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With ICANN set to allow the expansion of the pool of gTLDs, you can be sure that many marketers will be hearing, and thinking a lot about, domain names in the near future.
But are domain names becoming less important? Ev Williams, who started Blogger and co-founded Twitter, thinks so.
Paid search is typically perceived as a direct response channel. It is most frequently used by firms for sales and lead generation.
There are definite brand benefits to paid search, but most advertisers do not focus on the softer brand metrics when placing Adwords campaigns. Clickthrough and conversion rates are what matter the most, as far as most people are concerned.
As such it was rather interesting to spot a seemingly random paid search ad for Ann Summers, which was anchored to a keyword search on last year’s budget.
Craigslist is an internet icon, and it's a unique one. Despite the rapid evolution of the internet over the past decade, Craigslist in 2010 still looks like Craigslist in 2000. The fact that Craigslist has managed to thrive largely its original form is a testament to the value it offers.
But Craigslist is under assault. And it's not competitors who are attacking. It's politicians and the media. The reason: adult service ads which many say are frequently used in the illegal trafficking of women and children. And which many argue Craigslist continues to allow because they're a lucrative source of revenue.
Twitter is getting into analytics. Finally. This week, the microblogging service announced that it will be updating its URL shortener t.co to help alleviate malware problems and track link sharing on its service.
By the end of the year, t.co links will be more secure, and provide more information to the people that share them. This is good news for marketers.
In a world where social networking is key, I was glad to be involved in the Engaging Times summit in Chicago last week.
According to Engage chairman Stan Rapp, 'today’s consumers are the most narcissistic in history. We’re all looking after brand I.', while Don Peppers, head of Peppers & Rogers thinks that companies should not 'waste money on social media until your organisation can competently handle a customer phone call or email.'
The event was thought-provoking for a number of different reasons but the stand-out message is summed up nicely in these two quotes.
I love to see brands generating innovative, engaging and creative advertising online. Yet, I’m always surprised at how little effort companies put into Facebook from a creative perspective, especially given the noise they make about using the platform and the levels of engagement often put in.
Arguably, Facebook does have a static format that needs changing, but it’s not that difficult – or expensive – to come up with some great landing page manipulation through Facebook Markup Language (FBML)... And some brands are taking advantage of this, to great effect.
Here are a few examples from our How to Create Amazing Facebook Pages guide...
How often do you Google your own name? And how often do you Google the names of potential employees before opting to hire them? In these data-driven times, it is important to recognise that personal information is becoming much more accessible and can impact you both postively and negatively.
In his new book, iCrossing's Antony Mayfield addresses how to manage personal online reputation effectively. We recently caught up with Antony at the launch of Me and My Web Shadow to find out more.
It’s no secret that a secondary objective for a large amount of search marketing activity is branding, yet the results show that a lot of well-recognised brands are failing to have a presence online, meaning that the space is occupied by competitors.
As any event organizer knows, getting people to communicate and interact at your event can be crucial to its success. And for attendees, Twitter has become a great resource for locating and sharing real-time data. But for everyone else, Twitter updates surrounding one topic can quickly turn into noise.
It's a problem that is especially heightened at SxSW, when techies flood the zone of Austin and their friends back home are inundated with information about it. While it could potentially be solved by better filtering on Twitter, two companies are trying to stake their claim in the space this week.
I always believed that brand suicide was essentially the result of some major foot-in-mouth event, or a product fail of epic proportions. Moreover, it was not so much the failure itself, but rather the result of not being able to manage and recover from that failure. There’s a right way and a wrong way to dig your brand out of a hole.
But this big picture stuff isn’t the only way brands die. When it comes down to it brands die at a micro level. Brand suicide occurs whenever an individual has ‘had it’ with a company, be that the result of shoddy treatment, or disappointment with products and services.
Normally when this happens to me I tell people about it, in the strongest possible terms. That used to be a relatively limited group of people, but nowadays I can (and do) communicate my annoyance / misery on Twitter, which gives any disgruntled customer a lot more reach. And as such the world is a scarier place for brands than ever before.
The vast social media echo chamber means that brands are now at real danger from lots of small events, rather than one big one. We are living in an age where brands die by 1,000 cuts, rather than one almighty chop. The rise in popularity of social / user-generated platforms like Facebook, Digg, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia means that brands are more exposed than ever.
So how can brands go about killing themselves slowly?
Last week while working on a campaign for a client, some new research rolled in showing that only 53% of Britons know the name of their MP. This revelation spurned chatter in the office about the implications of this in terms of personal branding.
Are MPs also brands? And if so, does it matter that there's such low brand-recognition amongst the target audience (read: constituents)?
Some of these questions were answered following an interaction with an MP, whom I presented the findings to via Twitter.
Three weeks ago, Facebook changed the rules for brands trying to create contests and promotions on the social network. Marketers are still trying to figure out how the guidelines will affect them. But it looks like some of the best tools on the network will no longer be available for brands. For marketers looking to get a lot of marketing reach without a lot of spend, it looks like Facebook may no longer by the place to go.