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Showing posts from November, 2008

What Aaron Goldman is Thankful For

Aaron Goldman over at MediaPost just posted his 10 Reasons Search Marketers Should Be Thankful. In terms of the research, the links, and the thought put in behind it, this is an outstanding post.

Search may not be recession-proof—links to a post Aaron wrote about a month ago where he provides research demonstrating how and why search marketing will remain strong through this downturn.

Google's free keyword tool and Insights for Search tool—the keyword tool is hardly new, but has been upgraded, and is much more robust than it used to be. And Insights is just a lot of fun.

Google Analytics is enterprise-ready—a recent post from Jeff Campbell that delves into the latest enhancements added to Analytics and why these make it now competitive with top-shelf analytics packages.

New Study Reveals Untapped Billions In Search Marketing—some interesting research here on the growth potential for paid search. However, "hold-outs from the paid search Stone Age" seems a rather harsh way t…

Looking Back at 300: Top 10 Posts

On the occasion of the 300th post on the WebMarketCentral blog, and to see how things have changed since the first 100 posts, here are the 10 most popular posts of all time so far.

#10: The 8 Layers of a B2B Web Marketing Plan, October 8, 2008

The most recent post to make this list presents B2B marketing as a series of concentric layers, with SEO at the core then moving outward from highly measurable online direct response tactics to broader brand advertising.

#9: Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEO (Part 1), January 28, 2008

Summaries of and links to a dozen outstanding articles on SEO from some of the top pros like Lee Odden, Jon Rognerud and Danny Sullivan. Also, I think, the first time on this blog I made the case that SEO is far from dead.

#8: Web 2.0 Social Tagging Sites, Part 7: The Best, June 26, 2007

"Based on two months of testing across a half-dozen B2B websites and blogs, these Web 2.0 social bookmarking sites produced the best results, in terms of driving direct t…

Best of 2008 (So Far) - Blogging for Business, Part 2

Four Reasons to Keep Branding During a Recession

The trends are clear: as the economic malaise deepens, GDP growth heads into negative territory and unemployment rises, marketers are slamming the brakes on any program that is offline / branding and shifting whatever dollars they have left in their shrinking budgets to online / direct response.

Last week, MarketingSherpa published two charts showing the shift from offline to online spending, and from brand advertising to direct. Then yesterday, they released this chart, providing detail on the shift in tactics.

The temptation to move in this direction is obvious—but temptations can be dangerous. Shifting resources to social network interaction is smart, and likely would have occurred to some extent even without a recession. Emailing to house lists is another no brainer, though it has to be done with caution; if overdone, unsubscribes will increase and your house list will shrink.

As for the next two tactics on the list, paid search and telemarketing, the only surprise is that there i…

Viral Marketing Campaigns - Keep It Simple

Creating a successful viral marketing campaign has been likened to hitting home runs—you never know which at-bat is going to produce one, so the key is to make a lot of trips to the plate. Put another way, there is no magic formula for producing a viral campaign, you just have to try different concepts. There are, however, certain characteristics that will either increase the odds of viral success, or doom it to failure.

Simplicity: engaging with your campaign should be easy and intuitive. Most of us have too much to think about already: deadlines at work, paying the bills, juggling schedules—interacting with a viral campaign isn't something we should have to put a whole lot of thought into. If your concept requires too much thought, the only people it will catch on with are those who have nothing better to do.

Originality: if an idea feels too familiar, it won't go anywhere. There are about a zillion variations of whack-a-mole games, for example. This concept was very clever th…

Twitter Twaddle, Part 2: Best Practices, Tools and The Future of Twitter

This is the second of a two-part series. Part one covered what Twitter is and why it's cool; this post discusses Twitter etiquette, tools, and speculation about its future.

How to Twitter Properly

Like any other social setting, Twitter has its own etiquette. This can be confusing to new users. (And, as you can see by spending more than a few minutes on Twitter, it's apparently elusive to many long-time users as well.) Margaret Mason has written an outstanding primer on Twitter etiquette, offering advice such as watch your ratio ("If only a few people follow you, but you follow a thousand or more, many people will assume you’re a spammer. That’s because you probably are. Go away, spammer."); never Twitter if you're drunk or high; and most importantly, "remember that everyone can hear you."

The brilliant Mike Volpe of HubSpot takes a different approach to offering his advice in 5 Things On Twitter That Annoy the Crap Out of Me. His practices-to-avoid incl…

Best of 2008 (So Far) - Cool Web Tools, Part 2

Twitter Twaddle, Part 1: What Twitter Is and Why It's Cool

Most Web 2.0 sites fall into one of a few increasingly well-defined categories, such as social bookmarking (Digg,, Searchles), social networking (LinkedIn, Facebook) or file sharing (YouTube, Flickr, podOmatic). Twitter, however, stands alone. (Okay, there's also Pownce, but Twitter is better.)

Self-described as simply a real-time short messaging service and often referred to a microblogging platform, to those new to it, Twitter resembles nothing so much as a giant cocktail party where everyone talks at once and hopes others listen. You can tell who's important by how many "followers" that person has, though that's no guarantee anyone is really paying attention. People (or rather, Tweeple in the Twitter lexicon) can come and go without really being noticed, just like at a real (very, very large) gathering.

Twitter can be difficult to explain to those unfamiliar with it. Jennifer Laycock writes that Twitter is like Post-It notes; lots of them and in mu…

Marketing: Brand vs. Value

The presidential election now upon us offers an interesting contrast in marketing approaches. One candidate is all about brand, image, and soaring rhetoric that appeals to the heart. The other is (significantly) less flashy but appeals to our more practical side. He's the candidate of rational, "value" buyers who carefully consider the offerings then choose the one that offers the greatest benefit for the lowest price—an appeal to the brain.

From a product standpoint, Obama is like the iPod. Never mind that there are lots of MP3 players that offer matching or even superior functionality, at a lower price, without the limitation of compatibility only with a closed network—the iPod is cool! So much so that "iPod" has become to "MP3 player" what "Kleenex" is to "tissue."

McCain on the other hand is the "off-brand" that peels buyers away from the big name through an appeal to value. A classic example is Dell Computer. When th…