Sales Pitches Out: Social Advertising In

Are you considering just putting one of your existing banner ads on a social site such as Facebook? Don't. At least… not yet… It's important to remember you are dealing with two different mediums. What works on one – even if it's your strongest ad – may not work on the other. There are a number of mistakes I've seen marketers make, when creating their own social ads, and impersonal headlines beginning with anything even remotely close to: “The Untold Truth About…” – ones that sound like a sales pitch – will turn people off faster than a slap of ice water. It's important also to match the ad with the right social network.  There are now so many in play that it seems as if there's a social network for every market – and they're not all created equal.  Besides a difference in sales tracking metrics and flexibility, you also have to consider the demographic that uses each particular one the most. For example, Scribd‘s population leans more heavily towards young male professionals, with college education, whereas MySpace‘s demographic is the 17-21 year old age group (usually non-spenders, except on electronic items such as iPhones, music and gaming systems). But no matter what platform you finally pick, you won't get anywhere with the sort of sales pitches that sound like the beginning of a TV commercial: The sort that wake you up at night, while their presenters enthusiastically shout about the latest gadget. Remember that social advertising is just that… social. Nobody's really got the ultimate handle on it yet… but when it comes to social advertising for...

Prioritizing your Mobile Website Information

Image via CrunchBase Just as Twitter is a micro-blog version of regular blogs, allowing only “posts” of 140 characters, stripped down to the bare minimum, so mobile websites are stripped down versions of “main” websites, showing only the most important information. What constitutes “the most important information”?  In a nutshell, stuff the user needs to know. Photos are gone. Graphics are gone. Ads are gone (though that is about to change, thanks to mobile advertising companies such as AdMob). Everything is strictly “need to know”. What graphics should you “keep”, when creating a mobile version of your website? Well, human beings thrive on consistency and love repetition, so by all means, keep the same colors as your main PC site (even though the layout will have to be different). If you have a “branded” business with a logo, it's a good idea to include a small version of your logo on your home page. And pay particular attention to navigation. (Remember, people are going to be accessing your information on tiny browsers – often while multi-tasking (a polite way of saying “driving”.)  Which we hope not. One of the most important items to include? Reassurances about security, if your mobile website visitors are going to be doing any e-trade. One other thing to remember about many mobile devices:  They don't like JavaScript, so your standard Google Analytics won't work. You can try out a commercial service, but this is where AdMob Analytics really comes into its own. (It's free, too – as is www.motally.com!) And if the thought of learning Tiny XHTML (the latest mobile website coding language) turns...

Does your Blog Need a Mobile WordPress Plug-in?

If you have a blog, don't assume it will translate perfectly to mobile:  Chances are, it has at least 2 columns, and runs ads, graphics and is set for a screen width that's (at absolute minimum) 760 px wide. Besides, even if it was able to load in and emerge with a readable format, you need to remember that many people are paying heavily for each megabyte downloaded on their mobiles (not to mention for the time)… and they're not going to wait twenty minutes for all your graphics and plug-ins to load. One superb and very user-friendly plug in is WordPress Mobile edition. If you can't find it by searching the plug-in section via your blog Dashboard, you can easily download it from WordPress.org's plug-in section. (It even allows comments – something that is often a problem.) One word of caution: If you have one of the smaller mobile phones, avoid the popular Carrington theme recommended on the WordPress.org WordPress Mobile editions page.) According to WordPress.org, this plug-in works particularly well on Blackberries, iPhones, Androids, touch phones, all wireless, and PDA. Advertising, Anyone? If you want to display ads, the Mippin Mobilize plug-in (also found at WordPress.org) is a configuration-free plug in. It works by redirecting other mobile users to Mippin's rendering of your blog. This is a nice plug-in, because it scales photographs to conform to your mobile site visitor's screen width, and converts vides to 3G format. Customization, Anyone? If you'd rather customize your blog theme somewhat, a plug-in you might like is MobilePress. This one isn't available at WordPress.org, but you can find it on...