartedly by early Americans and transformed into the cooking culture that we love. To this day, the most traditional barbecue joints only serve pork, as the original BBQ-ers of the South only had access to cheap cuts of the meat. They used pork instead of beef because pig farming at the time was incredibly low-maintenance and far cheaper than beef. Cows required massive amounts of feed and closed spaces, while pigs could roam around and fend for themselves. The cheap cuts of pork needed to be tenderized to be enjoyable, which is what led to the “low and slow” nature of barbecue cooking.

Today there are 4 distinct styles of American barbecue – most of the variations brought to America by immigrants. The original “whole hog” style barbecue is thought to have originated in the eastern colonies. There it was perfected when British colonists introduced the idea of basting the meat with sauce to preserve the juices inside. The Britons also preferred a tart sauce with their barbecue, and that tartness can still be found in North Carolina barbecue sauce. In South Carolina on the other hand, a mustard-based sauce was adopted, due to the large German and French immigrant population in the area.

May is National Barbecue Month

North Carolina BBQ

The barbecue fad moved west and settled in Texas, where locals began applying the Carolina cooking methods to beef instead of pork.

May is National Barbecue Month

Texas BBQ

The fad also landed in Memphis, Tennessee, where a sweeter, tomato-based barbecue sauce was born, due to the city’s easy access to molasses.

May is National Barbecue Month

Memphis BBQ

 Barbecue eventually found its way to Kansas City, brought there in the early 1900s by a man named Henry Perry. Perry’s method of barbecuing is said to have defined Kansas City barbecue. Kansas City barbecue combines Carolina and Texas barbecue, while adding its own zing. Barbecue in Kansas City includes both pork and beef, and a sweet sauce that you won’t find anywhere else. Barbecue experts call Kansas City barbecue the “ultimate amalgamation of East and West barbecue.”

May is National Barbecue Month

Kansas City BBQ

Despite all this, history does little to describe the actual flavor and smell of rich, down home barbecue. Barbecue lovers from around the world make pilgrimages to America’s “Barbecue Belt”, to try the four barbecue styles that are steeped in American tradition.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cinco de Mayo

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cinco de Mayo

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration in honor of Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla. Even though the Mexico only had a small group of fighters at Puebla, they were able to overcome the massive French army on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, so here’s 10 interesting facts about the holiday that you may not know.

  1. Cinco de Mayo is Not Mexican Independence Day

A common misconception about Cinco de Mayo is that it is Mexican Independence Day. In realty, Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is just a celebration of Mexico’s victory at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Because the outnumbered Mexican soldiers were still victorious despite the odds against them, Cinco de Mayo was (and still is) a celebration of national pride.

  1. Napoleon III Wanted to Win the Battle at Puebla for Several Reasons

The Battle at Puebla happened at the same time as the American Civil War. If Napoleon III won the Battle at Puebla, he would have spread his empire and gained a key Mexican access point to the U.S., where he could then lend support to the confederate army to keep the U.S. divided. Because Mexico won the battle, it was a dual victory for Mexican Americans at the time, which is why the holiday became so popular in the United States.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cinco de Mayo

Napolean III

  1. Cinco de Mayo is Celebrated More in the U.S. than in Mexico

The victory at Puebla was a victory not only for the Union, but also for Mexico. For this reason, the holiday quickly grew to be a wildly popular celebration in America. The U.S. has several huge Cinco de Mayo festivals throughout the country, some of which are larger than any in Mexico. Because Cinco de Mayo is a holiday of national pride, many Mexican Americans take the opportunity to remember their heritage and share Mexican culture with people around them.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cinco de Mayo

Los Angeles Cinco de Mayo Festival

  1. Abraham Lincoln Eventually Helped rid Mexico of the French Occupation

Abraham Lincoln wanted to provide support to Mexico during the Franco-Mexican War, but he couldn’t due to the Civil War in America at the time. However, once the war ended, Lincoln influenced France to remove their troops from Mexico.

  1. Cinco de Mayo Isn’t a National Holiday in Mexico

Outside of Puebla and the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a relatively small holiday. There aren’t too many places in Mexico where the holiday is observed heavily, but in Puebla and Veracruz, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with parades, reenactments and festivals.

  1. Roosevelt Helped to Make the Celebration Popular

After Roosevelt enacted the “Good Neighbor Policy” of 1933 to improve relations with Latin American countries, the holiday gained even more popularity.

  1. Holy Guacamole!

Every year Americans consume 81 million pounds of avocados on Cinco de Mayo!

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cinco de Mayo

  1. Some Celebrate with Chihuahua Races and Beauty Contests

Chandler Arizona hosts an annual Chihuahua race to celebrate the occasion! If that isn’t quirky enough for you, there’s also Longmont Colorado who celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a chihuahua beauty pageant every year. The winner of the contest gets a mini sombrero as a crown.

  1. The Biggest Cinco de Mayo Celebration is in L.A.

You may think that the largest celebration of the event is in Puebla, where the holiday originated, but it’s actually in Los Angeles. The area has the highest population of people from Mexican origin in the country, so it makes sense that the celebration is so grand every year!

  1. Australia and Canada Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Interesting Ways

There’s an annual competition held in Sydney Australia on May 5 every year called the Margarita Showdown, where local bars compete to see who can make the best margarita. Everyone in attendance gets one vote for their favorite margarita.

Vancouver’s celebration is a little more extreme. Every year, Vancouver, Canada hosts a Cinco de Mayo skydiving event that’s not for the faint of heart.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Skydiving

 

Is YouTube Really Over?

Is YouTube Really Over?

Is YouTube Really Over?

YouTube has been in the news a lot as of late, largely in part due to the exodus of major advertisers leaving the platform. In the wake of new YouTube demonetization policies and smear campaigns from mainstream media outlets, YouTube content creators have been consistently losing advertising revenue. In the last two weeks, YouTube advertisement rates have gone down by 75 percent.

The controversy started back in September 2016, when YouTube released their new demonetization policies. These new changes entailed that any video containing questionable material would be flagged for demonetization. When a video is demonetized, advertisements are prevented from being played on it, which in turn prevents content creators from receiving money for their work. Although the changes seem like a good solution to prevent creators from getting paid for content containing hate speech, or racism, many YouTubers found their videos getting flagged wrongfully. YouTubers soon learned that they couldn’t talk about certain sensitive topics such as murder, rape or drug use without their video getting demonetized immediately, even if they had an educated opinion on the matter. Despite creating content that was educational, YouTubers were prevented from getting paid for their content. This was a transition that changed YouTube from a place where anyone with an opinion could make a living off it, if so valued by the community, to a place where you can’t mention sensitive topics at all without being demonetized.

The controversy got worse when mainstream media outlets started finding examples of “hate speech” in videos of large YouTubers such as PewDiePie (although the examples were taken out of context, and PewDiePie’s words misconstrued), and threatening major advertisers with the information. Because major advertisers don’t want their products being advertised on such videos, they have all started to leave YouTube as a platform. However, the reasons behind these advertisers leaving goes deeper than it appears on the surface.

By shrouding Google’s YouTube in controversy, it makes advertising on the platform seem like a less than viable option for most advertisers. This causes advertisers to find a more “respectable” medium in which to advertise their products. Two of the most prominent advertisers who have pulled out are AT&T and Verizon, who spend a cumulative $3.5 Billion on advertising per year. Here’s where it gets sticky. AT&T, who pulled out from YouTube under the guise of “too much objectionable content”, owns major television companies such as HBO, TNT, TBS, Warner Brothers, and CNN. Guess who competes with major companies such as these? Independent entertainment and news channels on YouTube.

In the same way, Verizon has little to lose by creating the narrative that Google’s YouTube is a haven for objectionable content, because Verizon owns Yahoo!. By smearing the image of YouTube, these major corporations are practically forcing advertisers to leave YouTube as a platform. This gives major companies like AT&T and Verizon a chance to lure these advertisers back to their own “respectable” platforms.

As of now, more than 250 advertisers are boycotting YouTube – many out of fear for not boycotting, due to the extensive racism smear campaign created by mainstream media outlets and major corporations. Just two months ago, Eric Feinberg, CEO of GIPEC, a company which monitors online content, is quoted saying, “You look at corporate America’s ads in front of these videos, and it really has a reputational risk… the advertising community needs to take responsibility, go to YouTube, and threaten to pull their ads.” The media gladly gave Feinberg this platform, as it promotes the idea that YouTube is littered with objectionable content, thus driving advertisers back to their own websites.

In a recent article about Feinberg it’s stated that, “Feinberg has spent the last few months finding ad-supported content linked to terror and hate groups, and pushing links and screen shots proving it happened to journalists in the U.K. and U.S.” Why would he do this you may ask? Well, it has to do with Google’s artificial intelligence that filters unsavory content from YouTube. Google recently stated that they are “beefing up their tech efforts and hiring more people to prevent placement of ads with unsavory content.” In response to this claim, Feinberg stated that he doubts Google can succeed in this task without, “violating my patent.” This means that a large part of the controversy was caused by GIPEC, out of fear that Google would violate their patent.

The controversy continues, but as to whether YouTube will continue as the free speech platform that it is, time will tell.