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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Brands Beat Generics

When markets are new they are unproven, thus they often have limited investment targeting them.

That in turn means it can be easy to win in new markets just by virtue of existing.

It wouldn't be hard to rank well creating a blog today about the evolution of the 3D printing industry, or a how to site focused on Arduino or Raspberry Pi devices.

Couple a bit of passion with significant effort & limited competition and winning is quite easy.

Likewise in a small niche geographic market one can easily win with a generic, because the location acts as a market filter which limits competition.

But as markets age and become more proven, capital rushes in, which pushes out most of the generic unbranded players.

Back in 2011 I wrote about how Google had effectively killed the concept of category killer domains through the combination of ad displacement, vertical search & the algorithmic ranking shift moving away from relevancy toward awareness. 2 months before I wrote that post Walgreen Co. acquired Drugstore.com for about $429 million. At the time Drugstore.com was one of the top 10 biggest ecommerce pure plays.

Thursday Walgreens Boots announced it would shut down Drugstore.com & Beauty.com:

The company is still trying to fine tune its e-commerce strategy but clearly wants to focus more of its resources on one main site. “They want to make sure they can invest more of the equity in Walgreens.com,” said Brian Owens, a director at the consultancy Kantar Retail. “Drugstore.com and Beauty.com are distractions.”

Big brands can sometimes get coverage of "meh" content by virtue of being associated with a big brand, but when they buy out pure-play secondary e-commerce sites those often fail to gain traction and get shuttered:

Other retailers have picked up pure-play e-commerce sites, only to shut them down shortly thereafter. Target Corp. last year shuttered ChefsCatalog.com and Cooking.com, less than three years after buying them.

The lack of publishing savvy among most large retailers mean there will be a water cycle of opportunity which keeps re-appearing, however as the web gets more saturated many of these opportunities are going to become increasingly niche options riding new market trends.

If you invest in zero-sum markets there needs to be some point of differentiation to drive switching. There might be opportunity for a cooking.com or a drugstore.com targeting emerging and frontier markets where brands are under-represented online (much like launching Drugstore.com in the US back in 1999), but it is unlikely pure-play ecommerce sites will be able to win in established markets if they use generically descriptive domains which make building brand awareness and perceived differentiation next to impossible.

Target not only shut down cooking.com, but they didn't even bother redirecting the domain name to an associated part of their website.

It is now listed for sale.

Many short & generic domain names are guaranteed to remain in a purgatory status.

  • The price point is typically far too high for a passionate hobbyist to buy them & attempt to turn them into something differentiated.
  • The names are too generic for a bigger company to do much with them as a secondary option
    • the search relevancy & social discovery algorithms are moving away from generic toward brand
    • retailers have to save their best ideas for their main branded site
    • the rise of cross-device tracking + ad retargeting further incentivize them to focus exclusively on a single bigger site)
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Reddit Lets Brands Promote User Posts: This Week in Social Media

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Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Reddit Announces New Ad Offering: Reddit introduced Promoted User Posts, a new ad offering that gives marketers the [...]

This post Reddit Lets Brands Promote User Posts: This Week in Social Media first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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#SproutChat Recap: How to Analyze, Interpret & Present Data From Social Media

As marketers we have access to a plethora of data. The landscape of tools that offer in-depth reporting is robust and the complimentary metrics that come Read more...

This post #SproutChat Recap: How to Analyze, Interpret & Present Data From Social Media originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Online Marketing News: Critical Personalization, Social Strategy Research & Marketers on Reddit

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Why Creating a Personal Online Experience for Your Visitors Is Critical [Infographic]
Did you know that 87% of companies that have implemented web personalization have seen an increased return in key metrics? There is certainly a strong case to create a personal experience for visitors to your website or blog. This handy infographic explains why one size doesn't always fit all. MarketingProfs

What 51 Million Pieces of Content Say About Your Social Media Marketing Strategy [NEW RESEARCH]
TrackMaven analyses "the social media content from over 40,000 companies across 130 major industries on four major social networks —Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn — to provide businesses with relevant benchmarks for social media audience size, posting frequency, and engagement at an industry-specific level" in this new report. TrackMaven

Reddit Intros New Ad Offering, 'Grows Up' and Says It Can Be as Big as Facebook
Reddit announced that they're allowing marketers to sponsor user posts on the popular social platform. AdAge reports "On August 4, Reddit will debut a new ad offering called Promoted User Posts, which will give marketers the ability to sponsor user generated posts on Reddit's platform." While the benefits to the users are unclear, this could make huge headway for influencer marketers and consumer brands trying to reach a tough-to-reach audience. AdAge

Google launches imported call conversions
Google is now allowing advertisers using their AdWords platform to import call data, so they can better attribute leads and revenue driven by their ads and connect that to their return on ad spend. This has been available in a rudimentary form previously, but this new ability will step up visibility into ROI and user behavior. ClickZ

Spotify Is Now Letting Brands Target Listeners Worldwide via Their Playlists
Last week, Spotify announced that the music streaming service will be offering programmatic advertising to its user base for marketers, with targeting based on demographics like age, gender, location and listening habits like playlist and genres. AdWeek

37 percent of US marketers struggle with creating the most efficient marketing mix across channels to drive results.

Google rolls out expanded text ads, device bid adjustments & responsive ads for native in AdWords
According to Search Engine Land, "Google has officially launched expanded text ads. The extra-long ads with double headlines began rolling out across devices Tuesday morning." Google is also now allowing advertisers to start setting base bid adjustments by device, and announced the upcoming responsive display ads that will be served across the GDN. Search Engine Land

Facebook Reports Seeing 2 Billion Searches Daily
MediaPost reports that on Wwednesday, Mark Zuckerberg said that on Facebook, "people are doing more than 2 billion searches a day between looking up people, businesses, and other things that they care about ... One of the big growing use cases that we're investing a lot in is looking up the content in the ecosystem, and that is an area that we're very excited about, which helps people find more content." MediaPost

ACSI report: Customer satisfaction increases for e-business despite dips in social media
The American Customer Satisfaction Index has released their findings on how social media, search engines and news websites have impacted consumer perceptions of e-businesses. While satisfaction with e-businesses is continuing to improve, satisfaction on social media -- attributed in part to the rise of social customer service -- has dropped. Marketing Land

Financial Times: People find mobile ads 'intrusive' and 'distracting'
Financial Times released findings from a study of 1,300 readers, of which Digiday reports: "Half of respondents to a survey the FT conducted with Quantcast said mobile ads are more intrusive than desktop, although 37 percent of them said they’d be more influenced if the mobile ads they saw were more creative." Digiday

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

I'll be back in two weeks with more digital marketing news! The lovely and talented Ashley Zeckman will be filling my spot on camera and on the blog next week with the latest and greatest in the world of digital marketing.

The post Online Marketing News: Critical Personalization, Social Strategy Research & Marketers on Reddit appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Twitter Analytics: How to Know if Your Twitter Marketing Works

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Do you review your Twitter Analytics? Want to use them to improve your Twitter marketing? Ian Cleary is with us to explore what you can learn from the data provided in Twitter Analytics. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy [...]

This post Twitter Analytics: How to Know if Your Twitter Marketing Works first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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The Insider’s Guide to Running a Six-Figure Membership Site from Home

Note from Marsha Stopa: There was a ripple in the blogging world last week when we learned that John Yeoman had passed. John ran several acclaimed fiction writing programs at his membership site Writers’ Village and was a fixture since we launched this blog. We counted on him popping into our inboxes with a wry(...)

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What Does ‘Mobile-Friendly Content’ Really Mean?

If you’re a 90’s kid, you likely have fond memories of Saved by the Bell and its star, precocious Ferris Bueller type Zack Morris. You could tell Zack was unique among the students at Bayside High. For one thing, he could stop time and address the camera directly. But more importantly, he had a cellular [...]

The post What Does ‘Mobile-Friendly Content’ Really Mean? appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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4 Ways to Beat the Instagram Algorithm

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Does Instagram’s algorithm have you worried? Are you looking for proven tactics to increase your visibility in the Instagram news feed? In this article, you’ll discover how four of the most successful companies on Instagram are responding to the algorithm change, and how your business can do the same. #1: Create Campaign-specific Instagram Links Ben [...]

This post 4 Ways to Beat the Instagram Algorithm first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Clinton vs. Trump: 18 CROs Tear Down the Highest Stakes Marketing Campaigns in US History

No matter who you’re voting for in the 2016 US election, we can all agree on one thing: more than ever before, campaigning has become digital. We’re talking pop-up CTAs, Twitter campaigns and fast-paced optimization. In fact, digital marketers can learn a lot about each candidate’s campaign funnels, which is why we’re tearing them down for you (with the help of 18 expert CROs). Take a look for yourself, and get inspired for your next optimization experiment.

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The Twitter Best Practices Handbook

With a limitation of 140 characters, Twitter instills users to be creative and succinct with social media. Not only that, but with more than Read more...

This post The Twitter Best Practices Handbook originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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