Seth Godin TED Talk On Tribes

August 23  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

This Seth Godin talk he did for one of his TED talks is a real gem and if you somehow missed it, then here it is. I’m a huge fan of his and our slogan kind of hints at that. While most people associate us with building links, we’re trying to change that in a big way. It all starts with an idea, and ultimately how you spread that idea to others. Seth Godin is a man you should listen to intently so check out this video and then all his other talks you can find on Youtube.


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Toyota & Bob Burnquist Team Up In New Commercial

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August 16  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

Since I’m a Toyota owner/lover/enthusiast (MR2 to be exact) I thought I’d deliver the latest commercial in a series Toyota has been doing. I grew up with a skateboard strapped to my feet as well, so this one featuring pro skater/entrepreneur/awesome guy Bob Burnquist caught my eye.

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Chip Torres – Crazy Awesome Computer Store Commercial

July 25  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

There are an endless stream of commercials out there, some good, some bad. Some are so bad that they’re amazing and that brings us to my commercial post of the day. My Spanish isn’t so hot, but Chip was kind enough to lay down the English words for this one of a kind computer store commercial. Thanks to Reddit and our marketing team, we hope to bring some more attention to Chip’s talents and his knack for the craziest tech gear south of the border!


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Robbins Diamonds Billboard Marketing

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June 11  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

I just recently saw this billboard advertisement via Reddit the other day and thought it would make a good post. It’s rare that a billboard catches a lot of attention so instead of talk about a viral social media campaign, let’s put this into perspective. Robbins Diamonds targets a local area, so an advertisement like this makes a lot of sense. It’s also good enough to get some attention on the Internet so really this is a win win. By the looks of it, Robbins has tried a few other billboards before but they sucked pretty bad.

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Boston Pizza Changes Name To Vancouver Pizza

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May 30  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

Well our Vancouver Canucks are in the Stanley Cup finals and Boston Pizza has decided to change its name to Vancouver Pizza…well, until the finals are over. I watch half the games at our local Boston Pizza here in Victoria BC, and they always put on a great show. I was pumped to hear this marketing ploy being executed because it’s quite unique and got my interest. It’s even funnier how we’re playing Boston except the Canadian pizza company has no real ties to that city.

While their marketing department is in Toronto, it’s great to see them not being bitter about having a crappy hockey club and promoting the last standing Canadian team. Who ever had this idea should get a big fat raise because it’s brilliant, and I can imagine it will do wonders for business. I’ll have to keep an ear to the ground and hopefully catch some data from them after the promotion is over.

As for the re-branding, every store has got new banners and promotions touting the Vancouver Pizza name. Apparently it cost not much more than $20,000 which even includes custom Canucks menus with unique products..still I doubt we’ll see some Orca meat on the menu(lolz).  I’ll just stick to getting my perogie pizza which is so bloody yummy, and you cannot get it anywhere else.

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Coffee Shop Marketing Strategies In A Social World

May 25  |  Inbound Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

The one thing I know well besides marketing and branding online is coffee shops. I spend a great deal at Starbucks, other chains and the local independent stores and have seen it all. One of the smaller coffee shops here in Victoria asked me for some help after getting to know the owner over the course of the last six months. I decided to make a deal/bet with the owner that if I could increase sales a certain amount, I’d win free drip coffee for a year. That was a deal for drugs I was ready to commit to. There were a lot of obvious first steps to take, those I won’t go into here as it’s pointless, but rather share with you some of the more unique strategies I put in place with little effort. The results were rather fantastic!

While not many people use search engines to find a local coffee shop as they’re everywhere, so we didn’t worry about ranking for a specific term here. Instead, I took on some unique social media methods that would drive a lot of customers and hopefully turn them into returning ones. Tapping into the local community played a huge role here and it turned out to be a game changer for this local business. So let’s get into the inbound marketing strategies and even a couple link building ones. One last thing, I’m happily enjoying my free coffee as I write this post!

Attracting Links:

Like I stated, the link building aspect wasn’t really a focus here but we did nab some links that would come in handy down the road. The other part of the social media marketing also netted the company a few links, so all in all it worked out nicely nicely. In their case we just focused on links from;

– local business directories within the area only
– links from the local bakery website they got their goods from
– links from the company that supplies their beans
– links from a few coffee shop directories

So nothing hardcore, just general link building that should be applied in almost every scenario like this. This alone did manage to bump them to the first page for their local area. This was not unexpected but the links combined with a few on page SEO changes did the trick no problem. This should be noted by other coffee shop owners trying to achieve this…chances are good that there is no real competition.

Utilizing Their Local Sub Reddit:

I’m a 4 year long Reddit veteran and a huge fan of my local subreddits. We decided to just let everyone know there that they’d get free refills on their coffee and tea if they just mentioned Reddit. We also put out an open ended invitation to host any Reddit meet-up events they had as well provide discounts that night on everything in the shop. This strategy was received quite well and has been providing them with more and more return visits. We nerds love our coffee, and if you have a unique shop with quality product, then you’re going to be a hit for sure. Just make sure you don’t come off as spammy or pushy with this route, and don’t expect great results every time.

Marketing With provides tons of amazing networking and marketing methods, and restaurants are always benefiting huge from it. Some of the events I go to in Vancouver attract over 100 people, and the bar we go to makes some serious bank that night. Almost every event lists where the meeting will take place, and usually this leads to a link.

We got in touch with half a dozen groups and offered the place out to the group, even after hours for a few of the late night crowds. The coffee shop now hosts nearly 4 Meetup events a month and it has done wonderful things for their sales.

Daily & Group Deal Sites (Groupon Etc):

You all knew this was coming, and it’s a no-brainer. A lot of local businesses complain that the cost of running a daily/group deal is not worth it. I had to remind them here that it’s more about branding and buzz in hopes those customers will return. If you can provide them with an amazing experience, your chances are really good that you’ve nailed down a new customer. Another interesting feature of some of these deal sites is that they provide a vendor link, and those are natural quality links you’re going to want in your profile.

Foursquare Mayor Deals:

Foursquare is still blowing up all over the world and it’s a great way to attract new and old customers. Your vendor page can net a worthy link, and your customers can fight over the mayor deal you offer. This coffee shop owner had never heard of Foursquare and that’s no surprise as it’s targeted at a much younger generation.

We made sure to get the check-in sticker on the door, a mayor deal on the web and added a few tips to add more depth to his venue page. The more geo-located tips from other users the better. These will pop up on your screen if someone has checked in near your business, and this can be worth it…it’s bloody free folks!

The Result?

Obviously the coffee shop had seen an explosion in sales compared to the previous 3 months. Obviously doing something over nothing would have a positive impact, especially how easy it all was to do. I spent no more than 20 hours setting everything up and I’m now going to be enjoying a lot of free coffee.  Now I’d love to hear from other coffee shop owners who’ve either tried some of this out, or are going to now. Let us all know how it works out!

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2011 Hyundai Equus iPad Owner’s Manual – Booyah!

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May 24  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

I was really impressed with the work Hyundai did with their latest car when it came to branding, marketing and just the overall product in general. This definitely will be the year that more and more mobile app’s for your car will be driven out, so let’s take a look at the future that’s already here. Besides having your entire Hyundai car manual at your finger tips, this iPad app has a whole slough of features to assist you in your travels.

This app, as I mentioned, has the manual with every bit of help and information and then some. Perhaps the second most hand features is that it can locate the nearest Hyundai dealer and schedule a service session! The marketing team behind Hyundai also made sure you can browse other vehicles from their line up..very smart! Now enough of my blabbing and finally let’s look at the app.

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Jennifer Aniston Heineken Commercial

May 9  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

I’m a sucker for good/bad/rare ads and usually you’ll find Heineken in the mix. Obviously with my recent post on their latest advertising wonder, I just had to drum up one more for you folks this week. This one features Jennifer Aniston and while nothing too special, she provides enough star power to build enough brand buzz for the delicious beer company. I promise this will be the last Heineken commercial for a while!

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