Archive for July, 2010

Study: Two-Thirds of Marketers Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

social emailWith the rise in popularity of social media and its use for marketing, there has been some debate about whether email is dying in the face of social media.  In fact, Ben & Jerry’s recently decided to drop email marketing in favor of social media in the UK.  

Just because social media may be a new addition to your marketing mix doesn’t mean email marketing should be eliminated.  In fact, social media can help to enhance your email marketing efforts.

Luckily, it looks as though marketers are starting to figure this out. As reported by eMarketer today, in an April 2010 survey by email marketing agency, eROI, two-thirds of US marketers are now integrating social media into their email marketing campaigns.  In addition, email marketing and social media marketing solution provider, StrongMail indicated that the percentage of marketers who had integrated social and email (or planned to this year) is 71% worldwide, based on June 2010 research.

Other Key Research Findings:

  • 71% of business executives surveyed worldwide indicated they were promoting their Twitter, Facebook or other social media presence in their email marketing messages (Source: StrongMail research).
  • 63% of those surveyed said they were enabling email recipients to share email content with their social networks (Source: StrongMail research). In eROI’s April research earlier this year, the survey revealed a slightly smaller proportion of US marketers — 59.1% — using “share with your network” buttons.

eMarketer email marketing research chart

  • When surveyed about the types of social media tools integrated in email marketing, 91% of marketers incorporating social media into email marketing used Facebook in their campaigns, followed by Twitter at 83.9% and LinkedIn at 48% (Source: eROI research).

eMarketer social email tools

Marketers: Use Social Media to Complement Email Marketing

As a marketer, you shouldn’t undermine the importance of email marketing — email is an effective lead generation tool.  If you’re still not convinced, read this great guest post we published about why email is so important.

Instead of dropping email for social media, use social media as a way to complement your email marketing efforts.  Without social media, the limit of your email marketing campaigns depends on the size of your email list. When you incorporate social media into your emails, you’re essentially expanding the potential reach of your email campaigns beyond that list.  By adding social media, you’re enabling email recipients to share and spread your content to people who aren’t on your email list.  How great is that?

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How to Cultivate the Socialization of Your Business

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Brian Solis

Sponsored by JenKaneCo, well known social media evangelist Brian Solis recently gave a presentation to an enthusiastic group of marketers in downtown Minneapolis to introduce the concepts behind his new book:  Engage! The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success in the New Web. The following is an overview of his presentation:

Relations vs. Relationships

There’s something interesting that’s happening right now on the web:  relations are starting to matter more than relationships.  The key lesson for marketers, and what the rest of this overview discusses, is that people will engage around content that compels them in networks where that content spreads.

We are all going to have to shift from relationships to relations:  having more, thinner (but still relevant) connections is starting to matter more.  As a marketer, this shifts the power balance.  People are connecting around psychographics rather than demographics, and this means four degrees is the new six degrees of separation.  In plain English:  we’re all becoming better connected and users are vitally important to the equation of how information spreads.

A way for your marketing to succeed is to take the approach of a sociologist, an anthropologist and a philosopher rather than a traditional marketer.  That’s because it is people who are in control of the ideas that spread.  The web has changed things and marketing and PR have changed along with it.

Context Becoming as Valuable as Content

The challenges go deeper than marketing approaches.  When you join a company, you’re not given a Facebook page and Twitter account like you are an email account.  You already have those things.  And companies aren’t sure what to do or how they can leverage their own team members to increase their digital presence.  Your team members are vitally important because “content being king” is evolving into an era where context is king (yet, content still remains quite the powerful queen).  Context is proven to show who you are connected to and why around every conversation.  Your team members are a key ingredient to providing context, their actions equating to a type of social currency for your brand.

Speaking of content, how people react to your company’s content (something now public) equates to the stature of your community.  Reputation, trust and relationships are earned through these reactions and how you connect contextually is the experience prospects seek.

Content and context define the future of successful marketing.  You’re no longer marketing to individuals, you’re now marketing to “an audience with an audience.”  And every time they react to something you do, it shows the power of relations vs. relationships.  But without remarkable content and relevant context, you can never reach “an audience with an audience” effectively because you’re missing part of the equation of why people share ideas.

Getting Started

One of the easiest things to do is see what’s happening right now.  An approach that can be used is a “30 day window” to see a snapshot in time of what’s happening around a brand.  For a brand unsure about how much conversation was happening around their products – a sample search can reveal a staggering amount of messages across social platforms.  In many cases it’s a shock and can result in disbelief from management teams.  A social media monitoring service should be required for every brand to monitor the situation in an ongoing fashion.

Getting at least a snapshot is a good first step, and ongoing monitoring is even better, but equally important is to consider the data in perspective.  Or to put it simply:  share of voice vs. share of conversation.  Share of voice only gives you a partial view as it assumes everyone is talking about companies in a given industry.  A more relevant approach is to look at share of conversation.  As an example, consider  Old Spice – in the discussions on the social web regarding “body spray,” how well did they do?  While the overall conversations and reactions generated, putting it into context truly provides meaning of share of conversation.

Share of conversation matters more than most consider.  People are actively using the social web as part of the decision making cycle, and so this is the socialization of more than just marketing, but business as a whole.

Conclusion

How are you adapting to the socialization of business to help move these things in the right direction?  You need to extend divisions so that they are responding to consumers at the right point to become trusted and a part of the community.

All companies need to realize the fact that they are now in the media business, and that every company is now a media company.  This strategy is potent enough several companies embracing it have developed brands of media so popular they’re putting out best-selling books.  The influence they have over their markets is that big.

Influence is the ability to inspire desirability and measurable action and outcomes.  It is more than a click or more than a view.  As marketers, creating content and context to ultimately form influence is how to achieve long term, sustainable social media success.

For more on getting started in social media, consider creating a social media roadmap to plan your social media strategy.


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5 Ways to Get Out of the Pay-Per-Click Weeds

Friday, July 30th, 2010

PPC weedsWe see this happen time and time again: In the midst of managing a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, marketers get bogged down in the details of the campaign without paying attention to what actually matters.  What actually matters? PPC return on investment (ROI), of course.  If you’re managing a PPC campaign, you need to understand how all the little bits of data can play together and help you achieve a better ROI.  To do this, you should consider a few things:

  • What are your priorities? Your priorities tend to reflect on what you’re being measured, and we hope you’re being measured primarily on generating high quality leads.  If you’re not, perhaps you need to examine why.  Do you have a long enough sales cycle that you can get a more immediate measure from number of leads generated or click-throughs?  Whatever your priority is, keep that in mind throughout measuring your campaign.  You should be asking yourself the question, “Am I getting closer to my goal?”
  • What words are you going after? One of the biggest PPC mistakes we see is when folks go after expensive, popular words rather than long-tail, more relevant ones.  Should you really go after “running shoes” when your product is only peripherally related to them? Probably not.
  • When you tweak, what are you tweaking for? We have seen people add random lingo in order to increase their relevance score without thinking about what phrases would generate quality traffic for them.  Perhaps you are obsessing about impressions, but never getting any click-throughs.  Make sure you aren’t optimizing for clicks without making sure the visitors would be quality leads.  It’s very easy to fall into the “I must do better at one metric” trap without keeping your high-level goals in mind.
  • Are you paying attention to your ads? It’s easy to get caught up in the words you’re targeting and let your ads languish.  Are you aggressively A/B testing your ads?  If you’re not, you can do this easily in AdWords by running two ads per campaign in balanced views (don’t let Google manage impressions for you), and when you have a good number of impressions each, pause the one with fewer click-throughs and write a new one.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  You should also always remember that effective ads include offers–in essence, they’re calls to action.
  • Where are you sending your traffic? One of the most common PPC errors is to dump all the traffic onto your main homepage.  A better idea is to send them straight to landing pages so that you can get that click (that you paid for) to convert to a lead much sooner!

Overall, you have to keep your eye on the prize when it comes to PPC.  Make sure you’re not getting lost in the budget, impressions, and clicks weeds–what do these little things matter in the big picture of generating quality leads?  PPC involves so many little details and tweaks, that it’s incredibly ea.  Keep your goal in mind and keep working at it and you’ll be sure to improve your lead quality.

Photo courtesy of sanderovski & linda.

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Facebook Explains How To Get More "Likes" and Clicks

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Facebook Media LogoAre you taking advantage of best practices when it comes to promoting news about your business on Facebook?  Now you can check with Facebook’s new Facebook + Media page, which launched Monday.  The new page — geared toward journalists but with implications for all businesses on Facebook — includes best practices, tools to drive traffic and other insights for promoting news on Facebook.

To determine the best practices compiled on the page, Facebook analyzed 100 top media sites that use Facebook’s social plugins.

Okay — so you may not be a media company.  But if you publish news about your company on Facebook, Facebook’s new page should be very applicable to you.  While the Media Page offers advice to journalists for driving traffic on Facebook, it also includes tips for driving engagement and interaction.  If you’re a marketer, these tips can be especially helpful as you try to increase interaction on your business’ Facebook page.

Social News Best Practices for Marketers

Check out our marketers’ guide to Facebook social plugins if you’re unfamiliar with them.  Then review some of the most applicable best practices for marketers we pulled from Facebook’s new Media Page.  Here they are!

To drive audience and interaction:

  • Implement the Like Button social plugin on your website.  Implement the version that includes thumbnails of friends, enables comments, and place it at the top and bottom of articles and near visual content like videos/graphics.  According to Facebook, websites that followed these best practices experienced 3-5x greater click-through rates on the Like Button.
  • Publish to users through Pages and Like button connections. (Click here to find out how.)  Status updates asking simple questions or encouraging a user to Like the story have 2-3x the activity.  In addition, stories that are published in the early morning or just before bed have higher engagement.
  • Run promotions on your Page using FBML tabs.

To increase engagement:

  • Implement the Activity Feed and Recommendations social plugins. Place these plugins above the fold of your website and on multiple pages to generate more engagement. Sites that placed the Activity Feed on the front page as well as other content pages received 2-10x more clicks per user than sites with plugins only on the front page.
  • Planning a live event, webinar or webcast? Use the Live Stream box to capture real-time engagement. 
  • Keep your pages timely and regularly updated with fresh content to keep people engaged.  Update the status on your page often.

Don’t forget Insights!

  • Facebook offers basic insights into your Facebook page’s growth, fans and interactivity via Facebook Insights.  Your page’s Insights Dashboard will provide metrics to help you understand and analyze trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content.  Keep track of your business page’s performance to determine what works, what doesn’t and learn how best to engage your fans.

Free Download: 2010 Facebook Marketing Guide

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Defeat the Sultan of Spam! New "Captain Inbound" Animation [video]

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

The next time you are bombarded with popup ads and spam, Team Inbound will come to your rescue! With the help of Greta Get Found, Chris Convert, Annie Analyze and of course, Captain Inbound, the marketing world will be a better place!

Watch marketing hero Captain Inbound defeat the Sultan of Spam to save the day in HubSpot’s new animated cartoon web series.

The Adventures of Captain Inbound: Episode One

Character Voices:

Captain Inbound:@jlopin
Greta Get Found:
@repcor
Chris Convert: @OneAndOnlyCJ 
Annie Analyze
: @Cortenberg
Sultan of Spam: @vleckas
Narrator
: @andrewtquinn
David Meerman Scott:
@dmscott (as himself)

Animated by Eric Guerin (@EricGuerin)

Did you enjoy the animation? What other marketing animations have you liked?

Grateful Dead

Join Bill Walton, Brian Halligan and David Meerman Scott as they discuss effective marketing strategies from the Grateful Dead.

Date and time: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 12pm ET
Reserve your spot now!

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UK Marketers remain optimistic about budget increases

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

The latest marketing tracking poll conducted by Royal Mail and the Marketing Society has revealed how the UK’s top 100 marketing directors plan to spend their budgets over the next six months. The survey shows that 33% of marketers are optimistically predicting an increase in marketing budgets for the rest of 2010, while only 13% [...]

UK Marketers remain optimistic about budget increases is a post from: Dave Naylor’s SEO Blog.

Related posts:

  1. Digg just listen to your People
  2. Social Media Sites Life Expectancy
  3. Selling SEM in the global recession: it’s the ROI, stupid


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Google Wi-Fi slurp cleared by UK privacy watchdog

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Below is the ICO announcement that clears Google of spying on us … what I just don’t get is Google said it was a mistake in June, they even blamed a software engineer for scooping up the Wi-Fi data.. if it was truly a mistake why not just delete the data ??? and if it [...]

Google Wi-Fi slurp cleared by UK privacy watchdog is a post from: Dave Naylor’s SEO Blog.

Related posts:

  1. Gatineau Answers Privacy Question
  2. Google – DoubleClick Deal Cleared
  3. EU is looking at online privacy again


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Nick Love gives Mycock head job on MySpace

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

MySpace Australia have appointed affiliate marketer Peter Mycock to the new role of commercial director. Since 2006, Mycock has been generating leads at AOL – from search to affiliates. MySpace announced that his new job at the company will be similarly to: “oversee all commercial operations including business strategy and partnerships, sales team leadership and [...]

Nick Love gives Mycock head job on MySpace is a post from: Dave Naylor’s SEO Blog.

Related posts:

  1. I love Shawn Hogan
  2. Facebook overtakes Myspace in the UK
  3. The Social Networking Dynamite with a laser beam funnel effect


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Why SEOs are hated

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

“We are the outcast, the banished, the shunned The cheated, the punished, the feared. The loathsome downtrodden whom nobody loves, But, with reviled comes revered.” Back in the good old days, when men wore tights and bells, people were afraid of witches. One thing that was supposed to stop witches from entering your house was [...]

Why SEOs are hated is a post from: Dave Naylor’s SEO Blog.

Related posts:

  1. A UK SEO Company .. TUT TUT
  2. seomoz – seo pricing
  3. Link Building for Clients


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10 Steps to Effective Online Marketing For Small Businesses

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

The following is a guest post by Peter Rastello, the founder of Inbound Market Link, an Inbound Marketing agency specializing in helping small and medium, B2B and B2C businesses to succeed on the internet.

169187125 3e4031eceb b resized 600If you are a marketing professional in charge of your small/medium sized business’ (SMB) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Inbound marketing, you are not alone. According to Marketing Sherpa, SMBs spend roughly 20% more on staff salaries to handle SEO & internet marketing  than do large sized businesses who tend to out-source this activity. For this reason, it is critical that SMB marketers focus carefully. Here are the abbreviated 10 steps to effective marketing online:

  1. The Importance of Google – with approximately 80% of all searches being conducted via Google, it is critical to primarily focus SEO effort on this search engine. Yahoo and Bing, are less important but still an important part of search engine marketing.
  2. Keyword Selection – Pick keywords that are relevant to your business but also fairly easy to rank for. Look for multi-word phrases or ‘long-tail keywords’ as they are usually less competitive
  3. Content is King – Prospects are more likely to buy from you if you are a thought leader, so establish yourself as one by creating extraordinarily helpful content. Take decisive action to ensure prospective customers are attracted to your site as a place to find answers.
  4. Generosity is Also King – Another key part to attracting customers is your generosity in giving away information, access to tools, etc., which also earns you inbound links which improves your search engine rankings.
  5. Social Media – Focus on the top three social media venues: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Remember, ‘be real’ and ‘be there’ to help the community rather than to push products.
  6. Calls-to-Action – It’s important to provide something of value that solves a problem for visitors  in exchange for their contact information. Often traffic will not be ready to buy right away, but a tempting call to action will lead them down the sales funnel.
  7. Landing Pages – Everything that has been done to draw qualified traffic to a site, from improving SEO, to generating great content comes to a head in the landing page. Leads should be confronted with an inescapable case for them to leave their carefully guarded personal information on the form. Having one offer, recapping benefits, and a short form are all key.
  8. Lead Nurturing – follow up calls to action with a ‘thank you’ email and a lead nurturing campaign that further entices leads down the sales funnel with additional  free offerings– this is a free opportunity to keep touch with a lead.
  9. Tracking Progress – Effective Inbound Marketing is all about experimentation. Select a strategy based on experience with customers and industry to get people to both visit and convert on the website. But anticipate that initial assumptions about keywords, or what it takes to get traffic to convert will not be right (or not right enough) and changes will need to be made. For this reason, it is essential to have a complete internet analysis tool-suite to help figure out what’s working and what’s not.
  10. Patience & Tenacity – It’s easy to become discouraged and frustrated if Inbound Marketing is approached as a point solution. In reality, it’s a long term strategy only rewarding those who approach it with patience and tenacity

This was a condensed version of the full white paper, The Ten Essential Steps to Effective Marketing Online which you are invited to download for free.

(image by: ExtraNoise)

   

Free Download: 2010 Online Marketing Blueprint

   

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