Performance Pricing and Building True Client Partnerships

I recently came across a post on, which is fast becoming one of my new favourite blogs, called Agencies Must Embrace Performance Pricing.

The gist? Old-school agencies, be warned: your clients want you to put your money where your mouth is.

The article argued that the shift to performance pricing is inevitable.

Business leaders and their marketing heads expect more from their marketing dollars. They want partners who truly understand marketing’s responsibility beyond just impressions. Those who can build a brand by directly building revenue and market-share are the agencies that will endure in the 21st century. [Read more...]

Why Every Smart Startup and Business Should Act More Like a Digital Media Empire [In the Making]

Citizen Kane 1941 by Orson Welles

Sometimes I feel as though I sound like a broken record.

But I’m on a mission, so forgive me if you’ve heard this all before, but it’s worth repeating.

According to a recent study conducted at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, blogging is on the decline as social media tools [like Facebook] are on the rise among Inc. 500 companies.

[Read more...]

Why Traffic Is Not That Important

What some companies do on a monthly basis with their online advertising budget.

Despite the fact this headline will likely infuriate some industry folk, it must be said.

When people think about online marketing, some still see traffic as the all important success metric. In fact, some still call it “hits.” (As in they want to get more hits to their site, which is not the same as unique visits or traffic).  The logic seemed simple - as long as we get plenty of traffic, we’ll get business.

Yes, traffic is great, but more importantly, your website must have an effective mechanism (or strategy) for capturing and tracking leads and/or sales.  Otherwise, traffic is useless.

For example…

[Read more...]

How Google+ changes (almost) everything for businesses (part 2)

Last week I wrote about how Google+, Google’s new social networking platform, has the strong potential to be a game-changer when it comes to how businesses do search engine optimization for their sites.

This week, I want to talk about how Google+ could change the landscape of the online advertising world.

[Read more...]

How Google+ changes (almost) everything for businesses (part 1)

I’ve been exploring Google’s new Google+ social networking service over the last week or so, and my initial conclusion is that it’s going to have huge implications for the ways businesses, and especially SMBs, market themselves on the Web.

[Read more...]

Paid Advertising: How It Helps Generate Earned Media

A few months ago, I wrote about the basics of PPC advertising (Pay-Per-Click).  Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about how “paid” media can help generate “earned” media (advertising that is shared among friends and beyond).

To clarify, when I refer to PPC advertising, I’m simply referring to any platform that allows you to advertise on a pay-per-click or cost-per-click basis (example: Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads).

Why Do It?

Ultimately, our clients want to generate leads, inquires, and sales from the PPC campaigns we run on their behalf.  However, there are also other valid reasons to do PPC advertising, which may not achieve an immediate ‘hot lead’ or ‘sale’, but may do so down the road.

For example, if it makes sense for your business to have a Facebook Page you might want to consider using Facebook Ads to generate initial awareness and demand by driving people to your Facebook Page.

Running a Facebook Ad campaign, might help you get the first 1,000 people to “like” your Page.  From that point, you still have to keep them engaged, but in time, you may earn their trust and convert them into advocates, clients, or buyers.

In addition, a relatively small investment in Facebook Ads could generate a huge ROI considering the very same people who first “liked” your Page from clicking your ad also create an organic viral effect.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words:

photo credit: Facebook

Overtime, once you’ve “earned” their trust, the same people who originally came to you via your paid Facebook Ad campaign (and who referred others) might eventually turn into a lead, inquiry, or sale.

About the Author

Mitch Fanning is VP of Fruition Interactive. He’s spent 11 plus years working with businesses of all sizes, from global brands to some of Canada’s fastest growing web start-ups ranked in the PROFIT 100.

Measuring SEO — why you should think beyond your search ranking


Most businesses that I talk to about Search Engine Optimization have only one objective and one success metric in mind when they’re planning SEO campaigns — they want to be in the top X results for relevant searches.

On the face of it, that makes sense. The top results for the top searches have the most visibility, so they should drive the best Return on Investment, right?



But not always.

Here’s a story to illustrate what I mean.

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Social Media For eCommerce Sites

In an effort to educate clients and strategic partners, I’ve started a series of blog posts dedicated to answering “frequently asked questions” we receive about interactive strategy, web design and development, search marketing, and social media.

Questions like “what is search engine marketing?”

In this post I’m addressing another common question which came from a call I received last week.  During the conversation, at one point, the caller said (not in so many words):

“I just don’t get social media.  I mean, I don’t use it, but I know there must be something to it…Can I actually generate orders for my e-commerce site using social media?  If I can, I’ll use it (social media).  If not, then I’m just not interested in it.”

Fair enough.  However, after a bit more Q&A, it was clear the real underlying issue was his e-commerce website wasn’t generating [and converting] enough traffic into orders.

Besides optimizing his search marketing initiatives, we discussed the possibility of integrating Facebook social plugins into his website to increase his referral traffic (for starters).

Many people often overlook this option, but using social plugins makes it very easy for visitors to spread the word about your business and/or product through their already “well-established” networks on Facebook.

Facebook Social Plugins

Social plugins are simple tools that can be dropped into any website, which when deployed can drive deeper engagement on websites using Facebook Likes, Recommendations, and Logins.  Facebook has even showcased some case studies that demonstrate spectacular increases in referral traffic using these social plugins.

The following are my top three Facebook Social Plugins, in order of importance and priority, for any e-commerce site looking to increase referral traffic and ultimately sales from this channel.

The Facebook Like button

The Like button lets users share pages from your site back to their Facebook profile with one click.  Implementing it on your product pages allows your visitors to tag the page with a “Like” which then shows up on their Facebook wall and their friend’s news stream. If you don’t yet have the Facebook Like button implemented on your product pages, this should be a priority.  Just like you optimize your site for SEO, you need to let visitors “Like” your key landing pages.

Facebook Recommendations

The Recommendations plugin gives users personalized suggestions for pages on your site when they might like.  You can test it for your website here.  It works even if you haven’t yet implemented the Facebook Like button because its based on what your Fans are already sharing on Facebook.

Facebook Login

The Login Button shows profile pictures of the user’s friends who have already signed up for your site, in addition to a Login button. While e-commerce websites have not been quick to adopt Login, it’s such a good fit.  Why?  Site visitors are more likely to log in with their existing Facebook account on an e-commerce site than create a new account.

Obviously, there’s a lot more to successful social media and Web marketing than the above, but it’s a good start, can be implemented quite easily, and has the potential to improve your bottom-line.

P.S. If you found these tips useful, check out our free guide, 9 Ways to Turbo Charge Your Online Marketing.

About the Author

Mitch Fanning is VP of Strategy & Business Development for Fruition Interactive. Mitch has spent 11 years working with businesses of all sizes, from global brands to some of Canada’s fastest growing web start-ups ranked in the PROFIT 100.

Photo credit: SocialCommerceToday

What is SEM / Search Engine Marketing?

Despite Google’s search engine being 15 years old, search engine marketing still mystifies most business people.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not referring to Google’s “back-end.”  I’m simply talking about the basics as it applies to promoting your website through search engines.

Searching is one of the most popular activities on the Internet.  Yet, many still ask, “what exactly is search engine marketing?”  Besides people asking about Social Media (in general), this is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from prospective or new clients.

[Read more...]