At the dawn of the Internet, the focus by advertisers was on broad, mass appeal advertising. Brands were consumed with generic level keywords and dominating positions around these terms was the sole focus of many companies – and make no mistake, it worked well for those fortunate enough to dominate the search landscape. Over time, things have changed….Web users are savvier, they don’t want generic answers, they want specific answers. This scenario has created a world of opportunity for advertisers who can now more firmly focus on a niche rather than just a broad based objective.

A focus that I feel adds value to brands is understanding what their identity is and truly defining their demographic. By working to segment your target audiences and understanding how they engage with your product offering or service, smart marketers are able to offer different channels for prospects to enter and engage. For example, if you run a company that provides repair services to cell phones, you need to find customers who need this service. You break down the needs around different demographics and create funnels for the consumers to enter. I always feel semantics play a large part in driving the right targeted traffic. In many cases, we recommend setting up several different websites with very specific niche focuses to entice customers to engage.

The Internet is a large, ever growing playing field. The more real estate you have on the Web, the more chance you have of being found. The ability to focus in on a niche and dominate the niche while expanding that same process across to your other demographics will provide you with a campaign strategy that outpaces your competition.

One of the most difficult things to do is revive a dead brand, but I have to give Yahoo credit for doing everything they can to make it happen. I recall the days that Yahoo was the champion of the search space and “the” place to go for online news. They were the success story coming in and pulling away the market share from AOL in the early days of the online revolution. Somewhere along the way, Google came in and with little advertising or fanfare blew away Yahoo into an afterthought.

Yahoo went through some very lean times and made a bold move in bringing Google royalty, Marissa Mayer, on board to turn the company around. Yahoo also added the purchase of Tumblr to stay current and find a way to stay with the pack in regards to innovation. But, have any of these changes and innovations actually helped increase market share or, more importantly, boost interest in their advertising product? Not in my eyes.

Rankings and advertising on Yahoo are seen as a secondary channel compared to Google. Google continues to be the place for people to go to find things, and I always view Google advertising as having more “proactive” consumers…people who do searches with the intent of making a purchase. Yahoo’s belief is you come in for the news with Katie Couric and you stay for ads – but will it work? Likely not, but hats off to Yahoo for trying; with big salaries like Mayer and Couric and billion dollar purchases like Tumblr, the reality is Yahoo has likely positioned itself for a horrific and epic fall.There will be a day someone will knock Google off its perch and gain the market share in the search space but that company won’t be Yahoo. Katie Couric Image

Will Yahoo! Adding Katie Couric revitalize their brand?

Photo Courtesy of the Washington Post

Growing up in the 80′s, the holiday gift buying season seemed to start only a few weeks before Christmas and I could hardly wait for those first holiday related commercials to start airing after Thanksgiving. Nowadays, holiday commercials are starting before Halloween. With the advertising change, the gift buying process has evolved immensely. The craziness of Black Friday has been curtailed as Cyber Monday has been ushered in as one of the largest drivers of holiday sales.

Some of the biggest changes that have occurred with holiday shopping have manifested the last few years. Last year, Walmart did a tremendous job leveraging social media with their “Walmart Elves” providing real-time updates of products and monitoring the shortages and missteps of other retailers to engage and entice potential buyers. This was a huge success for Walmart. This year, it is expected that most large retailers will utilize the same sort of process to attract customers through the chaos of what Black Friday has become.

Holiday Shopping Image

The Joys of Black Friday Shopping Last Year
Photo Courtesy of Fox News

It’s not just big retailers who are taking advantage of social media and online efforts to tap into potential customers. Their continues to be a trend of smaller e-commerce only retailers doing their best to leverage different shopping channels to provide lower cost products to have customers make initial purchases on “loss leaders” with the hope that they stay to buy other products. Additionally, these purchases now become prospects that they can continue to market to over the course of the year.

When you look hard at the changes in holiday shopping over the past decade and how many consumers now do their gift buying online, it’s interesting to contemplate the changes that the next decade will bring us. Who would have imagined 10 years ago that you could do holiday shopping via your mobile phone or be able to see real-time sales via sites like Twitter and Facebook? Who would have thought you could avoid the long lines and rushing around by simply sitting back on your computer and waiting for your boxes from Amazon and other retailers to arrive at your door step?

I for one embrace the changes to our digital society, but I will admit to reminiscing a bit about the anticipation of waiting to see the old J.C. Penney catalog arrive in the mail.

Ken Wisnefski – the president and founder of WebiMax –was featured in Sunday’s edition of the Courier Post. In the article, our boss spoke of taking lessons from his past to sculpt the ideology of our company. Because of his experience, he was able to chart a path that ensured WebiMax would not only provide a great work atmosphere at the office, but a great return on the marketing investments of our clients.

Of course, the aforementioned article got me thinking about how important the past of content efforts is for businesses. In fact, I thought of three key points that every company should utilize to increase the value of their content marketing initiatives.

 

1. Learn from your mistakes – Not every piece of content produced by your blog, uploaded to your product page, or distributed as a press release is going to be a home run. It’s how a person reacts to the duds along the way that will help determine success or failure.

Instead of shrugging your shoulders, ask yourself why a piece of content didn’t work. Did your blog answer the questions of your client base? Was your product page visually appealing to your target audience? Did it provide useful and unique text? Did it funnel towards a conversion page? Was your press release truly newsworthy? By answering these questions, you can avoid making the same mistakes twice.


2. Stop Repeating Yourself –
There are always ways to be unique. While many blogs and webpages will focus on particular keywords, you would be amazed by how many different angles you can take with just a little bit of creativity.

Even if you had success with a topic in the past, don’t beat it into the ground. For example, instead of a car dealership posting five blogs covering the different questions to ask a used car dealer, they should vary the text with vehicle profiles, safety tips, common repairs that can be done from home, things to listen for on test drives, and more. When you repeat yourself, you bore your audience. Competition is fierce; uniqueness will help you stand out from the pack.


3. Capitalize on Successes – When monitoring spikes in traffic, our experts will often attribute those spikes to fresh content. When your traffic begins to plateau, it’s important to update your text. Freshness is essential in Internet marketing. Keeping your online presence timely and relevant will not only impress your audience, but assure the search engines that your site offers more value to searchers than your competitors.

Whether your content past is a point of pride or the reason you sought out this blog for advice, the information you can obtain by looking back is invaluable. Just as my boss looked back to move this company forward, so should you with your content marketing strategy.

WebiMax Founder & CEO Kenneth Wisnefski will be appearing on HuffPost Live momentarily with Winklevoss Capital founders Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss, HuffPost Tech Editor Bianca Bosker and Hukkster Founders Erica Bell & Katie Finnegan.

Click HERE to check it out live now!

UPDATE:

View the entire HuffPost Live segment, “Tech Game Changers” featuring Ken Wisnefski below:



As expected, social media is on fire this morning and will continue throughout the day as both President Obama and Governor Romney secure their votes from the American people.  Both candidates have a strong social media presence but it appears the incumbent has a slightly larger lead on Twitter, evidenced by the amount of activity and trending topics that involve Obama and not Romney.

I was speaking with the Washington Post yesterday describing the major role that social media will play on Election Day and it seems to be coming true.  Arguing that President Obama seems to have a stronger social media influence is evidenced today by the fact that 3 out of 10 trending hashtags on Twitter involve President Obama while none represent the Romney / Ryan ticket.  What’s more, President Obama is even running a sponsored and promoted initiative today through Twitter.  This could indicate positive news for the President as Governor Romney has an inferior presence on Twitter today.

An infographic by OpenSite designed to show the impact of social media and the Election indicates that this year, 4 out of 5 adults will gather their election news through the internet.  It furthermore explains that 53 percent of adults will fact-check claims made by both candidates online this year.  The most staggering number is the fact that 40 percent of eligible voters will use social media to help them make their decision this year on who to vote for.  Given these statistics and the current influence of President Obama, he looks to have an advantage.

CNN has one of the better live election maps and is tracking the votes all day as they come in.  NBC News provides a comprehensive 2012 Election Book that includes statistics, battleground map, advertising spending and more.  FOX News also provides a live election map including up to the minute updates from the polls.