Archive for Marketing

There is a line from the movie He’s Just Not That Into You (don’t ask, I was forced to watch it against my will, I felt so dirty that I had to watch the Dirty Dozen and 300 afterwards), that goes something like this; “You are the rule, not the exception.”

When it comes to content, unless you already have healthy traffic, if you write it, people won’t come out of thin air. The content you write must be accessible. It must be available through search engines, it must be a part of the community, and it needs to be in areas where it must be found. When it comes to your content, you need to plan as if you are the rule (cause you are) not the exception.

The worst thing you can do is to rely on the fact that if you write it, people will all of a sudden flock to you. So how do you go about getting the word out?

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Categories : Commentary
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A lot of the blogs I have been doing of late have been centered on Twitter, so why stop now? However, this will probably the last Twitter post for… well at least a few weeks.

I don’t think there is any question as to why many media outlets are having financial problems. They simply do not understand the new media. I read an article from News Factor called Top Media Execs Wonder How Twitter Will Make Money and I couldn’t help laughing.

What is interesting about online media is that is requires technical proficiency and creativity. Its a medium that requires new ideas and new ways of thinking.

“I think it’s a great service. I just don’t think it’s a natural advertising medium,” said Diller, who heads online conglomerate InterActiveCorp.

John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media Corp., also believes Twitter will be hard-pressed to sell advertising on its messaging service without alienating users. Twitter’s best bet, Malone said, probably is to simply get people so addicted to the service that they might eventually pay fees.

But see this is why newspapers are closing and magazines are reducing circulation or like PC Magazine, no longer in print media.

Media executives want to know how Twitter will make money and I look at Twitter and think how can it not?

First off, clear your head of advertisements. Push that to the curb. The bulk of the Twitter using populace probably wouldn’t click on a link or even consider flashing banners, ad links, sponsorships, etc. Although I have a few ideas how they could get advertising to work lets look at the main things Twitter can do.

The acquisition of a company like Tweet Later. Tweet Later has a long list of features that are very useful for a lot of Twitterers. If Twitter doesn’t purchase this company they could develop these tools on their own. The addition of the professional tools for a small fee. Malone said that Twitter needs to get people so addicted that they might eventually pay fees… silliness. According to their site, Tweet Later service has  more than 100,000 users. The service is about 30 bucks a month and users, especially business and marketers, use it. If Twitter picked it up and 10% of the users paid for the tools, Twitter would be looking at ~$140 million a year.

Twitter could produce a system of development tools to software companies for easier interface. The toolkit would be free, but could include a support channel for a nominal monthly fee. Or have the toolkit cost a certain amount of money and add support fees to it. The Twitter modding community is already quite large and the vast array of tools for Twitter is one of its main features, if programmers had even more access to Twitter controls that market could become even larger than it is now.

Twitter could offer a la carte services. They could have the Tweet Later tools, maybe a UI like TweetDeck or Twirl, etc and make it so you can say grab five “power” features for $5 or 15 features for $9.99. By making it user choice as far as the features you get for the fee, users can purchase what they need, making the population of paying customers larger. Heck, Twitter could even make a marketplace so users can see everything Twitter has to offer and all of the tools other companies have, free or fee based.

Now back to advertising. Twitter can make gateway ad landing pages if they wanted for all URLs that are clicked on from tweets. Personally, I wouldn’t like it, but it wouldn’t make me stop clicking on links I find in tweets considering roughly 80% of the links I have clicked on have been very useful.

I am not really going to mention the other ideas I have because this is becoming quite a long blog, but I hope people see the potential is there without too much work for Twitter to become quite profitable and they can do it without advertising or mandatory subscriptions like the pedestrian media magnets believe. Principles here can be applied to any industry as well. You find what people want and you give it to them in the best possible way and in doing so you provide a great service and the customer will be happy to pay for it

Categories : Marketing
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Curtis R Curtis from RankSense sent out a  tweet that is quite good. I have been thinking about it off and on for a while. What is interesting is it reminds me of a thing we use to do earlier in my journalistic career. That’s not the good bit though. The good bit is it has much more consequence today than it did some 10 or so years ago.

You Say, What is it?

Let’s face it, the average web surfer doesn’t have time to read… go figure. Instead we browse titles, and look at the first few sentences of the first paragraph. If the article holds our attention, we continue, if not we press on. The tweet was to this blog, entitled, “Thank You For Clicking! Part One: Corpse Found In Internet Guru’s Gym Locker.”

Corpse Found in Internet Guru’s Gym Locker, how cool is that title? So going back to what I non-too-subtlety alluded to in the first paragraph. As an exercise we use to pass articles around that were sans title and create our own titles for each article. The point was to get a title that sums up the article and captures the imagination.

If you have a blog or you do article writing on any level I would recommend trying out the exercise. Its best to do it with a group of people and with articles that you are not familiar with. For instance go to some site print out several copies of random articles with the titles removed, pass them around and have some fun with it.

Not only is it a learning experience it can also be quite fun… no really… honest.

Categories : Commentary
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Can it Go Viral?

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Social marketing can be a very fickle fiend. When a company decides to advertise all it takes is a simple plan, build the message, select the medium, craft the pitch, then let it rip. But how do companies go about making something viral?

Viral messages are those messages that are so different, so amazing, or so funny that they get picked up by the population. An infection through casual contact, the viral message moves form person to person till tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people view the message.

So how does one make a common blender go viral? Well what can a blender do and what would make in interesting?

Blendtec had an answer. A blender blends, chops, dices, juices, etc. It takes stuff and breaks it into smaller stuff.

But blending the normal things Mr. Popeil would on some infomercial would not do. Watching raspberries getting turned into a fruit smoothie is not interesting. What is interesting is anything that is labeled don’t try this at home. The element of danger, but what to blend?

Howabout an iPhone, or a remote control… perhaps a Rubik’s Cube?

Blendtec decided to build an interesting Web site around the question, “Will it blend?”

Add some cheesy music and man who looks like engineer from the back room of some laboratory and you have the makings of a message that blows from one end of the world to the other.

You might ask how do I apply this to web hosting? Well that is for you to do. A viral message is the essence of creativity. The true definition of thinking outside of the box. They do not come simply because you want them to. Viral messages come because the message is deeply in-tuned with the audience (for instance a blog that puts down Windows and glorifies Linux is good linkbait for Digg) and is a must see.

The biggest question is once you have a viral message, how do you capitalize on it? But that is an answer for another time. Until then happy hosting!

Categories : Commentary, Social Media
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With the EU looking to investigate the use of Google Adwords on Yahoo’s network in US and Canada the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has also presented the disagreements of various advertisers to the EU.

Although the deal would be isolated to the US and Canada, advertisers say it will have a global impact.

“We feel this deal between Google and Yahoo in North America will have a detrimental impact on how they compete with each other around the world — as they do today,” said WFA spokesperson Robert Dreblow.

This isn’t the first time advertisers disagreed about Google’s methods. The WFA was in staunch disapproval of the DoubleClick acquisition in 2007

Yahoo disagrees. “Although the World Federation of Advertisers did not seek any information from us about this agreement, we have made clear from the beginning that it will strengthen Yahoo’s competitive position in online advertising and will help to drive a more robust, higher-quality Yahoo marketplace for our advertisers, publishers and users,” said Yahoo spokesperson Tracy Schmaler. “Furthermore, advertiser demand will continue to drive prices — up or down — and advertising performance will drive that demand, not collaboration between Yahoo and Google.”

The major reason behind the disagreement stems from the amount of the PPC online advertising market that Google would control through Yahoo. Attorneys from both the US Association of National Advertisers and Microsoft have found that Google would control 90% of the PPC market. Microsoft’s attorneys testified before the US Congress in July that no single company has every controlled 90% of advertising in any market.

Categories : In the News
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