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Sizzling Summer at Heardable HQ: Brandtastic News!
Friends of Heardable-
The summer of 2011 has been a whirlwind of activity at Heardable HQ.
Here are some highlights:
Consulting engagements included a Fortune 500 investment advice company; an international bridal gown designer, a premiere catamaran broker, seven award-winning advertising agencies, a luxury clothing store, and a few more we're not allowed to talk about publicly (darn!).
Social influencer map & sentiment analysis features released in beta. Early semantic tests indicate that our sentiment tool performs better than most of the university-funded solutions out there…literally 20-30% more accurate word recognition rates! And out Twitter influencer map shows who's been tweeting about your brand in the past 24 hours, who these influencers are connected to, with links to their Twitter profiles. Learn more about our sentiment chart here and see this brand's cool influencer map.
Keyword density tag cloud analysis chart went live. Compare any website's keyword density via dueling tag clouds (visible text vs. metatag text). Take a peak at your competitor keywords to see if they are specializing in certain terms or optimizing for SEO in areas you're not.
Google Plus button added to Heardable.com. Now any company (like yours) can +1 your brand profile on Heardable to get "noticed" by Google's search crawlers. Increase your brand visibility by getting your friends and staff to +1 your brand profile on Heardable.com today!
Helpful blog posts to keep you on the cutting edge of online brand analytics.
Talk to you soon and let your brand be heard!
Heardable Marketing Team
Heardable is the world's only real-time contextual brand analytics platform. We help organizations make smarter, faster business decisions in a way that impacts tomorrow's quarterly results. Insights that give our clients an edge.
For a free brand consultation, call 1-888-520-0034.
Best and Worst NFL Football Teams Online Revealed
The Houston Texans were named the most effective NFL football team brand with a brand health score of 709/1000, followed by the Green Bay Packers at #2, Baltimore Ravens at #3, New England Patriots at #4, and the Washington Redskins at #5.
According to contextual brand analytics firm, Heardable, Texas sports teams are nothing to shake a stick at. The company has just released its ranked list of the most effective NFL football teams online and the Houston Texans outscored 31 of its competitors to be crowned the most web-friendly gridiron brand.
The Houston Texans outscored teams such as the green Bay Packers and the Baltimore Ravens to take the top position, which was calculated by a thorough examination of nearly 500 online brand variables. The Houston Texan's brand health score of 709 out of 1,000 beat its nearest competitor, the green Bay Packers, by a slim 2 points. Shockingly, the Houston Texan's outscored the last place Oakland Raiders by 151%.
So what are the Houston Texan's doing right? Lots of things:
- Mobile smartphone optimized website
- Social media presence, participation & followers
- Search engine optimized website
- Usable site experience (easy to engage, share & transact)
- Rich monitoring & optimization using web analytics software and other tools
When it comes to social media, the Houston Texans are doing well, but they are nowhere near leading the pack. On Facebook, for example, the #15 ranked Dallas Cowboys have an impressive 3,194,370 Facebook likes compared to just 319,364 likes for the Houston Texans.
And when it comes to social velocity, the Dallas Cowboys win hands down. They are gathering a staggering 500,000 Facebook likes per month compared to 20,000 Facebook likes per month for the Houston Texans. At the current run rate, the Dallas Cowboys will reach the 10 million Facebook like milestone in about 12-14 months.
Commenting on the NFL football team rankings, Jon Samsel, Chief Executive Officer of Heardable, Inc., said, "The Houston Texans deserve a lot of credit for boosting their online marketing efforts in spite of the recently player's strike and fierce competition from other football teams. It will be fun to re-examine the brand rankings at the close of the football season to see if the Texans hold on to their top position or fumble the ball."
32 NFL Football Team Brands, Ranked by Heardable Score (1000 points possible)
1. Houston Texans - houstontexans.com - 709
2. Green Bay Packers - packers.com - 707
3. Baltimore Ravens - baltimoreravens.com - 690
4. New England Patriots - patriots.com - 689
5. Washington Redskins - redskins.com - 675
6. Chicago Bears - chicagobears.com - 670
7. Atlanta Falcons - atlantafalcons.com - 668
8. Tennessee Titans - titansonline.com - 649
9. San Diego Chargers - chargers.com - 648
10. New York Giants - giants.com - 642
11. Cincinnati Bengals - bengals.com - 629
12. Pittsburgh Steelers - steelers.com - 620
13. Dallas Cowboys - dallascowboys.com - 618
14. Cleveland Browns - clevelandbrowns.com - 599
15. Arizona Cardinals - azcardinals.com - 592
16. Carolina Panthers - panthers.com - 590
17. Seattle Seahawks - seahawks.com - 584
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - buccaneers.com - 547
19. New Orlean Saints - neworleanssaints.com - 546
20. Philadelphia Eagles - philadelphiaeagles.com - 530
21. Indianapolis Colts - colts.com - 520
22. New York Jets - newyorkjets.com - 519
23. Denver Broncos - denverbroncos.com - 503
24. Minnesota Vikings - vikings.com - 491
25. Kansas City Chiefs - kcchiefs.com - 483
26. San Francisco 49ers - 49ers.com - 479
27. Buffalo Bills - buffalobills.com - 475
28. St. Louis Rams - stlouisrams.com - 464
29. Jacksonville Jaguars - jaguars.com - 437
30. Detroit Lions - detroitlions.com - 373
31. Miami Dolphins - miamidolphins.com - 317
32. Oakland Raiders - raiders.com - 282
Click here for the real-time ranked list of 32 NFL football team brands.
Heardable helps organizations utilize contextual analytics to make smarter, faster business decisions in a way that impacts tomorrow's quarterly results. They are the leading online brand benchmarking and analysis platform that measures the brand health of business organizations across hundreds of categories. Capturing vast amounts of digital information makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done -- such as spot business trends or unearth lost revenue opportunities. Data can be used to unlock new sources of economic value, provide fresh insights into business planning, even hold vendors accountable. With nearly 1.3 million brands and over 650 million data variables already stored in our database, Heardable's 'big data' repository can be utilized by any business looking for ways to optimize their online performance, boost brand awareness, and increase revenue. Heardable, Inc. is a privately held company based in Los Angeles, CA. http://heardable.com
Social Sentiment Analysis Feature Released in Beta
Heardable is excited to announce that social sentiment analysis is now live on Heardable.com! With Heardable's social sentiment analysis, you can instantly gauge your brand's social sentiment right now. Best of all, it's free.
We're excited about this new beta release and we hope you'll take a few moments to try it out.
Curation Tips before You Begin
We have thousands of brands in the Heardable platform that are updated every day. Sentiment analysis is readily available for each of these brands and all you need to do to see them is type in a brand's name in the search box at the top of Heardable.com, click 'create report,' and scroll down the page to see the results.
Here are links to three popular brands if you'd like to jump on over to their profile pages and see their social sentiment: Toyota, EMC and Fandango.
If your brand is not yet in our system, simply enter your URL into the search box at the top of our website and click 'create report'. If you're in our system and your brand has not been scanned in a while, rescan it to update all your brand information (see image 1 below).
2. Confirm that your Twitter handle is up-to-date (see image 2 below). If not, update it (see image 3 below).
3. Confirm that we have your brand -- and brand ownership information -- correct. If not, update it (see image 4 below).
Note: If your brand is already in our platform and is being rescanned each day, just scroll down the Heardable homepage to see your social sentiment.
4. If you're a new brand in our system, you may need to click the 'create graph' link in the sentiment box (see image 5 below).
The final result should look like this -- a sentiment box with a pie chart that shows what percent of the Twitter conversations swirling around your brand are positive (in blue). In the example below, Fandango has a social sentiment of 89% positive.
Social Sentiment: How We Do It
Our platform crawls Twitter's API for mentions of your brand, then captures all mentions of your brand by social influencers over the past 24 hours, and finally runs those conversations through our proprietary language corpus to parse the negative mentions from the positive.
The result? Now you can monitor your brand's Twitter sentiment via Heardable.com -- and see what percentage of the conversations around your brand are positive.
Another benefit is that you can compare your sentiment to your competitors so you can put your pulse on which brand's are hot in your industry and which are struggling. Nifty stuff.
We hope that you'll give our new social sentiment tool a try and let us know what you think. And yes, we'll be adding other social networks into our sentiment analysis stream in the days and weeks to come. We're even going to empower users to measure the sentiment of their website content.
If you'd like a guided tour of Heardable.com, just reach out to us via email@example.com and we'll set up a complimentary walk-through via Skype.
Composition May Be the Strongest Way of Seeing a Brand
First impressions mean a lot. Both in your personal life and in business.
I've read that a single imagine can represent a thousands words. It's no wonder then why so many marketers fuss over getting just the right image to represent their brand, location, product or service. In advertising, this perfect image is commonly referred to as a hero shot, which is a photo or graphic that immediately represents the benefit of a product or service.
It's somewhat surprising then, in today's informed and enlightened age, you still find companies using images on their websites and in their ads that don't seem to represent the attributes of the item being sold.
Take Cisco.com for example. Currently, there are two guys that can be seen in a banner ad promoting the new Cisco tablet. The men are dark, mysterious and kinda creepy. Like two thugs who might wanna break your legs. The Cisco Cius tablet may be a badass portable device, but I'm just not feeling a strong desire to place an order at this time. A restraining order? Maybe.
Then there is the Shewee, the portable urinating device for women available at SheWee.com. The main banner ad at the top of the page rotates between four images of women doing various physical activities. Unfortunately, the dissolve effect used makes it look like someone is peeing on the banner ad. Eeew!
Domino's Pizza's local advertising touts the fresh ingredients and down-home value of it's pizza deals. They urge recession-hungry customers to clip coupons so they can afford to purchase Domino's delicious pizzas. They also have the audacity to showcase their ultra-hip and expensive office decor found at corporate headquarters on their company website. Let me get this straight: Promote bargains to the masses while showcasing your gluttonous corporate excess at the same time. Tsk, tsk.
Main Auto Repair out of sunny Las Vegas sure knows how to capture a website visitor's attention. Just place a photo of a local stripper next to an offer to fix your transmission and bam -- the phone starts ringing! We're not prudes or anything but is it really a good idea to associate your brand with stock images of ultra-sexy models? Then again, Main Auto Repair does promise that we'll love their quality service. Ahem!
The Quest Diagnostics website does a nice job of pitching its colon/rectum cancer detecting product, ColoVantage. They even use a pleasant photo of an attractive couple in their 60's relaxing on a sofa. Press the Learn More button and you are taken to a page with more information on it. The photo of the couple on this page is the same one found on the previous page, except that it's flipped horizontally. If you click the back button on your browser, then click the forward button, then the back button -- you may notice that the man's expression seems to becomes a grimace, similar to one having incontinence pain. Note to Quest's marketing department -- you might want to take a closer look at the phony stock images you publish on your website to at least make sure they are aligned consistently throughout.
Famed photographer Edward Weston once said that "Composition is the strongest way of seeing." When it comes to online marketing, image choice and composition just may be the strongest way of "seeing" a brand. Smart brands make a point of picking and publishing the best images to represent their products and services -- at all times.
Anything else is a dereliction of duty.
Heardable Names Top 40 Wedding Gown Makers Online
Pronovias named the most effective bridal dress making brand, followed by Alfred Angelo and Christina Wu.
July 9, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA, United States -- Pronovias has been named the most effective Wedding Gown Manufacturing brand online by Heardable, Inc., a company that helps organizations utilize contextual analytics to make smarter, faster business decisions.
In a spirited battle of bridal brands, Pronovias beat competitors such as Vera Wang, Maggie Sottero and Enzoani to secure the top position, which was calculated by a thorough examination of hundreds of online brand variables. Pronovias' brand health score of 547 out of 1,000 beat its nearest competitor, Alfred Angelo, by 22 points. Christina Wu finished third with a score of 512.
Heardable's brand health scores are like FICO scores for brands. Scores range from 1 to 1,000. The higher your score, the better you're doing.
What is Pronovias doing right? Several things:
- Solid social media presence (41,323 Facebook likes, 3,874 Twitter followers)
- A website optimized for mobile smartphone browsing
- Pretty good SEO
- Good use of video (onsite and on channels such as YouTube)
- Multiple language support
- Online VIP service
- Ability to mark, save, enlarge & share your favorite dress photos
One could argue that the design of Pronovias.com itself could be improved. The white text on black, while dramatic, is not easy on the eyes. And Pronovias doesn't make it as simple to contact them as some of their competitors do.
Overall, most wedding dress manufacturers have underperforming online brands. Many websites feel like they were designed in the Web 1.0 era, containing few of the Web 2.0 features we've come to love from more modern website designs.
Notable brand insights about the wedding dress manufacturers we studied:
- 53% of brands had websites with no shareable content (RSS feeds, audio, video, UGC, etc)
- 43% of were not using any website measurement, advertising, or optimization tools
- A mere 14% of brands had websites optimized for mobile smartphone browsing
- The majority of wedding dress maker brands underperformed in SEO
- None utilized trust marks or live chat to instill user confidence & boost conversions
When you scan a brand on Heardable, our 'reverse search engine' crawls the web and extracts data from numerous API feeds from the likes of Yahoo, YouTube, Facebook -- then feeds them into our platform where our rules engine and scoring algorithm sort through over 400 unique variables to calculate one’s overall brand health score.
0-200 = Poor
201-400 = Average
401-600 = Above Average
601-800 = Category Leader
801-1000 = Champion
Each score is comprised of six subscores, each focusing on a unique element of a brand's online effectiveness: Portable, Searchable, Sociable, Measurable, Actionable, and Shareable.
When added together, Heardable's six subscore variables contribute to a brand's total Heardable Score. 1,000 is the scoring limit. Here are the total possible points for each subscore:
1. Portable: 200 points
2. Searchable: 200 points
3. Sociable: 200 points
4. Measurable: 100 points
5. Actionable: 150 points
6. Shareable: 150 points
Heardable helps organizations utilize contextual analytics to make smarter, faster business decisions in a way that impacts tomorrow's quarterly results. Insights that give our clients an edge. With over 1.2 million brands already stored in our database and hundreds of new brands added each day, Heardable's vast data repository and flexible API feeds can be utilized by any business looking to aggregate brand performance data into their web services or back-end performance dashboards. Heardable, Inc. is a privately held company based in Los Angeles, CA.
How To Customize Your Facebook URL To Match Your Brand
Ever notice how some businesses are schizophrenic branders?
- Their company name is Happy Biz, LLC.
- Their website is HappyBiz.com
- Their Facebook page is HappyBiz4You
- Their Twitter handle is HappyBiz1
- Their LinkedIn profile is filed under Happy.Biz.Inc
- Their YouTube channel is HappyBizVideos
How is a potential customer supposed to FIND this brand online? And what does this brand fragmentation say about the marketing managers behind the brand? If you're like me, it says -- "Who are we? Ah, er, that depends."
Let's stop beating around the bush for a moment. Brand fragmentation is just plain bad for your business. Especially if you're using the Internet to market to new customers, communicate with existing customers, or if you're trying to expand the visibility of your online brand. Poor brand consistency confuses your customers, fosters distrust, and can negatively impact your Heardable Score. Yikes!
Our advice? Do whatever is economically feasible to ensure that your brand name is consistent across the Internet. Make sure you are practicing integrated branding across all your marketing channels to ensure success.
Why not start by aligning your Facebook URL with your brand name? It's not hard to do -- yet, surprisingly, many brand are out of sync.
If you're like many businesses, your Facebook URL looks something like this:
Facebook appends most business pages with a string of code after the name you used when you first set up your business page. Not only does it look terrible, but it's ridiculous, if not impossible for one of your customers to remember.
Why not take 30 seconds to customize your Facebook URL to match your primary brand name that your business wants to promote throughout the web.
If I were the marketing manager for the fictitious company I referred to above, I'd pick something simple such as HappyBiz since it also matches my website address.
How to Update Your Facebook URL:
1. Only administrators of a Facebook page can change a username (customize the URL).
2. Go to: http://www.facebook.com/username
3. You must have at least 25 fans (people that like you) before you can alter your username.
4. Choose wisely, as you will only be able to change your username once.
5. Claim your username by clicking the "Confirm" button.
Lately, the word context has been bandied about quite a lot within technology, marketing and media circles.
It seems that, finally, a collective realization has been made: that content – whether in the form of stories, news articles, messages, ad units or otherwise – is meaningless without a definitive reference to situation, use and/or need. Better yet, these things are meaningless without definitive relationships to one another.
So what exactly do we mean by relationships?
Well, simply put, interactions in any environment are defined by relationships. The way we consume, the way we talk and the way we connect are, of course, relationship based. But this also means that the things we share or leave behind – imprints or expressions, if you will – have their own relatedness.
Traditionally, we would track someone’s use of the web by the number of pages he or she visited over a certain length of time, and make assumptions about his or her behavior. Now, people create data trails that allow us to observe their behaviors in real-time, and also allow us to make highly informed assertions and predictions about their interests, what they like to buy, why they don’t want to be bothered and the people they like to share with, when they feel compelled to share.
I’ve talked a fair amount about this with respect to influence, but I think this points to a much larger construct, which is how to build (and measure) personal relationships without losing their collective intent.
Personalizing without filtering (making conversations relevant & socially intelligent).
If we make our connection with someone or to something so personal, can we learn from it? Can others learn from it? Can we action this intelligence in more powerful ways (such as to benefit the collective whole)?
Think of this under the same lens in which we treat our personal relationships. There are times when we feel like being transparent about expressing our joy or our fears, or times when we want to take action, and there are times when we want to just shut down and be left alone. Further, we may come to understand the pangs and quirks of our personalities, but we may never understand why we still don’t function well in relationships outside the home, at work or in other social environments.
Again, back to context.
One of the great fundamental problems of marketing in general is that companies (brands) assume people are always switched on. That they always want something. That they’re always willing to buy something. And if they’re not buying something right now, they will be, say, in the next five minutes.
I believe that a big part of this disconnect is in how we actually approachconversations with people (as manifested through messages, campaigns, platforms, etc.). We can liken this to how we conduct ourselves and connect on a deeper level as civilized, enlightened adults, or conversely, how we dysfunctionally relate through parent-child dynamics.
There are long-standing relationship dynamics to observe in the discourse between brands and people; as marketers, we often tow the line between prescribing things to people and trying to appease them. This is the historical paradox of marketing; in the 21st century, we can elevate these conversations such that the intentions of companies and their customers manifest in the products that are created and put out into the marketplace. In sum, an adult-like, adaptive conversation drives product development and allows companies to fulfill on the needs of their customers, instead of having to convince customers of their own needs or why they should purchase certain products and services. In short, when we talk with people, as opposed to talking at them - or worse, manipulating them to feel a certain way - we build trust.
It goes without saying that trust is the most prized commodity in our consumptive world. What isn’t so obvious is why trust is so easily violated or mistreated. More important, when we build trust, objects, opportunities and stories, emerge. We don’t have to operate from a place of deficiency (having to make up for lost ground), we can create efficiencies around the things we observe through respectful, even keeled dialogues.
And while we seem to be making steady strides towards more enlightened interactions between brands and people, the question remains: is this truly reflective of how we treat our own relationships?
Connecting the data trails.
There is a lot of talk about marketing as a relationship discipline, yet we often fail to connect the dots between our intentions and those people to whom we market. This is how data has become, almost by default, truly relational.
Data trails – again, those things we create and leave behind as expressions of self within the universe of things we consume – are hitting each other at specific corners and intersections where intentions seem to align. Case in point: look at how the best brands use the intelligence of their customers to build better products.
In this way, data has also become interoperable; the way we draw correlations between actions gives us new purview into what behaviors are the most meaningful. This culminates in stories about our customers, or, if we are storytellers, the composition of our audiences.
In other words, context.
So how do we compute context? How do we draw it out and make stories out of its associations? How do improve upon the interactions we instigate, and make them more meaningful? How do we focus on audiences first and co-create intent, rather than on the products and messages we want to target to those audiences?
“Hearding” value to elevate context (and vice versa).
The very large first step is to look at things like influence and impact as things that are relational between people and across media, as well asbetween brands.
Heardable is a company I co-founded in 2009 that provides contextual brand analytics. The basic premise of the platform is that in order for brands to be heard within a vast competitive landscape, they need to make themselves more heardable.
In a phrase, this isn’t just about “share of voice” or “degrees of influence”, this is about relational value. There are many great tools out there that can measure social media conversations, rich media interactions and search dynamics. But very few, if any, expose the relational values that exist between people, the media they consume and, ideally, the relationships they have with brands.
In other words, there is little or no business context.
Think of influence, for example, as something measurable across channels and through the conversations we have in different media environments, whether they are paid, earned or owned.
Further, think of how that story is told between competitors; if companies are given purview of their strengths and weaknesses in relation to each other, then, it would seem, that this would motivate them to compete over the one thing that distinguishes them from the next set of 21st century organizations: value.
Here is how we can extract and cultivate that value...
From a database of over 1.2 million companies, Heardable offers up a comprehensive, holistic score for brands culled from over 500 variables, and over 100,000 new data points every day. You might look at this as a FICO or a Dunn & Bradstreet score for brand performance in the marketplace; the primary difference here is that users can actually edit and curate the data they interact with on the platform.
We’ve focused on the idea of “digital influence” (not just social influence) that starts with understanding the velocity and impact of conversations through different social media channels. We have also built a semantic engine that can parse out the topical relevance of those conversations, and soon we will be able to highlight the measurable, sentimental impact between digital influencers.
Naturally, search is an important indicator of influence and reach. We’ve applied “searchability” to mean all the things you do in relation to what you talk about and why people feel that what you do and what you say is important (or not). As we’ve seen with social search, keywords (metatags) start to reveal these sentiments in real-time.
We think of URLs as portals or gateways; in a world where everything is interconnected, a website – while no longer a primary destination for interactions – is a conduit for how people interact with and around your brand across the Web. And of course, how “actionable” your brand is largely contingent upon how effective your site is in enabling these interactions.
We also believe that measurement itself is a byproduct of the tools we choose and how we use them. There is no one perfect system, just as there is no one way to cultivate intelligence. But if we can understand what is being used and why, we can get stronger purview into how to use what is on offer and why it matters.
This also ties back to how and why content is shared; if the other elements of online visibility aren’t synthesized transparently and somewhat organically, how are brands even in a position to share in the first place?
All of this intelligence is used to expose these relational values in a competitive context, whether it is within in an industry, locally or globally. And by seeing things in their fullest context, companies (brands) can better understand how to take action in altruistic ways. Where we’ll go from here.
As marketing functions change, and the industry discussions move further and further away from messaging and closer to storytelling and product development, it will be interesting to see how all of us adapt to the shifts in how intelligence is gathered and repurposed.
Competitive intelligence seems to speak resoundingly to the idea that when we compete over value, we also co-create the marketplaces we compete in. The long-standing notion of “co-opetition” has never been more relevant. How we improve upon our notions of value is another challenge altogether.
One thing’s for certain: the only “standards” we can create are those that are curated and managed by the very companies participating in the marketplace. This is also what specifically makes analytics aproactive discipline.
Then, and only then, will we create meaningful synthesis between what we discover, what we share and what we are willing to purchase.