Archive | February, 2013

Latest Updates on Facebook Custom Audiences

this picture shows the interface of facebook custom audiences feature

Last month, we wrote about the Custom Audiences feature. It is Facebook’s paid feature which enables marketers to target their prospects based on Facebook ID, phone number or email address. Recently, this feature was expanded with “Look-alike Audiences” query, which enables marketers to find segments that generally match specific Custom Audiences on Facebook.

Facebook also announces that information from third party data vendors will become incorporated into targeting and segmentation capabilities into Custom Audiences databases. These third party vendors are Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom and BlueKai .

This also means that advertisers (or “managed advertisers,” for now) will be able to target market segments offered by Epsilon and the other providers mentioned earlier. This change dramatically enhances Facebook’s targeting capabilities. It also brings targeting capabilities that exist for direct mail and email marketing into Facebook.

For example, if a car maker or dealer is looking for people who are categorized as “prospective car buyers”, data from the vendors above can be used to find these people on Facebook. Facebook explains that businesses which already work with these selected third party vendors can now use the same information they have used elsewhere to create campaigns on Facebook. Moreover, Facebook will work with these select third parties to create pre-defined targeting categories on Facebook. Businesses of all sizes will now be able to target categories like “beauty parlors” or “real estate.”

The truth is there will be a new pre-defined audience segments. And since Facebook built the databases using third party data, marketers will get a lot more reach on prospects. They’ll also be able to layer existing Facebook targeting and tools on top of those segments as well.

However, we can assume that Facebook seems sincere in its desire to give users ultimate control and choice over this process. From marketing’s point of view, these new enhancements improve the capabilities of audience targeting that Custom Audiences offers. We are expecting more refinery in this compelling feature.

The Social Media Missing Link in MBA Programs

this picture shows the infographic which explains many information about MBA schools and social media, and the relationship between those two

Orabrush’s Successful Viral Now Goes to Dogs

a puppy voluntarily licked an Orapup, a tongue cleaner designed for dogs

When your puppies voluntarily handle their own bad breath problem

 

It was just about a week ago when we discussed viral marketing. Today, we’ll talk about a good example of a successful viral promotion story: Orabrush.

The story begins with the promotional video of Orabrush, a tongue cleaner gizmo. When the promotion gained a big bang success with more than ten million hits, Orabrush had a new target: dogs.

Orapup dog’s tongue cleaners start shipping today after receiving more than $750,000 in pre-orders via Amazon, thanks to a viral-video campaign of its own.

The fans of Orabrush (or as the company calls them “Orabuddies”) said that Orabrush is very effective to overcome your dogs’ bad breath. Orabrush’s 78-year-old inventor, Dr. Bob Wagstaff, stated that using the Orapup was “an emotional bonding experience” with his puppy.

But, wait a minute. A tongue cleaner for dogs?

Yes! It seems silly, but dog lovers who’ve tried brushing their dogs’ teeth know that this ritual usually doesn’t go very well. Stucking the brush deeper into the dog’s mouth seems much more daunting for puppy lovers.

That’s where Orabrush’s “secret sauce” comes in. Orapup comes with a beef- or bacon-flavored sauce, with special enzymes and other bad breath-fighting ingredients. With this delicious “gravy”, your dogs will voluntarily lick it off the brush as they clean their tongues. Smart, huh? Dr. Bob also stated that the enzymes also help the beef or the bacon smell go away as well.

The dogs seem to love it, as shown by several eagerly licking it off the brushes in the video. The “secret sauce” has another benefit for the marketer. It is consumable. No matter how much Orabrush might suggest otherwise, people can use tongue brushes a long time without replacing them. However, they need to keep buying the sauce to use Orapup, so it’s a bit of a razor-blade model, with replacement batches of sauce now priced at $8.

The CEO of Orabrush, Mr. Jeff Davis said “People believe that we’re just lucky. However, there’s nothing lucky about going viral with the Orabrush model. We’re advertising. We’re using that ad to do the modeling and predict behavior on everything from pricing to messaging and packaging. It’s all done behind the scenes. We know from our relationship with Google that we get the highest amount of views for the lowest cost-per-view based on our advertising model.” Because of the success of this viral campaign, now Orapup becomes the latest “mini-trend” toward adapting products for humans to potentially bigger markets for pets as well.

Quick Facts About Facebook: An Infographic

3 Steps to Optimise Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Nowadays, social media embraces an enormous power of digital marketing that can give you the bigger engagement level with your customers. You can use social media to set up promotional campaigns, create viral promotions, increase brand awareness and build a fan base. However, the most important thing to care about social media marketing is to set up a clear goal. Social media marketing is not just about the number of likes, fans, or followers. It’s more about personal engagement with loyal customers. It’s about two-way communication and giving a “organic” side of your company and brand. Social media is very common among businessmen, but many of them are not optimising its usage. Here are three steps to optimise social media for marketing

1. Make It Easy

Here is what I mean: put direct links to your social media sites in your main website. It is a must. When your customers go there to get information about your company, products or services, it will make senses to have the “social media buttons” on the landing page. Make them visible and appealing enough to be clicked. See our embedded links to social media on the right side of this blog.

Let your audiences subscribe to your newsletters or keep your brand’s updates via Facebook, Twitter and RSS. Don’ make it too hard for them to find these links!

2. Create the Best Content Ever

Any social media experts know that content is the king. Con tent is primary driver of traffic, sales and clicks. Traditionally, many companies have a passive website where the content is static and limited. The only customer engagement media they have is the Contact Us page. This is so old school. Fresh contents with daily updates for customers to re-visit, comment and share are more valuable and interesting. This kind of contents open a lot of avenues for your customers and potential prospects to communicate with you online. Make sure that your website and social media accounts are actively updated with fresh contents and latest trends.

3. Engage More

Social media is all about engagement. In the business world, it would be a great place for the company to keep a good relationship with its customers. If you are not an expert in this field, hire one who specialised in this particular area. The age of deleting negative comments in social media to protect your online reputation is over. Engage, communicate and establish your company’s credibility via social media. Bad and negative comments are virtually unavoidable, but with good and positive responses, you can win back more customers. Encourage for more positive feedback and learn more about how to improve the quality of your relationship by communicating to your customers in more personal level.

SEO Tips For Your Website

this picture shows the three search engines: google, msn, and yahoo in building blocks toy shape with the word SEO on the bottom of the structure

SEOing in the Right Way

 

Okay. Let’s begin this post with an (inconvenient) fact that even though paid results are displayed higher than organic results on a search engine, organic results receive 20 times as many clicks as the paid results. What does this mean? It means that many Internet users have been “aware” on how to search, subconsciously skip over the paid results and select the top most organic results.

It is important to relate this story to the topic of search engine optimization, where the goal is not always about being the top ranked search result anymore. In many cases, it’s all about being the most user-friendly search result. Optimizing your site for search engine listings is the best thing that you can do to drive traffic and increase sales. However, in case you don’t have the top spot on Google yet, here are some things you can do to start to drive up your organic traffic:

Aim for at least 80% On-Page SEO

You could spend months to refine all of the aspects of your on-page SEO that you think will increase your search engine rank. By the time you are done all the hard work, voila, Google will have changed the algorithm, just as they did 500-600 times (twice a day!) in 2012. Moreover, here are the SEO factors you should focus on:

  • Title tags

They contribute the most “SEO juice” to your site and they are also the first thing your prospective visitor on the search engine see before making any judgment about your site’s quality. Title tags must be under 70 characters in length. Place your keywords as close to the front of the title as possible.

  • H1, H2, and H3 tags

Search engine’s robot will look for keywords placed in the content of your page as well as in headers. However, the amount of keyword passed to the search engine from this kind of optimization is limited.  The usage of on-page optimization for certain keyword phrases with a specified density is still relatively important to improving your rankings for those specific keywords, but it’s not the most important SEO anymore. When optimizing content for search engines, don’t make a keyword density greater than 2%. More than two keywords a page is not recommended. It will be better if you use a primary keyword and a semantic variation of that keyword. Making sure that every image has an alt tag, important keywords to your site are displayed high, like in the header, and using appropriate anchors for your links will still contribute to your overall SEO rank.

  • Meta-descriptions

Meta-descriptions are not used to increase rankings, because they have zero value to search engines. Use them to enhance user experience. Meta-descriptions are read altogether with the title tag by searchers who are looking for more information. This is where you prove to the searchers that the information on your site is relevant to their query. Meta descriptions must be under 155 characters in length.

Use Canonical URLs

Your links are considered non-canonical if pages on your site link to both yoursite.com, www.yoursite.com, and www.yoursite.com/. In this case, you’ll be splitting the link-juice among all three of these pages which are essentially the same. You should check for non-canonical URLs and ensure that links are updated to match a standard format. We recommend including the www and adding the slash to the end of all pages.

Optimize the Semantic Keywords

This means you should optimize for all of the different terms that may be used to describe your product or brand, since Google uses semantic keyword integration that will allow one term to rank even when searching for another term.

Spam Methods for Link Building = Bad Idea

Long time ago, SEO professionals would build backlinks to their site at any cost, even hiring people to go out and link back to their site from other sites 1,000 or 10,000 links in a day. This type of link building strategy has been penalized over and over by Google and there are more penalties coming in the future.

Instead of using this method, use creative methods based on content marketing and customer engagement. Play with the professional community. Keep your potential audience on blogs and forums happy. Make them back to your site by appropriately placed links on their websites, blogs, comment forms, and social media profile.

Big No for Malicious Links

With the Penguin update, links to your site or from sites with penalties can give bad effect to your optimization. Search your site for links that are leading to sites in a grey area and change those links for links to industry-leading sites and authors. Analyze your backlink portfolio and see who is contributing negative things via link spam. If you’re engaging in any kind of comment spam, stop immediately.

Social Media Integration

Google is taking more of its search query from social media than ever before. There are very high relationships for the number of shares, comments, likes, and tweets on content articles. Both likes on your brand page as well as likes on your individual shared content will increase the search rankings of both your domain and the content itself it search engines. Moreover, Google+ is gaining more weight in Google because of the Social Search platform, which prioritizes content that your friends like on Google+.

Integrate the Google+ Relauthor Tag

When you apply the relauthor tag on your website, your articles with picture of your Google+ page will be more notable in the search engine listings. Internet experts believe that this picture can increase click-through rates on your search results by up to 300%. When searching, users strongly prefer links that have the picture next to them as it begins building trust with the user. It’s simple to integrate the relauthor tag.

Fix Your SEO Progressively

This should begin with link-building efforts on high-trust websites, do some on-page optimization, look at content optimization, improve your social signals on every social network and purchase paid advertising in order to get traffic to your page up. There are a lot of factors that building search engine rankings. Optimizing one factor will still leave hundreds unoptimized. To optimize appropriately, be sure to see your SEO as a living, breathing organism that has to be maintained and updated to match the changing trends in search engine optimization.

7 Ways to Shape Your Employees as Brand Ambassadors in Social Media

Think about a moment when you had a customer track you via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to resolve their problem or a moment when an acquaintance asking for your advice about a brand that you work for. When you encounter one of these moments, that is the time when you became a brand ambassador.

Social media has changed the traditional opinion for customers engagement. You can no longer become faceless corporation  that only relies on a customer service hotline to answer customer complaints. Nowadays, almost all of your employees can be tracked down and identified from social media. Smart businessmen must embrace the power of social media by training up all of the employees and build a strong network of brand ambassadors. Here are seven important ways to build a solid social media ambassador program for your employees:

  1. Make a social media customer engagement policy. Look what Intel, Coca-Cola and Dell have done.
  2. Establish the first generation of your brand ambassadors. There are many options for you: marketing team, customer service, sales, or what? Ask for some volunteers then arrange the right people as needed.
  3. Add social engagement’s performance indicators for each brand ambassador’s performance plan. Make sure this is also an indicator of the executive team. If the CEO has these KPIs in the plan, then it will be a clear organisational priority.
  4. Train your employees. The training program should cover the basics like media training, including how to response external enquiries, what to say or what not to say, etc. More advanced programs should include an understanding of social media (facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, Forums, etc.), the tone of voice, the ability to correctly identify themselves as company employees, the difference between personal and professional social media, and so on.
  5. Give a clear tiers of engagement, since not all brand ambassadors are equal. Consider providing more intense training for employees who become a front liner and meet the customers directly or those who have high profile roles, like the CEO, Marketing Director, Head of Sales Department, etc.
  6. Make sure you have strong links back to the rest of organisation, like HRD (for job enquiries), Customer Service (for customers’ complaints) or Sales. Studies have shown that 47% of people want customer service through social media, so it is necessary for your brand ambassadors to know how to respond to service-related problems.
  7. Rolling it out for all employees. Do this only when you’ve got it right with the current brand ambassadors. Dell is doing it right and has over 10,000 employees trained. It means you have 10,000 brand ambassadors who are actively engaging customers.

The ROI of Social Media: An Infographic

ROI is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investment. However, in social media, ROI became such a debatable topic. More businesses are spending their effort, resources and budget into social media marketing. The question is: “How do you know that your attempts are successful?”

Take a look at this infographic:

Twitter Introduced Its Ads API

On April 2010, Twitter had launched its Promoted Tweets for marketers to reach new audiences and engage with more than 200 million active Twitter users on PC and mobile devices.

And here comes the release of Twitter Ads API. The goal of this API is simple: to make it easier to manage campaigns and get more value out of advertising with Twitter.

In other words, marketers will have the ability to work with the initial set of Twitter Ads API partners to manage the ad campaigns and combine them into the other marketing plan while normal users will continue to see the most relevant Promoted Tweets from advertisers. With this Ads API, marketers now have more tools to deliver the right message to the right audience, from PC or mobile devices.

In addition to this new Ads API, here are the first five partners who have built on it:

Want to be a beta tester for this API? You can apply here.

Nine Most Interesting Digital Marketing Statistics in February

These statistics include consumer confidence in mobile commerce, mobile use in Australia, Instagram, online sales in February and luxury brand mobile apps.

1. The growth of consumer’s trust in mobile purchasing

  • The latest research has revealed that consumer willingness to purchase goods and services using their mobile devices has increased in the past year, with a half of Australia smartphone owners now happy to spend more than $15 on their mobile.
  • Similarly, 56% of American smartphone owners are happy to spend $10 on their mobile.
  • Almost one in two US consumers (44%) and 40% of Aussies are now more likely to make a purchase using their mobile device compared to a year ago.

 

2. Australia leads the way in tablet and smartphone click share

  • Australia has the biggest number when it comes to share of ad clicks from tablets and smartphones.
  • The Mobile Search Advertising Around The Globe report found that Australia has the highest number of click share from tablet devices (9.3%) and the third highest number of click share from smartphones (11.7%).
  • Moreover, Australian marketers spend the highest percentage of their budget (8%) per device on tablet advertising than any other market, and have the second highest allocation of budget put towards smartphones (8.8%).

 

3. The increasing usage of Instagram

  • New data shows that 59% of the “Interbrand 100” now use Instagram. This number is gradually increasing from 54% in November.
  • Brand activity is on the rise, with 41% of brands now post at least one photo per week, up from only 34% last quarter.
  • Engagement is also growing. Overall consumer engagement with top brands increased by 35% quarter over quarter. The average brand photo received over 4,800 engagements (likes, comments, Tweets, and Facebook shares).
  • Finally, the number of brands with 100,000+ followers increased from eight to 10, led by MTV, Starbucks and Nike. 26% of brands now have over 10,000 followers, up from just 20% the previous quarter.

 

4. Online sales increase in run up to Valentine’s Day

  • Online sales grew by 29.65% year-on-year for this month. The analysis is based on the week leading up to Valentine’s Day (February 3 – 9).
  • The results show a strong growth in the use of mobile devices for shopping and browsing retail websites, with sales via mobile devices going up 55.19% year-on-year and mobile traffic increasing by 70.49%.
  • Average order value of transactions went down slightly: $165 was spent on average on each shopping cart this year, compared to $166 last year.

 

5. Mobile traffic increases over recent days

  • Mobile traffic to e-commerce sites more than doubled during the recent days.
  • A new report shows that Cyber Monday visits via smartphones and tablets increased from 7.9% to 18.9%.
  • The survey also found that the conversion rate on smartphones remains low, at just 1.2% compared with 4% for tablets, even though smartphone traffic was around 10%.

 

6. Average internet users spend 37 hours online per month

  • The average internet user spends 37 hours a month on the web and is increasingly likely to go online on mobile devices.
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of mobile users now own a smartphone and 82% of new phones acquired in December 2012 were smartphones. The increasing popularity of smartphones meant that almost a third of page views were found to come from non-PC devices.
  • Advertisers anticipated to this trend, with 16% more display ads published online in December 2012 compared to a year earlier. In total, 923 billions display of ad impressions were delivered across the web in 2012.

 

7. Luxury brands fail to maintain their mobile appearance

  • More than a quarter (27%) of luxury brands have launched mobile apps then subsequently failed to update them or fix bugs. This research looked at 238 apps released by 100 brands over the past five years in the sectors of fashion, beauty, hospitality, retail, watches and jewellery.
  • However some sectors were better than others at providing updates. Fashion brands were the most likely to release an app and never update it, as 40% of their apps fell into this category.
  • The hospitality sector was the busiest with 45% of hotel operators having developed an app in the past year, often devoting them to a specific property.

 

8. Apple is world’s most valuable brand

  • Two tech giants Apple and Samsung are the world’s most valuable brands.
  • Apple is now valued at $87.3 billions, increase of 24% from 2011. On the other hand, its rival company Samsung is worth $58.8 billions, an increase of 54% on the previous year.
  • Google and Microsoft take third and fourth place, with valuations of $52.1 billions and $45.5 billions respectively. Google’s valuation was 10% up on a year earlier, while that of Microsoft showed a 1% decline.

 

9. Consumers worry about sharing data with mobile apps

  • A survey of 9,500 people in ten countries shows that only a third of consumers (37%) are comfortable sharing personal data with an app.
  • The majority of consumers consider it important to know when an app is gathering (70%) and sharing (71%) their personal information.
  • 18% of respondents stating that they are not confident whether their personal information is being protected.
  • Females and older consumers (over 35 years old) are more likely to have concerns over privacy.