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My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

You should follow me on Twitter.

Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at joelkellyATgmail.com

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Social media and tourism

How long do vacations last? A week? Two?

How long does the memory last? Years, likely. If it's a particularly interesting vacation, the memory can last a lifetime.

So which did you pay for, where is the real value? The experience, or the memory?

Neither.

You paid for the conversation.

You paid to be able to talk to all your friends and family and coworkers about the trip you're planning, you paid to get to email your friends from some exotic locale and make them jealous, and you paid to be able to force everyone you know to look at your photos when you got back.

That's the lasting value, that's what you paid for.

So if you're marketing a tourist destination, are you focused on making it a one-off experience, unsharable and proprietary? Or do you facilitate sharing the memories, do you help your customers tell everyone they know about the great trip they had, or the great B&B they stayed in?

Do you have free wi-fi and cheap post cards at your hotel? Do you allow and encourage people to take pictures at your attraction? Do you market yourselves as conversation pieces, or as a single experience?

Hugh talks a lot about social objects, and about the need to identify what your social object is that you're selling. If you can't figure out what it is about your tourist attraction or accommodation that will start people talking, that will get people to share the memory with their friends, you're in trouble.

And which is more valuable? Tons of ads, or a few people telling everyone they know about how great their trip was? Which one will get more people interested?

Which one are you focusing your marketing budget on?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Third Wednesday Meet Up Tomorrow!

The Third Wednesday Social and New Media Meet Up is tomorrow at 5pm.

Come out and chat with people passionate about social and new media, internet marketing, and all things wonderful.

At around 5:40 our speakers will talk to us about the upcoming Podcamp Halifax, our city’s very own unconference.

Free registration here.

Location:
Foggy Goggle
1667 Argyle Street
Halifax
Canada
5-7pm

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lock-in is stupid and so are you for wanting it

If you think trying to lock-in your users to your platform is a good idea, you're an idiot.

People use your products out of courtesy and respect, not out of obligation. Trying to force them to continue using your products is, as Cory Doctorow once said, a drug dealer's business model. And not one you want to emulate if you run a more respectable business.

So if you have videos on your site that require a Windows/Mac plugin that requires the newest version (or even those two operating systems), you're being stupid. At least allow someone who's running something else to download the actual video file.

If I can't view your video because I don't have the latest version of the software, or because it requires Windows, I'm not going to upgrade immediately or change. I'm going to forget about the video. I'm going to discredit your site.

And I'm going to discredit the operating system/plugin you require.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Guest Cross-Post: A small website can have a big impact

Cross post by Ted from Infomonkey.net's "The Talk".

A simple, small business website can have big impact


If you are selling to customers under 35 you have to have a web presence. Those customers are at home online and they are difficult to reach with traditional media. If they know about you they will be looking for you on the web.

A lot of small business owners tell me the internet consumes too much time and expense for little or no return. Many of them describe their website as little more than an online brochure. They complain that additions or changes are a hassle. They need a tech person. It's not cost effective.

To that I say get rid of the website. You can still be on the web - but without the hassle. Switch to one of the free content platforms like wordpress.com or blogger.com. They are simple enough for a child to use and provide everything you have in a website without the need for tech help or other charges. They offer plenty of customizable design templates, additions and changes can be made in an instant, and you can keep your own domain name.

An online presence allows you to efficiently target different audiences for your products and services and sell far beyond your local market.

Here are 7 simple ideas to use the web with impact and utility:

1. Interact with your customers. They are not passive online. You are an expert at something. Convey that knowledge. Engage them in a conversation. Tell them your news. Use your staff to do the same.

2. Use video. It's cheap and easy on the web. TV ads are expensive. On the web you can put ads for different products or services on your site and you're not restricted to 30 seconds.

3. Use your site for coupons. Put the coupons on your website but deliver them by email. Ask customers for their email addresses so you can contact them with new offers.

4. Cross sell to different customer segments. Put one product in front of one segment in one content area, another product in front of a different demo in another content area.

5 Test a product or offer for first-time buyers. With an offer only on the web you can be sure your ad is in the relevant content area and seen by the right demographic group.

6. Put POP! in your message with pictures. Illustrate complex products or applications with pictures - something that can be expensive in print or video. An online catalogue is easy to do.

7. Answers any and all a customer's questions. Use all text with simple pages and navigation to explain who you are, what products or services you sell, where you are and how and when to get to you. You could include a picture of your location and a map.

Ask yourself: what do I want to achieve when a customer arrives at my website? Then make that experience as simple and fast as possible.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bad reasons for advertising on your site

Few things annoy me more than sales reps telling me I should advertise on their site because my colleagues in other offices do.

Even fewer things annoy me more than telling me I should because my competitors do.

I’m trying to beat those guys, not join them.

If you think “because the other guys are,” is a good reason, I’m not interested. It might be good information to know, but no decision should hinge on that.

Suggesting that it might greatly affect my planning is insulting, so don’t do it.

And it sort of suggests that you don't have any better reasons.