As Evolven’s marketing director since 2010, I directed all phases of both the creative and technical elements of marketing initiatives including event planning and organization, brand creation, print/Web collateral development, channel partner cultivation, lead generation, as well as running webinars.

Contact Me

Email: martinperlin@yahoo.com



Marketing Through Facebook

Facebook is an amazing network. Facebook says it now has 1.11 billion people using the site each month (Number of active users at Facebook over the years). This is incredible. But it's still not like shooting fish in the barrel.

Many have said, so how can I use a Facebook page to grow my business?

The Power of Likes
The new measure of popularity is the Like. Forget about subscribers or traffic, a Like offers you far more. This new element is not just a vote a support, but provides a portal into a massive network. With each like, the person, profile, or page making the like exposes you to that individual's network.

If you get 10 likes from 10 different sources that each have 100 friends, your Facebook page has just been exposed to 1000 people. Exposure provides the potential for greater interaction and ultimately conversion.

Your Facebook Page Goals
Intrinsically you don't just want people to be like your Facebook Page content but ultimately to be intrigued and inquire further about your service or product. This means keeping in focus your Facebook Page goals and turning tepid clickers, into potential clients or customers.

It's Not About Me
The problem that many business oriented Facebook Pages fall into is that they nearly exclusively focus on their product or service. They post links to descriptions of their product, pictures of their product, and deeper explanations about their product. Do I want to go out for coffee and listen to someone only speak about himself the whole time?

That is the switch in attitude, where it's not about me. So then what should your Facebook Page content be filled with?

The Facebook Page experience is like a dialog, even considered to be a conversation in a coffee shop. How do I draw in the interest of the other party that I am engaging? You want to provide information that THEY are interested in.

For instance, if your business is real estate, and you have a Facebook Page about this business you may be inclined to post everyday about different properties that you are trying to rent or sell. However most of your contacts, on a daily basis, do not need this service and will probably ignore these posts. You want to engage them with content that they will care about.

Parallel Content
Instead of just focusing on the content or service you want to push, you should bring in related content that would be interesting to a broader audience on a more immediate level. Taking the example of the real estate business, consider what a potential client is looking for. It is not just about walls and a roof over their head, but they are looking for neighborhoods.

Change your orientation from just being another real estate agent to being a lifestyle expert. Focus on the geographic areas where you are dealing in real estate, and share valuable information about those areas. You can:

  • Share insights and reviews about restaurants in that town
  • Announce seasonal cultural events
  • Find interesting and unusual local news 
  • Highlight unique characters and people from that area
  • Share tips for how to better travel in that area (traffic or public transportation)
  • Give ideas for where to volunteer or other community activities

By sharing parallel content, the issues that surround and matter to living in those areas, you are not just a real estate agent but an expert. Once you become an expert, you become an information authority and people want to turn to you for your opinion, insights and ideas. When they rely on you in one area, they will gladly share your posts and recommend you to others. This provides the fuel to ignite your entry into the broader network on Facebook and not just rely on upon your established audience.

Driving a Wider Net of Likes   
When your information becomes relevant and interesting on a more frequent basis the level of interaction can grow. Always look beyond your direct service and see what are the concerns and information surrounding this service that can be interesting to your target audience. This doesn't mean throwing in wildly different subject areas like movie review and real estate, where there is no synergy between the two subjects. But recommendations for local movie theaters can be a nice fit for real estate, emphasizing the surrounding value of that area.

Since running a Facebook Page is like fishing, when you put a small net into the water, you will wait a long time for something to finally come into your net. By making your net wider with more parallel information relevant to your subject area, you increase your chances of catching the eye of unlikely prospects, and getting more business.

What are the subject areas that surround your business that can complement interest in your service or product?

Smoke and Mirrors of Site Traffic

So I came across this request, to do more articles about comic book movies because those articles are showing spikes in traffic. The problem is that the site is selling irrigation supplies. What does this kind of circumstance tell us? A lot.

Analytics Addiction
Some people get a high for different things, and Google Analytics can be another addiction driver. The metrics produced by Google Analytics can be powerful indicators to different behavior in the website. This can help show if a campaign is successful, and what kind of results are being produced by our content development efforts. But when Google Analytics ceases to be a tool and source of metrics to measure our efforts, but the end unto itself, then it loses significance. This is the Google Analytics addiction, getting a high from just watch traffic spike up.

Why is this dangerous? Because it obscures goals and reduces the importance of marketing efforts. Instead of developing content for conversion to promote your business, you get sucked into basically a meaningless effort to keep the traffic spikes up without seeing how it effects the goals of the website.

The goals can be be grow subscribers, get prospects to inquire about the product, or download relevant product content. The folks visiting the site about articles on comic book movies aren't interested in irrigation supplies and won't inquire or share the site with their friends.

Empty Calories
This kind of traffic is essentially worthless, and just feeds the Analytics Addiction. This kind of traffic is described as non-targeted traffic.  Non-targeted traffic is really useless as these visitors are not interested in your content at all. Or as MaAnna Stephenson colorfully described, "Non-targeted traffic is like empty calorie food. It over-inflates your numbers, but you get nothing worthwhile in return."

Myth of More Traffic  
Isn't more traffic better? Don't we want to push up the numbers? Yes and no. Pushing up the numbers for the kinds of visitors that we want who would be interested in our site and product is good. However just pumping up the numbers for the sake of pumping up the numbers doesn't serve the needs of the site.

Off-topic content may pull in more initial traffic, but you have to think about why you want that traffic in the first place. If your site is intended to sell products, will 'off topic' traffic drive sales? Probably not! These visitors are visiting your site despite your products and offering. Therefore the chances of them buying a product or showing interest in a service is very low.

Such misguided measures should be avoided for promoting your website.

Vicious Cycle
As we see simply generating traffic is a self-fulfilling metric. When you diverge from your goals and rate your activity by the simple success of your own actions, then you fall into a vicious cycle that drives you to produce traffic rather than tangible results.

As Milica Pantic (Mitz) observes in How More Traffic Does Not Always Mean More Money, "If you stopped generating the wrong traffic and concentrated on making conversions and meeting your goals you would be shocked at the results you see. Webmasters spend 90% of their time trying to drum up traffic and 98% of that traffic is rubbish, while only 2% converts."

Stay Focused
Ultimately you must resist the lure of 'traffic high' Keep your goals clearly in front of you and focus on fulfilling them. Measure how your traffic is coming to the relevant pages of your site, signing up or subscribing, and actually purchasing on your website. When off-topic content only produces traffic spikes to those specific pages, then you moving further from your goals and becoming self-absorbed.

So how do you drive relevant, targeted traffic to your website?


5 Quick Ways to Enhance your Blog and Boost Visitors

Recently I talked to a friend about his blog. He was happy with the content and interactions, but felt like the crowd watching his blog had grown stagnant and he wanted to expand his reach for his blog. Looking it over, I had some quick suggestions that he could implement immediately.

1. Limit Article Content in Email Subscriptions
I subscribe to his email updates, and get the full article in my email. Due to this situation, I rarely actually visit his site to read articles (and thus my status as an active reader would not be recorded by analytics for metrics).

So I suggested that he configure his articles so that only an introductory paragraph goes out to email subscribers, with a 'Read More' link in order to bring readers back to the actual article to read on his blog. This way more readers are recorded as visitors, and readers can be encouraged to interact more.

2. CTA - Call to Action
One of the first things that he noticed about me was that I wasn't commenting on his articles (I was reading articles in email). While the articles were written well written and meaningful, the reader was not directed to do anything.

A question should be posed at the end of each article, encouraging the reader to share their impressions. Often the more provocative the question the better. This is a way to better engage your readers and make the post more interactive.

3. A Bit of SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a huge area to learn and implement in a website and can be overwhelming, but there a few steps that can be taken to tap into this side of web promotions.
Tags and Categories based on keywords. When the keywords used have been researched for popularity and competitiveness, then they can be leveraged and hopefully used like a magnet to pull in new followers.

A good tool for evaluating keywords is the Google Keyword Tool (usually associated with AdWords)
The tags that were being associated with the posts in the blog seemed to have been chosen at random, and none of the articles had been associated with categories.

By putting in the time to research a bunch of keywords tools like tags and categories can be leveraged more effectively.

4. Visibility
Maybe I am missing something, but I found it difficult to find articles on his site. The site was set up where the current blog article was the star, and all other posts faded away. The only way to see previous content was through a small list on the right sidebar for 'Recent Posts' (with just 3 links) and the 'previous' button on top of the article. There were no lists by months, or categories.

Also more cross linking is important (especially embedding the links on specifically keywords). By internally linking to other content on your site, you can help keep your readers on your site longer, encouraging them to read more of your stuff, perceiving it as related to a current article. Also internal linking helps SEO by giving the search engine a way of evaluating the hierarchy of your site, by seeing which articles have more internal links.

5. Promoting Others
It is great to do guest blogs on your site. This kind of cross-content development offers a chance for greater exposure and wider promotions, where your guest blogger can also be a content evangelist for your site as well.

Some common issues I see with the guest blogger: in the title of a guest blog, don't write "Guest Blog - Always Dry Your Towel".

This kind of title provides a clue to readers that they should treat this information differently than your usual posts, and undermines the potential for synergy from the guest post. Rather, you should be more aggressive in promoting your guest blogger, with a title like "Jerry Addams Says Why You Should Always Dry Your Towel", then indicate as a subtitle to the author name at the beginning of the article that this is a guest blog.

Also, to get the attention of others bloggers in your ecosystem, you can write articles (really reviews) about their blogs and how you have been following them and what you like about them.


Can You Outsmart Google?

I got the following question recently.

A while ago I put Google Adsense on a web site I did.
Every time someone clicks on them, he gets some revenue.
What is to prevent someone from (unscrupulously) clicking on the ads, say, from different computers, so that he can earn a lot of money? 

Yes of course, it is an obvious scam that Google had to address.  It is not only wrong but terribly risky.
Google, for instance, would see the frequency that clicks come from similar IPs.
Even by going to a variety of different computer, the amount of different computers in different geographies required to outsmart Google would not be possible to undertake on an individual level, and eventually patterns would be seen by Google.
The punishment could definitely mean that Google removes the site from their index, dooming the site to never being found, let alone appearing in ranking.

For all the ways Google uncovers fraud see: How Do Google Adsense Detect Fraud Clicks


Which Story Is Your Brand Telling?


AdWeek's Tim Nudd recently talked to creatives and explored archetypal plots reflected in leading brands.



9 Steve Jobs Source Media Inspired by Walter Isaacson's Book


Spoof Apple press release about Steve's return (1994)

Steve Jobs and John Lasseter interview with Charlie Rose (1996)

Steve Jobs is Back! Proclaims Red Herring in 1996

Wired interview "German washing machines"

The iconic return

The Crazy Ones ad 1997

Intro of iMac (1998)

Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Address (2005)

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Interviewed together at the D5 Conference (2007)

5 Marketing Blogs I Follow


The idea is that for every decision a company makes, a growth hacker should ask: ”What will be the impact on growth? Truly innovative growth hackers have pioneered techniques focused on virality, email, search engine optimization & marketing.

This is Noah Kagan's premier site on startups, marketing, and self-exploration. Started 7 years ago to talk about marketing, business musings, online communities and other things, today Okdork has nearly 4,000 comments and over 750+ posts. It's for entrepreneurs, marketers, cubicle workers and people looking to kill 5 minutes.

Andrew Chen http://andrewchen.co/
Excellent marketing advice and ideas from an entrepreneur and blogger based in Palo Alto, CA, Andrew Chen.

Great marketing resource site with spot on insights from Neil Patel, co-founder of 2 Internet companies: Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. His entrepreneurial career  has helped large corporations such as Amazon, AOL, GM, HP and Viacom make more money from the web.

This site is for  entrepreneurs, and for others out there who are also fascinated with startups and what it takes to make them succeed.  So basically, this site is for and about software startups.

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