Marketing Pilgrim's "Advice" Channel

Sponsor Marketing Pilgrim's Advice Channel today! Get in front of some of the most influential readers in the Internet and social media marketing industry. Contact us today!

Why Corporations Truly Need to Blog

Yesterday, we covered Reasons Why Corporate Blogging Should Succeed (in response to SEOmoz’s Reasons Why Corporate Blogging Fails). My original list was longer, but then I realized that four of the reasons I gave in that list weren’t advantages corporations have in blogging. Today we have advantages of blogging to corporations.

Online reputation management
Having a blog makes an excellent place to manage your online reputation. This damage control is the other side of the “Everyone needs to toot their own horn” from yesterday. Is your company or product being portrayed in a negative light on the news, forums or other blogs? (If you have no idea, check out our Online Reputation Management Beginners’ Guide.) A blog is a natural place to present your side of the story, to reach out to individuals and the media and to improve your image online.

Reasons Why Corporate Blogging Should Succeed

Last week, Rand Fishkin accurately identified several reasons why Fortune 500s and other large corporations can’t blog. While I found myself vehemently agreeing with everything he said, I got to the end and wanted to hear the other side of the story. (It’s a character flaw.) I thought I’d give it a shot.

If you’re a big enough brand, people are already interested in you

They’re probably talking about you. They may even be interested in what you have to say. You have a built in audience. There are about 50 million bloggers who would kill to have that.

How to Go Viral and Get Famous

MarketingSherpa’s boasting a case study on how to get famous with viral marketing in one year (available free for a limited time). The subject of the case study isn’t the type of company I think of when I think “viral marketing success”—Arbor Networks is an enterprise security software company. But they made a goal for 2006 to be their “Big Year of Fame,” and created a comprehensive viral marketing strategy to accomplish their goal.

They set three ground rules for the campaign:

#1. Don’t blow your budget on a single campaign
#2. Don’t rely entirely on one single media
#3. Look different from the rest of the pack

To comply with Rule #1, Arbor diversified their campaign to attack in various forms, including podcasting, blogging, and an online game, while still maintaining the output of their popular white papers.

The Last Word on Link Buying

V7N’s Contextual Links offering received a lot of online coverage and comments, first here on Marketing Pilgrim, then at Search Engine Journal and Matt Cutts’s blog.

The debate may rage on over the “ethical” nature of paid links. A more important subtext to that debate is the overall effectiveness of link buying as a strategy to improve search engine rankings. But now the ultimate link authority, Eric Ward, has spoken.

Eric has written a short-but-sweet article in today’s Web Marketing Today called “The Pros and Cons of Buying Links.” Eric warns against buying links to improve search rank, whether they’re “undetectable” or not. He offers three basic rules for link buying:

Take advantage of “thank you”

In response to Matt McGee’s list of the four most underutilized pages on your site, Brad Geddes at eWhisper.net blogged today on what he thinks is the most underutilized page on your website: the “Thank you” page. Brad says of “Thank you” pages:

[D]o you give someone the ability to continue to interact with your site? Or are you saying ‘Thank you very much, now go away’? Don’t just lose that customer interaction, continue to engage them towards other aspects of your website or business.

Brad’s on to something here: once you’ve acquired a lead for your business, are you taking full advantage of their interest? Do you offer them more opportunities to find what they need from you or other things that might interest them?

10 Traits of Highly Successful ECommerce Companies

[Editor's note: With this article, we're welcoming guest contributor, Gareth Davies of GSINC, to the Marketing Pilgrim team.]

How come some ECommerce websites flourish but many just drift along or even fail altogether?

Having worked with many websites that have grown to turnovers of £1m GBP (and more) we have been able to observe common traits that apply to almost all of them. As a result we have compiled our list of the ‘Top 10 traits of highly successful ECommerce companies’.

1. A clear vision and goal
They know exactly what they want to achieve. This ‘laser like focus’ helps form an unshakeable conviction and dedication to building a successful online business.

2. Patience and a long-term view
They constantly measure if they are gradually getting there. And they can live with the paradoxes in online retail. For example the Internet changes quickly but organic SEO is a relatively slow process. Every day, every week, every month gives feedback measured in many ways against targets.

3. Taking calculated risks
Taking necessary risk and being prepared to invest is key. Investment is the fuel of a business so choosing where to spend money is critical. Successful websites invest money in activities that generate growth or make them more efficient – ideally both at the same time.

4. A commitment to ‘Kaizen’ or continuous improvement
Winners know this and delight in every little enhancement they make. Whole redesigns are common every 6 – 12 months. The search engines love it. These websites never rest on their laurels because within a few weeks someone could come along and take some of their business. Which is not part of the plan.

5. Successful sites employ good advisors
No one can be expert at everything and having specialist advisors you can trust and follow (and measure results from) is essential. ECommerce does not get simpler as time goes by. Winners pay for the best advice when it comes to strategy, tactics and growing the business.

ECommerce Rocks With Video Tutorials for Web Site Owners

As you know, I’ve been consulting with Gareth Davies of the UK search marketing firm GSINC Ltd. Gareth’s background not only includes search marketing and web development, but he’s also a whiz when it comes to video production.

Seeing an opportunity to bring web marketing lessons to the masses, Gareth has thrown out the notion that all advice must be delivered by means of a 800-1000 article and decided to expand on his recent video tutorials.

We asked Gareth to provide us with a sneak peak of his new ECommerce Rocks series, which you’ll find below. This preview is just 1 minute long, but I guarantee you’ll be blown away by the production and content.