Advertising on Facebook is crucial and affordable for even the smallest of brands. Why?
- Extreme targeting lets you narrow down to only the folks who are most likely to buy: think parents of tweens in 25 miles of you with incomes of $100K or more with an interest in sailing.
- Your regular (organic) posts are simply a waste of time.
- The average cost of a Facebook ad click is $.64 while Google AdWords costs $1-$2 per click on average.
- Even if you have NO budget at all, you can use Facebook’s ad platform for audience research.
So don’t miss out on Eric Covino’s in-depth know-how. Whether you’re new to Facebook ads or looking to improve your game, you won’t want to miss this Newport Interactive Marketers exclusive.
This in-depth talk is designed to break down Facebook ads to its most fundamental level to help maximize your use of the platform and ensure your success:
- Targeting mistakes to avoid
- How to get started with tracking leads and conversions
- Split testing pitfalls
- Much more!
Whether you already have a Facebook page and are looking to enhance it, or you’re completely new to Facebook, Eric Covino is sure to have the answers to your questions!
Meet Eric Covino
Entrepreneur and CEO at boutique digital marketing agency Creative Signals, Eric brings nearly a decade of digital marketing experience, working with some of the biggest names in travel, education, and e-commerce. When Eric isn’t working on super-secret internal projects, he enjoys spending time with his family.
Missed this great talk? Learn more about video & visuals and more via the NIM media library!
Become a NIM $upporting member, if you aren’t already, for access to the vast video library of past presentations and watch from your device at your convenience.
Have you enjoyed attending NIM events?
Have you made some valuable contacts through NIM?
Have you been exposed to thought leaders in your field?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you might be the right candidate for an exciting opportunity to join our newly formed Advisory Board. We’re looking for a few creative people to brainstorm for just an hour a month about ways we can leverage our platform to be more beneficial to our members and to take advantage of the incredible resources we have within our group.
NIM was designed to connect, promote and engage like minded people who share an interest in the rapidly changing digital marketing and social media worlds and we did it!
>We built one of the largest volunteer networking groups in Southern New England
>We meet consistently and have done so over the last 5 years
>We grew our membership to more than 1000 members
Join our Advisory Board if you want to be part of this exciting time in our development and have some ideas to share. Contact Suzanne at Sue@DesignatedEditor.com.
As promised here is Part 2 of our “Travel Blogger’s Secrets You Can Use” blog post! If you missed Part 1 be sure to click here and check out all the amazing blogging tips we covered in last week’s post. This week we’re talking about the best marketing, monetizing, and travel tips our lovely panelists, Tamara Gruber of We3Travel, Lillie Marshall of Around the World “L”, and Priscilla Pilon of The Weekend in Paris, shared at our August #NIMRI event. So let’s get started!
Top 8 Marketing/Monetizing Tips
1. Soliciting Sponsors: The emphasis should always be on the content you’re creating. “Write it, and they will come,” said Priscilla sagely, “Produce high-quality content, and they will come.”
2. Doing Business With Brands: There are a few ways a blogger can work with a brand: being contacted by people to place ads, contacting people to place ads, sponsored posts, or, if you’re lucky, a sponsored trip.“If I work with a brand or do a sponsored post, it has to be something I believe in. Once your audience doesn’t believe you, you’re done,” Priscilla warned.
“Native Advertising, which is when you have content that is already successful and then work with advertisers who would complement that content, can work very well,” said Lillie.
3. Navigating Negativity: It can be very difficult to figure out what to do when you have a bad experience as a blogger, particularly if the trip is a sponsored one. It is especially tricky because, depending on the country’s laws, you could potentially be sued for a negative review. “Contact the PR people and be sure to start with the positive things and then talk about the disappointments,” advised Priscilla, “I always give them a chance to fix it. If they do, I won’t write a bad review. If they don’t, I will offer to not write about it.”
“Steer away from negative content, even though it can be very effective. Everyone gets fired up over a bad review and they like to share it, but it doesn’t reflect very well on you and can get you into trouble,” offered Lillie.
4. Create a Community: “Facebook has become a pay-to-play platform. You can pay $5 to promote a post (and I do that sometimes), but you won’t see a big difference in your analytics. What’s really powerful is to form alliances and private Facebook groups, not just with other travel bloggers. People who like wine, food, lifestyle, even interior design share readers. The cross-pollenization that happens helps everyone grow,” Priscilla said.
5. Know Your Worth: “It depends on your reach and your demographic,” reasoned Tamara, “I have a group of travel blogger friends, and we share that information.”
“This is why you need the group mentality!” proclaimed Priscilla, “Building your blogging network is key. Whatever you do, don’t write a post for someone for free – it brings the rate for everyone down to $0. You’re time is worth something.
“I would argue that there is a value in giving content to high-traffic sites, so it can be OK to do something like that for free as long as there is some ROI. It’s a value to your resume,” Lillie said.
6. A Photo’s Worth a Thousand Shares (nope, still not right): “For me, Pinterest is very important. It drives traffic to my site, often more than google,” Tamara shared.
“Be sure to link all of your photos: photos on Google and Pinterest should link to your website and have descriptions,” Priscilla said.
“Selling your photos can also be another source of income,” Lillie pointed out.
7. Tally Your Toolbox: “Don’t be afraid to automate! Hootsuite can schedule your posts at the best time for your demographic. You could write the best blog post ever, but if no one ever reads it, it won’t matter,” explained Lillie. To find out when the ideal time for your demographic is, be sure to check out Tweepi.
“The Tail Wind app is great for automating Pinterest,” shared Tamara, “Paying a little for the right tools can be worth it.”
“Google trends is an invaluable SEO tool,” said Priscilla, “In WordPress there is a feature where you can try a bunch of different options and put them in Google Trends to see where you are in searches.”
8. Socialize, Socialize, Socialize (your media, that is): “Learn and get busy on all social media sites and thank everyone who follows (NOT by direct message),” Priscilla advised.
“The biggest mistake people make is to just stop for an extended period of time on social media,” Lille said, “Be consistent and don’t be afraid to self promote!
“Snapchat is the newest thing people must be on, although it does appeal to a younger demographic,” said Tamara, “Its important to know who your audience is and where to find them.”
Top 3 Travel Tips
“Use Trivago or another trip-cost comparison site to look for the lowest fare. Then, take a screenshot and call the hotel. They will always match it, and it’s always better to book through the hotel because they tend to have a better cancellation policy and you also will be eligible for upgrades,” advised Priscilla.
“Tuesday is the best day to book airlines usually,” shared Tamara.
“People would pay a lot of money to stay in your home in beautiful Newport so rent it out on Airbnb to get money for travel and also find places to stay in yourself!” Lillie suggested.
All-Time Favorite Hotel
And, of course, we had to ask about their favorite place in Newport!
Here’s what #NIMRI members were saying on Instagram and Twitter:
Great turnout at #NIMRI! A photo posted by Suzanne McDonald (@newportinteract) on
Learning about travel blogging at #NIMRI at @ParlorNewport. #NewportRI A photo posted by The Newport Blast (@thenewportblast) on
Many thanks to our venue sponsor Parlor Kitchen & Bar
Wow! We covered so much incredible information at our August 12 event, Travel Bloggers’ Secrets You Can Use. Our three amazing panelists, Tamara Gruber of We3Travel, Lillie Marshall of Around the World “L”, and Priscilla Pilon of The Weekend in Paris shared invaluable insights about blogging, marketing, monetizing, and, of course, traveling. We wanted to put together a couple of posts summing up all the best tips for any of you who might not have been able to make it or any #NIMRI members who want to refresh on what they learned. Part 1 will cover a little bit of background about our panelists and their top blogging tips. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!
How They Got Started
Tamara Gruber: “After a family trip, I was telling a friend everything I’d learned about traveling as a family, and she said ‘you should share this,'” explained Tamara. And thus We3Travel was born. Tamara Gruber’s blog centers around family travel and her family of three have traveled all over the world, from the cathedrals of Europe to the rainforests of Costa Rica. We3Travel was recently named one of the Top 20 Family Travel Blogs in 2015 by Holiday Lettings (a company owned by TripAdvisor). “I try to research trips and make itinerary suggestions that everyone can get something out of,” said Tamara, “Showing kids the world is a gift that we give to them.”
Lillie Marshall: “I started at age 27, sleeping in $10 broom closets because I wanted to travel the world,” said Lillie. Around the World “L” which began in 2009, has covered everything from nomadic budget traveler trips to luxury family travel, now that its creator, Lillie Marshall, is married with a young son (and another on the way! Congrats Lillie!!). She works as an English teacher in Boston, and runs TeachingTraveling.com, a blog that interviews “Teacher-Travelers.” Lillie has one of the largest social media followings of any teacher in the world and Around the World “L” has been consistently selected for Top 100 Travel Blog rankings. She was also recently invited to attend White House Travel Bloggers Summit on Study Abroad and Global Engagement.
Priscilla Pilon: “When I first started writing my blog I didn’t realize other people could see it. I made it for my friends and family. The first time I got a comment from a stranger, I was like ‘who is this?!’,” laughed Priscilla Pilon of The Weekend In Paris. Priscilla has traveled the world, but is an admitted Paris addict. In addition to her own blog, she is the Travel Editor for The Daily Basics (the editor of which she actually met at a #NIMRI event!), as well as a contributor for Upscale Living Magazine, The Daily Meal, and Travel Squire.
Top 6 Blogging Tips
1. Preferred Platform: Lillie, Tamara and Priscilla all recommend WordPress as a blogging platform. “You can really create your own identity since there are so many themes to choose from and they’re so easy to customize,” said Lillie, “and there are so many useful plugins!”
2. Traversing the Themes: Sifting through the bazillion or so WordPress themes can be a bit intimidating but it helps if you know want you want it to look like. Magazine-ish? Newspaper-ish? Word-driven? Photo-driven?
“Your theme must work with Google Analytics. Some older themes don’t,” Priscilla warned, “So, to be safe, don’t choose one that’s more than 3 years old. It also must be mobile responsive. If it isn’t it will be downgraded by Google.” In addition, 80% of internet users access the web through their smartphone. That is big chunk of your target audience who wouldn’t be able to access your website. However, if you already have an older WordPress site you don’t want to change, or you totally fall in love with an older theme the WP touch plugin can make it mobile responsive.
3. Camera of Choice: Priscilla uses a Nikon D5300, but many bloggers, including Lillie and Tamara, are moving from a big DSLR to smaller mirrorless cameras. Lillie chose the Sony Alpha 5100, and Tamara has both a Mirrorless Olympus and a Go Pro. “I also love to use my iPhone!” exclaimed Tamara.
4. A Word For Every Thousand Pictures (wait, that’s not right) : “People are captivated first by a photo,” Priscilla explained, “I like to pick the pictures first, then write the story. I took 8,000 photos on my recent trip to Africa and narrowed that down to about 20 for my article. Obviously you can’t fit all of your pictures in one post, but it is nice to build up a big media library so you can share the other photos on social media or in a later article.”
5. Feelings on Freelancing: “I think freelancing can be a little bit dangerous because you are putting all of this effort into someone else’s site. However, it’s different for everyone, and some people get a lot out of it,” Lillie said.
“I focused first on building my own blog and my own presence before moving into freelancing,” explained Tamara.
“You can get some street cred if you’re writing for other sources, but you have to have a thick skin. I was sending out 20 pitches and getting 19 no’s and 1 positive response. It makes you doubt yourself, but once you get going and they know your reputation, you’ll get 19 yes’,” shared Priscilla, “Just make sure you promise appropriately and over-deliver. Also, be on time!”
6. Share with Care: It isn’t a good idea to post things live in case of stalkers, and never post pictures of children without their parent’s permission. “I write about family travel, but for the longest time I didn’t use my daughter’s name,” shared Tamara, “Finally, it became too awkward writing ‘my daughter’ over and over, but it is something to be cautious about.”
“Make sure that what you’re posting is not traceable to you or where you live, and that it’s appropriate,” advised Lille, “Beware of geo-tagging!”
Next week our travel bloggers top marketing/monetizing and travel tips!
Many thanks to our venue sponsor Parlor Kitchen & Bar
On July 30th, Newport Interactive Marketers held our annual networking event on the Rooftop of the Hotel Viking, Newport’s Best Sunset Spot, which overlooks Newport Harbor. Unfortunately, we were a bit short on sun but that didn’t stop our #NIMRI members. It was an extraordinary success despite the downpour and having everyone huddled together under the tent just made the networking easier!
Our annual rooftop 100% networking event was co-hosted by:
Here’s some of our favorite moments from that rainy night:
— Pieter van Gool (@vanGoolPieter) July 31, 2015
Happy to be at the hotel Viking in Newport Rhode Island for the totally networking NIGHT for #NIMRI #hotelviking @debgoeschel @suebzimmerman @newportinteract @cwetalk A photo posted by Artist, Maker Of Joy 🎨🌀🌸🔨 (@gailahlers) on
Jameson on the rocks at a rainy #NIMRI. #NewportRI A photo posted by Drink Newport – Newport, RI (@drinknewport) on
And here’s our lucky winner at the Newport Jazz Festival!
Many thanks to our venue sponsor Hotel Viking
With more than 300 million active users, Instagram is now the fastest-growing social media platform – and when trends online change, your social media marketing strategy needs to shift with it.
Zimmerman is founder of Insta-Results, the world’s first comprehensive online Instagram course, and author of the No. 1 e-book “Instagram Basics for Your Business.”
An entrepreneur and founder of 18 businesses, including her own boutique, Zimmerman is passionate about teaching other business owners, execs, and marketing professionals how to best leverage social media platforms, such as Instagram, to see tangible results.
Keys of “Insta-Success”
Zimmerman says there are three components of Instagram that are essential to success.
- Compelling Content
- Active Engagement
Tips to Making Your Instagram Bio Pop
- Name – Use the same name as your Twitter account so that your accounts are recognizably linked. If the name you want is taken, don’t be afraid to use underscores or symbols.
- Avatar – Make this image pop! You can use a logo, but you want your audience to feel that they’re doing business with a smiling human, not a robot. Use bright colors here, and feel free to use props.
- Bio – You have 150 characters to tell your audience who you are. Make every character count. This is a great place to use emojis and show personality!
- Call to Action – Instagram is a great funnel for leads, meaning by the time they get to your bio, they’re likely to be very interested in your brand, so carefully consider what you want someone to do once they get to your account.
- Link – You have space for only one link, so make sure you’re sending your link where you want them to go. Try sending them to your online store, email newsletter sign-up or strategy guide.
Creating Compelling Instagram Content
- Stick to your niche market – don’t confuse people.
- Add value to every post by including useful information in the image’s description.
- Create images that stand out. Use third-party apps to make picture collages or to edit images.
- Post daily. If you have fewer than 500 followers, post two times a day.
- Humanize your brand. People want to see the person behind the business.
- Engage with other accounts. Giving a shout out to accounts you like will encourage them to check out your account.
- Hashtags are so important for potential followers to find your content. But instead of putting the hashtags in the description of the image, which makes the post look cluttered, post a comment on the photo immediately after you post with as many as 30 hashtags. Try Keyhole, to help find the most useful and targeted hashtags to find your key audience.
Six Mistakes to Avoid on Instagram
- Never post a blurry photo. If it’s your only image, use a sharpening tool in Instagram to make a photo less blurry.
- Don’t post irrelevant “stuff.” You may lose followers if too much of your content seems useless or unrelated to their interests.
- Don’t over-post. If you saturate your feed with images, people will unfollow you.
- Don’t under-post. If you aren’t active enough, people won’t follow you in the first place.
- Don’t repost the same images. Instagram posts have a life of about 24 hours, so there’s no need to post an image more than once.
- Avoid posed, catalogue-type shots. Your audience doesn’t want to feel like they’re being sold to online.
What were #NIMRI attendees saying on Twitter?
Go on Instagram and see what competitors are doing by searching hashtags #NIMRI
Check out NIM’s next event here. Make sure you preregister before it fills up!
A special thank you to the event host 41 North in Newport.
Newport Interactive Marketers is sponsored by web and social specialists Designated Editor, named Newport County Chamber of Commerce Microbusiness of the Year and International Business Award Internet/New Media Company of the Year.
In an age where we can’t seem to put down our phones, it was nice to hear Gail Lowney Alofsin give a presentation involving face-to-face communication at last week’s Newport Interactive Marketers Networking event.
Newport Interactive Marketers (NIM) was established in 2010 as an assembly of new media talent. NIM attracts speakers from across New England to share their marketing experiences.
Thursday night’s speaker, Gail Lowney Alofsin is the Director of Corporate Partnerships at Newport Harbor Corporation as well as a professor in the Communications Department at URI. Alofsin is also the author of her first book, “Your Someday is Now.”
Alofsin began her speech, drawing philosophy from her book, explaining the power of networking. While giving many helpful tips along the way, here are a few that stuck out to me:
Every networker needs to begin with a positive mindset. It is easy to sit back and not take part in something. Particularly when an opportunity allows you to build relationships, Alofsin advises that you check your “whether report.” No, I didn’t make a spelling mistake…the “whether report” is a way to address a situation to decide whether to go or not. Take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way (or make your own opportunities).
Clearly making an impact, newportFILM even used the expression in a tweet, “@sue_DesigEditor glad my “whether report” told me it was going to be friendly & awesome at #NIMRI 😉 THNX for the wise words @gailalofsin!”
Network before you need it: Meeting new people can be fun! Remember to spend time with your colleagues and reinforce current relationships. You never know when you might need them, or whom THEY know.
You, Inc.: Alofsin also stresses the idea that EVERYTHING communicates. It is important to pay attention to how you present yourself. When networking, try to “disconnect to connect” by putting away your phone and communicating with the people around you.
Attire, body language, attitude, as well as what you say, all contribute to a person’s perception of you. Are you going to enter a room like an Eeyore or an Elvis? When communicating with people: be present, be interesting, and be your best.
After all of this inspiration, the NIM event also provides its attendees with the opportunity to utilize some of these skills. With over 50 people in attendance, all were able to mingle and create new contacts.
Filled with old-timers, newcomers, and great food…the NIM Networking event was a success!
On Tuesday, August 13th, WordPress expert Matt Medeiros highlighted “Must-Have WordPress Plugins” to the Newport Interactive Marketers audience at the International Yacht Restoration School.
To better understand the difference, Matt explained the relationship between a website, WordPress, and plugins in this analogy:
Website : iPhone
WordPress : iOs software
Plugins : Apps
Before installing, make sure that your web host can support a lot of bandwidth in the long run. Once your web host is set up, do thorough research on any plugins you are considering for your site: read reviews, check the number of installations and the dates of the most recent updates. Staying up to date for safety’s sake avoids malware, site lag, and loss of data.
Free and Premium versions are available. Although free ones are great because they’re “accessible, fast and free,” Matt pointed out that there is a difference between Free and Premium—Premium is better.
Premium plugins have more features, better quality, great support, longer product cycle and higher compatibility. If you get what you pay for, it’s worth paying for premium plugins for contact forms and e-commerce.
In addition to explaining the basics, Matt also shared his favorite WordPress plugins:
- Ultimate Coming Soon Page
- Redirection– great for transitioning domain change to WordPress
- Yoast– WordPress SEO and Video SEO
- BackWPup-Wordpress backup plugin
- BackUp Buddy– premium version of BackWPup
- Gravity Forms– premium, very powerful; creates contact forms and can create users
- W3 Total Cache-“cache-ing” helps server, which ultimately helps drive the bottom line for business
- Paid Membership Pro– available in free version and premium version
- Responsive WordPress Slider by Soliloquy
- WooCommerce– E-commerce plugin, also provides extensions for shipping
- bbPress– “be all, end all” discussion platform for WordPress
- JetPack-“a single plugin that does a thousand things”; it has its own analytics and has the capability to cache images and speed up load time
- WPtouch– premium mobile version of WordPress site
- Powerpress– the only one for podcasts
**Can’t find a plugin you want? Matt advises to have a developer create it
On Tuesday, July 24th, #NIMRI hosted its annual networking event on the rooftop of Hotel Viking. Professionals from Rhode Island & across New England enjoyed a summer evening in Newport & connected with new faces.
A big thanks to the staff at Hotel Viking for making the event possible!