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6 minutes | Jul 27, 2018
SEO White, Gray or Black?
4 minutes | Jul 20, 2018
The biggest Marketing trend for today's environment
2 minutes | Jul 13, 2018
The power of the testimonial
3 minutes | Jul 6, 2018
Spending on Video ads is increasing
3 minutes | Jun 8, 2018
Micro-engagement for SEO
You have heard me speak about capturing the Micro-moments before and today within the Off page SEO world there is another Micro term being used alot. Micro-Engagement! With the attention span of today's technology world you have less and less time to capture someone’s attention. Here are some things to think about when writing content. Use numbered or bulleted lists - People love them and the mind loves them. The mind makes it seem shorter and will engage more in the list. Make sure you use engaging photos - People today are very visual. The more engaging the photo the better. Funny Gifs - Using a funny gif lightens the mood of the read so utilize a gif maker to create something interesting. Interesting videos - 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online according to an article on Wordstream. Infographics - Use infographics for any articles you are writing. If you don’t have the expertise to do so then consider hiring a freelancer or agency to create on for you. Quizzes and surveys - People love to answer questions. It is a way of showing there knowledge and consideration to your need. Engagement goes up when you ask a question! Share stories - People love to read case studies and stories. They want to connect with what you are doing and by telling a story it makes there mind go to that place. Now how do you do all of this. There are many sites out there that can help you with this. You can purchase pictures, videos, infographics and stories. Here is the most important thing though. DO NOT go into Google and type in what you are looking for and then just save what you see. Copyright laws will protect the company that designed it or took the picture. You have no legal right unless you get permission to use it by purchasing it or giving credit to the author. Study up on the laws and make sure you do not get yourself in trouble. Thank you for listening to me today. If you would like a no charge marketing evaluation for your business then please comment on this post, call 2624439092 or email me at the email address below. We hope you have a great day!
3 minutes | Jun 4, 2018
Social Media Marketing for Restaurants
Restaurants have their own set of rules when it comes to Social media. There are many things that come into play when it comes to Social media Marketing. We always get asked by Restaurant owners about 5 specific questions so today I want to answer those. First of all, we always get asked What social media should I be using? Well here is the answer. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google + is what we suggest. If you are looking for businesses or do catering then we would also suggest LinkedIn. What about Yelp or other listing sites? Yes, you need to be on Yelp and you need to be listed on all Digital sites that make sense for your business. The keywords to this are sites that make sense. For instance, you do not need to list on Doctors.com or another specific site like that. Some of the most important ones other than the ones we talked about in social are allmenus.com, local.com, Foursquare, TripAdvisor and Superpages to name just a few. Are pictures important? You have to strike an emotional chord with anything you post. We as humans make 10,000 decisions a day according to poles. 90% of those are made subconsciously. Restaurants need to be very picture-centric for postings and also they need to educate people as to the why. When someone looks at your picture you want them to get hungry and want to come to eat what you have. What else needs to be posted? Events, specials, menu, hours really anything about your restaurant that you can think of. Community involvement is a big one for millennials to see. Run contests and have some fun! Last but not least many Restaurants ask about Rewards? One of my most memorable ones was at a German Restaurant and if you drink some many Pints of lager over a 6 month period then you get your very own beer stein. Well since it was the first time I had ever been there I did not go for the win however my friend who lives down the street was very excited to announce all over his social media that he received his stein. A reward can be simple like a free appetizer for your birthday or buy 9 dinners and get one free. It doesn’t really matter what it is as it is a psychological breakthrough for the person. They feel they are being rewarded for being a valued customer and they are. Thank you for listening to me today. If you would like a no charge marketing evaluation for your Restaurant then please comment on this post, call 2624439092 or email me at the email address below. We hope you have a great day!
6 minutes | May 30, 2018
What is Mobile First indexing?
7 minutes | May 29, 2018
6 minutes | May 25, 2018
5 stages of Content Marketing
8 minutes | May 24, 2018
Why is color important?
7 minutes | May 23, 2018
Do you have analytics? You should!
7 minutes | May 22, 2018
Website Redesign does not mean start from scratch
As marketers, we run across people all the time that need a website redesign. Either it is not mobile, it isn’t optimized or it just looks old. Every time we talk about redesigning the website, they have a large fear instantly. “What will happen to what I have?” “What will happen with the SEO I have already done?” “How do I do it without losing my competitive edge?” Well, we are here to tell you that those are fears you don’t need to have. If done right, all of these fears are not needed. So how do you do it right? Keep the old site live—When redesigning the site you do not immediately take down the old site. You will need it for content that needs to be rewritten, for pictures that you may still want and for traffic to your location during the rebuild. Run reports prior to website redesign—You need to know where you are coming from to know where you are going. Run an analytics report. Run listing reports. Run a website grader report. Hold on to that information so when you launch your new, modern site you know how far you have come and where you need to go. Run a Screaming Frog report—Recently, while doing research for this blog, we ran across a program called Screaming Frog. What a difference it is making for us. We know exactly what is happening on every page of our site, including link data. We highly recommend you run one on your site prior to redesigning. 301 redirects—You must redirect all of your old URLs to new ones. This should be the first thing you do with a new site. When the new site is live you will want to go through your list of old URLs from your crawl report. This way you know that everything 301 redirects properly. Content is king—When you have content that performs well currently, you will want to minimize changes. You will have a lot of opportunity in the future to do tweaks to the site so for now, minimize the number of changes to content and work on tweaks after your site is indexed and ranking. Backlinks—Make sure you look at sites in your analytics report that currently send traffic to your site. Once you have the list, please reach out to webmasters and ask them to update their backlinks as quickly as possible. Internal links—Your crawl date should help you ensure that your internal links are properly set up. If you have pages that have had thousands of internal links, you need to make sure they are correct or it will have major impacts on your indexing and ranking. Sitemap—Make sure you update your sitemap across the web. Sitemaps are still and will most likely always be an important factor for ranking. By not having the proper sitemap indexing, the web will not see changes when crawling your site and therefore your rankings will be affected. Rankings—Do not expect to be ranked higher instantaneously. Fluctuations will be commonplace, however, make sure you have a comparable baseline. Keep in mind that, especially with bigger sites, it may take some time for pages to be recrawled. If you do discover issues, fix, adjust and reindex ASAP. Organic—There is no way to know at all times what is tracking and when, so make sure you are consistently looking at the analytics to compare the keywords for organic traffic. Adjust as needed and reindex. Google Search Console—Google Search Console is a free tool that gives you great information. Everything from tracking your 301s and 404s to search analytics all in one place. If you are having issues then Google Search Console will provide you with great insight into your page you can create actionable data from. If you pay attention and you follow the items above, you will make your relaunch as successful and more successful than your site before the redesign. However, keep using these tools. The tools and information are not just for a redesign. These tools and steps will also give you great information for you to act on and fix. Remember, no matter how much you work on all of this, it won’t mean anything if you have an unattractive, bulky and non-friendly page. So in conjunction with these steps, you need to make sure you follow the other rules like the 3 click rule, proper branding rules, and make your site look like the way you want to represent your business. Your site is a direct reflection of you and your company, so if it is unattractive, it shows your business as unattractive to the user. If it is hard to navigate, it shows your company as hard to navigate. If your branding is not correct, it shows as indecisive and confusing. It all starts with you and what you want people to know about you! Happy redesign! https://www.paragonmarketinggroup.com
4 minutes | May 20, 2018
8 Restaurant Marketing tactics
Top 8 tactics for Restaurant Marketing Restaurant marketing is not the same as marketing a non-restaurant business. Restaurants work off of reputation, quality and environment. When we market a restaurant we take these things to heart. Here are our top 8 tips we suggest to make a restaurant program successful. 1. Photography: Hire a professional to take pictures of your menu items. People are visual and visit restaurants because food is appealing. Great visuals equals great food to customers. 2. Digital Listings: Digital listings are how search engines find your restaurant. The most important sites are Google, Apple and Yelp for a restaurant. There are 72 that should be updated on a regular basis. The last thing a restaurant wants is for customers to be unable to find your restaurant online, wrong address, invalid operating hours or incorrect items no longer available. 3. Geo-target ads: Sites like Google Adwords, Facebook or Twitter use 4 different tactics if applicable. Text ads, Display ads, Video ads and Retargeting ads. 4. Online Ordering: Use an online ordering system like Zuppler (no need to offer delivery to do this). Allows for ease of use 1 page site enabling local business to order food for meetings or lunch. These systems will also take payments and integrate with POS systems, send you a text, email or send the order directly to a printer installed in your kitchen. 5. Social media: Mobile is the way of life and social media is imperative to your success in marketing. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be the most important three. These sites can display the environment that they will dine in. Social media creates a relationship with the potential patron prior to them visiting the restaurant. You can feature an employee, feature a patron or show pictures of events happening at your location. 6. Reviews: Reviews are the lifeblood of a restaurant. However if you don’t ask for a positive review it most likely will not happen. Negative reviews are 10 times more likely to be made than positive ones. You must ask, make it simple and educate where to go. Train your staff to say “If you believe you had a good experience today please go to Google or Facebook and tell us about your experience.” Print this information directly on your receipt and place placards around the restaurant asking for reviews. The more you get the better search engines find you. 7. Community: Be a part of your community. Patrons love restaurants supporting their community. This includes working with local non-profits and sourcing from local growers. Most people believe in helping their community not for prestige or publicity, but it is the right thing to do. Restaurants can do the right thing and gain publicity. 8. Rewards: Contests to promote traffic, things like Fishbowl business card is a brilliant way to get email addresses. Offering a free lunch once per month you now have the ability to send them special offers or updates to events. You can invite to your Facebook Twitter or Instagram. It is a WIN/WIN situation for everyone. Following these steps, you will have a great leg up against your competition. You will obtain new patrons and retain them. Consistency is key with these, so stay on top of it or better yet hire somebody like us to do it for you! https://www.paragonmarketinggroup.com
5 minutes | May 19, 2018
5 things to do as a B2B Marketer
What are the top 5 things to do as a B2B Marketer? Whether you have a small, medium, or large business the essentials are the same. If you are in the B2B marketplace there are essential marketing trends that you must follow. Marketing for B2B is unique because you are not trying to get consumers, however, a lot of the same principles apply. First, you have to have a story and you have to tell it properly. Your story should involve things like when you opened, who your owners are, and the history of the company. However, most people do not think of the most important things. You have to show relevant content and education. Relevant content talks more about why you created the product, why employees like being there, and what sets you apart from your competitors in that space. Education includes what certifications you have regarding the work that you do, what classes or degrees you have, and what makes you an expert in the field that you are promoting! You need to be easily found. In the digital world that we live in, you have to have your correct information showing in the digital world. There are some basics that you have to do. Listings have to be keyworded and the proper information relayed to the top site across the internet. This applies to sites like Google, Apple, and Yahoo. It is essential that you show the same accuracy and same information across the web. Your SEO has to be top of mind. There are two different kinds of SEO however. There is on page SEO and off page SEO. On-page, SEO includes things like: Metatags Title tags Heading tags Submitted sitemap Off-page SEO includes things like: Facebook Twitter Instagram (If needed) LinkedIn Blogs Podcasts Paid advertising is a very useful tool for B2B because you can specify who you are trying to advertise to. You can advertise to a purchaser of your product specifically. There are many forms of paid advertising but here are the top 5 to use: LinkedIn Facebook Google Adwords Bing Ads Instagram Reputation Management is a very important part of your world. There are literally hundreds of sites used to review a company. You must be able to see the reviews and have the ability to respond to them in a timely manner. You can do this by not only getting your listings updated and tracking them there, but you can also set up a Google Alert. This way, anytime somebody mentions the company name on the web you get an email and you can go to that site to respond. Responding quickly and correctly shows everything about you and your customer service. The last thing you want to do is argue with the person that left the review. The second worst thing is responding with a blanket response that looks like every other response you have put out there. Be sure to individualize your responses. Create a one on one online conversation with every person you can. They contacted you so they obviously want to know more. People do business with people they like so make sure you are pleasant, to the point, and direct. People do not have time to spend hours trying to find an answer. That is why they messaged you, so give them what they want. The important part of this step is to also educate them. The world has changed in many ways for marketing in a B2B business. If you follow these things, however, statistics show that your success is imminent. The old days of networking to get your business do not work the same. Millennials do not go to networking meetings like most of us have or do today. They would rather attend a seminar or online virtual meeting than go to a one on one meeting. It is important for the future of all of us B2B businesses that we adapt to them and still holds true to what got us where we are today. https://www.paragonmarketinggroup.com
4 minutes | May 18, 2018
6 steps to Retail Marketing
Marketing in the retail world can be a lot of fun. It also can be very time consuming and monotonous. However, without marketing in the retail world, you will not maintain or grow. Retail has an attrition rate and it doesn’t matter how long you have been in business or how great of a reputation you have, there still has to be marketing. You have to replace the people you lose yearly or you might as well shut your doors right now. How do you do this, is the question and how do you do it well? It all starts with building a brand. You have to have a brand recognition or you will not grow. When people think of the typical products you sell, you want your name to come to mind first. In marketing, there is a rule called the rule of seven. Now, some marketers will say it is the rule of 10 or a rule of 5, regardless, it is still important that you follow it. A person must see your brand 7 times before they start thinking about you for a certain product. How those 7 times is achieved can be hard, however, the rest of this blog explains a few tricks. How you are found is important and that is where listings come into the equation. There are literally hundreds of sites that your business should be listed on depending on exactly what your product is. Personally, I believe that if you are listed properly on the top sites then the rest will follow over time. What people do not realize is that everything HAS to be exactly the same across all of your online listings, right down to the dot in the same place. Social media marketing is going to give you the most bang for your buck. Depending on your demographic you will utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Anyone of these 4 is going to be important, however, the two most important are going to be Facebook and Twitter. The most important thing with these platforms is to not post just 1 time per week about your store and expect people to flock in. You have to post regularly and you have to not only educate the consumer about you but also about your products. You have to create a personalized experience. Just as we talked about social being important well, so is mobile marketing. It is said that 58% of people will look on cell phones before they look for your store on a desktop or laptop. With the world of artificial intelligence growing it is very important to learn new ways to use personalized mobile marketing in order to attract new clients. Reward programs are becoming very popular. Create an awards program through email marketing and offer a free product for being a member of your newsletter program. Once you start getting emails from consumers, do not miss a single month of sending newsletters out. I would suggest that you send out an email at a minimum of bi-weekly. One can be a newsletter talking about anything new that you have done and the other can be an offer of the month for members of the group. People will come in and spend more if they know you are supporting the community. Your local chamber of commerce or business group will have a list of events that are community-based in order to help you find a great charity or event to support. Once you find one, offer your support or sponsorship then market about your contribution. Millennials today want to know that you support a charity or local event. They will remember that and come back to you because of it. Having a retail establishment is a very exciting and fun thing. In today's world, you have a great opportunity to provide a great location for people to get what you need. The more people that know who you are, the better. With the digital world, you have a great opportunity to tell the world about you! Have fun with it but remember to be respectful and responsible. You will be successful with these suggestions. https://www.paragonmarketinggroup.com
2 minutes | May 17, 2018
Quarterly Budget check
How is your budget doing? How about your leads? It is very important that you keep up with your budget on a regular basis and track what your Cost per lead or cost per sale is. Ultimately you should be keeping this up on a regular basis however at a minimum you should do this quarterly. The first step is to determine how much you have spent on marketing so far. Hopefully, you have been tracking this independently if not I am sure your accounting department has. Hopefully, either you or they are keeping track of where the money is going. Not only that it is going to marketing but where in marketing it is going. The next thing to determine is how many total sales you have for the quarter. Again you should be getting this information on a regular basis from your sales team so this should be something you know but if you do not then find out from your sales manager. This should be broken down by new sales and existing sales. This should also be broken down by the number of sales and the number of leads. In short, how many appointments the sales reps ran and how many appointments the sales reps closed. Now here comes the math: Marketing spend/amount of leads = Cost per lead Marketing spend/amount of sales = Cost per sale I suggest you go further as well. Hopefully, you have been asking where leads are coming from, television ads, radio ads, web, and social are just some of the categories. You should be able to get this same information from your sales if, in fact, you did get it. Here comes the math again: Marketing spend for category/leads from category = Cost per lead for category Marketing spend for category/sales from category = Cast per sale for category When you set up your budget I showed you how to do this same thing for your budget. How are your actuals working towards these numbers? What category is trending higher than budgeted? What category is trending lower than budgeted? What should you be focusing on for the next quarter to fix the differences? This is how you know that you are on track with what you budgeted and expected and this is how you stay on top of your budget make it adaptable. https://paragonmarketinggroup.com/
3 minutes | May 17, 2018
Main Street America still needs digital marketing. We hear time after time that “my advertising is my storefront”, “I don’t do advertising because I am on Main Street, therefore I do not need to”, “Whoever heard of window shopping without walking?”. That is a mistake. Being a local downtown shop does not exempt you from some very important marketing avenues of the world. Especially the digital world! 31% of people use a digital map to find a local establishment. 54% use a search engine and an astounding 58% visit the website before they go to the store. Millennials are increasing these numbers daily. What does this mean? There are some basic things you still must do as a local downtown retail store. You must have a website. Your website should show the basics like a homepage, about us section, E-commerce if it makes sense, and a contact us page. Concentrate on how you help in the community and the people that live in it. Make sure you mention associations you are in or local charities that you support. Make sure your online listings are accurate and complete. Over 58% of people will look online before they go to a store. If they look for you and your information is not accurate then they either get lost trying to find you or you may be closed even though digitally it says you are open. You will lose business because of that. Have professional photos taken of the outside and inside of your location. This gives a consumer something to identify with when they seek your store. Have a social media plan. You must have at a minimum a Facebook, Twitter and an Instagram page. If you are trying to also attract B2B clients than you should have a LinkedIn business page as well. Where most people make a mistake on social media is that they only talk about themselves. Yes, you want to put new products on it and show store features, maybe even highlight the owners, but you also want to share local events, local stories, and even school announcements. The more the better. Videos are imperative to your success. People want to connect with you right away to know if they want to buy from you. They want a trusting relationship before they even walk in the door. They want to know who they are dealing with! We know that these are all things that small business owners do not have time for and we understand the issues. However, if you want to increase your store profit and your walk-in traffic, it is highly suggested that you follow these steps. https://www.paragonmarketinggroup.com
5 minutes | May 17, 2018
Campground Marketing, show them the fun! I love staying at campgrounds and I love staying in nature. The way my brain works, I am always thinking of new ways or better ways to create a wheel. So naturally, I think of marketing campgrounds quite often and it was a natural fit to create campground marketing as a vertical for our agency. There are some very important things that you must do to properly market a campground. A picture is worth a thousand smiles. Take pictures of everything throughout your campground. Every site, every event, and every location no matter how inconsequential you might think it is. Remember you are not the one that is staying there so it does not matter if you don’t think it is important. Somebody will think it is important. Don’t forget to take pictures of surrounding attractions as well. If people want to get away from the campground they want to see what else they can do and they are going to appreciate your recommendation. The description is everything. You want to imagine that you are a person looking at the campground for the first time. You want to bring their mind to the campground without even being there. Using big descriptive words will give them that feeling. Be FOUND! There are hundreds of online directories throughout the web. You may not think it is important to be listed everywhere but if you are not, then how are you being found? You have to be listed on at least the top listing sites like Google and Facebook. There may even be listing sites specific to campgrounds like Gocamping America and WACO in Wisconsin. The news they can use! You may or may not have an online reservation system but whether you do or don’t, I would highly recommend you get email addresses for everyone that stays. Start sending them monthly newsletters and monthly offers for being a preferred member of the campground. Offer them referral rewards for telling their friends about the experience. Stay in front of them as often as possible and keep your name relevant in the mind of the camper. Be social! Facebook is a must for campgrounds, however, you should also have Twitter and Instagram at a minimum. If you cater to corporate retreats then consider LinkedIn. Post regularly but not just about the campground. Post things like campground recipes and tips to make the camping trip successful. Maybe even consider writing a blog or better yet have a writing contest for your guests. Make it fun for your guests and enjoy reading what people think of you! Use video to bring them to your campground without actually being there. People like to feel what they are getting and by creating a good video with either the right wording or the right music you can take the mind to a place of peace and serenity which is what people are looking for when camping. It goes without saying that you need to be optimized for Google and Bing. Search Engine Optimization is not only important but critical in order for people to find you. The keywords you use should be optimized for the location where people are coming from and you should be using Google Adwords to promote those areas. With a proper CRM or registration tool, you will know where most of your patrons are coming from to visit. Last but certainly not least are reviews. Ask for reviews! Have a flier with your preferred review sites at your check in and check out counters. Have them posted throughout the campground. After check out, send them an email thanking them for their stay and ask again. The more reviews the better! Camping is a lot of fun and I personally know that full well. I always look at these kinds of things online when I am booking a weekend for my family. We enjoy being together and doing things together. We like hiking and just hanging out but we also love going to a place that treats us right every time and we frequent that property regularly. https://www.paragonmarketinggroup.com
3 minutes | May 17, 2018
Marketing a new product
So you want to start something new. You want to add a service you know well and you created a new product that you are excited about. Now what? If you want to start off on the right track then here are some suggestions to follow: Write a press release: The press release should include things like what the product is, a tagline, and why you created it. However, the key is to do this prior to finishing the product. The purpose of this is not to tell the world but to get the complete buy-in from your team. They need to know the who, what, where, why, and how, so that they can be behind the project from the start. Without the buy-in, your launch will fail because the buzz needed cannot be created. Show it to your current clients: You have great clients and you trust them with your company in its current form. Why wouldn’t you trust their opinion with the future? Ask them to evaluate the product or service. Ask them to look at your go-to-market work and ask for their opinion. Maybe do it anonymously, through a survey so they don’t feel there will be ramifications if they don’t like what you are offering. In a retail environment, you could bring in the product and have people look at it and fill out a survey regarding their initial thoughts. Take these answers to heart and go back to the drawing board as much as needed. Create your marketing plan: A good marketing plan is essential for everything. What makes a good marketing plan? A good combination of digital, social, content and traditional sources. You are in it for the long haul so when you are tracking do not give up if the numbers don’t meet your expectation. Remember, this is a new product so what you may have previously done to be successful might not work for this product or service. Your marketing plan should involve weeks and not days. Set goals: One of the biggest issues I have seen is that people set goals and then set them way too low. They expect, because of the fact that it is new, that they won’t get the same traction as current products. If you go into launching a new product with this type of attitude then don’t bother launching it. This way of thinking is the exact opposite of what should be thought. This is new, you have nothing to compare it to. Set your goals high. Celebrate: Celebrate your achievements, your failures, and your team. You are doing something that you have always wanted to do. You are helping people with what you have created. There is a need for what you are doing or else you wouldn’t do it. These steps are basic but sometimes you have to go back to the basics to get things done. As you can see, is mostly mental roadblocks that people run into, but if you follow some of these basic steps you will be successful and there's nothing that can stop you from succeeding. https://www.paragonmarketinggroup.com
3 minutes | May 17, 2018
How important is reputation management? I can answer this question with one simple question. How important is your business to you? Reputation management is critical to any business and just as important, if not more important, than getting reviews to begin with. When I speak about reputation management I think of what happens after you get a review. Getting a review should be part of any marketing campaign. How you respond to the good and the bad is managing your reputation. Here are a few things to think about when you get a review. People want to know you heard them and that you are willing to listen. You should respond to all reviews promptly whether they are good or bad. Do not use a blanketed template to answer a review. If it is a good one then say thank you and if you remember who they then add a personal touch. If it is bad, the worst thing you can do is use a blanketed template. I once did a bad review and received an answer “We are sorry for your bad experience, please call our manager at 262…. And they will be happy to help you. We hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you.” I read it and the exact same answer was used at least 15 times to a bad review. My simple answer to the response was, NO! Do not argue with the person that gave the review. You must acknowledge that there was an issue and then give them a solution. You need to make the solution public. Only then will people see that you care about making changes and helping somebody with any issues they may have. In order for you to keep track of your reputation, you must know that you have one. Google gives you a great opportunity to find out what is happening in the digital world regarding reputation. You can set a Google Alert and ask it to send you an email every time your company name is mentioned online. With this capability, you will know what is happening and what is being said about your company. Do not take your reputation for granted. Many people do not keep track as time is limited. You can spend as much as you would like on marketing but if you have a bad reputation you are wasting your money and need to work on that first. Reputation is a tricky thing. It can make your company grow or cause your company to die. It is probably the most important thing that you have as a company. If you do it right, you will win the reputation game and you will gain clients just because you did it right. https://www.paragonmarketinggroup.com
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