Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Quick Note About Websites Today

I was recently searching a Boston area restaurant’s website for its address. It took me a couple of minutes to find it, and so I found myself thinking about how much easier it was to find an address on a website just two years ago.

With the new media technology and Web 2.0 era, came websites that operate as so much more than online business cards. Even the most simple of businesses have transformed their websites into Web 2.0 universes. The restaurant’s website I looked at had two different blogs, an interactive map, a creatively designed menu and a section for making reservations.

An interactive and creative website is one of the best advertisements for a business. An attractive website screams positive things about the business and draws customer attention.

Businesses in any industry can benefit from an innovative, artistic, interactive and user friendly web design. This kind of website layout allows for communication and information exchange. An effective website can enhance company exposure and gain customer awareness. Just make sure the address is easily accessible!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Go Green!

I just came across a great blog hosted by an eco-friendly car company called PlanetTran. There is some great advice on there about going green, check it out!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is a tool Boston Marketing Firms are using to enhance search engine rankings for client’s websites. It is a technique that search engine optimization professionals employ to increase traffic to websites. So what is it?

Social bookmarking is a way for Internet and Boston Interactive Agencies users to store, categorize, search, and control web page bookmarks on the Internet. The saved bookmarks are generally made public, but can also be shared with particular people. Whether they’re made public or private, the audience can view the bookmarks chronologically, by category, by tags, or through a search engine.

Social bookmarking is effective for Boston SEO Agencies because if a client’s website is on the homepage of one of the social bookmarking sites, such as Reddit or Digg, there will be an almost automatic increase in traffic to the website. This increased traffic results in a greater amount of inbound links, which ultimately increases a website’s page rank.

Social bookmarking is a free promotional tool that marketing professionals use because it works favorably for search engine optimization. Try it out!

Friday, November 7, 2008

451 Marketing Launches New Blog

451 Marketing launched their blog 451Heat this week. Check it out: http://451heat.wordpress.com/

Friday, October 31, 2008

How Social Media is Impacting the Election

In light of the election this coming Tuesday, I thought I would take a few minutes today and look into how new media has been affecting the election.

We all know how intense this years Presidential Election has been, with both Democratic and Republican parties vying for votes by any means possible. Over the past months both parties have been on the campaign trail promoting themselves in traditional ways: town hall meetings, rallies, television and radio ads, debates, and the list goes on. While this year’s election season has been full of these more traditional approaches, there has been a heavy shift towards using social media to woo voters as well.

The Democratic campaign has been reaching out to voters through social media tools and mobile marketing techniques thus giving it the nickname the “Social Media Election”. Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have brought the campaign to new heights in promoting the candidates and engaging voters, especially among younger demographics.

MySpace has been a hot spot for members to communicate about the election, who they’re voting for, and what they believe it. In addition to this, one of the best things MySpace has done for the election is allowing users to watch and participate in the debates as volunteers.

Twitter has also been a great place for people to get information, as it keeps followers updated minute by minute about what is going on in with the candidates. Facebook has been a great place to get involved, as it has created pages, groups, and even various applications which remind people to vote.

The Obama campaign has really taken the use of social media to the next level, having created an application for the overwhelmingly popular iphone that allows you to organize the contacts in your phone by key battleground states, receive updates about what is going on in those states, and helps you find/contact the nearest Obama headquarters to get your friends involved and voting.

The fact that both parties have been using social media so much in their campaigns is a testament to how fast the world of Social Media Marketing is growing and impacting our everyday lives. These social media applications being used by the candidates have no doubt allowed for a much more interesting election, and have also engaged voters in new ways than ever before.

Don’t forget to voice your opinion through the various social media outlets and to vote on Tuesday!

Monday, October 20, 2008

How DVR is changing Advertising

While catching up on my DVR last night, I started to think about how much this great commercial-skipping device has changed the entire advertising industry as we know it.

Commercial advertising was once considered one of the most effective ways of pitching a product to consumers with creative, eye catching and visually inviting advertisements. However, although commercial are still an extremely popular means of advertising, advertisers are beginning to realize that there are millions of dollars being invested into TV commercials that for the most part are going unwatched.

This new television era of DVR has caused a shift of power from Advertising Agency to viewer, and is affecting commercials of all kinds, including infomercials. Since more viewers are using DVR services fewer commercials are being watched from beginning to end. In fact, there have been studies done which have calculated that no more than four seconds of a commercial are being watched now; a direct result of digital television recording.

With the millions (and rising) of existing DVR users, Boston Advertising Agencies are now being challenged to create new ways to reach to viewers. One of the best examples of this is the increased use of product placements in TV shows and movies. It will be very interesting to see how Boston Advertising Agencies, Boston Public Relations Firms, and also Boston Marketing Agencies are going to adapt to this major industry wide shift, and try to stay ahead of the technological curve.

Friday, October 10, 2008

YouTube and Publicity

YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. YouTube was created in February 2005. The free service uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips and music videos, as well as amateur content such as videoblogging and short original videos. Youtube's instant and continuously growing large scale popularity has been used as a route for free publicity and high priced advertising. The viewers it reaches are a large network varying by age and interest, so companies know their efforts in reaching the desired demographic (or interest group) will not be futile. In January 2008 alone, nearly 79 million users had made over 3 billion video views.

Now, using this internet service as a mode of publicity has proven quite successful. Especially in the music industry. For example, Soulja boy, a young Hip Hop artist who's musical ventures and creations started-and continue- as Youtube video posts. Now the young artist has been signed to a label and continues to perform and produce his music around the world. He used sites like Youtube and MySpace to link back to his own official site and build a fan base. Boston Public Relations firms can use and learn from this example as it is a very relevant viral marketing tactic. Many Boston Marketing Agencies and Boston Public Relations Firms have used this technique by posting commercials and ads on the Youtube site free of charge and then tagging the appropriate client keywords.

One of the biggest benefits from using services like Youtube is increased returns to scale. That is the power that lies within Youtube. So, now that Boston Public Relations Firms have realized this valuable publicity tool, they have begun to exploit. Take into account the increasing costs of advertising, free publicity in the form of viral web is the way to go if a company is not trying to spend on TV ads but still reach the same target audience.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mobile Marketing

In addition to Viral Marketing gaining popularity in the Interactive Marketing world, Mobile Marketing had become quite a hit as well.

Mobile Marketing via SMS and MMS are taking over and redefining the very meaning of marketing. SMS is becoming a notorious technique for improving customer engagement by almost 100%. One of the most popular ways that Boston Advertising Agencies promote brands though the use SMS along with MMS is to engage customers in competitions where prizes or discounted products are awarded.

In addition to generating high customer engagement, one of the greatest benefits of Mobile Marketing is that is allows very detailed demographic information about an individual to be collected, which results in highly targeted campaigns. When you effectively reach the right audience your chances of them investing money, buying your product, recommending your product, and returning as a satisfied customer increase drastically.

Mobile Marketing is one of the greatest tools available to Interactive Marketing Agencies today, and the highly specialized targeting makes it one of the most effective.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing is a term used by Boston Marketing Firms and Boston Advertising Agencies to identify a technique of marketing that utilizes social networking sites to produce an increase in brand awareness or other marketing objectives through a self-replicating viral process.

The best way to think of Viral Marketing is “word-of-mouth” enhanced by the technologies available on the web. What Viral Marketing does is encourage people to pass along a marketing message voluntarily, through spreading videos, flash games, ebooks, brandable software, etc…. “Word-of-mouth” marketing is arguably one of the most effective means of marketing to date, now just imagine that combined with the power and reach of the Internet.

Concurrently, viral Video Marketing has become a staple to many Boston Marketing Firms and Boston Advertising Agencies when it comes to getting their message out. Using the same concept of Viral Marketing, Online Video Marketing provides a cheap and easy way for companies to spread the word about what they do. Videos have proven to be very effective, and also serve as a differentiating factor for many companies across many industries.

The reach of these two techniques is amazing, as is the effectiveness. Boston Marketing Firms and Boston Advertising Agencies that offer these services, or who are embracing them, will certainly stand very far ahead of the competition.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Video Game Advertising

With all this talk so far about New Media, PR 2.0, SEO, etc… I thought I would post today about a direct result of these emerging industries: video game advertising.

Video game advertising is simply using computer and video games as a medium to deliver advertising. What’s so great about it is that it allows Boston Advertising Agencies to reach a typically difficult to reach demographic: young affluent males ages 18-34. Video games have the 4th highest reach for teens and heavy gamers (following TV, internet and radio), and an article published by cnn.com this week stated that 97% of America’s youth play video games in some form.

What this all means for Boston Advertising Agencies is huge market potential. The video game industry itself is booming, with global sales rising from $6.6 billion last year to %14.4 billion by 2012. There is just so much opportunity here, it’s amazing.

New forms of in game advertising allow Boston Advertising Agencies to tailor their message to geographic location, and to time zone, allowing for the delivery of time sensitive messages (like a movie launch). Information can also be sent back to the agency from the player’s machine to help evaluate how effective the advertisement placement is for the viewer.

Video game advertising has actually been around for quite a while; the first example appeared in 1978, believe it or not. The market is growing at an unprecedented rate, and is presenting a huge amount of opportunity to be taken advantage of by Boston Advertising Agencies. The potential here is amazing, and it will not be long before agencies start popping up that specialize in solely this form of advertising. It is definitely an industry that should be watched and paid very close attention to, and taken advantage of sooner rather than later.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Web 2.0 and New Media

Web 2.0 is revolutionizing the way we as people interact with each other, and also with the media. Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn have been changing the face of communications for the past few years, since they have been launched in 2003 and 2004. Users create accounts and profiles displaying their videos, pictures, and information regarding interests, hobbies, favorite books, music, etc….

Since their launch, these sites have been used as a method of networking and activism among users of all ages. Facebook, geared towards a college-aged audience, has helped promote and generate press about all kinds of issues. LinkedIn, geared towards business professionals, has aided companies in networking and developing partnerships. MySapce was originally created for the music industry, but has evolved to encompass almost every aspect of social networking.

These social networking sites can play a vital role in the effort of Boston Marketing Firms and Boston Public Relations Firms through the use of New Media. People are now easier than ever to contact and reach though blogs, message boards and groups. These applications have allowed for the open communication and conversation between companies and their consumers. By making the jump to incorporate social networking, a company can easily distinguish itself from their competition.

Other new media involving Web 2.0 includes sites like YouTube and Flickr, both free websites where users can watch videos online, or on their phones. Sites like these have made it easier than ever to promote a cause, a company, an event, you name it.

Through all these new media sources we can quickly get a very good idea about what people think of something, what they’d like improved, or what seems to be missing. They also let us know what is being talked about, and what people would like to see from the companies the trust. Most importantly, they help facilitate the conversation between business and consumer which allows for networking, idea sharing, communication, and increased marketability and profitability for both Boston Marketing Firms and Boston Public Relations Firms.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What about SEO/PR?

SEO/PR is the idea of search leveraged public relations. With the rise of internet use, people now expect instantaneous information. By creating optimized press releases and blog newsletters, we can severely cut back the amount of time it takes to distribute information while concurrently promoting our business, product, or service. This helps businesses gain credibility, while simultaneously helping their customers.

SEO itself, as we now know, is the idea of directing traffic to a website through organic search. The higher ranked a company is in a search engine’s results, the more credible the company appears to the person performing the search. Because of simple human nature, people are more likely to click on links of top rated sites in a search. More traffic to your site means higher visibility, greater brand recognition, and ultimately more revenue from the increased purchase of your product or service.

Using SEO/PR allows companies to apply the strategy of SEO to Public Relations. It allows Boston Public Relations Firms to get their messages out to the masses in an efficient and effective manner. These two elements combined with a distinguishable brand and an interesting Web Design will undoubtedly result in a formula for a sharp increase in business, and therefore profits.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

PR 2.0

In addition to SEO, the shift from traditional PR to PR 2.0 is causing a huge change in the Public Relations industry as we know it. Traditional Public Relations encompasses all aspects of managing and controlling an organization or company’s information to the public. Through media practices Public Relations helps an institution build, manage, and promote a reputation through reliable and credible third party outlets. This can be accomplished in several manners including speeches, awards, press coverage, etc…. Although traditional practices of Public Relations have not totally expired, the conversion from material media to the web has revolutionized the way companies approach Public Relations. The idea of Public Relations 2.0 includes all the multimedia, which reaches the masses through a medium of new technology. New social media has made it easier than ever for a company to see what they public concerns are about. Through methods such as video sharing and optimized new releases, messages can be released to the public almost instantly. Social bookmarking and news sharing also allow companies to get a read on what is sticks with people and what is not by seeing the amount of tags or bookmarks they receive in a given time period.

Social networking is another product of PR 2.0. Websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn permit users to communicate and share information they find of particular interest. But possibly one of the most influential new social media applications is blogging. A blog is a website that is upheld and maintained by an individual on any subject they desire to write about. An entry can contain commentary, information, videos, and pictures… basically anything the blogger wants.

Blogs have been an area of interest for quite some time. They give virtually everyone an outlet for their thoughts, concerns, or causes to be viewed by any web user. In addition to being a virtual space for the blogger to express their thoughts, blogs can also be very beneficial to any company. Not only can they influence the direction a company goes in, but they can also help the company promote itself, and get feedback from their consumers. The benefits of blogging Boston Public Relations Firms and Boston Advertising Agencies are undeniable, and are something I would suggest any business keep in mind and try to integrate into their campaigns.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What is SEO?

I decided to start this blog to share some of my thoughts on the changing world of Boston Digital Agencies. Working at a Boston Interactive Agency, I learn a lot about this world, and thought I would pass along some of the information.

What exactly is SEO? You may have heard the term Search Engine Optimization thrown around the worlds of business and marketing, but may not have been given a clear definition of what exactly it is. The simple answer is; the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic that is drawn to a website from search engines by using targeted keywords.

The emergence of such new interactive agencies and marketing practices like SEO, have come about because customers have grown tired of all the advertising clutter on television, in magazines, etc.... With TiVo and DVR it is becoming much easier for customers to avoid the clutter, which is making it more difficult for companies to get their message and products out to their targeted audiences. This has forced many companies to come up with completely new and innovative marketing and advertising strategies... hence, SEO.

There are only a few Boston Marketing Agencies who have realized the benefits of utilizing a fully integrated SEO campaign, and the great benefits it reaps for clients. The logic is simple; the higher the ranking a site gets by Google, the higher it appears in a search. Customers view the highest ranked websites as the best, and are more likely to click on a link that has a high Google ranking. The higher a site is on a search engine, the more likely it is to be selected by a potential customer.

It is these integrated Boston SEO Companies that realize the importance and benefits of this innovative marketing strategy that will be more sustainable in the end. The possibilities and benefits of using search engine optimization are limitless, it is just a matter of understading how to take advantage of them.