Archives for March 2008

Social Media Marketing Tactics and Resources

Recently internet marketing legend, Larry Chase of Web Digest for Marketers asked for a contributed article on marketing with social media. Unlike many SEO focused social media marketing practitioners which tend to emphasize promoting stories to go “hot” for traffic bursts and ancillary links, TopRank focuses on a long term mix of Branding/PR/SEO tactics to engage in discussions and promotions within social communities.

To make the article more social, I asked several social media savvy friends and industry contacts in the public relations, direct marketing and search marketing business for their tips and resources.

Contributors included: Brian Solis, Neil Patel, Chris Winfield, Mike Moran, Rohit Bhargava, Jeremiah Owyang, Muhammad Saleem, Jason Falls as well as sources: Steve Rubel, Robert Scoble, Charlene Li, Andy Hagans, Pete Cashmore, Chris Brogan, authors Huba/McConnell and Emanuel Rosen. Thank you to all who particpated!

SuperBowl Advertising Post Mortem: Tide Sticks it Out

superbowl-advertising.jpg

While I am presently an offline/online media relations guy, my background spans a variety of media and tactics. As such, I have always been fascinated with the phenomena of SuperBowl advertisements. What other event allows you to generate buzz simply by making a media buy?

When it comes to search, it is nearly useless to play Monday morning quarterback with SuperBowl advertisements. Whether Budweiser had a funnier ad than FedEx is not necessarily relevant to our world. But in order to determine whether companies maximized their $2.7 million investment, it is important to assess the lasting impact on searches for their products.

In a trend that is sure to continue, many companies endeavored to drive traffic to their website in hopes of generating online buzz. Godaddy.com was certainly the most explicit about this tactic, sending viewers online to catch a racy “forbidden” ad featuring NASCAR sensation Danica Patrick.

5 Tips on Social Media Advertising

In the wonderful world of social media marketing there are many ways to reach and engage customers. As with search marketing, there is both an “organic” and an advertising component to online marketing with social networks, news and media sharing sites.

As social media usage increases month over month, marketers have found a way to use these popular sites as channels for promotion. Anyone can join the PINK Victoria’s Secret group on Facebook and receive messages of a new sale or a new product line hitting the shelves in the upcoming weeks. Companies have been using MySpace for years to create custom pages for their promotion and making friends with current and potential customers in and around their target demographic.

What is Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social Media Marketing Strategy

There are many reasons social media can be a productive marketing channel or platform. Rather than emplying it as a tactic du jour, the purpose should dictate strategy and the tactics used for reaching desired goals. A few common outcomes for social media marketing efforts include:

  • Gain insight into a community of interest -You can run all the customer surveys you want, but some of the most interesting and progressive market research can be found within the social communities where your customers interact, share information and make recommendations. Tapping into the streams of dialog is a great start to engagement and social participation with your brand.

Parting Notes and Party Pictures from SES NY

Yahoo Sign Times Square

The abundance of Online Marketing Blog coverage of SES New York slowed significantly by Wed afternoon but there was nothing slowing down the SES NY conference, which had record breaking attendance numbers. Despite my TopRank blogging compatriot Jolina having Thursday off and myself moderating and speaking that day, there was plenty of action documented during the sessions day 1, 2, 3 and 4, at the Microsoft party and the WebmasterRadio.FM SearchBash.

Lee Odden

I do want to thank Kevin Ryan from Incisive for having me involved on the speaking/moderator side of things. Despite being day 4, the heavily PR and SEO focused “Beyond Linkbait” session was packed and was covered by several blogs including: Search Engine Roundtable, Search Engine Watch, Search Marketing Standard and aimClear Blog.

SES NY Session: Social Media & Why it Matters

Social Media Optimization Panel
Social Media is an important, growing channel in the world of online marketing. Certainly indicated by the number of attendees crammed into this afternoon’s session at SES New York.

The panel for the session included moderation duties handled by Erik Qualman from EF Education and the following speakers: Jennifer Laycock, Liana Evans, Tamera Kremer and William Flaiz.

From the impromptu polling during the session, the majority of people are already leveraging social media as a marketing channel in some way.

There are organizations that are built for this type of marketing. They produce the right kind of content, make it shareable and are willing to test new channels. The Smart Kit puzzles site is a perfect example. (If you are a competitive person, don’t click as you’ll not be able to stop. :))

Beyond Linkbait with Media and Blogger Relations – SES NY

happy-woman-laptop.jpg
On Thursday I’ll be presenting on a panel, “Beyond Linkbat: Getting Authoritative Mentions Online” with Chris Boggs and Sally Falkow. Sage Lewis will be moderating. I think this type of session is very timely as search engines begin to put more and more emphasis on higher quality and editorial link sources and less on sources that are easier to manipulate. Increasing competition online also means online branding and influence increase in their importance.

Online PR is a perfect solution for a topic that shines less light on tactics du jour, althought linkbaiting still works well, and more on leveraging the media and centers of influence online. I’ve written about how SEO and Online PR can work together in the past, but in this presentation I’ll be focusing on the Do’s and Don’ts of media relations and blogger relations.

SES NY Keynote: SEO Lessons and the Wall Street Journal

SES NY Attendees, Keynote Day 3

After gathering around the caffeine this morning for Day 3 of SES New York, attendees gathered to listen to a keynote from Gordon McLeod, President, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.

Gordon led the audience through the evolution of SEO within the Wall Street Journal organization, noting that they didn’t necessarily do things right the first or second time.

Since 1996, The Wall Street Journal has grown to incorporate SEO as a strategic business decision, not a grouping of tactics.

Here are some of the lessons they learned along the way:

1. Website is 1.0
Content has to be in places other than the company’s website. So stop holding onto it for dear life. Let your content transcend online channels including social.

Day Two SES NY 2008 Summary and Party Photos

Jason Calcanis Danny Sullivan watch SEO Rap Battle

Day two rolled right along here at SES New York with great sessions well documented by an array of blog coverage. This includes our own Jolina Pettice who filed an SES inspired post on “Tips for Overcoming Client-Created Roadblocks” as well as session coverage of “Converting Visitors into Buyers” and the Orion panel on Universal Search. We also posted a video interview with Sara Holoubeck on current SEMPO news.

After the conference SES attendees dispersed and two events Jolina and I were able to attend included Alan Dick’s Vintage Tub and Bath Dinner at the Manahattan Penthouse and the (IMNY) charity party at the Black Finn bar. A highlight of the evening was the SEO Rap battle between Marcus Tandler and m0serious from PopLabs at the table Jason Calcanis and Danny Sullivan were sitting at (photo above).

SES New York: Converting Visitors into Buyers

Visitors into Conversions Panel - SES NY

The conversions track at SES New York continues to be packed with those wanting to increase the performance of their search marketing campaigns.

The “Converting Visitors into Buyers” panel was moderated by Aaron Shear from Boost Search Marketing and the speakers included: Mike Moran from IBM, Nigel Ravenhill from McAfee, Michael Sack from Idearc Media Corp. and Howard Kaplanfrom Future Now Inc.

I missed the first half of this session but was able to sit in on the second half and hear Mike Sack and Howard Kaplan give the audience ideas on increasing conversions.

Michael Sack started 0ff with a story about why milk is always in the back of the supermarket.

SES NY Video: Sara Holoubek on SEMPO

On day two of the Search Engine Strategies conference the expo hall has opened and I found my way past two floors of exhibitors to find the SEMPO booth staffed by the famous “free agent” and SEMPO board member, Sara Holoubek. In this video interview, Sara talks about the local SEMPO groups that are forming as well as her insight on the new SEMPO Institute Agency Certification.

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8718034651485792797&hl=en[/googlevideo]

You can read the reviews of SEMPO Institute’s “Insider’s Guide to Search Marketing” formerly known as the “Fundamentals of Search Marketing” and the Advanced SEO Course Review by TopRank’s Dana Larson.

Day One SES NY 2008 Summary and Photos

SES New York Audience

Yesterday proved to be an interesting kickoff to this year’s Search Engine Strategies conference here in New York. The Organic Listings panel was entertaining and informative as always and the Build Investment Interest in your SEO/SEM firm was an early indulgence for myself that offered great tips for those looking at the future liquidity and monetization for their agency.

Jolina weighed in with her posts on excellent sessions, Four Ways to Redfine the Customer and Three Tips for Successful Analytics. There was also a spontaneous goofball interview with Mike McDonald of WebProNews offering a few insights about the future of SES/SMX.