The Fight Against (Web) Writer’s Block

Bad DayNo one said writing was easy.  It’s a reality I face every day, as my eyes again and again meet their old nemesis: the blank canvas of an empty Word document.  Of course, if you’re a writer, marketer, PR pro, advertising guru, tagline sherpa, or any one of a host of other job titles involving (really, requiring) a creative and masterful hold over the written word, then you too understand the inherent fear that accompanies the vastness of an empty page.  Of course, not everyone crafts meaningful, clever prose on a daily basis.  Perhaps it’s not in their job title or area of expertise.  Maybe they simply don’t have the training.  Whatever the reason, it’s safe to say that if struggling through writer’s block is akin to undergoing a personal, albeit brief, Spanish Inquisition for a writer such as myself, one can only imagine the paralyzing agony non-writers must go through to get their abstract concepts onto the page.  I work with clients like these all the time, which is why I thought overcoming writer’s block to be a fitting topic for my latest blog post.  Read on to see my list of best cures for (web) writer’s block.

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Have Any Questions About PR, Marketing or SEO? Ask Away!

With the Footprints blog, Walker Sands strives to convey our knowledge of public relations, marketing, search engine optimization and more. Though we’re always encouraging blog comments, now we’re taking it one step further. All of you have the opportunity to ask us specific questions that you would like to see discussed in a future blog post.

Have a burning question about something specific to your company? Just want our opinion on a certain timely issue? A discussion of best practices for a topic that we cover on our blog?

If so, send your questions to footprints at walkersands dot com with the subject line “Footprints Question” along with your full name, occupation and company. If you prefer to stay anonymous, please indicate so in your e-mail. 

We will then choose some questions to feature in a future blog post written by one of our experts.

This is a rolling opportunity, meaning there is no deadline to submit your questions. Ask away! And as always, feel free to also ask questions by commenting on our posts as well.

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Google Rolls out Product Listing Ads – Images in Product Search Ads

Google Rolls out Product Listing Ads – Images in Product Search Ads
You may have noticed that the sidebar of many Google searches have ads that are supplemented with images. This feature was release in beta to a select number of retailers on November 11 according to Google, and is called Product Listing Ads.
As of late November, the feature has been released to all U.S. Advertisers according to Search Engine Roundtable. If you’ve got product to move this holiday season, you’d be smart to add in these images to your results. Why?
For now it appears that the only people using this feature are retailers, but I can see a day coming soon when a large majority of these ads will be image enabled. Images draw the eye and increase clicks. This feature is similar to what another ad network, Chitika, had been doing for a while. Their ad formats, seen below, have included images with ads for a while.
One of the publishers we work with reports that this style of ad, product image matching combined with ad text, completely outperformed the Google text ads. For publishers, this change will come as welcome news in that it will help with revenue, but the lesson for marketers is that image ads convert. That’s the obvious reason to use this feature.
But in addition to this, these ads enjoy a competitive advantage over the other ads in that they sit in prime real estate in the ad results. I’ve yet to see a result with images interspersed throughout the results. Instead they all sit prominently on the top. That’s an advantage that I don’t think is based on your spend. For the time being, advertisers using images will enjoy prime placement as well.
My suggestion is to begin familiarizing yourself with the process and updating your ads before the holiday season is complete. To do so, the Google online AdWords help manual explains:
To add an image ad, follow these steps:
1. Go to the Data menu > Add New Image Ad or click Add Image Ad on the Image Ads tab.
2. If prompted, select the campaign and ad group where you want to add the image ad, and click OK.
3. Enter a name for your image ad.
4. Enter your display and destination URLs.
5. Click Choose Image to select an image file for your new image ad.
Your new image ad will appear in the data view with + beside it.
For those with a large catalogue of products, Google has an easy way to important images and tie them to specific campaigns. You can learn more about adding multiple images with this article. https://support.google.com/adwords/editor/answer/65472
For those following Google’s stock price, this is a strong move on their part due to the increased clickthroughs that this will drive. Consumers will find this content more appealing and relevant than text ads and you will see an increase in ad clicks. With that in mind, marketers in this highly competitive space have some work to do to begin updating their ad campaigns before the end of the holidays. Good luck!You may have noticed that the sidebar of many Google searches have ads that are supplemented with images. This feature was release in beta to a select number of retailers on November 11 according to Google, and is called Product Listing Ads.

Product Listing Ads1You may have recently noticed that the sidebar of many Google searches have ads that are supplemented with images. This feature was released in beta to a select number of retailers on November 11 according to Google, and is called Product Listing Ads.

As of late November, the feature has been released to all U.S. Advertisers according to Search Engine Roundtable. If you have product to move this holiday season, you’d be smart to add in these images to your results. Why?

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What Augmented Reality Means for the Marketing & Media World

Augmented Reality December IssueWhile Augmented Reality (AR) has existed for more than 15 years, it is now just getting some buzz with the progression of mobile phones and their corresponding applications, video cameras and GPS units.

The media is even jumping on board, with Esquire Magazine promoting how users can experience additional content by purchasing its December Augmented Reality issue.

Yet according to Gartner’s 2009 Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies, AR still has a long way to go. It will be between five and ten years until mainstream adoption. In the meantime, it’s well on its way toward the “peak of inflated expectations” – when everyone’s excited and wants to participate in the trend, but no one quite knows what to do with it.

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Improving Press Release Processes

Press Release Processes and Methodologies
Want to Improve PR Results? Improving PR Processes Could Be the Missing Link.

What’s your company’s press release process?

If you don’t have one, you’re not alone.

Most firms decide to issue a press release on a whim. The press release is then written in a vacuum without any structured input. It’s edited to final and put on the wire. Done!

A much better approach, especially for larger organizations, is to create a structured process for issuing press releases. Here’s an example of a press release worksheet that should be completed early in the process.

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Visit the Walker Sands website. We specialize in PR and marketing services for technology solution providers and B2B companies. Walker Sands Digital offers a wide array of digital marketing solutions and helps firms to get the most from their online presence.
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