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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!



Good morning, everyone.  We are back with the Weekly Newsminer.  Today, I’ll be stopping at a couple workshops for Social Media Week here in New York.  I’ll leave my thoughts later on this afternoon.  Meanwhile, let us begin.

1.  The Quarter of Groupon

Last year, Facebook was making headlines on a daily basis.  These last couple months, Groupon is kicking tail and taking names.  Super Bowl XLV brought the deals site unfavorable rows over their commercial spots.  CEO Andrew Mason released a defensive statement, claiming that the company does significant charitable work for the spotlighted causes. As we all know, however, any coverage is good.  Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz has joined the board, meaning that iced frappuccinos will be fifty percent off all day moving forward. Right?!

2.  AOL Purchases Huffington Post

America’s favorite liberal politics website is now part of America’s once-formidable network service provider.  AOL, since their split from the Time Warner conglomerate, is focusing on developing a portfolio of content sites.  Huffington Post has been a model for the microblogging industry with excellent advertising revenue generated from bold headlines optimized for search engines.  They also generate strong traffic from many demographics.  Yet the Huffington Post writers were unpaid, believing in the maverick ethos of adored CEO Ariana Huffington. AOL, hardly a cash cow at this moment, must be ecstatic.  The future could paint a different picture if those writers refuse to type for free.

3.  Yahoo Delivers A Digital Newstand

Yahoo released an application named Livestand, which plays into the strategy of spreading content across tablet devices and smartphones.  The application allows for detailed user personalization of content updated in real-time.  Like other publishing applications, Yahoo is looking to provide an opportunity for content publishers to expand their presentation palette with interactive graphics, video, and so forth.  Livestand nevertheless, has some work to do in a burgeoning market that is spearheaded by Google and Apple. Both those firms have partnerships with several producers of electronic hardware which allow pre-installation of their software.  Livestand, on the other hand, has no strong partnerships as of yet.  Their partnership with Bing should strengthen their advertising reach with link and PPC once relationships with mobile hardware are cemented.

4. R.I.P. Guitar Hero

Activision has announced that the Guitar Hero’s creative division will be shuttered, effective immediately.  The headline article from Mashable chalks it up to oversaturation of games.  In a world where many games are being played online for free, consumers may have found it difficult to constantly purchase new hard and software each season.  Those consumers were most likely adults, and with the economic downturn, free is king.  Secondly, as the article mentions, the advertising power was almost too strong.  As those teenagers develop and acquire music taste with greater depth, a real guitar looks like a better long-term investment.  Anybody can be a Guitar Hero of their digital community, but there’s only a handful of guys like Hendrix and Page.

5.  Twitter Values Itself Highly

Twitter tweeted out this week that they have a self-valuation of $80 billion, yet they lost money over the last year hiring new staff and upgrading data centers.  The site still has issues with capacity overload at times, meaning that the upgrade of data centers is critical.  In another swoop, Twitter’s collection of personal data is driving the valuation.  Investors have yet to gage the value of social media data on a tangible scale.  Tech titans Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are drooling to purchase Twitter, but CEO Biz Stone remains uninterested at this time.  The microblogger also needs to find a dependable business model to sustain itself.  Link and text advertising has surfaced on the website, and web analytics are emerging.  As with most social media, time is needed to see what the real value is for venture capitalists.

That’s the Blue News this week.  Stay warm!

The term meta title sounds daunting to the uninitiated web reader.  One could think of it as the keyword to another dimension of technology.  To some extent, it is another dimension.  The idea behind the meta title is to link the vastness of cyberspace into a common, short bond of terms.  In order for search indexes to pull up the results we want, a good meta title is imperative.  

The Web definition of a meta title is a short set of characters that can be viewed at the top of your web page.  The magic of SEO comes in the next step.  The engines crawl across the web page and index it with similar results.  Writers too often fall into the trap of writing a meta title that has good keywords but does not fluidly express your campaign.  Sometimes you say too much in the title, leaving the reader little more discovery than to click onto the second page and glance.

Creative Boom of the UK has some other tips on writing metatitles for search engines.  Enjoy.

A short article from Honeytechblog praises the firm for their diverse mix of interactive marketing with offshore implementation and support.  They gave us the No. 1 ranking for social media marketing in the USA!  Kudos to everyone for the performance. Regardless of the source, recognition is always a good thing.  Blueliner has a staff that tirelessly brings a range of quality services in digital marketing to generate ROI.  Tomorrow, our CEO Arman Rousta will start another segment in our Fall Webinar Series titled, “The 7 Pillars of Internet Marketing.”  The online seminar is free, and registration details are available here.  It is a great opportunity to understand the diverse, efficient, and sophisticated methodology that Blueliner applies to interactive marketing.  Arman leads now with a sneak preview.

Yahoo!, after a period of management disarray, is settling into a full search partnership with Microsoft.  A couple days back, the technology firm aligned their services with Microsoft’s Bing to help leverage market share against Google in the search advertising industry.  The technology giants agreed to a ten-year contract with the goal to be a serious contender.  Yahoo was motivated to enter this direction to reduce expenses incurred from years of fiscal mismanagement leading to a reduced stock price quote.  Microsoft wanted to test new search algorithms and expand their product strategies with Bing, which is also aligned with Facebook’s wealth of personal profile data.  Bing needs to recoup startup expenses incurred and this is a start on that path.

Neither company is capable of catching Google alone, but as mentioned, offer unique abilities that can complement one another.  First off, companies are looking to use Bing as a search index and have an ability to negotiate pay-per-click rates more palatable with their budgets.  Bing needs to gain credibility with local and national businesses, and will not cut off their nose to spite their face.  Facebook’s new geolocation application, Places, can drive up search indexes even more as users entrust the privacy settings installed online.  Yahoo wants to gain credibility as a content provider, and possesses loyal visitors who use the website for assorted page applications such as Finance, News, and Sports.  They can now focus on delivering that content with more quality.

In a perfect world, the companies will save resources, while creating a vacuum for research and development that offers a premium price point for online advertisers.  Innovative technologies will present themselves and shift seamlessly between platforms. Here are some thoughts from advertisers at the San Francisco SES Conference on the impact.

2010 has undoubtedly been the year of social media, where Twitter, Facebook, and Google look to expand their applications and compete will all involved.  All business sectors are turning to social media for instant distribution of content as opposed to traditional blog applications.  The strategy is sound depending on your initiatives and personnel, but corporate blogging still maintains credibility.  

According to eMarketer,  43% of US corporations will be blogging by 2012.  The nature of blogging is a healthy method of communication for those firms who have a solid consumer purchasing base with growth potential.  A veritable portfolio of services is also a factor for the value of a corporate blog.  Managers can easily read messages that are sent to the direct box and respond with little effort.  The transaction can also be confidential for sales negotiations, when having a phone conversation is not ideal.  WordPress, for example, has several chat plug-ins that are easily downloadable and assist with troubleshooting. The eMarketer piece also mentions that smaller companies do not have traditional bureaucratic constraints of other sectors and lead this charge.  I understand that sentiment, but does not prohibit the value of a blog for a departmental method of operation.  The corporate blog can be a hub for industry news and opinions, as well as the hub for success stories between the seller and consumer.  Tags allow for simple grouping of articles on topics to provide insight for your next annual report.  You can provide a consistently fresh outlook on several levels to current investors and prospective employees.

These mechanisms go a long way in the liveliness of your blog, since it must be treated as a breathing specimen and fed at all times.  But in the same vein, you must post information that leaves people wanting more, and that includes an amalgam of interactive media, still images, and thought.

Welcome to the first edition of the Weekly Blueliner Newsminer.  We aim to bring a collective viewpoint on the recent news in digital media, putting it into accessible terms.  Across different angles, we can understand the present and future of internet marketing over a period of time.

We will look at the top five news stories, then discuss their impact.

1.  Google and Verizon Discussing Net Neutrality.  The latest on this story is that both firms are denying that a deal is in the works, but when there’s smoke, there’s fire.  This would be a huge determent on the business front.  It would really monopolize website optimization in terms of e-commerce and keyword search.  Larger firms would receive the bulk of advertising since they would be able to afford the delivery fees that Google and Verizon propose to regulate traffic.  Venture capitalists would struggle to research for innovative technologies.  The internet, on principle, would be undermined as an depot of information.

2.  UAE Set To Ban Blackberry Use In October.  Speaking of information depots, this story continues to build up steam, as the U.S. government looks to defend RIM’s data monitoring practices.  Earlier this week, the United Arab Emirates announced that it would ban Blackberry use in its borders starting this October due to security concerns.  The Canadian firm has superior encryption standards and routes data services through its proxy hubs in Canada.  The Middle Eastern government wants Hillary Clinton has went on public record, describing the behavior of UAE’s government as a threat the innate right of free internet access.  Undeniably, the potential for hegemony of content exists, especially in such a volatile region.  RIM is also in dialogue with India about similar concerns, so monitoring continues.  As of this syllable, Blackberry phones are still in use for all the aggravated investors in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

3.  Twitter Launches Suggestions Feed.  The Suggestions feed was rolled out this Monday by Twitter, and it looks to segment Twitterati into similar tastes and preferences not unlike social media rival Facebook.  So far, few people are in love with it, including myself.  The service, in my mind, is unique with its minimalist website design and character limits.  The suggestions feed uses an algorithm based on people you follow, their followers, and unconnected followers who you may find interested. Kinks are still being worked out, as the feed has crashed several times.  I feel that the suggestions feed suggest a desire to engage in a personalized relationship, which is the antithesis of a follower.  Nobody wants to be seen in this context.  One writer of the blog TechCrunch thinks this is just the beginning for Twitter’s social extension.

4.  Facebook vs. Google.  The battle for web advertising supremacy is going unnoticed by the general public, but digital media executives are watching really closely.  The search-advertising giant has made several efforts to enter the social media industry with applications like Wave and Buzz, only to watch them peter out due to privacy issues.  YouTube is one obvious success, but it was purchased by Google rather than developed from within the lab.  Facebook, on the other hand, has aligned with Microsoft Bing to leverage its superior depth of interpersonal connections.  It also acquired some patents from Friendster, which has been Apple’s strategy with mobile applications.  Google’s open source platform has been better received, with Android as a shining example.

Google is fighting different battles with China (firewall proxies), Apple (content syncing, television programming), Microsoft (office software, search), and the federal government (antitrust issues).  That is the reality of life when you gain accolades.  I feel like Google should place focus on development of certain programs, especially Analytics.  We use it as part of our SEO methodology, and the emergence of web and mobile advertising only intensifies the necessity for keyword tracking.  Google Reader is another program used by academia to conduct internet research for rare library content. A recent antitrust case concerning the application was closed, foreshadowing an opportunity.

5.  RIM releases the Blackberry Torch on AT&T.  Alongside the tiff with the UAE, RIM releases the Blackberry Torch on the AT&T network. The AT&T partnership is peculiar for several reasons.  Their inept coverage and network capacity has kept me from reaching for the iPhone, and the aforementioned device is included in their phone portfolio which could siphon revenue for each party.  Overall, the mobile platform has been rated as an improvement by tech reviewers.  I have yet to see the phone personally, so I can’t make a thorough judgement.  At first glance, it looked like a parody of the fallen Palm Pre, which this author views as a foreshadowing.  The smartphone race gets even more intense.

This is a wrap for the news.  Log in next week.

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Our team is working to promote their ecommerce site by implementing the full range of SEO services in order to help them grow in the competitive modern furniture category. Blueliner is also helping Furniture by Duval upgrade their social media presence and reach their target audience on the various social media platforms.

In the first few weeks, we have already helped them increase search engine rankings and web traffic for their most important keywords, as well as increase conversion rates and web sales.

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I feel that Kit Kat is an underrated candy bar from yesteryear and today.  It breaks cleanly, depending on your skill, into four symmetrical pieces for sharing with others or your own sweet teeth.  The tagline “Gimme A Break” became an international sensation some years ago.  Now they’ve taken it to a new level with a different angle.  Kit Kat recently teamed up with J. Walter Thompson New Zealand to create a marketing campaign outside a concert venue in Auckland.  The chairs were created from special posters and bring a tangible edge to the tagline. Break off a piece here:

The Internet is abuzz with the latest Tiger advertisement from Nike.  It has a voiceover from his father, Earl, who is deceased, while Tiger looks ashen with a wrinkled forehead.  He speaks as Tiger’s moral conscious, which opens up another Pandora’s box of questions.  How would his father react to Tiger’s infidelities if alive? He was also known as a philanderer in the golf world.  Would he advise to repair his marriage and save face with leading advertisers, or just divorce?

Pushing judgement aside,  the ad is an illuminating portrayal of a brand that stands behind their guy. Nike has a history of pushing controversial advertising and operations, so this will do little to their public reputation.  At the same time, I feel like Tiger is simply using the one advertiser that didn’t desert him to get sympathy. They’re all in it together, and where they fall remains to be seen. Here’s the clip:

Even more interesting are the remixes that have sprung up. This one is called “David After Dentist”, to show what Tiger really had on his mind. Here’s the original David.

Besides the humor, it shows the extreme subjective nature of advertising in new media. The blog remixes clearly signal that few people take Tiger seriously these days, although this spot was created from a renowned brand machine to ilicit remorse and approbation. The original’s intent has been rendered worthless, despite the investment of time and money by agency wonks. We still don’t know what represents Mr. Woods’ true thoughts and never will. The battle between traditional and new media advertisers is fascinating, and continues on.