Tag: Interesting

Digital Marketing Explained: Page Goals and Design

Digital Marketing Explained: Page Goals and Design

This is a part of the Digital Marketing Explained Holy Grail Post Series, the outline will be kept together on the Digital Marketing page.
ditial marketing holy grail
Organic digital marketing refers to the optimisation of traffic that you would receive organically (without having to promote) from direct website visits, links from search engines, links from other websites or email referrals. Social media profiles will also receive organic traffic but that will be discussed in the social media section.

Website or Landing Page

Defining Your Goals

First and foremost you need to define your goals of your page. Ideally there should be at least one “conversion metric” that could range from soft metrics like time on site to hard metrics like sales.

Here is a list of example metrics

  • Interaction Metrics
    • Article Views
      • Article reads (30 sec+)
      • Time on article pages
    • Video Views
    • Audio Listens
    • Podcast Downloads
    • Game Plays
    • Pages/Visitor
  • Email Capture via
    • Newsletter subscription
    • Competitions
    • Downloads
    • Event registration
  • Sales
    • Online Sales
    • Offline Sales Leads

Once you have defined your goals, your next task is to design your page with those goals in mind and follow best practice web design principles.

Designing Your Page

When designing your page there are layout, compatibility, accessibility, navigation, multimedia, content and design elements to consider. For each of these there are best practices to ensure that you do, try to avoid and just some general tips.

Layout

Ensure that the page

  •  is appealing to you target audience
  •  has consistent branding, style, header and logo
  •  has consistent & relevant navigation
  •  has consistent all fonts, font sizes, and font colours across the site
  •  uses an informative page title
  •  includes relevant keywords in its title and body
  •  includes credibility factors like corporate name, site name et cetera
  •  includes a footer with copyright, contact details, privacy policy, last updated date
  •  has good use of basic design principles: repetition, contrast, proximity, and alignment
  •  keeps all the most important information “above the fold”
  •  has a good balance of text/graphics/white space on page – not too many distractions
  •  has a good contrast between text and background
  •  has compelling, interesting information above the fold

Avoid

  •  repetitive information like the header, logo and navigation taking up more than ¼ to 1/3 of the area above the fold
  •  having a slow loading page

Compatibility & Accessibility

Ensure that the page:

  •  is compatible with all major browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)
  •  is compatible across all major operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux)
  • is suitable for the blind and screen reader friendly

Use:

  •  navigation aids such as site map, skip navigation link, or breadcrumbs
  •  captions are for each audio or video file used
  •  common fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman
  •  alternate text and titles for images or multimedia
  • Preferably navigation should be structured in an unordered list

Navigation

Ensure that the navigation links

  •  are clear and consistently labelled
  •  are easy to use for target audience
  •  are also clear text links in the footer section of the page
  •  all are working links (check for broken links)

Avoid:

  •  using images, Flash, or DHTML for the main navigation

Multimedia

Ensure that:

  •  graphics are optimised for web and do not significantly slow the site download
  •  each audio, video or Flash file used does serve a clear purpose & enhances, rather than distracts from the page
  •  download times for audio or video files are indicated
  •  links to downloads for media plug-ins are provided

Writing Content

When writing content for the web, ensure that the content:

  •  uses techniques of web optimised writing are used such as headings tags, bullet points, short sentences in short paragraphs with a good use of white space
  •  provides meaningful, useful information
  •  is organized in a consistent manner
  •  can be found easily (minimal clicks, searching or scrolling)
  •  is up to date (and the date of the last revision and/or copyright date is accurate)
  •  provides links to other useful sites or pages

Avoid

  •  outdated material
  •  typographical, spelling and grammatical errors
  •  the use of “Click here” when writing text for hyperlinks
  •  non-standard link colours (if used, have a consistent set of colors to indicate visited/nonvisited status)

Design Elements

For best practices around block quotes, about pages, coming soon pages, error pages, buttons, image captions and more have a look at Smashing Magazine’s web design best practices. Furthermore, hongkiat.com provides a great resource on best practices and examples for call to action buttons.

When briefing your page to a designer or just in getting your head around it, it helps to start off with wireframes.

Over 2/3 of Google+ users are ready to say goodbye to Facebook

Over 2/3 of Google+ users are ready to say goodbye to Facebook

Obviously the private launch is skewed but it’s an interesting read.

Amplify’d from thenextweb.com

have been weighing in with their opinions and, well, it seems Google could be on to a winner with its new social platform.

We asked Google+  users: “What do you think of Google+?” At the time of writing, over 1,000 people have offered their thoughts on Google+ and how it ranks compared to the two other social networking behemoths – Facebook and Twitter. And here are the results.

90% of Google+ users say that they like it, with an equally impressive three quarters of all respondents stating that they felt Google+ would succeed in the long-term. Interestingly, two-thirds of respondents said they prefer Google+ to Facebook:

In a perhaps unfair comparison, we also asked respondents’ opinions on Google+ vs. Twitter. This did divide opinion, with 40% saying that they did prefer it to Twitter, but 33% saying that they didn’t and 27% not sure. There’s certainly mixed feelings about this one, and is indicative that it’s really too early to call whether Google+ can surpass Twitter or whether they’re competitors at all. It may be more reflective of the way in which people use different social networks – Google+ is more akin to Facebook than Twitter.

Another poll on Hacker News is consistent with the findings above. But can Google+ help put a stop to the Facebook steam-train?

With around 700m users, Facebook isn’t likely to be overtaken by Google+ any day soon, but at last Facebook just might have a genuine competitor.

Read more at thenextweb.com

 

Get Ready for Google+ Games

Get Ready for Google+ Games

Interesting article from mashable about the possibility of Google+ Games…

Amplify’d from mashable.com

It looks like Google has some big features planned for Google+, including a Google Games product.

Engadget dug up some interesting pieces of the Google+ code. Specifically, I was interested in the references to “Google+ Games.”

The references to game invites and Google+ Games seem pretty clear. And while Google could always choose to scrap a Google+ Games product before its launch, we don’t think that’s what will happen here. The reason being Zynga, the creator of FarmVille, CityVille and many more social games.

Google invested more than $100 million in Zynga last year. The investment was designed to be part of a larger partnership, sources have told us. That partnership, we believe, will culminate with the launch of Google+ Games. And you can bet that Google+ will prominently feature games from the social gaming giant.

We doubt it will be long before we learn more about Google+ Games. Zynga is expected to file for its IPO in the next few days, and we bet there will be a few references to what kind of partnerships it’s exploring with the search giant.

Read more at mashable.com

 

Sexie Coffie? That delicious smell of roast controversy, deliberately brewed

Sexie Coffie? That delicious smell of roast controversy, deliberately brewed

Interesting ads from Sexie coffee, a bit out there :)

Amplify’d from mumbrella.com.au
“I find the ad quite hilarious, but I know people will take offence to it. As a kind of pre-emptive strike against calls of sexism, I’m going on record to say that it lampoons males more than it degrades females. She’s a freakin robot!”

See more at mumbrella.com.au

 

8 Tips for Using Social Blogging to Grow Your Business

8 Tips for Using Social Blogging to Grow Your Business

Quick takeaways:
1. Position yourself as an expert.
2. Share experiences and information.
3. Keep it fresh and mix it up.
4. Encourage interaction and feedback.
5. Use schedulers and update apps.
6. Make your blog the central hub.
7. Link back to your website.
8. Use a personal touch.

Amplify’d from www.inc.com

Use continuous updates and punchy messages to heighten interest and keep your customers informed about products or services which in turn can boost sales.

Social networking. The big corporations have bought into it. Smaller companies, too. Even independent consultants use Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to do business. It is a great way to get the word out about your product or service. It boosts brand awareness, it builds loyalty, and it attracts and retains customers.

But more companies are exploring ways to get a bigger pay off with social media. The next frontier of social networking and weblogging is social blogging. This ever-changing construct represents a way of communicating for people who like to inform each other about their daily activities and share common points of interest, according to Wikipedia authors Lambert M. Surhone, Mariam T. Tennoe, and Susan F. Henssonow. This is usually done through continual updates that often include text, pictures, audio, or video.

In general, you want to use social media to increase your visibility, improve your search engine results, and drive more traffic to your company’s website, which stands a good chance of increasing sales and growing the business. Social blogging is simply another tool to add to your overall social media strategic toolkit.

Business owners whose companies are at all levels of growth, from promising start-ups to established and mature firms, are looking for effective promotional tools that are also cost-effective, says Gail Z. Martin, author of 30 Days To Social Media Success. “Though social media is one of the most exciting new communications tools to emerge in the last twenty years and can provide cost effective marketing, it’s one of the most misunderstood mediums,” says Martin.

Social media, be it weblogging, microblogging (i.e., Twitter), or posting status updates, is a different kind of marketing. It’s not about creating a sales pitch for your product or service. Instead, it’s about generating interest and keeping your audience current on news, events, and the latest product developments. A social blog is essentially a form or combination of microblogs (short posts) and status updates. Users post content such as short sentences, images, or video links to large groups of friends, followers, or co-workers. As with traditional weblogging, users can write messages on topics that range from “what am I doing right now” to thematic ones such as “best places to eat sushi.” These messages can be transmitted via posting, text messaging, or e-mailing.

Businesses can use the concept of social blogging to provide up-to-the-minute news as they will find the need for quicker, current, and condensed information far more useful to their audiences, say social media gurus. But social blogs and status updates on Twitter and Facebook, for instance, aren’t just limited to news content, businesses also can use these as effective forms of communication to reach large groups of consumers and associates instantaneously to learn about their needs and wants.

Starbucks Corporation is a social media giant when it comes to engagement, including incorporating blogs, status updates, tweets, and forums. When the trendy Seattle-based coffeehouse chain realized that its sales were stagnating and that competition was becoming fierce, it had to find ways to solidify and expand its market share. In 2009, Starbucks launched the interactive MyStarbucksIdea website and corporate blog. While some industry analysts doubted whether the site would catch on, well over 100,000 internet users had visited the site by the end of its first week online. The site allows users to submit ideas for new drinks, food items, packages, even store designs. Suggestions are voted on by Starbucks consumers with the most popular ones getting highlighted.

But Starbucks took it a step further, adding an “Ideas in Action” blog that gives updates to users on the status of suggested changes. Starbucks doesn’t just communicate news and business developments with its audience, but it also lets them know which of their suggestions the company has really taken to heart. Starbucks also has fully embraced Twitter beyond notifying consumers about bargains; @Starbucks focuses on sharing interesting events and music information or brand- and charity-related topics the company would like to address. It’s not a one-way monologue. Followers are not just entertained. They are being engaged in a brand and conversations around it.

Like Starbucks, Zappos embraces microblogging to manage customer relations. Tweets @Zappos are used to highlight interesting facts, and to talk to customers in a way that is friendly, helpful, funny and trustworthy. The Brooklyn Kitchen keeps foodies up to date on events from notices about the new book club in full swing to the next skills knife class kicking off. Amateur chefs Taylor Erkkinen and Harry Rosenblum opened The Brooklyn Kitchen in 2006 after scouring the neighborhood for kitchenware and coming up empty-handed. Today, their homegrown shop is crammed wall to wall with tools for both serious cooks and hobbyists. The duo focuses on providing useful and targeted information in their posts whether it’s through their website, weblog, or twitter account. From videos on how to shuck oysters or saber a champagne bottle, Erkkinen and Rosenblum always provide real value for enthusiastic cooking fans.

Dig Deeper: 5 Ways to Actually Make Money on Twitter

This type of added-value and engagement translates to increased brand awareness and direct sales. These companies demonstrate the effective use of compelling and condensed content aligned with ta
ngible business objectives. Here are some tips to help you make the most of social blogging:

1. Position yourself as an expert. When people are looking for a product or service, oftentimes they will first look for information about the subject on the Internet. In general, blogging is about having conversations in a public space that position you as a subject matter expert. “The type of discussions you ideally should have ought to be answering questions that people out there on the Internet are searching for,” says Adria Richards, Organic Technology Consultant and blogger. “For me, social blogging is a way to have conversations with potential customers and to draw traffic to your site.” For instance, you can answer questions from consumers via Twitter, which is a popular thing to do.

2. Share experiences and information. Social blogging is often used to share experiences in addition to business ideas and concepts. Always seek unique opportunities to share your ideas and offerings with not only your readers, but their associates as well, which will eventually bring in more prospects. Announce upcoming events, awards, and other news. But do it in a conversational tone. Hopefully, your target audience will retweet or share your story. Don’t overlook Tunmblr, which is popular in the microblogging realm. Users can post text, photos, quotes, links, dialogues, audio, video, slideshows and “Tumble” other posts. Tumblr provides the option of custom domains. You can auto-syndicate to Facebook and Twitter. Users can track stats with Google Analytics.

Read more at www.inc.com

 

Google Product Search launched in Australia

Google Product Search launched in Australia

Google secretly launched their shopping comparison site here in Australia: http://www.google.com.au/prdhp
http://google-au.blogspot.com/2011/05/google-shopping-arrives-in-australia.html

Merchant Center, advertisers need to list their products: http://www.google.com.au/merchants/default

Getting Started: http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=188493

Be interesting to see how this goes down under.

Run an effective $5 Facebook campaign

Run an effective $5 Facebook campaign

Amplify’d from www.socialmedia.biz

How to run an effective Facebook campaign for $5

jess3 ad

How to take advantage of the power of microtargeting on Facebook — at a crazy cheap price

dennis-yuLast week there was a buzz in the CEO, Webtrends and CEO, BlitzLocal offices. One of our employees was trying to get my attention. He did so by creating a Facebook ad targeting anyone who lived in Portland, was between 30 and 40 years old and worked at either Webtrends or BlitzLocal. Of the nearly 600 million users on Facebook, only 80 people met that criteria.

It cost him only 6 cents to do it. And for that price, he was able to bombard our people with ads. The cost of that inventory is a 30 cent CPM, which means it costs 30 cents to show a thousand ads. So he was able to send 200 highly targeted messages, as he details in this post on the Facebook Microtargeting trick.

Sounds less like advertising and more like super-targeted email marketing, doesn’t it?

And, in fact, it is, except for this:

• You can send these messages without needing someone’s email address.
• You pay only when someone clicks it (yes, it’s cost per click advertising).
• An impression is guaranteed when the person next opens Facebook (whereas in sending an email, you can only hope that someone will open it).

jess3 campaign

Click to enlarge

Now imagine that you’re a software company like Webtrends, building relationships with other agencies that resell your social analytics software. The founders of the data visualization agency JESS3 come to visit and you’d like to strengthen that bond. Maybe you spend $5 on a micro-targeted campaign like the one above, but slice it up to put the ad image more compactly next to the stats. You absolutely bombard anyone who works at that firm with your message almost 3,000 times. If they have 50 people, that’s 60 ads per person. Who cares that we got only 9 clicks (of which 4 happened to become fans)? The goal is not the click, but the awareness.

Total cost: $5.67 in Facebook ads

Create a specialty video with a customized message

But you could take it a step further, since those folks who do click through on the ad can come to your landing page. So imagine that we send all employees of the email marketing company ExactTarget to this Facebook landing page (warning: there is sound). And how much did this landing page cost? Only $5. We have a network of dozens of freelancers that will do voiceovers, take photos, sing songs or do whatever for a few dollars. More examples of specialty videos here.

Social media success is about pinpoint precision targets — we’re simulating the one-on-one conversations that friends have among themselves

While each of these examples might be clever or interesting, the question becomes: How do you scale this? Social media success is about pinpoint precision targets — ultimately, because we’re simulating the one-on-one conversations that friends have among themselves. But if you want to have 1,000 conversations, you need 1,000 different ads and 1,000 different landing pages. Who has the infrastructure, staff, or the budget to do that?

This is where smart automation comes in. Here’s an example of our scoring platform at work:

Webtrends sells analytics software to the big boys who don’t mind paying $100,000 per year for analytics software. Trouble is that every website needs some form of analytics. Maybe they’ll use Google Analytics — it’s free and pretty good. But we want to talk to only those customers who have the money and need for enterprise analytics software. It would be suicide to buy the keyword “web analytics” on PPC because of all the players that offer web analytics for free or super cheap.

So we took the Fortune 1000 and ran a script that collected a wide range of data — market cap, their industry, annual revenue, P/E ratio, website url, homepage pagerank, pages indexed, Facebook page, number of fans, company logo from Google images and so forth — dozens of metrics. See the detail from our spreadsheet/CSV file below.

Click to enlarge

And then we ran this data through our scoring algorithm to calculate their Social Score — how well they did versus peers in their industry. We might say, “Shell, you got a 56 and rank 7 out of 9 in Oil and Gas.” Or we might say, “Shell, why do you have only 53,548 fans while others in oil and gas have 184k on average?” Then we target people who work at Shell — not just everyone, but those people who have titles of VP of Marketing, Chief Financial Officer, Public Relations and so forth.

There might be only a couple dozen people and not everyone puts their information on Facebook, but it’s enough. And you can bet it gets their attention! They come to a landing page that has their social scoring report, which shows a portion of the metrics that we’ve gathered. But they have to click Like to see the rest of the report, which is grayed out.

Now what happens when that person clicks “Like”? Of course, some of their friends and co-workers see it. And as all curious co-workers will do, they want to check out what you found to be so interesting. And then when these people see our ad, it shows that their friend liked it, which makes our offer of a report that much more credible (image at right).

A move to quality targeting over mass media blasts

Now do you see how this works? It’s quality over quantity, folks. Think about who you want to target as precisely as possible. Where do they work? Where do they live? What kind of car do they drive? What TV shows do they watch? What industry conferences do they attend?

Let Facebook do the work for you, running ads that target journalists who write for the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forrester, VentureBeat, the New York Times

Can’t afford $15,000 to exhibit at your favorite conference, plus the $3k to ship the booth out, the cost of the people to have to man the booth during Expo Hall hours, the schwag you have to give out and so forth? Then run an ad for the three weeks leading up to the conference targeting fans of the conference.

Bingo, you’ve now spent $5 to target this audience with your message and you have plenty of time to set up in-person meetings with those folks who are worth talking to, as opposed to any random people who might wander up to visit you at the show. And then you can thank them later.

miva_thank_you

Click to enlarge

Need some PR help, but can’t afford a New York PR agency for $10,000 a month? Then let Facebook do the work for you, running ads that target journalists who write for the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forrester, VentureBeat, the New York Times or whoever. What would you like to say to them?

Can’t afford to hire a big sales staff to cold call people who don’t want to talk to you? Easy. Just run ads targeting the competitors of your existing customers. Let’s say that Marriott is your client and you’ve got a great case study there. Run ads targeting the folks who work at Hilton, Starwood, Motel 6 or whoever. You can bet they want to know what their competitors are doing. Inquiring minds want to know!

Making waves with 5 bucks in your pocket

By now, I hope to have shown you that with some ingenuity and $5 in your pocket, you can make some serious waves on Facebook. If you’re a small business or start-up, learn how to master some of the techniques mentioned here. If you’re a big brand and looking to scale, then you’ll need some process and software automation to make this happen across thousands of conversations.

Know of any companies that offer software that will do mass personalization of ad and landing page content? Ad agencies are good at throwing bodies at client accounts — great service, but no scale. Software companies are good at building code based on a predefined set of rules that can be repeated. But success for your company can’t be solved by either a pure agency or a pure software company. The agency can’t throw enough people at the problem and the software company can’t offer a one-size fits all solution to everyone.

Only you can work the magic at your company. As much as we’d like to sell you some software, vendors like us can only assist you in coming up with the creative strategy that resonates best with your customers, the PR strategy that gets the press talking about you, a unique way to position how you solve your client’s pain. Ultimately, these $5 campaigns, whether you run just one of them or 10,000 of them, boil down to a marketing strategy — a unique, compelling message — that we can multiply out to your customers and get those customers to spread on your behalf. (Again, if you’re a smaller company targeting just a few potential or existing clients or partners, go for it yourself!)

In our next segment, we’ll explore that topic in more detail — how to get your fans to do your marketing for you. The techniques that work are probably not what you’d expect, since the world of Facebook relies upon the game dynamics of News Feed Optimization, advertising, applications and Open Graph widgets. We’ll show you how the harder you make it for customers to convert, in certain instances, the more likely they will take action. Stay tuned to learn why.

Read more at www.socialmedia.biz