Building a brand from scratch is not an easy thing to do, especially if you are in a market that is very competitive. How does one start to rise above the noise to distinguish themselves as a heavy hitter? What techniques and tricks can you use to reach your brand awareness goals? Below I have outlined some of the most effective ways to build your brand using online marketing techniques.

Video Marketing:

1. Create videos that research proves will do well on the sites you are marketing to. Usually funny videos and tutorials tend to do well.

2. Decide what video marketing stance you are going to approach with your video marketing: Cut the video and add branding before something funny or interesting happens to redirect the viewer to your site. Or allow the entire video shown to allow for more viewers and impressions.

3. Initiate streaming rich media ads on videos.

4.Purchase pre-roll or post-roll ads on videos.

5. Distribute your video across these multiple video sharing sites.

Conversational Marketing

6. Leverage sites like Sponsored Reviews in order to create a viral buzz online regarding your brand.

7. Join as many forums as you can adequately sustain a quality contributor.

8. Get to know who the industry voice is for your niche and post comments on there blogs.

9. Contribute to online groups like google groups and myspace groups.

10. Market yourself by adding a blog.

11. Use advanced techniques to gain RSS subscribers for maximum exposure.

Pay Per Click

12. If you have a larger budget create an account on the top tier pay per click networks, Google, MSN and Yahoo!.

13. If you have a smaller ad budget go with Google and some tier 2 and tier 3 networks.

14. A great way to get branding is to get those impressions. Try giving 3rd tier networks a try but know that conversions may be lower on 3rd tier networks.

15. Utilize keycompete to get a good base on competitor PPC advertising.

16. Do extensive keyword research to find optimal exposure and converting keywords.

17. Try to find niches and keyword markets to target that are not as heavily competitive but are highly trafficked so your cost per click will be way down.

18. Mind your ad quality.

Social Media Marketing

19. Stay as ethical as you possibly can.

20. To successfully leverage your social media for online marketing you need to really be active in your communities, ergo is best to have power accounts on a few social media sites rather then trying to manage many of them across multiple networks. Find your niche.

21. Initiate social bookmarking campaigns online.

22. Create content to support edits in wikipedia.

Email Marketing

23. Team with companies with double opt in lists

24. Sponsor mailing lists with companies who have a wide subscriber base.

25. Try to leverage DBA lists

26. Setup a network of sites geared towards lead generation. By capturing these leads you can use them for yourself or sell them to leading lead brokers.

Mobile Search Marketing

27. Create a click to call campaign

28. Develop a mobile version of your site.

29. Include jump links below your content as normal navigation on a mobile search page can cause problems when viewing on mobile devices.

Search Engine Optimization

30. Optimize all title tags and meta data according to your rev mix.

31. If you are having problems ranking internal pages for there given keyword terms consider developing an effective silo.

32. Develop search engine friendly html sitemap.

33 Develop quality internal linking structure.

34. Create optimized html source code.

35. Create optimized robots.txt

36. Create optimized XML sitemap.

Affiliate Marketing

37. Create accounts in the 2 major affiliate networks, link share and commission junction.

38. Evaluate your competitions affiliate program

39. If you do not have an affiliate option for your services or products then think about creating one because the chance to have others advertise your products and services is a great way to get exposure and build your branding.

40. Incentavize your affiliate deals to attract the affiliate and the consumers.

Banner Advertising

41. Examine potential sites demographics.

42. Get media break outs

43. Consider Portal Advertising

44. Weight your cost per acquisition model between the cost of CPM and CPC banner advertising.

Application Marketing

45. Create a marketing campaign on Instant messangers

Contextual Advertising

46. Initiate a PFI (pay for inclusion) campaign for in bound links with sites like Text Link Brokers.

47. Consider Pre Sale pages or Hosted Marketing packages.

On to offline Marketing

48. Clothing is one of the best ways to market a product and service on and offline. By creating clothing that is branded with your logo and services you can ad this clothing line to online shopping sites and having people wear your clothes with your branding obviously increases your brand awareness.

My last and final tip is to make sure that everything you do can be tracked and measured via an accurate web analytics system. If you can afford it I would recommend click tracks. If that is to expensive for you then you might consider web trends. Many of these tips can not only improve your online marketing success but can increase the value of your own site allowing you to be paid much more for your sponsored reviews..

– Joe Whyte


If you’re strapped for time and need to send an email campaign ASAP, don’t have the resources to design a campaign from scratch, or are just plain lazy, visit www.CarbonGraffiti/emailmarketing/emailtemplates.html now to find 10 hand-coded HTML templates ready-to-use. Simply replace the copy with your own, make a few image tweaks (curse you, Outlook 2007), host the images on your server, and send away.

All templates are hand-coded in HTML to ensure maximum compatibility (on most email clients, especially Outlook 2007 in all of its non-CSS-and-Microsoft Word-rendering glory), and images are included in the downloadable ZIP file. Email Marketing Best Practices such as ‘Can’t view this email properly’, Forward and Subscribe buttons, CAN-SPAM compliance and minimal use of background images and/or CSS are adhered to, wrapped in simple and actionable designs.

All templates are free to use, with link-backs and attribution most appreciated.

New Website Launched!

May 14, 2007

Finally, the new and much improved CarbonGraffiti v 3.0 website has launched. This new version’s highlights include a better, cleaner look, improved functionality, and [much] more emphasis on both the work portfolio and blog posts. Come back soon for upcoming email marketing campaign templates (to be open source, of course), continued email marketing and online marketing blog posts, and much more.

So, here’s what happened:

Email intended for 5 contacts instead sent to entire db of 50,000 contacts. Backlash was instant, and situation escalated. Customers and recipients irate, action stations taken to minimize customer unsubscriptions and service cancellations.

Here’s what we did:

  1. Responded personally to each and every respondent to the error campaign. Most were asking what happened, which was responded to candidly and to-the-point, citing the reason as human error. Others were much more cutting and venomous, but pretty spot-on considering what happened. These emails were again responded to in a calm, professional and open way, citing human error, apologizing, and ensuring that proactive measures were being taken to prevent this from ever happening again. Few of these respondents who were replied to actually bothered to respond again. I can take from this that the original response was satisfactory. These emails represented the panic station and damage control emails – those recipients who have the gusto and determination to reply indicates that they’re willing and able to take further action – be it cancel their account, unsubscribe from future campaigns, or contact someone of senior authority.It should be noted however that, although this was a mistake that should never occur again, there was a side-benefit that not one person could have anticipated. It turned out the original campaign (the mistake) actually generated such an interest in the product it was plugging to the original 5 tradeshow contacts, that we had one of the highest returns of interested leads and prospects of any other campaign we’ve ever done. This is not an exaggeration. It seems that besides those few who were genuinely annoyed, there were many more recipients that could look past the mistake and actually request more info on the product mentioned. A ‘mystery’ email campaign that can raise interest levels enough can actually elicit a response because it gets people thinking – what is this, it looks good, what can it do for me’. This was he first step towards saving my skin b/c of this mistake.
  2. And here’s where it all started to pick up. Besides the dozens of positive and interested leads that were generated from the error campaign, we also proactively sent another campaign, to the exact same list (the whole thing) that was an up-front, to the point, and essentially soul-baring email. The content included a candid subject line ‘Oops, we made a mistake’ and the content described what happened – a human error was made when trying to select dynamic segments so that we could further target the intended list for higher response. The apology campaign in effect doubled as a subtle product feature/benefit plug, which again got great response. As soon as the campaign was sent out, the positive (if not glowing) responses poured in, and the day was for now saved. Really, the amount of recipients who bothered to reply with a great reply and light humour was overwhelming. I think my pick of the bunch (and the bunch was huge) had to go to one woman who actually thanked us for the screw-up, as it clearly indicated that there was a human being behind the send button, not a machine. It made her feel better knowing this, knowing that we’re not so far removed from anything manual anymore that we’re still prone to making a totally human mistake. She’s right, I agree, and it made my day.

Hope it helps, and I hope you realize that any mistake is never a bad one, it’s how you deal with them that counts.

Last week was hell. At my work I’m responsible for the design, implementation, testing and sending of all email marketing communications sent to customers and prospects. Although the average size of send is small due to list segmentation and targeting, a send can range anywhere from 10 to 100,000 contacts. As I’ve already sent dozens of email blasts and communications in the past, that day last week was was no different – except that I was clearly overtired, overworked, had my mind elsewhere, and quite frankly a bit bored

So what happened? I accidentally sent an email campaign that was targeted to 5 DMA tradeshow follow-up contacts… to 50,000 contacts (our entire active subscriber base).

The moment I realized what I had done was when my co-worker and my boss both mentioned across the floor that ‘the mailer looks great’. It took me about 1.2 seconds to (quietly) realize the full calibre of the situation. The reaction from the customers was instant – what’s an email marketing company who preaches a strong privacy policy, touts permission, relevance and intelligence as their tagline, and markets their products as targeting your reader before sending… doing sending a totally erroneous and blatantly un-targeted email campaign to both prospects AND paying customers? The backlash was serious, the office tension was palpable, and it was all my fault. The customers were pissed, my bosses were pissed, the VP who’s personal name and email on the faulty mailer was pissed, and I thought I was going to get fired or just walk out and preempt the insanity.

Anyways, my point? Is that for so long I’ve always been too cautious with anything I do, to a fault. So when I made this mistake that was so public, so obvious, so downright a clear ‘fuck-up’, I wanted to crawl under a rock and die. But you have to remember something that’s truly important. Anyone can screw up. Some screw ups are worse than others, sure, but it’s how you DEAL with the mistake that counts. People remember the mistake, but they’ll also remember the way you dealt with (or not dealt with) the situation at hand. So, at risk of sounding like all the other marketing blogs out there that give checklists and education, Part 2 is what happened and what we did to alleviate the problem – and the results were stellar.