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Advertising for Startups

Advertising for Startups | Small Business Marketing |

Excerpted from the article:


Strategy #1: Try to Get Permission

Seriously consider offering something in exchange for a visitor's email address. It can be a free trial, a free report, or maybe even a free book. But gaining the means and permission to contact that customer again will increase your conversion rate over time in most cases. There is great power in an email list.

Strategy #2: Use Advertising to Test

Use advertising as a testing tool rather than a long-term stream of customers. Very few startups can withstand the cash outlay required to turn advertising into a marketing activity with positive ROI. Even if you figure it out, advertising is a volatile marketing medium. Prices increase rapidly in online advertising as new competition crops up or prospects grow bored of your ad and your click through rate drops. When this happens, all of the time you invested in optimizing your ad campaign is *poof*...gone. So instead of relying on ad traffic as an ongoing stream, use it for what it's best at: the ability to generate a slew of visitors very quickly, and to be turned off just as quickly.

Gaurav Pandey's insight:

Like most things in marketing, there's no one-size-fits-all approach here. 

Depending on your niche, you'll need trial and error to identify the channel that best works for you. Eg. if you are a business selling designer clothes to women, Pinterest should one of your first choices. 

Likewise, there are other platforms for other niches. 


Additionally you can try Inbound Marketing by setting up your website/blog along with a decent SEO strategy. in addition there is social media, which is a great way to get organic traffic to your blog/website. 


Would you like to share your ideas on the topic? Please feel free to drop in a comment or two. 

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Tools for Social Media Analysis

Tools for Social Media Analysis | Small Business Marketing |

As the use of social media grows, so does the need to track and analyze its use. Social media marketers need to understand where their efforts are best utilized on social media platforms. Other analysts and researchers need to understand the overall impact of social media. For this reason, social media analysis tools are emerging. Most tools gather and analyze text data from various social media platforms. Some are platform-centric, while others gather data from a variety of sources.


Top Ten Tools: 

1. Author Crawler











Full article here: ;

Gaurav Pandey's insight:

Measuring engagement is critical to social media/website analyst.

Some of the key KPIs one shoud be looking to track are:


1.  Monitoring Search Engine Traffic

2.  Social Media Engagement 

3.  User Experience on Websites

4.  Cart abandonment rate/conversion rate

5.  Target audience involvement

6.  Tracking customer response to content (text, videos and pictures)

7.  Categorising and monitoring customer feedback 


Social Media Analytics takes the guesswork out of measuring ROI and gauging user engagement. With more and more companies making a gradual policy shift towards online/social media marketing, analysts need to refine the way they have been measuring the impact of online marketing. Keeping track of follower count and web visits is just the beginning. Online marketing strategy should be aligned with your business objectives and all efforts should lead in that direction. These tools are a good way to measure key KPIs.


Feel free to share your experience with these tools. 

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Coke is Red: Colors & Marketing

Coke is Red: Colors & Marketing | Small Business Marketing |
How do colors affect us when we buy things? The latest research reveals the science of colors in marketing and how to use it for your advantage:

Via Cendrine Marrouat -
Gaurav Pandey's insight:

I reckon with such abundance of content everywhere, makerters are increasingly competing to grab the attention of passive minds. We skim through most content we are exposed, and colour plays a great role in catching our attention. 

David Allen's curator insight, April 27, 2013 8:45 AM

An excellent insight for your next marketing project... The importance of color!

Kellie Levåns's comment, April 28, 2013 8:45 PM
this is a great topic
ComeStilVuole's curator insight, May 4, 2013 6:41 AM
#psicologia e #marketing , due lati della stessa medaglia!
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Social Media Influencers: What Marketers Must Know | Heidi Cohen

Social Media Influencers: What Marketers Must Know | Heidi Cohen | Small Business Marketing |
To better understand the role of influencers on social media and the marketplace in general, Technorati Media gathered input from over 6,000 influencers for their 2013 Digital Influence Report. Here are their top five findings regarding influencers.
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The Future SEOs

The Future SEOs | Small Business Marketing |

Rand Fishkin shares his take on the shift from "SEO" to "inbound marketing" and what the future holds for our industry at large. 



Via Antonino Militello
Gaurav Pandey's insight:

Interesting article!

The SEO industry is changing fast and must adapt itself to offer solutions beyond just search rankings. Especially, if you consider the impact Social Meida has had on SEO and updates to Google algorithms it's clear that SEOs will have more on thier plates going forward. 

That said, traditional SEOs can't be expected to suddenly gain expertise in  social media and marketing etc. Infact, it's can well be the other way round and traditional marketing professionals, especially those into social media and online marketing, may find it easier to add SEO skills to their repertoire. I see this reverse trend more likely as most online media professionals tend to have a basic understanding of SEO, whereas hardcore SEO professionals have traditionally focussed on  their 'specialisation'.  

Going forward we will see a lot of overlap between the two roles and traditional PR and marketing skills could well be basic requirements for an SEO role. Therefore someone who is equally at ease with SEO and Online Marketing is probably the prototype of the modern SEO or Inbound Marketer, whatever you choose to call them. This could affect a lot of SEO people used to working in the background, often from overseas. 

David Pangione's comment, May 11, 2013 7:14 PM
I have found that there are tons and tons of strategies to SEO. Some beginners that enter are just bewildered by the amount of information they feel is needed to be learned.
Gaurav Pandey's comment, May 11, 2013 7:35 PM
Hi David, I feel it's the same for marketing, if not more overwhelming. However, going forward we will see a lot of overlap between the two roles and it's probably not going to affect those who are really good at SEO, but a lot of people with intermediate-advanced knowledge who call themselves SEO pro's will surely come under the pump as a marketing expert could acquire intermediate SEO skills if he has to.
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The future of retail

The future of retail — and, most importantly, the future of the shopping experience — continued to be a major topic on GigaOM Pro this week. Research content on the continued evolution of the workplace also proved to be a popular subject among readers.

Our latest Sector RoadMap focuses on social customer service: meeting users where they are on social networks and social media platforms. It’s no longer a niche market, as enterprise giants like, Oracle, and SAP acquire social customer service startups or launch their own in-house solutions. It’s clear that social customer service could transform how customers interact with businesses. In “Sector RoadMap: social customer service in 2013,” Laura Stuart analyzes data from GigaOM Research’s recent survey on social business technology and identifies six major factors that could disrupt this volatile market in the near-term future.

Gaurav Pandey's insight:

Essentially social media for digital marketing is not very different from the traditional PR. It still is and increasingly so about keeping your customers engaged. The more effort you put into it the better results you will get. 


One of social media’s biggest advantages is the ability for brands to really listen to what consumers are saying. They provide invaluable insight that a focus group or survey might not be able to. Brands must realize the importance of customer service, especially now, when it is so easy for a consumer to jump on the internet and find another company to fill their needs. 

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The Internet Can't Hear You

From the article:

The Internet might have looked very different than it does today. When Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina were building Mosaic, the browser that practically created the Web in 1993, they included the ability to annotate any page. Discussions immediately sprang up. But they quickly realized that the server to host the annotations would have had to scale to enormous size, which was not practical. So they took the feature out.

What would the Web have looked like if annotation had managed to stay in? Maybe a million conversations would have bloomed, and some of the furious divides that plague this country would have been bridged. Or maybe it just would have been a deafening free-for-all, cranking up all the cranks.

Twenty years later, there is a vast amount of discussion on the Web, much of it in the form of comments and reviews. But it is generally hosted by corporations – Facebook, Google, Amazon – that are selling ads or products, which kind of undermines the democratic spirit of give and take. When the companies fail, like Myspace did, the content simply goes away.

Maybe that is why there is now a renewed appetite for exploring ways of facilitating commenting across the Internet that give more control to individuals. Many of those interested in seeing that happen – including start-ups, academics, libraries and early adopters – came to San Francisco this week for the I Annotate conference. It was a discussion about discussion.

“Why now?” asked Dan Whaley, founder of, a start-up that hosted the conference with help from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “The Web is more mature. Browsers are better. There’s the potential of interoperability, of openness. We can create a parallel Web that is a conversation about the world as it found through the Web.”

An overlay of commentary would improve discovery. One scientist at the conference said that in biomedicine, there were 150 to 250 new articles a week, which means that if everyone in the field read them, they would never have time to do any research. Annotations could help drive the best papers to the forefront of attention.

Give Mr. Whaley, who in 1995 was a co-founder of the first travel company on the Web, credit for thinking big. is no mere app that helps you buy some trinket. It wants to create an incentive for people to do their work to the highest standard, and make it harder to spread work that does not meet that standard. A preliminary version of its annotation system was introduced at the conference; a bigger roll-out will happen at the end of the year.

Many start-ups have tried to develop commenting systems, as readily acknowledges. A prominent effort during the first Internet boom was Third Voice. It offered free software that allowed users to essentially place sticky notes on Web sites. Only other Third Voice users could see the comments, which were hosted on the start-up’s computers.

Web site owners did not like it, for obvious reasons; users were hard to control. Third Voice failed in 2001, but some of the issues that plagued it – How do you encourage useful comments while restricting trolls? When does criticism boil over into attacks? – are still around.

One thing has going for it is that it is a nonprofit organization. “If you want to create a conversation layer over the entire Web, you can’t own it,” Mr. Whaley said. “People won’t trust it.”

But then, there are all sorts of ways to do annotations, including more targeted ventures. One of the start-ups presenting at the conference, which is getting both traction and attention. It started out as a music commentary site, where fans annotated the lyrics. Then the musicians started showing up to annotate their lyrics. Now it has branched out to other documents, like “The Great Gatsby,” the manifesto of the Los Angeles police officer-turned-killer Christopher Dorner and Archibald MacLeish’s poem “Ars Poetica,” which is annotated in images.

“We’re developing a social network that is specifically around close-reading texts,” said Jeremy Dean of Rap Genius.

He was peppered with questions. What about copyright? What about trolls? Once a text is annotated, is there less desire to work on it by a new crop of readers? That might ultimately make the site rather static. And what is the business model here?


Gaurav Pandey's insight:

Few points to add:


The concept needs further explanation. Eg. How do I control what SERP results display? 

Commenting should stay as it is. It's natural and makes the whole concept appealing to the masses. 


Keeping the site uncluttered is the key. That's what brings visitors back. 

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