Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Forums are back!....and making big bucks.

You may think chatrooms and forums are a thing of the past but think again. With the big boom in social networking in the past year and web 2.0 in the near future, forums may make a comeback. A blog post I recently read gave four reasons why forums may be the way to go to create a website that pays. The post first pointed out that forums work best for hobby related websites, where visitors already share a since of camaraderie. In addition to creating value and relevant content that keeps visitors coming back forums have the following advantages...

  • Allows interaction of visitors between each other

  • Increases retention of traffic therefore relying less on search engines

  • Increase new traffic from search engines from long tail search key terms

  • Allows better feedback from your visitors & interaction to get suggestions to improve or offer new services to safeguard its long term future.

So if you have a website based around people who love to congregate, such as pet products, sports, or even a restaurant, creating a forum may be the way to increase traffic.

For more information on how to draw traffic to your website get ahold of me at

Friday, April 13, 2007

Some May Say the Internet is The Devil, One Church Calls it a Miracle.

I was always taught in college that advertising dollars should not all be spent on one advertising medium. "It is about finding the right combination of mediums,"my professors would preach, but the more I learn about the internet the more I am doubting my professors understanding of today's advertising world.

This article spoke about a church that increased it's congregation by 277% in just 18 months with just $11,500. They used a combination of billboards, direct mail and internet. But the article also stated that their website traffic increased 73% in the first month, making the site the deciding conversion factor in the mix. Sure most of this spike in traffic was due to the people seeing the outdoor and direct mail advertising, but it was ultimately their visit to the website that got them to attend.

So in some sense my professors were right, you can never really go wrong by using multiple mediums, but the internet is the best medium, in my opinion, for conversion into sales. If the internet can convert passersby on the highway into one huge congregation, what can combining the internet with portable mediums do? Very soon our cell phones will be a huge advertising medium. Once this happens advertising will be extremely personal and internet advertising will be in people's faces 24/7. Will you really still need other advertising mediums?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why The Future Is Now.....And We Should All Be Skurred

I have been reading a lot lately about new technologies and I am finding more and more that my mom was right "anything is possible." "You're going to see a lot of interesting stuff happen in 2007," says Mobot vice president Kevin Wells. He's partnering with wireless carriers on movie promotions that let you snap a pic of a movie poster and instantly get show times and trailers for that flick, right on your phone.

What? I have used my phone to get movie times before but it was never as simple as taking a picture. Texting is great and all but I must admit it is getting old. I have to agree that taking pictures is much more fun that typing and the idea of using picture recognition technology in everyday is pretty cool. Just as my parents generation are buying their first digital camera, my generation is running around taking pictures of posters with our phones and having it tell us how many steps until were at the theatre entrance. This is kind of disturbing to me. If I'm the old lady walking around still taking pictures on a 1.6oz camera phone of the sky to find out when my husbands drivable plane will land so we can head back to our smart home, what will my grandkids be doing? SCARY!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Coolest Thing Since Legos and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I read this article yesterday in Business 2.0 and was amazed at the way our world can become so much simpler. I have always thought putting money in a parking meter, finding music online and using a homepage to search the Internet were fairly simple tasks, but they are about to be even easier.

The one disruptive technology that I immediately decided to check out was I haven't stopped playing since (I mean finding new things online is my job right?) But seriously this site is completely customizable and I haven't found something that is impossible yet. This start page is also at the forefront for displaying and participating in user generated content. "Krim also is taking full advantage of the move to user-generated content, and devoted Netvibers are at the heart of the site's growth and development"

One downfall at least for my industry is that there are no typical web ads. "Prizing customer loyalty as a means to growth, Netvibes is instead working with partners that offer sponsored services. A mobile-phone company, for example, can offer free SMS in order to get a branding buzz." Could this be big trouble for the small online advertising firm? Or will Web 2.0 open more doors?

Cell Phones As Shopping Carts?...Where will the kids ride?

I am very intrigued by the new Datamatrix barcodes beginning to be used in China. The new barcodes placed on billboards and other types of print ads, allow people to take a picture of the code with their cell phone and then be directed to more information about the product. This can range from being taken to the stores website to viewing an entire movie trailer. The idea behind the barcode is to allow the ad viewer to appreciate the ad without a bunch of words and then create a call to action by directing them to a website From the studies done so far, there seems to be little valid interest in the technology due to the infiltration of bothersome mobile marketing and social norms. You will never see me standing in the middle of the road taking pictures of billboards. But with the new technologies emerging, such as digital window shopping at Ralph Lauren NYC I do see other, more acceptable uses for this technology...

One marketing ploy that I definitely would enjoy is the option of mobile shopping in a store. I often find myself wandering around a store thinking about buying all of things that I cant afford until payday. If I was able to go shopping with my cell phone in hand and take pictures of the things I wanted, have them stored on my phone until payday, and then reminded on payday with an option to have the product on my doorstep in three days, I would most likely make a purchase every payday. You may say there would be no need to go back to the store if you had everything available on your phone, but window shopping is not fun for all. I personally hate shopping when I know I cannot buy anything due to lack of funds. It is the worst kind of torture. So being able to shop when I have time and not feel guilty about maxing out credit cards would be incredible. Friday would never come fast enough. Of course there are obstacles such as payment security, privacy issues and distribution execution but imagine the benefits.

What woman would see that big red purse she had been eyeballing for an hour last Tuesday, pop up on her phone Friday at five o'clock with a special loyal customer price tag, and not purchase it? Am I crazy or could this actually work?