Hybrid Digital Marketer/Designer/Programmer/SEO Practitioner

AIM (theaimagency.com) an integrated marketing agency has an immediate opening for an experienced Hybrid Web Marketer/Designer/Programmer/SEO Practitioner. 

Ideal candidate has experience in: digital marketing; front-end visual website design and usability; backend programming and coding skills; and a firm grasp of SEO best practices in a post hummingbird environment.Skills:
• WordPress
• Landing Page and Lead Form Creation & Programming
• Adobe CS (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)
• Keyword Research & Targeting
• Local Search Optimization
• Search Verticals and New Search Protocols
• Online Reputation Monitoring and Management
• Quality Link Cultivation
• Content Marketing (Distribution, Aggregation, etc.)
• Social Media MarketingThis is an excellent opportunity for an ambitious individual to build their skills and resume as a professional digital marketer. Interested candidates should submit their resume and a minimum of three (3) examples of work explaining how it meets the above criteria.
Hiring Organization: www.theaimagency.com
  • Compensation: $2,500/month plus performance-based, results-driven incentives


Facebook’s Flawed and Ultimately Fatal Mobile Miss

Facebook Mobile Icon

Today’s Wall Street Journal Marketplace print edition carries a front page story (digital link here, subscription required for full article) on how the world’s most popular social network has made a giant miscalculation in how it’s going about it’s mobile strategy. I couldn’t agree more.

In fact, I was just posting on Facebook over the weekend about how lousy their mobile experience was and a number of my friends chimed in with their agreement. Why is Facebook neglecting mobile when over half their 900 million users access the network on iPhones, iPads and Android devices and when doing so, get a very limited and extremely slow-loading version of the site? And, might this lack of mobile foresight have something to do with the rather lack-luster performance of their post-IPO stock valuation? After all, their stock fell 11%…a whopping $11.5 billion off their initially priced market value…in the first full day of trading after the totally botched launch Friday.

It’s obvious to even the most casual observer that the extreme over-hype around Facebook’s IPO was setting everyone up for major disappointment. Starting with their stock priced at a price-to-earnings ratio in the neighborhood of 85 times their projected earnings in the next 12 months certainly didn’t help (by comparison, Google currently trades at a stock price 13 times earnings). But, people are starting to notice how truly clunky and unusable Facebook is on mobile devices.

As the Wall Street Journal article points out,  Facebook’s problems with app developers is just one concerning aspect of their mobile situation. For example, CrowdStar, developer of games such as Fishville and Happy Pet, used daily by over 50 million users, last month said they have stopped making games for Facebook.

The reason? You cannot access their games on Facebook’s mobile version. So, in addition to developers having to fork over to Facebook over 30% of their in-app sales for things like virtual goods, they also are loosing a substantial part of their market and sales potential. Instead, developers say they are focusing future development efforts on the iPhone, iPad and Android apps. This puts Facebook on the defense, playing mobile catch up because early on they made a strategic decision they didn’t want mobile users coming to Facebook via apps but instead through mobile browsers.

Facebook’s reasoning was two-fold: 1) they didn’t want to be put in a vulnerable position of relying on the platform lords of Apple and Google; and 2) they wanted to create one version of their site, using advanced HTML5 coding, instead of a version for iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, etc. The only problem with this approach is that it’s going to take HTML5 another two to three years to mature enough to become truly useful as a mobile/browser-based platform. Meanwhile, everyone is using apps to access everything and that includes Facebook, which truly stinks as a mobile app.

Of note recently, Facebook is trying to show it’s mobile savviness by purchasing mobile app companies like Instagram (for $1 billion) and Glancee. Yet Facebook continues to basically ignore handset makers and carriers…all while this year, Apple iPhone sales are projected to hit 139 million devices and Android is projected to reach 364 million units, according to research firm Gartner.

So, is this lack of mobile vision raising it’s ugly head in Facebook’s anemic IPO stock price performance? Rick Summer, Morningstar analyst, listed the company’s potential failure to capitalize on it’s mobile future as a risk factor and pegged the stock price at at “fair market value” of $32 instead of the $38 price at which it launched.

Although mobile is a huge component for Facebook’s future success, it’s really just one component. But this issue also highlights the inherent danger in brands becoming overly-reliant on building their brand outside of their own owned and controlled digital platforms and destinations. You could spend months and tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars developing a Facebook commerce platform and with their limited mobile user experience right now, you’re missing half your audience. Even worse, Facebook, as they’ve done numerous times in the past could change terms of service, making all your plans obsolete and all that invested time and money goesup in a puff of smoke.

The lesson here for brands is just as stark: If digital behemoth Facebook can have it’s value depressed and even threatened by it’s lack of mobile strategy, what do you think will happen to your brand for neglecting the same?

Something to think about as you plan your online content strategy and manage your entire digital presence. And, in case you think Facebook is already past it’s prime, here’s an interesting article from Wired on seven social networking apps that could replace Facebook.

The Most Interesting Post in the World

The Most Interesting man in the world

These 5 Brands Are Making A Splash Without TV Ads

In our continuing effort to provide you with innovative ideas that can help you amplify your brand experience, we thought we’d share this article from Business Insider that highlights five brands making a marketing impact without spending big bucks on traditional TV ads. Enjoy!”


Aim Increases Facebook Fans, Social Conversation and Experience Engagement for NRG, Reliant Energy and eVgo

NRG Exhibit Consumer Electronics Show 2012 DeLorean electric vehicle

When NRG unveiled its eye-popping energy exhibit at the world’s largest Consumer Electronics Show January 10th, visitors got their first taste on an experience stretching seamlessly into cyberspace and across the state of Texas during 2012.

The exhibit was packed with energy-themed eye candy like the new prototype DeLorean electric vehicle; an electric vehicle charging station; a human-powered “hamster” wheel and specially equipped mountain bikes where visitors generated energy to benefit charities; solar panels, intelligent thermostats and; The Smarter Home on Wheels, a giant, rolling demonstration of today’s top energy-efficient home appliances, home automation and personal energy management solutions.

Custom-designed digital experiences and social media tie-ins enabled CES visitors along with those online to contribute to charities tied to the exhibit’s theme of “The power to change life. The energy to make it happen” as well making possible an entry into a sweepstakes to drive the one-of-a-kind DeLorean electric vehicle.

“CES is the perfect place for NRG to demonstrate how consumers can use smart energy products and services, solar energy and electric vehicles to build a more sustainable energy lifestyle,” said Karen Jones, Chief Marketing Officer of NRG. “Working with our subject matter experts and internal creative teams, AIM has helped us to create a truly unique exhibit.”

“Our goal was to create an immersive experience that would appeal to different customers and be able to live beyond the 4-day trade show,” said Jeff Symon, Chief Creative Officer of AIM, the marketing firm and brand experience agency that created it. “We wanted to not only create an engaging brand experience for those visitors at CES but also be able to amplify NRG’s brands across multiple platforms and multiple audiences.  Through the ability to repurpose the physical assets we created as well as through the social media sphere we were able to maximize NRG’s overall investment.”

The experience is designed to reach a range of potential customers, first as a B-to-B exhibit at CES, and later as a B-to-C event when the core of the exhibit, the rolling Smarter Home on Wheels, travels to fairs, events, schools and retail store locations in Texas as part of Reliant Energy’s, “Your Smarter Home Tour 2012″.

The Smarter Home on Wheels, which includes solar panels and smart energy solutions that demonstrate how home network technologies can work together to put consumers in control, giving them the power to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.

The NRG Power Playground Backyard, including the Human NRG Wheel, allowed visitors and people linked in through social media at the Facebook pages of either NRG Energy, Reliant Energy, Evgo Network or DeLorean Motor Company to use their personal energy to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit that provides free rehabilitation and critical repairs to the homes of low-income Americans.

The prototype of the first electric-powered DeLorean, plugged into NRG’s eVgo home charging station. The DeLorean’s appearance streamed live during CES. Both on-site and as part of the online experience, participants could enter the Drive Into the Future Sweepstakes for their chance to win a weekend in Houston to tour the Reliant Energy SmartHouse, visit the DeLorean factory and take the car out for a spin.

On-site, a photographer captured visitors as they got their picture taken in front of the DeLorean. They received a unique code to pick-up their pictures online and share them through the Reliant Energy Facebook page after the event.

The unique social media tools enabled fans not present at CES to also participate through:

  • A fangate on the NRG Energy Facebook page and a double fangate on the Reliant Energy, Evgo Network and DeLorean Motor Company pages creating a unique synergy and seamless social media experience across multiple brands Facebook pages.
  • Live video streams from the event focusing on the DeLorean and Human NRG Wheel that include the ability for fans to view, comment and share.
  • A click for charity interface that enables online visitors to contribute to the overall donation just through their clicks and by sharing with their friends, as well as being able to monitor their impact with a real-time donation meter.
  • Online registration and sharing of the Drive Into the Future Sweepstakes.

“We wanted to amplify the NRG brands by getting a much bigger bang for the buck,” said Symon.  “Through close collaboration with our client, we were able to create an on-site experience packed with state-of-the-art energy touch points that could launch at CES and travel beyond to other events along with an integrated social media experience engaging online visitors and their friends.”

Facebook’s Timeline: How to Get It

Facebook Like Button

Earlier this week, we posted about Facebook’s changes and what it all might mean for marketers.  Mashable was kind enough to run an article on how you can implement Facebook’s timline right now. It’s a fairly easy to follow set of instructions but be aware that only other people who have done this will be able to see your changes for now. Once timeline goes out of public beta, it will be viewable by everyone.

Mashable added another article a day or two ago regarding how these changes might directly effect brand pages. We’ve already heard rumblings that Facebook is pushing down brand pages from fan’s news feeds, in preparation for coming back to brands with their hands out for MONEY!

This is a perfect example of why brands needs to focus on building an engaging brand experience on their own site and not put all their eggs in a specific social media service’s basket. If you buidl a storefront in Facebook what happens when Facebook changes their terms of service? It’s kind of like a New Jersey protection racket…”Gee, it would be a shame if you’re nice little store had a fire or somethin’, wouldn’t it. But, if you take advantage of our special policy, I can assure you nothin’ will happen.”

Social media is great, until it isn’t. For years, all brands could do was lease somebody elses media to reach an audience. Not anymore. A smart brand, who knows how to find out the information, education and inspiration needs of their customers can now cheaply create their own media channel and build an audience that they own.

Really, we think the safe bet is for brands to take the later course, viewing themselves as media companies, producing helpful, relevant, engaging and entertaining content that people are already searching for and building an audience they own on their own brand site. This site then functions as a distribution hub for the content to be scattered over then entire web. By all means, post it on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and YouTube and any other specific social site that makes sense for your audience. But, don’t for a minute think these social channels will continue to offer brands their services for free forever. It’s only a matter of time before they start flexing their media might and changing for audiece acces.

What Facebook’s Changes Mean for Marketers

Two People Talking Exchange Marketing Ideas

Facebook changed the way their social network works…again. As this article from Mashable points out, there’s changes in store for how marketers use the social network as a result.

Facebook is constantly mixing things up in an attempt to stay relevant and ahead of consumer preferences. Unfortunately, this means more for marketers to keep up with. We’ve been talking about the value of content in your social media presence for some time now and this recent slew of Facebook changes makes it even more critical for marketers to deliver relevant, helpful, entertaining and informative content that serves the information and entertainment needs of their audience rather than pitching the marketers  products or services.

How to do this? We’d like to suggest a couple of simple steps:

First, use your listening platform to mine for insights about topics related to the end benefit your product or service delivers to consumers, rather than the features so many marketers drive their digital marketing around. An example of this is for a camera company to create really helpful e-books, mobile apps, videos or other digital resources to help people take better photos…the reason people buy a new camera in the first place.

Second, get your digital distribution ecosystem in place so that you can get the content out to all the social channels your consumers are using…blogs, social networks, forums and message boards, Q&A sites…you name it. Don’t keep the content behind your walled garden on your web site. Free Your Content!

Third, make sure your content is sharable. You want your audience to help with distribution, don’t you? Sure you do, because the crowd can get it out to the masses like nobody else.  Again, Free Your Content!

Finally, make sure the content has a call to action that links your audience back to your home site for a deeper layer of engagement…a special offer for more content, an incentive for purchase or some other relevant call to action. Think of your content as bread crumbs scattered across the internet, leading the little birds back to your site.

Brands that create compelling content and follow these steps reap substantial rewards, converting consumers who didn’t even know they were in the market for a product or service. When we ask marketers seek first to provide answers to needs rather than shill our stuff, everyone wins!

EdgeRank: How to Appear in Your Fan’s Facebook News Feed

Facebook logo trendyThis is a handy little Facebook EdgeRank Guide from the fine folks at Buddy Media. It’s all about how to make sure your brand shows up in your fan’s Facebook News Feed, one of the most effective digital marketing tools for brands, both big and small.

Quick Summary: As you probably already know, the Facebook News Feed allows companies to post branded content to a live stream of information that is constantly being consumed by Facebook users around the world.

The News Feed has incredible power to deliver useful, relevant and informative content to your audience through Facebook and beyond but you also run a high risk of getting lost in the crowd…becoming a needle in a stack of needles…if you don’t know how to optimize your content. Understanding how the News Feed works is essential to ensuring your brand’s content is seen by the people you want to reach.

The Facebook News Feed has two distinct parts: ‘Top News’ and ‘Most Recent.’ A user’s News Feed defaults to the ‘Top News,’ which according to a blog post by Facebook “is based on an algorithm [that] uses factors such as how many friends are commenting on a post, using this formula to aggregate content it thinks you will find interesting.” In other words, it uses relevancy as a signal rather than recency.

Facebook’s term for this algorithm is “EdgeRank”. Anything that appears in the feed…a video, a link, status update…is called an object. Any action taken by your connections with an object…such as a like, share or comment…is termed an edge. Facebook’s formula assigns a different weight value to each edge and it does the same to the type of object on which the edge occurs.

An object’s EdgeRank is based on three factors: affinity, weight and relevancy. When multiplied together, these factors have the ability to push your content to the top of your fan’s News Feed.

The Big List of Digital Marketing Resources and Tools

The Big List of Really Useful Digital Marketing Resources and ToolsKeeping up with all the weekly and sometimes daily changes in the digital marketing ecosystem is a full-time job. We know. We do it and it takes hours and hours a week of scanning and reading just to stay current.

In the corporate marketing environment where everyone is trying to do less with more, busy marketers are doing all they can just to get the current work done. Forget about keeping up with what’s hot and new!

So, we got to thinking…since we spend so much time keeping up with the digital marketing Jones and none of our clients can, maybe we could turn this into a plus for everyone. With this in mind, we’d like to present our first of what will be many versions of our Big List of Really Useful Digital Marketing Tools and Resources.

This list isn’t intended to be exhaustive. Books could be written each individual piece of the digital ecosystem…in fact, they are! But, rather, this is intended to be a kind of “hot sheet’ of what’s new, current or the best of the best we’ve recently run across.

We hope you enjoy this list but more than that, if you have anything to add or topics you think we should cover in this list but we haven’t, let us know.

Google To Revive Real-Time Search, Thanks to Google+ | Mashable, the top source for social and digital news

Yet another reason for marketers to keep a close eye on Google+.   According to a report this morning in Mashable , real time search is returning very soon and it will be enhanced with data from Google+ as well as other social sources. Real time search was, until July, Google’s way of delivering social signals from Twitter, Facebook and other social sites and sharing in search results. When Twitter squeezed off Google’s access to the Twitter torrent, Google dropped real time search.   Google+ is their attempt to make Google a social sharing powerhouse as well because we all know that social is impacting traffic to web sites. Watch for Google+ to introduce a search feature just for Google+ in the very near future.