Archive for June, 2006

Online ads, brand awareness, and corporate blogs

Monday, June 26th, 2006

The Poynter Institute’s latest study on eye-tracking indicates what you may know already–search engine optimization is the best way to get visibility on the Internet. And that’s where a corporate blog comes in.

Natural search is considered the supreme method (meaning your content actually relates to the keywords or phrases the customer types into Google or elsewhere). Add the freshness-of-content factor and you can see that a corporate blog contributes dramatically to helping position your site for high rankings.

But the content has to have value–be interesting, entertaining, rewarding, or valuable in some other way to readers. That’s the hard part–keeping it that way consistently over time. Read more of what Poynter has to say about how to spend your money online here. Need help? Call me or email me with questions.

How to pick blog topics

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Yes, it’s a part-time job to maintain a good corporate blog. Not only must you post consistently and regularly, you need to find content that’s meaningful to the people you want to serve–potential customers, prospects, vendors, bankers, and who knows who else.

So how do you do that? Well, certainly not everyone will love every post or find it useful–you’d be putting a lot of pressure on yourself if you tried, like some independent blogs do today, to become a news source or an ezine. That’s not the purpose of a corporate blog. Your corporate blog doesn’t have to provide the same material a newspaper or magazine does, but you can find much inspiration from those sources. You’ll be off to a good start if you focus on these types of topics:

  • news from your industry
  • useful or innovative products (complementary to your own)
  • interesting tidbits from/about your R&D
  • your experiences at industry events
  • your outlook on a trend
  • historical slants on today’s industry
  • and so on

If you have a question about whether or how to use a specific topic, feel free to email me. I’ll be glad to give you a tip on how to approach it.

Your guide to corporate blogging

Monday, June 19th, 2006

When I started this blog back in 2003, my intention was to tell the world about this great new tool for business. And that’s what I did for the first several months. But then I began to use this blog as a forum for news and views on many aspects of business–leadership, customer service, marketing, and so on.

It’s time now to narrow the focus once again. Blogging has at last been accepted among mainstream media and has made such inroads into business that I’ve decided to begin presenting here my take on the qualities of a good corporate/professional blog. How to choose topics, how to present information, how to maximize exposure (we’ll talk to SEO experts and publishers of wildly popular business blogs). Let’s start with this from ClickZ on how a Jupiter Research blogger feels you should approach your blog.

Because this technology is still young and its place in your arsenal of public relations tools is new, there’s much to be learned about corporate blogging for business. I’m happy to be your guide.

Profits into charity

Friday, June 16th, 2006

Hurray for Bill Gates. Not only is he one of the richest guys in the world, he is head of THE biggest philanthropical organization, named after him and his wife Melinda (that’s a sign of true love).

Now as the news tells it, he’s stepping out of his daily role at Microsoft and putting more of his time into the charity work. He was surpised because “he didn’t realize when he started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 what potential there was for addressing some of the world’s greatest problems, such as global health and education. The foundation is now the world’s largest philanthropy, with assets totaling $29.1 billion.”

Some business owners actually make philanthropy part of their business plans–and can get a lot of free exposure in the media for such activities. But don’t get involved with charities just because of the free publicity. It’ll only benefit you if your heart is really in it.

Trade shows go virtual

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Along with blogs and podcasts and so on, virtual trade shows are becoming the way to go for many organizations in our high-tech society. Here’s one hosted by Ziff Davis on technology for SMB/entrepreneurs. If you’ve never attended one, ZD is sure to do a good job so this is a good opportunity to test it out.

I attended one last year–maybe one of the first–that had live streaming video for many of the presenters. It was pretty compelling to be able to see the person speaking instead of just listening (I practice tuning out the radio, though I have music on all day, and I fear my tasks would so distract me without a person to look at that I wouldn’t absorb enough to make it worth the trouble).

Anyway, this one’s got virtual booths (hey, maybe we should consider having one–exposure without the sore legs), hot button panel discussions, chances to network with fellow attendees, etc. If you’re not totally wired and networked and so on, you can learn more about how to play with the big guys at this one. Register here.

Google's payment system fires search accuracy into the stratosphere

Friday, June 9th, 2006

In case you haven’t heard (or, like me, just can’t pay attention to one more thing today…), Google is releasing its own custom payment system.

Said to be a major challenge to PayPal/off-eBay, it’s also going to be tracking nearly infinite amounts of detail on your buying habits once you start using it (which, of course, you most likely will). And advertisers are going to be able to read ROI indicators so strong that they’ll pay fortunes to get where they need to go.

Search is growing closer to reading the human mind. And advertising will never be the same.