March Madness – The Internet Marketing Field of 64 Tournament in the East region turned out to have the most exciting first round of games so far. All-American Mark Zuckerberg helped Facebook defeat Referral Traffic with a clutch performance to finish the game with a tournament record high of 67 points to go along with a game-winning buzzer-beater in double overtime. The results of the East region’s match ups are below. The South region results have been published already. Unlike the NCAA Tournament, if you have yet to fill out your Internet Marketing Field of 64 bracket, you can do so now.Pin It
 Content Marketing 106
 Microsites 15
Last year Google vaulted Content Marketing to SEO prominence with its introduction of Panda and the dozens of algorithm updates made. Poor Microsites never really had a chance in this battle. Good content is an appreciable asset that can provide websites with leads and customers for years after it’s been published. Microsites lacking a content marketing deployment will most likely die and wither on the vine over time.
 Lead nurturing 74
 Google Analytics 70
Just like most eight/nine games, this one featured two well-matched tough opponents. Many who only use and have only used Google Analytics might find this result blasphemous. Google Analytics is really good at reporting data, but has no capability of reacting to it. Good marketing automation platforms provide the same or better reporting capabilities as Google Analytics and can react to the data. In other words, if a visitor does A, B or C a custom lead nurturing campaign can be triggered and launched in the form of an email, text, tweet, Facebook post and/or something else. The goal is to provide the right content to the right person at the right time on the right channel in order to nurture them further down the sales funnel. Lead Nurturing edges out Google Analytics.
 Affiliate Marketing 48
 Mobile Apps 32
Both Affiliate Marketing and Mobile Apps aren’t for every business, but deployed by the right type of company, both can be extremely valuable revenue drivers. Affiliate marketing programs tend to work really well for companies that sell tangible and intangible products. They can work for other models, as well, but B2C is most common. Mobile Apps are pretty buzz-worthy today with more than 500,000 applications for the iPhone and iPad, 300,000+ on Android and thousand more on other mobile platforms.* That sounds impressive, but the average person uses only 15 apps per week.* That doesn’t leave too many opportunities for your average company. Add to that the immature app search capabilities on these mobile platforms and the opportunity doesn’t look quite so fruitful anymore. (Source: *TechCrunch)
Graphic Design 86
Guest Blogging 52
Guest Blogging is a powerful arrow in the link builder’s quiver. It’s also great for brand building and developing new evangelists online. However, graphic design is present throughout most everything online. If a brand is represented with poor graphic design the negative effects can be felt both online and offline with the opposite holding true for good graphic design. For this reason, graphic design easily beats out guest blogging.
 Google 70
 MySpace 32
Not many marketers would choose MySpace in this matchup, and for good reason. Surprisingly though, MySpace has had a recent growth spurt. Even with a MySpace growth spurt, as a marketing channel, Google’s reach and powerful marketing tools make this match up a no-brainer.
 Calls to Action (CTAs) 61
 Website 52
This final score seems a little counterintuitive doesn’t it? How can someone have CTAs without having their own website to house them on? Easy, CTAs can exist on any web property that allows user generated content. They can be in the form of a graphic, banner, button or even contextual in nature. Facebook is the perfect example. For most companies, CTAs on their Facebook page would drive traffic back to their website for conversion. However, with tools like Facebook TabSite it isn’t always necessary to have a website to capture leads.
 A/B & Multivariate Testing 46
 Widgets 22
Some of the most popular widgets seen on the web today are social media modules that can be configured, copied and pasted into blogs and other websites. These can prove to be useful for social media optimization. As useful as they may be, A/B testing can double and even triple website revenue in a relative short period of time. However, it’s more likely A/B testing will provide a steady incremental improvement on conversions over time. It’s very rare to see a widget make the same measurable impact.
 Facebook 99 2OT
 Referral Traffic 98
Referral Traffic doesn’t get much love compared to Facebook. However, marketers who deploy content marketing have known for a long time that conversion rates from referral traffic can be five times greater than social media and organic search channels. However, in the end, All-American Mark Zuckerberg was just too much of a clutch performer for referral traffic to handle. Facebook continues to grow and evolve and the opportunities it provides today are certainly pointed northward for the foreseeable future.
That’s a wrap on the first round of tournament games in the East. Check back tomorrow afternoon when we’ll break down the exciting results over in the West bracket. Every afternoon for the remainder of the week we'll publish the latest scores. Don’t forget, if you have an argument for one team over the other and it wasn’t addressed, or if you have a favorite you’d like to see advance, leave a compelling reason why below and you may see them in the final four.
Join us for an exciting new webinar on Thursday, March 22nd at 12PM EDT, 9AM PDT and help us welcome Jay Baer, Laura "@Pistachio" Fitton and Jim Kukral for an all-star webinar panel to discuss social media influence, what it means for your business and how to best take advantage of it.