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Posts Tagged ‘viral’

Add Personality To Your Website: Building Your Online Marketing Ecosystem Part XI

By John Joyce on March 30, 2010 - Comments 1

There has been a great deal written over the past year regarding the value of including video on your small business website.  The two main objections we hear over and over again are 1) I don’t have the time to create video content and 2) I don’t have the budget for the equipment and editing software.

Click to view interactive online marketing ecosystem.

Many of us said we didn’t have time to blog but now it’s a regular part of our daily/weekly routine and has become second nature.  So, the next logical progression is to begin integrating some interactive and engaging video content that will boost traffic and also keep visitors on your site longer.

Is there someone you would like to interview that your readers would find interesting?  Could you create a demo of a product or service that would be more compelling than a simple blog post?

So, you’re going to need a video camera (if you don’t already have one that can be plugged into your computer), editing software, and knowledge of integrating video into your website.

If you don’t feel comfortable getting involved in the editing and slicing of your content, you should check out a new service from Pixability where they send you a Flip camera, you shoot your video and send the camera back, and they create a professionally edited video masterpiece and send it back to you.

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Building Your Online Marketing Ecosystem Part X: Vertical Communities

By John Joyce on March 25, 2010 - Comments 0

Effective Use of Social Networks for Small Business OwnersFacebook and similar networks where “socializing” is truly the main objective can be ineffective marketing platforms for many businesses. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a fan page for your business but, what I am saying is that you have to prioritize the amount of effort you provision for each online marketing vehicle based on simple ROTI.  (Return On Time Invested)  For each network, you must ask yourself 1) How do you find your target audience? 2) How do you convey your message in a way that is meaningful to them? 3) Should you be marketing to people who have become members of the mafia or have started a farm? (you know exactly what I’m talking about)

Wouldn’t it make more sense to put your effort into a network of like-minded business people who are actually interested in professional networking, business deals and partnerships? I have been using LinkedIn since 2003 when it was in beta and it is, by far, the most effective business networking tool I have ever used.

Vertical Social Networks for Small Business

Click image to view interactive online marketing ecosystem

Of course, the only way to know which network is best for your particular business model is to test both platforms.  An easy way to do this is to run some simple advertisements on LinkedIn and Facebook.  You set all demographic criteria to narrow down your target audience.  You can also set a daily limit for spend and choose to pay per click (PPC) or per thousand impressions (CPM).

Building your marketing ecosystem is a balancing act where you must test, evaluate, rinse and repeat.  It’s important to build your online presence but it’s even more important to optimize your efforts which is a perpetual learning experience.

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Building Your Online Marketing Ecosystem Part IX: Crowdsourced Buzz

By John Joyce on March 23, 2010 - Comments 1

small businesses using crowdsourcing to create buzz

We "digg" the stuff you write on your blog!

If the first two requirements of effective blogging are 1) an enticing headline and 2) valuable content, then #3 would be choosing a topic that is so hot that your readers are going to share it with the masses on sites like Digg and Reddit.  These types of crowdsourced buzz platforms allow the collective community to drive awareness and create buzz around user submitted news and blog posts.  As you have more than likely already learned,  the more posts you write, the better you’ll be able to understand what type of headlines and content are catching people’s attention and you’ll begin to discover your “voice”.  Promoting your blog to these platforms is a bit different from the basic SEO strategy implemented within your site, so I’ll review some of the specifics to help you develop your own “external buzz strategy”.  (Since Digg is currently the most popular platform, I’ll use that as my point of reference when citing examples and tactics)

Crowdsourced buzz for small business

Click image to see interactive online marketing ecosystem

Once a post makes it to one of these sites, you can notify your network to start fanning the flames by voting and forwarding the link.  Of course, as is true with many of these “exposure platforms”, there is etiquette that must be followed in the course of presenting content to the masses.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t submit your own content to Digg.  If possible, ask friends to submit for you.
  2. If your friends are going to submit your content, make sure they also submit additional content from other sources at the same time.
  3. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, write a compelling headline and description.
  4. Be active in the Digg community by voting, developing your profile and inviting friends.

This might sound like a lot of work but getting “Dugg on Digg” can drive substantial traffic to your site.  Actively participate in the community and you should be justly rewarded.

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Building Your Online Marketing Ecosystem Part VII: Feedback And Comments

By John Joyce on March 16, 2010 - Comments 0

If you want to develop the “persona” of your small business, you have to make sure your audience is easily able to interact and share their thoughts and feedback with you. It’s also important to deliver engaging and, in some cases, polarizing and provocative content that will motivate people to interact. Finally, once you spark conversation and debate, you still have to maintain some semblance of control over the process so I have listed several tools available to help with this process:

Comment Management Tools

Click on Image to View Interactive Online Marketing Ecosystem

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Introducing The Interactive Online Marketing Ecosystem

By John Joyce on March 11, 2010 - Comments 1

In an effort to offer the most value to our readers, we have created an interactive map of the Online Marketing Ecosystem. There are so many marketing technologies available that we felt it was important to present your options in one central location. This will be a “living” map and will be updated as often as needed – as long as you’re willing to share your ideas and suggestions with us.

Here are some simple navigation tips:

  • Click and drag to move around the map
  • Hover over the small arrow next to the name of each tool to see/follow the external link
  • Click zoom in/out buttons at bottom of the window
  • Click “full screen” button to view in a browser window

Thanks!

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Building Your Online Marketing Ecosystem Part V: Create A Playbook

By John Joyce on March 6, 2010 - Comments 0

I mentioned in my last post that I would discuss the “how to” of implementing operational efficiencies within your social marketing efforts so let’s get to it.  Friends and clients are always asking me, “is this social media thing really worth the time and effort?”   My answer is, “it doesn’t have to take a lot of your time as long as you 1) Carve out a set allotment of time each day to develop conversation points and 2) Identify the appropriate tools to automate and streamline the delivery process.  The graphic below is only a small portion of the tools making up the “Twitterverse”:

Twitter Tools for Small Business Owners

Click Image to View Interactive Online Marketing Ecosystem

As a consultant, I work with clients during regular business hours so it’s most efficient for me to execute social media tactics early in the morning.  The overarching goal is to remain top of mind within your “community” by consistently helping, sharing and soliciting feedback.

Here’s a quick example of linking together several tools to more efficiently bring your message to social media platforms:

Communicating Across Several Social Media Channels

Click Image to View Interactive Online Marketing Ecosystem

It might take some time for you to figure out what tools fit your specific social media needs but, once you’ve identified the most effective system, you’ll actually find yourself able to focus on content creation instead of manual distribution.  You make time each morning to brush your teeth and have a cup of coffee so your social media efforts should be just as automatic.

I’ve shown you the tools; now it’s up to you to put them to good use.  Also, please let me know if there are any tools you’re using that you would like to share with us.

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A Profound Marketing Lesson From Scott Brown

By John Joyce on January 20, 2010 - Comments 0

Image: Landov via Portfolio.com

Who knew we would get a Marketing 101 lesson from newly elected US Senator, Scott Brown, these past few weeks?  His strategy was so simple yet so difficult to execute:

Listen - Every business owner gets excited about telling the masses about their “groundbreaking” new product or service.  We rattle off features, platforms, technologies, widgets, gadgets, and whatever buzz words we can muster.  But, in many cases, messaging is developed in a vacuum and isn’t based on actual feedback from the target audience.  Scott Brown spent a great deal of time visiting with people, especially small business owners, to find out if the citizens of Massachusetts were seeking the same kind of change he had in mind.

Know Your Audience – Portfolio.com mentioned some very interesting numbers in an article today that identified the political makeup of small business owners in this country:

  • 45% identify themselves as Republican
  • 25% identify themselves as Independent
  • Only 22% identify themselves as Democrat

Be Passionate – People will eventually figure out whether or not you actually believe what you are preaching.  If the fire inside is genuine, you will gain the trust and commitment of dedicated followers.

Present a Consistent Message – Take the first three ingredients and mix. Test and tweak until a clear and concise message is crafted.  Utilize all appropriate channels and mechanisms to get the word out and empower your supporters to become evangelists.

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If 200K People Retweet Your Promotion And Nobody Becomes A Customer, Is That A Success?

By admin on July 17, 2009 - Comments 4

Are You Tracking ROI?

Are You Tracking ROI?

Too many times we see businesses haphazardly throw random campaigns at the wall to see what sticks.  One member of the marketing team is “trying out” a few Facebook ads while a colleague is independently “testing” a viral program on Twitter.  I continue seeing articles written about “Twitter done right” and “viral marketing success stories” and not once has there been any mention of ROI or CPA.  There are too many marketers patting themselves on the back for simply creating buzz.  When did it become acceptable to spend money to get people talking about your giveaway but not your unique selling proposition?

With  any marketing initiative you have to ask, “What are we trying to do?”  This sounds like a silly question but you’d be surprised how many times a “great idea” takes on a life of its own and everyone loses sight of the desired result.  It’s imperative to identify success metrics – they will drive your strategy.

Lisa Barone shared a story earlier this week about a contest giveaway run by a company called Moonfruit celebrating their 10th anniversary.  The numbers were quite high – more than 200,000 posts per week.  Adam Ostrow over at Mashable wrote, “Not surprisingly, this promotion is working. #moonfruit is Twitter’s top trending topic today, beating out the likes of Michael Jackson, #iranelection, and Wimbledon-related tweets.”

This promotion is working?  How are these people measuring success?  Can you imagine approaching your boss and saying, “I’d like to spend $10K+ and use countless company resources so we can be ‘bigger than Michael Jackson’ for a week” on Twitter.  When asked for your ROI estimate you smile wryly and say, “Zero, BUT, hundreds of thousands of people who will never become customers will be talking about the Macbooks we’re giving away”.

This is the equivalent of a restaurant spending $10k for a big neon sign that says, “restrooms open to the public”.

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