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


I haven’t noticed a banner ad for a really, really long time now, so I was pretty impressed when I came across the newest series of ‘Get a Mac’ banner ads by Apple. It’s a great use of the 728×90 real estate and Flash, and of course the Mac Ad sense of humour draws you in and makes you want to watch it again, and click.

Examples below, which have been reduced from the original 728×90 size to a 468 size, to fit on my blog and website (

(Ed: I’ve since tried to find a live version with no luck… sorry).



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.

The IAB says that the average percentage of spend for a Canadian company on Search Engine Marketing (SEM) activities accounts for around 33% of their online marketing budget, while a recent report from Emarketer shows that the USA is around 44% and the UK is well over 55%. I recently spoke with Pro Marketer, Carl Brabander (see BIO below), about why he thinks this is?

The Brits vs. the North Americans:

It’s cultural. The British marketers are more scientific than their North American counterparts. While we’re busy letting our agencies talk us into rich media and flash animations, the Brits are looking at the numbers and making tactical decisions based on predictive modelling and ROI calculations.

Companies that have crunched the numbers and looked at SEM vs. other Online Channels are shifting more into SEM, simply because it is more profitable. There are great tools out there for tracking and optimising paid search campaigns, but companies that rely on a traditional agency to book their online media probably don’t have the information or tool they need to make that decision, and the client then gets sold on the idea of spending big bucks to “build the brand” on the web, just like they do offline.

Of course a strong brand is essential to your success on the web – and the proof is that for the big guys like Citibank or Fairmont Hotels, their company names probably drive more search traffic for them than generic terms like “mortgage rates” or “Hotel Montreal Deal”. But these guys use TV and print to build demand for their brands, and that’s the hard part. Paid Search or SEM is relatively easy and cost-effective if it is used to havest the demand.

The Canadians vs. the Americans:

The difference here has to do with the cost of media in our countries. Canadian banner real estate has always been more expensive. On the other hand, more competitors bidding for keywords in the USA are driving up the cost of Paid Search Results. So, for the exact same media plan, a Canadian Marketer will spend relatively more on Banner Ads and less on SEM efforts as keyword buys are relatively cheap and will ultimately eat-up a smaller portion of the overall budget.

About Carl Brabander (The Bio)

Carl is a professional marketing strategist with a decade of internet, mass, and direct marketing experience. He is currently embedded in the insurance industry, driving campaign strategy and website architecture for a Canadian market leader. In his spare time, Carl plays in a band, squanders money on Ebay impulse purchases, and blogs under a fake name in an effort to overthrow a corrupt small-town mayor.

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.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo and Microsoft may be discussing a possible merger in a bid to take down the giant that is Google. According to MarketingVox:

“Microsoft’s online division is suffering from a failure to compete with Google on search. They recently missed an opportunity to acquire online advertising giant DoubleClick, which was quickly snapped up by its Goliathan competitor. The talks with Yahoo preclude a company on the verge of big change.”

It’s about time MSN realized that their search and Pay-per-click programs are no where near up to par with Google’s or Yahoo’s.  After using all three PPC programs for quite some time, the amount of times I became frustrated with MSN’s lack of features and simple lack of an intuitive interface always pointed to them resorting to other tactics to try and rule the PPC and search roost.  It didn’t take a genius to see something was up when we all noticed Overture powering search results on MSN search sites, including

Also according to MarketingVox:

“Microsoft may be poised to change its executive roster or consolidate some units. It may also decide to repartner with Yahoo. Yahoo briefly provided search and ad technology on Microsoft’s behalf through its product Yahoo Search Marketing, formerly Overture. The relationship ended last year when Microsoft released a competitive offering, Microsoft AdCenter.

Yahoo’s may depend on “Project Panama,” a delayed upgrade to their ad system. The model could reportedly use Microsoft’s technical expertise; in another potential arrangement, Microsoft could manage the back-end of both companies while Yahoo handles the consumer end.”

According to Chad Mauldin:

‘Google recently filed for a new patent, here, on technology to display ads in email. Some may disregard this, seeing as Google already displays ads inside of Gmail, but this is somewhat different. This is Adwords for email, essentially allowing anyone to place Adsense inside of their outgoing mail, specifically mentioned in the patent, newsletters.

What impact will this have? This will allow advertisers to target certain websites email newsletters, provide publishers on more avenue for revenue, and with that provide Google with an even broader reach. Imagine opening your yahoo/msn/hotmail/any mail account and seeing Google branding and ads.’

The more relevant questions are… how was this not going to happen eventually (I can definitely imagine seeing ads in my hotmail/yahoo/msn account), and are Google pretty much on course to dominate your entire online life? (… and maybe your physical world too?)

This might be well-timed though, considering Outlook 2007’s inability to show rotating gif’s/banner ads in email, Adsense might put money in advertiser’s pockets and see the banner ad go the way of the dodo.