Monday, October 26, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Twitter Tips and Tactics, Part 1

This content has been moved to Best Twitter Tips, Tools and Tactics of 2009, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

3 Reasons it's Tough to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Social media marketing is a hot topic, with 75% of marketers planning to initiate or increase social media use next year. With larger budgets and more time devoted to social media will come increased pressure to demonstrate ROI.

While it's not necessarily difficult to show an ROI from social media, accurately measuring the return on investment is challenging for at least three reasons. First is the problem of "last click attribution." A recent study found a 50% CTR increase in paid search when consumers were exposed to both social media and paid search for a brand, but if the actual click comes from AdWords, good luck convincing your executives that social media efforts led to that click. Similarly, a click-through from Twitter or Facebook may have been influenced by any variety of other online and offline marketing efforts, so giving 100% credit to social media for lead may be overstating the case.

For the complete story, read Three Challenges in Measuring B2B Social Media ROI on the B2B Online Marketing blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Cool Web Tools, Part 1

This content has been moved to Best Cool Web Tools of 2009, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Unique Approach to Integrated Advertising Campaigns: Nabbit

In March of last year, I highlighted Nabbit as a cool online tool for tagging songs on the radio using your cell phone. It still is, though there are now competing technologies available.

But what sets Nabbit apart, and makes it interesting to both b2b and b2c marketing professionals, is the tool's ability to serve as a platform for integrated advertising campaigns.

To learn more, I spoke with John Freund, CEO of Jump Technologies, Inc. (JumpTech), the creator of Nabbit and Nabbit Ads. Here's our discussion.

WebMarketCentral (WMC): What exactly is Nabbit Ads, and how does it work?

John Freund (JF): Nabbit Ads® allows advertisers to create integrated radio, tv, outdoor, print, mobile, digital and social network advertising campaigns. For example, a listener on the radio hears an ad from a coffee vendor (lets call it “Joe’s Java”) that says to text in the word “coffee” and receive a coupon on your phone good for a free cup of coffee today. When the listener sends in the text, an ad for Joe’s Java is automatically saved for them in their Nabbit account. If the listener didn’t have a Nabbit account, one would automatically be created for them and a follow on text message would be sent telling them about the account.

If the listener has opted to share their Nabbs with their friends on Twitter or Facebook, a message would also appear there. For example, the message would say “Tom Pick just nabbed a free cup of coffee from Joe’s Java. Text Coffee to 545454 to get yours”. This is an example of a radio ad that drives a mobile coupon that launches a digital ad on Nabbit.com as well as a social message on Facebook.

Integrated-Advertising-Campaigns
WMC: What kinds of companies can benefit most from using this technology?

JF: Any business can benefit from Nabbit Ads. At its core, Nabbit helps people remember what they heard on radio, saw on TV or read in print. I am sure you can remember a time when you heard an ad for a product or a service that you wanted to act on but couldn’t because it wasn’t convenient. Nabbit allows the consumer to Nabb the ad and act on it later.

So, if you are a retailer and want to launch a coupon promotion, Nabbit Ads is a great tool. If you run a service group and want people to remember to go to your website, Nabbit Ads can help with that. If you own a restaurant and are looking to drive people into your store, Nabbit helps that tremendously. Again, Nabbit allows the consumer to Nabb the opportunity at the time they hear it, and act on it when it is convenient for them. Nabbing the ad sets in motion a sequence of events that spreads it in a very viral way through mobile, the internet and social networks.

WMC: Can you provide some real-world examples of companies using Nabbit Ads and what results they’ve seen?

JF: We helped Fox Television launch the Dollhouse series by adding tags to the end of their existing radio spots that said “To be reminded to tune into to the premier of Dollhouse, text the word 'Dollhouse' to 545454." Listeners who sent the text received a message one hour before the show started, reminding them to tune in. Listeners who requested the reminder also received an ad in their Nabbit account for a Dollhouse contest where they could win wardrobe from the show by answering a question during the show.

We also either Tweeted or posted a Facebook news feed that alerted the listener’s friends and followers that they had just set a reminder to watch Dollhouse. The message also instructed the friends and followers to text Dollhouse to 545454 to receive their own reminder. Any person who responded to the Tweet or Facebook item also received the contest ad in their Nabbit Account.

The contest was designed to cause the viewer to tune in live during the show. A question about the show was posted at Nabbit.com. The user saw the question by clicking on the link in the Nabbit Ad that was posted when they texted in for their reminder. Once at that link, they read the question and then watched the show for the answer. We created a “Fox Channel” on our Nabbit phone applications (iPhone, m.nabbit.com and our Java Mobile app) and made it available to those who registered to participate in the contest.

During the show, viewers opened the Fox Channel in Nabbit on their phones and saw four possible answers to the question. When they thought they knew the answer, they pressed the corresponding button on their phone. The winner was selected out of all who submitted the correct answers. Again, this only worked during the actual broadcast. If a viewer watched Dollhouse on their DVR after the show, the contest didn’t work.

Fox was looking to accomplish two things in this campaign: increase viewers to the premier as well as increase live viewers rather than DVR viewers (as people with DVRs can fast forward through commercials). 33% of those who registered for the contest actually participated, which meant that they actually watched the show live—a number much higher than Fox anticipated.

WMC: Nabbit Ads seems like a pretty unique product. Who do view as competitors and how does Nabbit Ads compare to their offerings?

JF: Our primary competition comes in two areas. First, just within the marketing departments of the companies we are talking to, responsibility for mobile, digital and social network advertising is often fragmented. Many companies now have a traditional marketing group, a digital group, a mobile group and a social network group. In most cases, these groups don't work well together.

We came across one company that contacted us through their radio buyers asking to run a mobile campaign with us. We later found out that this company's mobile group was planning the same type of campaign. The radio people were trying to buy mobile and the mobile people were trying to buy radio—a real waste of time and money. We spend a great deal of time in our sales cycles just trying to get these groups to work together and drive much higher ROI from leveraging the strengths of each platform to work together.

Our second form of competition comes from the mobile text messaging crowd. There are literally hundreds of companies like Hipcricket and Vibes that sell mobile texting campaigns. While great companies with good products, they are very one-dimensional. The listener can text in a keyword in response to an ad. There is no linkage to digital or social networking, which are the two hottest ad platforms today. Nabbit Ads is the only service that allows advertisers to build truly integrated campaigns across all media types today.

WMC: What’s the pricing structure for Nabbit Ads?

JF: We price our products just like search engine advertising is priced today. Everything is set up on a cost-per-click basis. This creates a no-risk opportunity for advertisers. If our campaigns are not successful, advertisers will not pay for it. We have budget caps so that when the campaign response is higher than anticipated, we can alert the advertiser that they are approaching their budget, and they can decide how they want to move forward.

WMC: Anything else you’d like to add?

JF: The other key component of Nabbit Ads is the measurability of everything we do. Our customers have real-time analytics available to them to track response rates to their campaigns. They can see what media outlet works when. They can see the demographics of those responding as well as the viral impact of the campaign. These are examples of just a few of the many reports we provide. The bottom line is that we provide analytics that most advertisers have only dreamed of.

Finally, Nabbit Ads is extremely easy to implement. Advertisers can Nabbit-enable an ad with a simple 10-second tag at the end of existing creative, or a crawler on the bottom of a TV ad, or a simple texting option in an existing print ad. We get campaigns up and running within hours of notification from our clients. The process is quick and easy, and leads to terrific a terrific ROI for our customers. With our shared risk/shared reward pay-per-click pricing model, there is very little risk to an advertiser in trying Nabbit Ads.

*****


Contact Mike Bannan: mike@digitalrdm.com

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): SEO Guidance, Part 1

This content has been moved to Best of 2009: SEO Tips, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

SEO Rant: The Insidious Nofollow Tag

This content has been moved to The Insidious Nofollow Tag: An SEO Rant on the Webbiquity blog.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Blogging for Business, Part 1

This content has been moved to Best Business Blogging Tips of 2009, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

How to Use Social Media to Leverage the Power of Google

Note: This is a guest post written by Christopher Angus, an award winning Internet Marketer.

While Google and social media are two separate entities, they are closely intertwined. Google ranks its results based on several hundred quality signals. These range from website backlinks to the actual words on a particular page and whether a website has trust and / or authority. Many a SEO Company has tried to manipulate the results to their benefit. This is largely based on the fact that Google is a “backlink-based algorithm” and people would simply buy or find other means of artificially inflating their number of links. Of course, Google combats paid links or other “unnatural” links with its algorithm or in extreme cases penalising a website.

As Google’s algorithm advances it has become far more difficult for business owners or SEO professionals to “game” the system and Google will continue to use other signals outside the normal margins to determine the quality and where a website should rank—these are starting to include the inflow of traffic to a website and possibly citations on other websites too. However, the most advantageous aspect to performing well in social media is that many people who frequent the sites are webmasters and blog owners. Should you have an interesting article, resource or any other item which may be of interest to them; they will link to your site from their own internet property. It’s these “natural” links which have a gargantuan impact on a website’s ranking on Google. This is particularly true when a popular website or blog picks up your story or other item and links to it, these top websites may include Wired.com, BBC or generally any other high end news website.

Google-Social-MediaMany journalists cruise techy social media sites such as Digg and Reddit looking for interesting stories to cover and link too. Getting your story to the front page of these hugely popular sites is not hard if you have the knowledge. These top social media sites also have their own algorithms to prevent people manipulating their story to the front page. To get your story to the front page of a popular social media site you need to submit it to the site in particular and then ensure that your story gets sufficient votes to ensure it reaches the front page. To get several hundred votes you either need to have a large number of friends or get someone with an established network to submit your story for you. These Social Media Experts will usually charge a fee though for helping your story reach the front page of a particular site.

Having your story visible on the front page of a social website for a short amount of time will bring several benefits. These include: Huge amounts of traffic, brand building and of course the all precious “backlinks”. We also believe that Google looks at what’s popular on social networks and gives the popular items a temporary as well as a long-term boost in its own rankings.

To succeed on Google, webmasters and business owners now need to embrace social media and other internet communities or risk losing valuable rankings on Google.

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Contact Mike Bannan: mike@digitalrdm.com

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): AdWords Tips and Tactics, Part 1

This content has been moved to Best AdWords Tips and Tactics of 2009, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

7 Essential Techniques for Advanced SEO Link Building

Basic link building involves getting your website listed on partner sites, quality online directories and do-follow social bookmarking / social networking sites. Depending upon your industry and the keywords you are trying to rank for, those efforts may be enough to get you a top spot on Google and the other major search engines.

But if you've taken care of the "low hanging fruit" with regard to links and your site still isn't ranking well, you may need to try some more advanced link building techniques. Here are a half-dozen+1 more tactics to generate high-quality external links to your site.

1. Link bait. Produce "linkable" content that others will be happy to link to. A page that's little more than an online marketing brochure is unlikely to attract many links independently. However, bloggers and other site owners will happily link to quality content such as helpful how-to articles, original research, resources such as useful lists, and cool online tools.

2. Interactive PR. Write compelling news releases with key terms linked back to corresponding pages on your site. Create a social media release through PitchEngine. Distribute your releases through online press release services to increase your exposure. Consider both free press release services and fee-based PR distribution sites.

3. Articles. Create your own external links to your site by writing helpful industry-related articles and linking these back to your site. Submit your articles to high-quality article directories.

The next four tactics involve generating links through blogs, in order from the easiest but lowest value to the most challenging but rewarding techniques.

4. Blog comments. Post comments on industry-related blogs. Make sure you comments are relevant to the post, add value (i.e. they aren't just about your company), and include no more than two links back to your site. One is better.

5. Blogger outreach. Take the direct route—send notes to carefully selected bloggers pointing them to original research, compelling content, a useful tool or (truly) interesting news. Use proper blogger relations techniques, and avoid these worst practices in blogger outreach.

6. Blogger relationships. Since bloggers who know you are more likely to link to you, try to establish relationships with some key bloggers in your industry space. Subscribe to their RSS feeds, follow them on Twitter, tweet their posts on occasion, write comments (see above), ask for advice, and, if possible, try to connect live at conferences where they are presenting or attending.

7. Guest posts. Most powerful of all, once you've established a relationship with an influential blogger, offer to write a guest post. Make sure it offers valuable information; is not self-promotional; and appeals to the blog's readers. It's generally acceptable to include 2-3 links back to your own site between the post and the "about the author," but don't overdo it, and ideally the post should link to other information sources as well.

They aren't quick or easy, but with patience and persistence, these techniques can create not only high-quality links for SEO purposes, but also new professional connections and even long-term friendships. Those personal connections are the most rewarding links of all.

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Contact Mike Bannan: mike@digitalrdm.com

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Best of 2009 (So Far): Social Media Marketing, Part 1

This content has been moved to Best of 2009: Social Media Marketing, Part 1 on the Webbiquity blog.

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