Archive | February 2013

Embarassing Online Marketing Questions

Forbes answers the 8 Online Marketing Questions You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask, in this super great article.

While the Internet (and marketing for it) has been a hot topic for several years now, there are still some companies and executives that don’t know how to blog or what PPC means. So for those of you may feel this way, here’s a little recap for you.

How to Blog? 
Be consistent – don’t start a blog, write for a few weeks, then once a month… maybe. NO! If you’re going to do it – Commit.

It’s not hard. Create a strategy. What topics and trends will you cover? What will your audience want to know? What kinds of video and photos can you add? Stick to a plan and make it a part of your weekly routine. Keep it interesting with educational articles, research, new ideas, recent news. Once you’re established consider guest blogging or having others as your guest.

SEO versus PPC
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting Web pages to rank high on search engines through links from other websites, quality content on those pages, and other factors that cost workers’ time, not money. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads show up above and to the side of organic search results. As their name implies, these ads are placed atop search engine results based on how much companies are willing to pay to put them there, and they pay the search engine each time someone clicks their links.

Is Youtube useful for marketing?
When it comes to content, video is still king. Youtube offers a large, diverse audience. The best videos are under 3 minutes (shorter the better), relevant and engaging enough to keep viewers to the end.

Youtube offers analytics to help make your videos more successful and channels if you plan to do a long term campaign. All your videos should have a call to action and a link back to a relevant landing page on your site where people can learn more about your products or services.

Why should I buy links?
I don’t know. Paid links are generally a waste of money, so don’t!

How do I get links?
Produce great content people will want to read and share. When you link to your blog posts, videos, photos and you link to their content, you start creating webs of links. There are many ways to get links from relevant sites in legitimate ways without resorting to purchasing them.

How do I get listed on Google, Bing and other search engines?
Truthfully you don’t. Once you have a website and create content – you’re there. Just be sure you take full advantage of your SEO, keywords, tags and titles when programming your site.

In fact, when you search for your business (which I recommend you do) and find it, claim your listing. Many of the sites have a “Is this you” type question and link so you can add your own information to make the listing better and link it directly to your website, email, etc.

How do I use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter?
You need to engage with people, ask questions, listen carefully to what they say, join discussions, and most of all, be real! As Twitter improves its ability to judge users by the quality of those who follow them, you don’t want to be caught with thousands of fake friends just to boost your image.

The Forbes article suggests:
On Twitter, it’s a good idea to use hashtags (#onlinemarketing, for example) to track conversations on a particular topic and invite others to join. On Facebook, you should post on relevant people’s and companies’ walls to open the door to communication. Build networks of relevant friends and offer useful content to them as well as some promotional materials sprinkled in. Remember, the key is not to go too far to one extreme or the other. Be moderate!

How do I measure online marketing success?
Google Analytics, Adobe, and many other tools help you track the keywords and links people use to find your site, how they interact with your content and tools, and which pages are the most effective at turning visitors into leads.

By tracking the number of visitors that request your newsletter, download, call or take action on whatever your request, you can test what works and what doesn’t to see how to engage visitors and inspire them to make a purchase.

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The Art of the Client PITCH

interview6Getting new clients is a challenge in any business so why should the advertising business by any different?

There are a number of factors to consider when chasing that new fish around town… or if that fish jumps in your net, be cautious, you may not be the only agency they’re talking to.

This Ad Age article by Ruth Berstein, highlighted key things to consider when beginning the dreaded PITCH…

ASK WHO and WHY
Dont be afraid to dig deeper and ask serious questions. Who else is being asked to pitch? What does the client find relevant about each agency’s work? Why did they choose you? These answers will give surprising insights about the potential client and most importantly, it will  help weed out the prospects not worth your time.

UNDERSTAND INTERNAL DYNAMICS
How is the client team defined and where do you fit into the picture? If business strategy is questionable, the client may have internal conflicts which you would rather steer clear of.

REMEMBER FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE LASTING ONES
A good level of comfort on both agency and client sides is key. Without the ability to communicate openly, there’s bound to be misunderstanding and unhappiness.

 

Making a new client pitch can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and solid marketing strategy you can make most any client yours.

CHEAT SHEET: How to size images for social media

This article on Entrepreneur.com has the best graphic I’ve ever seen for useful tips on sizing images for social media.

The article breaks down each social site (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Yourtube) into what size images they use in each part of the web page layout.

I downloaded this cheat sheet and you should too!

 

What you need to know about Online PR

I loved this recent article by Jasmine Sandler on PRNews “What PR Pros Need to Know about Online PR”

So what do we need to know about Online PR?

First, what is it:
Online PR is the culmination of traditional PR and viral online marketing. To do online PR right, meaning to do so to drive online brand lift, client/customer engagement and positive social sentiment, it must be managed by a team that is experienced in both PR and online marketing.

Thus the equation: Online Branding = PR Strategy/Tactics + Effective SEO + Optimized Social Media Marketing.

Second, our online PR audience consists of the media, influencers (bloggers) and the primary consumer audience.

We get to directly interact with these audiences… we listen to them, respond and make conversations. Thus, Multimedia is a MUST!  To keep your conversations effective (and timely so you can work on other projects), you should create a weekly content plan with details about types, frequency and destinations.

Your PR tool bag holds all the familiars: press releases, blog posts, webcasts, webinars, podcasts, photos, articles, interviews, videos, presentations and white papers. Using these tools effectively will help with qualified lead generation, eNewsletter registration, new blog/social media followers, sharing and downloading content. All key pieces in building relationships and brand perceptions.

From the Jasmine: Social is a double-edged sword; and can drive negative mentions or bad press, so to speak. Any PR pro using the web to market will need to become aware of any and all mentions of their clients brand so as to provide online reputation management. Social tools that any PR pro needs to have engaged at all times include www.socialmention.com and www.google.com/alerts.

Finally, SEO. Create powerful and effective keywords/titles/tags on your site, use backlinks to drive up your brand impressions and engagement. Find directories, sites, forums and networks that are on par with your topics and themes in your online PR strategy.

There is no Golden Key for anyone to have a successful online PR strategy (or I’d be writing this from my new beach home). Find the tools that engage you best with your audience and provide meaningful content.

Toys & their Apps… Are kids ready?

501576_barbie The Wall Street Journal recently published an interesting article on how App technology is changing toys for children. In the article by Ann Zimmrman and John Kell they look at Hasbro and Mattel as examples of toy companies trying to make games for tablets and other Apps meant to enhance a child’s experience with their toy and the company brand.

In the article:
More than 90% of the so-called app toys that were trotted out last year sold poorly, estimates Jim Silver, editor in chief of timetoplaymag.com, a consumer and trade website.

However toy makers are continuing the push towards more technology based applications. Mattel for example is releasing a Barbie vanity and iPad app that allows girls to try out hairstyles.

While overall toy sales including electronics have stayed steady, traditional toys like board games and dolls have lost almost 30% market share since 1998 (according to research firm Euromonitor International). So it makes business sense to develop new toys and entertainment with a digital element.

As toy makers  continue to adapt to a growing population focused on technology and using it at every turn, the real question is becoming: Is it good or safe for young children to be encouraged to use less face-to-face social interaction and physical play? The experts are still out on whether technology is helping or harming cognitive and social development, but consider this…

The amount of time children spend consuming entertainment media via myriad screens has increased by almost 1 ½ hours a day since 2005—to about 7 ½ hours a day, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report.

Do you think toy makers will be successful at developing apps and digital entertainment for kids?

 

Facebook Campaign Success for Doritos/Frito-Lay

doritos-crash-super-bowl-hed-2013

According to a recent AdWeek article, the Frito-Lay brand—which had anchored its “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign on a microsite in years past—drew nearly 100 million views for the five finalist videos in the user-generated contest on Facebook, breaking its record!

This is a major success for Doritos and Facebook as a medium to get your message out to key audiences with a huge return over several weeks.

From the article:
“Almost every single metric of the program exceeded what we achieved during the last six years,” Ram Krishnan, vp of marketing at Frito-Lay, told Adweek. Krishnan said Facebook’s social nature helped the videos go viral. “That’s the whole reason why we switched,” he said. “People like to talk about the videos, and that reaches their circle of friends.”

Facebook fans for Doritos also skyrocketed to over 4 million during the voting campaign.

As in previous years, “Crash the Super Bowl” invited consumers to create 30-second spots with the promise that two winning submissions would run during the Super Bowl. Five finalists were posted on Facebook in early January, and the two spots with the most views would make the big game. Of the two, the one that ranked highest on the USA Today Ad Meter would get the opportunity to work with ultra-successful Hollywood director Michael Bay.

The ad creators were eligible to win cash if their commercial ranked among the top three finishers on the Ad Meter. (Prizes offered: $1 million for first place, $600,000 for second place and $400,000 for third place.) “Fashionista Dad” finished fourth on the meter for Doritos, while the other spot, “Goat 4 Sale,” came in seventh. Almost 3,500 consumer videos were submitted for this year’s contest which let consumers vote on the top 5 ads.

WOW, to be one of the top 5 and possibly win cash for it?! Sounds like I have some script writing to do before next fall…

 

KUDOS – 72andSunny is Ad Age’s Agency of the year

Congrats to the bold move’s from 72andSunny this past year that helped get it recognized as the Ad Age Agency of the Year.

The agency grew several of its accounts including moving from a project agency to agency of record for Activision and Carl’s Jr/Hardees.

In the article, CEO John Boiler said:
“There comes a point with agencies where [marketers] recognize what it is you do best and want to work with you for that reason. For us, that’s people who need to make a bold move in the marketplace — like take on the biggest mobile phone company in the world, or be the smallest burger chain with the highest results.”

Most notably, the agency is credited with unveiling a bold campaign for Samsung which lead to a significant increase in market share from Apple’s iPhone 5 release. With “The Next Thing is Already Here” campaign, 72andSunny used Samsung to stand out, rather than being one of Apple’s sheep.

KUDOS! I can’t wait to see the exciting things to come this year.