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The Effects of Social Media on the Top 100 Brands

As some of you know – and now all of you know – I’m writing a book on online reputation management and a big part of that is about utilizing social media. So, I’m excited to share with you Immediate Future’s “The Top 100 Brands in Social Media” study of which brands are most benefiting from social media.

The study looked at the Interbrand Top 100 global brands for 2006 and then reviewed each for their involvement in social media channels such as:

  • The “blogosphere” as a whole
  • Social networks Bebo and MySpace
  • Video sharing site YouTube
  • Photo sharing sites Flickr and Photobucket
  • Social bookmarking sites del.icio.us and ma.gnolia 
  • Social editorial site Digg

Share of Voice

Shine a Light on Cloaked Links

So I’m sitting here listening to some old school jams, reading my daily mundane marketing RSS feeds, and preparing something to put me out of my misery. But wait, what is this? A blog post, and not an article, that is more useful than any article I have read in a month (or longer)?

I’ve covered link cloaking before. It’s usually not hard to spot. Those that do it usually do so in excess. While discussing SearchEngineWorld.com and possible link cloaking David Naylor brings to light that Google is showing site => redirect => site links compared to Yahoo only showing site => site links with a backlink check.

Can Online Video Advertising Really Reach $4.3B by 2011?

eMarketer is predicting a huge surge in online video advertising spending over the next four years, with this year’s $775 million growing to $4.3 billion by 2011. While the number sounds impressive, it will account for just 10% of all internet advertising and will be a fraction of the $46.3 billion spent on TV advertising by 2011.

Business Week explains why online video ads will grow so easily.

It’s after 2011 that the floodgates will really open, says eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman. By then, the distinction between television and Web video will be so blurred that advertisers will begin directing more of their marketing budgets to the online version. “All you have to do is take a few percentages off of a TV advertiser’s typical budget and that is going to be a large amount of money,” says Hallerman.

The Problem With Measuring Time Spent on a Web Site

Nielsen/NetRatings is going to dump page views as an official measurement of web site popularity and instead start measuring the total time spent by visitors on a web site.

“Based on everything that’s going on with the influx of Ajax and streaming, we feel total minutes is the best gauge for site traffic,” said Scott Ross, director of product marketing at Nielsen. “We’re changing our stance on how the data should be” used.

Nielsen will still provide page view figures but won’t formally rank them. Ross said page view remains a valid gauge of a site’s ad inventory, but time spent is better for capturing the level of engagement users have with a site.

Consumers Taking 180% as Long to Convert

MarketingSherpa reports today that on average consumers are taking 34 hours from click to conversion. That’s up from 19 hours—180% as long as their original study in 2005 indicated. The full report on time to conversion is expected tomorrow from ScanAlert.

As MarketingSherpa President Anne Holland noted, this finding indicates how important it is for marketers to mearsure longer conversion cycles than just click-buy.

Noting that every page is a landing page these days, MarketingSherpa also offered four suggestions to improve the conversion cycle:

  1. Add “About Us” blurbs to every conceivable entry point
  2. Grab emails early on — before the shopping cart
  3. Content: give more product info than the competition does
  4. Exclusive here-only bonuses

How to Double Your Online Sales Without Any Marketing!

Ok, did that headline draw you in? Good!

Marketing Sherpa (via e-consultancy) has some advice for all e-commerce web sites – 48% of potential customers are bailing on their purchase at the checkout stage!

While some of these customers can’t be salvaged, many are likely abandoning their purchase due to reasons you have control over. I’ve worked with lots of companies that have asked for SEO and marketing advice, yet the first step is always to look at the usability of the site and the checkout process. I’ve told many clients, doubling your search engine traffic is often a lot harder than doubling your conversion rate!

Be Leery of Social Media & UGC: They Just Might Work!

Many a marketer contemplates using user-generated content and other forms of social media. Despite evidence of truly good UGC campaigns, marketers continue to express doubt about the usefulness of UGC and social media.

Studies show marketers and consumers doubt UGC and social media
The E-Commerce Times reports today on a JupiterResearch study released Saturday. The study stated that “The majority of online shoppers who have used social and community sites while researching and purchasing do not believe that such sites affected their purchase decisions, and few online shoppers said they spend incrementally more due to their use of social and community sites.”

JupiterResearch analyst Patty Freeman Evans told the E-Commerce Times: