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Picks of the Week: July 24-30

In today's weekly post, we're sharing articles that offer a wide variety of information for today's marketer, who is increasingly required to wear many hats with expertise in both traditional and emerging mediums. Read on for: tips to develop a strategic product launch campaign, how web design and SEO just might be able to get along, search marketing tips for B2B in the wake of recent Google updates, a sneak peak at Facebook Questions, Old Spice YouTube campaign results, tips (from media reps) for writing a killer press release, and recent stats on newpapers' dwindling influence.

Marketing Strategy

If You Build it, They Won’t Come
By Jason L. Baptiste, this article looks at product launches as long-term marketing campaigns. Says Baptise, “In the web and entrepreneurship community there’s this misconception that 'launching' a product ensures long term success. It doesn’t. Launching is really just a small period of time where a lot of initial attention is drawn to the product. You should certainly be proud of getting yourself to the point of launching to the public, but the real battle is won before and most certainly continuing the marathon race for years after your initial launch.”

Therefore, he says, take a step back to think about your product launch as part of a complete marketing strategy. To this note, the article outlines suggested tactics for pre-launch, launch period and post launch.

My favorite thing about this post is that Baptiste leaves no stone unturned, and really thinks about strategy in an integrated fashion — combining activities in social (e.g. building viral loops), content marketing (teaching and sharing your knowledge with your target audience), search (using analytics to understand your buyers), PR (segment your press list based on unique audience needs and preferences) and more to tackle your marketing in multiple, meaningful ways from day one.

Web Design & SEO

7 Cutting Edge Web Trends (That Can Actually Improve SEO)
Until the recent past, web designers and SEOs were often at odds, battling for either a cool look or search-friendly web content. In this post, Rand Fishkin takes an in-depth look at some modern design trends that do away with this either/or mentality. Thanks to advances in behind-the-scenes coding and search engines' indexing ability, as well as the continued emphasis on inbound links and social elements, there have been solid wins for design-heavy websites in search engine optimization.

So, creative designers and SEOs: Read this post, break some bread and discover ways that both of you can get what you want out of your next web project — along with your site visitors.

Side note: You can spend some serious time reading this article if, like me, you start clicking into the example websites shown. There are some very cool companies represented.

Search Marketing

What do Caffeine and Mayday Mean for B2B Marketers?
Recently, Google made some significant updates: In early June it launched Caffiene, a new indexing system that finds new content on the web faster than Google could in the past. In May, an algorithm update (nicknamed Mayday) with a strong focus on long-tail keywords and page load speed, caused a lot of companies to lose search engine rankings.

In this post, Susan Kelly explains the updates and how they affect B2B organizations, along with tips for B2B marketers to use these updates to their advantage.

Key takeaway: Google and other search engines will continue to improve and update their algorithms in an effort to provide searchers with the most relevant information for their search queries possible. Says Kelly, "The bottom line is no different than it always has been when it comes to SEO — keep your content fresh, relevant and optimized to ensure maximum organic search marketing results."

Social Media

Up Close with Facebook Questions
This article takes an in-depth look at Facebook's new Questions feature, which rolled out in beta to a group of test users on Wednesday. Author Matt McGee walks readers through the process of both asking and answering questions, and calls out the main features and a few of the bugs that still need to be worked out.

Facebook has a strong potential to one-up other questions sites (most notably Yahoo! Answers and LinkedIn Answers) simply due to its user base of 500 million. (Yahoo! Answers, by comparison, recently reached 200 million active users.)

Facebook's other benefit? "User base and the depth of the personal connections that many users have made. Facebook is building a Q&A service around an existing and popular social graph; the competition, to a large degree, is trying to add social features on top of a Q&A service."

Old Spice Sales Double with YouTube Campaign
Just a quick update from our look at Old Spice a couple of weeks ago: It seems that Old Spice’s YouTube campaign and clever television ads have had a positive impact on sales. According to this article, “Old Spice body wash sales have increased 107% in the past month in part thanks to that social media marketing campaign.”

PR

How to Write a Winning Press Release: Step-by-Step Guide
For this article, Shira Levine interviewed media experts in New York and Los Angeles, and put together a collection of their ten best tips for writing a press release that actually grabs attention. A few of the best? Put yourself in the journalist's shoes to find the real story you're trying to share, make it easily accessible in multiple formats and lose the fluff. For more on these and the rest of Levine's suggestions, read the complete post.

Media

Newspapers Hit New Low as an Information Source
Looking at the changing media landscape, and the battle for influence in the online vs. offline publishing world, this post by Michael Ingram shares the results of a new report: 56% of people view newspapers as a source of important information, while 78% view the Internet as such.

Ingram goes on to offer some background and insight into print and online readership, and concludes with an interesting thought: “Americans increasingly see the Internet as an important source of information, despite the fact that they view much of that information as unreliable. Depending on how you feel about Internet users in general, that’s either a baffling example of contradictory behavior, or a sign of healthy skepticism about online media.”

Is it ironic that we found this on the web?

What was your favorite marketing article of the week? Share it in the comments below, or tweet it to our attention at @PR2020.

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