ComBridges’ Connections: Linky Goodness, Insights & Free Stuff 8.18.10

A recap of recent resources and references  posted recently via my Twitter feed and our ComBridges Facebook page are below; but first, a small bit of shameless self-promotion albeit something FREE that I think you may well find to be valuable:

Watch, Listen & Learn: Free Webinar on Internet Marketing

Read It’s a Wonderful Web; ComBridges July e-newsletter

Marketing Lesson From the Grateful Dead: Loosen Up Your Brand
As they say, this is “what I’m talkin’ ’bout!” If you don’t know David Meerman Scott, you should. He’s a true thought leader & best selling author re viral marketing and creating “world wide raves.” This is an excerpt from his new book which comes out August 1st. Cool, eh? And valuable, right?

More On The Power of “Empowering” Your Viewers via Social Marketing
My VIDEO commentary from last week on TheTVNews.tv. Subject: those who are authentic with their internet marketing vs the fakers.

Social Media’s Critical Path: Relevance to Resonance to Significance – The Conversation – Harvard Business Review
Neat Harvard BizReview piece on social media’s ‘critical path’ by @briansolis http://ht.ly/2e5N1 I like. Thx 2 @johnbattelle 4 link

Viral Video Marketing with Dilbert
“only the truth is funny”

Video is Becoming a Must Have for Online Retailers
I’m getting ready to make a video about the critical importance of online video. Meanwhile… Yes, it’s pretty much a MUST HAVE now for any website looking to do real business online. Really. No kidding. Check out the stats in this article if you don’t believe me. And, did I mention that ComBridges has amazingly affordable video packages.

Have a Big Idea, Break it in Half | Jason Fried
Best business advise I’ve heard in a while from Jason Fried of 37signals

Beet.TV: Giant Convenience Store Chain Gone Viral: 7-Eleven Web Series Has 2 Million Views
Illuminating VIDEO story by @DaisyWhitney Big Brand Viral Video Marketing: 7-Eleven Web Series Has 2 Million Views

Hits of the Week: Early July 2010

Welcome to a new feature of this blog. “Hits of the Week” (which we hope to offer weekly) will provide “linky goodness” i.e. valuable links posted to our ComBridges company Facebook page and Twitter feed. Here, we gather, in one place for your convenience, bunches of links to free PDF’s, articles and other resources. Please let us know if you find this service to be valuable. Thanks!

A Professional Research Perspective of Brand Engagement via Social Media
Highly recommended, Engagementdb is a very interesting resource, even for smaller companies who are interested in social media brand engagement. I especially recommend their excellent FREE PDF Report. It’s nice to see “engagement” made measureable at the highest level. Clearly, relationship/engagement is at least as important (and probably more important) than simply the gross number of “eyeballs”/visitors. The focus on these kinds of results is shifting appropriately from volume or quantity of “hits” to quality of engagement (at minimum, some kind of “conversion”). Are you tuned in to your organization’s quality of engagement? Click here to check it out.

Fast-paced Video Illuminating ROI for Social Media
Despite the annoying music, this video offers useful content if you still doubt the business-savvy economic value–in the vernacular, ROI (return on investment)–available from investing your time INTELLIGENTLY in social media.

A Peak Behind the Curtain of a Major Brand’s Social Media Command Center (VIDEO)
More mainstream social media… pretty cool music VIDEO too promoting Gatorade’s social media team, er, I mean “COMMAND CENTER”! Can your sports drink do this? Visit Gatorade’s Command Center to see more.

“It’s about the PEOPLE, silly.”
Via Seth Godin. As a business owner, I know that there is nothing more important than the highly capable, talented members of my team. Read valuable insights & perspective.

“Every company is now a media company.”
A great reminder, via Adam Ostrow & John Battelle

Great Graphics, Visual View of Social Media Today
You gotta love good Infographics. Especially when they tell a story. In this case, big companies are adopting social media. More are using Facebook and Twitter than blogs, but it’s a big majority who are involved. See what these charts tell you.

Influence vs Fame
I’d call it “Influence vs Eyeballs” but being clear about what it means to develop influence in today’s social media world makes this short ProBlogger piece well worth reading, IMHO. And in a related short blog post, Seth Godin reminds us that “If all you are doing is increasing number of digital spectators, you are unlikely to earn the conversion that you deserve.” Read more about “Fans, Participants and Spectators.”

Stay tuned and please comment and send feedback. Thanks!

Free Internet Marketing Webinar for Businesses, May 27 at 11AM PT

If you are new to Internet marketing, we want to help you get up to speed, for free.

Jon has given his one-hour workshop, “What Every Business Should Know About Internet Marketing” in locations from Kona, Hawaii to Silicon Valley (as you can see in the video clip on our web page). Now, for the first time, it’s being offered free via the Internet, Thursday, May 27th at 11:00AM PT / 2:00PM ET. Click here to register now >>

This useful and informative webinar includes a complete overview of the three main areas of Internet marketing, including:

  • The “Super Market-Trends” that have radically leveled the marketing playing field
  • The two essential strategies upon which all successful internet marketing campaigns are based
  • The three main types of internet marketing: search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click search engine advertising (PPC) and social media marketing (SMM)
  • A comparative analysis of the time requirements for implementation, the kinds and quality of results, and the cost-per-lead that is derived from each main category
  • Valuable tips, tricks and resources that are based on real world experience

Why are we producing this event for free?

  • Jon LOVES to share information and people love learning this material. It’s important!
  • It helps to expose the expertise that makes ComBridges such a valuable marketing partner.
  • This is a “free sample” of things to come. We are working on a new educational website to be called “New Marketing University” that will have many more programs. We hope you’ll like this program enough to become interested in more. To learn more, please register now.

Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 27th at 11:00AM PT / 2:00PM ET. We hope to see you there.

>> Please Click Here to Register Now <<
It takes just 30 seconds, really! And, even if you can’t make it live, by registering you will make sure that you get the link to the free recorded version.

Or view our 1-page PDF with the generic course description below . . .
What Every Business-Onesheet 03.25.10

Conan O’Brien Gets “The World Has Completely Changed.” Do You?

(Note: Read & scroll down please. Two [2] cool video clips below…)

I gotta love the fact that social media has become so powerful that a TV comedian like Conan O’Brien is having very tangible personal experiences that not only wake him up to the fact that “the world” as he says, “has completely changed.” But, as he illuminates in the video clip below from an interview at Google, his social media realization is in stark contrast to how far the execs at NBC apparently are from understanding how social media works (i.e. the audience has new powers). Duh. 😉

Of course, this is just one example of the fact that dramatic changes that are upon us due to the explosion of social media.  More video “evidence” is detailed in the 2nd video clip below.

Also, please note that when you click “play” on the Conan YouTube clip below, it is set up to play starting at the segment at 15:27 where he describes what happened to him because of Twitter (about 3+ minutes total) in the aftermath of his fall out with NBC when they gave “The Tonight Show” back to Jay Leno (“the other gentleman”). At some point, you may want to watch the whole 48-minute clip. It’s quite funny.

Now… especially if you are still wondering about the importance of social media—but probably, in any case— I highly recommend the following visually dynamic and informative YouTube video, “Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh)” from the authors of the book, “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.” This video is a freshingly-updated version of video that’s been around for a while. It’s packed with eye-opening statistics and relevant perspective, including, for example:

“Social Media is not a fad, but a fundamental shift in how we communicate.”
— Erik Qualman

Yes, the changes are that big.

Do you “get it” or are you still sitting on the edge of the social media “pool” thinking about jumping in?

Online Video is Rockin’ with Measurable Momentum, Increased Ad Spending & More

This week’s New Media New Marketing TheTVNews.tv report (Wednesday, not Tuesday, due to technical issues) covers four recent research reports that underscore the powerful, measurable growth and increasing impact of online video.

First, the video report (I’m at the top of this show). Then, all four referenced pieces of research on online video are linked below.

1. Eighty Percent of Net Users Watch Video as Global Consumption Explodes, comScore
Beet.tv’s interview with Tania Yuki, comScore’s VP product manager for online video research products has lots of insights, including her perception that worldwide, 80% of Internet users are watching video. Wow, that’s huge. And as a researcher, her observation of double-digit growth in time spent viewing as well as viewers are also impressive. Part 1 of the interview can be viewed right here:

2. Online Video Goes Mainstream
eMarketer’s report puts 18 to 34 year olds at the forefront and underscores that 29% of Internet users under 25 say they watch all or most of their TV online. Clearly there is a gravitation of TV viewers to the online realm and this trend is certain to continue if not accelerate.

3. Ad Agencies Shift Spend to Video
Another eMarketer report reveals that most ad agencies already saw online video as a place they need to be a year ago, with 87% in Q1, 2009 saying that they plan to devote more budget to online video. But the trend is towards “pretty much everyone” with 94% of ad agencies saying the same thing during Q1 of this year.

4. Online Video Ads More Effective Than TV Among U.S. Viewers
At the end of the day, the bottom line is effectiveness. No wonder the momentum to online video is accelerating. When the research tells you that the same TV ad presented online delivers more recall, more brand linkage, more likeability and more, how could you not make it a priority?

Have you produced your online video today?

Watch for more to come on my YouTube channel, for sure! 😉

Thanks for reading and, as always, I welcome your feedback, comments and YouTube ratings. Much appreciated.

Online marketing & advertising illuminated via a visit to ad:tech SF

As discussed in this Tuesday’s New Media New Marketing report on TheTVNews.tv (video immediately below), I took advantage of a press pass last week to spend a day at the very alive and vibrant ad:tech SF online advertising conference. It was very stimulating as well as a bit overwhelming, as most good conferences are. (Note: Examples and references are linked below.)

Bottom line, the conference was healthy and online advertising in general appears to be growing at a robust rate. This was evidenced in an announcement unrelated to the conference, as I was getting ready to go, I learned that global package goods giant Reckitt Benckiser was doubling their annual online advertising budget to $40 million.

In addition, [added 4/30] eMarker’s CEO says Online Video Advertising to Increase 35 Precent in 2010 (video interview via Beet.tv).

One educational note was revealed as I first entered the press room. Their sign read, “Press, Bloggers & Twerps.” I commented that I had not seen twerps get press credentials previously. At this point, I was told apologetically that the sign was an error. It should have said, “Tweeps.” We are all learning. And, apparently there were only three tweeps deemed influential enough to get a press pass, but this was a “first” none the less.

Loic Le Meur

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - http://www.thelettertwo.com

A highlight for me was the keynote by French entrepreneur, Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic.com, who now lives in San Francisco. Loic accurately positioned social media as the third major wave of internet marketing. The first major wave, as he described it, was just having a website. The second wave was being savvy enough to be found on Google (search engine optimization or SEO). And, the third is now the ability to “earn” interactions via social media. He emphasized that social media is not about “campaigns.” It’s for listening and engaging.

Along these lines, I also appreciated comments by Larry Weintraub of word-of-mouth marketing agency, Fanscape, who explained that engaging in social media marketing has many more benefits than old world marketing. All with enormous value. Without embellishment, the four solid reasons to go social are:

  1. Marketing (another speaker said that “advertising” is now morphing into “marketing”)
  2. Market Research
  3. Customer Service
  4. Public Relations

In my opinion, none of these benefits should be under-rated.

You can watch Loic’s keynote via this link. The Hitler video which Loic included (amongst the dozens of other Hitler parodies based on the Constantin Films movie that I mention in the video above) can be viewed here, if it’s still up. It’s very funny if you are geeky enough to imagine Hitler expressing Steve Jobs displeasure over the loss of that famous iPhone G4 prototype.

Here are other examples of advertisers’ money moving to online video, as well as other links mentioned in my video report above:

BONUS #1: TWITTER ADVERTISING
Amongst the MANY smaller businesses exhibiting at ad:tech SF, I was interested to learn that Twitter is now not only being used for social media engagement; but beyond Twitter’s own advertising expansion (the potential of which Andrew Goodman calls “huge”), there is also now a Twitter-specific “contextual, targeted” independently-run Twitter advertising platform called 140 Proof.

BONUS #2: BRANDS AS PUBLISHERS a.k.a. Content Marketing
Here’s a link to a great set of links that further illuminate the “brand-led online video” trend which is also called “Brands as Publishers” by this page’s author, thought-leader, publisher, John Battelle, and “Content Marketing” by others. Checkout It’s All About Publishing, a.k.a. it’s all about content. 😉

And, as I’m sure you know, there’s “more to come.” Including an inside track on branded YouTube channels that I’ll be covering in a new blog post and video report soon. I met with Google/YouTube at ad:tech and an announcement regarding this development is expected in, roughly, mid-May.

(Request: If you watch the video above on YouTube or Facebook, please comment etc. And while you’re here, I would appreciate any comments and/or feedback that you may have. I’d love to hear from you.)

Thanks for reading!

Google TV Ads, Cisco Feeds MSNBC, & Interactive Marketing Agencies: A Fresh Perspective

Another week, another Tuesday segment on TheTVNews.tv. This week, I aggregated three new online video news stories that I think merit your attention. My video segment is below, and below that are the Google TV Ads video demo, more comments, and links to all the sources. Please let me know what you think.

1. Great Video Demo of Google TV Ads

Seth Stevenson of SlateV.com did a wonderful job of demoing Google TV Ads for the rest of us. I’m sure you will agree that he proves his point that, yes, anyone with the technical chops to produce a 30-second TV spot and set up a Google AdWords account, also now has the opportunity to be a media buyer and place those TV spots on carefully targeted cable TV networks in the time slots of your choice.

I’m impressed and ready for a client who wants me to do this for them. I’m highly qualified. Are you reading?

Here’s the SlateV Google TV Ads demo for your viewing pleasure:

By the way, for those of you doing the math, not familiar with Google AdWords campaigns, and figuring that, hey, that’s about $1.30 per website visitor… please keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for AdWords customers to pay $4, $5 and up PER click. And the visitors he “acquired” via this campaign were coming to a strange website URL with no identified service or product being offered.

2. Cisco Feeds Its High-End Teleconferencing System to Rachel Maddow and MSNBC

In what is said to be “a news media industry first,” Cisco has partnered with MSNBC to provide  The Rachel Maddow Show’s New York and Washington D.C. studios with its branded TelePresence technology. According to Cisco, “TelePresence offers what traditional broadcast interviewing technology often lacks: a truly two-way, visual connection between the studio host and remote guest with virtually no audio lag time.”

To me, that’s an interesting tech story, not only because of the “no audio time lag,” but also because of further in-roads being made by a traditionally IT industry player providing hardware services to the broadcast TV industry.

Click here to see for yourself.

For more details and illuminations of the interactive benefits of TelePresence, Beet.tv has a video interview with Charles Stucki, VP & GM of the Cisco’s TelePresence unit.

3. Forrester Research Predicts the Future of Marketing Agency Relationships

Anyone in the marketing or advertising business knows that all marketing agencies are being forced to cross “boundaries” that traditionally defined specific niches. Now, Forrester’s latest report, “The Future Of Agency Relationships: Marketers Need To Lead Agency Change In The Adaptive Marketing Era” sets the stage for overlapping, multi-discipline agencies and the ways we all will be doing battle (or not) in the future.

But if you don’t feel like plopping down $499 for the report, I highly recommend Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim coverage of the report, Forrester Predicts the Interactive Agency of Record Will Die. Beal reveals the main types of agencies discussed and some of the top level data including this quote which gives you a flavor of the sophistication being required in today’s marketing agency market:

It is not enough for adaptive agencies to understand market research, ethnographic, or behavioral data. To fully understand customers, and to leverage that knowledge to improve customer experience, requires agencies to understand the interplay between the various types of data, and crucially, demands the ability to turn the data into actionable intelligence.

Stay tuned. The landscape continues to morph at a record-setting pace. Keep on dancing… and keep your seat belt fastened. 😉

Get a Grip on Internet Marketing: It’s a Process

Get a Grip on Internet Marketing: It's a Process(This commentary originally appeared in the Feb-March edition of ComBridges’ “It’s a Wonderful Web” e-newsletter.)

Many people think of Internet marketing as a “thing” or an event. It’s not. It’s a process… an adventure even.

Yes, of course, this process requires the generation of content. Whether your content is just what you say on your site, or if you get more vocal by writing blog posts, publishing e-newsletters (like this one), and/or tweeting on Twitter, there are things to do. But, what surprises us is not that people (including us sometimes) lack the discipline to write on a regular basis. What’s surprising is how short-sighted many people frequently are about the process.

What’s amazing about Internet marketing is the kinds of real world, actionable feedback that it makes available, for the first time. From the beginning of the web and e-commerce, we’ve loved the phrase “launch and learn.” Your website and all the associated opportunities to communicate with your consituencies is a low risk learning lab packed with valuable information, if you use it.

It works when you work it, but…

How many of you have Google Analytics (or some other analytics system) installed on your website, but fail to review those analytics on a regular basis? And as long as we mentioned “adventure,” how many of you actually go the extra step of testing new ideas, learning from the results, and then making appropriate adjustments? We’re guessing not many.

This is why ComBridges’ Internet marketing agreements now routinely include regular monthly coaching and consulting sessions as well as service deliverables. That way our work together can include monthly analytic reviews & recommendations as well as follow through on previous initiatives.

Internet marketing is a process, and we’d love to help you make yours more productive. Please contact us for more details.

Super Bowl Ads Still Lack Social Media Marketing Success (Mostly)

Thanks to everyone who participated in our live, interactive Super Bowl Commercial Rating Party in partnership with TheTVNews.tv, the TV industry’s only daily video newscast. (Watch this space and TheTVNews.tv for details on our Oscars Party.)

Reprise Media Search Marketing Scorecard on Super BowlBy way of follow up, Jeff and I did a segment on tomorrow, Wednesday 2/10’s show (my New Media / New Marketing starts at 2:50) discussing my view of the winner and loser Super Bowl advertisers in terms of social media marketing. We referenced Reprise Media’s Search Marketing Scorecard on the Super Bowl (a free PDF download) which points out a surprising fact: While 93% of the advertisers—who shelled out a reported average of $2.6 million for each spot—do have an official Facebook profile, (get this) only 5% promoted their social profiles in order to leverage or take better advantage of their massive investment (a.k.a. marketing expense).

The single biggest social media marketing loser was Denny’s. Here’s the link to Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion author, Gary Vaynerchuk’s rant about how Denny’s missed the boat with their multi-million dollar expense. Gary is totally right. Why not use an incentive like a free breakfast to capture customer information and build a platform for better engagement? Duh!

The viral marketing buzz winner was the Audi Green Police spot below which got the most Twitter buzz according to Trendrr (via a chart referenced in the Repris Media report):

Bonus Category: My “nominee” for the Super Bowl TV spot with “Best Script,” at least the script that hit closest to home for me had to be this creative “Man’s Last Stand” spot for Dodge Charger:

Too bad I don’t relate better to the product. 😉

Bonus Just for Fun Video Link: Business Insider’s 10 Best Tech Super Bowl Ads Ever

Bonus Link #2: USA Today’s Super Bowl “Ad Meter” (pretty slick, including green screen video intro)

As always, your comments, suggestions, rants, and any other insights you care to offer are welcome via the comments space below. I look forward to hearing from you.

TV Industry News, Talkin’ New Media, part 2

I’m continuing to have fun as a video contributor and New Media / New Marketing expert on TheTVNews.tv. Today was the “world premiere” of what will now be a weekly appearance every Tuesday and more. I wrote a press release for the occasion, “New Media / New Marketing Consultant Joins the TV industry’s Only Daily News Show with Weekly Segment.”

This press release also introduces the “Super Bowl Commercial Rating Party” which will be offered via Twitter and Facebook during the big game. FYI, we’re still looking for peeps with TV industry creds and experience. If you’re interested in being part of our Twitter list of luminaries, please give me a virtual “shout out.” Here’s today’s show. All feedback and suggestions are welcome. Thanks!