Online Marketing Tricks of the Trade

By on 7-16-2008 in Writing

A question you may be asking yourself if you run an online business is: who exactly are my customers? Sometimes it’s shocking to think that hordes of people want your service. You get that “they love me, they really love me” moment so typified in Hollywood movies. But think about it like this, you’ve done your research, planted the seeds of your business, and are now reaping your due harvest.

You may not need to use Anywho’s reverse phone number finder to learn every possible customer detail on record, but you do want to stay knowledgeable as to who your customer base is. The reason for this is that the market is changing constantly. Social media and search engine customization is always in flux, forever waiting for the next big game-changer or the next big algorithm. Here are a few tips that will help you as you move forward with your online marketing endeavors:

Separate your personal profiles and your business profiles on social media sites.

First of all, you don’t want to harass your friends and family with every detail of your business. Yes, of course, a few times a month it’s acceptable to toot your horn and use your personal profile to discuss an element of your business. But any more than that and you risk seriously annoying your most loyal brand ambassadors.

Increase your exposure.

Configure your site for social bookmarking so that your customers can pass on news of your service to sites like Delicious, Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. Also, create a Wikipedia page for your business. Contribute as much to conversation marketing as you can by taking part in relevant forum discussions and participating in Google groups.

Optimize your site.

Nothing leverages you for Internet success more than SEO. Become friendly with search engines by creating a sitemap, XML if possible, and good internal linking structures. Not only does this make search bots more likely to find you, it makes your site more structured.

If you have the budget for it, create accounts on pay per clicks networks like Google and MSN.

If you’re running a cheaper campaign, look for quality impressions on lower tier networks.

We’re just scratching the surface here. There are hundreds of tools and strategies for beefing up your online marketing endeavors. A successful campaign will require a lot of research and scouring the marketplace for the best models in your industry. No matter what field you’re in, social media etiquette, social bookmarking and SEO are going to be major components to a healthy campaign. Figure out your budget and create a game plan.

Cribbed Content for January 2nd

By on 7-16-2008 in Writing

Happy New Year!  As I mentioned last Friday, I’ve spent this week with family in Oregon, so I have been semi-off the grid.  So this week’s edition of Cribbed Content is as much for me to catch up on things as it is for some of you!

On a personal note, 2008 treated me okay…but I’m hoping that 2009 knocks me off my feet!  I hope your lives are treating you right and leading you in the direction you want to go!

  • The movie industry doesn’t get to have all the fun with an awards season: on the heels of ShareASale announcing their awards last week, the finalists for the Pinnacle Awards Finalists at Affiliate Summit West 2009 were announced this week.  Congrats to the finalists, and we’ll see who the winners are at the awards dinner in Las Vegas.
  • Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed via Twitter that PageRank was updated.  I heard about it before then and I’m glad to report that this blog has gone from a PR0 to PR2, thus reassuring me that I hadn’t landed on some mysterious Google blacklist.  As exciting as this was, it was also proven how little PR means anymore when I checked my twitter page out of curiosity to find it was a PR9!
  • It’s Official: The Performance Marketing Alliance is now an official, non-profit trade association.  Charter membership will be available sometime this month, I imagine starting at Affiliate Summit.
  • I wrote another guest post at Marketing Pilgrim, this time on how Digg’s Lack of Ad Targeting is Hurting Revenue.

67 page views per day

By on 7-16-2008 in Writing

Not bad considering that I haven’t been posting a lot of good content lately.  I admit, I’ve been in a slump.  A general lack of motivation and drive has resulted in my taking days upon days off and not blogging that much here.  I’ve been spending ample time on Twitter, a good amount of time on my new fancy BlackBerry Curve, and of course doing what it is that I get paid for at PsPrint.

bored manActually, my hats have been expanding here.  I’ve been doing more web development on small projects to assist with our overloaded graphic services department, and I’ve been doing more development of images for our e-mail campaigns.  It’s nice to have something new and different to do every once in awhile; it definitely is something I’m very capable and willing to do and breaks up the monotony of staring at CJ weeding through affiliate applications.

I’ve also given myself a sabbatical on the social networking.  I haven’t sent anything through StumbleUpon or Digg, and haven’t been stumbling or digging anything lately either.  It was getting to be too big of a distraction during the day, and trying to get everything done was a hassle.

Now it feels like things are calming down a bit now that we’re two weeks or so out from the holiday weekend and I’ll probably be picking up where I left off on the social media stuff, ramping up and collecting tips for my roundtable discussion next month.

Do you have any social media and networking tips to share?

Social Media Pays Off

By on 7-16-2008 in Writing

Whoever said that hanging around social media platforms never helped anyone is flat out lying. I’d like to think of myself as ahead of the curve in most situations. I try to be an early adopter whenever I can now. So I’ve been eager to jump onto the bandwagon with new social platforms like Social Thing and Britekite, most recently. I’m making a point to be a presence in the social media space for two reasons:

  1. Fun.
  2. Traffic.

Social I am geekier than I care to admit most times, and I’ve always been into instant digital communication like email and instant messenger. Which is why I acclimated to Twitter so easily. Making the jump from LiveJournal to MySpace, then later to Facebook was a piece of cake. So I have a lot of fun hanging around talking to people, exchanging ideas, or just exchanging rather meaningless comments. I’m just an online oriented person. Not that I can’t carry on a phone call or face-to-face conversation, I just enjoy the technical aspects of writing. Blame it on the geek in me.

But as I mentioned, the other more beneficial reason for hanging about on these networks has been traffic to my blog here. I’ve always known that my efforts and time spent on Digg and Stumble Upon would eventually pay off. At the same time, I was never worried about whether they would or not since it was the fun that kept me there. Today I decided to check my Analytics account, something I don’t do nearly as often as I should. I found a wonderful sight.

Traffic Screen Shot

That’s right… my top 5 traffic sources include three social networks. This makes me totally happy that my addiction to these things is paying off. So listen to all of us social media nerds and register your brand names and participate. It’s just one of the many ways that you can make fun your job :)

Cribbed Content for January 25th

By on 7-16-2008 in Writing

As promised last week, here’s my look around the web for interesting business, marketing, web 2.0, etc. stuff.

  • Digg changed their algorithm. No one cared except Digg diehards.
  • After two+ weeks, PrintSalesPro finally publishes a reprint of my All For One, One For All Printers post.
  • LaTease Rikard, one of my StumbleUpon friends, took some advice after my post about our launch of the affiliate program (officially) and joined up and wrote about it.
  • ProBlogger just today published Dropping The F-Bomb: Blogging with Naughty Words. I don’t see a whole lot of repeated topics on my jaunts through the blogosphere, but this is the second article on using the F-bomb since September. The first was Scott Jangro back in September. I wonder if this is really a wide spread phenomenon?

It’s been a slow week, so there you have it. Not much going on, really.

Fussing Update

By on 7-16-2008 in Writing

I fussed around more with del.icio.us, Digg, and Technorati. So far my thoughts…

deliciousdel.icio.us: really easy to use. I exported my bookmarks from Firefox and imported them into my bookmarks in a matter of minutes. I’ve spent probably the last half an hour cleaning up my tags since they’re so scattered and I’m a neat freak like that. But it’s a really simple interface that’s a breeze to use. I’ve head a lot about this site, so I get the feeling I’ll be using it a lot whenever I come across something particularly cool.

diggDigg: pretty easy to use, but there’s a lot there. The home page of News & Videos is cracking me up reading some of the titles. Not sure how this can be leveraged though without digging my own stories. I did try a plea on Twitter for digs, but got none. And it’s taken me hours, but I’ve figured out how to add the Digg This button you see to the right. I found out though that I have a friend already on Digg, so I can foresee messing around more with this and building more friends on this network.

technoratiTechnorati: Okay what the hell? The main function of the site, as far as I can tell, is to keep a list of your favorites. Do me a favor and look HERE. Do you see any favorites? If you don’t I’m really annoyed because I followed their instructions to export my blogs from Google Reader, saved the file correctly, imported them to Technorati, they showed up for a couple minutes and now they don’t show. So my frustration is building with this site to the point where I’m already ready to give up… which for an experienced web user like me, isn’t good at all. So I’ve decided to walk away from it for awhile, focus my efforts on the other two, and mess around with this once they’ve got this bug fixed. I already ventured into their help forums on the first day… not really a good sign, folks.

Avoiding Former CoWorkers in San Jose

By on 7-16-2008 in Writing

 

Sometimes it’s pleasant to see an old coworker… other times, it’s best to avoid them. Which is what I did at Search Engine Strategies last week in San Jose. I’m not necessarily proud of what I did, but I successfully avoided what could have been a rather awkward situation, so it worked out for the best.

I spent the majority of the day in the Social Media track of the conference, learning more about the inner workings of Digg, Technorati, Del.icio.us, and Wikipedia than I ever thought I wanted to know. Of course, one of the first things I did when getting back to the office was apply some of this and set up a Digg profile and a Technorati profile and an account on Del.icio.us. Since PsPrint doesn’t sell it’s content, I don’t really see Wikipedia as being that huge of an opportunity for us. But the others… well I’m shocked I wasn’t on them personally for awhile.

Now, my roots in social media lie in the likes of MySpace, message boards, and chat rooms. I’m not the seasoned internet user you’ll hear speaking at trade shows that’s been online since 1997… but that’s mostly because back in ’97 I was still writing history essays and doing math homework in High School. I’ve been online since about the time I got to college, Fall of 1999. Going away to college and having to make all new friends, I immediately found chat rooms as a place to connect with like minded people. A friend introduced me to Live Journal back in ’03 and I’ve been blogging ever since. When MySpace came around big time in ’05 I jumped on that bandwagon and haven’t looked back.

Has it really been 2 years on MySpace? How time flies. But, I digress. SES was a great show for me to attend. Very informative, and my favorite part was how organized all the panelists were. Everyone had a neat & tidy Power Point presentation that will be available online this week, so I barely had to take any notes. I’ve also decided that the next time I go to one of these shows and attend the educational panels I’m going to be bringing a laptop. Since there was really no need for me to take many notes, it would have been great to be able to surf the websites that the panelists talked about while they were talking about them. I’m all about multi-tasking, so getting some work done while learning is my ideal.

This is becoming an exciting time for me. Learning more and more about the field I’m working in and exploring social media marketing is really exciting me to be moving onward here at PsPrint.