Sunday, January 22, 2012

Click Asia Summit 2012 ( Day 3 #CAS12 ) Master Classes By Mahesh Murthy And Gillian Muessig

Day 3 of the Click Asia Summit was all about the master classes on social and search . One could attend 2 workshops that day . One was before lunch and the other one was after lunch. My work essentially revolves around SEO campaigns and I usually opt for SEO focused sessions but this time I decided to attend Mr. Mahesh Murthy’s workshop on “Creating great multi-media campaigns in an integrated world” just to acquaint myself about how other marketing companies approach a given multi media campaign. 


Participants were broken up into teams, and a digital marketing project was given to each team, at the end of the session each team had to present the digital marketing campaign worked out by each . These were graded and analyzed at the end.

Before the teams started working on the project, Mr. Murthy gave an overview and an idea about what an ideal digital marketing campaign should be approached.

He pointed out that for every digital marketing campaign one should list out the following:

· Priorities to achieve via the campaign

· Process to achieve the same

· Template to judge the campaign

He also pointed out with an example of 4 videos the importance of having a strategy and making it go viral and also highlighted the reason for a video or any content to get shared.

· The first and foremost the audience has a lot of choice today so content should be remark worthy

· People share content because they want to be popular among their friends

· If the info comes via a friend it has a high trust factor


Strategy + Virality = Success

What media you choose depends on what message you want to convey. People are not averse to marketing but they are averse to marketing that bores them.

"Digital is not niche anymore. It is mainstream" - Mahesh Murthy

The four videos taken as case study were as follows: > All strategy but no virality > No strategy but all virality > bad strategy but all virality > all stategy and all virality

Mr. Murthy gave the project of designing a digital campaign for a water purifier . All the teams came up with different ideas and I am sure everyone left the place with their dimag ki batti being jaloed (minds Ignited) and I am sure Mr. Murthy too got some ideas for the next water purifier digital campaign his team may have to work on.

After this we dispersed for lunch and I got back to a session on Analytics, Glorious Analytics! By Gillian Muessig from SEOmoz 

The session was divided into the following 4 categories :

Session I - Follow the Money... Backwards!
Choosing KPIs for your business

Session II - Tracking Social Media Metrics
Tracking things that matter in social media campaigns and understanding ROI

Session III - Tracking Conversion Rate Optimization Metrics
Layout, A/B and multivariate testing, and measuring results

Session IV - A Few Reliable Tools
An overview of: Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics and SEOmoz/

After the first 2 sessions , it became more of an open Q & A session where people started asking questions and Gillian answered patiently .

The questions were so varied and were SEO specific hence everyone got to learn something from what problems and issues they were facing on their sites.

The day ended with Gillian (or SEOmom as she is known as ) giving vouchers for a Spa to participants who had asked good questions and I personally got an SEOmoz souvenir which was a token of appreciation for all the help that I had offered. I am still wondering in what way I had helped out?? Infact it was the other way round for me and the pleasure was all mine.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Key Takeaways From Click Asia Summit 2012 ( Day 1 and 2 #CAS12) …

This is the second year consecutively that I have attended the Click Asia Summit Conference. It is sort of becoming a habit now and am already looking forward to the 2013 summit. Its not because of the gloss, glamour, delicious food or the happiness I experience every time I have to go to Mumbai (The city where I was born and spent 23 years of my life) but  because of the sharing of knowledge related to the digital marketing world .

This interaction is the best way to start the year with confidence and set the right direction especially for entrepreneurs like me who work with very small teams and limited budgets. Conferences like these are an energy booster and help to plan for the coming year.

I have attended many conferences across the globe but when such an event takes place in India and especially in Mumbai , it gives me a sense of pride and pleasure.

#CAS12 the 3 day digital conference and networking started off on the 15th of Jan. 2012 with with an evening full of networking, conversations, and of course, laughter at The Comedy Store!

Day 2 post lunch had many options of sessions to select from but the day started with everyone attending the Keynotes by

Dr. Shashi Tharoor ( Member of Parliament, India) who spoke about “The Impact of digital media on politics and India in general”

Dr Tharoor highlighted the impact of social media on news , politics and India in general. He has been one of the early adopters of social media and has influenced celebrities to follow suit . He said that freedom of speech is the mortar that binds the bricks of our democracy together but free speech in Sweden isn't the same as free speech in Surat . He went ahead to say that Unlike a newspaper, social network sites are like postmen who take the news to your door. He also added that one cannot sue the phone companies for sending a defamatory or obscene SMS, similarly a person who puts up something defamatory on FB should be prosecuted not FB itself.

He totally spoke pro social media and said that social media is inescapable and is here to stay. He also added that a message needs a medium it is the message which is important and not the medium.

Lucy McCabe from OgilvyOne Worldwide,Singapore spoke on “The Digital marketing 2.0: The big picture“

She spoke very effectively and highlighted the point that the people of the library era and the people of the Google era think differently. My vote for the best speaker for the day went to her because of the way this difference was presented in her presentation.

She said that the shift of the source of information from the traditional library has made Google the new norm.

For the people of the Google era digital is not about technology but it is just stuff which helps them with their homework and other day to day activities. In 5 years from now we will not be attending conferences on digital marketing because it will be just stuff. She then spoke about the social media impact and redefined the digital relationships between people and brands in a whole new way by saying that people did not come on FB to make friends with brands, 50% of people who use FB have never 'liked' a brand since that's not the reason they are on FB and digital is not about the clicks, its about the conversation. On this medium brands should ask "what can we give back" if they want time, money, advocacy and data as a digital exchange. Customers don't wake up and go "ooh, wonder what branded digital content I can interact with today"

Connect Me -> Be Useful -> Entertain Me. Three things people want from brands .

Finally she focused on the fact that The future of agency lies in solving problems with innovative ideas

Cyriel Kortleven from New Shoes Today , Belgium spoke on “Get a creative boost... Break the curse of knowledge “

He started his keynote with wired 7 questions for triggering creativity . He said that our brains see something and make assumptions with almost everything we do . His digital marketing analogy with the human brain was quite interesting where he highlighted that the curse of knowledge is that we get stuck into thinking patterns and habits and we can break the borders of the box for thinking patterns and habits by not limiting our power with buts and ifs , but unleash the power of 'and' by asking and what else.

Post lunch the sessions were divided into 3 categories as follows:
My interest and inclination as usual is the social and search sessions hence I glued my attention to those sessions which were as follows.

The first session was by Mr. Sandeep Amar on Social media impact - An analytics overview .
For him social media meant only Facebook , the idea I just could not digest. He seemed to be pro FB and totally against Google which again was very annoying for me to sit through and listen to. The audience spoke more than him and he was unable to answer any questions satisfactorily.

He went ahead to say that Negative posts receive more comments and less Likes. This calls for marketers to delve into their Facebook Insights. The very thought of FB = Social Media which he put forward made me lose interest in the session.

Rajesh Sharma’s session was on “Beyond the initial hype – building sustainable and scalable digital businesses, the PE perspective ! “

He put forward the question – Will Ecommerce boom or burst in 2012?

  • As per his presentation the key points were: 
  • There are more no. of enterprises coming up online 
  • Technology is no longer a challenge anyone can get a website made but only the setting up of the ecommerce venture is easy sustaining it and making it grow is a challenge. 
  • It is not necessary that the people who set up the business may be the right people to scale up the business . Hence we need experts for every specialized job. 

For the success of the Ecommerce Business we need an EAT Model
E- Experiences
A – Aspirations
T – Transactions

The dotcom 2000 burst was because the T was missing then. Now people buy confidently online.

Mahesh Narayanan highlighted the urgency to go mobile ASAP and to Make sure to track and measure your reach,whether through your app or through your mobile site. He said that mCommerce will become big in the next couple of months in India and the consumers on the go should be focused. 

Vivek Bhargava spoke on “How to use analytics and other technology tools to plan a content strategy for an Enterprise Business “

His mantra was to focus on the psychographics and the target audience and the most reliable strategy was to create videos and see that they go viral. He also highlighted that SEO is now all about web presence optimization and the content was the glue to conversations and If a user is engaged with your brand then the propensity to buy from that brand is much higher compared to others.

Manish Maheshwari spoke about Reaching internet-dark mobile users…in as less as 5 hours

This session was about how to use SMS to reach out to people who do not have internet access , what he spoke about was SMSing via which has the internet on SMS .

He pointed out that :
  • SMS kills all others (Mobile web, apps) in terms of accessibility, reach 
  • An average Indian Send 29 SMS a month 
  • SMS, as advertising medium has 5% interaction rate 
  • SMS is most used app on mobile phones, even on smartphones. 
Chris George - Search and social : Digital marketing in the SME sector in India

He shared that:
  • 76% of people think that companies lie in advertising 
  • India has second highest base of #Linkedin users 
  • 41% of internet user trust information published on #Facebook
  • We are at the intersection of search and social 
  • Aim of SMM should be - brand building and crowd sourcing...creating advocates 
  • The selection of the social media medium depends on the message which needs to be sent across and the messenger matters. 
Lalit Bhagia The multi- tasking digital consumer

He focused on the point that The challenge today is to get the attention of the consumer's nonstop limited attention 87% of the people are on social media while watching TV . We are multi-tasking all the time, hence the content that we share or upload on aour site or Apps should have an overall appeal and should pull the visitors attention from all the other task that he is doing at that moment.

Cross-leveraging SEO & SEM
Benedict Hayes (Moderator)
Navneet Kaushal, Hareesh Tibrewala,Benjamin Gonsalves

The day ended with a panel discussion on how to cross-leverage SEO & SEM.

The focus on this session was that at the end of the day whatever SEO and SEM strategy that you have the campaigns are judged by the ROI they generate.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Google Adds Google+ To Give Us Search Plus Social Results

Google has always been synonymous to search . In 2011 the integration of social signals to search was the most common topic of the SEO blogosphere and everyone was trying to figure out how the social signals will be integrated into search results.

Google just yesterday announced on their Inside Search blog that : “…We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships….” Of course this endeavor of Google started in October 2009 and has been working on it since then.

Yesterday a major change has been announced and three new features as follows have been implemented:

Personal Results: which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page.

Profiles in Search: both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following.

People and Pages: which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.

Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World.

Google says: Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started….

The change is live now, though not everyone will see it until it fully launches over the next few days. It’s only for those signed-in to and searching in English.

Google has introduced a prominent new toggle on the upper right of the results page where you can see what your search results look like without personal content. With a single click, you can see an unpersonalized view of search results.

Amit Singhal has concluded the blog post by saying:

We named our company after the mathematical number googol as an aspiration toward indexing the countless answers on webpages, but that’s only part of the picture. The other part is people, and that’s what Search plus Your World is all about.

After Google announced this ‘Search Plus’ feature the SEO blogosphere filled with post on how this will affect the search industry and what will be the possible pros and cons of this additional feature.

Danny Sullivan Of Search Engine Land wrote:

Google’s Results Get More Personal With “Search Plus Your World”

A Blog Post On Mashable Said:

Google Merges Search and Google+ Into Social Media Juggernaut

Matt Cutts wrote a blog post on his blog titled:

Sharing a search story

The major concern is that Google might favor only the Google+ social signals and hence try to influence the use of Google+ more that other social media platforms. But, this was clarified by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt who says Google+ content is not being favored over Twitter and Facebook by Google’s search engine. Rather, those companies can be treated the same if they grant Google the right permissions to access their content.

Danny Sullivan wrote about this on :

Schmidt: Google+ Not Favored, Happy To Talk Twitter & Facebook Integration

I think the blending of social results in search is not only the inevitable evolution of search but the reflection of what took place when civilizations evolved. We can just say that the stone age of search is over and now search even has the ability to reflect what people in your community are talking about and recommending. It is basic human nature to search for a want and then discuss with peers about their opinions and then take a decision. Since ages we have been doing this but now we have to just adapt ourselves to the virtual world for this kind of an action.

To a certain extent I believe that if Google wants to improve the quality of search results and combat the spam on the web then yes, it is highly essential that the search engine can access data from a resource it has full control on. But, from the search engine perspective only time will tell how well Google succeeds in integrating the social signals from other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter else with the kind of hold Google has over the search market it is going to be, Google Google all the way…

Related Links On Google+

Google+ As A Complete Blogging Platform Diverges To Converge And Converges TO Diverge
Google+ Is Coming Along Riding On The Social Wave….
Google+ Important For You If You Are Serious About Search
Google+ Business Pages – Build A Brand And A Voice For Your Company Locally And Globally
Google+ Real-time Search Results & Improved Hashtag Support
Google Plans To Support Brands, Businesses, and Beyond. Google+ Business Profiles For All
Why Is Your Google+ Profile Important From The Search And Social Media Perspective?
The Google+ Project : The Social Network Project From Google

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Google+ As A Complete Blogging Platform Diverges To Converge And Converges TO Diverge

Google+ is a platform with some great features for sharing content. Moreover, it does not have the limitation of characters like Twitter which is truly a micro blogging platform. With the trend moving towards content excellence and content marketing and Google+ profile becoming the most integrated identity for an online presence. As the circles concept of Google+ makes it very easy to reach out to different groups of people and share what you want to share to the selected circle. Google+ has the potential of becoming an excellent blogging platform for all purposes personal and professional. 

We have been till now blogging on our blogs and then sharing the link on the social media platform but with Google+ the blog post content , comments and the link to be shared on other social media sites can be available on the same platform.

With social media signals being incorporated in search the need to have a quality social media presence which reflects the trust and authority factor of the brand is highly imperative. Hence we can see the SEO blogosphere filled with posts of how blogging and social media presence can help the SEO and online presence of any site.

I think all the clients who cannot maintain a separate blog for various reasons can start off their blogging journey via their Google+ business page which will not only associate and correlate valuable content to their social profiles but also pass of the necessary content correlation to the social signals for getting integrated to search. The content shared and the UGC content generated can be in the form of images, videos, text, links, etc. a whole plethora of content options available to correlate to the social profile.

I think from the users perspective also when you share your comment or views on the Google+ profile where the blogpost link has been shared you have a better chance of correlating that content to your social profile rather than commenting on the blog where the blog post is published.

Eventually all the Google+ data being accessible by Google is an overall added advantage . So, atleast from the search perspective currently Google+ has a win-win potential to become a complete blogging platform converging your overall web identity on a single platform .


(Google+) = Blogging (Personal + Professional) + Social Media + UGC + Location + (+1 Counts) + Image Albums + Videos + Recommended Links to integrate your overall web presence = Search Plus

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