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March 10, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Social Media Metrics - Defining & Measuring Goals Part 1

By Li Evans

This week's Tuesday's Tips video is part one of a two part series discussing social media metrics.  How do you define what is a success, have you defined your goals?  These tips discuss some areas you can look to and measure to gauge your success or failure with your social media strategy.



Full Social Media Metrics - Defining & Measuring Goals Video Transcript After The Jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Social Media Metrics - Defining & Measuring Goals Part 1" »

March 09, 2009

Add Blog Subscribers: Find and Thank StumbleUpon Reviewers with Analytics!

By Alex Cohen

Stumbleupon-logo In the blogosphere, you have 4 basic audiences:
  1. Readers
  2. Commenters
  3. Subscribers
  4. Reviewers

Readers are vital, but they aren't very engaged until they become commenters or, more importantly, subscribers.  A subscriber is more likely to engage and spread your content which, in turn, gets you more subscribers.

So, How do You Get More Subscribers?

It's that last group, Reviewers, that are most likely to add subscribers to your blog.  Word-of-mouth is probably the best way to build your subscriber list.  We all trust our friends. 

That's one of the reason StumbleUpon is a great source of traffic.  StumbleUpon lets people find random sites by stumbling on them with their toolbar (learn more with their step-by-step guide).

People rate your site by giving it a thumbs up or down.  Some Stumblers will also review your site.  Reviews can have a huge impact on your traffic (I got a 10x increase in visits to my post on picking a blog platform after someone reviewed it).  They are also likely to get you more links, which also brings you traffic and helps your search engine optimization.

Say Thank You and Build a Relationship!

If someone goes to the trouble to review your site, it’s a great opportunity to cement their positive feelings and build a relationship.  Doing this builds your brand and may lead to more reviews and links (and subscribers!) in the future.

Here are step by step instructions to use web analytics data to find and thank your StumbleUpon reviewers.  I’m using Google Analytics in the instructions, but any web analytics package will have these data.

  1. Look in Referring Sites

    You may notice a large spike in your traffic.  Start by looking at All Traffic Sources.  Choose “Medium” from the dimension listed just below the graph to the left.  This will show you your major channels of traffic – Organic Search, Direct Traffic, Referring Sites, etc.

    Dimension-referring-sites  

    If you notice that Referring Sites is send much more traffic than usual, it may be due to a StumpleUpon review or another similar review site.  Open the Referring Sites report up and find which site is causing the spike.
  2. Filter by Landing Page

    Click on StumbleUpon.  This will drill down just to the activity from that referrer.  Next, change the Dimension to “Landing Page” to figure out which page was reviewed.  There it is, a giant spike in your traffic for a page that someone liked.

    Dimension-landing-page

  3. Install The StumbleUpon Plug-in

    The next trick requires you to have the StumbleUpon plug-in added to Firefox.  My guess is there are alternatives for IE, Safari and Chrome users (feel free to comment if you know of one).

    You can get the Firefox plug-in right here.
  4. Find the StumbleUpon Review

    Google the full URL of the page that was reviewed.  Your result will be at the top.  The StumbleUpon plug-in will display a rating and/or review bubble next to the listing that looks like this:


    Stumbleupon-review

    Click on the link and it will take you to the review. 
  5. Return The Favor

    Aha, now you know who’s been spreading the good word.  At the very least, you should send them a thank you for the review. You can join their network and friend them to stay in touch.  Most StumbleUpon reviewers list their site in their profile.  If you like it, return the favor with a short review.  

The Power of Relationships

Like most things social media, this takes time.  That’s exactly why it helps you stand out from the crowd.  If you show that you’re paying attention to your fans and are grateful.  
Now, if you like the article, I wouldn’t turn down a review :-)

Alex Cohen writes about optimizing your website at Digital Alex.  He’s also the Marketing Manager at ClickEquations – Pay Per Click Software.

March 05, 2009

Win a Free Ticket to Online Media Boot Camp on April 9, 2009

By Li Evans

We announced Online Media Boot Camp, a unique & exclusive online marketing training conference going on here in the Philadelphia area. Now I have some good news!  We're giving away three free tickets!  You have your shot at winning 1 of them, just get someone to nominate you.  Here's the rules to how it works:

The three lucky ticket winners will be picked on March 20th!

  1. Want a chance at winning a free ticket to the Online Media Boot Camp (a value of $349 before 3/16 & $449 after 3/16), you have to be nominated by someone else.
  2. A person can be nominated in one of four ways: a blog post, a video, on Twitter, via an e-mail sent to OMBC (beth [at] onlinemediabootcamp [dot] com). All four must include: Who you are nominating and why. You must include a link to the Online Media Boot Camp (www.onlinemediabootcamp.com) in your post. If you tweet it, use the #OMBC hashtag.
  3. If you nominate someone, you can buy a ticket for $349 after 3/16. A savings of $100! (Code: OMBCFTW)
  4. If you are nominated for OMBC and you want to go to OMBC, you must do one of the following to accept the nomination: a blog post, a video, or send an e-mail to OMBC accepting the nomination (beth [at] onlinemediabootcamp [dot] com).You must state that you will cover all travel costs, that you will attend and why you deserve to win. You must include a link to the Online Media Boot Camp (www.onlinemediabootcamp.com) in your post. If you tweet it, use the #OMBC hashtag.
  5. All posts, videos and e-mails of those nominated will be posted to the OMBC blog too.
  6. The three winners will be selected by the OMBC speakers. Criteria includes: creativity, passion, honesty, statement of how online marketing/social media will help you as a business owner or marketer/communicator/etc. and any other items that you think make your case to win a free ticket.
  7. If you are nominated for a free ticket, but don’t win, you can buy a ticket for $349 after 3/16. A savings of $100! (Code: OMBCFTW)
  8. If you win a free ticket and have already purchased a ticket, we’ll refund your money. Or, if you are feeling generous, you could give your purchased ticket to a friend…

It’s that simple! Have questions? Contact Online Media Boot Camp on Twitter: @onlinemediabc or e-mail us at beth [at] onlinemediabootcamp [dot] com.

Beth also explains that if you aren't creative, we just won't be that into you! :)


March 04, 2009

Online Marketing Tips Video: Blogging & Gaining Subscribers

By Li Evans

I hope you can forgive me that this video is a day late.  It was made yesterday, I just ran out of time and energy to get it posted for you all.  Blame my 6 year old nephew if you must, he tuckered me out yesterday with playing in the snow and yes he didn't care it was only 15 degrees out. 

I've got three more blogging tips, to round out my tips on blogging.  Theses tips aren't as technical as last week's online marketing tips video, in fact anyone can implement these tips!  So check it out.



Full Blogging & Gaining Subscribers Tips - Video Transcript after the jump.



Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Blogging & Gaining Subscribers" »

March 02, 2009

Skittles & Social Media - Obviously a Company that Doesn't Get It

By Li Evans

Via Mashable this morning, I found out that Skittles changed its homepage.  Now, normally this wouldn't be news, no more than launching a new site.  But here's the kicker, they changed their homepage to a Twitter stream about Skittles.

Now, at first glance this may seem really neat, but let's dig underneath the surface here a bit.

  • Does Skittles control the @Skittles account?  Nope!

  • Does Skittles actively participate in discussions on Twitter?  Nope!

  • Does Mars, Inc., its parent company participate on Twitter?  Nope!

Now on the surface, this may seem really cool and hip, using this new trendy service Twitter, in an unusual way.  Heck it's having word of mouth effects - people are talking about this.  Unfortunately in due time this could turn around and create a big PR problem for Skittles & Mars, Inc..

Why?

They are just pulling up a stream on Twitter that references people using the word "Skittles" in their tweets.  This leaves the company's home page ripe for Twitter spamming, and worse, for people to make a mockery of the Skittles brand.  In due time this could create a nightmare for Mars, Inc, if people continue to take advantage that their tweets are now on display for a national audience.

For example, take a look at what I caught on this screen capture below (my apologies if this offends anyone, please be forewarned there are offensive words in this screen capture, that is not my intent and that tweet does not reflect my own feelings), or this tweet that appeared as well (again, can be offensive to some).

Skittles-home-page-twitter-stream


Skittles doesn't even offer anything into the conversation.  Twitter users know that twitter is about discussions.  They don't even have a Twitter account to hold a conversation - at this juncture in time.  If they did, I'm hard press to find it - and they aren't advertising it.

I'm sure usability folks could have a field day with this latest revamp of the Skittles site too, to replace it with a twitter stream and have a javascript piece follow you down the page for navigation, just begs for a usability expert to rip it to shreds.  Add in the box that demands you agree to their terms, and another annoying box about typing in some URL before you can even navigate off the twitter stream into Skittles other pages, wow, just a nightmare.

This isn't social media folks, seriously, for it to be social media, Skittles has to be engaging in the conversation, and they aren't. If they were truly into social media, they'd have a Twitter account, engage in the conversation, much like @Maggiano's is or @WholeFoods or @Zappos.    What skittles has done has gotten other people to talk about Skittles, at this point in time early in the convo they haven't spoken, so it's all one sided.  Social Media requires a conversation (them talking with people), this, is just basically an electronic billboard on the web that says "look who using the word Skittles!" 

Its a unique billboard I give them that, but that's about it.

One last point, Mars, Inc. should think about, too. Twitter, on a good day, can't handle the traffic it has reliably (it's getting better), so Skittles will be at the mercy of Twitter for its exposure.  I don't know if I'd want to bank my brand's exposure on it like this.

March 01, 2009

Advanced Paid Search Techniques

By Y.M. Ousley

One of the sessions at SES that I found most interesting was the Advanced Paid Search Techniques panel. In some ways, paid search opens up a different set of opportunities than organic - not all of which depend on how big your budget is. Through different headlines, ad copy and even smaller variables like capitalization or plural usage, it's possible to test and track ads for conversion and profitability in a way that just isn't there for organic (In theory, it could be done, but would generally involve cloaking which is something most engines frown on in organic results, even if done for legitimate reasons).

Once you've established a paid search campaign, what's left to do after establishing a certain bid price, clickthrough rate and conversion rate? Plenty.

Rob Pierre of Jellyfish, Pete Wailes of Searchlight Digital, Patricia Hursh of SmartSearch Marketing and Adam Goldberg of Clearsaleing are speaking.

Rob Pierre's presentation is on structuring campaigns to effectively grow and manage a keyword portfolio. There are 6 main categories Rob uses as the foundation of an effective PPC campaign:

  • Campaign Structure
  • Keyword Generation
  • Ad Copy writing
  • Campaign Site Development
  • Destination URL Allocation
  • Launch Bid Strategy

This presentation focuses on the first two.

Continue reading "Advanced Paid Search Techniques" »

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