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Archive for the 'Viral Marketing' Category

5 campaigns you wish you thought of

Top 5 Mobile Campaigns

The strategic and creative possibilities offered by mobile devices are the future of advertising and marketing. People spend more and more time on their smartphones and less time watching TV. As a logical consequence, promoting a brand means to rethink the allocation of advertising budgets between old and new channels of communication, even if things seem to be moving at a slow pace: while 37% of the total time dedicated to media was spent watching TV and 24% on mobile, advertising spending on TV remains at 41% compared to 8% on smartphones and tablets (source: KPCB). (more…)

I was in the shower this morning, considering the impact that Twitter and Facebook have had on Google’s search results. After reading Rands test results from Twitter links versus traditional text links in ranking pages within the Google search results, it is clear that Google is placing significant weight on links from Twitter and Facebook. Based upon this information, one would assume that if Facebook and Twitter no longer permitted Google-bot access their websites, Google’s algorithm would have to be seriously adjusted.  It would probably end up in pushing Google search results to displaying only yesterday’s news and information, instead of real-time search results currently based upon the linking patterns Google-bot gets from Twitter and Facebook.

I was just reading a blog post on searchengineland about Twitter being acquired by someone, whether it be Google, Microsoft or Facebook. I find this concept interesting: Whomever buys Twitter will have the most updated real-time content online. I believe that the acquisition of Twitter must be made by Microsoft. This would give Microsoft its first leg up on Google in search. Microsoft could probably license the access to Twitter to Google for hundreds of millions of dollars.

The facts are quite simple that without Twitter and Facebook links, Google’s sort of screwed. Unfortunately Google’s recent behavior has created a bit of industry anger towards its online business practices. I think this is why Groupon did not sell to Google.

I wanted to mention that this blog post was written with the assistance of NaturallySpeaking by Dragon. If you have hesitated in using speech-recognition software, I would say now is the time to give it a try. I think that using this software will make it much easier for me to blog from this point forward.

While I’m getting NaturallySpeaking a plug, I may as well mention the really really cool viral marketing tool they’ve built on their website. It’s called Fingers of Fire.

Beside the big and known Google, Yahoo, Bing, Blekko and and the local leaders Baidu and Tandex, there are several other, “little” search engines – such as HotBot and DuckDuckGo. The latter was launched in 2008 and has a very, very limited market share with about 2.5 million searches a month. However, everyone is trying to gain ground these days – and if this is done on expense of Google – it is even better.

DuckDuckGo tries to gain users by emphasizing their pretty unique approach – they do no store search data. Either this is done on purpose or the company simply does not have the necessary resources, the manner is now advertised as being solely correct.

In an aggressive marketing campaign, the company specifically highlights “the Google way” of “invading your privacy”, stating that with little effort, your search history associated with computer IP and, stored at Google servers can be tracked down to you in person. Next goes your personal data, credit history, insurance policy etc.

Although the campaign (as most advertising campaigns) is not entirely correct, purposely exaggerating the “big brother” threat of in its quest of “making the privacy aspects of search engines understandable to the average person” (quoted is DuckDuckGo founder, Gabriel Weinberg), it might have an effect on certain privacy-concerned users. Will they switch to DuckDuckGo or go elsewhere? That is another question, of course…

Twitter has been here for quite a while, but it has really grown in the recent two years. And lately, with the people tweet to share their ideas and opinions as well as notify their friends (aka followers) about the current news, almost every business is using Twitter constantly for promotion offers and other valuable information.

The competition in the online world is pretty severe, and Twitter is no exception. The users need to become more and more creative to make you follow them. Another important task is preserving the follower’s base. And one the ways to achieve that is to let them share an opinion with the “big brother” – the brand. That’s what Twitter Chat is about – allow followers (aka customers) to ask questions and offer personal opinions. Although it is doubtful that any of these ideas will be actually heard in the company HQ (although some certainly might), the “round-table” definitely present a certain level of satisfaction for the clients.

Additionally, this emphasizes a very important thing in the internet era – there are actual people behind the brand. @username is not a tweeting robot; it is a living human being that can chat with you from time to time.


Google Goes… Phone?

Telemarketing was never a part of Google business strategy. The idea was to spread the information, get recognizable and make the clients come to them, asking for services. That’s were the sales managers stepped in, offering a variety of products, bargain deals and impressing the customer.

However, according to latest news, this has recently changed. Several hundreds of telemarketers are employed by the company, their task being to sell Google Boost and Google Tags services to local businesses at several markets in the US.

It seems the Rubicon has been crossed and Google has now “recognized” that some niches and companies should be addressed directly rather than by advertising. The next question, which should be probably answered in few months time, is whether they will expand their own telemarketing group (reportedly currently measuring 300 employees) or try to purchase an established sales force.

After all, with Groupon denying “the 6 billion offer”, Google has some money to spare…

Press Releases

OK, let’s be honest right off the bat: most press releases received by most media organizations go right into the recycling bin. But that doesn’t mean yours will. For one thing, the good press releases have a few things in common, and for another, “media” now includes bloggers, ezines, streaming content producers, and freelancers. Whoever you plan to send press releases to, do some research on them first and make sure that your press releases would be a good fit for their organization. It’s the 21st century version of the old “don’t send a dog article to a cat magazine” rule.

press releaseThe press release is by no means dead, and is in fact very useful in many situations. Your press releases should be sent to news media for the purpose of letting the world know about company developments and newsworthy items. Concentrate on the word “newsworthy.” The number one reason journalists toss press releases is because they so often consist of self promotion dressed up to appear newsworthy.

So really, the first thing you should ask yourself when you’re thinking about sending a press release is “Should I be sending a press release? Or is this just an exercise in vanity or wishful thinking?” Use the “so what” test, because this is what journalists and publishers do. If your press release says, “XYZ Widgetry, Inc. recently hired Dr. Joan Thingity to be head of their engineering development department,” the first thing the journalist is going to think is, you guessed it, “So what?”

Ah, but if your next sentence tells about how she won a MacArthur genius grant for her work on desktop plasma widgetry (or whatever) and that she was at one time part of NASA’s astronaut corps, then you’ve got an answer for the “So what” question. If your press release cannot answer the “So what” question, then don’t send it. Wait until you have something meaty.

While a successful press release ought to be newsworthy, you may have to make the tie-in to the news yourself. Journalists are busy enough that they’re not going to automatically realize that the release of your new phone app coincides with the latest iPhone release. You’ll have to spell it out.

Press Release Tips

Here are some ways to make sure that your press release is newsworthy and therefore less likely to be chucked in the recycle bin.

  • Explain its place in a current controversy, whether it’s net neutrality or censorship of search engine results in some foreign country.
  • Make a skilled prediction: “By 2015, six million homes will have subscribed to our service, based on current trends.”
  • Tie it in with an upcoming holiday: “Our widget is designed to cut the average holiday shopping time by 45%.”
  • Adapt a national survey for local use: “Thirty million of those people ditching their landlines are expected to buy a smart phone within the next five years. Widgetry International releases an average of 12 smart phone apps per month across all platforms.”

You get the idea.

Some other possibilities for making your press release more appealing include:

  • Including results of a survey or a poll in your press release.
  • Hold a competition or a contest and announce it in your press release.
  • Announce changes in prices (the downward kind, anyway).
  • Write about a prestigious award one of your workers has won.
  • Stage a debate or other special event and announce it
  • Studies and surveys, which “create” news for you
  • Lists that tie to your business: “Top Seven Smart Phone Apps in the Tri-County Area”
  • “Hero” stories, such as the maintenance guy who rescued the litter of kittens living under the physical plant
  • Relevant trends with pertinent facts and figures

In brief, your press release should include the following:

  • A headline that is a very compact version of the key point of the press release
  • An opening sentence that can grab the attention of even the most jaded editor
  • An opening paragraph that covers the who, what, where, when, why, and how.
  • A second paragraph that expands on the topic of the press release
  • A third paragraph that includes relevant quotes from a spokesperson or other big wig at your company
  • A fourth paragraph that tells a little more about what your company does
  • A final paragraph that sums things up tidily, perhaps with a summary quote
  • Contact information
  • The universal “Here ends the press release” symbol of ### under the last line of the release

You may wonder why you should bother at all with press releases, since they have such a high chance of disappearing into the gaping maw that is the editor’s office, never to be seen again. But it’s all a part of your overall marketing strategy. SEO has a place, plain old advertising has a place, and media relations has a place too. Once you do get a press release or two picked up, consider contacting the editor or reporters you have traction with and offer to send them exclusives. If they know that they’re the only game in town getting your press releases, they may just take you up on it. But none of this can happen without first mastering the press release. You’ll get nowhere unless you have correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation, plus the compelling writing necessary to stand out from the rest of the herd.

competition research using service

competition research using service

URL shorteners are sweet, they help turn those really long URLs into nice neat URLs, but besides from this basic service, some URL shorteners also provide great data services.

Have you ever wanted to find out how your viral content is spreading? or how many times your blog post was retweeted, emailed or IM’ed?
Even better, what if you could see this data for your competitors shortened URLs and not just your own? Would this give you an extra advantage above your competitors? Yes I would think so.

So now that I have your attention, lets introduce into the picture.