Ventana New Media is the innovation leader of content-driven search engine optimization (SEO) and participant marketing. The company’s patent-pending New Media Engine (NME) is a powerful, integrated platform that simultaneously increases brand authority, improves search engine rankings, lead generation and rapid community building. Ventana New Media gives enterprises a strategic message delivery solution that distributes content across hundreds or thousands of new media sites harnessing the myriad of social networks, news communities, blogs, microsites and audio/video distributors. This allows organizations to rapidly expand corporate presence and increase awareness among prospects, customers and partners for long-term success and business value.
In the following interview, Joe Austin of Ventana New Media discusses 1:1 with San Madan, on how an effective campaign can deliver value in key areas such as lead generation, brand awareness, and content-driven SEO.
San Madan: Tell us about your business and the work you do. What exactly do you do on a daily basis?
Joe Austin: Ventana New Media is the innovation leader of content-driven SEO and participant marketing. The company’s patent-pending New Media Engine (NME) is a powerful, integrated platform that simultaneously increases brand authority, improves organic keyword search, increases web-based lead generation and drives viral community building. Ventana New Media gives enterprises a strategic message delivery platform that distributes content across hundreds or thousands of new media sites harnessing the myriad of social networks, news communities, social journalism sites, blogs, social content syndicators and rich media distributors. This allows organizations to rapidly expand corporate presence and increase awareness among prospects, customers and partners for long-term success and business value. Visit http://ventananewmedia.com and http://ventanapr.com
San Madan: What are some favorite projects you've completed and why?
Joe Austin: Some of our favorite projects are establishing category leadership/success for our clients in rapid fashion. Much of our focus is on emerging markets in both the public and private sector and putting a client and a ground-breaking solution on the map and into the lead is what drives us. How we do this is a blend of domain expertise and a leading-edge proprietary “Participant Marketing Platform” that enables clients to harness channels in new media that provide business value for greater awareness and brand identity.
The solution integrates content distribution across the six channels and automates what has traditionally been a tedious and time consuming manual task, while optimizing content distribution for optimal Internet placement.
Users of Ventana New Media have vastly greater control over message and audience targeting and significantly improve corporate branding, product/service awareness, Website traffic and community building. The communities accessed and built through the Ventana’s participant marketing platform can also be harnessed as a valuable lead generation tool. As viral content is pushed through this system it delivers impressive results that greatly expand corporate presence and increase awareness among prospects, customers, partners and others.
San Madan: What are some of the challenges you have faced in your line of work? What core-competencies have benefited you the most?
Joe Austin: Over three years ago a client told us that traditional PR was dead. Print publications were folding, advertising dollars were declining and conferences were taking a huge hit – all impacting how a company delivered its message and maintained a competitive market position. While this was an overstatement, it was clear that advancement in communications was needed.
Ventana took our customers comment as a challenge set out to create a proactive approach to the problem that would unify communications, social media marketing and organic search marketing for rapid, sustainable results. Hence the Ventana New Media Engine was born. Ventana New Media is a patent-pending solution that gives enterprises a strategic message delivery platform that distributes content across hundreds or thousands of new media sites harnessing a framework of high business value new media sites in just a few clicks. This allows organizations to rapidly expand corporate presence, increase brand awareness, leadership position among prospects, customers and partners for long-term success and business value.
An effective new media campaign integrates content publishing to support multiple initiatives, including SEO, complementing other initiatives that vendors may have in place, including a Web-ad layer, Google AdWords, and on-site SEO services where you have optimized the content within your website through landing pages, site tagging, search-friendly coding and site mapping.
An effective campaign will deliver value in three key areas, lead generation, brand awareness, and content-driven SEO.
Increased lead generation will result directly from backlinked integrated content and through the community building that establishes loyal followers. When performed well, these activities will draw top prospects to your site for additional information where they can be requested to register for additional content, information or even a product download.
Brand awareness can be slightly more difficult to measure. Increased brand awareness will result from the active placement of your content across the Internet which then amplifies your corporate solution visibility to strengthen your brand visibility and awareness.
Content-driven SEO has a direct impact on your SERP. As your content is published, the number of backlinks will increase in number and variety on high-credibility sites. This dramatically improves your keyword searchability and results in dynamically higher SERPs.
To track the results of your new media campaign, it is important to evaluate a number of moving data sets. Tracking your results in a number of categories over time will help you to refine your new media strategy and evaluate which channels are delivering the most impact for your message.
San Madan: When does external PR versus internal PR work better? How can external and internal PR work together effectively?
Joe Austin: Internal and external PR should be a seamless process that maps and leverages internal and external resources for maximum value. It is important to be an extension of marketing and internal PR and for external PR to add strategic value outside of the traditional approach of press releases, editorial, etc. A good external agency brings a solid network to the table of analyst, press, investor, executive, recruitment, channel partners, social media and advertorial contacts to be able to jump-start a wide variety of programs not thought of in the past with traditional PR approaches. External PR needs to continue to innovate and expand services to map to the changing world of how communications is produced, distributed and integrated at a large scale for client success.
San Madan: What are some of the benefits small and medium businesses can get from external PR?
Joe Austin: SMBs get a natural extension to ramp marketing and PR. Many times external PR is the front line for organizations that don’t have the budget or bandwidth to staff and support these programs. Organizations that partner with a PR agency need to ensure they pick an agency that understands the needs and requirements of SMBs and provide the same attention and mindshare as a large enterprise customer. The agency must be domain experts, bring strong relationships to the table and state of the art programs that deliver rapid results on all fronts without breaking the bank.
San Madan: How does a company handle a mistake that will be seen publicly? And are crisis communications best handled by external PR?
Joe Austin: Yes, this should be handled by External PR and addressed immediately via a proactive, risk assessment strategy. It is important to ALWAYS consider what can go wrong before things hit the fan, so that when/if an event happens you can address it quickly and minimize any negative impact. Some issues that are complicating crisis communication today is the world of social media where folks are blogging, tweeting and have a presence on Facebook, etc. It is important from both an internal and external process that this process is managed and controlled for message consistency and accuracy to avoid any negative implications. One way to address this issue is through an automated, integrated New Media strategy that controls ALL approved communications channels and distributes these messages from a central platform/hub to reduce message dilution, inaccuracies and risk.
San Madan: Does the rapid social media growth further strengthen the role of external PR in providing effective results?
Joe Austin: Absolutely, an external agency must be on the front lines of defining how social media is leveraged and harnessed for strategic advantage. It’s not enough to simple have a SEO layer without a strategic content management layer that address the four pillars of Company Brand/Validation, Sales/Marketing, PR, and Social Community Building to establish leadership position and build new market opportunities.
The Internet is exploding with new opportunities for social interaction and brand engagement. In fact, according to Forrester interactive marketing in the U.S. will near $55 billion and represent 21% of all marketing spend by 2014. Social media spending alone will increase to over $3 billion by 2014 with a compound annual growth rate of 34%.
While no traditional marketing category can touch the power of the Internet, the Web is also the most complex and dynamically evolving marketing medium available. As validated by these significant market growth numbers, there is a rapid influx of competitors clamoring for visibility on the Web. Standing out in a crowd has never been more necessary.
To best optimize the power of marketing through the Web, companies must understand how to leverage the multiple channels of social interaction and the way in which content flows across the Web for competitive advantage. Only those companies that can efficiently harness every channel -- including the myriad of social networks, news communities, blogs, microsites, and audio/video distributors – will obtain the greatest business value from their online marketing programs.
There are six new media channels that most impact your Search Engine Result Positions (SERPs). By virally distributing corporate content through these six channels, you can simultaneously improve organic search engine optimization, keyword searchability, Web-based lead generation and rapid community building for the long-term success of your corporate and product brand.
San Madan: What contributions do you feel your work offers to society as a whole?
Joe Austin: Ventana and our integrated PR and New Media services offer clients and their customers and partners the opportunity to reach a broader audience with their message, value proposition and how their solutions are changing the world in positive ways. Only those companies that can efficiently harness and integrate all aspects of social media will be able to communicate why what they do matters and what does it mean to the global market as a whole.