Archive for the 'marketing' Category

Kaitlin Pike

Today’s guest post is written by Dennis Yu, Chief Executive Officer of BlitzLocal. Dennis will host a workshop Web 2.0 Expo New York titled Supercharging Your Brand on Facebook.

When your competitors have more fans than you, the temptation is to rush in and grow fans, whether by spending untargeted ad dollars, mass posting to your wall, holding contests, or launching a big marketing campaign of sorts.  Continue Reading »

Kaitlin Pike

Every biz dev advice column, book, speaker or video you come across can probably be summarized by what Hipmunk CEO Adam Goldstein recently said:

“Lose your sense of shame.”

And while he was specifically referring to how often to ping a contact (it’s more frequent than you may think), the larger lesson learned is how tenacity can affect your startup’s business success.

Adam will share a number of other lessons, tips and tricks for improving your startup’s business development this October during his session at Web 2.0 Expo New York. (Use code BLG20 to save 20% on registration.) He took the time last week to talk to us about what relatively young travel search site Hipmunk has learned about startup business development since it launched. Continue Reading »

Kaitlin Pike

.CO's logo.CO’s administrators have aggressively marketed the extension unlike any before it. In the year since they made .CO available for worldwide registration, Juan Diego Calle, .CO Internet S.A.S CEO, and his team have experimented with a Super Bowl ad, lent Twitter (its official URL shortener) for free, pursued major event sponsorships, and even ran a charity auction. They’ve also built video case studies about using .CO, purchased billboard ad space, and held startup contests.

“If we had ended with 500,000 registrations I would have been pleased. We’re ending the year with over 1 million registrations our first year. Clearly it exceeded our expectations,” Juan said about the company’s growth. “Going directly and talking to our users has worked.” Continue Reading »

Kaitlin Pike

Many of our workshops and sessions at Web 2.0 Expo focus on the mechanics of how to compete in your industry using social media. But speaker Andy Smith wanted to take a different approach with his upcoming session Harnessing Social Media to Build Brands. In his talk, he’ll take a deep dive into the psychological insights explaining which social media strategies work and which don’t.

andy-smithAndy will go over the science of social persuasion, the strategies and tactics used by companies, as well as causes that have successfully harnessed social media toward a specific goal. Andy recently spoke with us about his upcoming talk, his new book The Dragonfly Effect, and how brands can improve their social media marketing strategies with a bit more thought.

We also discussed how happiness and marketing go together (including a great example about a Coca-Cola machine), how social media helped find an almost impossible bone marrow match for a patient, and “infectious action.”

Check out our full audio interview with Andy now.


Kaitlin Pike is the Web 2.0 Expo community manager. She can be reached @w2e or @kcpike. Register for Web 2.0 Expo SF now with  discount code websf11bl20 to save 20%.

Kaitlin Pike

Why aren’t more customers using your product? Maybe it’s because your brand’s story isn’t making them happy enough.

jennifer-lynn-aaker1Web 2.0 Expo speaker and Stanford Professor Jennifer Lynn Aaker is a social psychologist and marketer who studies, among other areas, happiness. (She answers such questions as “What actually makes people happy, as opposed to what they think make them happy?”) And as you can learn more about in her book, she also focuses on using social media to drive social change.

In her keynote address this March, Creating Infectious Action, she’ll discuss how you can connect meaning to your social media campaigns to create impact as well as why some brands who harness social media take off when others don’t.

I recently interviewed Jennifer about her talk, including what makes people happy and how her research can help brands create more effective marketing campaigns and stories.

Kaitlin: I see and hear a lot of unhappiness and complaints about not being happy enough in our culture. Why aren’t we (Americans) all happy all the time? We have Disneyland AND the iPhone now. What went wrong?

Jennifer: Our understanding of what happiness is (and how to get it) is often misaligned with what really drives happiness. (For two excellent books on the subject, see “How of Happiness” and “Stumbling on Happiness”.) Our society’s prevalent belief is that money and status will make us happy (or we behave as if they will). The reality, however, is that the link between money and happiness is tenuous. Take the striking evidence that although income has steadily increased over the past fifty years in the United States, life satisfaction has remained relatively flat. Research shows that for those who earn more than $75,000 (the number varies depending where you live), additional money does surprisingly little to increase life enjoyment, stave off sadness, or reduce stress. Once your basic needs are met, the correlation between money and happiness or satisfaction is relatively low.

So our behavior patterns are often misaligned with being happy in the long run. Continue Reading »

Kaitlin Pike

Facebook earned nearly $2 billion dollars in advertising revenue for 2010, and some estimate this will grow to $4 billion for 2011. While it may be clear why advertisers are throwing money at the social network  en masse (uh, their audiences are there), it’s not always clear how you – the individual advertiser – can make the greatest impact with your campaign and maximize your brand.

justin-kistnerWeb 2.0 Expo speaker Justin Kistner (Webtrends), along with co-presenter Dennis Yu (BlitzLocal), covers just this subject in two presentations this March: their workshop Effective Facebook Ads and Applications, and session Supercharging Your Brand on Facebook.

“Most of the conversation around social media marketing has been focused on more of the organic side of social,” Justin said. “But now what’s clearly emerging is a paid approach to social media marketing. It’s a very different discipline.

“Our session is going to go into a lot of those details not only just explaining the theory but also then getting into showing actual customer examples and sharing practices and insights that we’ve been able to gather from all the work that we’ve been doing.”

Justin and Dennis will look at the elements of effective advertising and share benchmarks, not just the creative executions. (For a look at some of the Facebook trends Justin studied, see his blog post on Webtrends.)

Why People Become Fans

In his research, Justin found a recurring trend of what people look for when deciding whether to become a fan of a brand’s page.

“Very strongly the message was ‘We became a fan because we wanted to be treated special in some way by the brand.’ be that they got exclusive offers or early access to information or exclusive content,” he said.

“A lot of the same things that we sign up for lists for are what we are hoping to get out of our relationship with a brand on Facebook. Now the goal is giving your customers, your fans, all that stuff: driving those offer campaigns and that exclusive content or early access to things, giving them that VIP treatment.” Continue Reading »

Kaitlin Pike

The startup scene includes a good number of non-technical people whose skills are a vital component of most web companies. But creating a web business with only non-techies? That’s not something you think about every day, unless you’re LaunchBit co-founder Elizabeth Yin.

elizabeth-yinElizabeth and co-founder Jennifer Chin believe anyone can launch an Internet-based business, even if they don’t know how to code. In their workshop at Web 2.0 Expo San Francico (Get Going: How to Build and Test Your Idea Without Programming), Elizabeth and Jennifer will provide attendees with specific methodology and tools for testing and starting a business. After coming to their workshop, attendees will know how to launch a business idea without coding anything, how to market it, and how to measure early-stage success.

Elizabeth recently spoke with us about her session, starting an Internet business without coding, and customer development. Read on for more.

Kaitlin: The basis for your session surprised me: How to start a web based business without knowing how to program. At first read, I thought that was similar to “how to open a bakery without knowing how to bake.” Can you give me your elevator pitch defending your workshop idea?

Elizabeth: These days, for most internet businesses, the number one challenge is customer acquisition and marketing — not in building a website.  There are obviously exceptions to this, but the overwhelming majority of startups that fail don’t fail because their website didn’t work.  They fail because not enough people used it.  This means that as entrepreneurs, we need to do a better job of vetting our markets before even building anything.  That’s what this workshop is all about — how to do this.  My co-founder Jennifer and I developed this methodology for our own profitable sites, even though we’re developers ourselves.  We came up with this methodology out of necessity, because prior to working with Jennifer, I had a startup that failed — I wasted almost 2 years and about $20k of my own personal savings by not vetting my market. Continue Reading »