Why PR Should Not Own SEO (Nor Social Media or Content Marketing)

Optimizing customer segments - source Lee Odden

Since Google's Panda and Penguin updates, social interaction and relevant content have become more important for search engine optimization (SEO) than ever before. Social media, content marketing and search (SEO and SEA) must be integrated. In fact, all forms of interactive marketing should be integrated as it's not about the media and tactics in the first place but about the customer, his networks and his needs. We have seen the same mistakes happen regarding social media and email, the main topic of one of our other blogs, Social Email Marketing. Some people now say PR should own SEO as social and content becomes more important, among others. We don't agree. PR should not own SEO just as it shouldn't own social media. The debate about ownership should by now be over. … [Read more...]

Main Barriers for M-Commerce: Mobile Behavior and Experiences Matter

M-commerce is set to soar

A recent survey by Webcredible looked in-depth at the behavior of smartphone users. The survey indicates that they do not use mobile commerce (a.k.a. m-commerce) more extensively for some easy-to-solve main reasons. When focusing more on the mobile shopping experience, many of these barriers for m-commerce can be overcome. The three issues that concerned smartphone users and prevented them from using their devices to engage in m-commerce revolve around:. Safety and security. Connectivity. Screen size. … [Read more...]

Do Consumers Trust Retailers More Than Social Networks?

Trust and private data

Consumers are said to rely more on the advice of their peers and even social connections than on businesses themselves. However, this doesn't mean they trust the social networks themselves when it comes down to sharing their data. Recently, the e-tailing group and MyBuys released some findings from a survey stating that the surveyed consumers feel more comfortable sharing data with retailers than with social networks. They do so even more when sharing data improves their shopping experience. I bet the same goes for other experiences as well. Most social networks suck at dealing with consumer data and don't take into account what their users want in that regard. They dictate on how they will use these data, and it does take some time to find where to change settings or stay up-to-date with latest changes. Even as someone who follows the industry carefully, I often lose track. … [Read more...]

Social Media Risk Management: Taking Measures

Social Media Risk Management - Altimeter Group

One of the most debated topics regarding social media is risk. Fear of reputation disasters and even of simple comments still withholds many businesses to use social media. While Gartner estimates not responding via social channels can lead up to a 15% increase in churn rate for existing customers and ignoring social media is not an option anymore, many organizations remain wary. It's always good to be prepared and know what potential risks you might be facing, but it shouldn't be an excuse not to get started. Nevertheless, make sure you have a social media risk management process in place. … [Read more...]

comScore: the Shopping and Customer Experiences Across Buying Stages


Excellent customer experiences and relevant touchpoints, across all channels, are rapidly becoming the focal point for smart marketers. Customer satisfaction is not a goal anymore. It is – or should be – a basic component of your business DNA. All customer experiences must be optimized to move beyond the level of satisfaction. Obviously, perfection is a goal and seldom a reality in business (or in life, for that matter). In the end, it’s about people. However, increasing customer satisfaction and raising it to the next level by striving towards perfect experiences is an ongoing task, whatever role you have in sales, marketing, management, support or any other function. Shopping-related customer experiences are obviously crucial, before, during and – let’s not forget it – after the purchase. … [Read more...]

IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark Europe 2012: the Facts

IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark 2012 – search and display

According to the IAB Europe AdEx Benchmark Europe 2012, the online advertising market in Europe rose to a total market value of €20.9bn in 2011, a year-over-year growth by 14.5%. This means that 1 in 5 advertising Euros in Europe is now spent online. IAB Europe emphasizes this growth is realized despite difficult economic circumstances. It should not come as a surprise that the investments in online advertising keep growing. The same goes for investments in other digital channels and tactics. … [Read more...]

B2B Content Marketing: How are European Marketers Applying it?

B2B Content Marketing: What is it & How are European Marketers Applying it?

Content marketing is one of those terms that are tossed around a lot today and not well understood by many marketers. To put it as simply as possible, content marketing is about providing valuable content to your prospects and customers via a variety of channels. Content marketing is not a sales brochure or a spec sheet or anything of that sort. Content marketing is not just sterile data, but insight coming from expertise. You’re adding value to the product by showing people not what it does, but what people do with it. You have to think more like an editor and ask yourself what serves the interests of customers and prospects. What’s going to get them talking about your brand or your product?  Take off the sales hat, don the editor’s hat and ask yourself if the content serves the reader. That’s a good baseline to start your content marketing strategy from . … [Read more...]

Marketer’s Important Objectives for Social Media in 2011

Marketer's Important Objectives for Social Media in 2011

MarketingSherpa has posted an interesting chart derived from a survey of 3,300 marketers asked to indicate their most important social media marketing objectives they hope to achieve in 2011. The question was: What are the most important objectives for your organization’s social marketing program to achieve in 2011? Increasing website traffic via social media integration was number one at 56%, followed by improving brand awareness or reputation at 51%. Also top of mind at 51%, was the desire to develop an effective and methodical social marketing strategy. Achieving measurable ROI from social was most important to half of those surveyed, while converting social media members, followers and the like to paying customers was the primary to 45%. Achieving or increasing measurable lead generation from social marketing came in at 40%. Why is it that only half of those surveyed thought that achieving a measurable ROI from social media was important? Is this because the newness of … [Read more...]

Google Survey Says Marketers Should be Ga-Ga for Smartphone Growth

Understanding Smartphone Users

Google has released a whitepaper with some interesting stats about smartphone users. They surveyed 5,013 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 who are smartphone users. While the survey is US based, I think there’s still some good insight to be had for European marketers. People use smartphones just about everywhere. They travel with them from home to office to school and even at the doctor’s. In fact, 93% of respondents use one at home, while 87% have it with them on the go, be it commuting or just out for a walk. You’ll also be happy (but not likely surprised) that 77% have one with them when in a store (seeing images of fish in a barrel are you?). The power of the smartphone is that it’s as personal as any tech device can be and travels with us wherever we go. We don’t go to it. It comes with us. The smartphone is a pocket PC which allows us to access the power of computer technology, but doesn’t tie us to a desk. When asked how they had used the smartphone in the past week … [Read more...]

Highlights from European Social Media and Email Marketing Study

Highlights from European Social Media and Email Marketing Study

I’ve just been reading The European Social Media and Email Marketing Study from eCircle and I thought I’d share some of the high level observations with you. The survey was conducted online with just over one thousand participants. When considering how people use email and social networks, eCircle reported that 73% of respondents have at least one social network account. The study also concluded that Facebook is the social net with the largest multiplier potential – regarding reach, number of friends and usage intensity. Those seeking information on products and companies via social remains relatively low at just 28% and that seems consistent with other surveys. Only 32% of those using social networks are fans or follow a company brand and half of those fan/followers are doing so because they are looking for discounts or special offers from the brand. Are you aware of this desire? Are you doing anything to meet it? When it comes to advertising, not surprisingly, social … [Read more...]

Report: Future Plans for Focus in Social Marketing

Report: Where Marketers Plan to Focus in Social Media

Yesterday I went over some numbers from the Social Media Marketing Report 2011, which showed how much time marketers invest in social media and how a number of things influenced the channels they focus on. Today, let’s look at where marketers plan to put their efforts in the future. 73% plan to increase usage of YouTube (videos), blogs, Facebook and Twitter while 86% stated they’ll reduce their efforts in MySpace. I’m sure you are utterly shocked about that MySpace percentage. According to the study, YouTube came out on top as the channel where most marketers plan to increase their efforts. 77% stated they would be doing more on YouTube and/or video marketing. 82% of those companies with 1000 or more employees indicated this as a key growth area. I’m not all that surprised by this. Video marketing isn’t as easy to jump into as other social channels and can be a little intimidating. So, its growth has been a bit slower, but as marketers witness the incredible power of videos … [Read more...]

Report: Where Marketers are Focusing in Social Media

Report: Where Marketers are Focusing in Social Media

According to the Social Media Marketing Report 2011, a significant percentage of marketers are investing a good amount of time each week in social media. 58% reported they were using it for six hours or more each week. 15% reported that they spent more than 20 hours a week on social media. That’s a substantial investment of time for anyone and it’s rather interesting what factors influence the percentages. The experience factor How much experience you have with social seems to influence how much time you spend on it each week. 63% of people with three or more years of experience spend more than ten hours a week in social activities. While only 41% of those with one to three years of experience spend as much time. The age factor Not surprisingly, age also plays a role in how much time marketers spend on social media. The younger the marketer, the more time spent on social. 20 to 29 year olds spend the most time in comparison to other age groups with 41% spending 11 hours or … [Read more...]

Western Europe to See Smartphone Usage Double by 2015

Western Europe to See Smartphone Usage Double by 2015

According to a new report from eMarketer, mobile web usage in Western Europe will double by 2015. There have certainly been a number of predictions the past few months hailing huge growth in the smartphone market around the world and the UK, France German, Italy and Spain are another fertile growth market according to eMarketer. Smartphone usage is booming. According to eMarketer’s estimates, 58 million of the EU-5 population will access the internet from a mobile device this year. That’s a pretty large number and as those people fall in love with mobile access, they’ll spread the word to many others. The report also states that Europeans in general are already fairly accepting of mobile marketing efforts. It claims consumers in Europe already have a willingness to interact with brands and have an appetite for perks such as coupons and special offer alerts. … [Read more...]

Mobile Internet: Does Your Content Travel Well?

mobile internet

Power users crave power and when they have power they crave more power. When they don’t get more power, they get angry, turn green, grow gigantic and break buildings. Well, OK, they don’t actually go “Hulk” and tear down cities, but they do get plenty frustrated. The power user has smartphones and discovers, consults, consumes and shares content over the mobile internet... One of the most attractive things about smartphones is their ability to provide connectivity on the road – in fact, that’s the most attractive thing about them in my opinion. However, that use is still heaviest among the early adopters or “power users” and it’s not always smooth surfing and latte all around for them. According to the “2011 Mobile Internet Attitudes Report” by Antenna Software, 20% of US mobile phone users access the web at least daily and usage is most frequent among those under 45. Men were 7% more likely to use the web on the go each day than women. I wouldn’t think that is a lead which is … [Read more...]

Whitepaper: B2B Blogging Trends in 2011

B2B Blogging Trends in 2011

B2B blogging can be tricky, but rewarding all the same. The hardest question may well be whether you even want to start one in the first place. That’s one of the questions the folks from Aggregage posed to a number of B2B blogging thought leaders in a new whitepaper titled: B2B Blogging Trends in 2011. It’s a 42 page snappy presentation of tips and insight which will help your organization make the right moves when it comes to blogging for business. And when you consider that only 50% of businesses out there have blogs, you can see the need for some thoughtful expert advice in this area. As well, it also means that opportunities to leverage blogging and establish your company as an authority abound in the coming year. Amazingly, with one of the most powerful marketing tools in existence today, you still have time to get in on the ground floor! After reading this report with the wealth of insight from people such as Jay Baer, Tom Pick, Samir Balwani and Erik Qualman, you shouldn’t … [Read more...]

Marketing And Branding in Social Gaming

Social Marketing : Social Gaming

My college programming professor always used to say that computer games were a complete waste of time and if you had spare moments, he expected you would use them to practice your coding. It was only after I graduated that I found out he was a big player of Sid Meyer’s Civilization. I wasn’t so much shocked as I was reassured that gaming is something even the most serious minded engage in. I’m not surprised that social gaming has taken off as it has. Facebook games such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars allow one to interact and gain status within a community governed by rules which everyone (well almost everyone) abides by. Games allow for interaction while reassuring us that everyone is being guided by the same rules as we are. In the year of social media (2010) we also saw social gaming burst forth with huge numbers of people playing. Since the first online gaming networks came along in the late nineties, producers have struggled with revenue models. While subscription seemed to be … [Read more...]

Will Twitter More Than Triple Revenues In 2011?

Twitteradvertisingrevenues eMarketer predictions featured

People may be all “a twitter” about Twitter, but can it make any money? That’s a question that comes up quite a bit regarding one of the leading social media platforms on the planet right now. The buzz about Twitter is undeniable, but the discussion regarding it’s effectiveness as a marketing channel is also inescapable. Generating some revenue growth certainly won’t hurt where credibility is concerned and eMarketer states that some of that cold hard credibility should be coming Twitter’s way this year. eMarketer is predicting Twitter could earn $150 million in revenue in 2011. That’s a big boost considering they brought in about $45 million in 2010 – the first year they sold advertising. It should keep getting better according to eMarketer, which is predicting Twitter revenues will grow to $250 million by 2012. But eMarketer cautions that Twitter must live up to the hype. Twitter must continue to grow its user base and convince marketers it has value in social media … [Read more...]

How Canadians Use Facebook: The Generational Perspective

facebook usage in Canada

According to a poll of 1,362 Canadians conducted by Abacus Data of Ottawa, generations differ in how they use social media and how they view privacy online. According to the Abacus Data results, just over 60% of those over 60 years old identify themselves as Facebook users. Usage increases gradually as age decreases: nearly 70% of 45-59 year olds, nearly 80% of 30-44 year olds, and 91% of millennials (those aged 18-29) have a Facebook account. That’s a pretty hefty number of us who seem to be taking to Facebook and social media as would a duck to water. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the water in question is completely frozen over for a good part of the year. I’ve always thought that our climate makes us prone to what I used to call the “cabin fever curve”, once summer roles around, internet usage drops faster than the US dollar compared to the Canadian. However, that’s just my own anecdotal evidence and not really based on figures. Before you start … [Read more...]

Survey Looks At ROI Of Web Site, Email, Mobile And Social: Comments And Context

digital channels spending forecast episerver

According to a recent survey by EPiServer conducted at ad:Tech, nearly 60 percent of respondents realized the highest return from email marketing and their company website. Those same channels are top of the priority list for spending among 46 percent of respondents. So, do corporations just not get social and mobile or are these channels simply not effective? “The survey results clearly illustrate what many in the marketing world already suspect, that while marketers are experimenting with social media, they are also struggling with the practicality and ROI of these channels and driving the bulk of investment to the more “traditional” digital channels, “ said Bob Egner, Vice President of Global Marketing at EPiServer. “The reality is that as marketers we’re still early in our understanding of how to best use social channels such as Facebook and Twitter and that clearly more work needs to be done to effectively connect social and mobile marketing to lead generation and revenue … [Read more...]

Social Relationships: Why You Want Old Friends And Not Only Digital Natives

Changes in social networking site use by generation feature

A report from Pew Internet: Generations 2010 is full of fascinating facts and insights regarding web usage demographics. In fact, the analysis is going to fill more than one post to be sure. Let’s start off with some figures which caught my eye right away. The percentage of those Americans who do go online has remained relatively constant since 2006 at 79%. While most generation demos have an adoption rate of at least 70%, the report finds that this drops off after 65. Only 58% of adults between 65 and 73 and 30% of adults 74 and older go online. So, younger generations sill have a disproportionate representation on the web right now. Social Network Adoption Rate Of ‘Older’ Generations Grows Faster It won’t come as any surprise that younger generations are still more likely to use social network sites, but here’s an interesting tidbit for you: the fastest growth in this regard has come from internet users 74 and older (aka G.I Generation).  Their usage of social networking … [Read more...]

PR And Social Media Survey: Mixed Findings For 2011

vocus 2011 strategy

Vocus has released their 2011 Planning Survey and there are some very interesting findings and stats highlighted in the report. This year Vocus teamed up with Deirdre Breakenridge to produce their PR planning report. As Breakenridge points out, corporations are realizing that social conversations about their brand will happen with or without them (and as always, I have to stress that these conversations have been going on forever) so, it’s best to be a part of that conversation: “be where your customers are, remember?”. She also observes that small social victories for organizations which dipped their feet into social this year will lead to more focus next year. Vocus surveyed 508 professionals, with about half being PR and the rest a mix of social media specialists, advertisers and search marketing professionals. 23% of respondents said marketing is leading the social media charge with PR contributing and 22% said PR is leading their efforts with a variety of departments … [Read more...]

How People Engage With Ads On Facebook

facebook usage eyetracking heatmap

Several studies were recently unveiled about the ways people engage with advertising on the king of social networks, Facebook. Here is an overview of one of them, heatmaps included. A recent study shows that advertising on the Facebook platform works. People read the page updates and are likely to notice the targeted ads as well. This means that if you run a business, you can benefit from having a Facebook page where you can send out updates to your customers and create dialogue. The study was conducted by the National College of Ireland on behalf of Mulley Communications. 40 people from Ireland participated in the test that used eye-tracking to document their online behaviour when using Facebook. Some key results regarding user engagement with Facebook ads The top three uses of Facebook were: 1. to interact with friends, 2. chat with friends, and 3. look at news feeds. Users like an average number of 28 pages. Younger users tend to like more pages. People have … [Read more...]