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What is Augmented Reality?

What is Augmented Reality?

I remember going to the Virtual Reality Arcade in the Trocadero Center Arcade London, UK in 1991. The centre had many virtual arcade games you could play. You would put on a silly helmet then you were inside the game.

Augmented Reality is just really a continuation of virtual reality but only better. Now think back to Terminator 2. If you even watch this film today it is still a great film. Remember when Arnie walks into the red neck bar on the film and information comes up on his Terminator vision indicating information on objects and people. Well, this is like what Augmented Reality is. Take a look at this Youtube video to see what I mean.

Augmented Reality is about bringing down all the information that is up in the internet straight into our reality.

New Mobile phones like the iphone and the Android now have this ability to channel all this data to the user’s reality.

Augmented reality takes the internet to a completely different level.

Web 1.0 (1995-1999) was all about the great promise of easy shopping

Web 2.0 (2005-2009) was when the internet matured and focussed on its main strength which is to make things faster, easier and relevant – social media and apps etc

Augmented reality which has come on leaps and bounds within the last 2 years is where mobile technology and wireless broadband make the internet omnipresent.

You could say we’ve seen augmented reality already in many of Google’s new products like Google maps where the information, reviews and images are held over the location.

What are the effects of Augmented Reality?

  • Increased transparency
  • Timely access to information
  • Constant access to entertainment
  • Myriad Advertising and Marketing opportunities
Marketing with Augmented Reality

You hold your iPhone up, and wherever you point it, you get live data showing you the direction and distance to the nearest tube station.

Companies can monetise this kind of technology by advertising to the mobile phone user so when they pass some retail shops they get information for coupons and special promotions.

For internet businesses it is also a great opportunity as the mobile phone user walks into a shop with Augmented Reality technology on their phone they can then find out if they are getting a good deal leveraging the information from shopping comparison sites.

Social Augmented Reality:

Utilise this information in a social gathering, it’s about the knowledge of joining a crowd and knowing:

  • Who do I know here?
  • Where do I know them from?
  • Who should I get to know?
  • Who here is single?
  • Status etc Twitter facebook

Information on Internet + Ordinary Reality = Augmented Reality

Business Case for Augmented Reality:

Handheld platforms will transform the Augmented Reality ecosystem, with revenue associated with Augmented Reality growing from about $6 million in 2008 to more than $350 million in 2014.

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Major changes to Google´s search engine ranking factors and what it means to your website

Introduction:

To label the service of increasing a website´s search engine visibility through “natural” rankings as SEO is like calling a butterfly a caterpillar.

I have recently seen major updates where it turns the concept of SEO on its head. It´s an evolution!

The term SEO was first thought up some 10 years ago by a marketing agency. It was coined to explain the process of implementing tasks on the site that helped the search engines and in particular Google rank the site higher and hopefully to the top spot.

To summarise how Google ranked sites in my opinion is from a legacy of how the internet came about.

I will briefly explain my thoughts below,

Larry Page and Sergey Brin the co-founders of Google met at Stanford University in 1995 when they were computer science students at this time the internet was still in its infancy and was slowly growing from a research project  among Universities. Larry Page and Sergey Brin would have been influenced by the fact that most of the content that was online were doctrines and research papers. The early prototype was initially called backrub.

 

In fact they would not have that much to go by as in June 1995 there were only 23,500 websites on the internet. Again, many of these would have been education establishments.

So how do you show results for this particular education content? You create ranking factors that look at the title, the introduction and the page chapters.

On a web page you still have elements of this. For example,

  • The title of an essay is similar to the title tag of a web page

  • The glossary containing the initial sentence of what the page is about this is similar to the Meta description inside a web page.

  • The text to point you to another page– (for example see page 5 for further information) this is similar to internal links in the body of text on the page.

These similarities to me meant that you would always know what really mattered when trying to rank a website higher in Google. Optimise the website for Google or SEO.

Essentially I found the backbone of SEO

There were also off-page factors such as links to the website (as in my explanation above links would be similar to another University linking to another research paper for their fellow students.)

Off-site optimisation or the value of links for a given webpage contains a very important element that should be addressed to help increase keyword rankings

PageRank named after Larry Page. PageRank measure’s a web page’s importance. The most important pages on the Internet are the pages with the most links leading to them. PageRank thinks of links as votes, where a page linking to another page is casting a vote. To increase the link of the page it helped if the link included the title of the web page.

With this last point it enabled you to basically guarantee results with SEO if you source good enough back links.

In my experience SEO main ranking factors came down to

·         Link Building  60% – directories, blogs, links from news etc

·         Onsite Optimisation (changes at code level to the website) 20%

·         Fresh content to the site 20%

If you do this consistently and did not stray into easy win techniques favoured by spammers then you would have good long term ranking results.

So the term SEO was an easy label to give to the service of making a website more search engine friendly as it consisted of these 3 key points.

In my eyes yes I was doing SEO but what I was and still do is make my customer website´s Search engine friendly – ensuring the search engine robots can access and crawl the website – usually involves improvements at code level.

Ensuring everything is configured correctly in Google´s webmaster tools and following the recommendations from Google is how to ensure you can do everything technically for the search engines to decide how important the content on the website is for their search user. Also, by using search engine friendly links to point to the customer´s website

You could say that I was doing the technical implementations for Google´s recommendations. As Google never invented the term seo. Subconsciously, this is what I was doing anyway. Ensuring tasks were implemented that would provide value for the customer.

Google have always preferred businesses not to try and manipulate their search algorithms. For many years using specific keywords within link building used to guarantee keyword placement. Often results were down to which good link building sources the SEO Company had. This value has been greatly reduced as Google want to see more content being produced from the business to add value to their search users.

Google still continue to give recommendations about how to gain more visibility within their search engines

Google Inc. Is a public corporation on the NASDAQ it has to constantly perform for their share holders.

The leading risk factors facing Google include constantly evolving technology, increased competition from both established and start-up companies in industries ranging from traditional media to social networking. For many years their dominance as a tech company has been at risk by the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Apple.

In order to compete they had to evolve everything they do by constantly creating innovations in their technology and improving their search engine results as consumers demanded more than simply just a search result.

Combined with this and their mission statement it was inevitable that Google would be making major updates to their algorithms. This is,

“Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

New Changes:

Link factors

Instead of being able to put the title of your webpage or a keyword in the link that points to your site which as I mentioned before attributed to around 60% ranking factors. Google now look at social signals instead.

Social Signals

Social signals are the new link currency and have become essential for ranking websites in Google.

These social shares and likes should not be faked as these are not real users and Google will be changing their algorithms again to combat this.

Signs of social media engagement:

 

Twitter – Number of:

Times your site is being tweeted about on Twitter

Twitter followers

Facebook – Number of:

People clicked the Facebook ‘like’ button on your site

People clicked the like button on Facebook to follow your facebook business page

People shared and/or reshared on Facebook?

Pinterest –

Number of:

Pictures from your site being pinned and/or repined on Pinterest

 

Google+

Number of:

People have you in their circles and follow your business/brand Google+ page as well

People clicked the plus one button on your website

Social Presence – You need accounts on each social channel. All of the above factors are being monitored by Google´s bots and I predict this will continue to be more important. Why else did Google invest in creating their own social network called Google Plus?

Email mentions/links – Information through Gmail is crawled by Google and could be used in their algorithm. If not already…Is your website being mentioned in Gmail? Do you have a link to your website in your email signature?

Author Rank

Your Google+ agent rank (you on Google Plus) can influence your page rankings on Google if you have a high score. The score can be determined by the no # of people who followed you and how authoritative they are on the web and influential.

Google have done this to resolve their duplicate content issues by associating your Google+ profile with your content as the first source of information.

Google is giving reputation score to profiles and use this profile score to influence search rankings (or Author Authority) which is  the amount of links, likes, re-tweets, social mentions, etc you get when writing on particular topics. Every time you write and publish the content online under your author name you are building equity.

Now Traffic data to your site can affect your ranking and organic visibility according to that country’s search engine. Google wants to get very geo targeted or localised. As a result we now need to build visibility on local online entities and talk about local things in the content of your site.

Google have not only updated their social media engagement metrics but what attributes are in your web pages called Schema. These are technical implementations that I have added to my technical improvement list for search engines. Schema or structured data and improves how your sites appear in major search engines. It aims to improve mark-up of your pages.

All this now enables Google to rank your website on Social Mapping – Who are you? Who are you friends? Who do you influence? Who influences you? This will be much more evident on Google Plus. Also Google´s Knowledge graph they related can better show related data in the search results. From this technology they are better able to tell if you’re an authority writing on a topic based on the other types of topics you have written on in the past.

Content Themes

It´s best to create your content based on the key topic modelling concept so you will show your content based on the topic that users are most likely be interested to see. The most common and arguably the most useful for search engines is Latent Dirichlet Allocation, or LDA. This model mainly consists of clustering words into “topics”.

Summary:

Therefore, is it SEO now or social media or both? Or is it optimisation of your content on your website to make it search engine friendly? What about the engagement on the site?

It´s now all these aspects! If we continue to call it SEO we lose focus. So if Google have evolved I want to evolve my service to you. Not only to implement the constant technical recommendations by Google but help your business with all aspects

So to rank high in the search engines you also need good content that is syndicated on social media channels. Content and social media engagement is best originated from the business and small posts to begin with can rank your site higher than your competitors because they still think it´s about doing “old seo”

I will provide the social media tools, the guidance but for results now content has to be created where value is added for your customer.

Content is easier than you think for example did your customer have a problem in the week and you resolved it. If you only created content like case studies this will give Google what they are looking for.

Later we could build a community around your service and products to channel social media efforts. This strategy will inevitably increase your signs of social media engagement

Making the distinction of changing the name of the service serves the purpose of clarity and focus which brings value to you the customer. This aids success as success is attributed to the clarity and quality of questions I am now able to ask you as a customer.

Calling the service just SEO traps us in a certain way of thinking as we shift focus instead of looking to increase specific keywords with link building and some on-site improvements. It is now how can I help your business add value to your customers and Google´s search users?

This shift will improve your keyword rankings collectively, this is why I monitor groups of keywords for you not just 5 individual keywords that some “agencies” do.

“Other agencies are not adapting to these upcoming changes instead they are opting for a head in the sand approach.”

Conclusion:

In the beginning SEO was an easy label to pigeon hole what was required to increase keyword rankings. Now as technology and activities have multiplied to achieve keyword rankings I feel we are at the late majority phase of the adoption curve for the term SEO. A new label is required for this service

Introducing the new name to replace the SEO service

Technical website service for Marketing

There is still tremendous value in the technical aspects for web promotion.

My new service will ensure your website gets found in the search engines by providing the technical bridge between your site and Google. For your business this will mean creating / improving search engine marketing as a lead generation channel.

  • Improve visibility long term

  • Integrate social media

  • Create a content marketing strategy for your business

  • Constant technical improvements

Each recommendation Google release is implemented on your website. This alone is a continuous job. Let alone the social media aspect.

To hit the bull’s eye with this content needs to be created by your business as I am not qualified to talk about your products and services at such a level that would create value for your customers and search users. Therefore, I can no longer guarantee specific keyword rankings but by us working together with content WILL assist greatly with keyword rankings.

The Technical Bridge between you, your website, your business, your marketing content and Google´s search engine with the added benefit of driving your social media channels.

This service is ideal for businesses that are able or would be able to produce content with my assistance.

Content often derived from

  • Business owners

  • Directors

  • Managers

  • Marketing

  • Content ideas:

  • Thought leadership articles –

  • Case studies

  • Industry news – (In most cases I can prepare this for you)

Content Media

Blog posts – How to series, tips, help and advice for customers.

Videos – can be as simple as videos shot with camera phone or iPad. Just getting your message captured is the ultimate aim. If you see a lot of videos on YouTube now the most viewed videos are the ones shot with a basic camera device.

“You give us the content we make it work for you!”

The utopia would be to have niche, close, engaging community / groups. This creates an effective Digital footprint and good visibility in Google.

But this is great, exciting news and I have innovated marketing solutions to assist with this. I´m in business of releasing butterflies for my customers!

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Social media and the Customer

The extent of the potential reach of a single comment on a social networking site such as Twitter or Facebook cannot be denied. However, what do you do when the comment is a customer complaint? Well, ignoring the post, as if to deny its worth is not an option.

As more and more companies begin to use social networks and other online forums as a sales and marketing channel, the challenge to manage what comes through these newly open floodgates thus begins. And whilst companies may be gracious enough to admit that transparency about their product is the right and proper thing, concerns about counteracting bad reviews and deliberate sabotage can never be far from their mind.

A senior community developer at Florida based music sharing company Grooveshark, whilst acknowledging the obvious negatives of entering into the arena, recently remarked on the positive side, describing how when Grooveshark have server problems it sparks an alert on Facebook and Twitter that reaches thousands of its followers. “Their voice gives valuable insight into our website.” he stated.

The essential idea that social media is a way to personify a company was also acknowledged by Grooveshark, but there are downsides to this personal relationship between company and customer in that a succession of messages can appear spam-like in their sincerity and appeal. The quantity and regularity of postings should be monitored and carefully considered, would seem to be the advice.

The importance of how search engines deal with social media is key to understanding why having a social media platform equates to increased business success. Google uses a method of ‘universal search’ where the search engine searches for all forms of media. So a good blog site and a Facebook page, combined with a Twitter tweets and YouTube videos will serve a company best in leaving breadcrumbs trail that can be followed straight to the business.
It’s best for a business to set up a content strategy first then simply syndicate the content via different social media channels. You don’t have to write something different for each social media site.
A content strategy is simply a business allocating time, resources and a discipline, prioritised approach to actually creating the content and adding value for their customers.
Mind reading machines for your customers are not currently available so communicate your advice and insights on the web.

mind reading machine

Get your content into social media as oppose to giving your customers a mind reading machine

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CRM Providers for your CRM Marketing Automation and Lead Management

CRM Providers for your CRM Marketing Automation and Lead Management

CRM Providers Buyer’s Guide

crm marketing buyers guide
Lead management processes, done right, enable top-line growth, and can show a quantifiable link between marketing investment and revenue. However, the technical complexity of multichannel lead management processes, organisational challenges impacting implementations, and ongoing vendor merger and acquisition activity will create confusion in the market and cause some user organizations to delay investment decisions.

This report for Lead Management provides guidance to organisations planning to invest in new lead management applications, services or projects, and organizations planning to upgrade, reassess or refine existing lead management systems. Use this report to understand the opportunities and challenges that marketing executives are experiencing when building and deploying lead management processes, and to guide initial vendor selection based on your organisation’s requirements.

Summary:
Lead management has become an investment priority as companies focus on customer acquisition and retention to maintain and grow revenue streams.

  • Companies implementing effective lead management processes and technology can expect to see quantifiable benefits, particularly in improved conversion rates and increased sales.
  • Companies implementing lead management technologies continue to be challenged by issues such as ensuring that marketing processes are aligned with direct and indirect sales objectives, and justifying technology investments to senior management.
  • Multichannel lead management generates a lot of interest, hype and discussion; however, more than 75% of companies that have invested in automating lead management leverage only two channels, primarily e-mail and Web landing pages.
  • Social media is just beginning to be integrated into structured lead management processes by companies that have moved beyond e-mail and Web landing pages. Companies also continue to evolve strategies around whether social media can be an effective lead management channel, and how metrics for social interaction can guide these efforts.

Lead management integrates business process and technology to close the loop between marketing and sales channels, and to drive higher-value opportunities through improved demand creation, execution and opportunity management.
Lead management processes take in unqualified, “raw” leads from a variety of lead generation sources, including Web registration pages and campaigns; direct mail campaigns; e-mail marketing; multichannel campaigns; database marketing and third-party leased lists; social CRM and social networking sites; and trade shows. The output of lead management processes — qualified, scored, nurtured, augmented and prioritized selling opportunities — are handed off to direct sales and channel sales organiSations.

What to look for in a CRM Provider for CRM Marketing Automation and Lead Management:

A good CRM Lead Management provider, the vendor must meet the minimum criteria for product, revenue and client installed base.
A CRM Marketing Automation Provider Should:

  • Have a stand-alone lead management product or a lead management product that is integrated and sold as part of a CRM suite, sales force automation (SFA) application or marketing automation application
  • Have a lead management product that provides, at minimum, the capabilities defined in the Technology section (below)
  • Have a lead management product available for license in the market for a minimum of two years, and capable of delivering lead management functionality to midsize and large enterprise clients
  • Have revenue of a healthy revenue min $5 million per year.
  • Have a cash position to fund at least one year of business operations.
  • Provide sufficient professional services or professional service partnerships to fulfill customer demand
  • Demonstrate a global scope by having sales and support capability in more than a single geographic region (North America, EMEA or the Asia/Pacific region), and technology and system integration partnerships capable of supporting global implementations.
CRM System’s Technology

A vendor must have the ability to:

  • Accept leads generated from a multichannel lead generation system or campaign, such as leads generated from websites, inbound and outbound call and contact centers, e-mail marketing, direct-mail marketing, third-party databases/lists, social networking/social CRM sites, or mobile marketing campaigns.
  • Store all lead information in a lead management or CRM database resident in the lead management application, as well as the ability to store information in a separate application or database (e.g., a CRM suite application).
  • Retain, access, use and analyze all related information required for the processing of the lead, from conception to closure, and the ability to integrate with stand-alone CRM or SFA applications and extract data (e.g., date and total value of a closed opportunity) to use in closed-loop marketing analysis.
  • Append missing or additional information (e.g., missing e-mail fields) to the lead from external, third-party sources, and to integrate and store this information into the lead management database and associate it with the appropriate lead or customer information. Ability to eliminate incomplete, redundant or duplicate lead information, based on criteria set by the end-user organization. (Note: This capability does not have to be part of the lead management system.)
  • Create a lead qualification process, including the ability to process the lead through a minimum of three qualification steps, and to store the qualification information to use as part of the lead scoring process. All criteria involving lead qualification, lead scoring, lead augmentation, lead assignation, and lead reporting or analytics are mandatory functionality, and need to be available as part of the lead management application or SaaS service, without the need for custom application development, third-party applications or services, or manual processes.
  • Automatically and dynamically score a lead, based on at least three lead qualification criteria, and to route that lead to the next appropriate lead management process, based on the score.
  • Create multiple lead qualification and scoring processes, based on criteria such as a campaign, product type, customer segment, estimated customer value or seasonal criteria. Ability to execute multiple lead qualification and scoring processes simultaneously, and to dynamically route the leads that meet qualification or scoring criteria to the next appropriate lead management process.
  • Automatically and dynamically assign a lead to a direct sales channel, indirect sales channel (e.g., agent, distributor, OEM, partner, value-added reseller [VAR]) or automated sales channel (e.g., e-commerce engine or website), based on lead qualification, lead scoring, campaign criteria, lead management metrics or analytics, or lead routing metrics. Ability to track data related to when the lead was assigned (e.g., date, channel or salesperson, and relevant lead information) to the sales channel.
  • Be notified, based on data or application integration with an integrated or third-party CRM or SFA application, of the closing of a lead, and to store relevant sales data (e.g., date of closure, total value of sale, sales channel involved) about the sale, so that it can be used by reporting or analytics functionality in the lead management application (closed-loop marketing).
  • Ability to store, in an internal or external database or data repository, data to enable reports, analytics and/or business intelligence (BI) related to the entire lead management process.
Vendors Included in this CRM Provider List:
  • Aprimo
  • Eloqua
  • Leads360
  • LoopFuse
  • Manticore Technology
  • Marketbright
  • Marketo
  • Microsoft (Microsoft Dynamics CRM)
  • Neolane
  • Oracle (Siebel Marketing)
  • Pardot
  • SAP (SAP CRM)
  • Silverpop
  • TreeHouse Interactive
  • Unica

The outlook for investing in lead management technology continues to be Promising, due to several factors:

    • The demand for lead management capabilities continues to grow faster than the overall technology market and the CRM market, driven by the high priority placed on customer acquisition and customer retention (cross-selling and up-selling activities) by senior sales, marketing and operational management executives.
    • There is strong innovation in lead management technology product capabilities, deployment options, consulting and system integration services, and integration with core CRM, e-commerce, social CRM, events and trade shows, call and contact centre, mobile, and other customer-facing engagement points.
    • The business environment is such that it continues to keep senior management focused on strategic investments, such as customer retention and customer acquisition.

However, the enthusiasm for strong growth and continued investment in lead management is slowed by several realities:

  • Process and governance issues continue to delay lead management deployments. Companies continue to be challenged by their lack of explicit, documented lead management and related (e.g., SFA, partner relationship management [PRM], e-commerce) processes./li>
  • Multichannel lead management, integrating several customer-facing channels (such as Web, e-mail, mobile, social and virtual trade events) continues to challenge marketing practitioners. Many companies start with two channels, such as e-mail and Web, and expand to additional challenges as companies gain experience and maturity in using the lead processes.
  • Analytics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for lead management are challenges. Although most companies generate lead management analytics or KPIs, a closer look shows that most of these KPIs are simplistic, tactical metrics, such as the number of raw leads generated from a campaign. Few companies have spent the necessary time, made the necessary investments and committed the necessary resources to develop, implement and continually improve KPIs that can guide their lead management initiatives.
  • The lead management market has an over-reliance on a small number of vertical B2B and B2B-to-consumer (B2B2C) industries — primarily, high technology, financial services and business services. This overconcentration on a few early adopter industries shows that lead management is still in the early days of market development and market growth.
  • Market hype and market consolidation continue as vendors vie for market share and augment their portfolios. The Marketing Automation market saw consolidation in 2010, including the acquisition of Aprimo by Teradata, and Unica by IBM, and of the IP of Market2Lead by Oracle. This market consolidation will continue in 2011, creating viability concerns for some vendors and raising issues around technology road maps/directions for the acquired or merged companies. The lead management market will continue to be good for investors as this merger and acquisition activity plays out, but could also put downward pressure on lead management revenue growth as enterprise customers wait for clear market leadership.

 

CRM Provider Analysis

aprimo crm logo

Aprimo

Aprimo provides a range of Marketing Automation applications, including marketing resource management (MRM) and lead management. Teradata completed its acquisition of Aprimo in January 2011 for approximately $525 million. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Aprimo was privately held until the Teradata acquisition. Revenue estimation of Aprimo’s revenue for 2010 to be approximately $80 million.
Because of its broad Marketing Automation, marketing resource management and lead management capabilities, Aprimo tends to be used by larger companies with requirements that include (but also extend beyond) lead management. The vendor has customers using its lead management in B2B, business-to-consumer (B2C) and B2B2C applications. Aprimo claims more than 200 enterprise customers, and has a sales and support presence globally, including in the U.S., U.K., France, the Netherlands, Singapore, India and other countries. Top vertical industries include high technology, business services and financial services; global system integrator (GSI) relationships include Accenture and Capgemini.
Aprimo’s Marketing Studio On Demand is a SaaS application that provides content management for the storage of digital assets and collateral, such as product brochures, webinars and case study materials; a workflow and business process engine to build campaigns and lead management processes; and the ability to store lead management analytics within Marketing Studio On Demand for reporting, analytics and KPIs. (Aprimo has also extended capabilities for lead scoring categories and lead funnel analytics. Marketing Studio On Demand language support includes English, French, German and Dutch.)
Aprimo is a good choice, based on its strong financial position, its global presence and broad customer base, and a lead management product set that is scalable, supports complex lead management processes, and aggregates data to support sophisticated lead management analytics and KPIs. However, while the acquisition by Teradata brings new technologies and a stronger corporate presence to Aprimo, it will also introduce short- to medium-term uncertainties as the two companies develop an integrated technology road map. Aprimo could be an appropriate choice for clients with more-complex lead management capabilities, those that currently or will require additional marketing resource management functionality, and those that implement campaigns in multiple regions or countries.

eloqua crm logo

Eloqua

Founded in 1999, Eloqua is an established Marketing Automation company offering lead management and campaign management for B2B and B2B2C companies, and for B2C companies selling larger, “considered purchase” products. Eloqua is headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, and has locations in Canada, U.K., Germany and Singapore. In January 201,1 Eloqua reported 2010 revenue of $51 million, a 32% increase over 2009. Eloqua claims approximately 900 corporate customers globally in the high technology, business services, media and networks, and financial services industries; notable GSI and technology partnerships include Accenture, Capgemini, Harte-Hanks, Microsoft, NetSuite, Oracle and salesforce.com.
Eloqua’s flagship product, Eloqua10, is a SaaS Marketing Automation product providing a new user interface (UI), drag-and-drop lead management campaign building, and improvements in analytics and reporting. Pricing tiers include Eloqua Express, Eloqua Team and Eloqua Enterprise. Related components used in lead management processes include Eloqua Insight, Eloqua for Microsoft Outlook, Eloqua Prospect Profile and Eloqua Discover. Eloqua10 can accept raw, unqualified leads from a variety of sources, such as leased databases, CRM applications, or website landing pages or forms. Eloqua10 supports bidirectional lead synchronization with several CRM applications, including those from salesforce.com. Data tools enable data normalization, cleansing and appending based on role; Web services APIs enable data integration from third-party applications, such as Demandbase, Jigsaw or Adobe Connect, for campaign execution, reporting and analysis functions. Lead scoring can be based on click-throughs from an e-mail or website, a form submission, or values such as budget or geographic region provided by the visitor. Lead scores can also be accumulated for an individual visitor, title or area of responsibility, or collectively for a company. Lead processes can include scoring, routing and nurturing programs, all of which can be concatenated together using a graphical lead workflow. New analytics and reporting enable the creation of reports against data held in Eloqua or in a separate application, enabling KPI and revenue cycle analysis. UIs for reporting can use HTML and Adobe Flash.
The company has sophisticated Marketing Automation and lead management capability (which Eloqua characterizes as revenue performance management), a broad range of strong technology and GSI partnerships globally, and support for multiple languages. Users often note that Eloqua’s broad functionality comes at the cost of a steeper learning curve than competitive products, especially in the early part of the implementation or when building complex lead management processes. Users also comment on the higher cost of Eloqua, and the resources required to develop and deploy a solution, compared with competing vendors’ solutions. However, Eloqua10 has a simplified and easier-to-use UI that users note is a major improvement over the prior release, and users also comment favorably on Eloqua’s support and expertise in lead management. Eloqua offers an optional SmartStart program, a three- to five-day pre-implementation program leveraging the vendor’s professional services and best-practice experience to reduce time to productivity. Companies evaluating lead management technologies should consider the complexity and sophistication of their requirements, and the time and resources required to develop and deploy a lead management solution, against Eloqua’s breadth of technology, system integration and technology partnerships, global presence, and lead management expertise.
leads360 crm logo

Leads360

Leads360 is a lead management vendor focused on the mortgage, financial services, insurance and education markets. Founded in 2004, the vendor sells primarily in the U.S. Leads360 has approximately 60 employees, and revenue estimation at about $9 million in 2010.
Leads360 is a salesforce.com AppExchange partner, and also has a technology partnership with StrongMail. It currently has no GSI partnerships, but has supported implementations in Australia, South Africa and the U.K. with internal professional services. Leads360 has implementations at several recognized mortgage, insurance and for-profit higher education institutions. The product is SQL-Server and .NET-based, and its lead management functionality includes the ability to integrate leads from several vendors, such as LendingTree or Bankrate, and enables lead nurturing, prioritization, scoring, routing and distribution. The product also has an optional intelligent dialer for outbound sales processes.
The vendor’s strength lies in its experience in the financial services and insurance industries, from which a majority of its revenue comes, and in its functionality designed for those companies, such as the ability to work with acquired lead lists from third-party providers. However, Leads360’s size, limited GSI and technology partnerships, and largely North American focus make it suitable primarily for companies in its current markets.

loopfuse crm logo

LoopFuse

LoopFuse is a privately held firm headquartered in Atlanta and was founded in 2007. The vendor is focused on the small or midsize business (SMB) that needs cost-effective B2B lead management functionality. LoopFuse does not release financial information or estimates of average deal size, but claims 1,400 client companies worldwide, mostly in the SMB segment. Revenue estimation at approximately $7 million in 2010.
LoopFuse’s pricing ranges from a free account that stores up to 1,000 prospects and sends 5,000 e-mails per month to a tier that supports 250,000 prospects for $3,000 per month. The vendor offers a basic, but reasonably complete, range of Marketing Automation capability; LoopFuse is an AppExchange partner with salesforce.com, and provides connectors to LinkedIn, Jigsaw and WordPress. The product includes a lead flow builder for creating lead capture, nurturing and scoring processes; website visit logging and reporting; a marketing analytics dashboard, and e-mail marketing, inbound marketing and search engine marketing. Reference customers spoke highly of the product’s functionality, the value proposition given its price points and the high level of support.
LoopFuse offers a cost-effective lead management solution, particularly for SMBs or divisions of midsize and large enterprise companies. Midsize and large enterprise companies that require a lead management solution should evaluate LoopFuse’s product functionality and cost-effective business model against its modest financial strength, geographic reach and emerging partnerships.

manticore technology logo

Manticore Technology

Manticore Technology is a privately held lead management vendor headquartered in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2001, the vendor claims 120 customers and sells predominantly in the U.S. Revenue estimation to be approximately $5 million. Vertical industries include high technology, financial services and business services. Technology partnerships include Microsoft, Oracle, salesforce.com and SugarCRM.
Manticore Technology provides basic lead management capability, with a focus on e-mail and Web campaigns. The vendor’s value proposition focuses on ease of use and cost-effectiveness, and customers speak highly of the level of support provided. Manticore Technology has not yet announced specific support of social networking channels, and the ability to generate KPIs and analytics from within the company appears to be limited.
Enterprises with simple lead management requirements, and those that do not require support outside the U.S., could consider Manticore Technology for its simple, but cost-effective, lead management capabilities.
marketbright crm logo

Marketbright

Marketbright provides Marketing Automation and lead management SaaS applications and services. Headquartered in San Bruno, California, Marketbright was founded in 2005. The vendor is privately held, revenue estimation to be less than $5 million. In May 2010, Marketbright announced it had established a relationship with CDC Software, in which CDC would make a minority investment in Marketbright, and the two companies would resell each other’s technologies and jointly engage in strategic development. Marketbright sells to the high-technology and telecom industries.
Marketbright provides basic lead management that integrates Web, e-mail and event management. The vendor has recently gone through some senior management restructuring. Its financial stability, at least before the CDC investment, was in question, and the company has yet to provide a definitive product direction stemming from the CDC relationship. Marketbright could be an acquisition target in 2011, and that its viability hinges on whether an acquisition occurs.
marketo crm logo

Marketo

Marketo was founded in 2006 by former executives of Epiphany. The vendor received $54 million in venture funding, including $25 million in November 2010. It claims 900 corporate customers and more than 300% revenue growth from 2009 to 2010. Revenue estimation to be approximately $15 million.
Marketo has three primary products: Marketo Lead Management, Marketo Sales Insight and Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics. Lead management capabilities are broad and include lead generation, nurturing, scoring, e-mail marketing and digital asset management, primarily targeting the marketing professional. Sales Insight is intended for use by sales and sales management and, with Revenue Cycle Analytics, the vendor provides tools and insight to manage the lead-to-cash cycle. Technology partnerships include salesforce.com, Boomi and Jigsaw (now owned by salesforce.com). GSI and consulting partnerships include The Pedowitz Group, Antarctica Digital and Datarati.
Reference customers spoke highly of the completeness of Marketo’s products, especially in regard to revenue management and analytics. The product was frequently cited for being both feature-rich and having a relatively short time to productivity. One of the key differentiators of Marketo is its focus on revenue performance management, rather than lead management. Dashboards and analytics for sales, marketing, sales management and sales operations focus on the contributions that leads make to revenue generation, and track lead volumes, values and lead-to-cash metrics. Users noted that prior versions of Marketo had shortcomings in regard to revenue analytics, and that the release of Revenue Cycle Analytics was a major improvement on prior versions.
Marketo markets aggressively and its recent influx of cash has helped to fund development of its products and its corporate profile. The vendor’s sales and support capability in EMEA and the Asia/Pacific region is limited; Marketo recently announced plans to open an EMEA sales and support office, while one of its partners, Datarati, has exclusive reseller rights for the Asia/Pacific region. Relationships with Tier 1 GSIs are notably lacking. Companies with a focus on leads, and specifically on managing marketing and lead management’s contribution to revenue, should consider Marketo. However, companies with a global B2B or B2B2C presence, and those that require more-extensive Marketing Automation capabilities (such as marketing resource management ) in addition to lead management, must balance the need for an effective, but targeted, lead management solution against a broader, but likely more complex and more expensive, solution.
microsoft dynamics crm logo

Microsoft (Microsoft Dynamics CRM)

Microsoft’s lead management capability is embedded in its Microsoft Dynamics CRM application, making it one of the few vendors highlighted in this research that can provide both CRM and lead management in the same application set. Microsoft claims 24,000 corporate customers of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The functionality included in this evaluation refers to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, which was released in its online form (SaaS) in 1Q11.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM lead management supports all the mandatory requirements, including lead collection and a lead database, analytics and reporting, lead workflow, and routing. The workflow capability is based on Windows Workflow Foundation; Microsoft also provides several prebuilt workflows for lead management or CRM processes. Microsoft Dynamics CRM also supports conditional formatting for simpler, user-defined workflows. The product is available in a licensed format or as a hosted, SaaS application; hosting can be provided by Microsoft, through its Azure network of SaaS services, or through Microsoft partners.
The vendor has a number of technology and GSI partnerships for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, including Avanade (a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture), Acxiom, HP-EDS and Miller Heiman. Microsoft also has partnerships with several lead management vendors, including Aprimo, Eloqua and ExactTarget, which integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
While using the lead management functionality in a CRM application is rarely best of breed, this integrated approach eliminates several complications that come with using separate vendors and technologies for lead management; integration issues surrounding lead management (e.g., issues around where lead data is kept to support complete KPIs and analytics) are reduced, if not eliminated. Using a single vendor for CRM and lead management also eliminates the need to pay for a second product, and reduces the number of vendors involved in an implementation.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is appropriate for companies that do not have complex lead management requirements, or for companies that are at the early stages of developing and deploying lead management processes and prefer to use technology from a single vendor. The product is also appropriate for companies that have already deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM for adjacent CRM applications, such as SFA or customer support, and want to leverage current investments. Companies that require lead management, and that use or plan to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM, should evaluate its integrated lead management functionality before investing in additional best-of-breed products.
neolane crm logo

Neolane

Neolane, founded in 2001, has corporate headquarters in France and sales/support offices in the U.S., U.K. and Denmark. The company has approximately 250 corporate customers in B2B and B2C industries. Privately held, Neolane reported 2010 revenue of $30 million and growth of 40% over 2009. Primary industries served include high technology, financial services, retail and consumer goods, and life sciences. Technology and integration partnerships include Adobe-Omniture, D&B, Microsoft, Oracle, CSG’s Quaero Solutions Group and salesforce.com.
Neolane products include Neolane Lead Nurturing and Lead Tracking, Neolane Marketing Resource Management and Neolane Interaction. These products can be licensed on a SaaS basis or as a perpetual license. Neolane 5 supports lead collection and aggregation from digital sources, such as the Web, e-mail campaigns and social media sites, and from offline activities, such as events or call/contact centers. API capabilities enable data input from third-party applications or rented lists, and provide extract and transformation tools for cleansing and standardizing data, lead management workflow and routing, lead scoring and augmentation processes, and analytics and reporting.
Reference customers spoke highly of Neolane support, and of the product’s ability to scale and support multiple campaigns across multiple countries and regions. Customers noted the high degree of flexibility and configurability possible with Neolane, as well as its marketing resource management functionality; however, they also noted that the high degree of configurability could challenge the less sophisticated user. Neolane is best-suited to companies with more-complex lead management requirements, and those that need to support multinational or multiregional campaigns.
oracle crm logo

Oracle (Siebel Marketing)

Oracle Siebel Marketing as Positive for lead management. Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite (Siebel Marketing) is integrated with and requires functionality from Siebel CRM, and is not appropriate for companies that do not have or plan to implement Siebel CRM. The primary lead management functionality is found in Siebel Lead Management, which enables outbound phone and sales campaign execution and follow-up, inbound response handling, response and lead qualification and scoring, lead management, and lead-to-opportunity handoff/conversion. Siebel Lead Management can be used without other Siebel Marketing modules. Lead Management is integrated with Siebel Campaign Management, which enables the development and execution of multichannel lead generation, lead augmentation and lead nurturing processes using e-mail, Web, event, contact center, partner and mobile channels. This module uses a graphical campaign designer tool to build lead generation and management processes. The Campaign Management module is integrated with Siebel Sales and enables the handoff and tracking of qualified leads to direct and indirect sales channels. Other modules, such as Siebel Email Marketing, can be leveraged for e-mail-centric lead management processes; Oracle Marketing Analytics can collect data across the lead management process to develop and deliver lead management analytics and KPIs.
Siebel Marketing provides depth across the Marketing Automation process, including lead management, and provides good integration for sales and channel sales teams using Siebel Sales. The depth and integration of the Oracle Siebel product line also adds complexity to the development and deployment of lead management applications. The Siebel Lead Management module provides much of the functionality required for lead management, but some companies may have to acquire additional modules (e.g., Campaign Management or Oracle Marketing Analytics), depending on the depth of functionality required; there is some functional overlap between Siebel Marketing modules, and companies should compare specific feature/function requirements and clearly understand the level of investment required. Siebel Marketing should be evaluated by enterprise users that require breadth of sales and Marketing Automation functionality, in addition to lead management, those that are prepared to commit the resources required by a larger and more-complex lead management implementation, and those that have deployed or plan to deploy Siebel CRM.
pardot crm logo

Pardot

Pardot is a privately held company headquartered in Atlanta and was founded in 2007. The vendor sells Marketing Automation into small and midsize B2B companies, and high technology is its leading vertical industry. Pardot estimated revenue at approximately $5 million. The vendor’s technology relationships include Microsoft Dynamics CRM, NetSuite, salesforce.com and Sugar CRM.
Pardot’s design objective was to build an inexpensive, easy-to-use lead management product that targeted the Fortune 10,000, rather than competing in the midsize and large enterprise segment. Pardot claims to have more than 425 corporate customers, primarily in high technology, and those customers (which include several very recognizable names) spoke highly of the vendor’s product approach, quality of support, and the responsiveness of the sales and management team. Customers also spoke highly of Pardot’s integration with CRM applications and social applications. The vendor can integrate e-mail, Web and landing page activity, and social software interactions as part of its lead management capability. The Pardot Desktop, known informally as LeadDeck, uses Adobe Air to deliver qualified leads to sales reps via a TweetDeck-type UI.
The vendor’s financial scale and organizational scope are limited. Smaller companies with finite budgets and requirements should look at Pardot, but its value proposition approach may not be appropriate for midsize and large enterprise companies that require more scalability, or for companies with more-global support resources and relationships.
sap crm logo

SAP (SAP CRM)

SAP provides lead management functionality as an embedded and integrated feature set within the SAP CRM application. The vendor does not break out revenue of lead management functionality or SAP CRM,. SAP’s lead management capability is embedded as a set of features and capabilities within SAP CRM. This means that SAP’s lead management capability is available only to customers using SAP CRM; SAP cannot provide lead management functionality through partnerships with other CRM vendors, for example, nor can the lead management functionality be delivered without implementing SAP CRM. This embedded functionality has the advantage of providing the potential for tight integration with other SAP software assets. However, it also limits the possible reach of SAP’s technology to its customers, and brings with it a fair degree of complexity.
SAP CRM provides an integrated analytics and reporting system for generating lead management dashboards, analytics and KPIs; digital asset management for marketing collateral; and a customer database of information that integrates directly with Marketing Automation and campaign management applications. SAP CRM supports e-mail and Web-based lead management campaigns, as well as the ability to integrate social channels and offline channels, such as events and webinars. SAP also offers an optional SAP CRM Rapid Deployment Solution (CRM RDS) that includes a preconfigured, but limited, scope solution to reduce deployment time; SAP offers RDSs for campaign management, lead management and marketing resource management applications.
Reference users noted the complexity of the lead management capability, and the deep level of interdependence with SAP CRM and other SAP assets could be daunting for some companies, while also providing a high degree of functionality for companies prepared to allocate internal resources to the development and support of complex lead management processes through SAP CRM. SAP’s lead management is appropriate only for companies that have implemented SAP CRM or that are planning to, and that requires a single vendor for CRM and lead management capabilities.
silverpop crm logo

Silverpop

Silverpop provides Marketing Automation and e-mail marketing solutions. Established in 1999 and headquartered in Atlanta, the vendor has 1,200 corporate customers and saw a 30% growth in customers in the last year. Privately held, revenue estimation to be approximately $50 million, with about 80% coming from North America. Technology partnerships include Microsoft Dynamics CRM, NetSuite and salesforce.com. Industry segments include high technology, financial services and healthcare.
Customers spoke highly of Silverpop’s short time to productivity, cost-effectiveness, high e-mail deliverability rates, and its ability to support e-mail, Web and social campaigns
Companies requiring scalable, e-mail-centric and Web-centric lead management can consider Silverpop as a cost-effective and relatively simple lead management solution.
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TreeHouse Interactive

TreeHouse Interactive is headquartered in Salt Lake City, was founded in 1997, and sells to high-technology, retail and sports industries. Approximately 70% of the vendor’s revenue is from the U.S., with the remainder from Germany, Singapore, Canada and the U.K. TreeHouse Interactive is privately held; revenue estimation at approximately $10 million. Technology partnerships include Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle and salesforce.com.
In addition to Marketing View, the company’s lead management product, the vendor has a sales management and a PRM product. Many of its customers deliver lead management campaigns through multitier and indirect sales channels. TreeHouse Interactive has the ability to monitor digital behaviour from anonymous and identified Web visits, e-mail activity, purchase activity, and document/resource download activity, and uses this insight to target, score, nurture and automatically distribute leads. Marketing View includes the ability to also create and track KPIs and metrics such as lifetime customer value.
The vendor’s focus on lead management and indirect channels makes it somewhat unique; many of its customers use it for lead management and tracking through partners, such as VARs, distributors and brokers, and TreeHouse Interactive’s analytics and reporting have the ability to track leads through the channel to closure. Companies with lead management requirements, and those that sell through partner or indirect channels, may find unique value in this product.
unica crm logo

Unica

Unica, an IBM company, is a well-established Marketing Automation vendor; founded in 1992 and acquired by IBM in 2010, Unica’s last independent fiscal year (September 2009) showed revenue of approximately $100 million, including $30.7 million in revenue in the quarter ending 30 June 2009. Approximately 40% of Unica’s revenue is from outside the U.S. In 2010, Unica has the ability to deliver campaigns through multiple channels, such as e-mail, Web, print and events, and to deploy and manage multiple campaigns in multiple markets. Unica’s customers tend to be enterprise-scale B2C companies with a global or multiregional presence. B2B industries in which Unica has a presence include high technology, financial services and B2B2C companies selling considered-purchase products. Unica’s technology and GSI relationships include Accenture, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, CSG’s Quaero Solutions Group and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
Unica provides a scalable set of lead management capabilities that were originally built around the needs of companies that required large-volume B2C lead generation and lead management campaigns. A variety of Unica products combine to create the lead management solution. Unica Leads provides lead collection and aggregation; augmentation of leads with data or content; automatic routing of leads based on value, score, geography, or other value fields; and the ability to track a lead through closure for closed-loop reporting. A new UI and dashboard for reporting and analytics came with the Unica Enterprise 8.0 release in October 2009. Unica Campaign and Unica Interact combine to execute nurturing and scoring activities. Unica Detect can be integrated with a lead management campaign to react to customer transactional or Web activity. Unica NetInsight can be used to capture website activity, and Unica eMessage can deliver mobile or e-mail messages designed to augment a prospect with additional content or information.
Unica’s lead management capabilities are most appropriate for large organizations that require the ability to process large volumes of leads across multiple campaigns and regions. However, Unica’s scale also means that the product may not be the best choice for companies with simpler lead management requirements, or that are small or midsize companies with limited financial and marketing resources. Unica Leads is most appropriate for larger-scale B2B and B2B2C lead management requirements, or for B2C companies providing expensive or considered purchase products.

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How to Promote your Business with YouTube

cat playing pianoYoutube is much more than watching a Cat playing the Piano or watching a music video of your choice. It has become a media destination where the business community search for videos that can resolve their business problems.

1.5 million Business searches daily on YouTube globally, so that’s references to businesses looking for solutions via Youtube. Your business exists to solve business problems. Youtube is yet another channel to distribute your advice and professional guidance.

Youtube is the second most visited destination for business-related searches after Google. A business now having visibility on Youtube is an essential ingredient to a Marketers advertising mix.

  • 1.4 million out of 3.4 million UK small business owners visit an online video site each month – they are 32% more likely to visit an online video site than the average user
  • YouTube reaches half of online UK small business owners, more than 7 times the reach of FT.com. Providing your advice via Youtube does not actually cost you money in advertising.
  • 47% of IT professionals watch videos to research technology solutions on YouTube. If you supply technology solutions to the IT Industry your potential customers could be watching your videos and connecting with your brand. B2B Online trends are often driven by the IT Industry, other B2B Industries are often not far behind. Therefore we can predict how B2B Marketers need to be thinking about their advertising strategies.
  • 25% of Mid Managers prefer video format over text.. As time is often pressing, Your Customers will want to quickly digest your content in the fastest way possible to enable them to make an informed decision about your business. Youtube now works very well in most smart phones with their 3G enabled so many will watch on the move maximising their time.

youtube marketing

Marketing with YouTube

How can you best leverage the marketing opportunities that YouTube offers for your business?

Upload all of your Business video assets. Whether it is a conference that your business has spoken on. Any How-to-videos, messages to your Customers…anything. By uploading content to YouTube, you open it up to an audience who will find, watch, share, and distribute it for you.

Key tips when uploading video include:
  • Give your videos searchable titles, descriptions and tags
  • Keep your videos up to date.
  • Keep content fresh with regular uploads.
Create Great Content

Obtain an audience via content which is useful and relevant. Create content for the viewer, give them something they are going to be able to take away and benefit from.

Content Ideas Include:

Product showcases & Demos

– Great for new product launches. If your product or service is online you can use screen recordings.

How-to Videos

– Build trust with your users by uploading your Expert advice. Video is the best tool to connect with your visitors online. As the point of online marketing for a B2B Marketer is to engage in an initial online relationship and transfer that into a happy long lasting off-line relationship. (Not to be confused with online dating)online relationship

Case studies & Testimonials

– Promote your work with success stories. Illustrate how your services actually helped other businesses. Build up an archive of video testimonials. This can be a great tool when trying to obtain more business as when you are in dialogue with a potential customer, you can simply add a URL to an email telling them to take a look at what are customers think about our services.

Conferences and Events

– Increase your business profile and help build your brand.

Thought leadership

– Create content for your users. Don’t under-estimate your knowledge in your field. There are many insights that can be communicated with your users that at first you did not think were too important. Try and do this on a regular basis. It an be anything from using a blog post as a base or discussing your latest white paper.

Other Content Ideas:
  • Presentations
  • Training videos
  • Help – Aid Customer Services
  • Marketing Videos
  • Interviews with experts
  • Contests
  • Video Blog
YouTube Video Production Tips
  • Stay focused on your topic
  • Make is useful to your audience
  • It need not be expensive
  • Video appeals to visual learners
  • visual learners like to use videos

  • Focus on the first 10 seconds to capture your users attention.
  • Be friendly and be yourself
  • Additional Youtube Content Benefits for your Business

    • Improve customer service.
    • Reduce ad spend.
    • Brand recognition.
    • Put a face to your brand.
    Pomote your Video in Youtube

    You need to be found with 20 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s harder than ever to get your videos noticed.

    Simply posting your videos on YouTube will not enough: think about what your users search for (keywords). To help you with this you can use a tool from Youtube called Insights for Audience which allows you to gain insight into an audience segment on YouTube,what videos they watch and what search terms they use. www.youtube.com/testtube. You can also find detailed data about how popular your videos are, who’s watching, where and how they got there.

    Credit notable speakers and partners in your video description and tags. Leverage your existing partners brand and users by reaching out to your business partners.

    Include your webaddress within the video description.

    Correctly categorise your video in YouTube. To help people who are interested in your topic find you!

    Consider Using Youtube Promoted Videos to showcase your video against relevant business searches on YouTube. These work in the same way as Google Adwords when a YouTube viewer clicks your promotion, they see your video. You only pay when people actually click to see your video and not when people see your promotion. Therefore, Google Adwords similar best practices hold true: use relevant keywords and search categories to reach your target audience.

    23% of YouTube video users watch YouTube videos on external websites outside YouTube. To leverage this and also to help make your website search engine friendlier embed your YouTube videos on your site:

    Benefits of Embedded Youtube Videos:
    • more discoverable.
    • creates a richer user experience.
    • lets users know they can find you on YouTube.

    Adding video to your site or blog increases the amount of time that visitors spend on your site. The more time they spend, the ‘stickier’ your site appears. This can be identified by investigating your site’s bounce rate within Google Analytics.

    Encourage social dialogue: conversations follow wherever your videos go. Link to or embed your video in online publications, and via your business social network pages.

    Getting your Business started on Youtube – Set your business objectives
    • Where are you now? Benchmark your current results so you can monitor progress
    • What do you want to achieve? And by when?
    • How does this fit in with your business? Are you creating content as a business already or does your business need a content strategy?
    • Who is your audience and what do they want to hear? Appeal to your user by adding value within your industry.
    • What measurement tools are you going to use? Google Analytics and YouTube Insight are great tool for this.
    • Do you have any company policies about distributing content? Brand Regulations etc
    • Define goals to measure.
    Measurable Goals: Achieved Via User Engagement:
    • Comments
    • Favorites
    • Reviews
    • Embeds
    • Link Backs
    • Social Media Posting
    • Landing pages
    Tools you need to create your Video
    • Video camera – Outsource Video Creation to a Video Production Company that specialises.
    • DIY Flip Cam.Web cam. Video production need not be expensive. Creating good content is more important.
    • Microphone – Your Computer headset may suffice or you can use more expensive ‘professional’ microphones. But something affordable to get you on your way is the most important way to go.
    Video Editing Software

    Free Video Editing Software:

    • Free Mac – iMovie Windows – Movie Maker

    Cheap Video Editing Software:

    • Corel Video Studio
    • Nero

    More Expensive Video Editing Software:

    • Adobe Premiere Video Editing
    • Apple Final Cut Pro
    Video Formats.

    You can export your videos using these formats

    • Windows format for the web .WMV
    • Apple format for iTunes and the web .MOV
    • Apple format for iTunes, iPods, iPhones .MV4
    • Flash – use for web posting, 99% compatibility
    • Upload to YouTube, Blip.tv, Vimeo and they automatically format the videos for you
    • Tripod for Camera stability
    • Screen recording- If you creating an instructional video for online software, there are 2 main options you have for screen recording software – Camtasia or Adobe Captivate.

    Stays Organized

    • Decide if you are going for an Outline Script with prompts or a complete Script
    • Organise your shots

    Consider your Video Lighting

    • 2 x 3 times normal light
    • Household / lamps
    • Light both sides of your subject
    • Don’t shoot infront of a window
    • If you are outside watch your noise levels

    Video Sound

    • Microphone on camera
    • External microphone
    Improve your Company Brand using Youtube

    Build a home for your Company brand on YouTube and develop your own brand space with a YouTube channel. (a home for your videos that makes it easy for users to find all your video content )
    To create a channel you need to initially sign up, then choose a username that provides you with good branding such as your business name. Within your profile insert a keyword dense description, your website, business location.

    You can customise it to:

    • Create a branded destination – The colours and graphics should reflect your brand.
    • To engage your audience. – Include links to your site or marketing campaign microsite
    • Build a relationship with your audience. – Take part in the conver.sation. Encourage comments and subscriptions from viewers

    Later consider upgrading to a Brand Channel to gain additional functionalities. If you don’t post videos about your business unfortunately other people may and their videos will rank highly for Search Queries about your Company (Branded Keywords). By using your own Youtube channel will help push down videos you have no control over.

    Integrate your marketing

    YouTube should be an extension of your site and an integrated part of your marketing strategy. Brands are just beginning to see with what can be achieved with YouTube, both creatively and in terms of making the most with this technology.
    Discover how successful businesses have used YouTube http://www.youtube.com/YTShowAndTell

    Other Video Sites to consider for promoting your business:

    Blip.tv
    • Supports almost all video formats
    • No size limitation and maintains video quality (youTube compresses video to 320×240)
    • Videos backed up
    • Custom thumbnails – helping your branding and gives you more control
    • Different Download options
    • Don’t have to login or be user to leave comments
    • Video descriptions in rich text
    Vimeo
    • High quality video – HD Video – Better Viewing quality
    • Allows you to create a community versus just having Video users
    • Non-commercial use only
    • More family oriented
    • Easier to upload and use
    Tube Mogul
    • Free
    • Deploys to popular video sites
    • Metrics Provided
    • Track Competitor videos – Benchmark your business against your Competitors
    What not to do when promoting your business via YouTube
    • Don’t Think of YouTube as a silver bullet. In Online Marketing there is no one single marketing solution that will bring you additional business. It is in fact a combination of the different facets of online marketing.
    • Don’t Continuously sell to your audience. Your Audience will just leave
    • Don’t take too long- Work on having a series of Videos that provide insightful content as oppose to hour long Videos.
    • Don’t Forget your core message to your audience
    • Don’t Try to be somebody else and take yourself too seriously – this is true for much of online marketing. I mean take a look at the images of myself I use on this site. 🙂 Online Marketing is suppose to be fun!
    Youtube Marketing Recap
    • People are researching before they buy. Before they make a purchase people are in research mode gathering infomation and reviews so that they can make an infomed decision.
    • The internet is social and more engaging.
    • Have a Marketing Plan with an outline content strategy for your business.
    • Measure Goals.
    • Decide what’s important that you feel your audience ( your potential and current customers) will benefit from.
    • Analyse your return on investment.
    • Pick the right tools for you at this time. You may wish to invest in more expensive tools later on.
    • Consider your Lighting, Sound, Editing
    • Create good content
    Advertising on Youtube

    To promote your business on Youtube you don’t need to kick-off with getting a Video Camera out. You can begin with using the diverse options that are available using YouTube’s Advertising. After all this is how Google and Youtube (YouTube) is owned by Google – this is how they make most of their money. They also invest in creating good advertising platforms for businesses to use.

    Main Paid promotion Options for your Business on YouTube:
    • Search listings
    • Right side ads
    • In video ads
    • Home page listing

    As an advertiser, you can place ads in different Ad Formats and Page Types. You can get started with as little as a simple text ad targeting the Google Display Network.

    • In-Stream ads: Video ads that can be up to 30 seconds long, and appear before a user watches a video on YouTube
      For advertisers without video assets, we support the following display ads:
    • MPUs: (Mid-Page Units) 300×250 display ad, which appears to the right of a video.
    • InVideo ads: 480×70 display overlay ad, which shows while a video is being played.
    YouTube Page Types

    YouTube Homepage: maximum brand exposure and reach, ad placements on the YouTube Homepage.

    YouTube Search & Browse Pages: Advertisers can target users looking for certain types of content by placing ads on YouTube’s search pages. You get to target with very specific niches.

    YouTube Watch Pages: Every video on YouTube has a “watch page”. This is the page where you’ll find all information related to a video. YouTube says that it has see a rise in engagement (which includes actions like ratings and leaving comments) by 7%, and an increase in the number of videos watched by 6%.

    Advertisers can target the video content within the Google Display Network in three ways: in a video, with a video, or around a video.

    In a video.

    • Appear in the bottom 20% of the video viewing area with Google’s InVideo ads.
    • Any advertiser’s text overlay ads may be displayed within videos as part of a contextually targeted campaign.

    With a video

    • In-stream Video Ads: Pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll video ads can target video content across the Google Display Network. You can reach audiences watching videos in many subjects.
    • Click-to-play Video Ads.

    Around a video

    • Placement target video-oriented sites with a variety of ad formats, including standard text ads and image ads. This allows you to supplement your in-stream or InVideo advertising by targeting other placements on sites where users typically engage with video.
    • Pre-roll ads are high-impact and effective at driving brand awareness, in-video and companion ads are interactive and highly engaging; and click-to-play video ads drive up video views.
    • Set up a placement targeted campaign, choose keywords like “video” as your topic, and then start placement targeting video-oriented sites.
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    Google launches Place Search

    Google has launched Place Search formerly Local Business Center, this is a brand new feature which produces results based solely around locations, in a bid to make its search offering more ‘local’.

    Google users and your customers can search for an activity in a certain place, or a type of restaurant, for example Italian in London search engine results will show all the places in that location which match the search query in a new dynamic format.

    As well as the usual linear list of search results where businesses use Search Engine Optimisation to get high up on the first page, a Google map will also appear, with a series of red pins, showing the results on a map, and a user can click on the list of displayed review sites to find out which result suits them best, such as

    • qype.com
    • tripadvisor.com
    • zagat.com
    • urbanpath.com
    • touchlocal.com – ( my ex-emplyer I used to do in-house SEO for! )
    So what’s new about Google Places?

    Place Search groups the results, map and reviews sites in a new way.

    Place Search is a new kind of local search result that organises the world’s information around places or geographic locations.

    Google has clustered search results around specific locations so the user can easily make comparisons and decide where to go faster.

    Do you have to include any special text on your Search Engine Query?

    Place Search results show automatically on Google when Google predict you’re looking for local information. Just do a local search, For example: plumber nottingham, kitchen fitter Kent, chinese restaurant cardiff

    You will now find a new link for “Places” in the left-hand panel of the search results page so you can switch to these results whenever you want.

    For example, if I want to go to an Italian Restaurant in London but a search for italian doesn’t automatically show me Place Search results. If I click “Places” I get the new view. There I can now see places to go and eat an Italian meal

    Google have now automatically identified when sites are talking about physical places and cluster links even when they don’t provide addresses and use different names.

    Look at this screen shot for an example,

    Google is now prioritising location-based services which is pushing the importance of localised Search Marketing for businesses.

    If you were the Italian restaurant business owner in the example above you could easily benefit from this latest update from Google. As your potential customer I would be looking at your reviews and promimity either using my Computer I’ve been working on that day or using my iphone when I’m ready to eat.

    The new dashboard within Google Places will also now let the business owner dig deeper into the data using easy to understand lists, maps and graphs like this one, which measures all of the impressions (how many times the listing has been shown and actions (in this case clicks) for a hotel’s business listing:

    Other developments with Localised Search Engine Marketing.

    Online Location-based services, such as Foursquare and the recently launched Facebook Places are driving to tap into the value of real-time, locally served advertising, made possible by smart devices like your iphone or Android phone.

    By implementing a good Search Engine strategy your business can make the most of this and turn visits into real business.

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