Archive for category Advertising

The Seattle Times Effect

Posted by on Wednesday, 1 January, 2014

Do you read the “Best of” lists in December and think they’re premature? What if Justine Sacco left for Africa to celebrate New Years? Or if Oreo dropped a “dunk in the dark” calibre campaign late in the month? Even the bloggers with Most Popular Posts lists aren’t taking the full year into account.

I briefly considered making a list post, and joining the flow, but decided my posts we’re important enough. Also, a best/worst of list was only going to duplicate what others had already done.

It would have been for naught.

December 31, 2013

At 9am my iPad chimed alerting me to a pingback on Monica Guzman of the Seattle Times wrote a follow-up piece on show-rooming and referenced my post on the Elliott Bay Book Company’s response to the practice.

And Wow!

Traffic climbed, and kept climbing throughout the day, and into the next.


It’s still climbing. An hour after this screen grab, it’s on 271 views by 204 visitors. Over the two days, 278 visitors arrived via the Seattle Times. If I did blog a list of most popular posts, you’d be reading about Google suppressing keywords, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It would have missed this. Now you know that the Elliott Bay Book Company is mature in their marketing.

How Did This Happen?

The post was published on June 7, 2013 – six months before it was discovered. It was promoted as normal via social media, and behaved as most posts do. Not very much happened. The post includes a link to the Seattle Times piece that the bookstore also linked to, but none of the search monitoring done by Monica, or the Seattle Times picked it up.

On Sunday afternoon I noticed the SEO wasn’t perfectly optimized, so I fixed it and moved on. I can’t even recall what I changed. Probably the image alt text, maybe the meta description.

Obviously it was enough.

What Did I Learn?

Sigh, this content girl is admitting that even with Google’s Hummingbird update and that content is king, technical SEO is still very important.

Getting all niche with Bing Ads

Posted by on Saturday, 9 November, 2013

Bing_AdsBing Ads is pulling out the stops to win over agencies.

This week was the launch of Bing Ads Connect, a new event series educating agencies how to optimize Bing Ads campaigns for the holidays.

From talking to others at the event, Bing Ads (and its preceding names) hasn’t had the best relationship with agencies. I’m not sure that’s just agencies though. They do have a hard battle stealing share from Google. Especially when they also lack the features of Google AdWords.

However from what I saw on Tuesday, they’ve accepted the challenge. Last week’s report on Bing Ads’ efficiencies over Google AdWords opened me to looking at Bing Ads for some niche campaigns. The event definitely helped. It looked like ALL the team were in the room, and lots of notes were taken and questions asked – of us. They are listening.

But what did I learn?

  • There are 31 million computer users who are only paid search accessible via Bing Ads
  • On average, Bing Ads users spend 38% more
  • Bing Ads segments using user persona with less emphasis on keywords
  • Gift cards are the top Christmas gift, so extend your holiday campaigns to catch this delayed spend – or make a new, focused campaign
  • They are still Google AdWord’s little brother, tagging along behind
  • The Microsoft Partner program gives great perks, but at too great a cost
  • Bing Ads has the BEST swag bags: $100 ad spend, pretty note pad and pen, holiday campaign planning guide, pre-stamped (and branded) holiday cards for clients, another pen, and a copy of Office 2013 Professional

I’m excited to test Bing Ads for a client. I’m curious to see if it’ll work with a tightly targeted, small campaign for a local tech startup. After Tuesday’s event, I’m sure it’ll be a success.

If you’re in one of the other cities the Bing Ads team is visiting, I recommend checking it out and sharing your thoughts in the comments.

Google KeyWord Finder – One of my favorite tools

Posted by on Thursday, 27 June, 2013

most-common-crossword-wordsUnless you play in the search engine marketing arena, you may not be aware of Google’s KeyWord Finder tool and the extent of its awesomeness.

In SEM, it’s used for finding the low cost, high traffic keywords to target. It is based on actual searches – spelling errors and weirdness and all.

As well as SEM, it’s great to work out how to position your copy. What are the words your audience are using? You may use jargon, but if your audience doesn’t use the same terms you won’t be found via search engines. And we all want to be found.

Looking at the related keywords can also give you topic ideas to write about. Or, you can do what I used to get distracted by when keywording SEM campaigns: see what people actually search. Be warned though, it’s often NSFW and will have you thinking WTF?!?

The Dragons are Here. Advertising Game of Thrones

Posted by on Sunday, 28 April, 2013

Advertising Game of Thrones
It was hard to miss the season premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones. From the buzz on social media networks, maybe no advertising was needed.

But advertising there was, and it was good.

I love the simplicity of this billboard. Its message is clear from the copy, but adding the dragon’s shadow teases what’s to come in the season and that’ll be dramatic.

Do you watch the show? What do you think of this billboard? Accurate or misleading?

Super Bowl 2013: the good, the bad and the Oreo

Posted by on Wednesday, 6 February, 2013

My plan for this post was to look at the best and worst three ads from Super Bowl 2013. Then four minutes into the power outage, Oreo tweeted this:

Oreo Dunk in the Dark

Oreo Dunk in the Dark

At that point I, along with thousands of others, were distracted. In only four minutes the Oreo team had produced a classy, on-brand, topical piece. ONLY FOUR MINUTES. Naturally, it was retweeted instantly. Actually, more than 10,000 times in the first hour. The next morning I discovered that it was the work of agency, 360i. They had a team of 15 and the right people for approvals in the same room ready to act on any opportunity, and that they did.

So, that killed my post idea and proved that maybe a $3.5 million TVC spot isn’t always the best way to get people talking about you. Wired has a complete report of how they did it.

If you’re curious, I still haven’t watched all this year’s ads, but Bud Light’s Journey was the first to make me smile.