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by Anita Brady

How Some Pro Athletes’ Mistakes Provide Important Lessons for Those in the Business World

Social networking sites like Twitter can be useful resources in the search to find a job. However, once you secure a position, the information you share online can become a liability. The experience of several high profile professional athletes illustrates that point. Below are six tips to ensure that your Twitter use doesn’t negatively impact your career.

  1. Don’t Tweet About Inappropriate Topics 

    Certain topics like religion and politics often hit a nerve with people, so tweeting your strong opinions about these issues could lead to controversy. That’s particularly true if your opinions may offend or alienate some of your coworkers or superiors, or even your clients. Other sensitive subjects, including off-color or tasteless remarks, should also be avoided. Houston Texan Kareem Jackson learned that the hard way. Jackson proudly posted photos on Twitter documenting his attendance at a cockfighting match in the Dominican Republic. Animal lovers were enraged, and it seriously damaged his reputation. Jackson would now probably agree that before tweeting about an issue, it’s prudent to consider who you might offend and how it might impact your job and professional reputation.

     

  2. Don’t Tweet about Your Superiors 

    When using Twitter, it may be helpful to adhere to the old adage “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Complaints about a specific person, when expressed on the internet, are likely to make their way to the target of the grievance. Therefore, broadcasting criticism of your boss can land you in hot water. No one knows about that better than NFL player Larry Johnson, who publicly insulted his coach via Twitter. The stunt eventually cost Johnson his job.

     

  3. Don’t Tweet about Your Working Conditions 

    Just as tweeting about a specific person could jeopardize your career, publicly criticizing the conditions in the office can lead to trouble. Although discussing (and even complaining about) one’s working conditions may be protected under federal labor laws, publicly exposing your gripes about your work is not a good career move. In 2009, San Diego Chargers’ cornerback Antonio Cromartie blasted his team for serving “nasty food” at its training camp. If the criticism had been delivered privately to management it may have been considered constructively. However, Cromartie decided to express his frustrations via Twitter, which led to embarrassment for the team and a fine for Cromartie.

     

  4. Don’t Engage in a Twitter Fight 

    If you’re the subject of public criticism, responding on Twitter in an aggressive manner can lead to a prolonged exchange of embarrassing attacks that appear petty and childish. Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings found himself in a Twitter war of words with someone posing as Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar. The jabs going back and forth made Jennings look foolish, especially when it was revealed that the real Jordan Farmar wasn’t actually involved in the argument. The better approach is to pick your battles. If the initial attack contains false information that could damage your reputation, responding to correct the inaccuracies is appropriate if done in a professional manner. However, if the criticism doesn’t seem credible on its face, the best policy is to ignore it.

     

  5. Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry on Twitter 

    Good things seldom come from voluntarily publicly revealing the intimate details of our private lives or our personal problems. Case in point: NFL player Jabar Gaffney. The fallout was fast and harsh when Gaffney tweeted hurtful things about his wife, his cousin, and another NFL player. Although Gaffney later claimed that his account had been hacked, the damage was done. Quite simply, broadcasting personal information makes people vulnerable to criticism and ridicule. Instead, when sharing personal information via Twitter or any other social networking platform, it’s best to keep it simple and refrain from revealing too much.

     

  6. Don’t Tweet at Work 

    Companies don’t pay employees to play around on the internet. Therefore, many employers impose strict policies prohibiting use of social networking sites while on the job. The NFL enacted a similar rule, which New England Patriot Chad Ochocinco violated by tweeting during a game. The result was a $25,000.00 fine. In the business world, employers are monitoring internet usage more and more, so employees should save the tweets until after clocking out.

Anita Brady is the President of 123Print.com.

Editor’s Note: The advice above for Twitter applies to other social media as well. In today’s environment, it’s best to keep your privacy settings high in all media where you reveal personal information, and even better for your job prospects if you have nothing available but contact info and a CV for prospective employers.

Excerpted from Inside Facebook

Facebook is testing a new advertising system that will allow third-party platforms to place retargeting ads on Facebook after users visit external websites marked with cookies, according to TechCrunch.

The program, called Facebook Exchange, could bring a large influx of new inventory to the social network and give Facebook the intent-based targeting data it previously lacked.

Eight demand-side platforms — TellApart, Triggit, Turn, DataXu, MediaMath, AppNexus, TheTradeDesk and AdRoll — are involved in the test. The program will be more widely available for traditional Facebook ads on the right-hand side of the page within the next few weeks. Facebook Exchange will not apply to Sponsored Stories or mobile ads.

TechCrunch reports that when a user visits a site that has hired one of Facebook’s partner platforms (DSPs), a cookie will be placed on that user’s browser when the person reaches a stage that implies purchase intent. If a user does not complete a transaction, the DSP will be able to bid on retargeting ads that appear on Facebook when the user visits the social network. According to AdExchanger, these ads will go through the same review process as traditional Facebook ads.

After being served a Facebook Exchange ad, users can opt-out of future retargeting from individual DSPs, but they cannot opt-out of the program completely, TechCrunch says. Facebook may also be able to continue to use information from those cookies to target other ads to users, even if they deny DSPs the option to target them this way.

This type of ad program is a somewhat unexpected development from Facebook. Many have predicted that the social network would one day launch its own ad network to display Facebook ads across the web. This move seems to do the opposite, bringing ads based on web browsing to Facebook.

DSPs are likely looking forward to being able to serve ads on Facebook, where users spend an extraordinary amount of time. However, Facebook puts a number of limitations on the size and format of its advertisements, and it remains to be seen whether the creative constraints will affect the impact of a retargeting campaign. Further, none of Facebook’s own targeting options will be available to DSPs, AdExchanger reports. This means that a travel website can retarget a user who searched for a flight through a DSP partner, but it cannot layer on Facebook targeting parameters, such as demographics, Likes or interests.

Read the full article…

From an article on CNET.com by Declan McCullagh

Here we go again. It’s been over a decade since Internet freedom and privacy advocates had to act to prevent the Net from being pre-emptively censored of content that would be considered unacceptable for those under a given age. Now we are facing an even more insidious threat brought forward by our Congress that would put us right in line with countries like China and Iran when it comes to free speech online. I urge you to read and act to help prevent the proposed bill from becoming law. Read on! –BG

When Rep. Lamar Smith announced the Stop Online Piracy Act in late October, he knew it was going to be controversial.

 

But the Texas Republican probably never anticipated the broad and fierce outcry from Internet users that SOPA provoked over the last few months. It was a show of public opposition to Internet-related legislation not seen since the 2003 political wrangling over implanting copy-protection technology in PCs, or perhaps even the blue ribbons appearing on Web sites in the mid-1990s in response to the Communications Decency Act.

As CNET reported in December, Smith, a self-described former ranch manager whose congressional district encompasses the cropland and grazing land stretching between Austin and San Antonio, Texas, has become Hollywood’s favorite Republican. The TV, movie, and music industries are the top donors to his 2012 campaign committee, and he’s been feted by music and movie industry lobbyists at dinners and concerts.

To learn how SOPA, and its Senate cousin known as the Protect IP Act, would affect you, keep reading. CNET has compiled a list of frequently asked questions on the topic:

Q: What’s the justification for SOPA and Protect IP?
Two words: rogue sites.

That’s Hollywood’s term for Web sites that happen to be located in a nation more hospitable to copyright infringement than the United States is (in fact, the U.S. is probably the least hospitable jurisdiction in the world for such an endeavor). Because the target is offshore, a lawsuit against the owners in a U.S. court would be futile.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a letter to the editor of The New York Times, put it this way: “Rogue Web sites that steal America’s innovative and creative products attract more than 53 billion visits a year and threaten more than 19 million American jobs.” The MPAA has a section of its Web site devoted to rogue Web sites. Jim Hood, the Democratic attorney general of Mississippi, and co-chair of a National Association of Attorneys General committee on the topic, recently likened rogue Web sites to child porn.

Who’s opposed to SOPA?
Much of the Internet industry and a large percentage of Internet users. Here’s the most current list (PDF) of opponents.

On November 15, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, eBay, Mozilla, Yahoo, AOL, and LinkedIn wrote a letter to key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, saying SOPA poses “a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation’s cybersecurity.” Yahoo has reportedly quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the organization’s enthusiastic support for SOPA.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution last week stressing “the need to protect the integrity of the global Internet and freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names.” Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said in a message on Twitter last week that we “need to find a better solution than #SOPA.”

A letter signed by Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo, both California Democrats, and
Rep. Ron Paul, the Republican presidential candidate from Texas, predicts that SOPA will invite “an explosion of innovation-killing lawsuits and litigation.” Law professors have also raised concerns. And yes, there is a protest song.

How would SOPA work?
It allows the U.S. attorney general to seek a court order against the targeted offshore Web site that would, in turn, be served on Internet providers in an effort to make the target virtually disappear. It’s kind of an Internet death penalty.

More specifically, section 102 of SOPA says that, after being served with a removal order:

A service provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) that is subject to the order…Such actions shall be taken as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within five days after being served with a copy of the order, or within such time as the court may order.

How is SOPA different from the earlier Senate bill called the Protect IP Act?
Protect IP targeted only domain name system providers, financial companies, and ad networks–not companies that provide Internet connectivity.

Because SOPA is broader, even some companies who liked, or at least weren’t vocally opposed to, the Senate bill aren’t exactly delighted with the House version.

“Verizon continues to look at SOPA, and while it’s fair to say that we have concerns about the legislation, we are working with congressional staff to address those concerns,” a representative told us.

Tim McKone, AT&T’s executive vice president of federal relations, said that “we have been supportive of the general framework” of the Senate bill. But when it comes to SOPA, all AT&T would say is that it is “working constructively with Chairman Smith and others toward a similar end in the House.”

What are the security-related implications of SOPA?
One big one is how it interacts with the domain name system and a set of security improvements to it known as DNSSEC.

The idea of DNSSEC is to promote end-to-end encryption of domain names, meaning there’s no break in the chain between, say, Wellsfargo.com and its customer. Requiring Internet providers to redirect allegedly piratical domain names to, say, the FBI’s servers isn’t compatible with DNSSEC.

Rep. Dan Lungren, who heads the Homeland Security subcommittee on cybersecurity, has said that an “unintended consequence” of SOPA would be to “undercut” the effort his panel has been making to promote DNSSEC.

The Sandia National Laboratories, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, has also raised concerns about SOPA, saying it is “unlikely to be effective” and will “negatively impact U.S. and global cybersecurity and Internet functionality.” And Stewart Baker, the former policy chief at the Department of Homeland Security who’s now in private practice, warned in an op-ed that SOPA “runs directly counter” to the House’s own cybersecurity efforts.

An analysis (PDF) of Protect IP prepared by five Internet researchers this spring lists potential security problems. Among them: it’s “incompatible” with DNSSEC, innocent Web sites will be swept in as “collateral damage,” and the blacklist can be bypassed by using the numeric Internet address of a Web site. The address for CNET.com, for instance, is currently 64.30.224.118.

What will SOPA require Internet providers to do?
A little-noticed portion of the proposed law, which CNET highlighted in an article, goes further than Protect IP and could require Internet providers to monitor customers’ traffic and block Web sites suspected of copyright infringement.

“It would cover IP blocking,” says Markham Erickson, head of NetCoalition, whose members include Amazon.com, Google, eBay, and Yahoo. “I think it contemplates deep packet inspection” as well, he said.

The exact requirements will depend on what the removal order says. The Recording Industry Association of America says that SOPA could be used to force Internet providers to block by “Internet Protocol address” and deny “access to only the illegal part of the site.” It would come as no surprise if copyright holders suggested wording to the Justice Department, which would in turn seek a judge’s signature on the removal order.

Deep packet inspection, meaning forcing an Internet provider to intercept and analyze customers’ Web traffic, is the only way to block access to specific URLs.

Smith’s revised version (PDF) may limit the blocking requirement to DNS blocking. Its “safe harbor” language indicates that not resolving “the domain name of the foreign infringing site” may be sufficient, but some ambiguity remains.

Are there free speech implications to SOPA?
SOPA’s opponents say so–a New York Times op-ed called it the “Great Firewall of America–and the language of the bill itself is quite broad. Section 103 says that, to be blacklisted, a Web site must be “directed” at the U.S. and also that the owner “has promoted” acts that can infringe copyright.

Here’s how Section 101 of the original version of SOPA defines what a U.S.-directed Web site is:

(A) the Internet site is used to provide goods or services to users located in the United States;
(B) there is evidence that the Internet site or portion thereof is intended to offer or provide such goods and services (or) access to such goods and services (or) delivery of such goods and services to users located in the United States;
(C) the Internet site or portion thereof does not contain reasonable measures to prevent such goods and services from being obtained in or delivered to the United States; and
(D) any prices for goods and services are indicated or billed in the currency of the United States.

Some critics have charged that such language could blacklist the next YouTube, Wikipedia, or WikiLeaks. Especially in the case of WikiLeaks, which has posted internal documents not only from governments but also copyrighted documents from U.S. companies and has threatened to post more, it’s hard to see how it would not qualify for blacklisting.

Laurence Tribe, a high-profile Harvard law professor and author of a treatise titled American Constitutional Law, has argued that SOPA is unconstitutional because, if enacted, “an entire Web site containing tens of thousands of pages could be targeted if only a single page were accused of infringement.”

What has the response to this language been?
Mozilla, which makes the Firefox Web browser, responded by creating a page saying: “Protect the Internet: Help us stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation.” It warns that “your favorite Web sites both inside and outside the US could be blocked based on an infringement claim.”

Web sites including Wikimedia (as in, Wikipedia) charged that SOPA is an “Internet blacklist bill” that “would allow corporations, organizations, or the government to order an Internet service provider to block an entire Web site simply due to an allegation that the site posted infringing content.” Tumblr “censored” its users’ content streams, and reported that its users averaged 3.6 calls per second to Congress through the company’s Web site–nearly 90,000 total.

With a bit of HTML from AmericanCensorship.org, a Web site supported by the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Public Knowledge, hundreds of Web sites “censored” themselves to protest SOPA. Even Lofgren, from Silicon Valley, has joined the fight-censorship protest.

For their part, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been highlighting an analysis it commissioned from First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, a former MPAA attorney, who concluded SOPA is perfectly constitutional. Here’s another pro-SOPA rebuttal.

Who supports SOPA?
The three organizations that have probably been the most vocal are the MPAA, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A Politico chart shows that Hollywood has outspent Silicon Valley by about tenfold on lobbyists in the last two years. Here’s a CNET article on why the Chamber is so pro-SOPA.

Supporters publicized letters from the National Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Fire Fighters lending their weight to the Web-blocking idea. Here are more statements from supporters at the time of SOPA’s introduction. And the AFL-CIO sent a representative to testify in support of SOPA at last week’s House hearing.

Over 400 businesses and organizations have sent a letter supporting SOPA.

And in the U.S. Congress?
Support for Protect IP is remarkably broad, and for SOPA a little less so. An analysis by the RIAA says that of some 1,900 bills that have been introduced in the Senate, only 18 other bills enjoy the same number of bipartisan cosponsors as Protect IP does.

That puts it in the top 1 percent of most-popular bills, at least for this measurement of congressional enthusiasm. Of Protect IP’s sponsors in the Senate, over 60 percent are Democrats.

Here’s the list of Senate sponsors of Protect IP–the total is 40 senators. SOPA has only 24 cosponsors, but it hasn’t been around as long. Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, has introduced the so-called OPEN Act that would cut off the flow of funds to alleged pirate Web sites without requiring them to be blocked.

Would SOPA block Tor?
Perhaps. In an echo of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anticircumvention section, SOPA targets anyone who “knowingly and willfully provides or offers to provide a product or service designed or marketed by such entity…for the circumvention or bypassing” of a Justice Department-erected blockade.

Legal scholars contacted by CNET said Tor could qualify as a “circumvention” tool, which would allow it to be targeted.

What happens next?
In terms of Protect IP, the Senate Judiciary committee has approved it and it’s waiting for a floor vote that has been scheduled for January 24. One hurdle: Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, has placed a hold on the bill.

During a two-day debate in the House Judiciary committee in mid-December, it became clear that SOPA supporters have a commanding majority on the committee. They’re expected to approve it when Congress returns in 2012.

Where it goes from there is an open question that depends on where the House Republican leadership stands. Because the House’s floor schedule is under the control of the majority party, the decision will largely lie in the hands of House Speaker John Boehner and his lieutenants.

Another possibility is that there could be further House hearings on the security-related implications of SOPA, a move that would delay a final vote. An aide to House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith previously told CNET that there’s no indication yet as to any further hearings, but after the committee debate in December, don’t be surprised if it happens.

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET, which is part of CBS Corporation. Previously he was a senior correspondent for CBS News’ Web site. He became the chief political correspondent for CNET News in 2002 and lives in the San Francisco area after spending over a decade in Washington, DC.

I’ve spent a good amount time here telling about time-saving tools for creating and evaluating results in social media, but an area that is too little discussed is the content of your messages in these places.

When it comes to media like Facebook and Twitter, you need to first be very aware of the unique culture that exists within them, and find your place there, much as you do in your brick-n-mortar (physical) community. This article will focus on Twitter, the much misunderstood micro-blogging platform.

Some thoughts and rules to help you:

  1. Earn the right to be heard
    Twitter is a great tool for quick ways to meet people and become acquainted with what they do or offer. But if you want your message to be heard, you need to develop trust between you and the other party. It’s more like traditional relationships than many people realize.

  2. Follow with a purpose
    It’s important to follow others, as you’d like to be followed on Twitter, but limit your following to those with relevance to you. Large numbers don’t really benefit you and a community that cares is what you build with relevance. Include current or past customers, those in your target demographic groups and others in your industry or niche.If you’re connected via Facebook or Linked-In, you strengthen that connection by following them.

  3. Avoid robotic functions
    While I do recommend automating and simplifying as much of the mechanics of social media as is practical, this is one area where I warn against it.

    There are applications out there that you can use to automatically follow someone who follows you, but that flies against the reason for social networking in the first place.  It removes the human-to-human connection completely and leaves you with software connecting with other software.

  4. Socialize!
    If you want to build a high degree of respect and deeper relationships with those who take the time to interact with you, you need to engage in authentic conversations. The process can be fun, enlightening, and often directly if not indirectly beneficial to your business. Some have said that this is the price of admission to the “Twitterverse.”


  5. Hold that pitch
    Newbies to social media often start right in with broadcasting their latest new product or a sale or something along those lines.  This is not appropriate in these media and often result in the opposite of the desired results.

    Instead, hone in on the conversations around your industry or product and look toward adding value to those conversations.  You’ll build a bridge of trust over time and then it may become acceptable to deliver a pitch.  More often though, you won’t need to, as others will seek you out or refer others to you.

    You’ll  know when it’s time and if you’ve provided things like reference links, advice, or answers to questions, they’ll come looking for you.

  6. Be yourself and have fun
    The subtext of the social media genre is that it’s like hanging out with friends, or being at a mixer where you’re surrounded by potential sales prospects, but you are there to have fun and be social. For some, online socializing is easier than face-to-face (pity). For others, it’s the reverse.  I recommend that you finish thinking about it and start doing it, to see how it feels.And of course, I now get my opportunity to pitch a little:  I can help by being your guide.  BGAmedia sets up presences on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and other networks, we connect your conversations with automated tools, we offer measurement and evaluation, as well as content creation services. I’m always happy to share my experiences in the field with those who want to do it themselves, so don’t hesitant to contact me for more information.
original article on ROI Revolution Blog

In search volume alone, YouTube is the #2 search engine behind Google itself. Yet even with its gigantic size, it is easy for YouTube to get passed up by online advertisers. Many advertisers ignore the opportunity due to the convoluted process required to explicitly target YouTube with ads. This means there is less competition for ad space on YouTube and great rewards for those who can crack the code.

youtube-promoted-video-example.png

YouTube is both a search engine when searching for videos and a content site when watching videos. While there are a few high-dollar ad buys available directly through YouTube, most of the ad inventory can be purchased through Google AdWords on a CPC or CPM basis. Generally speaking, YouTube as a search engine is reached through a search targeted AdWords campaign. YouTube as a content site is reached through a content or placement targeted AdWords campaign.

YouTube Promoted Video Ads

When you do a search on YouTube, two types of ads can show up: sponsored text ads and promoted video ads. The sponsored text ads are brought in through YouTube’s search partnership with Google. If your campaign is opted into the search partner network it is automatically eligible to display on YouTube search results. You can’t explicitly target your text ads on the YouTube search results page — it happens behind the scenes.

You can, however, explicitly target the YouTube search results page with a promoted video. A promoted video is a YouTube video you pay to get people to watch. You’d probably only want to do this if there is some call to action in the video itself that will encourage viewers to visit your actual website after watching your video.

If there is a promoted video eligible for display on a YouTube search result page (i.e. if you are bidding on that query), it will always rank higher than sponsored text ads. This is because YouTube wants to keep people on their own site. The sponsored text ads link to external sites while the sponsored video ads link to a specific video on YouTube.

How to post your promoted video ad…

1. Create a Google AdWords campaign opted into both Google Search and Google Search Partners in the campaign settings. If you want your promoted video ad displayed on relevant video watch pages across YouTube, you must also opt into Google’s content network. You may wish to create a separate campaign for this purpose so you can use different keyword lists for YouTube search vs. YouTube content targeting.

search-partners-target.png

2. Create your ad groups as you would normally, but skew the keywords toward searches that woudisplay-ad-builder-select.pngld be popular on YouTube. You can use the YouTube keyword suggestion tool for ideas.

3. The ads themselves are what makes this a YouTube promoted video campaign. Don’t include any standard text or image ads, otherwise the network settings above will kick in and you’ll indeed be targeting Google search + partners. Include only ads of a specific format: a Display Ad Builder ad using the “YouTube Promoted Videos Template.” This is found in the “Audio and Video” category of Display Ad Builder. Once you choose this format, you’ll be able to select the YouTube video you wish to promote.

youtube-promoted-video.png

What about getting people to your own website? You’re paying Google/YouTube to get someone to visit another page on YouTube’s site. That can’t be your end goal. Of course your video will probably mention your website and you’ll probably have a link to your site in the video description — but YouTube gives you another call to action link you need to use: a Call-to-Action Overlay.

A call-to-action overlay resembles a sponsored text ad at the bottom of your video. It shows up at the bottom of your video for a brief period of time during the video and then at the end of the video. The difference from a sponsored text ad is that it doesn’t say “sponsored ad,” it is free for you to use, and it links to your own website.

Before posting your promoted video campaign, perform the following steps to activate your call-to-action overlay:

1. Sign in to your YouTube account
2. Click Account at the top of your dashboard.
3. Click Edit next to the video you will be promoting.
4. Fill in all required fields under Call-to-Action Overlay.
5. Click save changes when you’re done making all changes to your video.

Here are helpful tips from Google on how to optimize your promoted video campaigns.
In part 2 of this post you’ll lean how to target the content side of YouTube and get your ads displaying on relevant videos.

Robert Gelman

Pay-per-Click advertising, and Google’s adwords in particular are an ongoing topic in this blog. To best determine how such campaigns will perform for you, we recommend testing, and more testing. One thing you can test is whether the search results pages bring you as much traffic as the “content network” a placements (pages and sites which carry Google ads dynamically).

We recently learned of another placement niche for your ads, on people’s Gmail pages. For whatever reason, they call it the “Funbox.”

The ‘Funbox’ is a little known reference to the top ad spot in gmail, and guess what? You can target it as a managed placement in your AdWords content network campaigns.

funbox.png

So how do you target the fun box? The fun box is not found in the placement tool, so you need to add this in manually as a managed placement (in the networks tab):

mail.google.com::Inbox,Top center

Also, one of the most common mistakes is to try and target gmail by adding ‘gmail.com’ as a managed placement. It’s important to know that to target gmail, you need to add the following as a managed placement:

mail.google.com

If you see gmail is performing well for you, it’s best practice to create a separate campaign that targets only gmail users.

Here are the benefits of creating separate gmail targeted campaigns:

  • Write specific ads tailored to Gmail users
  • Develop keyword themes around Gmail messages (advanced strategy)
  • Controlled budgets
  • Transparency of performance

It’s not necessary to create gmail targeted campaigns when you are first testing out Google’s content network. The best strategy is to first start with a keyword targeted (or contextually targeted) content campaign, and monitor the performance of mail.google.com on the networks tab. If you see traffic and conversions are high, it’s a good idea to go ahead and separate out mail.google.com traffic into a separate campaign.

If you need help understanding or implementing pay-per-click advertising, BGAmedia is here to help.

Portions of this post excerpted from ROI Revolution Blog

By Jim Tierney, senior editor, multichannel merchant

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a popular marketing tactic for many merchants. But according to George Michie, cofounder/CEO of online marketing consultancy The Rimm-Kaufman Group, there are four fundamentals of PPC that most marketers tend to get wrong.

In a session at the New England Mail Order Association conference in Boston, Michie outlined these PPC basics for attendees:

• There is no “correct position” on the page: Conversion rates are the same regardless of position, as are sales dollars per click. While the volume of traffic is much higher at the top than it is at the bottom, so is the cost per click.

The key to maximizing sales within an efficiency target is to set bids based on the anticipated value of the traffic. This is calculated from observed data on each ad, the data on similar ads, and anticipated seasonal and promotional effects.

• Budgeting search is a bad idea – using campaign budgets to limit spend is disastrous: Why spend less than you can profitably spend? Why spend more than you can profitably spend?

Because the ROI is fast – indeed, it’s backwards! We get the revenue before we pay for the clicks! Budgeting doesn’t make sense. Aim for efficiency and spend as much or as little as the market will bear.

But if you must do it, using campaign budgets is the wrong way to budget. Instead, lower bids to the point that you’re spending your budget week to week. That way you get more traffic and sales for the same money.

• Ad copy matters, but don’t spend all your time on this: Improving click-through rates and quality score is important. Write targeted copy with compelling calls to action. Test the control against challengers. Then stop!

Most PPC marketers spend 75 percent or more of their time on ad copy. After the initial testing, this should be no more than 5 percent or 10 percent of the work. There is far more money to be made by bidding, data analysis, and keyword additions than searching for magic ad copy.

• There are no bad match-types: Employ a combination of broad match and exact match (same keyword on both match types). Bid 20 percent to 40 percent more on the exact matched version than the broad match – exact matched traffic will convert better and is therefore worth more.

Broad matched traffic is still valuable, just not as valuable. Using negatives smartly on the broad matched campaigns and damping down the broad matched bids will add sales volumes cost effectively.

Trying to uncover useful information about ROI on Social Media use by business has been a lot like hunting for Osama Bin Laden.  There are lots of people looking, they know generally where to look, but no-one has succeeded yet in winning the prize.  The prize I’m talking about is a $500 package of cash and services that was offered as our “bounty” on this valuable marketing data in a previous post on this blog.  I’ve been encouraged by a lot of bright insights as to the relative value of Social Media, and have read a number of case studies showing creative use of these tools, and how they are evaluated.  Still no ROI study however.  So I encourage you to be on the lookout for such a study. There may be a valuable consolation prize for “getting close.”  The offer is valid through December 31, 2009.

In the meantime, one of my favorite research sites has provided a bit of data on who is investigating this area, including OfficeMax, Nissan, Dell, and Microsoft. The following was excerpted from a recent report by them.

Forrester Research projects companies will spend $3.1 billion annually on social media by 2014.2 So it isn’t surprising that social media measurement is top of mind among marketers surveyed in a poll by MarketingProfs. Nearly 50 percent of respondents say that social media measurement is “Important” to them; another 36 percent say it is “Somewhat Important.”

Determining return on investment, however, appears to be a major challenge. More than 70 percent of respondents do not believe their companies are adequately measuring the impact of social media campaigns in terms of tangible results. Only 20 percent think they are.

Surprisingly, the biggest hurdle to social media measurement is finding the personnel to do the measurement and analysis work. In a “pick all that apply” question about measurement obstacles, “Dedicated Resources” was chosen by 30 percent of the respondents, followed by “Don’t Know What to Measure” (25 percent) and “Social Media Measurement Isn’t Primarily About ROI”(20 percent).

Public relations measurement ranks similarly to social media in terms of priority, with 51 percent calling it, “Important” and another 36 percent considering it “Somewhat Important.”

For both social media measurement and PR measurement, many marketers report using their Web analytics packages to quantify results. Other methods of measuring PR response include tracking stories and blog mentions over time. Circulation numbers is the fourth most common answer, poll results show.

Dedicated resources is also cited as the biggest hurdle to PR measurement, (reported by 38 percent), followed by “Don’t Know What to Measure” (27 percent) and “Lack of Measurement Tools” (17 percent).

Fifty-eight percent of respondents believe social media monitoring is “Important” to their companies; 31 percent think it is “Somewhat Important.” A good sign for vendors, 78 percent of respondents say they plan to increase social media monitoring over the next six months; 18 percent expect the level of monitoring to remain the same. Not one person thinks his or her company plans to decrease the use of monitoring.