SnapchatLogoSnapchat has quickly become one of most popular apps and certainly the most popular temporary photo and video sharing network, but thus far they have yet to find a way to monetize their service. CEO Evan Spiegel says that will change very soon, as untargeted, disappearing ads may begin showing up in the near future.

The ads will appear directly within the Snapchat Stories section, between photos and videos from users, but most importantly for marketers they will not be targeted individually. “They’re [the ads] not fancy. You just look at it if you want to look at it, and you don’t if you don’t,” Spiegel told the Wall Street Journal. He also said there is not a set release time yet, but they would be here “soon.”

The decision to make the ads untargeted is fairly surprising as most would agree the ability to refine demographic and behavioral traits to target audiences is one of the most unique and powerful aspects of social advertising.

You can find out more in the piece from the Wall Street Journal.

Tulsa Marketing Online has always believed tracking data is one of the most essential steps to running an informed marketing campaign, but apparently many search marketers are opting out of comprehensive tracking when it comes to phone conversions from search campaigns.

A new survey from Invoca has found that just 36 percent of respondents reported using call extensions or click-to-call ads in their search campaigns. Of course, call conversions aren’t a major metric for some campaigns, but the survey shows that isn’t the whole story. The results also show that 63 percent of those surveyed said phone leads are equally or more valuable than web conversions.

It is surprising that such only a relatively small percentage of marketers may not be tracking phone call conversion data, especially in light of the wealth of studies showing the value of phone calls to search marketers. Google’s numbers say that 70 percent of mobile searchers have called a business directly from the search results page and BIA/Kelsey estimates inbound calls from mobile search is going to almost double between now and 2016.

The only real explanation is that a fair portion of marketers simply aren’t considering the value of call conversions and how search marketing may be driving calls.

Without data on call conversions, it is hard to get the full picture of how campaigns and marketing strategies are performing and budgets may be getting misplaced or outright wasted. When you have all that information at your fingertips, it is easier to make truly informed decisions about your future strategies and ensure that marketing budgets are being used to their full potential.

You can read Invoca’s full report here and see their related infographic below.

Call Tracking Infographic


It isn’t a reality quite yet, but image reading and object recognition are likely to change the search game in a big way before long. Razvan Gavrilas has spent the past few months researching the advancements Google is making in the fields of “reading” and indexing images and not only does it appear these types of systems and algorithms are closer than previously believed. There are steps you can take to be prepared right now. Find out more in Gavrilas’ article for Search Engine Journal here.

SEO and social media marketing have been interconnected for several years, but they are also typically treated like separate efforts that influence and benefit from each other rather than being entirely coupled. That is why one of the most neglected features of Pinterest is Guided Search.

It is no secret that Pinterest is quickly becoming an upper tier player in social media and marketing because it touches on our aspirations and desires. To paraphrase Tailwind CEO Daniel Maloney during SMX East this week, Pinterest is about who you want to be.

Pinterest_Sticker_Icon1“When you look at what people are pinning, it’s more about who they want to be in the future,” Maloney said, “which from a marketer’s perspective is a dream come true.”

That made the social media platform ripe for harvest then when they introduced Guided Search early this year, but surprisingly few marketers took advantage of the opportunity to optimize their presence on the site.

Was Guided Search forgotten because it wasn’t high enough on the list of marketing priorities or because it slipped through a crack directly on the line between SEO and social media marketing? It is hard to tell, but Anna Majkowska, a software manager on Pinterest’s search team, has been encouraging brands to optimize for the platform so that they are able to get their content in front of the more than 50 million users who frequent the site.

Majkowska shared tips for optimizing your site on Search Engine Land, but the important thing is to not be intimidated. Pinterest SEO isn’t near as complicated as trying to optimize for Google, so the learning curve is notably less steep.

Facebook-for-Small-BusinessIf you believe everything you read online, you might believe Facebook is only a viable marketing platform if you’re already a big brand. But, a new report suggests small businesses across the country recognize the potential in advertising themselves across the site.

The study from advertising research firm BIA/Kelsey says small businesses are marketing on social media more than any other form of advertising. Specifically, their data suggests nearly three-fourths of all small and medium-size businesses are investing in some form of social media marketing, whether it be paid advertising or organic outreach.

For small businesses, Facebook was easily the most popular choice for social media marketing. More than 55 percent of the businesses surveyed reported having a dedicated business Facebook page, and another 20 percent have run a Facebook ad or promoted post.

Many businesses showed that social media marketing doesn’t have to be restricted to just one platform, as several businesses also cited using other sites including LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Notably, the researchers did say LinkedIn is likely not being used for promotion but for recruiting and general HR purposes.

“We were impressed with the strength of the whole social media category, not just Facebook,” Steve Marshall, director of research for BIA/Kelsey, said in a statement.

The study, originally published on Business News Daily, was based on surveys of 546 small businesses with less than 100 employees.