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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pump up Your Volume


You’ve pulled the curtain back from your first blog and the theatre is packed, right? So how do you make that happen? How do I attract visitors and get to the elusive first Google page? How does an hour a day sound?
Let’s get you started, because the process begins here – and as I said, you’ve got sixty minutes a day, so I'll try to speak quickly. Reciprocal blog imprinting is one of the most effective strategies to expand your audience, boost Google rankings, and link your website with every available mechanism on the internet. The goal of a reciprocal imprinting program is to turn up the volume or obtain “online amplification” from other blogs/sites/online newsletters/twitters/tazers, etc. that are linking to your blog.
The Top Eight Strategies for Effective Reciprocal Blog Imprinting Program.
1. Build a Blog – Building a blog and posting your relevant content is a great way to build blog followers. Okay, you already know that. The concept that's not apparent is that people may want slices or individual articles from your blog. An example is an article from this blog, a link from a web site in Portugal and two YouTube videos from New Zealand and the new manager in Cairo was able to gain funding from an investment group in Dover, Delaware. Here we have almost fifteen people reading content and your blog's address is listed. We can refer to this as viral content submission, which I’ll talk about a bit later, your blog can attract a lot of new visitors that may become your own blog followers.
2. Forum Amps – Forums are great places to determine and locate your special audience members or perhaps your best evangelists, providing target customers, enhancement critics (never take anything too personally) and much more. By interacting, these "cats" allow you to reach a “guru status” provided you take the time to answer questions carefully given your input is qualified. Put an amp to your blog by installing a blog redirect in your signature and with every new post you present an opportunity to enhance your online amplification.
3. Blog Critiquing – Here's a technique that top online amp specialists commonly swear by. Find blogs that interest you, and post comments concerning the authors content. The majority of blogs have a white cloud that allow you to put in your comments and ... your blog URL – that will become an online amp attached to your comment. So make your comments relevant and interesting and you’ll suddenly have a network of blogs with links to your blog.
4. Online Social Networking – Delicious, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, they are all social networks that can provide you with online amplification and followers. Start an account with each and learn how each can be used for you (one day, the pathways to each will converge) – and don’t forget to post links to your blog in all of your profiles.
5. (For Corporate Bloggers) Press Releases – Press releases gain exposure and are actually easier now to provide then ten years ago. Publish press releases regularly about your brand or any interesting industry news you think you can draw readers with. Embed your blog links in the body and enjoy online amplification. Google will index the press release.
6. Asking – It’s as simple as asking sometimes. Find blogs you like and ask for a link back to your blog, possibly in exchange for a link on your blog to theirs. It’s a numbers campaign and if five or ten reciprocate, then your time "gardening” was well spent.
7. Directory Submissions – Submit your blog URL in all directories. There are many services and sites built around link submissions or url submissions – and they are an email address away. Be prepared for additional spam but that's the way of the web.
8. Expert Submissions – Write, polish, edit, re-read and re-write until you can present an article to a lead blogger (hint - a blogger in your area of the market.) See if he/she will publish and gain trust ability. Ensure that you have your blog address mentioned and look for instant online amplification.
Now go spend your five hours amplifying your blog this week.
JD Holzgrefe

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Online Paid Content


I've read a number of blogs and newsletters (predominately from publishers) that propose a new paradigm on the web ... pay per visit content. Let's call it PayPal perusal reading. I read with glee the comparison between the transition that the music industry went through with paying for online media content. That scenario sets up a nice thesis but it’s simply not going to work. Just as sure as the sun shines and a sales rep deviates from a rate card (this occurs daily), this model would last about a month. If you need more evidence, simply look at the damage Craig’s list has done to classified advertising in every major newspaper.
It would play out along these lines …
The paid content alliance publishers would form an alliance. Perhaps they would call it the “our content is king and we have an editorial staff that are star fire journalists” alliance. You visit our site and you'll pay for the new content coming from a trusted source ... a writer in the know.
The model would meet immediate resistance and web site/blog traffic would drop. Visitors would exit in droves. The pressure on the sales side would mount and an alliance member would open their site back up to free entry. Through the entire experiment, the participating alliance members would lose traffic and never regain their respective impression levels. It's a bad nightmare.
If you are delivering content to a specific audience, there are three basic steps. First you need to listen based on a specific set of predetermined metrics such as customer service, you/your brand reputation (good or bad) or content delivery enhancement. There are plenty of free tools to help you accomplish this very important step. Secondly, you need to integrate the ideas and feedback that you have accumulated from passive online listening. Lastly, build trust through interaction. Answer and interact with the sites/blogs that pertain to you/your brand and energize your evangelists. Repeat, wash and rinse this cycle many times and avoid the EZ Pass model.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tangibility not fog



How do you define success? Who owns your brand? How will you leverage the interactive web? These are all questions that (according to Forrester Research) 90% of IT marketing managers are wrestling with. These are valid questions and it's becoming more and more difficult to determine answers with the myriad of options available.
Let's try to shine a flashlight on two areas; measurability and the set up process. If you pull anything out of this post, remember to ask yourself if your social network asset creates the feeling of "I want to come back." This cause mantra for your target audience has been repeated in almost every online social networking strategy book and blog that I have read. It’s a litmus test so employ it and gain input from your peers

Remember that the mission of my blog is to assist IT marketing managers locate resources so that they can fully understand social networking and use it with authority. Here are two excellent articles on formulating successful social networking plans.


Kevin Barenblat and the gurus at Context Optional (building a social network) http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/21805.asp##


Michael Berkley and the gurus at Splashcast Media (measuring your return on investment)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Korean Online Social Networking - a model




The dominate social networking site in South Korea is Cyworld. This site is very interesting in model, offers a very easy interface to join and transactional in nature. You obtain acorns that act as currency. I grabbed a hefty 45 acorns by logging in and a first time gift. Each time you add a "friend", you receive twenty acorns.
The site is set up to give daily reads on members that include location, mood, schedule, select chat groups and much, much more. You can build your own apartment and basically set up a "second life" world with acorns. This is a full bells and whistles social networking site that surpasses any site I have visited.

The statistics are amazing. Way back in 9/05, the site was turning $100 million in revenue and currently, 15 million people out of 47 million South Koreans are using the site. Yes, that's almost 1/3 of the total population of South Korea. Simply amazing! This post will be short as I have cross-posted with my new Cyworld account and hopefully will gain a few comments from the South Korean users of Cyworld and why they like the experience.



JD Holzgrefe

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Google gets on the Social Network Train


I was espousing to a friend how Microsoft could finally release control of a portion of their marketing after reading a terrific information sheet by Buzzlogic (www.buzzlogic.com/ ) entitled "Influence is Golden". With the advent of Windows 7 purportedly hurling Microsoft back into the "good" side after the Vista OS debacle, now is their chance to stop, look around and start interacting with their audience.

Just as certain as the sun rising, Google beats Microsoft to the punch ... at least to a specific technology jab. Google has launched Latitude which is a service that enables a mobile user to broad cast their exact GPS location to selected friends. Try it for FREE - http://www.google.com/latitude/intro.html Where's Fred? Aha - at Murphy’s having a cold one. Someone needs to wake up Microsoft or they'll spend another $21 billion on Yahoo for some very old tech and a neat arcade system.

With regard to the article by Buzzlogic that turned my flashlight on, I sent the CEO, Todd Parsons, a linkedin invitation and he responded within one day. Great people, great ideas and so much promise ahead. This is not your father's web.