Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Google Finds a New Way to Pay to Play

Friday, December 16th, 2011

With the recent release of Google+ Pages, the creators at Google have finally found a way to make up for their past mistakes with Google Buzz, Google Places and organic search. This new feature allows people to stay connected to TV shows, universal brands and businesses. The way it works is you create a page profile, similar to the way you would on Facebook, only now with Google+ Pages you have a direct connection to searches. This increases the incentive for businesses to become active on Google+, by creating a page and interacting with its user base.

Google SEO and organic search have been destroyed by advertisers and indexing sites to take over the search engine by giving search priority to irrelevant businesses and spam artists. Instead of getting right to the search information, you have to sift through half a page of backlinked index sites. Google+ Pages is Google’s solution to this problem. These pages will have priority with Google’s Local Business listings (the area directly under the paid links).  Now the pages will be prominent in the search and give relevancy to all who interact. My assumption is that there will be some sort of tie-in with adwords. Not only will the businesses that have a page through Google+ get priority in searches, but I believe there will be an option for businesses to pay to get an extra prioritization in searches.

The people at Google are smart. Not because of the creation of this social networking site, but because they know how to make a buck. Google+ offers no new feature that is significantly different from any of the current social media websites. They led with their chin offering “Circles” as a way for people to start clean and recreate their social connections by categorizing them. This new pages feature isn’t going to revolutionize social media; it is essentially no different than Facebook pages in terms of functionality. It does, however, provide an opportunity for Google to get back to a more organic search while still being able to get their money.

To see JB Chicago’s Google+ Page visit: http://ow.ly/820TO

SEO practices and SERP rankings

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

After David Segal’s article “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search” appeared in the New York Times last month, the mechanics behind search engine optimization have become part of a national conversation. This is a timely opportunity to talk about SEO practices.

Digital marketing can hardly be discussed without the issue of SEO techniques coming to the forefront. To increase the search engine rankings, there are five basic principles used in building websites: domain name, title tag, secondary tag naming conventions, content and tags, and creating external links. It is the last principle that most people are referring to when discussing controversial SEO practices. When a company’s only metric is to move a site up in rankings, there becomes a single minded mission to influence Google’s cryptic algorithms with insubstantial networking and internet manipulation. In this business, clients often wish to improve their online reputation by maneuver particularly unfavorable results below the fold or off the first page of the search engine results. There are many traditional SEO companies that will promise to deliver by any means necessary.

Companies who promise the ability to outsmart and outmaneuver Google’s SERP, or the web page listings that result from a search engine query, through Black Hat or White Hat SEO techniques, paid links, and backlinking creates sham networks by linking the site to any directory, blog or page, regardless of its relevance to the service or product. This focuses on create a high quality of insubstantial links to boost a website’s profile that create the illusion of relevance. It’s the digital marketing equivalent of spam.

Google is aware of these strategies and makes it their business to unearth websites that do this, meaning that a company can spend thousands of dollars of its SEO budget just to call attention to themselves by Google for the wrong reasons, which is the case in the New York Times article mentioned above. It is one thing to create the best possible conditions for your website to ascend to the most visible positions in the search engine results, and quite another to get flagged by the search engine by employing schemes that could ultimately result in being demoted in search ranking- or even removed from the index of searchable results entirely.My advice is to build a solid website with the SEO principle of forward linking- driving real traffic and connecting with the website, generating real, measurable conversions. Do not try to manipulate Google, but know that the “Google juice”- the value that Google assigns to your page- follows the practice of doing things the right way when it comes to search engine practices. The algorithms that Google uses to rank pages is famously enigmatic- there may even be a part of the search engine rankings that might actually notice negative feedback or complaints about a business, and deliberately keep those pages in the loop. A lot of complaint sites get good rankings- there is a chance that Google might actually want them to be where they are.

A more legitimate approach to SEO is through social media is rooted in two tactical approaches: elbow grease and paid advertising. It is more important to build social network followings, establish relationships within these, and develop those relationships into measurable conversions. The conversion data can be used to find out what has been successful in converting- numbers can vary throughout different times of the day, week and month, with trackable patterns. This accounts for the traffic that flows to the site through the different social media- and for the client, can track everything down to a measurable ROI.

Developing real, substantial connections to significant pages is the foundation to adhering to Google’s vision in creating value in a website. Driving traffic to and from sites with quality content is the only real way to raise one’s Google profile- it is this network of quality links that becomes a website’s true internet value.

Social Media and the Holidays: A Good Cause for Doing Good

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

As social media continues to gain a real part of our lives, this highly interactive platform also provides an excellent marketing tool to businesses small and large. There is a valuable opportunity in social media that a lot of people are still missing out on, and that is charity.

We’re all about marrying charity and social media here. As a board member of multiple Chicago non-profits, and more recently, the New Millennium Orchestra, JB Chicago has found all kinds of ways to give back and get involved in the community. After all, business is about bringing people together, so we figure why not make it better and bring people together for the greater good.

Our pursuits of good will also extend to our clients, and they can to yours too. Whether giving legs to an idea or spreading awareness through social media, we’re all about building relationships between good- causes and the good companies that support them. The Halloween applications and social media communication developed for Tetra Pak was a huge success. Motivated by fun and good feelings, every click in Facebook or Twitter, and every e-mail sent, landed a donation straight to World Wildlife Fund. Catalyst’s charity work with designers from across the globe land on their Area 3 blog, Twitter feeds and eventually around the world again.

Building these types of relationships provide great marketing directives, leading your business down the path you want. By giving people the incentive to share, you’re name goes right along with it. Any time of year, giving is genuinely a good thing that people want to be a part of. Providing the vehicle to help others through social media gives back and gives everyone a voice.

Share your charity and internet good doing experiences in the comments below. And remember, businesses of all shapes and sizes benefit from tying up with the right causes. So whether you’re new to philanthropy or want to make sure you find the right cause for you and your business values, here are a few great places to get acquainted with:

New Millennium Orchestra

Looking Glass Theater

Network of Strength

Gateway Green

Network For Good

Your Cause

Causes

Change

JB Chicago has been shadowed!

Monday, October 11th, 2010

As a college senior anticipating the May graduation date, I’m excited to see what type of life exists outside the realm of perpetual student-dom.  I’ve loved everything about my college experience but I’m anxiously awaiting the day where I no longer have to swipe my student ID to pay for my morning coffee.  This fall I’m interning as an account executive at Imagewest, Western Kentucky University’s student-run advertising and PR agency.   Over the course of the semester, all of the interns are encouraged to job shadow at a marketing agency.   This brings me to where I’m sitting now, the JB Chicago office, typing my very own blog entry for their website.

As someone who hopes to break into the marketing industry, I’m eager to pick the brains of the professionals who’ve made it.  I’ve only been at JB Chicago for a couple hours and I’ve already heard and seen things that reinforce my passion for this industry.   It’s comforting to know the skills I’m learning at WKU and Imagewest are relevant and applicable to the real world.  At school I’m enrolled in a social media marketing course, the very first of its kind at WKU.  Throughout the semester we’ll be working with a client, creating an online social presence for them via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and more.  I’ve heard that other universities throughout the country are also jumping on the social media bandwagon.  Smart thinking.

Several months ago I never would have thought I’d be singing the praises of microblogging platforms like Twitter.  I struggled to see the difference between tweeting and updating my status on Facebook.  After managing the Twitter account for Imagewest, my entire perspective changed.  I saw that interesting, thought-provoking content was being tweeted by the most popular marketing individuals and agencies.  I now see Twitter as a tool to network and establish relationships with industry professionals instead of merely a way to stalk celebrities like Ashton Kutcher.  (The guy has almost 6 million followers but don’t worry, I’m not one of them.)

My morning at JB Chicago has been incredibly rewarding, and it’s only 11:21!  I’ve enjoyed discovering that the people who work here share my passions and interests, in both social media and interactive marketing.  I’m only in the city for a few more days but this trip has given me the confidence that I’m on the right track.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about graduating in eight months.  Come August, I’ll be married and living in Chicago.  Fingers crossed, I’ll soon after be spending my Monday though Friday at a kick-butt agency, tweeting and blogging until my heart’s content.

Megan Edwards

Western Kentucky University Senior
Account Executive | Imagewest
http://www.wku.edu/imagewest/

RePLACE your Fan Pages?

Friday, August 27th, 2010

A few months ago I brought up the Facebook vs. Foursquare debate. And true to their word, Facebook has quickly gotten to work on launching its own geolocation app called Places. Basically if you’ve been on the Internet at all over the past six months, you’ve seen your fair share of virtual friends’ locations popping up all over your social networking homepages. But even though Facebook wasn’t the first to come up with the stalker-friendly wonder that is geolocation, it is re-inventing the ways it can be used.

Introducing Facebook Places, a mobile-browsing friendly application that allows users to check-in at business locations, tag people they’re with and leave comments on friends’ updates. Not exactly ground-breaking news when it comes to location sharing apps, but Places may prove to be quite the force to be reackoned with…

It was only a matter of time before Facebook cashed in on the geolocation craze. There’s no way an empire like Facebook was going to pass on the marketing opportunities that comes with allowing users to check in at businesses. But of course, there is a catch. With the launch of Places comes the speculation that Facebook fan pages may soon be a thing of the past, chewed up and swallowed in Places’ wake. Apparently fan pages are already slowly being phased out, with talk that eventually a company’s fan page will be deleted once they’ve established a Places page. This leaves small businesses with fan pages little choice but to jump on the bandwagon before they’re left in the dust, wondering why their page is no longer feeling the love.

This may sound like Facebook just unleashed an angry bully, but there are some definite positives. The integration of Places could mean a lot of growth for small businesses, offering new takes on promotional opportunities and curbing unecessary marketing noise. Think about how easy it would be to tie in a call to action with customers’ check-in activity. Offering coupons and special discounts to friends who check-in at your location ensures that they’ll physically step foot on your turf. Talk about qualifying your real estate. Not to mention the validation this would bring, especially where fan page status updates were unable to.

As with most new launches, the story has only just begun to unravel. Stay tuned for more changes and news to come, this is bound to be a hot topic.

Check out what’s growing over at JB Chicago!

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

On behalf of the JB Chicago community I present to you, Social Mushroom; the next big thing to hit the social media world! Social Mushroom is a product that JB Chicago is now offering to all of its clients; a tool that thrives on growing your social sales and growing them overnight! We know what it takes to succeed in the social world and now it’s time for us to show you how it can be done.

The process is quite simple, actually. Let us do all of the dirty work, while you sit back and watch the magic happen!

The best part about this whole process is that everything is trackable! We are able to present you with all of the information you need to measure the results! As far as payment goes, you can decide to either pay per performance or pay a flat rate. Either way, your company is sure “to mushroom” on both facebook and twitter.

So if you’re interested in:
• Establishing your brand on facebook and twitter
• Increasing your fanbase
• Driving and measuring traffic to your site
• Growing your sales
then it’s time for you to give Social Mushroom a go!

Visit our website today and request a free demo!

Facebook vs Foursquare

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Welcome to the latest turf-war in social networking. Enter: geolocation, a technology that allows users to “check-in” at their favorite locations to share tips and tap into special offers. Foursquare has become the hottest startup in this new field — to the point that some are already calling it the next Twitter. Part of Foursquare’s  appeal involves turning a “check-in” into a competitive game in which users battle for mayorship and special badges. Clearly Foursquare has tapped into something powerful, as it has more achieved than 500,000 users and 1.4 million venues in its first year alone.

But not so fast… what if Facebook enters the race and gets geolocation right? Imagine doing location “check-ins” with all your friends that you are already connected to on Facebook. Odds are the vast majority of these Facebook connections are your real friends, not just other random Foursquare users. And that’s why Facebook has already won the battle. Unlike Twitter, where you may be interested in following people you don’t know well, your circle of close friends on Facebook and the people with whom you’d probably like to share your location are one and the same. If Facebook really wanted to, it could probably even look at people you’re commonly tagged alongside in photos to help suggest who to include on your list of ‘location’ friends.

The big question is when and how Facebook will enter this emerging field. Facebook has made it quite clear that location-based “something” is coming. We’ve heard rumors about it for months, and in their most recent Privacy Policy change they actually included language directly pertaining to Location-based services.

So it looks like it’s coming soon, but we still don’t know the direction Facebook is going to take. Our bet, just for the record? Facebook’s upcoming addition will make Foursquare nothing but a distant memory.

Help a Brother Out!

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

One of Google’s latest initiatives might just kick off in Holland, Michigan – at least, it will if my friend Todd Whiteman has anything to do with it. Todd is a council member of the 5th Ward in Holland, and his small town is gunning to be the testing site for Google Fiber. Haven’t heard of it? Neither had I, but I now have to admit that it’s just another great thing Google has up its sleeve. According to its site, Google “plans to test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country.” And by ultra- high speed, they mean 100 times faster than what most Americans use today. And the testing will be done in one of America’s backyards, instead of in a remote testing facility.

 Holland is the perfect location because the city has already been on the hunt for better communications between substations, according to Todd. In 1990 a single car crash resulted on 80 percent of Holland’s residents losing power, and relay systems did not function well. Fiber expansion began then, but in a city with over 15 years of fiber distribution experience, officials feel this fiber-savvy area is the best possible testing ground for the Google contest.

 The city has already attracted national attention due to the upcoming acquisition of two major Lithium Ion Advanced Battery plants – nearly 20% of all automotive battery production in the states will occur on Holland’s south side. Todd feels Google Fiber will help Holland leverage these initiatives while bringing on more jobs for residents. And Holland hopes to put this in sewer infrastructure, something new to the US (but not unheard of overseas).

So, help Holland get its Internet faster than the blink of an eye. Residents are pumped at the prospect, and Todd is hoping to get others on the “Take Me to FiberTown” bandwagon. Please take two seconds to help a buddy out by clicking here to vote. Holland, Michigan thanks you. And Google, good work!

Presenting the NEW JB Chicago

Monday, March 8th, 2010

As cliché as it sounds, our clients really do come first at JB Chicago. It is on this perfect excuse that we blame the fact our own Web site was looking, well, a little dated. But we finally had to crack the whip because it didn’t seem right to not practice what we preach. We added the JB site redesign to our to-do list and finally got things rollin’. After months of fine tuning both our design and copy (then looking at it again, only to decide it needed to be redone), we are beyond pleased to unveil the NEW jbchicago.com.

We finally have a conversion-based Web site built with strong SEO foundations. This new vehicle will work hand in hand with our social networking outreach, all while telling our clients our beliefs and services — and still looking pretty kick ass. This site encompasses who we are at JB Chicago… so check out our latest labor of love. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think!

http://www.jbchicago.com

Hashtags: #thankafarmer

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009


Hashtags are where it’s at on Twitter. We gained some huge momentum for our Tetra Pak campaign through the #chocolatemilk campaign because it put our message in front of people who really cared about the message. I love scoping out current hashtags because, just like trending topics, they let me know what people care about right now. My thought this holiday season? Let’s use hashtags for some good by showing our thanks.

A great (and might I say deserving) target: Farmers. While promoting the Tetra Pak campaign these men and women really pulled though – and without them, we would not have the chocolatey goodness that is chocolate milk that we all crave. But more than that, they work HARD. We got to know many a dairy farmer while promoting the chocolate milk campaign, and they are simply good people.

For that reason, I urge you to, in between thanking your grandma for her mac and cheese and your boss for paying your bills, give thanks for farmers. They oftentimes are under the radar, and hey, everyone deserves to know they are appreciated. To show your support, send ‘em a tweet with the #thankafarmer hashtag this Wednesday between 10 a.m. and noon. They’ll be thankful, I promise.