The TV Writers — And the Buzz — Are Back

Witness our connected world at its finest. The writers’ strike is over, and that means TV-inspired Internet buzz (as measured by search activity) is back in business.

Saturday Night Live aired for the first time last week. The subsequent buzz fallout of SNL writers with backed-up political comedic plumbing was never more evident in the days following SNL’s return.

The February 26, 2008 launch of Yahoo Buzz (beta) could not have been more perfectly timed. Vera H-C Chan’s Buzz Log piece, “The SNL Is Back,” discusses the excitement generated from controversial expression in SNL. The article stirred up a lot of questions about the impact search might have on our changing world.

Barking Out Influence

Journalists aren’t supposed to take a side. When they do, they apparently compromise the consuming public’s ability to make informed decisions by perpetuating their own biases. Thank heaven I am not a journalist, otherwise I might unfairly influence people.

I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I knew I was out there influencing people.

Not to be confused with a journalist, Tina Fey decided to support Hillary Clinton with some of her commentary when she returned as the Weekend Update anchor as part of her hosting duties. Fey showed her support for Mrs. Clinton by taking off the gloves and getting controversial.

We don’t know if the support role effected any change to Clinton’s struggling campaign, but searchers did take to the Web in droves.

Searching and Buzzing

Tina Fey climbed into the top 3000 searches, according to Chan’s buzz report. Fey also inspired more searches than the entire SNL cast combined. Notably, men also executed more searches for Hillary, to the tune of 75 percent.

Can you think of a better time to get in front of a desired audience than with search advertising around buzz points? I did say “desired” audience, since Mrs. Clinton clearly has yet to reach the male vote. Think of examples in your everyday marketing that just might apply to this situation. Adjacent press or buzz can make, break or simply augment marketing strategy very effectively.

Years after the concept of search engine marketing and optimization along the press trail first emerged, it seems rather redundant to be writing about combining these efforts. Well, it would be redundant if marketers were taking advantage of it as they should, or if new technologies weren’t constantly forcing the process to evolve.

Piling on the Pieces

Chan’s Buzz Report also illustrated how hot topics can be combined with the Yahoo Shortcuts WordPress plugin to increase search activity and generate more opportunities to reach an audience. Shortcuts’ relevant links to maps, Flickr photos, financial information or simply another search is yet another fast-track opportunity.

Combine buzz and shortcuts and what do you get? More searches and saleable ad inventory of course. Keeping track of what’s happening in the online-o-sphere with a link to buzz news at the Yahoo homepage opens a door for marketers of all shapes and sizes.

The little side benefit for Yahoo is the greater volume of search, and a very sharp way to capitalize on the next generation of search ad revenue. But you already knew that, right?

Connecting the Marketing Dots

Now that the writer’s strike is over, we can all go back to watching new episodes of our favorite shows, and the world will resume turning. The marketing world should be learning lessons from developing technologies each and every day. The advent of Yahoo Shortcuts, combined with the new Yahoo Buzz, should be a powerhouse for marketers and advertisers seeking to capitalize on the connected world’s desire to search and find.

“We can’t predict what people say,” goes the mantra. True, but didn’t the political spin doctors know Huckabee was appearing? Shouldn’t Mrs. Clinton’s people react to the buzz faster? That video was all over the Web in minutes. In the days following, why wouldn’t they allocate some cash to catching SNL searchers? The volume is certainly there, and at this point, anyone could argue that Huckabee and Clinton could use the bump.

Learning to use the tools we have before us is an integral part of online marketing success. Yahoo’s new Buzz combined with Yahoo Shortcuts might be one of the many possible bumps Yahoo needs to step it up a bit. The new tools also mean more ways to search and use search marketing for everything you might need.

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