4 tips to engage with your audience that won’t cost you a dime

Small businesses looking to get their marketing efforts in order surely have come across the harsh reality sooner rather than later – most of the time, you’ll have to spend money to get your strategy going. That’s what keeping many small companies back, since not many of them have their own budget exclusively for marketing. In fact, most of them surely work their campaigns with very few resources.

Money shouldn’t be an obstacle on your way up, nonetheless. You can always use your brains to make up for the lack of funding. It’s just a matter of putting your mind to work to come up with some ideas that can attract your audience – and keep it engaged. Can’t think of any? Here are some to get you started.

5 questions (and answers) to understand Marketing Automation

We’ve heard a lot about marketing automation in the first half of 2015. In fact, some are calling this the year of marketing automation, marking it as THE way to go for marketers everywhere. But even with all the talk that has been making the rounds about this trend, there are lots of people that are missing it out and are now asking what the heck everybody else is talking about.

Are you among them? Don’t sweat it. You still have time to catch on and reap all the benefits of marketing automation. But first things first – you have to learn the basics about it and understand how you can turn this automation in your favor. Thus, we’ve prepared a brief 5-question questionnaire that should solve any doubt you might have. You’re welcome!

The latest Google mobile update is here- how does it affect your small business?

For something called Mobilegeddon, the latest Google update for its search engine isn’t as scary as everyone else is trying to make you believe. I understand if you’re in disbelief – the whole Internet has been panicking for quite a while now over an update that could crush virtually anyone, big or small. But going deeper beyond the surface, the new Google update could mean good news for anyone that knows how to take advantage of it. Yeah, that’s right – even you and your small business can profit from these changes.

But, how? And why your business of all the businesses in the world? The explanation is simple: Google rewards sites that follows the guidelines deemed by the company as mobile friendly. In other words, the Mountain View-based company wants everyone to get on board of its idea of user experience as big player – in fact, a player as big as content, the supposed king up until this month. So, get on board with them and you’ll be ok.

Ideally, you already made the change to a responsive site months ago, even before Google started announcing the update back in February. Though that was what should have happened, there’s a chance you forgot to make the change or shrugged it off. Look, I’m not here to judge but if that was your case, let’s say you shouldn’t include it in your list of brightest moments. Google still controls what people searches on the Web, so listening to it (and acting accordingly) are a must if you’re to survive.

So, you didn’t make the change on time and now the update is in full force. Is everything lost? Not really. However, each particular site and its competition will determine whether the update’s effect is huge or something controllable. If all of your competitors have jumped to mobile-friendly sites before the update hit, then you’re already running them from behind. That’s because all of their indexed pages won’t just keep the rankings they already got before the Mobilegeddon –they’ll get a boost as a reward for playing along.

If, on the other hand, your competitors are in your same situation, you are in a less grimmer scenario. You’re in time to make the jump and make all of your future efforts count towards a better ranking. But for that to happen you need to make the change now. Here’s where small businesses have their shot at glory.

Though you might think that big companies had all of this figured out for years and are now laughing while they roll over their piles of money, new reports show that they are in bigger trouble than small businesses. Sites as big as reddit and Interviemagazine.com are among the biggest losers after the update went live. The same goes for big businesses all over the country and the world. This means that search rankings suffered a major rearrangement that is still making waves.

The timing for you is perfect because for all of those big businesses that didn’t make the change on time, getting back on their feet will be harder than for you. I’m assuming that as a small business, you’re in control of practically every major decision concerning to its whole marketing plan. So, you’re definitely able to prioritize the change to a responsive site accordingly – meaning right f**k now – without having to plan that much. Just contact the IT Guy and ask him to do it. It will be half as hard as you think it may be.

All of the above is especially true if your business relies heavily in localized search. Imagine someone that types “donuts in Sunnyvale” on their phone looking for a place like yours: if you haven’t made the change to a responsive site, that someone will get another recommendation by Google. In other words, if most of your visitors/customers came from organic searches made from Google, then your numbers are already suffering and making the change should be your top priority (you should even stop reading this!).

I repeat to make it perfectly clear: if you haven’t made the change, the damage is done by now. But that doesn’t mean the game is over. You just have to act quick and get yourself a responsive site (you know, the one with big font, easily clickable links that resizes to fit any screen) and start paying attention to the mobile aspect of your digital presence. Given how much it has increased in the last years, mobile is already defining the Web, so you start thinking a business designed for it or go looking for another job.

Don’t know if your site is mobile friendly? Use this tool to check it now”

Small Businesses That Rocked with Viral Videos (Examples)

When you have a small business and are struggling to get some attention, a creative use of the Internet can be essential. With a properly designed online marketing plan you can start to make some noise to finally get the customers you’re looking for. Of course, you’ll have to make something unique to catch the eye of the fast-browsing masses. You’ll certainly have to develop an interesting content marketing strategy that includes the most powerful tool in the web today: videos.

Hashtag: What Is It Good For?

Since being created back in 2007 almost by accident, #hashtags have been massively adopted and used in almost every way imaginable. Although intended to easily organize Internet conversations around a topic, hashtags now exceeded that goal to the point that they are now created to start conversations on their own. So, they’ve grown from being just a filter to become a powerful tool that, used smartly, can be used for marketers and businesses advantage.

Top 10: The Most Viral Video Ads of 2014

2014 is coming to a close, which means it’s time to look back to see what it has left us in terms of video advertising. Companies have really been improving their video ads year after year and 2014 wasn’t the exception. In fact, this year we saw the most-shared video ad of all time which, unsurprisingly, aired just in time to promote the World Cup and got nearly 6 million social media shares. However, that wasn’t the only one that made some noise – there were plenty more videos this year. So, it’s time to watch the best viral videos of 2014 again!

1. Activia – Shakira La La La

This year saw the rise to popularity of trackvertising, a current video trend where a brand associates with a musical artist to release a video that’s both a music video and an ad. Although it isn’t particularly new, this methodology proved to be the perfect fit for Activia, which sought Shakira’s collaboration for the video La La La. The company’s strategy couldn’t be more accurate: tying one of the most popular artists in the world with a social cause (via the World Food Programme) in the World Cup’s eve turned this video into the most shared video of all time.

2. Devil’s Due – Devil Baby Prank

Devil’s Due won’t be remembered as a classic or as an effective horror movie. In fact, it’s one of the poorest attempts in the horror genre we’ve seen in decades. However, and unlike the script writers, its marketing team did something many still remember: a funny prank that was the second most shared video of this year with 2,153,236 shares. Pranks, when properly executed, have proved to be an effective way to get attention. Devil’s Due did just that with a demonic baby and a remote-controlled stroller. Too bad that was the only good thing associated with that name.

3. Nike – The Last Game

The World Cup served as a major platform for companies to promote themselves and, of course, Nike wasn’t going to let the opportunity go away. As it already its tradition, the sports clothing company released The Last Game, a funny animated short starring some of the best players of the teams it sponsors. With appearances from cartoonish avatars from Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Ibrahimovic, the short underlines the importance of the human heart for soccer rather than a bunch of skills. Overall it’s a very entertaining short that was shared 2,151,148 times to become a close third. It’s a shame for Nike that none of the national team it clothes made it to the World Cup finals, but that’s another story.

4. Budweiser – Puppy Love

Years of romantic movies have taught us that love stories sell a lot. YouTube is the proof that people love to watch animals do adorable things. Budweiser just did the math and put one and one together and brought a cute Labrador Retriever puppy with a horse to serve as a bond in a hinted love story. The thing was a sure bet: the video was shared 1,976,253 times and it was the ideal companion for its #BestBuds social campaign.

5. Cardstore – World’s Toughest Job

Cardstore was very clever when it came down to promote its line of greeting cards for 2014 Mother’s day. They ‘invented’ a job opening ambiguously called director of operations, which was also labelled ‘The World Toughest Job’. They received various résumés and they even held some interviews for a job that sounded absolutely crazy. The video that resulted from those interviews was a perfect mix of humor and emotion that was rewarded 1,894,721 shares and the feeling that’s worth to watch over and over again.

6 – Wren – First Kiss

LA-based clothing company Wren really did something different with this ad. With the aid from director Tatia PIlieva and accompanied by the beautiful We Might be Dead Tomorrow by Soko, the brand asked 10 couple of strangers to kiss for the first time while being filmed. The whole ordeal was captured on video and we can see the uncomfortable first moments, the chitchat and, of course, the kisses. Nothing in the video gives away that this is an ad but after watching it for the first time, you’ll surely run off to google Wren – like the people that caught it for the first time when it was shared 1,548,628 times.

7. Always – #LikeAGirl

Another hashtag-focused campaign, Always’ #LikeAGirl is a smart clip even in its simplicity. The premise was simple: ask a bunch of people to do things ‘like a girl’. The results were as expected when the adults were faced to the tasks but things changed when the girls took the spot. The video is one of the best content marketing campaigns of the 2014 not because it was shared 1,482,633 times – but for the way it confronts the watcher with a well-established prejudice.

8. Nike – Winner Stays

With 1,431,422 shares, Nike was capable of putting another video in the Top 10 of most viral videos of 2014. The premise was the same as in video mentioned above, although this time the actual players shot the ad. Though the premise isn’t as strong as the animated ad, this video at least included two players that actually were in the World Cup finals: Higuaín (whose clear failed goal attempt in that match will be remembered by Argentinians for years to come) and Götze
(who actually made the goal that won the cup for Germany).

9. Thai Life Insurance – Unsung Hero

A video from a Thai insurance company is one of the unlikely ads to win a spot among the most viral videos of this year – but it surely deserves it. The inspiring story about the titular unsung hero shows how the little things we can do every day can have an impact on other lives. It certainly might seem simple and clichéd at first, but after watching the video you’re guaranteed to feel otherwise. As they used to say in times of yore, 1,289,592 shares can’t be wrong about it.

10. DTAC – The Power of Love

Another Thai ad closes the top 10 and adds another unlikely winner to this list. Mobile phone provider DTAC resorted to a simple but powerful message for this video: technology can’t replace love. Such conclusion turns the video into a very relatable ad, despite its promotional intentions and the fact that DTAC only operates in Thailand. That’s the primary reason why The Power of Love got 1,101,023 shares and ended up crowning a list of very creative videos.

Do you feel that Unruly’s cold numbers left out some amazing ads? Do you think that there were some viral videos that deserved to be watched again? Tell us which in the comments!

Where Will You Find Your Clients On The Internet?

Saying that the Internet has gotten bigger since its humble beginnings is surely an understatement. From the handful of sites of the early 90s to the more than 1 billion we can visit today, the Web has expanded in spectacular fashion and has given us access to anything and everything we can think of. From a user point of view, this is undeniably fantastic. From a business standpoint, however, reaching the targeted audience sometimes feels nothing short of a miracle.

10 Tips to Boost Your Online Sales these Holidays

December is here and this can only mean one thing for businessmen everywhere: one of the busiest and most profitable holidays of the year are about to start! These holidays are probably the best time to earn some extra bucks with your store, especially if you run an online store. Why? Because people hate to shop in crowded Christmas-y stores and are growing accustomed to order their gifts online.