Tag Archives: online advertising

B2B viral videos done right: Watch it shred

SSI Shredding Systems is a business to business company that sells giant industrial shredders that destroy just about anything. The company has created a successful online video campaign by posting footage of their product in action.

Some challenge that these videos predate the popular “Will It Blend” videos, making SSI the first creative mastermind behind the destructive viral videos.

So, we ask: Will it shred?

Watch and find out:

800 numbers in ads more memorable than URLs

New research suggests that by leaving your 800 number out of your marketing and advertising efforts, you could be missing out on some business.

It turns out people have a 45% higher recall of toll-free, vanity 800 phone numbers than they do of many companies’ website addresses, according to the findings of a recent survey conducted by market research firm, Infosurv, Inc..

Recall data also showed that vanity 800 numbers outperform URLs when used in print, outdoor, and broadcast advertising formats.

“As an example of one recall test, a sample radio ad for a fictitious company, Bayside Auto Sales, featured 1-800-NEW-AUTO as the vanity number, and baysideautosales.com as the mock URL. Survey respondents had a 52% higher recall of the vanity number compared with the URL, despite the fact that the URL was an exact match to the company name.”

Even more compelling, those who do remember the web URL of a company often go online to start researching an advertiser’s competition.

“The results suggest that advertisers who use their websites as the exclusive consumer response tool risk losing potential customers right from the start, with about one-fifth of consumers citing ‘research the competition’ as their first step,” said Laura Noonan, VP of Marketing at 800response.

“The higher recall for the phone number over the web address is significant for a business when they look at return on advertising investment. If companies aren’t including a phone number in their ads, then they are losing that valuable direct communication with consumers who are already beyond the research phase and ready to buy,” said Noonan.

If you’ve been thinking about picking up a new vanity 800 number, now you have some data to back your decision.

Does your company have a vanity 800 number? Does it out-perform your URL in advertising and marketing pieces?

Reduce ad clutter, improve your image

One-third of online adults will immediately leave a website if it is cluttered with ads. Over 75% of those who remain on cluttered sites pay less attention to the ads there, according to a recent Burst Media report.

Ad clutter – the overcrowding of a web page with advertising units to the point of degrading the web users’ experience.

Through their survey of 4,000 web users, Burst Media found that cluttered websites “not only annoy the audience, they diminish ad effectiveness and ultimately do a disservice to the publisher, advertiser and visitor.”

How much online advertising is too much?

Most people won’t stick around on a web page with anything more than two advertising units. Over half (52.6%) of visitors said they have a low tolerance for any more than two advertising units per page, with another 27.3% of people ready to leave when there is more than one ad per page.

Clutter hurts your brand reputation by creating a negative impact on visitor’s perceptions of your brand. Approximately one in two respondents has a less favorable opinion of an advertiser when their advertising appeared on a cluttered web page.

“One of the main obstacles to getting consumers’ attention online is ad clutter,” said Chuck Moran, VP of Marketing for Burst Media. “It is critical for advertisers to ensure their messages are being placed in a high quality content environment to receive the maximum exposure they deserve, and to preserve their brand’s reputation.”

It’s a continuous struggle to find the right balance of content and advertising on any given website. The best strategy is to find sites with little clutter and take advantage of the perfect combination of Web traffic, according to Jon Gibs, VP, media analytics, Nielsen Online, in a recent MediaPost article.

Gibs suggests to avoid following the myth that the longer the page the more ads it can accommodate, the more time a visitor spends on a page the more ads they can consume, and smaller ads create less visual information.

“A suitable clutter level depends on the comfort level of a specific advertiser, the target audience and online environment. Lower-income households are typically more comfortable with higher levels of clutter, whereas high-income households prefer lower, according to Gibs. “Retail stores consumers visit tend to mirror their online advertising comfort levels,” he said.

Nobody knows your brand better than you. Avoid advertising in cluttered spaces and hang onto your brand image.

How to use Facebook for business: A lesson in B2B advertising

So, you have a Facebook business page, you’ve connected with friends, created groups and have started to build an online following for your business.

Your next step: Start using Facebook’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising service.

“It’s an awesome deal,” according to Mike Volpe in a recent post at Hubspot.

The CPM (cost per thousand impressions) for one of Hubspot’s traditional targeted B-to-B advertising run between $25 and $50, while Facebook ads targeted at marketers end up costing about $.50. It works out to be as much as a 99% discount.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Below is a great video from Hubspot showing the step-by-step process for setting up your own Facebook ad campaign.

More small businesses “get” social media

Over half (55%) of small business owners think that social networking sites have a place in the business world, according to a study by SurePayroll.

Research revealed that one in five small business owners had already obtained trade as a result of using social media sites including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

David Rohrer, SurePayroll’s online marketing manager, said that social networking has risen in popularity with small businesses, as the advertising is a cheap and effective way to connect with customers.

He added: “It is no longer just an outlet for personal use – it’s rapidly becoming a must for business success … What’s so great about the online world is you don’t need a million-dollar marketing budget.” according to a ClickThrough article.

The news that more small businesses “get” social media comes just as MySpace launches their new online marketing service called MyAds beta, which will allow small businesses to advertise on the site.

From BrandWeek:

With MyAds, advertisers don’t pay for each impression delivered to a user. Instead, they pay when a person is interested enough to click through an ad—the model favored by advertisers. The platform could help small and medium-sized businesses, which have been facing a “massive barrier to entry” because they don’t have access to creative and media-buying agencies, said Jeff Berman, president of sales and marketing at MySpace, which is a unit of Fox Interactive Media.

“This allows the pizza store owner in Brooklyn or the quilt designer in Des Moines to run an ad campaign for as little as 25 bucks,” said Berman. “The key is it also runs on a performance basis, so you get what you pay for and given what’s going on out there, that’s a pretty critical distinction.”

MyAds users will be able to create advertisements, target specific audiences, determine a budget and monitor the progress of their program, according to the MySpace MyAds site.

B2B marketing and RSS, making the connection

An estimated 70% of B2B technology marketers are missing key opportunities to directly influence sales decision makers by not incorporating Really Simple Syndication (RSS) into their company’s online marketing strategy, according to a report from MarCom Ink.

B2Bs fail to connect with RSS

B2Bs fail to connect with RSS

RSS is a general term used to describe a group of web-based feeds used to publish frequently updated works including blog entries, news headlines, audio and video in a standardized format. Using an RSS reader, subscribers can stay up to date on timely events from their favorite websites.

After visiting 300 U.S. B2B technology-company websites, researchers found that about seven out of 10 are not using RSS. Researchers also found that while 30% of companies provide RSS, only 10% have multiple targeted feeds allowing subscribers to choose from a variety of topics.

These findings are important, Marcom Ink said, because while only 16% of the general public use RSS feeds, 71% of technology buyers find them valuable, according to a 2007 MarketingSherpa and KnowledgeStorm survey of more than 3,000 B2B technology-sales decision makers.

“RSS offers B2B technology marketing and PR professionals a golden opportunity to establish ongoing relationships with their target audiences and become a trusted source of valuable information on topics buyers care about most,” said Kim Cornwall Malseed, principal, MarCom Ink.

While evidence specifically geared toward B2B training product and service marketers is still missing, this recent study examines a missed opportunity for many organizations. RSS feeds can be used to alert customers of product specials, new articles, upcoming events, best selling products and much more.

Along with informing customers of the latest company news, the added benefits of using RSS feeds include:

  • Increased traffic. Submit your RSS feed to places like Technorati, Google Blog Search and BlogCatalog (here are some more places to submit your RSS feed). Getting your RSS feed listed in RSS search engines and directories creates new ways for potential customers to discover your brand.
  • Free advertising. With little effort, you can deliver timely and valuable information to a wide audience of subscribers. Once your RSS feed is set up, subscribers receive regular news and product information that could help them in purchasing decisions.
  • Higher conversions. RSS product feeds allow customers to receive product information straight from the source. Customers are more inclined to buy products from familiar and trusted sources. RSS feeds keep your brand name at the top of the list when customers are ready to buy.
  • Customer loyalty. With the constant communication and information they deliver, RSS feeds can act as a customer relationship management tool to maintain customer loyalty and provide customers with valuable content.

How does your company use RSS to generate leads and improve site traffic?

How to use Facebook to promote your business

You built your Facebook business page, now what do you do with it?

Lets first say you’ve made the right decision by joining the social network and creating a page. Facbook business pages are indexed and searchable inside and outside of Facebook’s 100 million users, improving the opportunity that more people will find your business and invest in your product or service.

Now that you have a business page on Facebook, here are some tips for using the network to promote your business:

Create a page that is useful for viewers. Instead of focusing your page on your product or services, give customers the information they need to solve their problems. Whether it’s in the form of white papers, blog posts or interesting discussions, provide customers with engaging content that keeps them coming back.

Make friends and start conversations. Every Facebook page has a News Feed section where actions of each user are chronicled. Whenever someone interacts with your page, that action is listed in their News Feed and on their friends’ feeds. More actions on your part equal more chances to expand your fan base.

Start Facebook groups on the topic of your business. Create groups to allow Facebook friends and customers to discuss topics regarding your business, brand and website. Group moderators can send messages and updates to group members, spreading information quickly across your network.

Promote your Facebook business page. Let everyone in your network know that your Facebook page exists. Write a blog post, alert everyone on your email lists and mention it in your newsletter. The more people in your network who find out about your page, the more friends you can make, and the larger your network becomes.

Decide whether to use paid advertising or not. Facebook offers a few paid advertising options that are targeted and wide reaching. Depending on the size of your advertising budget, businesses can invest in basic or advanced advertising and even create partnerships with Facebook Beacon.

Remember that Facebook is not an email platform. Do not use Facebook messages, invites or notifications to spam people in your network. You can be de-friended just as easily as you were added. Treat people in your Facebook network the same as you would treat any of your other customers.

For detailed information on how to use Facebook as a part of your overall social networking program, check out Facebook expert Mari Smith’s post on How to Create and Promote Your Facebook Fan Page.

Here’s a pat on the back for getting your Facebook business page up and running … now get to work on promoting it.