A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

Scott Stratten says: Blog with passion!

October 14th, 2010

It is time for the opening keynote address at Blog World Expo 2010. I’ve already gotten to meet some very interesting people before it started.

Scott’s keynote is named “Stand up, Stand out, Stand together”. It is about the importance of blogging with passion and emotion.

Who is Scott Stratten? He is the author of the book “Unmarketing – Stop Marketing, Start Engaging”. He goes by the same name on Twitter. He is giving a opening keynote address with a T-shirt and sandals on. (That is the nature of Blog World Expo. It is fun.)

“Marketing is not a task.” It is not a department. It is every time anyone has a touch with you or your company. The individuals that are at your “front counter” are your marketing.

How do we get people to spread our blog posts? Make something awesome. People spread awesome. Don’t mistake frequency of blogging with quality. Blog when you have something to say. If you aren’t passionate about what you blog, don’t blog. When you don’t blog awesome, you stop people reading your blog. “People don’t spread meh”. If your post is just “meh”, it does not get spread.

The reason people spread things has not changed. People spread emotion. HOW they spread things changes. Some use Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. These things can get you traffic. Social bookmarking still works, for example.

People ask me what is the next big thing? I say that the things we do now suck. Let’s get better at what’s now. We have had great tools for years. Stop being so fancy pants and get better at what is available today. Social media is about talking. People talk about what’s awesome. It’s that easy.

“It is not my job to tell people how to consume my product, I just want them to consume it.” Stop pushing your RSS feed icon. People use email. Also, if you do not have your blog mobile-enabled, you are losing readers. (Over 150 of the 500 million facebook users use it via mobile regularly.) Pull your blog up on your phone, then pull it up on other phones you don’t own. Make sure that works.

He is now lecturing us on not to write just for SEO, not to use AdWords (it causes people to leave), don’t use difficult captha codes, and not to include popups when your visitors go to leave your site. (He is making people laugh and I guess most people here do need to hear this stuff.) No offense, but it’s a bit elementary to me.

“Social Media Success Doesn’t Exist.” Social media is just a vehicle. If your product sucks, social media makes it suck worse. If your stuff is great, it makes it better. It simply makes what you do louder. If you hate people, social media is a bad place to be. If you hate your target market, don’t talk to them. Social media is just conversations.

People do business with those they Know, Like, & Trust. (One of my favorite quotes.) So true.

Scott did about 7,000 tweets in one month a couple years ago. (That’s over 200 per day.) About 75% were replies. He ended up with thousands of followers. (No real surprise there, either. However, I personally think that worked better a year or two ago. Quantity does not work as well as quality, now.

He is now explaining how to handle trolls. For those that say mean things to you online, don’t reply to them. They have few followers and if you engage them, you are giving them attention they don’t deserve. Let them hate.

Blog with passion. Ignore the haters.

MY COMMENTS: Overall, it was a nice keynote. The content was a little elementary to me. But then again, there are probably a lot of newbies here. Scott seems to be a little cocky and extreme. Then again, that is what works well online.

What I love about Blog World Expo

October 13th, 2010

At the end of September, I had a great opportunity to speak at Charlotte events, namely ProNet (which helps professionals in career transition) and SCORE (which provides counseling for small businesses). For the SCORE event, I was one of two speakers and Charlotte’s Mayor Anthony Foxx opened the event with a keynote speech. (That was cool.)

Then, my wife and I spent the past 10 days visiting family and friends in New York and Massachusetts. I got back to NC on Sunday.

But now (Wednesday) I am off to Vegas for BLOG WORLD EXPO!!!

This has got to be my favorite event of the year! It is my third time going. (I missed last year, so I’m especially excited about attending tomorrow.)

Interestingly, my non-geek friends have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to attend a conference for bloggers. But for those of us that are in the industry of creating content online, this conference is amazing. Some of the best tips for blogging, podcasting, and creating video online can be found here.

Why do I personally love attending BLOG WORLD EXPO?

Unlike most heavy conference attendees, I don’t go just for the networking (aka drinking). I actually go to listen to the keynotes and sessions. I go to learn. I do enjoy meeting other bloggers and inevitably have very interesting conversations at lunch, etc. But my main goal is to learn something. I want to learn from the sessions and speakers.

When I get on the plane pretty soon, I’ll be trying to make a list of specific things I want to accomplish. But for now, I’m just excited to be attending again. One of my best clients will be there too, so that should make it especially interesting.

Are you attending?

If so, please say hello to me. I’ll be the one typically in one of the front rows with an iPad and wireless keyboard. (Probably not the only one, though.)

Reminder: The Yahoo & Bing search merge is happening

August 26th, 2010

As of this week, Yahoo is now starting to show Bing results.

The merger was in the news many months ago, but it didn’t actually happen until just this week.  Yahoo natural search is now “powered by Bing” which is exactly what it says at the bottom of it’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

The paid listings have not completely changed over, but they will soon.

Want to Learn more?  Check these out…

  1. Details from Search Engine Land
  2. Blog announcement from Bing
  3. Official Yahoo Transition Center

What should you do?

If you have a Yahoo Search Marketing account and do PPC marketing on Yahoo search, keep in mind that it will die soon.  If you use Microsoft AdCenter to do PPC marketing on Bing, keep in mind that those ads will soon be able to show on Yahoo search too.

(Chances are that you may not use either.  After all, the share of search for both Bing and Yahoo is still less than half of what Google offers.  Google is the major player in search, by far.  Individually, each of these did not have much to offer.)

However, with the merger happening it may be a good time to try something more than AdWords.  In fact, if you start a new Microsoft AdCenter account and already own an effective Google AdWords account, you might want to try importing it.

I imported an AdWords account into Microsoft AdCenter the other day and it worked fairly well.

Why do Google, Apple & Microsoft Race to be the SAME?

August 26th, 2010

Remember the good ole days?

  • Microsoft made software
  • Google was a search engine
  • Apple made computers

At one time, these 3 were barely competitors (especially Google).  But those days are over now.  All three seem to be wanting to do everything possible, especially if the other two are involved in it already.

Why do they race to be the same?

I’m sure you have your opinion.  So please leave a comment below. 

But first, check out the chart below for proof. 
(It’s just a matter of time before those blank boxes get filled in.)


  • Could it be that the CEO’s just can’t resist the fight?  (That’s my first guess.) 
  • Is there money in each of these that the companies can’t resist? 
  • Is there some other reason?

I welcome your opinions.  Please leave a comment below.

Why I’m Stopping my Classes

August 26th, 2010

At the beginning of the month I announced to my subscribers that I am no longer going to teach classes after next month.  But I forgot to post it here. 

(Why?  Because I combined the announcement with a special discount that was primarily for my subscribers.)

So here are the details as I announced them earlier this month.  (For those of you that subscribe to my newsletter, none of this is new.)

The History of our classes…

In June 2007, my wife and I moved to Charlotte.  One of the main reasons I did so was to start teaching classes about Internet marketing.  We felt Charlotte was a bigger and better market to do so than Asheville, NC.

It proved true.  Starting in early 2008, I have taught about 30 classes.  It’s been a real pleasure for me to meet so many incredibly interesting people and to hear about their jobs and businesses.  I continue to keep in touch with many of them.

But now it’s time for a change.

I’m stopping my classes…

I’ll probably never stop teaching.  I enjoy it too much.  But I am stopping my classes.
(What will replace them?  You’ll have to watch for future newsletters to learn that.)

As of today, I’ve decided that I’m only teaching two more classes.

Thanks for your support…

The last three years or so have been a real thrill for me.  I love the atmosphere of a classroom filled with students that are eager to learn a subject (Internet marketing) that I love so much.

But the work I have to do on my own business is taking priority this year.  Next year, I’ll be announcing some newer, bigger, better initiatives. 

So stay tuned! 

Want to keep up on our new initiatives?

Be sure to signup for our newsletter.  We’ll be announcing them there.

Buy 1 Get 1 Free – Conference & Training!

August 3rd, 2010

NOTE:  This offer is now over.  For future offers, please signup for our newsletter.

Yesterday, Jason Keath and I announced that we are doing a special offer to anyone that wants to learn more about Social Media and Search Engine Optimization in Charlotte.

SocialFresh(You can read the press release here.)

If you’re like me, you love learning about this stuff and going to conferences.  But unfortunately, they tend to be expensive –  and far away.  So this is your chance!

Both opportunities are in Charlotte.  You don’t need to travel.  You don’t need a hotel.  And we’ve made the price unbeatable.

HippoJason is offering a one-day ticket to Social Fresh and I’m offering a two-day in person training program.  Each of these normally costs about $400.  But for a very limited time, we are offering both for $397.  I hope you jump on this.

Here’s the details…

Social Fresh Conference –  August 16 in Charlotte, NC.  Details here.
SEO Training by HIPPO –  September 23, 24 in Huntersville, NC.  Details here.

The rules…

Jason and I both wanted to do something a little extra special for Charlotte this year.  But it’s not fair to open it up to everyone.  So we decided to keep it very limited.

Therefore, the offer is available for only 48 hours or until supplies last.

You will be able to signup starting at noon on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.  I only have ten spots available for this class and two are already taken.  Once their gone, their gone!

How to get both…

Simply register at the address listed below.

CoreyOnce you do, I will pass your contact info on to Social Fresh and you will get confirmation that you are registered to attend both events.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Corey Creed
HIPPO Internet Marketing Training

PS:  Registration will open on noon Wednesday, August 4, 2010.  If you’d like a reminder, please signup for our newsletter here.

Once again, here’s the signup page…

Harris Teeter & iJustine in Charlotte, NC – The Story

June 23rd, 2010

Harris Teeter

HarrisTeeterAs some of you may know by now, Harris Teeter (headquartered in Charlotte) has hired me on contract to assist them in getting going with social media.  At this point, we’re just meeting together periodically to do the typical stuff, like building a social media policy and plan

To their credit, the main marketing guys at Harris Teeter are wanting to get more involved in social media and new media in general.  But like many companies, they are a bit hesitant and want to make sure they “do it right”.  That’s normal.  They have plans to get involved in Twitter, Facebook, etc soon.  (Stay tuned for more on that.)


IJustine-TwitterFor those of you that are not familiar with iJustine, you can check out her site here or learn more about her on Wikipedia under Justine Ezarik.  But to say that she is a web celebrity is an understatement.  Her primary YouTube channel has over 600K subscribers and over 111 MILLION total views.

The iJustine & Harris Teeter History

As Justine stated in her most recent video

“ …every year, my family and I, we go on vacation to North Carolina and there’s this grocery store called Harris Teeter.  And since last year, I started doing music videos in the store.”

Apparently, this year’s video is not her favorite as per her recent tweet.  Yet, within 24 hours, it has gotten almost 90K views.  (Then again, some of her others have gotten over 500K within a few days.)  Also, last year’s video about Harris Teeter got around 275K.

iJustine’s Thoughts on Harris Teeter

IJustineObviously, iJustine likes Harris Teeter.  (At least she likes making fun videos there.)  Last year’s video ended with a screen that stated in part…

I don’t know why I love this store but I do..

No this isn’t an ad
No they did NOT pay me to make this!!!

This video is in no way
affiliated with Harris Teeter at all.

Harris Teeter’s Thoughts on iJustine

NOTE:  I am in no way a spokesman for Harris Teeter.  Nor, am I authorized to speak in behalf of the company. 

Yet, I can confirm her comments above that she is not associated with them in any way.

Also, I know that the top marketing people in Harris Teeter have enjoyed watching the videos.  In fact, they find them rather amusing.  Obviously, they are happy to get the extra attention to their company and the Harris Teeter brand. 

I also know that they have tried to reach out to her in the past.  They would still greatly appreciate an opportunity to talk with her to thank her.

What’s next?

Personally, I think it would be great for Harris Teeter to offer to sponsor her to come visit Harris Teeter HQ and/or a local Charlotte event of some sort.

(Hint: They seem willing.)

Are you reading this?

CharlotteSo here’s my message to iJustine:

If you are reading this, please let me know.  Catch me on Twitter (DM) or any other way.  I’d be honored to connect you with the good people at Harris Teeter HQ so they can express their thanks. 

Charlotte is a great city.  We’d love to have you visit us.

And here’s my message to Charlotte:

If you’d like to have iJustine come visit, please mention it to her on Twitter (@iJustine).  Maybe we’ll catch her attention.

And for all you social media gurus:

I’d love to get some ideas from you.  How would you recommend Harris Teeter reach out to iJustine and show their appreciation for the extra attention she is bringing to their 192 stores in the southeast? 

Drop your ideas in the comments below.  If we use your ideas, I’ll be sure to get you the credit you deserve.

Search Engine Optimization Class – This week

June 6th, 2010

We have only one more search engine optimization class before “summer vacation”.  It will be held on June 10 and 11.  You can see the agenda here and register here.

Once this class is over, we will hold one more round of all five of our classes from September to November of 2010.

We have no schedule yet for 2011. 

To be honest, I’m not quite sure if we’ll even be teaching classes in 2011.  Some of our e-commerce projects have been going well and I’ve got some new clients and new projects we need to accomplish.

So if you are interested in learning SEO or other Internet marketing topics, please don’t delay.  Check out our full schedule here.

Key Points from Sarah Evans at Search Exchange

May 18th, 2010

The Search Exchange conference in Charlotte today opened with a keynote from Sarah Evans of Sevans Strategy.  Sarah has accomplished some great things in the world of PR and Social Media.  Her specific stories and case studies were fantastic.

I’m sure there are others that will blog about her main points.  But of all the things she said, I wanted to comment on the points I benefited the most from.  The points below in bold were hers.  Some of the comments below them are my commentary.

1.  Collect success stories.

She did not specifically state this, but in her discussion about her work with having a weekly chat on twitter about journalism, she mentioned casually that she has been “collecting success stories” on how others have benefited from the chats.  Smart move.

2.  Content and New Media should be PULL marketing, not PUSH.

If you create content (text, audio, video) you should not be with the intent of blasting it to your audience.  It should pull people into what you do.  Nice point.

3.  Personalize the distribution of your content.

Sarah mentioned that she does not distribute content the same way for every message.  Each message should be distributed based on the type of content it is.  This is a lot smarter than just blasting every message everywhere the same way.  (Nice point.  This is not typically done well.)

4.  US News needs to be Portable, Personalized, Participatory

This point was my favorite.  I talked with her about it a little during the break.  Think about the way news has been reported and consumed for years.  The standard model is changing.  People want their news to be where they are, for who they are, and interactive.

Personally, I think this applies not just to news, but to any content.   If you are a content creator, it’s time to start thinking about all three.

Thank you Sarah!

Overall, her comments were incredibly insightful into the world of PR, Journalism, and Social Media.  A big thank you to her for visiting us in Charlotte and giving a great presentation.

(Please feel free to leave a comment below if you were present and wish to thank her as well.)

5 Steps for Getting Started in Mobile Marketing

May 10th, 2010

For years, marketers have been saying that Mobile is the next big thing.  But 2010 is finally the year this becomes a reality.

Mobile marketing is now being heralded as the “seventh mass media”, right after Print, Recordings, Cinema, Radio, Television, and Internet.

Need proof?

Start with apps

  • Between December 08 and December 09, Smart-Phone ownership moved from 11% to 17%.
  • Apple’s iPhone, while only accounting for 25% of the US Smart-Phone market, was responsible for 97% of all mobile app downloads.
  • In January 2010, Apple announced that app sales had topped 3 billion; 2.5 billion of them apparently in 2009.

Don’t forget SMS (texting)

Recently, a UNC professional business fraternity asked me to speak to their members.  I had about 75 intelligent college students in front of me.  So I started asking questions.  (Free market research, right?)  Here’s what I found.

  • Twitter or Facebook?  Almost no Twitter.  (No surprise.)
  • Which phones do they use?  Majority iPhones.  (No surprise.)
  • Do they txt every day?  Yes, duh!  (They literally laughed when I asked that.)
  • How many get marketing messages via txt?  About 75%.
  • Do you mind getting marketing messages via txt?  Almost none did.

I must be getting a little old and out of touch.  Because that last one surprised me.  I know there are more mobile phones than computers.  But did you know that getting marketing messages via SMS is widely accepted by young Americans?

Of course, marketing via SMS needs to be done right.  It is even more personal and intrusive than email.  Obviously, spam is highly offensive.

Make no mistake.  Marketing via TXT and Apps is now mainstream in 2010.  Time to jump in, right?  Join me.

How to get started

I’ve already started.  I hope you have too.  It seems as if New Media (Internet) is not so new after all.  Mobile marketing is even newer.

If you are new to this, here’s what I suggest based on what I’ve learned so far.

1.  Get a smart-phone

No more excuses.

If you get an iPhone, great.  That’s probably ideal.

If you prefer a network that works, you can do what I did.  Get a cheap iPod touch to get comfortable with the iPhone OS.  (News flash: The iPod Touch does almost everything an iPhone can do.)  Then, get an Android phone on a good network.  This will allow you to use the location based stuff.  As a side benefit, you learn both operating systems.

2.  Start using, start learning

Start using your phone – a lot.  Use things you normally wouldn’t.  (Think FourSquare is dumb?  Use it anyway.)  Knowing various apps inside and out puts you at a huge advantage.

For learning, there are plenty of blogs out there.  They are ok.  But IMHO, the books are even better.  Everything changes, but a search on Amazon will reveal some books that have been written in the last six months that are very interesting.

My favorite so far is The Mobile Marketing Handbook by Kim Dunshinski.  It is fantastic.  Go buy it now.  I’ve read a bunch.  This is the best. (Honest.  This is not an affiliate link.)

3.  Get to know app developers

If you’re smart, you’ll start talking with app developers.  These guys are on the cutting edge of the next big thing.  (Even if they don’t know it yet.)

Start by talking to people you already know.  Personally, I joined our local Charlotte iPhone developers group on Meetup.com.  I’m sure you have one locally as well.  I look forward to some interesting discussions with them.

Another e-book I’ll be buying soon is How to Make iPhone Apps with Little or No Experience.  It’s a little more expensive.  But, it has been highly recommended by others.  It shows how to choose a developer and specify what you want done.

4.  Go get a client

Start talking about mobile marketing and I guarantee you know someone who wants an app.  Offer to help them get it built and get it marketed.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how.  Experience is not needed.  Very few have experience in this field as it is so new.  Learn as you go and apply the things you already know about Internet marketing.

As with all marketing, do a killer job once and you’ll never need to look for a client again.

5.  Start using and learning the tools

Once you have a client, you’re not wasting your time when you learn.  You’re getting paid for it!  So don’t stop with reading books and blogs.  Start using and testing the tools.

Personally, I’m going through all the links listed on this post at Search Engine Land.  It shows the various services available.

I’m also bookmarking some other odds and end things I find.  You can see the links I’m saving here.