Study: Content marketing investment on the rise

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A recent study 2015 Content Marketing Survey by content marketing agency Castleford states that the amount of marketers committed to content marketing is increasing. According to their results 65% (compared to 48% one year ago) of marketers want to boost their content marketing next financial year. Their plans is to invest more in time and resources.

Even more, 97% of participants of the survey said they will increase or retain their current level of investment. And the respondents also face the support of their C-level executives. Of the responding marketers 76% replied their C-level executives viewed content marketing „quite positively“ or „very positively“.

Obviously, there are also some challenges involved in content marketing creation wit time (45%) and budget (29%) being the biggest problem. Just, 3% that mentioned their C-level buy-in is their biggest challenge to content marketing will be probably persuaded over time, we think.

In terms of content marketing tactics the study shows that social media (81%) is still the favorite online marketing tactics in this field. However, the biggest growth opportunity shows video marketing and paid promotion of content for the next year. 61% are already using video marketing, (increase of 13% compared to last year). This is probably also driven by the main players Facebook and Google.

The variety of content marketing is also growing though. Almost every second marketer said that they use five or more different online marketing channels (45%).

Although Castleford director Rob Cleeve is confident with the development of content marketing, he also makes clear that marketers need to deliver results with it as well: „In my experience, content marketing is claiming an increasingly large share of overall marketing budgets, which is going to mean more pressure to show how it’s benefiting the bottom line.“

Spot On!
Content marketing definitely has changed the advertising industry drastically. However, the main challenges involved are the appropriate use of data with content to drive the right story in the right context to the right user at the right time. Here we see massive problems for many marketers still in our work with customers. Post-it recently explained it nicely in a video that leverages their banner and ask many question in terms of how retargeting actually kills good content marketing in terms in the example of banner ads.

The infographic of the study carries all relevant results of the Castleford study.


7 Tips: How to generate more sales leads via your website

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There are some secrets in online marketing, and there are those that have become common knowledge which people might spread in infographics. However, it is still a challenge for most marketers to detect those inbound marketing insights that simply come from the structure and content of a website. If you as a marketer are looking to increase the data you generate through your landing pages, this infographic might offer some more food for thought.

Whether you know what it means to create a user-friendly website structure, a clever banner campaign to get more potential customer data, or not. Reach Local states in their advice that almost half of the users come to research your service or products via the mobile website. So, did you ever invest in a mobile-friendly website? Or have you ever thought about a video and the time people invest to watch it? Often you loose a sales pitch in 10 seconds but according to the infographic your clients might spend 60 seconds at least to watch a video about your product or service.

Check out which of the seven hints might help you drive more leads through to your sales team.

And, whether you believe it or not, there are three more hints in this text that might foster lead generation for The Strategy Web. If you have found them, share them with a comment below. If not, get in touch and we will help you.


Social Media or/and Website for Lead Generation: What’s the key to success?

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How often did we hear this question in the last three years? Marketers, sales(wo)men and many C-Level’s in the B2B space have asked the question many times in seminars. I am quite happy to have found a study that actually gives some insight in a quite complex business topic.

According to a Demandbase National Marketing and Sales Study in cooperation with Focus, the company corporate website is the top source of new sales leads for consumers. The corporate website still is the primary hub to harness customer interest driven by outbound online marketing activities. However, it is only second to personal connections and referrals. Nevertheless, more than seven times more effective than social media which speaks a clear language, right…?  Well, what if referrals lead to websites via Social Media?

Executives see the website as the top online source of sales leads (23%), followed by email (14%), online advertising (7%), and finally… social media (3%). What sounds as a clear message, is more a blur. The most important factor for measuring website effectiveness is the quality of leads generated (34% vs. quantity 9%). However, nearly one-half of executives surveyed do not know where users are most likely to leave their website.

Another interesting thing is that study participants stated that the website still vastly underperforms in terms of lead generation. Although companies think they understand their sales prospects (over 60% respond knowing or understanding their prospects well), driving sales leads is still a big challenge for them. 80% of the respondents said the corporate website is not performing to its maximum lead generation.

Did you ever ask yourself how a consumer found your website? Can a website alone be enough to generate quality sales leads? What is the key to generating more leads from the web? Is it the website only? Well, once your website is ready to attract customers, it needs to get traction.

Often in the last weeks, we came across one of the main effort to get there: content generation. What makes search engines to drive (potential) customers back to your website? Content. And often marketers say: „We have tons of content! Why is no one coming back?“ The answers is easy: Content needs some systematic approach, and that can best be achieved with inbound marketing. And that’s were Social Media comes into the game. So, the website alone is not the answer to lead generation.

„Social media may be heralded as the silver bullet to bring B2B marketing up to snuff but, despite its increasing influence, it’s important to keep in mind that no business sale is made without the buyer going to the corporate website first. Regardless of its origin–social media or e-mail, banners or search–traffic driven from online marketing initiatives always intersects at the website. And, while businesses are investing heavily in their sites, the study shows that they are then ignoring the very audience they worked so hard to attract.“ Chris Golec, CEO, Demandbase

Spot On!
The study shows that there is a lack of understanding how to optimize and generate new sales leads and demand generation. Analyzing websites and drawing the right conclusions from site performance and the clients‘ brand journey experience is what needs to be elaborated on. Obviously, many marketers still have „better things to do“ or not the time to verify the back-end. Marketers need to understand that their web strategy should be focusing on connecting website experience and the brand journey towards it. This in the future will be mainly driven through inbound activities that could find a catalyst in referals. Companies just need to elaborate on the interconnection between website and Social Media. That’s where the answer to lead generation is hidden…

Don’t you agree…?

82% of word of mouth conversations are face-to-face

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The word of mouth and research company Keller Fay Group and Google have collaborated to understand the effects of the Internet and Internet enabled devices on word of mouth conversations about brands – and the Google Business Youtube channel published some findings now in a video.

In the US there are 2.4 billion conversations involving brands on a day, and the question is what role do various types of media play in this process? The study -based on 3.000 responding adults- comes to the conclusion that the vast majority of word of mouth conversations still happens face-to-face (82%).

However, the internet is the leading source of information motivating conversations. TV is already number two media to trigger word of mouth conversations. Google searches directly inform 146 million brand conversations a day, says the video. Are we surprised? Well, I wasn’t…

Obviously, Google would not publish it, if search wasn’t the main initiator in conversations as the study claims. According to the study, search is also said to outperform social media when it comes to credibility and likelihood to purchase decisions.

The study video concludes to mention the importance of search which is the leading source that inspires and informs, and thus triggers word of mouth brand conversations, followed by e-commerce with 7%. Social Media and branded websites are coming in at the same level.

Spot On!
The findings illustrate the importance to connect offline and online brand activities. Although search definitely has a major impact on our purchase behavior these days, and especially Google with all their opportunities and different service offerings, I would definitely stress that brand advocates also have a major impact on word of mouth conversations when using them to empower social media capabilities. The study did not use these special people as „online channels“ of course. However, think about brand advocates and how you could leverage your brand with them.

PS: The full video can be seen here…

Travel industry marketers like Twitter… and not Facebook?

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Finding benchmarks for online marketing practise and business system structures was the idea of an internet-based survey by Verma and McGill. They polled 426 senior marketing executives in lodging and destination organizations looking at budget levels, marketing strategies, and organizational structures.

Twitter seems to be quite popular amoung the travel marketers. 80% of respondents stated they produced Twitter campaigns and Social Media promotions in-house versus pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SSEO) which are in most cases outsourced. However, there is a fine difference between accommodation firms and destination marketers: While accommodation firms often outsource all Social Media activities (i.e. Twitter campaigns and pay-per-click management), destination marketers prefer to handle those activities in-house.

„Each year well over 700 marketing executives gather for TravelCom, which is a high level marketing conference that was held this year in Las Vegas“ (…) One major theme this year was online marketing, but we realized that there was no overall knowledge of where the industry stands in this area. This study provides those benchmarks.“ Cornell Professor Rohit Verma, Executive Director, Center for Hospitality Research (CHR)

The bigger portion of the respondents (two-thirds) said their 2010 e-commerce budgets had increased compared to 2009. 71% of destination marketers and 60% of accommodation marketers see again an increase for 2011.

Spot On!
The travel industry is in a real change mode seen from a web perspective. Web traffic to travel brand sites decreased by 8% in March 2011 versus March 2010. During the same period, visits to Facebook pages jumped 20% according to the first-ever L2 Digital IQ Index. According to a report by PhoCusWright, an industry research group, the unmanaged business trips reserved online will rise twice as fast as the rest of the market. One in three trips will be booked online in 2012 and reach a value of $313bn. If you look at these numbers it surprises me that not more travel marketers are looking at ways to use Social Media and focus more on Facebook than on Twitter, i.e. like OmniHotels offers direct bookings from Facebook now.

Just a thought…

News Update – Best of the Day

15.11.2010 von  
Kategorie Daily Top 3

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Ecommerce is developing rapidly. And although users are said to be slow in adapting new technology, they expect their retailers to embed the latest trends and technology in their websites. As this will increase the sales potential of a business, companies should carefully listen to top 10 tactical trends by Michael Piastro which will help supercharge your ecommerce strategy for the future.

Social Media is in „at“ your workplace, you said? Yes, but what does top management use it today? A new comprehensive study of more than 1000 business professionals by Pierre Khawand, Founder and CEO of People-OnTheGo shows that business decision makers manage multiple „inboxes“ including Social Media. Social media is already a regular part of the work day. LinkedIn is the most popular social network. More than two-thirds (63.8%) of top management and almost three-quarters of marketing (73.9%) and sales (74.2%) respondents check LinkedIn regularly. Isn’t it interesting that private email is as popular as business email for top management? Social Media or private emails… Thinking about what might affect productivity more in the future…

Are small companies spending most of their marketing funds into Social Media in 2011? No! The use traditional websites and e-mail, says a report by online survey firm Zoomerang and GrowBiz media that surveyed 751 small firms (predominantly with less than 25 employees). The survey finds that over a quarter will spend at least 30% of their online marketing budgets on their websites, E-mail coming in second (18%). Only 10% were planning to spend at least 30% of their budgets on Social Media.

Eine Orientierungshilfe zum weltweiten Agieren

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In Zeiten der Rezession sind Unternehmen gezwungen, sich der neuen Wirtschaftslage zu stellen und aktiv nach neuen Geschäftsmöglichkeiten zu suchen, wo immer sich diese bieten. Dass die globale Wirtschaft ins Stocken geraten ist, soll gewiss nicht bedeuten, dass auch die Wachstumsinitiativen von Unternehmen diesem Beispiel folgen müssen.

Unternehmen jeder Größe können sich neue internationale Märkte erschließen, wenn sie sich richtig vermarkten. Der Wunsch, sich in schwierigen Zeiten anzupassen und zu wachsen, muss jedoch von den geeigneten Tools unterstützt werden. Allzu leicht investiert man eine große Geldsumme in eine „Lösung“, ohne zu wissen, wie das tatsächliche Ergebnis dieser Investition aussieht. Vor dem Investieren beachtlicher Ressourcen im Rahmen einer internationalen Marketing-Strategie ist es wichtig, zunächst auszuprobieren, was funktioniert.

Für die meisten Verbraucher, die auf der Suche nach neuen Dienstleistungen oder Produkten sind, ist das Internet heutzutage die erste Anlaufstelle. Es versteht sich daher wohl von selbst, dass der Schlüssel für internationales Wachstum darin liegt, wie optimal ein Unternehmen die Möglichkeiten seiner Website ausschöpft.

Website-Lokalisierung und Suchmaschinenoptimierung (SEO) ist eine kostengünstige Möglichkeit zur Erschließung neuer Märkte. Es kostet nur ein paar Hundert Euro, eine einfache, textbasierte Website in einer anderen Sprache einzurichten. Obwohl die Mehrheit des Internets stark vom Englischen durchdrungen ist, ist Englisch für die Mehrheit der Internetbenutzer nicht deren Muttersprache. Hier herrscht ein klares Missverhältnis, dass Unternehmen ausschöpfen sollten.

Zuerst muss festgestellt werden, ob in einem bestimmten Land für den von Ihnen angebotenen Service überhaupt ein Bedarf besteht. Dies lässt sich am besten am Wettbewerb vor Ort ablesen. Wenn es bereits ähnliche Organisationen in diesem Markt gibt, ist dies ein gutes Zeichen, da es eine echte Nachfrage demonstriert. Hüten Sie sich jedoch vor zu vielen Mitbewerbern, da es äußerst schwierig ist, in einen bereits gesättigten Markt einzudringen.

Haben Sie festgestellt, dass tatsächlich eine Nachfrage besteht, identifizieren Sie die wichtigen Suchbegriffe, die von den Internetbenutzern der Region verwendet werden. Google und Yahoo bieten einige kostenfreie Tools zur Keyword-Bestimmung an, über die Sie diejenigen Suchbegriffe erfahren, die im gewünschten Auslandsmarkt verwendet werden.

Diese wichtigen Ausdrücke sollten anschließend in eine professionell übersetzte Website eingebettet werden, um organisch die Ranking-Position dieser Website in den Suchmaschinen zu optimieren. Es ist möglich, in ausländischen Suchmaschinen-Rankings ziemlich rasch aufzusteigen, ganz einfach deshalb, weil die Sättigung der wichtigen Suchbegriffe in anderen Sprachen als im Englischen bei weitem geringer ist.

Um das Ganze ins Rollen zu bringen, können Sie das Abrechnungsmodell Pay per Click (PPC) oder Internet-Werbung, wie zum Beispiel AdWords von Google, nutzen. So erhöhen Sie durch einen „gesponserten Link“ den Datenverkehr auf Ihrer Website. Das Schöne an PPC ist, dass Sie Ihr Budget im Voraus festlegen können – selbst eine unerhebliche Summe von €5, falls dies gewünscht ist. Sie können den Wert von PPC einschätzen, ohne große Summen investieren zu müssen. Das Risiko ist also wirklich minimal.

Wie bereits erwähnt, hat sich Englisch zur globalen Handelssprache und zur Verkehrssprache des Internets entwickelt. Man sollte sich aber klar machen, dass drei Viertel der Weltbevölkerung überhaupt kein Englisch spricht.

Die Notwendigkeit, dass Unternehmen ihre internationalen Konsumenten in ihrer jeweiligen Muttersprache ansprechen, kann daher nicht genug betont werden. Wenn auch Englisch die am weitesten verbreitete erste Fremdsprache ist, bleibt es eine Tatsache, dass die meisten Verbraucher zuerst in ihrer eigenen Muttersprache nach Dienstleistungen/ Produkten suchen.

Ein Unternehmen, das geschäftlich weltweit agieren will, muss also in der Lage sein, in jedem Land „wie ein Einheimischer zu denken“. Das heißt, Sie müssen die Vielzahl kultureller und linguistischer Vielschichtigkeiten berücksichtigen, denen Sie begegnen, wenn Sie in neue ausländische Märkte eindringen wollen.

Nehmen wir zum Beispiel die französische Sprache in Frankreich und Kanada (Québecer Französisch). Sie ist weitgehend identisch, aber dennoch gibt es hinreichende dialektische Unterschiede zwischen diesen Ausprägungen des Französischen, so dass für ein gezieltes Ansprechen jedes Marktes gesonderte Marketing-Strategien notwendig sind.

Um dies an einem Beispiel zu verdeutlichen: „E-Mail“ heißt in Frankreich schlichtweg email, in Kanada jedoch courrier électronique (wörtlich: „elektronische Post“). Und während ein déjeuner in Frankreich „Mittagessen“ bedeutet, meint man damit in Belgien und in der Schweiz das „Frühstück“.

Es gibt zahlreiche solcher Unterschiede zwischen den französischen Sprachvarianten in Frankreich, Kanada, Belgien und der Schweiz, die die Bedeutung des richtigen Lokalisierens Ihrer Dienstleistungen für jeden speziellen Zielmarkt hervorheben. Gleichermaßen verhält es sich auch mit den Sprachen Deutsch (Deutschland)/Schweizerdeutsch, Portugiesisch (Portugal)/Brasilianisches Portugiesisch, Spanisch (Spanien)/Lateinamerikanisches Spanisch und, ganz in der Nähe, Britisches und US-amerikanisches Englisch.

Sprachen spielen daher im Globalisierungsprozess eine zentrale Rolle. Unternehmen jeder Größe könnten von Website-Lokalisierung und SEO profitieren. Eine Firma in den eigenen vier Wänden kann mit nichts weiter als einem vernetzten PC und etwas unternehmerischer Intelligenz weltweit agieren, ohne dafür Unsummen zu investieren.

Christian ArnoÜber den Autor
Gastautor Christian Arno ist Geschäftsführer und Gründer des internationalen Übersetzungsunternehmens Lingo24.

Das im Jahr 2001 gegründete Unternehmen ist auf vier Kontinenten für Kunden in über 60 Ländern tätig. Im vergangenen Jahr hat Lingo24 mehr als 30 Millionen Wörter für Unternehmen aus jedem Branchensektor übersetzt. Im Jahr 2009 betrugen die Einkünfte des Unternehmens €4 Mio.

2010: Online ROI – a challenge for companies

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mausThe solution to the following question is complex: How should companies measure online ROI in future? In times of display, affiliate and search advertising the measure of success has been kept very simple. Page impressions, clicks, leads, sales – that was it. With the evolution of social media the topic of online measurement has become more complex.

In the Pre-Web 2.0 era, there was a formula that has put everything else into the shadows. It was based on the clic. Obviously still many CMOs see this as the crucial measurement factor of their online activities. The click was considered the basis of the digital marketing manifesto.

The formula of the previous online ROI went something like this…

Page impressions and clicks to convert click-through rate that generates leads and ultimately (hopefully) sales.

And this formula also corresponded to the value in the online marketing of cost-per-mile (CMP), cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-lead (CPL), cost-per-sale (CPO). Simple, clear, pragmatic.

Marketers were satisfied, the sales man less (mostly) due to inferior leads and associated fluctuating revenues. There was a lack of transparency. The management is considered to be overstretched. 2010 everything will be different.

In 2009, the main German association for publishers and buyers, the IVW, killed the power of the page impression, the visit is the ‚Golden Surfer‘ from now on. An English study by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) is following and strengthens the effectiveness of the ’silent click‘ and the value of the content and context.

Moreover Eyeblaster invents, and especially Dean Donaldson promotes this, the Dwell Time. Efficiency measurement of web activity becomes a challenge for companies. And if we take it to the top companies do need an eye-movement study to measure the time-based attention, the way we know it from the print era (similar to copy-test).

Another challenge is that there are numerous social media activities added, and here we are looking for a reliable measurement method to justify the expenses. In Germany the Association of Social Media and Social Media is quickly introducing a new currency: share of voice or share of buzz. A conceptually coherent model , but in practice is questionable in its feasibility, management and marketing relevance. A similar measure as the CTR won’t be found in the social media industry, probably still for a long time. Probably not even 2010…

Let’s illustrate the complexity of measuring social media ROI at a viral campaign, the buzz generated by social media coverage and results. Previously, the click was relevant. It was a unique short-term assessment without measurement of long-term effect. With the ended of the campaign the measurement time was over. Whether the click came from the desired target group of bookers ranked in it’s relevance secondary.

In a viral campaign, however, due to the target-transparency, the question of efficiency measurement is completely different. All these values are quite different in context and only win in their semantic and concluding statement its relevance for the advertiser.

Questions arise such as …

How much time commitment gives the user his social activities and the commitment to the company?
How do I rate detailed comments on blogs, micro-blogs or social networks?
How to evaluate an Re-Tweet in this context?
From whom are the comments and actions coming?
How does buzz spread via this person and to whom?
How relevant is the target audience about the distribution for the advertisers?
How to integrate ratings in the measurement methog on video- or evaluation platforms?
What about the statements that I can not even see, because a front door at Social Networks is obstructing my access to the results?

Without individual-subjective definion of measuring units, each company, every Social Media ROI measurement is worthless, and social media marketing measurement fortiori. The metric must be defined in the relevant context of the desired outcome best possible – in other words the individual needs of the corporate strategy or intention of each social media activity has to be adjusted from case to case. Increase in visits to the website? Generation of Fans or Followers? Couponing on a community? Knowledge on brand confessions obtained? Or actually generate online sales?

Each profile of an active social median, its social graph, in its sustainability and its recommended value of inside and outside „of his“ social community has different weight. Determine where the true relevant measurement is the responsibility of the advertiser. At the Webcific I have called the new monetary views as „cost-per-commitment“ to provide the relativity of the word in question and to make clear the relevance of the word, but for the future.

Commitment begins with the communication to customers and does not stop when clients order at the company’s shop. However, maintaining the commitment of campaign spending via email or traditional online activities still is essential. As customers loyalty runs outside the social media spheres, too. Defining commitment as a measure of social media may be based different on the company blog than on Facebook or Twitter.

A crucial factor in the social web is always forgotten: Traditional marketing campaigns have a beginning and an end. That’s when Social Web communication starts…

The CPI formula in times of social web might be …

Reach and engagement convert to social activities that lead to multipliers, and (probably generate) revenues from sales.

The future of online ROI measurement should be driven on the basis of how much communication output must a company deliver through a variety of social media, until the customers brand promise is gaining credibility and creates customer communications. This leads to commitment, which I have just referred to as „social activities“ that need to be defined. They are the drivers of the talks for the multiplication of messages from the public relations, marketing and sales department.

Spot On!
Measuring the Social Web ROI is a long term process. Metrics from shares, posts, comments, ratings or Tweets replace the old click-metric. For the new metrics remain the web’s property, thanks to social search integration. Communication is dynamic and it may be that the pure bookmark result of yesterday, generates many social activities and conversations tomorrow.
Who dominates social communication that generates brand-vangelist peers (as I always like to call it). From anonymous platforms users become now fans, followers, blog readers and community members. They all have names that are transparent, a huge advantage of today’s web-talks. In the decisive moment, when they start participating in the discussing companies can find important multipliers of the message of a brand or a company, and therefore define important parameters. But companies should remember that communication can take place anywhere and adjust according to their web strategy. This modern weaving culture should incorporate engagement metrics or policies between sales and marketing. Otherwise, the effort of monitoring, measuring, analyzing is worth nothing, and will not meet the result of the challenge of 2010.

Dean Donaldson: Future Trends in Digital Marketing

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For some years now, we have an annual meet-and-greet trend show for digital marketing in Germany. Some years it was called OMD (Online Marketing Duesseldorf), and now we have the DMEXCO. And every year, I find somebody at the conference where I think, this person is the perfect presenter or speaker (and not just all talk).

This year I had the chance to listen to and to speak with Dean Donaldson, digital strategist at Eyeblaster. Just listen carefully about the future trends of digital marketing, and don’t tell me that this man doesn’t have the talent to get somebody engaged in a discussion (or a vision).

In his 5-minutes outlook he shares his thoughts about banners on a PC („…this is so long gone…“), about mobile phone („…that are no longer phones…“), about bill-boards („… that are talking to you…“) and, and, and…

And he sees the moral challenges and privacy one of the hardest things to tackle for the future …and for the internet of things.

Interested to hear what you think about his view and his thoughts…

Poll: Blogging ist die digitale Marketing-Taktik 2009

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blogger-starsIn Zeiten der Rezession gibt es viel Raum für Veränderungen – vor allem in Marketingtaktiken und -budgets. Lee Odden hat hierzu 17.000 Abonnenten des Online Marketing Blogs befragt, um die aktuellen Taktiken für 2009 zu erforschen.

Web 2.0 und Social Media setzen sich immer mehr durch – allein sechs der Top 10 Taktiken fielen in den Bereich sozialer Medien. Der Poll hat aus einer Liste von 45 Trends drei vorherschende digitale Marketingtaktiken hervorgebracht: Blogging, Twitter und Suchmaschinenoptimierung (SEO).

Hier die Ergebnisse auf die Frage: “Welche 3 digitalen Marketing Channels & Taktiken stehen für Dich im Vordergrund in 2009?”

34% Blogging
29% Microblogging (Twitter)
28% Suchmaschinenoptimierung (SEO)
26% Social Network ‚Teilnahme‘ (Facebook, LinkedIn)
17% Email Marketing
17% Social Media Monitoring & Outreach
14% Pay-Per-Click
12% Blogger Beziehungen
10% Video Marketing
7% Social Media Advertising

Da macht man sich natürlich erstmal Sorgen um die klassische Online-Werbeindustrie – denn wo ist Display Werbung? Oder finden sich diese Spendings jetzt in den Bereichen Blogging, Pay-Per-Click und Social Media Advertising wieder?

Wie seht Ihr das? Welche Taktik steht bei Euch im Unternehmen im Vordergrund?

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