Thursday, April 29, 2010


Introduction: Online Marketing of your publications (general lessons to be learned) presented interesting research generated by Dan Zarella, an online-marketing specialist. Zarella collected 12,000 articles from sources like CNN and others and published them. He then analyzed to what extent they were 'shared', i.e. forwarded to others, commented on, liked etc.

Dan Zarella: Social Medial Specialist

How to make optimal use of the possibilities of online marketing and publishing

His research did first of all lead to the conclusion that Twitter and Facebook are really different social media. Whereas Twitter is more for the social network junkies, Facebook caters more to the needs of mainstream computer users. 

Number one: Sex sells
The number one way of making sure messages get 'shared' is still 'sex' (sigh). Yep, the world is that simple, both online and in reality. Sex 'sells'. But of course, if that is not the image that you want to present or the message you want to share it doesn't really help you. And before you start sharing your love life and other naughty stories: more needs to be done. 'Sex' is just one of the 7 factors that are important when trying to be heard online.

Here are the others:

2) Solve something
Don't just present stuff for the sake of presenting something. 'Solve' something, i.e. include new research, or a clearer explanation of something that needed to be clarified to your audience.

3) This is not Twitter Dude!
Words like Google, iPhone and Twitter increase the likelihood that people are interested in what you write on Twitter, but the Facebook crowd is not impressed by them.

4) Keep it short and sweet: the KISS principle
I know, we sometimes make our own life a little bit more difficult by providing you with extensive analysis here. The average person interested in reading something online likes shorter stories. Better two or three times something concise, clear and short than one big, comprehensive piece.

5) Digits: it is a numbers game
People, or at least the online community, like numbers, scores, lists etc. Add them!

6) Add attachments
Plain text is boring, the more so online when you need to make things look pretty. Add videos, music or at least pictures and links. Just a bit of text will ensure you that the bulk of people won't notice you.

7) Market timing: post on weekends

There is a timing issue too. The internet population has more time during the weekend, especially when taking into account that quite a few employers don't allow people to check their FB during the week. On the other hand, a lot of regular news services don't generate as much news during the weekend. In this mismatch of things you are ensured a relatively larger potential audience when publishing or sharing your stories during the weekend.

Back to what LMG Emerge is about: Lessons for Emerging Markets Firms and Governments

So much for the general lessons to be learned from Zarella's research. We at LMG will try to incorporate them in our work, although you don't have to worry. Our focus won't shift away from Emerging and Frontier Markets. I.e. the likelihood of us presenting you with an edgy analysis of political turmoil like the one in the Ukraine the other day is still far bigger than us organizing some kind of Ms or Mr Emerging Markets beauty contest. But it is important to cater to the needs / desires of your audience and make sure you learn.

Firms and governments should do the same thing. Too often their investor relations online is rather poor: nothing more than a duplicate of what they do hard copy. Firms and governments in Emerging Markets used to complain that they didn't have the resources at their disposal to compete with the powerful investor relations machines of Western publicly listed giants. These new laws of the internet provide them with excellent opportunities to get heard and sell their financial securities and even products at a relatively lower cost. It is therefore a pity that too often websites of Emerging Market large firms or governments lack professionalism. This is especially so, because we see that the younger generation in these countries is very active online with often great websites of their own. The older generation that runs big firms and government in Emerging and Frontier countries should understand this and use the skills of the younger generation to benefit optimally from their online exposure.

Click here for the original article about Zarella's research.

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