Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Social marketing predicted for change in 2010

New research by Forrester claims that social marketing will become more strategic and planned in 2010 with companies taking tools such as Facebook and Twitter more seriously. As reported by Media Post News, the new research contains a list of social computing prediction for 2010 and suggests that companies who are taking this media seriously will create social councils - cross-functional teams aimed at sharing ideas about social media - and allocate budgets and planned structures for these groups.

It also suggests that an increasing number of companies will adopt 'listening platforms' to monitor social media, that Twitter will become more profitable or get acquired and also Facebook will take a more proactive approach to protecting members' privacy in the light of increasing demands from users.

In another report - the 2010 Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report from MarketingSherpa - the No. 1 objective targeted and measured by marketers was said to be an increase in website traffic, followed by an increase in lead generation, increase sales revenue, improved search engine ranking and improved brand or product reputation.

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Monday, 21 December 2009

Estimating the cost of poor Google AdWords management

New research prepared by Google AdWords specialists, Web Search Workshop, estimate that up to 20% of all AdWords advertising spend is wasted, due to poor campaign planning and management. This provides Google with extra income that gives little benefit to the advertiser and reflects some basic principles of effective AdWords campaigns that are not being followed by some companies.

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Thursday, 17 December 2009

Advertisers to spend more online in 2010

New research by US company Round2 Communications says that 72% of advertising companies will increase their online marketing spending in 2010. A summary of the results have been published by Media Daily News and explain this trend towards online spend because 33.9% of respondents said that ROI (Return on Investment) for new media is "somewhat" better than traditional advertising, and 28.2% said new media's ROI is "significantly" better.

As a result of this growth in spend on digital media, the more traditional channels (such as TV, radio, newspapers and magazines) are expected to lose out, with 86% of respondents saying that they expect their spending to remain even (45.7%) or decline (40.3%) in 2010. However, print still remains the most dominant media channel with 47% of respondents saying this is their single biggest media investment, well ahead of email marketing (13.4%) and interactive advertising (10.2%).

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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Search and video advertising main growth areas in the US

Media Post has reported on new research in the US by eMarketer that shows online advertising declining by 4.6% in 2009 - the first drop since 2002 - although this is expected to grow again in 2010. The two areas that saw growth in 2009, however, were search and video advertising.

The eMarketer report identified a move towards 'non-advertising' marketing, such as social media and building websites or brand 'microsites'. This means that spend is being channeled into other areas not previously tracked by the research, so that the annual decline in figures may be misleading. The use of social media is also having an impact on how online advertising is being used and how communication channels are changing.

The search marketing sector is shown to be taking a larger slice of the online budget, as it is in Australia as well. The US figures show spend under $11 billion in 2009 growing to nearly $16 billion in 2014. This will make the sector about three times as big as banner or video campaigns. However, although search advertising will see the largest annual increases through to 2013, according to this research, by 2014 it is expected that more new dollars will flow into video advertising than into search.

This expected growth in spending on video ads will far outpace any other online format, running between 34% and 45% from 2009 through 2014 and is the result of video ads moving to a position as the main form of brand advertising online. By 2014, it is estimated that US advertisers will be spending 46.5% of the online advertising market on search and 38.7% on a mix of banner, video and rich media display ads.

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Friday, 11 December 2009

Facebook faces privacy backlash again

Social networking website Facebook has once again run into a backlash from changes being made to its privacy policy. As reported by the BBC, the new conditions were introduced earlier this week with a pop-up box asking members to review and select their privacy settings. However, like previous changes to privacy and usage conditions, the change is attracting a large amount of negative feedback.

Digital rights groups and bloggers have responded with criticism of Facebook's changing policy, claiming that these are unnecessary and encouraged users to share their updates with the wider online community, as well as making content available to search engines. However, Facebook has responded by saying the changes should help members to manage updates they wanted to share, not trick them into revealing too much.

This is not the first time that Facebook has received such a response to changes, which reflects the extent of membership and usage of the site around the world. However, although it might damage their reputation in the short term, it remains to be seen whether this backlash has a long-term affect on usage of the service.

Facebook began testing the latest privacy changes during 2009 before introducing them site-wide. The changes let users decide who should see their updates, whether all 350 million Facebook members should see them, and if they should be viewable across the web. A spokesman said the changes to privacy made it easier to tune the audience for an update or status change so default settings of openness should have less impact, although users still have the ultimate choice of what to place on their profiles or updates.

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Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Google sues work-from-home scammers

The Sydney Morning Herald has published an article about Google action in suing Pacific WebWorks, a US company that is alleged to have created a scam advertising campaign that promised "up to $978 a day working from home". However, all that job seekers got in return for their application was a recurring bill on their credit cards and it's claimed that thousands of people have been duped into thinking they were applying for work with the search company.

In reality, the scam is simply selling a kit that claims to show recipients how to make money from home with Google. Buyers' credit cards are then charged with ongoing fees, while the job seeker receives nothing. Because the logo is displayed prominently on the ads, Google claims the unaffiliated websites are misusing its trademark to deceive unsuspecting consumers, many of whom have turned to Google to lodge complaints and ask for refunds.

A Google spokesperson said: "Misleading ads try to take advantage of consumers in the midst of a difficult economy, and as the economic situation has worsened, the problem has only grown. As far as we can tell, thousands of people have been tricked into sending payment information and being charged hidden fees by questionable operations".

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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Google launches 'real time' search

As widely reported by the global media, including the BBC, Google has launched a real-time search service as part of its main search results, giving users access to information that has just been published from various sources, such as news, social networks and Twitter (as they announced recently).

Google says that this information will be taken from over a billion pages on the web and reflects the changing nature of content and search on the web. The announcement was made at a special event staged at the Computer History Museum in California, where Google said this was the first time that any search engine has integrated the real-time web into its results page. The new real-time search will also be available on phones and is being rolled out now.

Google's vice-president of search Marissa Mayer was quoted as saying: "This is a technical marvel, getting all these updates in seconds, making them searchable right after they are posted and making them available so that anyone in the world can find them. The updates (on Twitter) are so truthful and so in the moment. That is a really, really powerful part of this. Are you at this event right now? Are you on this ski slope right now? And because of that 'right now' element of it , this is hugely valuable data".

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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

New developments from Google

Google remains very active in developing and introducing new products and features for various parts of its product range. On the main search side the Google Webmaster Blog has announced that in cases where webmasters indicate a country specification for a domain, this will be indicated in some search results within the green information line. These 'region tags' will be displayed against results where the location or relevancy of the listings may be unclear.

At the same time, Google's main blog has announced a new way of displaying image results. The new format for images to be displayed within the main Google search results will include one larger image and additional smaller images alongside, so that searchers can see more pictures than before.

Finally, another new feature that has been announced relates to Google Analytics, which now provides 'asynchronous tracking'. This is one of many enhancements being added to this service at the moment and the new code snippet can help to reduce webpage load time and also enables enhanced data collection and accuracy through the elimination of tracking errors from dependencies when the JavaScript hasn't fully loaded. The asynchronous tracking code is now in Beta and available to all Google Analytics users.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Web marketing newsletter published for December

The latest issue of the monthly Web Marketing newsletter has been published for December, covering some of the recent stories on web search and online marketing trends.

This month's edition looks at the top 10 ways to develop high quality links for a website, as voted for by industry practitioners. It also reviews the new Internet advertising figures released for the past quarter by IAB Australia, which show continued growth in the search advertising market. Finally this month, the newsletter considers the introduction of Google's new service, "Promoted Videos", which is a new way to place videos on YouTube (as well as on other video related sites) and to make it easier for people to find these videos.

If you want to sign up for future issues of this newsletter, please do so by using the form at the bottom of this page. To view back issues of this regular newsletter you can see the archive by date or by subject.