Archive for December, 2008

Online Marketing Strategies for A New Small Business Start Up

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Need Small Business Marketing Services in New Zealand? Website Development and Promotion, PPC, SEO, Content Distribution, Social Media , Video Services, Graphic Design – Our Small Business Marketing Pacakages are comprehensive – Contact Matt – kurbpromo@gmail.com

Small businesses need marketing – I just told you my 10 best internet marketing strategies for 2009.

But some strategies work better for some businesses than others.

At the moment, as you may know if you’ve been reading (yeah right! haha) I’ve launched a whole lot of new businesses online, and I’ve been talking recently about breaking down the steps to get your online business or small business website ready to start marketing your services.

I talked about this recently, using successful small business marketing strategies to make websites effective and viable as soon as possible.

So I’ve been doing a lot of copywriting, a lot of which has been posted up on this blog, covering different aspects of the online services I offer, as I peel them off my main online marketing platform into individual niche services such as PPC and SEO services.

Not to mention the recent power post on my top 10 internet marketing strategies for small business in 2009 where website development was number #1 because you can have all the marketing clout in the world but if your website sucks then you may aswell forget it.

It’s got to look professional, provide convincing copy and generally convey a compelling experience.

But now I am generating the basic content I need I must admit that as soon as the content is up and the designers have developed a concept for the visual theme, so that the sites are at least established . . . which business will I start marketing first?

Which will become the most profitable quickly with the least effort?

Let me just cross analyse and compare.

Idea #1: Is a service I have cheap access to which I am aiming to market locally alongside

Idea#2: Is a high demand, high value product but in a niche im inexperienced in

Idea #3: Is of course my own specialized services in SEO and PPC

Idea #4: Is a low value product in a highly competitive industry but has proven results if you’re committed if you put capital into it, but again im inexperinced in this niche

Idea #5: Is a cheaper value proposition for blog promotion. This service is much lower intensity then any of the other digital coaching services we offer, but expands to a much wider audience.
If you read my top 10 you’ll know I rated adwords as the top marketing strategy after basically just having a decent website to start with.

This is the point where I take my list and comparing this to my list of ideas and determining how successful each of these strategies will be.

1: Website Development
2: Google Adwords PPC
3: Blog Promotion
4: Online Video Marketing
5: SEO
6: Email Marketing
7: Article Marketing
8: Social Media Marketing
9: Viral Marketing
10: Community Building
What kind of sites would ppc adwords work for?

Adwords would work for Idea #1. But not #2 or #3, because the market is too competitive, or rather, I’m not at a level where I can be competitive in it. Again the market for #5 is somewhat undefined, however, bloggers are more sophisticated generally then to engage an online brand that is so freash and hasn’t been developed.

So adwords could work for #1 and #4, but both may require more than I’m used to spending because I haven’t tweaked the sites to adjust for the kind of business I’m doing. It’s as I say, I’m moving into this quickly and I still don’t KNOW that the site will convert, it’s likely to be more expensive then my flagship sites which I’ve been optimising for so long.

I need to be aware of how much I can spend to get a sale. With #4 I have to spend to get sales, but it’s all in the ratios.

With a lot of these other strategies, blogging, video, and more social / interactive stuff, it just takes so much time I wouldn’t use it unless I was building a contribution to my core activity.

But if adwords won’t work, what will? We must leverage SEO, blogging and article marketing to get the soonest possible results. How will this work?

Well we know you’d do your keyword research, and then we have to write up to 10 pages, 3-5000 words all up anyway to provide decent base content for our niche site. The most likely way you would do that is with a blog, and you’d follow up that with some SEO link building.

My suggestion is that when you’re preparing all that base content for your site you actually make a real effort with up to 3 of the articles/blog posts so that you can leverage them immediately for article marketing.

You can always contact us if you need freelance copywriting and/or article marketing so you can continue to create articles and content for promotional purposes, but the main sales copy, the important copy that your visitors will read when they decide whether to pursue a purchase, should be written by someone who knows your business well, even if that’s you – though we can edit up your landing and sales copy for oomph as long as we have enough of an idea from you about exactly what it is that makes your proposition so special.

But which of my new business ideas will SEO and content marketing strategies work for?

With #2, it’s my only choice, mainly because the demand is so high I will get search interest and this is best to capitalize on by developing search friendly strategies and hoping for the best from that. With #3 I’m slightly more flexible, but it’s still a good low risk / low commitment strategy.

With #4 I have no hope with SEO because the item is something that employs a hook, it’s not something they’d be looking for otherwise. With #5 it’s a bit of a mystery, but because I’m competing as a low value technology service there will be competition and there may be scrutiny.

With #1 it’s a high value proposition and it’s a competitive market in general so even locally I will be competing against much more established players.

But what about branding, social media, web 2.0 stuff, is it useless?

Not at all, it’s just now that we’re projecting beyond 3 months from now, then we can think about what social media strategies could work.

Immediately, I already have my established sites from which to launch my new online marketing niches services – design, blog promotion, ppc and seo. I believe a lot of my business for these services will come from traffic through my established sites and blogs, which is really more a product of the web property I’ve already built – my blogs, SEO authority, but social networks and the kurb brand also.

Determining factor: I can’t commit to ALL these ideas How much work is involved?

#3 the PPC and SEO consultancy gigs are at one end of the scale because although high value, and the end of the day it’s me who has to do the work. With #1 and #5 I can happily rely on my staff, as long as the task is managed and checked off with me. With #2, where I’m dependent on search, there will be a lot of effort involved in content creation, but the difference is I’m building as asset rather than selling my labour so the work I’m doing is not only building my assets value but also increasing the amount of revenue it’s bringing in.

But this is where #4 shines. A marketing system more than anything else, I just have to optimise and make adjustments where appropriate, it’s not likely to take me any more than an hour a week once I’ve spent a few hours on it – not unless I want to, of course!

THE FINAL ANALYSIS: EXPENSES + TIME COST vs. RETURNS

Also asset value, how valuable the asset will become through development.

Idea #1
Estimatedl Monthly Earnings (6 month projection): $1000
Monthly PPC / Marketing / Labour Expenses: $350
Time cost: medium
Asset Value: High

Idea #2
Potential Monthly Earnings (6 month projection): $1200
Monthly PPC Adwords + Marketing Expenses: $100
Time cost: High
Asset Value: Highest

Idea #3
Potential Monthly Earnings (6 month projection): $1500
Marketing Expenses: $100
Time cost: Highest
Asset Value: Low

Idea #4
Potential Monthly Earnings (6 month projection): $1200
Monthly PPC : $600
Time cost: Lowest
Asset Value: Lowest

Idea #5
Potential Monthly Earnings (6 month projection): $1200
Monthly PPC / Marketing / Labour Expenses: $500
Time cost: low
Asset Value: Medium

I’m sorry I’m going to have to break this down further in another post – coming up soon!

Need Small Business Marketing Services? Website Development and Promotion, PPC, SEO, Content Distribution, Social Media , Video Services, Graphic Design – Our Small Business Marketing Pacakages are comprehensive and start at $950 for 3 months. Contact Matt – kurbpromo@gmail.com

Web Design and Development Prices Baring Online Marketing in Mind

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Hi Matt From Kurb Here. Today I’m talking about the most important part of your online business and marketing: your website, and how to ensure you grow sales by developing a website that works from the start. Email Me, kurbpromo@gmail.com if you want to talk about website design and development from as little as US$297 – NZ$495

Does your website look like a web 1.0 relic from the 90’s? Does your website involve potential customers, and help them get the information they need to make a purchase? Does your website give the impression that you’re running a professional operation and that the people behind the business are credible and committed?

Most small business marketing online simply doesnt succeed because they are not providing a compelling experience for consumers who visit their site. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into marketing your site if your site is failing to address customers needs and create leads and sales.

The solution is to HIRE A WEB DESIGN SERVICES PROVIDER WITH ONLINE MARKETING EXPERIENCE.

We are happy to assist our clients by providing your websites domain name and hosting for your site, but getting your website established is only the beginning – to often, web designers are concerned with presentation without regard for user functionality and eliminating “friction” on your website between buyers and the sale.

Presentation must not only be functional but also unique. So many businesses are relying on cookie cutter template websites that all look the same and embody very little of the unique and positive characeteristics of the small business it represents.

Also, you can’t afford to see your website as a static platform to truly engage visitors,  it must develop and evolve with your business. Continued commitment to developing website design and content that more effectively express your brand as well as help your customers to get the information they need to buy from you means they will be more confident to make purchases, and sales will grow.

WEB DESIGN, GRAPHIC DESIGN AND REGULAR CONSULTATIONS ON WEB DEVELOPMENT ARE ALL PART OF OUR 3 MONTH MARKETING PACKAGES FOR ARTISTS AND SMALL BUSINESS – Starting @ US$700

WHY CHOOSE KURB WEB DESIGN?

Practical: Websites designed to look professional as well as function effectively for sales and marketing purposes. Our websites are designed to evolve with your business.

Contemporary:
Our designs are to a modern standard and we work with your themes/images for a unique feel

Convenient: We include domain and hosting in the price, everything you need to get online asap

Affordable: We are definitely in the lower price range of web designers and consistently provide superior quality s

BASIC WEB DESIGN WITH DOMAIN
AND ONE YEARS HOSTING
$NZ495
Includes up to 7 pages and blog set up
Domain + Hosting
Onsite SEO

If you already have a website that you’re happy with, you’re probably best looking at one of our 3 month small business marketing packages starting from $NZ1200 / US$700.

From that point we can begin discussing how to best develop the web assets you have. And I by “assets” I mean that as an experienced online entrepreneur, you must understand that your first website is only the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey and success online means expanding your portfolio of web properties and assets.

If you don’t have a website this is going to become a big priority. You can build a presence online without it, but conducting business in the way you see fit is best done on your own web property. Using a social media presence instead of a website is only going to make you look unprofessional and uncommitted.

Again, for website marketing purposes, it is important for you to get your web properties established – even if just a simple 1 page site with contact details,it’s just

Often, if you already have a website that I’m looking to develop as part of our marketing plan, I’m going to need to be able to interact with the “webmaster” – whoever administers the site. Not in principal to make drastic changes but most importantly to improve it’s functionality and effectiveness. if making basic and regular changes to your website every week is a hassle, then it’s going to become a problem, so when starting from scratch we anticipate that and develop the site with that in mind.
KURB SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING TOP INTERNET MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR 2009:

1: Website Design
2: Google Adwords / PPC
3: Blog Promotion
4: Online Video Marketing
5: SEO
6: Email Marketing
7: Article Marketing
8: Social Media Marketing
9: Viral Marketing
10: Community Building

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing Services Auckland New Zealand

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

For more info on our small business prices and packages visit  SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING

or email, me, Matt Turner – kurbpromo@gmail.com


SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION AND MARKETING – KURB AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

If you go to www.google.CO.NZ and search “online promotion” guess who’s number #1? Kurb Promotions.

Don’t ask how but we’re good. Google will inevitably account for no less than half the traffic to your site, and higher google rankings means more traffic, which makes it one of the most important parts of your marketing. Most people are paying twice as much for half the result.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION AND MARKETING:

Search engine marketing is still the most powerful marketing technique accessible to entrepreneurs on small-medium budgets, but SEO is competitive. SEO is a challenge for new websites.

Ranking highly in Google for your favoured keyword search terms is better than any advertising and would give you unmatched access to your market. But the results of SEO work can vary. A Successful SEO campaign takes research, it requires a lot of tedious tasks, and that of course costs. I will underline how powerfully effective our SEO can be but you must have the patience and commitment for it if you are in a competitive niche.

What you can expect to pay: US$2000-4000

What we charge: NZ$1200 (US$700)

You can save massively using a quality, trusted service here in New Zealand
Yes we use outsourced workers. But our workers are trusted full time employees and we provide detailed verified reports of all of the SEO work we do.

Email me, Matt Turner at Kurb Promotions on:
kurbpromo@gmail.com
+64 (0)27 6848250

This from an established US internet marketing consultancy:

When we work with a business owner to improve a site’s rankings, our standard practice is to sign them up for a six month agreement where we agree on a few keywords that would be beneficial to their business, then we go about improving the rankings for those keywords over a six month period.

The client will typically be making an up front investment of anywhere between $500 and $1,000 followed by monthly recurring payments of anywhere between $250 and $500 (depending on the difficulty of the keywords they’re targeting).

Put simply, SEO, search engine optimisation – the art of being #1 on Google for your chosen keywords, is a massive part of online marketing because most of your website traffic will come from search engines.

In New Zealand that is almost overwhelmingly the Google search engine that is used in 92% of searches. New Zealand is also a relatively soft market where SEO efforts can be suprisingly effective where competitors have become complacent in maintaining their SEO efforts.

SEO AND WHAT WE DO

Google is influenced in two ways – by both the quality and quantity of written content you make available and the quantity and quality of backlinks created to your site from other sites, and our SEO service covers both these tasks, as well as carrying out the crucial research in the initial stages to determine your most valuable and competitive keyword terms, which we provide full reports to the client as part of our service.

Distributing and sharing as much content furnished with links back to your site as you can make available is the most effective way to dramatically increase your search rank, send your brand around the world and bring traffic to your website.

Our service determines the most powerful search terms, creates the content and then builds relevant backlinks areound it to send your site to the top google rankings in your niche.

KURB SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING TOP INTERNET MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR 2009:

1: Website Development
2: Google Adwords / PPC
3: Blog Promotion
4: Online Video Marketing
5: SEO
6: Email Management / Marketing
7: Article Marketing
8: Social Media Marketing
9: Viral Marketing
10: Community Building

For more info on our small business prices and packages visit  SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING

or email, me, Matt Turner – kurbpromo@gmail.com
Small business marketing package – 3 months – NZ$1200

Small business marketing campaign – 3 months – NZ$1950

Content Marketing and Social Media Predictions for 2009

Friday, December 26th, 2008

From http://blog.junta42.com

Some people hate them, but I’m a sucker for prediction articles. The switch over to the next calendar year always provides the perfect scenario to decide what the fate of marketing will be.

We reached out to the Junta42 community, as well as the Junta42 Top 42 bloggers, to get their take on what the new year would hold for content marketing and social media.  As you will see, lots of opportunity amidst great uncertainty. Just the way we like it.

Thanks to those who contributed. Some truly outstanding expertise (and frankly, free consulting from some of the best). If you don’t agree or would like to add yours, please do – and pass this along to any marketing folk you know.

The Junta42 Top 42 Bloggers

Name: Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog
Prediction: Marketers will get cheap. Budgets will be tight, which will make for more creative experimentation and rough-and-ready projects. As a result they will realize that polished product doesn’t work online. They’ll also be more concerned with analytics and measuring success, and we may see the development of more uniform models of measurement than we’ve had so far.

Name: David Meerman Scott
Prediction: Unfortunately, I have a bit of a dire prediction. But first some background.

Many marketers have now discovered Twitter. That’s a good thing. And many marketers are using Twitter in very interesting and useful ways. However I’m seeing more and more Twitter feeds created not with a person’s name “Mary Smith at Acme Products” but instead the feed is created with the company name instead “Acme Products”.

While I’m sure that some people may want to follow their favorite company, I’m seeing many of these feeds as a derivative of spam because they just prattle on about their products and services all day.

Twitter is not an advertising tool.

I predict that in 2009 there will be a backlash against company Twitter accounts and either the Twitter community will need to self-police or the good people who run Twitter will need to make rules.

Name: Frank Martin, Marketing Magic
Prediction: Brand marketers will be exploring or building their Social Media presence in an attempt to further their messages and to boost the cost effectiveness of their marketing expenditures. They will continue to struggle with the lack of control over the content, which will push them to preach “living the brand internally. NOT a bad thing!

Name: Cimarron Buser, Texterity
Prediction: Combining traditional media with electronic media will increase. For example, in the print magazine world, the print magazine, website, newsletters, and digital editions for desktops and mobile devices will all be used to increase engagement with the reader. Interactivity is growing: not just “user contributed content”, but also allowing polls and commenting to seamlessly interact with a site or digital magazine, and then show up (again) in a print version.

Name: Giles Rhys Jones, Interactive Marketing Trends
Prediction: Distributed Eventing
The creation of an event to reach a few people, then the filming and merchandising of that event nationally, regionally and globally through both broadcast and digital channel to reach a much broader audience.

Name: Marcus Grimm, Nxtbook
Prediction: We’re a digital magazine and digital collateral provider, so it makes sense that I’d predict continued growth in that arena. But aside from my own bias, the stars are well aligned for that prediction: In a tough economy, dollars will always flow from expensive projects with unclear ROI to less costly initiatives with a well-defined ROI. For marketers, digital magazines and collateral do just that.

Name: Paul Dunay, Buzz Marketing for Technology
Prediction: I think you will see more companies acting like Media companies and even launching their own media properties based off of blogs, communities, and wikis they set up over the last few years.

Name: Scott Monty
Prediction: Content will be more focused around conversation than messaging. Brand marketers will begin listening to what their customers are saying and will be able to reply in an authentic engaging manner.

Name: Sally Falkow, co-developer of PRESSfeed
Prediction: News articles with images and video syndicated in RSS feeds should be a big part of brand marketers’ strategy in 2009.  The most clicked items on a Universal search results page are images and news. Americans are showing more and more interest in RSS.  ‘What is RSS?’ is on the top ten list of questions searched in the Google Zeitgeist list for 2008.  Brand marketers should take advantage of this increasing interest in RSS.

Name: Michael A. Stelzner, author of ‘Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged’
Prediction: Social media is the new frontier for marketing.  I predict a “gold rush” will take place as businesses quickly secure their spots in the social media frontier.

Many will rush to put up their Twitter sites and attempt to leverage LinkedIn and Facebook groups to further interact with their clientele.

These sites will be used to drive traffic to free content offerings, such as white papers and ebooks.  DON’T MISS OUT.  Get your social media plan underway now! You still have a first-mover advantage.

Name: Scott Howard, ScLoHo
Prediction: In 2009 the smart brand marketers will reach out via text offers and Twitter offers to the college aged crowd, money saving offers that they can use repeatedly to build brand preferences for the future.

Name: Jason Falls
Prediction: While I’m not optimistic many will catch on to this in 2009, some will. Creating and distributing branded content will have to focus around something other than the brand to be optimally successful. Whether it’s a lifestyle, peripheral niche topics or by championing a cause or position, innovative brands will start to provide engaging content that allows them to intertwine the brand rather than push it as the primary selling point.

Name: Jacob Morgan
Prediction: It’s no secret that social media is going to be a killer way for brand marketers to distribute and create their content.  I think the main challenge is going to be how to measure the value or “ROI” on social media efforts and how to replicate social media successes.  I am hoping that 2009 will bring about the integration of traditional media, social media, and search.  Once a company can master the integration of all three, they will have a killer campaign.

I think we are also going to see Twitter blow up in terms of users – be prepared for a lot of spam and a lot of junk.  The quality of Twitter and it’s ability to filter spam is definitely going to be tested.  We are already seeing some of this now.  Truth be told, 2009 is going to involve a lot of testing and trial and error for brand marketers.  There is no formula for social media success.  However, we are also going to venture into an exciting time where companies and brands are going to try new things that will hopefully lead to case studies and examples that can be applied across the industry.  Will we see a television commercial mention a corporate twitter account?  We’ll see.

I’m hoping that in 2009 companies and marketers will really see the value in building relationships with their users and customers through social media.

Name: Karthik Murali H
Prediction: Embracing Web 2.0  with social networking and bookmarking sites will be the route most brand marketers would take and it seems the most obvious economical choice in the current scenario.

Name: Toby Bloomberg, Diva Marketing
Prediction: I hesitate to make predictions so instead here are a few “I hope the brand marketers get it” wish list for 2009.

I wish that brand marketers would realize that building relationships via mobile is not pushing ads but providing valuable content that can be customized a la iPhone apps.

I wish that brand marketers would understand that to build trust means to participate with customers within the social media communities/blogs. It’s not “social” until there is an exchange.

I wish that brand marketers would take the time to develop internal communication processes (that crosses silos) to support social media strategies before they launch social media initiatives.

Name: Dan Thornton
Prediction: Social Media Marketing will become a more mainstream approach, with a better understanding of how ROI is driven both directly and indirectly – this means an influx of brilliant examples, but also of the worst examples of jumping on something without investing the time and resources to understand it properly first.

Technology wise, Twitter will be officially mainstream, and will have monetized in some way, so I’d expect a rush of companies using whatever appears as a short term, low effort way to get into the buzz around micro blogging.

I’d also say video will continue to become more and more utilized – both as a publicity tool, but also as an interaction tool using sites like Seesmic, 12 seconds or mobatalk as ways to actually engage with people and provide a way for conversations to form via video.

Name: Mark Brownlow
Prediction: 2009 will see more brands providing opportunities, tools and experiences that allow or encourage others to create and distribute content on their behalf. It takes a leap of faith to let go of control of the final content or message. But that control started to decline from the day someone said, “hey, let’s connect these two computers together.”

Name: Marc Meyer
Prediction: I think  brands will take more ownership of the content they create this coming year, but I think they still don’t understand how to best reach the consumer. As many strides as we have made with social media this past year, much needs to be done for 2009. With that said, look for more cross promotional content creation this year as well.

Name: Rick Liebling
Prediction: This may be more of a hope than a prediction, but I’d like to see more marketers empower employees across the company to be content creators.  If I’m a fan of a car company, I want to hear from designers, engineers, assembly line workers, sales, you name it. Have them participate in a group blog network, or on Twitter, whatever, the platform doesn’t matter so much, it is the passion of the people that work for the company that really make the brand. Push that passion out to the consumer in an authentic manner and you’ll create fans.

Name: Becky Carroll
Prediction: I believe that brand marketers will put more resources into having their customers help them create and distribute brand content. As consumers are tuning-out traditional advertising and marketing efforts, they are turning to their peers for advice and recommendations. Brand content that is created and distributed by peers who are evangelists for the brand can have significant impact not just on branding but also on sales and customer loyalty.

Name: Patsi Krakoff aka The Blog Squad
Prediction: In 2009 we’ll see more brands developing a personality or a persona to represent the core values of the company. This ‘persona’ will be responsible for most of the brand’s blog content and social media messages.

Cutting edge companies like Razer, the computer gaming hardware developer, have been using their founder, RazerGuy, as spokesperson for years. Other brands will find or create a persona to embody the spirit of their company. How else can companies connect and build relationships unless there is a person with a real personality?

As The Blog Squad, my partner Denise Wakeman and I have realized the importance of ‘persona’ to connect with people and to represent what our company does. Fortunately, we’re real people. I pity those companies that are going to have to invent a persona because that will never work as well as authenticity.

Rohit Bhargava hit the nail on the head with his book Personality Not Included. I predict that 2009 will be the Year of the Personality!

Name: Brian Solis
Prediction: Brand marketers will continue to experiment with existing and emerging forms of social media, concentrating their efforts substance and distribution and not frequency (maybe that’s a wish and less of a prediction). Content syndication aka Social Syndication is key for rising above the noise and connecting with the very people who can benefit from your words, thoughts, ideas, and passion. Social syndication will also require aggregated monitoring of all activity in order to not only “push” content at people, but also provide a hub for viewing, analyzing, and responding to their feedback, where those individual conversations transpire. We will also see integrated dashboards such as PeopleBrowsr and 8hands tightly intertwine the distributed web to enable true participation and cultivation of genuine relationships across diverse communities. The social web will expand and contract in 2009, but we will also gain access to the very solutions that will make the real and online world a much smaller place.

Name: David Reich, Reich Communications, Inc.
Prediction: Marketers will continue to experiment with social media in 2009, although they may not get into it as deeply as they might have hoped before the financial meltdown.  But tight budgets might work in favor of trying social media, since programs on various platforms, especially blogs, need not be costly to be effective at reaching and engaging customers.

Name: Rick Burnes, Hubspot
Prediction: In 2009 brand marketers will

  1. create more, higher-quality content
  2. become more respected as a source for content

Name: Neil Perkin
Prediction: 2009 is going to be a hugely challenging year for everyone, but the transition of all media streams to become social is a permanent change meaning that more and more brand owners will need to adopt distributed networked models over destination models. The challenging environment will see more focus on ROI, a desire for greater definition, and the rise in new forms of context.

Name: Ann Handley, MarketingProfs
Prediction: In 2009, an increasing number of journalists find themselves out of work at traditional newspapers, which continue to struggle with sustaining their business. Good news: the writers find a home as “content producers” and “content managers” on the corporate side, in companies of all shapes and sizes.

People who are trained as journalists are specifically geared to helping companies execute on their 2009 marketing strategy, which is to become trusted sources of information within their specific industries. They can help companies see the wisdom of talking less about the company itself, and more about solutions they can help their customers with. They are wonderfully creative in developing interesting and compelling content.

Advice: If you are thinking of increasing your content play in 2009, hire a journalist.

Name: Mark Nagurski
Prediction: 2009: The Year Small Business Comes Out to Play

If 2008 was the year that social media went mainstream, then 2009 will be the year that small businesses and micro-brands start using those very same social media  tools to make and distribute their content.

Take a sneaky peek outside the online bubble and for a sizable chunk of the small business world, the term web strategy still refers to a 4-page brochure website and a Hotmail address. And the small business world is a sizable chunk of the bigger business pie.

But the growth of social media and the importance of search have helped to democratize the tools needed to go beyond static sites and create and distribute content. Blogs are free, YouTube hosts your video for you and RSS makes syndication really simple.

So as individuals become increasingly familiar with these tools in their own personal lives, they will begin to play and experiment and otherwise dip their toes in the content creation waters in their business lives too. Some will take to it and some will prefer the seeming security of the status quo beach.

Either way, just as the trend junkies and early adopters begin to sound the death knell for blogging, podcasting and anything else established B.T. (before Twitter), 2009 will see us welcoming the early majority to the party.

It should be some party.

Name: Paul Gillin
Prediction: I believe 2009 will see the beginnings of a new approach to corporate blogging that is more genuine and open. Corporate Blogs 2.0 will admit that fallibility is not a sin and will trust their customers to help them make their businesses better.  The few businesses that have taken a risk and bared their souls have found that their transparency engenders sympathy, trust and support.  The business world will experience a great deal of pain during the first part of the next year.  There is no better time for them to ask customers for help and understanding.

Name: Heather Lloyd-Martin
Prediction: 2008 was the year of big brands sticking their toes into the SEO content waters.  More than ever before, companies were building out blogs, articles, FAQ pages, white papers and robust product descriptions in an attempt to gain better organic search engine ranking and capture market share.

Although many companies did a fantastic job (@zappos being one), other companies created what they called “content for the search engines.”  Unfortunately, this content was keyphrase-stuffed without regard to direct marketing principals. In essence, their content was written solely for the search engines without regard to their readers’ experience.

I see many companies shifting their content approach to one that’s less about search engine rankings and more about blending direct response writing with SEO principals.  Companies implementing SEO copywriting strategies in 2009 are focusing more on creating a dialogue with their customers.  In-house teams are stressing messaging and conversion – and less on gaining a particular keyword position or per-page keyphrase density (thank goodness).

Companies are also starting to put more value on SEO copywriting training – whether that means sending their team to conferences, building in-house training initiatives, or planning ongoing educational opportunities.

It’s a very exciting time.

Name: Valeria Maltoni
Prediction: Execution is the new strategy!

I strongly believe this. With the speed at which things are changing in today’s business environment, it will become critical to do and adjust as you learn while doing. Yes, strategy and planning are important, but doing is and will be critical.

This will especially be important when creating content. In many companies and businesses, there is way too much planning and way too little creating. My prediction is that success will come to those who do and edit on an ongoing basis. The year of the “doer” is here – now repeat after me “can do”.

Name: Ardath Albee
Prediction: In 2009, content will help companies become ubiquitous in their area of expertise. Instead of only sharing their expertise with people who come to their websites and fill out a form, B2B marketers will start spreading (syndicating) their content across the Internet to intersect with where their customers and potential customers hang out.

Marketers will employ content to attract interactive dialogues. They’ll learn how to have meaningful “social” conversations and come to understand how to use storytelling content to build relationships that more easily progress to sales opportunities.

Instead of one-off content developed for a specific company event, or campaign, marketers will develop their content using an overarching story as a thematic guide to map content to buying stages. And, they’ll start to personalize content to address specific target segment needs as they get better at reading virtual behavior and responding to the interests that prospects indicate.

The result of this shift in the creation and use of marketing content is that companies will attract more prospects who opt in to dialogue and that, by using content to create momentum in the buyer’s journey, salespeople will be focused on selling to opportunities, instead of qualifying leads.

Name: Joe “Giuseppe” Zuccaro
Prediction: Obviously through social networks that provide transparency and authenticity.  Video will play a larger role.  But the authenticity may have to come through a person whose role is more like an “ombudsman” than a brand manager or PR flack.

Name: Chris Moritz, Campbell-Ewald
Prediction: Social channels (for real this time) – talked about a lot in 2008, but low participation when compared to what will happen in 2009. Microblogging, syndication and aggregation via RSS, email newsletters wedded to social network profiles – this will positively explode in ’09.

A mixture of company-, user-, and agency-generated content facilitated and directed by a dedicated content strategist, powered by antediluvian content management systems (for the unlucky) and blogging-style publishing tools (for the fortunate).

Delivery of content may be seen more often via API-powered Javascript widgets/gadgets like Google’s OpenSocial. Allows for quicker deployment without the need for manual coding or complicated back end modifications.

Name: Neil Marshall
Prediction: Consider this both a prediction and a plea from someone in marketing and a consumer of content …

Let’s make 2009 the year of true 1:1 content distribution.  Send me the content I want, when I want it, in the form that I’d like to consume it.  Let the challenging economic times inspire challenge to convention … drop the one size fits all newsletter in favor of on demand delivery of targeted 1:1 messages driven by variable content.  Lose the plain text marketing pieces in favor of interactive video.  Use email, RSS, widgets, and portals as distribution points, and let me choose which of those work for me.

From Junta42 Content Providers and Content Agencies

Name: Kari Rippetoe – Social Media and Content Strategist
Prediction: Businesses are still catching on the phenomenon of blogging and realizing the value it holds for their brands.  I think more brand marketers will be including it as an essential part of their strategy, and budgeting for content development/management and community building/management.  With all the talk about social media measurement and how to prove ROI, blogging will be the best way for the late adopters to ease into social media and content marketing.

Name: Diane Evans, Sunlit Communications
Prediction: Word of mouth — with a different twist.  In geographic communities, local businesses build as word spreads of high quality work and reputable service.  The Internet brings together a different kind of community, where people “know” one another according to common interests and/or intersecting fields of work.  Either way, word spreads when work is done well, on time and for a fair and reasonable price.

Name: Paul Barron – Publisher & Producer
Prediction: Webinars & live or pre-recorded Video events

Name: David Crew
Prediction: Podcast & Video Podcasts

Name: Scott Frangos
Prediction: Many will use the suite of Google tools to create presentations, surveys, slide shows, and even plug in lists using web published spreadsheets.

Name: Marilyn K. Dayton, EOTO Custom Publications
Prediction: As we at EOTO Publishing look ahead into 2009, we can foresee the potential effects of both the recession and the associated drop in overall marketing budgets. We predict an approximate 10% drop in overall ad spending, especially in Corporate America. Depending on the industry, small business may find a need to cut ad/marketing spending at a higher rate than Corporate America. To compensate, there will be emerging opportunities that will increase the replacement of traditional media spending with e-Commerce, in the form of:

  • email blasts – a fast, quick method of personalized marketing
  • e-newsletters – frequent informational deliverability
  • e-magazines/e-brochures – due to segmentation potential

There will be less tactics and more strategy and innovative, fresh thinking to connect and interact branding with consumers. We will see increased collaboration through cross marketing opportunities with web ads as well as an increase in bartered marketing. However, the growth of eCommerce marketing listed above will be overshadowed by increased paid searches and social networking techniques.

Name: Anna Prokos
Prediction: Marketers will reach out to custom media providers who specialize in digital magazines and online applications—a more cost-effective and fast way to get their content into the hands of readers.

Name: Michael Blumberg
Prediction: The big challenge for brands is going to be reaching consumers without appearing to be selling anything. Consumers can smell ads a mile away, and tend to avoid them when they can (witness DVRs and extremely low click-through rates on online search and display advertising). People do not like brand messaging with a hidden agenda.

However, giving high-quality content as a gift with no strings attached is likely to increase consumer appreciation. I therefore predict that brands will shy away from ads and toward sponsoring more independent editorial. They may also increase direct response tactics that appeal to consumers’ wallet, like offers, promotions and sweepstakes.

Name: Russell Sparkman
Prediction: In 2009, there will be continued enthusiasm for online user-generated Content and Social Media. However, there will be increased recognition that UGC/Social Media isn’t a fit for every communicator’s needs or goals, leading to an increased awareness of, and demand for, professionally produced content in online corporate communications.

In particular, 2009 will herald the widespread emergence of marketing and public awareness communications content that sits at the nexus of corporate communications and journalism. As more and more non-media organizations begin to think and act like publishers there will be increased emphasis in quality and professionalism in content creation.

Corporate, non-profit and government websites will become more and more like online magazines or channels. And those who recognize the importance of compelling, authentic storytelling content in their online communications will see the greatest long term ROI from their content investments.

All sectors that are engaged in marketing communications activities will be influenced by this trend. This includes not only consumer product manufacturers and retailers but also non-profit organizations and governmental organizations.

A by-product of this trend is that professional writers, photographers, videographers, illustrators, animators, etc., — many of whom are wary of the “anybody can publish” world of free UGC/Social Media – will see increased demand for their professional services.

Name: Paul Conley
Prediction: I expect brand marketers to begin buying media properties — particularly well-established brands with both Web and print products — from traditional B2B publishers. The economic crisis in publishing offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for marketers. I expect them to act on it.

Name: Simon Kelly, Story Worldwide
Prediction:

  1. Media will end before advertising. The collapse is well under way. Consumers will need to get information elsewhere.
  2. With nowhere to go, advertising will follow very quickly. Consumers won’t care.
  3. Story listening will become prevalent as brands realize they have to do that before telling their story.
  4. Social networking will continue to proliferate and P+G will not spend any more on ads on facebook.
  5. Clients will start to create their own private social networks – as brands turn into media channels, social media will lead the channel delivery.
  6. Large agencies will collapse. See point 2. They will try to drink from ever smaller (digital) pools and realize they have neither the skills nor nimble approach to survive

Name: Tammy Wise, The Wise Group
Prediction: As mainstream media pares staff and traditional media readership declines, opportunities for brand marketers to get out their message will evolve dramatically. No longer needing to persuade mainstream media gatekeepers, brand marketers will realize the critical need to provide relevant, quality content. Marketing messages will follow a less-advertising, more journalistic approach that offers relevant stories that show impact, offer counsel and demonstrate fairness. Target audiences will seek content, particularly online, that fills their need for relevant, useful information.

Name: Gordon Plutsky, King Fish Media
Prediction: Traditional media companies will continue to lose ad revenue from companies who are now creating their own content to own their own media channel.  However, smart media companies will prosper by offering innovative lead generation programs for companies to distribute their content to new audiences.   Content creating companies and media companies will create win/win partnerships to leverage the relationship’s media brands have with their audience to marry with company created original content.  The combination will result in a positive environment for content marketing.

Website Development, Design and Content in Online Marketing

Friday, December 26th, 2008

“In short if your website looks like a bombsite or a relic from the 90’s, if I can’t understand why I need your product or service, if the actual people who represent the business are hiding behind the brand rather than representing it . . . then nobody a online small business marketing campaign brings to your site is going to feel like buying anything there.”

Need Small Business Marketing Services? Website Development and Promotion, PPC, SEO, Content Distribution, Social Media , Video Services, Graphic Design – Our Small Business Marketing Pacakages are comprehensive and start at $950 for 3 months.
Contact Matt – kurbpromo@gmail.com

I’m deep in a growth and development phase in my all over entrepreneurial strategy and now that things are coming into focus, the time for large scale conceptualization is over and it’s all down to the execution.

It’s like a blog I was just reading on ittybiz sometimes it’s easier just to hire a marketing consultant like me than get off your butt and do the work you know needs to be done. But if you are me, then there is no option but to get into it.

Often I approach strategy through blogging but tonight I had to say sure, do a blog post on small business promotion if it gets you in an entrepreneurial and helps you map out your thoughts . . . but don’t think that blogging is a reliable strategy to build market interest short term when I want to make these new business projects profitable in a month.

I have a LOT of persuasive copywriting to do.

Not only will I need highly persuasive copy on the landing or home page, which often involves scrapping the old version, pulling out the best parts and replacing most of it with more compelling yet simple ideas and concepts that illustrate and engage prospects with our marketing message . . .

but also, probably have to write at least 10 500 word articles related to each sub topic or product all interlinked nicely.

Just as vistors to the site will be looking for as much information as they need on the services they require, so too will Google and other search engines be looking for a critical mass of content that shows that your site is relevant and provides authoritative information.

Once content is in place, or even while I’m just preparing it, we can begin Search Engine Optimisation and marketing, there is a range of small business marketing strategies I could implement but I’m only starting with the best strategy that an provide long term benefit and that is SEO.

Though I think there is a lot to be said for putting your business together as an operating model before you get into marketing, strategies such as SEO, blogging and other social media strategies, it’s not absolutely fundamental, because these are long term strategies that will grow along with your business.

But you see I’m very eager to get my new online businesses up and running so it is fundamental in this case to get all the basics right.

If a customer can’t come to a page and get the information and assurance they need that the service you are providing is of a professional standard then they are simply going to move on.

So that means providing both persuasive arguments and illustrating benefits – all your stock and standard copywriting stuff, but with out professional presentation and design then my brand image will let down  an
So without a lot of exception, the rudiments of successful small business marketing is having a website that actually adresses your customers needs.

Are you going to make yourself accesible by providing clear methods of contacting your business and providing some idea or method of allowing your customers or clients to understand how much you charge and for what? Do you need a FAQ?

Should you use your own name? Should you make your phone number available and your email?
Should you provide exhaustive pricing information?

There’ll be time to get into details soon but for now it’s just about preparing those basics

What is your product?

Why is it any good? How does it address the buyers concerns, their “pain”?

Who is it for? What connections can you make about these types of purchasers?

How can it be purchased and are potential buyers able to carry out the transaction through the site or do they have to contact you?Are you making that easy for them?

What expectations can buyers have that should be unequivocally met by your business?

There’s no point calling up a marketing consultant like me and dialling in a marketing campaign involving ppc, seo, blogging, emails, social media etc. when the most important thing you can do to improve your small business marketing efforts is to make sure your website is a place where people actually want to buy things, from you.

Once you know that your website is a place where people are being introduced to your brand and that your onsite branding and marketing actually works, mainly by developing the content – whether that’s just starting with written text and images with a view to offering audio and video from your site – AND by using graphic design to bring your website to a standard of presentation that is offered by your competition and what is perceived by your target market as having quality in it’s visual appeal.

In short if your website looks like a bombsite or a relic from the 90’s, if I can’t understand why I need your product or service, if the actual people who represent the business are hiding behind the brand rather than representing it . . . then nobody a online small business marketing campaign brings to your site is going to feel like buying anything.

Graphic design, copywriting, website design and development are all services I offer through my online digital promotions packages for small business marketing starting from US$950 for 3 months.

Music Monetization Strategies: Sales First and Multiple Revenue Streams

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Interested in online music marketing, cheap graphic design, or youtube promotions for your band or performing act? Or are you interested in building one way back links? I have tonnes of high PR niche sites to swap one way links from, so get in touch:

kurbpromo@gmail.com

Follow original posts from my blog at Music Marketing Management

Hi new visitors, I’m Matt from kurb we provide :


I’m so excited I’m heading into the quiet time of the year for me as far as my main dvd duplication and dvd copying operation goes and although I’ll be beavering away on client websites, I’m right back into the internet marketing scene.

Checking out lots of gurus.

Now one guru who I’ve been getting a great deal of knowledge off recently did a series where he pointed out that the beginning of any internet marketing campaign begins with sales.

It doesn’t end with sales, it begins with sales on a website. Sales of a product, a service . . . a fixed fee for some bundled content, any or all of those future music business models we love here on this blog.

This is why I’m doing the work I am with artists, building music and artist sites that are going to work. Because unless you can prove that you have a website and you are selling a product, and that sales are actually happening , there’s no point launching an online music marketing campaign just to have a whole lot of people come to your site and not buy anything.

If anything it should help you understand perhaps people want to buy your products or experience your music in a more interesting and accessible way than a CD.

And understand that we do want to sell things. We do want to leverage propositions, we want to make money online with our music. BUT we can also understand that it’s not easy anymore and just getting those email sign ups means we’re still moving forward towards music monetization.

Sales are hard. But emails are something.

This is the thing, old guruface reckons you don’t even need a product. Once you implement solid online music promotion tactics, you can read the market, and gauge the potential receptivity of a product or service you may only still be developing. It’s clever stuff once you know what you’re doing with a strong email list and traffic flow to your website.

Here’s a bonus Quote from 37 signals on music revenue:

37 signals

“Revenue is like water going into a dam. The more holes you can poke in that dam, the more ways the money has to trickle through to you. Plus, it gives fans more ways to connect with you and interact with you (especially if you’re willing to be open and honest). When that’s true, everyone wins.”

Backlinking Strategies for Successful Search Engine Optimisation

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Interested in Search Engine Optimisation, online music marketing, cheap graphic design, or youtube promotions for your small business, band or performing act? Or are you interested in building one way back links? I have tonnes of high PR niche sites – not just music and business sites – to swap one way links from, so get in touch:

kurbpromo@gmail.com

Follow original posts from my blog at Music Marketing Management

Alright right now I am getting right into whitehat search engine optimisation!

Whitehat search engine optimisation is good guy by-the-book seo, which means it’s a little bit of hard work, there’s no shortcuts, but it is really effective when done right.

So we’re combining what we learnt about anchored keywords when showing link love on your music artist blog, with a lesson about how to go about creating one way back links from relevant sites – the most effective seo links you can get.

We learnt before why I want to anchor my link with music marketing or DVD duplication. Because people aren’t looking for Matt @ Kurb, they’re looking for someone who can give them music marketing services or a dvd duplication company.  So I need to put that in the “anchor text” to tell google that thats whats going on.

That’s what’s going to help whatever I’m linking to come up for that exact term in google searches.

So we’ve learnt how to build an effective backlink, now we’re going to learn about using whitehat techniques – otherwise known as “asking nicely” – to get one way links from relevant sites.

A one way backlink with exact keyphrases anchoring it  from a highly relevent and highly ranked site is the holy grail of search engine optmisation.

Now I’ve always been shy of hard work as some of you will know, I haven’t had a proper job in 8 years, and that’s as it should be, because there’s so many ways that you can make yourself more valuable in general by leveraging a brand and offering products and services online.

I first began learning about search engine optimisation over 5 years ago so it was quite an epiphany when I moved beyond myspace promotion and all this stuff I’d begun learning about but never had any results with began to come back to me.

The problem was, like most musicians I wasn’t keen to keep putting effort into it at the time because it didn’t pay off immediately. Mainly because their weren’t nearly so many people online. The internet was still a novelty. But like a lot of things in my creative career,  what I learned and appreciated at that point became extremely valuable to me later.

But through learning about automating myspace  began learning all the tricks I do now about promoting music online and the types of techniques that internet marketers used.

I first recognised the power of SEO because my myspace promotion had been so effective – and this was before they bought in all the anti spam measures such as msplinks – that I was dominating google results for some of my original businesses – my postering business and my cd and dvd duplication service.

For CD Duplication I used to get nicely up around 3 or 4 which guaranteed me continued business.

What this gave me was a chance to recognise how powerful ranking in Google could be.

I must of had one of the shoddiest looking DVD Copying sites around, but the google traffic in combination with my other marketing tactics, ensured I got a good amount of business.

Of course about 18 months ago, myspace bought in msplinks and killed the massive google juice I was getting from their site, I think my old kurb site is still blacklisted by myspace, but also, because it’s been up there for 5 years, it still gets massive SEO advantages. This is why it’s so important just to get your website set up on a domain you intend to stick with, even if it’s not pretty.

Now since then blogging, pay per click and a little bit of ad supported revenue has kept things moving for me online until I recently got my first gig doing SEO consultation which put me under pressure to get results. It was a little bit iffy there, but I ended up suprising myself, so after a brief flirt with being a ppc expert, which I definitely endorse when done right, I am also back into “organic search”.

I’ve also been influenced recently by an internet marketing guru who is completely lazy and refuses to do all but a very small amount of work. He swears by playing by the rules. 100 decent links will trump 10,000 trash links any day of the week. In New Zealand the competition tends to be so weak that you still beat your competitors even when you’re being penalised.

But the advice I’m getting here from one of the big boys is that the key is relevance.

Yes I want linksfor dvd duplication and dvd copying. But those links are only as good as the sites they come from and if the site has nothing to do with DVD’s then there’s no way I’ll reap the benefits I could be if it was.

It’s all about relevance.

Now the second point is about “link exchanges” link exchanges are good, but they are nowhere near as effective as one way links, a link where they link to you

This is where webmasters will often get together, if I can get a link for “music marketing” or “cd duplication” off a music site, then I will link to them from one of my other sites mainly http://kurbpromotion.wordpress.com because it’s no longer my main blog part has a PR4 ranking which means it passes a lot of influence and webmasters are always keen for me to link to them from there.

I also have a lot of PR3’s which are fairly decent too.

If I can get an internet marketing or a technology blogger to link to music marketing or dvd copying I will often then link to them from my small business marketing bloghttp://smallbusinesspromotion.info

This shows why it’s so effective to have more than one site, and also be developing niche properties on wordpress.com and blogger.com where you can build your niche link exchanges, and generally do a few other trashy things that your adoring fans might find a little less than rock star.

Remember when I said that internet marketing is all about “owning more of the web”? This is what I’m talking about. Developing and levearging online niche properties. Everyday, more niches are being filled online by newcomers capturing that space with a new blog or site, pretty soon becoming an online entrepreneur from your bedroom isn’t going to be as easy as it has been, and nor is creating impact and attention in entertainment.

See, I counted up how many “splogs” I have. Over 50, almost 60.  Well They’re not really splogs. A splog is a blog that rips articles from an rss feed and reposts them autommatically. My splogs are just trashy nich based blogs that I put next to no effort into just so I can expand my web presence.

As I say, links from these sites are not highly valued, but get enough of them . . . and of course where I’m able to leverage these blogs for links back to my main sites, they are very effective.

So to finish up . . .

Who wants to do keyword link exchanges with me on their blogs?

Have you got a blog or a site or a particular post on your blog that talks about music, cd/dvd, graphic design or youtube or – is your website based on a New Zealand server?

Google’s geo targeting also means that websites who are closer to who’s searching are also deemed more relevant, which is particularly of concern where my DVD business is involved because I only offer these service within New Zealand.

Websites on a NZ server or containing a .co.nz are both considered as being more relevant to NZ searchers.

My terms of course are

Music Marketing” or “Online Music Marketing

DVD duplication” and “DVD copying

and my new businesses I’m devlopoing

youtube promotions

cheap graphic design

small business marketing
All you have to do is copy the links above and past them into a blog post – editing them into a post that you’ve already done on a relevant topic is a great way to give me my link without raising readers suspicions.

If your sites aren’t too trashy and are decent, I can give you sweet as one way links from my wordpress blog as well as this one – both very high quality sites, PR4 and PR3, and of course I’ve got plenty of music sites that I can also give you one way links from.

Whitehat SEO one way link exchanges in music baby. Let it work for you!

Drop me a line at kurbpromo@gmail.com if you’re keen on an exchange!

Hi new visitors, I’m Matt from kurb we provide :

Online Media, Marketing and Business: Some Projections and Predictions for 2009

Friday, December 26th, 2008

From Emarketer,

  • Video ad spending will run counter to overall economic developments, rising by 45% in 2009 to reach $850 million
  • Search marketing spending will grow by 14.9% in 2009, to $12.3 billion. Search marketing is not recession-proof, but it is recession-resistant.
  • Total US Internet ad spending will increase to $25.7 billion in 2009, an 8.9% growth rate.
  • Online retail sales (excluding travel) will grow by only 4% in 2009—the first full year to feel the impact of the economic crisis.
  • E-commerce will be a growing revenue stream for social network sites. Expect both MySpace and Facebook to enhance their self-serve advertising systems to allow consumers and businesses to buy and sell real-world goods and services.
  • Traditional Media: Continues Hurting: Newspaper advertising will continue to decline in the new year more than any other medium. Industry-wide cutbacks will continue, and there will be some consolidation.
  • The 800-lb. online video gorilla, YouTube, announced in Q4 2008 that it would carry full-length television programs supported by ads. Expect to see similar properties compete with it in 2009.

Also, TV advertising revenue is expected to decline for the first time ever in 2009, by a noticeable 4.7%, but this is a recessionary blip, 2010 it is expected revenue will rise again by .5% but is it likely this is some foreshadowing of what to expect in the not too distant future?

Youtube Promotion Techniques

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

YOUTUBE PROMOTION TECHNIQUES

Have you ever watched a video with 100,000 views on YouTube and thought to yourself: “How the hell did that video get so many views?” Chances are pretty good that this didn’t happen naturally, but rather that some company worked hard to make it happen – some company like mine.

When most people talk about “viral videos,” they’re usually referring to videos like Miss Teen South Carolina , Smirnoff’s Tea Partay music video, the Sony Bravia ads , Soulja Boy – videos that have traveled all around the internet and been posted on YouTube, MySpace, Google Video, Facebook, Digg, blogs, etc. – videos with millions and millions of views.

Over the past year, I have run clandestine marketing campaigns meant to ensure that promotional videos become truly viral, as these examples have become in the extreme. In this post, I will share some of the techniques I use to do my job: to get at least 100,000 people to watch my clients’ “viral” videos.

Secret #1: Not all viral videos are what they seem

There are tens of thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube each day (I’ve heard estimates between 10-65,000 videos per day). I don’t care how “viral” you think your video is; no one is going to find it and no one is going to watch it.

The members of my startup are hired guns – our clients give us videos and we make them go viral. Our rule of thumb is that if we don’t get a video 100,000 views, we don’t charge.

So far, we’ve worked on 80-90 videos and we’ve seen overwhelming success. In the past 3 months, we’ve achieved over 20 million views for our clients, with videos ranging from 100,000 views to upwards of 1.5 million views each. In other words, not all videos go viral organically – there is a method to the madness.

I can’t reveal our clients’ names and I can’t link to the videos we’ve worked on, because YouTube surely doesn’t like what we’re doing and our clients hate to admit that they need professional help with their “viral” videos. But I can give you a general idea of who we’ve worked with: two top Hollywood movie studios, a major record label, a variety of very well known consumer brands, and a number of different startups, both domestic and international.

This summer, we were approached by a Hollywood movie studio and asked to help market a series of viral clips they had created in advance of a blockbuster. The videos were 10-20 seconds each, were shot from what appeared to be a camera phone, and captured a series of unexpected and shocking events that required professional post-production and CGI. Needless to say, the studio had invested a significant amount of money in creating the videos but every time they put them online, they couldn’t get more than a few thousand views.

We took six videos and achieved:

  • 6 million views on YouTube
  • ~30,000 ratings
  • ~10,000 favorites
  • ~10,000 comments
  • 200+ blog posts linking back to the videos
  • All six videos made it into the top 5 Most Viewed of the Day, and the two that went truly viral (1.5 million views each) were #1 and #2 Most Viewed of the Week.

The following principles were the secrets to our success.

2. Content is NOT King

If you want a truly viral video that will get millions of people to watch and share it, then yes, content is key. But good content is not necessary to get 100,000 views if you follow these strategies.

Don’t get me wrong: the content is what will drive visitors back to a site. So a video must have a decent concept, but one shouldn’t agonize over determining the best “viral” video possible. Generally, a concept should not be forced because it fits a brand. Rather, a brand should be fit into a great concept. Here are some guidelines we follow:

  • Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; break down long stories into bite-sized clips
  • Design for remixing: create a video that is simple enough to be remixed over and over again by others. Ex: “Dramatic Hamster”
  • Don’t make an outright ad: if a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing. Ex: Sony Bravia
  • Make it shocking: give a viewer no choice but to investigate further. Ex: “UFO Haiti”
  • Use fake headlines: make the viewer say, “Holy shit, did that actually happen?!” Ex: “Stolen Nascar”
  • Appeal to sex: if all else fails, hire the most attractive women available to be in the video. Ex: “Yoga 4 Dudes”

These recent videos would have been perfect had they been viral “ads” pointing people back to websites:

3. Core Strategy: Getting onto the “Most Viewed” page

Now that a video is ready to go, how the hell is it going to attract 100,000 viewers?

The core concept of video marketing on YouTube is to harness the power of the site’s traffic. Here’s the idea: something like 80 million videos are watched each day on YouTube, and a significant number of those views come from people clicking the “Videos” tab at the top. The goal is to get a video on that Videos page, which lists the Daily Most Viewed videos.

If we succeed, the video will no longer be a single needle in the haystack of 10,000 new videos per day. It will be one of the twenty videos on the Most Viewed page, which means that we can grab 1/20th of the clicks on that page! And the higher up on the page our video is, the more views we are going to get.

So how do we get the first 50,000 views we need to get our videos onto the Most Viewed list?

  • Blogs: We reach out to individuals who run relevant blogs and actually pay them to post our embedded videos. Sounds a little bit like cheating/PayPerPost, but it’s effective and it’s not against any rules.
  • Forums: We start new threads and embed our videos. Sometimes, this means kickstarting the conversations by setting up multiple accounts on each forum and posting back and forth between a few different users. Yes, it’s tedious and time-consuming, but if we get enough people working on it, it can have a tremendous effect.
  • MySpace: Plenty of users allow you to embed YouTube videos right in the comments section of their MySpace pages. We take advantage of this.
  • Facebook: Share, share, share. We’ve taken Dave McClure’s advice and built a sizeable presence on Facebook, so sharing a video with our entire friends list can have a real impact. Other ideas include creating an event that announces the video launch and inviting friends, writing a note and tagging friends, or posting the video on Facebook Video with a link back to the original YouTube video.
  • Email lists: Send the video to an email list. Depending on the size of the list (and the recipients’ willingness to receive links to YouTube videos), this can be a very effective strategy.
  • Friends: Make sure everyone we know watches the video and try to get them to email it out to their friends, or at least share it on Facebook.

Each video has a shelf life of 48 hours before it’s moved from the Daily Most Viewed list to the Weekly Most Viewed list, so it’s important that this happens quickly. As I mentioned before, when done right, this is a tremendously successful strategy.

4. Title Optimization

Once a video is on the Most Viewed page, what can be done to maximize views?

It seems obvious, but people see hundreds of videos on YouTube, and the title and thumbnail are an easy way for video publishers to actively persuade someone to click on a video. Titles can be changed a limitless number of times, so we sometimes have a catchy (and somewhat misleading) title for the first few days, then later switch to something more relevant to the brand. Recently, I’ve noticed a trend towards titling videos with the phrases “exclusive,” “behind the scenes,” and “leaked video.”

5. Thumbnail Optimization

If a video is sitting on the Most Viewed page with nineteen other videos, a compelling video thumbnail is the single best strategy to maximize the number of clicks the video gets.

YouTube provides three choices for a video’s thumbnail, one of which is grabbed from the exact middle of the video. As we edit our videos, we make sure that the frame at the very middle is interesting. It’s no surprise that videos with thumbnails of half naked women get hundreds of thousands of views. Not to say that this is the best strategy, but you get the idea. Two rules of thumb: the thumbnail should be clear (suggesting high video quality) and ideally it should have a face or at least a person in it.

Also, when we feel particularly creative, we optimize all three thumbnails then change the thumbnail every few hours. This is definitely an underused strategy, but it’s an interesting way to keep a video fresh once it’s on the Most Viewed list.

See the highlighted videos in the screenshot below for a good example of how a compelling title and screenshot can make all the difference once the video is on the Most Viewed page.

6. Commenting: Having a conversation with yourself

Every power user on YouTube has a number of different accounts. So do we. A great way to maximize the number of people who watch our videos is to create some sort of controversy in the comments section below the video. We get a few people in our office to log in throughout the day and post heated comments back and forth (you can definitely have a lot of fun with this). Everyone loves a good, heated discussion in the comments section – especially if the comments are related to a brand/startup.

Also, we aren’t afraid to delete comments – if someone is saying our video (or your startup) sucks, we just delete their comment. We can’t let one user’s negativity taint everyone else’s opinions.

We usually get one comment for every thousand views, since most people watching YouTube videos aren’t logged in. But a heated comment thread (done well) will engage viewers and will drive traffic back to our sites.

7. Releasing all videos simultaneously

Once people are watching a video, how do we keep them engaged and bring them back to a website?

A lot of the time our clients say: “We’ve got 5 videos and we’re going to release one every few days so that viewers look forward to each video.”

This is the wrong way to think about YouTube marketing. If we have multiple videos, we post all of them at once. If someone sees our first video and is so intrigued that they want to watch more, why would we make them wait until we post the next one? We give them everything up front. If a user wants to watch all five of our videos right now, there’s a much better chance that we’ll be able to persuade them to click through to our website. We don’t make them wait after seeing the first video, because they’re never going to see the next four.

Once our first video is done, we delete our second video then re-upload it. Now we have another 48-hour window to push it to the Most Viewed page. Rinse and repeat. Using this strategy, we give our most interested viewers the chance to fully engage with a campaign without compromising the opportunity to individually release and market each consecutive video.

8. Strategic Tagging: Leading viewers down the rabbit hole

This is one of my favorite strategies and one that I think we invented. YouTube allows you to tag your videos with keywords that make your videos show up in relevant searches. For the first week that our video is online, we don’t use keyword tags to optimize the video for searches on YouTube. Instead, we’ve discovered that you can use tags to control the videos that show up in the Related Videos box.

I like to think about it as leading viewers down the rabbit hole. The idea here is to make it as easy as possible for viewers to engage with all your content, rather than jumping away to “related” content that actually has nothing to do with your brand/startup.

So how do we strategically tag? We choose three or four unique tags and use only these tags for all of the videos we post. I’m not talking about obscure tags; I’m talking about unique tags, tags that are not used by any other YouTube videos. Done correctly, this will allow us to have full control over the videos that show up as “Related Videos.”

When views start trailing off after a few days to a week, it’s time to add some more generic tags, tags that draw out the long tail of a video as it starts to appear in search results on YouTube and Google.

9. Metrics/Tracking: How we measure effectiveness

The following is how we measure the success of our viral videos.

For one, we tweak the links put up on YouTube (whether in a YouTube channel or in a video description) by adding “?video=1” to the end of each URL. This makes it much easier to track inbound links using Google Analytics or another metrics tool.

TubeMogul and VidMetrix also track views/comments/ratings on each individual video and draw out nice graphs that can be shared with the team. Additionally, these tools follow the viral spread of a video outside of YouTube and throughout other social media sites and blogs.

Conclusion

The Wild West days of Lonely Girl and Ask A Ninja are over. You simply can’t expect to post great videos on YouTube and have them go viral on their own, even if you think you have the best videos ever. These days, achieving true virality takes serious creativity, some luck, and a lot of hard work. So, my advice: fire your PR firm and do it yourself.

OR YOU COULD HIRE KURB PROMOTIONS!!!

Internet Music Marketing Basics

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Kurb Promotions Blog March 2008

Okay this was gonna be my hand out for the warrant of fitness seminars.

The whole message I wanted to create was that as a digital coach and provider of online management services I didn’t wanna be like everyone else and kind of sort of vaguely talk about how the internet is going to effect artist revenue because this is how it looks to me right now.

In about say, 18 months, revenue streams that are starting to open up now are really going to start to get established because there’s going to be another couple of hundred million people using the net and the billion people already using it will be using it more to find and get music. It’s inevitable. There’s going to be more and more success stories about small artists making their way on the web til the point it’s kind of just . . . yeah.

However . . .

It’s going to take – I’d guess at no less than two or three years to build an online presence for a new artist that is capable of providing a decent income.

Yes soon, you just could become a mega rich rock star without leaving the house. But it’s still going to take massive effort and organisation of which no one is capable of on their own. And probably 10 guys like me living at your house with about 100 computers.

Maybe there’s a post there about what is a “fair” deal between artists and the “industry” and I guess what I’m saying is that if my goal is to help you open up an income stream over a year or two that however small, won’t close until you die, well $50-100 p/week isn’t that bad of an investment.

But no this post is about a list of stuff you can actually go and do.

OR you can pay me $50 a week and I will go and do it for you. If you pay me more, I’ll work faster.

ONLINE PROMOTION FOR MARCH 2008 MADE SIMPLE:

– Myspace is just one website. So is Facebook. It’s not YOUR website. You don’t own it, you don’t control it, you don’t decide how, how much or what proportion of revenue is created and distributed to you.

– But people don’t know about your website or your music. Real people who love music use Myspace, and Facebook and Last.fm and Itunes and Limewire. But they are all just a site or tool. Generally you know you had better join a site when it gets mentioned on TV, radio, or in the newspaper.

– The more and better quality links you have to your pages the higher they will rank on Google. Everytime you create a new page on a new site, you can and should create a link back to your site on it. You MUST know how to create a link for your website. Commenting on blogs is a one way of leaving a link.

– Start a Blog on WordPress and Blogger – with a backlink to your site, obviously! – And post regular content. This helps rank you and your site for search, and one day it will help new fans find you as well as building rapport with your fans. Also it will teach you the habits to be a consistent provider for your fanbase.

– Google advertising or Adwords is the first incarnation of the future of advertising. Through Adwords you can begin learning how to create and place advertising content for both marketing your music website and what will come later: Adsense and creating revenue through the placement of ads on yur own site.

– Last.fm, Ilike, and reverbnation are new online services that use data gathered from their users to recommend new music in addition to a variety of other useful services connecting fans and artists permissively. With millions of users now doing this, this could soon be the next myspace-like internet phenomenon. Or yknow you could wait until you see them mentioned on TV.

– If all you can do in 6 months is write and play a bunch of songs without filming one show, podcasting one interview with the band or posting a blog every week then you officially suck because you’re boring and no one knows whats going on with you and boring sucks. Everyone will be too busy interested in that band that does something new online every week.

– NZ has hardly any people. Lots of kiwis love using the internet but at the moment there are not that many good sites for New Zealand music. Hopefully that will change. But that’s okay. Soon, on the internet you’ll be finding ways of making money all over the world where people have computers and like music.

– CD Baby is one of the most highly respected organisations in the music industry. No one wants to buy your CD but that doesn’t matter because CD Baby as well as selling your CD by postal order, will – more importantly – put all the songs on that album on Itunes and over 30 other online music retailers. (but itunes has 79% of the download market so yeah its pretty much the only one that matters). You only ever have to pay $US55 for this. Ever.

– There is only one reason albums still matter: Itunes charges the same amount to set up a single as they do an album. Aside from tradition, that’s the main reason albums still exist.

– A storefront widget is an “application” that allows you to sell your music and interact in other ways through a little box that you can put ANYWHERE you’re allowed on the net. On a blog, in an email, on your myspace, facebook etc. lots of places. This is handy.

– You can not go around spamming people to buy your new album. You won’t even be able to give it away unless you give people a reason to care.

http://www.kurb.co.nz

a range of digital coaching and online promotion options