Cyber-Monday

Black Friday-Date Time and Place?

Black Friday was all about figuring out when it started and where?  Wednesday at Midnight? Thursday at 6P? Thursday at Midnight or Friday morning. Once that was done it was time to stand in line or shop at your favorite store. And according to the CEA/Consumer Electronics Association’s survey, Nearly 50% of Black Friday and the weekend bought electronics.  Black Friday also saw a nice surge in Retailers radio advertising:  Media Monitors reports that Home Depot ran 50,924 commercials and Sears ran 20,932 commercials for their Black Friday Sale-A-Brations.

Cyber-Monday Deals and Creativity

Cyber-Monday advertising seemed to have a lot to do with email marketing.  I found ALL of these deals via emails to my 3 email accounts. Some have some pretty creative ways to sell their products on this special day.  Living in Hawaii, if you want to get the best deals here, its best shop Sunday Night before going to bed, to catch all the Eastern Time Zone deadlines.

NBA.Com Cyber Monday:  Save 25% with promo code SLAMDUNK  Not really sure when this ends, the site says 3AM Eastern, is that Monday or Tuesday morning? BTW Their Black Friday sale was 15% off.

NFL.com:  20% off everything and some selected gear at up to 65% off regular prices.

Delta.com:  Here you could use your miles to buy gifts for the Holidays!  They have everything from Macy’s to Barnes and Noble to QVC.  And today your points could double,triple and even Quintuple!!  And I just thought they gave away free magazines with the points I’ve never used. Go figure.

Jeffrey Gitomers Sales Caffeine Site:  25% off everything on the entire Website.  (Except Webinars and Seminars)   The Big 25% off Everything headline was really Big and direct.

Ticketmaster.com Merchandise Store:  This was a fun one, just a little confusing.  Buy 2 get 10% off, Buy 3 Get 15% off, Buy 4 Get 20% off, and buy 5 of anything and get 25% off.  Also free shipping for purchases totally over $125.

Beyondtherack.com: Also another fun way to market the big day.  They staggered their sales with different products going on sale at 5A, 11A and 4P.  They also provide free shipping now through November 30, 2011.

Macprovideo.com:  Has the Big 50% Deal going on now

Shopnbc.com:  It’s just one big sale on everything you could imagine over there. Watches, Jewelery, Beds, lamps etc. Just too much to write about.  

LogicBox.com:  I’m a Mac person myself but this deal is really good.  Dell XPS 17 2nd Gen Intel  laptop with 8GB of RAM, 1 TERABITE of storage, 1080P and Blue Ray.  Was costing you:  $1,613.99 and today on Cyber Monday its only:  $899.99 Plus FREE shipping!

What did you buy?  Which did you prefer? Black Friday? Cyber Monday?  or maybe shopping later in the month?  LMK Have a Nice Cyber-Monday-I bet it starts on Sunday next year.  LOL

 

Advertisements

50500-Instant Electronic Business Cards!

On Saturday I went to another Pacific New Media Class.  The class was entitled:  “How to Use Social Media to Build your Professional and Personal Brand” taught by “Neenz” Faleafine. Neenz was the social media director for Governor Abercrombie, now works at Oceanit, and is the chief evangelist for Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop Website.

I personally think many of you would enjoy taking her class in the Spring, thus I won’t tell you everything I learned, but I will tell you a few pretty cool things:

1.  the Hottest, Newest social media site is called Chime.In.  It’s where all the cutting edge Techies are going to last week and this week. And did you know that there are over 500 Social Media sites in existence!!!  OMG! But Facebook still rules with over 800 Million people on it! So, for marketing purposes, if you only choose one SM avenue, I would still advise using and getting good at FB.

2. Check out contxts.com.  At this site you can set up your own electronic SMS business card.  First just go there. Then after you are set yours up, you just take a new friends phone, put 50500 in the “To:” section then in the text section write your name. Then within 6 seconds, an electronic business card pops on to their smartphone screen. in plain English”text your name to 50500″.  I love it, it’s almost as fun as QR codes, but I’m still pretty attached to those!

3.  Set up Google Alerts for your name at Google.com\alerts, purchase your own domain name with your real name, check knowem.com to see how many you can still get using your own name, tag all your photos, tag your content relevent to your brand and as we learned before…Create Content because as  Dan Z said “Content is King” and @NEENZrecommends that when you create content make sure it conveys what you want your personal brand to be, spell correclty and be specific!

I just got home from work a little while ago, so I need to go now, time to relax a bit before the new day starts.  If you need some free ideas for any type of promotion or marketing campaign you are working on, feel free to email me anytime at scott.mackenzie@coxradio.com  or give me a call at 275-1106.  Take care and have a Great Mega Halloween Weekend!

 

 

QR Codes Go Up in Smoke!

Even though QR (Quick Read) codes have been around for a while, this is the year that I’ve personally really enjoyed them.  It started at Christmas When my friend Charles gave me a New York Times and it had a HUGE really colorful QR code on it and I sat at lunch trying to take a picture of it, which of course did not work.  From a Blog earlier, I mentioned that you would need a QR Code reader or scanner on your iPhone to get it to work. Since December, I have made QR code business cards, stuck QR Code Stickers up all over the world and made QR codes for many friends including Non Stop Travel, Power 104.3, and Oceanic Cable. 

Now, check out this video, I know it’s in Croatian, but even in Croatian it shows you how simple and easy it is to use a QR Code.  And as I’ve been studying the usage of QR codes in Advertising, I noticed that many take the customer to a website, which is cool and all. That’s what most of my QR codes do, but as we continue to use them, I love all of the really awesome things we can do with them!

For example this QR code is on the back of a Ronhill cigarette package and it takes you to a regional mobile website that gives the smoker current locations of where smoking is allowed.  And similar to Foursquare-users can also update the list of places themselves.  Thanks to Springwise.com for the tip and for more information on TDR click here.

On the subject of cool things to do with QR codes.  Feel free to use any of these ideas or use them as a springboard to your own QR code Fun,  Advertising, and Marketing!  (These arent real or if they are it’s a total coincidence because I just made them all up today 9/15/11)

1. Red Bull/Energy Drink/Soda Company:  The QR code could click to a site that shows all the cool places Red Bull events are being held this year and you’d be entered to win VIP access. Or even more fun, the QR code would lead you to Travis Pastrana’s backyard-where he could teach us some new tricks on Moto X or Subaru. 

2.Clearthesmoke.org/Lung Association: Since we did an article on cool things you can do with smoking, I figured I’d better add in some PSA type info on quiting smoking.    So,  instead of taking you their websites homepage, the QR code can take you to an entry form to enter the “Quit Smoking Today” art contest.  Here you would upload your art and then the next time you scan the QR code it would take you to the Clear the Smoke dot org Art Gallery where you could see all of the great works of art and vote on your favorites. Winner received a smoking HOT trip to the Bahamas.

3.  Broke2.com/Clothing Company:  Click on the QR code and it takes you to a fun interactive video game where you get to dress up Celebrities in some fun destination appropriate clothes to go on a road trip race all over the world. Changing clothes as you go to each destination. Racing against all sorts of people all around the world.  Fun to do, fun to race and fun to meet new people from around the World. You could get badges, points or money coupons each time you get to a new country and use them to purchase a special limited edition line of clothing designed for the game. 

4.  G-Shock/Watches in general:  Put the QR code underneath the crown or on the band. Wearers of the brand get the exclusive code to be in the VIP Watch Club.  Along with the usual cool VIP things brands like to give you. This Club would check the time and show you a video of the coolest thing happening at that moment in time.  Like an all night party in Ibiza, backstage at Fashion Week, a sneak peek at a celebrity partying in Maui, behind the scenes at a Victoria Secret’s Fashion show, on the set of Hawaii Five-0, Carnivale in Rio, St. Pats Day in Dublin etc. Whatever, wherever is HOT at this TIME, they will take you there!

Oh-What fun to be had with QR codes and just think I couldn’t even download one of these things 8 months ago. The World sure is moving fast!  Best way to get a hold of me this week and weekend is by text at 808 479-9928. Cheers and Aloha! SM

Fuel your Engines-GetfoundontheWeb!

Getting your website, blog or whatever you’re trying to promote on the first page of Google takes some time and effort.  Here’s a bit of the basics, after a bit more testing of something’s I’ve been learning over the last few months, I’ll add some more advanced SEO information to this blog in about 3 weeks-I just want to make sure that they work first. So for now, let’s look at some things we all need to know to fuel the Search Engines out there!

First: What is a Search Engine:

An article on bbc.co.uk states that: “A Search Engine makes it possible to find a specific bit of information in the huge mass of data stored on the web”.

Second:  Who are these Search Engines that we should care about:

According to Rob Croll there are actually thousands of Search Engines-Who would know that there are that many! But, to get found on the web as of today August 26, 2011, we should concentrate on having Google, Bing and Yahoo! find us. And Google is by far the main Engine we want to feed most of our fueling efforts towards.

Third: What do the Search Engines Do? as of today I gotta say.

The Search engines like Google and Bing are known as crawler based engines and at the moment operate similarly to each other. These engines do three things to find our blogs and websites:

A. They use Spiders also known as Bots and Crawlers that search the web for content by finding links and getting directed to in a few other ways-that sentence it a bit vague, but don’t worry or get confused. Basically Spiders, Bots and Crawlers are all the same thing and what they do is look for you and me. I’d draw a fun picture if I didn’t need to sleep tonight. Maybe I’ll draw it another day and add it in here.

B. Once the Spiders find you or me, the information is indexed into a database to allow for future retrieval for the time when someone does a search-Types a word into the Google search box or as some people call it the google rectangle.  the Google search box Which BTW is on the top right or the middle of your page. The top middle area where the web address is called the browser.  I’m sure many of you know what a browser is but For many years our IT guy would ask us to copy and paste things into our browser and for the life of me I could never find it on my email-duh it appears when I turn my internet on. So I never did anything, but I managed to get by for many a year. I think learning to copy and paste and what a browser actually is, was the best thing I’ve ever learned on the computer-it now saves me tons of time and frustration and gives me more leisure time and how super easy is it? OMG!

C. Now when someone goes to Google, Bing or Yahoo! and types in a word, a sentence or question into the “search box”(ah I like that name-easy to remember and use) an algorithm tries to identify the most relevant results from their indexing.

Fourth:  What do Search Engines look for?

Each search engine has its own criteria and their own algorithm but they all basically look to see if there is a relationship between your page and a searchers inquiry. The closer your page fits what the person is looking for, the easier you are to find. After you’ve read this simple explanation, look to the bottom of the page for many of the helpful things to learn about to increase your Search Engine Optimization.

Fifth: How do they know which blog or site is best for your inquiry:

They use their “secret” algorithms. Ahh, i love that word, its my favorite word when I explain how Pandora finds the songs you like, they use a complex algorithm. So, what’s an algorithm? It’s basically a pretty complicated mathematical formula. Google will even tell you it’s so complex it uses 200 different variables! And the search engines change these algorithms frequently. Actually, Google has admitted according to Rob Croll at Marlannah Digital Marketing to changing their algorithm at least once a day! Wow! now that’s pretty crazy, but I suspect they will change them more than once a day in the near future, who knows they probably already are doing this.

I really didn’t mean to write this much tonite and I do need to get some sleep, but before I go I’ll give you the list to increase your SEO that I promised you.

1. Content relevancy: Whatever your site or blogs name is, write about it.  Like today, If I was trying to increase my SEO rankings, I would have written the word “advertising” or “radio advertising” or better yet “advertising in Hawaii” in this blog. but today, I’m just writing to help out. Hah, but I did just write it, but not to increase My Ranking, but to tell a simple example.

2. Popularity: How many views have you had today, yesterday and over the years that your site has been around. Also, Who is following you or your blog. Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare fans and friends help you here too. Over the last year or so, your Social Media competency helps a lot with your popularity.

3. Inbound Links:  These are the links on other people’s pages that link to you.  In many of my posts I link you to various sites mainly to help you find the information, sources, people, places and things easier, but these outbound links from my site DO help others Inbound links, which helps one get higher on the Google food chain. Today I’m trying to go linkless, mainly to keep this all about learning and not about increasing my sites Google search ranking.

4. Outbound Links:  These aren’t nearly as important as inbound links.  But, I like to use them because they help you the reader find things easier and who knows, they may bring me an inbound link or two if people are using the spiritual law of reciprocity.

5. Title Tags: The words in your title tag are what appear in the clickable link on the search engine results page (SERP). They also can be seen in the top of internet browsers.  From what I gather, they are extremely important, some say if you don’t fix this, don’t bother with the rest. Others say this is 1 of the top 3 things to pay attention to for increased views of your page. I suspect I need to fix my title tag on some of my sites. From looking on the web, it seems most advise to put what you are selling/doing first, then keywords that make sense next to each other and end with your company’s name.  So Something like this would be a good start for a Pizza Joint:  Pizza, Eat in-Take Out, the best pepperoni Pizza in Hawaii, Hawaii Pizza Company. There’s a ton of good advice if you do a search in Google.

6. Page Rank: Google uses this to rank your site/blog. A link analysis algorithm. Basically doing all of these other things on this list will help to increase your page Rank. Which will in turn help you get found faster and easier.

7. Domain Age: From what I’ve read on the net, Google likes sites better that have either been around for a while or the name has been purchased for 3 years or more. Less than a 3 year lease on your site’s name decreases your ranking.

8. Useability: Attribute, description of how easy your site is to use. Method or technique to get things done easier for the user. People who come to your blog/site can use it easily with high satisfaction. 

10. Site Maps:  Visual or textually organised model of a websites content that allows visitors to find what they are looking for easily and make sure that all of your links and connecting words work!  A site map is like an interactable table of contents on your site. The bigger your site the better your site map should be, if you have a pretty simple blog, I’d work on some of the other of the top 10 first.

These 10 words come from “Epic Strategies for Small Business” How Search Engines Work written by Rob Croll on July 11, 2011 for marketingzeus.com  the information written after the 10 words, I wrote from mostly reading all sorts of things, seminars and of course by “doing” my various websites and blogs.  I’m a big believer in “don’t just think about it, wonder if its right or wrong, just jump in and start doing it”  No one’s perfect at writing a blog or getting their site to page one on Google, but its better to try things than wait around until you “think” you’re ready and/or perfect. If you do that, five years could go by as you wait, that’s a lot of lost practice time!

You can comment and I’ll add in your thoughts and recommendations and add a link to your site if you like on what they mean.  For more information on anything listed above, just google it, there’s a lot more information out there on all of these 10 items. We could do a whole one page blog on each of them if we wanted.  For additional information on Search Engine Optimization check out Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide or Bings blog has a post entitled Search Engine Optimization for Bing. Or check back here in a month or two and we’ll add new things. As we’ve all learned, it’s an ever-changing landscape, but just working on the basics will work wonders for  you and people searching for you.  The simplest thing I ever did was moved from Web.Me to WordPress and my views double in a week. That was so, super easy, should have done it years ago! Have a nice weekend-Stay Dry!.

Big Blow Ups Rule in Seattle Advertising!

Yo Vinnie "Pass me the Salt"

I’m in Seattle for about 4 days this week and I’ve been noticing a lot of Balloon/Blow Ups Advertising in Town.

I Saw Vinnie over at the Duck Tours,  a GIANT purple ape and a Paul Bunyan at a used car dealership, Huge Ice cream cones on top of an Ice Cream Store and Big Yellow Hot Air Balloons tethered to the ground at another used car dealership and some pretty usual yet very High in the sky Yellow, Red and Green circular balloons.

It seems Seattle is pretty infatuated with these big balloons. My thoughts on them are:  They seem to catch attention IF and only IF you are driving by them. And they seem to catch my attention.  The only thing that is really wrong with this type of advertising is many places let their balloon shapes get dirty and kind of ugly which can give your business a worse image instead of more customers. they are pretty expensive, thus if you do this type of advertising, please budget in for a new one every few months or at least once a year so that they will look good.

The Radio Advertising in Seattle was pretty good, the good spots that I heard told a topical story and I could picture the scenarios happening in my mind.  The spots that didn’t do to well had way too much copy in them and too many cluttered words read way too fast.

A billboard I noticed Said “Advertise here..250,000 people see this Billboard each Day” I liked that a lot, many times us in media forget that one of the best places to advertise about ourselves is with our own media.  A few years back I let my employees run 20-30 ads  a week about themselves and also during their “ad” week they were spotlighted on our internet sites.  Each Account Executive received an additional 1-5 calls each week that they were on and we had a 20% closing ratio, thus we DID make money from running ads on our own medium. Congrats to the Billboard company!

Preparing Press Releases to increase your free advertising

Over the weekend, my friend who works at a local retail store told me that the Star-Advertiser doesn’t accept press releases as attachments. So, figured I’d do this quick, simple posting.  Next time, you send a press release to someone/anyone including the Star Advertiser. Make sure you put the body of your information in the email.  You can send the attachment or not-up to you. But make sure that the information is in the body of the email. 

My friend said that the newspaper doesn’t open any attachments because they do not want virus’ attacking their computers. Makes sense, I still get sent both attached press releases and releases in the body of the email.  Me personally, I’d rather get the Press Release in the body of the email, because it betters the chance that I will read it. A bunch of people I know at work and at play don’t even open attachments, not because they don’t want a virus but because they are just lazy.  If you’re trying to get some free advertising in Hawaii through a press release..copy and paste it into the body of the email to increase your chances of getting the hook-up.