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Online Marketing Wisdom, Sales Funnel Sagacity and Lead Generation Genius from The @Funnelholic

April 16, 2013

The Funnelholic urges you to mind the funnel

Introduction

Craig Rosenberg, The Funnelholic, has been publishing a series of “madlibs” with marketing thought leaders. Here’s a set of the madlibs published to date (there are more to come):

  1. Steve Gershik
  2. Ardath Albee
  3. Michael Brenner
  4. Gary Hart
  5. Dave Brock
  6. Carlos Hidalgo
  7. Jill Konrath
  8. Your’s truly, Dennis Shiao

I love reading these madlibs. The only problem? We don’t get to hear from Craig himself. So I decided to come up with a set of questions and asked Craig to answer them. Here’s the Q&A.

Lead Generation

Q: Aside from folks like Marketo and HubSpot, what B2B marketer is doing lead gen really well?

A: Tough question. Kissmetrics is a model for online marketing but I’ll give you a surprise one: Sales Benchmark Index. They are a services company and these types of companies typically struggle with demand generation — they have built a content marketing, lead generation machine.  They post every day, create an ebook/month and do a webinar. Their content is specific and comprehensive. They offer templates for download.  They are an impressive use-case for content marketing.

Q: For lead gen, what’s one social network no one is talking about?

A: YOUTUBE. It’s the second most popular search engine and no one in b2b has it figured out.  There are about to be some amazing stories of b2b success on youtube.

Q: If you could select just one metric, what should B2B demand gen folks be measured by?

A: Influence on pipeline. In b2b, 9-25 touches take place before a buyer buys. Why aren’t we tracking every touch and attributing that to marketing success?

Q: Peanut butter is to jelly like marketing automation is to?

A: Demand generation success. Strategy, process, people, and then marketing automation/software. You don’t sell without CRM anymore, you shouldn’t digitally market without a platform. (Craig note: I added “/software” to marketing automation in order to include Hubspot who does not like the term marketing automation).

Q: Retargeted display ads to drive anonymous web site visitors back to your lead capture pages. Yes, no, maybe so?

A: Yes. I recommend retargeting. I don’t just worry about lead capture, I feel like retargeting is highly effective from just a pure branding perspective. I personally don’t click on display but when I get retargeted, I notice and remember the company. It’s like “everywhere I turn, I see you.” I know we are all metrics focused, but there is something to be said about the overall branding aspect to retargeting. You may even consider it another from of nurturing to go with a company’s frequent emails.

Selling and The Sales Funnel

Photo source: Carla Gates on flickr. Follow here here on Twitter: @CarlaGates247

“Cold calling doesn’t have to be cold any more.”

Q: What’s the number one thing to keep in mind when cold calling?

A: That cold calling does not have to be “cold” any more. There is so much information on social networks and the internet about your prospect that you can turn what was formerly known as a cold call into a warm call.

Q: Sales development reps are often disconnected from prospects’ activities in social. How can marketers fix that?  

A: The problem with social and sales isn’t the ability to get information, it’s teaching them to know what to do with it. There are a number of tools: LinkedIN Sales Navigator, Hootsuite, InsideView, for enterprise. Radius Intelligence for SMB that can give a rep social visibility. It doesn’t matter what you provide them if they don’t know what to do with the information. You have to coach reps on how to weave that information into your communications.

Event marketers: create video, white papers and webinars from your event content.

Q: With regard to the sales funnel, what’s the biggest opportunity that event marketers are NOT doing?

A: Here is my view on event marketing: they need to take a step back and try to understand what the buyer journey is today and how live events can fit in. Then they need to look at the vendors and understand how they are selling, and try to tie that back to live events.

What is going to add the most value to the buyers and sellers at my event? That may be too general, but I have a long list of things that I’d like event marketers to do besides re-think the overall structure. Content still has to improve to meet the standard set on the overall internet, one-to-many content (they are SO focused on the live event but they should be creating video, whitepapers, webinars, etc. from the event content), more digital interactivity during the event and after.

Miscellaneous

Q: It’s been said that Google tested 40 shades of blue to determine the right color for links. Email marketers talk a lot about A/B testing. What about A/B/C…N testing. Your thoughts on testing numerous flavors?

A: Let’s discuss pros and cons.

Pro: My belief is that is the consumer internet guys are typically the best at on-site conversion, etc. so copy them. If Google A-N tested to find the best conversion, b2b marketers should learn from that. Today’s agile marketer views the world as “stand it up, then test, test, test.” B2B marketers tend to focus on really big problems which is fine, but to really online market,  you want to optimize every conversion point.

Con: You need to have a big enough sample to even A/B test. When do you have enough data to make a good decision?

Q: I just graduated from college and started a career in B2B marketing. Besides subscribing to the Funnelholic RSS feed, what’s the first thing I should focus on?

A: Well you completed step one. When young people ask me about getting into marketing, I tell them: get a job in marketing anywhere, anyhow.

The problem with b2b marketing is there isn’t enough education on the discipline. You will not learn it in school. So get a job, then soak it in. Then educate yourself: build your feedly with 15-20 b2b marketing sites — but my favorite starter sites are Neil Patel’s QuickSprout and Kissmetrics blogs. My brother wanted to get up-to-speed on internet marketing: he started reading Neil’s stuff and is now pretty much up-to-speed.

“Set aside 1 hour to learn every day.”

The marketing software vendors have GREAT blogs like Marketo, Hubspot, Act-On. Set aside 1 hour to learn every day. The other thing is to find mentors and ask them everything you can. Also, network, network, network — I tell young people, network with peers and ask them everything. I still do that every day. I learn a little here and there from my friends.

Finding The Funnelholic

The Funnelholic is here to help

Q: You’re now providing consulting services for organizations’ sales and marketing teams. Tell us about your services and where can folks contact you for more information?

A: I am a consultant again! And I am having the time of my life. I forgot what it is like to work with amazing people on the complex challenges they face in today’s rapidly changing sales and marketing environment.

The supply chain of business has repeatable, metrics driven processes that deliver/over-deliver products. We help organizations design, build, and/or optimize their Revenue Chain to predictably deliver/over-deliver revenue. We create actionable, specific playbooks in the following areas: content strategy, social strategy, demand generation, lead management, marketing technology, lead qualification, inside sales, sales technology, and sales process.

People can find me on www.funnelholic.com.

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Initial Impressions of Google+ Events and Hangouts

July 14, 2012

Introduction

I attended my first Google+ Event this week. It had no physical venue, taking place exclusively on Google+ and YouTube. The New York Times hosted the event. In the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics, the Times has been hosting Google+ Hangouts with Olympians. I came across the Hangouts while visiting the Times’ London 2012 Olympics page.

You can still check out the Google+ Events page. On that page, as well as on YouTube.com, you can view an on-demand video of the entire Hangout.

The Hangout was hosted by Ken Belson, a sports reporter from the New York Times and featured Shalane Flanagan (a U.S. marathon runner), Mary Wittenberg, (President of New York Road Runners) and Bob Sherman (a recreational runner, who’s completed 29 consecutive NYC Marathons).

I’d like to share my initial impressions of Google+ Events and Hangouts.

What I Liked

Logistics

As far as streaming technology goes, the Google+ Hangout experience (which broadcast via an embedded YouTube viewer) was quite good. The video picture was sharp and crisp. Google+ Hangouts auto-detect who’s speaking and switches the focus to that person.

These transitions worked so well that it reminded me of watching television (where there’s a human being controlling those switching decisions). As the host, Belson did a fine job of detecting ambient noise and asking whether a participant wanted to speak. He’d pause to ask, “did you want to jump in?”

Experimentation and Exploration

I commend the New York Times for exploring and experimenting with emerging technology. The Times has always been a primary news source for me, but the experience has revolved around articles, with occasional on-demand videos.

A live event brings an entirely new experience for Times’ readers. First, the event allows Times’ columnists (e.g. Ken Belson) to connect more closely to their readers. Second, readers can see and hear from personalities that otherwise would not have been possible (e.g. an Olympic athlete).

The use of emerging technology comes with some risk. For instance, at one point in the Hangout, Ms. Flanagan’s image froze, and then her presence dropped off completely. She re-joined a few minutes later and continued to field questions.

To me, that was completely fine. It’s a learning experience. The Times learned from this and we’ll all learn and evolve – I’m sure it was the same with television broadcasts in the early days. Let’s keep experimenting and exploring.

What I’d Like to See

The Times has done a great job of connecting U.S. Olympic athletes to its readers. And to start, it’s not surprising that they sought a controlled environment, with a host (Belson) who steered the conversation among the three guests.

As media outlets continue to use online (and social!) broadcasting tools, I’d like to see them take more advantage of the interactive and engagement capabilities that these platforms provide.

Stronger Connection from Audience to Guests

Users could post questions (for Ms. Flanagan) within the Google+ Events page and I noticed that a number of good questions had been submitted prior to the Hangout. In addition, during the Hangout, I noticed a number of comments and questions posted.

While Belson did pose a user-submitted question to Flanagan, it was from “a reader,” rather than a question posted within the activity stream. In the future, I’d love to see more questions selected directly from the social platform, with guests actively reviewing and commenting on thoughts posted by viewers.

A More Active Role for Audience Members

I’m sure the Google+ Team is busy at work on product features to support a more complete Google+ Events and Hangout experience. Beyond the existing commenting system, I’d like to see more tools for users to provide feedback and to collaborate with one another.

In addition, audience members should have the opportunity to help steer the direction of the conversation. How about integrating Google Moderator to allow audience members to read and vote on the submitted questions?

Conclusion

While I concluded my first Google+ Event wanting a bit more (interactivity-wise), I commend the Times for what they’ve done. There’s something about a Hangout (compared to a TV interview, for instance) that puts you closer to an Olympic athlete. You hear about their diet and their training regimen, all with the intimacy of seeing them from their laptop’s webcam.

I look forward to subsequent Hangouts. And to Shalane Flanagan, best of luck in London!


What the TV Commercials Tell Us About Twitter

June 14, 2012

Introduction

Twitter launched its first television commercials in conjunction with an event: The 2012 Pocono 400 NASCAR race. The commercials helped publicize the new hashtag pages from Twitter – they created a hashtag page for NASCAR that was promoted within the TV spots.

While I’m not a NASCAR fan, I had my TV tuned to TNT on Sunday afternoon, hoping to catch some of the commercials. Bad timing, combined with the shortness of the ads, prevented me from viewing them live. As a result, I went to YouTube to watch them there (the next day). Here’s one of the commercials:

So what do the commercials tell us about Twitter?

Core Value Proposition

Facebook and Google? They’re well understood by the average consumer. Twitter? Not so much. If you say “share what’s happening in 140 characters or less,” some people will “get it,” while others will get confused.

Judging by this first set of commercials, Twitter is defining its core value proposition around consumption, not sharing and publishing. In other words, you don’t have to tweet in order to find Twitter useful.

And it’s really a two-pronged value proposition:

  1. Consumption: for those who are inclined to “follow.”
  2. Sharing: for those who wish to stay connected with fans and followers.

On the consumption side, Twitter gives you behind the scenes access to your favorite celebrities, whether they’re athletes, actors, actresses, authors or politicians. Just look at the captions used in the six commercials – they’re all about receiving, rather than sharing:

  1. See what he sees.
  2. Follow them past the finish line.
  3. Where off the record is on the record.
  4. Get the POV from a VIP.
  5. What they see is what you get.
  6. See what else he writes.
  7. Put the pieces together.

Never before has the average consumer been able to connect (and even engage) so easily with celebrities. Now, you can journey inside a NASCAR racecar. And you can tweet to @justinbieber and get retweeted by him.

Striving for Mass Adoption, Part 1

Here was Google’s first foray into television commercials:

Notice the stark contrast? Google’s commercial was all about experiencing the product (Google searches), whereas Twitter’s commercials never showed the product (e.g. Twitter.com, Twitter desktop applications or Twitter mobile apps).

This relates directly to the core value proposition (above). The TV commercials show examples of how racing fans can become further engaged in following their sport. But it’s clearly a 50,000 foot view that doesn’t get into the mechanics of Twitter itself.

Twitter is clearly going after mass adoption – and that means our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. I expect subsequent ad campaigns that continue the story to demonstrate how users go about using the product.

Striving for Mass Adoption, Part 2

While this particular campaign targeted a precise audience (fans of NASCAR), it’s interesting that Twitter chose television advertising over online advertising. Television still works, it seems, in its ability to efficiently reach a broad audience at a moment in time (and of course, online afterwards, via YouTube).

I expect Twitter’s TV commercials to address a broader audience going forward. A Super Bowl ad in 2013, perhaps?

Twitter and Events: Perfect Together

Ever since Twitter launched, event professionals (and attendees) found a natural use of the service at events: quoting speakers, sharing insights, generating awareness and following the event’s hash tag. On the NASCAR hash tag page, you’ll see the following:

Next race: Quicken Loans 400, Sun 12pm ET on TNT

Twitter and NASCAR are clearly looking to the hash tag page as the online focal point to NASCAR’s ongoing events. In addition to NASCAR, Twitter has organized some activities around the NBA Finals. In a post titled “Courtside Tweets” on their blog, Twitter shares related hash tags and lists 13 athletes who will provide color commentary (via Twitter) during the Finals.

My expectation: Hash tag pages become available for all types of events, especially in B2B for trade shows, conferences, product launches and more. Before long, every B2B event may get its on hash tag page. And beyond that, I expect to see Twitter roll out additional products and services suited to events. After all, Twitter and events are perfect together.

Conclusion

So what to the TV commercials tell us about Twitter? They tell me that Twitter is focusing on mainstream adoption. On the one hand, they want the mainstream to understand what the service is all about. On the other hand, they’re sending a message to stars and celebrities to use Twitter to connect with fans (rather than a Facebook page, for instance).

And at the same time, they’re making it known to brands (including event brands) that these hashtag pages (with perhaps more products to come) are a great way to connect with your customers, fans and attendees.

Note: I invite you to connect with me on .


The #SocialMedia Revolution Is Here. Here’s How to Adapt.

September 26, 2011

Image source: “Social Media Revolution 2011” video on YouTube.

Introduction

“We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it,” notes Erik Qualman (@equalman) in his video, “Social Media Revolution 2011.” I knew that technology and social media have created a revolution. But, it was Qualman’s video that made me take a step back and realize how much the world has changed and evolved. And with that change comes a need (for many) to adapt and adjust, in order to take advantage of what’s unfolding in front of us.

Facts and Figures

Qualman’s video contains a series of fascinating facts and figures. For instance:

  1. 50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK is for Facebook.
  2. Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passe.
  3. Social gamers will buy $6 billion in virtual goods by 2013. Movie goers buy only $2.5 billion in real goods.
  4. If Wikipedia were made into a book, it would be 2.25 MILLION pages long and would take you over 123 years to read.
  5. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 14% trust advertisements.

Generation Y and Z are entering your organization today. Some short time later, they’ll be running your organization. These generations were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Instead, they were born with an iPod in one hand and a texting device in the other. How do you adapt to these new generations of digital natives? Here are my thoughts.

Learn from Your Kids

Those of us with kids in school have an advantage: we interact with this generation on a daily (or hourly) basis. We can directly observe their social interactions, learning styles and learning preferences and understand the role technology plays. We can pick up on lingo and hear about the hottest new “toys.” Apply your parental lessons (from this generation) to your organization or workplace.

Empower the Incoming Class

Think outside the box. Generation Y and Z do not need to enter your organization at “entry level” positions. Consider making the leap to place new hires (from these generations) directly into middle manager roles. After all, your customers are (or soon will be) from the same generation.

Reverse Training

Your tenured employees will need to “onboard” and train the incoming crew of Generation Y/Z. But it’s those same tenured employees who can stand to learn a lot in return. Have the new generation train the “older generation” on new technologies, such as instant messaging, Skype and Facebook. An organization more informed on Generations Y and Z is one that’s better suited to achieve growth.

Learn the New Engagement Models

Everything today is instantaneous: obtaining facts (Google), asking a question or favor (SMS), obtaining feedback (gaming, social media). Your organization’s engagement models need to parallel the feedback systems that social networks, games and technology provide. If Generation Y/Z needs to “wait” too long for answers and feedback, then you’ve “lost them at hello.”

Plan for Mobile First

Instagram launched on iPhone (only). Other platforms (including web) will follow. I think that’s the right model. Whether you’re a producer of content or software, deploy first on mobile. That’s where Generation Y/Z prefers to engage with you.

The Video

Here’s the video that spurred my thoughts on this topic. Check it out, it’s worth it.

Related Resources

  1. Web Site: Socialnomics
  2. YouTube channel: Socialnomics
  3. Erik Qualman on Twitter: @equalman

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Using Social Media Marketing To Drive Your Virtual Tradeshow Leads

September 14, 2010

The following is a guest post from Cece Salomon-Lee.

As a marketer, one of my goals is to generate the right leads for my sales force as efficiently and quickly as possible.  This requires constant evaluation of existing tools — emails, banner ads, and events — as well as new ones such as social media and virtual events. While webinars arguably are a standard part of a marketer’s lead gen toolbox, virtual tradeshows are just being considered. Part of the challenge is how to effectively drive qualified sales leads to your booth or virtual event.

Here are recommendations on how to leverage social media to market your next virtual tradeshow (Please note that these recommendations are for organizations who are hosting their own virtual tradeshows and may need to be amended for those exhibiting within a virtual event):

Identify Online Influencers

Each industry has influencers who yield a lot of sway with potential and existing customers. However, popularity – the number of followers or readers -is not necessarily a barometer of one’s online influence– the ability to drive a community of individuals to an action. Identifying the right influencers based on your objectives and audience will require research and time. When done well, these individuals will write or tweet about your upcoming event.

Here are some recommendations:

Twitter Search: Use keywords to find those who tweet the most about your industry.

Twinfluence: Not only does Twinfluence provides a list of the top 50 twitter users based on reach, velocity and social capital, but also can leverage this to determine the influence of those you researched via Twitter search.

AllTop: While you can use Technorati to search for top ranked blogs, I recommend starting with Alltop, which categorizes blogs under separate topics. This will help narrow down the blogs most appropriate for your virtual tradeshow.

Engage in Conversations

Have you been in a middle of a conversation when a stranger suddenly interrupts and adds his two cents? Your initial reaction probably was “who is this guy?”. Well the same applies to online conversations. It’s important to engage in existing conversations BEFORE jumping in to promote your event and disappear. Rather, take time to monitor and participate in ancillary conversations weeks if not months before your event.

For example, research and join relevant groups on Facebook or LinkedIn related to your company, industry and/or solution. If there is a relevant question, avoid the temptation to market only your company or product. Rather, respond with valuable information that contributes to the conversation. This helps to position you and your company positively.

Advertise Socially

Social networks have a wealth of demographic and professional information regarding its members. This is a great opportunity to create ads that target specific age groups or professional titles.  Facebook allows you to select age group, region and professional title when creating ads. Like Google adwords, you’ll want to create variations of your ads, test and refine to determine the best copy and attributes. If you’re targeting more than one professional level, I recommend creating separate ads with only that professional title to better determine who is clicking through. At this time, Facebook doesn’t provide detailed analysis by title.

While LinkedIn Premium Events service is coming soon, you can leverage the social networks’ Direct Ads service to target the network’s 76+ million members. Options include company size, job function, industry, seniority, gender, age and geography.

Share Freely

With the proliferation of information online, the challenge is to demonstrate the value of your virtual tradeshow to motivate people to register and attend. You can entice potential attendees by highlighting the types of information that is available at the tradeshow. For example:

– Blog Posting: Planning a white paper? Consider sharing a graph from the white paper and soliciting feedback to drive interest.

Slideshare.net: Presenting in the virtual tradeshow? Upload the presentation slides to Slideshare and promote via Twitter, your blog, etc. Then invite people to submit questions that will be answered at the conference.

YouTube: Have a product video? Consider posting to YouTube and embedding it on your website, blog, etc

In each instance, include information about your upcoming virtual tradeshow, such as dates, times, and a unique URL to track conversions.

Measurement and Tracking

So you’re tweeting the event, connecting with industry influencers and sharing content online. The next question is how to you track the effectiveness of your social media marketing?  Most virtual event platforms should have a system for tracking and measuring media campaign effectiveness. At minimum, they should be able to provide a formula for tracking those who visit a landing page and register accordingly.

Assuming the above, I recommend:

1) Creating unique landing page URLs for each channel

2) Shorten the URL via a URL shortener service, such as Bitly, that tracks the number of clicks per URL

3) Measure, evaluate and update your marketing mix based on the a) click-through rate and b) conversion to registrations

Conclusions

One word of warning is to first research and evaluate before plunging in with a social media marketing program, especially when contacting individuals and bloggers or participating in online discussions. While social media marketing takes time and effort, when done well, the results can be spectacular!

What strategies or tactics have you used to drive virtual tradeshow attendance?

Bio

As Principal of PR Meets Marketing, Cece Salomon-Lee has over 15 years experience conceptualizing and executing successful strategies for public relations, customer communications, executive visibility, analyst relations, social media and virtual events.  She has worked with start-up and established organizations in enterprise software, SaaS and digital entertainment, such as Blue-ray Disc Association, Cisco Systems, DreamWorks Animation, HP, Yahoo!, and MapQuest. Follow Cece at @csalomonlee or via email cece@prmeetsmarketing.com.


To Promote Your Physical Or Virtual Event, Think Outside The Inbox

November 21, 2009

Source: flickr (User: Mzelle Biscotte)

For many, email is a constant stream, an endless loop – we receive too much of it, both “important” emails addressed directly to us and marketing emails that are sent as a result of opting in (or not) to past content, webinars, white papers and marketing lists.  Outbound, push-based email promotions face the following challenges:

  1. Imperfect delivery rates (mail server outages, spam filters, etc.)
  2. Decreasing open rates
  3. Perception of spam – if recipients don’t remember opting in to your list (even though they did), they’ll ignore your email – or, opt out from your list
  4. List fatigue due to overuse of marketing lists
  5. Decreasing click-thru rates (CTR) – once you’ve made it past delivery and open, recipients are clicking less on your embedded offers

Adding to this mix is the fact that many users now interact with brands (and by extension, promotional offers from brands) via their social networks, instead of email.  A user is more inclined to respond to an @reply or direct message (on Twitter) compared to a conventional email blast from a marketer.

Given all this, it surprises me that email is still a primary vehicle for promoting physical and virtual events.  Event marketers have much to gain by thinking outside the inbox.

Social media and social sharing

Your first step outside the inbox should be in the direction of social networks.  Build a presence in social communities and you’ll find that you naturally generate interest and awareness to your event.  Previously, I wrote about leveraging Twitter to promote your virtual event.  As Ian McGonnigal (GPJ) astutely pointed out, those same tactics apply quite well to physical events as well.

In addition to Twitter, consider the following:

Create a LinkedIn Event entry for your event

  1. Create a LinkedIn Event for your event – a LinkedIn Event page allows you to post relevant information about your event on LinkedIn (e.g. date, event content, etc.) – LinkedIn members can then indicate whether they’ll be attending, not attending or “interested”.  This can be quite useful, as folks often attend events based on knowing whom else will be attending.  By creating a LinkedIn Event, you’ll receive the benefit of having LinkedIn auto-recommend your event to other members, assuming their profile is a “match” with the profile of your event.  Members may also utilize search and find your event.  More info can be found on the LinkedIn blog page announcing the Event feature.
  2. Post videos to YouTube – it’s the #2 search engine after all (behind parent Google), so having event videos posted on the site will generate traffic from the millions of folks who visit YouTube.com each day.  Record videos of your host, keynote speaker, group publisher, etc. talking about your upcoming event – if your keynote speaker has a prominent name, your videos will attract interest from users who search on that name.  When you have a critical mass of videos, create a YouTube channel.  About.com has a neat guide on how to do just that.
  3. Create a Facebook Fan page for your event – with a fan page, you’ll generate interest for your upcoming event – and, you’ll build an ongoing community that you’ll be able to continuously leverage!  The All Facebook blog has a nice guide on how to build a Facebook fan page.
  4. Leverage blogs – author a blog posting on your corporate blog – or, if you don’t have one, ask a relevant industry blog site whether you can author a guest posting.  Alternatively, leave a comment on postings from relevant industry blogs with a pointer (link) to your event.  The key here is not to over-promote your event – your first goal is to provide useful and relevant content/commentary with your event being a secondary (and subtle) mention.

SEO and in-bound links

If you pay attention to search engine optimization (SEO), your event page(s) will receive “organic” traffic – that is, traffic that finds you, rather than you finding the traffic (i.e. the “pull” from users searching, rather than the “push” from your email promotions).  Think about the search keywords that you’d want to associate with your event [e.g. when users are performing searches] and make sure the content on your event page is rich in those keywords.

To increase the page rank of your event page, increase the number of inbound links that point to your page.  A few simple ideas:

  1. For all of your social media efforts (listed above), make sure they provide links to your event page – shazam, you’ve just created a number of inbound links
  2. For event staff (especially those with large followings on Twitter), ask them to temporarily point the “web site” URL in their Twitter profile to the event page
  3. Ask partners, associates, even clients to post a URL from their web site(s) to your event page
  4. Add a “Share on Facebook” capability on your event page – this may result in page rank benefit as search engines begin to index Facebook wall posts – until then, what this really does is generate awareness and outreach of your event to users’ Facebook friends.  If a potential attendee visits your event page and shares the page with her 100 Facebook friends, then you’ve just received 100 free advertising impressions

Advertise

Some affordable options to consider:

  1. Facebook advertising – purchase targeted ads on Facebook.  For a physical event, you can target by geography (e.g. starting with users who are geographically close to your event site).  For a virtual event, geography is less important, so you may want to target based on attributes in the users’ Facebook profiles.  You can pay per view (of the ad) or per click (on the ad), so the terms are flexible.  eHow has a good overview on Facebook advertising.
  2. Content syndication – purchase web syndication with online publishers in your industry – get your event listed in their directories, content sites, etc.  They may charge you per click or per lead (completed registration).  Not only can this generate registrants for your event, but it also improves your page rank by generating more inbound links to your event page.

Hopefully I’ve covered a few “outside the inbox” options for you to consider – certainly continue to promote your event via email – however, use some of these options to lighten the load a bit on your email marketing lists.


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