Target non-click-through customers too: SES panelist

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NEW YORK - The Web is changing quickly, putting customers in control in such spaces as social networks, blogs, feeds and social book marking.

Panelists at the "Advertising in Social Media" session yesterday during New York's Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo talked about how marketers can successfully promote their brands and products in social media.

"There are five different kinds of people viewing your ads," said Bill Flitter, vice president of marketing at Pheedo Inc. "There's the uninterested viewer, the one who needs more information, the existing happy customer, the one who is too busy and everyone's favorite -- the click through."

Most people target the click-through customer, but what about all the others? Other prospects have value as well, Mr. Flitter said.

The customer who needs more information can be asked to subscribe to information, read a review or speak to a happy customer.

The busybody can be given the option of book marking or even forwarding on the information to a friend. If this potential customer ever needs your product or services, he or she will have the option of going back to it.

The happy customer should not be left out, Mr. Fitter said. This individual possesses the power to advocate for your brand through experience.

"It's important not to leave anyone out and to give them all something to do," Mr. Flitter said. "Engage them all."

"Also to achieve click through, spark the customer's curiosity," said Nicole Bogus, leader of the gossip blog team at BlogAds. "If you give them all the information they need in the ad, they will have no reason to click through."

Ms. Bogus said that multiple links, strong images, faux video, hand-made feel and invitations to click are all good tactics of an ad.

Tap into current events and reference customer testimonials, she said.

"Its all about content rather than hard sell," Ms. Bogus said.

Mark Schiller, founder and CEO of Electric Artists, said in social media advertising the focus should be on experience rather than on destinations.

He said to survive in this Web 2.0 world, marketers need to develop creativity, examine entertainment, build a connection, belong to a community and discover new things.

"It is not possible to communicate with a community unless you are part of it," Mr. Schiller said. "People are more interested in hearing how something is created, rather than just seeing the final results."

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