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Showing posts from July, 2009

Which is Better When Dealing with Social Media, ROI or RONI?

Understandably, as businesses begin to invest more marketing/PR dollars into social media, there is great concern over the ROI of these activities. No company, big or small, can afford to spend scarce funds inefficiently, particularly in the current economic environment. So no matter how much "buzz" there is about the promise of social media marketing or how excited you may be about it, if it hasn't already happened, sometime very soon your boss or client is going to start asking you about the ROI of social media marketing.

A fundamental problem with this of course is that all marketing ROI calculations are imprecise, at best. John Wanamaker's observation that "“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” is still (largely) true. Consider, for example, a tactic viewed by many marketers as extremely measurable: Google AdWords. I mean, it's all right there on your campaign management screen: how much you spent, how …

Search Engine Marketing Benchmarks: Latest Research from Marketing Sherpa

MarketingSherpa just released its new search marketing benchmark report ($447) and companion executive summary (free PDF). Some of the key findings and observations from the report.

Despite the economic downturn, paid clicks are increasing.

"U.S. paid click volume (is) up 18% from January 2007 to March 2009...In a sign of industry health, the volume of paid clicks has been steadily increasing over the last two years. Wherever consumers are clicking, search marketers and PPC ad buyers are at work. In fact, as more publishers opt to offer a PPC buying option, the universe of PPC ads will continue to increase."

True, but this is being driven by the consumer side. With a tough economy, people are searching online for good deals. It would have been nice to see a breakout on the b2b side. While I don't have a large data set here, based on the accounts I manage searches are down roughly 25%; that is, with the same set of keywords, impression volume is off by a quarter over the p…

The 4 Most Important Ways to be a Better B2B Twitterer

There's a tremendous amount of interest in Twitter among b2b marketers. I'm frequently asked by clients and prospective clients, "What should I tweet about?" Nobody wants to be a dork. Everyone wants to do it right, but b2b social media marketing in general is still so new, and rapidly evolving, that it can seem like the rules are being written and rewritten on the fly.

Two recent articles got me thinking about how to answer this question. First, in How to score the coveted retweet, Reid Carr offers some concise but helpful advice on forming relationships on Twitter and producing content worthy of being retweeted—endorsed and passed along by other twitterers to their followers. Second, #FAIL: The 50 Greatest Social Media Screw Ups And How To Avoid Being The Next One by Bernhard Warner demonstrates what can happen when companies are clueless about social media, including thought not limited to Twitter. At a high level, these two pieces are kind of yin and yang, what to…

The BMZ Content Portal for B2B Marketers Is Booming

There's been a lot of activity since the B2B Marketing Zone (BMZ) officially launched two weeks ago. Traffic continues to grow and the number of featured bloggers has doubled.

Awareness has been expanded through posts from prominent b2b bloggers like Ardath Albee and Cece Salomon-Lee.

Also this morning, Rebel Brown (who's got one of the best blogger names anywhere) posted an informative interview with me and Tony Karrer, the technical and creative guru behind the site and the underlying Browse My Stuff technology platform. Her post provides more details about the purpose, goals and future plans for the BMZ site.

If you're looking for one place to find all of the best b2b marketing and PR content—filtered, aggregated and neatly packaged—or you'd like to contribute content, check out the B2B Marketing Zone.


Contact Mike Bannan:

Do More Twitter Followers Drive More Traffic?

Until recently, I've believed that, for the sake of Twitter etiquette, I should follow back pretty much everyone who follows me on Twitter (as long as they used a real name, real photo, and weren't peddling an "Internet dating site"). I thought it would be rude not to do so.

But two items recently got me re-thinking that rule. The first was this post from Constant Contact, Qualntity vs. Quality: How Many Twitter Followers Do You Really Need. Blaise Lucey writes about the pros and cons from both sides of having too many followers and a smaller number of followers but with more loyalty. The two points of views are  displayed in a conversation between two men discussing this subject, instead of just listing a boring pro and con list. Both strategies are equally valid, they just produce different results and have their own benefits and drawbacks.

The second was the increasing amount of twitspam I was seeing, nearly all of it misleading, much of it downright dishonest. I …

New Hub Site Focuses on B2B Marketing Intelligence

A new B2B marketing community site, B2B Marketing Zone officially launched today. Conceptually the site is a bit like Social Media Today and other targeted content portals, though it's the first (that I'm aware of at least) focused specifically on providing information for B2B marketers.

Hosted by community organizer (I mean that in a good way) Tony Karrer using his Browse My Stuff technology, B2B Marketing Zone features content from rockstar B2B bloggers like Brian Carroll, Paul Dunay and Newt Barrett. Additional bloggers meeting the high standards for the community will be added over time.

The home page displays the latest and most popular content, with the ability to drill down into specific topic areas such as social media, email marketing, analytics and YouTube. The site is designed to make it easy for visitors to navigate to specific content, and drives traffic for member bloggers.

With this launch, B2B Marketing Zone joins a small but growing number of sites that speci…