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Creative and strategic PR, social media, other digital things, events, video, content optimization. Guided by analytics. Usually way more effective by lots of different measures.

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16 posts tagged Digital

How do you adopt SEO practices to deal with changing search algorithms?

There’s a not-so-secret fear in the search marketing world, and it’s the algorithm update. Whenever the major search engines make a significant change, SEOs around the world will immediately dive into their analytics to see how it has affected them.

The good news is that by and large these algorithm updates tend to target sites using practices that are on the borderline of what would be considered “black hat” SEO practices. The latest major Google update, the “Panda” update rolled out in February/April, is aimed at content farms - sites that aggregate or create large amounts of low-quality content. Such content farms aren’t explicitly SPAM, but are not valuable to most users.

Atomic advocates and practices “white hat” SEO tactics, in which we aim to create content that users will naturally value, share, and link to. These tactics have proven highly effective for a number of clients, for example Mint.com. Because such content is of actual value, and the links they attract are from natural, quality sources, the sites we work with are only minimally affected by algorithm updates.

None the less, any algorithm update will have collateral damage. If your clients have been affected, the first step is to evaluate your strategies for any tactics that might have been targeted in the update. The next step would be to see if your client sites are strongly associated with sites that have been affected. If many of your links or referrers come from XYZ.com, and they were hammered by an update, then it might have rippled back to you.

Lastly, it’s possibly you’ve unintentionally triggered a penalty. For example, having very little content per page, little original content, or lots of duplicate content. Look to see if you can improve your content strategies and clean your site of low-quality sections that might be seen as a content farm.

Updates to the algorithms are always a good time to review your strategies, but the best defense is an adherence to white hat tactics that are unlikely to be affected by an update now or in the future.

//image via adactio

The PR Value of Facebook & Twitter

Written by Sean Mulholland

Two recent Fast Company articles have shed some quantitative light on the actual value of Facebook and Twitter, and helped to reinforce some of our internal observations here at Atomic Digital.

With regards to clickthroughs, SocialTwist reports that Twitter users click through 6.6x more often than do Facebook users, despite Facebook being by far the most popular sharing platform among users. This is based on analyzing 1MM clickthroughs of user shares via their “Tell a friend” tool.

In another report, Eventbrite reports that sharing event information through Facebook was 5.8x as valuable as doing the same through Twitter. Based on mining months of sales data, they calculated that each time a user shared an event via Facebook it generated $2.52 in ticket sales vs. only $0.43 for each Twitter share.

Both of these articles contain important insights from a PR perspective. Given the higher clickthrough rate of Twitter, sharing general news via that medium may indeed be more effective. With Twitter often used as a broadcasting medium this makes sense, as oftentimes people will have a much wider network on Twitter vs. Facebook, which is often kept more personal.

The Eventbrite data however shows that under the right circumstances the more personal network of Facebook proves more valuable. For events shared among friends there is a high likelihood that many of one’s friends live nearby (and thus are able to attend), and friends often share each others’ tastes. From a PR perspective this shows that Facebook may have advantages for local or grassroots initiatives.

Unfortunately neither article addresses Facebook fan pages, which are Twitter like in their messages often being more of a broadcast than a personal connection among friends. Our internal observations have shown fan pages can be tremendously effective, both for driving traffic and conversions for cause-related campaigns.

//img via respres

Media and blogger event showcasing the Art of Managing Digital Media for new Atomic client: NETGEAR

Written by Nick Olsson 


Recently, Atomic PR won the NETGEAR account - stand by for a formal announcement. In our first major launch and kick-off event this past Thursday, we took to our favorite San Francisco art gallery and nightclub 111 Minna to showcase NETGEAR’s first-of-its-kind ReadyNAS Ultra, which along with partners Intel, TiVo, Orb and Skifta, brings a bit of art to the management of digital media.

The innovative network storage product does away forever with those ever-accumulating and capacity-escalating USB storage devices in favor of a central unit from which users simply stream and media-shift content from one device to another, anywhere in the house. Even better, it’s the first solution to provide nearly limitless capacity to all TiVo’s, putting an end to domestic warfare over what to delete next.

After a short intro from Chairman and CEO Patrick Lo, a couple dozen local media, bloggers and analysts had the opportunity to speak with NETGEAR executives, see the products in action, and hear from partner executives who also had demos running at the event. All with a DJ groove in the background to keep things lively throughout the night.

The following morning, more than 40 stories appeared in media and blogs, with headlines like “NETGEAR aims to make home storage hip” (CNET), “How NETGEAR’s ReadyNAS Ultra Redefines the Role of Network Storage” (PC World) and “NETGEAR tries to kill off local storage with its networked media servers” (VentureBeat). And the press release hadn’t even hit yet. Here’s some of the coverage on Google News:http://news.google.com/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=ReadyNAS+Ultra

Great product, fun night - keep your eye out for more.

Homegrown European Brands Fight Facebook

Written by Sandeep Kalsi

Over the years, established European brands have fallen by the wayside as dominant US brands have swept the continent. Irrespective of the industry, whether it is Starbucks gobbling up traditional coffee shops or the once mighty European PC maker Olivetti being made extinct by the likes of HP and Dell, the latest battleground is the being fought By Europe’s social media sites who are readying themselves for a major scuffle with Facebook.

According to the Financial Times, despite showing signs of profitability albeit on a small scale, all the homegrown sites which includes Skyrock (France), StudiVIZ (Germany), Hyves (The Netherlands) and Tuenti (Spain) are all feeling the ‘ill-wind’ of Facebook translating into local languages. It is estimated that 30% of users have migrated to the US company over recent months.

Naturally, the Europeans are not lying down but fighting with innovative local services and tie-ups. Hyves is currently working with a major Dutch Bank to develop an in-site payment system; sponsors the National Football team and incorporates a host of media events, TV shows and surveys on its platform. Tuenti in Spain has an invitation only approach to growth and cannot be indexed by search engines, making the experience private and secure. Google is not number one everywhere, so perhaps the same could be true for European social media networks? Let the battle begin.

Written by Sandeep Kalsi
Sandeep Kalsi is Managing Director of AtomicPR Europe

The broader power of search

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Search engine optimization is often thought of as having a singular purpose - driving traffic to a website - but in the modern communications landscape, SEO goes far beyond traffic building. Enquiro, a research firm commissioned by Google to study the brand effect of search, produced a report that shows just how influential search can be.

Also consider a Nielsen Net//Ratings study released in April 2009 on how trustworthy various forms of advertising or marketing were, in which “recommendations from people known” and “consumer opinions posted online” ranked as #1 and #2 respectively, with #4 being “editorial content posted online”. Ouch. It turns out that sometimes the best search results for a brand may not be that brand’s website at all.

And even if a brand website is ranking well, having lots of other touchpoints out there doesn’t hurt, and can help you defend the valuable first-page results against off-message content. Ensuring that your brand is well placed in the search ecosystem is mission-critical. The goal is for your brand to be easily discoverable, whether it be through your website, positive press, blog, or social media content.

Read more on this topic here.

* This post originally ran as a guest blogger entry on PR Week Insider week of Oct 5, 2009.

Traditional vs. social media? It’s all just media now

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Some social media purists say the world has flipped from a top-down, traditional media driven landscape to a bottom-up, social driven landscape. We’re not sure that’s right. People often tweet and blog about what they encounter in the mass media, and the mass media often reports on memes that first evolved in the social media world. It’s probably more accurate to think in terms of a symbiotic continuum - the modern communications landscape ranges from real-time microblogs and status updates to long-lead print and broadcast outlets.

While the platforms remain relatively distinct, the content, links and thoughts regularly ricochet between entities in a mix of original reporting, iteration, discovery, sharing and conversation. Grassroots-up tends more toward short real-time communications, where top-down can take days, weeks or months. Mainstream press delivers mass audience, while individuals may reach a small group of highly interested others. A Twitter post can trigger broadcast coverage of a breaking issue while an article in a daily regional newspaper may spread worldwide through blogs and social networks. And then there’s search, which lives forever. So the distinctions may not be that important anymore. Offline, online, traditional, social - it’s all just media now. Embrace. Evolve.

This post originally ran last week as Part 2 of a 3-part series of posts from Atomic on PR Week’s Insider Blog.

Update from the field - Digital and social media incredibly important; mainstream media still alive

We do a lot of blogging, blogger relations and social media work for nearly all our clients. We also follow the social media dialog pretty closely, and I was told of a meeting yesterday where a client contact said a consultant working with another department suggested going all digital and avoiding “traditional” media altogether.

That idea is narrow sighted - and wrong. Yes, the communications landscape is changing, segments of traditional media are struggling from a financial standpoint and “digital” media is incredibly important. But we don’t think things are as neatly silo’d as some of the more narrowly focused social media advocates would like to believe, and the idea that all traditional media are dead is plain wrong, at least from a traffic driving standpoint.

Site traffic at Mint and SimpliFi is spiking. The SimpliFi site even went down for a short bit this morning. This has happened to many of our consumer clients when they are covered by large reach, mainstream media. Though blogs, Twitter and social networks are incredibly important for lots of reasons we all know, we have never once seen a client site go down from blog coverage or other social media dialog. It turns out that outside Silicon Valley, people still watch TV in numbers large enough to challenge server capacity when they see something they’re interested in.Here’s a fresh example from today. Two of Atomic’s consumer finance related clients were covered in a “traditional” broadcast segment on Good Morning America, Mint.com and SimpliFi.net. The piece also ran online on abcNews.com Money in Melody Harmon’s Personal Finance section http://abcnews.go.com/Business/MellodyHobson/, which also carried a video clip. A copy of the clip was also posted toYouTube. If experience is any guide, the story will also now be blogged about. So what kind of coverage is this? Broadcast? Online? Video? Blog? It’s all of that.

It’s a bit more work, but really successful PR programs engage all the important influencers for any given market - analysts, pro and amateur bloggers, online media, regular civilians - and yes, print and broadcast media, since many still have huge audiences.

Another interesting note. This story was pitched in April as a broadcast segment, and it ran more than 10 weeks after the producer indicated interest.

Saw this today from Shane O’Neill at CIO Insider.

View CIO’s slide show of movie clips…

Here are Shane’s picks along with our comments - 2001: A Space Oddysey (HAL by Microsoft?), TRON (our co-founder is working on converting himself to data also), Blade Runner (bring on the sexbots and advo-blimps), War Games (all hackers want to be Matthew Broderick), The Net (all women in tech look like Sandra Bullock), Gattaca (at least Ethan doesn’t read his poetry), The Truman Show (The Real World without the full disclosure), You’ve Got Mail (see www.OnlineBootyCall.com), The Matrix (OK, let me make sure I get this straight, what does the red pill do again?) and Minority Report (ads that know all about you, plus Tom Cruise in a made-up situation more real than his real situation). Interestingly, not one film about Facebook and/or iPhone apps or Cloud Computing. You’ll see.

With the holiday shopping season about to really get going, Atomic went to client Verizon with a “phones as fashion” concept - the Verizon Fall Phone Fashion Show.

Four new phones making their debut this Fall, along with six other hot SKUs and a new mobile TV feature, a hot nightspot with a good bar, a line-up of professional models and a catwalk, a few Verizon spokespeople, and a great cross section of top journalists and bloggers.

The Atomic digital ops team was there to video the event, which was edited, tagged with relevant terms and uploaded to a news distributor for media and blogger use in upcoming mobile phone pieces. More distribution is planned.

This clip, taken with an attending blogger’s own phone, came out immediately after the event.

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