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Showing posts from June, 2008

A Few More Thoughts from Christopher Barger

Two weeks ago I shared some online marketing/PR wisdom from GM's social media guy, Christopher Barger. Here are a few more of his thoughts to wrap things up.

Most important social networking tools:

Chris hatesTwitter (another thing we agree on!) but recognizes that it has an impact. Following the influencers in any sphere can be a great way to learn what is important there. It can help monitor what's being written about your company, product or service, and help you pick up on which bloggers to follow.

He likes Ning, Digg,, Reddit, Facebook, and Lee LeFever's In Plain English videos.

What matters in blogging:
SimplicityTwo-way dialogAccess (provide a method for reader contact other than the comment form)TransparencyUnique valueListeningRecommended books:The Cluetrain Manifesto by Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls and David Weinberger (published in 2001, but amazingly prescient and still timely)Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin (I haven't had the opportuni…

How to Track Buzz for Big Brands - WiseWindow

One of the biggest challenges for most small companies is generating buzz—getting people to talk about their products, online and off. Big brands, however, have a very different problem: keeping track of the incredible volume of content being generated relating to their company, product or service.

That's the problem WiseWindow is attempting to solve for brand managers, marketing research firms and CPG ad agencies. WiseWindow is an online (SaaS) platform designed to aggregate consumer sentiment as expresses across more than 12 million sources—forums, blogs, opinion sites and other social media venues.

WiseWindow attempts to measure "what moves people" in terms of attributes and buying factors. Their system aggregates opinions expressed across a vast number of online sources and applies intelligence to the data to help marketers, researchers and brand managers make more informed decisions across areas from product development to advertising.

The "intelligence" …

Top Blog Posts in First Three Years of WMC

It's been three years since the launch of this blog, and it still gets less traffic than the Huffington Compost (sigh). Maybe I should set my goals a bit more modestly? Oh well, at least I write my own stuff.

Anyway, taking a look back at the first three years of the WMC blog, here are the ten most popular posts as chosen by you, my elite (in the good sense!) and loyal readers. It's an interesting mix of old and new, tactical and strategic, original and derivative.

10. Best of 2007: Blog Posts on Social Media Marketing, January 18, 2008—A wrap-up of some of the best blog posts of 2007 on social networking and social media marketing strategies and tactics.

9. Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 1: Alexa Rankings, April 29, 2007—the Alexa rankings for 42 popular Web 2.0 social bookmarking sites, with Alexa's lack of precision and measurement shortcomings duly noted.

8. Best of 2007: SEO Analysis Tools, January 9, 2008—the very first post in the "Best of 2007" series, pr…

How to Develop an SEO Keyword List

What Works Now in B2B Lead Generation: SEO and SEM

MarketingSherpa has just released its 2008 B2B Lead Generation Handbook (that's a link to the free executive summary PDF; the complete report will run you a cool $500). The 22-page executive summary contains some useful information for B2B marketers and CEOs (plus a little bit of misinformation best disregarded).

B2B Marketing Has Changed Dramatically

The report authors spend considerable ink on the changes that B2B marketing has undergone since 2000. Parts of this analysis are very helpful, for example, "The easiest way to save money (during the 2000-2002 recession, when marketing budgets were being slashed) was to replace old media with cheaper new media. That meant replacing print brochures with PDFs, post-mailed newsletters with emailed newsletters, road shows and seminars with webinars, and print ads with online advertising, including search."

However, the coverage does have an element of navel-gazing: "Since the year 2000, B-to-B marketing has undergone dramat…

Christopher Barger, GM's Vice Chairman

Like most rock stars, Christopher Barger—who along with GM vice chairman Bob Lutz has transformed the image of GM from stodgy 20th-century manufacturer into Web 2.0-savvy innovator—is even better live than recorded. If you get the opportunity to hear him speak (an increasingly likely scenario as he expands his activity on the circuit), go for it. Here are a few highlights from his presentation at the recent Blogging for Business conference.

Blogging is (officially) no longer new. 90% of Internet users in the 25-34 year-old group are familiar with blogs. 60% of those under the age of 21 belong to a (online) social network. Blogs now rival traditional media for reach.

Blogging is a PR activity—a tool to build image and credibility—not marketing. In Barger's words, it belongs at the top of the sales funnel.

Social media has given every consumer the opportunity to reach millions of others with his or her opinion of a brand or product. And it's given every consumer access to the e…

SEO Made Simple for Mom Bloggers

At last week's Blogging for Business conference, Shannon Johnson of the What About Mom blog mentioned that someone should write a post about search engine optimization (SEO) for mommy bloggers. I figured for sure such a post much already exist, but when a Google search on "SEO for mommy bloggers" came up empty, I decided to fill the void. I mean, there's just a chance this might actually be useful, and Shannon's pretty cool even if she doesn't drink beer.

So where should you start? Other posts on blog SEO might suggest envisioning a sales funnel or Pareto chart to help focus on the most important items first, but c'mon, you're moms! Let's get relevant—approach SEO like meal planning. Start with the entree, then a carb (e.g. potatoes, rice, pasta), then a veggie, then the surrounding but important stuff: ketchup, butter, napkins, a mop bucket (if you have a two-year-old boy), a power washer (if you have two-year-old twin boys), etc.

Blog name: this…

Blog Pitches - Good, Bad and Ugly

How Social Media Has Changed PR

I'll be starting off my presentation at the Blogging for Business Conference tomorrow with this statement:
The practice of PR has changed more in the last five years than it did in the previous fifty.What do you think? Is that:
Completely off base;
A pointless statement of the blatantly obvious; or
An intriguing contention that makes you want to hear more?It's not just a matter of new technology. Technological change has been ongoing, from manual typewriters to electric ones to PCs, fax machines and email. From wire services that really were wire services to light years faster and more capable online platforms.

Web 2.0 and the explosion of social media over the past few years are more than just new technological tools for PR professionals to adopt—they change the philosophy of PR.

Prospects and stakeholders no longer want to be an audience for corporate news, they want to be participants. And through various forms of social media—blogs, video, wikis, forums, podcasts, social bookmar…