Friday, July 29, 2011

The ABCs of Mobile Marketing

From Evernote:

The ABCs of Mobile Marketing

For those who are just getting started with B2B mobile marketing, just getting to the basics can be a bit intimidating.  With a few short steps and some new terminology, however, you can launch your mobile marketing initiatives with confidence.

First, you should become familiar with some popular mobile marketing terms:

Acquisition rate – the total participants who were offered to opt in on a mobile marketing campaign divided by the total audience.  The percent gives you the number of respondents who opt in.

Aggregator – a company who provides an intermediary service between content providers, application providers, and the mobile phone service carriers.  This company can serve several purposes including campaign management, analytics, administration as well as billing.

Bandwidth – this is a measurement of how much data can be pushed through a connection.  The measurement is based on the number of bits per second (bps), kilobits per second (kbps), or megabits per second (mbps).

Call-to-Action (CTA) – this is an instruction to the reader to act on the message that was received.  The action could be to click a link, send a mobile text, call a phone number, or other types of actions.

Click-through Rate (CTR) – this is a common measurement used to determine the number of users who clicked to access more information or take action resulting from a B2B mobile marketing campaign message.

Common Short Code (CSC) – this is the numeric digits entered by a mobile device user to send a message related to a campaign.  For example “text WIN to 12345 for your chance to win this prize!”  The 12345 is the CSC code, and can be anywhere from four to six characters in length.  These codes are registered through the Common Short Code Administration organization.

Cost per Thousand (CPM) – this metric is used in order to apply costs to advertising banners for web sites and other internet-based advertisements.  The fee is calculated based on the number of impressions that would occur when users view the ads. 

Data Collection – this is a huge variety of metrics, demographics, and statistics gathered by marketers to analyze and plan campaigns.

Direct to Consumer (D2C) – the services or products delivered to an end consumer via a “provider”.  The provider could be a third party, or direct from the company who is orchestrating the sale of the product or service.

End-User – this is the person who actually uses the product or service that is provided.  The end-user is sometimes referred to as the consumer as well.

Free to End User (FTEU) – this is an application that is made available to an end-user at no cost other than an opt-in subscription.  The SMS/MMS costs that would normally be charged to the end-user is absorbed by the application provider.  In some cases the mobile carriers may opt to charge end-users with other various fees, however.

Impressions – this measurement is used to count the number of times a person is viewing an ad or message.  Impressions have become a very important metric with B2B mobile marketing.

Information on Demand (IOD) – this is the act of delivering messages to subscribers as the information is updated.  This is common for sports scores, weather alerts, and stock alerts.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – this technology allows a user to respond to questions using voice instead of text or numeric responses on their mobile device.  IVR systems have become quite sophisticated in recent years, and are very common with credit card companies as well as airlines.

Interstitial Ads – these are embedded into MMS messages in a variety of formats including image, text, and video.  The message provides an opportunity for the viewer to read the ad while listening or viewing the MMS message.

Location Based Services (LBS) – depending on the geographic area of the mobile subscriber, messages can be customized to fit the location.  For example the location of the nearest favorite restaurant, gas station, or store.

MMS Messaging – Multimedia Messaging Service, or MMS, has become more prevalent with the increase in bandwidth and evolution of mobile technology.  Multimedia messages can be a picture, a video clip, or an audio clip.  Ads can be imbedded into the MMS, or the ad could be the MMS itself depending on what is being viewed by the subscriber.

Mobile Marketing Association – this non-profit trade association (and HubSpot customer) is dedicated to the education and standardization of mobile marketing technologies and practices.  For B2B mobile marketing this association is a valuable resource.

Non-Personally Identifiable Information (NPII) – this is data that provides metrics and statistics, but does not provide specific information to contact or identify a specific end-user.

Online Performance Marketing (OPM) – this process gathers metrics and statistics over a period of time, then analyzes the results to predict and report trends and habits of subscribers.

Opt-In/Opt-Out – this is a decision mechanism that allows a subscriber to become part of a campaign, or to remove the subscription from the campaign.

QR Code – A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.

Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) – this method is used to provide media systems with basic control command such as pause, play, rewind, etc.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – this process constructs data that is presented on websites to be ranking and found using major search engine providers.  Varieties of complex algorithms are involved, and vary depending on the search engine.

SMS Message – the Short Message Service (SMS) is a very common method of sending text messages through mobile devices.

By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you can feel more confident that your B2B mobile marketing campaign will be successful.

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Download the free ebook for expert tips on how to get started with mobile marketing.

Posted by Jeanne Hopkins on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 @ 08:30 AM


Google Announces Google CDN

From Evernote:

Google Announces Google CDN

“Google has introduced their Page Speed Service which ‘is the latest tool in Google’s arsenal to help speed up the web. When you sign up and point your site’s DNS entry to Google, they’ll enable the tool which will fetch your content from your servers, rewrite your webpages, and serve them up from Google’s own servers around the world.’”

Why do social networks want your real name?

From Evernote:

Why do social networks want your real name?

28 July 2011 Last updated at 03:26 ET   By Alex Hudson BBC News
Many people are loath to reveal their identity

Google+ took only 24 days to reach 20 million users but their decision to delete accounts without real names attached has caused anger. So why do social networks insist on your real name?

Many people choose to conceal or alter their identity online.

Visit many forums and you’ll see the likes of “Jboy72” and “NYgirl” outnumbering those giving their real names. But it’s something social networks really don’t like.

Over the past few days, Google has enforced its policy for requiring a real name on its new social network Google+ by suspending accounts.

The affected users were not happy at all. Blogger GrrlScientist, who prefers her real-life identity to remain private, thinks the decision to delete her account was “gormless”.

“I’ve established an identity and a personality and an online and off-line world using this name,” she says. “I look at it as the best part of myself so I’m not going to give it up now.”

So why do the social networks want your real identity?

Many social networks require a full name before you can use their services

Google says it is addressing those with genuine complaints, but it maintains that to use the network effectively, users should be able to search for a friend or a family member as quickly and as easily as possible. And that, they say, means demanding real names.

Indeed, the guidelines are very similar to other social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

“By providing your common name, you will be assisting all people you know in finding and creating a connection with the right person online,” a Google spokesman says.

Insisting on real names is supposed to combat spam. MySpace struggled with it in the past and Twitter “spambots” crop up from time to time.

And some see being made to use your real name as the antidote to the unpleasantness that happens on forums.

The theory goes that when people are using their real names online, they are more likely to act responsibly and engage honestly with the community.

“There is an issue of trolls,” says Benjamin Cohen, Channel 4 News’ technology correspondent.

“The authentication is important - it’s a big problem on the internet and social networks make it more unlikely for someone to be pretending to be someone else.”

And certainly things can get heated when the mask of anonymity is granted to users. Messageboard community 4Chan has received significant attention for its posts, often featuring adult content, which offer absolute anonymity, though founder Chris Poole still believes that this is vital to allow honest opinions and is responsible for much of the popularity of the site.

But choosing to use a pseudonym is not just about examples like GrrlScientist.

Some users choose to hide their identity to avoid being found by people they would not like to be contacted by. Others live in countries where identification could have serious implications for those who have expressed political views or associated themselves with others who have.

Many users in China, where access to Google+ itself is difficult because of restrictions by Chinese authorities on some websites, have called on Google to change its mind.

Twitter user Newsinchina - known by the English name Richard Zhang - wrote in Chinese on Google+ before his profile was removed: “Please Google+, when you are deciding regulations, you must consider Chinese usage, especially from users in mainland China.

“Be sure to consider the user’s actual situation. Please do not force them to use a real-name system. Otherwise, I think that Google will be violating its principle of ‘don’t be evil’.”

Indeed, Google’s motto of “Don’t be evil” has featured in a number of posts, but some analysts think Google+ suspending accounts is more an oversight than anything else.

“They’re still in Beta [test] mode and perhaps been too strict in enforcing the rules,” says Robin Grant, managing director of social media agency We Are Social.

“They are most probably going to change it to allow human rights activists, for example, to hide their identity. They’re not going to leave themselves open to that sort of criticism.

“It’s not a fully fleshed out product and they made a mistake but I don’t think it’s sinister.”

But there has been a muttering in the blogosphere that the real reason the social networks want real names is that it makes them more money. A real name is more lucrative for advertisers.

“The more Google knows about its audience, the better it can target adverts of interest and therefore make more money,” says Nate Elliott, vice-president principal analyst at technology company Forrester Research.

“That said, it’s very unlikely that people would focus on the first name or last name fields to target people.”

“Of all the ways Google has to connect your profile with your other behaviour on Google, that’s by far the least exact.”

Others agree that it is not the name that is vital, but demographics and interests information that holds the real key to revenue.

“It’s not really about being to sell someone’s name but their intent - people’s search and social behaviour,” says Grant.

“It doesn’t matter if you know their name or not, it matters that there’s a link between what they say they do and what they actually do.”

But whatever the reasons, there will be many who still press for the right to use a pseudonym.

Apple iPad is the fastest growing gaming platform for Electronic Arts

From Evernote:

Apple iPad is the fastest growing gaming platform for Electronic Arts

The Apple iPad is the fastest growing gaming platform for game publisher giant Electronic Arts, EA CEO John Riccitiello told IndustryGamers.

“Our fastest growing platform is the iPad right now and that didn’t exist 18 months ago,” said Riccitiello.

He makes the interesting argument that the console industry has reached a point of technological advancement where besting each other’s specs no longer matters — the Wii U, launching next year, is only now bringing Nintendo in line with the PlayStation 3′s graphical capabilities.

Instead, the experience is the most important differentiator, with Riccitiello citing factors such as new media — presumably including the need to integrate social media into gaming experiences — and new platforms such as the iPad which have developers thinking about control mechanisms in entirely new ways.

Riccitiello also points out that while consoles accounted for 80% of the gaming market in 2000, they’ve dropped as low as 40% today.

Three things Google is doing next to Google+

From Evernote:

Three things Google is doing next to Google+

The following is also my AdAge column…

With all of the attention that’s being paid to Facebook and Twitter it’s easy to forget that no single company impacts media and marketers the way that Google does. Even small changes in Google’s algorithm and/or its underlying search technology can cause a massive ripple effect in consumer traffic patterns and buying behaviors.

The intentionally low-key launch of the Google+ social network - which ended up being quite strong out of the chute - is no different. It’s Google’s effort to encourage more consumers to create and share content it can easily see, index and monetize. This is critical for Google as more content slips into the “invisible web” that exists solely behind Facebook’s walls.

The Google+ launch, however, overshadowed three recent smaller announcements that are arguably far more significant. They point to massive shift in the kind of data Google is factoring into its algorithm. And these refinements come just as the search engine is being increasingly criticized for being gamed into delivering lower quality results. Together they reveal a company that is serious about social signals.

Let’s take a deeper look at each.

First, on June 7 Google unveiled a new way for authors to claim ownership of their content around the web. This allows a writer to embed verified HTML code tied to his/her Google+ profile in all content, no matter where it appears (e.g. my blog or Once inserted Google then automatically includes the author’s profile image whenever these works show up in searches. Already the New York Times, CNET and The New Yorker have adopted this simple tag.

This is a significant announcement since it creates an easy way for companies to insert a mug shot into relevant search results, which arguably can drive clicks. It will put pressure on businesses to identify thought leaders who can pen bylines not only for their own sites, but for the media.

Next on June 28 Google began to make more data available to companies on the impact that tweets, Facebook likes and, most importantly, its own “+1” sharing buttons have on site traffic. (The Google+1 button, which appears next to search results, is rapidly gaining steam, according to BrightEdge. However, it remains far behind Facebook’s Like button.)

The impact here is that as publishers begin to get more data on how social networks can drive people through the funnel they will look to perhaps reorient their budgets in an effort to secure to get more retweets, likes and +1s.

Finally, Google News is starting to get more social as well. On July 14 the ten-year-old site launched a program that rewards regular users with social badges of authority for reading lots of news stories in a given subject matter. At launch Google rolled out badges for more than 500 topics.

The impact of these reading badges remains unclear. However, what it does show - especially in context with the new author markup tag - is that Google is serious about identifying subject matter experts, whether they publish or not.

If all of this isn’t enough, sandwiched in between these announcements Google urged publishers to think beyond the almighty PageRank number that SEO types historically pay much heed to. In a June 30 blog post, Susan Moskwa, Webmaster Trends Analyst, suggested that site owners look more deeply at other metrics such as conversion rates, bounce rates (how quickly users abandon a site) and search click-throughs.

These events, while seemingly quite technical, are not coincidental. In fact, they’re incredibly strategic.

While the press and pundits focus on Google’s effort to compete with Twitter and Facebook with its own social network, there’s a far bigger story here. Google is slowly reinventing the core of its business by refining the quality of what people turn to it most for - search results - by favoring explicit and implicit signals of authority.

These shifts in search signals, over time, may revolutionize how marketers think about their visibility in a world of infinite content choices. Some will encourage their employees speak for the brand. Others may not be as liberal. However, all will be impacted.

Video Streaming Is Now 39% of All Mobile Traffic.

From Evernote:

Video Streaming Is Now 39% of All Mobile Traffic.

A new report by Allot Communications, a network management vendor, reveals some extremely interesting data about bandwidth consumption, video streaming and mobile devices. Some key findings include:

  • Video streaming now makes up 39 percent of all mobile traffic.
  • YouTube was 22 percent of all mobile bandwidth in the first half of 2011.
  • YouTube accounts for 52 percent of global video streaming.
  • Video streaming grew 93 percent in the first half of 2011. 

Marketing Takeaway

Video streaming is experiencing rapid growth. As a marketer, you need to understand the bigger implications video has for your future marketing tactics. This data around mobile video consumption clearly shows that consumers are quickly being coming comfortable watching video on smaller screens, such as those of smartphones and tablets. When planning video content in the future, you need to preview it on smaller screen device to ensure the best viewing experience.

Additionally, if you aren’t currently uploading your videos to YouTube, it’s time to start now as its reach and influence only continue to grow. Mobile isn’t only about text. Clearly, a major part of mobile marketing will be video.

Do you watch video on a mobile device ?

Free Ebook & Kit: How to Use Online Video for Marketing

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Download the free kit for tips and tricks for leveraging online video for marketing.

Posted by Kipp Bodnar on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 @ 10:10 AM


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

20 Expert Tips for Better Facebook Marketing

From Evernote:

20 Expert Tips for Better Facebook Marketing

If you’ve been reading our blog and other marketing blogs out there, hopefully you’re convinced that setting up a Facebook Page can be beneficial to your business. With Facebook now amassing over 750 million active users, it’s hard to deny that your prospects and current customers are using Facebook to connect with others and gather information to influence their purchasing decisions — probably about the very products and services you offer! And if you haven’t created a Page yet, what on earth are you waiting for?

But creating your business Page is only the first step. Nurturing a Facebook presence that actually provides business benefits takes some work. That’s why we’ve gathered the following 20 expert tips to help you take your Facebook marketing to the next level.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

1. Ask Questions

“It’s not enough to be broadcasting promotional messages — brands should make an effort at engaging with their audiences. Asking questions is a great way to kick off that two-way dialogue.” - Erica Swallow, Mashable

2. Don’t Over-Automate

“Don’t automatically feed your blog posts or your Twitter updates into your Page. Often, automated content doesn’t make it into users’ News Feeds.” - Ekaterina Walter, social media strategist, Intel

3. Don’t Make it All About You

“As a rough rule of thumb, post four status updates on items about outside news items or discoveries for every post promoting a product. And when you do mention a product or service, try to do so in a helpful way.” - JD Lasica,

4. Leverage Testimonials & Feedback

“Use Facebook to engage directly with your customers and make them part of your marketing efforts… Ask customers to share their successes on your wall and get feedback on new product features.” - Leyl Master Black, managing director, Sparkpr

5. Be Human and Personable

“The most successful B2B pages often combine demonstrations of expertise with humor and personality, sounding more like a real conversation than stilted marketing and sales speak.” - Karlie Justus, Social Media B2B

6. Offer Variety

“Mix it up a little between videos, photos, questions, information, etc. Don’t have your own videos? YouTube is a treasure trove of ‘em, and sharing sites like Reddit and Digg are great sources to discover stuff people like.” - Linda Bustos, GetElastic

7. Be Active

“Don’t take it for granted that you have a page available. No matter how great you’ve made it, if you aren’t active, it defeats the whole purpose of having one.” - Orli Yakuel, TechCrunch

8. Post Engaging, Thought-Provoking Content

“Unless they’re interesting enough to draw comments, simple status updates aren’t going to move you into Top News feeds. Publish content that naturally encourages click-throughs or creates discussion.” Jim Lodico, Social Media Examiner

9. Make Requests

“Want your fans to express their views on a topic? Ask them. Want your fans to share their favorite content with you? Ask them. Want your fans to share your content? Ask them. You get the point.” - Ekaterina Walter, social media strategist, Intel

10. Address Negativity With Tact

“Should there be a negative comment, which scares many B2B companies, address it with understanding and sincerity. In most cases, transparency and listening go a long way in stemming off negative feedback.” - Dave Folkens, TopRank Online Marketing Blog

11. Keep it Fresh

“Update your group or fan page on a regular basis with helpful information and answers to questions.” - Debbie Hemley, Social Media Examiner

12. Be Consistent

“Nothing makes for a bad Facebook Group or Page than stagnant content. Like a corporate blog or dynamic website, you need to engage people regularly. Even if it’s just posting a new message board topic each week, do something on a regular basis (the more frequent the better) to elicit a response from folks.” - Jason Falls, Social Media Explorer

13. But Don’t Go Overboard

“One or two strong Facebook updates per day is better than a half dozen scattershot updates that fly by and don’t have the staying power to attract people’s feedback.” - JD Lasica,

14. Encourage Action

“Don’t be afraid to ask users to share objects or click on the Like button—especially if you’re new to Facebook. It can take a little while for a Facebook page to gain momentum. Anything you can do to help it along will only speed the process.” Jim Lodico, Social Media Examiner

15. Promote Your Page Offline

“If your business is run from physical premises, put a placard on the front desk letting your customers know you’re on Facebook.” - Mari Smith, Social Media Examiner

16. Offer Contests and Giveaways

“Contests and giveaways should not require much effort on the part of your fans but should offer something real and valuable to them.” - Candis Hidalgo, content and social media marketing director,

17. Provide Incentives & Motivation

“If you want to get people to Like your Facebook page, and become more familiar with your products and services, a strong incentive can help achieve this.” - Graham Charlton, Econsultancy

18. Think Strategically About Timing

“Because you have just a short window of opportunity to gain traction with a Share (time decay factor), think carefully when planning frequency and content, and timing. Consider time zones – if you always post at the same time of day, Fans across the pond may never see your updates. Spread the love!” - Linda Bustos, GetElastic

19. Understand How Facebook Works

“Write for the newsfeed, not for your wall…Though some people will be led straight to your wall through a link or ad for example, your existing fans are going to see your update in their newsfeed…Remember that saying something like ‘check out our tab on the side’ is completely out of context for people seeing this update in their newsfeed.” - Lauren Fisher, The Next Web

20. Analyze Engagement

“Monitor which posts attract the most Likes and comments (eyeball), and use Insights – Facebook’s own analytics tool – for data. (Integrating your Facebook Page provides much better data).” - Linda Bustos, GetElastic

What other expert tips would you add? What tips from your own experience can you share?

Free eBook: 2011 Facebook Marketing Guide

Posted by Pamela Seiple on Wed, Jul 13, 2011 @ 03:45 PM


99 Ways to Generate Leads With Social Media [Free Ebook]

From Evernote:

99 Ways to Generate Leads With Social Media [Free Ebook]

This is a guest blog post by Jamie Turner, co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and in-demand keynote speaker for events, trade shows, and corporations around the globe.

If you’re like a lot of businesspeople, you’re interested in exploring new ways to use social media to generate leads for your company. That’s great! The problem is, wrapping your mind around all the different tools out there can be quite a challenge.
The good news is, HubSpot just released a free ebook that helps you understand the social media tools available. It’s called “99 Tools to Help You Generate Leads with Social Media,” and it’s jam-packed with tons of great tools and tips to help you start using social media for lead generation.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s included in the free ebook:

The Social Media ROI Cycle

Most companies go through three stages when adopting social media marketing – the Launch Stage, the Management Stage, and the Optimization Stage. Where are you in this process? This ebook will help you figure it out so you know how best to tackle social media to suit your individual needs.

Tools to Help You Manage Twitter, Facebook, and Other Platforms

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to search the internet and evaluate all the tools available for all the best social media management? Good news. We’ve done the work for you and included dozens of them in the ebook.

Social Media Measurement Tools

Interested in finding out what people are saying about your brand online? No problem. How about measuring your social media influence? Again, no problem. We share the top tools for social media measurement right in this ebook.

Tools to Help You Analyze Your Followers

It’s one thing to know that people are talking about your brand, but it’s another to know who they are. The ebook gives you information on several tools that you can use to get demographic and psychographic information about your followers.
Social media can be a complex web of sophisticated tools and techniques. This new ebook demystifies all the different social media tools and sorts them into nice little buckets so you can easily wrap your mind around them.
The next step – putting them to good use – is in your hands. Good luck!
Image credit: eleanor ryan

Free eBook: 99 Tools to Help You Generate Leads with Social Media

More and more businesses are using social media marketing to get leads and turn those leads into sales.

Learn about 99 tools that can help you better manage and monitor your social marketing.
Posted by Jeanne Hopkins on Thu, Jul 14, 2011 @ 10:00 AM


Where Does Google Get Its Money From? [Infographic]

From Evernote:

Where Does Google Get Its Money From? [Infographic]

By Dory Carr-Harris on July 21, 2011

This article titled “Infographic: Where does Google get its money from?” was written by Jemima Kiss, for on Thursday 21st July 2011 16.11 UTC

We know Google’s financial results were impressively stellar last week (maybe not as stellar as Apple, but leave them as a thing apart for a moment) with that record-breaking $9bn revenue figure for the second quarter of the year.

We know that 97% of that revenue is generated by advertising, but what kind of advertising?

If you wondered where Google gets all that money from – it seems the answer is mostly the financial services sector. Searches for ‘cheapest homeowner loans’ or ‘remortgage with bad credit’ can bring in up to $50 per click for the search giant. That’s $50 per click – so not necessarily even a web user who goes on to be a customer.

An analysis by internet marketing specialists WordStream has identified the top 20 industry sectors for the most popular keyword ads on Google searches with intriguing results.

However radical and technically innovative Google might want its public profile to be, it’s the plain old insurance industry that accounts, by these calculations, for a whopping 24% of the top 10,000 keywords – and pays an estimated $54.91 per click for the most competitive keywords. Loans come in second at 12.8% with a top cost-per-click of $44.28, and mortgages 9% and $47.12. As WordStream’s Larry Kim wrote in a blog post, it’s because “these industries can afford to pay a lot to acquire a new customer”. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

About the author of this article, Dory Carr-Harris:
Dory is the Managing Editor of She’ll write about anything as long as it’s smart or funny. You can follow her on Twitter @dory_carrharris, and you can ping her about any old thing at

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20 Ways to Make the Most of Your Posts and Tweets

From Evernote:

20 Ways to Make the Most of Your Posts and Tweets

Content marketing has become an essential element of successful online marketing and brand-building.

What’s content marketing? All content that adds value and markets a business, directly or indirectly, can be considered a form of content marketing. The material can be distributed in long form (blogs, articles, and ebooks), short form (Twitter updates, Facebook updates and images), or through conversations and sharing (start or join Twitter conversations or share content in a forum comment). It can be a great way to build lasting connections with the right customers online.

But often small-business owners miss a critical step: cross-promoting the content to fully integrate both efforts. As you create and publish new material online as part of your content marketing strategy for building your business and brand, always consider how to link to your other online content. While you don’t want to seem like you’re always self-promoting and sharing links to your own content, do offer useful content when it adds value to the conversation.

Never bait-and-switch your audience by offering a link promising something specific that is not delivered. Don’t promote your content for promotion’s sake or try to disguise it as something else. This will annoy your audience and possibly flag you as a spammer. Instead, offer your links as additional, useful information and let the audience to decide whether to visit them.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

When offering links to cross-promote your content, rely on what I call the “Catalyst to Click” theory: Don’t ask readers to just click on a link. Tell them something meaningful, and then the audience can decide whether to follow through and click. 

Your goal in cross-promoting your content through links should be to tell your audience something meaningful that leads people to think that your link will help them even more. Give them the control they want. Let them decide whether your links are meaningful based on the nugget of information you provide, not on how nicely you wrap those links in promotional copy.

To ensure that your online audience gets the chance to consume your diverse forms of content, automate multiple publishing options. Feed content from one of your branded online destinations to another. When you automate content publishing processes, remember a branded online destination should not merely include a long list of links to your other content and nothing original. A Twitter stream of tweet after tweet of links to your blog content will be more useful and interesting if you intersperse conversational content marketing efforts. Although automated updates can bring new audiences to your content, don’t consider this a replacement for publishing original content.

Make it easy for people to find your diverse forms of content online by highlighting it in your online profiles and offering diverse options to consume it. Just as a retail store might offer the same shirt in multiple sizes and colors so customers can select the choices best for them, offer content options for your online audience. Instead of just lining up all the shirts on a clothes rack, offer links, buttons, icons, and other ways to raise awareness of your varied content.

Related: Five Ways to Use Twitter for Marketing That You Might Not Know About

The following are some easy ways to integrate your marketing efforts and surround consumers with branded experiences:

  1. Include social media icons in your blog’s sidebar.
  2. Provide links to your branded online sites in your email signature.
  3. Place your branded online destination links in your forum signatures.
  4. Add links to your online content in the comment forms when you publish comments on blogs.
  5. Put links to your content in your ads.
  6. Include links to your content on your business cards.
  7. Insert links to your content in your email newsletter.
  8. Incorporate links to your content on your sales receipts.
  9. Include Facebook social plugins on your blog or Web site from the Facebook Developer tools.
  10. Include Twitter widgets from the Twitter Resources section of on your blog or Web site.
  11. Add your YouTube videos on your Facebook page and profile.
  12. Feed your blog content to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles and your Facebook page.
  13. Share your blog’s content in LinkedIn groups.
  14. Use the SlideShare app to display your business presentations on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  15. Include links to your blog in your online profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on.
  16. The bio you include in guests posts for other people’s blogs should include links to your online content and destinations.
  17. Include LinkedIn plugins from the LinkedIn Developers Community on your blog and Web site.
  18. Include the URLs to your online content in brochures and other marketing materials.
  19. Consider listing URLs of your online content in your store or event signage.
  20. Feed your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook updates to your company’s blog.

Related: 10 Ways to Find Customers with Mobile Marketing

— This article is an excerpt from Content Marketing for Dummies by Susan Gunelius (Wiley, 2011).

Susan Gunelius is CEO of KeySplash Creative Inc., an Orlando, Fla.- based marketing communications company. She has authored several books, including Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, published by Entrepreneur Media. Connect with her on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Spotify Gains 70,000 US Subscribers During Week One

From Evernote:

Spotify Gains 70,000 US Subscribers During Week One

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 11:42:59

Billboard reports that digital music service Spotify gained approximately 70,000 US subscribers during its first week in business. Spotify’s VP of Marketing Angela Watts told the trade that “the launch of Spotify in the US has exceeded our expectations in both the response to invitations for the free service as well as subscriptions. We aren’t going to discuss numbers at this stage but we are excited to be here and confident that Americans will love Spotify as much as they already do in Europe.” Are you going to subscribe to Spotify? What is your favorite or preferred digital music service?


27% of startup execs use PayPal for payment processing. 57% of them use Google Apps.

From Evernote:

27% of startup execs use PayPal for payment processing. 57% of them use Google Apps.

Have you ever wanted to know what tools and systems other companies use? Phone systems? CMS options? Billing services? etc. The logisitics of setting up a company’s infrastructure can be a painful process. BestVendor, a New York City startup in its own right, is building a Yelp-like resource for business products by harnessing social recommendations to help small businesses make faster, smarter purchasing.

Over the last two months, BestVendor surveyed 550s startups about their most used business products and services. The results show the increasing popularity of Google’s as Google Analytics and Gmail snagged the top two spots, respectively, for the most popular startup tools. In fact, BestVendor found that 70% of startup execs use Google Analytics. The survey also uncovered hidden gems like IdeaPaint, a tool that turns your walls into white boards and HipChat, a chat tool for businesses.

“It’s a give-to-get community,” explains Jeff Giesea, the CEO of BestVendor. In order to access the site, you must contribute a review. In exchange for sharing a few tools you use in your business, you can browse other companies and people to see what they’re using in theirs- for free. You can filter results by industry, company iksize or by your social network. Giesea plans to leverage this data set to provide rankings of product categories like collaboration software, web hosting providers, or payroll providers based on what others use and recommend.

BestVendor’s founders have significant experience connecting buyers and sellers of business products. CEO Jeff Giesea, who started the company in January, previously founded B2B media and lead-generation business FierceMarkets, which he sold in 2008. Co-Founders Ben Zhuk (head of product) and Magnus von Koeller (head of engineering) are recent graduates of Columbia Business School with extensive backgrounds in product development and engineering, respectively.

“Our vision is to become the first place people turn whenever they need to figure out what to buy for their business, much like Amazon is for books and Yelp is for restaurants,” said Giesea. “In turn, we’ll be a highly efficient customer acquisition vehicle for vendors.”

Just today, it released the results of its “2011 Startup Toolkit Survey” on the most popular products and providers used by startups with up to 100 employees.

The 10 most popular startup tools are:

1. Google Analytics (Web Analytics)
2. Gmail (Email)
3. Quickbooks (Accounting)
4. American Express (Company Credit Card)
5. (CRM)
6. Dropbox (Storage)
Evernote (Note-taking)
8. Basecamp (Project Management)
9. MailChimp (Email Marketing)
10. Amazon Web Service (Web Hosting)

The findings also show the distribution of market share within specific categories. The five categories most dominated by a single company include:

  1. Web design (Adobe)
  2. Web Analytics (Google)
  3. Accounting (Quickbooks
  4. Hardware (Apple)
  5. CRM (

Other interesting results:

  • 27% of startup execs use PayPal for payment processing.
  • 57% use Google Apps.
  • 71% of startup execs use QuickBooks for accounting
  • 59% of startup execs use Salesforce for CRM.
  • 39% of startup execs use Dropbox for storage.
  • 43% of startup execs use AmEx for their company credit card.
  • Bank of America is leading bank used by startups, with 19% using it.
  • MailChimp is leading email marketing system for startups, with 30% using it.

The Startup Toolkit Survey is part of a larger effort by BestVendor to bring transparency and openness to the business purchasing process. The full results are available on the BestVendor blog here. The company will soon release a Quora-like platform so you can ask a question to someone in your social network and invite them to answer it within BestVendor.

“It’s time to put an end to the era of too-little information when deciding what to buy for your business,” said CEO Jeff Giesea. “Business people deserve a single destination for peer recommendations and user reviews.”

BestVendor, which hopes to fulfill that role, is in Alpha launch right now. To be specific, it’s currently in the second phase of its three-phase Alpha product: “Bullet”, which is right after Moonshine and right before Blue Label. Beta signup is available on its site and will likely open in the fall.

BestVendor raised $600,000 in a seed round at the end of June. The round was led by SoftBank Capital and Lerer Ventures and also included Silicon Valley super-angels SVAngel and Peter Thiel.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vodafone enjoys greater mobile internet usage.

From Evernote:

Vodafone enjoys greater mobile internet usage.

Published on Friday, July 22nd by Tony Dennis.

Rating: Pesky smartphones to blame for increased data revenues

The latest results for the Vodafone Group for Q2 2011 show what we have long suspect. Voice revenues for operators are down in the developed markets whilst revenues from data and messaging are up. For example, voice revenues declined from £637 million in 2010 to £590 million. But revenues from data and messaging increased. If you combine the two, Vodafone earnt £514 million from messaging and data combined compared to £590 million for just voice. Overall, the Vodafone’s Group data revenue grew by 24.5 per cent to £1.5 billion. In Europe – which grew by 19 per cent- the largest data revenues came from Germany (£363 million) followed by the UK (£213 million). The focus is moving away from voice to web, text and apps.Here’s an interesting figure which Vodafone just threw in casually. Europe smartphone penetration grew to 19.5 per cent for the Vodafone group compared to 13.6 per cent in Q1 2011.

Basically smartphones are behind the dramatic growth in Vodafone’s data revenues.

Here’s another interesting one. As of at 30 June 2011, Vodafone had 27,000 LTE customers. Where are they? In Germany.

To get them, Vodafone had to spend £1.2 billion in Germany and South Africa on its data infrastructure.

Considering the Germany LTE network started rolling out in 2010, that’s a low figure. Not enough LTE ready handsets perhaps?

Incidentally, data on its own now represents 13.7 per cent of Group service revenue. Vodafone’s says increasing smartphone penetration is driving greater mobile internet usage across its business.

The biggest change is a 52.7 per cent growth in mobile internet revenue in AMAP (Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific) region compared with of 44.2 per cent in Europe.


About Tony Dennis

Tony is based in Surrey and is a veteran comms journalist. Tony also writes on the UK market.

Innovation has a low Klout score

From Evernote:

Innovation has a low Klout score

Posted by on Jul 22, 2011

Here’s a minor caution on any scoring mechanism. I mention Klout because it’s got mindshare, but it applies to anything which attempts to rate people by influence.

You won’t spot the next hottest thing by Klout score. Like all scoring mechanisms of its kind, Klout scores are trailing indicators, which means that by the time the score is high enough for you to notice, it’s too late to get in on the ground floor of an opportunity. It’s just like a stock price in many ways – by the time the stock price is high enough to be really valuable and noticeable, it’s too late to buy in and reap the early adopter rewards.

The same is true for case studies. If you’re waiting for the definitive case study of how to be the market leader, then the market leader isn’t going to be you. The case study is a trailing indicator of success, not a leading indicator.

Trailing indicators are great – they tell you what has worked, they help you to refine processes and fix things that are broken in your current processes. These are invaluable attributes that make them an essential part of your marketing mix. Klout score, PageRank, stock price, AdAge 150 listing, web analytics data – all of these are very effective at telling you what has happened.

The problem is, if you’re looking for what is going to happen, what the clues are to the future, and how you can be ahead of the competition, none of these numbers will be of help. Here’s an obvious example: Spotify.

Suppose you are a music blogger who wanted to find the next trend in music marketing. On July 5 (assuming you hadn’t been following the news and were just trolling Klout scores), if you had been looking for influencers of a score of 75 or more as an indicator of future music trends, you would have missed Spotify. The only reason Spotify was even scored highly at all was that it had already launched in Europe and other parts of the world.

Imagine what’s out there right now that’s scoring in the low 20s and 30s on Klout: startups in near-stealth mode, new ventures, a brand new social service that is just beginning to get a bit of mindshare. The bottom line is, you won’t find them with Klout or any other rear-facing, trailing indicator – and the opportunity to get in early will pass you by.

Does that mean you should abandon trailing indicators? Of course not. But if you want to find the future, you have to instead be looking at trendspotters, listening and watching to people who are experimenting with new stuff all the time. The only way to find what’s innovative and new is to listen a lot, explore, and try new things.

Who knows? Perhaps you’ll discover the next big thing – and 6 months after it launches and you’re the industry expert on it, your Klout score might go up, too.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why American ride Harleys; drink Budweiser and buy old iPhones.

From Evernote:

Why American ride Harleys; drink Budweiser and buy old iPhones.

Published on Monday, July 18th by Tony Dennis

Rating: They want to be part of that cosy ‘family’.

Here’s a really intriguing out-take from an article which aims to rationalise the irrational in the smartphone sector. Namely, why anyone would bother to pay for a handset with a blatantly inferior technical specification – like the iPhone 3G – yet be totally happy with such a choice? The article which GoMo News came across features on the International Business Times (IBT) web site here. Curiously, the article misses some of the very obvious parallels with US citizens’ other proud displays of brand loyalty in the face of overwhelming odds. We’re talking Harley Davidson, of course. Or Budweiser? Now we have the iPhone.As IBT points out, back n June [2011], T-Mobile in the USA revealed that it had about a million iPhones on its network.

This is remarkable given that Apple has not launched an iPhone officially on T-Mobile USA.

The vast majority of those million iPhones on T-Mobile’s network are pre-iPhone 4 models. They are handsets like the iPhone 3GS which do not have the capability to support true 3G – let alone 4G.

Users with these old iPhones on the T-Mobile network are only able to get EDGE- which is technically the equivalent of 2.75G – not even remotely 3G.

So why with these blatant deficiencies on the data throughput front are T-Mobile’s customers flocking to buy older iPhones rather than, say, a tasty new Android phone?

One very obvious answer is cost. A pre-iPhone 4 model like the iPhone 3GS costs only $49. Yet it comes equipped with a 3.5-inch display with 480×320 screen resolution, 8GB of internal memory and a 3MP camera with VGA recording.

Compared that to a regular and current Android smartphone which features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen with 800×480 screen resolution; a 1.2 GHz dual-core chip and an 8MP camera with 1080p video capture capability. At least four times the cost but not four times the specs.

So what is ITB‘s answer to this amazing puzzle? The answer is – plain and simple – access to a huge ecosystem of mobile apps. HP with webOS should take note here.

ITB calculates that with an iPhone 3Gs, the wonder still has access to an ecosystem which boasts of 425,000 apps. But more to the point, they are part of a wider ‘family’ which includes other iOS devices such as the iPad, the iPod and Apple TV. But more importantly also includes the iTunes App Store.

ITB says, “Apple recently revealed that more than 15 billion applications have been downloaded from its App store and it has paid over $2.5 billion to developers. It has over 200 million iOs users.

Google announced that more than 6 billion Android apps have been downloaded. While the Android figures are impressive, Apple still holds an edge over Android.”

It doesn’t matter how many times a Harley gets beaten on the race track, loyal customers still buy them. Second hand IPhone owners are behaving slightly more rationally given the lead Apple has in apps. But not that much more.


About Tony Dennis

Tony is based in Surrey and is a veteran comms journalist. Tony also writes on the UK market.



Why Google’s screwup on Google+ brand pages is a big deal

From Evernote:

Why Google’s screwup on Google+ brand pages is a big deal

There’s been a lot of sound and fury about the way Google has approached branded (i.e., non-personal) pages on its new Google+ social network. Much of it is a symptom of internecine warfare among the big tech blogs, some of whom waited to launch branded pages and got sandbagged by what they say is the web giant’s flip-flopping. But there is a serious issue underneath the griping, which is that Google can make or break a company’s presence online by virtue of its control over the web-search market — something Google+ is almost certain to become an integral part of.

When Google first launched its new social platform a couple of weeks ago, a number of media brands — including Sesame Street and the tech blog Mashable — rushed to set up pages on the network as a way of staking their claim, in the same way that many have set up what used to be called Facebook “fan” pages. But while Facebook allows corporate entities to have a presence on its network, Google said that it wasn’t ready for branded pages just yet. Instead, it asked most companies to wait, and said it would be rolling them out over the next couple of months after a trial with a few select entities such as Ford.

The Google+ land rush

Not surprisingly, perhaps, some companies didn’t feel like waiting, or taking down the pages they already had, so they just left them there. This caused a lot of confusion about what Google’s strategy was going to be exactly — would it grandfather the pages that already existed, or would it simply nuke them and force those companies to create new pages and build up their follower base from scratch again?

The confusion was compounded when Google started deleting branded or non-personal pages this week: some pages, including the page belonging to Mashable, remained in place while others vanished. Then the blog executed a clever trick by changing the name of its page to the name of founder and CEO Pete Cashmore — something that allowed it to retain all of its followers. This sent competitor TechCrunch into a frenzy of outrage, and caused Google-watcher Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land to write an open letter about the ill will caused by its Google+ screwup (TechCrunch’s fake personal page has already been deleted).

This may all seem a little like the cool kids fighting over who gets the parking spot closest to the door of the high school, but there is a serious issue at the center of the dispute, which TechCrunch writer MG Siegler hinted at in his post — and that is Google’s ability to create what amounts to a “suggested user list” for companies on its new social network. The SUL was something that Twitter created early on as a way of trying to help new users find accounts to follow, but it caused a lot of controversy because it led to some users getting millions of followers very quickly.

Google+ already a major player

A list of preferred accounts may not have seemed like a big deal when Twitter was just a tiny plaything for nerds, but it became a big benefit when the network grew to become a significant distribution platform for news and other content. The issue for brands is that Google+ could recreate that problem — or opportunity — in spades, because in just a few weeks it has already become so massive.

Depending on how you measure it, the speed at which Google+ has grown dwarfs just about any other social network, including Facebook and Twitter, and that’s because Google has been able to unleash a giant, built-in promotional engine via its various services such as Gmail, Picasa and so on. Integration with email was undoubtedly a huge launchpad, and the toolbar that appears at the top of Google pages when users are signed in, directing them to their Google+ feed, keeps the engagement levels high.

With 20 million users or so already, Google has gone from zero to being a potential strong contender in the social networking game. But it’s not just the size of the network that’s important — it’s how the activity on those Google+ pages get interpreted by Google search, and how that affects page rank and all the other parts of the company’s black-box algorithms. It’s not clear how much the social signals coming from Google+ will be integrated, but there is no question that doing this was a big driver behind the company’s interest in doing social at all.

In other words, Google’s missteps or tweaking of Google+ features aren’t just of interest to a few tech-obsessed social-networking nerds. Could the way it has handled corporate pages even become an issue in the FTC inquiry into the company’s monopolistic and/or anti-competitive behavior? Possibly. But make no mistake — while some may see Google+ as just another copycat social network, it has the potential to affect the bread and butter of companies that do business online, and that is not a trivial issue.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Mark Strozier and Leon Haland

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