Monthly Archives: February 2012

Brace Yourself Amazon, Here comes the iPad 3

With the new product research rather sketchy at the moment on the iPad 3, TechBargains’ survey also highlighted some of the most hoped-for features, and would be elated to discover were contained in the new product launch. Continue reading

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Social Media Marketing Costs

Chief Marketing Officers, entrepreneurs and business owners are doing everything in their power to interface social media into the super-fast evolution of technology, and how they impact marketing. They already know that social media connects them with their audiences, but the information gap on the true costs involved in a social media campaign is widening faster than the learning curve. The time and resources invested in a campaign must be understood and evaluated in order to realize some level of return on that investment.

Three things to consider when contemplating a social media campaign:

1. Content Costs

The creation of engaging content is measured in several ways. Having a creative person on staff that has the time dedicated to writing content is an investment in both labor costs and the time allotment of a minimum of two hours a day. Blog posts, Facebook pages and Tweets, among other social media sites, will consume 20% to 30% of an employee’s time; $15,000 to $25,000 per year in labor burden. Content providers (blog post and article ghostwriters) and virtual assistants can be utilized to front load the campaign, and range in price from $6,000 to $15,000 annually, depending on the workload contracted. Like on-staff content creation, these costs are merely to create and place content. Inbound marketing software and a marketing agency to assist is becoming the standard, whereby everything is interfaced and a coordinated campaign is developed, placed and analyzed, and is constantly monitored and analyzed for management decision making. Traditional marketing agencies are racing to catch up with the digital agencies of today, providing a combination of technology and creativity, with bleeding edge analytics. The price range is broad for a full service marketing effort, but social media and blog posting can be $2500 a month to $25,000 a month.

2. Analytics Costs

Understanding the impact of your social media and blogging efforts adds to the cost of campaigns. Data must not only be gathered, but analyzed. Facebook provides some level of metrics, as well as Google analytics for your web activity. Which data streams to monitor and what to follow are the questions to ask yourself, as well as how much will it cost. The most valuable information to glean from social media interactions are the “Like” responses or comments, as well as those that ask for additional information. Whether analytics and metrics are evaluated in house or through the hiring of a third party, understanding the reports, trends and what it costs to manage these effectively is crucial.

Third party sources that utilize technology platforms such as Hubspot, Eloqua or some other software firm not only provide the analytics, they also provide complete solutions. Costs vary depending on what portions of a complete solution you are willing to utilize. The cost for analytics range from $500 to $1500 a month, but combining them with additional services from a third party may be more cost effective.

3. Like, Fan or Follower Acquisition Costs

It’s not only about the number of fans or followers you collect. The investment in social media platforms guarantees nothing. Wise use of time and talent (in-house or third party), combined with effective and well understood analytics may improve the ROI, but the key is knowledge and experience of the placement personnel of your content. In-house costs include indirect costs that may not be initially considered, such as health and welfare, space and technology allocation, etc. Outsourcing part or all of the campaign may be more cost effective, but management must fully evaluate these types of decisions.

Like everything else in business, social media investment is a risk and return decision. There is no magic formula for determining the true cost of a social media campaign, as each one is different. There is no cookie-cutter program, and your budget should encompass some of the hidden or ancillary costs highlighted above. Continue reading

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7 Thoughts for Start Ups

Remember, potential investors want to know “what’s in it for me,” so tailor your summary in such a way as to show how their investment may grow as levels of investment come in. For instance, at the very early stage, shares may be worth one dollar (or whatever amount you decide on), but once the next round of funding is requested, that level of shares may be worth two or three dollars. That means that early investors have the greatest amount of potential gain. Continue reading

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The Retail and Tablet Disconnect

As stated by W. Sean Ford, COO and CMO of Zmags, “Only one quarter of retailers are ready to take a consumer through checkout over tablets, but 49 percent of today’s tablet owners said they plan to shop even more next year using their device.” Continue reading

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Hubspot’s 17 R’s of Savvy Mobile Marketing


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Content Marketing for Dimwits

What exactly is content marketing? Well, it’s a little like drug dealing, only without the illegal, illicit and immoral aspects.

If you have been under a rock these past few years, I can understand if you don’t know of which I speak, but content marketing is the new model for marketing to individuals (B2C) and companies (B2B). Continue reading

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Social Media is A out Being Social…..Who Knew?

I recognized the upside potential to the use of these sites, but without prior knowledge, I stubbed my toe so to speak by blurting information that was not asked for, taking too much for granted, and eventually sawed off the limb I was stranded on through my own ignorance. Continue reading

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How Listening Increases Return on Relationships

It takes much more than providing the type of content our customers might be looking for, but identifying what customers want to hear about your particular operating niche. Continue reading

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More Ideas on Ideas

Just because you came up with the idea doesn’t mean that it is a good one; that you know best or your decisions are final. Stay humble, open to suggestion and review each step in the process, each milestone and every interaction as though it meant success or failure at any given moment. If you don’t move cautiously, and rush to conclusions without interaction and critique from others, your idea may not turn out as successful as you want. Use the people you have gathered around you as critical components of the process from start to outcome. A team effort is always better than a single person’s viewpoint. Continue reading

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True Social Entrepreneurship

While it is admirable to consider one’s actions as a social entrepreneur to work within the non-profit environment, I contend that if not as important, it is more valuable to work within the framework of for profit social entrepreneurship. Profit is NOT a dirty word! Such dedication to profit generating enterprises will cause a more lasting impact on the population, the economy and the sustenance of the globe as well. After all, it’s better to teach a man to fish than it is to give a man a fish. Charity and good deeds, while noteworthy have limited and time sensitive impact on the recipient and marketplace. While it may feel good to do good works of charity handing out food, providing shelter or funding social works repeatedly, the recipient may be better off learning a skill that can provide sustainable income to remove him from economic hardship. Why not focus on how to improve people’s lives for the long term, rather than “getting them through the week.” By merely providing short-term charity, consider long-term time investment in the betterment of society through entrepreneurship, and the creation of jobs. Continue reading

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