A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Exciting News for Advertising on Google

For a while now, I’ve been very excited about teaching Google AdWords later this week on Thu January 26 and Fri January 17.  It’s my first classroom training in over a year and this has always been THE CLASS that people have benefited the most from.

But over the weekend, this particular class just got better.

See, we have several students registered already.  I recognized some of the names.  One or two are new to AdWords.  No problem.

But several others have been using Google AdWords for a while now.  And I just know that they will have some advanced questions.  For example, they are going to want to learn more and perhaps have some very specific questions on QUALITY SCORE and RETARGETING.

So here’s what I did…

(more…)

My 2012 Internet Marketing Prediction

2012 Marketing TrendsIn a few weeks, Brandon Uttley and I will be presenting our Annual 2012 Internet Marketing Forecast.  I hope you’ll attend.  We have a blast doing this and it is always interesting (and entertaining).

In preparing for it, I’ve thought long and hard about what has worked in 2011.  I’m also thinking a lot about what’s working now and what will come soon.

I’ll talk more about it at the free event.  But as a sneak preview, the new advertising opportunities that Facebook presents, connected with (more…)

Huge Social Media Learning Opportunity

Social Fresh CharlotteAs most of you know, I do some work for Social Fresh.  Because of that, I get some great opportunities that I’m happy to pass on to my readers. This is one of those moments.

Just this morning, Jason Keath (president of Social Fresh) and I finally finished a major project.  For the first time, we took an entire conference including some awesome speakers and topics and made it available online.

(more…)

Please Help me Thank Knowmad Technologies

KnowmadI have always enjoyed meeting other businesses and learning from them.

I especially enjoy small businesses with just a few employees.  I think that’s the sweet spot and it’s where I try to keep my business.  They are typically more diversely capable than a freelancer, yet not as cluttered with politics and meetings as a larger business.  They require good teamwork and appropriate leadership.  They can offer comparatively great pricing.  In my opinion, that’s the ideal size.

In fact, I’ve noticed that small businesses (with just a few employees and some contractors) are typically best suited for providing solid, personalized services to other businesses.  When I was taking clients, I knew that 9 out of 10 times I could out-perform and provide more personal services than most of my competitors that were freelancers or larger businesses.

That’s what I like about Knowmad Technologies.

(more…)

2010 Pubcon Vegas Wrap-Up

Here is a list of all my notes and blog posts from Pubcon 2010.

If you see something that interests you, check it out.  If not, please click on the bottom post (about the main take-aways).  Be sure to review the bolded points in that post.

Introduction to Pubcon Vegas 2010

Advanced Pay Per Click at Pubcon Vegas 2010

Advanced Twitter at Pubcon Vegas 2010

How do you Optimize for Universal and Personal Search

Video Optimization Lessons from Pubcon

SEO for E-Commerce Panel Notes from Pubcon

Tim Mayer at 2010 Vegas Pubcon

How to Buy Links – From Pubcon 2010

* Most Important Take-Aways from Pubcon 2010 *

 

 

Most Important Take-Aways from #Pubcon 2010

I’m currently on my plane ride home from Vegas.  Unfortunately, this plane does not have Internet access like my last one did.  So this is a good time to write out a bunch of my observations and thoughts from the conference I just attended.

WARNING:  This post is going to be long.  Feel free to just scan over the Bolded/capitalized headings and just read what you are interested in.

(You can also just read the very brief points at the end.)

1.  PUBCON HAS A DIFFERENT FEEL
The style of Pubcon is different than any other conference in my opinion.  Brett Tabke is a genuine nice guy that does this conference year after year.  Many of the speakers and attendees know him personally and speak positively of him.  The conference has an overall feeling of individuals helping individuals.  Everyone is not just friendly, but genuinely helpful.

Guys like Jerry West, Greg Boser, Brad Geddes, Christine Churchill, and countless others all rally together to learn from each other and to help newbies at Pubcon.  The whole event is very welcoming to newcomers.  This is evident not only in the presentations, but in the constant conversations between sessions.  Pubcon is mostly about search, but like most conferences, they delve into other areas such as social media, new media, etc.

2.  SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING TOOLS
For keyword research, several marketers are complaining about the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.  They are not showing all data as of just a few weeks ago.  It looks like many are going back to using WordTracker and Keyword Discovery for inventory data.  Another incredible tool to mine new keyword phrases is Scrapebox.  It’s amazing.

For Link Building and other SEO tools, it seems as if SEOmoz and SEOBook are the clear leaders. 

For SEO reporting, Raven Tools is quickly becoming the industry favorite.

3.  PAY PER CLICK SEARCH MARKETING
I was surprised that more people were not excited about jumping head first into Microsoft AdCenter now that it is powering both Bing and Yahoo.  Rather, most everyone still focuses their energy on Google AdWords and simply copy what works into Microsoft AdCenter.

The strongest tips that came out of PPC were to focus more intently on negative keywords.  Several presenters encouraged using thousands of negative keywords.  Use tools such as Scrapebox to find as many as possible.

Some other good tips were to focus on Quality Score.  Improving your QS can have a dramatic effect on your spending.

4.  FACEBOOK MARKETING
Between the sessions I attended and the conversations I had, it’s becoming more obvious that using Facebook for marketing is really in its infancy.  Very few marketers are just STARTING to even try this, let alone see the potential.

The technique that many are using is to use targeted ads to drive traffic to custom built pages that engage and reward “liking” the page.  Hopefully, the viral effect kicks in.  If your audience engages, their friends see them and may join too.

The concept is that you then “own the audience” and can try to engage them on the page over and over.  You may choose to push them toward an offer on your website or just keep engaging them to the benefit of the brand.

Interestingly, if it doesn’t work, it’s easy to start over, give up, and try something different on a Facebook page.  So the general idea is to keep trying something until it starts clicking with your target audience.  Very little harm is done if you fail at first.  Just reiterate and move on.

5.  E-COMMERCE
It works.  People make very good money at it.  Search engine placement for the right keywords is money in the bank.  In fact, it is reoccurring money that keeps on coming in.

This is so true that those that are involved in successful e-commerce can’t help but laugh at those that are trying to make money in social media.  Both e-commerce and affiliate marketers look at social media and just smile, as if they know something the others don’t.  (It’s kind of amusing to watch, actually.)

Several of the attendees of Pubcon are clearly making good money and are happy to just pick up a few tidbits here and there and get to know the others that are doing the same.  There is much less effort into trying to “look cool” and “be in the forefront”, as is seen in the other conferences.

Search engine marketing combined with e-commerce and/or affiliate marketing is not a hobby.  It’s an income stream.  And it works.  It really does.  (But please don’t tell anyone.  Smile.)

6.  THE FUTURE OF SEARCH ENGINES
In many ways, the future of how search engines will work is already here.  When you type something into Google or Bing, you don’t just get 10 links anymore.  Those days are mostly over.

You get what is called “universal search”, which means the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) shows videos, news, realtime (twitter), images, local info, and other things.  You need to take all this into consideration.

SERPS are also taking more “unstated signals” into account.  They try to determine where you are, what else you are already interested in or like, who your friends are, and what device you are using (PC, mobile phone, tablet, or even television).

7.  WHAT GOOGLE THINKS
Matt Cutts (the voice of Google) gave a presentation, but others spoke about Google as well.  Overall, I get the impression that Google is scared of Facebook because of the data they own and won’t share.  (What you like and who your friends are – often referred to as your social graph.)

Google also is very aggressively pursuing mobile and television.  (Duh.  It’s where the true growth and money is.)

Google is also admitting that spam is starting to increase within their SERPS.  Therefore they are soon going to start taking an even stronger attack against spam, buying links, and other inappropriate activities that they feel promotes the wrong sites.  They are already rewarding the larger brands over smaller ones.  Several noted this.

Matt specifically encouraged all webmasters and site owners to claim their site in Google Webmaster Tools and turn on the flag that allows Google to email them when they note something of concern.

8.  SOCIAL MEDIA vs SEARCH ENGINES
This is a topic that I brought up to some very interesting people in my conversations.  It seems as if several in the “social media” camp believe that the two may eventually combine and/or social may start taking away from search engines.

In my conversations with several very smart people that know both industries well, there seemed to be agreement that this just plain is not true.  It won’t happen.

Social is good for hearing from and learning from your friends.  Ask your followers on Twitter what they recommend.  Check Facebook to see what your “social graph” likes, etc.  But when you want to do the research yourself and/or follow up to determine how you feel, you almost always end up back at Google.

I had this very conversation with Tim Mayer after his keynote on the future of search.  I also had a roundtable discussion (at a literal roundtable at lunch) with Brett Tabke, Warren Whitlock, Brian Carter, and a few others on this. 

After thinking a lot about this, I firmly believe that search engines are here to stay.  Social media is here to stay, too.  And although they may assist each other a little, they are never going to combine.  Nor are they ever going to cannibalize the other.  That’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it – for now.

9.  VIDEO AND MOBILE ONLINE
These are by far the two biggest and hottest topics in all of the Internet right now.  Period.  Both of these are much greater opportunities, easier, and more powerful online than anything else, including social media.

How’s that for a bold statement?

If you are not starting to create videos and are not at least staying informed of what is happening with smart phones, you are totally missing the bus.  The time is RIGHT NOW to get involved.  The wave is coming and it’s time to get in front of it.  No joke.

10.  LOCAL MARKETING
For the past six years, local marketing online has always been the next big thing and right around the corner.  I feel that it’s actually true this year.  The growth of mobile phones, combined with the effort both Facebook and Google are putting into this makes the claim more believable this year than ever before.

Then again, we said that last year, and the year before that, and the year before that…   You get the picture.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

IN CONCLUSION… 
(Sorry for the long post.)

1.  Pubcon is great.
2.  Go buy Scrapebox for keyword research
3.  Use more negative keywords in AdWords
4.  Don’t be afraid of marketing in Facebook
5.  Don’t let people know that e-commerce makes real money
6.  Realize that search engines show more than just websites
7.  Don’t bother trying to spam Google
8.  Learn how to market in both search & social
9.  Start jumping into Video and Mobile right now
10.   Local marketing is about to take off (maybe)

PS:  I have another post ready to come out of me about the true state of Search Engine Optimization and those that practice it.  More about that later.  Stay tuned.

The 2010 Blog World Expo Wrap-up

Here are my notes from Blog World Expo 2010.  Please note that I mostly blog at events for my own reference later.  I figure that if I am going to take notes, I might as well share them with my students and clients.

If you only read one post, please read the one at the bottom.  Those are my insights from the event as a whole.  (It’s the best post.)

Keynotes

Creating Content

Audience and Community

Conference Info

Personal Thoughts from Blog World Expo 2010

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blogging about Blog World Expo over the last few days.  Attending a conference like this is a very unique experience. 

I always pick up several tidbits of information that I can use to help my clients and students.  But at the end of it all, I try to look back and think about the real important things I learned.

I usually just note them somewhere in my journal.  But this year I’m sharing them with you.  Perhaps you will benefit from them as well…

1.  Social Media isn’t all that
I’ve had a hunch about this personally for several months now.  But this conference confirmed it.  Social media is just talking on the Internet.  It’s not something you can really control, nor is it all that important.  Don’t ignore it, but let it happen naturally.  What happens, happens.

Don’t get me wrong.  Social media is amazing.  It’s here to stay.  But it’s just talking online.  It’s faster, it’s constant.  But it’s still just talking.

2.  Content is still king
Want to succeed online?  Create quality content.  Simple as that.  Yet, it’s as hard as that.  Creativity and serving others is the name of the game.  Serving others goes a long way, too.

As I always say… (Create + Serve) x Community = Money

3.  Video online is about to EXPLODE
Mobile phones and tablets with apps are growing at an alarming rate.  Watching online video on your TV is about to break loose too. 

Seriously, folks.  I sat on a couch and used Google TV for about a half-hour and it was ground-breaking.  I’ve seen a glimpse of the future of TV and I loved it.  It’s apps, it’s search, it’s on-demand, it’s the Internet and it’s awesome.  Obviously, not everyone will replace their TV (or buy a Google TV box) in the next 12 months.  But they will eventually.

Along these same lines, I asked a great question to three or four podcasters that have been at it for several years.  I asked: What was the thing that grew your audience the most?  They all said that it was not something they did, but an advance in technology.  The growth of iPhones, a new distribution opportunity, etc.

Get it?  You’ve just got to be there when the next big thing comes.  Start now.  Google TV, Apple TV, and just general increased access of video is coming and it’s coming quickly. 

Blog World Expo was like the weather man to me.  It’s coming!  The dark clouds are overhead.  It’s time to plant the seeds and watch the rain pour down to make your audience grow.

4.  Online audio and video is not getting “downloaded”
People are not “syncing” their iPod or iPhone.  (I do.  But apparently no one else does.) 

  • They listen (or watch) it live on their computers in the background. 
  • They listen to it in their car while it is streaming to their phone. 
  • They listen on their tablet while doing laundry, cooking, etc.

5.  Live broadcasting is not all that
This one surprised me.  In general, people are not all that interested in watching or listening to things that are live.  They want good content.  It typically does not matter if it is live.

6.  Social Media can be done by a team
For larger companies, a great illustration was used with regard to handling social media.  One speaker used the example of a sports team.  Every team has players, but also a coach and owner.  The coach (or coaching staff) prepares, trains, and coordinates the players.  But each player is responsible to play his role.

7.  Monetizing content is still difficult
Several presenters agreed.  Unless you have gained huge numbers of followers, advertisers don’t jump on board.  The best way to monetize your content is to sell your own content to your audience.  E-books, premium content, and private paid communities all work best.

8.  Apps are the next big thing
I’ve heard this a lot, but never really understood why until now.  Here are some of the great reasons I now understand.

  • They are easily available on phones
  • They are the primary tool of tablets
  • They are coming on television
  • They present content much better than HTML
  • They monetize easily
  • They integrate well with location-based activities
  • They are simple to create, change, and fix

9.  Bloggers and Podcaster are friendly & helpful
I am always amazed at how humble, kind, and friendly these people are, even when they are rich or famous.  (Most aren’t.)  They are true entrepreneurs at heart and want to help others in the same situation.

10.  Social Media Consultants look clicky
I hate to end this top ten list with a negative.  But it does seem as if anyone that is a thought leader in the world of social media looks and talks a certain way.  They all preach to just “be genuine” and “be passionate”.  Most all of them are very interesting and intelligent.  But they do seem to look alike, stick together, and use profanity freely. 

Many individuals look up to them.  But it’s not very appealing to some of the business people that I talked to.  Then again, I think that’s all part of it.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Ok, so this post is a lot longer than I thought it would be.  In fact, it’s now after midnight in Vegas (which is 3:20 AM EST).  But I hope you find this interesting.

Blog World Expo is a very unique experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone that creates any form of content online.

Thank you to all the organizers, presenters, and attendees that made it so interesting for me personally.

Video Blogging 101 with Steve Garfield

Over the past few months, I keep seeing the name Steve Garfield (of www.SteveGarfield.com).

I just finished enjoying his book “Get Seen” which was a fantastic run-down of the tips and tricks of online video.  (It’s a great book if you’re thinking of getting involved in doing video and posting it online.)

During this year’s Blog World Expo, I happened to bump into him a few times and even got the chance to thank him for the hard work he must have put into writing the book.

He also gave a session entitled Video Blogging 101 that I attended.

Steve seems to have a pleasant personality and it comes through in his videos and his presentations in person.  He talked positively about his mom’s blog and her “I can’t open it” video series.

He also gave some nice tips on video equipment.  He recommended the Zi8 Kodak camera, the Photojodo wide angle lens for iPhone, the LED simalight, and the Sennheiser shotgun mic.  All of these are nice products for producing quick videos as bloggers.

He also mentioned Music Alley for finding music that you can use in your videos.

Steve, if you’re reading this…  Thanks for the tips… and for your book.

If you are not Steve, please go buy his book.  You won’t regret it.