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Archive for October, 2008


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PRSA 2008: Word of Mouth Online or Off – What’s The Difference?

TopRank Online Marketing on Oct 26th, 2008     Marketing PR Conferences, PR Conferences

Can you truly measure the effect of word of mouth in marketing, whether it be online or offline?  If so, which is more effective?  Further, if so, what exactly can we as marketers do with it?

These were the bold questions set forth by Jeffrey Graham,  Executive Director, Customer Insight, New York Times, in the day one PRSA International Conference Session “Word of Mouth Online or Off – What’s the Difference?”

The session’s formal agenda began with the stunning, though entirely unsurprising, admission that word of mouth, while noted as critical towards any marketing campaign’s success, is rarely accounted for in a campaigns budget.

The answer for this is surprisingly direct, in addition to being a complete cop-out: it simply cannot be measured.

TopRank Online Marketing

PRSA 2008: True Tales of Social Media Measurement & Analytics

TopRank Online Marketing on Oct 26th, 2008     Marketing PR Conferences, Social Media

How do you measure something that seemingly cannot be measured?  For example, how much do I love this little guy here who answers to the name of Clark:

Session 2 001

And how much does this same little guy hate, just hate I tell you, taking a bath:

Session 2 002

In both instances, it’s as wide as my arms can go.  So how can we analyze it?

That was the question Katie Delahaye Paine, CEO of KDPaine & Partners, and Shonali Burke, Consultant with ABC, sought to answer in the PRSA Session “True Tales from the Social Media Measurement Trenches – Using Research to Learn & Improve Our Programs” – an excellent session bookend by a social media case study on The American Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (See!  You were probably thinking I was just showing off pictures of my new puppy!)

Lee Odden

Internet Marketing All Star Video Smackdown

Lee Odden on Oct 25th, 2008     Online Marketing

Are you a small or medium sized business owner that would like to get insight on a range of internet marketing topics? Next Wednesday, (Oct 29) 1 – 3:30 p.m. EST Network Solutions is holding the “Solutions Stars Video Conference,” a series of videos and live discussions featuring 32 internet marketing experts and entrepreneurs from every angle you can imagine from SEO to social media to whatever it is that Tim Ferris does. Seriously, this is one heck of a lineup and I have no doubt it will be exceptional.

This will be a live video conference focused on coaching small business owners and entrepreneurs on how the Internet can benefit their business. Nine content areas featuring vignettes of the Solutions Stars will run during the conference:

  • Building Web Presence
Lee Odden

Big Brand Social Media Interview: Wells Fargo, Home Depot, UPS & Graco

Lee Odden on Oct 22nd, 2008     Interviews, Online Marketing, Other Events, Social Media, Social Media Smarts


As much has been publicized about brands using social media to better connect with their customers, extend brand reach and increase sales, there’s still a high demand for practical insider advice and case studies.

To preview the upcoming BlogWell event Oct 28 on How Big Companies Use Social Media, Online Marketing Blog brings you this first ever group interview with 4 speakers from some of America’s best known brands to share their insights on defining, justifying, testing, outsourcing, measuring and continuing to learn about social media for the enterprise.

Tim Collins from Wells Fargo
Tim Collins, Senior Vice President of Experiential Marketing, is a eleven year veteran of Wells Fargo.  He manages sponsorships, events, virtual worlds, social media, etc.  He also has “Only at Wells Fargo” responsibilities including History Museums and an active Stage Coach Appearance program.

Lee Odden

SEO Basics: Will Moving or Changing My Site Hurt Rankings?

Lee Odden on Oct 22nd, 2008     Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

We continue our Search Engine Optimization Basics series of posts this week with a question from a marketer that is dealing with issues related to moving a web site to another host and possibly updating the content management system and design.

Will changing our web site affect our search engine rankings?

As with many SEO related questions, the short answer is, “It depends”.  The first thing to clarify is what “changing” means. Outside of changes to content, keyword usage and incoming links, common changes to a web site that affect search engine visibility include:

  • Changing domain names
  • Changing content management systems
  • Changing design
  • Changing web hosts

Companies change domain names for many reasons including: improved usability or better domain name (del.icio.us to delicious.com) , the result of a company acquisition, business roll up or simply changing the name of the company.

Lee Odden

How to protect your blog without Akismet.

Lee Odden on Oct 22nd, 2008     Blogging

Some web hosts do not allow for plugins such as Akismet to function properly. This is because they turn off the PHP function fsockopen for security reasons.  When they do this, any plugin that connects to an outside source doesn’t function correctly.  The biggest issue then is the inflow of spam.

I’ve found two plugins that seem to help take control of spam comments and trackbacks when Akismet isn’t available.  Neither are perfect, but together they make a world of difference in the fight against spam.

The first is Cookies for Comments.  This plugin places a cookie into the visitors browser when they arrive at your site.  Once they leave a comment, the plugin checks to see if that cookie exists.  If there is no cookie, then it’s marked as spam.  From my testing, it works quite well.

Lee Odden

Corporate Blogging Trends, Insights and Events

Lee Odden on Oct 21st, 2008     Blog Marketing, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media

Whether to blog or not and exactly how to do it are big questions for many companies that have not jumped on the business blogging bandwagon yet. For companies that want to learn, there are many channels to choose from ranging from the many articles we’ve written on blog marketing and more recently, this roundup of news stories from the social web:

Blogging Becomes Mainstream – eMarketer article by Senior Analyst Paul Verna, “Blogging has become so pervasive and influential that the lines between blogging and the mainstream media have disappeared.” Data from a survey run by Technorati and Decipher.

Why Pharma Fears Social Networking – Not all indusries are keen on blogging and this article from BrandWeek explains the push behind the Pharmaceutical industry to get on board with social media.

TopRank Online Marketing

PRSA International Conference Detroit: A Halloween Perspective

TopRank Online Marketing on Oct 20th, 2008     Online Marketing, PR Conferences, Public Relations, Social Media

Next weekend, I will be deployed to Detroit, MI  to attend 2008’s PRSA International Conference titled “The Point of Connection” and will be sharing thoughts on several sessions, in addition to general overviews of the event itself, on behalf of Online Marketing Blog readers. So what am I looking forward to most about the PRSA International conference?

Visiting Detroit, of course!  When most think of Detroit, they will no doubt reflect on the history of Motown, past flawed baseball greats such as Ty Cobb and Denny McClain, or “Detroit Rock City”.  My nerdom leads me elsewhere, however.

For me, Detroit will always be immortalized as the city that hosted the monumental world premiere of  “Night of the Demons” in Halloween of 1988.  Per IMDB’s invaluable trivia feature, had this filmed opened nationwide with the numbers posted in Detroit, it would have ranked among the top grossing horror films of the decade.

Lee Odden

BIGLIST SEO Blog Reviews 101708

Lee Odden on Oct 17th, 2008     BIGLIST SEM Blogs

SEO Blogs

Welcome to the BIGLIST SEO Blog review update – Las Vegas Airport Edition.  McCaron airport is like every other airport I spend time in except there’s free internet access. And that’s the reason I can bring this BIGLIST update to you today.

The following are blogs we’ve noticed over the past week or so, visited and decided they were worthy to be included in the BIGLIST of SEO, SEM and Social Media blogs. Unfortunately my plane is boarding so the reviews will need to be added later tonight. Enjoy!

Lee Odden

The Yin Yang of PR and SEO

Lee Odden on Oct 16th, 2008     DMA Annual Conference, Online Marketing, Public Relations, SEO

PR SEOOrganic search (SEO) success is based fundamentally on keywords and links. You can also make a pretty easy correlation between that and the combination of messaging and media pickups important in public relations efforts.

Search engines like Google advise webmasters to create great content and let important web sites in your industry know (to attract links).  Some of the best link sources are the hardest to achieve, such as a link in a story published at a major publication or even a industry niche publication.

This is where PR and SEO savvy can combine like Yin and Yang to create competitive advantages and extend the value and reach of your online marketing/media relations efforts. Some of the public realtions tactics that can affect search engine optimization results include:

Lee Odden

SEO Basics: Unlocking Content for Search Engines

Lee Odden on Oct 15th, 2008     Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

At the DMA08 conference in Las Vegas this week, the “Search Engine Experience” panel on Tuesday was presented with a number of site reviews which are great sessions because the audience gets free SEO consulting advice and speakers get to demonstrate their expertise.

One of the questions that came up was related to a site that has most of it’s content behind a login. Because search engine spiders don’t/can’t fill out forms (with some exceptions) they cannot find the content behind the login to index and include in the search results.

Why would you want your “members access only” content available to search engines?

Lee Odden

SEO Tops Recession Internet Marketing Tactics

Lee Odden on Oct 13th, 2008     Online Marketing, Reader Polls, SEO

internet marketing poll

Let’s face it, we’re experiencing more than “interesting” economic times, especially those with a marketing responsibility in-house and at agencies.

To tap in to the stream of marketing-savvy collective wisdom online, we reached out to our network with a top internet marketing tactics poll for the next 6 months. Over 400 business marketers responded, making this the most popular poll Online Marketing Blog has run to-date. Readers were asked: What 3 internet marketing tactics will you emphasize most in the next 6 months?

Here are the results of the poll:

  • Search engine optimization (36%, 149 Votes)
  • Blogging (33%, 134 Votes)
  • Pay per click (26%, 107 Votes)
  • Email marketing (22%, 89 Votes)
  • Social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn) (21%, 86 Votes)

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