Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blogcast your Brand: SEO Blogs + Internet Marketing 2.0

Blogcast your Brand: SEO blogs + Internet Marketing 2.0

November 26th, 2007 by admin

B is for Brand, not just blogging, and it’s more important to build a brand than to just SEO. We want to help you be successful, and that is why our tagline is Blogcast your brand! Beautiful Brands from SXC.hu-photo-blogBranding is everything in marketing, that is everything of everything, after you have developed a great product. So what is a Brand, and why should you care? If you build your brand the right way, you won’t just SEO for subject matter keywords such as Jewelry, but people will SEO for your brand name, such as for “Blue Nile” for jewelry. How do you develop such a powerful brand name, especially on the Internet?

People will actually SEO for your brand name, as consumers are searching for your name, as they want to buy your product or service. And, your competitors will SEO, no matter how much they try, you will always be #1 on Google for your brand right? Being searched for as a keyword is when you have really hit it big, and you than will be the target keyword for your category, and that my friend is the success of a brand and you have arrived. We will show you not only to SEO, but to be Unique, and to always force and reinforce your Unique Brand name.

Back again to, What is a brand, brand building? I am not going to give you a text book definition, because I am not going to refresh my memory with a text book. I am going to tell you everything I have learned and simplify the knowledge of over 15 years. The 15 years come from real life. Isnt’ that what you want, instead of text book answers. After my business degree where one of my favorite subject was marketing, I started a food company, and had billionaires over for dinner at the age of 25 to buy my company. To this day that is still one of my top 10 achievements. The Schwan’s food company, sent me an offer I had to refuse, so I did, back on that lesson later. Be strong lad, have patience and stand up for what you believe, that lesson came later in life.

My love and passion for marketing has never left me, I still love advertisements that make me laugh, brands that stand out, product branding, product marketing is such an amazing and creative field. Strategic Marketing and strategic positioning is not usually thought of as marketing, people usually talk about brand marketing or marketing promotions and advertisements, when speaking of marketing. Hence they miss the boat on it completely. I say if you build a brand the right way from the strategy level, than brand building and SEO are easy. It’s not just about getting ranked at the top of the search engines, but to actually sell products and make money. Let’s never forget that brand building and SEO should aways be about increasing sales.

A lof of my friends in college and after were in the AMA, American Marketing Association, my passion and association never left me. I read Adweek and other marketing + business magazines for years as a hobby, and still love to look at brands with an Awe of success and wonder. My experiences have lead to me to create a few amazing and fun brand names that even Sr. VP’s at companies like Microsoft chuckle at. It’s all in a name as I say, thanks to Larry C, who’s nanny helped me develop UrbanTango.com, a real estate portal in 2003. That brand is still admired in the Seattle real estate world. I consider my self a Internet Marketing expert, a position which others may not argue with given my background and results in todays internet marketing strategies. Way back in 1999, I co-founded an Internet Company, Enthusiasm.com which turned in to Enthusiasm Technologies, that sold to a public company for $8.6M, Metro One Telecom. Soon there after I founded another company that resulted in $1m in revenues in it’s first 11months and $3.2m in it’s second year, Netisen Group, Inc. at Netisen.com. Portrait of Vessey from sxc.hu-photo-blog

We ended up doing business at Netisen with Microsoft, Safeco, Nordstrom, Premera Blue Cross, Amgen, and Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center. Now if you live in Seattle you certainly know about all of these brands. And, while working with all those brands added credibility to Netisen, but it still ended up being sold for pennies on the dollar and us loosing millions. I bring this up as building a great brand can generate millions and if business not taken care of properly. Debacles of bad suppliers from China are starting to impact the Toy brands of today, some might say unreasonably at the fault of the US brand. Remember the issues with Tylenol, and how criminals almost destroyed that great brand. So examples have been around such as Enron, that you can loose your brand in a matter of months or weeks too. S o grow slowly and be cautious of your business partners, great brands are developed over years not in a short time. We can all go through a tough period, and your brand will survive if it stands for solid values of ethics, compassion, honesty and respect. Respect is earned not only by doing things right, but also by managing the things that have gone wrong, so brand building and credibility go hand in hand. This is what Internet Marketing 2.0, search engines have unraveled at an accelerating rate.

Getting ranked and high rankings in search engines such as Google can get your brand Quick Credibility with the consumer. Especially as their are millions of web pages out there, and if you are among the top 10, why you are a leader, aren’t you! Organic SEO and search results actually give you and your Brand more credibility and Equity to your brand than Pay Per Click ads can. Consumers don’t like being sold to, do they, they prefer to buy, but you already knew that! I am very proud of our #1 search result in “Create a blog”, and many top rankings. Our brand MyTypes.com was recognized by a friend of a friend recently. As I spoke with this in house SEO expert of a large media company Real Networks, she has an MBA from a major west coast school, so she is very smart, and said she had seen our site at the top of the search engines so she thought highly of it. Wow, but that should not be a shock to you folks, Google and other search engines can make your brand a International phenomenon in a matter of days. The key is not just to SEO, but to build your brand with this strategy in mind.

Back to us, we are #1 for “Wordpress SEO” which is why you are here. #9 on Google for “Free Blog“, #11 for “Blogging“, and the #37 for “SEO“. Wowsa, that high for SEO and we weren’t even targeting it, boy we are good. I am saying these things about results and above paragraph about my/our past success, to not brag or be self righteous, but only to add credibility for all those doubters with MBA’s or not. You see I have had very smart people question my credibility, as they will yours. In this world of rational reasoning, it’s not just what you know, what school you went to, but what have you done. To me the best thing about being an American, is that we tend to judge people by their actions, not just their degrees. In India, and other parts of the world, I am afraid it’s not the case.

At the end of the day, I will judge my success on how many people I can help with my skills rather than how many words I can get ranked on Google, or how many brands I can think of or develop. There is a good list of below, and yes I do own over 70+ keywords. This article is not just about SEO, but rather on the topic of Branding, brand building, brand strategy, and most importantly about blogcasting/promoting your brand for eSuccess! This article may become a series, but for now we will stick with the following questions, gosh it’s so long already, ouch:-(.

1. What is a Brand? It’s the name of a product or company that captures it’s essence to the audience. Some common and newer example: Coke: a soft drink, but the bottle of coke; IBM, the personal computer, everything business computers, big blue, big branding, big shoes to fill:-)Branding-b-photo-blog-from-sxc.hu

2. What is the most important aspect of building a brand? That it be remembered, as well as capture the essence of it’s products value. Google, is as you can see, remembered. MySpace is remembered, Aveda: a health and beauty brand is remembered as it captures the plant essences. Remember that a brand my get old and tired such as Yahoo, but it’s the fault of it’s management. eBay is not tired, Microsoft is not tired?

3. How do we build a brand? Make it unique, smart-unique words, simple logos, hello Nike swoosh. Use colors or be black and white in today world of color, like Crate and Barrel. Music, any thing to set it up as a product or companies Unique Selling Proposition, can you think of the music or tune of the Vonage commercials? How about the annoying factor of the HeadOn, HeadOn, HeadOn. Make it an emotional grabber, and use it every where, every where, in all of your marketing materials, packaging, website, brochures, keep the colors and words consistent. And than keep it consistent by hammering it over and over again, liven in up every year or so, but not too often, keep it consistent. The main rule of branding, the more different the more it will stand out. In a world of blue, be pink or Orange, well Pink is the new black, as you already know.

4. How do we start building a brand? Ask your self these questions, what, where, how, when, and Why?

What does my product stand for? What do I want my customers to think of the solution? Is it a soft drink that quenches their thirst, or is it “oh what a feeling? What is association of the name and the product? When I was first thinking of a name for my first company, a frozen indian food co., my friend and associate William Mason, thank William for that great lesson. I had not idea, that his insights would get in my book some day:-). He asked me some very interesting questions, I can remember my first brand building conversation back in 1992 vividly.

Photo-blog-shoppingforspices-sxc.hu

In a matter of minutes we came up with the name, sitting right outside at a cafe in Minneapolis warehouse district, those were the days before the Target center, Prince, the musician without a name, still had his night club right around the corner. And there we were, at that same exact point, I figured out the art of Branding. Oh by the way, it ended up being called: “Masala, Cuisine of India”. Masala is the name for mixture of spiced used in Indian cooking, it is at the heart of every home, restaurant, everything Indian food. So having a name like Masala is the key, you have to capture the essence of the core of your category, your culture, your industry.

The word “Cuisine” means gourmet, so we added that as a positioning statement, we wanted the Indian food to have a sophisticated place in the palate, rather than peasant food. We knew that Indian food tends to be popular with the educated and cultural type of people who appreciate it’s complex tastes and smells. Not just some visually non-appealing poop style curry, yukh.

The average hamburger eating crowd does not define a connoisseurs of fine gourmet foods. At the same time, the word Gourmet may be too high-end for the average person. Last word “India” was important to say what it was, it is from the ancient land of Yoga and Taj Mahal, but isn’t it easier to just say India? But we could have said Curries, or Taj Mahal, Rubi’s, Turbons, Sacred cow’s etc. etc. Words have a lot to do with branding, and you MUST define your product or brand explicitly with your customers in mind. That is why the blog post on the 5P’s of marketing is so important to visit, well all the blogs and topics in the book are important. So to summarize, we asked and got to the Core of Indian food to come up with a name for product and company. Some times people want the company to be named different than the product, we disagree. Indian-food-photo-blogfromsxc.hut

We believe you should pick a name, a catchy name, a small name, an emotional brand that defines your product that you LOVE, and keep it simple and use that word for everything. Large companies pay thousands to millions of dollars for brand creation and brand positioning. You are a small business person, an entrepreneur or even a large business executive, regardless of who you are if you want to develop a brand from inception to reinforcing, you have to pick a few words to define what you do and hammer that brand name home. So pick a catchy name like “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin. Being different is not enough, capturing an essence is vital to you success. Here are some brand names that I have been associated with and or/have created.

Masala: Cuisine of India

MNDine.com: a Minnesota Restaurant online directory

Gartner: A global IT leader, any IT exec knows this brand

Microsoft: A software company, ask Bill Gates what they do, they are a software company. I helped managed the relationship between Gartner and Microsoft and I love some of the branding that they have created.

UrbanTango.com: A real estate website for Seattle Real Estate that I created and got to the top 10 search result on Yahoo, MSN, Google

XoomPad.com: A real estate IDX(Home Listings) search website

MyTypes.com: A community of bloggers to create and promote their blogs, what do you do with your blog, Type one right?

OrangePillow.com: A hosting company website, get it a Pillow a host?

Why did I bring up the not so well known brands that we own? They are not big names, nor does your brand have to super well known by everyone, just with your customers. And remember make them-catchy names, and being catchy is what we are after, well Brands that last, Brands that have equity, and Brands that make us money. I love to see brands at work, and so should your work, not you? A great brand usually means more jobs and more success for not just the company but also the community at large. We will address the other questions of When, where, How and Why in the next few questions.

**this free blog is sponsored by Comfortzone Infrared Heaters, which are better than Edenpure Heaters and Designer Silver Jewelry by Jill Brahms Silver Cross jewelry @ LoveRelic.com.

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