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Showing posts from July, 2007

Viral Marketing for B2B Lead Generation, Part 1: Viral Media

Viral marketing campaigns can be effective for B2B marketers—but they aren't easy to pull off. The next three posts here will offer some ideas about programs, promotion, and pitfalls to avoid that may help in developing successful B2B viral marketing campaigns, based both on my own experience and research by MarketingSherpa.

Most Popular Forms of Viral Media
Online video is the most popular viral medium for both B2C and B2B use. However, with the novelty of web video long since gone, your videos will either need to be really funny or really useful (e.g. the kind of content you could charge people for – but decide not to) in order to really go viral. Keep in mind that humor is more difficult to do well, and while a very amusing video may be widely shared, it may not pick up a lot of viewers who are actually qualified prospects. Videos that are targeted and focused on your industry, on the other hand, are likely to attract fewer but more targeted viewers.
Online games are also hot vira…

Another New Report on Webcasting Benchmarks

The team at webcast and rich media marketing producer ON24 recently published their second report on webcasting trends and benchmarks. The new report offers insights and metrics to assist B2B marketers in planning and measuring the success of their own webcasting programs.

Among the findings in this study:
The average cost per webinar or webcast registrant is $35.
Typically, just over half of registrants actually attend or view the webcast.
Generally, about 30% of registrants participate in the live webcast, while another 25% view the archived event.
Nearly half of all registrations occur within 10 days of the webcast; 10% happen on the day of the session.
More than one-third of attendees participate in interactive polls and surveys conducted during webcasts.
Again, you can download the full report here.

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B2B IT and Social Media 2: The Vendor Perspective

The first post on this topic focused on the IT buyer use of social media, outlining an ITtoolbox study which found that IT decision makers spend more time each week reading or interacting with social media than they do with editorial content, vendor-produced content or the research of analyst firms—and that they trust social media more than any other source. Here is the vendor perspective.

According to recent white paper from Robert Lesser, publisher of LeadGenTools.com, and Paul Dunay of the Buzz Marketing for Technology blog, "B2B marketers are not just embracing Web 2.0 tools, they're pushing the envelope on adoption. They're using the new tools to reach prospects, not just reinforce existing customer relationships. They're rolling Web 2.0 tools out to their teams and organizations. And they're quickly moving up the learning curve."

According to the study (which can be obtained for free by completing a short survey here):
The majority of B2B IT companies emb…

WebMarketCentral is the Fastest Growing Web Marketing Portal

Thank you to everyone who's visited WebMarketCentral.com over the past few months—you've made it the fastest-growing web marketing portal site. It's gratifying that so many online marketing professionals have found value in the web marketing resources, news, tools and guides on the site.

According to Alexa (yes, I know it's not perfect, but it does provide an accurate ballpark measure), WebMarketCentral.com is growing rapidly while other popular web marketing sites such as MarketingSherpa, ClickZ, Marketing Profs, and Web Digest for Marketers (wdfm.com) are seeing traffic declines.










These are all fine sites, which I visit frequently and highly recommend. And, granted, they are all ranked in the top 100,000 on Alexa, and in some cases the top 10,000 (having a staff to keep site content updated certainly helps). WebMarketCentral is ranked...somewhat lower. But to paraphrase the famous Avis commercials, when you're number 545,003, you try harder.



These are all fine sit…

B2B IT and Social Media Part 1: The Buyer Perspective

White paper syndicator ITtoolbox recently completed a study of buying influences in B2B IT purchasing decisions. They asked more than 2,100 IT decision makers about the information sources that were most critical in their buying decisions. Specifically, ITtoolbox wanted to determine how IT decision makers use social media tools (such as blogs, podcasts, discussion groups and wikis) to assist in purchasing decisions. The results are eye-opening.

Among the key findings:
Overall, IT decision makers spend more time each week reading or interacting with social media (3.5 hours) than they do with editorial content (2.9 hours) or vendor-produced content (websites, webcasts, white papers, etc. - 2.7 hours).
Executive decision makers spend more time on social media each week than other IT buyers or influencers.
When conducting research specifically to assist with a buying decision, vendor content is the most referenced source, followed by social media and trade editorial. All three are more f…

Two Online B2C Campaigns Worth Checking Out

B2B technology companies generate leads and revenue through smart online marketing by promoting thought-leadership content. Examples include Kinetic Data's Glossary of Business Service Management Terms, Astrocom's explanation of why redundant Internet access is important and how it works, and real customer stories from unified voicemail and PBX-VoIP integrator Unimax.

Some B2B marketing efforts are highly inventive, such as the Superhero campaign executed for outsourced supply chain services vendor Zomax by KC Associates. But B2B IT marketing is generally a very practical and highly budget-conscious business. B2C marketing is simply a different world. Here are two examples of the kind of "wow" campaigns that can be produced when money is apparently no object.

First, Mercedes has produced one of the most incredibly creative websites ever (this can be a tad slow loading but it's worth it). The site was produced by Agency Republic in London, recently named Marketing…

Generating Word of Mouth Buzz Through Interactive PR

Seana Mulcahy at MediaPost recently wrote a piece about using social media and other tools to build word-of-mouth promotion online. There are a number of online tools and methods to spread word of mouth online, but a key one is interactive PR.

In The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott writes about designing PR efforts that are actually for the public: "The Internet has made public relations public again, after years of almost exclusive focus on the media. Blogs, online news releases, and other forms of Web content let organizations communicate directly with buyers...and here's something really neat: if you do a good job telling your story directly, the media will find out. And then they'll write about you!" That's online word of mouth.

So what is interactive PR exactly? The term, originated (I believe) on the Six Pillars blog, includes a number of tactics, including keyword-optimizing your news releases and promoting them through online services…

The Journey of Our Backyard Tree Deck

Since almost no one is working this week (other than me), the WebMarketCentral blog will take a break from web marketing coverage as well, to showcase one of my other activities: ongoing construction of a tree house, or more accurately, a "tree deck," for the kids.


It started innocently enough in the summer of 2005 as a small platform up in a tree, reachable only by rope at first, though a ladder was soon added.



Later that year, the platform was extended to wrap
around the tree.







In 2006, the kids and I decided the tree deck was a bit cramped, and needed a second level. But first, I needed a scaffold of some sort to enable me to reach the higher level. I also needed some kind of shelter for our firewood to keep the rain off it. Left photo: the wood hut is constructed, but a mess. Below right: still a mess, but a ladder is added.















Left: wood hut is cleaned up, but still no wood. Right: after five hours of quality time with a 20-ton log splitter and another five hours of stackin…