If your business uses Twitter to connect with customers and prospects, you probably know that you can now use 280 characters per tweet. What you may not know is what exactly that means for your Twitter marketing strategy.

Many businesses are under the mistaken impression that more characters simply allow them to say more of the same thing. The truth is, these extra characters, when used correctly, can boost engagement. The key is to know how to use them to your advantage. What follows are some simple ways to make every extra character count:

  1. Include additional information. The 140-character limit usually meant you had a choice to inform or to make an offer. Now you can do both. This makes your tweets twice as valuable to customers.
  2. Express yourself. Let’s face it, there is only so much you can say in 140 characters so your use of the language was pretty limited. The higher character count allows you to be more expressive and creative, making your tweets more compelling to readers because you are able to appeal to their emotions.
  3. Increase readability. Line and sentence breaks were once considered a waste of valuable Twitter characters, making tweets difficult to read. Now you can write in a manner that is easier to understand and one that would make your high school English teacher proud!

While you will be writing more content per tweet, you will likely find that these tweets will actually take less time to compose. That’s because trying to fit what you wanted to say in 140 characters took a lot of editing and re-editing. Longer tweets allow you to say what you want to say without forcing you to spend valuable time deciding what you needed to leave out in order to come in under the character count.

Finally, when you customers and prospects connect with you via Twitter, you can actually engage with them in a more impactful way. Since so many people use Twitter to comment on customer service these extra characters will go a long way toward allowing you to get your point across when you reply.

Longer tweets mean more visibility and visibility is what social media is all about. Twitter’s increased character limits, when used to their full advantage, will help your brand be better seen and heard by customers and prospects.

If you have never considered a pay-per-click B2B marketing campaign, you are not alone. Many people today still believe that PPC is only appropriate for B2C.

The truth is that PPC can work equally as well for B2B marketing. The key is to keep in mind that B2B campaigns typically take more time to be successful. Remember, the B2B sales cycle is longer than the typical B2C sales cycle so it makes sense that a B2B PPC campaign will take more time to demonstrate its true ROI.

If you have decided give PPC for B2B a try, chances are you will be happy with the results. However, there are some things you need to understand before you launch such a campaign:

  1. It’s about more than just conversions. While conversions are the most important element of B2C campaigns, when it comes to B2B PPC campaigns you need to focus on more than just conversions. You also need to pay close attention to where your leads are originating from and what keywords are the most successful.
  2. The cost-per-acquisition is higher for B2B. It can be tempting to invest in cheaper keywords to keep costs down but since B2B keywords are more expensive, you need to be willing to make a larger investment in those keywords. By concentrating on the keywords that will lead to closed sales, even if they cost more, your campaign will be more successful in the long run.
  3. Tracking data is the key to success. By carefully tracking your PPC campaigns you will be better able to determine what you need to concentrate on moving forward. Conversion rates help to pinpoint how many leads you need to generate to close a particular number of sales. By tracking this information you will be able to more accurately determine how much you need to budget in keyword costs to meet your future sales goals.
  4. Precision counts. B2B PPC campaigns always need to be organized in tight ad groups that include similar keywords. Broad campaigns often mix expensive keywords with cheaper ones and make it hard to tell which keywords worked the best.

Running a successful B2B PPC campaign is much more challenging than a B2C campaign. That’s because many elements of a B2B campaign are not as straightforward. However, B2B PPC campaigns are definitely worth the time and investment because when done correctly they can pay off in the form of increased sales.

Your website has the power to be your best salesperson – but not if you are using the wrong keywords. Keywords are the crucial element in making sure that your website ranks high on search engine result pages, after all.

While everyone knows about SEO, not everyone is exactly sure how to choose the right keywords. If you are just now getting into the SEO game it can be especially daunting.

It helps to keep in mind that when it comes to choosing keywords, you goal is to figure out what keywords your potential customers are using to search for your products and services and then connect your website to those keywords. You also should keep in mind the following:

  1. It’s important to size up the competition. What are they blogging about? What do their landing pages look like? Are there particular keywords that appear repeatedly in their copy? If their website shows up on the first page of search results you will know the keywords they are using get noticed.
  2. Generic keywords don’t work. Keywords do not have to be just one word. In fact, it’s probably better if they aren’t. A little specificity goes a long way. For example, if you sell floor coverings, “tile” or “carpet” are going to be pretty competitive words and probably won’t do you a lot of good. Instead, focus on more descriptive phrases such as “porcelain floor tile” or “laminate wood flooring.”
  3. Testing is essential. You need to test how particular keywords work. You may be surprised to learn how a slight change in words or word order can make a significant difference. If you don’t test, however, you will never know which combinations work better than others.
  4. Region-specific keywords can make a big impact. When you add your city and state as keyword phrases, as well as the address of your business, this lets the search engines know you serve that market. This will help to drive local traffic to your site.

Coming up with an initial set of keywords can be a lot of work. And the fact is, you probably won’t get it right the first time. However, it does get easier over time since you will have a baseline for knowing what works and what doesn’t work. The key to success is to always pay close attention to how your website is ranking on search engine result pages. That way you can make the changes necessary to excel at SEO.

AdWords is a great way to market your business and drive traffic to your website. Unfortunately, when not executed correctly, it can also be a huge drain on your marketing budget. This is especially true if AdWords is your principal marketing method.

If you want to launch an AdWords campaign and are expecting a big ROI, you are going to have to manage that campaign. What follows is a list of the things you need to pay particular attention to if you want your AdWords campaign to be successful and cost-effective.

  1. Keyword Matches. Picking the wrong keyword match type is a surefire way to obtain poor results. There are three keyword match types-broad, phrase and exact. Each type will produce different conversion rates and search values so you must do your research before choosing which type is best for your purposes.
  2. Negative Keywords. Targeting keywords is only one part of the AdWords equation. Using negative keywords will save money on clicks that have no chance of converting. Your ads also will receive better quality scores and enjoy higher click-through rates.
  3. Landing Pages. If your ad gets people to your landing page your work has just begun. In order to convert, your landing page needs a great headline, a clear call-to-action and compelling copy. It also must be mobile-friendly. If your landing page doesn’t contain all of these elements, it won’t matter how successfully your ads are performing.
  4. Product Pages. If you are a jewelry store sending someone looking for pearl earrings to your home page you are very likely to lose that sale. Direct matches are your best chance to convert sales. Failing to do so is a costly mistake that can be easily avoided.
  5. A/B Testing. When it comes to your ad copy and landing pages, you must always be testing. No matter how successful your ad copy or landing page currently is, it can always be more successful. Many people are surprised to learn how just a slight change to a landing page can drive up conversion rates. It also is important to keep in mind that you are not testing just for the sake of testing. Instead, you want to use your results so that you have the correct data and analysis to support any changes.

An AdWords campaign can do wonders for your business but only if it is well executed. While a successful AdWords campaign is never a sure thing, paying attention to the most crucial aspects of your campaign will greatly increase the likelihood of its success.

The holidays are right around the corner and everyone is full of good cheer. Well, maybe not everyone. If you are a small business owner it can be difficult to find a work – life balance between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

Small business owners are well aware of the fact that if they aren’t working they aren’t making money – and may be losing customers. They also are (or should be) aware that if they don’t take a break from the stresses of work from time to time, they won’t be able to perform the way they need to. They also may regret not spending enough time with friends and family.

So what’s a business owner to do? Here are some tips for achieving balance during the holiday season:

  1. Get organized. Set up meetings and calls with clients but also make sure you schedule time for non-work related activities. This reduces stress because you can be fully present no matter if you are at work or at play because you aren’t neglecting either.
  2. Communicate with clients. Letting your clients know in advance what your availability will be over the holidays goes a long way toward making the holidays go more smoothly. The fact is, most of your clients don’t want to be in work mode throughout the holiday season so they would like to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible, as well. The simple act of telling clients when you will be open for business will allow them to plan ahead and reassure them that you are taking care of business.
  3. When you work, work hard. We’re all guilty of wasting time on social media or checking our emails more than necessary during the workday. To ensure you are as productive as possible, don’t try to sneak in online holiday shopping while at the office, for example. You also should work at times when you are the most productive. If you are a morning person, for example, go into the office as early as possible and get as much work done as you can before noon and then leave. Working at full speed all morning and then leaving early makes much more sense than staying all day but taking breaks or getting distracted and wasting time.

The holidays should be the most wonderful time of the year. By making sure that you achieve the right balance between what you need to do and what you want to do, it will stay that way. The key is to plan in advance so you don’t find yourself stressed on all fronts.