What’s With All The Buzz About Viral Marketing?

As consumers we see big companies create these cool viral marketing campaigns, we watch them, and then what? Are you suddenly inspired to go out and buy those products? Or do you just say “Hey that’s cool” and move on? I know that I have seen some pretty cool marketing campaigns like Coke and Skyfall and the race through the train station or Redbull’s first man to free fall to Earth from space, but that didn’t make me start buying the products. In fact, you will never see me with either of those beverages. But I am not necessarily representative of the consumer market.

So how does the consumer market react to these viral marketing campaigns? Well I’m guessing that they have some good laughs at some of the more silly ones like Cadbury’s guerilla playing the drums, but do they feel a call to action? Well, if you are successful you will probably see a sales increase, but that really isn’t the point of viral marketing. The point of viral marketing is to spread some sort of brand awareness, and spread it quickly like any other virus would. And when your video has millions of views in just a few days then you know you’re probably on the right track.

What happens when you’ve got such a high number of people seeing your product and passing it along to all of their social network, then you’ve got a pretty high social reach, and it’s the consumer doing all the work for you! So going back to my Coke and Redbull example: I, the consumer, may not feel a call to action for those products, but I definitely remember them and I most certainly shared the video within my social networks. In that case, I’d say that those companies achieved their goals.

Maximizing Google AdWords For Your Small Business Isn’t Rocket Science!

Google AdWords is a great way for small businesses to get their name out into the market to potential customers. Unfortunately it isn’t the simplest tool to master. It does take awhile to figure out all the different functions of the tool, but with a few tips and tricks, you can be expanding your business in no time.

Like with any new project, it is always a good idea to set some SMART goals, before actually launching. So before you start spending all your money on a whole bunch of keywords, take a look at what you are looking to achieve. Once you’ve got that narrowed down, it is a lot simpler to determine which keywords are going to work best for your ad campaign. By narrowing down which keywords are best suited to your ad campaign, you can avoid over-spending on keywords that are completely irrelevant to your ad campaign. And remember that it isn’t necessarily about your ad having the number-one spot either. As long as you keep include your keywords in the copy of your ad, you will be well on your way to having a higher spot in the ad ranking and a better cost-per-click conversion.

Another great function of Google AdWords is the geo-targeting function. The geo-targeting feature allows for your ad to only be shown to those searching for your product or service that are in your geographical area or those who are specifically looking for what you have in your geographical location. You can also exclude certain locations so that ads aren’t shown there. You can run reports to see where low conversion clicks are coming from and exclude them from being able to see your ad. Among those two techniques there are others that help with geo-targeting your Google AdWords campaign.

So if you are a small business owner, don’t feel intimidated at the thought of competing with the big companies in the online world. With the right approach, you might just be able to beat them!

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Keyword Optimization

So you are starting up a website for your new business and you aren’t sure if you should pay Google for your keywords or grow your search results more organically. Well according to Search Engine Watch, organic keywords are 94% more successful in Google searches than paid keywords. That is a big number. But why else should you use them and how can you use them to make them most effective for your Google ranking.

One of the first things you should do is choose the keywords that are specific to each page of your website. Any keyword that you choose should be simple and relative to something that a customer of your brand would choose to search if they were looking for you on a search engine. Once you have chosen which keywords you want for each page, place the keywords within the Title and Meta description of your page as this is where the search engine looks and the relativity of the users search to the content of the page. It is also a good idea to use the keywords that you have put in the Title and Meta Description in the content of the page. This is more for the users sake as they will likely be skimming the page for the information they are looking for.

Another easy way to add relevancy to your page is to use keywords in headings. This isn’t simply changing the size and boldness of your font, but going into the heading tag of the html of your site and adding in your keywords there.

The main thing to keep in mind when creating and using keywords is that the search engine isn’t looking at the actual content of the page. That is where the user is looking. No, the search engine is looking at what the user doesn’t see to find out whether your page is actually relevant to their searches or not.

Overall, it is good to look at the overall big picture and practice keyword optimization to:

  • Drive qualified traffic to your website: To drive searchers to your site, you must optimize for the keywords they’re searching for
  • Measure traffic potential: Analyzing the popularity of keywords helps you gauge the size of a potential online market.
  • Write effective content: By incorporating optimized keywords into your website content, you can connect instantly with potential customers and address their needs.
  • Understand user behavior: By analyzing the words that your customers use, you get an idea of their needs and how to service those needs.

Brand Censorship in Online Forums

With brands interacting with consumers via social media, customer opinions are more public than ever and not all of them are positive. Now brands are faced with a dilemma: Do you delete any comments that may tarnish your image? Or do you leave them for the world to see?

Carol Billingsley writes a social media blog and suggests that the number one way to handle this type of situation is to simply apologize for the situation and offer a solution to correct the problem. That is likely how you would handle the situation if they were right in front of you, so why not use the same approach over social media? This also displays to your other customers, who are following the conversation that you do care and are sincere in trying to solve the problem.

Sometimes the comments are stating the truth, but it is not the most positive either. In that situation it is probably not the best idea to simply delete any comments because they may tarnish your brand image. It probably isn’t a surprise that people would get upset if their comments were deleted, feeling suppressed that they aren’t allowed to express their freedom of speech. Then they might start another conversation with your brand publicly asking “Why did you delete my comment?” And of course that opens a whole other can of worms for you to deal with. It is also very likely that someone has taken a screen shot of the offending comments and follows the saying: Once something is on the internet, it is there forever.

There is an example of a dress shop that wasn’t treating its customers with the service that was expected. Many spoke out against them and started conversations about the situation. Now this particular business probably didn’t respond to the complaints in the best way, and this started an even bigger conversation. People inevitably took screen shots to preserve the conversations as there were comments made by customers that weren’t desirable. If you go to their Facebook page now, it was actually deleted and then re-created with none of the original complaints anywhere to be found.

But despite their effort to remove the offending information, the unfortunate memory and tainted perceptions still exist in the customer’s mind. This particular brand’s image is tarnished forever. So ultimately it is up to each brand to decide what their plan of action is for negative comments on internet discussions, but as examples demonstrate, certain responses can have very negative repercussions.

Relationship Marketing and the 4 P’s

Over the years, organizations have switched their perspectives in how they do business with their customers. They have gone from the traditional approach of transactional marketing to customer relationship marketing (Smith, 2013).

So what is customer relationship marketing exactly? BusinessDictionary.com defines the term as “marketing activities that are aimed at developing and managing trusting and long-term relationships with larger customers.”

Since there has been a change in the way that organizations are approaching their customers with more emphasis on social media, there has also been a change in the way that the 4 P’s of marketing are being used:

Product: “More products are customized to the customers’ preferences” (Kolter, 2013). An example would be the Nike shoe. Customers can log in to their NikePlus account and track their workouts, see what exercise activities friends are doing, and even customize their perfect running shoe. It is not only color that they are able to customize, but also the fabric, type of insole, and tread for the bottom. Organizations are able to offer more to the customer, without spending too much more on the development costs of the product.

Price: “The organization will set a price based on the relationship with the customer and the bundle of features and services ordered by the customer” (Kolter, 2013). Cell phone companies are an excellent example of this. If you ask most people, they will tell you that they are not very satisfied with their current cellular service provider and the cell phone companies know this. So when a customer calls to cancel their contract or they aren’t going to renew their contract, the cell phone company will take a look at how long the customer has been with the company and how profitable that customer is. Then the company will offer ‘exclusive’ pricing to entice the customer to stay.

Placement: Thanks to the internet and social media, communicating directly with customers has become much easier and more efficient than ever before (Smith, 2013). Because relationship marketing favors marketing directly to the customer, the need for a middleman to deliver the product is removed and costs are reduced (Kolter, 2013). Also with the development of online shopping, customers are able to shop from the convenience of their home, and the product is delivered right to their front door.

Promotion: Relationship marketing “favours more individual communication and dialogue with customers” (Kolter, 2013). Organizations can select certain customers from their database based on demographic and psychographic information that has been collected and specifically target that customer segment. They can then communicate with the customers through email, Twitter, Facebook, or wherever the organization’s customers are, directly. This direct contact also reduces advertising costs such as television commercials, and newspaper and magazine advertisement costs where the messages may not even be reaching the intended market segment.



BusinessDictionary. 2013. What is relationship marketing? definition and meaning. [online] Available at: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/relationship-marketing.html [Accessed: 17 Sep 2013].

Kolter, P. 2013. Relationship marketing: Kotler on marketing – MaRS Discovery District. [online] Available at: http://www.marsdd.com/articles/relationship-marketing-kotler-on-marketing/ [Accessed: 17 Sep 2013].

Smith, M. 2013. 12 Relationship Marketing Best Practices. [online] Available at: http://www.marismith.com/tenets-of-relationship-marketing-effectiveness/ [Accessed: 17 Sep 2013].