Google Lively – A Platform For Marketing?

Many of you may be aware that Google has launched a new service for websites called Google Lively – a lightweight competitor to Second Life.

As this popped up, many marketing bloggers online have begun talking about how this might be relevant for for marketing purposes. I can’t say I have ignored it. In fact, I want to know – do you have any ideas for marketing and branding on Lively?

While Lively creates a similar experience to Second Life, it uses websites as a platform rather than purpose built software.

What Google Lively is About

It’s a platform for people to interact with one another when they visit their favourite websites. I think Niniane Wang (the creator) sums it up best on the Google blog:

“…to express yourself with and without words, and to do this in the places you already visit on the web.”

Can you imagine using your avatar in a 3D room to read the content of your favourite websites? This may be just one reality made possible with this new platform – and for those looking to connect with customers, it could be a dream come true.

Marketing on Google Lively

I’ve had a bit of a play around on it, and I’ve found a couple of features which I think could be very useful for any businesses looking to use this service. Currently you can:

In the future I suspect you will be able to:

  • Contribute Objects, Room Shells and Wardrobes
  • Put RSS Feeds into Rooms
  • Place Advertising in Rooms
  • Program Events to Run
  • Buy & Sell Objects, Clothes, Rooms and Shells

Could you imagine the worth of a room which attracts 10,000 people daily?

Are There More Marketing Applications?

Google is busy testing a number of initiatives to make the web into a more social place. Just take a look at what Google has under their belt:

With all these projects working together, I suspect Lively will become a lot more popular. Especially as it matures and Google opens the doors for innovation through APIs and what not.

What Marketing and Branding Opportunities Can You See on Lively? Discuss…

Ten Website Conversion Tips

From my work, I notice a lot of businesses think that throwing money at advertising is what they need to get more customers. Sure it’ll help, but why waste your money when you can convert more leads for less cash? Out of the research I’ve done and my own experience, here are a few checkpoints that I work through to increase website conversion:

1. Be clear about what you do

If visitors don’t see your site as being relevant to them – they can leave in 3 seconds. So make sure you’re clear about what you do. Use strong headings in your content, add relevant photos and make use of dot points to cut through the clutter. A good copywriter can help achieve this through brevity. This will help keep visitors on your site, but only if you…

2. Receive Targeted Traffic

You have to be attracting the right sort of person to your site. For example, if you’re selling web hosting, you need to think about the sort of customer you want to attract. Where will you advertise? How is the performance of different keywords in your PPC campaigns? Is your ad copy over-promising? Make sure all of this is congruent with the sort of customer you’d like to attract and you’ll increase your conversion rate dramatically.

3. Direct Traffic to the Right Landing Page

So many businesses direct their ads and search marketing efforts at their homepage. If you have a lot of information and pages on your site, this can be really detrimental to conversion. Research shows, that if someone cannot find what they’re looking for on your site within 3 page views, you’ve lost them. Also, if you’re running AdWords on your site, a specialized landing page optimized for certain keywords will help you pay less. [Read more…]

Do You Know The New Definition of Marketing?

The American Marketing Association has revised the definition of marketing.You may have recognised, that in the past few years, the way which we communicate, share ideas and exchange value has dramatically changed.

People are discounting messages they encounter through the media, more than ever and marketers are forced to interact with customers on a wide variety of different channels. This, combined with the newfound power of individuals through social media, has called for a new definition to serve marketing practitioners and academics more appropriately.

Recently I was contacted by Christine Heath on behalf of the American Marketing Association and informed of a revision of the definition of marketing. It definitely piqued my curiosity, so I decided to take a look and see what changes they had made to the 2004 definition and what it means for us all.

Here is the AMA’s new definition of marketing: [Read more…]

Krishna De Nominated for Irish Blogging Awards

The Irish Internet Association and Enterprise Ireland have nominated Krishna De, one of our great writers on this blog, for the titles of “Best Blogger” and “Best Podcaster”!

She is the author of a number of popular blogs such as:

On top of that, she also contributes to this blog and to The Huffington Post. As you can see, she’s a busy woman and her success on these websites has led her to speak on business blogging and podcasting at her website and social media un-conference at PodCamp Ireland.

We’re very proud of our Krishna and congratulate her for been recognised so far and for the massive success of her new media empire.

If you would like to help her out, please vote for her here, it only takes a minute.

Keep it up, Krishna!

Brand Rally: Experts To Brand Windsor, Ontario

You may remember my old post back a short while ago about Ed Roach from the Branding Experts, and how he is going to brand his city of Windsor. Well, he’s upped the ante now, and is working with Derrick Daye from The Blake Project to give Windsor a reputation that it’s proud of.

So far, Ed and Derrick have made a post calling for people who are interested in joining them in their project and have already invited several people to help out. Unfortunately, I have had to decline Ed’s invitation due to my schedule but if you have any experience with Place Branding, or you know Windsor well, perhaps you should drop by and lend a hand. After all, this is an experience that money can’t buy as you’ll be working with industry professionals such as:

  • Ed Roach (Brand Consultant, The Branding Experts)
  • Derrick Daye (Managing Partner, The Blake Project)
  • And perhaps the invitees such as Eli Portnoy (Founder/CEO, Portnoy Group Inc.), Marcia Hoeck (President/CEO, Hoeck Associates Inc.), Alan Williamson (Destination Brand Developer), Marcia McMillan and John Norman.

I have to say, so far Ed has done a fantastic job of generating awareness for the issue as he has only recently started blogging himself. If you’re keen to see how experts attack a branding project, then I highly recommend following this.

How Would You Like To Write For Small Business Branding?

A new door opens...Have you ever considered blogging for a larger audience?

Perhaps you would like somewhere to showcase your marketing potential? Maybe you want to attract exciting opportunities for your business. Or could you benefit from adding this website to your resume?

Well before we get into that, I’d like to extend you an invitation to write for us.

As a popular resource for small business and website owners, we’re looking to give our readers the most useful information on how to market and brand their small businesses. We are looking for new contributors who’d like to join the SmallBusinessBranding.com team.

Since there is a lot to tell you about, please read on…

How Can SBB Help Me?

Over the past few months, the writers on Small Business Branding have experienced some amazing benefits from blogging on this site. From meeting investors to attending a conference, the site’s exposure is certainly a great boost towards your career goals.

For instance, Danielle has been blogging on SBB for just a few months now, and has had a number of amazing opportunities open up for her business, CloseConnexion, including an opportunity for international expansion.

Danielle Rogers“From the exposure SmallBusinessBranding.com provided I was contacted by a UK entrepreneur who has expressed interest in licensing events from my business CloseConnexion, in the UK. It has also put me in touch with a number of other amazing people who I would otherwise never have met.

Blogging for a popular site can spread your name, business and brand far and wide opening up all kinds of opportunities.

On a personal level, it’s been a wonderful experience to share my start-up journey. Both in the sense of thinking through my own lessons and knowing that others can benefit from them.

I highly recommend the experience.”

– Danielle Rodgers, Brisbane Australia

Nick Rice has been blogging with SBB for several months now and continues to write popular articles on topics such as creativity in marketing, lead generation and corporate governance. Due to his popularity on the website, Nick has experienced a lot of positive benefits of blogging on this site. Most notably, he has built a strong, informative blog (Strategic Design) and he has driven qualified leads to his company website at Cre8tivegroup.com.

Here’s what Nick has to say:

Nick Rice“When I saw the open call, I jumped at the chance to be an author at SmallBuinessBranding.com. It’s not often that you get a chance to have your thoughts in front of thousands of interested (and targeted) people each day. SBB has been a great tool in helping my build a strong personal & professional brand. A lot of credibility comes from writing with an international group of authors on an international stage. There’s nothing better than writing to help build a business. What used to be a stack of business books on the shelf is quickly turning into a long RSS feed. The web has democratized publishing and SmallBusinessBranding.com is at the forefront of helping to improve the small and medium businesses that drive economies around the world.”

– Nick Rice, Willmore Kentucky

Kammie, our passionate and lively life coach has generated some amazing responses to her articles. With her background in communications and a zealously positive attitude on life, her aura of inspiration has benefited many people on SBB. This has in turn generated a lot of traffic to her blog and some curiosity about her method – ‘Passion Meets Purpose’.

Kammie Kobyleski “Writing for SBB has opened many doors for me. The added exposure has increased traffic to my personal business blog and the relationships and new business developments that have come about since blogging there, I couldn’t have gained otherwise.

It also allows me to stretch my own ideas, thoughts, and concepts about what branding and marketing a small business is all about. I look at branding from a different perspective than I used to. Through sharing my articles on the site, I am constantly evolving my personal brand story as well. I’m grateful for the opportunity to explore, share and expand the brand dialogue at SBB.”

– Kammie Kobyleski,

As for myself, SBB gave me the opportunity to visit a major ‘un-conference’ in the USA, appropriately entitled Mplanet 2006. If it weren’t for SBB, I’d never have traveled there and experienced such an event on the other side of the world. Nor would I have extended my personal brand, documented my knowledge and experiences or even met the amazing people I have through this blog.

If you are passionate about marketing and branding, you’d be insane to pass up this opportunity. Even if you’re slightly interested, give it a shot. You have nothing to lose – unless you let the opportunity go.

What’s Required?

We’re looking for people who have a desire to write for a large audience and share their experiences in business. People who have previously written work on the internet or traditional media (Magazines, Newspapers, Radio and TV), will be looked upon favourably. Similarly people who specialize in services such as business coaching, copywriting and other areas which small business owners will find interesting.

Our aim is to give everyone a set day on which they’ll have their articles posted – like a column. If you can devote time to writing 4 articles per month, then we’d love to hear from you.

I get it Rob – So, how do I apply?

Just send me an email at [email protected] with some background info on yourself and preferably any links to previous work that’s on the web. We’d love to hear from you.

I thought I’d leave you with one last thought from Brad though (which I believe is one of the coolest things about blogging here)…

Brad Williamson“SmallBusinessBranding.com is a a marketer’s playground as you get to do what marketer’s do best… which is INFLUENCE PEOPLE. The articles you write will influence small business owners on marketing strategies that will eventually help them create their professional dreams. How can you not want to be a part of something so special?”

Brad Williamson, Dallas Texas

How Would You Brand Windsor, Ontario?

It’s a tough question, but Ed Roach of The Branding Experts is undertaking the noble project of branding his city – all via the blogosphere.

On his blog, Brand Corral, Ed is hoping that people will leave him some ‘unscientific data’ about his city of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, in the form of comments.

All he asks of you is, “How you view his city” and “Where you’re from”.

If this project gains enough momentum, I think it’d become viral – especially with all the Canadians out there, eh. After a quick visit to Wikipedia though, I think this city is well worth the free publicity.

So, spare a minute or two and let Ed know what you think about Windsor, Ontario.

PS. Don’t cheat by visiting Wikipedia first :).

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