Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads

Google AdWords is changing their format! The text ads will have an expanded text format, which will include two headline fields with more characters (30 characters) as well as an expanded description fields with 50 percent more ad text. The new changes are meant to give advertisers more control over their message and give users more information before they click ads. Overall, its new design is made for a “mobile-first world.”

Are you wondering what changes this will bring to your current ads? Well – good news— expanded text ads will still be available on the Google Search Network as well as Google Display Network. All AdWord tools that support text ads will also support it. The new design will also brings two optional path field and the display URL will be the domain website’s URL. The bad news, however, is that the old format will no longer be editable after the switch is over. This means that, even though the old ads will still run, advertisers will no longer be able edit them after it has been switched into the new format.

When getting started with the new AdWords design, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of the switch:

  1.     Use headlines that will attract prospective clients and give them enough information to persuade them to visit your site.
  2.     Be strategic with your headlines so that it is displayed in the best way possible. On search, headlines are combined with hyphens, which can cause the headline to go beyond the first line on mobile view.
  3.     An expanded description means you can communicate more with the audience; take advantage of it.

If you are thinking about getting started, click here for details on how to do so.

How to Gain Quality Followers

It is everyone’s goal to gain a large following on social media, but it can be very hard to keep those followers after you’ve gotten them. Because of this we have gathered details on ways to gain and keep a large following.

Enhance your Profile:

The first step is to focus on the social network where your following is more likely to be and enhance that profile. You can do this by using an identifiable name and image with a clear and concise description. In order to figure out which social media is the most popular for your following, you should research buyer’s personas by asking clients which social media they are more likely to be found, conducting an anonymous survey, or use share data.

Promote Social Presence:

Even though it’s important to focus on a specific social network, it is also important to still have a presence in other social media networks, as well. After getting a profile in all the important networks, you must promote it anywhere you can; this means on your website, your print advertisements, your business cards, your email messages, and even on social media.

Share Valuable Content:

Once you have your profiles set up and some following, the next step is to offer valuable content for your followers. Your content should be relative to your company and industry. However, you should be careful not to be too self-promotional. Your content should be fresh, interesting, and engaging. Adding visual content, personal posts, and hashtags can also optimize your content.

Build a Relationship:

Building a relationship with your followers is the best way to keep with around. You should interact with your followers whenever they mention or tag you into their posts. Following and building relationships with others in your industry is also important.

Making your social network one worth following is the goal in order to gain quality followers.

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce

Cape Ann was founded by pilgrims in 1623 and was named after England’s Queen Ann. Currently, Cape Ann offers big-city culture while maintaining a small-town charm, and its four communities consist of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-sea, and Rockport. With such an amazing location and so much to offer, it’s no wonder why we have been a part of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce for two years.

As a member of this organization, we are able to express the great benefits that come from being a member – from networking and training to adding value to your business. The following are just some of the many benefits Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offers:

In their membership directory (both print and digital), help coordinate ribbon cuttings for special business occasions, host networking events (seminars, speaker programs, board meetings, etc.), sponsor and advertise business events in publications or online.

Gain insight into their affinity program. Here your business can save up to 25 percent on constant contact discount and gain access to a variety of health plan options and providers through Health services Administrators. Your company can even save on credit card processing!

Contribute to the community. By being a member your business can contribute to Business Education Collaborative to enrich the education and career development of students, to Businesswomen’s Committee that helps create a strong network group for women, to Government Affairs Council in creating a healthy business climate for the community, and to the Tourism Council, which works to promote Cape Ann as a premier visitor destination.

Gain access to other exclusive benefits like access to over 900 chamber members, office referrals, Cape Ann certificate program, and Discounts on local media advertisements.

To find out more about these benefits, or others, or if you are interested in being a member visit their website here

Persona Development

Persona Development is “a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience” (Ardath Albee). In other words, it is the legitimate process of creating a fake customer based on analytical information from your actual customers’ behavior. By creating personas, your company can gain a better understanding of how to deliver content of most relevance and usefulness to a particular group of audience. The best way to get the most accurate understanding is by creating 3-5 personas using a template.

In a template you want to gather both general profile and specific information about your persona. The more specific you get with your persona’s profile the better. This way your company will have a deeper understanding of your customers (their thoughts, feelings and behaviors) and will be able to find any overlooked tactical opportunities for your products/services. You will need:

– Name and job title

– Demographic

– Their goals and challenges

– Their values and fears

– Their hobbies

– Computer Literacy

– Where they get their news

– Blogs they read

– Customer quote

In order to come up with a specific profile on your persona you want to gather data information from your analytics to find out where your clients come from. Checking the keywords your clients used to find your business, and seeing how long they spent in your site can help you with this.

Another way to gather specific information is by communicating with all your team members that work directly with your customers. No one knows your customers better than those who actually get to communicate with them. These team members would be able to communicate the concerns and thoughts your customers bring up frequently. You can also get these informations by checking out all your social media accounts to see what your customers are saying about your company, as well as what questions they may have for your company.

If there are more specific information you would like to know about your customers, performing surveys and/or interviews are the best way to do so.

To find out more about persona development, contact Sperling Interactive.

Podcasting & Content Marketing

“Content Marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.” (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

If you were to take this definition of content marketing you could see that podcasts are the perfect platform for this marketing strategy. Now, if you’re thinking, “Podcasts, really? Who even listens to those anymore?” Well, podcasts are actually more popular now than they ever were. Today there are thousands and thousands of podcasts available on iTunes alone. Podcasts exists for every, and any, topics. Whether it is music, sports, medical, entertainment, business, science, cooking, marketing, or anything else, you could probably find a podcast on that topic. This makes podcasts an excellent medium to create content marketing.

To give an example of how podcasts are ideal for content marketing, think about a cooking podcast where they, of course, talk about cooking experiences, recipes, and anything that has to do with cooking and food. Just by doing this, the hosts is providing their audience with important cooking information while keeping them entertained. Here, the audience learns about what the best cooking utensils are for certain recipes, what products produce the best flavors, and more. Maybe, the hosts gets a promotional code for a certain product that they really enjoy using and decide to share it with their audience. All of this can lead to the audience to build a relationship with the cooking podcast, and maybe even associate cooking with that particular podcast.

In this example, the host of the cooking podcast is consistently providing their audience with relevant content and building relationships with their audience in order to enhance the amount of loyal listeners and ratings. With that said, if you have been thinking about creating a podcast in relations to your business, keep this in mind and remember that content marketing can take your business far.

Marketing Using Snapchat

Today it seems like everyone is constantly taking pictures and videos of anything. Even walking down the street you probably come across someone making ridiculous faces in front of his or her cell phones in a very casual matter. If this is the case, chances are those people are posting on Snapchat. If you are not already familiar with this social medium, it is a social app where anyone can send instant pictures or videos that can last up to 10 seconds and then “disappear.” If you wanted your image or video to be seen by all your followers, you can post them on your “story,” which will allow for your content to be live for 24 hours. Other features include drawing and text tools to customize your image, and fun filters.

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media networks today. There are currently over 100 million daily users with 400 million of snaps being sent per day. The users range from 18 to 34 years of age (source: SocialMedia Examiner). Because this age group is a target for many businesses, Snapchat makes for one of the best places to begin marketing your company.

First thing to take notice if you’re considering marketing on Snapchat is that you have to make every second count. Since this platform is more relaxed and wicked casual, you want your postings to not be too professional and more personable. Your posts should be fun and not “salesy.” You want to be seen as approachable and actually interact with your customers.

Overall, Snapchat is the perfect platform to get your customers exited about your company. Posting back stage content is a perfect way to do this. It gives your customers incite to what seems as an exclusive part of your company. This also allows your customers to get to know your brand and what it has to offer. Another way to get your audience exited is by releasing teasers on a new product or service your company will be offering. It also gives you a great platform to host contest and partner up with social influencers who may even know a whole lot more about Snapchat than you.

In the end, using this platform can be a fun experience for both your company and customers.

First Hand Opinion on Trade Shows

This year our company has attended a total of 3 trade shows. Sperling Interactive had a booth at the North Shore Tourism Exhibit, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, and the Small Business Expo in Boston. I sat down with our Sperling sales team to find out what the big deal on trade shows are.

According to team member Colin, business expos can be very successful because they create company awareness and make it easier to communicate and inform audiences on the services we offer, how we can help their businesses, and who we are as a competitive brand. Colin’s favorite trade show was the Small Business Expo for this particular reason. The team was able to bring awareness of Sperling Interactive to the audience while being among big brand name companies in Boston, which supports the team’s goal of expanding the business in the Boston area.

When reflecting back on these events, the team acknowledges what worked and didn’t work for them when promoting our services. The first thing they learned from the first trade show they went to was that these events are more about educating the audience about your business’ service and less about trying to sell it to them. They also learned that having informational products like flyers and brochures, as well as promotional products stimulates more conversations with the audience. By the time of the second trade show, our team was prepared with informational handouts and silly putty that said, “Let us mold your market” on the packaging as our promotional product. The uniqueness of this was a great conversation startup.

The team also generated conversations by creating an incentive for people to go up to our booth. For the last trade show they attended, our team came up with the idea of raffling a free 3 page website by having those interested drop their business card into a box. This turned out successful because now we have many businesses we can get in contact with as well as a new client. At the North Shore Chamber Business Expo, the team also offered professional head shots in order to start a conversation. This was perfect because photography is one of the services we offer and because they were able to communicate with people while they waited for their head shots. Because of this incentive, team member Max decided that this particular trade show was his favorite.

Some things that stood out to them from these trade shows were that many of the bigger brand name companies had a large amount of employees at their booths. A lot of the booths that were receiving the most attention were the ones with a variety of flashy products. They also noticed a booth that was offering consultations on the spot with a separate meeting area. Overall, they noticed that there was diverseness in company industries in all the trade shows.

Which Call Tracking System Should I Use?

With call tracking becoming a prevalent marketing measuring system, there are a vast variety of call tracking systems available online. With the many call tracking services and diverse businesses, it may seem difficult to find which one suits your business best. Below are some points to take into consideration when deciding on the best system.

Best-Cost Rate:
Of course the first thing that should be considered is the cost rate. Depending on how many and how often new campaigns are developed in your business, you want to think about how much call tracking systems charge per phone numbers and calling minutes.

Generating Numbers:
If your business is constantly developing new campaigns, you should consider whether the system vigorously generates numbers for your campaigns rather than having to manually assign numbers yourself. This way human error could be kept to a minimum.

Country Options:
If your company is planning on running a campaign outside of the states, you may want to consider what countries you are allowed to create tracking numbers for.

Let’s say you would like to use the call tracking software a bit differently than other business do. Due to this, you want to make sure that your tracking system provides you with customization flexibility.

Analytic Integration:
In order to measure the success of your campaigns, you want to make sure the system can be integrated with other tools like a web analytic tool to help better understand prospective customers.

Efficient Analytics:
If your system already provides you with analytics, you want it to be clear and detailed. A clear and detailed analytics program provides you with caller ID, caller’s location, duration of the call, date and time of the call, call source, and the caller’s details. You also want to make sure that you can access analytics history whenever you need to.

Recording and Transcriptions:
The best way to fully understand what your consumers are looking for is by hearing them out. Having a call tracking system that provides with recordings and transcriptions of the call can help with this and, also, with knowing how your employees are communicating with the customers.

Benefits of Direct Mail Marketing


Some may think that direct mail: like catalogs, envelopes, coupons, etc., is overrated now that digital marketing has taken over but reality is that this is still one of the most effective marketing strategies.

According to the Creative Guerrilla Marketing site, studies conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) show that direct mail receives a higher response rate than emails. This makes promoting your products and services more affective. The reason for this is because it is more likely to open a physical mail rather than an email. By doing this, it is a physical entrance of your brand to their home, which helps perceives the mail as an invitation rather than spam. This act also allows your consumers or potential customers to build a physical bond with your brand, which helps keep your company in their minds when thinking about a specific service or product you offer.

Encompassing its successfulness, direct mail marketing also makes measuring the success rate much more simple than in the digital form. Measuring the outcome of a direct mail marketing campaign can include the response rate of phone calls and/or, depending on whether this was provided to consumers in their mail, the amount of coupons received back.

Direct mail can also be portrayed as a more friendly marketing gesture. Because of this, whenever a follow up phone call needs to be made, instead of having a boring and cold conversation with the consumer, your employees phone calls with the consumers can be more friendly and with better communication. Having a warm conversation can lead to better and positive brand recognition.

The most valuable benefit that comes from direct mail marketing is that it teaches you about what demographics, or audience, you should be targeting. When getting the address of the responsive consumers, you could gain better knowledge of what interests them the most, what their income is like, and much more. By acknowledging the customers you already have, you could figure out what consumers you should be targeting.

What is Geo Targeting & why adopt this Technique?

Geo targeting is delivering different content to a website consumer based on their geographic location. The way this system works is by taking the IP address of a server in order to determine the location of the consumer. Advertisements that match the criteria and the location of the web consumer are then sent out to them. All of this is generated through servers like Maxmind, Digital Envoy, etc..

In order to geo target correctly and effectively businesses should be as specific as possible when choosing the appropriate demographics. There are many ways to do this depending on the media platform you wish to have your advertisement available. For example, if the advertisement were to be posted on Facebook, you could click on “Boost” on your company’s page and select the location, demographic, and interests related to your advertisement and the audience you wish to target with it. For Twitter there is a similar option available for your tweets.

On WordPress websites, you could geo target to specific audiences by downloading free geo targeting plug-ins. Geo targeting server, Geolify, is a one that works along with WordPress in order to help in this aspect by transcribing IP addresses so that it can determine the location of the web consumers (city, state, and zip code).

If it is not yet clear why geo targeting is something that should interest you, here are some points that will clarify it for you:

  • It helps advertise to the appropriate consumers and locations in order to make advertisements effective.
  • Geo targeted ads are two times more effective than the average advertisements (Source:
  • It can help increase the amount of pay-per-click advertisements when it is targeting the appropriate people.