Internet Marketing During Covid-19 Pandemic – Business as Usual Won’t Cut It

July 13, 2020

Standing on the sidelines during this pandemic isn’t a strategy that pulls a business through tough times. Is your company courageous enough to try some fast and cost-effective Internet marketing tactics that you might not have considered before? Email campaigns with a dedicated landing page or geographically limited PPC ad campaigns might help you find business when others can’t.

Landing pages with targeted PPC or Email marketing campaigns:

B2B or B2C landing pages can be an effective and fast way to keep the gears of your business turning while other companies seize up. Combining landing pages with an ad or email marketing campaign is even better. This adds a one-two punch that will always result in driving more leads.

Ask us how

Are Landing Pages the same as Webpages or Websites?

A landing page is not the same thing as a website.

Websites –

These typically have multiple interlinked pages of varied content with a range of menu or navigation options. The idea of most websites is to attract a wide spectrum of viewers from various sources. Once a viewer has arrived, the website should facilitate the visitor journey or experience with as little friction or confusion as possible. Successful websites allow visitors to easily discover, browse, or access the type of information they are looking quickly and without confusion.

Landing Pages –

A landing page is a single page designed with a specific objective in mind. Most landing pages have only one goal they want the visitor to achieve. This goal could be completing a form, downloading a brochure or clicking on a specific link etc. All elements of the landing page should be designed with this single goal in mind.
Landing Page are like Pass/Fail classes. Each visitor either takes the one specific action you want them to and you pass or they don’t and you fail. Little else matters for these visitors.

Example of Webpages vs Landing Pages:

A Law Firm website might have a website with page for each practice area (Real Estate, Litigation, Construction). Visitors seeking any of these services might come to the home page, then navigate deeper into the website to eventually find what they need.

A Law Firm landing page might be one single page focused on only one aspect of Real Estate Law. The content and design of this page is different than the rest of the website. The goal might be for all visitors to fill out a contact form for that specific department only.

Targeted Marketing Campaigns – Email or Ad campaigns that increase visitors

59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI.

Most landing pages are created to be used with targeted marketing campaign. Email or advertising campaigns are the most common. These campaigns are used to increase views, visits and clicks to your landing page.

Visitors with more specific needs can be segmented or targeted with geographically or behaviorally specific Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or emails in the hope they click thru and ‘land’ on your landing page. A marketing campaign that targets a more specific group of your customers and drives them to a specific landing page is more effective.

Why do I need a landing page for my business?

Landing pages can be a quick way to create a new resource for your company that generates leads. These pages attract customers to the services you offer. Your sales team can leverage them to help target clients with new collateral. They can serve as a compliment to your existing website or act as a standalone asset. They can be created without needing access to your website/server to avoid any security or delays, and still live under your domain name.

Effective landing pages for B2B or B2C Campaigns

Simplicity and instant connection is key. Within a second or two, the visitor landing on this page should know they are in the right place. A crystal-clear headline, simple messaging or imagery that immediately communicates to the visitor what the page offers. The visitor should feel a subconscious comfort or ease in navigation the page. The copy should be valuable and any forms or buttons should be easy to complete or stand out. Any distractions or obstacles that might prevent the user from completing the goal should be removed. Usually there are no menus, no links to outside content. Ideally the visitor should only have one path available as they interact with your page – and it should be the one you want them to take.

How do I get started with effective landing pages?

Think about the products or services your company sells, and what you might want to improve/expand/grow etc. If you have a sales team, ask them what type of page might help them or what their leads ask questions about. Next, take 10 minutes to look at your website with fresh eyes and pretend you’ve never seen it before. Do this on your phone and your desktop! Then do it to one or two competitors. Most of the time people forget to review their own website or are too caught up in their own offering to see the confusion it might create for customers.

Once you have some ideas about what you want your landing age to focus on, then you can decide how best to design and build it. Our team at Van West Media can answer any questions related to creating your next landing page. We already work with a leading landing page platform and help companies to create, publish and measure new pages from a variety of industries. These are often a quick alternative to a more lengthy or costly website redesign or update. They can be deployed outside of your existing website framework.

VWM can help you design landing pages, optimize your website or take advantage of this time to better position your website.

Here are some other resources we recommend related to landing pages and marketing campaigns:

Orbit Media Studios blog

Marketing Stats from Emma

Unbounce Landing Page Basics

Get Ready to Rebound

June 4, 2020

Why would anybody invest in their website at a time like this! We hear that a lot and our response is the same: Now is the perfect time to re-focus on your website.

Make the moves others are pausing on and use this downtime to get your web presence in order. Start with what has the highest impact and refocus on the core objectives of your business.

Sales Pages – How Long Since You Really Reviewed These?

Sales pages are the high stakes pages that turn viewers in to leads. Review them, prioritize them and identify what needs to be updated or cleaned up. Is the language still current? Are there links to collatoral or reference docs? Do the headlines or talking points read as good as they should?

Start to update the pages that are most important or impactful to your business. Maybe consider a brand new landing page or start from scratch if things are really bad.


Almost everyone has more time then they like on their hands right now, including your best customers. Take the time to reach out to them and get an updated testimonial. They’ll appreciate you’re thinking of them and should have the time to get back to you fast. If you don’t have testimonials on your site then now is the time to add them.


You finally have time to take better photos. Do it now and get rid of that old stuff you rushed on your website. It will look fresh and you won’t have to worry about it when things get busy again.

Old Blog posts & old pages

Start pruning and be merciless. Of course you’ll want to check your traffic or GA to make sure you don’t lose any valuable pages first. Let’s be real – nobody cares about that 2015 post you wrote about tech trends, old product pages that are still published even if you removed them from the menu and other clunky content. It will feel good to get rid of this stuff and might even motivate you to update or replace some of it. You won’t get the time to do this for awhile so do it now.

Don’t let bad times stall a good move. Now might be the best time to dust the cobwebs of your website, prune your old content or get the housekeeping done while things are slow. Business and commerce will continue, like it always has, and it will favor those that are ready when the doors bust back open.

It’s easy to hit the pause button, freeze up or panic right now. Resist that urge, take deep breath and seize this opportunity. Somebody is going to take advantage of the situation we find ourselves in right now and for a lot of businesses everything has changed. The real question is how your business will come out the other side of this.

VWM can help you redesign pages, improve your website or take advantage of this time to better position your website.

About the Author:

Travis Melvin is a digital marketing professional. He currently works for VWM and lives in New York City.

The 8 C’s of Social Commerce

March 30, 2017

Social Commerce

Four years ago, VWM published a blog on the 6 C’s of Social Commerce. Back then, it was a more relevant topic to write about because there were fewer aspects of e-commerce for marketers to be concerned with. The rise of Social Media has greatly impacted this. In the last four years, e-commerce, social media, and technology have evolved into something so monumental that there’s always something new to learn or latest trend to be aware of.

Social GIF

Wait…so what is Social commerce!?

Social Commerce is a subsection of electronic commerce that uses social and online media to support interaction and user contribution. This facilitates the buying and selling of products and services online.

In other words: Social commerce is the use of social networks within the context of e-commerce transactions.


In case you’re a recent reader, below is a refresher of the original 6 C’s of social commerce VWM highlighted in 2013:

Content: As in: “Content is King.” Consistently putting out valuable content on your site is key. It keeps you relevant and establishes your site as having frequent and more credible materials over your competitors.

Community: There’s a reason they’re called social networks! Building and keeping relationships with the people you’re trying to convert into customers is so important. Social allows customers to actively engage with your brand. Likes, comments and, retweets are all examples of ways you can get real-time feedback from your audience.

Social GIF

Commerce: You need to be able to fulfill customer needs via a transactional web presence whether it be B2C or B2B. Make Sure your sales funnel isn’t requiring several clicks or on-page searches before a customer gets to the actual purchasing part.

Context: Social networks make it easier than ever to gain insight into the context of where your customers are coming from. Brands can provide specific resources to customers based on location, interest, psychographics etc. Tracking things like check-ins, tweets or activity on social networks provides actionable insight.

Connection: Any connection made with a possible customer is a relationship worth having. Whether it is professional, social, or casual, social networks allow you that initial connection with other people and provide opportunities to develop and keep a relationship.

Conversation: The challenge is to tap into the conversations happening online in regards to what you’re selling. Smart marketers seek out the people who want to buy their products or services – social media features such as a “Like” button is a great way to start.

200w_d (3)

These are all still important, but it’s 2017 now. Marketers have a better understanding of just how influential social media and technology are when it comes to keeping an e-commerce strategy updated and successful.

Two New Additions for Marketers in 2017

ChatBots: The future really is now. With the creation of online chatbots, businesses can use AI and machine learning to create the feeling of a human interaction from anywhere in the world and at any given time. These bots can be expertly developed in any field and provide conversational answers to consumers presenting a much smoother interaction. This is beneficial both ways, you get a better idea of the kind of questions customers consistently have and they get a reply no matter when they ask.

Commitment: This is a big one (isn’t it always?) Having a social presence that will attract customers to buying whatever it is your selling is not a one time thing. Keeping up a strategy, establishing meaningful relationships, and consistently growing with your audience is essential to continuous success.

200w_d (2)

So, there you have it, our newly updated 8 C’s of social commerce. If you’re feeling a little lost after reading all that- don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

This is an updated post on the 6 C’s of Social Commerce.  


Client Spotlight: Club Fit Launches Their New Website

March 27, 2017

Club Fit offers comprehensive health and fitness facilities and programming to enhance the quality of life and physical well-being for Westchester community members of all ages.


Founded in Westchester in 1973, Club Fit operates fitness clubs in Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley, serving more than 14,000 members and their guests.

VWM has been working with Club Fit for the last five years helping them with paid advertising, social media strategy, ongoing development and updates, text alerts and promotions, lead generation, and web hosting.

Two website revamps later, we are now releasing the third and most versatile Club Fit website yet. New features include a custom WordPress web platform, a custom calendar scheduling feature, a streamlined user interface, and dynamic form routing and database integration.

Club Fit Launch Photo
Club Fit’s Bill and Ellen are all smiles as they get ready to launch their newly designed website. Via @ClubFitNY

Van West Media’s Social Media Manager, Stephanie Cowan, recently sat down for an interview with Jacquie Giannico, the Marketing Manager at Club Fit to talk about the launch of Club Fit’s new website, the effect it will have on the business, and how important it is to find, and develop a relationship with a digital agency that you can trust.


What part of your business will the new website have the most effect on?

“Everyone is really looking forward to the calendar. Having everything we have to offer all in one place really gives our members the one-stop-shop experience. There is so much to do at our club that sometimes it seems overwhelming to choose where to begin. We really see ourselves as a lifestyle club. We take someone from a single membership to a couples membership when they get married, and then they become a family membership, and finally a senior membership. Because of that, they have children of different ages and likes so we have created a calendar that will lay out clearly all of the classes offered at a given time. This will really be of benefit to our members.”

What has been your experience working with Van West Media?

“You have been great! I look at Van West Media as not an outside business partner but as an inside business partner and that’s important. It’s that trust factor. And it takes a while to develop that trust and we have worked with Van West Media for five years now. I also know when you say you are going to do something, you are going to do it and that is really important. And I know that if we need help on a weekend, someone always answers. The confidence and the quality of your employees is key.”

What is the hardest part of being in the membership business?

“Retention and new members. We need to make sure we are grabbing them as new members and obviously to retain them. I know the new website will draw new members and continue to provide useful tools to get the most out of their Club Fit experience.”

What makes Club Fit such a unique health and fitness club? 

“From a customer perspective, we have so much to offer. We are a health club that cares about our members well being. We offer so many activities for our members to participate in. The fact that you can swim in two different indoor pools, play on any of our tennis quarts, or participate in over 130 group classes is a testament to the range of opportunity here at Club Fit. We think of a company that gives back to our community most of our employees live in the area so it gives them an opportunity to serve their community as well. Our main focus is to keep people healthy and allow them to live longer.”

Success Board at Club Fit

What is the most exciting thing in Club Fit’s near future?

“Every month there is a new surprise. Like our March Matters and April Refer a Friend. We try to be very engaging with our members by creating unique events and content throughout the year. Come check us out!”



Van West Media Client Spotlight: Twin Parks

March 14, 2017

Twin Parks Montessori School is the largest accredited Montessori program in Manhattan with three premier preschool campuses in New York City.

Guided by the Montessori philosophy, Twin Parks helps children learn in a secure, prepared environment, laying a firm foundation for them as they grow older.

Van West Media began working with Twin Parks nearly a decade ago. This partnership began with initial branding and a website build and has evolved into Van West Media’s coordination and implementation of a robust marketing strategy revolving around the website, marketing materials, paid search, and social media. Most recently, we launched a custom website for Twin Park’s exciting new program for infants and toddlers, The Nurture Center. This strategy focused on driving visibility of Twin Parks and served as an initiative to welcome younger children into the Montessori philosophy.

Working with Van West Media has not only provided a framework for all of our branding and social media context but has taught our administrative team how to think and respond to social media. We are all a team and enjoy our brainstorming sessions together. Van West Media’s level of communication is top notch.

– Kathy Roemer, Executive Director of Twin Parks Montessori Schools

Twin Parks Blog post 6

The Website:

Van West Media built a custom website for Twin Parks that clearly and effectively showcases the three different preschool campuses, provides accreditation and financial aid information, and allows easy access to an online admissions application. From a visibility and SEO perspective, Van West Media created “Kathy’s Insights”, a personal blog from the Executive Director that builds and reinforces the school’s identity, leadership position, and mission, as well as a constant stream of custom content that helps optimize Twin Park’s search rankings with Google.

Paid Search:

When developing a paid search campaign for Twin Parks, Van West Media identified three specific opportunities: targeting families within the New York City Metro area searching for preschools, targeting families outside of New York City searching for preschools in New York City, and re-marketing to families who visited the website but did not complete a conversion. Our team began by creating campaigns targeting key neighborhoods in New York City and location-based keywords across the globe.

Our team also developed a display re-marketing campaign that excluded bouncing visitors and existing students’ parents, who visit the site to read blog posts and log into their child’s classroom details. These strategies led to a month over month performance increase of 36% during peak enrollment months. Additionally January 2017 saw the lowest Cost Per Acquisition in six months, and a record 95% increase to a 12-month record for paid assisted conversions.

Twin Parks Blog Post 5

Social Media:

Van West Media recently overhauled the Twin Parks social media profiles and implemented a best-practice strategy that is both engaging and visually appealing. This strategy focuses on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and is used to provide information about the school, build visibility and online engagement, and to drive new leads to the school.

New Program Launch:

In 2016, Twin Parks approached Van West Media with the idea of creating a new program for infants and toddlers that would complement their existing offerings, just to a younger audience. It would also allow parents to try the Montessori Method in a very comfortable and relaxed setting. Van West Media created the new program’s name, logo, and branding, and also built a custom mini-site that would allow perspective parents to learn about the new program and apply online. In late 2016, The Nurture Center launched.

We receive weekly updates and immediate replies to any question we put to their team. We feel we are in a partnership with Van West Media to share the story of Twin Parks Montessori Schools to our community.

– Kathy Roemer, Executive Director of Twin Parks Montessori Schools

Twin Parks Blog post 3

Twin Parks is an extremely valued client of Van West Media. But, more than a client, Kathy and her whole Twin Parks’ team have become partners with us. Together, we work extremely hard to bring visibility to this incredible school and its amazing teaching environment that has been carefully and thoughtfully created at all of Twin Parks’ campuses. Because of our services, Twin Parks has greatly expanded their online visibility, created greater social engagement, and increased the number of applicants to the school. Our team at Van West Media looks forward to our ongoing work with Kathy and her top-notch team of educators and all of the amazing work they are doing for the next generation of children.

Three Digital Marketing Trends Set To Take Off In 2017

December 14, 2016

Digital marketing has made incredible strides throughout the past few years in the direction of customer service, real-time support, and inbound marketing. With 2017 just a few weeks away, there are many trends expected to create unprecedented development and success in digital marketing in the New Year.

Will it be a year dictated by machine learning capabilities, or one that is forever remembered by its commitment to the adoption of smartphones for every purchase decision?

Here are three digital marketing trends to look for in 2017:

1. Real-time marketing

Gone are the days when marketers needed to predict sales, data, and growth for their company through bookkeeping and quarterly reflecting. Today, with all of the digitally integrated methods of marketing, marketers have the instant data they need to create marketing strategies in real-time. This allows them to give their customers what they want to see, when they want to see it by immediately taking advantage of hyper-relative micro-moments as they happen. Adapting marketing methods in real-time can create powerful contextual communications like never before. Just ask Oreo and Arby’s.

2. Increasing smartphone usage

You may be thinking: smartphones are already incredibly important and popular, what makes 2017 any different? Smartphone usage in the United States alone is expected to reach 222.9 million, with an estimated worldwide total of 2.6 billion. That’s an enormous amount of people relying on only their smartphones for buying, selling, and business interaction. This should be an obvious indication that if your audience can’t reach your business through mobile search or display, or your mobile experience is not friendly, you have a serious problem.

3. Machine learning

Machine learning developments by Google, Facebook, IBM, etc. have been continuously hinted at in 2016. We’re predicting that 2017 will be the year in which these developments are put to use, with chatbots becoming a standard and useful feature for communication and purchasing platforms, and more businesses incorporating Artificial Intelligence for consumer support and predictive analysis. Google has indicated they have machine-learning devices that will be able to understand consumer sentiment for aggregate sales plans. Just imagine what machine learning will do for customer segmentation, open rates, and social engagement. Is your business ready to incorporate a machine-learning component?

2017 is clearly set to be one of the most technologically impressive – and perhaps overwhelming – years digital marketers have seen. Brands that are able to quickly and effectively parse data and adapt their strategies to new trends as they happen will have a clear marketing advantage over their competitors. If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to keep up with the rapid pace of marketing, Van West Media can help!

3 Social Media Tactics to Boost Holiday Sales

November 15, 2016

The holidays are upon us, and they’re a perfect opportunity for you to connect with every person on social media. People love using social media around this time of year, and they know those savvy brands are going to offer up giveaways and special discounts just before Santa comes down your chimney.

We want you to stay relevant and stand out from all the social media holiday cheer this year. Here are 3 social media tactics to undoubtedly boost your holiday sales.

1. Make Holiday Social Media Images

Be honest – you kind of like seeing all those happy, Christmas tree filled images floating around your social media feed. The holidays make everyone happier, and beholding the joy in picture form is a great way to reach consumers.

Decorate your social media business pages with specially designed cover images that recognize Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and any other holiday-related theme you’re passionate about. Make holiday graphics with your logo front-and-center and encourage your followers to share it. Even offer people a free product if they share X amount of your holiday images before Christmas!

2. Holiday Hashtags

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to jam pack every social media post with hashtags. Twitter shoppers will undoubtedly use hashtags to find their next purchase, with Instagram users hot on their heels! Take advantage of hashtagging to get noticed.

Hashtags to consider: #BlackFriday #HappyThanksgiving #HolidaySavings #StockingStuffers #HolidayCheer #Christmas #Hannukah #Kwanzaa #NewYears #CyberMonday

3. Promotions

You absolutely need to offer promotions and giveaways on social media to stay relevant this holiday season. All of your competitors are going to do it – and you need to, too. Everyone loves a great holiday deal, and they’re twice as likely to recommend it to a friend afterwards. Offer up a Black Friday deal, Cyber Monday deal, and Christmas deal throughout the month of December.

Even more exciting: host a holiday giveaway. People love free things. Promise a free product to a randomly chosen person who likes your page, shares your post, and tags one friend’s name under it. You’ll be amazed at the page interaction coming your way.

So throw on your Santa hat, and get to work!

Need some help? If you want an expert’s opinion on your social media strategy, contact our team at Van West Media today.

How Single Page Applications (SPA’s) Can Enhance User Experience

August 18, 2016

What Are Single Page Applications?

You may have heard someone refer to Single Page Applications recently, it’s kind of a buzz phrase right now. But what is  Single Page App, or SPA, and why would you use it? A Single Page Application is a web app that can fit on one HTML page and it provides users with a more fluid and responsive experience. The page updates, but never reloads throughout the whole process, and control never transfers to a separate page.

These web apps load all of the page information at once onto a single HTML page that can dynamically update as the user interacts with the app. Just because it is a web app, doesn’t mean that the scale can’t be enormous; both Gmail and Netflix use a SPA framework.

SPA Example – The Golden Door Program Calendar

Van West Media chose to use a SPA for, naturally, a Spa – Golden Door Resort and Spa to be exact. Golden Door recently received the 2015 “World’s Best Destination Spa” award from Travel + Leisure Magazine and has a comprehensive annual program calendar. The VWM design and development team worked closely with Golden Door to create a beautiful and highly functional SPA that allows users to sort, filter and select from a variety of program types.

There were several important reasons why Van West Media chose to use a SPA when developing the Golden Door Program Calendar. One of the biggest factors was page speed and user experience benefits. To the user, the calendar works and feels more like an application than a web page. As users filter or browse through different months and program types, only data is being transmitted back and forth to the server since all the initial HTML, CSS, Scripts pages only need the initial load. This makes for fast interactions on the page, particularly on mobile, tablet or cellular networks.

Another advantage in developing the page with a SPA framework was the ability to keep the data and the user interface separate. This allowed for streamline testing when developing the page and also provided an advantage when working with Golden Door’s booking engine. Future integrations or potential changes to how program data either comes into the SPA framework or goes out to other systems can be managed more effectively without having major implications on the interface.

You can view the Golden Door Program Calendar here

Why Use Single Page Applications?

Let’s backtrack for a second. Why would single page apps be used over other web applications? Well, single page applications try to solve 3 main problems that web apps are often faced with, which are:

  • Bad user experience – Continuous page rendering negatively impacts user experience because network delay is clearly visible.
  • Poor performance – Every time the page completely reloads, unnecessary re-transmission of data occurs.
  • Lack of offline support – A web application continues to function as long as there is a server connectivity. If that connectivity drops, the web app is essentially useless.

SPA’s require no page reload from the browser, and all user interaction and changes of the application state are handled within a single Web document.

What Other Advantages Do Single Page Apps Have?

With no page reloads, comes no extra wait time. The following are some more advantages of SPA’s:

  • SPA’s minimize response time by moving working data and processing it from the server to the browser.
  • SPA’s can go offline if the connectivity to the server drops. When the connection returns, SPA’s synchronize the local data with the server.
  • SPA’s instantly update like a website. Users don’t need to take any action, they can just reload the browser and it works.

Contact us to learn more about Single Page Application and how  Van West Media can improve your digital strategy.

SPA_CTA_Blog vwm

O Canada – Attendee Takeaways from Unbounce CTA Conference 2016

July 7, 2016

When my CEO suggested a free trip to Vancouver attending the Unbounce Call-to-Action Conference 2016, I quickly emphasized how valuable this would be. It had been more than 15 years since I had been to Vancouver and, truth be told, any excuse to get back would work. Luckily, it turns out the conference was awesome! Below are a few personal takeaways I found valuable and wanted to share for anyone interested in conversion optimization or digital marketing.

1) Behind every click is a human being.

human websites are better

Often times we marketers are so caught up in the weeds of conversion metrics, data trends, ranking signals, traffic volume… etc. that it gets really easy to forget this basic truth – humans are behind all clicks. There are many paths to choose when implementing a digital strategy and lots of shiny flashy bells and whistles that might work in the short-term. It’s hard to go wrong in the long run when you stay focused on providing value to humans and not just bots or algorithms.

2) Jargon litters the internet like plastic litters our oceans.

no more jargon

Loved this Unbounce Dejargonator Chrome Extension and fun and useful way to detect lame copy too many companies use far too often. Even our agency is guilty in this regard on a few pages, and it was a good reminder to streamline our copy and keep it 100.

3) Try Twitter Cards.

Maybe the social media specialists out there were aware of this, and I definitely needed a refresher. Twitter Cards seem like an easy thing to setup for any client using Twitter. More on Twitter cards can be found here.

4) Raise User Motivation to help conversion.

motivate me

Personally, my favorite speaker at the conference was André Morys both in form and substance. I can’t do justice to the depth of what he touched on, but the takeaway is that raising user motivation is really undervalued in terms of improving conversion/performance. Like many marketers, I tend to get caught up in removing obstacles, improving design, and driving more traffic or exposure, etc. Sometimes the “carrot-on-a-stick” approach to motivating a user is just as – or even more – effective. This is a very undervalued area of focus in digital marketing, in my opinion.

5) Actionable data doesn’t care about your opinions.

This is the bane of my professional existence in countless situations – internally and client facing – and something I’ve wrestled with since I first started working in the web world. Data never lies. If you have the right data you don’t need to convince anybody how good your idea is or isn’t – let the data do it. The challenge naturally is setting up your data collection correctly and being able to trust that what you are collecting is accurate. (I was lucky enough to meet Annie Cushing at the conference, so check out her site if you want to learn how to collect and analyze data the right way.) I can’t even count how many times things are done because someone thinks it is a good idea or looks they way they want. I always go back to the old saying here – an ugly website that performs well is better than a pretty website that nobody uses.

Unbounce Conference Summary:

Unbounce makes a really cool (and technically rock solid) product for conversion optimization and testing. We’re working to grow and expand the way our agency uses this tool on behalf of clients and the CTA Conference 2016 was a great place to learn more about industry best practices in this space and just have some fun. I look forward to talking my boss into another paid vacation attending the Unbounce CTA Conference 2017.


About the Author:

Travis Melvin works and writes for Van West Media (VWM) in New York City. VWM has been using Unbounce for the past year with a few clients in different ways and has been really impressed so far. This was our first Unbounce CTA Conference, but we’re already looking forward to next year.

Microsoft Just Bought LinkedIn: Now What?

June 21, 2016

In case you haven’t heard the news yet, Microsoft is set to buy LinkedIn in a $26.2 billion dollar cash deal. Currently, there are no known plans to drastically change anything about LinkedIn through this acquisition. Both Microsoft and LinkedIn CEO’s have expressed their plans to merge Microsoft’s leading cloud services with the professional network while simultaneously keeping LinkedIn’s brand and independence intact.

LinkedIn, with over 440 million users in 200 different countries, has become much more than a simple resume-displaying platform. Since its launch in 2003, the business-oriented social networking site has morphed into a powerful marketing platform for businesses of all sizes, which now resides under the Microsoft umbrella.

So, how do businesses successfully utilize LinkedIn for social media marketing?


For starters, don’t lose sight of the fact that LinkedIn hosts a community of professionals, all with a business mindset. Creating an effective presence for your business on LinkedIn requires these three key practices:

  • Establishing your brand

Keep your profile professional and credible by customizing the URL, uploading your brand logo in places such as the cover photo, optimizing your profile for SEO with specific keywords, etc.

  • Connecting with your audience

Check your network updates, comment on or create discussions that have to do with your brand, make connections with old and new contacts to grow your professional network.

  • Engaging with relevant content

Provide your audience with compelling content to help establish your thought leadership. Frequently share a variety of industry news and original content, while also encouraging your peers to take some sort of action on your posts (e.g., to comment, like, share, etc.).

The Takeaway

What can businesses with successful LinkedIn profiles teach you about your own content marketing?

  • Continually update users on industry news.
  • Release new and engaging content customized to specific audiences.
  • Share your voice to relevant conversations that audiences care about.

With Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, the long-term effects remain to be seen. In the meantime, if you want an expert’s opinion on your social media strategy, contact our team at Van West Media today.