Articles written in February, 2008

February 22 2008

Search the Internet Through Your Television Remote


Integration between Television and the Internet is one step closer. The Internet has always been a medium for people to get what they want, when they want it. It is a place where people proactively look for information and/or products. Television, on the other hand, has always been more of a “lean-back experience”. A place for people to relax, watch their favorite show, and often get bombarded with commercials (at least before the fabulous invention of TIVO and DVR). Television has never been recognized as place to proactively gather information, until now.

Samsung seems to have found a bridge between the Internet and Television through a device the company is calling See’N’Search. The new tool allows you to access the internet without using a keyboard or a PC. This new tool automatically pulls content from the Internet to match whatever television show you are watching. According to Mashable, “The new See’N’Search is a set-top box that reads the closed captions on a television show, as well as listens for keywords, to search for related Internet articles to the content you are currently watching. Say you’re watching the news and they do a story about the President; links to information on the President will appear at the bottom of the screen. For programs such as scripted shows, the system will pull up information on the actors as well as whatever they are discussing in the show. Furthermore, while it may be annoying to have information covering the bottom portion of your screen, you can instead choose to have any requested info sent to handheld devices or a computer connected to the local network.”

With any new technology, the question then becomes, will consumers find this tool useful or annoying? I am guilty of multi-tasking, which is why I am torn on how I feel about this product. When I get home from work, I often use the internet to search for a restaurant nearby, while using my DVR to watch my favorite daytime television show, and usually chatting on the phone with family or friends about my day. Multi-tasking is something that I am used to. Would this new tool from Samsung relieve some of my activities at night, or would it become more of an annoyance than a useful tool? While I am trying to relax and watch TV, do I really want to be bombarded with search results at the bottom of my screen? Also, would this type of technology be a fit for every type of television show? For example, I understand how this technology would be useful when watching a news clip or television about the President and/or any topic he or she is talking about, but what if I was watching “Everybody Loves Raymond”? What type of information would be made available to me? I am assuming articles and video clips related to the actors on the show, but truthfully, I don’t really care to learn more about that? I watch “Everybody Loves Raymond” for a good laugh, not to learn everything about the actors in the show.

Either way, the news is pretty exciting! With this being one of the first steps toward integration between the Internet and Television, it seems that the digital media space is joining together to try and make our lives a little bit easier and more connected. I am excited to learn more about this new technology and how it will evolve in the near future.

February 19 2008

Are your keywords up to par?


When it comes to Search Engine Marketing it is critical to ensure you are utilizing the most effective and targeted keywords to get the best return on your investment. Your keywords are the foundation to any cost per click campaign and should be chosen wisely. They should be updated and tweaked often and ultimately be paired with compelling ad copy and the most relevant destination URL.

So how do you know if your keywords are “up to par”? It is sometimes difficult to choose the best keywords when you are so close to the subject. In other words, you may think you know what searchers are typing into the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc) to find your site, however you might be surprised to find that what you may think is being searched upon is not at all the case. This is where an analytics tool comes into the mix. It is imperative to have a tool which affords you the ability to determine the specific keywords that are driving your sales, conversions or the desired action item (such as a whitepaper download, catalog request, online form, etc.) to occur. Your keywords should never be chosen by intuition, but rather, you should rely on your analytics program to guide you to the most educated choices.

One word phrases tend to be costly and generic; research shows that the savvier the searcher, the longer the keyword phrase or tail will be. In fact, a recent article stated that the average searcher is now utilizing 4 words to run a query. This approach not only keeps keyword cost down, but also provides for a more targeted and qualified visitor. For example, someone searching for the one word phrase dentist is a lot less qualified that someone searching for Dentist in Santa Monica.

Improving the keywords in your campaigns will boost your traffic quality and as a result your sales and ROI.

February 12 2008

What is the future for Social Media Advertising?


I recently ran across this article from BusinessWeek that discusses the challenges of advertising on social media sites. Websites,  such as MySpace, seemed to come right out of the gate with display advertising,  while others treaded more cautiously before heading down this avenue.

Today, it would appear that neither has found the magic  recipe of pleasing both their advertisers and users at the same time. According  to the BusinessWeek article, advertisers find that “as  few as 4 in 10,000 people who see their ads on social networking sites click on  them, compared with 20 in 10,000 across the Web.” In  addition, users are feeling invaded and frustrated, some going as far enough as  to start petitions against the sites!

Although  predictions for growth on social media sites will be down from last year, we  can still expect a 75% increase in ad spend. Aggravated visitors may choose to  cancel their accounts, but the fact still remains that these sites aren’t going  anywhere! They continue to make great efforts to update their advertising platforms  with future promises of, for example, additional targeting options to reach a  more engaged visitor.

My thought is that it can still be a smart way to reach your target  demographic, but you have to be sensitive to that fact that they don’t want to  feel like their MySpace is a walking advertisement for your product or service.  More to come on this revolution, I am sure!

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