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IoT Marketing: Connecting the Dots Between IoT and Marketing Strategy

iot 4ps

The Internet of Things (IoT) is here, so let’s talk strategy. How exactly does IoT affect marketing strategy?

With an “expected 34 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020” consumer demand will change, according to Forbes (Greenough et al., 2016). IoT and the world of connectivity will continue to shape needs and requirements for products and services. Businesses will strategize for an IoT centric world, and so will marketers.

As a Marketer, it’s your job to connect the dots between IoT and marketing strategy — who are your customers, what (products) are you promoting, what are your customers willing to pay for your products or services and where should you promote these items?

Rapidly Growing Audience
Early IoT consumers are more than willing to spend hundreds of dollars for the newest, hottest tech. With the new release of the Apple Watch this past year, we know this to be true.

According to TechCrunch, “Apple Watch accounted for over 50 percent of smartwatch sales in 2015″ (Perez, 2016). 

The audience size will continue to skyrocket as companies continue investing billions of dollars into discovering and creating the connected IoT world.

Industry analysts predict “the IoT market [to] support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016,” (Eddy, 2015). Intel echoes industry sentiments in saying that, “the IoT world is growing at a breathtaking pace,” (A).

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.10.35 AM


Narrow Targeting, Higher Costs
We can expect an explosion in data collection and data mining as IoT products and services develop. With more data we can find more granular insights around consumption and consumer trends, thus improving marketing and advertising campaigns.

Marketers can create more relevant –and personalized– messaging, editing copy and tone specific to each audience segment.  More relevant campaign messaging, means more campaign engagement, therefore more leads and more customers syphoning further into the sales funnel.

Let’s say you download a multi-purpose app, but you only use the app for health reasons. In receipt of this information (e.g. what you use the app for, what are your health goals and related statistics), the marketing team can then specialize their tone, messaging and methods for communicating with you based on your engagement.

Narrow marketing campaigns unfortunately means potentially higher costs, resulting from the increased target markets to connect with.

Increased Brand Loyalty and Customer Retention
If you own multiple Apple devices, you expect each device to have similar functionality and feeling, right? This familiarity makes new products easy to use and a more streamlined customer experience across the brand family. This desire will be augmented in the IoT world. Consumers want to connect and use their (brand-related) products in a similar and logical way.

Marketing strategy will be aimed to add value through the addition of new devices, or through up-selling and cross-selling within the brand portfolio.

We’ve seen this uphold with Amazon’s Echo. In initial release, the Echo defaulted playing music through Prime Music. Acknowledging Spotify as one of the more frequented music apps, Amazon pivoted to focus on customer retention.

“Users who are Spotify Premium subscribers, who also have an Amazon Echo, will now be able to command Echo’s virtual assistant Alexa to ‘play Spotify’ and call up their Spotify playlists, as well as artists or genres on the streaming service,” (Lundin, 2016).

Users have two options: continue to stream Amazon’s (free) music, or pay for Spotify Premium for $10 per month.  Amazon streamlined the awareness and use of other related products within the Echo, but also pivoted when necessary to meet customer needs.

User experience becomes the forefront of marketing strategy — cohesive products with related ways to solve a certain problem will become dominant in the market. Products available in the IoT space will continue their focus on added value to existing solutions.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 2.13.32 PM

(The, 2016).

New Pricing Models
Products will continue to add value through the addition of related services. IoT efforts and bundled pricing options will become more commonplace as companies build a family products focused on solving one specific problem, rather than one product to partially solve the problem.

Initially Higher Product Prices
We can expect costs for connecting devices (e.g. with the need to strong network connection) to be at it’s highest point today, per the current market share. As competition arises, we can expect prices to decline.

As users define their problem more specifically, products and marketing solutions will consequently evolve. Until there are more answers and less questions, product costs will remain high, thus marketing efforts will be slow to gain (sales) traction until products have reached mass adoption.

Paying Customers for Their Data?
IoT is such an exciting marketplace, because there is a huge potential to gain data and analyze it to create the ideal customer experience and marketing communications.  With an increased effort, companies are faced wth the question,

“How do we (continue to) incentivize customers to allow us to use and share their data… and how can we get more?”

Niche Products
Niche products will be the new norm. Companies will pivot toward solving problems for business sectors (e.g. manufacturing, health care, insurance). House management and time management will be controlled by certain apps or products, rather than a combination of several devices. 

The Internet of Things will help develop the world of the ideal user and customer experience.

With increased noise and competition online, marketers should consider more unique ways to promote online and offline; IoT represents a world of connectedness, across mediums. Everything that has a screen is now a driver of market messaging.

Moving Forward
Promotion of value added products will drive marketing efforts. More technical and IoT focused copy will drive social media and blog content. Creativity in marketing and mediums used will become even more crucial. It’s time to connect the IoT dots and create an ideal user experience. 

A Guide to the Internet of Things Infographic. Intel. Retrieved from:

Eddy, N. (2015, Nov 10). Gartner: 21 Billion IoT Devices to Invade by 2020. Silcion Angle. Retrieved from:

Greenough, J., Camhi, J. (2016, Jan 29). Here are the IoT Trends That Will Shape the way Businesses, Governments, and Consumers Interact With the World. Forbes. Retrieved from:

Lundin, I.  (2016, Feb 4). Spotify now Integrates with Amazon Echo… if You’re a Premium User. TechCrunch. Retrieved from:

Perez, S. (2016, Jan 13). Apple Watch Scooped up Over Half the Smartwatch Market in 2015. TechCrunch. Retrieved from:

The Marketing Power of the Internet of Things.  Marketo. Retrieved from:

Stay On Google’s Nice List

In a world where Google seems to be the ruler, the trending question is, 
“How do I rank higher in Google’s World?” 

With the increasing emphasis of an online presence, the deep web has become a challenge for organic rankings on search engines, as it is, “the part of the World Wide Web not accessible through conventional search engines.” The deep web is a place where all things become an unorganized mixture of excessive information and sources, where people and businesses want to be discovered. 

The issue that businesses are currently facing is the need to conduct activities that will aid them with their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that they can be easily found online.

Unfortunately, this is a slightly daunting task; in every marketplace there is competition. In such saturated markets, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), including paid advertising, is essential to drive traffic to a businesses website. Of course, not every business or organization can afford paid advertising, and are unaware of how to increase their organic listing, therefore they try to sneak their way to the top, thus landing themselves on “Google’s Naughty List.”

Some believed that they found ways to get around Google’s ranking algorithms by adding specific code into their website, or by creating false links to help it rank higher.

Let me tell you, Google is not stupid.
The last thing you want is to want to end up on their Naughty List.

It is fairly easy to find out if a website is hosting false links, or if information has been modified to “unethically” rank it higher in search engines. Therefore, I would highly recommend following the 10 Tips and Tricks to Avoid Google’s Shitlist, including, “DKI, Arrow Trick, Ad Formatting, Quality Score, Impressions, Black Hat vs. White Hat, Redirects, Meta Optimization, Link Juice, and Canonical and No-Follow Links,” (Castillo, Salton, Killmeier, Strawther & Nakhla, 2012).

These basic tips and tricks are easy to follow, and will aid you in your quest to rank higher in the world of Google, while staying on their Nice List.

Castillo, K., Salton, J., Killmeier, B., Strawther, K., & Nakhla, J. (2012, November 02). [Web log message]. Retrieved from


The Future of Digital Marketing

The marketing world is based on building and enhancing relationships through communication to generate and maintain sales. However, every business, including marketing agencies, must adapt to societal changes to sustain and achieve each quarters goals and objectives by successfully using various communication techniques. It is a marketer’s newest side-job to stay up-to-date with communicative methods and learn how to use, and properly implement, them, as well as foresee and prevent potential problems that may occur using these new communicative efforts.

As human interaction is becoming highly virtual, “transcending space and time,” marketers must consider their current methods of communication and learn to adapt to societal changes as they attempt to communicate to their target audiences (Flew, 2008). With the decline in face-to-face communication among businesses, communication with target audiences are conducted through alternative tactics. In the fast paced working environment, it is often found that businesses rely on convenient methods of communication, which is generally non-direct communication. As a marketer, it is crucial to get across messages in a timely, and effective manner, thus it’s essential for businesses to learn how to use cutting-edge methods of communication adopted by the mass public and use these tools in their efforts of proper and effective communication. In global businesses, meetings and focus groups with current and potential consumers are now implemented using online platforms. For example, Youtube has a video on How to Use Skype for Business: Video Tutorial, which explains the ease and benefits of using Skype to ensure communication between businesses and consumers (Skypemaster123, 2008).


Skype and Apple’s FaceTime, are among two of the new communication devices that eliminates the idea that people have to be in the same space at the same time to communicate. Mashable’s inforgraphic, as seen below, regarding Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing, emphasizes that as “content is shared and spread through [various] networks… the reach of the content can grow virally,” (Durell, 2011).

These communication devices allows for marketers to stay in contact with clients, and consumers, thus increasing their level of reach and impact, causing for an increase in brand awareness, brand loyalty and an increase in sales.

However,as the number of devices and platforms increase in communication methods, it’s imperative to research ways of how to properly communicate, and prevent potential problems that may occur using these advanced methods. Using numerous forms of communication, including social media websites, can be confusing to new users, thus potentially generating confusion among the public about a business and its brand. For example, an American Red Cross employee attempted to use Hootsuite, a social media platform where people can share information on multiple sites at the same time, and accidently tweeted about drinking on the company’s personal account rather than her own (Segall, 2011).

This story is a great illustration of potential problems that could occur using new devices to communicate to target audiences, without the proper knowledge of how to use the device. According to Fox’s infographic, seen below, businesses should use “reputation- monitoring software to keep a close eye on how [employees] represent [a businesses] brand,” (Fox, 2012).

Like the Twitter case, it’s important for businesses to know how to communicate and prevent from any mishaps that may occur, to protect their brand image at all times. With the rise in social media as a communicative device, it is highly suggested that marketers and businesses create a crisis plan in case of circumstances, like a mis- tweet. As marketers use social media, and other methods, to communicate with their target audiences, they must become experts in managing and properly using these devices to their advantage, not to their demise. Thus,it is vital for businesses to remain on top of trending communication methods to ensure that a company remains on the minds of their target audiences at all times.

However, there are still many questions to be asked, including, “Will face-to-face interaction become obsolete in the marketing world? Will more people be e-mailing reports and conducting research from home? Should companies draw a line where the amount of virtual contact cannot be exceeded?” And finally, “Should companies create terms of use and rules to be followed during working hours regarding the internet, or social media usage, to prevent from privacy issues and branding misrepresentations?”


Durell, L. (2011, October 30). Retrieved from

Flew, Terry. (2008). New media: An introduction. (3 ed., pp. 207-210). Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Fox, Z. (2012, March 11). Retrieved from Everything Your Employees Need to Know About Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

Segall, L. (2011, February 17). Cnn money. Retrieved from section=money_smbusiness&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: rss/magazines_fsb (FSB Magazine)&utm_content=Google Reader

Skypemaster123. (2008, November 12). Retrieved from

Cyber Law: Coming Your Way?

As the internet evolves, so do the challenges encountered in the marketing field. Looking back, Web 1.0 was a place where people read HTML, but Web 2.0 has evolved into a place for writing and sharing content. It is a place of converging ideas, thoughts, cultures, languages and ultimately, information. With the rise of user generated content being shared, there is a direct correlation to news topics and stories regarding its regulation in the cyber world. The “legal implications of the Internet’s rapid development are rendered even more complex by the specific features of its relationship to existing laws, regulatory frameworks, and the ideas that underpin them,” (Flew, 2008). Issues that have been brought into mainstream conversation lately regard legalities and legal ramifications of the cyber world. Marketers must be aware of cyberspace laws as they are becoming issued, especially laws regarding their extent to free speech and their use of intellectual property.

Increasing knowledge and content from citizen marketers has recently brought about the topic of free speech online. As citizen marketers criticize companies and generate and publish their content for the world to access, they are facing issues regarding the extent their information is deemed okay under free speech laws, and where it isn’t. For example, in response to BP’s oil spill in the Golf of Mexico in 2010, citizen marketers created an account on Twitter called #BP Public Relations, (“Twitter,” 2012). The cite has numerous contributors, and over 157,000 followers who continue to add content and remark about BP’s oil spill and the after effects and response, as seen in the screenshot below, (“Twitter,” 2012).!/BPGlobalPR

Unfortunately, the invisible lines that currently run the cyber world explaining what the extremes of free speech are not completely defined the same across platforms, thus there the confusion of where the lines are and where lines should be drawn. The question I pose is, if no one is in control or regulating content, will there soon be laws dictating the extent of a person’s free speech online that must be adhered to?

Similar to the confusion of one’s free speech online, citizen marketers and journalists are also facing copyright issues pertaining to the use of intellectual property. In many popular websites and social media sites under their privacy and conditions section, there is information about how the content published on the site can be used. Since many people do not bother to read through this information, they do not realize what they are signing away by agreeing to the terms and conditions.

  Wait… I am agreeing to what?

This case study that has recently been in the news is the new internet phenomenon, Pinterest. An article was released explaining that a lawyer interested in photography looked into the Pinterest’s copyright laws and found that under their terms and conditions that,“YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE, APPLICATION, SERVICES AND SITE CONTENT REMAINS WITH YOU,” (Shontell, 2012). Thus meaning that each pin that is uploaded must be original or give credit to whom it originated from. The story goes on to say that she closed her Pinterest account in fear. After the article was released, Pinterest co-founder, Ben Silbermann admitted that “there are issues with Pinterest and the fear of claims of copyright infringement,”(Shontell, 2012). On Youtube’s video, Pinterest and your rights- Tech Tonic, they bring up the idea that the “traditional copyright model is dead,” (ReutersTV , 2012).


ReutersTV (2012, February 27). Retrieved from v=PWMRbgrINe0

If traditional copyright is dead, what will be the newly adapted copyright laws?
With the evolving use and dependency on the internet for information, the problems marketers face are legal. What was once known as free speech is slowly becoming limited speech. Those among the marketing industry have to be careful of what they say and how they communicate online. Unfortunately, since the internet is a public domain there are little laws and enforcements as of today being done regarding these issues.As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and as we can see now, this is being applied to the cyber world; there is no such thing as free speech or free content.


Flew, Terry. (2008). New media: An introduction. (3 ed., pp. 207-210). Victoria,
   Australia: Oxford University Press.
Freepress. (2012, February 23). Retrieved from
ReutersTV (2012, February 27). Retrieved from
Shontell, A. (2012, February 28). Business insider. Retrieved from

Twitter. (2012). Retrieved from!/BPGlobalPR

Collective Intelligence in Marketing

The proverb, “two heads are better than one,” relates to the idea of collective intelligence.  Henry Jenkins defines collective intelligence as, “the kind of knowledge and understanding that emerges from large groups of people,” (2008). In industries that rely on creative and novel ideas, such as the marketing industry, people are now using the collective knowledge of consumers. While the field of marketing has evolved to focus more on relationship building, the role of consumers has drastically changed from the former, when consumers either liked a product or did not, to idea generators and product creators. In creative industries, like marketing, it is important to remain innovative within the business, which is why it is crucial for marketers to appreciate diversity and listen to consumers and use their thoughts and ideas, ultimately their collective knowledge, to create new products and evolve their business plans and strategies according to consumers wants and demands.

As humans evolve, industries follow in their footsteps, which remains to be one of the great marketing challenges: to market to an ever-changing population. In the era of social media, there is now a significantconvergence of ideas among a diverse population. Like any business professional, marketers must understand the population and learn to use their many resources and combine their knowledge with others, to somehow create revenue-generating marketing campaigns and strategies. As Jenkins said, “the greater diversity of inputs into the process, the richer the output,” (2008). One company who finds the importance of diversity and creative collective intelligence is Proctor and Gamble. P&G creates teams who attempt to solve business challenges, who “tap into their own unique gifts, [but] also harness the collective intelligence of a diverse multifunctional team… [which] impacts the way [their] teams view the world, work and interact,” (P&g, 2011). Collective intelligence “recognizes that there are diverse forms of expertise and that we learn more if we draw on as many different minds as possible rather than placing our trust in singular minds” (Jenkins, 2008). Gathering and merging information from diverse sources and a mixture of populations, we can become more knowledgeable of target demographics within the world, especially within certain marketplaces, which is key for marketers when creating and adjusting their marketing strategies, products and brand image.

In an industry that is embraces creativity and uniqueness, it is essential to use open and collective networks, platforms and other sources to collect information about how people feel towards a brand or product to then enhance or alter those feelings. “Collective intelligence has turned age-old marketing principles upside-down… the flow of information about a company is almost entirely in the hands of consumers…. But the smartest brands are embracing this openness and involving the consumer as never before,” (Montgomery, 2008). Pierre Lévy’s Youtube video on Collective Intelligence Literacy, says that collective intelligence “can enhance our perception… also our ability to collaborate, cooperate, to dialogue, to accumulate collectively some memory,” (Howardrheingold, 2011).

Being knowledgeable about the market, consumers and people in general, is essential to the job of a marketer and a marketing agency. Having one view or idea of something does not permit creativity when brainstorming new ideas for marketing strategies and campaigns. One company who embraced collective intelligence and utlizes their consumers as a resource was Mountain Dew. They created a marketing campaign that allowed customers to collectively contribute their names for the next Mountain Dew flavor. One campaign to collect the populations information and ideas was called “DEWmocracy 2,” (“”). On this site, consumers were able to contribute and vote on their own, as well as other contributor’s ideas. This social media initiative put a “call to action to get fans of the brand to use social media to tell Mountain Dew why they should be selected to help the company craft a new flavor,” (Van Grove, 2010). After the ideas were contributed, Mountain Dew chose the top flavors and launched the products. This marketing strategy saw immediate results through due to word of mouth communications. Mountain Dew products saw changes in their social media numbers, with their Facebook fans increasing from 800,000 “from the time [the program started] in June 2009 until today, where we are at 920,000 Facebook fans,” (Wong, 2010). Although Facebook fans may not directly correlate to profits, Mountain Dews’ marketing strategy captured consumer’s attention and communicated to consumers that they aim to please consumers, whether they are already customer or not.

While marketers face the continuous challenge of understanding and communicating with their target audiences, they should first aim to understand the diversity among them. Understanding consumers is key to today’s marketing environment, because consumers are now idea and product generators for businesses. Reacting to this change, marketing professionals must use collective knowledge from within the industry and outside the industry to create new products and evolve to fulfill the wants and demands of consumers. Combining a diverse set of knowledge, will also help marketers gain multiple perceptions from their consumers, which will help to build their relationship with their target demographics and other potential consumers. Since knowledge is one of the largest resources we as humans have, why not collect the information and knowledge we have and use it productively?

Appreciate Diversity                                Listen To a Diverse Set Of Consumers

              Combine Your Knowledge and Others Knowledge For The Best Results!

Resources: . (n.d.). Retrieved from

Howardrheingold. (2011, March 05). Retrieved from

Jenkins, H. (2008, February 04). Sharing notes about collective intelligence [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Montgomery, G. (2008, June). COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE. Campaign: DIGITAL ESSAYS 19.  Retrieved February 28,

2012, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1515722221).

. (2011). Retrieved from diversity_inclusion.shtml

Van Grove, J. (2010, April 20). Retrieved from

Wong, E. (2010, June 16). Retrieved from

Diffusing Innovation And Marketing

The concept of innovation has been on the forefront of business’s minds with every minor advancement in technology that hits the marketplace. Since businesses aim to remain at the top of their market sector, they are continually facing the dilemma of diffusion of innovations, which is the rate of adoption [and] spread of innovation in the social system through communication via particular channels-influential individuals, related businesses social networks (Flew, 2008). The obstacle marketing agencies and employees have to overcome relating to the diffusion of innovations is being able to properly predict which technologies will be the most beneficial in effective communication and profitability, as well as adopting these new and advancing technologies as rapidly as their customer’s demand them.

Before marketing professionals and companies adopt new channels to market, they have to extensively research and consider the advantages, and potential challenges, to each new marketing opportunity. As seen in many circumstances, becoming the first to adopt a new piece of technology, can dictate the success, or failure, of a company down the road. The problem however is, that marketers have to know what pieces of technology, for example, social media websites, consumers use and somehow convert that knowledge into marketing strategy to either increase sales, maintain their current customers, gain new customers or explain a new way to use their product or service. Unfortunately marketers face another dilemma trying to predict what will be the new innovative ways they can communicate messages with society. David Norman discovered and labeled what is known as the technology S-curve, which can relate to the diffusion of innovations. Adoption of new methods in the beginning, related to social media marketing in this scenario, is typically slow, because marketers can not predict the future and know that one social media platform will be used more, or will be more effective, than another. This only adds to the challenges that marketers incur; they want to be ahead of the game, but it is challenging to know what new forms of communication will be adopted by consumers and other marketing professionals. Since profitability is key, a marketer does not want to waste time using a new method of communication, when it may not be the most effective form. As seen in the chart below (“,” 2009), the majority, about 64 percent, are the mainstream and late adopters, who lie in the middle (Flew, 2008).


This provides statistical evidence for the dilemma faced by marketers; if they use a new form of communication, they may not know if the communication will be effective or not until they have already invested a significant amount of time and funds into it, since others may not adopt new methods as rapidly as they are.

Once marketers have decided their new strategies they wish to adopt, they have to then use such methods quickly and appropriately to satisfy consumer demands. According to Moore’s Law, [the diffusion of innovations] does not actually define the rate … but rather how fast [something is] demanded.” (Malone,  2011). Businesses, like marketers, have to be able to listen to what their consumers are demanding and act accordingly. For example, many industry professionals are now “tweeting,” on Twitter and publishing blogs about the most recent industry news. It has been said that social media platforms are, “the marketing of the future,” (Engle, 2009). With this key insight, businesses have been responding to the demand for a larger presence on social media webpages and have become users of Twitter, Facebook and blogging websites to stay connected to their consumers. Businesses are working with their strengths and listening to their customers, overcoming what is known as the innovators dilemma (Flew, 2008). Companies have numerous new social media marketing channels to choose from, but the key is to choose which will be the most effective to communicate with their desired target market and target audience. By keeping up with what consumers are demanding via internet marketing channels, they can show their customers that they are at the top of their industry.

No matter the industry, a company must evolve and quickly adapt to consumer needs and demands. Businesses, such as marketing agencies, have to listen and observe the way in which the marketplace is shifting and adjust their business plans to fit these changes demanded by consumers. For now, marketers may feel comfortable using social media platforms to communicate messages, but the question others, among myself now ponder is, what will be next? 


Engle, Erika. (2009, August 23). Twitter is business and marketing tool for realtor. . Retrieved from

Flew, Terry. (2008). New media: An introduction. (3 ed., pp. 207-210). Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Malone, Michael S. (2011, May 08). Moore’s law lives: the future is still alive [Web log message]. Retrieved from (2009, December 10). Retrieved from