Archive for the 'B2B' Category

18
Jan
11

Three Ways Your Blog Can Improve Your SEO

According to Hitwise, Facebook was the top visited website in the U.S. in 2010, accounting for 8.93 percent of site visits in 2010. Google came in second at 7.19 percent. Additionally, six of the top 10 searched terms were related to social media, this is further indication that social networking is the first source for information while searching the web.  There are some simple tricks to leverage your company blog and the social media trend that will increase your SEO.

  • Link Bait – Obtaining quality links to your website has a direct impact on SEO. One effective way to gain more links is to provide the bait to attract the links. Link Bait is anything you create on the Internet that inspires other people to link to it. You simply need to provide the incentive to get someone to link to your content.

You may ask, why would someone link to my content? Basic human nature, people share content that makes them seem funny, helps them appear to be clever or possess special information.

With publications like Newsweek predicting 2011 to be the year of the social media bubble, effective link bait will become critical as people turn to websites like Twitter and Facebook as their first source for information.

  • Easy to Share – By writing content that provides value, is easy to read and is easy to share, you’ll attract more inbound links. You must keep your headline ‘re-tweetable’. Not only must your headline be intriguing enough for someone to want to learn more, but you also need to account for the 140-character limit on Twitter. With many websites allowing visitors to post a micro URL (i.e. bit.ly, goo.gl or ow.ly) onto their Twitter account, and to allow for your Twitter handle, you’ll need to keep the headline to under 100 characters.
  • Content to Share – Even if you create some great content and make it easy to share, you still need to consider what people will actually share.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, however, these categories are the most likely content to be shared:
    • First to Cover News/Discuss News
    • Insight/Perspective on Controversial Topics
    • Behind the Scenes or Insider’s View
    • Lists/Poll Results/Informational Graphics
    • Reviews/Recaps/Roundups
    • Really Humorous Video

Let us know if you have other SEO-improving tips for blogs. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

 

 

09
Sep
10

Google Instant: More than Interactive Search

On Sept. 8, Google announced the improved search feature, Google Instant.  Users on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer 8 will begin to see results displayed as soon as they type in queries.

At first glance, this simply seems like a time-saver, Google estimates 2 – 5 seconds saved per search. Really only enough time to sip your coffee. However, there is real value to the consumer, and marketers will need to step up vigilance on search term optimization especially for pay per click (PPC) campaigns.

For the consumer, Google Instant is better than the Google suggestions at the bottom of the first page of results. By seeing results as you type, you are better able to refine your search on the fly.  Google Instant makes interactive suggestions based on where others have been before.

For example, I typed in ‘ex’ and as you can see Google Instant delivers Expedia as my first option.

BEWARE! Marketers need to be concerned with the rest of the Google changes.  In preparation for the launch of Google Instant, Google quietly updated their keyword tool. This generated numerous reports of huge drops in search traffic numbers.

According to Gary Adam Shannon of searchenginewatch.com, the (exact) phrase [golf clubs] used to report an estimate of 165,000 monthly searches two weeks ago:

As of right now, the (exact) phrase [golf clubs] reports 33,100 monthly searches.

If you are currently running a PPC campaign, you must re-evaluate your search terms based on the changes Google has implemented.  This will impact website planning, SEO efforts and embedding keywords in websites.

Additionally, a faster, more streamlined search means less opportunity for long tail searches. This will drive up the PPC cost for popular search terms. Online marketers are going to have to go back to the basics as it relates to managing the search engine.

Let us know what you think of Google Instant and if you have seen a drop in your search traffic.  Follow Weise Communications on Twitter for more updates.

08
Sep
10

We’re Weise…and we approve this message

Election Day is November 2nd and in the next two months, traditional advertising vehicles will be bombarded with political advertising. Expect to see more TV, radio, outdoor and print advertising advocating a specific candidate, issue or initiative.  Even though this is a mid-term election, there are so many congressional (both senate and house) and governor elections, traditional advertising channels will be inundated with political advertising.

There are two major impacts for marketing professionals:

  • Inventory of available advertising space is extremely low
  • People will become numb to advertising due to the political ad messages

Studies have shown that negative advertising moves the polls for and against candidates more than ‘what I stand for’ advertising. The fact that people tend to retain negative information longer than positive information is another reason why negative political advertising is so effective. Since it is effective is shaping opinions, we know we will see negative ads.  We always do.

Prior to Election Day, advertisers should consider alternate advertising vehicles.  For example, focusing on a vertical market segment.  If you are trying to reach men, focus on sports related media like Sports Illustrated or ESPN.com.

However, all is not doom and gloom as advertisers take for granted that the public’s dislike for political ads will spillover to product ads.  It is our opinion that there is a contrast effect for product/service advertisers. Exposure to negative political ads impacts the consumer feelings about politics – product/service ads are unaffected by these feelings. In comparison with political ads, product ads appear even more attractive and credible.

Advertisers create entertaining, emotional and humorous ads positioning products/services in the most attractive light. Positivity is the face of product/service advertising. In contrast, political advertisers typically anger, disgust and repulse their audience.

Advertisers should prepare for November 3rd (the day after Election Day) with renewed effort.  The inventory will be available and the public will be more receptive to your message.

Let us know if you agree with us and follow Weise Communications on Twitter where we approve our tweets.

24
Aug
10

Social media tips and tricks: Blogs

To complete our social media tips and tricks series, we wanted to cover some of the advantages that blogs can bring to the table.

According to eMarketer, 94.1 million adults were reading blogs in 2008. And astonishingly, the average time spent on a blog is much higher than the average time spent on a website.

The fact is that people are searching for the latest news online. And it is just not practical to update your website on a daily basis, but blogs are made to update daily – or even more frequently if you can produce content quickly. A blog can be a window into your office culture, a glimpse of your sales team, a peek at your originality or a reflection of your company’s genuineness. It shows clients and consumers the human side of your business and can be a great business tool.

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Keep posts short and focused. People are more likely to read blogs that will only take them a minute or two.
  2. Optimize blog content and titles so that it is more likely to show up in search engine results for specific topics.
  3. Share blog posts thought RSS feeds and social bookmarking.
  4. Enable commenting so readers can join in the conversation.

There are a lot of free blog services out there. If you’re still not sure if a blog is right for you or your company, why not start a personal blog and test it out. By testing the capabilities of a blog, you’ll be able to better determine if a blog is something for you.

Let us know if you have some other great tips and tricks to keep in mind in while blogging.

13
Aug
10

Social Media Tips and Tricks: Facebook

To continue our series on social media, we’ll talk about some ideas to increase your brand awareness on Facebook.

Fans bring value to your brand. In addition to the digital word-of-mouth marketing, studies show that Facebook fans are more likely to buy a brand’s products than non-fans. So Facebook can be a great way to find your brand’s consumers and market to them directly. Today, more than 45 percent of Facebook’s audience is over the age of 26, so it’s not just for brands trying to market to tweens.

Here are four tips beyond the standard tactics of creating a profile and updating it with content:

  1. Paid advertisements on Facebook can help increase the reach and impact of exclusive offers and campaigns.
  2. See past the number of fans you have and look at your brand’s level of engagement. A fan’s activity on your page will spread throughout their personal network and news feed. And engagement is much more important than simple fan numbers.
  3. Facebook users like short polls and surveys. There are excellent tools that both B-2-B and B-2-C companies can use to encourage participation on the company’s fan page – and you many actually learn something about your fans too.

Let us know if you have any other great ideas to make Facebook work for you and your company, and check out Weise Communications on Facebook.

09
Jul
10

6 Twitter Killers that Businesses Must Avoid

What is a Twitter Killer? Engaging in activities that virtually ensure your followers will unfollow you. If you are making the effort to engage customers, clients, peers, influencers and prospects on Twitter – you must keep your followers.  On Wednesday, The Side Note Blog delivered Six Twitter Fundamentals. Today, we look at six Twitter actions you must avoid.

1. Tweeting Irrelevant Information – This intuitively makes sense, but here is a rule of thumb to help you focus on providing good compelling content and ensure that you are engaging in the conversation:

  • One third of your tweets should be a direct broadcast of information.  Take a stand, have an opinion and get the conversation started.
  • One third of your tweets should be retweets of valuable content you have found. Don’t simply rely on the headline, be sure to read the content of what you retweet. Once you retweet, you are taking responsibility for bringing the information to the table.
  • One third of your tweets should be replies to other tweets. This is the clearest way to participate in the conversation. Be sure to keep an eye out for people responding to you and reply.

2. Constant Tweeting – You may be reporting on a live event and in a short period of time you have a barrage of tweets, or you may have found the cure to cancer. In either case, you can be excused for constant tweeting.  According to Dan Zarrella of Hubspot the average user tweets 4.4 times per day.  Zarrella says, “Users who tweet between 10 and 50 times per day have more followers on average than those that tweet more or less frequently. The ‘peak’ of the curve is at 22 tweets per day.”

3. Repeat the Tweet – If you consistently repeat the same tweet, you risk your followers tuning you out.  On one side of the argument, you could say not everyone is looking at their Twitter stream all time, so repeating the tweet just increases your chance to get noticed. However, those managing Twitter disagree, as repeat tweets or repeat links do not show up in Twitter search results. Regardless, you gain credibility by delivering unique, valuable content.

4. Selling not Engaging – If your broadcast message tweets consist of the following shameless self promotion, you are not engaging:

  • Sign up for my RSS feed
  • Check out my blog
  • Today only: 20 percent discount on my product

Instead, follow this plan; tweets will do one of the four following things:

  • Deliver compelling content
  • Share valuable information
  • Participate in the conversation
  • Give away something beneficial

5. Automatic Welcome Messages – If you want to thank someone for following you, you should do so personally. The disadvantage of the automatic welcome message is that you are sending a generic message that is likely to be perceived as spam.  There is a level of insincerity with an automatic message and skilled Twitter users are inundated with them.  Nobody likes insincerity and that makes you an easy target to unfollow.

6. Not Getting to Know Your Followers – You can make an impact on your followers if you pay attention to what they are interested in learning.  The best way to accomplish this is by reading their tweets, blogs, RSS feeds etc.  By placing your focus on your audience, you will develop an engaging Twitter persona.

Of course, there are other etiquette rules to follow like don’t spam, give credit for retweets, don’t type in ALL CAPS and steer clear of overusing hashtags. If you avoid the six actions identified here, you’ll be well on your way to engaging people, building trust and developing relationships – which is what Twitter is designed to do after all.

If you agree or have another Twitter Killer that we missed, please comment here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for future updates.

09
Jun
10

Seven Keys to Running a Successful Contest

ContestsContests are a fun and inexpensive way to build buzz for your business. Everyone loves a chance to win free stuff and the media loves contests too. If you do it right, your company can garner thousands of dollars in free publicity just by hosting and promoting a contest.

Another great advantage to holding a contest is that everyone who enters the contest becomes a prospect for your business. Make sure you send contestants to your website for contest rules and ask them to submit at least a name and email address to enter. In your rules, make sure you state that by entering, they are agreeing to receive email communication from your company.

Here are some keys to starting a successful contest:

  1. Make it easy for people to enter – if people get confused or have to jump through too many hoops to sign up, they wont.
  2. Be straightforward – make sure to tell people up front if they are signing up for something other than your contest.
  3. Make it newsworthy – tie the contest to a recent news item if you can.
  4. Have valuable prizes – you can enlist other business owners to go in with you.
  5. Spread the word – use public relations, social media and word of mouth to spread the news of the contest.
  6. Make it fun!
  7. And don’t forget to check the laws in your state before running a contest.

If you want to give away a large prize, like $1 million, make sure to check out insurance. Insurance on large prizes can help you hedge your bets in case someone wins the grand prize.

With these steps in place, you are standing in front of a perfect storm for a successful contest. But don’t stop there, once your contest is complete make sure to leverage the winner for more publicity opportunities.

Creative contest ideas help you get noticed by prospective customers and the media alike. The possibilities are endless; you are only limited by your imagination. So now it’s your turn. What other kind of contest would build buzz for your business? Submit your contest idea here or post it on our Facebook page.




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