Monday, 28 February 2011

Rocktime Blogs in Feb 2011

As I manage the Rocktime Social Blog: Sharing with you each month a selection of posts I was involved in this month. Any questions on the below or if you feel that you can expand on points raised, feel free to leave a comment on the relevant Rocktime post.

Update to Google Social Search: Short blog where I introduce the latest Google Video on Social Search, sharing my love of the fact that Google are increasingly sharing realtime data with their customers.

Adwords UK Trademark Policy: Quite a comprehensive blog where I highlight what you need to know about Adwords UK policy and bidding on trademark names.

eBay Fashion and Augmented Reality App: I invited Alice at Rocktime to review the latest Augmented Reality app from Ebay. We are still finding AR very exciting, I am sure in the future it will be more common place. You can expect more AR blogs on the Rocktime blog, as we watch this area develop.

Facebook Deals Launches in the UK: Co Author on the Facebook Deals post, I have a feeling that Facebook deals is going to move pretty fast, this post gives an overview of what it is all about, how it compares to FourSquare and advice on how deals will work for businesses.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Tangled UK Campaign on Stardoll

Stardoll members went crazy sending out buzz of the news of the Disney Tangled film Stardoll promotion to receive a free Tangled cape and chameleon character to arrive in their virtual Stardoll Suites. I spent some time this evening visiting some of the popular Stardoll insider blogs, where UK members have let other Stardoll fans know about the spoilers and how to obtain the free (virtual) gifts via going through a UK proxy server and pasting in relevant "/en/" Stardoll links.

Their passion for getting the free 'virtual' gifts in their Stardoll suites is pretty amazing, especially as the demographics are teenagers. This gives indication that Stardoll members are very tech savvy indeed: I would like to think that I would have been in their techy clan when I was a teenager (alas when I was younger the Internet didn't exist and I was in the back bedroom, trying to hack Ceefax on an Acorn Electron. Hence above image!!)

Along with the tech savvy drive of the Stardoll members, I was equally impressed with the campaign and the "Stardoll to Facebook back to Stardoll integration", a few screen shots of the journey below. The journey included a link from Stardoll to a fab Facebook game/app where you have to identify Disney characters hair do’s, then back to Stardoll. A little bit of effort and fun for a free gift, and I was encouraged to Facebook 'like' the page too, so got to know more about the latest movie (which looks great by the way). Fantastic campaign nice work Disney and Stardoll ;)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Competitive Intelligence Tools

One of my friends has asked me this morning about what resources I use in my reporting to clients. Sharing what I dispatched below, interesting that majority are Google products.

I use Wordtracker for keyword research, and have done now for a number of years. I never just presume a phrase to be correct for a client with their Search Marketing plans and seek to uncover the competitiveness of that phrase and the popularity. This helps me brief expectations and meet them. Otherwise your SEM campaign is based on "just a finger in the wind" ie: not accurate or linked to strategy.

Although only approximate figures, Google Trends is a useful tool to enable you to compare search volume patterns of websites across regions, countries. I also like the fact that when viewing data on the site it will let you know, people who visited this site "also visited" and "also searched for". Trends is pretty addictive so set a good amount of time to really dig into the data and set yourself up with a cup of coffee and a couple of biscuits.

Googles Insights for Search is pretty cool tool and like the rest, once you delve in you can be in there for hours (trust me). The tool is similar to Google Trends, but more focused on words over sites. You can review a keyword trend over time, start with your main keywords (that bring in the most traffic) and then view your performance (against) your competition. The data you find will help raise questions and potentially help you get sign off for search marketing campaign budgets. It is useful to throw a few brand names into Google Insights and see which one performs best and check keyword trends in a number of regions too to highlight interest, which could assist with International expansion. Basically Google Insights can provide you with a whole heap of new opportunities. I saw this post a couple of days ago in the New Scientist: Can Google searches predict Oscar Winners, go check it out.

For paid search keyword reporting, you can get an idea of the volume, cost per clicks of keywords using Google's Adwords Keyword Tool. In all honestly I have never really found this to be very accurate and that the numbers are often inflated. However it does give you some indication of budget that needs to be set to targeted campaign. I rarely use it.

Another place in which you can use a whole heap of time (you have been forewarned!!) is the DoubleClick AdPlanner, similar to Google trends this little portal is pretty addictive and can help you refine your online advertising. It is useful to obtain demographic and psychographic analysis (age, gender, income, education) of a sites audience. I have used this to find new advertising portals and to capture information on bloggers reach to convince clients to run competitions with them, as unfortunately with large businesses, the top table generally what to know about the potential reach numbers. Another handy thing about the Adplanner is that it will let you know "people who visited this website also visited this", which is a really handy feature and can lead you to find a whole heap of new advertising opportunities for your clients.

There is also Hitwise too, which is expensive, but invaluble if you have the resource to make the most of the data, I highly recommend it, very easy to use and the information that you receive on competitors, market share (online) can lead to one thing, progression - which is what we all need.

Before Google existed we had "Brad", these guys are still around and their website states that they provide: "Effective planning with in-depth media intellegence at your fingertips", so if you have the budget you know who to call.

And finally for a bit of fun to compare the results of two competing keywords, opt for Google Fight where an animation helps decide the winner.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Thursday, 3 February 2011

My January in images

On January the 1st 2011 I started my quest of taking an image a day. I have been uploading the photos to Twitter and as my Twitter links to my Delicious bookmarking account I have a quick way to source them all. The above shows the full collection of my iPhone images for January 2011.

The reason I have embarked on this project, is not because I am interested in photography, neither is the quest to remember what I did (although finding that a benefit). The goal is simple: "to get me to get away from my work desk more and seek out the new and the interesting". This month it seems it has mainly been about shopping, food, wine and gaming. What will next month bring, time will tell.

Although it is often difficult to find a picture to reflect your day, I am really enjoying this project and think it may even help me reflect a bit more on what is important to me (in life).

Sarah ;)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Geek Hoodie Love

As I like to talk about 'Geek product finds' on my blog, thought to give a shout out to this ladies hoodie, hope to get this for my Birthday in March ("because I'm worth it").

I spotted this hoodie last week over at Hydr8board Sports website (a local shop to me Lilliput, Sandbanks and a work client). The hoodie is uber geeky as it features machine washable headphones built right into the fabric, designed so that there are no visable wires and the plug to hook up your mp3 player is cleverly hidden in the pocket. Genius.

The hoodie is from the Rusty Wired Series and the technology is from the new InSoundTM brand from HB3 Technology who are paving the way on embedding audio functionality into clothes and garments, do go and check them out.

It's listed as £49.99 on the Hydr8board Sport website, pretty reasonable for a styled hoodie. I hope this product takes off by March, as otherwise people will know me around Bournemouth as the girl who puts her hoodie draw cords in her ears!!