Posts Tagged ‘online’

postheadericon Tweeting Without Meaning

I read an interesting article today regarding the importance of social media in the new world of search engine optimization and website rankings.  It has been by and large confirmed that social media is quickly becoming a necessity for all companies if you want to stay at the “top of the charts,” so to speak.  So now, you have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, you probably have your own blog with WordPress or Blogger, maybe you are trying out the new Google Plus, and you have a company LinkedIn page.

What next?

You need something to write about.  Having these accounts without having any content is like fishing without a fishing pole.  You went to the lake and expected the fish to jump out of the water and into your hands, but that isn’t the way it works.  You need a pole, some bait, and you need to be in the right time and the right place.  Sometimes that means waiting with your line in the water for a long time, but if you take it out, you will never catch anything.

However, there is a difference between posting something meaningful and something pointless.  If you are only using your Facebook account to say “Check out our new Product!”, you probably won’t get many followers.  The reason is that what you are saying is boring.  I don’t mean that as an offense, but rather to remind you of what Facebook was created for.  It is for sharing stories and interesting tidbits.  It is for making you laugh, cry, or angry because of what someone else said.  It is supposed to spark emotions in the reader, and that just isn’t going to happen with words like “Check out our new Product!”

Where is the laughter?  Where are the tears?

You have to approach social media marketing the way that we have been approaching traditional marketing for the last century.  Make it interesting.  Make it memorable.  People will remember it better and come back to you more often.  Lure them in with stories of other customers.  Show them interesting pictures or funny videos of someone who has used your product or service.  Once you have baited them, reel them in.  And once you have caught them, turn their experience into the stories you use to lure in the next customers, thus creating and completing the social media marketing cycle.

This is how you use social media and be meaningful about what you post, while driving customers to you.  Hey, if you are still reading, then it obviously works, doesn’t it?

postheadericon BBB Rankings

We’ve all seen the logo of the Better Business Bureau on some of our favorite sites.  They are the ones who will rate a compnay based on how well their service is and how they treat their customers.  Suffice it to say that some of the best companies we know are ranked highly by the BBB, and it shows on their website.

Some of ActiveNation’s clients, including Virginia Green Lawn Care and Party Perfect, have been ranked with an A+ ranking and are therefore entitled and encouraged to place the self-updating logo from the BBB on their website.  This logo serves a multi-faceted purpose in terms of website marketing, and it is important to look at the various values of using it.

From a purely customer-friendly point of view, the BBB is a well known and respected organization and their ranking system is trusted by many.  Just seeing that a business has an A+ ranking is a good enough reason for many potential clients to give that company a call.

However, it also serves an SEO purpose, in that by listing your website with the BBB creates an inward link to your website while the logo on your webpage will actually link to your company’s profile on the BBB’s own website.  That means that when someone goes through the BBB, they find you.  When they go through a search engine, they find you.  When they click the BBB link on your webpage, they find you again.

There are a variety of organizations that are similar to the BBB, but this goes to show the benefits of being a member of any one of them.

postheadericon ActiveNation Returns Better Than Ever

We’re Back!

To our loyal readers, ActiveNation proudly returns to this blog after our months of being away. While we apologize for our lack of posts over these last few months, we would like to assure all of our followers that we are back from our hiatus.

In these last few months, we have been busy transitioning after our recent acquisition by Data Control, LLC, a local Richmond based database programming company that has been partnered with ActiveNation many times over the past years when we have needed each others’ services.

Now, as the two companies have merged into one, we have become a more efficient well-oiled machine that is ready to serve all of your search engine optimization, search engine marketing, pay-per-click management, and website development and maintenance needs and desires, as well as a variety of other programming services through our new parent company.


Moving Forward:

While we have been away, the world has kept turning.  The internet never stops changing, and so we must always be vigilant in our attempt to stay on top of the newest in internet trends.  While there isn’t enough space in this blog to go into detail about all the changes that have taken place, we wanted to list some of the topics to be covered in the upcoming posts, if only to whet your appetite.


The World Goes Mobile:

Smartphones have become the name of the game in the market of the modern age.  The internet is no longer limited to big bulky desktops or laptops where a local ethernet jack is readily available.  All of the world’s information now rests literally in the palm of our hand, and we must be prepared to face it.

Google Plus: The New Facebook?

Google has finally decided to get into the social media game with their new platform, Google Plus.  How will this affect the way we do business?  Is this the wave of the future or a fad that will fade into the background as quickly and quietly as myspace has over the past few years?

QR: Decoding the Trend:

If you have seen the square barcodes around, you know that these days people are being directed to websites and advertising material even when they are not surfing the web.  You could be walking around the local art museum or shopping mall, see one of these qr codes, scan it into your smartphone, and suddenly you are looking at the company’s specialized website.  How do we utilize this new trend in all of our marketing ideas?


It’s All About The Future

These topics and more are only the beginning of the latest in internet trends.  Internet marketing has become a whole new ballgame, and as we continue along the never-ending path towards website marketing, it will only get more exciting as the technology continues to radically change the way we do business everyday.

postheadericon Design Your Future At the Right School

So you’re passionate about web design and perhaps you’re contemplating enrolling in a web design program or institution. Now what? Well it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. When you’re searching for the perfect design school it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the variety of options out there. Which is why you should prepare yourself by becoming aware of any preliminary factors to applying to a web design college or university before you decide which application to submit.

Know your Focus First and foremost, while you know that you want to be a web designer, it’s important to know your focus within the program. Since not every design school has the same curriculum, it’s good to know what courses you’re walking into before hand and whether or not they would be beneficial to your focus. There are plenty of roles you can take on as a designer and it’s good to know exactly what it is you want to do with your web design education and what kind of role you want to play in the web design world.

Know the Requirements You should know the requirements for a web design program. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or may be interested in continuing your education after attaining your college degree somewhere else, each college or university has their own preliminary requirements for entering their web design program. Although a lot of the criteria consist of general and common courses, pre-requisite classes and exams may be required before you can qualify to submit an application.

It’s also wise to know which schools are accredited and which are not so if you ever want to transfer or attain an additional degree at another institution, you want to make sure your credits transfer without a problem. If the school is not accredited you can become at risk for non transferable credits and ultimately may have to retake some courses. Not only that but if you graduate from an accredited school, your degree holds a much higher value.

Know the Curriculum It doesn’t hurt to visit the college or university’s website so you can catch a glimpse at the courses and course descriptions. This helps you prepare both mentally and financially when it comes to the course work-load, the information you will learn from your web design courses, any additional supplies you may need as well as textbooks.

Whether you’re considering attending a college campus or an online university, you can’t go wrong figuring out the basics of your search. Your dream web design school isn’t too far from your reach! As long as you do your research early, figure out what it is you really want to do within the field of web design and prepare yourself from there, you can’t go wrong. Remember to find what fits YOU best and the rest will fall into place. Good luck with your search!

postheadericon How You Doin’ Twitter?

While Facebook is the reigning King of social media, it may need to make some room for another social network that’s gaining some momentum in the interactive race.  It’s no secret that Twitter has become an online phenomenon, I mean who doesn’t wake up first thing in the morning and check their Twitter time-line to see what they missed during their hours of slumber? It’s almost calming to know that much activity can still go on even when you’re not a part of it at that moment. It’s like the social network that never sleeps. But I digress…

Recently the Pew Research Center and the eMarketer conducted surveys and studies regarding Twitter’s current status in the digital world and have even made predictions regarding Twitter’s future. So how do you think the site did? I’ve included some of their statistics that may exhibit some astounding and surprising information about where the site currently is and where it could be in just a matter of a year.  Are we ready to turn over the crown to Twitter eventually?

One thing that can definitely be said is that Twitter is on a roll when it comes to overall earned revenue and even predicted increases in the network’s 2011 ad revenue. Just last year Twitter generated $45 million and is expected to make a huge jump by over $100 million this year.

The Pew Research Center has analyzed the typical Twitter user and their behavior when using the social site. Surprisingly despite the success Twitter has seen and will continue to see in ad spending, the percentages for the demographics that utilize the service were slimmer than I had imagined. In fact it seems that even though there are millions of people that sign up for the online social service only 8% of online adults said they do use Twitter, with 2% doing so on a typical day. The survey also exemplified that 74% of American adults are Internet users, which means that the Twitter cohort amounts to 6% of the entire adult population.

I would’ve thought those numbers would be bigger. But in due time I can only imagine how much these figures will increase within the next couple of years, especially considering the predictions being made regarding Twitter’s successful ad revenues and increasingly amount of accounts being opened each year. In fact at least 100 million accounts were opened just in the year 2010. Can you imagine by 2014 or 2015?

All we can say is stay tuned and keep a close observation on the evolution of social media. I have a feeling that these social networks will not only change the face of the internet and how we use it, but may even change the world. Imagine that.

postheadericon Every Generation Has Its Day

A recent Pew Research study was done in an attempt to differentiate various generations and their unique roles as web users. Some of the information they retrieved was pretty interesting. I don’t know about you and your family; but I know my siblings, parents, and grandparents utilize the internet for many different reasons. Not to mention the older generations in my family aren’t naturally as tech savvy nor do they really spend as much time online as say myself or my younger siblings who are just now hitting the “tween” ages. This may be the same within your family tree, or it may not be. Let’s take a peak and see what the Pew Research Center found to be an average depiction of what our generations are doing online.

First and foremost, how about we break down exactly what the different generations mean, shall we?

Generation name Birth years, Ages in 2010 % of total adult population % of internet-using population
Millennials Born 1977-1992, Ages 18-33 30% 35%
Gen X Born 1965-1976, Ages 34-45 19 21
Younger Boomers Born 1955-1964, Ages 46-55 20 20
Older Boomers Born 1946-1954, Ages 56-64 14 13
Silent Generation Born 1937-1945, Ages 65-73 7 5
G.I. Generation Born -1936, Age 74+ 9 3
Source: Pew Research, December 2010

So now that we know who’s who, let’s dissect what we and they are doing with their time online. Do any of the generations have anything in common as web users?

Online Activities (% of Generation Group)
% Engaging
Activity Teens Millennials Gen X Younger Boomers Older Boomers Silent Gen. G.I. Gen. All adultsAge 18+
Go online 93% 95% 86% 81% 76% 58% 30% 79%
Teens and/or Millennials are more likely to engage in the following activities compared with older users
Watch a video 57 80 66 62 55 44 20 66
Use social network sites 73 83 62 50 43 34 16 61
Send IMs 67 66 52 35 30 29 4 47
Play online games 78 50 38 26 28 25 18 35
Read blogs 49 43 34 27 25 23 15 32
Visit a virtual world 8 4 4 4 3 3 1 4
Activities where Gen X users or older generations dominate
Visit a government website * 61 75 73 69 56 41 67
Get financial info * 33 38 41 41 44 30 38
For some activities, the youngest and oldest cohorts may differ, but there is less variation overall
Send or read e-mail 73 96 94 91 93 90 88 94
Use a search engine * 92 87 86 87 82 72 87
Look for health info 31 85 84 84 85 76 59 83
Get news 62 76 79 76 76 67 54 75
Buy a product 48 68 66 64 69 59 57 66
Make travel reservations * 64 67 70 67 61 53 66
Bank online * 62 62 58 56 44 35 58
Use online classifieds * 64 58 49 42 30 17 53
Listen to music online * 65 58 48 38 25 12 51
Look for religious info * 31 35 34 33 26 28 32
Rate a product, service or person * 32 32 29 40 38 16 32
Participate in an auction * 28 31 25 25 13 7 26
Make a charitable donation * 21 24 24 23 20 13 22
Download podcasts * 26 20 20 16 12 10 21
Work on own blog 14 18 16 11 11 8 5 14
Source: Pew Research, December 2010
So now that we’ve analyzed these statistics, what do we make of them? Well it’s definitely clear that the younger generations have the most presence online when it comes to: use of social networking sites, instant messaging, use of online classifieds, playing online games, listening to music, reading blogs, and participating in virtual worlds. No surprise there though right?

Take a look at the entire report to get more insight on the generations of internet users and maybe we can catch a glimpse of the future from their findings.

postheadericon Interesting Online Marketing Trend Tidbits

I stumbled across some pretty intriguing information regarding anything and everything an online marketer would want to identify their typical consumer’s profile  and when targeting their ideal audience. Check out some of the interesting tidbits I collected while navigating through different online infographics. Hopefully this will help some of you on your journey to successful internet marketing and even more specifically social media marketing!


How Global Users Spend Their Time Online

  • Percentage of User’s Time Spent Online: 22% Social Media; 42% Viewing Content; 36% e-mail, e-commerce and other.
  • The average American spends up to 60 hours a month online which equates to 30 days a year.

via Visual Economics

via Marketing Pilgrim


  • 61% of adult internet users view videos online and 61% view online videos on a video sharing site.
  • The most common online video viewing and sharing age group is 18-29 at 78%, 30-49 age groups at 66% and 45% of 50+ ages watch videos online.
  • Men appear to watch more online videos than women. In fact 65% of men watch online videos while only 57% of women do.
  • The most popular age demographic in the blogosphere is the 35-44 age group with 28% and following closely behind at 25% are bloggers aged 25-34.
  • When it comes to what age group utilizes the internet the most, ages  18-29 spend more time online at 93%!

What do you think about some of these statistics?

postheadericon Teens and Their Parents Determine Buying Trends

Targeting your audience can be challenging depending on your ideal consumer profile, but when it comes to determining teens and tween customers and their buying habits, naturally it’s not as complex as you would think. Teen buyers usually are pretty solid when it comes to knowing what products they want. Considering teens and tweens are pretty tech savvy, the internet naturally would be a great resource for them to make their purchases. But what exactly influences a teen to purchase a product or persuade their parents to make the purchase for them?

Usually teenagers are pretty set on what they want so they may not need to research so much into their favorite product since they’re pretty keen on the newest and hottest trends, especially with electronics. But what resources influence teens to attain information about their favorite products and to make their purchases? According to an eMarketer report, “two in five teens said online reviews influenced their computer product preferences, and 37% cited product websites”. So it seems as though teens pay attention to their web sources like online customer reviews, product websites, and online ads. In fact according to the “TeenFluence Survey” conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of, ads were the second most common element that helped users to make their decision about a product or service.

A study by Mintel also found that the influence of online content becomes more important as kids enter their teenage years, you can also call this demographic the “tween” generation. “At the upper end of the age range, kids 9-11 are more likely to turn to more diverse resources for information, including online ads and social networking sites, while the younger kids, aged 6-8, have a stronger reliance on parents”. Not to mention word of mouth is definitely popular among this age group as kids like to “show and tell” their favorite products they possess or want to purchase. Teens usually know more about popular products and electronics than their parents do so usually the teen would influence the parent to make the purchase and the parent then researches the item through the web through customer reviews, website content, word of mouth and online advertisements also. And since tweens and teens may not have the income to make their purchases, it’s ultimately up to the parents to make the purchase.

It’s safe to say that the internet plays a major role when it comes to purchasing products, not just with adult users but more so with the newest generation of tech savvy teens and tweens. Would you agree with the report and their results?

postheadericon Top Ten Viral Ads of 2010

Now that we’re finally living in the year 2011, reports of what was “in” digitally last year are coming out of the woodwork; and when it comes to internet marketing, 2010 was big year for online ad viewing, posting and sharing! It seems as though television ads have inspired people to go online to review these popular advertisements and share them with their friends and family.

The numbers are in for the most popular television ads that gained viral popularity. So which ads made the top ten list for 2010?

Check out the countdown below and see if you’re favorite online ad made the top list!

Number 10: E-Trade Super Bowl

Number 9: Gillette Perfect Length

Number 8: Pepsi- Oh Africa

Number 7: Old Spice – The Return of The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Number 6: DC Shoes- Gymkhana Three

Number 5: Nike – Write the Future

Numbe 4: Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Number 3: Doritos – Crash The Super Bowl 2010

Number 2: Old Spice – Odor Blocker

And drumroll please….

The Number 1 viral ad of 2010 is:

Number 1: Old Spice – Responses

Top Ten via Advertising Age