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Social Media, The 500 lb Gorilla In The Room

Social Media is the 500 lb gorilla in the room that nobody knows what to do with. Ignore it,  feed it, befriend it,  fear it, or understand it. Ultimately they will embrace it and accept it, and not worry about the ROI. Business is about connecting with people and people drive business and referrals. – Web Success Team

Source: Inc. 500

Inc. 500 CEOs Use Social Media for Business

By Tamara Schweitzer

A new study shows that the use of social media is particularly prevalent among Inc. 500 companies and provides new insight on the role social media plays in running a business.

For the third consecutive year, the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has conducted a study on social media usage among Inc. 500 companies. The 2009 results confirm the upward trend of social media adoption rates among some of the fastest growing private companies, and provide a useful comparison of social media trends from 2007 on.

This year’s study, which was conducted by researchers Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson, included 148 of the 2009 Inc. 500 companies. As with the past two years, respondents were asked about their usage and familiarity with six types of social media tools, including blogging, podcasting, online video, social networking, message boards, and wikis. In the past year, social media usage by the Inc. 500 has grown, with 91 percent of companies reporting that they use at least one social media tool, compared to 77 percent in the 2008 survey. And, of the six social media categories, the one that continues to be the most familiar to Inc. 500 companies is social networking, with 75 percent saying that they are “very familiar with it.” Read more

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Filed under: Business Networking, Drive Traffic, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Business, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, Web Success, , , , , ,

Adweek Article: Who’s in Charge of Social Media?

There is confusion between traditional advertising agency and PR models as to who should handle social media (the new medias). They both bring different skill sets to the table. This should not deter clients or agencies from the bigger picture: social media can compliment your existing ad campaign.

The problem is that we are allowing all this new technology to complicate matters even when it is really quite simple in my opinion.

Branding and advertising will always be necessary whether you use either a Facebook fan page, a blog or simply rely on traditional medias to enhance your brand.

An advertising agency should have no problem embracing new medias as another tool or an enhancement to what is already in existence.

Aren’t marketing and advertising all about reach and frequency anyway? So the answer to the question “Who is in charge of social media?” is… whoever can use it more effectively. – Janette Speyer –WST. Read more

Who’s in Charge of Social Media?

Marketing’s latest ‘must-have’ mixes up traditional matches between shops and clients

That’s led some agencies to reorient the type of accounts they pursue. Deep Focus, a digital shop, was primarily an online promotions agency that worked heavily in the entertainment industry. Its social media chops is leading it in a different direction, according to Schafer, as about eight clients are using it as an “engagement agency.” It recently was put on Microsoft’s roster, for instance, to serve as social media agency for Bing.

“Clients are waking up to the fact that either their lead traditional agency doesn’t get social media or gets [it] enough to be dangerous, but not enough to be effective,” said Schafer. “They know it’s important, but that’s not where they’ll make their money.”

That’s led Deep Focus into competition with upstart social media consulting firms. “There’s a hodgepodge of firms who can deliver elements, but … most are really new, young and underdeveloped,” he said.

EVB finds its competitive set shifting as it uses social media to provide the “pixie dust” that gets people talking about a brand. What often happens, said CEO Daniel Stein, is clients know they want to do something in social media, but aren’t sure what. That puts the shop in a different position in pitches like the one for VSP. “The client doesn’t even know who to call with some of this stuff,” he said. “You used to know what the [competition] would bring in. Now you have no idea.”

Source: ADWEEK

Filed under: Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Branding, Online Business, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, , , , , , ,

PPC vs Article Marketing

PPC vs Article Marketing. Web Success Team usually recommends the latter to our clients. We feel that Articles have staying power and help with search engine organic rankings. However I would not underestimate the power of PPC. A well crafted PPC campaign can compliment your blog and your website promotion. A good combination of both is optimum. The attached article explains the pros and the cons of PPC vs Article Marketing. Please read more. – WST

The Last Word in PPC vs. Article Marketing

SiteProNews

There is always a big discussion when it comes to comparing two of the best ways to advertise online: PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising and article marketing, otherwise known as “organic” or “natural” search engine optimization. There is no denying that both methods can be effective. However, which method is better? Which gives you a bigger bang for your buck?

You may get varying statistics on this issue, depending on which website you visit for information. Oh yes, this matters, because you have to consider the source of the statistics and who is sponsoring the article. For example, two sources of information (respectively, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and ComScore) recently produced studies indicating that PPC advertising was more cost-effective on average. However, did the fact that Yahoo/Overture and Google were sponsoring this major study play any role in determining the final outcome? Of course it did – those are the two biggest PPC companies on the net!

In figuring out which of the two is better, you have to consider cost-effectiveness as well as click-through-rates and direct conversion from visiting user to paying customer. We are going to review some statistics a little bit later on. For now, let’s consider some logical points that illustrate how PPC and article marketing differ. Read more

Filed under: Direct Response Marketing, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Business, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, Organic Search Results, Search Engine Optimization, Web Design, , , , ,

Differentiation and Relevance

Nice thought provoking article about being different and “Relevant.” Again, this all ties into branding, marketing and selling. We all strive to be different and unique and in many ways we are. WebSuccessTeam

The Key to Differentiation Is Relevance

Posted by Bart Cleveland for Adage

Differentiation is something that every agency preaches to its clients. Yet most ad agencies are a commodity. Very few have a distinct personality. I have no greater fear than my agency being without a mantra — having no reason for being other than a paycheck. I realize it is a business that must make a profit, but if my agency has no personality, it is average. And to me, whether you’re flipping hamburgers or making ads, being average is worse than not being at all. Being average in our industry means your agency is a commodity that fights for clients in a price war. Sound familiar?

My partners and I continually discuss what makes us different. This is a good thing. We understand the importance of agreeing on our reason for being. But there is a more critical thing we’ve learned from these discussions. Before we can answer how our agency is different, we must know what truly constitutes being different. Read more.

Source: Adage

Filed under: Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Business, Web Success, , , , , , ,

Marketing Tips to Help Legal Professionals Build Their Brands

All too often we get comfortable in our jobs or companies doing what we do best. But periodically these good habits need to be re-examined. In recessionary times you need to constantly reinvent yourself and try new avenues to increase your market share or profitability.

Times are a-changing. The Internet is a dynamic environment and you need to become more active in social media, online networking groups, and good old fashion hand pressing. It’s also a good idea to reassess your website by freshening it up with new content, promotions and calls to action.

Another excellent way to reach out is to actively maintain a blog and blog at least once a week on topical issues of interest for your potential customers. – Bob Speyer, Web Success Team.

Strategic Branding Firm Provides Advice on Effective Legal Marketing Tactics

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ — Following a trying period with little-to-no-growth and industry layoffs and pay cuts, legal professionals are turning to proven business development efforts to freshen their brands and generate business.

Working with law firms to help them dig out of this smoking crater, Moire Marketing Partners, a strategic branding and communications agency specializing in professional services firms, is offering some tips on how firms can position themselves for growth in the post-recession economy:

  1. Incorporate social media into your business development efforts. Your clients, prospects and their suppliers are using it; you should strategically use it too. Leverage tools including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to connect with prospective clients and other professionals to build your network and demonstrate your expertise.
  2. Be a brand ambassador. Remember, you are the face of your company’s brand. Use your interactions to communicate your firm’s brand promise and support that continuously in your efforts.
  3. Network. Relationships matter. Social media is a great way to start a conversation with a client or prospect – but don’t let it stop there. Offer to meet new and old colleagues at an upcoming industry or bar association meeting, civic event, non-profit activity or social mixer – or host your own hospitality function at your firm.
  4. Seize the podium. Apply to be a speaker at upcoming events. If you aren’t accepted, attend anyway to get a better handle on what topics are creating buzz.
  5. Learn from other professionals. Invest in consultants to sharpen your brand. An outside perspective can help you assess the effectiveness of your business development efforts and offer insight into what strategies would work best for your personality type.
  6. Be active in your home and business communities. Dust off those memberships in the local chamber of commerce and non-profit organization. Get involved in industry related activities and slowly increase your profile. Read more

Source: PR NewsWire

Filed under: Business Networking, Facebook, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Branding, Online Business, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, , , , , , , , ,

Advertising Will Change Forever

“I believe that digital advertising is just another tool in the general media world. The economic downturn and slashed budgets have increased the need to think out of the box. One the benefits of digital media is that you can measure analytics in real time.
I also believe that advertising will become more personalized as we delve into Social Media. But as the Internet world becomes saturated with constant messages, we will have to go back to the basics: Good creative!” – WST

Advertising Will Change Forever

By Josh Bernoff

Here’s one of the things we do at Forrester Research: we interview as many marketers as we can about their plans, identify trends and project future likely conditions, and then we put together some numbers to make a projection. If you’ve ever seen a Forrester projection, it comes from a process like this.

This means that inside every projection is an idea or ten about the future. Those ideas can be powerful, and they come from research with marketers and consumers.

My colleague at Forrester, Shar Van Boskirk, just published our five-year interactive marketing forecast. The idea inside it is the real kicker.

In this recession, marketers have learned that interactive marketing is more effective, and advertising less effective, per dollar spent. While budgets for online have decreased, they decreased less than other budgets. Six out of ten marketers we surveyed agreed with the statement “we will increase budget for interactive by shifting money away from traditional marketing.” Only 7% said “we have no plans to increase our marketing budget.”

Unlike the last recession, digital marketing is no longer experimental. Now it looks more like advertising is inefficient, relative to digital. More than half of the marketers we surveyed said that effectiveness of direct mail, TV, magazines, outdoor, newspapers, and radio would stay the same or decrease within three years. In contrast, well over 70% expected the effectiveness of channels like created social media, online video, and mobile marketing to increase. Read More.

Source: Advertising Will Change Forever

Filed under: Blogging, Facebook, Google, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Branding, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, Twitter, Video, Video Marketing, Web Analytics, Web Success, , , , , , , , , ,

Use POG Ads to Promote

POG Ads, also known as Pot of Gold Ads, can help you promote your business in line with Google Adsense or on their own. These are pay-per click advertisements that can help bring traffic to your site and/or increase page revenue. – WST

By: KC Morgan

There are a lot of online advertising opportunities out there. As a Webmaster, don’t you owe it to yourself (and your site) to explore the possibilities offered by them all? Is it possible that one of these advertising possibilities could lead you to a pot of gold? Find out how you can use POG Ads to promote your site and increase your page revenue.

Touted as a Google AdSense alternative or complement, POG Ads is a pay-per-click promotion model that allows you to earn revenue by placing ads on your pages, or advertise your site on other pages. Want to take advantage of both? When you use POG Ads to promote, you can create your own marketing campaigns and earn income from your site.

What Are POG Ads?

POG, or Pot of Gold, Ads (http://www.pogads.com/) is an advertising service that helps Webmasters use pay per click in one of two ways (or both ways at once). POG Ads is a standard pay per click model that’s widely used for online advertising. The site widely touts itself as an alternative to Google AdSense, or a complement to that program which can be used at the same time.

POG Ads

POG Ads, in fact, work the same way as Google AdSense. You can choose to use this service to promote your Web site through customizable advertisements you’ll create with POG Ads. These ads, promotions for your site, will appear on Web sites belonging to the POG Ads network which somehow boast content similar to yours. It’s very inexpensive to use POG Ads to create advertisements and have them subsequently displayed on different pages across the Internet.

When traffic clicks on your ads, it will cost you money. For each click, you’ll pay a predetermined amount as outlined in your agreement with POG Ads. Hence, pay per click. POG Ads also offers a full advertising service, where you’ll pay a monthly rate to have an ongoing Internet campaign that promotes your site.

Google AdSense offers yet another way to benefit from pay per click, and you can enjoy the same opportunity with POG Ads. If you want to earn money on Web site advertising instead of spending it, you might choose to use POG Ads in a different way. By agreeing to rent out space on your Web pages and placing ads on your site, you can earn money through pay per click instead of spending it. You’ll be providing valuable advertising space for other POG Ads users, and you’ll be earning income with your site. Every time a user clicks on one of these ads, you earn an amount determined in your POG Ads agreement. The amount may be small, but the clicks can add up on very popular pages.

You’ll only place a cut-and-paste code in your HTML editor once; from then on, the page has the potential to earn. If it sounds like very little work, you’re starting to get an idea of how easy it is to use POG Ads and other pay per click advertising models.

What are POG Ads? POG Ads are a way for you to earn money or bring in more visitors to your pages — an advertising program you can use to your advantage. Use POG Ads to promote, use them to create income or use them both ways to give your site an overall boost. Use this service to replace other programs, such as Google AdSense, or use them in addition to other services already in place on your site.

Read More

The Web Success TeanSPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Filed under: Google, Online Advertising and Marketing, Website, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Online Reputation Management

For many long-term business owners, tackling the web can be an intimidating and difficult task.  It is important not to be discouraged by negative reviews by disgruntled customers, but rather to rise above and move forward in your marketing efforts.  There are a few basic things to keep in mind when taking the step into the modern business world.  Here are a few good tips that will keep your head on straight and your business making money. –  WST

By: Jeremy Martin

The day you open your business you become vulnerable to the good and bad publicity you can get from either satisfied or dissatisfied customers. That is the price you pay to run a business. It happens to everyone regardless of what you do. Hopefully you are doing your best to please your customers and following through with the expectations you have given them. But when the unthinkable happens and you find a negative remark, blog post or complaint online there are steps you want to take.

Here are some of the “Do’s and Don’ts” of Managing Your Business’ Reputation Online.

Lets start with the Don’ts:

  • Don’t Panic. I know that is easier said that done but the last thing you want to do is lose your cool and try to retaliate. There is no reason for that. It often causes more damage than good.
  • Don’t immediately focus all your attention to the negative information you have found. It is important for you to have a plan or strategy. If you focus all of your time, money and effort on clearing your name then the rest of your business will go down the tube.
  • Don’t admit anywhere that you are wrong. Admitting any wrongdoing is not going to get your complaint removed from search results, blogs or forums. It can also cause further trust issues with existing or potential customers.
  • Don’t take your first negative publicity as a sign that your business is a failure. People that feel that have been wronged in any way are more likely to post the negative information about your company but chances are you have got 100 happy and satisfied customers for every one unhappy customer. Remember, you can’t always please everyone.

Now the Do’s:

  • Create a plan of action. If you notice a couple of negative reports or complaints listed on the first page of search results you have got to find a way to push them off the first page and get them as far down the results as you can. A few really great ways you can do this are by submitting a Press Release to various PR distribution sites such as PRWeb.comm, PR.com and PRnewswir.com.. You can start a new blog that is about your company’s products or services. Make sure you share the good information about your business such as favorable stats or testimonials. Join forums related to your niche and contribute useful, relevant information.
  • Use social networking as a way to build a bigger and better network. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, StumbleUpon and Digg are great because they such a deep user base. If you can get some buzz going about your business it will go a long way. People love to refer sites that are useful to them so make sure you have information that appeals to your target audience.
  • Do your best to resolve the issue with the dissatisfied customer. Sometimes it can be tough if they make the comments anonymously but do your best to find out who they are so you can take care of their concerns. If you try to reach out to them and resolve the issue publicly it shows that you are persistent and take your customer’s satisfaction seriously.
  • If your business is in the position to get certified through agencies like the BBB it can be beneficial to your credibility to potential customers.

Read More
The Web Success TeanSPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Filed under: Business Networking, Online Advertising and Marketing, Online Business, Web Success, , , , , , , , , ,

Crafting a Website with Personality Types in Mind

We, online marketers, always talk about finding your niche or target market.  One of the best ways to do so is through an understanding of human psychology and how people buy.  Marketing to personality types will help you craft your website or media campaign effectively.  This article details four main personality types and how they buy.  Use this as a resource for how you want to position your product/services and brand. –  WST

By: Ivan Strouchliak

We are all different. Some of us prefer to know every detail; others come to decisions in a matter of seconds. For you, authority may be the main deciding factor, while for others customer feedback is the main selling point. How do you know what your customer will respond to? This three-part series will explore how different kinds of customers approach their buying decisions based on their personality types, and how you can cater to what each type needs to know before they buy from you.

In this article I cover four main personality types. I will explain how those personality types view websites and make decisions, and how to craft a website to sell more effectively to each. This idea has been thoroughly explained and proved by FutureNow, owners of the marketing blog GrokDotCom.

Four Personality Types

No two people are identical. Everyone has talents, unique abilities and nasty hang-ups. There are, however, four personality types to which one can effectively market. Those personality types were tested over and again in design, copy writing and advertising, and experiments have proven that it is possible to raise conversion rates when these factors were applied appropriately. These personality types are not new, but were identified centuries ago.

Many of the great philosophers who have dabbled in theories about personality have identified four dominant temperaments. In 370 BC, Hippocrates identified them as Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, and Melancholic. Carl Jung (1875-1961) called them Feeler, Thinker, Sensor, and Intuitor. More recently, David Keirsey identified Idealists, Rationals, Guardians, and Artisans.Waiting For Your Cat To Bark

Myers Briggs classified those personalities as SJ, SP, NF and NT. Ken Evoy calls them boss, empathizer, mixer and ponderer, while Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg dubbed them Methodical, Spontaneous, Humanistic and Competitive.

Each type is distinct. For purposes of description, and to help keep their natures straight, I’ll categorize them with a mix of David Keirsey and Myers Briggs:

  • The Guardians SJ
  • The Artisans SP
  • The Idealists NF
  • The Rationals NT

Meet the Four Personality Types

The Web Success TeanSPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Filed under: Online Advertising and Marketing, Web Design, Web Development, Web Success, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why You Should Use Article Directories to Promote Your Website

Article Directories play a big role in Off-page Marketing.  Directories ensure that your content is circulated on a well-known and efficient website.  The more pages you have both on-site and off-site, the better your rankings can be.  Article directories also allow authors to link back to their websites, which can direct qualified traffic to your business. – WST

By: Jay Gaulard

If you are online and are not already using article directories to promote your website, you are missing out on a free and highly effective marketing option. Article directories are great ways to draw traffic to your site without paying for advertising. However, to get real traffic to your site using an article directory, you must know how to use them correctly. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Direct Response Marketing, Drive Traffic, Online Advertising and Marketing, Web Content, Web Traffic, , , , , , ,

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