I'm B.L. Ochman, and I've been helping blue chip companies, agencies and associations incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996.

I'm a multi-media content creator, live-stream event and podcast producer, journalist, ghost writer, social strategist and producer of socially shareable videos.

Let's talk about how I can help you.

I co-host and produce the award-winning weekly Beyond Social Media Show

I contribute to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others. On Twitter, I'm @whatsnext.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Hawaiian Tropic’s Truly Crappy Marketing

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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

Hawaiian Tropic scented poop bags are a stinking example of truly crappy marketing.

I would love to have been a fly on the wall when they approved this idea.

Hawaiian-Tropic-Poop_bagsI ordered a year’s supply of bio-degradeable doggy poop bags from PoopBags.com for my little rescue pup, Lucy. In the box, there were two extra rolls

They were one of crappiest marketing efforts ever! Pink bags infused with the scent of Hawaiian Tropic. Yup, the suntan lotion, offering “…a reminder to “paws” and apply your sunscreen before walking your dog.”

First of all, the bag smells nothing like Hawaiian Tropic. It has a chemical sort of odor instead. And, when you use it to pick up actual dog poop, the combination of odors is truly disgusting.

Dear Marketers: Do not associate your product’s scent with dog poop.

Hawaiian Tropic could have sent a gift of a travel size container of their sunscreen with the same reminder. That would make sense.

Putting dog poop into a bag that smells like your product does not.

BL Ochman | February 10, 2022 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Categories: Internet strategy

How To Write Readable Content

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I’d like to share a few simple online writing tips for creating readable content. That’s because so much online content sucks.

Forget what you learned in school about writing. Today, everything we write is read on a screen.

You have less than six seconds to grab attention.

Academic writing was great for college papers. It doesn’t work online. Here are some things that do:

Article Headlines & Subheads

  • Before you write the headline, consider the keywords that people will use in search to find content on that topic.
  • Headlines should always be short and descriptive of the story’s key point
  • A short subhead can be used to further clarify the heading
  • Article headline and subheads should be 60-65 characters, with a maximum of 6 words
  • Include at least one keyword in the headline
  • Relevance is important for search, so the important keywords should be at the beginning of the headline.
  • There should be a subheading – describing the content that follows it –  at least every three paragraphs
  • It’s good practice to do a Google search to make sure other articles are not using the exact same headline as yours.

Lede paragraph

  • Include Who, what, where, when and why. 


  • Start with your point
  • Be clear
  • Big words don’t impress, they annoy
  • Be direct. Say what you mean
  • Don’t over complicate your prose!
  • Sentences should generally not be longer than 10 words
  • Paragraphs should not be longer than three sentences
  • Readability and simple language are key to search engine optimization
  • Use bulleted points
  • Do not use “quote marks” unless you are quoting something that someone said


  • Longer content will rank higher in search
  • For SEO, 800 words is a good length – never less than 600 words


  • Anything that is underlined indicates a hyperlink. 
  • Never underline anything that does not contain a link.

There are some wonderful free tools that will help you improve your writing. Some are free.

  • Hemingway App is my favorite. It’s an editor that highlights and corrects grammar, fluency, and sentence structure in order to help your writing read and look better.

  • Grammarly is an AI-powered desktop app with comprehensive suggestions for grammar, tone and more.

Yes, I know this post is less than 800 words. :)

B.L. Ochman has been writing and ghost-writing for the web for some 25 years. Her background is journalism and you can see her portfolio here. With experience in verticals from cars to cookies, she’s served brands including Ford Motors, Meijer, Transitions Lenses, Cendant, Simon & Schuster, McGraw-Hill, Stew Leonards  and American Greetings.  Since 2012, she has been producer and co-host of the award-winning Beyond Social Media Show Podcast. Follow her on Twitter.



BL Ochman | January 28, 2022 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Categories: Internet strategy


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How do you take care of a pet?
Taking care of a healthy pet is a full-time job. That’s why it’s so important to have a game plan — a strategy for caring for your pet — when you can’t be home all the time.

The first step toward taking good care of your pet is learning everything you can about their specific needs, which will vary based on the species and the amount of time you have available to you.

But what does that mean, exactly? When you think about it, there are so many things that you can do to take care of a healthy pet.

While each of these things is essential, there are also a few things that can make a big difference in your pet’s life, and in turn, could have a big impact on their health and longevity.

10 Top pet health advice tips:

Tips to Save Money on Pet Care – Information Sheet
* New * Tips to Save Money on Pet Care – Information Sheet

1. Make sure your pet gets enough exercise and social interaction.
The amount of exercise and social interaction your pet gets is an important part of being a good pet parent.

The best way to ensure that your pet gets the exercise they need is to make sure that they get enough activity throughout the day. This can mean giving your pet toys and playing with them throughout the day, or it can mean getting a pet-sitter so that you can be sure your pet gets the exercise and company they need while you are out. This is the best flea medicine for dogs.

How to Find a Perfect Pet Sitter – Information Sheets
How to Find a Perfect Pet Sitter – Information Sheets

It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of exercise and socialisation that your pet needs will vary depending on the species and the amount of time you have available to you.

For example, dogs and cats both require love and attention, but they want it in different ways.

Dogs need a lot of physical contact and affection, but they also need a lot of social interaction, and that is why you need to make more time for them than a cat. Though cats may seem fine to be on their own, they too also like to play from time to time and need some mental stimulation.

It’s also worth noting that, no two pets are the same, even if they’re the same species. Some dogs, and yes even cats, may want more affection than others, for example.

2. Providing your pet with a clean and safe home.
It is important to provide your pet with a clean and safe home. Your pet will need to be treated with additional care and attention as it gets older, which means that your pet’s home should be kept safe and in good condition.

One of the best ways to help your pet feel at home is to make sure that your home is clean and safe. This means that you need to keep your home free of any hazards that could harm your pet, such as chemicals, medications and loose wires and cables. Think of pet-proofing your home similarly to as if you were toddler-proofing it.

3. Keep your pet well nourished and at a healthy weight.
Make sure your pet gets the right kind of food. There are a lot of different pet foods on the market today, and it can be tempting to buy the cheapest option. Of course, like human food, the lowest price may not equal the best nutrition, so always check the ingredients label. But when shopping for pet food, try to look for a “complete” option as this will be best for your pet.

While it’s natural to want to feed your pet as much as they will eat, it’s also important to keep your pet at a healthy weight. Dogs and cats don’t need to eat as much food as we expect! The best way to do this is to feed your pet a healthy diet that’s appropriate for their species and life stage, which your vet can advise you on.

This is especially significant for dogs and cats, who must have a high protein diet to be healthy. Senior pets also need to be kept at a healthy weight to avoid health problems, such as obesity and diabetes, and to allow their joints and organs to function properly.

Also, make sure to provide your pet with fresh drinking water each day.

What Happens During a Vet Visit? – Information Sheet
What Happens During a Vet Visit? – Information Sheet

4. Take your pet for regular health checkups.
It’s easy to put off taking your pet to the vet, but regular checkups are crucial for their health. Even seemingly small issues can become big problems if they’re not taken care of early on.

We can’t always be there to take care of our pets when they’re sick, which is why it’s so important to take them to the veterinarian for regular checkups. The vet can check your pet for signs of illness, give them a physical exam, and perform any necessary blood tests or X-rays.

The vet can also advise you on what steps to take to ensure your pet stays healthy. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication if necessary, and can recommend other specialists your pet may benefit from in the future.

Don’t forget to look after your pet’s teeth! Of course, the vet can help check on the condition of your pet’s teeth, but you can also provide your pet with dental treats or oral rinses.

BL Ochman | September 10, 2021 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Categories: B.L. Ochman, News

Interview: Tom Herman on Gamifying NFTs to Fight Climate Change

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There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

Is it finally time to commit to a new daily workout routine? Are you tired of saying you’re going to exercise and get into great shape and then not follow through with a plan? Check out these weight loss supplements.

If those two lines sound familiar, this should be a MUST READ article

Here are 15 habits to help you create an exercise plan that actually works. A plan that you can actually stick with long enough to results and enjoy the new healthier version of yourself.

What You Will Learn [show]

1. Make Sure You Choose An Enjoyable Workout
Maybe one of the reasons that your previous workout routines have failed is because you did not enjoy the activity you were doing and you started to see the routine as more of a task or burden, instead of a fun activity that you’re excited about.

If you pick an activity that you actually want to do, you will start to look forward to that activity and be more likely to stick with it and keep a positive attitude about working out.

Some ways to help you choose a workout you like are to:

Research what kind of workout suits you best. Focusing on an exercise you actually enjoy. (If you haven’t worked out for quit some time, give yoga a try.)
Ask your friends and family members what they like to do; maybe they have an opinion on what you might like based on your personality.
Try a different workout every week and see which one you enjoy most, or notice which parts of the exercises that you prefer doing.
Think of ways you can make your workout more enjoyable (go with a buddy, create a nice cardio playlist, choose your favorite gym)
2. Start Small
If you have not worked out in a while, setting tough goals for your daily workout routine might make you start second-guessing your skills, feel overwhelmed and become unmotivated. It’s important to start small.

Don’t say you’re going to run a marathon in 6 months and train every single day if you have had no training. There’s nothing wrong with taking baby steps and accomplishing a few small goals before moving on to bigger goals.

A few small wins can help you motivate yourself are to focus on daily consistency instead of the amount of time you spend on working out. It’s more important to stay motivated than to focus on the length of time of your workout. Once your motivation is in place, then you can work on elongating your workout session. These are the Best sex pills.

Start with just one part of the exercise every day. If you’re doing a workout program on your own, just start with the warm-up and see how you feel. If you enjoyed the workout, you will want to see what the next part brings, which you will do tomorrow.

If you’re unsure about your fitness level, try doing the Rockport Walking Test to assess your cardiac fitness. This will help give you a baseline on how “small” you should start.

3. A Daily Workout Routine needs to be DAILY
Show up! Half of the battle of getting into the habit of a daily exercise is showing up. If you can commit to getting to that workout class, then completing the workout is the easy part; you just need to follow the teacher’s instructions. If your mind is already committed to showing up, you’ll be more likely to stay and start the class.

Even if you don’t finish the class, at least you showed up and did a few of the exercises. (That’s more than you did yesterday right?)

Once you’re dressed in your workout clothes, comfortable walking shoes, and you are out of the door, tell yourself there’s no turning back and commit to showing up.

4. Use the 30-Day Challenge Method
You may have seen several of these 30-day challenges on social media. That’s because they work well and are great to use for help with motivation. Try out amarose skin tag remover.

These challenges expect you to commit to just 30 days of doing a new activity. Thirty days go by in no time. Keeping that in mind will make your new workout routine more bearable.

You will be able to see the countdown on your calendar of how many days you have left and it will help push you right to the end.

It’s also motivating to know that you can always just quit after the 30 days is up. But you MUST give it the full 30 day trial.

BL Ochman | June 8, 2021 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Very Cool Marketing Tools You Should Know

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Strategies for Improving Business Performance and Quality

The one thing every business owner will tell you is they want business growth. One way to achieve growth is through improvement. What are key strategies for improving business performance and quality?

Business Performance and Quality Improvement Strategies
However, despite wanting to do better and be better, businesses sometimes still fail to actually get there – often because they lack the strategies that will actually take them to the top. It’s not just about doing more work, hiring more talent, and having more clients. There’s a lot more to it, so in this post, we’re going to look at some vital strategies that will help you improve your business.

Looking at the state of things as they are at the moment is always a great place to start, as it saves you the effort of implementing new strategies on top of faulty ones. Do an in-depth audit of your entire operation, from the very top to the very bottom. Look for frustrations, complaints, and failures as a source of ideas for current problems, which are often the result of lean waste. Include all major aspects of performance like employee skills and motivation, but also think about the small stuff, like which coffee you source.

Reach for the Right Tools
In 2020 we have reached a point where there is likely a tool out there for any aspect of work imaginable to help you do your job better. The right tool might not be able to completely automate a task (nor should it), but it can definitely save you some time, money, and headspace. Take a look at this list of tools and consider using some of them – you’d be surprised how much they can help improve performance. Get the most professional assistance using design consulting with Punchcut.

Ask for Feedbackfeedback from customers
There are times when you can’t see the tree for the forest. Or is it the forest for the trees? The point being, you can’t ever expect to see your business operations like your employees and your customers do, as you are simply never in their shoes.

Ask for feedback from both of these groups and see what kinds of issues and suggestions they come up with. A different perspective should always be welcomed and encouraged. Make sure you do actually listen to the suggestions you receive – and consider implementing them, even if they are not something you yourself would have thought of.

High-powered and driven individuals often make the mistake of working more and more hours the more successful they become – when in fact, they should be doing quite the opposite. It has been proven that well-rested supervisors deliver better results in every aspect of their job, not to mention they are more pleasant to work with.

Consider your own sleep schedule, and talk to your managers and higher-level employees about their own rest and relaxation. If you notice they are working overtime, acknowledge their dedication, but still ask them to cut back and rest more, as they can achieve better results with more sleep.

Think about Going RemoteRemote Work
If you are not already working remotely, consider the option carefully. After all, 2020 has taught us that remote work is not only possible but that it can often even trump office work.

This may not be possible for all companies, but if your team doesn’t need much more than a computer and a fast internet connection to get the job done, you might want to get them to work from home every once in a while. This will not only cut down on commute and getting-ready-for-work times for remote employees, but it can also significantly boost productivity.

Check out What Others are Doing

Competitor research is a great way to tap into new ideas. While we are definitely not encouraging you to copy someone else’s marketing and business tactics, you can certainly expand your own strategies based on what works well in your line of industry.

Examine things like prices, customer service, store and online experiences, marketing channels, employee distribution, and so on. You might be surprised to learn how someone else is conducting their day-to-day business.

Limit Your Targets

You can never please everyone, no matter what you do, and neither should you try. Instead of focusing on a wider marketing and business scope, consider narrowing your target market and target audience. This will help you provide a more niche experience and allow you to establish expertise within a limited scope rather than being average or mediocre within a much wider scope.

True, you will be limiting your lead pool. However, narrowing down will allow you to focus on a more specific segment more, providing a better experience and a more tailored offer. Naturally, you should select the market segment that is likely to be the most interested in what you have to offer, and one which you are already doing business with well.

Measure Your ProgressData Metrics
Finally, you also need to ensure you’re keeping track of your progress. Without measurable goals and metrics, you won’t actually be able to tell whether your improvements and the changes you have implemented are making a difference.

Start by setting up a business performance scorecard with goals for each different segment of your business, or each implementation you are making – make sure the goal is SMART – and then map out the process you will need to get there. Assign a milestone to each segment (keep it trackable), and give yourself some sort of deadline.

This will help you measure your success and be able to look back on your progress one day, admiring all the achievements you have made.

Final Thoughts on Business Performance and Quality Improvement Strategies
Growing your business, improving performance, and optimizing quality should always be on your mind – not in the obsessive, “can’t sleep” kind of way, but in the “I want to keep getting better at this” kind of way.

After all, the only way to survive in the modern business landscape is to constantly keep evolving.

BL Ochman | April 8, 2021 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Betty the World’s First Tweeting Chicken (Redux)

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By B.L. Ochman

Betty the Tweeting Chicken Seeks Guinness record

UPDATE: Originally published in 2015. Alas, Betty’s not Tweeting anymore, but I’m bringing her back in honor of Thanksgiving.

Betty the Tweeting Chicken, @chickentreat seen here in her “training video” brings new meaning to the term “chicken scratch”. She’s vying for a Guinness Record if she can Tweet a 5-letter word before Oct. 30.

She’s not the first chicken to go viral. That honor went to the Subservient Chicken back in 2004.

So far, the closest Betty’s come to a 5-letter work is “Bum”, which prompted the warning “”Bum? Keep things clean, Betty.”

Betty has nearly 9,000 followers on Twitter, up from 700 before her video. And so far, according to Brand Tracker, she’s racked up more than 3,500 Tweets with the hashtag #ChickenTweet.There’s also a daily Periscope tour of her coop and an Instagram feed.

I love it when a brand has a sense of humor! The magic of Australia’s Chicken Treat Restaurant chain’s classic roasted bird is in its simplicity, branding and local marketing campaign’s light-hearted approach.

Not the first dirty bird

Subservient-ChickenOf course, Betty’s not the first chicken to promote a brand. That honor belongs to Burger King’s deliciously weird 2004 Subservient Chicken, one of the internet’s first viral sensations. He was a man dressed in a giant chicken suit complete with a garter belt (??!) – who’d do anything you asked him, as long as it wasn’t x-rated.

Back in the days before social media, he racked up a million hits in the first 24 hours, eventually reaching more than one billion pageviews. Burger King brought him back, sort of, on the campaign’s 10th anniversary. But, alas, he didn’t fly.

Wishing you luck Ms. Betty!

BL Ochman | November 24, 2020 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

7 Cool Business Tools You Should Know

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How Employee Engagement Can Make Way For Better Customer Experience

For growing businesses to succeed and reach their goals consistently, providing an exceptional customer experience (CX) has to be one of their main priorities. Customers who associate positive experiences with business are more likely to be loyal and will keep coming back to make further transactions. In recent years, businesses have understood how an improved CX is a key differentiator in their scheme of things. That said, employee engagement is one of the most important aspects that drive customer experience.

Business leaders who want to achieve their organization’s mission agree that treating their employees well is a necessary first step toward providing a better CX. As a matter of fact, engaged employees spread their enthusiasm to customers and are more dedicated to providing the best possible service. Here is a list of valuable employee engagement statistics that reveal how powerful the motivation of engaged employees is when trying to further engage customers.

Just as how engaged employees make for happy customers, the reverse is also true. Customers who are thoroughly satisfied, also drive employee engagement. A positive CX reinforces how employees feel about the value and purpose of their work. In other words, a positive customer experience motivates employees to repeat their behavior.

Despite the emergence of new devices and software products designed to unite employees in more ways than ever before, the threat of organizational silos is still very real. In fact, a recent survey from My Customer.com, shows that 40 percent of company employees report that they aren’t adequately supported by their colleagues because “different departments have their own agendas.” While silos deter communication and collaboration — both of which are vital to delivering smooth customer experiences and producing correctly functioning products — the root of the problem is that many managers fail to spot those silos as they formulate in front of their very eyes. After all, that shiny new company-wide intranet should ward off any chance of departments becoming isolated, right? To get to bottom of this, let’s reevaluate the nature of organizational silos; Read more detailed information about the meaning of siloed and the hidden dangers of a siloed company.

If you are looking forward to beefing up your employee engagement strategies, this is the right time to do so. Following are some of the best employee engagement practices that can prove to be a secret weapon to create a better customer experience.

#1 Create a Collaborative, Communicative, and Engaging Culture Collaborative, communicative, and engaging culture is also known as employee-centric culture. It re-invigorates organizations by holistically engaging employees, improving retention, and increasing innovation. According to a study, 97% of employees accept that the lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. So this lack of enthusiasm would invariably reflect on how the employees take up on their customer experience responsibilities. A collaborative and engaging culture ensures that employees are taught how to effectively respond to customers and how to represent the brand.

Fostering collaboration helps you make the most of your knowledge resources. By bringing all the minds together, you are allowing your team members to share a wealth of information and view challenges from different perspectives. This helps in devising solutions in various business operations, for example – how to make customers happier. You have to spend sufficient time, money, and resources to ensure that your employees have tools, environment, and understanding to effectively deliver the brand promise. Therefore, an employee-centric culture paves the way for employees who their key customers are and how they can add value to their experiences.

#2 Incorporate Employee Development Programs There is no denying the fact that employees are one of the most valuable assets of your organization. So you need to ensure that they feel valued and confident about their long-term potential. It’s only when you give them more opportunities, autonomy, responsibility, as well as respect that they put their dedicated efforts in order to achieve your business goals. Employee development programs, therefore, are an initiative that elevates the existing skills, knowledge, and abilities as an individual. Employee development builds loyalty, which is very important in driving customer satisfaction. In business parlance, it goes without saying, a happy employee begets a happy customer.

Your employees experience a sense of pride when they see that the organization is investing time and resources in them. This means, in the future, you can extract the best out of them. Offering employees additional skill-training classes and mentorship opportunities makes them feel supported and respected. Providing hard and soft-skill training also makes them customer-oriented. Additionally, it helps you on two counts – your employees learn how different departments of the organization work together and how to promote the organizational values among your customers. Thus, providing employee development programs increases your reputation with both – the customers as well as prospective employees.

#3 Give your Employees a Sense of Purpose A sense of purpose is integral to any successful work environment that eventually goes on to deliver better customer experience. If your employees are subjected to a purpose-driven mindset, they are more likely to be engaged, resulting in higher productivity and customer satisfaction. Giving a sense of purpose allows your employees to understand what they are working towards and how to make a difference. According to a Harvard Business Review, only a small percentage of employees understand their company’s strategy and direction. It highlights that even in better-performing companies that have clearly stated strategies, only 29% of their employees identify their companies’ strategies.

You can provide a sense of purpose in the following ways: – Build a clear, agreed-upon strategy where all employees can contribute to its vision. – Make them a part of the decision-making process. – Devise organizational goals and measurements. – Make sure your employees have proper resources that enable them to perform their best. – Provide meaningful incentives, rewards, and recognition.

#4 Get the HR Team to Connect Employee Engagement to Customer Experience Great customer experiences help companies survive and thrive, but who delivers these experiences? It has to be primarily employees. So you need to connect employee engagement to customer experience. The former is the vital metric for the success of organizational efforts and maximized customer experience. In view of this, the human resource professionals could hold the key to improving the CX and generating better business results. They should be involved in creating effective employee engagement initiatives. Therefore, you need to acknowledge your employees to be models of your values, thereby creating social validation.

Engaged employees are a reflection of your business values, who they are, what they believe in, and how they put across their message. According to a paper published by The Forum, customer perceptions of any brand, and the employee behaviors that influence them, have a direct and positive impact on CX. The paper further revealed that a 10% increase in efforts made by employees translated into a 22.7% increase in customer spending.

#5 Identify the Core Competencies that Lead to Happy Customers If your employees possess the skills and characteristics that make them suited for the role of good customer support agent, your business is more likely to make your customers happy. This is because possessing right customer service skills are important traits that handle people’s problems effectively. And due to this reason, customer service has become one of the most frequently espoused values, today. Excellent customer service also encourages referral business and provides a sustainable foundation. Following are the core competencies that lead happy customers:

Loyalty: Employee happiness and satisfaction inevitably lead to loyalty. While hiring candidates, if they speak highly of the previous company or employer then they are more inclined to be loyal. A loyal customer care representative will put the company’s interest during interactions with angry customers – a quality reflecting patience. Good employee traits: The perfect customer service employees have positive attitudes, patience with customers, and display politeness to all. Problem-solving: It is a great customer service skill that includes taking a pre-emptive approach in managing or addressing possible risks. Persuasiveness: Being persuasive isn’t being manipulative. Your customers should be able to steer customers into a direction that is a win-win to all. Accountability: What separates top customer service professionals from the rest is they remain accountable in all situations and maintain ownership of their responsibilities.

Here’s a compilation of cool tools and apps for marketers. While many are free or have no charge trials, some are subscription models. I think you’ll find each of them worth trying.

Helpful Apps for Marketers and Small Businesses

Twitter Monthly Content Calendar for Marketers

Twitter for Business has provided a downloadable outline for a month’s worth of weekday tweet ideas to help marketers plan what to post every day. It’s not specific to any month, but can be used to plan content for any month. It even includes fun holidays. An extremely cool business tool!.

Twitter calendar for marketers
Twitter’s Downloadable Calendar for Marketers

Hashtag Tracker

Free Hashtag Tracking Tool that monitors hashtag performance for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more.

Hashtag tracker for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram


Askaway open-source remote work tool developed by Myplanet that allows businesses to more easily and efficiently ask and answer questions during large video conferences. It can be used alongside any video conferencing service (Zoom, Google Hangouts, Blue Jeans, etc.)

Attendees can upvote questions, which can be asked anonymously.


Tribe Small Business Browser Extension is a very cool, no charge tool to help consumers easily identify products sold by small businesses and/or cruelty-free companies on Amazon.

It appears as a small box in the corner of their browser window, alerting the shopper to the same or similar products offered by a small business. The new tool is currently available for download on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

Tribe browser tool identifies small and cruelty free 
companies on Amazon
Tribe browser extension appears on your Amazon pages


A new tool for managing and optimizing your business for Google Maps. Specific features include:

  • Dashboard detailing 18 months of metrics, including views, visit, direction requests and estimated revenue
  • Single and multi-location optimization
  • Intelligent recommendations to adjust listing features to match customer behavior
  • CTA’s to improve/update photos, respond to customer reviews and publish specific content on Maps listing(s) to improve search performance and engagement

How to check your devices for stalkerware

Wired Magazine has detailed instructions for how to check your phone, laptop and online accounts to be sure no one is snooping on you. If you know how, you can find software tools that are designed to be hidden and difficult to detect.


Booklets.io is an Instagram library of sorts that combines education-oriented posts on social media into bite-sized learnings around product design, UX, marketing and branding, among other things.

Library of learning posts from Instagram

BL Ochman | August 9, 2020 | Permanent Link | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Seven Great Marketing Apps You Should Know

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The Creative Canvas Website Solutions can help you track trends, provide insights, demonstrate best practices and help you understand new technology. There are some apps, most of these are free or inexpensive and may lead you to develop fresh strategies for your business. Stuck with business idea and don’t know what to do next? Then you must take guidance from sustainabilitystreet .

Marketing Examples

This gallery of real world marketing case studies is updated every day. You also can subscribe to a newsletter to receive the most recent updates.

Marketing Examples case studies are updated daily

Google Books Interactive Experiment

While this might not immediately appear to be a marketing app, it’s a wonderful research and learning tool. It can help you find great stories to add to your content strategy. Google Books service has a new design on desktop and new features use machine learning to connect images with book suggestions. An affiliate program does not require that you have an advertising team for ad visuals or purchase ad space. Rather than that, you’ll have to depend on your affiliates to come up with their marketing content. Other than the initial effort of selecting and vetting affiliates, there’s little effort required from you to market your products, which is one of the reasons it’s become such a popular method of marketing, checkout affiliate program management. Once a company is comfortable working with an affiliate and has built a good relationship, they can for the most part let them get on with marketing your service or product.

You click on a picture of an elephant, for example, and you can find iconic books like “The Elephant Man” or Agatha Christie’s “Elephants Remember.” You’ll also see a story about the image.

Select a title and you’ll see a page with a summary and a link to Google Books with information including the book’s description, author’s bio and other works, reviews from readers and options for purchasing or borrowing the book. There are also bibliographies and a citation tool for those using the service for research.


More than 85% of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube video is consumed without audio – mostly because people are watching at work :)

To help with the marketing of your podcasts, Audiogram lets you leverage captioned short videos featuring your audio content to get more engagement on social.

You can make a short snippet of your podcast’s audio, add it to a video that has a thumbnail image and captions for the clip. Then you add a link to the full podcast so people can get right to it. Here’s an Audiogram I created for Beyond Social Media Show, the award-winning podcast I produce and co-host.


This is a great tool for upping your Instagram Story skills and it’s free on mobile. You can edit with 10 VSCO presets, and use basic editing tools like Contrast, Saturation, and Grain.

VSCO has a library of inspiring photos and editorial that you can use. And you can share your photos for a chance to be curated by VSCO.

VSCO is a great tool for creating and editing Instagram Stories.


This rather remarkable app uses AI to spot fake product reviews. It’s endorsed by Today Show, The Sun, CBS Moneywatch and many others.

Fakespot’s technology analyzes millions of product reviews, looking for suspicious patterns and incentivized reviews. It then assigns a letter grade to the reviews and explains the issues. For example, out of nearly 3,000 vitamins for sale on Amazon’s website, Fakespot found 30 percent to be fake and or unreliable.

Online retailers try to combat scammers, but it’s a rough battle because the sites carry so many products from third party sellers. Amazon and Walmart were recently cited in a U.S. Government Accountability report for counterfeit cosmetic products containing dangerous substances like cyanide and lead. This report also noted that in a random sampling one in five products purchased were counterfeit.

Tall Tweets

With Tall Tweets for Google Slides, you can convert any presentation into an animated GIF and share it on Twitter! You can also tweet individual slides of a deck and a high-resolution image of the slide will be embedded in your Tweet.

Email Hunter

Just enter the name and company and zoom! You have the proven or most likely email for the person. Or, do a domain search and you get the most likely configurations for that organization. You get 100 free searches a month. It’s not foolproof, but it’s pretty good. :)

Email Hunter helps you find email formats for companies or people.

BL Ochman | January 8, 2020 | Permanent Link | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Categories: Internet strategy

Top Four Social Media Marketing Stories of 2019 + One Silly One

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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

My choices for the top four social media stories of 2019 represent brilliant marketing that highlights social responsibility and causes.

And I just had to include one from the “You can’t make this sh*t up department.” It went viral because it was unintentionally hilarious.

1. Soul Asylum’s Runaway Train 25

Back in 1993, Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” was one of the first hit music videos to make a social statement. It rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and led to the recovery of 21 of the 36 missing kids featured in the video.

I include it as a top social media marketing story because the song and video have been remade to celebrate the original’s 25th anniversary. The band has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to highlight the plight of missing children in the US.

Runaway Train 25 uses geolocation technology to turn the music video content into a search tool to find missing children. a standard version is available to watch on YouTube. However, if it’s viewed on the “Runaway Train 25” website, geo-targeting technology changes the footage so that viewers receive information about children from their area who have gone missing. The release came ahead of National Missing Children’s Day on May 25.

2. Loving Haters

Sprite took on social media haters, trolls and bullies in a global campaign, in which it suggests that hate can “neutralized” by words of love. They also revealed that got help from SearchUp to upgrade their website to the highest quality.

The brand developed an A.I. tool that and used data mining technology to identify the most aggressive hater. He had attacked 565 people in more than 1,000 tweets during the past year.

They invited him to participate in “an experiment.” When he arrived, he faced by 100 of his targets, who wore t-shirts bearing  his hateful Tweets. They walked up to him and said them out loud to his face.

(“Nauseating rat, scum of life,” “The worst fear of pregnancy is ending up a fat and ugly slob like you”) until he realizes he’s hearing his own words.
Then all 100 surrounded him, singing “All you need is love.” And then, amazingly, one by one, people stepped up and embraced him.  See his reaction in the video.

This one shows top social media marketing on many levels!

3. Endangered Animals Sing About Extinction

 The Wildlife Conservation Fund’ produced a powerful animated video in which animals sing an emotional rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.

The video opens with the creatures existing happily in their habitats.
Suddenly the video takes a sinister turn as scary men invade each environment. Sadly, the animals are no match for their guns, clubs, harpoons, and pollution. At the heartbreaking conclusion, the seal pup sings: “Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.”

4. Google Loon Balloons

Globally, more than five billion people are still not connected to the Internet. Back in 2013, Google sett out – by Loon Balloons – to change that. Now, Google’s tennis court-size solar-powered Loon Balloons are doubling as cell towers to address the digital divide in rural Peru.

Google Project Loon wants to bring Internet connectivity to everyone - even the billions of people who are still not connected to the Internet.

Bonus: Pakistani Government Official Forgot to Turn Off Cat Filter During Facebook Live Press Conference

Provincial Information Minister Yousuf Shaukat Zai, from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in north-west Pakistan, and member of the ruling party PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) in Pakistan was talking to the local journalist at a Facebook Live press conference.

The event turned a bit awkward when cats ears and whiskers appeared on the minister’s face during the live video. His colleague also had a similar cat’s appearance.

And of course the video – since deleted – immediately went viral on social media.

What were your favorites?

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BL Ochman | December 23, 2019 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Categories: Internet strategy

NoFollow links: Google’s rule for paid placements

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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

It happens every day. I get emails from companies willing to pay for guest posts on my blog. They want DoFollow links and they don’t want to be identified as sponsored posts. “NoFollow link or no post. Google’s rules, not mine” is my response.

Keep calm and tread carefully with DoFollow links

Google will flag your site as a spam site if you don’t use NoFollow links in paid posts. You will not be happy when that happens!

I learned that one the hard way. I had be reviewed by Google to prove that all links on my sponsored posts and ads are now NoFollow. Until then, my site was being qualified as spam.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rather muddled rules about paid product placements, but they demand that paid placements be identified.

Google’s rules

Google goes farther, demanding no DoFollow that links in paid placements. Here’s their explanation. I’ll translate it into plain English :)

A NoFollow link is created with an HTML tag that basically tells search engines to ignore the page. The links is to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam.

Google originally developed NoFollow links in 2005 to reduce comment spam in blog posts. They rolled the tags into their algorithms, and so did other search engines.

Users can click on a link tagged NoFollow like any other link. However, those clicks will do nothing to help the search ranking of the link.

The tag you need to include looks like this:

<a href=”http://www.website.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a>

DoFollow links are links that Google notes. The more incoming links a page gets, the better the boost in its page rank in search results.

Google webmaster guidelines offers this tip for effective SEO: “A useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”

Tread carefully with paid placements. Learn the facts before you accept payment.

BL Ochman | December 19, 2019 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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