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5 Alternatives to Pay Per Click Advertising Your Brand Should Consider

5 Alternatives to Pay Per Click Advertising Your Brand Should Consider

The foundation of Internet advertising is the banner ad, with the pay-per-click model following closely behind. Google was the first company to make PPC (pay per click) huge, and it works out pretty well for both the advertiser and for the company charging them for the clicks. It’s a win-win for sure, but sometimes you have products or services that don’t seem to work with PPC advertising or you just aren’t getting the response that you used to. What you need is a fresh new approach and that’s why you should consider one or more of these five alternatives to PPC.

We discussed the lay of the land and several alternatives to the PPC with five industry experts to find out what they recommended. Read on to see some of their valuable insights.

1. YouTube Pre-Roll Ads

YouTube has been doing better and better when it comes to their advertising policies and now, with new rules in place for the pre-roll ads, advertisers aren’t going to have to pay for advertising that doesn’t net them any actual results, like the five seconds of an ad that plays before the viewer hits the “Skip” button.

Aaron Hocket, Partner & Sales Team Leader at AltaVista Strategic Partners was the first expert we conversed with. He believes that YouTube’s “True View” will benefit them even more now that advertisers only pay for completed views, and actively encourages their clients in the construction industry to use YouTube instead of PPC.

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He goes on to illustrate how YouTube ads can work as a better alternative to PPC for some a number of specific services, while offering value at the same time:

“One example of how we are using YouTube as an alternative to PPC: Working with a plumber, we will create branded “how to” videos related around multiple residential services such as fixing a leaky pipe under the kitchen sink or unclogging a bathtub drain.” He explains. “Using an exact match keyword strategy within targeted zip codes, we will run the appropriate ads correlating to the search query. A user searches “How to unclog a bathtub drain” and clicks on the first video where we run an ad that starts “The first step to unclogging a bathtub drain.” and are able to capture and 4 minute video completions as we are fulfilling the user’s needs. We end the ad with a powerful call to action.”

2. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great form of advertising that has quite a few different benefits. Email marketing is definitely more personal than some of these other alternatives and it makes the person think that you are talking directly to them, even if they know deep down that they are one of many. Brad Owen of Never Bounce says that you should be using it as something extra, not as a sole way to advertise.

“If you’re not using a direct form of communication in conjunction with your PPC campaigns, you’re leaving big money on the table.”

“While PPC boosts your traffic needle, unfortunately it does very little for your overall conversions; that’s all up to you and your on-site marketing strategy.”

Brad adds that the average user will require six touches prior to completing an action. Although PPC can bring users to your site, that’s only one “touch.” Email marketing then can account for many more “touches” at once with a great autoresponder sequence.

“Organically growing and nurturing your customer email list is the core to continuous engagement with your customers.”

3. Influencer Marketing

Advertising with an influencer isn’t anything new. In fact, companies have been relying on influencers for hundreds of years, but these days, there are some very specific people who are having an impact on what consumers buy and anyone who wants to get their message heard should be focusing on them.

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“We all know that social trust is key in the future of marketing,” says Noah Everton, a growth strategist at ShoutOurBiz. ”But for a brand to truly succeed and get a head, they should be looking to influencers within their niche. When I consult marketing teams, I always tell them ‘your competition is already reaching out to influencers, how do you plan to stay ahead of their game?’ And usually I’m met with a blank stare.”

Companies like ShoutOurBiz and FameBit help companies stay head of the competition because they are the meeting place between influencers and the brands that want their vote of confidence.

4. Content Marketing

One of the biggest trends when it comes to Internet marketing is the rise of content marketing. At first, only a few were seeing value in this activity, but now even the smallest businesses know that content marketing is necessary and effective.

Christopher Martin, Digital Marketing Manager at Flex MR, believes that PPC advertising is currently suffering through an “image problem.”

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“Ad fraud and blocking have been hot topics amongst online marketing specialists throughout 2015.” He points out. “To make sure you aren’t wasting your 2016 marketing budget, consider investing in an effective content marketing plan instead.”

5. Reputation Marketing

Finally, reputation marketing is absolutely vital and cannot be ignored by any business large or small. In the old days, if you had a few dissatisfied customers odds were they wouldn’t influence any of your other customers. Now, those naysayers might end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars or more because they have a pulpit to preach from. Lauren Edvalson is the CEO of Edvalson Marketing and says that the best online partner for your PPC campaigns is reputation marketing.

There are tons of reputation marketing companies popping up. Organic search results are not showing websites, they are listing companies with five star reviews on review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. It’s so important to put a strategy and budget to creating customer advocacy programs. Each person who works for your company then becomes aligned with your marketing efforts by asking customers to provide feedback about their experience. Taking it a step further, if you are a sales driven business, incorporating great customer service into the way you measure employee performance will keep your sales people honest and protect your reputation.

Featured photo credit: Josh MacDonald via joshmacdonald.net

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Josh MacDonald

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Last Updated on July 15, 2019

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

This is an article I didn’t want to write. Even if it appears that way on the surface, few things are black and white. Between the two colors is a world of gray. Notwithstanding the bosses who behave criminally, some of the people who carry the “bad boss” label have possibly been, or have the capacity to become, a “good boss.”

This is an article I didn’t want to write because I understand that depending on whom you ask, many of us could be labeled either a good or bad boss.

Perhaps another reason I didn’t want to write this article is because context matters. Context for the organization and context for the individual. What is happening in the organization? What is the culture? Is the “boss” in a position for which the individual is equipped to do the job? Is the person in a terrible place in life? The office culture, the relationship a team member has with a boss or board and the leader’s personal life can all influence how the person shows up and leads and how others perceive the individual.

But since I am writing this article, I will share a few signs that bosses are bad and in need of a timeout.

1. Bad Bosses Don’t Know and Haven’t Healed Their Inner Child

If you plan to lead people – well, if you plan to effectively lead yourself – you must get reacquainted with your inner child. Just because you are in young adulthood, middle age or the golden years doesn’t mean your inner child matches your chronological age. If you experienced trauma as a child, your inner child may be stuck at the point or age of that trauma. While you walk around in a woman’s size 10 shoe, your behavior may showcase an inner child who is much younger.

In a June 7, 2008, Psychology Today article, Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D., observed,[1]

“The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older … But, psychologically speaking, this is not adulthood. True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child. For most adults, this never happens. Instead, their inner child has been denied, neglected, disparaged, abandoned or rejected. We are told by society to ‘grow up,’ putting childish things aside. To become adults, we’ve been taught that our inner child—representing our child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness—must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises and potentiates these positive qualities. But it also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers.”

Sometimes the key that your inner child needs tending to is conflict with someone else’s inner child.

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Good bosses are aware of the ups and downs of their childhood, have worked or are working to heal their inner child and are aware of their triggers. Good managers use this awareness to manage themselves, and their interactions with others. Bad bosses are oblivious to how their inner child impacts not only their life but the lives of others.

2. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Accept Feedback

Bad bosses are not intentional about creating an environment where their peers and colleagues can share feedback about their leadership. They don’t solicit feedback. Given the power dynamic that managers, CEOs and others in leadership yield, they must go out of their way to solicit feedback, and they must do so repeatedly.

Before being completely honest, most team members will test the waters and share low-stakes information to get a sense for how their boss will respond. If the boss is angry or retaliatory, team members are less likely to risk being candid in the future.

So being unable to accept feedback takes on two forms: failing to proactively and repeatedly ask for feedback and reacting poorly when feedback is shared.

3. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling to Give Timely Feedback

The flip side of accepting feedback is giving feedback. Both require courage. It takes courage to open yourself up and accept feedback on ways that you need to grow. Similarly, it takes courage to share honest feedback about a team member’s or colleague’s performance or behavior.

Since not everyone is open to accepting feedback, whether they’re a manager or not, having an honest conversation about areas a team member or colleague has missed the mark, is not always easy. Still, good bosses will find a way to share feedback, and they’ll do so in a timely fashion.

Withholding feedback and sharing it months after a situation has unfolded or in a snowball fashion is unhelpful to the employees. One of the ways we grow as leaders is through feedback. When people have the courage to tell us the truth, that information allows us to progress.

4. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Acknowledge Their Mistakes

Owning their mistakes is like a disease to bad bosses; they do not want it. Instead of being risk averse, they are accountability averse. The problem is that they can only gloss over their weaknesses or failures for so long; the people around are able to see their flaws and weaknesses, and bad bosses pretending they don’t exist is not helpful. It is infuriating.

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However, bad bosses are masterful at reassigning blame. They are unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes — small or large. But career expert Amanda Augustine told CNBC “Make It” in May 2017, that “good managers also admit their mistakes.”[2] They don’t pass the blame or pretend they didn’t make a mistake. They own it.

5. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling or Incapable of Being Vulnerable

Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill. But well-placed and well-thought out vulnerability enables employees to see their leaders’ humanity, and it creates a way for leaders to bond with their teams.

Bad bosses may talk about vulnerability, but they don’t practice it in their own lives, particularly in the workplace.

6. Privately, Bad Bosses Do Not Live Up to the Organization’s Stated Values

Bad bosses may publicly spout the values of the organization they work for, but privately they either don’t believe or don’t embody those values.

If they work for an environmental group, they may not practice sustainability in their private lives. Their words and actions are incongruent.

7. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Inspire Others

When bad bosses are unable or unwilling to take the time to inspire others, they lead through fear or command. Neither are helpful.

A culture dominated by fear will stifle creativity and risk taking that can lead to innovation. An autocratic management style will have a similar effect in that team, members will not feel they have the space to step outside of the box they have been placed in.

A good boss is someone who takes time to share the big picture and time to inspire their teams to want to be a part of it.

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8. Bad Bosses Are Disinterested in How Their Behavior Impacts Others

They are narcissistic and focused on self-preservation. In “19 Traits of a Bad Boss,” Kevin Sheridan said,[3]

“Terrible bosses are endlessly self-centered. Everything is about them and not the people they manage or what is going on in their employees’ personal lives. It is never about the team, but rather all about how good they look. Conversely, great bosses lead with integrity, honesty, care, and authenticity.”

Rather than seeing their team’s talents and seeing people’s full humanity, bad bosses believe their team exists to serve them. Families, personal life and priorities be damned. Bona fide bad bosses believe that their comfort should be prioritized over their team’s needs and desires.

9. Bad Bosses Have Likely Received Negative Feedback

Bad bosses have likely been told that they are poor supervisors. They have likely been told time and time again that their behavior is harmful to the people around them.

Perhaps they do not know how to change or are unwilling to change. But bad bosses certainly have received clues, insights and direct feedback that their management style and behavior are harmful to others.

Even when someone hasn’t explicitly said, “Your behavior is harmful to me and others,” the absence of feedback indicates a problem. It can mean that the leader’s team doesn’t feel safe enough to share feedback, that people do not believe the leader will act on what is shared, or that people have determine the best strategy is to avoid the boss as much as possible.

10. Bad Bosses Are Perfectionists

Bad bosses are driven by an internal urge to be perfect. Perfectionists don’t just want to be perfect; they want everyone around them to be perfect as well. This is a standard that neither they nor their team can live up to.

Since perfection is illusive, they spend their time chasing their shadow and being frustrated that they cannot catch it. They are unable to enjoy the journey and often block others from doing so as well. They let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.” Rather than embracing a growth mindset that desires to learn and improved, they are compulsive and toxic.

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If you are like me and you see yourself in parts of this list, do not despair. A bad boss can change. The key is seeking honest feedback and being willing to work through that feedback and your triggers with a therapist or coach.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your age and the mistakes you have made, you can change and become a healthier leader whom others respect and appreciate.

Conversely, if you are employed by a bad boss, do everything in your power to take care of yourself. Understand that your boss’s behavior, even if directed at you, is not about you. Your boss’s reactions, if and when you make a mistake, is a reflection on that individual, not you.

To survive the work environment, think about the lesson you are meant to learn. You can do this with a trusted therapist or capable coach. However, if you deem the work environment to be toxic and harmful to your health, seek employment elsewhere.

In the end, this is an article I did not want to write, but I’m happy I did.

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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