Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Google Ends Newspaper Ads

Sorry newspapers! Google looked like it might be your Knight in shining armor but has now left you in the dust. Recently Google announced that they are discontinuing their print ads product which enabled advertisers to get placements in print via the Adwords system.

The problem? No demand from advertisers. Quite simply, not enough people were getting placements within papers through Google Adwords. Google experienced great cooperation from over 800 willing newspapers as part of their offering in 2006.

It is rare that we see Google discontinue any service that they provide. Perhaps they were thinking they could own all forms of advertising through one convenient system? In any case it was a heck of a try. Interested in newspapers ads starting next month? Get ready to dial and talk.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Social Media Top Brands

There are hundreds,thousands and millions of new, user-generated conversations happening online every single day. Individuals are joining social networks, posting comments on a blogs and forums, adding their thoughts to a wiki or sharing media with others through various content sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr. The rise of conversationally oriented content and collaborative hosting environments has grown so rapidly that according to Datamonitor, in just three years time 70% of online content will be user generated. Even Technorati the mammoth of blog monitoring covers less than half of the estimated amount of blogs worldwide of 171 million.

So amidst this growing user driven conversation bubble what Brand's are truly making a splash? We recently stumbled across an excellent study called "The Top 100 Brands" by Immediate Future. They did a comprehensive study to find out what brands have the most "share of voice" within popular social networking sites and other social media mediums.

Here are some of the specifics on how they performed the analysis as written by Immediate Future.

"Social network group sentiment analysis
To gain a measure of the overall sentiment of brand-focused groups set up on Social networks, brand name searches were conducted across three major social network sites Facebook, Flickr and MySpace. All groups focused primarily upon a brand were recorded and split in accordance to whether the overall tone was positive, negative or neutral.

Brands share of voice in social media
Discovering share of voice provides a snapshot of brand mentions in social media. It does not take into account the influence of the mentions and therefore measure the impact of the conversations. It is the first step in the discovery and mapping of a brand's social media landscape and it enables brands to identify the noise or buzz about them online.

By measuring the number of times the Interbrand top 100 global brands are mentioned across the most prominent social media sites, it is possible to determine which brands are the most talked about. The bigger the noise, the more important it is for brands to examine who is talking about them, what they are saying and if they are influential. It is the first step in engaging with social media and participating in the conversation." (Immediate Future)

Here are the top 25 brands in Social Media and their Share of Voice in popular Social Mediums.

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As you can see the majority of the top brands operate within the online technology and include search giants Google and Yahoo! No surprise they get a significant amount of conversation and content sharing occuring within YouTube as well as have a large blog swell surrounding them. What is kind of interesting is that the two leaders Google and Yahoo! have a relatively small share of voice within MySpace when compared to that of Cannon, Disney, Ford, Samsung, Gap, MTV and many others. Exactly why is this occurring? Here are two possible reasons for this occurrence..any to add?

Technical communities vs. evangelism groups- Google and Yahoo! are surrounded by very focused conversations and topics about search strategies and specific inquiries. MySpace is comprised of typically unfocused activities and conversations about a particular thread....

Producer vs. Aggregator: As search destinations, not product "producers" Google and Yahoo! are widely adopted and therefore don't have an "elite" group of supporters around them. Users assume that Google and Yahoo! are the staple of search already so why bother joining a group about it? On the other hand organizations producing multiple products can garner early adopters through a social mediums like MySpace.

Why is it important to know your share of conversation in the Social Media sphere?

Knowing where relative conversations around your brand are occurring can not only tell you a lot about your online presence it can be a personality check regarding your actual brand. Is it being perceived as conversational, engaging and shareable? Why is it only showing up in certain places? How does its current perception and online dispersion possibly affect future social media initiatives? If you haven"t taken a "deep" dive into the conversations currently surrounding your brand we strongly recommend in doing so. Let our social media and online PR division "Umunngo" show you how to create and be a part of the online conversations occurring around your brand.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What is the worst viral video attempt of all time?

I have seen a lot of terrible attempts of viral videos posted on YouTube by companies with marketing budgets big enough to feed an army. Amongst the painful memories one particular attempt stands out in my mind; The Sony "All I want for Christmas is a PSP" campaign. For some reaon this one has been burned into my mind.

Sony wanted to capture consumer evangelists expressing how all they wanted for Christmas was a PSP through videos on YouTube. Sony essentiall hired a bunch of actors to pretend like they were true consumers that would appeal to an attractive PSP market and man did it blow up in their face! This movie is literally one of the most pathetic things I have ever seen, I got a little sick half way through so I had to take a break.

What is the worst viral video campaign attempt you have ever seen? Can anything get worse than this?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Second Life Losing some Popularity

Second life is no longer the new hotness - LA Times just released an article titled Virtual marketers have second thoughts about Second Life.
Ouch. Sorry SLer's........

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nielsen Uses Time Spent on Site as New Number One

In a nod to the success of emerging Web 2.0 technologies like AJAX and streaming media, one of the country's largest Internet benchmarking companies will no longer use page views as its primary metric for comparing sites.

Nielsen/NetRatings will announce Tuesday that it will immediately begin using total time spent by users of a site as its primary measurement metric.

Scott Ross, director of product marketing at Nielsen/NetRatings, said the change was prompted by a continuing increase in the use of AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, which allows a Web site to refresh content without reloading an entire page, and to the growing use of audio and video streaming.

"It is not that page views are irrelevant now, but they are a less accurate gauge of total site traffic and engagement," Ross said. "Total minutes is the most accurate gauge to compare between two sites. If [Web] 1.0 is full page refreshes for content, Web 2.0 is, 'How do I minimize page views and deliver content more seamlessly?'"

For example, he said, MySpace may have 10 to 11 times more page views than YouTube, but users spend only three times more minutes on the site, Ross added. Therefore, measuring total time spent on a site will make it easier for advertisers to mold their ads to how users are actually accessing content, he said.

"On YouTube there will be more ads flowing in based on duration (on videos)," he said. "The more time I spend on YouTube ... [advertisers] will figure out a way to monetize that."

Monday, June 25, 2007

SpaceTime Beta, The 3-D world of Search.

Recently I stumbled across a new 3-D web browsing technology called “Space Time Beta". Powered by a 3-D interface, this browser enables users to retrieve a visual stack of search engine results and quickly scroll through them with the click of a mouse. As I continued to try out this new engine, one big question came to mind. Is 3-D browsing technology is simply a flashy search enhancement, or is it possibly future of search.

First of all, traditional metrics that have been the backbone of SEO strategies for engines like Google and Yahoo still are still the rule in this new ‘visual world’ of search. A SpaceTime Google search still relies on the same factors that have controlled the traditional algorithm of search such as keyword placement, link-ability, and content structure. So how does this new search technology stand apart? 3-D web searching essentially over-rides the traditional post search selection process where browsers click forward and backwards, into and out of sites in search of the content they are seeking.

A visual search however, enables users to see the home page immediately after they type in their search term and hit enter. So Instead of making a site selection based primarily on the chronological order of search results and relevant keywords used, the user evaluates a site on its visual design and content structure; an evaluation process that typically follows a two click process searching now happen with one click.

So, although many of the traditional measures of SEO still apply; developers and designers need to place more emphasis on creating sites that are visually appealing and contain relevant content. In the visual world of browsing, it will be imperative to create eye catching page designs that have a clear ‘Why to Buy Statement’ in order to maximize site traffic. Within 3-D browsers companies will no longer be able to hide behind chronological search selection methods that play a large part in driving users to their page.

To answer the larger question at hand, it is hard to determine if 3-D searches will play a large role in the future of search. But in the event they have a largescale impact; building a visually appealing difference will be the ultimate driver for success in the potential new era of search.

Check it out...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Nice MicroSite!

I was flipping through the channels a couple of nights ago when I came across a new series called "The Green". The show was pretty cool, but what was really impressive was the Microsite dedicated to promoting it. What is "The Green" ?

The Green is a series of documentaries entirely dedicated to promoting the environment. In addition to the series of regularly scheduled television shows, The Green will be using a microsite to provide online content aimed towards building a community of environmental awareness. “ The destination is designed to be both edifying and entertaining, with an emphasis on information, practical advice and community building. (Sundance Channel 2007) The Green site is an excellent example of community web building. Since the Green is aimed at building environmental awareness and is not promoting a particular product or brand it makes a sincere attempt at engaging users through compelling content. The central page features “This week” on The Green, which is a series of video-clips mini clips previewing released or soon to be released full-length series.

The Green is comprised of several different sub-categories of shows each with their own page that has blogs, podcasts, webisodes, photo posts and other media tools to get users involved.
The most interesting feature of the site will be the soon released “eco-mmunity”.

“Welcome to a carbon neutral online community that provides you with the tools to discover, list and contact eco-conscious individuals and businesses from across the globe. Welcome to a digital forum for sharing information and ideas; a new way to problem solve both locally and globally; a center for learning about the critical issues discussed on The Green and a conduit for taking action on them. ECO-MMUNITY is designed to be whatever you grow it into, that’s because real ‘community’ blooms with each new member that joins in.” (Sundance Channel 2007)

The ECO-MMUNITY will feature a “Green Map” where you can search for green people, places, and things that are all over the world. It will also allow you to list your green business or businesses you feel others should be aware about. ECO-MMUNITY will also feature an interactive aspect that will let users do things such as take quizzes, play games, and other activities. This site will also provide ‘eco blogs”, vlogs and emails that highlight some of the hot-points being discussed on these forums.

Check it Out!
The Green