Last week I wrote about Google AdWords after we started an ad campaign and began tracking the results. I took it upon myself to also start an ad campaign on Facebook, since I had heard that it’s easy to use and produces great results. As with Google, I used my own website Supraterranean.com for the test. After trying Facebook ads myself, I think it’s safe to say that those claims are correct. In just over a week’s time, my ad got 85,000 impressions and 25 clicks. You can specify your daily budget and CPC bid. I set both of mine pretty low, so I’ve only spent $4.55 so far. I was able to design the ad myself (preferably a 4×3 image) and target people by age, geography, and keyword.
After the ad goes live, Facebook provides easy-to-use diagnostic tools so I can evaluate ad performance. Their graphs are clear and attractive. Facebook also gives you the option for the ad to appear with social actions from certain groups or pages. I set my ad to appear with social actions from the Supraterranean.com group.
Now it’s necessary to compare with Google Adwords. My ad there was created about two weeks ago. In that time, it’s had 75,000 impressions and 13 clicks. That means that Adwords is performing at about half the productivity of Facebook ads! Granted, the success of Google Adwords might have more to do with how well I’ve completed search engine optimization for my site. Those 13 Adwords clicks have cost me $3.33, which means I’m also getting more of my money’s worth on Facebook. I plan to use both Adwords and Facebook for future digital marketing efforts. But as of now, more of my energy will go into Facebook.
Our work in the Ingenex internship keeps getting more interesting. Previously we learned how to choose the most appropriate keywords when optimizing a website for search engines. Google’s Keyword Tool and SEO Book helped us with this. Now we’re learning what to do with those keywords.
I used my own website Supraterranean.com as a test to implement the chosen keywords in automatically generated advertisements using Google AdWords. I typed in the dozen or so keywords, set the monthy budget and maximum per-click bid, and started the ad campaign. The results have been interesting, to say the least. In one week, my advertisement has had almost 40,000 impressions (i.e. – views). Only about 6,000 of those were on Google search results. The other 34,000 were on Google’s content network, the websites that have installed Google’s ad service to try and make money on a pay-per-click basis.
We weren’t sure if the content network would produce results, but out of the 8 clicks that linked to my website, 7 of them occurred on the content network. Only one click came from a sponsored link in search results. By the way, those 8 clicks have cost me about $1.86 so far, which I think is pretty reasonable.
I know that these findings are influenced by my extremely low budget, and that more of my ads would show up in search results if I paid more. However, these initial results are truly exciting, even just that I can expose my ad to 40,000 viewers in a week with such an efficient system. It’s great to learn about all the amazing services that Google is providing. They are a lot more complex than just a search engine, or even a search engine and worldwide map service. I’m sure I’ll be using their other services soon.
Spartans are green by default, but it makes us feel even better to be environmentally friendly Spartans. This is the concept behind Be Spartan Green, the website for MSU‘s Environmental Stewardship program. In 2005, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon issued a Boldness by Design referendum, proposing that the university shift from land-grant to world-grant status by 2012.
Even ’80s babies grew up with the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” slogan. Now the standards have moved beyond that insufficient plan. Be Spartan Green also contains plans to Research, Reeducate, Redesign, and Rethink. They’ve been implementing programs since November 2006, hoping to live up to the new “green” expectations. Some ideas will seem totally new, while others are pretty much common sense ideas that will get revamped operations. One nifty project involves making the Main Library restrooms more water and energy efficient. As strange as it may seem, it’s actually possible to have flushless urinals, thereby significantly cutting down the amount of water used. Another cool project is the Anaerobic Digester, which could use dormitory food waste and animal waste to collect methane as an alternative energy source for MSU.
Personally I think that MSU should be ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental friendliness, and not just living up to the current industry standards. As a two-time MSU student, my first recommendation would be that the university put in more recycling bins — as in one recycling bin wherever there is one trash can. Luckily Be Spartan Green accepts your comments and recommendations via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether or not they use those suggestions is beyond me.
The way I see it, online publishing and marketing are more closely related than ever before. Although, digital marketing seems a lot different than traditional marketing. Digital marketing has a lot more to do with search engines, keywords/tags, and links. Online publishing is slowly evolving towards a model of customized content based on personal interests and preferences. It’s a slow transition because the publishing industry doesn’t want to give up their printed products. Think about it: control over printing has been a coveted ability since Gutenberg invented the first printing press in 1439. That’s almost 600 years of tyranny over the power to publish. Whoever could print had significant power to sway public opinions and beliefs.
I believe the Internet will bring an end to that. It’s gonna seem messy for a while, but eventually it will pan out to a better system than the one we had before. One example is the New York Times, who have utilized comments, sharing buttons, audio/video content, and cross-categorized articles. Readers will have an easier time finding content, and content creators will have an easier time publishing and distributing their work. Companies won’t be able to sell audience attention to advertisers without simultaneously giving that audience exactly what they require.
I’m also hoping that Arbcamp will be instrumental in teaching me about these subjects. The weekend conference takes place in Ann Arbor, MI, over the weekend of October 18-19, 2008. I think it will be a great way to establish connections between online publishing and marketing.
We got busy in our internship right away, and it looks like we’ll keep a steady pace throughout the fall “semester” (quotes included because I may be finished with school for good). During our first session, Derek Mehraban (of Ingenex Digital Marketing) helped us create a profile and content on many different social media/networking websites. Some I had already done myself, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and WordPress blogs. Some I had never even heard of before, like AboutUs.org (click here for my new AboutUs Ingenex profile), ZoomInfo.com, and Naymz.com. Others I had caught wind of, but hadn’t yet grasped the purpose: Twitter and Technorati.
You might be thinking what I’m thinking. With all those sites to maintain and coordinate, doesn’t it get a little confusing or overwhelming? Coincidentally, there was a New York Times article published this week addressing this very issue. The article posed the question, “How many is too many?”
One solution offered was FriendFeed, a site indented to manage different web tools and services. I had seen the widget on Derek’s Facebook page. I set up my own feed — which shows up on the FriendFeed website AND my Facebook page — that automatically lists my posts on two blogs, and updates from Digg.com, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I think that’s a pretty useful way to organize what I’m doing online, and a convenient way to share those activities with others.
Another concern expressed in the article is that, at the current pace of development, even Web 2.0-savvy individuals will have trouble adopting new technologies and web tools. In other words, we’re entering a very confusing time, bent on finding the best way to use the Internet to do…whatever it is we need to do. By this time, I’m pretty used to the confusion. I’m a huge music fan, and the world of music has been in a state of mass confusion since peer-to-peer networks emerged in the late ’90s. So I figure that this moment of web tool confusion will segue to a stable moment, and of course that moment will be defined by some other kind of confusion or transition.
For now, I’ll be using FriendFeed to coordinate the madness.
Posted in digital marketing internship
Tagged aboutus.org, digg.com, facebook, friendfeed, ingenex digital marketing, linkedin, naymz.com, new york times, twitter, web 2.0, wordpress, youtube, zoominfo.com
I’ve been trying to find three blogs that discuss digital marketing topics. After some web searching, I located a few. Two seem to cover general online marketing: mobileStorm’s Digital Marketing Blog and the Australia-based Online Marketing Banter. The third is focused more on environmentally friendly business practices: Marketing Green.
I think it will be interesting to follow specific blogs on a consistent basis. That’s something I’ve never done before, partly because I’m so busy keeping one of my own blogs or creating other web content. But it’s also because I’m not the type of person who pays attention to one source of content. With the way the Internet has evolved, it’s really easy to jump back and forth between various sources, and use the content that is most timely, valid, or interesting. That’s why I like the concept behind Digg.com, where the audience can essentially vote to say which content is most valuable, and those articles will appear at the top of their lists. Unfortunately that sometimes means that the most popular items resemble clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos.
It still hasn’t quite hit me that I’m participating in a marketing internship. Until I saw the posting for Ingenex on Ann Arbor Spark, I hadn’t considered something like this before. I think that’s mostly because I had been trying so hard to stick to journalism, when in fact digital marketing is probably the best direction at this point.
In case you were wondering where my blog’s banner came from, it’s a photo of windmills posted on Stock.xchng (sxc.hu) and available for open use: