Is Bing the New Google?

The short answer is not yet.  But that doesn’t mean Bing is out of the running completely. While Bing’s share of core searches, 17.4 percent, isn’t in the same league as Google, who dominates with a 66.7 percent share, it is steadily rising. When compared to Yahoo’s consistently decreasing 11.9 percent share, Bing is becoming what Yahoo no longer is: a search engine that is a viable alternative to Google.

bingbing

The problem for Bing has never been stealing audiences from Yahoo; instead, they have to figure out how to get users of Google to make the switch. Earlier this year, Microsoft attempted to sway users with Bing it On, which demonstrated Bing’s effectiveness in comparison to Google (and ultimately it’s similarity, too). While the company claims that people prefer Bing over Google for top web searches, the core search shares show that most people are still choosing Google over Bing.

How Will Bing Sway Google Users?

Two new developments may be the key to attracting more Google users to Bing. First, Siri is now using Bing as it’s default search engine. While Apple is not committing fully to Bing Google is still the default search engine for Safari –  the switch does allow more users to be exposed to Bing. Although, they will be exposed unknowingly. There is no branding when you do searches on Siri, and this may be a way for Apple to ease into using Bing without causing user upset. Most likely, Apple is trying to avoid a repeat of the Apple Maps fiasco. Still, the integration of Bing and Siri is a good exposure for Bing. 

The second development is the incorporation of Bing into Windows 8.1. The new capability means that Windows 8.1 users can simultaneously search their hard drive and the web. The key for Bing was keeping results relevant. NBC news reports that over time the system applies dynamic ranking to your results, based on your prior clicks, just like when you search the Web. Another revolutionary aspect of Bing’s approach are the “Hero” pages. When you search certain people, places, or things you get a side-scrolling page of local files, streaming media, news and background information.

The integration of Bing directly into Windows makes the line between what’s on your computer and what’s on the Internet harder to define. Time will have to tell if this is a development that significantly closes the gap between Bing and Google, but the exposure certainly can’t hurt.

What search engine do you use most often? Do you use one outside of the “Big 3” (Google, Bing, Yahoo!)? Chime in on our Facebook page or @mention us on Twitter.

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Internet Ads: The Numbers Are In

Internet adsThe Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reports that ad revenues last year were up 22% from the year before, hitting $31 billion. Here’s the biggest news:

  • Mobile ads grew the most of all categories, up 149%, or $1.6 billion
  • Search was the largest category with a 47% share (up 27% to $11.7 billion)

Digital video rose 29% to $1.8 billion and display advertising made up the rest with 35% of all revenues.

“This historic moment, with an especially impressive achievement in mobile, is indicative of an increased awareness from advertisers that they need to reach consumers where they are spending their time—in digital media,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of IAB, in a press release.

Ad Revenues versus Ad Spending

Internet ad spending is huge – the next biggest after traditional television advertising. $31.7 billion of ad spending in 2011 was on Internet ads. Retailers spent the most (22%), followed by telecom (12%), and leisure and travel (8%).

Unsurprisingly, Internet ads’ revenue growth has outpaced all other media outlets’ over the past seven years. Retail has seen the most growth in Internet ad revenues, followed by financial services, telecom, auto, then computing products tied with leisure travel.

As for the minutiae of what makes a great Internet ad, that our business. Let’s talk about whether and what kind of Internet ads are best suited to your business. iQM.

The PDF of the full report is here.

Internet Marketing Tips | 5 Pivotal Points

internet marketing

Internet Marketing Pivot Points

5 Important Pillars of Internet Marketing.

1. Blogs

–Register your blog with popular directories
–Have your newest blog posts appear on your LinkedIn Profile and Facebook status with links back to the blog
–Read top blogs in your industry, and then post comments with helpful information and links back to your own blog or Web site.

2. Social media can be a great way to get the word out about your company or product. Effective internet marketing can help accomplish this goal.

–Did you know Facebook has more than 200 million users? Facebook allows you to create free fan pages about your business.
–LinkedIn is a professional network that includes allowing companies to create profiles.
–Manage your social networking presence and engage in consistent participation with your connections. Nutshell Mail is a service that brings users a summary of their social network updates to their inbox in a single email delivered to them on their schedule.

3. Monitor Your Cyberspace Presence

We’ve all heard of “Google-ing” someone or something… Keep an active eye on what’s posted on the Internet about you and your business. Assume that your clients and prospects are in the know about what’s out there. Searching your name on Google and Twitter can tell you several important things:

–What people are saying about your business
–Whether your work is being used without your permission
–Whether someone else is using your personal or business name

If your reputation is in trouble and you’re finding negative or false information, you may need professional assistance to fix the problem. Evaluate if you need legal representation or public relations and press release solutions.

4. Be consistent with your online message and branding

–Coordinate and integrate marketing communications tools within your business. By doing this, the business’s brand message will be consistent in all possibilities.
–Integrating communications helps eliminate confusion from the consumer and builds brand strength.

All advertising media selections, creative designs, and public relations efforts should strive to match the message, media, and audience, so the right person sees and/or hears the advertisement or internet marketing piece and can recognize the business and its brand consistency.

5. Apply Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to your web site

SEO is a great way to increase your online revenue stream. SEO allows you to:

–Develop and arrange your site’s content and navigation to be fully optimized
–Drive more traffic to your Web site
–Maximize your Internet exposure

If these pointers seemed like an avalanche of information, imagine executing all of these functions on a daily basis. It could get overwhelming. This is when it’s time to consider outsourcing the work to a team of industry veterans who will keep your business’ best interest at the forefront. At iQuarius Media we work on these different facets on a daily basis, so feel free to contact us and we can discuss how to make your online presence effective.

B2B Social Media Marketing

b2b social mediaAs a business owner, you can no longer ignore the role social media plays in the survival of any business.

You may think that Business to Business has nothing to do with social media; you may be surprised how vital B2B social media is for your business’s success.

6 Steps to Get You Started with B2B Social Media Marketing

Step 1: Understand what you want B2B social media marketing to achieve for your business.  Remember, with B2B social media marketing, it is a means to an end. This golden rule will help you measure your B2B social media marketing success. If, at any stage, you are unable to identify what you are trying to accomplish, you are wasting your time. Begin your B2B social media marketing by setting one or two clear goals and always have them in mind as your guide throughout your marketing efforts.

Step 2: Find your B2B social media audience. The main point of B2B social media marketing is to successfully reach your target audience. Find out where your customers spend their time online. Where are they most vocal? Identify the proper channels to address. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.

Step 3: Develop the proper B2B social media content.  Of course, everything eventually boils down to proper content. Why is content strategy essential in B2B social media marketing? What type of information is relevant and interesting to your target audience? It’s something they’re already talking about. It becomes a matter of creating content and then using the proper methods of distributing that content — which differs from audience to audience (that is, from industry to industry).

Step 4: Consider Search and SEO in B2B social media. Be search engine friendly as a matter of course throughout your B2B social media marketing. People Google their questions and do their research through search. Customers and clients go online to finalize their purchase decisions. Optimize everything. Leverage keywords so they find you when they’re ready to make a deal. This is where your B2B social media marketing feeds into your bottom line. 

Step 5: Establish a digital footprint for your B2B social media. Leave a description of your business and an active link for users to click on, everywhere. Besides supporting your SEO efforts, active links are a direct line to your website so users can find it with minimal effort. At the very least, put a link to your site on all your landing pages, welcome pages, and profiles (where applicable) on all your B2B social media channels.

Step 6: Hold yourself accountable. Business requires trust and reliability. Be who you say you are. And establish a regular process for reporting, such as through analytics, so that you can measure your business’ progress at the end of each month.

 Summary

One important thing to note through all this is that running a B2B Social Media marketing campaign requires a lot of hours. Keeping open communications with people you regularly do business with is one thing. But knowing when to outsource is a smart move. A good Internet marketing team can improve targeted traffic and:

  • Create fresh content and push it out on a daily basis
  • Keep an eye on analytics to measure your business’ reach — then interpret and act on the insights provided
  • Manage accounts to make sure you’re not missing important communications with potential business partners and customers
  • Optimize everything

Call us if you need help. We can do all of the above. With a smile.

Mobile Apps for Digital Marketing: 10 Things You MUST Know

1. Only do apps when you need more

Compared to browsing, mobile apps offer a richer level of user interaction allowing more complex graphics, media, and information to be presented. They also provide a more robust and secure environment for user engagement. But, if you can deliver what you are trying to achieve through a browser you will be able to reach far more consumers. –Jeremy Copp, CEO, Rapid Mobile Media

2. Tell people about your app

Don’t just rely on app stores, you can distribute apps via mobile sites, operators, and through multiple ad placements and formats for maximum impact and reach. –Theo Theodorou, EMEA Sales Manager, Mobile Advertising, Microsoft Advertising

3. Think further than the iPhone

The iPhone offers fantastic functionality for developers and users alike, and apps developed for the platform are eminently PR-able, and are often shared virally. It has a fast growing user base, and reaches relatively wealthy 25-44 year olds who actively use mobile media very well; but also developing a Java version, optimised to work over a wide range of handsets including BlackBerry will give you a far greater potential reach. –Mark Angell, Business Development Director, Marvellous

4. Get the balance right

There are 2 fundamental balances to achieve. Firstly, business objectives vs user needs: For the application to be effective, the business needs must carefully consider the user as well as commercial objectives. Secondly, the three E’s (Engagement, Entertainment, and Effectiveness): Functional apps often outlast the usage of entertainment-based apps. –Paul Taylor, Strategist & Planner, COI

5. Know the average app user

There are 8.7 million people who have used a downloaded app in the UK which is 18% of mobile users. 60% of these users are playing games that they have downloaded. The median age of an apps user is 32 years old and 43% are female. 36% of app users own smartphones compared to 15% of the total market. –Alistair Hill, Analyst and Mobile Products, Europe, comScore

6. Brand-building vs sales

Free applications get the most downloads, where as paid-for applications generate revenue. Knowing whether you are branding or selling is a key point when launching your first application. –Ross Butler, Creative, Parrott and Miller

7. Product longevity is essential

Every service needs a roadmap, no matter how basic. Customers will quickly get bored with a uni-functional app which has no new features or capability added over time. By adding functionality as time goes on you can create brand advocacy. –Christian Harris, CEO, Gorilla Box

8. Send them in the right direction

Ads in existing applications are a great place to advertise, but make sure that the destination site is optimised for mobile. If you don’t then you risk low conversion and a poor perception of your brand. –Jonathan Abraham, Brand Sales Director, AdMob

9. Test, test, and test again

If a customer can access it on their handset it needs to work. If it doesn’t it will do more damage than good to your brand. Invite feedback and always read customer reviews (don’t just ask friends to write them!) to ensure you’re meeting the needs of your consumer. –Oliver Newton, Head of Emerging Platforms, i-level

10. Be on brand

Just like with any form of communication ensure that your app is ‘on brand.’ Tone of voice, brand values, message, production values, and brand fit are essential in making a great brand app. –Kieron Matthews, Marketing Director, IAB

IABUK.

5G Mobile Internet on the Horizon?

Mobile Internet is the biggest thing to come along since, well, cell phones and the Internet. Now, before 4G internet is even mainstream, the possibilities of 4.5G and 5G are on the horizon.

Researchers at Rice University have made a breakthrough that could allow wireless companies to double throughput in their networks without adding a single cell phone tower or overhauling existing phone hardware.

“Full duplex” wireless would enable phones and tablets to  “talk” and “listen” on the same frequency, something that requires two frequencies today. In 2010, professor of electrical and computer engineering Ashutosh Sabharwal along with Melissa Duarte and Chris Dick published the first paper showing that full-duplex wireless was possible. That set the worldwide wireless community off on a race to see if it could be implemented on real networks. This summer, Sabharwal and Guarav Patel demonstrated in real-time that it could be done. They set new performance records while they did it, producing signal quality at least 10 times better than any previously published result. All they did was add an extra antenna and pulled a few computing tricks.

All this could mean new wireless standards allowing carriers to upgrade to 5G in just a few years.

“Our solution requires minimal new hardware, both for mobile devices and for networks, which is why we’ve attracted the attention of just about every wireless company in the world,” said Sabharwal.

Ten Things to Avoid When Running an SEO Campaign

Even if you’re using the skills and expertise of an SEO firm, it is still important that you at least know the basics of SEO so that you can work with the company to make the results even better.

There are loads of things that you need to be doing within an SEO campaign, but there are also some things that you REALLY must avoid, and we take a look at some of these below with our top ten things to avoid when running an SEO campaign.

1. Waiting Too Long – One of the biggest mistakes most people make is waiting too long to even begin an SEO campaign. If you have a website you should be running some kind of SEO, no matter how young the site is, because a good campaign can help to get a higher ranking in the early days.

2. Targeting Competitive Keywords – If you sell houses then the chances of you getting to the top of Google for the keyword “houses” are going to be slim, to say the least. If you are working in an extremely competitive market, then you need to look outside of the box and start looking at easier keywords that you can rank for, because realistically, it is going to take a lot of time, effort, and a little bit of luck to top the charts for the most competitive search terms.

3. Ignoring Long tail Keywords – Many people think that they should always go for the most popular keywords, but these often tend to be the most competitive, so you need to look at the long tail keywords. If you targeted 5 long tail keywords that all attracted 200 searches a month but were less competitive than one that attracted 1000 searches a month, you stand more chance of getting the traffic you want in a much shorter time.

4. Writing Rubbish ContentContent is king for Google and the search engine is so advanced and sophisticated these days that it can easily spot duplicate content and also poor quality content. The main aim is to write high quality content that is useful, informative, and offers the user a good experience; or else you will just be wasting your time and hindering your progress.

5. Publishing Poor Articles – Content on your own site is very powerful, but you should also look at writing articles and releasing them on some of the more powerful article directories like EzineArticles. If you are going to do this, then make sure you only publish good quality articles, otherwise they will be rejected and, once again, you will have wasted your time.

6. Spammy Blog Comments – Although blog commenting can be a good way to get relevant links back to your site, if you go around adding poor and unrelated comments, then this is only going to backfire on you in the long run. If you are going to comment on blogs, then make sure that you post quality comments on quality
sites and check out the link follow status and the page rank / authority before you even begin.

7. Reciprocal Linking – Swapping links used to be one of the methods used for acquiring links until, like most link practices, it was abused and Google started to shy away from the weight it carried in rankings. Although it can be a good idea to swap links with local businesses or related businesses, do not waste your time swapping links and also limit the number of outbound links you have on your site.

8. Bad Link Neighbourhoods – Always avoid linking to or getting links from “bad neighborhoods” – sites like gambling, adult and other sites that might be considered a little bit risque. If you are found to have loads of links on these types of sites, then you are going to be in trouble, so always make sure you are careful about where links are added to your site.

9. Ignoring Your Own Website – SEO begins at home because if your website is rubbish, any extra traffic you generate will be a waste of time. Add to this the fact that if your meta titles and content are really poor, you are also going to lose out on ranking because two of the biggest factors when it comes to onsite SEO are meta titles and quality content.

10. Running Out Of Patience – SEO takes time – fact! You cannot expect to start an SEO campaign and get overnight results; it will take weeks, if not months, before you really start to get the results that you deserve if you run a good campaign. SEO should be an ongoing thing, running for as long as you decide to keep your website alive, because SEO is one of those things that goes on forever and is a constant effort.

Ian D. Spencer

College Students Use Technology At A Frenzied Pace

technologyAdmit it, you’re on the computer and Internet every day.  Studies have found that 53% of people believe they would be upset if they couldn’t get online while 40% believe they would feel lonely.

The use of technology continues to be a growing trend as new gadgets pop up every few months and college students lead the way in gadget use.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project report College Students and Technology”, 98% of undergraduate students use the Internet. 93% use broadband and 92% connect wirelessly using a laptop or cell phone.

Undergraduate students make up the largest percentage of students who use social networks, followed closely by graduate and community college students. However, the largest percentage of social network users were adults ages 18-24 who were not in school. Someone has to keep up with Farmville right?

The use of different technological devices has grown throughout the years. Years ago, it was rare to find someone who had a cell phone and an mp3 player. Now everyone has cell phones that function as mp3 players along with e-readers, laptops, and gaming consoles. Undergraduate students lead the way in owning e-readers and tablets. Undergrads are also more likely to own a laptop than a desktop computer.

Another unsurprising statistic is that 63% of undergrads admit to using their cell phones for the internet or email.

Technology use continues to rise and many higher education institutions are integrating its use into learning whether it is using an iPad for taking notes and using a laptop for distance learning.

 

World.Edu  (Natasha Bright)

Turn Social Media Addiction Into Results

Social MediaEver had the feeling that the Web can be a waste of time? We start by reading some relevant information on a social media site. An hour later we are still on that site, but in our tenth different place. In fact, 65 percent of all streaming content is watched during the work day. YouTube reports that 2 billion videos are watched during this period of time. Black Monday started because of the faster Internet connections. A lot of the consumer buying on the Web happens at work.

Are you afflicted with a social media addiction? While it may not be contagious, is it affecting your work productivity. Do you feel any of these symptoms?

  • You spend too many hours using social media tools with no measurable results. Sure it’s fun, but from a business standard, what do you have to show for all of your valuable time?
  • Your day is filled with distractions from constant alerts. There is constant fear that you will miss something so you need to react right now. In fact, you work on a stimulus response model waiting for interruptions to delay business decisions or progress.
  • You are always looking at numbers as a reward: You need more followers, tweets, friends and views. You review these metrics more than your company’s financial statements.

Don’t despair. Here are five steps to the cure:

1. Learn that social media is promotion

What social media achieves best through its conversational style is making it easy to form trusting relationships over a long period of time. In the past, we may have done this over three martini lunches or trade shows, but these online tools really make it efficient. Focus on maintaining these relationships through online conversations with prospects, customers, and connectors.

2. Define how your social media activities assist in accomplishing your company’s critical success factor this month

Pick your area of expertise that addresses the pain your company solves and join the conversation on that subject. Identify the connectors and influencers in those conversations. Find your key prospects on social media and begin to follow them. Limit your time based on the ROI your company receives over the next three months.

3. Limit your focus to one just tool

It is impossible to be successful at connecting through all of the social media tools. They all fit just a bit differently. Find which tool your community uses and focus on becoming consistently effective at building relationships with that one. This will enable your company to build their social media expertise slowly instead of burning through a lot of resources that may not be a good investment.

4. Measure your social media results

It’s not just about followers, friends, or views. Track your company’s growing social media influence with such tools as Klout. Think of it as your social media balance sheet.

5. Separate out social media for business vs. just for fun

There is nothing wrong with surfing social media for fun for hours. It’s great connecting with people that you don’t often see in person. But never call that work or a “marketing investment.”

source: Open Forum/Barry Multz

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