Can You Spot Your Site?

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Search engine marketing (SEM) includes free and paid methods of increasing the visibility of a website.

Search engine optimization (SEO), in particular, includes “optimizing” the page by tracking the page rank with tools such as Alexa and Google toolbar; utilizing keywords that describe the site; linking to pages within your sites; creating a site map; utilizing simple URL names; “killing” flash, utilizing image descriptions; updating site will new content; sharing links to your site via multiple social media channels; and linking to other sites. These tips are a great start to a great SEO strategy but the main tip is great content!

Once you have the consumer there (at your site), how are you going to keep them there? Content. Best stated by Huffington Post: “Great content marketing is always a marathon, not a sprint.” For creating great content, the writer must utilize compelling headlines; produce content that connects with the reader; integrate emotion as well as factual information; and utilize engaging photos.

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Can You Keep Up?

In the words of the great music group Destiny’s Child, “can you keep up”? Facebook has been around since 2011 and some companies have not updated their Facebook strategy since then! Product developer, HootSuite, offers some advice on its website for optimizing your strategy. First, HootSuite addresses the issue with utilizing a personal Facebook page for your company. Not only is it against Facebook’s Terms of Services, but also there are many advantages for using a professional page versus a personal page. Professional pages are especially geared towards the marketing of a brand or company. Therefore, it offers special features that assist in the execution and evaluation of social media marketing strategies and tactics; for example, the free analytics that are offered. They allow the companies to measure the success of their campaigns, demographics of users, and their reach. Another tip is to create content connected to current events because it tends to be more visible – especially with the use of hash tags.

With the innovation of new social sites, Facebook adapts to stay relevant. The site must do what it does best as well as what the new sites do. Therefore, we have seen Facebook evolve over the years from the adoption of hash tags and the Twitter-known verified accounts to the new Facebook video app, “Slingshot.” It is its form of video chatting inspired by the new social app Snapchat. I see a lot of my peers utilizing the site. However, I did not realize how quick brands were going to hop on the bandwagon.

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Because new media is always evolving, great marketers must stay abreast of the new technology. It only provides them with new and better ways to connect with their audience.

Do you hear the Buzz?

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Buzz marketing is a viral marketing technique that attempts to make each encounter with a consumer appear to be a unique, spontaneous personal exchange of information instead of a calculated marketing pitch choreographed by a professional advertiser. Viral marketing is achieved through the repetitive duplication of information to increasing numbers of people. One way that this type of marketing technique can be executed is through word-of-mouth marketing. Several companies have succeeded in utilizing these types of marketing.

A lot of times these techniques can gross more interactions than other types of marketing. In buzz marketing campaigns, the marketer allows the product to sell itself. It’s like they toss an idea in the air and watch it multiply among the audience. They encourage the audience to share their experience with others instead of forcing feeding advertising messages through traditional channels.

So how do you get people talking? You have to do something spectacular – something worth talking about. Once you’ve created the “it,” it usually sells itself. The Lays “Do Us a Flavor” is a great example. The campaign encouraged the participation of consumers all over to think of and submit their own potato chip flavor. The contest was fun and exciting — which fostered in the growth of its word-of-mouth marketing.

Advergames?

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Advergaming is becoming the latest rage in advertising and marketing. Companies and brands are now turning to this form of advertising more often to use in conjunction with more traditional forms of advertising. However, this type of advertising is not new. It has been suggested that an early form of “advergaming” has been around since the early 1980s. The term “advergames” was first coined in Wired Magazine’s “Jargon Watch” column. The three types of advergaming include the placement of games within a website to increase traffic, a game created specifically for an advertising purpose, and product placement in games.

Companies such as Ad4game facilitate advertisers, publishers, and developers with various ways to monetize their gaming platform. There are tons of other companies specifically dedicated to advergaming such as Gamelin, Arkadium, and Visioneering Games — among others. These companies provide technological services in the creation, sourcing, and marketing of advergames. In 2013, Chiptole partnered with Moonbot Studios to produce an animated film and mobile game that cleverly promote its Food with Integrity campaign. The campaign was highly successful. The game was featured as one of the top 15 free iOS applications on the US iOS app store.

Ads. Ads. Ads.

Ads – you find them everywhere. In 2014, the U.S. Total Media Ad Spending totaled $180.12 billion. You find ads on mobile, online, television, radio, and etc. A few online mediums that I often encounter are ads featured on Pandora and YouTube. Some ads are optional; however, some ads are not. These ads that play irritatingly are called interstitial ads.

“Interstitial” is used in the sense of “in between”. It is an ad that “pops up” prior to your expected content. On Pandora, the interstitial ads occur in between songs or even when you first pull up the site or app on your mobile or web device. You Tube is similar except it plays video ads that you can’t skip until after you’ve already seen a few seconds of the ads. It’s practically forcing the viewer to watch the ad.

Of course, these ads are more expensive but are they more effective? I personally have found myself sucked into a movie ad prior to my You Tube video. I have found myself so lost into the ad that I completely forgot to press skip. The key is engaging and relevant content. You have to know your consumer. Marketers make informed marketing decisions based on the demographics and psychographics of the viewer. It can easily place ads that are attractive to its viewers.

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Much — Too Much?

The advancement of emerging media is certainly beneficial. However – as with anything – too much of something can be detrimental. In reference to my recent post, “Kiddies, Beeps and Clicks,” children are becoming technologically savvy at younger ages. Increased media use raises the question: Is an excessive amount of “educational” media still too much media? Is the reliance on media technology hindering our youth as well as adults? Is it encouraging addictive habits?

Researchers have suggested that the excessive use of new technologies (and especially online social networking) may be particularly problematic to young people. It is also found that people addicted to social media may suffer from similar psychological symptoms of those that are addicted to food, drugs, etc. However, when utilized properly, social media can add to meaningful social and business relationships. So when does enough become enough?

A recent study shows that people are developing anxiety when away from their technology. Instead of too much of it “tweaking their nerves,” it’s the lack there of. If you are continuously checking your social media sites and likes as well as seeking approval and gratification from the sites, then there may be an issue brewing. Social networking already accounts for 28 percent of all media time spent online, and users aged between 15 and 19 spend at least 3 hours per day on average using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How much media do you use per day? And when do you consider much as too much?

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In regards to emerging media and creating a brand identity, companies can apply these similar principles. Too much media may drown out your target. You can easily push your readers away. So how much media is enough? And how much is too much? Entrepreneur Magazine describes how value of content is key. It’s not about quantity but quality. Are you offering your readers valuable content or are you just taking up space and trying to gain as many followers as you can? You also have to beware of the medium and the users’ preference. “For instance, Twitter users are least likely to be turned off by frequent posts,” But Instagram users may be turned off by multiple posts. In regards to brand identity, it is important for companies to establish their brand and keep all communication consistent among all mediums. In addition to these tips, companies should, “choose a voice and know their audience” among other tips.      

Kiddies, Beeps and Clicks

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I received my first cell phone in the sixth grade. Studies show that, “children receive their first mobile phone at the average age of seven.”  Today, I have seen children ages 1-4 know how to operate a cell phone! In fact, my friend’s baby is one-year-old, and he already knows what it is, how to say it and that he should swipe his finger to change the screen! It’s amazing! Some have a general understanding how to operate a phone before they know how to say – let alone – write their name. These learned behaviors occur from observation – just like anything else. (Oh – and he knows the difference between a real phone and a toy phone.) Technology is proving to be exponentially beneficial in the educational development of children. Their interaction is displaying an intelligence we might not have otherwise noticed.

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Daniel R. Anderson’s, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, discovery that “repetition reinforces learning resulted in Nickelodeon’s strategy of repeating episodes on five consecutive days.” Websites catered to children are a new media technology in itself. However, creators are beginning to incorporate new media within the sites. Such media includes videos, interactive games, and quizzes. Counting games and so much more are readily available on a smart phone or tablet. Not only are the children working towards becoming fluent in educational subjects, but they are subconsciously becoming fluent with technology as well. With such early exposure to technology, are they prone to becoming addicted to technology, obsessed with their cell phones and social media – like much of our teens today? Most parents are unaware of how often their children are being exposed to media in a day. Here is a study of one parent who was surprised by the amount of hours her child was exposed to media.