Kate Morris

Otherwise know as @katemorris.com by friends.

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Letting the Dogs Out: Image Search

Just making it known, I am testing something but if you’re up for an inspired post regardless, read on.

I have spent the last year working with an image powerhouse. The power of images is great, an untapped source of traffic for sure. I am a search marketer that is all about the conversion, but if all you want it traffic, images are just awesome and long tail. What’s just so sharable? Images. Why do you think we take data and make it pretty (ala infographics)? People love images. The most recent, not sure if it’s really the brain child of Paula Holmes Crimm, but maybe.

It Was Me. I Let The Dogs Out

Shared almost 2k times as of 5:12pm CDT

Really. How freaking cute. He/She let the dogs out. Took claim for the apparent mess it caused. You just want to kiss that puppy and the share it with all of your friends. I saw it this morning, reshared it, and 5 of my friends have done the same and not all from me.

Now the image search for this image. I figured “I let the dogs out” would do it.

Let the Dogs Out Image Search

Alas no. I may be wrong in the search or it might just not have been shared outside of FB yet. Therefore, Google hasn’t seen it. So I’m posting it. With good alt text and image name. Let’s see what happens and if I can get some traffic from it. </SEO>

Take Away for Search Marketers and Businesses

This small picture is being shared. There is no commerce behind it, no linking scheme, just an image. So I want to impart something I have seen as I’ve developed client infographics and link bait, don’t make it about you. Make it about users, your target market, the everyday user, the facebook user, whoever you want to see and share your content. Make it about them and they will share it. This does not have a 100% success rate (meaning making “viral linkbait” is still not possible to just create) but it does help get to the heart of the user and that might transfer down to the tip of their “share” finger.

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Rewarding Good Behavior

Last Summer I went to the Blue Glass conference in LA. Having never been to LA, I came in that weekend to see some sights and hang out with my good friend Joanna Lord as well. It was an eventful weekend including a visit to a friend’s church. It was there I got to see Reese Witherspoon in person. Pretty cool huh?

But I digress. What this post is really about is the paradigm to reward those customers that bitch, moan, and complain loudly. On the internet and in search marketing, companies spend thousands of dollars dealing with unhappy customers. In many instances they ignore the customers that could potentially make them more money in the future by being advocates.

During my stay at the Marriott, my first night was met with very little sleep. My tweet stream shows the progression of annoyance. In short, there was a wedding … and the people staying on my floor were very drunk.

Okay, I didn’t mention Marriott here, but there is the first indicator.

There is the main mention. And I’m defending them. I mean it’s not their fault that there are annoying people in the world right? Right.

Rant continues … and yes, Josh Groban makes me happy … and calms me down.

A friend notices, and at this point I am pissed.

And now more so … that was the last time someone knocked though. ;)

And now still sticking up for them. What do I hear in return from this on Twitter? Nothing. I mention it to the front desk the next morning and they apologize. But it makes me wonder, if I had ranted, raved, and made a scene … could I have gotten a free night? Upgrade? I hear about people doing this all the time but can’t bring myself to do it.

Here is my point though.

Scenario 1: A customer complains of noise, yells and screams, and demands an upgrade to another room.
Typical Response: Giving what this customer wants to silence their negativity. The irate customer is silenced never mentioning the event again.

Scenario 2:  A customer gets upset but understands. Mentions the incident to the company.
Typical Response: They get an apology.
What should happen: In addition, they are compensated with a free night, spa treatment, or even just a few free drinks.
In Return: They then spread the word to friends, family, and maybe even online.

Word of mouth is the highest trusted form of advertising there is, so why not give up a $100 to a customer that may make you thousands in return? Think on that. </rant>

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Brands=Trust

In a global and Internet-based economy, they [brands] build trust and reinforce value.

- Strategy: A View from the Top

Are brands dead? Have we killed traditional marketing? Are newspapers dead? Will television ads die?

In a simple answer: No. I wish I could say that this topic has been beaten to death (it has, really) but people keep bringing it up. With the influx of buzz around new media (read: social media and online marketing) there is always talk of how it’s ending everything. It’s not.

Instead, new media is bringing us back to our roots, marketing roots that is. We are leaving a world where we pushed out messages to consumers trying to catch the ones that were interested in our products, and maybe converting a few more. Consumers had little say in what messages they received. New media is giving that power back to the consumer.

The new marketing world is one in which consumers have a say, and marketers get to talk to those that want to hear from them. Word of mouth is more powerful than ever before. As marketers, we get to participate and help our brand advocates in their mission. This new world is one in which the best products win. You have to stand out to win. To get people talking about you, the “box” cannot exist.

So brands are not dead, in fact in this “new world,” they are more powerful than ever. Build your brand, talk to your customers, foster relationships – it’s these things that build trust. Your brand is what carries trust from one customer to another potential customer. Take the right amount of time to build that up.

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Beating a Dead Horse

Being in school for an MBA, you hear the same companies talked about over and over again. That’s the good and the “bad” ones. Worldcom and Enron are favorites for what not to do. Google and Sun Microsystems are the most recently talked about in my organizational behavior class as the “good kids.”

There has been a lot of buzz about the new search engine Cuil, including my own review, and many others. But now we have reached terminal velocity, people are tired of hearing about it. There was so much buzz before and so many scathing reviews after that the saturation point has been reached.

So why do we keep talking about it? It’s a clear example of what not to do. If I do get to teaching at the university level someday, I am sure Cuil will be an example I use over and over again. They did everything right before the release, but missed the boat on their release. Like Vista, it’s pretty, but the functionality just isn’t there. Things should have been tested over and over, then checked again by beta testers. Once that was done, and they had the sign off from a few top minds, then they should have released.

So hopefully this will be the last time I speak of the abomination until I end up teaching, or writing a thesis. As writers and educators (which all SEOs are), we love to have a “what not to do” and that’s what Cuil gave us.

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Natrelle Marketing

Okay, off search engine marketing for a second. I’m not sick, promise. My other love is traditional marketing and when companies get things right.

A friend of mine recently had plastic surgery and elected to participate in a 10 year study (yeah, I talked her into it). Well she sent me a link to the company running it (Natrelle) and I signed up to get more information about their product.

Skip to a few weeks later, and I get a notice about a package waiting at my complex office. Okay, I am an impulsive buyer (can we say $10 something?), but I haven’t ordered anything! I get to the office and get a nice chocolate brown box with the words “It’s time to rejuvenate.” Interested.

Open it and this is what I see:

Naturelle Kit bag

Okay, even further interested. I open it to find a myriad of products for relaxation:

Naturelle Kit Contents

A Journal, Loofah, Exfoliator pad, Massage bar, brush, fine tooth brush, pumice stone, and two candles. Plus a sample of one of their facial product sets and a coupon (have to get it from doctor). With all of that was a description of their other products that I might be interested in.

I’ve got to say, this was NICE. The bag even kicks booty. These are things I will use and remember them with. I am not ready for the products they offer just yet, but I will most definitely remember them when I am ready. Nice Job guys!