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Monday, June 21, 2010

Quotes Of Note

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
 Albert Einstein

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Small Business & A Smart Marketing Model

This is a great example of how a small business can engage customers. Take a look and see if you can find a way to relate this to your own business!...Bet you can!

Chicago-based custom camera package sales and rental company Zacuto has put forth an interesting marketing model for its business: a slate of original web series programming focused on content creation which highlight the store’s products and resources. According to the “Content” page on the Zacuto website, “Not only do we provide excellent customer service for our customers, but we strive to be a information resource in general. Whether it be current topics of the day we discuss in our FilmFellas webisodes, or testing the newest cameras and providing real world results and experiences through many of our videos.”

Do You Have A Social Media Strategy?

A recent study by  R2integrated took a close look at the differences between the marketers who had a solid social media strategy in place versus those without one.
One major finding was that those who responded that their company had profited or increased revenues using social media were almost twice as likely to have a formal social media strategy.
R2integrated CEO Matt Goddard says, “The data compiled suggests that marketers clearly recognize the need for, and see the potential of, social media, but are still trying to develop models that increase real engagement which then leads to profitability.
The overall study took a close look at the differences between the marketers who had a solid social media strategy in place versus those without one.

Another interesting fact from the study was that the perception of social media differed depending on whether the marketer had a social media strategy in place.  Check out the chart below to see how the two different categories perceived social media overall.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Useful Research Tools Your Competitors Don’t Know About

Optimizing web content for the keywords and phrases that your prospects actually use to search is standard operating procedure for anyone wanting to draw search traffic.

Every SEO expert will start with this kind of research as the foundation. The problem is that competition of these phrases can be fierce and keeping up with changes and trends is tough.

Smart marketers are digging deeper and deeper into the emerging heap of real time search data and finding golden opportunities to grab trending topics, news, and unique ways to create and optimize blog posts, videos and web pages based on the conversations that are hot and happening right now.

Below are five relatively unknown tools that can give you insight and a competitive advantage when it comes to determining the best topics for your new content and how to adjust existing content to rise in the search engines.

1. Topsy – Think of Topsy as a people trend engine for Twitter. Topsy looks at the way people are connected and the conversations they are having with each other all over the web.

2. YouTube Keyword Tool – Most people are familiar with Google’s keyword research and related search tools, but did you know that YouTube (the second largest search engine) has the same tools? By visiting and using these tools you can find some great insights about video topics that are hot and ways to optimize your video content to take advantage of what people are searching for on YouTube.

3. Facebook Posts by Everyone – There aren’t many ways to track what’s going on inside of Facebook (unless you are a large advertiser) but you can use the search function to do searches and get some insight into who is talking about key phrases and how you might join those conversations. Make sure you click on the posts by everyone and not just your friends. You might also consider taking a look at the search tool Kurrently.

4. WordTracker Question Search – WordTracker is the paid keyword research tool of choice for most serious SEO folks, but they also have a number of great free tools. One of my favorites is the question search tool. A growing number of searches are questions posed by folks looking for something. This tool allows you to find search volume for questions related to your key phrases. When trying to determine blog post content, this is a killer place to look. If you can answer the questions people are asking most, you’ll score some big long tail search results.

5. Bing xRank – xRank is focused on capturing what’s hot right now. There are a number of trending monitoring tools, including Google Trends, but Bing’s is a sleeper and returns richer results in my opinion.

Finding ways to mine and monitor the real time conversations and using this data to inform your content is a powerful way to stay on top of what your market is looking for and one step ahead of your competition.

How Important Is Marketing On YouTube?

 Will Richmond/VideoNuze

Want a sense of just how far YouTube has evolved from its scruffy user-generated roots to a premier site for big brand launches? Then head over to now and you'll see huge rotating rich media campaigns running for VISA, with a tie-in for the new Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 3 (opening tomorrow) and for Xbox's new Kinect motion-sensing feature (the "Wii-killer" unveiled earlier this week at E3).

From a brand launch perspective, these are about as big as they get, with huge money and franchises at stake for all of the companies involved, not to mention the positive or negative career impact for the marketers driving the media strategies at these companies. The fact that both are advertising prominently on YouTube says volumes about the site's importance in the online advertising world and its evolution from its UGC start.

It wasn't that long ago when YouTube was derided an un-monetizable jumble of amateurish clips. It's also worth noting that, as best I can tell, neither the Kinect nor VISA/Toy Story 3 campaigns are running on Yahoo, AOL or MSN right now, the traditional online homes for big brand launches. Now imagine when YouTube is available on TVs via Google TV and you get a sense of just how important YouTube is going to be, and how strategic it has become for Google which is trying to expand beyond search ads.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quotes Of Note

On how Social Media has changed the world of marketing:

"It's Not Who You Know Anymore....It's Who Knows YOU!"

Rocky James/West Gate Media

2010 Promises Massive Digital Video Adoption — and Advertising Potential

Meghan Keane/Econsultancy

If there was any doubt among media buyers about putting money into online video advertising, 2010 should be the year to change that. Consumers are increasingly turning to the digital space to watch video. Moreover, the influx of professionally produced content is making the digital space more friendly to large advertisers.
As with most any medium, if the eyeballs are there, advertisers will follow. Now it's just up to the medium to deliver on the predictions coming in for the next year.
According to a new survey from eMarketer, video content is being consumed online at a rapidly growing clip. eMarketer found a quarter of Internet users were watching TV online in 2008. Almost 30% did so in 2009. And 77% of all internet users in the U.S. will watch videos online by 2014.
Hulu has played a huge part in expanding the audience for online video viewing. According to comScore, Hulu ranked second only to YouTube in overall streams viewed in April, with an audience of 38.7 million monthly unique visitors.
In the past year, the quantity of professionally produced "made-for-online" video has greatly expanded.  And because the content is improving, digital is no longer a place that advertisers are wary of. User-generated-content has long been a topic that scares brands. But even YouTube has greatly expanded its inventory of professionally produced content online. In addition, Netflx' streaming video option is getting users more comfortable watching feature content online.
Among people who already watch video regularly online, half are streaming TV shows according to eMarketer's numbers. In 2011, that number will jump to 56%.
And those numbers get much higher for younger viewers. A recent report from Retrevo found that 29% of all people under 25 get all or most of their TV online, compared with only 8% of the entire video-watching population. Meanwhile, Andersen Analytics' recent survey of 1000 college students found that 86% of 18- to-24-year-olds surveyed identified as online video watchers. But in the previous week, 69% of respondents had watched an entire TV episode or movie online. That's a significant number for advertisers to take note.
And the growth in full-length video watching is not limited to younger viewers. According to Ipsos, the number of people watching full-length movies online more than doubled between September 2008 and October 2009.
Advertisers are taking notice. Chris Allen, director of video innovation for Starcom USA, tells MediaPost:
"It seems to be an advantage to bring digital along with TV as we start to get into pricing discussions.
Of the 361 industry executives surveyed for MediaPost's "Video Marketplace Study, a majority of respondents who currently are not involved in online video campaigns plan to work on them in the next year.
With adoption of devices like the iPad on the rise, the case is increasingly being made for digital video advertising. Interaction rates (which measure the number of people who expand and engage with ads) ranged from .9% to 1.5% in the first month after the iPad release, up to 6 times the number for comparable expandable ads on desktop computers. The iPad is just one way that the digital video viewing experience is being streamlined and improved. And though currently high interaction rates may be due to the novelty of the platform, the improved experience for watching video and surfing online is prime for advertising. An idea that has not gone unnoticed among advertisers. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Top 5 Social Media Myths Debunked

Peter Wylie/Social Media Examiner/Three Ships Media

As with any new technology, social media has spawned its share of misconceptions and myths that keep people from interacting.
It’s time to debunk the big myths that are keeping business owners and marketers on the social media sidelines.

Myth #1: My Customers Aren’t on Social Media

Wow, if I had a dollar for every time I heard this one….  Seriously, this myth keeps more businesspeople from interacting with potential customers through social media than any of the others.
The fun part is all you need is a little data to convince people that their target customers are indeed on social networks.
For instance, 80% of female Internet users have become fans of a product or brand on a social network site and 72% said they learned about a new product through social media.  As the graph here shows, more than half of Facebook and Twitter users are over 35, not to mention LinkedIn.
Social networking is a true cultural phenomenon, and there is no demographic that isn’t represented substantially on one or more sites.
This chart shows demographic information for social media sites, demonstrating that they are accessed by a wide variety of age groups. (Courtesy of

Myth #2: I Can’t Measure the Impact of Social Media on My Business

The social media return on investment debate has been picked apart by so many intelligent and creative marketers, you would think it wouldn’t make this list.  But it continues to rank high on the list of objections about social media and I completely understand why.
Since the interaction mechanisms are different with social media than traditional marketing, judging purchase intent and likely customers from social media behavior is a new skill for many marketers.
It doesn’t have to be overly complicated though, and if you put in place some of these methodstrack the impact social media is having on your bottom line. to tie online behavior to offline actions, you can
Pay close attention also to the referrals from social media sites on your web pages and these people’s behavior compared to users who get to your site through other means.

Myth #3: I Don’t Have Time to Manage Social Media

Learning how to interact on social networks is very easy, because it simply involves talking with people and having candid conversations about interesting topics.  Though you do need to spend some time interacting with people and posting useful, engaging content, the returns on your time should be enough to make social media interaction worthwhile.
After some basic exposure, you’ll see how similar social media interaction is to offline conversations, and it should come naturally.
Some helpful tools can make interaction a breeze, including HootSuite or TweetDeck for Twitter interaction, and to post updates to multiple profiles from a single interface. client for managing multiple social media profiles from one location.

Myth #4: If I Engage on Social Media Sites, I’ll Get Loads of Negative Comments

Nobody likes to hear negative feedback about their work, product or service.  Many businesspeople fear that their social media profiles will be overrun by people posting complaints and competitors “flaming” their brand.  But the beauty of social media interaction is that transparency and responsiveness rule the day.
If a customer chooses to voice a complaint publicly, you have the chance to demonstrate your customer service ability to a wider audience.  If the person is unreasonable and continues to post negative information, people observing the dialogue are more likely to admire your efforts to right the situation, rather take to heart the angry customer’s complaints.
Plus, sometimes your customer base does the heavy lifting for you, like this gem from the American Airlines Facebook page.

Myth #5: Social Media Is Hard Work

Well, this one isn’t a myth, but it’s worth addressing while we’re at it.  Sure, successfully growing and interacting with a community on social networks require dedication and reasonable, sustained commitment.
If that sounds like hard work to you, well, it is, but the rewards justify the effort. If you’re allergic to hard work, then you probably shouldn’t be in business anyway.
Take some pride and joy in the interactions you have with your community and soon, what may have felt like another item on your to-do list will actually be one of the best parts of your day. And when you start demonstrably affecting sales and capturing purchase intent with social media interaction, then the hard work will be worth it.
I hope these myths won’t hold you back from engaging in social media interaction any longer.  There are customers out there waiting to talk to you and all you have to do is join the conversation.
Which other social media myths do you think need to be “debunked”?  Have you fallen victim to any of these? Do you have anything to add when addressing these myths? Leave your comments

Are Standardized Formats Killing Display Advertising's Chances Online?

Post by Econsultancy/London

At Internet Week in New York, the current state of display advertising is a popular topic. A common refrain is that display advertising has yet to reach its potential. But at IAB Innovation Days, Robert Bowman took at shot at an initiative that his host has played a large part in achieving: ad standardization.
According to's CEO, standardization is a big reason display advertising is flailing.
Bowman didn't pull any punches during his keynote on the future of digital and where Major League Baseball is looking to grow. As he put it:
"The notion that on a website the ad size has to be standardized is absurd."
Meanwhile, The Interactive Advertising Bureau — the event host — has played a big role in advocating for standardization online. The trade organization has fought hard to implement standards online, in video and in mobile. For instance, the IAB is currently working on a standard for tablet advertising. But Bowman argues that standardization hasn't done what it set out to. He says:
"Interactive media is a fraction of where it should be."
IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg pointed out that it is actually the IAB's members who decide on their standardized ad formats. But Bowman wasn't buying it:
"Who are your members? Nice Try."
Rothenberg noted that he did not see the need for standardization in the early days of the IAB. He asked the IAB's founding chairman Rich Lefurgy what purpose his trade association would serve. The answer he got is exactly Bowman's current problem with internet advertising:
"We need standards."
Rothenberg wasn't convinced at the time. He said:
"If TV folks could get away from the 30 second spot, I'm sure they would."
But Lefurgy won him over with the age old argument of scale. For brands that want to purchase ads across different properties in a large buy, standardization makes that easier. Bowman disagrees:
"[People] say that. Here's the problem. We didn't scale."
He argues that digital advertising is one third of the way to where it should be. has spent a decade selling display ads, and they still have a long way to go.
"I think we're living proof it didn't scale," says Bowman.
He thinks that online, customized ad purchases will make a big the difference.
"If we were able to use different ad sizes, I think we will scale. And I think TV is going to have to to compete. Fast forward 10 years, TV's going to get a lot more innovation with ad formats."
Bowman believes that moving and changing ads to fit different contexts will find smaller publishers much more success online. The problem for brands like MLB is that they have been letting the leaders in online advertising dictate the terms of how their ads are sold.
"It's our job as content publishers to go to agencies and say, this really works," he says. "Every advertiser might want a slightly different experience."
According to Bowman, standardized ad formats benefit large portal sites and publications that are trusted brands.
He argues that the MLB is in a slightly different place.
"It's our job as content publishers to go to agencies and say, this really works."
Bowman has a challenge for brands and marketers going forward:
"Let's let creativity dictate what works."
Bowman argues that each brand online has to figure out the right way to provide advertising to its users.
" is a different brand than MLB. We have to be a different brand. Some days we get it right, somedays we get it wrong, some days the damn things are rained out."

Quotes Of Note

"It's not creative unless it sells"
David Ogilvy