A Look At EON From An SEM Pro’s Perspective

March 17, 2010

Ben Plomion heads up SEM Valet, a Search Engine Marketing firm that builds pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns for its clients, so he’s a guy you can trust to know his stuff.  Following a recent meeting, Ben took a look at EON: Enhanced Online News for its possible value in building backlinks to clients’ websites and being part of an online marketing or PR campaign.  Take a look at Ben’s thoughts and let him — and us! — know about your successes with EON.


Social Media ROI – It’s all about $$$

November 17, 2009

How do you know if your organization’s social media participation is producing a good return on your investment (ROI)?

According to a panel of Cleveland social media experts, it’s all about converting your tweets, Facebook status updates, blog posts, etc. into dollars in the bank.

Panelists at The City Club of Cleveland on November 12 included (in picture below seated from left to right):

Cleveland Social Media Panel

The panelists, moderated by “Tech Czar” Michael DeAloia, LNE Group (at lectern in picture above), explored the definition of ROI as it applies to social media and provided tips to the audience of about 80 guests for getting the most out of their social media participation.

Michael kicked off the discussion by asking the panel why so many organizations are disappointed in social media the first time they try it.

According to Jason, organizations are often disappointed in the results because they didn’t set clear goals from the beginning. The key to measuring ROI for social media is determining ahead of time what you want to get out of your social media participation and how you’re going to measure it.

John says your goal should be to measure the financial gains that result from your social media participation. Whether you want to generate increased revenue from Twitter followers who buy your products, or decrease costs by managing customer service issues from your blog, the bottom line is that true social media ROI comes in the form of more money for your organization.

Sentiment also comes into play when talking about social media measurement, which can make determining total ROI a bit difficult, says George. Intangibles such as the tone of the comments about your organization posted online contribute to the success of your social media participation but are not as easily quantified.

Dominic advises organizations to monitor what is being said about them online and get involved in the conversations. Responding promptly to both positive and negative feedback can create more positive sentiment toward your organization, which could in turn result in more people willing to do business with you.  All of this social interaction is searchable, so how you engage with people online will affect interactions later on.

Monitoring what is said about your organization online can also give you an idea of where you should concentrate your social media efforts. The people who are talking about you will determine where you will need to be, added Dominic. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time so you can engage the people who are most interested in your organization.

That doesn’t mean you should bombard your social media audience with a sales pitch. The panelists each stressed that social media should be used for building relationships and creating positive sentiment toward your organization online.

“Social media includes the word social for a reason,” said John. It’s important to spend the time to create quality content that will draw people to you and want to engage in conversation with you. Sales pitches will likely turn people off.

George pointed out that you can start to identify “brand ambassadors” online who spread good news about your organization and draw more people in. Your brand ambassadors will soon become your best salespeople. As Jason described it, “social media is word of mouth published.”

Bottom line, before jumping into social media it’s important to set clear goals and to understand that it takes time to build up good relationships with your audience. When you choose to invest the time it takes to engage your audience and connect with them personally, your return on that investment will be significant.

Panelist John Heaney has made video of the entire session available, which you can watch via the embed below or visit http://www.viddler.com/explore/orangeenvelopes/videos/7/.

For more information about social media ROI, the panel recommends that you visit http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com.


Number One Without a Bullet

October 5, 2009

Via Twitter, Dominic Litten of Fathom SEO points to a great item at SearchEngineWatch written by SEO/SEM wizard and past Business Wire event speaker Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR.

The article, cleverly titled “Social Media Press Release Blown Away in Hail of Bullets,” takes a look at what kind of press release is more effective at getting indexed by Google News:  The bullet-heavy Social Media Press Release, or a traditional narrative release.  Greg’s results help reinforce that not only is content important, how you present that content can be equally important.  Click through and read the whole thing for an important lesson on just what it is that both search engines and readers are looking for in your press release, and how to make that work for you.


“PR vs. SEO” vs. “PR + SEO” vs. “PR is SEO”

February 26, 2009

There’s an interesting blog conversation going on right now, which grew out of a recent Twitter discussion on the value of PR vs. SEO.  UK PR pro Stuart Bruce kicked things off by trying to define just what PR is for, and how SEO alone can’t accomplish PR’s goals.  The Holistic Search blog responds with discussion of getting PR and SEO teams to work towards a common goal.  Marshall Manson at Edelman Digital then talks about how, ultimately, good PR is good SEO.

Click through and read them all  for valuable discussion and great comments.  I’d like to particularly point out one of Manson’s comments:

My own view is that SEO, literally defined as an effort to improve performance in organic searches for a defined set of key words is far too often nothing more than an organized attempt to trick search engines. Too many SEO firms are selling solutions that involve solutions like paid “link building” and other dubious tactics . . . On the other hand, good online PR is about helping clients connect with audiences on the basis of a shared interest. A key aspect is ensuring that the content of the conversation is real, meaningful, and interesting. Transparency is also vital.

For Business Wire’s part, Manson is right on here.  While we offer a suite of SEO tools, including our Press Release Builder and its keyword analysis and placement functions, all of our tools and advice are in the service of the well-written, properly distributed press release.  All the keywords in the world can’t substitute for good content — if they could, press releases would just consist of a list of keywords and a company name!  (Not that “black hat” SEO/SEM firms haven’t tried things like this.)  Your SEO efforts on press releases need to be part of an engaging story about your company and its news.

And your press releases should be part of an ongoing strategy which includes publishing your news on your own website, properly targeting your news, and building relationships with journalists, bloggers and consumers.  All of these things will help, as one commenter puts it, to make sure your name and your brand are in the right place at the right time when people are looking for them.


Applying Buffettisms to All Walks of Life

November 24, 2008

c0r3Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett (disclosure: Business Wire is a subsidiary of Berkshire) has been called many things— the “greatest stock market investor of modern times,” for a while the richest man in the world, one of the most influential people in the world and one of the most generous and inspirational—but it’s doubtful he’s ever been called a search marketing expert.

We enjoyed this recent clever article from Steve Baldwin at Media Post’s Search Insider, relating some famous Warren Buffett quotes to major issues in search marketing (using Buffett ubiquities like “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over” and “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get” to discuss the problems in going after the top placement on high-traffic keywords and the additional marketing intelligence value received from paid search). It’s an interesting study in Buffett’s ability to draw life lessons from different situations that can apparently be applied to just about anything.

Baldwin also chose to include another of our favorite Buffettisms, “Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.” That one in particular applies to every form of marketing. As Warren Buffett might say, “If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”


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