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girls in tech – boston launch!

February 26, 2009

Girls in Tech is an organization that supports women in the technology field through networking and educational events in many areas all over the US. And we’re finally starting a chapter here in Boston! 

But we need your help to make it a success. Anyone involved in the technology field in invited and encouraged to attend our launch event this Monday, March 2nd. It will be held at Lir on Boyston from 7-9 pm, and we’re very excited to get everyone together for the beginning of a great group. 

If you are interested in attending, please go to our Eventbrite page linked to here and sign up, and please pass it along to all your friends! Any questions, feel free to contact me at anya at othersidegroup.com. Thanks, and hope to see you all there!

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Digital Media Marketing Summit

February 18, 2009

I’ll be speaking tomorrow at a virtual summit on Digital Media Marketing. The topic is “Leveraging Digital Media in a Down Economy”, and I’ll be covering some advice on how and why digital media can be a cost effective marketing tool, as well as some tips and tools to get started. Join the talk by following the link below; I’d love to focus on some questions and case studies from the audience!

http://www.brighttalk.com/webcasts/2549/attend

Does your website reflect your brand?

February 12, 2009

I’m not talking about whether or not your website is pretty, has lots of flashy bells and whistles, or even is SEO friendly. I’m talking about how you communicate about your business on your website.

Content. It’s the key to your online visitors understanding WHAT you do and HOW you do it. It’s the portal to demonstrating to these strangers why they want your product or service, and no one else’s. It’s the most important channel you have for making your case before you even get to pitch. So I recommend taking a time out, and going back to that website your built however long ago, and read it, as if for the first time and as if you’re a new customer and have never heard of this company before.

Ask yourself… would I describe my company like this if I was standing in front of this potential customer in person? Does it make sense? Do I use big words and really long sentences, or is my information concise, simple and unpretentious? Is there a clear call to action… is the visitor asked and inspired to interact with my brand and how do I capture that action? Do I make every effort to show how I can help them, and then deliver a fast and easy way for them to contact me or purchase via the site, no frills?

This process is very challenging, and can take some time. But it is worth every second you spend on this project, because your website is your brand’s virtual storefront, and if it’s not welcoming, well lit and clean, then customers will walk right by it. Ask yourself the hard questions, and you’ll be guaranteed to find ways you can improve how you communicate via your site!

SEO tip of the day

February 5, 2009

Here’s one thing to think about when looking at optimizing your Web site for search engines. You should think about your keywords and make sure the titles on each page of your Web site use these keywords as much as possible. 

So for example, if you’re a business intelligence software company, you don’t want the heading on your product page to read “products”. You want it to read “business intelligence products” or the like. Each page should be optimized this way. These heading are often referred to in HTML speak as H1 tags, because this is the coding that should be around each of these headings in order to be picked up properly by google and the like. 

Take a look at your source code to make sure your headings are optimized, or contact your webmaster to make sure these are optimized!

lemmings. you heard me.

January 30, 2009
tags:

856_psp_lemmings_051Lemmings are great. All those cute little green-headed guys marching obediently to and fro, digging, building and hammering their way through creepy looking worlds. And sometimes… marching blissfully to their deaths one after another while you scramble to save them!

Don’t try to deny it, you loved this game back in the day. And in fact, you still love it, you just didn’t know you could play all the levels online for free! Follow this link! Happy Friday everyone!

rethinking media outreach

January 30, 2009

Dear clients,

You don’t need to be on TechCrunch.

Sincerely, 

Anya

Am I out of my mind? TechCrunch is one of the holy grails of media hits, every PR person’s nightmare/dream come true, and one of the first sites cited by tech companies and others when listing where they want to get covered. Think you want it bad? Some people have committed some serious acts of crazy weirdness for one coveted little post. 

But this great post from HubSpot points out that despite the traffic spike you’ll see from a hit on TechCrunch, you might have missed the mark in terms of target audience. It doesn’t matter if all those people visit your site if they don’t end up converting to lasting customers! And for a great many companies, even those involved in the tech space, reaching viable customers in smaller but more valuable niches is a much better idea than shooting for the moon with TechCrunch. In the time that it takes you to finally get through to someone over at TechCrunch so they can tell you to get lost, you could have achieved several posts in smaller, more relevant publications and blogs, and lo and behold, achieved higher conversions as a result!

The lesson… think about your target market, not your site traffic. Think about your conversion rate, not just site visitors. Broaden your horizons and don’t rely on a few big media hits to make you a success. As I talked about in my last post, think smaller community, more targeted niche, more relevant people, more success!

Check out the Hubspot post for some great graphs and stats on this topic.

10 ways social media will change in 2009

January 29, 2009

Networking

Great post today on Read Write Web talking about what we can expect from social media in the coming year. One of the things they discuss is something we talk about a lot with clients. That is the idea that social media is moving away from advertising and marketing, and evolving toward the expectation of truly personal interaction. 

Social networks as a whole, like Facebook and Twitter, have grown too large to manage as one community. Instead, populations gravitate and congregate around meaningful conversations and issues pertinent to their lives, whether that is business interests, family, shopping, sports, technology etc. Many people also bridge personal lives with business purposes on social networks, and expect the same degree of personal interaction with corporate entities as with friends on these platforms. 

So what does this mean for us? It means we focus on creating relevance, value and rapport with community members. It means we need to focus on the people, not the platform, create ways for people to interact across, within and without any number of social networking communities, and we need to redefine goals to realize that quantity does not equal quality. More eyes does not necessarily mean success, it just means you need to realize you niche and create more value in smaller circles. 

Check out the article for an expanded look at predictions for 2009 and let me know your thoughts on where this is headed.