What can Yahoo Learn from Google?

internet marketing tools, seo tool, social media marketing, Earlier this year I noticed an exodus of marketers, techies and PR types flocking towards Google+. Along with their experience and interests they brought conversations, content and insight to the table which helped Google+ reach new heights of activity. Google+ also received a lot of flak for its slow adoption rate, when in reality it’s actually one of the fastest growing social networks out there! But how did they do it?

Google+ built a creeping strategy around the assumption that their incentives would attract a certain type of person. Their target market shared mutual interests for marketing, PR, technology, and blogging. Together the users of Google+ proudly create, share and +1 content because Google rewards it’s users with SEO benefits from +1’s and higher exposure through Authorship. Writers are also very eager to have their faces beside their work as it increases familiarity and works towards a sense of credibility and trust with the specific author.

I’m sure all of you know that Yahoo recently acquired Tumblr and is showing signs of having learned from Google’s creeping strategy. But instead of going after the techies and marketing types it’s focusing its reach on the creatives of cyberspace.

While marketers are said to a harmonious blend of scientist and artist it’s evident by the platforms being fought for that you can’t find a harmonious blend of interests in a single platform. While Google is building its foundation of users at an alarming rate, Yahoo is strategizing against its competitors by claiming a very valuable resource: creativity.

Even though their contributors are painfully tacky in their articles I haven’t lost faith in this old gem, Yahoo –because with the help of Tumblr finding creative writers will be a cinch.

Author: Anthony Baisi

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They’ll Listen if You Speak their Language: Native Advertising Infographic

With the internet growing old, the soft glow and one page scrolls of infinite blogs seem to grow more mundane each day, causing our expectations for better design, advertising, and interaction to rise. With content marketing making a big impact in the online advertising industry late last year and early 2013, we’ve seen a multitude of sponsored and promoted stories fill our social networks. These stories are relevant to the stuff we like and the people in our networks, but the promoted article is still displayed whether we expressed interest or not.

Native advertising is the process of integrating sponsored content into the organic experience of the platform. In this post: 15 Things You Probably Never Knew About Celebrities brought to you by, Cottonelle reaches the Buzzfeed audience in a way that is parrellel to Buzzfeed’s brand image. By taking on a familiar or preferred voice, a brand can reach a new or existing customer segment by playing on the fable of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

goingnative
Author: Anthony Baisi

Demographics of Social Networks: Who’s Who?

Yeah, so we know social media is important and that fact that it’s getting older gives us no excuse for understanding and integrating it into our business structures. We’ve come a far way in this information age and we’ll only be moving forward with apps being developed constantly as well as technology breakthroughs -such as Google’s Glass.

Social media websites are just like cities, towns or Countries  if you’re Facebook. Most of these websites attract a certain type of person with common interests, opinions or activities. These demographics are important to marketers and anyone working in social media as they allow us to peer into the culture and behaviour of the website’s users. Once we know who we’re talking to it becomes much easier to connect to the users and start genuine dialog.

The infographic below breaks down the demographic profile of some of the webs largest social networks. The criteria is broken down into:

  • Gender
  • Education Level
  • Income Level
  • Age
socialmediainfographic
Infographic by Flowtown

Social Media Demographics: Who’s Using Which Sites? is brought to you by, Flowtown.

Author: Anthony Baisi

What is SEO or Google’s Panda and Penguin? How do they Affect my Page Rank?

Search engine optimization is when you optimize your on-site content as well as your content off-site for Search Engine’s crawlers. Search engines release crawlers that literally crawl the web and look for new data or updates to existing data. The crawlers take this information and report it back to the search engine who then determines how credible a website is based on the quality of on-site and off-site content. However, there are said to over 200 factors affecting your page rank but a large portion of your placement can be controlled through smart content and proper tagging.

There are four sides to SEO and a lot more to Page Rank, however for brevity’s sake we’ll only discuss SEO:

  • Positive On-Site SEO
  • Negative On-Site SEO
  • Positive Off-Site SEO
  • Negative Off-Site SEO

Once the search engine can justify your credibility and quality of content it will reward you by giving you preference in the search engine result pages. The higher the quality the more Google rewards you, and don’t forget about Bing and Yahoo, they like quality too.

Search Engine Optimization really got a jolt when Google released its high quality algorithm, Panda in April, 2011. Even though this algorithm was released in 2011 to improve the quality of search referrals it still continues to remind us that quality is better than quantity.

In April, 2012, Google released another quality algorithm but this one is targeted at decreasing the prevalence of webspam. Google labels webspam as using blackhat techniques to increase web presence through loophole tactics that don’t benefit the user, but rank the website higher than it deserves.

Some blackhat techniques you should note:

  • Keyword Stuffing – overloading your website with keywords resulting in unnatural looking content.
  • Trolling – Creating an emotional or irrelevant response in order to conjure conversation through any means necessary –even being an ass.
  • Link Schemes – excessive link exchanges, buying or selling links.
  • Cloaking – Misleading users and search engines through different content and URL’s, think re-directs.
  • Duplicate Content – Deliberate duplications in order to trick search engines, seriously though? The jokes on you.
  • Hoaxes – Posts and articles that say they will donate, or award a certain achievement for comments, likes, or shares. I know you’ve seen these on Facebook (100,000 shares and this cute baby girl gets a puppy!)

Google’s Panda Algorithm:

Google’s Penguin Algorithm: 

How do we get good page ranking and build solid SEO that reflects our quality and integrity?

How about good old fashioned, quality networking? Try to build relationships with fellow bloggers, marketers and strengthen your network and communications.
Thought leadership, start a blog that allows guest contributors and open commenting. This will allow people to share worthwhile resources and discuss these topics with interested visitors as well as the website’s staff. Eventually, if the content keeps them coming back you will have fostered a community of though leadership. Another branch of Thought Leadership, which includes many of the same elements of is called Opinion Leadership.

You can also subscribe to Google Webmaster Central Blog’s RSS feed to stay update with the latest Google announcements.

Some points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to try – Remember what I said about keyword stuffing, produce your content to provide complete and comprehensive information on the subject. Create something that keeps them coming back.
  • Be nitpicky – All errors should be cleared, dead links, grammar, spelling, check facts –remember journalistic integrity.
  • Be yourself – No, no, no copying. No duplicates either.  Be original.
  • Avoid confusion – Yes, flash is cool and so is making money on advertising, but don’t go and let the ads take over your website.
  • Birds of a feather flock together – Try not to post on blogs or sites that seem shady or sketchy (using blackhat techniques). Google will associate those links with your website and this is a good example of negative off-site SEO.
  • Read lots – Finding inspiration is a big part of being original, take time to read, discover new blogs, writers, designers, illustrators, whatever you find remarkable.
  • Be Social – Share your knowledge and don’t be afraid to share your best tactics either. People come to communities like this to learn, we can all reach our goals if we share what we know.

    Author: Anthony Baisi

Twitter Targets Advertisers

TWITTERVERSEIn 2010, Twitter announced that it would begin showing advertisements. Up until now, it has allowed people to promote their Tweets or to promote their accounts for the purpose of gaining followers and exposure. In March of 2012, Twitter launched limited availability of a self-serve tool for purchasing ads and in February, 2013 they launched an Ads API for programmatic buying of huge campaigns. Unfortunately, for three years businesses could only access these tools through invitation only.

However, it wasn’t until last week that Twitter announced their ads could target keywords of Tweets, or Tweets that users engage with, allowing Twitter to compete with Google and Facebook ads. Twitter strived to make the new self-serve interface as user friendly as possible allowing just about anyone to navigate without question. Once you decide on what media you want to use and your budget you can build your own campaign by targeting your market’s location, and interests. Coupled with promoted Tweets and accounts, users can also use Twitter’s Business Analytics to track the impact of their marketing efforts.

“…Today we’re taking the next step and opening up Twitter ads to everyone in the US; Every brand, every business, every account, every individual…”

Twitter has proved itself as a worthy form of communication as major news outlets refer to the Twitterverse for insight on opinion, breaking news, or even disasters from around the world. With social media constantly evolving it’s only a matter of time before the majority of businesses are fully integrated with all platforms. This means that businesses are competing for a limited amount of followers and more so, the engagement of those people within their own networks. When the chance comes around to amplify your voice and reach more people it only makes sense to sign up and try to be heard.

Author: Anthony Baisi

How to Monetize your Social Media

http://www.myviralweb.com/featuresWith social media getting older by the minute, people are getting wiser and finding their way around the clutter. Sure, there’s plenty of nonsense and useless memes but there’s still relevant and creative merit out there waiting at every corner. If you’re a small business owner, finding the right platforms that run parallel with your business goals is a tedious but rewarding task as they will soon be the catalyst in your online strategy.

I’ve found that for every business structure there is around 4 or 5 social networks that are relevant and hold potential for business development. For instance, a business that is service based would have less success than a business that is product based on Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr. But those that are service based can have more success on Twitter, Linkedin, or even Four Square.

The point is that there is a unique environment in every social media platform that demands a certain type of content and promotion. If you’re a little cafe or restaurant don’t be afraid to get interactive with your clients, put a sign in your window indicating a social media contest: Enter your picture of your favourite XYZ dish and you’ll be entered to win a free XYZ meal every day for a month! You can do this with food, coffee, or pretty much anything you can take a picture of.

The tedious part in finding your business’ preferred social networks is A/B Testing. I sat down last night with a photographer friend and we went over the social networks he was on and the ones he’s made sales on. Obviously, you want to focus more on the channels that drive your development but you also want to diversify and reach into different segments without stretching yourself thin.

Don’t feel by setting up a Google+ account that you have to stay consistent with it, if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. However, pay attention to where your competitors are, if they’re already on Google+ maybe you should stay on and post content regularly. Going back to my photographer friend, he didn’t want to post his work on Pinterest because of their user terms. I suggested that he could just post the pictures that he’s already sold on Pinterest in hopes of using them for promotion and potentially driving traffic to his point of sale.

I think a lot of new business owners, free lancers, artists, and people with little online marketing know how often get intimidated by social media marketing. I’ve found that people are often misinformed, intimidated or they feel like it doesn’t apply to them or their business structure. Look at what we’re achieving with social media:  civil uprisings went viral, we increased political involvement, we documented and monitored war, and we ensured a sense of internet freedom.

Social media isn’t going anywhere and with its maturity more people will catch on. The question is: will you be left behind?

Author: Anthony Baisi

What’s Missing in your Social Media Strategy?

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone underwater as a kid? First, it doesn’t really work and second, the life guards don’t really appreciate it. Listening to the market is one of the most important things that social media allows us to do. It allows you, the business owner, or marketer to follow trending conversations, curb dissatisfaction with proper customer service and to win over those second guessers. Before we had social media, marketing was considered a monologue like talking in an empty room, or underwater for that matter. Social media brought the guests to the party and now it’s up to you to mingle, to create connections that are relevant and that could potentially benefit your business.

Before we get into the benefits of social media and the importance of branding I wanted to introduce the trend of online ventures, entrepreneurs, and business that we’ve seen in the last couple of years. In lieu of this continual climb of online businesses there will be an increased demand for social media and online marketers in general. With that being said I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to see a lot of social media marketing blunders and champions in the next few years as well. I’m sure that we all agree when I say that we would like to see more champions out there as that means us, as marketers are doing a great job!

When I’m working with clients to build a strategy for their online campaign and social media accounts I stress diversification. For example: Say my client is a photographer and when targeting people on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, etc. I suggest they target: stylists, salons, acting/modeling agencies, fashion boutiques, etc. This is instead of just targeting photographers, photo shops, photographer communities or anything in the photography industry. I believe that by starting with a diversified manner in mind there is more opportunity for the business to grow in multiple directions.

Diversifying your market helps to build segment pools for your target market which would eventually lead into a primary segment, a secondary, and so on. Building pools early in the launch allows the business to see which demographic they are getting the most reactions from. The segmented pools also suggest which segments deserve more attention and allocated resources. The only thing to be careful with when you diversify your market is the content you share, will it offend some people or will it be shared with positivity?

I also believe that branding is a very important element in running social media personas. What I mean from that is the “gut feeling” you get from viewing a brand’s profile page. Anyone should be capable of building an image of what the company is all about through the content that they share. Make sure the content you share is relevant, consistent and witty in some manner to encourage people to engage, share or like it. Although, those kittens or miniature pigs are cute you have to ask yourself if this is consistent with your company’s branding, but that’s what personal pages are for, right?

Author: Anthony Baisi