Monthly Archives: July 2010

Managing the Mix with Rich Media and Personalization

To continue our theme of our recent Webinar Wednesdays event (Post-Event and Follow Up Activities), we sent our participants a personalized Replay Wrap-Up of the entire series of four webinars.   We personalized an ExactTarget email with a PURL (personalized URL) using the participant’s email address.

By displaying the replays in an ExactTarget landing page, we enabled our participants to select from any presentation without entering their guest book data.   As each page is personalized with the participant’s attributes, their profile information is automatically updated in the presentation guest book.   As a result, multiple replays were viewed by our participants and we achieved a 24% open rate.   The addition of the PURL also improved click through rates much earlier than clicks on past replay emails.  

In addition, we provide mobile triggers (QR codes and SMS commands) for the participants to launch the mobile version of the webinar replay.   Webinar Resources has recently launched Mobile Replay.   You can learn more about these solutions at the link below.

Connect with Customers Wherever They Are and Whenever their Mobile Device is On

Strategic Use of Social Network Applications

I’ve previously written a blog series on how to get the most out of your online content in which I focused mainly on technology and social media and how it can help leverage your content to a larger audience. You can also get more exposure for your content by thinking strategically about social network applications.

We all know about the social media applications that are meant for a general audience such as Facebook and Twitter. If you have a wide variety of hobbies and interests as I do, you may be aware that many web sites that cater to a niche audience engage in community building by incorporating social network applications into their web sites such as personal blogs.

I supply blog posts and articles for several web sites, a magazine, and two e-newsletters. When I’m deciding on what topic to write about, I often will choose subject matter that is appropriate for more than one channel. Here is an example: I recently joined Weight Watchers. The Weight Watchers web site includes an online community and each member gets a blog for sharing his or her thoughts on food, health, fitness and other suitable topics. I have been writing a blog series for the Route 66 Association of Missouri called Fit and Healthy on Route 66 in which I describe my experiences on hiking and biking trails on or near historic Route 66. It seems logical that Weight Watchers members might also want to read these, so I’ve been posting excerpts from my articles on my Weight Watchers blog with a link back to the full article on the Route 66 Association of Missouri blog site. With very little extra effort, I’ve gained another link which is always valuable, and increased the potential audience for my content.

Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish online, whether it’s personal, business-related or both, growing your audience will help you reach your goals, so use your multi channel mix to seize opportunities to do so whenever you can.

Who is in control of your online reputation?

Several years ago I started a web site called John’s Modern Cabins News as a personal project. The purpose of this site is to help along historic preservation efforts on Route 66, on of my personal passions. To that end, the site contains preservation news, suggested actions, a directory of promotional resources, and a free directory for historic businesses on Route 66 to help them get more exposure and thus stay vital and open.

I’ve recently relaunched the site because I have added an online form provided by Webinar Resources to make it easier for business owners to send me their information if they want to be in the directory. To promote the relaunch one of the things I’m doing is sending postcards to businesses that I think would be appropriate for inclusion. For some of the businesses I’ve have to search online for their street address – while doing that I noticed something interesting.

Quite a few of the businesses I searched for have web sites, but their web sites did not always come up first in the search results. In many cases review web sites such as Trip Advisor were the first result shown. Why would review web sites be first in the search results over the businesses’ own web site?

One possible reason is that the nature of review sites is that they have a lot of content that is frequently updated. Search engines are known to favor such sites. Also, the more incoming links a site has, the more search engines will like it. A high profile site such as Trip Advisor is likely to have a lot of incoming links, so in order for a site to rank above it, a number of incoming links are needed to stay competitive. You don’t necessarily need more links than Trip Advisor, but you need enough for your incoming links plus other factors such as your title tags and site content to lift your site above the review sites.

Why is this important? Well, some of the reviews I read of the businesses I was searching for were not favorable. If someone reads a negative review before they even get to see your web site, that is bad news. There is no guarantee that the reviews are fair either. I read some reviews of businesses that I’ve patronized myself that in no way reflect my own experience.

Because you can’t control what other people say about you, you have to take charge of your own online reputation. Search for your own business name if you haven’t for awhile to see what people are saying about you. Be visible in as many channels as possible by strategically planning your multi channel mix. Make use of social network applications in addition to your own web site. Take advantage of every free link you can get. Push those review sites farther down the page so that people can at least get a good first impression of you before they read something negative!