Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Online Marketing in Tough Economy

Recent reports say that the percentage of small and midsized home and trade-services businesses with Web sites will increase to 60 percent by 2010, up from just 33 percent today. (Source: Kelly Group.)

And the other trend - social media marketing - shows that there are also a number of consumer referral and home-services community sites like Craig's List or ServiceMagic. In addition, small business entrepreneurs are posting pages on MyFace, while creative talent post on pages in MySpace.

There is much interest in marketing online today, as the costs are less than print or electronic advertising, and more and more customers use the Internet to find what they want. MarCom New Media, Los Angeles SEO consultants, always recommends the business directories for our clients. Yahoo! is around $299, and others include the SuperPages, with a monthly fee at about $75.00

Other tools for small businesses include CitySearch and YellowPages.com to capture those searching in a local geographic area.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why the Internet is an Awesome Social Measurement Tool?

I have been reading an interesting book that I know some folks would find quite boring. I even think it is boring at times - as I am NOT a numbers person. But the point is that it is a good indicator of this business we are in called Internet Marketing. The book is called Click, by Bill Tancer, and it is about what millions of people are doing online and why it matters. Much of the book is about the fact that companies competing in the online space need to use competitive intelligence data - because that's what Bill does for a living at Hitwise.

This book has taken me awhile to read, unlike Paul Gillin's book called the New Influencers, which I couldn't put down. I think partly because I am not a numbers person, and Tancer is all about statistics, numbers and data. But yesterday I finally got to an ah-haaa moment when I realized that the point of the book will have tremendous value for some of our clients. In a chapter called "Finding the Early Adopters" Tancer talks about why innovation spreads from one idea to mass adoption.

Why for example did it only take YouTube less than six months to host more than 25 million videos and out rank Yahoo!? He says that the reason is probably because the first group to discover YouTube was called "Innovators." The Internet has always been made up of different segments. He knows this because his company has a tool that figures out what websites people were on before they clicked over to visit YouTube. Turns out allot of them were on sites like MySpace, Friendster, Xanga, and even Facebook.

But here is the really cool part. His data showed after about a month, the numbers started shifting and he was seeing traffic from web-based email accounts like HotMail, or Yahoo!Mail. Why? Because YouTube did a brilliant thing. Once a person posted their video on the site, the company let them email their video production with a link to their video to a friend! And when friends clicked on the video, it took them to YouTube, and the data showed that's where the new audience had come from.

It is the same reason why this target group started getting tongue rings and drinking Hussong's Beer. It was cool. And they shared the news with their friends. Other market segments include what Tancer calls the Bohemian Mix - that Claris pretty much describes as a bunch of mobile urbanites living liberal lifestyles - and are early adopters of entertainment and technology; Money and Brains; and the Young Digerati. You'll have to get his book to learn more about these guys. But my point here is that as a marketer, the trends we are seeing on the Internet can be measured better than any previous kind of marketing, ever.

The ways that we as a Los Angeles search engine marketing firm doing social media marketing online can track a campaign for our clients, are sprinkled throughout our strategies, and we are getting fabulous results.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Social Media Marketing Comes of Age

After attending a Social Media Marketing "Agency Bootcamp" luncheon yesterday, it has come to my attention that very few marketers are doing what MarCom is doing. In a room filled with Los Angeles advertising agency staffers and consultants, I can honestly say that very few knew social media marketing to the depth that we do. In fact, I have read that we are in the top ten percent nationwide and the other 90 percent are just starting to try to catch up.

We regularly update our website with relevant searchable content and post new search engine optimization (SEO) tags, descriptions and links on the pages as needed. We have set up multiple RSS feeds - one for press releases, another for articles, and I am about to set up a third one for newsletters. we use http://www.press-feed.com/. I have joined a few more social networks and niche communities to mine customers -- places like FaceBook, and I will be updating LinkedIn and MySpace regularly now.

We added a new social media blog on our homepage, so now there are two - each with a seperate focus. I have started conversations online by stepping up my blogging, added more blogrolls, updated MySpace. Next I need to begin Friending in Facebook, then Twitter about current happenings to my growing list of followers.

MarCom has been writing a number of articles that can be social bookmarked at DIGG, but I want to create a Google map mashup and then start a white paper for people to StumbleUpon or find at Squidoo.

My associates and I have been brainstorming ideas for podcasts and videos to post on YouTube, and we have even thought about doing a virtual B-2-B seminar at Second Life. I plan to research and sign up for some new measurement and conversation mining tools to listen to what people are saying online, although everyone in the social media marketing industry agrees, the tools are still not there yet.

We have started conversations with our own clients to update their social media marketing strategies. MarCom New Media is looking forward to continuing to lead the transformation from old school marketing to building relationships in online communities, and we are already celebrating the results.

Oh BTW if you have no clue what I am talking about…you need to read Paul Gillin’s book, The New Influencers, and of course, hire us as your Los Angeles social media marketing firm.