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The 7 Pillars of Digital Marketing Blog

Best practices, training and innovations in Digital Strategy.

Google Adds +1 To Share, Search

June 2, 2011 – 5:06 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

Google has also rolled out a share content button to rival the premiere social network buttons.  As with other Google software products, the content will be mined in the search result indices.  Depending on its success, you could see a benefit for small businesses that are looking to push a strategy online through local channels.  The button has been available for web developers since March.  You can grab the code here, then affix it to your website.  The search giant also linked up with several partners, including Add This, Mashable, Huffington Post, Nordstrom, and so forth.  According to this blog entry, Google could have learned from their prior failures into social media with Wave and Buzz.

The offer from the source piece points out that Google’s +1 allows users and webmasters to be the determinant of which content reaches the top of index results.  This content, as I mentioned, could range from local businesses to music content and personal profiles.  With the advent of Google’s Cloud Music Service (still in beta), marketers can use web analytics for integration of all those users to track consumer behaviors. This author also mentioned that Google’s service portfolio is utilized by many for business or personal lines of communication.  Could the third time be a charm for Google entering the social sharing domain? Here’s a video:

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Free Webinar on Thursday! Analysis on Digital Trends!

May 31, 2011 – 3:33 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

The interactive marketing sector rolls along at a dizzying pace. Corporations look to invest every day.  Engineers gain more feedback to invest in new hardware.  With all these elements, forecasting is a critical phase for marketers along with management executives. Forecasting sets strategic initiatives, quantitative benchmarks, and deploys innovative technology. Luckily, we have someone who can give you a comprehensive guide to take advantage in the marketplace.

Futurist David Houle will be a co-presenter with Blueliner CEO Arman Rousta in this webinar on Thursday, June 2 at 2 p.m. EST. David is a futurist, strategist, and speaker. He has always been slightly ahead the curve. Houle spent more than 20 years in media and entertainment. He has worked at NBC, CBS and was part of the senior executive team that launched MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and CNN Headline News. David Houle is regarded as an emerging, influential voice of future thought.

Blueliner CEO Arman Rousta is described by Houle as “one of the most plugged in people in the interactive space and is someone I turn to for intelligent discussions about digital trends and marketing”. Arman Rousta is a contributor to Digital Forecast, providing insight into the digital future.

Do not miss this pertinent webinar! Click the Register button below to sign up now!

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Free Webinar Tomorrow! Optimizing SEO & Social Media

May 18, 2011 – 4:47 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

Tomorrow at 2 p.m. Eastern time will be a continuing episode in Blueliner’s Spring Webinar Series.  Participants will learn more about the value of social media marketing and search engine optimization in your digital strategy.

Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization are 2 of the “7 Pillars of Digital Strategy”. They are also arguably the most important critical pillars. Many companies have built entire marketing strategies based solely on their methodology.

Social Media Marketing promise of solid ROI remain significant for years to come. It’s instant communication and now available at the pockets of millions of consumers. It allows for a direct dialogue unlike anything businesses had the ability to practice on a mass level in the past. The possibilities begin with web analytics coding metrics like customer retention, lead generation, and reputation management.

SEO is by far the most desired Pillar in digital marketing. It is the difference between a search result index on the first page or the 28th. Every website needs to be optimized for specific keywords to be found on the Internet. With search algorithms always improving, SEO is also changing and getting smarter.  At Blueliner, we take pride in our great SEO work.

Blueliner invites you to an online presentation to learn about setting up marketing plans and best practices for tackling these essential pillars.  Click here or The Black Hat to register now!

 

 

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Weekly Blueliner Newsminer

May 13, 2011 – 4:41 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

Welcome back to the Weekly Blueliner Newsminer. Let us begin.

1. Digital Partnerships Galore

I mentioned in the headline earlier this week about all the digital partnerships. Some of these include Groupon pairing with Live Nation next to Microsoft’s surprise purchase of Skype.  Microsoft’s integration of Skype bears watching. Will the business software developer throw their new SEO investments into Skype or smoothly blend algorithms?

2.  User Data Corruption

User data corruption has occurred in droves this week.  Michaels, the arts and crafts supplier, reported a hacking of credit card data from their shops this morning.  Facebook has a lawsuit concerning the unauthorized mining of user data for online advertising campaigns.  Playdom settled a lawsuit of breaching children’s data with the FTC. We don’t need to further investigate Sony’s current woes with Playstation.

Over time, it will be interesting to see how the consumer responds to these egregious click frauds. In the Michaels case, some plan to eliminate their ATM card altogether.  The thought sounds impractical, but restraint can be a positive.

3.  Flash Sale Marketplace

I also discussed the flash sale marketplace, which includes Gilt Groupe, Rue La La, and now Amazon’s MYHABIT.  Gilt submitted a valuation, and analysts are skeptical since the company has yet to turn a profit.  To their credit, they continue to invest in more products.  CEO Kevin Ryan is nonplussed at the skepticism. He believes that flash that the flash e-commerce model will only grow despite the rebounding of full-price luxury good sales.   Time will tell if they can sustain.

4.  Amazon Tablet?

This piece in TechCrunch is intriguing since it is all speculation.  The eBook conference in London earlier this week was a convergence where publishers of all sizes talk content. Can it be scaled for advertising? Can content secure copyright infringement? Can authors eliminate agents? Another writer declares The New Yorker iPad mobile application as the end of glossy magazines.

Amazon could be the superhero running in with a mobile device that would not only streamline their growing video library. This secret device could eliminate the need to develop mobile applications for other platforms (*cough..Apple!).  Supposedly the graphic design applications need time to develop. Interesting indeed.

5.  Google Releases Music Service

Those of us privy to searching Google for leaked music tracks may find this service redundant.  But it ensures stronger security encryption.  The king of search algorithms is an invite-only stage in beta mode. For the technology averse, beta is the development state of a website or application. Google’s Android operating system allows for synching music across your devices.  A cloud storage allows access offline, giving the user time to create and edit your playlists.  Amazon also entered the growing music cloud marketplace, experiencing crashes already.  It’ll be interesting to see if Google can avoid this inevitable issue of data transmission.Click on the headline for an instructional video.

That’s the Blue News for now. Enjoy the weekend.

 

 

 

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Build a Lead Scoring Model, by Lauren Carlson

May 12, 2011 – 3:13 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

Last week, I wrote a short piece discussing the implementation of lead scoring in CRM integration. That piece introduced you to Mac McConell, a partner of Bluebird Strategies. In tandem with Marketing Automation Software Guide, he ran a three-part web series breaking down the virtues of lead scoring. For the uninitiatied, lead scoring is a result of predictive data mining based on other leads. Some categories include submitted data, appended data, and source information.  Then this data is analyzed to determine the potential for engagement to conclude with a sale. One sale will justify the advantages of lead scoring. However, once is never enough. Variables can enter the algorithm and alter the lead scoring metric. Therefore, a customer relations manager must be thorough.

In the last part of a web series with Marketing Automation Software Guide, Mac McConnell develops a lead scoring model. This model hedges against variables by assessing points for criteria determination along with segmenting marketing quality leads from sales.

Mac McConnell

 

 

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Facts About The Digital Boomer

May 2, 2011 – 4:34 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

Generalizations are often made about the baby boomers.  They are fearful of technology. They do not have the energy or memory skills to successfully navigate the blurry technological advancement of our time.  Parents just don’t understand has been a running phrase etched in our skulls.    

This piece from Direct Marketing News, however, tells us a different story.  This generation makes up 26% of the current population according to the U.S. Census Bureau for a total of 79 million Americans.  They also hold several of the most powerful positions in our global marketplace. Some luminaries include Paul Allen and the President among others, who manage 50% of the country’s discretionary spending.  They feel that the interactive marketing community is ignoring them, and want retribution.

As the writer Anthony Franco asks us, how do we engage this demographic who have such depth of influence? Everything must be kept simple.  Your online advertising campaigns must carry a simple message with clear direction of your business objectives. Your blog or email newsletter can alert your key customers of news updates. Daily tips can be released by the real-time channel, depending on response rates.  Social media portals like Twitter and video sharing sites work great when the message correlates with the product.  Your blog should also have a link that goes straight to customer service for troubleshooting. A labyrinthe website with useless landing pages can really hurt your impression with this demographic. Then the sales do not flow into your business.

Baby boomers will spend time reviewing your site if they know that assistance is available. Web developers must design applications to match behavioral patterns of their customer.  Links with partnerships are always good if your website does not have the answer.

Like any marketer, being prescient is the key to optimizing strategy.  A good website rich in keywords does not hurt either.

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Volkswagen and LinkedIn Drive With Der Passat

April 27, 2011 – 3:29 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

LinkedIn has gained traction with recruiters and industry professionals who want a more mature social media experience. In fact, the Dutch have really embraced the B2B web portal, with a growth of 70% in visitor traffic from last year. The company has also filed documents with the SEC to enter the public marketplace.

The company has also integrated several web applications into its platform to reach across channels.  Marketers are catching on, and Volkswagen recently teamed up with them to promote its new Passat in those same Netherlands.  ViralBlog goes into greater depth to show the ingenuity of this new campaign, paralleling the depth of the Passat’s features with the depths of LinkedIn’s user experience.  The campaign is titled “LinkedUIt” and spurs competition between users in your network tree.  At the moment, I’m unclear if they will develop a campaign in the States.  If no such opportunity exists, then web developers ought to create one.  LinkedIn savants may frown upon the integration of games, especially with branding sponsorship into the architecture, but business is competition and competition is job #1.   It’s a fun, lively game that gets conversation rolling between connections. Here is a video demonstration.

 

Volkswagen Linkeduit – Concept from Fethi Uluak on Vimeo.

 

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Social Media And The Good Cause, by Rohini Bhaskar

April 22, 2011 – 8:21 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

From retailers, restaurants and news channels, to the entertainment industry and presidential elections, social media has been one of the largest mediums of communication. With everyone having a digital avatar today, even nonprofits and charitable organizations are now employing creative ways to make an impact on society and ensure that their online presence is felt.

Following are some of the most effective social media campaigns that have been launched.

Invisible Children:

Invisible Children is a charity organization that films videos and documentaries of the plight of children affected by war in Africa and who have been forced to become child soldiers. The organization has employed Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and their own video channels extensively to reach out to the youth in America to help put an end to such a situation. Their marketing model has been – social media with some real physical action, i.e. the videos were promoted on social media sites to organize hundreds of student rallies across America. The campaign saw extreme success which got President Obama to sign a law to reduce child soldiering.

 

Timberland Earthkeepers Virtual Forest App:

Timberland is the designer of outdoor gear for men and women since three generations. They have created the Timberland Earthkeepers app on Facebook that encourages facebook users to plant virtual trees. The earlier version of the app was released in 2008 and was extremely successful in helping plant over 1 million trees in China, Haiti and Nepal. In the newer version, for every 5 virtual trees planted, Timberland plants one real tree and now they are committed to planting over 3000 trees in Haiti. Their social media campaign via this facebook app has been highly effective in reaching out to those who are environment conscious and want to contribute to saving the earth.

 

To Write Love On Her Arms:

TWLOHA is a nonprofit organization whose vision is to provide hope and help for people suffering from depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. Their motto is to encourage and empathize with people, provide facts, helpline numbers and other useful information via blogs and social media platforms. Their belief is “there is hope” and “rescue is possible”.TWLOHA stepped into the world of social media through MySpace. Today they are very active on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr and are utilizing these platforms to spread their messages, and let people know about their speeches in universities and churches. Through these strong social media efforts, they have responded to more than 150,000 people from 40 countries in four years.

It is a marvel to see how these social media campaigns created by nonprofits and other organizations have been powerful in touching and changing the lives of people, our earth and our environment.  They provide a template for initiating discussion, encouraging activity and democratic independence.

 

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Loopt Q Spins Around In San Francisco Today, The Nation Later

April 21, 2011 – 2:51 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

The Bay Area is the tech hub of our nation, as we know.  The titans like Facebook get involved with the presidential administration. Startup companies like Loopt reside in the background, innovating for the present and future.  They had a strong outreach at the SXSW Interactive Festival in March, and the emergence continues with the Q application.

Loopt is a geolocal mobile application which pulls your friend list from Facebook and posts their whereabouts in real-time. Founder Sam Altman envisioned the mobile application as a hybrid of Yelp and Foursquare’s mission statements.   This article from ReadWriteWeb has a clear example of the applications’ benefits.  You are in an unfamiliar neighborhood and looking for Mediterranean food.  You can type in a simple query about their price range, cuisine region, and get feedback updated in real-time.  You also get the location with contact data.  Loopt Q’s most intriquing feature is the answer interface.  Your results come in a simple graph form that is an aggregated index in constant regeneration.

I find the potential intriguing in that it seems to cut through the clutter of information that many mobile applications provide on a static level. Foursquare has an option to leave tips about destinations, but I don’t feel that feature is very popular. Users tend to simply check in, make a benign statement, and enjoy their experience. Loopt differentiates by engaging the opinion of a user which instantly provides value to others.  

Sharon Howell, the manager of corporate communications for Loopt, has this update for all users, “One note on the information above. Qs will live within the existing Loopt app — so no need to search for a new application. If you download the latest Loopt today, you’ll get a notification when the new release (complete with our new Qs feature) comes out.”
Here’s a video discussing the virtues.


 

 

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Avinash Kausik Answers Your Questions on Web Analytics

April 13, 2011 – 3:00 pm
Abdul Fattah Ismail
 

Avinash Kausik has developed a cult following in the embryonic, mysterious world of website analytics.  He writes on his personal blog about the difference between web reporting and web analysis. Some of the snapshots are displays of nominal web figures that can be pushed into an Excel sheet and coded to personal preferences. Another snapshot gives keener insight that will help configure custom reports. Secondly, the analysis will mention the proper methodology needed to improve business ROI. Kausik argues that these demonstrative recommendations are key to the differentiation. As we’ve said in the space, solid analytics with an optimized toolkit will bring the best out of your CRM integrations.

Casual users looking to understand this growing marketing pillar would do well to watch this episode with sidekick Nick Mihailovski.  The duo host their webisodes online at Google Analytics, a trusted source of internet metrics for Blueliner Marketing. The video is lengthy, so block some time out to give it your undivided attention.

 

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