15. März 2012

"Swiss online marketing 2012" summaries

I visited 6 lectures at the Swiss Online Marketing 2012 in Zurich. It was extremely sunny again so I (and I think most visitors) didn't mind getting out of the office (especially not because there was a lunch break of an hour in which we all enjoyed the sun). The first thing I noticed when I walked in were the stands.. Although the lectures where all about new media, 99% of the stands were old fashioned. 3 walls, a table and 2 chairs in the middle, some magazines to take away and that's it. I had hoped for more in a conference about online marketing (I see big screens with websites, movies, more experience etc: there was 1 stand who had that..). But the lectures definitely made up for the old fashioned stands. Two of them where about Search Engine Optimization and can be summarized very shortly: make websites for the users, not the searchmachines, don't duplicate content or buy links. (be good and Google will be good to you). 

The ones about social media went a bit further into details. Why to use social media, some great examples and all about the 'social media youth' and what moves them.

Finally there was a very interesting presentation that touches the core of our business: website redesigns and relaunches. The interesting thing was that it was advices against relaunches. Better to safe that effort and invest in testing was said. See the full summary of all lectures below.



1. Beyond the relaunch, optimization through personalization. Maximizer: T. von Focht.
A relaunch is often seen as way to correct all errors and shortcomings of a website. But the whole process takes so much time and money (but never enough time and money is reserved) that it never gives the desired result. Also in redesign the design gets downgraded by the programmers and the chefs who all have their opinion which does not help. In the end there are a lot of changes on the site, the user might not find his way anymore and the conversions do not go up. So what to do: Test the current website and adjust only bits.

A website is built from elements that form the site and these elements must achieve the site goals. So each element can be tested for another version. You can change elements around or change the elements themselves, test different versions, change to the most successful one. This saves the time and costs of a relaunch but gives more information and higher success rates because you base yourself on statistics. 
The other thing to improve your website is through personalization. For example let cookies recognize a user and his history and only show the elements the user is interested in. Can also be done by learning algorithms. User are individuals so the sites should be individually adjusted to their needs to serve them best.

2. Study on Social media youth. Mepublic: T.A. Dettling.
How to reach the young target groups that spread their attention through different channels simultaneously? Young people have everything: mobi, tv, mp3, laptop, gamer. They spread their attention over these channels at the same time. 


What kind of generations are there?
The boomers from after the war who expressed themselves with the Beatles etc.
The gen x ers. Who say 'screw the system' , born around 1980
The millenials who say game the system of which lady gaga is the big hero.
These can be differentiated in:
Mediact who are innovative and media junkies.
Crewsers who share and stay up to date via social media on what their friends do.
Tagtics who see what social media brings them.
Funatics who share party pictures and game.
No buddies who don't use social media but email and phones.
Skippits who logged in once but not anymore.

The last generation, social media youth, want to have fun online and share experiences with friends. They also use social media to get to know new people and games. Lots of them like and inform about their favorite brands:33%. Even 52% advices their friends games and companies. This is extremely important for their decision making, 50%of the decision is based on advice from their friends. Meaning young people are real brand ambassadors!

 

3. Engagement through online moving images / movies. Vibrant media: G.Fellner.
Importance of online movies is growing because people are more mobile, under way and watch less tv. Problem is that people do many things at same time online. Therefore visibility of movie is important and the movie must been shown in the right context and be relevant. An option is through double underlined links in the text that on mouse over display a popup with the movie. So its ensured that it is context relevant and visible. 



4. Lasting toppositions with Google. Worldsites: B. Z'graggen.
There are a lot of short term tricks to get a topposition on Google. These are NOT advised;

Spam, doorway sites, keyword stuffing, duplicated content, hidden text, copied content from other sites, bought links.
So what to do? Be good and end up high.. if you always keep your customer in mind when building and working on a website google will see the quality you offer.
If the users are happy they will share your site (links) and talk about it what will give you more credits. 

What you can do:
Start with the right structure, remember this is not your internal business structure but a site structure oriented towards your target groups. Decide where you want to be found on and have unique, own content. Have good titles and descriptions. Have only good quality links going to your website (from sites with same subject, trusted sites, links on good positions in body text) have internal links and try to make users share your site. Finally make sure your site, server and host are fast. The search bots only have an limited amount of time to search your site, the more time they loose because your site is slow or they have to filter duplicated content, the less pages are indexed. 

How can you test your site and position? Type in google :site:url.ch and you will see the number of hits. Check if there is no duplicated content and google does not take out hits because of that. Also look at the preview function of your website in google and see when it was last visited by the bots. More is better.. Long ago (more then month) is not good. You can also use the google page ranking tool to check your ranking. 


5. Done googling? Cyberpromote: T. Kaiser.
Often it is thought that facebook likes and share help google rankings. This is not proven. It is true that all top placed websites have a lot of likes and shares but the correlation the other way around is not necessarily true. It is even good to remember that google and facebook are competitors. The best advice to give is to built websites for users, not for search machines. But still some advice:


Remember on page seo. Titles, descriptions etc. have a fast load time. A load time that is 0.5 seconds slower can decrease traffic by 20%! Put quality of links before quantity. Use web optimizer tools. Use social media, pr, press releases etc. for shops, use google product search. Optimize usability and experience on site. Last but not least is you use an seo agency, choose it with care..

 

6. Social media. Saatchi&Saatchi: P. Simko.
Why is social media important? There are a lot of users and it keeps on growing. The online activities change from email to social. And the top 6mist visited websites are social. 


Why do we use social media? To share, to create and to look at our own image and see how we are presented.

Social media works for product introductions, get people to know your brand (For example Blentec, will it blend) and more.. 

Another example is Bestbuy. They introduced twelpforce where employees of brands can answer questions of consumers via twitter. The answers go to the corresponding bestbuy product and all users see it. This way the knowledge of the employees is shared.

Last advice: get people involved, be interesting, facilitate, try to learn from mistakes (not prevent mistakes), measure and keep social media as a part of the total marketing. 





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