Archive for May, 2010

Monster SEO: Interview with Matt Evans of Monster.com

Monday, May 31st, 2010


Spotlight on Search Interview with Matt Evans of Monster.com

monster SEOThere simply is no substitute for well rounded experience over a period of time to give a search marketer perspective and the skills to handle a variety of problems. Add to that “sink or swim” SEO training and you have a guy like Matt Evans, SEO Manager at Monster.com. In this interview, Matt is generous with sharing his experiences working agency side and in-house, insights toward code SEO, the new Google design, social media, advice for marketers that want to enter the Search Engine Marketing field and how SEO is a lot like Rugby.

You’ve worked both on the agency side and now as an in-house SEO Manager for Monster.com. Can you share a bit about that journey and what are some of the big differences between working on the client side vs. agency? What do you like most about working in Search?

Previous to Monster I was with a search agency for 6 years. In those 6 years I saw both the organization and the industry grow tremendously despite the bubble burst of the early 2000s. At a time when friends were jumping from job to job it was very easy to stick around because I believed in the services we provided and the future of the search marketing industry. I believed whole-heartedly (and still do) that search is the best way to build an audience, connect with customers, and drive business online. I think the best part of working in Search is the vibrancy of the industry, the smart people, and the value that we can bring to our organizations.

One of the biggest differences in client side versus agency is being very involved in the software development life cycle. On the agency side of things you typically provide recommendations to clients, they take them off to their Product people or Engineers and most work happens behind the curtain. Being an in-house SEO means being involved in a project from concept to release – and all the “fun” in between. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s tedious, but it’s all a very good learning experience. If I was ever to go back agency side it’s the type of experience which would give me a huge advantage in dealing with clients.

Another major difference between agency and in-house is the feeling of ownership you have over your site/s. Because you’re completely invested in one site, you feel so much more accomplished when SEO enhancements are released.

What in your past work and education experience best prepared you for your journey as a Search Engine Marketer? What advice do you have for budding SEMs to make themselves more valuable and empowered to motivate change?

My initial year or so at the agency was by far the best experience in terms of preparing me for the diverse journey as an SEM. In 2000-2001 SEM was still the wild, wild west. For some perspective, we were still submitting pages to Lycos and HotBot, doorway pages were a legitimate and successful tactic, and GoTo.com was the only paid search engine of note. The company was still small and resources were non-existent, so account managers did EVERYTHING for their clients – from keyword research, to copywriting, to directory submissions, to project management. You learned real quick that you needed to focus your energy on the tasks that were going to get you results fast. Getting results fast was even more important back then because your clients were less likely to understand the nature of search, the fluctuations, and how long it takes for content to be indexed and ranked. As a result, much of our time was spent educating the client, which forced me to learn on the fly.

I would urge budding SEMs to think less about tactics and think more about strategies. The tactics will flow from those strategies naturally and you’ll have a much easier time selling executives a strategy rather than trying to explain to them why 301 redirects, XML sitemaps, and verification meta tags are necessary. They don’t care! The strategy should take into account how search traffic will drive bottom line results, because that’s what they care about. It’s also essential for SEMs to understand the value of a search referral to their business. For instance, at Monster we measure the value of organic referrals by equating them to the cost savings driving the equivalent qualified traffic through paid search or online media buys.

Ultimately, SEMs should be trying to get away from the perception that we’re one trick ponies. Aim to create a perception in your organization that you’re a well-rounded business person rather than an niche expert in the “dark arts of SEO.” Understand the parts of the business that intersect with search – PR, offline marketing, usability, etc. Too many times SEO experts are pigeonholed and viewed as only a small part of the business when many time the impact they can have on a business is much greater than any other person in the organization. Just ask the businesses who have had their site banned from Google to understand how important SEMs are!

What tips do you have for reporting SEO performance within an organization? What KPIs do you pay attention to? What overall performance goals are most important? Any tips on reporting that agencies give their clients?

The key to reporting in an organization is to provide tiered reporting based on your audience. The reporting that me and my SEO team review is far more detailed than the dashboard that the SVPs see. Also, we provide more specific reporting for our ecommerce team, Content team, and Product Managers. It’s important to get feedback from all these groups too so that you’re providing data that is interesting and actionable and you’re not wasting your time reporting on useless data.

At Monster the KPIs we pay attention to around SEO are pretty typical: visits, UVs, page views per visit, time on site, referrals by engine, and referrals by keyword phrase. The SEO team is mainly measured on the amount of overall traffic we drive, however, in order to prove our traffic is valuable and targeted we also track the number of job searches, job views, applies, new accounts, and new resume uploads that result from SEO traffic.

Agencies need to focus less on month to month comparisons and look at year over year. Seasonality is usually a large factor in search trends, so comparing MoM trends provides little insight into actual performance. For Monster, January is our biggest month for search traffic due to New Year’s resolutions to find a new job. December tends to be one of our lowest months due to the holidays. Comparing December to January may look great in the chart, but to get a real understanding on SEO success you need to look at year over year most of the time.

How important is ongoing & proactive SEO vs triage? What do you think companies should be paying attention to on an ongoing basis to achieve, maintain and improve their SEO performance?

I need to balance between both triage and proactive strategic planning due to the speed at which the industry changes and the size of a company like Monster. Try as I might to be aware of all changes that happen to the site in a given release, it’s just not humanly possible to know everything. Also, since our site is so large it takes a while to figure out how search engine algorithm changes affect us. Much of my time is spent understanding how these changes might have affected our SEO performance. Monster is a global organization and has many, many priorities and a very competitive development roadmap. As a result I need to also be proactive and be thinking about what we need to launch 6-12 months down the line in order to hit our goals. It makes it busy, but very interesting.

Companies need to leverage the webmaster tools offered by Google, Yahoo, and Bing in order to maintain and improve their SEO performance. Beyond SEO, these tools give a company valuable information about how your site performs for users (which includes search engine spiders). Google especially has been adding a lot of great tools to their console to improve SEO performance and we’ve been trying to spread the word throughout our organization about the kinds of information that can be mined. As a result we have Product Managers in all the countries reaching out to the SEO team with problems they’ve found and it really creates a great sense of teamwork.

There’s some debate about the future interplay between code level SEO, structured data and sitemaps versus page content and social media. How do you see SEO evolving technically in the next 2-3 years?

Ultimately, because links are still so important to search engine algorithms I think that content and social media will continue to be king when it comes to SEO. Great content will always lead to more links and social is just the latest channel to distribute those links. However, I believe the number of technical levers search engines will provide to SEOs in order to improve and tweak how their site appears in search results will continue to grow. I think search engines need all the help they can get in crawling, indexing, and presenting the best results to searchers and giving more control to webmasters is one way to go about it. I predict we’ll see many more announcements from the engines supporting new technical innovations like we’ve seen in the past with canonical tags, XML sitemaps, rel=”nofollow”, and RDFa tags.

What are your thoughts on the new third column Google design? Do you see any SEO opportunities that weren’t there before? Are you planning on or doing anything differently? What are your top 3 signals of SEO influence?

As a power searcher I don’t find the third column design nearly as offensive as some users do. I see it as redundant navigation that’s aimed at luring the average searcher into exploring Google’s different engines before going back up to the search box and modifying their query, which they tend to do. I’ve found it useful when I’m trying to understand what type of content exist out there on a given topic.

I wouldn’t say there are new opportunities, but I think the opportunities that have always been there are magnified. If blended search results didn’t convince you that a universal search strategy is important, the new left hand navigation should.

There are new plans to change our strategy. We’re already on a path to improve our PR SEO and our Social Media presence to correspond with the emphasis the engines have put on real time search. We’ve built out a strong team in those areas and the SEO team regularly partners with them on initiatives.

What SEO (and/or PPC) tools would you recommend to an in-house marketer that wears a SEO hat among others? Do you have any SEO project management tools that you like?

They absolutely need to use Google Webmaster Tools if nothing at all. The data provided is just too valuable. I also am a big fan of the SEO Book toolbar for Firefox. It’s a great tool for a quick snapshot of what’s going on with a page.

What resources do you use to stay current? (Blogs, conferences, newsletters, books) What role do direct observation, testing and networking play for you in staying current?

I find Search Engine Land’s SearchCap newsletter the best source of news for the industry. It compiles all the best blogs and forum threads in one daily email. As for books, Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is my bible.  It sits on my bookshelf and I pull it down from time to time to refresh my memory on certain topics. The forecasting/modeling information is invaluable for those SEOs who are continuously asked to quantify the opportunity of an enhancement or new content.

If you were to compare SEO to a sport, which would you pick and why?

There is no question on this one – Rugby. I’ve played many team sports in my life – baseball, soccer, basketball, dodge ball – but none of them comes close to the ultimate team sport of Rugby. I played for 4 years in college and 5 years after and you learn pretty quickly that a team’s success is completely dependent on execution by all 15 players on the pitch (that’s a field for the uninitiated!). The backs can’t score tries if they don’t receive the ball from the scrum half, and the scrum half can distribute the ball unless the forwards ruck and secure the ball.

Everyone depends on each other to do their job. SEO is much the same way. The SEO can’t drive traffic to the site if the UX folks don’t design the architecture of the site right, or if the developers don’t code the page correctly, or the copywriters don’t use the proper keyword phrases in the copy. You are dependent on others within your organization to execute properly, and with a large, global organization like Monster, this is what makes the job difficult. It’s also what makes projects that much sweeter when we are successful!

Thanks Matt!

Matt Evans is SEO Manager for Monster.com, the premier global employment solution for job seekers with a presence in over 50 countries.


Email Newsletter
Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog, 2010. |
Monster SEO: Interview with Matt Evans of Monster.com | http://www.toprankblog.com


Read More…

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week: Link Valuation

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Shiny LinksGenerating inbound links to your website is an important factor in search engine optimization.  But if you think any inbound link is just as valuable as another, you might want to check out the article at the top of our list this week, which goes to show that not all links are created equal in the eyes of search engines.

1. All Links are Not Created Equal: 10 Illustrations on Search Engines’ Valuation of Links

Author: Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz

After a brief overview of the history of the role of inbound links in search engine optimization, Rand provides a very helpful guide to understanding inbound links, offering handy illustrations to help explain his points.

Rand’s article allows even those most inexperienced in the world of SEO understand what makes a link valuable (and what doesn’t).

Marketing Takeaway: Don’t be fooled — inbound links attribute varying levels of value to a website.

2. How to Pitch Bloggers – Make it a Win/Win/Win Situation

Author: Darren Rowse of Problogger

Thinking of pitching a blogger to help promote something you offer?  Darren says the best way to get good results is to pitch something that is a win/win/win situation — for your company, the blogger and his/her readers.  But how do you make sure you frame your pitch in a way that makes it a win/win/win? 

Usually, says Darren, the major hurdle is making it a win for the blogger.  To help get past this roadblock, he suggests a few specific ‘wins’ that can be used to entice the blogger, including offering to purchase advertising, proposing an affiliate deal, promising promotion on your end, or giving away your product.

Marketing Takeaway: Make your pitch an offer the blogger can’t refuse.  Make it a win/win/win!

3. 5 Questions That Will Change How You View Your Business

Author: John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing

John’s article recognizes the fact that running a business, while rewarding and fulfilling, can often be a challenging task, and oftentimes business owners find themselves losing sight of why they’re doing it in the first place.  In order to help business owners reconnect with the heart of their businesses, John recommends they ask themselves the following 5 questions:

  1. Why are we doing this?
  2. What are we here to give? 
  3. What do we want people to experience?
  4. What are we supposed to learn from this?
  5. Who could do this better?

Marketing Takeaway: When you feel like you’re falling into a rut with your own business, take some time to step back and evaluate what you’re doing and the reasons you’re doing it.

4. Put Your Small Business on the Map With Location-Based Social Media

Author: Eve Daniels on OPEN Forum

Can your business take advantage of location-based social media platforms? Eve Daniels thinks so. Engaging in the opportunities such platforms like Foursquare and Gowalla have to offer can do big things for your business, she says. 

To help you understand, she explains what each of these platforms offer and how they can be beneficial from a business standpoint, emphasizing that savvy business owners are already taking advantage of them, so why can’t you?

Marketing Takeaway: Location-based services are gaining in momentum and can be a valuable business tool. 

5. Conversation or Content? Who Rules the Internet?

Author: Kyle Lacy on Personal Branding Blog

It’s a common proclamation among internet marketers that content is king. But is it?  Kyle plays devil’s advocate and wonders if content really is king when conversations also play a big role in the lives and activities of internet and social media users.

While Kyle admits that content and conversation are related in that remarkable content helps fuel conversations, he also raises the point that “customers are people first and buyers second.” He points out that conversations lead to relationships, which ultimately leads to a successful company. What do you think — does content or conversation rule the internet?

Marketing Takeaway: Content creation is important, but are you also engaging your potential customers in stimulating conversations that lead to valuable relationships?

Photo by Hank Ashby

Search Engine Optimization Kit

Learn more about how you can optimize your site to rank higher in search engines so you get found by more qualified prospects.

Download our search engine optimization kit.

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz 

 


Read More…

Online Marketing Summit Minneapolis 2010

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

In conjunction with ClickZ, OMS has launched its 2010 23-City Tour from Seattle to New York and is coming to Minneapolis June 25th.  OMS had an event in the Twin Cities last year at about the same time and provided a great mix of education and networking opportunity for internet marketers of all types.

Best practices in Social Media, Search, Email, Analytics, Demand Generation and Website Strategy are planned for each OMS event. Aaron Kahlow and the OMS team have assembled a great group of thought-leaders, authors, world-class brand marketers and leading online practitioners from companies like: Kodak, REI, DuPont, Wharton, Google AdWords and of course, TopRank Online Marketing, to share their experiences and successes from the front lines of internet marketing.

At last year’s OMS Minneapolis event, I presented on “Making a Case for Social Media Marketing“. This year  I will be presenting on what I believe to be the most important trend that combines the best of SEO, Social Media and Online PR:  Content Marketing Optimization.

Here are the details of that session:

Content Marketing Optimization: Online marketing is increasingly competitive and brand marketers world-wide are seeking real advantages that will improve the efficiency and impact of their Social Media and SEO efforts. This session provides unique insight into content based optimization strategies and processes as well as tactics for the sourcing, creation and promotion of optimized content on the social web.

It’s not that often that the Twin Cities gets outside marketing conferences and OMS has really perfected their ability to offer a mix of national and local expertise.  Each OMS event includes:

  • A Social Media Training Workshop and Breakfast offered by the Online Marketing Institute in association with Wharton Interactive Media Initiative
  • Networking opportunities with industry experts and hundreds of peers in sales-free environment
  • Panels and sessions covering basics to advanced tactics

You can get more information about OMS Minneapolis from their site and you can also drop a comment below. I am happy to answer any questions.

Content MarketingIncidentally, I will be giving away our new 50+ page guide to Content Marketing Optimization at the event, so be sure you register and plan to attend.  The guide offers several case studies, trends, insights and of course:

I. Content Marketing Optimization Goals
II. Search and Social Media Keyword Research
III. Buyer Personas & Buying Cycle
IV. Understand the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Landscape
V. Inventory and Assess Current Digital Assets
VI. Define Editorial Guide For New Content
VII. Map Keywords to Current Assets, Content and Future Editorial
VIII. Operationalize Content Optimization with Current Processes
IX. Develop & Optimize Off-Page Digital Assets
X. Develop Channels of Distribution for Digital Media Promotion
XI. Implement Search Marketing, Web Analytics & Social Media Monitoring Tools

This extremely detailed guide will only be offered to attendees of OMS Minneapolis weeks before it’s available to TopRank Marketing Newsletter subscribers.


© Online Marketing Blog, 2010. |
Online Marketing Summit Minneapolis 2010 |
2 comments | http://www.toprankblog.com


Read More…

Understanding Local Optimization to Improve Your Search Rank

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Did you know that Google Caffeine makes everyone’s search results different?

I’m not talking orders of magnitude different – but noticeably different.  Different enough that you can optimize your site in a way that helps you target even more qualified buyers to your local business.

Check out this video for a quick snippet of how Google Caffeine provides different results for the same exact search terms Googled by different people, in different cities at just about the same time.

 

Did you notice different search results?

  1. The top three results were not consistent
  2. The fourth result was always a local map unique to the searcher, be it Erin in San Francisco or Dan in Phoenix

Why is does Google Caffeine serve varied results?

  1. Personalized search preferences, like sites you’ve looked at before, can impact what results you see in the future.
  2. Google knows where you are and wants to give you results that might meet your local needs best.

What should your business do to have a chance to be included in that fourth map view listing?

1. Register your business with Google Local – Free

Google wants you to register your business online, then verifies your listing by either calling you or sending snail mail to your address. Once registered, your business has the chance to appear in Google’s Local Business Results for a given search term. But, your ranking inside the Local Listings is based on Google’s ranking algorithm that awards well-optimized pages and inbound links to your website from other websites, so be sure to do step 2.

2. Blog about local topics and optimize all your content for geographic keywords

For most locales and industries, this is a quick and easy way for your site to start ranking keywords that local buyers are using to search across Google, Yahoo! and Bing. You should include your geo keywords in the major on page SEO items like: Page Title, URL, H1 tag and page content. This Virginia Pool Company is doing a great job and will be pulling in customers seeking fiberglass pools in their service area. One important tip, if you have a pages for each city you service, they need to be unique enough so the search engines don’t penalize them for being duplicate content!

What is next?

It turns out that social search is having the same impact on results.  So, once you’ve ensured that your business profile and local listings are great, get yourself on Yelp!, Angie’s List and local publications and review sites.

Learn something new?  Let us know and share your local stories and tips with us.

Free Webinar: Slash PPC & Increase Organic Traffic, Learn How River Pools & Spas Did It!

Is pay-per-click advertising gobbling up your marketing budget?

Sign up for the free webinar for to learn how a HubSpot customer cut his PPC spending by 50%.

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz 

 


Read More…

3 Key Lessons For New Business Bloggers

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

I attended and spoke at the Online Marketing Summit
in Phoenix Arizona last week. OMS runs a series of 25+shows with about 10,000+ attendees per year throughout the US and Europe. There were three tracks B2B, B2C, and social media. I met dozens of business and marketing folks from the Phoenix area, along with several from Canada and had a great chance to take the pulse of online marketing. In his keynote speech Aaron Kahlow, CEO of Online Marketing Connect, asked the audience why they attended the event?

Based on a showing of hands, the main reasons broke out into three areas and were pretty evenly matched.

1. What do we do first?

2. Generate knowledge and ideas to help drive more online business

3. Save time and money

Attendees were all about prioritization and doing more with less. There were some great ideas about creating a search and social media center of excellence  to get everyone in larger companies on the same page.  I was surprised at the number of attendees who’s marketing departments segmented online marketing activities and social media. I was also surprised at the number of attendees who had hired marketing folks who’s primary responsibility was manage or drive social media awareness.

My presentation was on blogging and social media and stressed three main points that are important to all new bloggers.

3 Key Lessons For New Business Bloggers

1. Listen First – Even if you can’t commit to contributing to a blog regularly, listening to the conversation and commenting on other people’s blogs can help you get a sense for what people are saying in your industry. If you can listen a couple of hours a week, and occasionally add your opinion by commenting, you can get a feel for what is valuable to your target demographic. Listening to the conversation will help you protect and grow your brand.

2. Blogging is More Than Text – Blogging in 2010 is very powerful for both creating fresh, remarkable content but it isn’t only about writing articles. It is also pictures, video’s, top 10 lists and answering your customers/prospects most frequently asked questions. I gave quite a few examples of HubSpot customers who have created tremendous blog leverage by writing about the things they discuss every day with their customers.

3. Measurement is Key – Online marketing moves so quickly that you need to measure the critical information automatically so that you can respond quickly. The web moves in minutes and hours and your ability to monitor visitors, readership, comments, links and leads is critical. By measuring these key metrics business bloggers can develop a content strategy that increases reach and drives business results.

It was surprising that driving leads from a blog was a new concept to many attendees. Lead generation is one of the most important reasons to start and maintain a business blog.

I am Looking forward to attending a few other OMS events and trying to determine if Phoenix is representative of the North American online market.If you are interested in attending an Online Marketing Summit event check their schedule and use the discount code: HUB20 

What important lessons did you learn when you began blogging for your business?

Free Webinar: Blogging for Business

Business Blogging

Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website?

Download the free webinar to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog.

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz 

 


Read More…

Thanks to This Month’s Sponsors May 2010

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Post image for Thanks to This Month’s Sponsors May 2010

I’d like to say thanks to the people who sponsored the blog this month, without them there wouldn’t be regular posts here.

Text Link Ads – New customers can get $100 in free text links.

CrazyEgg.com – Supplement your analytics with action information from click tracking heat maps.

BOTW.org – Get a premier listing in the internet’s oldest directory.

Ezilon.com Regional Directory – Check to see if your website is listed!

Directory Journal – Get permanent deep links in a search engine friendly directory

Authority Labs A new web based rank checker, learn more in my Interview with Chase Granberry of AuthorityLabs.com

Interested in seeing your message here? There are banner and RSS advertising options available find out more information. Be sure to check out our new Sponsored post option.

Here’s a list of some other programs and products I reccomend

Thesis Theme for WordPress – Hands down the best theme on the market right now, read my Thesis Theme for WordPress Review.

Scribe SEO – Improve your blog posts with this easy to use built in tool, read my Scribe SEO Review.

KnowEm – Protect your brand, product or company name with a continually growing list of social media sites, read an Interview with Michael Streko.

TigerTech – Great Web Hosting service at a great price, read my Tiger Tech Review.
Creative Commons License photo credit: y-its-mom

Advertisement: Scribe SEO Review find out how to better optimize your wordpress posts. #4

This post originally came from Michael Gray who is an SEO Consultant. Be sure not to miss the Thesis WordPress Theme review.

Thanks to This Month’s Sponsors May 2010


Related posts:

  1. Thanks to This Month’s Sponsors – March 2010 I’d like to say thanks to the people who…
  2. Thanks to This Month’s Sponsors April 2010 I’d like to say thanks to the people who…
  3. Thanks to This Month’s Sponsors – February 2010 I’d like to say thanks to the people who…

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.


Read More…

Social Media Marketing Best Practices from Best Buy

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Adam Singer, Paul Isakson, Brad Smith @ IMS Minneapolis

Social Media  advice is cheap and for the most part, you get what you pay for.  Best practices social media marketing based on experience, well, that’s another thing entirely.

The Social Media Best Practices session at IMS Minneapolis earlier this week gave attendees access to first hand insights from the likes of: Brad Smith from Best Buy, Adam Singer from TopRank Online Marketing, Paul Isakson from Thinkers & Makers (formerly of Space150) and Bryan Person, founder of Social Media Breakfast.

Brad Smith, Director, Interactive Marketing & Emerging Media from Best Buy opened things up talking about a “new marketing reality”. Customers are out there, but they’re bombarded with messages. Customers are not listening to us (marketers & advertisers) anymore. Social media is all about communicating.  Customers are listening to each other instead and tuning out marketing messages.

Each company’s journey in social media is different. If your social media consultant starts the meeting with suggestions about starting a Twitter account, leave the room. Treat social media like any other major undertaking with planning, understanding the marketplace, goals and objectives.

Tenents that support Best Buy Social Media Marketing:

  • Deliver
  • Blow you away
  • Never leave you hanging
  • Make a difference
  • Make sure you know all we know

Brad makes the distinction of social media tools and the behaviors we seek to engage and influence. “I don’t use facebook, I participate. It’s a two way thing.  You’re not half way into social media. When you’re in you’re in.”

Best Buy’s Social Media Marketing Mission:

To connect customers and employees with the Best Buy brand and each other through the right tools platforms and collaboration delivered when, where and how they want.

The focus is on the customer, not the company. “It’s not about what Best Buy wants customers to do, it’s about giving people the tools to connect with each other and employees whenever and however they want.”

Best Buy Social Media Guidelines:

  • (Essentially don’t be stupid)
  • Listen
  • Be findable, think distributed
  • It’s about people
  • Enable creation
  • Make it social
  • Listen some more
  • Be authentic
  • Be transparent
  • Keep it simple
  • Make a commitment

Best Buy and Twitter – @Twelpforce
The thing that makes it work is that they didn’t start with a “Twitter strategy”. It was born of a customer need. Best Buy simply leveraged an asset they knew they had with a customer need. Customers needed advice and there are 150,000 Best Buy employees world wide that are already being helpful. Twitter proved to be an effective platform for that. 2,500 employees are signed up to work as part of @Twelpforce.

Best Buy is also active with Community ForumBest Buy IdeaX, a Facebook Fan page and other channels.

When Best Buy started their social journey with Facebook, Brad says they were overzealous and promoted commercial messages to the community. The community responded, “not to do that”. Customers want access to the brand, advice, tips exclusive access that others don’t get.

Best Buy Learnings From Their Social Media Experience:

  • Listen first, talk second
  • Its OK to fail
  • The same social mores apply online as offline
  • Customers don’t care about channels
  • We have to be ready ro respond
  • Customers will tell us and everyone else where our organization is broken. And expect a fix
  • People are forgiving

Overall Best Buy is treating their social media experience as a journey and have learned the importance of listening instead of pushing.  It’s an impressive example, not only of a very large brand finding value in a humble and transparent, customer focused social media effort, but one of true Minnesota ingenuity when it comes to new technology and marketplace innovation.

I did miss some of the bulleted items above because the presentation went by very quickly. If access to the PowerPoint presentations is made available, I’ll link to it from this post.

I’ll be adding observations on the presentations from Adam Singer and Paul Isakson separately.


© Online Marketing Blog, 2010. |
Social Media Marketing Best Practices from Best Buy |
One comment | http://www.toprankblog.com


Read More…

46% of B2B Marketers View Social Media Engagement as Irrelevant

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Do you work for a B2B company and believe social media engagement doesn’t make sense for your company?  Well, you’re not alone.  According to a recent report from digital marketing agency White Horse, 46% of B2B marketers surveyed indicated they thought social media was irrelevant to their company, compared to 12% of B2C respondents.

Although the study showed that comparable numbers of B2B and B2C marketers were not doing any social marketing at all, B2B marketers were much more likely to admit they had social media accounts but were doing nothing with them from a marketing standpoint.

eMarketer b2b vs. b2c social media chart

Furthermore, the study revealed that one-third of B2B marketers feel there is a low level of executive interest in social media involvement.  This explains a lot.  If you’re a marketer and your CEO isn’t convinced social media is worth the time and effort, you’ve got a major roadblock to overcome if you want to start incorporating social media initiatives into your marketing mix.

We’ve heard this excuse before to explain a lack of social media adoption in the B2B space, and it’s understandable that it’s much easier for B2C companies to perceive value in social media engagement.  

Still, while social media adoption is perceived to make more sense in the B2C sector, it’s hard to deny the value in it for B2Bs, too.  Social media can be a powerful lead generation tool, and there have been a lot of social media marketing success stories and case studies showing how B2Bs are excelling through their participation in social platforms.  These businesses are experiencing significant ROI from their efforts, proving that social media does make sense for B2B companies.

So, why should you care about this data?

If you’re reading this blog, you probably have some interest in helping your company also see the light about the benefits of social media and inbound marketing if it hasn’t already.  If it were me, I’d see a huge opportunity in the fact that almost half of B2B marketers view social media irrelevant — the opportunity to take charge and become a pioneer of and ultimately a leader in social media in my industry. 

So, what can you do to help encourage your boss to seek greener pastures with social media engagement?  Arm yourself with data, whether it be in the form of case studies, charts, graphs, statistics, or whatever else you can get your hands on that will help you make your case and illustrate the benefits of B2B social media activities.  There’s a ton of advice out there to help you come up with a plan, so take advantage of it.  Good luck!

Have you been successful in convincing management to adopt social media practices? Let us know how you did it! 

Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphs

Marketing Charts

HubSpot has complied over 50 marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook

Download the ebook now! to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz 

 


Read More…

7 Habits of a Highly Effective Landing Page

Friday, May 28th, 2010

 

landing page optimizationDoes your online marketing strategy include things like “conversion,” “ROI” and “new customers?” If the answer is yes, then landing pages are something you’ve thought long and hard about.  Landing pages broker the exchange of information between you and the interested party. Combining an eye-catching offer button with an effective landing page can turn what was once just web traffic into a steady stream of leads for your sales team.

7 Landing Page Best Practices

Pass the Blink Test - Visitors to your site will often make the decision of whether or not they’re going to fill out your form before the page even finishes loading. Make sure where you’re sending folks appears immediately professional and easy to fill out. In other words – make sure they can understand the offer and what you’re asking for in the time it takes them to blink. 

Keep It Simple – A key thing to remember about your landing pages is that anyone who reaches it must have clicked on something to get there – like an action button for a free trial, webinar or whitepaper offer. So, theoretically, you will know something key about these folks immediately.  If they clicked to download a whitepaper on blue widgets, for instance, then you will know they are interested in blue widgets. You should be able to plan your next move pretty well armed with that information, and not have to ask for much more. Use that to your advantage and keep everything about this page, including the amount and nature of the questions you ask, simple.

Keep It Short – Seeing a massive list of 15 or 20 questions will make your prospect think hard about the value of his or her time, and whether or not they feel spending it filling out your form.

Graphics and Endorsements Matter – Remember, you’ll be asking people to submit information they may consider sensitive.  Credibility will be key.  Make sure you have your logo or client testimonial at eye level in one of the margins or in the header – or somewhere else they can quickly see it without having to scroll.

Go Naked – They are a few keystrokes and a click away from becoming a bonafide, qualified lead. In other words, you’ve got them right where you want them! The last thing you would want to happen is for them to get distracted. “Going naked” refers to the practice of making your landing page deliberately sparse. Customize this page so that it has zero navigation – no menu, no link back to the homepage, no other places to click, nothing. This page needs to be devoid of any and all hyperlinked distraction. Have the form and the “submit” button be their singular point of focus, and usher them through to completion.

Restate Value – The landing page will be hyperlinked to the offer button on your website; but make sure the two are also logically linked. Use a simple, bulleted list near the top of the page to restate what you’re offering and why it’s valuable. Doing so will ensure your prospect knows exactly what they’re getting – and create a qualified lead for your sales team.

Eat Your Own Dogfood – Before publishing the page, ask yourself: would I fill this out? Would I find this page confusing? Would I feel comfortable sharing this information over the web? Use these questions to ultimately perfect the look and feel of your landing page before going live. And of course, as always, test, test, test!

What other tactics have you found to be successful in improving your landing page conversion rates?

Inbound Lead Generation Kit

Learn how to generate more inbound leads using SEO, blogging, and social media.

Download the free kit for tips and tricks to drive more leads and business to your site.

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz 

 


Read More…

17 Examples of Great Presentation Design

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Last week we shared 10 rules to help instantly improve your presentations. While readers mostly agreed with the rules, they requested some examples of well-designed slides, so Dan and I did some digging.  We gathered some of the best examples of slides and presentation design to help provide a clear picture of what great presentation design is and isn’t.

Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen, has become known for his well-designed presentations. His books and presentations have helped him become one of the most noted experts on presentation design. Here are a few sample slides from Garr that demonstrate  great before-and-after slides along with some of the best slides from his presentations.

Steve Jobs is one of the best presenters in the world. Presenters envy his presentation skills and his clean and near-perfectly designed slides. BusinessWeek columnist Carmine Gallo has created a well-designed deck about the presentation secrets of Steve Jobs. Use this as an example of good slide design as well as great presentation lessons.
 

Great presentations can be about anything. The winners of SlideShare’s World’s Best Presentation Contest demonstrate this well…

 

Great slides don’t have to be only about images and fancy gradients. Sometimes great slides can be only text. This presentation serves as a good example of how typefaces and colors can make text visual.
 

Great slides are only effective if coupled with a great presentation. The following presentation examples from TED show great slides combined with good presenting tactics and speaker timing. Check out these videos for examples of great slides.

 

 

 

At HubSpot, we are always working to make are presentations better. Here are a couple of examples of what we think are some well-designed presentations of our own.

What do you think makes a great slide design?


Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphs

Marketing Charts

HubSpot has complied over 50 marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook

Download the ebook now! to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations

Connect with HubSpot:

HubSpot on Twitter HubSpot on Facebook HubSpot on LinkedIn HubSpot on Google Buzz 

 


Read More…