Perfect Storm Launch Viral Game

Excitement at Perfect Storm Towers as we launch our first viral game…

After a long and interesting period of development, the ‘Set the Road Record’ game has gone live. Perfect Storm developed it for www.roadrecord.co.uk (part of major Scottish newspaper the Daily Record) and so far it has been a major success with over one thousand entries to the competition on a daily basis. The aim of the project is to create awareness of the new online auto sales site and collect user data via simple registration forms. We have promoted the game via email marketing, PPC, online advertising and SMM and they have proven worthwhile activities as the user numbers increase on a daily basis.

Account Manager Mike McGrail stated ” It was a very intersting process for all of us and one we have learned much from. I am delighted that the viral has been achieving it’s goals so far. Getting a game to actually go viral is a major challenge and judging by the amount of forum chat based around the game, it a challenge that we have met!

You can view the game at www.roadrecord.co.uk/winacar

Following on from Social Media – Why All The Fuss?

Peter Hershberg wrote a very good piece for Ad Age that was published today – http://adage.com/digitalnext/article?article_id=135276
It explains that Facebook etc will not be demanding large search spends in the immediate future. Well worth a read.

Our blog from yesterday received a great response and has been wildly debated on the like of LinkedIn. Thanks to all of those who took the time to read it and we hope you found it of use.

UPDATE – Great blog here – http://tinyurl.com/pkz5yv about the myths of SMM. Make sure you take these factors in to account when working out your SMM strategy.

Social Media Marketing – Why All the Fuss?

Social Media Marketing is taking over the world right? You can’t read a blog without somebody trying to tell you that you must be using SMM to promote your brand/product and communicate with your current and potential customer base. But what is the value of SMM and does it make business sense for your company?

What does it take?

The expense in terms of capital is low which is obviously attractive however it has to be remembered that it is hugely important that you have people moderating your profiles, responding to any queries and updating content. This can be a very time consuming process and draws on resources that may be better utilised elsewhere.

Outside of actual time and spend, a major cost factor of SMM is reputation. Opening up your brand to the masses and allowing them to comment creates the opportunity for bad mouthing and negative content to be viewable by the masses. Yes you can respond directly to the negativity and even delete it but it is important to remember that there is no brand/product/service out there that is perfect! Problems occur when the negativity outweighs the positivity and at that point it is wise to consider the sense in continuing to have SM presence.

What are the main advantages?

Well, you have an instant channel to your audience (once there are people hooked up that is) within which you can promote sales messages, answer any queries, gather opinion via polls and showcase creative all from within the one portal. As you know there are so many options out there (I am not going to list them!) in terms of networks and it is important to streamline the use of these. This will save you time in terms of updating and communicating as well as minimising fronts for potential negativity. Choose networks that offer you the best medium. Facebook allows you to upload creative amongst many other features. Twitter allows you to communicate in short sharp bursts (MS Windows example – http://twitter.com/MSWindows) but at the moment is limited to this. Work out what you want to achieve from the activity and then identify the best tools to use (remember SMM doesn’t stop at networks).

You can use SMM to create a buzz around your product, just like Skittles did when they made their homepage a Twitter search page set to display any tweets that mentioned their brand to the public (see image below). This was a bold move and one that got the online community blogging. Yes there were negative tweets that where then displayed on the Skittles homepage (e.g. ‘If this is how the rainbow tastes, I think I will pass’) but the coverage and press far outweighed any negativity.

Skittles Make a Bold Move

Will It Work For My Business?

Lets face it, if your company sells rubber door sealants then you are highly unlikely to attract a large social media following and with this in mind it may be wise not to waste any resource. You may want to look at innovative ways of using SMM to engage a new audience. If you are a popular brand with a strong presence and image then people will want to engage with you and build up a relationship. Sounds easy? Well maybe not but that is half of the fun!

Money Money Money

Remember that SMM is not a direct source of revenue. Your website is still your key tool online. Any SM activity should be geared to ultimately getting people on to your site and at that point carrying out an action such as registering, making a query or even better a purchase. Ensure that your site has clear pointers to your SM outlets so that people who visit your site can quickly become part of your online community and tell their friends.

In Conclusion

Use SMM as you see fit but remember that it is supplementary to your main online business.

There is a lot of learning to be done in terms of its best uses so try out new ideas and gauge their success. Anything you do can in most cases be deleted and consigned to the chopping room floor.

Remember that you have to accept a reasonable level of negativity, people are naturally suspicious of anything that seems too good to be true.

Weigh up the best options in terms of outlets for your company, start small and build it up.

Perfect Storm Digital can help you to integrate SMM into your online strategy. We use various methods and outlets to ensure our clients get the best from Social Media. We focus not just on networks but other tools such as forums which are an excellent tool in terms of driving traffic to your site and coverting to sales. Our clients have seen great results from forum work and now have revenue streams that have never before existed.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like more information – mike@perfectstormdigital.co.uk

Banner Advertising – Is the Quality Slipping?

It would appear that more and more low budget banner ads are being used by companies online. The top ranking world organisations/businesses would appear to be moving away from online ads, even though the signs are that online advertising is alive and well. Why would this be?

For more insight in to this read this post from Micro Persuasion

Perfect Storm can help you to create high quality banner ads, from simple gif images to fancy flash creatives. To find out more get in touch – hello@perfectstormdigital.co.uk

The Google world domination machine moves forth

Google have announced a new service in conjunction with IBM that will collect data about an individual from various health related sources such as heart monitors and medical reports. Don’t worry it is user defined so your personal health issues are not being sniggered at by Google!

For more info check out the article below from Mashable:

http://mashable.com/2009/02/05/google-heart-rate-health/

Happy New Year…

from all at Perfect Storm Digital. We are looking forward to pushing the business forward in 2009 and continuing to work with our valued clients.

Here’s to a prosperous year ahead and don’t forget that online/digital marketing gives you the most ‘bang for your buck’ and we can help you to make the most of that digital budget.

A Guide to Search Marketing in the Credit Crunch

Ho Ho Ho! Christmas is here, it’s that time of year when you spend time with friends and family, give and receive presents and generally over-indulge! You gotta love it!

As industry starts to slow down over the holiday period it is important to remember that the online world never stops, people keep searching, enquiring and buying regardless of the festivities.

The credit crunch doesn’t slap on a Santa hat and get all merry over the holiday period either, so our present to you is a brief guide to search marketing in the credit crunch era.

One of the most important advantages to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the fact that it is utterly accountable. There are clear and well established measurement systems in place that have been proven to work.  Read on for some techniques that we utilise for all of our clients.

Search Landing Pages

Create landing pages that illustrate your strengths and have very strong and clear calls to action.  These pages must be easy to navigate and straight to the point.  Match copy within in the landing pages to that in your paid search advertisements. Landing pages are ideal for special campaigns and allow you to directly track their success. We regularly implement landing pages for clients and the results speak for themselves. They can be quickly created and built in to your existing site. We also recommend microsites which allow you to engage the customer further and are just as trackable as landing pages. Click here for an example of a microsite we recently implemented for http://www.goodpractice.net

Making the Most of Your Budget

It is sensible (in most cases!) to re-allocate budget from other media to pay per click (PPC). SEM can be quickly altered to integrate with the rest of your marketing activities. Move budget to campaigns i.e. press, that are attracting traffic via search. Perfect Storm are experts at allocating and managing online budgets and ensuring SEM works in tandem with your marketing mix.

Spend on the Right Words

Quality is key when it comes to keywords. Every business has words that have the highest conversion rates so focus on these and create a solid list. Remember that your paid ads must be relevant to your content. We carry out extremely in-depth keyword research to ensure the compilation of a relevant and effective keyword strategy.

Know Your Targets

Use research tools and real-time demographic profiles to understand your target market. Create tailored ad copy with your research results in mind. Taking these steps can achieve higher rankings when your audience is searching which in turn leads to hits and hopefully the all important conversion.

Test It!

The features are in place to allow you to test as many ads as you want so make sure you take advantage of this! Test that copy until you cannot test it anymore! This way you can make sure that your copy grabs the attention of your customers.

Track It!

You can track and account for your web activity with simple analytics that will produce clear and useful reports.  Accurate monitoring allows you to keep a track of costs and ROI. Web analytics allows you to see what is working best and where and when it is working.

Educate!

Your staff need to know how to interpret the analysis data. They have to remember that high traffic levels are not a key metric and that conversions and click through rates are king. High traffic and low conversion rates equate to poor quality traffic. Having a decent level of understanding within your staff is very important.

Outsource

All bias aside, it can be a time consuming process managing your online campaigns in-house and can allude to false economy. In this nasty financial climate it is quite likely that you are cutting resources and this can lead to your SEM receiving less attention and a rapidly dropping return on investement.

Perfect Storm can create, implement and manage your digital marketing strategies. We are specialists in SEO, PPC, creation of online ads/landing page/microsites, online branding and social media marketing.

So there you go, a highly useful present from us to you. Want to find out more about digital marketing and all of it’s various elements and how Perfect Storm can work with you? Call Mike on +44131 553 8664 and let’s have a chat. Or email me on mike@perfectstormdigital.co.uk

Have a fantastic festive period!