Google is a Marketer’s Best Friend

I love Google as a marketer. Do you?
I love Google as a marketer. Do you?

Google is indeed a marketer’s best friend.  Since 10 years ago, Google has consistently risen in popularity among web users. Google is a classic example of how to cater your products or services to meet consumers’ needs and wants. With ever increasing quantity of websites online, Google is a boon when it comes to understanding what we are looking for when we search the web. So marketers should really leverage Google’s expertise and dominance on web searches.  Here are 3 reasons why:

1) Google has 83% market share of the global web search engines. It is dominant in almost every country, except in China and Russia, where Baidu and Yandex reign supremacy. Google also dominates web email with its Gmail. Gmail wins with its huge email space offered, where most users do not need to delete any past emails. If you have not realized by now, Gmail offers ads based on your email content. Seriously, with 83% of global market share in search engine, do you need to advertise in other search engines?

2) G00gle searches dominates as the most ‘intelligent’ so far, beating out others such as Yahoo or Bing. Google can fathom what the searcher is thinking about pretty quickly, giving them search results that are accurate. Similarly, Google is able to offer web users the most relevant ads for their searches, ensuring quality clicks for advertisers. Google is also strict about advertisers’ contents, giving favor to advertisers that best meet users’ needs. Advertisers can track their cost per click closely, giving very accurate ROI analysis.

3) The other secret weapon of Google is the ownership of Youtube. Youtube owns 44% market share of online videos watched, many times greater than the other competitors. Youtube now offers pre-video short ads, allowing advertisers to customize ads to their target demographics and most importantly, the advertisers can get assurance that their video ads will be watched by Youtubers. With the integration of Google Account among Gmail, Google+ and Youtube, advertisers can target their consumers pretty accurately.

Think Twitter is Useless for Product Marketing? Think Again! Here are 4 tips

Leverage those Twitter accounts with lots of friends!
Leverage those Twitter accounts with lots of friends!

Twitter has been debated back and forth among marketers as to its usefulness for marketing.  Twitter’s greatest limitation is its short character allowance, making it hard to make a proper marketing promise to readers.  Here’s how you can go against the grain by leveraging Twitter to your marketing efforts:

1) Tweet about your benefits.  No matter how much you want to tell your potential consumers, you can and should distill your message to a powerful, short tagline.  E.g. Fedex’s ‘Absolutely must be there overnight delivery’.

2) Check out Klout.com for influential Twitters to help promote your message.  Like blogs, the accounts with the biggest followers will give you a bigger reach for your readers.

3) When you tweet, include a hashtag, your twitter (or your brands’) name and a landing page url.  This gives credibility, easy understanding, and allows your readers to go to your landing page for more information.

4) From p0int 3, after you have included all these information, keep your message length less than 73 characters.  This makes it easy for others to retweet your message without losing any information from truncation.

7 Tips to Build Killer Blogs

Blogs are getting more competitive nowadays as the supply is often greater than the demand.  A good way is to establish your blog in a narrow niche, and avoid fighting with the big guys for big category hot topics like selling online or stock picking.  Here are my 7 tips on how you can build better blogs:

1) Focus your blog on a narrow theme.  If you talk about caring for cats, then stay with caring for cats.  Don’t bring in topics about dogs or caring for parakeets.  This way, you will build a strong following of cat lovers.

2) Here’s a good template for your blog posts.  Have an outstanding headline that gives the reader benefits or evoke their curiosity.  Put in relevant images that augment the messages in the post.  Establish a lead paragraph that gives relevance of the message to your readers.  They have to know why it is important for them to continue reading your post.  Add personal stories in the body of the post, and then end with a discussion question.

3) Provide internal links to your other posts in the body of your message.  This will help to generate extra traffic for your other good posts, which may otherwise be forgotten with time.

4) Here are some post ideas: 1) Review a book or movie on your blog niche, 2) comment on a quote, 3) comment on a paragraph, 4) comment on a recent news, and 5) step by step how to’s.

5) Short, short, short.  Internet readers have short attention spans due to the vast distractions available online.  So have short posts, short paragraphs with few sentences, and keep the sentences and words short.

6) Use websitegrader.com to check your blog’s website score.  This website can also provide you with suggestions on how to improve on critical elements in your blog.

7) Engagement with your readers are critical.  This builds friendships with your loyal readers, and let them know that you care about their comments or questions.  A lot of comments that go unnoticed will seem cold on your part.  Imagine talking to a friend that does not reply to you.

That’s the 7 tips folks!

Be a Killer on Blogs
Be a Killer on Blogs

Additional Tips for Social Media Optimization

Flash or Large Graphic Images will Clog Up the Loading Time

Here are additional tips for social media optimization:

1) When you write your social media messages, e.g. on Facebook, focus on connecting with your community and fans first.  Contribute with educational postings that will enrich your readers lives.  Make 90% of your messages as connection messages, and the remaining 10% you get to do some brand selling in them.

2) If you own a blog, definitely allow comments.  You may not have the time to review for spam messages frequently, as spam robots get smarter each day.  Use Akismet plug-in, which is proven to reduce spam comments effectively to help you manage spam.

3) For your website, reduce the use of Flash animations and large graphic files.  They certainly are cool, but most of the time do not really add much to your selling messages.  Moreover, Apple’s iPads and iPhones still can’t read Flash.

4) For blogs, use keywords rich titles for each article.  Add keywords to your blog content as well.  When you have a picture, add keywords to the photo descriptions.

5) Look for suitable partners.  Keep a watch out for fellow bloggers who target the same network or community.  Talk to them about reaching readers together, which could potentially increase the total reach for all parties.  The potential partners should have great influences, and have the same values as you.

6 Ideas to Squeeze More Out of Social Media

Toothpastes are not the only thing you can squeeze dry of.

Yes, everybody’s talking about Facebook, Tweeter, Youtube, Linked-in and Flickr nowadays.  A lot of brands are using them to build relationships with clients, or form communities of their own.  How can we squeeze the max out of them today?  Here are some ideas.

1) Do you think Flickr is just for photography aficionados?  Yes they are, but with smartphones so prevalent nowadays, everybody’s a photographer of some sort.  Ask your fans to share photos on how they use your products, perhaps in creative ways.  Ask them to share their testimonies with other Flickr fans.

2) Research intensively on your brands, your consumers and your competitors.  Use brands.peoplebrowsr.com to find the hottest brands talked about currently.  Seek out discussions related not just to your brands, but to your category, related products and technologies.  This will help to widen your search and find interesting content.

3) Make your videos easily searchable on Youtube.  It’s just like Google.  You need to do optimization to be ranked higher in searches.  Spend more time on titling and tagging your videos, so your consumers can find them.

4) Use the right measurement.  We use to pay big bucks to agencies that measure consumers’ response to our TV ads.  On social media, its a lot more straight forward.  Check how many views you have for Flickr and Youtube.  Check the number of retweets on Twitter.  Check out your Facebook posts’ likes and comments.

5) Be present on the top social media sites.  Twitter, Facebooks, Google+, etc.  The more ways you can be contacted by your potential consumers, the more satisfaction they get from your brand.  Shows that you care and can listen.

6) For Twitter, instead of tweeting what you had for lunch, try promotions for a change.  Give an iPhone away for free if they retweet your tweets to all their friends.  Give discounts and free samples for your followers.  They like these kinds of stuffs.

3 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Site

We all want more traffic to our site, but with so many websites on most categories out there, how do you win over similar sites with better traffic?  Here are some tips:

1) Go to these similar sites, preferably high traffic ones, and comment on posts there.  Don’t just comment anyhow, but give high quality, educational opinion or content.  This will attract readers of that other site to your site to find out more.

2) I have tried using offline advertising to bring more traffic to my online website.  I have tried online advertising too.  Guess which ones give better ROI?  Online ads of course!  There’s a huge, tremendous barrier and effort required to go from offline advertising compared to online advertising.  When you are reading newspapers, will you continue reading other articles or go to your computer to type in the url seen?  Most people will just continue reading, and will have all forgotten all about your website by the time they are done reading the papers.

3) On the internet, speed is everything.  Yesterday’s news is stale.  So do a twitter search to find real time comments about a particular matter, and either comment further on it, or leverage the comments on your own website, blog or social media.

7 Tips for Social Media Optimization

So, what's your social media language?

The biggest social media used today are Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channels.  Don’t forget blogs too.  Linked-in is great for professional and business to business connections, while Youtube is the second largest search engine after Google.  Facebook is explosive in membership growth, while Twitter allows you to share up to date short messages to your followers.  Blogs are diaries for regular entries on a certain subject, or many subjects.  Here are some tips on how to make full use of them:

1) There’s Google Reader, Twitter Search, Google Alerts and Google Blog Search that allow you to keep yourself updated on topics relevant to you.

2) Use facebook page not as just a ‘page’, but as a community portal to customers, potential customers and vendors.

3) How to get top ranked in Linked-in search: Make full use of the headline, work experience key words and summary key words too.

4) When you tweet, put your name after your tweet.  If it gets forwarded, your name, the source, gets forwarded to.

5) The biggest leverage for business in Youtube channels is to feature consumer testimonials.

6) If you get mental block in writing for your blogs, get yourself excited about a topic.  Then immediately write all your ideas down quickly.  I mean really quick, like as if you have a ferocious dog chasing you.  Don’t edit until you got it all down.

7) Model after good blogs.  A good one is Seth Godin’s.

Facebook Optimizations

1) Facebook content is ranked based on number of comments and likes. Your comments may not appear to all your fans’ wall unless they garner enough comments and likes.

2) Personalized, friendly and less demanding comments generate more likes. If your comments are all hard selling, you may turn some consumers off. Discuss topics that are relevant to your brand, and also interesting to your consumers.

3) People like fan pages because of discounts/promos, support for brands, freebies, to stay updated on your brand and future product launches.

4) Your potential customers are able to sms to register as fans. Sms ‘like (fan page name)’ to a special phone number that you can subscribe to.

5) Encourage your fans to spread the word and get their friends to join as fans. If they reach certain fan numbers, promise to give out attractive freebies to all.

6) Don’t delete bad comments, but rather resolve with private email. Say sorry immediately if that consumers is unhappy with your products or services.

7) Say thank you for all positive comments, and ask these fans to spread the word to friends and family.

8) Film videos of product related news to share on facebook.

9) Ask poll on new marketing activities or products. This is free and easy consumer interview.

10) Ask questions instead of giving statements. For example ‘what would you like to see more in fanpage’, ‘who are you inspired by most’, ‘most interesting place use product’, ‘when did first use product’, and ‘why like fan page’.

11) At least 15% off products if you intend to give discounts. Anything less and you are considered a stingy poker.

12) Share more on your loyal customers with your fans such as key customers, funny things with customers and employees, and charitable organizations that your brand reaches out to.

13) Advertise with ‘friends of connection’, so that those who see the ad can see their friends as fans of your fan page.

14) Thank fans for every 1000 fan milestone. This creates the ‘follow the crowd’ syndrome, where fans will feel good to be connected to a growing community, and will want to spread the word.

Social Media’s Impact on Society

Google’s domination is now threatened by the rise of social media. Google has long been the leader, but now Facebook and MySpace allow searches for people and celebrities, and related facts. You can search Digg and Delicious for best articles on a subject.

The influence of social media on our lives is increasing exponentially. Just look at how President Obama used social media to garner votes. Obama had searches three times more than McCain, sealing the victory in his favor. They used social media to decide on the best words to use for their campaigns. Obama involved his voters in his campaign, and this endeared his voters to him.

NBC telecasted a US open golf championship online, and they captured millions of viewers online. This was an experiment for NBC, but it was a step in the right direction. Unlike superbowl or TV ads, online viewing needs new metrics. Online viewership allows more measurable metrics, has a younger audience who don’t mind watching some advertisements, and allows you to collect precious demographic information from your viewers. It is also far more cost effective vs. TV, magazines or outdoor ads.

Facebook is also a boon to advertisers. Now advertisers can advertise to only the ‘singles’, or to those who are fans of certain product category, or to those who have certain purchase patterns. More targeted advertising such as search advertising has overtaken previously hot banner and display ads.

In the future, the winners will be those that can utilize the power of social media well to market their products of great value. The team players will work with society at large to generate massive amounts of referrals. Middlemen and traditional advertising will see the greatest threat to their survival. Let the revolution begin.