Thursday, February 28, 2008

Adweek Survey on Social Media Marketing

Brian Morrissey reports on social media marketing in Adweek (Feb. 28, 2008) about a TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony study that polled more than 60 marketers and discovered that social network marketing is still a puzzle, and agencies don't seem equipped to help clients "get it."

With more and more clients starting to place emphasis on trying to master social media marketing, they seem to find that their agencies are not equipped to help them succeed in that space. More than 60 marketers in North America, France and the U.K. were polled to see how they are doing in figuring out the world of social media. They were asked for feedback on their agencies' abilities to help with social media.

According to TNS "Agencies don't get it." Clients complained that their agencies -- creative, media, public relations, design and others -- typically treat social channels like blogs as traditional media.

In other cases, their ideas are not backed up by practical skills in the area. What's more, one client pointed out that his agencies have little of their own experience using social networks or video-sharing sites for themselves.

The perceived, and real lack of social media competence at agencies will present opportunities for new providers. That means firms like MarCom Broadband will be getting the business because we have been deep into social media marketing for the last five years, and well into search engine marketing for over ten years. Following are just a couple of our customer case histories.

Client: Entertainment Connection (,, SEO and online PR
Result: In less than one year, in addition to expanding the websites tremendously, we have decreased Entertainment Connection’s original PPC budget by 67 percent of what it was, and increased the number of leads by 67 percent. For one third the budget they are getting 170 percent of the business. We are currently drafting press documents for launching the company’s corporate press room, and will soon write articles for submission – all in the new social media format. Future plans including a Spanish version of each site. Each website is getting excellent rankings

Client: The Wiley Protocol ( SEO, PR and Social Media Marketing
Result: After a year of SEO and social media marketing, the Wiley website is ranking well in search engines. With Joomla as their content management system there are limitations, however as one example, a year ago the company was ranked 35 on Google under the key word phrase “bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. It is now number five on page one of Google. PR and social media efforts continue.

Client: Wilshire Dental Clinic ( SEO and Social Media Marketing
Result: In a year this client is ranking on the first page of all the major search engines for most all of the key words for the website Social media marketing continues, and we will begin ghostwriting a blog for Dr. Afar in February, 2008. These bi-weekly postings will further improve and maintain rankings of each website. (

Client: CyberDefender, Inc. ( Reputation Management, SEO and PR
Result: Negative listings for the company’s CEO and the prior company were pushed back off of Google’s first page within six months. Within three months there were increased product sales and revenues and after six months the company’s ranking by the search engines showed a significant increase in organic listings based on the key words, while increased product sales and revenues amplified.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Search Engine Statistics in SEO

I was doing some research and found that 75 to 80 percent of traffic comes through the search engines. Most people do not look beyond the first two pages of search results. And even less click on Pay per Click (PPC) ads. So if your website does not rank in the first two pages of engines like Google or Yahoo! it is probably only getting about 20 to 30 percent of traffic, and even less for your revenues. The bottom linbe is that you need to rank high on the search engines with those "key" words that your customers will use to find you on the Internet. It is all about relevance.

At MarCom we have noticed that many of our new business clients worry about how much traffic they are getting on their websites, but few really notice or know how many of these convert to sales, or even where they came from. Recently we had one client -- -- mention that since we have been working on a keyword and social media marketing strategy of pet urns/dog urns/cremaiton urns and her ranking on these words has improved, she for the first month she actually had orders for these urn products It's nice when we can take credit for revenues for our clients.
Another client that we have been working with for reputation management - - has improved in just a week and gone from ten to eight in the first page rankings on Google.

Another thing we recently put together because of all the confusion about social media marketing services, is a standard rate sheet. Our services are actually very cost efficient. We typically charge a one time fee for keyword analysis of $650. Online website optimization depends on each client's current ranking, number of web pages and their situation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Using Linked In for Social Media Marketing

I was invited to a colleague's BNI networking group this morning, and they had recently implemented a group instruction to network each other via Linked in. I have been on the service for years. And I am guilty of not always using it correctly, as I suspect is an issue with many business people, even though I know the value of social media networking sites like this. We instruct our MarCom Broadband clients about the value of social sites like this.

Because LinkedIn is an online network of millions of professionals from around the world, it will help to improve your Google Page Rank, or Google PR. You can post your personal profile and make the information available for the search engines to index. LinkedIn gets high PR in Google, so it is another way of influencing your ranking so people will find you on the Internet. It is pretty simple: just create your public profile and choose the option called “Full View.” You may also want to have your profile’s URL be your actual name, or the name of your company. Then link this page from your blog, or website or from press articles online.

Also LinkedIn is a great place where you can list your website with a link, and or your blog link. All links back to your blog or website create "activity" on these sites which Google likes, and which will go as credits towards your , or PR, on those sites. Be sure if you link to your blog that you include your name or keyword phrase in the link, which will provide search-engine optimization for your blog site.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Linking in press releases and wire services

I had an interesting experience yesterday. I was submitting my client's press release, when I called tech support at the wire service that I use and was told that I could add my key words - and that I was allowed one key word per 100 words. The release was 800 words long, meaning I could add eight keywords. I did this but, to be honest, it really looked stupid. So I contacted my colleague, and social media marketing mentor Sally from Expansion Plus, who said that three links per article "work best." We changed the release.

We've been practicing social media marketing at MarCom Broadband for quite some time, and every day I learn something new. For article submissions, I have only been using three links per article. And the same rule applies for articles as for releases. It is best to link to a key word phrase in the first paragraph, and at the end -- because, as I have been told, the search engines read from the bottom up, and top down, and pick up words most used on the beginning and end of sentences.

One more issue. When in the article submission sites, they do not allow linking in the main text of your article. However they will allow a maximum of two URLs in what is known as the RESOURCE BOX. You are allowed to use HTML code to make the link work. If you don't link up your URL they will automatically assume that you only wanted it displayed, but not linked. Oh, and they also do not allow these links in the resource box to contain a downloaded file of any kind. Plus they won't accept articles that have the same link in the box more than one time.

And as always -- stick to white hat, not black hat SEO practices, or they may reject your articles.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

SEO, Google Descriptions and Growing Clicks

I searched Google today, and you probably did too. Have you ever wondered why you choose and click a specific link and not others? One reason for click through is probably because of the description, or a short bit of text that sits right below a link. When the descriptions are done right, the number of people clicking your link goes up, and when done wrong, your result link becomes meaningless to users. The competition may get your business.

One of our associate companies, Enthusiast, Inc., is sponsoring a webinar on the topic of how to use Google descriptions to grow your website click though. When you have an e-commerce site on the Internet, your competition is vast compared to typical retail locations at the local mall or on Main Street. So that means your really need to make sure that you are practicing the right search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to get folks to your website in the first place.

MarCom Broadband's Mike Keesling will be talking about this topic tomorrow Wednesday, February 13, 2008 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM PST Using Google Descriptions to Boost Traffic

Join web veteran Jon Cline from Enthusiast Web Solutions and search marketing expert Mike Keesling as they take a closer look at the vital result page description.

You will learn how to:

  • Improve specific entry pages for more site traffic
  • Make your result link look more relevant
  • Avoid getting your cut off descriptions

And you can ask our experts SEO questions. Join us!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Economics of New Media, or Social Media, Marketing

As of this week, MarCom Broadband is transitioning into a new website that will be known as MarCom New Media. And I also have another blog that I have started to mirror the new MarCom corporate identity, called MarCom New Media. For awhile I will post on both my blogs. And as always, we try to instruct as we do, so just a hint here ... the content needs to be 30 percent or more different if you post the same topic in more than one place on the Internet. Otherwise only one gets the "credit" with the search engines.

There are several names in marketing for basically the same thing these days. We happen to prefer the term new media, as opposed to social media. During a recession, people in business often pull in their horns on advertising dollars, especially for branding and awarenhess campaigns. In fact, one of my new associates has been calling people who have big ads in the pages of local newspapers, educating them on how they COULD be spending their money on online tactics , which are measurable and bring better results.

New media, or social media marketing is more about people sharing information than awareness. And because of that, interactive new media marketing is here to stay. We believe it is almost recession proof. One reason is the cost factor. Social and new media applications include blogs, social media platforms like FaceBook or MySpace, article submissions, etc. which cost next to nothing except the professional's time to post. Even PRWeb releases, are only max. $360 per post as opposed to more costly wires. I also like using ProfNet -- a great way to find editor's who are writing about a specific topic. It saves in PR media pitching time. I have a ProfNet account under the health category for my client T.S. Wiley and The Wiley Protocol.

Furthermore, social media is also measurable, generating leads, at which point the conversion ratios can be measured. If 3000 people come to your website, and only 200 purchase a product, with the right social media tactics, you might be able to increase that number so that more peopole convert from lokkie lous to customers.

Search advertising, pop-up ads and email marketing might also be recession-proof, as would integrated direct mail programs that direct folks to a special website (which will measure who shows up). Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising even has its place until your SEO has time to take over, at which time you can reduce your PPC budget, and insome cases for our clients, we have illiminated PPC from the marketing mix. One client recently cut his PPC from more than $18k per mo to $0. And even more leads are coming in thanks to our excellent SEO efforts.

But, none of these new media tactics will work without the right search engine optimization (SEO). With Flash websites and content management software (CMS) -- they are often not SEO-able. My associate Mike Keesling says, embedded flash works, and some CMS programs are much better than others. But the bottom line, if you don't have an expert to do the keyword analysis, and recommend what keywords should be used to Meta and Title-tag your website, people who search for your product or service using search engines like Yahoo or Google, may not find your website. You want to be ranked withing the first page of the engines listings.

New media and social media marketing is about helping provide links from six ways to Sunday on the Internet, so people will find your website, and interact.

Friday, February 1, 2008

2008 Trends in SEO and Social Media Business Models

Now that the new year is well under way, we have been getting questions from current and potentially new small to medium sized clients regarding business models and the online arena.

In fact, MarCom is also currently undergoing a new website development strategy for our own website MarCom Broadband. Although we liked the original design two years ago, we want a more corporate content driven site today, so we've decided that the black background needs to be switched out. Plus our website in need of upgrading to a more SEO and social media friendly design. We will be having our web designer add this blog, and make it easier to switch out content on the pages of the site. Websites with lots of dynamic changing content rich with your key words get the attenditon of the search engines, which will mean better rankings.

That brings me to the fact that I noticed a great article on Steve Rubel's Micro Persuasion blog this week which talked about some of the new online business models. There is of course, "advertiser-supported advertising" in which some of the big brands are partnering with online media properties. Then there are"advertiser-subsidized devices, " where incentives play a big part. However, the model that fascinated me is is known as "just-in-time," which is digital advertising planned, placed, measured and evaluated, so that people can decide if the program should be tweaked or tossed. According to the report, new technology allows marketers to create "just-in-time" campaigns that adapt to conditions, so creative campaigns will adapt and change based on specific triggers -- such as sales/ERP data, blog chatter/consumer feedback, or other external conditions.

Yes this works for those who are online. But what about people who still are not online all the time, like pharmacists or doctors. I believe that no matter what the business model, the reality here is that consumers are still interacting in a variety of mediums with the exception of email spam now which typically goes in the trash. Direct mail for example can still work in conjunction with postcard campaigns that drive folks to a website where they can accept a special offer by filling out a survey, and instigate a lead gen call from a sales rep. This works really well for some businesses.

Our new client,, for example, is a small business that currently relies on online lead generation, based on people who are searching for pet urns, pet memorial markers or information about pet burials. A targeted direct mail postcard campaign to vets, or pet stores, could lead to new business tie-ins and direct customer referrals.