The 10 things you need to build a Brand

Monday, June 29, 2009

Here are 10 things that you should have.

  1. Symbolism. The most successful brands represent something greater than themselves. A lifestyle, a philosophy, an emotion.
  2. A story. Most major brands have a story. Examples: if you like Ford vehicles, you might be familiar with the story of Henry Ford or if you love your Nikes, you probably know how the Nike swoosh logo was created.
  3. A track record. When your business is first starting out, don't fool yourself into believing that your marketing efforts are 'brand building' efforts. They're not because to build a real brand, you have to have an extensive track record with consumers.
  4. Trust. When you've consistently delivered for your customers long enough, you'll gain the type of trust that many brands have. Case in point: a friend of mine always reminds people that he won't buy an automobile that isn't a BMW. He's had a good experience with his and trusts so much in the company that he doesn't believe there's a better-made car.
  5. Expectation. When a consumer chooses a product or service because of brand association, he or she is buying an expectation. Perhaps it's the expectation that the branded product is of higher quality or that the service will be provided in a more efficient manner.
  6. Differentiation. Expectation is often borne of differentiation. Many brands offer products and services that are commodities but they're successful in developing some differentiation for their products and services that consumers are sold on.
  7. Imitators. Imitation is the sincerest of flattery and you're probably not a 'brand' until you have competitors trying to copy you.
  8. Market leadership. Top brands are usually looked at as leaders in the markets they compete in.
  9. Adaptability. The best brands are flexible and capable of reshaping and reinventing themselves and their messages over time. Coca-Cola is a good example of a brand that has never abandoned its core product but has evolved its message over time to keep up with changes in the marketplace and society at large.
  10. A strong marketing presence. Although it's nice to believe that you can market yourself for free on Facebook and Twitter, the reality is that brands aren't advertising on television and radio because they're dumb. Building and maintaining brand equity requires awareness and awareness requires broad marketing efforts.

The Top 10 Twitter SEO Tips

Friday, June 26, 2009

1. Choose a good handle

Be sure to pick an optimal handle that’s relevant to your brand or campaign and easy to remember. Your handle (also known as your Username) then becomes part of your customized Twitter URL such as twitter.com/yoursite or twitter.com/yourtopic. Doing this creates a static address for future search indexing, which also helps usability for other cross-channel promotions. So choose wisely! The fun challenge: doing all this while keeping your name short and succinct so it’s easily tweetable.

2. Select an account name wisely

Optimize the Twitter account name to best reflect your brand. Your name is what appears next to your profile, which can be different than your handle/URL. You obviously want an account name that promotes yourself, your company or your brand. You should also consider which variation of you brand name has the most search frequency every month.

3. Make your bio count

Optimize your Twitter page’s “Bio” line so it includes the most important, mission-critical phrases for your brand. Take advantage of all 160 characters! (Yep, that’s right: They give you 20 more characters than a normal tweet.) Your bio is consistently indexed so its contents are what provide your Twitter page with its core relevance.

4. Spread the word

Now think about ways to build the link reputation of this newfound social web address. For example, you can integrate your Twitter URL into your website by placing a call to action on the site for your customers to follow you on Twitter. You could also integrate your Twitter URL within your site’s Global Footer, which appears at the bottom of every page of your site. Both of these options offer usability to your site visitors and help drive your Twitter URL up in the search engines.

5. Remember your URL

In the account settings, be sure to add your website’s URL or perhaps use it to promote your presence on another social platform, for example, yoursite.com. This is a great way to drive traffic back to your destination of choice; although, truth be told, the link does not provide any offsite reputation – a.k.a. SEO link juice – due to a “Nofollow” attribute that Twitter has in place. (Sorry Twitter spammers!)

More Twitter Seo Tips

Google Opens Up Digital-Education Portal

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Google has spent a lot of time in the past few years trying to quell fears it's out to disintermediate advertising agencies. Now it's undertaking a major effort trying to educate them on all things digital.

Enter AgencyLand. It may sound like an amusement park, but it's actually an online educational portal Google is developing for ad shops, one that likely will help the search giant deeper entrench itself in an ad-agency community that's often been wary of it.

The AgencyLand platform, now in beta with select agencies, houses a ton of Google-centric content created for agency staff. Naturally, much of it is focused on digital topics. There are webinars, a searchable library with more than 200 marketing case studies and short, on-demand video segments featuring Google leaders such as Chief Economist Hal Varian. It also aggregates Google's array of ad tools, such as a media-planning tool that connects advertisers and publishers and a website optimizer, which helps measure user behavior on web pages.

Google maintains it has altruistic intentions of bettering everyone's digital knowhow, but the program surely doubles as a marketing effort. Given that Google offers advertisers the chance to essentially help themselves create highly measurable and relevant, if unflashy, ads, agencies have been wary that Google could one day get between them and clients. Many shops -- perhaps realizing the search giant simply cannot be ignored -- have opted to work with Google rather than against it. Most publicly, French holding company Publicis Groupe has publicly touted partnerships with Google to work on digital ad technology. But there have also been moments of friction, such as when Martin Sorrell, chief of holding company WPP, took to calling Google a "frenemy" (which he later amended to "froe").

So could AgencyLand just be the latest PR flourish in a Google-Madison Ave. history that's seen plenty of them? That depends on where you sit. "We're not going to deal with an agency that doesn't know Google," said one digital expert at a blue-chip marketer. "It's a barrier to entry."Getting schooled
Asked whether Google's intention is to use AgencyLand for marketing purposes, Spencer Spinnell, director-agency development and strategy, said: "Our objective is really that it's an educational tool. ... I think it's good for digital media at large."

While there are some reasons for skepticism, Google, which needs agency buy-in for a host of reasons, has big ambitions for AgencyLand. Earlier this year it asked 10 shops across different holding companies, including Ogilvy, Initiative, Starcom and Carat, to serve as its guinea pigs while it works out the kinks. It's in the process of rolling the platform out to a second batch of shops for testing (DraftFCB, Martin Agency, DDB, Digitas, Group M, BBDO, 360i and Razorfish) and estimates it will make AgencyLand widely available to agencies late this year or early next.

Usage of the portal is free. The search giant said it had received requests from the agency community for training that would help employees stay ahead of the digital curve. The timing of the platform's release is ideal, Google said, because it enables agencies to continue boosting their digital chops even at a time when most are cash-strapped.

"In a down economy, training is one of the first things to get cut" Mr. Spinnell said. He said he believes AgencyLand offers a way for agencies to "take their knowledge workers and make them smarter."

The biggest piece of feedback from agency users so far has been a recommendation to make the training sessions shorter and more digestible. Google went back to the drawing board and created a series of 15-minute graphical seminars with voice-over instructions. "The idea is that a planner or creative can [complete segments] while eating lunch at their desk," Mr. Spinnell said.

Certification
AgencyLand is tailored to each agency, co-branded with each company's logo, and dotted with pictures of agency heads and customized content. Agency management tracks individual employees' progress, and quizzes are offered at the end of each course.

The user interface as it stands now is Google-esque -- simple, tons of white space, no bells and whistles -- and the content is very Google-centric. Courses suggested for TV media buyers and planners, for example, are "How YouTube complements Television Advertising" and "Getting the Most Out of Google TV." For search specialists, "Google Maps and Ads" and "AdWords on the Go: Mobile Activation." Google is working toward embedding a certification program.

"There's no question the content is largely skewed to our platforms, today, but that's because we are in early stages," Mr. Spinnell said. "AgencyLand ... will expand and include the agency's own training materials and competitive materials."

"Google really has turned around; they really want to help agencies," said Amy Auerbach, senior VP-director of digital at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative, New York. "One of the challenges that agencies face on a daily basis is training staff. Some agencies have established programs and some do not, and that was something that we in the digital space were kind of clamoring for."

Initiative has historically offered a mix of training programs that are informal, such as its "lunch and learn" sessions, where experts give presentations, or more formal, such as a mandatory, nationwide digital training session the shop held earlier this year. "The good thing about AgencyLand is that it's a technology platform, so it was very turnkey for us," Ms. Auerbach said.

Internal affairs
Still, agency leaders are quick to note that Google's agency training program doesn't trump internal ones, and should be used only in tandem with existing training programs.

Last fall, WPP-owned Group M introduced its first major online training program, dubbed Mspace -- a play on the name and style of News Corp.'s MySpace. More than half of the agency's staff -- some 1,700 staffers -- has already gone through the program, and "75% of those people have been people outside of digital," said John Montgomery, chief operating officer-North America at Group M Interaction.

Group M, one of AgencyLand's select test agencies, is in the midst of assembling teams that will work on the platform in beta and report back to the search giant.

"Even something like Mspace has to be used as an adjunct to a formal digital training program, for digital and for nondigital people," Mr. Montgomery said. "If it was their only training I would be worried, and the same would be true about AgencyLand."

Microsoft is launching its own agency-targeted training program this summer, called Digital Academy. It's not an online training tool like Google's but rather in-person educational sessions, expected to push the three-screen approach (web, TV and mobile) that Microsoft evangelizes.

Official Source

Social Networking: 10 Steps to Finding Your Target Market in Facebook

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How do you find your target market in Facebook? Whether you're an experienced social networker or just a newbie, here are 10 secrets to growing your target market network in Facebook:

1. Update-to-date profile and/or Fan page: Before you begin a "friending" (i.e. request to become another's friend), be sure that your profile is up-to-date with an accurate description of what you do, your interests, and your contact info, including your web site URLs. If you have multiple businesses, invite people in your appropriate target market to become fans of your niche-specific fan page.

2. Follow the gurus. Follow leaders in your field/industry and "friend" them. Anytime you make a friend request, include a personal note, as that will improve the likelihood that they will accept your request. Say something like, "I'm a big fan and have been on your ezine/blog list for several years. I'd love to have you in my network in Facebook." Once they have accepted your invitation, make comments about their status updates to help you get on their radar and in front of their networks.

3. Friends of friends. Take a look at the people in the network of your industry leaders, as they are probably part of your target market as well, and send friend requests to those of interest to you. When you friend someone that you only know by association, send a personal note as well, like "I discovered your profile in 's network and would like to get to know you better by adding you to my network."

4. Use groups. Look for groups that may contain your target market. In your search for groups, use keywords that describe your niche, your industry, your geographic area, the interests of your target market, or whatever other terms you might use to find members of your target market. Join and begin to participate in the group so that they begin to get to know you. Then peruse the member lists for good prospects, sic as the members you've connected with or have gotten to know. Since you won't be able to view the profiles of the group members because they aren't in your network, much of your decision-making about whom to friend may be based upon appearance or how you might be connected to them via other friends in your network.

Read more about: 10 Steps to Finding Your Target Market in Facebook

Ten Tips For Google Image Search

Google Image Search could be used in many ways.

1. If you want to know if a person is a man or a woman and the name doesn't help, do a search for the name.

2. If you don't know the meaning of a word, the pictures may help you.

3. A better search for Flickr. Google uses information from other sites that link to Flickr photos, so you may find Google search better.

4. Find what's interesting about a site, by looking at the pictures included. For example: wired.com.

5. Find a new wallpaper for your desktop by restricting your search to large images. You can automate this using an application.

6. Find random personal pictures, using standard file names from digital cameras.

7. Type the name of a painter and you can take an art class.

8. Install a Greasemonkey script so you can view the original version of the image directly by clicking on the thumbnail.

9. Find the color of a word. "Word Color is a windows program that uses Google Image Search to determine the color of a word or string of words. It goes out there, retrieves the top 9 images and loops through all pixels, calculating the average hue, which is later converted to a color."

10. If you want to grab search results, GoogleGrab is a tool that downloads images from Google Image Search. It even supports batch search.

Official Source

Bing to be Integrated into Search Engine Reports

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recently Microsoft released a new search engine called Bing, which has begun sending traffic to websites with Google Analytics installed. Bing currently shows up as a referring site in the Traffic Sources reports. We are actively working on an update that will include Bing under the default list of search engines in Google Analytics.

If you absolutely can't wait for the upgrade, you can add the following line to your Google Analytics tracking code as a temporary solution. Note, this workaround is recommended for advanced users only. For more information on adding custom configurations to the Google Analytics tracking code, read this article.

pageTracker._addOrganic("bing", "q");

Official Source

SEO And SEM: What’s The Difference?

Monday, June 1, 2009

If you haven’t been around Internet marketers very long then you might get a little confused about how terminology is used. Even the veterans sometimes disagree on the labels and get confused between the blurring lies. But I thought I’d take a little time to explain the difference between search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). They’re not the same thing.
Essentially, SEM is a broader term and includes SEO. Here’s the distinction:

SEO is the process of using content, links, keywords, and meta tags to improve a web page’s search engine rankings. Search engine optimizers tend to get a little tunnel vision where rankings are concerned and make that the No. 1 priority.
SEM involves any task of marketing a web page through a search engine and may not necessarily be concerned with organic rankings. Typically, SEM refers to organic SEO as well as paid search models like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Some marketers also include display advertising because Yahoo! and MSN both offer display advertising on their search pages. I think you could also include some aspects of social media since many social media marketing campaigns can have search implications attached to them, intentional or not.

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