5 Tips to Better Optimize Your PPC Budget

Whether you are trying to acquire new customers, generate more leads, or simply sell the product, paid advertising can come to your rescue. The advantage of paid advertising is that people are alreadysearching for your product/service. As opposed to conventional marketing, a paid search audience already has the intent to buy or learn more about your product.

Apart from the benefit of having qualified traffic, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has many other positives. First off, it is easy to start. Setting up your account is simple; you can start off with a budget that you are comfortable spending. Secondly, PPC offers flexibility. You can test out different versions of ad copy, headlines, and call-to-actions. Lastly, paid ads are great way for increasing brand awareness. Even if people don’t click on your ad, just showing up in the search results for your key terms builds trust factor and brand recognition.

However, there are challenges involved in paid advertising. With more marketers turning to PPC advertising, the paid search space is becoming competitive.


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Whether you are trying to acquire new customers, generate more leads, or simply sell the product, paid advertising can come to your rescue. The advantage of paid advertising is that people are alreadysearching for your product/service. As opposed to conventional marketing, a paid search audience already has the intent to buy or learn more about your product.

Apart from the benefit of having qualified traffic, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has many other positives. First off, it is easy to start. Setting up your account is simple; you can start off with a budget that you are comfortable spending. Secondly, PPC offers flexibility. You can test out different versions of ad copy, headlines, and call-to-actions. Lastly, paid ads are great way for increasing brand awareness. Even if people don’t click on your ad, just showing up in the search results for your key terms builds trust factor and brand recognition.

However, there are challenges involved in paid advertising. With more marketers turning to PPC advertising, the paid search space is becoming  competitive. Leer más “5 Tips to Better Optimize Your PPC Budget”

Refining and Maximizing Your Pitching Strategy

Product News Pitching –One attendee brought up a good inquiry – since a popular announcement for clients is new product news, what is the best way to entice the media to cover them? The panelists confirmed something we’ve heard many times: they will rarely cover straight product news. However, there are a few ways to make the information interesting to the media:Tie the news into company strategy. Does the new product reflect a recent shift in what the company is doing as a whole?Explore other angles related to the company. Is there an interesting story about the CEO or a non-profit initiative the company is doing?
Going beyond your client list when pitching trends – When asked what makes a really strong pitch, Katie made a great point that a lot of us lose sight of when writing trend pitches. According to her, using examples in your pitch from companies or brands that aren’t your clients not only shows a reporter that you’ve done your research and know the industry, but establishes your pitch as an actual trend; rather than merely news from your client. As PR professionals, we are constantly getting pressure from clients to get media coverage and it’s easy to put our blinders on and only focus on using their examples. Katie’s advice is a great reminder that looking at the bigger picture and staying on top of industry news pays off and gives you a better shot at your pitch becoming a story.
“On Background” versus “Off the Record” – One question that came up at the event was whether or not to advise clients to say things as “off the record.” As PR practitioner, our general rule of thumb is that nothing is ever off the record; however the panel seemed to be much more laid back about that question (or maybe we just had an especially lovely handful of journalists at this event!). Katie then explained to the audience the difference between “on background” and “off the record.” “On background” means that your client can offer information; however, saying upfront that it’s on background means that the journalist won’t attribute them as the source for the information. Depending on the journalist, they’ll either find a different source for the information or leave it as anonymous. When advising our clients, however, we think we’ll still stick with our “nothing is off the record” mantra and play it safe.


http://451heat.com/
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Image of Panel taken by @BostonKateAs media budgets are tightening and new social media sites are popping up left and right, they are varying the ways we can connect with reporters. We as PR professionals are constantly changing our media relations strategy. Tuesday night, three members of our public relations team here at 451 Marketing, attended a panel hosted by the Pub Club of New England, where several members of the Boston media unraveled a part of that equation and lent some insights from “the other side”, about how we can improve our pitching content and strategy such as how to get that elusive product coverage. On the panel were Jim Finkle (@techwriterjim),technology and cyber security reporter for Reuters; Katie Johnston (@ktkjohnston), business reporter for the Boston Globe; Erin Kutz (@erkutz), associate editor for Xconomy.com; Lisa van der Pool (@lvanderpool), CBS Boston contributor and reporter for the Boston Business Journal and Joe Roche (@BostonNewsGuy), news assignment manager for WCVB-TV.

 

 Below, our team shares a few key takeaways…: Leer más “Refining and Maximizing Your Pitching Strategy”

Thoughts on “Social Marketing to the Business Customer”

Typically, one would assume that B2C companies would be more active on social media than B2B companies; however, Gillin cites that in late 2009, 81 percent of B2B companies maintained company profiles on social networking sites while only 67 percent of B2C companies were doing so. After reading the first chapter of his book, the reasons why seemed obvious.

B2B businesses can thrive on cost-effective social marketing for a number of reasons. First off, it is all about substance. For a company like Dell whose customers are spending millions of dollars in a single sale, there is no need to waste time and money on glitzy consumer profiles, and fancy advertising. Social marketing brings knowledge sharing and expertise to the forefront, which is what B2B customers are really looking for.


451 Marketing prides itself on using inbound marketing solutions for its clients. Likewise, new media guru, author and speaker, Paul Gillin, co-authored his third book titled, Social Marketing to the Business Customer with Eric Schwartzman. This book focuses on the importance of using social marketing to facilitate B2B sales and relationships.

Typically, one would assume that B2C companies would be more active on social media than B2B companies; however, Gillin cites that in late 2009, 81 percent of B2B companies maintained company profiles on social networking sites while only 67 percent of B2C companies were doing so. After reading the first chapter of his book, the reasons why seemed obvious.

B2B businesses can thrive on cost-effective social marketing for a number of reasons. First off, it is all about substance. For a company like Dell whose customers are spending millions of dollars in a single sale, there is no need to waste time and money on glitzy consumer profiles, and fancy advertising. Social marketing brings knowledge sharing and expertise to the forefront, which is what B2B customers are really looking for.

Through a social online presence, B2B companies are able to humanize their brands.  When a customer is having problems with a product, he doesn’t want to waste time waiting for a support hotline. He wants to talk directly to the engineers and designers who will understand his specific needs and tailor advice to his particular situation. Allowing customers and experts to freely discuss a product’s shortcomings, and celebrate its successes creates a succinct community that gives the company a personality, and expresses its values. This is especially important for many B2B companies that might come off as cold, heartless, technology corporations. We’ve all heard about companies’ reputations getting slashed online. by angry customers, which obviously is a scary risk, but Gillin thinks it’s well worth it. By taking the risk to empower customers, the company shows confidence and transparency, and humanizes its brand. Leer más “Thoughts on “Social Marketing to the Business Customer””

Get Hired Using Videos, Blogs and other Social Media

With 9.2% nationwide unemployment and an increasing number of qualified people looking for jobs, applicants are becoming more creative in the job search. For example, the paper resume has taken a back seat to the “digital interview” as YouTube is becoming an emerging platform for job seekers to showcase their expertise, skills and talents to prospective employers.

Using YouTube as a platform for job applications is more personalized and can be more effective than a resume when done correctly. Video is a great way to “brand yourself,” reach a broader audience and highlight special talents that may not stand out on a traditional resume. Additionally, video is a great way to show your personality and demonstrate who you are beyond words on paper.

Blogs are another useful way to pop up on the radar of a hiring manager or corporate executive. Use blogs to strategically place yourself directly in front of targeted companies, by using search optimization and strategic content creation. However, make sure that you create relevant content and attract attention in a positive way. SlideShare is also another great way to communicate your knowledge and creativity in your field of expertise.

Some Tips:


With 9.2% nationwide unemployment and an increasing number of qualified people looking for jobs, applicants are becoming more creative in the job search.  For example, the paper resume has taken a back seat to the “digital interview” as YouTube is becoming an emerging platform for job seekers to showcase their expertise, skills and talents to prospective employers.

Using YouTube as a platform for job applications is more personalized and can be more effective than a resume when done correctly.  Video is a great way to “brand yourself,” reach a broader audience and highlight special talents that may not stand out on a traditional resume.   Additionally, video is a great way to show your personality and demonstrate who you are beyond words on paper.

Blogs are another useful way to pop up on the radar of a hiring manager or corporate executive.  Use blogs to strategically place yourself directly in front of targeted companies, by using search optimization and strategic content creation.  However, make sure that you create relevant content and attract attention in a positive way.  SlideShare is also another great way to communicate your knowledge and creativity in your field of expertise.

Some Tips: Leer más “Get Hired Using Videos, Blogs and other Social Media”

How to Build a Smart Powerful Keyword List

Keyword research can be a daunting task, but it forms the basis for paid and non-paid campaigns. Many people make the mistake of:

* Only targeting their product names as keywords;
* Using only a handful of keywords in optimization and PPC; or,
* Targeting the wrong keywords altogether!

It is necessary to target the right keywords from the very beginning of your search marketing strategy, in order to get more clicks for your paid ads and to rank higher in SERPs.

The process of research begins with brainstorming. Try to think what customers or potential clients would actually type in to find your products/services. Sit down with your friends, colleagues or customers to come up with some terms. Try to avoid very generic terms, like ‘jeans’ for example, if you are not a very well established website with very high domain authority. These extremely competitive phrases are very difficult to rank well organically if you are just in the beginning phases of website development/website optimization, and are often very expensive in pay-per-click. During this stage, you might want to check your competitors’ websites and ads just to get an idea of what they are banking on. After this initial stage, you should have a list of at least 15-20 relevant keywords.

There are many keyword tools available in the market, but would suggest using“The Google Keyword Tool”. As of this week, this tool (which replaces the former Google keyword tools) is out of beta testing. Enter your shortlisted keywords in the keyword tool to find out different variations of the keywords you came up with during your brainstorming and research. Along with finding keyword variations, you will get an idea of how often the keyword is searched for, as well as how many other online advertisers are trying to get traffic on the phrase. After this stage, you will have a better idea of which keywords you should and shouldn’t be targeting.


http://451heat.com/2010/10/04/how-to-build-a-smart-powerful-keyword-list/

Keyword research can be a daunting task, but it forms the basis for paid and non-paid campaigns. Many people make the mistake of:

  • Only targeting their product names as keywords;
  • Using only a handful of keywords in optimization and PPC; or,
  • Targeting the wrong keywords altogether!

It is necessary to target the right keywords from the very beginning of your search marketing strategy, in order to get more clicks for your paid ads and to rank higher in SERPs.

The process of research begins with brainstorming. Try to think what customers or potential clients would actually type in to find your products/services. Sit down with your friends, colleagues or customers to come up with some terms. Try to avoid very generic terms, like ‘jeans’ for example, if you are not a very well established website with very high domain authority.  These extremely competitive phrases are very difficult to rank well organically if you are just in the beginning phases of website development/website optimization, and are often very expensive in pay-per-click.  During this stage, you might want to check your competitors’ websites and ads just to get an idea of what they are banking on. After this initial stage, you should have a list of at least 15-20 relevant keywords.

There are many keyword tools available in the market, but would suggest using“The Google Keyword Tool”.  As of this week, this tool (which replaces the former Google keyword tools) is out of beta testing.  Enter your shortlisted keywords in the keyword tool to find out different variations of the keywords you came up with during your brainstorming and research. Along with finding keyword variations, you will get an idea of how often the keyword is searched for, as well as how many other online advertisers are trying to get traffic on the phrase.  After this stage, you will have a better idea of which keywords you should and shouldn’t be targeting. Leer más “How to Build a Smart Powerful Keyword List”

LinkedIn Introduces New Features for Company Profiles

* Users can now see how the company has grown over time on LinkedIn as well as profiles of employees at the company
* Members can also see statistics about the employees’ job functions, educational degrees, years of experience and colleges/universities attended
* Users can see their connections with the companies and employees, and how the connections changed over time
* Company profile pages now have a Careers Tab, which gives users a way to quickly check out job listings at companies as well as learn about the hiring practices, and find out the details of other employees at a particular company. Users can also use the career tab to connect with a company’s recruiters directly.

I think these changes are helpful additions for LinkedIn users. They make it much easier to connect with other professionals and learn more about companies as well as find new career opportunities.


Back in April, as some of you may recall, LinkedIn began to allow users to follow companies listed on the social networking site. In the first phase of the  feature, company profiles were just a way to receive an information stream from the business, similar to Faceboook’s company pages. But now, LinkedIn is offering several new features to companies and the users who follow them.

Leer más “LinkedIn Introduces New Features for Company Profiles”

The Power of Local Search: Create Awareness & Increase Customer Base

Often small, local businesses face the question of how to grow visits to their websites, and ultimately, to their businesses. SEO and PPC are the traditional, proven ways that can boost site traffic and leads to all sites; but, for small and local businesses it makes great sense to start with local search optimization. Local search has been around for some time, but very few people know how to take advantage of this free Google feature.


Often small, local businesses face the question of how to grow visits to their websites, and ultimately, to their businesses. SEO and PPC are the traditional, proven ways that can boost site traffic and leads to all sites; but, for small and local businesses it makes great sense to start with local search optimization. Local search has been around for some time, but very few people know how to take advantage of this free Google feature.


Leer más “The Power of Local Search: Create Awareness & Increase Customer Base”

Tips for Promoting Your News via Twitter

Recently the 451 team listened in on a free Business Wire webinar titled “Press Releases and Twitter: What to Expect When you Tweet Your News Release.” Experts on the call were Monika Maeckle and Joseph Miller with Business Wire. As an agency specializing in blending PR, social media and search marketing for integrated campaigns, the 451 team is practiced in using Twitter to promote client news, but webinars like this one almost always provide a few useful tips. Business Wire polled the audience listening in, and we were surprised to learn that 25% of those polled weren’t on Twitter and out of the 75% of listeners using Twitter 65% of them use Twitter.com as their primary Twitter application.


Recently the 451 team listened in on a free Business Wire webinar titled “Press Releases and Twitter: What to Expect When you Tweet Your News Release.” Experts on the call were Monika Maeckle and Joseph Miller with Business Wire. As an agency specializing in blending PR, social media and search marketing for integrated campaigns, the 451 team is practiced in using Twitter to promote client news, but webinars like this one almost always provide a few useful tips. Business Wire polled the audience listening in, and we were surprised to learn that 25% of those polled weren’t on Twitter and out of the 75% of listeners using Twitter 65% of them use Twitter.com as their primary Twitter application. Leer más “Tips for Promoting Your News via Twitter”

And first place goes to: Social Media

According to a Nielsen study released last week, social media and online games are now more popular than email.

The study found that Americans spend nearly a quarter (23 percent) of their time online posting comments, pictures and videos on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, making it the most popular online activity among Americans.

Nielsen found online gaming is the second most popular online activity, accounting for ten percent of online use, while e-mail ranks third at a little over eight percent.


According to a Nielsen study released last week, social media and online games are now more popular than email.

The study found that Americans spend nearly a quarter (23 percent) of their time online posting comments, pictures and videos on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, making it the most popular online activity among Americans.

Nielsen found online gaming is the second most popular online activity, accounting for ten percent of online use, while e-mail ranks third at a little over eight percent. Leer más “And first place goes to: Social Media”

Social Media College Courses

Nearly all businesses are using social media marketing in their marketing plans. Social media marketing is a hot topic that is increasingly popular. College grads are expected to understand every aspect of social media as they enter the workforce. The problem with this is that many colleges have not established social media courses designed to prepare students for marketing jobs. How are students expected to know the ins and outs of social media marketing, if they can’t take a course focused on the topic? Sure, we all know how to friend someone or tag pictures, but we can’t learn how to market businesses effectively through standard Facebook use. (And that goes for other social media outlets as well) Many colleges are starting to explore the same notion, and are beginning to develop a curriculum centered on social media. Colleges are now starting to realize that social media is not just a trend, and that there is real opportunity for students to learn and excel in future jobs, if they are equipped with an understanding of social media.


Nearly all businesses are using social media marketing in their marketing plans. Social media marketing is a hot topic that is increasingly popular. College grads are expected to understand every aspect of social media as they enter the workforce. The problem with this is that many colleges have not established social media courses designed to prepare students for marketing jobs. How are students expected to know the ins and outs of social media marketing, if they can’t take a course focused on the topic? Sure, we all know how to friend someone or tag pictures, but we can’t learn how to market businesses effectively through standard Facebook use. (And that goes for other social media outlets as well) Many colleges are starting to explore the same notion, and are beginning to develop a curriculum centered on social media. Colleges are now starting to realize that social media is not just a trend, and that there is real opportunity for students to learn and excel in future jobs, if they are equipped with an understanding of social media. Leer más “Social Media College Courses”

Out With the Old, In With the New

We have entered into an age where almost everyone depends on the Internet to support his or her daily needs. Whether it’s to look up directions to a new restaurant or to chat online with an old friend, we’re constantly using the Internet. Let’s face it; we’d be lost without the web. It’s interesting to think about life before the Internet, when there was only print, radio and television to keep us entertained and up-to-date with current events. But now, the Internet has altered our traditional habits and has even changed the means by which professionals and businesses are approaching new ways to enhance their marketing strategies.


We have entered into an age where almost everyone depends on the Internet to support his or her daily needs. Whether it’s to look up directions to a new restaurant or to chat online with an old friend, we’re constantly using the Internet. Let’s face it; we’d be lost without the web. It’s interesting to think about life before the Internet, when there was only print, radio and television to keep us entertained and up-to-date with current events. But now, the Internet has altered our traditional habits and has even changed the means by which professionals and businesses are approaching new ways to enhance their marketing strategies. Leer más “Out With the Old, In With the New”

Google’s Caffeine Finally Live

After months (has it already been a year?) of hand-wringing and speculation in the search industry, Google finally announced Caffeine is live. It’s an appropriate name for the update, since it seems like Google’s been injected with a jolt of the good stuff to produce faster, fresher results.


After months (has it already been a year?) of hand-wringing and speculation in the search industry, Google finally announced Caffeine is live. It’s an appropriate name for the update, since it seems like Google’s been injected with a jolt of the good stuff to produce faster, fresher results.

Leer más “Google’s Caffeine Finally Live”

LinkedIn becomes more like Facebook


I noticed today on my LinkedIn account that I now have the ability to attach links/images to my status updates (see below screenshot). Cool! As the saying goes, “pictures are worth 1000 words,” so I think this will help communication among LinkedIn connections.

I am curious how this will be received by other LinkedIn users. What do you think about the feature?

http://451heat.com/2010/04/21/linkedin-becomes-more-like-facebook/

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451 Heat » What would Facebook’s location-based feature mean for Fan Pages?


In keeping with the social networking theme of 2010, Facebook hinted the site soon will allow people to post locations in addition to status messages. In a blog post on Friday, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, provided only a couple details about how the places feature would work, but did confirm that the social networking site is developing features that use people’s locations.

If the location feature integrates Facebook Fan Pages it could have very interesting results for businesses on the social networking site. The feature could make Fan Pages for businesses (i.e. restaurants, salons, bars, etc.) more valuable in terms of generating awareness, driving more engagement and appearing more frequently in Google’s Place Pages or Yelp’s listings.

Tagging an update or post with a venue that has a Fan Page, may also allow a user to attach comments/reviews and photos to the venue’s Fan Page. Location-based posts will drive more traffic to Fan Pages and create more engagement between businesses and clients. If the feature is designed to include Fan Pages, I think we’ll see a huge increase in the amount of Fan Pages on the site.

It’s rumored that Facebook will make the official announcement regarding the location feature at the annual f8 conference on April 21st.

How do you think Facebook plans to integrate locations into status updates? How is Facebook going to make its location-based feature different? Tell us what you think Facebook should do!

http://451heat.com/2010/03/29/what-would-facebooks-location-based-feature-mean-for-fan-pages/

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My Unplanned Adventure


Yesterday, I had an unplanned adventure.

I left my house late yesterday and forgot my iPhone. I realized my mistake about half way to work, which was too late to turn back. “Ah well, I guess I can live without it for one day,” I thought.

What proceeded was a nightmare…

At about 9:15 AM, I left for my appointment located in an unfamiliar part of the city that is sprawling with factories, desolate parking lots, roads without sidewalks and broken payphones. Upon getting lost trying to find my destination (Mapquest, you suck), I started stressing because I couldn’t call my appointment to let them know I was running late. I also couldn’t call my office to make the call for me or get any assistance. Fun!

At exactly 9:50am (10 minutes before my appt.), I finally see someone that I can ask for directions. YAHOO! I asked, “Excuse me sir, could you tell me where Milton Street is?” To which the polite, but unfortunately rather unhelpful gentleman replied “No hablo Ingles.” Leer más “My Unplanned Adventure”