Archive for the 'Marketing' Category



SEM II: SEM- Paid and Natural Recap!

Last week’s conference, “SEM II: Join the Evolution,” was a great success, providing its attendees with some first rate information on the basics of search engine marketing, both paid and natural, as well as “how to” information to get started. Held at the Ambassador Banquet and Conference Center in Erie, PA, which resulted in a strong turnout and several walk ins, which was surprising due to the thick layer of snow that covered the ground that morning.

Neal Rabogliatti’s presentation on how to implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) included the next steps necessary to implement the strategy, which the majority of SEO presentation and articles readily available today do not provide. Not only did Rabogliatti present the basics, but he suggested specific steps to take to actually implement SEO, a step many are reluctant to take unless they are working directly with a client, being paid an hourly rate.

After a short intermission to allow Rabogliatti’s wealth of information to settle, Justin Seibert presented on the topic of Paid Search Marketing. Seibert’s presentation also served as the next step presentation for paid search. Instead of focusing on the basics of the medium, he gives detailed information about how to set up accounts on sites such as Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing to begin implementing your paid search marketing strategies.

Did you miss the conference? You didn’t miss out! Stay tuned for the next few posts on this eMarketing SIG Blog, in which we will be recapping both Rabogliatti and Seibert’s excellent presentations, in order to supply you with a taste of their experiences and knowledge they shared about search engine optimization and paid search marketing!

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Search Marketing; One of the Triumvirate Three

Search Engine Marketing is one of three most essential online marketing strategies for businesses that are seriously committed to using the online channel to find new markets, build awareness, promote product and services, qualify and generate leads, acquire new customers and close a sale. The triumvirate three includes having a website and email marketing but I will cover those another time. 

New activities are emerging and becoming a significant influence on Search Engine Marketing.  This includes Web 2.0 activities commonly known as social media, social networks, and user generated content.  Sites like Facebook, Blogs, Video sites like YouTube and user reviewed sites like Digg all of have the ability to influence searcher behavior by generating valuable inbound links which are so important to a search optimization strategy. 

Effective online marketers are always looking for ways to enhance and improve website visibility in natural or organic search engine listings.  The primary goal for most is to increase the number of visitors and increase online conversions. 

Google Paid and Organic Search            

Optimizing your website involves a process of testing and tweaking website structure, search terms research, content creation and link equity. So understanding how to use Web 2.0 activities and linking strategies starts with understanding your particular audience and figuring out how they will benefit, if at all. 

However, Paid Search Marketing, also known as Pay Per Click (PPC,) is the fastest growing tactic used to drive relevant and qualified leads.  Google, MSN and Yahoo all have paid sponsor or advertising opportunities driving close to $6 billion dollars in 2006. One reason PPC is so compelling is because it delivers results almost immediately. Quick measurable results make PPC a smart way to plan your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. All the major search engines offer reporting and analytics tools so you can monitor and tack every click gaining valuable data to be used when planning your SEO strategy.  It makes sense to develop a combination of PPC and SEO strategies for driving traffic and generating leads.  

Search marketing is one of the tools you need to market in today’s digitally savvy world.  Search marketing is a long term strategic investment and marketers need to evaluate how it fits into their marketing plans. Start taking advantage of search and other tactics and technologies to grow your business and gain an edge.


sem2home.jpgBecome an eMarketing Rockstar! Attend the SEM II: Join the eVolution Conference. The web is outpacing all other media for user involvement.  This conference and other educational programs offered at the eMarketing Learning Center @ eBizITPA will help you understand, navigate and integrate Internet marketing strategies to support you business growth.  This evet is sponsored by the NWIRCErie Ad Club Members and Tech Council Members qualify for special rate.

Viral Marketing Strategies Not so Easy to Spread

email signatureWeb 2.0 Tools I recently presented at the Nonprofit Partnership’s Conference on Interactive Web Strategies That Build Your Nonprofit. The presentation provided an overview of online giving and why it’s on the rise. I covered many of the most popular interactive strategies, including interactive Web sites and e-mail marketing, and then focused on Web 2.0 activities; technologies that include group fundraising platforms and social networks to support fundraising and influence donors’ action.

After the event, I received an e-mail from one of the participants in my session asking for clarification on a few things. This person specifically wanted me to provide more detail about one of the topics I briefly discussed called viral marketing. I deliberately decided not to get into much detail on viral marketing because it is one of the most difficult strategies to successfully implement. However, I thought I would try and provide more detail on this topic since someone asked.

The terms “viral marketing” and “viral advertising” refer to marketing techniques that use social networks to increase brand awareness through self-replicating viral processes. Viral marketing is enabled by the Internet, and more specifically e-mail, by encouraging people to pass along a marketing or fundraising message to friends who view the message and then pass it on to their friends.Sometimes it is as simple as putting information in your e-mail signature or asking the e-mail recipient to forward an e-mail to anyone they feel would be interested in the information.

However, developing a successful viral marketing campaign that will get serious traction and reach is not that simple. If you work with an agency or marketing firm you definitely will want to get them engaged. You need to be very creative; just because you have a message you want to share does not guarantee others will find it interesting. It must appeal uniquely to the target group so that the users will generate the velocity of interest for pass-along, as well as uploading to their social network pages.

If you think you’ve got the bug and want to spread it around, here is some advice on how to get started. Keep us in the loop if you have success!  

Four step approach for developing a viral marketing strategy:

1. Understand the behavior of who you want to reach.  Relatively older (30+) online users are more likely to forward commercial or fundraising messages to friends or tell friends about a video, picture, game or an ad. Younger (25 and under) online users are more apt to use social networking sites to upload and share videos, photos, fundraising widgets and more. 

2. Create a viral message and/or object that appeals to the segment you want to reach.  What is the goal of your message? Here is where creative thinking really counts because you need to determine what form your viral marketing strategy will take. Is the message a promotion, a call to action, humorous content, jokes and cartoons. a video, a game, picture(s), a song, a contest? Whatever you decide, it must be self contained so it can be moved, passed along, or uploaded.  3. Put together a distribution and publicity plan.  Start with the obvious publicity channels like publications and ezines, news media and newswire. Identify the environments where your target group goes for interacting and where idea sharing spreads at super sonic speed. These could be online communities, affinity sites, forums, listservs, blogs, social networks, etc. Wherever your target group congregates is where you want to be.  

4. Develop a Search Engine Marketing plan.  Optimize the message or surrounding Web site with relevant keywords and phrases. This will extend your reach and capture those who hear the buzz but have not been exposed to the message or object. 

Examples: Very basic viral e-mail marketing in signature:

email signature

email signature

Automated marketing e-mail campaign management tool with “send to friend” option:

 send-to-a-freind.jpg

 Animated e-mail cartoon messages:  great job animated cartoon 

Method’s “Share your confessions and come clean…”: http://www.comeclean.com

 Clean Methods confess your sins viral marketing object

Nonprofit message “Operation Gratitude” video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02tcb7b34do

Nonprofit promotional message “Instant Karma: The Campaign To Save Darfur”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGbP23uHYE8

To learn more about viral marketing, visit these resources: 

Web Marketing Today http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt5/viral-principles-clean.htm      Dr. Wilson is a sage when it comes to Internet marketing.  He also presented at eBizITPA’s Internet Sales and Marketing Conference in 2005

Read Seth Godin’s book “Unleashing the Ideavirus”.  I have it on CD and it explains the viral marketing phenomena and includes word of mouth and permission marketing.

seth godin viral marketing idea virus     http://www.sethgodin.com/ideavirus/

An E-Commerce Event Provides Useful Tools…

Recently, I represented eBizITPA at the E-Commerce Summit at the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford.  At the summit, there were case studies and tools provided that gave insight into how some small businesses are utilizing the Internet to grow their business.  As most of you know, case studies are a helpful way for businesses to learn from others what may or may not work.     

Darron Schott of Blair Corporation, explained the importance of shopping cart navigation, especially when 60% or more of a site’s top audience includes senior citizens.  Though more and more elderly are beginning to surf the Web, many have difficulty finding their way around.  Therefore, navigation has to be quick, simple and in no way confusing, or the company risks losing customers.  Darron explained the process they went through to test which features should be provided and in what way for their target audience.  They completed a workshop with several elderly women where they were able to purchase a product online and as they were going through the check out process, they were videotaped so Blair Corp. could see exactly what areas gave them difficulties.  They then could fix those problems in order to create a better shopping experience for their customers. 

Another speaker, Sarah Caniglia of LaserMonks.com, explained how one small Benedictine Abbey in rural Wisconsin had an idea that could help raise money for his monastery.  But as with many other monks, the Father leading this novel business idea, had little business practice.  They wanted to sell ink cartridges on the Internet.  Sarah and a colleague of hers volunteered to assist the abbey by creating a business plan utilizing Internet marketing.  The company, which focuses highly on supporting their communities by donating to charities are not only able to support their abbey, they are also able to donate any leftover profits to other good causes.    

In addition to case studies, a list of Internet tools was provided to help business owners with Web site analytics.  Carolyn Newhouse of SuperUser Technologies  introduced a tool to assist with researching good keywords.  As many of you know, the key words or phrases you choose to use in the content within your site can help your ranking in popular search engines such as Google or Yahoo!.   With this tool by SEO Company, you can type in keywords or phrases that you use, or are thinking of using, within the titles or pages of your site.  It will provide you with the number of search results that particular word or phrase will receive in Google or Yahoo!.  For instance, say I plan to have a Web site selling glass vases.  I would type in ‘glass vases’ and see how many results that exact phrase will conjure up in Google today.  If the results display 175,000, then there are 175,000 other sites that use that keyword within their site.   

This tool also allows you to not only see how much certain words or phrases are being used but also enables you to go directly to the results within Google or Yahoo!.  Doing that will allow you to research who you’re direct competitors may be. 

Do you want your site to get lost in a pool as large as 175,000?  Of course not!  If you have a niche product or service, you should consider using words or phrases that don’t have as many search results in order to allow users to hone in on your site, and of course your product or service.  This will ensure that you’re site isn’t getting lost in the search results among the other thousands of sites that happen to sell a product similar to yours.   

So, what’s different about your product or site and what are the best key words that describe it?  This tool is really helpful for those of us that can think of keywords but have no idea if they’re the best words to use in terms of search engine rankings.  Have you used this tool before?  Tell us what you think! If you haven’t used it yet, check it out at SEO Company and give us your thoughts! 

http://www.seocompany.ca/tool/keyword-search/

For other keyword tools, visit the following:

http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html 

http://www.freekeywords.wordtracker.com

http://www.keyworddensity.com/

Do You Know Your eMarketing Metrics?

Do you know how to measure the success of your online marketing activities?

Do you know how many unique visitors enter through your home page?

Do you know how many exit your site after entering the home page?

Do you know what the relative bounce rate benchmark is specific to your site?

You should.  Every site is different but the rule of thumb is it should be well under 50%.  Think about it…if 50% or more visitors are coming to your home page and then exiting you’ve got a problem…maybe a relevance problem?  Maybe the copy or look and feel does not speak to your target audience.  Perhaps visitors are confused about your offerings and how you can help them.  If you are using your site to generate leads and the bounce rate is high, then your homepage is performing very poorly.  You need to know your website metrics information and then optimize the page to perform more effectively. 

This is the kind of information AJ Miceli, VP of Marketing for FishUSA.com and Communications Professor at Gannon shares in his webinar:  eMarketing Metrics, Benchmarks & Tactics offered by eBizITPA.  It is packed with industry standard metrics for web, email, and search engine marketing that you absolutely need to know for optimizing online marketing value. 

AJ already conducted the research, pouring over hundreds of dollars of industry benchmark reports including: Email Marketing Benchmark Guide from MarketingSherpa and the Response Rate Study from The Direct Marketing Association.  He gives you all the metrics, analytics, definitions and he tells you how to get started measuring your own set of internal benchmarks. 

AJ is easy to get know and listen to.  I’ve know him for many years, going back before he was an online pioneer, starting an ISP back in the early 1990’s, his entrepreneurial activities have grown along with the growth of the internet. He knows how to leverage the internet as a marketing channel and help grow a successful pure play e-tail business like FishUSA.com. It means tracking and monitoring all your activities, online and offline.  And that is what is so great about online marketing – you can track and measure just about everything.   

Erie Ad Club

Getting involved with the Erie Ad Club was probably the most profound and most fun professional development experience ever. From committee, to board, to office, to President, you work side-by-side with the best talent in the region. I learned so much from working with industry leaders, media and agency professionals, and even competitors. Everyone worked together on programs and events. And where else could you execute such edgy and over the top creative strategies that a client normally wouldn’t risk? Early on as a member, I remember Bob Lowry (photographer & past president 1990) asking me to get involved with the Rooster Awards committee. In those days you worked your way up from committee to officer over five years, and everyone worked on the Roosters. Anyway, the next year Bob setup an application program using an early version of Filemaker so we could register the hundreds of Rooster entries on a MAC computer. I remember we were awed and amazed at how streamlined the whole process was. It was fantastic.

Making a serious commitment to help make the club a success was something I learned early on and I know how many other individuals and businesses commit their talent, resources and services to support the club so it can thrive.

Participate and celebrate the industry next week at:

Advertising Week Erie!
September 17-21, 2007

…I have no doubt at next years celebration one of the days events will focus on Online Advertising.

Search Engine Optimization and Web Presence

Search marketing consists of two different aspects: natural, or organic search, and paid-search. Through the proper utilization of these marketing initiatives, companies can enhance and increase their web presence relatively inexpensively, or even at no cost at all!

At the Center for eBizitPA‘s seminar, “Enhance Your Web Presence Through Search Marketing,” held yesterday, August 23rd, 2007 in Franklin, PA, three experts on the topic discussed both paid and natural search. The concluding presentation consisted of a critical analysis of six different attendees’ company websites.

PennTAP LogoPennTAP’s Donald LeGoullon kicked off the seminar with his presentation on natural, or organic search engine marketing and the search engine optimization (SEO), the improvement of the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines. LeGoullon efficiently covered a great deal of quality information regarding the state and usage of search engines today, and useful tips and tricks in order to raise companies’ websites upwards in the ranking of search engine results using SEO. Although only given an hour of time, LeGoullon did a tremendous job of efficiently creating a general understanding of what SEO is, as well as ways to use it to increase the visibility of a web site on the web.eDynaQuote logo

Doug Luthringer, Client Development Manager for eDynaQuote, and an avid ebay seller, was the second speaker of this half-day seminar, speaking about paid search using Google AdWords, which offers pay per click (PPC) advertising, and site targeted advertising for both text and banner ads. Google AdWords LogoThe ads placed on Google AdWords are included in the following locations on the Google Search engine, when the purchased key search terms are searched for.

Google AdWords Placement

Luthringer began his presentation by introducing the concept of paid search marketing with common terms and the different pricing models available. Some of these pricing models include pay per click, pay per lead, pay-per-sale, and performance pricing. The presentation continued with specifics about the Google AdWords service, as well as a step by step tutorial on how to set up an account, design ads, and purchase keywords for the ad. Tips and tactics for creating an effective ad to optimize results and ROI were also covered.

The final presentation of the seminar was presented by Cathy von Birgelen, of the eMarketing Learning Center at eBizitPA, and Don LeGoullon. Six individual company websites were constructively analyzed by these professionals from a marketing and SEO point of view. Many suggestions were made on how the sites could be improved. The positive and effective aspects of the website were also pointed out as a guide for what other companies should and should not be doing with regards to their web site creation. For more information on how to get a personalized analysis of your company’s website, contact Don LeGoullon at PennTAP via email, or telephone (814-677-3152).

If you missed this event, continue to visit eBizitPA’s website for other similar search or e-marketing courses! If you attended this seminar, we invite you to comment on the overall quality and value of the information presented throughout the morning and into the afternoon.

Note: This event was sponsored by:


eMarketing Special Interest Group

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