Website optimisation is a fascinating field. Most of the gurus will tell you to look at code and build links…lots of links. And, true, that is important. But if you really want to be found on Google you should be trying to answer questions and provide solutions.
The biggest mistake most companies make when optimising their sites for search engines is poor keyword selection. They tend to optimise for themselves; company name, products and services. This is fine if the person searching knows exactly what they want or who you are already, but in most cases they don’t….they’re usually looking for an answer or solution.
The rise of the web has led to a fundamental change in the way we research, share information and shop. Search engine optimisation, blogging and social media have combined to create a new form of marketing around attracting potential customers rather than interrupting them. It’s called inbound marketing.
This excellent infographic from Voltier Digital – Inbound Marketing Rising, the dawn of marketing you won’t hate – demonstrates the differences between Inbound Marketing and the traditional Outbound Marketing. In light of recent studies revealing that Australasian marketers are lagging in tech and social media expertise these are some statistics that need to be shared:
1. 200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list. Tweet this stat
2. 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted into. Tweet this stat
3. 84% of 25-34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising. Tweet this stat
4. 86% of people skip television ads. Tweet this stat
5. 44% of direct mail is never opened. Tweet this stat
A new global study of Chief Marketing Officers by IBM has revealed that Australian and New Zealand marketers are lagging behind their international counterparts when it comes to technology savviness and social media expertise.
From Stretched to Strengthened – Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study, was presented to a round-table of marketers yesterday in Sydney and some of the findings were concerning in this age of global competition.
The major insight appears to be that Australian and New Zealand marketers still rely heavily on traditional forms of promotion and research and are yet to embrace the more modern techniques of their global counterparts.
Especially concerning was the belief that Aussie and Kiwi CMOs rated technology savviness, social media expertise and finance skills as low priority capabilities crucial to their success in the next 3 to 5 years. in fact, IBM revealed that our ranking of 12% for social media expertise was HALF that of the global average.
This is despite CMOs acknowledging that ROI will become the primary measure of success.
Lets face it, influence is the main currency of the web.
Google realised it early on when they created an algorithm to rank the influence and relative power of websites based on inbound links and the relative authority or popularity of those doing the linking. Google called this PageRank, and whilst not being the perfect system of website influence it has been the standard measure of this currency for a long time now.
The advent of social networks created an informal market for peddling influence. As networks have grown certain people, celebrities and groups have become powerful influencers of their wider audience.
A mention, tweet or link by the likes of Robert Scoble can be extremely beneficial (or detrimental) for a tech company. A link in Seth Godin’s blog (which is usually shared in social networks thousands of times a day) can generate incredible traffic for the recipient. And believe it or not, having Kim Kardashian tweet her love for your brand can provide a powerful marketing boost. In fact, she now charges companies tens of thousands of dollars to access her Twitter influence.
Why? Because these people have credibility and influence within their respective audiences and communities.
That’s the premise behind a new influence metric called Kred. Created by the team at PeopleBrowsr, Kred trawls Twitter around the clock to measure levels of influence for different topics and people. They currently score 100 million Twitter users for 200 different groups (subjects).
I was at the Australian preview of Kred last night and was very impressed with the level of data and potential uses of the Kred system.
While it is easy to sneer at influence metrics such as Kred, Klout and Peer Index as ego driven vanity scores, that is missing the real point. Looking beyond your own score you can discover groups who are influential in certain topics and even gauge whether they are “spammy” or not.
To me, Kred seems to be the next step on from Klout in measuring social media influence. Jodee Rich, the founder of PeopleBrowsr, is the first to admit that influence metrics such as Kred will continually evolve and improve, but you have to start somewhere. He says that Kred’s granularity will continue to evolve as they measure influence in each country, then cities.
This can be a valuable resource for marketers, PR companies, political operatives, lobbyists and entertainment companies. Driving back from the launch I came up with many ideas about how I could use Kred as a marketer, for both my business and for my clients.
I’ve long believed that building your ‘digital resume’ is crucial for future employment and company pitches. Now we are coming to an era where many employers will use metrics such as Kred (and others) to help identify or compare potential recruits. If you are perceived to be influential in that area of expertise (relative to other candidates) then that might be enough to get you the job.
Kred launches this week. Check it out and tell me what you think.
This blogsite has never existed as a money spinner. Sure, I sometimes promote the activities of my various businesses and that can be beneficial, but I have never tried or expected to make a dollar from publishing blog posts.
I’m also a big advocate of inbound marketing and tend to believe the rather funny recent study that found its more likely your will survive a plane crash or win the lottery than click a banner ad. That’s because we don’t go to our favourite websites to look at ads, we go for what that site offers; information, advice, entertainment etc. And its very rare that we are actually served up advertisements that are relevant to us.
Advertisements are pointless and annoying unless they are actually relevant and of service to readers. So that’s why I haven’t included any ads on Media Hunter or even on Urban Insider….until now.
Times have definitely changed. Until recently a new business would measure itself against a series of metrics like foot traffic, advertising reach and frequency, number of phone calls, number of calls or meetings by sales people, presentation to sales ratios, and of course actual sales.
But that was before the web, before Google and before social media networks took off.
In the era of inbound marketing the metrics have totally changed and I am studying them frantically in the wake of our recent NLYZR launch.
One week into my new start-up’s life I am able to track key metrics on an hourly basis to determine what’s working and what’s not. Here are some of the things I’m keeping track of:
What is your gateway drug?23Jun11
Is it possible that drug dealers are smarter marketers than many multinationals?
Consider the two. Multinational pharmaceutical companies sell drugs. They spend a fortune on expensive media to convince us we need their drugs. Their cost per acquisition is high.
Illegal drug dealers also sell drugs. They often start with a free sample of their “goods” to a few key locals in their community. This gets the potential buyers “hooked”, creates a sense of loyalty and obligation and leads to strong word-of-mouth for their product. Their cost per acquisition is low and conversion rate is almost 100%.
Now, while I don’t suggest you move into distribution of illegal goods, I do recommend you emulate drug dealers with your marketing. Make a good product or service, make it addictive and give away a small amount for free in order to generate ongoing sales and word of mouth. Anyone who has ever watched The Wire has seen the sophisticated marketing and distribution of street level drug dealers.
Brand Newcastle launches3Jun11
Brand Newcastle was unveiled yesterday and now, just a day later, the usual sniping and cynicism has surfaced.
A read through The Herald comments today would not be a fun experience for the team who created the new logo at Peach Advertising or the civic leaders who commissioned the branding. But perhaps everyone should take a breath and look at the bigger picture here.
Branding is a very subjective exercise, everyone has an opinion (after its done) and rarely do you see a rush of positive feedback on a new logo. A few weeks ago Virgin Australia launched its new branding by one of the leading Australian designer Hans Hulsbosch. Immediately the advertising and design industry dissected the work with similar bitchiness to what we’re seeing today for Brand Newcastle. I remember Qantas receiving the same treatment for their recent brand revamp.
The point is that a design team is always on a hiding to nothing with these exercises and there will always be a critical audience ready to tear anything new like this down. There were plenty of critics of the Sydney Opera House when it was first announced but today it is possibly Australia most iconic symbol.
Whether you love it or hate it, I believe that Newcastle Council and Peach should be commended for their efforts in trying to put Newcastle back on the map. A brand or logo doesn’t solve every issue in town but its a starting point, a rallying call for some civic pride and an identity beyond the Hunter.
I just came across this excellent bit of modern marketing from a band with a thoroughly retro sound…Bon Iver.
Scanning through the Twitter trending list today I saw Bon Iver. Curiosity being what it is I had to click on it to find out why a relatively small indie folk band from the USA was trending here in Australia.
Most of the tweets were announcing a new song by the band with a link to the free download. Naturally I clicked on the link which took me to a simple landing page inviting me to download the song Calgary for free. All I had to do was supply an email address, which I did.The landing page also had a list of tour dates and an opt-in option for their mail list.
The email I receive less than a minute later thanks me for signing up, allows me to begin downloading the song and invites me to share the free download with my friends on Twitter and Facebook, which I did.
….and the circle continues.
How simple and clever is that? In a matter of minutes I have discovered new music, downloaded it free and shared it with my friends and joined their database. Whatismore, I’m blogging about it and I have noticed they’re already generating plenty of other blogger buzz online.
I bet that Bon Iver will sell plenty of copies of their new album when its released, and that I will receive an invitation to buy. They’ll also have a well attended concert tour.
And its all because of a simple Twitter and Facebook campaign.
How could your business benefit from a bit of folk singer marketing?
We live in a digital age of high expectations and instant gratification. Disappointment in a service can be rapidly spread online, yet the same tools can be used to ensure customer satisfaction.
Radiohead understands this, Vodafone has no idea.
The last year has seen Vodafone Australia lurch from one PR disaster to the next. Their main selling advantage, low prices and cheap data bundles, has led to their biggest problem – too many customers for an under-serviced network. As a result data access can be unreliable or non-existent in areas where you’d expect to be able to have good data access.
Vodafone’s initial response was to ignore the problem and growing number of complaints with a “nothing to see here” PR approach. That was until 23 year old student Adam Limo decided to launch his crusade against Vodafone’s awful service with his now famous #Vodafail campaign. #Vodafail lit a fuse that the telecommunications giant could no longer ignore as the media coverage spiraled out of control. It led to Vodafone CEO Nigel Dews acknowledging they had let their customers down and they were working hard to address network coverage. They also began allowing customers to break their contracts without penalty if they complained hard enough.
Last weekend Vodafone’s latest PR distaster erupted when their SMS system failed, preventing customers to send messages at Easter, one of the biggest holidays of the year. Social media sites were flooded with anti-Vodafone messages.