MOUNT LAUREL, NJ – Kenneth Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, the leading search engine optimization firm, announced an impressive first-half of 2012, and further indicated that “WebiMax is strengthening its processes and strategically revitalizing our products to better serve clients and continue to gain precious market share in the online marketing sector.”

According to a research study conducted by eMarketer, online advertising spending will surpass print advertising for the first time in 2012, and is projected to reach $40 billion.  Furthermore, online advertising spending is expected to reach $62 billion by 2016.

Wisnefski announced “2012 is a pivotal year for online marketers because advertisers have had some time to digest the results of other online marketing initiatives they have seen, and are starting to understand its real impact on brand visibility, and ultimately their revenue.”

WebiMax is certainly feeling the impact of a growing industry as evidenced by their success in the first half of 2012.  Revenue is up more than 5,600 percent from 2008, and the company is strengthening its balance sheet and income statement in order to further expand operations and continue to reinvest in the company including key areas of personnel and technology / innovation.  In addition, the company is on-pace to surpass 2011 revenues by a projected 150 percent.

In June, WebiMax announced the addition of Bill Slawski.  Slawski is the owner and operator of SEO by the Sea, a leading online resource for industry news, announcements, and statistics.  Mr. Slawski covers Google, Inc. and other related industry movers.  In addition, he successfully predicted the launch of Google Plus, a social networking site launched by Google in November of 2011.

In a recent company email, Wisnefski announced “Ultimately, in today’s ever competitive global market, it is very easy for businesses to fail from poor performance.  Fortunately, WebiMax has been able to leverage a growing industry and refine our processes with the changes to the global market to compete with larger and well-funded organizations. The second half of 2012 looks promising for WebiMax, as the company continues to reinvest in their core products and services and personnel.  In addition, the company has experience a 200 percent increase in new client acquisition in 2012.

About WebiMax:

Led by serial web entrepreneur Kenneth Wisnefski, WebiMax has become the leader in online marketing services, including a focus on Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Paid Search and PPC, Website Design and Development, Reputation Management, and more. The company was selected as one of America’s Most Promising Companies (2011) by Forbes Magazine and recently awarded one of Philadelphia’s Fastest Growing Companies (2012 and 2011) by the Philadelphia Business Journal.  WebiMax employs over 100 personnel in 12 offices including 8 U.S. based, and 4 International. Visit http://www.webimax.com/ for more information.

 

How many of you out there read on a regular basis?  In prior generations, the ‘newspaper’ was what most citizens could consider ‘objective’ information.  Today, some ‘news’ has changed (oh boy).

Yesterday, the pungent taste of news became more apparent.  While enjoying some local festivities, I had a chance to speak with some citizens about their interaction with news sources.

Paid?/Organic?
It’s easy to assume something offered by a major company is intellectually credible and not commercially infused.  Many people are astonished at the notion of SEO, of optimizing particular information, pushing it toward the ‘top slot’ of offered results.

One particularly bright young lady asked me about the difference in paid and organic listings.  I explained a brand could pay a search engine to list its results, and they are labeled and treated as ads.

She then began questioning me about organic listings.  I explained how my work, in part, is devoted toward helping brands get ‘ranked’ higher on particular engines, namely Google, the most popular one to date.

“So though you have the talent to write, how do you decide who you ‘help’?”

“Well, I get assigned work, so…”

“So, brands pay your agency to eventually rank?”

“Er, kind of, yes…”

I went on to explain my line of work and that of other online marketers in more detail.  But, her immediate grasp got me thinking.  Consumers do need to be hesitant about what Google or any search engine serves up.  They need to apprehend that information with a grain of salt.

The industry experienced a few tremors from the release of Panda and Penguin.  More friends are sure to follow.  The ‘need’ to release such ‘fixer-upper’ updates is an insult to the informational integrity of the Web.  Google felt like its open information source was looking more like a neglected pile of ‘junk mail’ accumulated from years of ongoing abuse.

 

Old News as New Business
Another modern-day informational concept came to my attention yesterday.  I read an article in the New York Times about the purchase of a San Diegan newspaper, the U-T San Diego.  The paper was recently bought by a local developer and hotelier.

What the Times reporter, David Carr, points out is probably on the minds of those who know a little about the new owner, as well as on the minds of more people since reading the article…the new owner has agendas, and just might use a source of ‘objective’ information to support them.

Immediately the new owner is known for being against ‘big’ government, taxes, and gay marriage.  Additionally, he wants a new football stadium in the city.  While the new owner offers lip service, ["We totally respect the journalistic integrity of our paper and there is a clear line of demarcation between our editorials and our news"] some are wary of this future intentions and use of the U-T to pursue them.

In one incident, a standing U-T sports columnist was opposed to running ‘charged’ stories related to convincing readers of the need for the new stadium.  Tim Sullivan was soon dismissed from his position.  However, recently the owner has voiced Sullivan’s lot has to do with multimedia integration and not his position on stadium politics.  As Carr reports, Sullivan’s Facebook status now reads as “on vacation,” his time with the U-T may not be done afterall.

It’s no new news that old newspaper brands are struggling to keep up with the popularity of online behavior.  However, is the new business of the news more like the above search engine dichotomy and less like the old “news”?

These days, what really constitutes organic, objectified news?

 

He did everything he was supposed to.  He sacrificed his free time to study.  He was in band, SGA, and helped at a local convalescent home.  He got rave reviews from several teachers and the principal of the high school.  But, it wasn’t enough.  A former student of mine didn’t get into his ‘A-list’ school.  He got denied, despite paying close attention to the ‘algorithms’ of the situation.

What happened?  Why, though he had it down to a ‘science,’ did my former student get denied?  I don’t know the answer.  He never found out either.  But you know what?  It is six years later; the dude’s in medical school now.  Failed algorithmic realities couldn’t outrank his fervor to make his own future.

Today, I read an article in the New York Times about the future of robo-grading.  I know some former peers are cheering.  They’re likely the same teachers who didn’t like skimming student papers for writing or logical elements.  “That’s for the English teacher!” is a far-too-oft philosophy of some.

I get a quasi-upset stomach in thinking of standardized testing as well; but, we need to judge the kids on something.  We must rank them somehow…just like your brand’s Web pages.  Google has built an algorithm, which subjectively objectively judges your page and domain worth… just like some sort of system was weighed upon my former student’s future.

“Oh come on, Anthony.  We need some sort of system to ‘make sense of things.’”  Yes, we do.  Does more standardized thinking make sense in valuing the information of others?  Google thinks so; and, so does particular academics, who champion the notion of statistic wizards hammering out a computer system that can grade papers ‘just like’ humans.

Recently, a competition took place, asking programmers to engineer a system which would predict the scores of human graders.  As mentioned in the article, the system’s predictions were very close to the human notions of graders.  There’s another competition on its way, one that will predict who, based on historical claims data, will be admitted to hospitals in the following year.

The computerized system may become a force within educational circles and districts.  Some of the notions seem viable.  The computerized system would save teacher time, mark papers, and offer additional assignments…because students are more likely to learn from computerized markings than human ones, correct?

So, this computerized system, is it any different than attempting to learn from particular textbooks, which house graded examples, answers to questions in the back, etc?  Why even host a teacher in classrooms altogether?  Do you need a marketer?  Just adhere to Google’s Webmaster guidelines…  I mean, the guidelines are written to satisfy an algorithm and not the human spirit, but…

Aren’t teachers, in part, supposed to ‘market’ the learning of their subject matter?  Wasn’t a part of my job to be an inspiration, a model, a facilitator of learning?  Did that human element contribute to the knowledge ascertained?  I would like to think so.

But, just like Google, perhaps the ‘system’ thinks it is more convenient to create algorithms to judge people and their performance, to make them rank a particular way.  Perhaps this way we can teach kids to write the ‘Penguin’ or ‘Panda’ way.

That’s what I want young people to learn, that they are only as good as the algorithm allows them to be, that their human fervor, the human spirit, can be called out like a robotically-demented Babe Ruth; but, this Babe doesn’t have time to sign any baseballs, visit sick kids in hospitals, or shake the hands of young fans.  This one is just about the ‘facts’ of the matter.

That’s how you would like your marketing progress to go as well, correct?  Never mind your consumers and the people element of marketing; an algorithm has your best interests, your best future in mind.  But in case that gives you a quasi-upset feeling, there are a few marketers who don’t mind staying ‘after school’ to help explain things to you in human terms…

 

 

I just read a story in the New York Times related to Jiffy Lube and it’s recently changed and newly-lubed marketing approach.  The oil-change brand is infusing some humor into its ads and fresh-penned tagline, “Leave worry behind.”

Ha ha, I get it, Jiffy Lube; you’re poking fun at consumer anxieties.  Good one!  I chose to write about this because the topic is fresh in my mind.  About three months ago, I brought my Jeep Wrangler  in for an oil change at a local mechanic shop.  I moved to a new area about four months ago.

When I picked up my car after the oil change, something I’ve come to almost expect (sarcastically) confronted me.  “You got a leak.  You’ll need a new water pump.”  Admittedly, I can wrap my head around ‘water’ and ‘pump’; but, I have no idea what a “water pump” does, costs, looks like, how to assess if it’s damaged, etc…

It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.  Is this mechanic taking me for a ride, especially since I’m a ‘noob,’ a new person in town?  Maybe it is paranoia, maybe it is experience, but I can’t help but ask the question…

The mechanic mentioned the job would tally over $300.  I’m just a poor writer.  I opted to let it go for a while and get other recommendations.  Two days ago, I brought my Jeep to another mechanic, my landlord’s (who is also my friend) friend.  I told him I needed another oil change and told him about the leak.

For one, he advised me that shops, that solely do minor jobs like oil changes, can ‘beat him out’ on the price of oil changes.  He charges $80.  A “jiffy” place may charge half that or a little more; they get price breaks on oil apparently.  I like having money…but I also like doing business with honest people…  I may shell out the additional $30 to $40 just because this guy was honest.

Additionally, he looked at my ‘leak.’  He did mention a slow leak but nothing I should be immediately concerned about.  I thought that was odd since the first mechanic, from three months ago, mentioned there was “no way” I could let that water pump go for another month (“at the very latest!”)  Hmm…seems two ‘experts’ have a difference in opinion, yes?

Well, let me bring it all in together.  So, Jiffy’s new ad series will poke fun at situations like mine.  From NY Times story:

“Because most people are not proficient in the mechanics of a car, they’re worried when they bring their car in for something that a mechanic will find something different that they weren’t aware of.  There’s always that uncertainty: ‘Is the work being performed on my car really necessary?’”

How many out there, receiving some form of online marketing or SEO advice or services, feel the same way?  I feel your anxiety!  However, I’m not sure if I would lampoon your anxiety to promote online marketing services.

Ethically questionable or unscrupulous practices are not a laughing matter in my world.  I don’t think making light-hearted attempts to express a dark side of an industry is a way to assuage the anxieties of unknowing consumers.  It would be comparable to an SEO company attempting humor at simulating situations of ‘burned’ clients, while simultaneously trying to attract clients with the same needs.

Alternatively, if I’m a brand that recognizes injustices, I may engineer my ads to express an upstanding personality, like the one of the second mechanic, rather than possibly add to the insult of my industry through humor.  What are your thoughts?

 

The title is a bit misleading.  I don’t know if the wealthy don’t ‘worry’ about money; but, they likely worry less than those less financially fortunate.  A lot of marketing mistakes are due to worry.  Probably a lot of mistakes in life have a lot to do with worry and anxiety…

A little while ago, I read a story about wine makers.  It features information about particular wineries and their owners, who are already wealthy, and often do not make a lot of funds from the fruits of their grapes’ labors.

It’s a good read; but, here I would like to write upon some business lessons taken from the story:

 

Passion
Do you ever dread your business?  Why did you get into it?  Was it to make money?  Was the business handed down over generations?  Did you see no other immediate ways to make a living?  Is it your passion?

I’m a realist.  I understand situations are not clear cut. However, make sure you’re not fooling yourself.  Success means a lot of things.  For some, the meaning has nothing to do with money; it has to do with doing something meaningful to them.

A lot of wineries are started because (yes, the owner has the funds, but…) owners have a passion for the process, the end product, and satisfying the taste buds of enthusiasts.  Are you truly passionate about your business?  If not, you’ll experience a lot more ‘road bumps’ because your intuition is looking for them.

If your business is not about the enjoyment in delivering your product/service to your market, you may never experience ‘success’ no matter how hard you try.

 

Luck/ Timing
As a writer, I write constantly.  Some messages are greeted with more success than others.  Does it have to do with my writing?  Sometimes.  But, I think most times not.  There are a lot of writers producing each day.  My content must compete on the Web.  What separates my post from being read over other content?  Sometimes, it has to do with luck and timing.  Sometimes it has to do with another cohort reading it, sharing it, posting it to places where others can see it, etc.

For instance, a startup may be doing everything ‘right’ yet does not experience the traction it wants.  Such ‘I want it now’ sentiments can get you into trouble or make one think less of their brand.  Why?  Some very successful people are where they are now thanks to patience and particular timing.  When will your time come?  I wish I could assuage your anxieties and answer for you; but, I can tell you just about all of us are going through the same.  It’s a marathon; it’s not a race.

 

Operate Your Business
I’ve never owned a business; so, some owners may scoff at this message.  So be it.  I hope all owners operate business the way it was intended.  For instance, in the online marketing space, some suppliers may bend their own rules (sometimes Google’s) to satisfy a client.

Sometimes the client’s needs are not aligned with the owner’s ethics.  However, let’s be real, all owners want business.  Should an owner compromise the ethics of their brand to satisfy a client?  I can’t answer that for you.  I know my answer.  In one portion of the wine article, one maker tells of those who want that 100-point score and will be hefty prices to do it.  What was one winemakers reply?  “My first warning is, don’t go into the business looking for a certain score.”  He is secure in his decision to stand by his ethics (and that of his brand).  Are you?

 

I don’t know who or what meets you or your marketing team’s definition of ‘king’; but, ensuring your viewers are content is pretty important methinks.  I bet those who consume your brand’s content would agree with me.

Can I answer all your brand’s viewer content questions in this post?  Absolutely not.  I can offer some ideas though.  Many times, I’ll suggest brands think exactly like their consumers.  I consume a lot of content on the Web on a daily basis.  I may or may not be included in your brand’s targeted market; but, definitely consider the following because it comes from a ‘consumer’s’ perspective.

 

What Kind of Content?
I’ve mentioned many times that content does not have to be written.  Some people like to read, some people like to browse, some people like to watch, others want to listen.  What do your content consumers want?

Perhaps take a gander at some major brands in your vertical.  Perhaps that brand is a head of the curve.  What varieties of content do they produce?  Take a look at the reader perception of some posts.  Are some posts getting shared more?  Can you make sense of any patterns?

For instance, common sense tells me a visually DIY post is going to be more successful than a textual one.  Moreover, do you offer a product?  It is likely people will want to see how something works before they buy.  If two brands have similar products, yet one does a better job showcasing how its product meets consumer needs, which one do you think ‘wins’ more often?

 

Flexing Publishing
How many pieces of content are optimal to produce per week?  There’s a definite answer; you should know it.  Are you ready for the magic number?  There isn’t one.  Know your readers; track your site traffic; track your shares (subtracting the ‘in-house’ shares).

Producing content is not like lifting weights.  You won’t necessarily get ‘bigger’ as you produce more content.  When your brand gets traffic numbers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, then sure, churn out that level of content.  Until then, understand more does not make you bigger.

Some brands like being more methodical and plan, using an editorial calendar.  That’s great; but, I would use one in relation to ‘evergreen’ content, content that could always be beneficial, not being aligned to current events.  On the other hand, sometimes industry events unfold and consumers may want to know about current events.  Your brand may have to step outside of its calendar and give the consumers what they want.

 

New Kid on the Blog
I’m a new person in a small town.  If I do nothing to engage others, should I expect people to rush up to me to get to know me?  Sure, some people will be curious about a new face, but that’s few and far between.  Otherwise, if I don’t do something on my end to integrate myself, I’m going to be pretty lonely in this new place.  You have to give to get.

What are your blog’s authors, your brand’s ‘facepeople’ doing to engage the community?  It would be great if web browsers were starving for information and all you had to do was erect a blog, satiating the masses.  It would be great; but, the reality is quite the opposite.  Each passing day, it’s likely there’s yet another brand, pretty much just like yours, trying to vie for the same market.  Some of them may actually be trying to actively draw people into reading, conversations, collaborations, answering questions, etc.

How well is your brand known?  How well is your brand really trying to be known?  Your content’s lack of greatness may have nothing to do with the content itself and everything to do with your level of engagement in your space.  If you want people to come to your blog, you must first reach out; establish connections, reminding viewers your content is there to serve them.