Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Category: PR

MarketingSherpa's Annual Email Study – Results Available

VIRGINIA, Dec. 1 – eoecho.com | PR News – If you haven't read any of MarketinSherpa's reports, here's a good one for you. Who is the MarketingSherpa?

MarketingSherpa is a research firm that publishes practical information for professional marketers. They are not a consulting firm, an ad agency, nor a market research firm available for hire. They are a business research company that just happens to focus on the marketing profession – and in my humble opinion they are very good at it.

The following excerpt provides details concerning the report and links to the executive summary: 

 

Sherpa's Annual Email Study Results: 3,637 Marketers Reveal Best Email Tests + New Eyetracking Heatmap

SUMMARY: Wow. 3,637 MarketingSherpa readers participated in November's email study, which makes it the world's biggest study of what works in email (and what doesn't). Many thanks to everyone who helped out.

Here's the Executive Summary of results we promised you, including:

– Best and worst email tests based on ROI
– Eyetracking study of an ecommerce email
– What B-to-B marketers need to know about filters
– How many of you are budgeting for mobile marketing

Plus, happily surprising data from you about the increasing value of your email programs: Executive Summary PDF
(Open access)

Mastering Website and Blog Content, Resources

For the majority of websites, you'd swear the content evolved from a pool of mud. So how do you become a supreme content guru? What resources are available for writers, PR professionals and marketing managers? What do the experts recommend? And, what are the benefits? It is well known that quality content delivers a significant return on investment (ROI), so where should you focus? Content can be considered in two categories: primary and secondary. Primary Content Vehicles

  1. Blogs: Without question, blogs are one of the best methods for adding frequent and fresh content to your website. Setting up a blog is relatively easy. Managing the content and marketing the blog is hard work that requires a talented blogger and management resources. A comprehensive management plan, which clearly outlines your goals, objectives, and available resources (labor), is highly recommended.
  2. Press Releases: Studies prove well designed and managed PR campaigns are very cost-effective, especially for those using Internet marketing channels. Our previous post here provides additional info.
  3. Articles: The frequent publication of articles has always been an effective means of promoting yourself, your company's services, and now your website. Articles published online should be less than 800-1,000 words. If you think your article needs to be longer, it doesn't – write two articles (i.e., Part I & II). One of many article publishing website services is ezinearticles.com
  4. Testimonials: Almost any testimonial is good, but testimonials that define the issue faced by your customer followed by how your service or product solved that problem are excellent.

Secondary Content Vehicles

  1. Expert Q & A Section: You know the questions, the answers are valuable content for several reasons: they attract new prospects, help your existing customers, and convey the message that your company employs the experts your customer seeks to fulfill their needs. Here's a sample Expert Q & A page for AVONEX (MS therapy).
  2. Product & Service Reviews: Using reviews works best when you add customer-to-customer content and/or quote customer feedback. Does anyone really care what the company's marketing department thinks about the product? Amazon.com was one of the first to include customer generated product reviews on their web pages – the rest is history.
  3. FAQs: Pay attention to the questions your customers are asking and provide the answers. Avoid the mundane as well as complex issues. FAQs should be short and sweet. Reserve the more complex issues for your Expert Q & A section.

Creating quality content is hard work. First and foremost, you need a keen understanding of your target audience. What do they need to know and what do they want to know? How can they benefit from the content you are providing? Consider the following:

  • Know your target audience, get customer feedback, conduct surveys. A free and easy site to use for basic surveys is Zoomerang.com
  • Segment your prospect lists and customer databases, prepare content for each target segment and avoid generalizing to be all things to everybody
  • Write multiple versions of your press releases highlighting different keywords in the title and body content; the customer controls the search and different people use different search terms to find the same solutions

All content you add to your website should be focused on increasing your reputation in your field. Time is required to establish a reputation, be patient and persistent. Once you establish a reputation for providing quality content, others will syndicate your work and your business will grow rapidly. Additional Resources TechCrunch, written by Michael Arrington is a classic example demonstrating the power of quality content, read Blogging for Dollars. Why Quality Content is Key for Search Engines is a special report from the Search Engine Strategies conference, Feb 28 – March 3, 2005, New York, NY. Gerry McGovern is a proponent of website content. He has written several books such as Content Critical and The Caring Economy. Visit netconcepts – Stephen Spencer Interview with Gerry McGovern for more. There are numerous other resources. Do you have one you recommend? If so, please leave a comment and we'll share it with our readers. Thanks!

Using PR to Improve SEO Results

VIRGINIA, eoecho.com | PR News (Oct. 12): The use of PR to improve search engine optimization (SEO) is off the charts according to a recent survey conducted by Marketing Sherpa, Inc. The marketing strategy known as SEO PR – adding hotlinked press releases to search engine news feeds – is not only popular, it works.

PR departments that effectively use press releases are seeing measurable results; however, integration of the PR and Marketing departments coupled with active blogs on company websites may be the key to success. Why?

Historically, the marketing and PR departments are two different animals when using online channels. Marketing is focused on keywords in both the title of the release and the body text, this is not always the case for the PR team when they create the press release.

In addition, to improve SEO results, the marketing department would like to see multiple versions of the same press release launched online. Different people are searching for the same information using different keywords. To attract a larger audience, more than one version is required. More work for the PR staff – not a popular request.

Bloggers are one of the first to pick up PR news, which enhances the number of news services that cover your release. Bloggers are playing a major role with respect to press release distribution. An active company blog with relevant content will improve your marketing exposure.

The “PR” and “Marketing” departments must communicate and cooperate to maximize your return. “This is still an unexplored opportunity for most companies.”, said Anne Holland, President of MarketingSherpa, Inc. during today’s telephone presentation (titled “Top 5 Search Marketing Opportunities for 2007: Real-life data from 3,944 Marketers” (Thursday, October 12). Holland also stated, “The ROI for low-cost press releases is very high and there are numerous studies to prove it.”

There is much work to be done to intergrate corporate websites and blogs with the PR and Marketing departments. Companies that do are able to significantly improve their SEO results and their bottom-line.

Additional Resources

[tags] PR SEO, press release marketing, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Career Opportunity Marketing Via RSS Feeds

Are you seeking new hires for your team? Why not market your company at the same time? Edelman has developed an effective mechanism for posting their job ads while marketing their brand to bloggers and other feed fans. Their answer, RSS Feeds; pushing HR job openings to feed subscribers.

I tried using Sage feed reader and a Firefox browser to local the feed on the main “Career” page, but the feed wasn’t discovered. Note you must drill down to their listings per your selected location to access the feed (i.e., select a location, click to get the opening list, then use your feed reader to search for the RSS feed).

The link below is the original post by Steve Rubel:

Micro Persuasion: Edelman Career Opportunity Feeds

[tags] Edelman, Steve Rubel, HR marketing, RSS Feeds, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Great Marketing by Mercedes – Latest Mixed Tape Release

Mercedes-Benz – Mixed Tape Current Release

Another 15 free MP3 files from Mercedes-Benz; great music for those with a high-speed connection. The complete set takes a while to download, but it’s well worth it and you can download individual songs.

Interesting marketing strategy for a car company, but I think it works.

Should You Turn Your Website Into A Blog?

Do you need to call a web developer every time you want to change your website content or add a link? Is your annual website maintenance fees slowly raising month after month? Or worse, you website still says, "Coming Soon." We have a solution for you.

Consider a content management system. Check out Tom Kane's post on his Legal Marketing Blog as a follow-up to my previous post, Blogs Merging With Websites – Imminent?

Here's the link: Legal Marketing Blog: Should You Turn Your Website Into A Blog? Tom adds a few parenthetical comments to the discussion that you may find of interest.

Top Ten Excuses For Not Evaluating PR and Marketing

Although you rarely encounter resistence for measuring your results in today’s business environment, we still hear the excuses for not doing so. Our friends over at the Intelligent Measurement blog provide their top ten and reasons why the excuses don’t hold up.

intelligent measurement » Top Ten Excuses for not Evaluating

[tags] PR Measurement, public relations, eoecho, eoecho.com [/tags]

Writing a Press Release? Top 10 Grammatical Mistakes

We all make mistakes, but it really hurts when the mistake is read by thousands of people – peers, prospects, and clients included. Thanks to David Jones at PR Works, we found the article, “The top-10 grammar and usage mistakes of press release writers.” Written by June Casagrande, the article is published on the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) website.

Casagrande is a journalist, former Business Wire editor, and author of “Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite.”

[tags] PR, public relations, writing press releases, writers, PR Works, eoecho.com [/tags]

Integrating Marketing and Communications – Who Really Gets It?

Early this month we talked about integrating customer-to-customer conversations using new media. A common WOM technique, it is an effective means of promoting products and services. Are there benefits from harnessing the power of your customers?

While further researching the topic this week I came across an excellent article written by Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers.

Bob published a series on “Integrated Marketing Communications.” Take note of his observations concerning new media and the shifting power from the marketer to the consumer. We’re both on the same page.

Integrated Marketing Communications – 2nd Pillar in Reinventing Marketing

For those with limited reading time, here’s an example from Bob’s post that supports our discussion rather well:

So who really “gets” what integrated marketing communications is all about?

One company that does is Daimler-Chrysler. They’ve recognized that the traditional demographic approach to marketing planning is outmoded in today’s fragmented marketplace. So they’ve transitioned to a lifestyle approach – deeply integrating their brands into the popular culture through a breathtaking array of experiences: sports, fashion, entertainment, music, technology … and an equally breathtaking array of innovative channels: video-on-demand, event marketing, gaming, IPTV, text messaging, pod casting and webisodes, not to mention sweepstakes and public relations.

This highly integrated and diverse approach recognizes the fundamental change in consumer behavior from yesteryear – namely that people aren’t passively sitting at home watching their TVs. Rather, they’re actively engaged in and controlling their media experiences. To connect with these consumers, Daimler-Chrysler’s lifestyle strategy is seeking them out, wherever their heads and hearts might be.”

Side Note: There are a few posts on my blog concerning Mercedes-Benz use of “free music,” (brand and pop culture integration).
[tags] Marketing, Communications, Daimler-Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Bob Liodice, Association of National Advertisers, customer-to-customer, eoecho, eoecho.com [/tags]

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