Archive for April, 2012

7 Ways Small Business Could Succeed With Facebook

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Many marketers believe in the myth that it is easy for any brands that are already established to do very well in Facebook compared to small business whose brand is still not well known to many people. However, this is half truth. True in the sense that it is pretty easy for established brands to grow their numbers of Facebook likes immediately as they would have large marketing dollars to invest on their campaign.
But it is not true that small businesses cannot succeed with Facebook. You need to know these 7 golden strategies and take action on it.

#1: Established Your Niche
You may be a small business owner with a small marketing budget, however, you can be ‘big’ and live larger than life on Facebook if you established your own niche well.
No doubt, people will usually recognize and remember brands of big corporations immediately; but as for the small business owner’s case, always link your company brand with a common niche that people can recognize immediately.

For example, if your business is dealing with pastry, create a Facebook page on things about pastry. Put your brand name beside the word ‘pastry’ so that Facebook users who came into your page will at least link you as an expert in pastry. People may not remember your company name but they know about pastry; hence if you do it right, you can definitely build up your brand

#2 Share Your Contents Around Your Niche
Content is very ‘sacredly’ important. You should put up contents around your niche. Talk about it, upload photos, give trivia, ask questions and share customers’ testimonials on everything about your niche. Do remember not to share any contents that are non-related to your product niche or contents that are only meant to show off your ego and not helping your prospective customers.

#3 Guerrilla “Likes” Campaign
Likes on your facebook page is one of the important things you need to have, the more your likes, the higher the probability of word of mouth marketing. Rule of the thumb, try to hit your first 1000 Likes from your targeted audience. And then aim to hit 2000 and 3000 likes.

Initially, as a small business, you have to work very hard to garner the likes due to marketing budget. If you have a decent amount of marketing dollars, putting Facebook ads is highly recommended if you want to garner your first 500 Likes in say, less than 3 weeks or so. As your likes increase, you can then gradually decreases your ads on Facebook since more people will help you spread your brand.

#4 Interaction and Edge Ranks
You need a lot of interaction so as to increase your Facebook Edge Rank; the better your edge rank, the higher the chances your facebook page updates will be prominent on your fans’ news feeds and profile.
Interactions in Facebook means people liking your posts, people comment on your posts and people share your posts. The most easiest way to get people talking about your brand, is to ask question to your fans. Put up questionnaires, IQ Test, contests and nice photos that create interactions in your Facebook page. Make your page very interesting but still, always remember to link to your niche.

#5 Maintain a Good Social Interaction Rate
Social interaction rate, in my theory, equals to
‘Number of People Talking About Your Brand divided by the Number of Likes in Your Facebook’ x 100%
Try to always maintain at least 15% social interaction rate, the higher of course the better. So this case, you will understand that having a very high number of Facebook Likes is not that important than having a high number of people who talks about your brand. 300 people out of 500 Likes talking about a small business brand is much better than 500 people out of 6000 Likes talking about an already established brand.
So small business owners need to consistently improves their social interaction rate.

#6 Strategise Your Photos
Picture is really worth a thousand words. Try to cleverly upload nice pictures that make people feel good and want to ask questions about it. Cleverly edit your photo albums title with these 2 purposes in mind. Number one, and I will repeat this throughout my article, is to link to your niche. And number two, ask people to Like or Share your photos.

For example, create an album called, “My blueberry cheesecake collection – LIKE Us if You like Cheesecakes!”
Then upload and post 2 photos into the album so that your wall post will appear to have the 2 photos with the album title on it. If someone likes your photos, he or she may also like the album. Hence, this person’s friends will see on the news feed, your album title, which may eventually prompt them to like your page.

#7 Everywhere, Be Facebook
Make use of whatever resources you have now especially when your marketing budget is very low. The most easiest way is to ask people you know to like your page. Put your facebook page URL on your namecard, presentation folders, email signatures, outdoor banners and so forth. Take every opportunity to let people know about your Facebook page whether it is online or offline. Ask your existing satisfied clients to like your page, share your page and put a testimonial on your wall as well as their wall.

Creating a successful page requires time, creativity and lots of updates and interaction. It may seem as the playground for the big boys with big marketing budgets, however even for small business and newly start-up, if they do the things right with a clever strategy, they can also have a very successful Facebook page.

Five Tips for Masterful Pinmanship on Pinterest

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

We’ve mentioned why Pinterest is a great resource for reaching users, and the social space is now brimming with case studies.

Follow others. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Replace “care” with “Pin”—and you’ve got a roadmap. Draw inspiration from other Pinners and Repin their work. They’ll appreciate your attention; some will follow back and eventually start Repinning your photos.

Filter. Pinterest lets you keep multiple Boards (ways to organize your photos), which users can choose to follow individually or all together. Use different Boards to showcase your brand’s dynamism and attract different types of followers.

Use keywords and be specific. Name your Boards and add descriptions to your Pins. Including hashtags (#keyword) will also add your photos to galleries under that term, spreading your reach.

Pin and Repin on the go. Pinterest’s iPhone app lets you Pin what you see on the fly.

Learn something new. Some of the most popular images on Pinterest are how-to photo collages—everything from putting on eyeshadow to tying a fishtail braid. Create a Board to gather your own lessons learned, or spread how-to’s of your own!

The Po!nt: Gain insights on the Pin Site. Mastering Pinterest is the first step to mastering your Pinterest audience. Let your personality, curiosity, and creativity appear in your Boards—and it’ll come right back to you in Repins and click-throughs.

26 Ways to Engage With Customers Using Video

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Are you using video to connect with customers and prospects? Videos will enhance client communication and collaboration, and help support and drive new business.

In this post we’ll cover 26 ways you can engage and interact with your customers by using video in several different forms.

Like its predecessors in the five A-Z guides published here on Social Media Examiner—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and Lead Generation—we’ll cover a lot of territory and introduce solutions to give you ideas about where you may want to spend time exploring video options for your business.

A to Z Guide to Using Video

#1: Apple’s FaceTime
Apple’s FaceTime has created an important new option for video calls. You can use FaceTime on a Mac, iPhone and iPad2. Companies such as Salesforce.com have plans to use FaceTime as a way to provide face-to-face customer support.

Sameer Patel of the Sovos Group says, “Whether it’s for customer or employee communication… voice, video, conferencing and virtual meetings are front and center to how organizations look at collaboration.”

#2: Behind the Scenes
Ann Handley suggests in her book Content Rules to use video to show behind the scenes at your company. “Businesses can show what goes on in their day-to-day world that people don’t see but might be interested in. What about showing, for example, how a popular product goes from concept to rolling off the assembly line? Something that seems completely everyday to you could be exciting and fresh to your fans.”

#3: Case Studies
Want to engage your audience with your case studies? Think about making a short video. Niall Harbison rounded up 10 of the Best Social Media Campaign Video Case Studies.

What you’ll notice is that videos don’t have to be long to be effective. In fact, sometimes the shorter the better. Sample lengths here include 1:14, 1:37, 1:35, 0:59, 2:30, 1:11, 4:43, 1:06 and 2:21.

#4: Diary-style Videos
This is another great idea from Ann Handley who suggests that a diary-style video of people or groups of people talking to the camera can be a short and insightful approach. “They might offer tips or tricks for using your product, answer a common support question, or simply give an update on how your business is helping its customers.”

#5: Email
Email seems like a worthy destination for a video clip. I don’t know about you, but I’d be curious to click on it.

There is one important caveat—the kind of email program you’re using. Email programs that use HTML formats such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird will allow you to embed a video clip but other web-based programs like Gmail or Yahoo won’t let you. Here’s a workaround worth trying.

#6: Facebook
By now you’ve probably heard that Facebook is a good place to upload a company video. However, what shows up in a user’s news feed is dependent on a number of news feed optimization factors referred to as EdgeRank. The good news is that video is one area that ranks higher and is more likely to bring a post onto someone’s news feed.

Video consumption on Facebook is growing. The blog All Facebook recently reported, “Nearly 47 million people in the U.S. watched videos on Facebook in February 2011. That puts the site in fourth place on the comScore Video Metrix ranking, two spots higher than it ranked in January.”

#7: Get Seen
Perhaps one of the best resources out there on video is Steve Garfield’s book, Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business Online.

Steve covers topics such as choosing a camera, lighting and sound, making videos without a video camera, recording and shooting, uploading, broadcasting live and video blogging.

There are far too many valuable insights in his book to cover here, but consider this one that he states later in the book: “The revolution of recording video is the ability to share from the device you record with.” That’s pretty revolutionary when you stop and think about it.

#8: Have a Good Time
Here’s a unique idea from Insite Motion Media: “A video featuring a creative performance by your own staff is a great way to showcase your company’s culture and promote your business without having viewers feel like they’re being advertised to.” You may need company consensus on this one. What do you do if your boss really can’t sing and tap dance as good as he thinks he can!

#9: Interviews
Social Media Examiner’s founder Michael Stelzner interviews social media experts every week. Interviews are a great way to introduce a person and a topic to your blog or website.

In addition to the fact that people love to watch video clips, there’s a whole SEO factor too which makes it extremely worthwhile. Forrester Research reported that “A website with a video is 53 times more likely to come up on the first page result on Google than the exact same page without video.”

# 10: Jing
There are times when you may want to do a screen cast to demonstrate a point to someone in another location. Personally I’ve been very happy with Jing.
Jing records 5 minutes of what you see on your computer screen. You can share it via the web, email, IM, Twitter or your blog.

There’s a great free version but if you need more features such as saving as an MPEG-4 video, getting unbranded videos (without the Jing logo, etc.), sharing instantly to YouTube and recording from a webcam, you can purchase Jing Pro for $14.95 per year.

#11: Key Influencers
Who are some of the key influencers in your industry? Can you do an interview with them? Reaching out to a key influencer to do a video interview is a great way to connect with someone well-known and respected in your field.

If they’re not available for an interview, you could consider taking a video that you’ve found online and embedding it into a blog post to help substantiate a point. Associating a key influencer with your company brand may help you come up the ranks in SEO and good, old-fashioned impressions.

#12: LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s company pages make it possible for companies to add a video for each product and service. Being able to show a short clip right on the company page is an incredibly dynamic option and can give you a nice competitive advantage.

#13: Mini Documentary
Thomas Clifford introduces 5 main ingredients from TedTalks and suggests that by using these ingredients in your videos, you too can develop something as compelling. The ingredients are as follows: music, interviews, live event: before, during and after.

#14: News and Commentary
Insite Motion Media suggests using video to offer commentary on relevant news and posting them on your company blog and social networking sites. This helps showcase your company’s responsiveness and industry awareness.

#15: Outreach
A lot of companies post outreach videos. This type of video shows something outside of everyday marketing. It demonstrates a brand’s values. Here are two good examples from Starbucks: What if we all cared enough to vote? and Starbucks Love Project Global Sing Along

#16: Product Tours
Product tours are an excellent way to tell customers about your company’s products and services. If your product is web-based, it won’t cost a lot to create a video that explains the key features. Done well, product tours can be extremely influential.

#17: Qik
Qik is a mobile live video streaming and two-way video conferencing application that allows users to stream live video from their cell phones to the Internet. Users can upload videos to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

#18: Regular Voice
Wondering how you sound on video? Jenny Lemmons Magic suggests talking to your audience in a regular voice and to try not to imitate your favorite NPR radio announcers. (I know, I was a tad disappointed, too. I was just nailing my best Terry Gross impersonation!) Just make sure you have a good microphone so your voice sounds its best.

#19: Skype
Skype offers video calling which can be done on your computer, iPhones and other compatible mobile phones, iPod Touches and iPads. Group video calls are also possible. Another useful feature for businesses is screen sharing where you can share your screen with clients and colleagues in other locations.

#20: Training
Videos have become second nature for training. You can do distance-learning videos or record live sessions which can be uploaded for attendees to view once they’re back at their desks. As with all training, it’s best to try to edit them into shorter sections.

#21: Ustream
Ustream is an interactive broadcast platform that can be used with an Internet connection and a camera. Ustream states, “Notable Ustream broadcasts include major political events, concerts, conferences, movie premieres, talk shows, sporting events, interactive games, and personal milestones.” Ustream can also be used in conjunction with your Facebook page. You can learn more about Ustream on Facebook.

#22: Vimeo
Not sure where to post your video? Vimeo? YouTube or others? Set’s All Set writes about the pros and cons of both Vimeo and YouTube. He says the pros of Vimeo are “good quality, very clean look, and keeps visitors on your page better.” (See comments about YouTube below.)

#23: Web TV
Social Media Examiner launched Social Media Examiner TV with host Mari Smith on August 7, 2010. The segments generally run 7 to 8.5 minutes. The audience can ask questions by posting a video response. Videos add a personal touch and are a great way to engage your audience.

#24: External Communication
Insite Motion Media suggests using video for external communications:

Event participation when your company is presenting at a marketing-related event
Thank-you’s for client appreciation, or as an award or acknowledgement to vendors who go out of their way to make certain your needs are met

Announcements to show what’s coming up on your calendar that people should know about
Video blogging by embedding your video in your blog around related text content

#25: YouTube
The pros of YouTube as described by Set’s All Set: “Unlimited HD uploading, 1 GB file size, bigger community and more potential exposure.”

He also posted two side-by-side demonstrations of a video on Vimeo and YouTube for comparison.

#26: Zappos-style Video Review
It’s true that Zappos, the online shoe retailer, is known for their video reviews and that it’s a great example to try to replicate. It’s also true that their name conveniently begins with a Z, which made it two for two for me.

As Mark Robertson writes, Zappos uses video to “…drive sales. They use the video to describe, use and demonstrate the products with real Zappos employees and not models or actors. Those videos are said to have a sales impact of 6 to 30%.”

5 ways to get your business strategy right

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

FORTUNE — Fired up about your company’s strategic plan? Great, but before you commit the rest of the year to executing it, make sure you pass these five litmus tests. If not, head back to the drawing board with your management team.

Remember: You’re betting your company’s future on your strategic plan. If you haven’t gotten the details right or shaped it from the proper perspective, those two days you spent at your offsite will ultimately hurt your company. There’s still time to polish it so that you can make the most of 2011.

1. Play to win
Worried that profits were declining, Randy Cohen, founder of Ticket City, an Austin-based ticket broker, laid off workers and cut managers’ pay in 2008. Then Cohen came across an old article about his once-growth-oriented company titled “Don’t Be Afraid.” He realized he’d slipped into playing defense. So he changed his mindset, hiring 10 new people, investing more in marketing — and driving revenue from $30 million to $40 million in 2010. Profits rose as well. And he’s raised the ante further, sponsoring a new nationally televised college bowl game, the Ticket City Bowl. That’s playing offense!

2. Ask customers for ideas…
Coastal Contacts, one of the largest online contact-lens retailers in North America, came out of its two-day planning session at a loss for how to rev up growth. So over the next six months CEO Roger Hardy and his senior team called customers each week to see whether they had any ideas. To the company’s surprise, one recurring theme emerged — customers wanted lenses the next day. “We started overnighting everything,” he reports. Sales in the U.S., where he recently made the change, were up 41% for 2010, bringing company sales to $155 million.

3 …but know which to ignore
If you act on every suggestion your customers make, they can “want” you into bankruptcy. At customers’ request, Hardy, who also sells eyeglasses at Coastal Contacts, started letting them choose and try on four frames at home, then place an order and return the testers. Data soon showed that shoppers who tried on multiple frames were just as likely to return purchases as those who ordered just one pair. Hardy canceled the program because the added shipping costs weren’t offset by additional sales.

4. Involve middle management
Doug Schukar was thrilled when USA Mortgage, his residential mortgage bank in St. Louis, increased the loans it funded from $113 million in January 2009 to $1.2 billion by the end of the year. While other lenders struggled, he ramped up his sales efforts. Yet by failing to keep key middle managers informed of growth plans such as acquisition, he let them get blindsided by the work that came from the company’s rapid expansion. Result: Almost all resigned, and he hired replacements. Today he includes middle managers in annual and quarterly planning sessions.

5. Set fewer priorities
A few years back CEO Tony Petrucciani and his team at Single Source Systems, a software firm in Fishers, Ind., set 15 annual goals, such as automating some of its software functions. But the company, which got distracted by having so many items on its goal list, missed its $8.1 million revenue benchmark by 11%. “Nobody focused on any one thing,” he says. Going forward, Petrucciani decided to set just a few key priorities. Last year the company met its goal of $10 million in sales. How many priorities do you have for 2011? Less is more!

3 Slick Analytics Dashboards to Monitor Your Business Website

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

If you’re running a company website without an analytics dashboard, you may as well be stumbling around in the dark. Building a viable and sustainable web presence in any industry is all about understanding the needs of your users and tailoring your service to fit their needs — how can you do that if you don’t even know what your users are looking at or how they got to your website?

The good news is that analytics dashboards simple to implement, and they also come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit the needs and goals of your small business. While some people swear by Google Analyticsor the tracking plug-ins found organically within their specific web hosting or content managing service (think WordPress analytics), there’s a lot of information you may not be getting from these sources. For example, while Google Analytics does a great job tracking individual page vies, it doesn’t necessarily break down any meaningful social sharing or referrals. You may want to know why a specific webpage on your site garners major traffic, but Google Analytics will only note that it comes from Facebook.

If you’d like to obtain a more tailored or granular look into your website, it’s best to make an investment in a third-party analytics dashboard that offers exactly the data that you need. You may find that you’ll not only be able to target the audience interested in your website, but you’ll also be able to optimize the content and structure to bring in more potential consumers in the long run.

1. Analytics Catch-All: Chartbeat
Do you maintain a website that has only a few pages of static content or delivers periodic (but not super-frequent) content updates? Then you may benefit from Chartbeat, a pumped-up analytics dashboard that offered real-time analytics before Google did.

The service’s dashboard is really simple — log in at any time and get a bird’s-eye view of every user on your site, including what page they’re on and where they came from. In addition to marking key traffic flow, Chartbeat also keeps tabs on the “engagement level” of each user. Specifically, anyone controlling the dashboard can check the level of users who are reading or writing on or about a particular page, as well as how many users are considered “idle.” The combination of this data can give you the best idea of when, where and how users are reaching your site, allowing you to adjust your content or SEO accordingly.

Interested in how it works? Chartbeat actually offers a free 30-day trial of its services, and from there pricing plans begin at $9.95 per month. If you have a small budget to spend on analytics, this tool could serve you well and help you grow your online business. And If you’re in ecommerce, be sure to keep an eye out for Chartbeat’s savvy, up-and-coming cousin, Shopbeat.

2. Social Savvy: HootSuite
HootSuite is an oldie, but a goodie — it’s still the premier dashboard for companies looking to get analysis of their social media efforts. If your company spends more time on Facebook and Twitter than a website or blog, HootSuite doubles as both a social media manager and analytics tabulator.

In many ways, your never need to leave the HootSuite dashboard to manage your day-to-day engagement. The platform allows you to write and schedule posts on nearly every social media website in existence (the company recently added Digg, InboxQ and Trendspottr to its ever-growing list of served platforms) and then track the resulting conversations and referrals. The dashboard also pulls in data from Google Analytics andFacebook Insights to provide data of how campaigns are directly affecting home websites and Facebook Brand Pages.

Another reason HootSuite remains popular is its low cost. The Pro Plan price for the dashboard is a paltry $5.99 a month, and it offers all of the above features. One downside, however, is that if you’re looking for a whole team to be simultaneously locked in to the system, you’re going to have to pony up an extra $15 for each additional admin. But if you’re looking for a way to deftly manage social media in a way that will drive potential companies or your website — and to a sale — then HootSuite is a dashboard worth paying for.

3. High Roller: Parse.ly Dash
Is yours an up-and-coming company with high content output and striving for major visibility in the web space? Well, it’s time to make investment in Parse.ly Dash, the “predictive dashboard” that pays special attention to what’s trending right now and how to capitalize on what everyone is talking about on the Internet in real-time.

If you’re looking for analytics that drill down, separate and categorize every page on your website, Parse.ly Dash will be more than happy to serve you. You can sort your content by author, topic, page and referral to get a good idea of not only where everyone is looking, but what sort of content to produce further down the road. Parse.ly Dash will actually suggest what topics your website should write about, and what trends are just breaking on the surface. The analytics dashboard offers multilateral control to the user in a more comprehensive way than most products do — you can essentially use it to plan for your website’s future content based on what your users respond to best.

All of this control comes at a hefty price. The basic plan starts at $500 a month, well out of the price range of most startups and average businesses. But, if you’re looking to produce a content-heavy and highly engaging website, Parse.ly Dash will help take your website to the next level.

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

Mobile Drives Global Search Advertising Surge in Q1

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

US marketers overwhelmingly focus mobile ad spending on tablets

Search advertising continued its strong worldwide growth in Q1 2012, according to research from digital marketing solution provider IgnitionOne. The company found that global search ad spending grew 30% year over year, double the growth rate of Q1 2011. The figure was also the highest year-over-year growth rate for search ad spending in any quarter since Q4 2010.

Unsurprisingly, dramatic mobile search ad spending growth continued in the US, with year-over-year growth in Q1 up an astonishing 221%. The ongoing popularity of tablets has clearly captured the attention of advertisers, who spent 67% of the total mobile search ad budget on the devices in Q1.

Travel had a breakout quarter for search advertising, with marketers increasing their global search ad budgets in the sector by 59% year over year in Q1. According to IgnitionOne, the travel search advertising growth rate outpaced that of the retail sector, with travel also seeing increases in both impressions and clickthrough rates.

News was good for the Yahoo!/Bing search partnership, which snagged a 21% market share in Q1, the highest since the two companies brokered their search deal in Q3 2009. The survey found that US search advertising on the engine climbed 46% year over year in Q1. Yahoo!/Bing also shrugged off the normal drop off in search spending that follows the holiday season, instead experiencing a 14% increase in quarter-over-quarter spending. IgnitionOne credited Yahoo!/Bing’s banner quarter to changes in its search engine that resulted in increased competition during ad auctions.

eMarketer estimates search ad spending in the US will reach $19.51 billion this year, up 27% over 2011. Search will garner 49% of all online ad spending in the country and 49% of mobile dollars as well.

YouTube Launches AdWords For Video

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Video production is getting cheaper, so Google is creating a self-service option for pre-roll advertisements aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses.

Google’s AdWords program has long been an easy way for businesses of all shapes and sizes to post their ads on Google Search results. Now the company is expanding those capabilities to YouTube with its launch Monday of AdWords for Video.

As with the Search product, AdWords for Video is self-service. It allows small- and medium-sized businesses to bid on keywords and categories and have their video ads appear in front of some of the 3 billion YouTube videos that get viewed every day.

The move, though, signifies a larger shift. It used to be that only larger companies could afford to place video ads (or, more specifically, TV ads). They were simply too expensive–to produce as well as to air–for the average mom-and-pop.

But the cost of producing video has plummeted (this company made their first ad for $500), finally putting “TV” ads within reach of the masses.

That’s good news for small businesses, because video can be a powerful tool for drumming up interest from potential customers.

RevZilla, a motorcycle gear company based in Philadelphia, has long been placing video ads in YouTube search results. Founder Anthony Bucci tells Fast Company that video will become increasingly common for smaller businesses like his. “Depending on the business and how it reaches consumers, every business is going to potentially shine with video in different ways,” he says.

The new AdWords for Video product introduces a level of standardization with Google’s other services that will make it easier to buy pre-roll. “The way we set up a new video ad feels the same as if we were setting up a banner or search ad [in AdWords],” Bucci says.

EMarketer says video is the fastest growing online ad format. It projects that the share of online ad spending going toward video will double this year, from 7.9% to 15%. And according to Google, 50% of online ad campaigns will include video by 2015.

The service also allows users to place ads on mobile devices. Baljeet Singh, Group Product Manager for YouTube, tells Fast Company the company is planning to expand the service to other platforms, like connected TVs and game boxes.

AdWords for Video will also use YouTube’s “TrueView” system which only charges advertisers when users actually watch the video, Singh says. That’s a shift from the classic CPM charge model, which charges per impression. Small businesses need to stretch their ad budgets as far as possible, so providing a service that only charges them when viewers actually watch the ad makes the service increasingly attractive to those buyers.

The introduction of AdWords for Video is part of a larger emphasis at Google on small and medium-sized businesses. (See: “Google Goes After Your Local Small Business.”) “This allows them to play big with bigger advertisers,” Singh says.

A beta program for the service began last year. Google won’t reveal the number of advertisers participating, but Singh does say that the number of advertisers using AdWords for Video increased 10x from the end of last year’s Q4.

Deloitte’s “Entanglement” Model For B2B Digital Marketing

Friday, April 20th, 2012

In case you missed it, a quiet revolution is occurring in B2B digital marketing, especially in the professional services realm.

Previously, the center of the B2B online universe revolved around that colossus, the website. B2B marketers all had one goal in mind: Drive traffic back to the website. Today, however, the cyber world has shifted. And a a new end game is being played that has everything to do with the customer–not the company. Multi-channel marketing, from tablets to smartphones to videos, has moved the center of the digital universe from the website to the customer. The new dictum is: Be relevant and discoverable everywhere your customer is.
A leader and key practitioner of this new world view is Deloitte, which is scoring some big wins as it embraces multi-channel marketing. One metric tells the story: Since launching video podcasts–short interviews with thought leaders–a year ago, Deloitte has found each video gets downloaded about 3,000 times, compared with average downloads of 1,000 per white paper. Not bad–especially when you consider that a video can take one twelth the time to produce as a white paper and be far more timely. In fact, the videos have been so successful, Deloitte releases one a week.

I spoke with two Deloitte digital marketing experts, Jennifer Chico, Director of Internet Marketing, and Kelly Nelson, Marketing Leader, Deloitte Analytics. Here are some lessons straight from Deloitte’s experience.
WENDY MARX: What is your new digital marketing model?

JENNIFER CHICO: We’re moving from a hub and spokes to an entanglement model. If you envision a wheel, in the past, Deloitte.com was in the center, and the spokes were email marketing and Google advertising, things that drove traffic back to Deloitte.com. Where we are moving today is more an entanglement model, where we need to be relevant and discoverable across all channels. The website is the fundamental home base for digital strategy, but it is not the be all and end all. We need to be where our customers are, and be relevant and discoverable.

How has your new relationship with the customer affected content?
KELLY NELSON: We’re taking some pointers from B2C companies where the content is often short, sweet, and to the point, with the focus on benefits, and people are spoken to in a way they recognize. In the past, we often started with a white paper, with a big piece of thought leadership. We said, “What if we flip that around? What if we don’t start with the big thing but with the seed, the small idea?” Not everyone is interested in a 20-page piece of content. Now we start with shorter pieces, such as our three-minute guides. We then look at the metrics see where the interest is; if there seems to be lot of interest in angle X, we’ll dive a little deeper there.

What other approaches are you taking to content?

NELSON: We’re taking a blog-like approach. We post content that is very conversational in nature and can run the gamut from analytics about talent to supply chains. It’s short–about two paragraphs or less–and more conversation than thought leadership, such as “here’s a couple of things to think about when thinking about tax season.”

What do you measure?
CHICO: We look at the following to measure our effectiveness: The awareness and engagement we’re driving, the volume and reach, the level of engagement we’re creating with various constituents–are we having a back and forth? Have we increased the conversation rate? Have we instigated action? Did they download something? Subscribe to something? View a podcast? Did they take action?

Telemarketing Companies Are Some of the Best Among Providing Sales Leads

Friday, April 20th, 2012

In-house telemarketing services are some of the best you can employ to help you have a telemarketing campaign. And when it comes to making more sales, telemarketing is without a doubt one of the best marketing strategies you can make use of. But when your telemarketing campaign can’t seem to bring in those desired results, then it may be a result of you not having fresh B2B leads.

To remedy this problem, having lead generation done may be a good option however, buying a telemarketing or calling list is also something you can choose. With only a limited number of staff, adding on lead generation to their assigned tasks may be too much for them to handle. Aside from that, your employees may not have the know-how on how to effectively do so.

Once you have decided on getting one however, another thing to consider in making the choice is who to have as a provider, who you can buy from to get quality results. Well, one of the best choices you can make is going with aprofessional telemarketing firm.

With their capabilities when it comes to doing lead generation, they are an optimal choice for many other firms that need lead generation services. Because of this, it also makes them one of the best when it comes to the creation of a telemarketing list. Well-known and large telemarketing firms that have been already in the business for a long time have already managed to employ a large number of telemarketers.

Also, they have been in the industry long enough to learn, create and train their telemarketers in the art of making asale through the phone with ease. Aside from that, cold calling is one of the most widely used methods in terms oflead generation and skilled telemarketers can do it better than anyone else. When it comes to talking to prospects, many have also learned that smart calling is a more effective way of generating leads.

By doing research on their prospect and having an ample amount of knowledge on the target company, these telemarketers are capable of engaging in long and meaningful conversations with the prospect thus allowing them to easily make the prospect feel at ease because they are able to speak on equal terms. Due to this, they can easily obtain the information they need out of their prospects and turn it into a lead and placed on your telemarketing list.

Telemarketing firms also pride themselves with the quality of service they provide: quick and quality results. Although they do employ a large amount of staff to make calls and minimize the time needed to get results, rest assured, they do not compromise the overall quality of the lists that they provide.

They will also make sure to find prospects who are highly interested with your products and services, find prospects that are willing to buy and find those who are in the market and looking for such; they assure to bring you fresh B2B leads to increase the chances of you making a sale with every lead on your purchased telemarketing list.

With a telemarketing firm at your side and as your provider, you can expect to keep on getting high-quality leads and lists. If ever your in-house telemarketing program may seem a bit slow and not capable of bringing in the required amount of sales, then consider buying a telemarketing or calling list filled with fresh B2B leads from a professional telemarketing firm. This is sure to provide you with the best results.

How to Plant Your North American Brand Equity in Foreign Markets

Friday, April 20th, 2012

In this article, you’ll learn…
• How to maintain cultural relevancy when reaching global markets
• Six tips to consider before you go global

Before taking your brand into the global market, make sure you’ve done the proper market research, hired the right staff, and implemented the necessary cultural checks needed to succeed. Here are six steps all brands must consider before going global.

1. Look for fertile ground
The world is a big place. Decide which markets are ripe with low-hanging fruit, and start there. Research your target audience in your target country. Solid market research will provide the foundation for your new empire.
What channels are your target markets paying attention to? Does the demand exist for what you have to offer? Understand that breaking into new markets takes seed capital, and cultivate the patience to let that seed grow.

2. Plan before you dig
Tailor your marketing strategy to each new market. Blanket strategies can be effective if resources are limited, but we all know that segmentation rules.
Will you be implementing a support team for your new markets? What training programs will you need to keep your brand’s level of service consistent across all borders?
Will your expansion into new markets include an online integration, TV spots, a sales team, and billboards? Know the scope of your project before you begin. Develop a solid market strategy and budget, and stick to them.

3. Plant indigenous varieties
Choose the languages you will use in your campaigns based on your market research and your region. Many companies get this step wrong with their use of Spanish, for example.
The cultural terminology and mannerisms of Spanish are very different in Spain than they are in Mexico, for example. Even within South America, many variations of Spanish exist that you must consider.

If you’re targeting India, for example, you should consider that the 22 official languages spoken there can be broken down both by region and by education level.

4. Use better food
The best gardeners always have an ace up their sleeve—a special way to nourish their plants with nutrients. Just like them, identify ways to best your competition in foreign markets. What language solution is your competition using? Translation? One-up them by using transcreation. Use transcreation effectively, and understand it better than the people who sell it.

Transcreation is the process of breaking down a brand into its basic parts, and recreating the brand in a new culture. The translation industry tends to be a bit behind the times. Transcreation has been a buzzword picked up by many. Companies are popping up everywhere touting their offering of marketing translation.

Be smart, and ask those companies who will do the work. Translators and linguists are not marketers. They should be perfectly capable of creating culturally relevant, and, possibly, creative copy… but you can’t expect them to understand the psychology of click paths, lead forms, calls to action, and so on.
When developing marketing materials, you don’t need a linguist; you need a marketer. One marketer overseeing your project throughout multiple target countries just isn’t enough. You need at least one marketer for each target country on board.

5. Keep your weeds in check
All marketing materials should pass a rigorous cultural-relevance check. That can include evaluating informal language, metaphors, taboos, and even color symbolism and imagery.

In China, for example, it’s considered disrespectful to raise your glass above the glass of an elder while toasting. So the beautifully selected multicultural stock photo that Company X just picked out to project its celebration of 25 years in business is a dud because the youngest guy in the crowd has his glass raised high above the rest.

Now, the company looks disrespectful and inconsiderate. Even though its website is translated into perfect Mandarin, the photos haven’t been cleared by anyone from China who can offer a cultural perspective.

6. Cultivate wisdom from your neighbor’s wilted vegetation
Corporate marketing teams have run into trouble in the past. The list of examples is never-ending.
For example, Gerber, which sells baby food, kept the image of the famous smiling Gerber Baby on its jars and packages. When the brand entered the African market, some people were disturbed. Only after launch did the company realize that as a result of the low literacy rate across Africa, many companies in Africa use pictures on labels to denote what’s inside. Gerber also met resistance in other markets; it found out that “gerber” is French slang for “to vomit.”

Pepsi had its share of blunders with global marketing when it made changes to campaigns in Asia. Pepsi’s tagline “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” translated to “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave” in Chinese. Pepsi also lost market share in Southeast Asia when it changed the color of its vending machines from deep blue to light blue. Light blue symbolizes death and mourning in Southeast Asia.
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Don’t translate marketing materials. Translation is completely adequate for technical copy that is void of innuendo, slang, or inflection. I sincerely hope that does not include your marketing copy. In general, anything designed to sell needs a bit of panache, and even very good translation will make it sound awkward.
Marketing is all about relevancy. If you translate your campaign, the intended message could become slanted because of cultural disparity.

Transcreation is the key to foreign expansion, but, surprisingly, few have heard of it. Transcreation is that magical place where translation merges with marketing to make your dreams of global growth come true.