Monday, August 31, 2009

Best of 2008: Random but Interesting, Part 2

Looking for some off-the-beaten-trail ideas for driving more site traffic? Getting more out of those expensive marketing conferences? Doing a better job of training employees and qualifying leads? Meeting the biggest challenges in b2b marketing head-on?

Then you're in the right place! You'll find all of that and then some here in my final list of brilliant but uncategorized posts from the past year.

Improving Web Site Traffic: Miscellaneous Techniques by PromotionWorld

Rob Wood offers 10 ideas for increasing traffic to your business website, from creating a "what's new" page where you can post fresh content to adding articles and incorporating site search.


Increase ROI From Marketing Conferences by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Lee Odden provides an outstanding guide to making the most of marketing conferences. Networking, gaining knowledge and gathering material for blog content are just a few of his recommendations.


Learning for the 21st Century by Informal Learning Blog

In this profound and beautifully crafted post, Jay Cross identifies what is broken in today's educational systems, particularly in workplace training, provide detail to back up his statement that "Most organisational learning is built on nineteenth-century principles, and these days that’s a formula for disaster." In the end, Jay's prescribed solution is the application of social media principles to organization learning, through what he terms "learnscapes," "platforms where knowledge workers collaborate, solve problems, converse, share ideas, brainstorm, learn, explain, communicate, conceptualise, tell stories, help one another, teach, serve customers, keep up to date, forge partnerships, build communities, and distribute information."


Four Ways to Leverage Lead Form Questions for Jedi Qualification by HubSpot Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

Preshant Kaw uses the analogy of Jedi Knights ("Let's say your ideal customer is a Jedi Knight because Jedi Masters already have a lightsaber and you don't want to sell to the Sith") to illustrate four ways to use landing pages to identify qualified leads while weeding out irrelevant conversions.


Breakout Session Notes — Making Data Driven Decisions — B2B by MediaPost Raw

Aaron Goldman outlines six key challenges for b2b marketers identified during a breakout session at the Search Insider Summit, along with the solutions posed by the participants. Example: "In B2B there are often multiple decision makers — how do you connect all the dots?...Track “micro-conversions” like white paper downloads, flash video views, repeat visits, etc. and build an engagement scoring system to optimize from."


How to avoid contextual tragedies by iMedia Connection

J. Brooke Aker writes that "Like semantic search, semantic advertising holds promise to improve the overall relevance of marketing." He then details several disturbing examples of semantic advertising gone awry (such as ad for Olive Garden showing up "next to an article about 250 people getting sick after eating at an Olive Garden restaurant in Indiana), along with recommendations on how to use this strategy to create more effective ads and placements.


How discounts hurt you by Wildfire Marketing Group

In this brief but very thoughtful post, Jeremy L. Knauff demonstrates how discounting your services—even when it seems like a shrewd move in the short term—causes more problems than it is worth over the longer term. Anyone who's been a consultant or in the service business for any length of time will relate to this piece.


How to write the “classic direct mail package” by Direct Creative Blog

Direct mail has taken a severe beating from email marketing over the past several years, and why not? Email is far less costly, better for the environment, and enables the recipient to respond with the click of a mouse. Ironically, however, it is the rapid proliferation of email marketing that makes direct postal mail more appealing than ever. Response rates for email are down as inboxes fill up and your message has a harder and harder time standing out; meanwhile, the volume of physical mail has declined to the point where a well-crafted direct mail piece has a better chance of being noticed now than it has in 20 years. This post details the almost-lost art of creating an effective direct mail package.


Via Enquisite: PPC Agencies Make 45X What SEOs Do for the Same Value by SEOmoz

Rand Fishkin has fun with statistics provided by search agency Enquisite to show that because organic results are more likely to be clicked on than ads for the same search terms, and organic visitors tend to convert at a (slightly) higher rate, SEO consultants are justified in feeling "undervalued and underpaid compared to (their) paid search compatriots." It's a provocative piece to be sure, but while I hesitate to attack statistical evidence with the anecdotal, my experience has been that when one accounts for the reasons PPC will always cost more than SEO, the actual labor costs of the two activities (when done right) are pretty darn close.

Previous posts in this series:

Best of 2008: SEO Guidance, Part 1
Best of 2008: Interactive PR, Part 1
Best of 2008: SEO Tools, Part 1
Best of 2008: Search Engine Marketing
Best of 2008: Web Analytics
Best of 2008: Email Marketing Tips
Best of 2008: SEO Keyword Tips & Tools
Best of 2008: Sales & Marketing Copywriting
Best of 2008: SEO Link Building
Best of 2008: Website Design
Best of 2008: WordPress Tools and Tips
Best of 2008: Web & SEO Copywriting
Best of 2008: SEO Guidance, Part 2
Best of 2008: Social Media Optimization, Part 1
Best of 2008: AdWords Tips and Tactics, Part 1
Best of 2008: SEO Tools, Part 2
Best of 2008: SEM Landing Pages
Best of 2008: Blogging for Business, Part 1
Best of 2008: Interactive PR, Part 2
Best of 2008: SEO Guidance, Part 3
Best of 2008: Social Media Optimization, Part 2
Best of 2008: AdWords Tips and Tactics, Part 2
Best of 2008: Strategy and Branding, Part 1
Best of 2008: Cool Web Tools, Part 1
Best of 2008: Blogging for Business, Part 2
Best of 2008: Random but Interesting, Part 1
Best of 2008: SEO Guidance, Part 4
Best of 2008: Social Media Optimization, Part 3
Best of 2008: Strategy and Branding, Part 2
Best of 2008: Cool Web Tools, Part 2
Best of 2008: Social Media Optimization, Part 4
Best of 2008: SEO Guidance, Part 5
Best of 2008: Amusing, Creative and Just Plain Odd, Part 1

*****


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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