OMR (Online Media Relations) specialises in International Search, Social and PR.

What better time to embrace online marketing than now?

Posted: October 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Online PR | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

If you’ve ever needed concrete proof that online marketing really is the way forward, the latest PwC/Internet Advertising Bureau report should do exactly that.

Online advertising spend has now hit a record high of £2.26 billion, driven largely by increased investment in social media and video by FCMG companies.

In the first half of this year, brands spent significantly more money marketing themselves through online mediums than on TV, showing the uptake of internet advertising is showing no signs of slowing.

Online advertising now accounts for 27 per cent of the market share, with 58 per cent of its revenues derived from search marketing, 23 per cent from display ads and 17 per cent from classified.

IAB chief executive Guy Phillipson described the growth of video and social media as “spectacular”. If online marketing continues in its popularity, it’ll definitely be the best way to advertise your business.

Social media is allowing brands to engage with their customers in a way they couldn’t previously, which is leading to vastly improved customer service. The way people use the internet is changing and in order to cash-in on your customers, you need to have an evolved way of thinking when it comes to advertising.

While people obviously still watch TV, they increasingly spend time online and this is the expanding market which you need to take advantage of if you want to widen your customer base.

Social media allows both you and the consumer to spread the message of your brand so it’s important to harness online marketing tools in order to boost your business’s performance.

Online advertising is only going to become more popular over the coming years, so it makes sense for you to push hard towards the digital age.

Consumers unconvinced about ecommerce

Posted: July 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

More work is needed to convince people about the value of social commerce after a study found 89 per cent have not bought anything via Facebook.

Havas Media Social and Lightspeed Research also discovered that 44 per cent of those surveyed had no interest in using such a service at all.

The obvious implication here is that consumers simply aren’t ready to buy things via social networking sites and the fact 44 per cent of respondents say they thought doing so would be less secure than making a purchase through a “normal” online store backs this up.

However, there are things companies can do in order to boost their social commerce activities – with a quarter of people saying they would purchase a product through Facebook if it wasn’t available anywhere else, indicating that exclusive offers may be a way of normalising social commerce.

That said, there are other ways to encourage commerce via social networking sites with two-fifths of people having been given special offers via Facebook with 40 per cent of this group going on to make use of it. The most popular method of redeeming the offer was via the brand in question’s website suggesting there may be a sizeable gap between the way people view, and interact with, social networking and ecommerce sites.

Direct social commerce may be fairly small fry as it stands, but there’s clearly a lot of potential there whether this will be best delivered by using sites like Facebook to push through sales on a brand’s home page or through genuine social commerce will depend on whether people can be convinced the latter is a safe and secure way of doing business.

Online retailers missing a trick with social media

Posted: June 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Online PR | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Window dressing may not be the darkest of arts, but even a casual glance at a shop front will tell you just how much work goes into attracting customers through the doors. The work doesn’t stop there though, getting people inside isn’t even half of the job and a lot of effort goes into setting out the store in a manner which is welcoming, conducive to further browsing and, of course, makes sure people buy something.

It’s acknowledged throughout the retail world that engaging potential customers is crucial, which makes it surprising this realisation hasn’t crossed over to the online world in the same way. According to research by industry analyst Verdict retailers are failing to integrate their online stores with social media leading to a missed opportunity for greater engagement and the sales it can lead to.

Even small changes, such as embedding relevant YouTube content on a website can help make users feel more at home, the company found.

Charlotte Woods, an analyst at Verdict, said: “Retailers have the ability to attract increased levels of traffic to their online stores by using social media to create entertainment destinations which consumers can get excited about. As a result, retailers have the ability to create retail theatre online.”

Which all sounds very grandiose, but there’s no need to have an all singing, all dancing site to boost engagement. After all, Amazon, one of the most successful online retailers around manages to boost interaction without going over the top. As anyone who has purchased anything from the site will know, the opportunities to review and rate items are plentiful and as well as increasing the amount of time people spend on the site, it also allows the company to send out those often uncannily-accurate predictions.

Social media is the window dressing and store layout of the online world, and no self-respecting retailer should ignore it.

Facebook left red faced after Google smear

Posted: May 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Online PR | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

According to the saying any publicity is good publicity but that doesn’t seem to ring true when you’ve been caught out trying to smear one of your rivals.

Over the last couple of days it has emerged that PR firm Burson-Marsteller had offered leading US newspapers a number of comment pieces criticising Google for its approach to privacy issues. Although the search engine giant no doubt has questions to answer when it comes to the issue, eyebrows were raised concerning the source of the articles.

Why, people wondered, was a top PR firm so keen to put the knife into Google? Speculation raged about the identity of Burson-Marseller’s client before the Daily Beast unmasked the culprit – social networking website Facebook.

With the cat out of the bag, the PR company held its hands up and admitted that it had indeed been working on behalf of the social networking site, quickly adding that such smear campaigns were not its usual way of working and it should never had taken the contract in the first place.

Both contractor and client were left red faced and moved into damage limitation mode, with the former pulling out of the deal and the latter claiming it hadn’t meant to launch a smear campaign but just wanted “third parties” to “verify” there were privacy concerns about Google Social Circles.

Whatever the motivation, the fallout has left the pair looking decidedly underhand while Google, hardly whiter-than-white on a number of issues, has ended up looking positivity hard done by in comparison.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned here is that it’s better to focus on making yourself look good than your rivals look bad. Or, if you’re being cynical, that it’s better to stab your enemy in the front rather than the back.

Starbucks shows just how effective online brand building is

Posted: May 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Online PR | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

starbucks online brand buildingOnline advertising is not only an excellent way to build brand awareness but is also extremely cost effective, according to new research.

A study conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau and GFK NOP revealed that coffee chain Starbucks was able to use the web to great effect when promoting its VIA product – an instant version of its in-store offering.

According to the research, Starbucks’ online efforts led to a “strong uplift in awareness” as well as a 40 per cent increase in purchase intent in the brand’s core demographic of 35-54-year-old women, impressive results.

Perhaps more impressive though, is the cost effectiveness of the project – the Starbucks online campaign cost just a fifth of the cost of a press campaign, while the study also revealed that companies which look to brand build via the internet can exploit the channel’s ability to “increase awareness at a lower cost per additional awareness point”.

Tim Elkington, director for research strategy at the IAB, said: “Through this research we’ve seen that online delivers reach cost effectively.

“Much of that reach is on an exclusive basis and multiple exposure to online advertisements can offer a disproportionate uplift in brand metrics.”

Add to the fact that online advertising offers a level of interaction no other medium can provide and it’s easy to see that ignore internet marketing would be extremely foolish.