Ad agencies cut. Service partners help stop the bleeding.

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Advertising agencies have gone under the knife and have surgically removed whole limbs and major organs just to keep afloat during this recession. Creative and production departments have taken big hits and many agencies are now so short staffed that they are forced to hire outsiders to help deploy advertising campaigns for their clients. According to Clickz.com, ad agencies are outsourcing more production work to outside sources because these providers are able to offer the “new, now and next” offerings that ad agencies just can’t keep up with. It’s evidence that it is becoming more and more difficult to be a one-stop-shop for both traditional and digital offerings. Could this be the wave of the future for ad agencies? Perhaps. However, I have seen this trend of contraction during tough times before. Inevitably, agencies bounce back and start hiring in-house staff to stop the blood flow.

Branding your company with micro blogging

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According to a recent New York Times article small businesses are utilizing micro blog technology like Twitter in lieu of advertising and marketing campaigns. According to the article, “small businesses typically get more than half of their customers through word of mouth, he said, and Twitter is the digital manifestation of that.” By microblogging, small businesses can broadcast deals and offers to loyal customers and those just interested in their business. Location based services like LA based Kogi and Coolhaus can tell their customers where they will be on any given summer day in the city of angels. I think the increase of small businesses is also due to the fact that business owners often don’t have time to think about marketing strategies; Twitter facilitates getting the word out. Plus, a business owner can tweet by phone app whilst ringing you up for that sushi sampler you just ordered. No need for fancy ad or flyer when you can tweet at your hearts content.

Giveaway promotion on Twitter is intelligent brand marketing.

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Want to get noticed by the masses on Twitter? Try a promotional give-away. That’s just what web-building site Moonfruit did last week by giving away 10 Macbook Pro computers everyday for 10 days in celebration of their ten year anniversary. All you had to do to enter was tweet the hashtag “#moonfruit” in a creative way from your Twitter account. You were allowed to enter as often as you wanted and the winners were chosen at random using an algorithm. Entries included stories, videos, songs and artwork. The massive turnout got so big, at one point Moonfruit was averaging 300 tweets per minute. On the seventh day of the promo, Twitter even threatened to ban them because of all the traffic, but eventually let them finish up their campaign without a glitch. The promotion got kudos from Mashable and Brand Republic and #moonfruit ranked as a top trending topic on Twitter for almost a week. Intelligent brand marketing? I’d say.

YouTube beefs up analytics tools for brandcasting online.

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In a recent announcement, Youtube is rolling out Youtube Insight a free reporting tool for users, advertisers and content partners who have a valid Youtube account. This interactive solution allows greater insight and information related to individual videos that are uploaded. This is good news for viral marketing and anyone trying to brand their company on Youtube. This analytics tool allows any Youtube account member to view data for any video in a slick interactive timeline and mapping format that’s intuitive and powerful. I like the fact that when you move the slider on the timeline, the information updates simultaneously on the map. Pretty cool. Statistic freaks will love that you can view data for total views, links and audience stats with the click of a button. As the creator or author of a video, you can also opt to hide this information from viewers if, say, you were launching an ad campaign and didn’t want your competition to see the results. But then again, why would you do that? Why not let your competition drool over how many hits you got and how your offline campaign boosted your viewership. Then again, if you aren’t confident that the masses will flock to your video, you may want to switch your vid to privacy mode by unchecking the button for “Make statistics and data for my videos plublicly visible by default” in the sharing and privacy section of your account information. To look under the hood and see all the bells and whistles, just click on “about this video” button under My Account > Videos, Favorites, Playlists > Manage my Videos. Happy brandcasting.

Social Media gets down to business with Twitter 101

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If you’re a business owner there’s no doubt you’ve heard that social media can help you achieve your marketing goals in a way that won’t put a hole in your cash register. What’s more, the service is a deceptively simple and easy to set up. But let’s say, for whatever reason, you just haven’t gotten around to having your business Twitterized. You can rest easy, because Twitter has just released an online Twitter 101 A Special Guide to hand hold you through the scary world of tweets, retweets (RT), hashtags (#), and @username messages. But even more than that, the guide gives you a basic understanding of what Twitter can do for your business, how businesses are using Twitter, How you can get started, Best Practices, and even Case Studies of real companies like Dell, Jet Blue, Teusner Wines, Tastidlite,  Coffee Grounds and on and on. My favorite part of the site is the Learn The Lingo section where you can learn a little history about the user generated created language that is now an integral part of Twitter. If you have a business and you haven’t gotten around to using Twitter to help increase your bottom line, you no longer have an excuse.

Suckling on boob tube increases during recession.

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According to an interesting post in Online Media Daily more Americans turn to electronic media (internet and television) during times of recession. The reasons range from having more free time on their hands, seeking an alternative to paid entertainment options, and the ever-growing need for economic information and advice. It’s interesting to note that more people who have broadband in their households get their economic information from web content whereas in households that don’t have broadband, the internet ranks third behind television and print. It’s also interesting that people are using television, print and the Internet simultaneously to get a clearer picture of the economic landscape. I fall into that category. In fact, I have CNN on right now as I multi-task between blogs and newsfeeds. But I must admit, my newspapers are still in the driveway. Who has the time?

Boone Oakley; you’re so three thousand and eight.

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Check out this cool website for Charlotte, N.C. based advertising agency Boone Oakley. Their site is part viral marketing and part website as it is built entirely on a Youtube platform. I thought SEO copywriting was the latest way to conduct online brand marketing. Apparently the next wave is Youtube channel sites. Granted, the navigation involves sliding the timeline bar and clicking on hotspots so it is a bit clunky, you still have to give the team at Boone Oakley props for taking an innovative approach to online brand marketing. When doing a search for the agency on Google, I also notice they have a social marketing strategy by having a feed on twitter, and a linkedIn page . Using Youtube is a fresh approach to branding your company online and I hope to see more of it at this level of high concept.

Bing clawing away at Yahoo market share

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When Bing came on the scene, I posted an entry suggesting that Bing was capitalizing on weaknesses of how users interact with Google’s search technology. Recent data, however, suggests that Bing may be eating into Yahoo’s market share instead. The numbers show that Bing gained.04 percent in market share while Yahoo lost .05 percent and Google held steady, neither gaining nor losing. The indication here is that Bing is giving Yahoo some heated competition. Can this mean that Yahoo may be ready to come to the table and make a deal with Microsoft? According to the rumor mill at blorge.com “An entourage of high-ranking Micrsofties have reportedly been seen strutting around Yahoo’s Sunnyvale Headquarters” .  I’ll believe it when I see it. Being a Yahoo shareholder myself, I can’t tell you how many times rumors of deal making between the two tech giants has affected stock prices and the hopes and dreams of shareholders like me. But the numbers don’t lie. Bing is experiencing an increase in web traffic and Yahoo is lagging. Sounds like deal making time to me.