Archive for February, 2011
A survey published recently has found that the most respected brand in the UK is search engine giant Google.
A firm favourite with online marketing providers and SEO writers as it is, Google easily came top in the TNS Corporate Reputation Index – a list which rates companies on a number of factors, including the quality of their services, the levels of trust they inspire in customers and their customer services themselves.
Some 70 per cent of customers polled found Google’s quality of service ‘very good’ or ‘excellent,’ TNS revealed.
TNS head of stakeholder management Gemma Hicks said: “We are seeing high reputation scores being driven mostly by a strong reaction to company success, proving that people are a lot more rational in their assessment of reputation.”
The ever-increasing budget for online marketing and advertising was the key theme last week of a major speech by the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) head of research, Mark Blayney Stuart.
Mr Blayney Stuart was addressing a special event organised by the Isle of Man branch of the CIM, on the subject of the future of internet marketing. He said that more people were now investing in online marketing than ever before, predicting that “the online spend will overtake offline spend in the next three years as increasingly there will be a shift in budgets to online marketing rather than offline.”
He also stressed that targeting the right audiences was an essential part of an effective internet marketing strategy, saying that “our experience is that people don’t actually go ‘surfing’ the internet. We all stick mainly to seven or eight sites that we are familiar with and trust.”
Mr Blayney Stuart also gave several examples of successful online marketing campaigns, such as Sainsbury’s, which communicated with potential customers through Yahoo Answers, and the viral success of the Cadbury’s gorilla advert, which spawned many online imitators.
A study of online marketing habits by research company ForeSee Results revealed this week that only 3 per cent of the traffic that commercial websites receive comes from social media sources such as Twitter or Facebook.
The researchers warned that these findings showed that the vast majority of companies are failing to sufficiently exploit the social networking phenomenon.
After looking at the habits of over 10,000 British internet users, ForeSee found that the most common reason that people gave for visiting one website over another was the familiarity of the brand – some 46 per cent of respondents said that this was the main factor that would put them at ease when shopping online and reassure them that they were shopping safely.
Another 13 per cent of respondents said that they would choose a certain website because of the recommendation of a trusted search engine, such as Google or Yahoo. This indicates that the search engine giants still have a lot of influence over the online marketing process.
However, only 3 per cent of respondents said that an encounter on a social networking site had led them to a commercial website – strongly suggesting that there is still a vast untapped hinterland for internet marketing and online advertising campaigns to exploit.
Researchers were also quick to point out that none of the reasons for ultimately visiting a commercial site appeared to have any greater effect on whether the visitor made a purchase on that site. In one example, 74 per cent of customers bought a familiar-branded product and later recommended it to a friend. This was almost as high a proportion as those who were directed to a product via a friend on a social network.
In particular industries the views and mind sets of the individuals within those industries can be set completely on the way a website looks and obsession with how aesthetically pleasing a website looks. Graphic designers and Video production industries are examples where the ultimate aim of the individuals is to create a site that looks amazing. An amazing logo and classy, modern look are what people within these creative industries salivate over.
The integration of a flashy selection of images followed by an embedded video quite Franky turns these people on. At times when consulting with a traditional web design company the combination of a creative industry mind and web designer without the backup of internet marketing really can be like the blind being lead by the blind.
You can explain the fact that “you do realize sir that without any form of either search engine optimisation or pay per click advertising no one will visit your site”.
Right away the creative mind still obsessed by there flashy graphic in amazement returns with a statement along the lines . “People visit our website following meetings we don’t need to promote for keywords our business doesn’t work like that” is a standard reply.
When you view the sites google analytics to discover the site has generated 5 visits over the past 6 months but they continue to dish out thousands of pounds on a video production that will be lucky if it generates a handful of views an Internet Marketing savy individual looks on in amazement.
It is the equivalent of opening a Mcdonalds Restaurant on a oil rig in the North Sea. It will look great but only a hand full of people will ever see it. But you try telling the video production man that the video he brags about to all and sundry is as much use as a chocolate fireguard embedded in his new flashy site as no one will see it and you will get a blank expression.
A lack of understanding is obvious but a lack of willing to understand is also a problem. Lets not paint all the creative minds with the same brush as there are examples of company’s out there with a broad enough mind who understand the potential of this area. It is these companies that a flourishing online and generating natural leads and traffic and are not stuck in the dark ages still reliant on a few contacts for the next job.
One contact V’s hundreds of thousands of new ones via Internet Marketing really is a no brainer.
“Set the bar high from the outset”
The importance of a positive approach when beginning any Internet Marketing promotion is absolutely vital. If you are a new start up online it can seem daunting coming up against sites that have 10 years of history or more. A 10 years start you may think is a mountain of link building and page rank that is insurmountable.
Quite frankly this negative approach from the very beginning before the start of your online project can seriously effect its potential. Lets take the online media direct site for instance over 12 months ago our aim was to achieve a first page listing on google for the “Internet Marketing” phrase people in the industry thought we were mad. Now we could have taken an easier route and bailed out taking a longer tail phrase such an “Internet Marketing company” for instance. But Twelve months down the line our site is listed within the top 5 in the UK.
The old saying “You have got to be in it to win it” should still echo in the mind of all Online marketing professionals. How many times in Sport for instance is a football game won by a team with more positive attacking tactics. A Boxing bout won by the more confident adventurous boxer the parallels are endless and its this mentality which we take with all projects. An unwillingness to accept second best and it is this approach which will see you from the outset take a large step above your competitors.
Online nothing is impossible and whether your goals include a keyword and position or a set number of followers via social networking set the bar high. The advantages of being a small start up business over a more established company are huge and turning what can be perceived as a negative into a positive are vital and in essence the catalyst for success over a longer term period online.
Social networking is a game changer and harnessed professionally alongside traditional seo and cost per click marketing it is a potent combination.
Multimedia search website Startup Qwiki finally opened to the public last week following an injection of some $8 million in funds.
Startup Qwiki was created by Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of social networking phenomenon Facebook, and the co-founder of YouTube Jawed Karim, but until now has only been available to private users.
However last Monday the alpha version of the site formally opened its portals, potentially changing the way that online marketing operates.
The Qwiki blog revealed last Monday that since the private alpha was launched last November, it had received over 100,000 requests to join the program. Users had provided an avalanche of – mostly positive – feedback, helping the creators make it pitch perfect for the launch of the public alpha.
“We’ve added some new features and functionalities, and continue to ask for feedback from each of you in helping us perfect our technology,” it added.
Qwiki is a boon to online marketing practitioners because of the unique way it uses its collection of more than three million reference terms. When entering a search term, the site provides the user with an “information experience,” featuring a selection of pictures, photos, videos, maps and other kinds of info describing the term – as well as related search terms.
The Qwiki blog said that “custom animations are created based on data gathered by Qwiki, including timelines and populations.”
“Soon you’ll be able to watch Qwikis on your Facebook friends, local restaurants — and we hope, eventually any topic in the world. In fact, any publisher or person will soon be able to create Qwikis,” it promised.