Archive for January, 2010

What About Auto Traffic Exchanges?

Traffic exchanges are an easy and affordable way to put eyeballs on your websites. You already know you can get great results from manual traffic exchanges like Soaring4Traffic and ProClickExchange. People sometimes ask me about “autosurfs” or auto traffic exchanges. I own manual exchanges, so I’m biased, I’ll say that straight out, but here is my take on auto traffic exchanges.

Most people want to use autosurfs because less work is required to use them. Sites are rotated automatically on a fixed timer for your viewing pleasure. You don’t have to click surf icons to view the next site and earn credit; your account is credited automatically with each new site. In fact, you don’t even have to sit and watch the sites go by either. That’s the big draw of autosurfs. You turn them on and forget them. Now, that can save the traffic exchange user some serious time. Turn on a few autosurfs, then concentrate on writing email copy, working on a new splash page or making a few phone calls. Advertise, earn advertising credits, and work all at the same time! Autosurfs are fantastic for multitasking. Or are they?

The main draw of using an autosurf is the automation of the site rotation. Why is automation attractive? It frees you up to do other things. If you are doing other things, you aren’t viewing the sites. So you don’t see the sites, big deal. You still earn credits, and that’s what you need, so you can keep your site in rotation, right? What is the main goal of using a traffic exchange? Earning credits is important, but credits are useless if your sites rotate on computer screens that nobody is watching. You want to show your site to people who need your products and services, to people who will opt-in to your email list. If you aren’t watching the sites rotate, who do you think would?

But hey, like I said, I’m biased, so put it to the test yourself. Track your results in the autosurfs. Compare the results to what you get in manual traffic exchanges. Heck, compare them to your results everywhere else you advertise. You should know what kind of return you get from your various promotional efforts.

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HubSpot TV – How to Fail at Social Media


HubSpot TV is LIVE every Friday at 4:00pm EST. Watch the show in real-time at www.hubspot.tv and chat with us via Twitter.

Episode #76 – January 22, 2010
(Episode Length: 24 minutes, 3 seconds)

Intro

Doing it Right

Headlines

Twitter User Growth Slowing

  • Twitter User Growth Slowed From Peak of 13% in March 2009 to 3-5% in October
  • In October 2009 the Twitter user base grew 3.5% – robust growth for most web applications, but far below the 13% growth in users Twitter experienced in March 2009.*
  • Today the average Twitter account has 300 followers; in July, it had 70
  • The average account now follows 173 accounts; in July it was only following 47
  • The average account today has posted 420 updates; in July that number was 119
  • Marketing Takeaway: Twitter is just one of many social media channels.  Diversify!

How to Fail at Social Media

  • How to Fail at B2B Social Media
  • Siloed Social Media Practitioners – No matter if you work internal for the company or are providing social media services through an agency or as a consultant, you must be connected to the rest of the marketing or communications team.
  • Lack of Engagement – After establishing accounts on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, you only tweet out your own content. You set up automated tools to gradually grow your followers, but you do not engage with them.
  • Rely Only on Social Media – Continue to invest in traditional communications, but always include links to social sites to build those communities. A customer who is a heavy Facebook user will notice a Facebook logo on your printed catalog and become a fan.
  • Don’t Give It Enough Time – Building a community takes time and making drastic, knee-jerk changes too quickly without allowing natural growth will ensure your failure.
  • Marketing Takeaway – Social media is a PART of your inbound marketing strategy. Create good content and use social media to help you promote it.

Marketers Shifting Budget from Outbound to Inbound

  • 84% of Marketers to Shift Portion of Direct Marketing Budgets to Social Media
  • 66% of marketers plan to invest in social media over the next 12 months, but only 36% plan to monitor and analyze the success-or failure-of their efforts
  • 84% of Marketers are shifitng a portion of thier direct marketing (outbound) budgets to social media (inbound)
  • Marketing Takeaway: Make sure you are re-allocating your budget and efforts regularly, based on results.

Forum Fodder

  • From Cynthie at www.Inbound.orgHow can I get my baby boomer clients to interact with us more through Twitter or Facebook?
    We do a lot of work with what we call “Active Adults”, “Active Seniors”, or “Super Seniors”. Ages ranging from 55-95. Most are okay with email now, which has improved in the last 5 years. Some are starting to look at FB.
  • Community answers: Add links to your different social media profiles to make it easy for them to find you
  • Why do you want to make them do this?
  • Maybe try educating them in a seminar, video or article?

Marketing Tip of the Week: Don’t put your eggs all in one basket. Make sure you have a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy.

Closing

Video: How to Use Social Media to Manage Your Company Brand Online

social-media-brand-presense Learn how to use social media to manage your company brand.

Download the free video and learn how to manage your company brand effectively using social media.







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“You won 1000 credits!” Right …

There you are, surfing your best traffic exchanges, and on the surf bar pops up, “You’ve won 1000 credits!” You get all excited, dreaming of what you are going to do with the time it would take you to earn 1000 credits, when you click the link and see a page that has nothing to do with traffic exchange credits. How do you feel? Are you going to read that page? Would you buy from that page?

Text link ads on the traffic exchange surf bar can be great exposure since everyone must pay attention to the surf bar when viewing sites. Now, getting someone to actually click on a text link ad is a real art. Some people, however, are so afraid that no one will click on their link that they decide to be somewhat deceptive about it. Rather than entice you to view their offer, they decide to trick you into viewing their offer.

Now, some people might call that a brilliant marketing strategy. I mean, you need people to click the link to view your offer, and you got them to click, so mission accomplished, right? Well, maybe. While you do need people to click the link to view your offer, the main objective of your text link ad is to make a sale or gain an opt-in. How likely is that to happen if the link they clicked has nothing to do with the page that they are presented?

Advertising requires some creativity. There are creative ways to write a text link ad that makes someone want to click on it. There can be a very fine line between creative enticement and outright lying though. One can get you what you want, the other, maybe not so much.

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How Brian Halligan’s Puzzle Box Turned Into the Marketing Equivalent of Pandora’s Box


Have you ever felt that you’d unintentionally opened the marketing equivalent of Pandora’s box and that, when opened, all the toils and trouble of Outbound Marketing were unleashed on you relentlessly?

Recently Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, received a promotional item in the mail, a puzzle box containing a $50.00 bill. A puzzle box, also called a secret or trick box, can only be opened through some obscure series of manipulations. The $50 was Brian’s incentive to open it and claim the prize.

The initial interest was high and caught the team’s attention. Brian and a group of his employees discussed different tactics. At this point, the promotional item (provided by an international training company we’ve chosen not to name) proved to be effective. The $50 incentive got people thinking about the box and spending a large amount of time trying to solve its mysteries.

Then the calls began.

The first call from the sender of the box was understandable. They wanted to know if we were successful in opening the puzzle box and also, if we were interested in their services. We told them thank you for the box, but that we did not need their services at the present time.

However, the incessant calling and other follow up messages did not stop. What began as a thought provoking experience, ended on a negative note. We now associate the puzzle box, at best, with bribery. “Have fun. Get the cash. Now, you owe us something.” 

In the original telling of Pandora’s box, Pandora is given a jar as a gift from Zeus who instructs her to keep it closed or pay the consequences. Pandora, who was a curious woman, decides to open the jar. When she does, it unleashes the all the ills and disease on to the world. At the bottom of the jar, however, lay hope.

The theory behind Inbound Marketing is that processes such as cold calling are no longer effective; people are tired of being interrupted with traditional outbound marketing messages. At HubSpot, our hope is that we can change the way businesses market to their prospects and help them generate more leads through Inbound marketing methods.

Had the sender stopped after initial contact, the conversation may have lead to some type of professional relationship. Now all that’s left is a negative connotation.

In the end, Brian decided that the only thing to do was send the puzzle box and $50.00 back along with a request that they stop calling.

Have you ever been on the recieving end of a Pandora’s Box promotion? What would you have done?

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Whiteboard Friday – Optimizing Topic Pages

Posted by great scott!

This week we’re pleased to welcome Marshall Simmonds, CEO of Define Search Strategies and Chief Strategist for the New York Times, to Whiteboard Studios. Whether or not to use topic pages–and how to use them effectively–is a topic of some debate in the SEO world. Well, who better to ask about it than the guy in charge of SEO strategy for the NYT and About.com, two of the topic page-iest sites on the web?

If you’re using a topic page strategy, or you’ve considered it, watch this week’s Whiteboard Friday. Marshall breaks down how and when they can be effective, pros and cons, as well as expenses and advantages to the strategy.

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ReTweet This to Win One of 3 Apple iPad Tablets from @HubSpot


Who doesn’t love sexy gadgets? And perhaps the most anticipated new one since the iPhone is the Apple tablet, to be announced today.
We also love you guys, our customers, and our fans, so to celebrate not only the release of what is sure to be an amazing computer, but also how awesome you all are, we’re going to give away 3.
Yep, that’s right, 3 of the nicest Apple tablets that get announced today will be given out to 3 random people who ReTweet this post, using the ReTweet button below.
Sound good? Well, get Tweeting!







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