Tag Archives: e-marketing

Educating A New Generation

“Things have changed since I was in school.” Sounds like something your parents said to you growing up, huh? That statement still holds true. Kids are a part of a whole new learning generation; interaction is mostly via instant message, text message, Twitter and Facebook and the internet is the first place they turn for research. The shift in marketing is taking place as we speak, but are Marketing and Public Relations instructors and professors educating their students about the phenomenon that is social media?

Back in the day, marketing majors were required to learn the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) and that is still relevant, but along with the 4 P’s they need to have a basic understand of HTML, design software, e-mail marketing campaigns, search engine optimization, and knowledge of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,etc). However, are recent grads receiving said education?

We’ve all read that many companies are struggling to understand social media and how it can be used in their industry. With this occurring, companies are looking to hire recent grads with degrees in Marketing and Public Relations to fill the social media gap. But, are colleges and universities integrating the new trends in marketing into their curriculum – such courses as Internet Marketing, Digital Media and New-Media Marketing? Another challenge: are college professors and faculty on top of the changing trends in the marketing world? If not, they need to be. How can you teach it, if you don’t fully understand it yourself? As the old adage states, “lead by example.”

Here’s a questions for all our Marketing & PR majors out there –Are NC State, Duke and UNC teaching courses on new-media and internet marketing? Or are you educating the professors on social media?

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Filed under Email Marketing, Facebook, marketing basics, north carolina, social media, twitter

Twitter Lists 101 – What are they and why should you care?

Twitter launched the “Lists” feature a few weeks ago; here’s a quick and easy over view of the feature. Twitter Lists is a great way to organize your followers or find new ones on Twitter. It is very similar to creating groups in e-mail; it allows you to group Tweeps by family, location, industry, or whatever category you prefer.

Creating a list is easy. When logged into your Twitter account, the “Lists” feature appears below the search box, click on it to create a new list. You can make lists public or private. If public, you can recommend the list for other Tweeps to follow; they can either follow the list or people on it and it can be seen by anyone. If private, you and only you can see this list – perfect for keeping an eye on what competitors are doing. Next, hit “Create List” and you can begin to add users. The maximum number of users is currently 500 and the max number of lists is 20.

Following lists is another great tool to keep track of the happenings on Twitter. These lists won’t show up in your main stream, but can be easily seen by clicking on the “lists” link on the right side of your Twitter homepage. Some great sites that maintain categorized “suggested” lists to follow are:

Listorious – a 3rd party directory that categorizes the most “awesome” lists on Twitter. The site is user-friendly and allows users to browse or search for lists by category.
TweetMeme Lists – find the most tweeted about Twitter Lists.

Check out lists following us and that we follow here and more on how organizations are using Twitter lists.

Happy Listing!

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Filed under social media, twitter

Internet Marketing Channels – Which Is Right For You?

internet_advertising_250x251Of course, there is no right or wrong answer to that question. It all depends on who your market is, how they prefer to be reached and at what cost. Internet marketing channels provide different results at different costs – display advertising, affiliate marketing, email marketing, pay-per click advertising (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM), viral content campaigns, and conversion rate optimization (CRO). Ask yourself some basic questions before choosing one of these channels – What are your company goals? How much are you willing to spend on your marketing efforts? Who are your available resources – in-house or outsourced? Understanding your customer or prospect is essential. Spending a large portion of your budget on SEO, for instance, may not be appropriate if much of your business comes from word of mouth.

Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz came up with a formula for choosing the right marketing channel – compare your budget with your company goals and see what marketing channel will meet each goal – be it driving web traffic, building brand awareness or educating your market.

goals-budget-priorities

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when determining what internet marketing channel(s) to use. Each business is different and should optimize its strengths to their advantage when initiating marketing efforts. Talking to a strategic marketing expert may help you craft a targeted plan based on market knowledge. Give us a call to talk more.

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Filed under Web Marketing

5 Rules for the Social Media Playground

Jumping (or dipping a toe) into the social media pool is great – after all, you do want to increase your online real estate.  But it’s important to understand a few guidelines first:

  1. Are you prepared to engage? It’s important to understand that social media is a two-way street.  Sure, it’s a relatively easy to way to broadcast messages to your marketplace.  But the market talks back –and it’s crucial that you engage with them.  A Facebook page for a well-regarded television drama posts exclusive behind the scenes videos but doesn’t reveal the date of the next season premiere, despite fan pleas.  Don’t leave your customers in the dark.
  2. Make the Commitment Lifestyle guru Oprah (@oprah) made a big splash recently by joining Twitter and sending out her first tweet, albeit in all caps.  But she’s only sent 44 messages since April 17th, indicating that she’s not a loyalist.  It’s important to set goals for your social media campaign and then execute.  An abandoned Facebook page, Twitter stream or blog sends the wrong message.
  3. Be interesting What does your target want to hear?  What are the issues in your industry?  How can you relieve pain?  No one cares what you had for lunch — unless maybe it’s the special at your restaurant!  Understand what information you can share that’s worth knowing.
  4. You can’t control the conversation Understand that social media can’t be controlled.  People are talking about your business or industry, whether you participate or not.  You can’t suppress negative comments, only respond to them so better you be there than not.
  5. Social media offers no fast fixes Social media campaigns usually can’t deliver the same kind of metrics as other marketing tactics. A good plan should develop over time and results will emerge over time.

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Filed under Blogging, Facebook, Flickr, marketing basics, social media, twitter, Web Marketing

Top Ten E-mail Marketing Mistakes

With the presence of bulk e-mail services and new software, e-mail marketing has become increasingly easy to execute.  Now is not the time to let your guard down – make sure you aren’t making any of these common mistakes:

1. Sending An Email Without A Strategy. You must have a strategy detailing the who, what, and why for each message.  Otherwise, you might be reaching the wrong audience.

2. Using A Old, Tired or Just Plain Mysterious List. If contacts haven’t opted-in to your e-mail list, you may be flagged as spam and prohibited from sending messages in the future.  Also, a fresh list cuts down on undeliverable emails.

3. Missing Subject Opportunities. Your top-line message should include a link to a Web-based version in case your message is being viewed by a reader with a PDA or other e-mail system that doesn’t support HTML content.

4. Focusing On The Wrong Content. The audience of your message needs know that it is important.  E-mails with the highest open rates come from thought leaders in the industry or from personal insights on industry trends.

5. Being Too Graphic or TextHeavy. Having too much text or graphic content in your e-mail can be overwhelming to the reader if there is nothing there to move them smoothly through the page.

6. Having An Obvious Sales Pitch. If your readers sense a sales pitch, they are likely to stop reading, delete the email, and may even report your email as spam.

7. Testing On Only One Browser. Don’t assume that all e-mail systems will display your message the same.  Testing with a Mac, PC, Internet Explorer, and Firefox and in the most used email clients will ensure that readers are able to see all of your content correctly.

8. Ignoring Statistics. Metrics will reveal whether your message was successful, along with showing bounce rates, open rates, opt-outs, and spam reports.

9. Sending At The Wrong Time. Keep your contacts’ time zones and business hours in mind.  Recent data suggest higher open rates occur on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

10. Forgetting To Lead Your Web Traffic.  Opinion-driven news letters are most effective when they have content directing web site traffic.  A portion of your story should have a link to “read more” and have links relevant to specific website pages.

One more thought – what are you using for your “From” line in your marketing e-mails?  B2B Magazine recommends using a real person’s name for this line because, after all, B2B buyers are still people.  Personalize the “From” and ‘Reply to” fields so that they are coming from the sales representative that the particular lead or contact “belongs” to.

What strategies are you using to give your e-mail a more personal touch?

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Filed under Economic Downturn, Email Marketing, marketing basics