Archive for June, 2010
A new study suggests that online advertising in Britain will grow by 7 per cent by the end of the year and will eventually outstrip the amount of cash that companies spend on advertising via such traditional media as print and television.
A report by eMarketer, called UK Online Advertising Spending and Trends, discovered that online marketing had been spared the effects of the recession in a way that other kinds of media advertising had not been able to avoid.
Last year, advertisers in the UK spent a total of £3.54 billion on online advertising, which was 5.7 per cent more than in the previous year. Conversely the amount spent on advertising in other more traditional media plunged by 16 per cent.
eMarketer senior analyst Karin Von Abrams, who wrote the report, commented: “Internet ad spending continued to grow during the economic downturn, online marketers are well placed to capitalize on the recovery, whether this is slow and halting, or steady and more rapid.”
She said that the company expects spending on online advertising to level out next year, before rising yet again because of the enormous marketing opportunities presented by the 2012 London Olympics.
The extent to which online marketing has avoided the worst of the recession was underlined in a separate statement by the bosses of WPP and Publicis, both of who told the Cannes Lions advertising festival over the weekend that the advertising market was improving – in contrast to other sectors.
Mr Sorrell said that there are “no signs whatsoever” that European clients were reducing their marketing spending, although levels had yet to return to the peaks of 2008.
Global goods colossus Unilever’s senior vice-president Laura Klauberg stressed the importance of social networking sites such as Facebook in online marketing and advertising last week at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.
Delegates from all over the world gathered in the south of France to discuss the changes and challenges facing the industry and were all singing from the same hymn-sheet when it came to the pivotal role of social media over the next decade and beyond.
In previous years, special guests have included the bosses of the Microsoft corporation and search engine giant Google, but this year’s online marketing focus was well and truly on Facebook, with a special appearance for its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Ms Klauberg, who is Unilever’s senior VP for global media, insisted that “social media isn’t just another channel. It’s not just about Facebook, it’s much bigger as it changes the relationship with the consumer, forcing us to change the whole mindset of our business.”
She revealed that her company is increasing its budget for digital advertising by at least 50 this year and said that it is increasingly reliant on online marketing to complement its advertising in more traditional media such as television or print.
Procter & Gamble is another company that is beefing up its social media role. The firm’s chief marketing officer Marc Pritchard told delegates that “the moment I realized the huge potential of social media was when I joined Facebook two years ago.”
With its ability to generate “instant feedback” on brands, services and products, Facebook – along with Twitter – are increasingly being targeted by forward-thinking companies for their unique contribution to advertising and marketing.
Mobile phone internet services firm dotMobi has recently launched a new application designed to help firms who wish to take their online marketing campaigns to mobile handsets.
The app is aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and helps them to design and create websites that are specifically designed for smaller mobile phone screens. With online marketing – as with all marketing – it is always necessary to grab a user’s attention and hold it.
The goMobi platform helps SMEs to develop sites which are not only mobile-friendly, they also recognise which sort of device is being used to access them and reconfigure their content for the correct format.
The sites will be hosted in the dotMobi cloud to save SMEs the extra expense of hosting additional sites. The company’s chief executive Trey Harvin said that goMobi “connects SMEs to their customers significantly faster because a goMobi site delivers only the content mobile customers need, while making it easy for businesses to set up and maintain a unique mobile website.”
“Since a goMobi website works on all mobile handsets, it ensures a business is available on the complete range of mobiles available, not just iPhones and Android,” he added.
“Site owners can build a site in minutes and then focus on their business, while their mobile website works to bring in new customers.”
Mr Harvin went on to insist that one of the greatest strengths of goMobi was its simplicity and user-friendliness.
Although goMobi is currently only available in the US via name.com, the parent company is planning an international roll-out within the next few weeks. So UK-based businesses that wish to refine their online marketing will not have to wait long.
The social networking phenomenon Facebook has proven to be one of the most remarkable success stories of the modern age, growing from a way for college friends to keep in touch, it now has an unprecedented global reach with over 400 million active users.
The sheer number of Facebook users has also made it a fertile ground for online marketing, with Facebook adverts fast becoming known as an ideal way for businesses to reach the right kind of customer.
This is because Facebook stores many of a user’s personal details, plus a list of their likes and dislikes – making it far easier for online marketing experts to target the right consumers for their products.
Because of this unique new marketing opportunity, there has been a concomitant increase in the number of organisations and publications dedicated to helping businesses reconfigure their online marketing strategies to take maximum advantage of the situation.
A lot of these businesses teach marketing departments or small business owners how to use Facebook features such as the “Like” option, which helps build an internal hierarchy within the website and swiftly shows which ideas, brands or products are popular – and with who.
With extra marketing applications such as Facebook ads in place, and more on the way over the next five years, it looks as if the social networking site will be reaping even greater financial rewards – it already makes more than a billion dollars a year and expects to increase this tenfold by 2015 – and it makes sense for any business committed to online marketing to try and get on board.
Some internet analysts have suggested that the growing popularity of Microsoft search engine Bing could change the way that online marketing operates, as it muscles in on the domination of the search market by Google.
With Bing just over a month old, research by comScore found that, along with the Yahoo! search engine, it was gaining ground on the market leader, with implications for anyone involved in SEO marketing.
Across the USA in May, an incredible 15 billion searches took place. Of these, Google remained at the top, with 63.7 per cent of all searches conducted using its engine. Nevertheless, this was still a smaller percentage than in April – and both Bing and Yahoo! were the ones making up the ground.
Google’s rivals are considering teaming up to better challenge its supremacy. Recently, Microsoft senior vice-president Yusuf Medhi said that his company hopes to have integrated Bing’s search technology into Yahoo’s applications by the end of 2010.
Mr Medhi tolf the Search Marketing Expo in Seattle: “Right now, Yahoo engineers are joining Microsoft and they’re sharing ideas. We will power the algorithm results and the paid search results – Yahoo has flexibility to add things on top.”
Although online marketing companies should not rush to shift their Google-based strategies towards Bing or Yahoo! just yet, it makes sense for anyone involved in SEO to keep an eye on their direction of travel and take Google’s rivals into account.
With the prospect of closer working between Bing and Yahoo! by the end of the year, it would be foolish to discount the chances of a more formal partnership between the two in the near future.
Search engine giant Google has begun offering independent financial advisors (IFAs) free training and support services to help them brush up their online marketing skills and make themselves more visible on the internet.
With online commerce becoming increasingly vital to the success of businesses, Google has pledged to help IFAs make the most of the burgeoning demand for online financial advice.
From the beginning of next month, Google will also host a downloadable online seminar complete with demonstrations showing IFAs how to use Google’s free online resources.
Recently it published a White Paper entitled “IFAs in the Digital Space,” which stressed that many such advisors and their companies are failing to take advantage of this growing market.
The paper is available to members of the social networking website IFA Life and looks at online searches for financial advice services. Google revealed that in February this year, the search term “unbiased financial advice” was used 84 per cent more frequently than at the same period in 2009.
Despite this surging interest, Google warned that IFAs are not throwing themselves into the online marketing and SEO campaigning necessary to tap into this growing market for financial help. Most IFAs either do not have a website at all, or are lax when it comes to keeping it up to date and promoting their business.
Google UK head of finance Ian Morgan told Money Marketing magazine: “We want to offer more support to IFAs looking to grow their business through effective use of search marketing.
“Our aim is to offer an educational starting point to these financial advisers. Consumers are looking for guidance in their wealth management and we believe that the internet can play an important role in helping them find the appropriate support.”
Over the past few months it has been brought to our attention from several existing AdWords customers how people can sometimes be guilty of wearing blinkers when it comes to the setup and running of there campaigns. The use of a main generic keyword is fine and it will always be the case that these keywords will generate the vast majority of traffic for your campaigns. This doesn’t mean that more specific searches and product keywords should be discounted due to there lower volumes.
What is important when running your adwords campaigns is to think more about the cost per conversion. Time and time again on campaigns over several different industries the main generic keywords due to there competition from other advertisers always have a higher cost per conversion than a more longer tail phrase or specific product keyword. It is logical the more generic the keyword the higher the chance of a conversion the more specific the better.
Say for example we are targeting the keyword of flowers. A user comes along who wants purple flowers but you only have red flowers for sale. Right away there is a wasted click now I know this is a very simplistic example but this can be applied to any industry online with many varients.
Now there will always be an element of the balancing act and we are by no means suggesting ditching your favoured high traffic generating terms but adding to the campaign with a selection of more specific keywords linked to specific items will cost a lot less per conversion. This is where conversion tracking is important and where having an online shop and google adwords professional can be so helpful.
So how does conversion tracking work ? Well put simply a piece of tracking code is placed on the checkout page of the online shop or perhaps the thanks for your enquiry form. This way we can determine exactly the cost per conversion of a keyword. This way we can know for a fact “generic keyword 1″ costs for example £20 per conversion and “specific keyword 1″ costs £15 per conversion and you can see for a fact how generic and specific keywords work in generating conversions.
Right now a competitor will be using a range of specific keywords and generating sales in your industry for a lot less than you are having to pay for your main generic keyword. Now Specific terms will probably not reach the heights of the generic term with volume but if you could get a sale on your site for less money it makes logical sense and it would be complete madness not to embrace specific and longer tail keywords on your google AdWords campaigns.
Don’t be left behind with your AdWords campaigns the amount of money you could save over a 12 month period could run into thousands depending on your budget. The savings of 10 to 20% are not uncommon from the use of conversion tracking on an AdWords campaign. We have experienced this first hand and have the statistics to prove it.