Tag Archives | Internet Marketing

The Evolving Brand

One of the pleasures of owning my own business is that I can infuse some of my own personality into my company’s brand. That’s what I tried to do initially when I created the Simply Talk Media name and design. Here is part of what I was thinking:

  • I like to talk, and just don’t get it when others stay silent. Most of the time, staying quiet is a poor communications strategy. So many misunderstandings could be avoided if companies reached out to the media and their stakeholders and just started talking.
  • I’ve got a water personality: Creative, adaptable, always ready to take on new challenges. Curious. Imaginative. Buoyant, yet tough. Sand in my shoes kind of girl. Plus, I just like water images – or anything to do with beaches, boats or oceans.
  • I love technology, and I’ve been in it for a lot longer than today’s Gen X or Y’ers. I’m eager to test out the latest gadget or app. Digital is in my blood.
  • I’m a people person and I genuinely like to meet new people and to help others make connections. This makes me very good at networking and influencing outcomes.

The first two attributes found their way into my brand initially. And while the name works, I came to realize that the water images just confused people. And, you see, clear communication is more important to me than an abstruse idea. What’s more, I lost a couple of tech companies as potential clients because they didn’t view me as having a technology background.

When I sat down with the Web design team at HG Media, I challenged them to create a look for my brand that articulated these personality attributes a bit more clearly. As always in this process, we went through several iterations, which I’ll share next week. Check back and I’ll tell you more.



Augmented Reality Brings Marketing to Life

Augmented reality is the next stop on the high-speed tech train. AR embeds information into images from the world around you. Focus your phone camera on a book cover, and Amazon’s Flow app will show you a description and allow you to buy it direct from Amazon.com.

Yes, I know, the book’s in front of you, so it seems silly, but imagine how you might use this for larger objects or photos of items for sale in the newspaper. Or perhaps that cute pair of shoes your friend is wearing.

Stella Artois’s Le Bar app allows you to point your phone down a city street and find all the bars serving its beer.

In this TED Talks video, Matt Mills of Aurasma demonstrates how his AR app can bring inanimate objects to life. He points out some compelling uses in education and customer service – for example, setting up your router, and for reading the newspaper. Point your camera at a sports photo and it instantly animates into the latest video coverage.

It’s easy to imagine AR’s utility in marketing and PR. A wealth of information can be attached to buildings, people, places, objects, images and more. That information can include one-click purchasing, product information, client testimonials, reviews and so much more.

It’s worth noting that much of this can be accomplished with QR codes, but AR will likely streamline the process (no need to create a QR code) and make the information more easily accessible. After all, your friend’s cute pair of shoes wouldn’t be as cute if they were stamped with a QR code.

Big, Fast Info Means Clever, Fast PR & Marketing

How much information is created every day? Zettabytes. At least. I’m not sure when we’ll reach yottabytes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened in my lifetime.

If it hasn’t happened already.

Every minute, 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. So in some ways, it’s not surprising that YouTube is becoming a major platform for viewing news. A new report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that citizens are responsible for posting original videos of news events – more than one-third of the most-watched videos. Remember that YouTube is the #2 search engine. Talk about an opportunity for real-time PR.

But being fast isn’t enough. You need to be clever as well. Otherwise, how will you stand out among all this data?

If you just can’t visualize what that amount of data might look like, this infographic can help. Paris, here I come.

A Day in the Internet
Created by: MBAOnline.com

Turning Social Media Metrics into Business Metrics

How do you measure your social media program? In the number of likes orĀ  followers? ROI? Clicks to your website?

All of these metrics have their place – just not in the C-suite. Executives and small business owners need an understanding of how their investment in social media is going to increase their bottom line. Full stop.

Most do not understand – or care to understand – that their organization has a lot of followers. The only time this does matter is when a crisis occurs and their Facebook page explodes with criticism. Reputation, they get.

In some ways, the challenges of social media measurement are the same as those of public relations measurement. You need to evaluate your programs using business metrics, and you need to communicate your results in the language of business.

I wrote an ebook about this several years ago, based on my graduate school work. I thought I’d share it here, so that you can download it (note that I wrote it while at Dow Jones, so they are the sponsor). I’ve also included a few updated tips for social media below the ebook.

Tips for Sharing Social Media Metrics with Executives

  1. Track sales. Nothing says success faster than revenue. Unlike PR, which has an indirect impact on sales, you can establish a direct connection between social media and sales. One way to do this is to use a call to action linked to a form on a landing page.
  2. Track opinion. Mine your conversations for opinions and suggestions about your products and services. This is a form of market research, and sometimes it’s even better than that, especially if customers uncover an unknown problem.
  3. Tie social media objectives to business objectives. This one is the most important. Don’t start any social media program without understanding how it supports the broader organizational objectives. Yes, everyone must be in social media today, but there are many ways to do it. Just make sure it makes sense for your business.
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Looking for Social Media Statistics?

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly misplacing my social media statistics. This is frustrating, because they’re so useful. Nothing underscores the importance of a social media recommendation more powerfully than being able to support it with facts.

There are still many people who are skeptical about the impact that social media can have on their marketing campaigns and – more importantly – their bottom line results. That’s why I always provide a “State of the Union” on social media at the start of my strategy recommendations.

I’m a master searcher, having spent most of my career building online business information services for corporate librarians and knowledge workers (Boolean search language, anyone?). Yet, even I have a hard time keeping track of the latest social media statistics.

I’m not a particularly good bookmarker, and like many people, I appreciate visually represented material. This is why I’ve started to use Pinterest to keep track of the latest and greatest social media statistics. Feel free to follow my board.

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