River Watch Beef, LLC Announces Premium Grass Fed Beef Delivery Service Nationwide

RWB-2721.jpgWe are excited for this big announcement! Our family has been raising all natural, grass-fed beef animals for 10 years. Our premium grass-fed beef is now available for nationwide delivery. Read our news release here: https://riverwatchbeef.com/kansas-city-startup-announces-grassfed-beef-delivery-service/

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City-based food start-up River Watch Beef (https://www.riverwatchbeef.com) announces a new local and nationwide delivery service, delivering all natural grass-fed beef, direct from the producer. River Watch Beef produces its own premium beef, sustainably raising Angus and Hereford beef animals in the Midwest that are 100% all-natural, free range and grass fed. The beef is USDA-certified and dry-aged 21 days for a robust flavor and tender texture.

“Our goal at River Watch Beef is to conveniently deliver exceptional beef, on par with fine dining, for about the same price as your local butcher,” said River Watch Beef founder Chris Kovac. “It can be difficult to find quality all-natural grass-fed beef, much less have it delivered. To maintain strict quality standards, we manage the entire process, from raising animals, to processing, packaging and finally delivery to the consumer. We are ‘hands on’ with our beef, and you can literally taste the difference.”

Knowing where your food comes from should be important for everyone, says Kovac. “Most folks have no idea where their food comes from, how it’s produced or what’s in it. We should demand better, if not for ourselves, for our children,” Kovac goes on to say “After raising beef for 10 years, our family discovered that not all beef is the same. The major beef producers usually feed cattle with unhealthy corn, food waste like candy or artificial additives to ‘fatten them up.’ We’re different because our cattle graze on natural and native grasses; our beef is 100% all natural with no additives, no hormones, no GMOs.”

“We’re often asked about the difference between grass-fed beef and typical store-bought beef,” said Kovac. “Grass-fed beef is leaner, has about 30-40% less fat and more antioxidant vitamins compared to corn-fed, store-bought meat. Animals digest more vitamins on a grass diet versus eating corn.” Kovac goes on to say “You can definitely taste a difference. Grass-fed beef has a robust, beefy flavor. The beef gets its flavor from the natural grasses and dry-aging process. The dry-aging is important; the 21 day process makes the beef even more tender and full-flavored. Store-bought beef is not usually dry-aged at all.”

To celebrate the nationwide delivery announcement, https://RiverWatchBeef.com is offering a Sampler Package (approximately 9-10 pounds), including a mix of grass-fed steaks, hamburger and a roast or brisket for $99. That’s approximately 18-20 servings for less than $6 per serving. Delivery is Free to Kansas City area customers and is a flat-rate of $12.95 for nationwide shipping. River Watch Beef welcomes custom beef orders and also offers a Grass Feed Beef Club subscription service, conveniently delivered every month (or two).

River Watch Beef, LLC was founded in 2016 with a mission to deliver premium, responsibly-raised grass fed beef, direct from the producer. River Watch Beef raises free range, premium Angus and Hereford beef animals on native and natural grasses in Colorado and Kansas.

Our USDA-certified beef is 100% all natural (no additives, no GMOs, no hormones) and dry-aged 21 days for a full flavor and tender texture. For more information about River Watch Beef, LLC please visit our website at https://www.riverwatchbeef.com


Digital Marketing Customer Acquisition Workshop

Aggressive Customer Growth via Digital Marketing Workshop: 9:00 am Thursday, December 3 (Kansas City)

Aggressive Customer Growth via Digital Marketing Workshop

Chris Kovac hosting ‘Aggressive Customer Growth via Digital Marketing Workshop’ on December 3, 2015 in Kansas City.

Digital Marketing Workshop Description (Register Here)
In today’s omni-channel business environment, it is more important than ever to efficiently deploy and align your digital marketing resources. In this 3-hour workshop, you will learn cutting-edge, proven strategies and tactics for acquiring new customers and growing revenue via digital marketing channels.

You will be provided with a Digital Marketing Customer Acquisition Workbook (e-book) to document and organize the crucial elements needed to build and execute your 2016 digital marketing campaigns. You will learn how to: define your revenue goals and customer acquisition costs by channel, identify digital customer personas and map their experience, create relevant content via strategic storytelling, measuring real-time ROI and more.

The 2016 Digital Marketing Customer Acquisition Workshop is designed for marketing professionals and executives of aggressive-growth companies and growth-minded entrepreneurs. The curriculum includes a review relevant case studies, methodologies and proven processes to acquire customers and grow revenue via digital channels. We will also review digital marketing best practices that have been successfully implemented with some of the largest companies in the world.

Workshop Registration: $299 – (Register Here

Workshop Outline (Register Here)

  • Define 2016 Digital Marketing and Revenue Objectives
  • Identify Customer Acquisition Targets & Personas
  • Build Armies of Customers through your Tribes
  • Deliver the Right Message in the Right Digital Channel
  • Mapping your Digital Customer Experience
  • Strategic Storytelling & Content Development in the Digital Age
  • Digital Marketing Best Practices
  • Measuring ROI and Optimizing Campaigns

Workshop Benefits (Register Here)

  • Immediately actionable, customer-acquisition focused curriculum
  • Facilitate 2016 digital marketing strategies and tactics
  • Align digital marketing campaigns, internal resources and vendors
  • Harmonize your storytelling and digital assets
  • Learn best practices from relevant case studies
  • ROI measurement in real-time

About Chris Kovac
Chris is a digital marketing thought leader, speaker, trainer and consultant. Over the past 15 years, Chris has led strategic digital marketing initiatives with some of the largest brands in the world, including: Sprint, 3M, Hallmark, FMC and many others. Chris has trained 1000s of professionals and business owners on digital marketing best practices, building social influence via digital channels and storytelling in the digital age. Chris also speaks regionally and nationally at digital marketing conferences, universities and professional organizations.

Chris works with aggressive-growth companies and growth-minded entrepreneurs to develop and implement customer acquisition-focused marketing strategies and tactics via digital channels. Leveraging proven methods and processes, Chris can help your business gain new customers, reduce customer acquisition costs, improve customer conversion ROI and harmonize your digital marketing channels.

Chris was recently named to: 2015 Techweek100 (Kansas City), honoring the region’s technology innovators and business leaders; Inc.com ‘33 Entrepreneurs, Marketers, and Thought Leaders to Watch in 2016‘ and winner 2015 National Small Business Influencer Award – Community Choice Honoree (Small Business Trends).

Chris is active on social media:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chriskovac
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chriskovac

Chris Kovac mentioned in Inc.com 33 Entrepreneurs, Marketers, Thought Leaders to Watch

I am honored to be mentioned in a recent Inc.com post ‘33 Entrepreneurs, Marketers, and Thought Leaders to Watch in 2016‘ – You can read the full article by @teedubya here: http://www.inc.com/travis-wright/33-entrepreneurs-marketers-and-thought-leaders-to-watch-in-2016.html 

From the Inc.com post
With the new year right around the corner, we wanted to share some insight on some movers and shakers who will be helping mold the digital ecosystem in 2016. Keep an eye on these people, follow them on Twitter, and most important, learn from them…read more: http://www.inc.com/travis-wright/33-entrepreneurs-marketers-and-thought-leaders-to-watch-in-2016.html

About KindBeef.com
KindBeef.com was founded by Chris Kovac in 2015 with a vision of delivering quality, healthy grass-fed beef, direct to your door, while supporting important and significant causes, like feeding the hungry.

Our beef comes from select producers in Colorado, Missouri and Kansas. We process our beef locally and deliver select hamburger, steaks and other cuts directly to you. We have the capacity and scale to produce over 1,000,000 pounds of beef annually.

Follow @kindbeef on Twitter
Like on Facebook: Facebook.com/KindBeef.

Chris Kovac nominated for 2015 National Small Business Influencer Awards

I am humbled to be nominated to the 2015 Small Business Influencer Awards, presented by Small Business Trends. Many thanks to Becky Wilson (@WDSPRMaven) for all your help.

Please vote for me in the Expert category: at: http://influencers.smallbiztrends.com/experts-2015/kovac-chris/

Chris Kovac nominated for the 2015 National Small Business Influencer Awards – Expert Category

Chris Kovac is an entrepreneur, speaker, start-up mentor and digital marketing thought leader. Chris is a partner/mentor at the BetaBlox.com startup accelerator and CEO of KovacDigital, a digital marketing consultancy. Chris is also a co-founder of an agribusiness startup, KindBeef.com

As a partner in BetaBlox, Chris has worked with and mentored over 50 start-ups and small businesses on digital go-to-market strategies, social media marketing and storytelling in the digital age. Chris was recently named to the Techweek100 (Kansas City), honoring the region’s technology innovators and business leaders.

Chris has led strategic digital marketing initiatives with some of the largest brands in the world, including: Hallmark, Sprint, 3M, BC&BS and many others.

Chris helps small and large businesses with developing marketing goals, identifying audience personas, digital storytelling and software-based management tools. The result is more efficient delivery of marketing resources, reducing costs and increasing revenue.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisKovac

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chriskovac

Chris Kovac named to 2015 Techweek100 (Kansas City)

Chris Kovac is named to the 2015 Techweek100 for Kansas City. You can find the full list/article at http://techweek.com/techweek100.

About Chris Kovac:

Chris is currently working on: KindBeef.com (early stage agribusiness/tech start-up); mentor/partner at the BetaBlox incubator in Kansas City (http://www.BetaBlox.com) and enterprise digital marketing consulting.

As of June 2015, his portfolio includes equity positions in over 20 different companies and start-ups, including: Custom Trailer Pros (http://customtrailerpros.com), http://www.AirFiltersOnDemand.com, Doc Lerner Quality Goods (https://www.etsy.com/shop/DocLerner), Instaglam Box (http://www.instaglambox.com), http://www.HowToBeHenry.com, Cyrptoempire (http://c-ellc.com), Bespoke Woodworks, CoinPlay.io, RoseSwap.com and others.

Chris Kovac named to Techweek100 (Kansas City)

Chris Kovac named to Techweek100 (Kansas City)

Chris brings 19 years of strategic digital/social influence and marketing experience, working with many F500, national and international brands, including: Hallmark (speaker/trainer 2012 Hallmark Summit), Microsoft, 3M Health Care, Sprint SLCS, SureWest, Silpada, Hilti, Dictionary.com, FMC, TAMKO, Wellmark BC&BS and others.

I speak regionally/nationally on social media/influence theory, strategy & best practices. During the last several years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at the Gallup AIM Institute, colleges and universities, including NWMSU, UMKC School of Pharmacy and others. I also speak at the Integrated Marketing Summit conference (Chicago, SF, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver, etc).

About Techweek:

The Techweek100 identifies leaders who have made a significant impact on the technology and innovation ecosystem in which they operate. The Techweek100 includes leaders of fast-growing tech companies, prominent investors, key enablers of the digital ecosystem, creators of new technologies, and other innovators that make important contributions to their field. The Techweek100 is not a ranking, but rather an annual list of 100 most distinguished technology organizations and their leaders selected by the Techweek community, Techweek Advisory Boards, and the Techweek team.

The methodology for the Techweek100 is the same across all host cities, and is consistent each year. To create each list, Techweek reviews five major factors in the nomination process.

  • – Has played an instrumental role in the growth of an accelerating market-specific technology company.
  • – Has led specific innovative technology initiatives for public or private corporations his or her ecosystem.
  • – Has been an active supporter of growth in the community as an advisor or mentor.
  • – Has created a net benefit for the public, such as: invented a coding language or led a civic initiative.
  • – Has been an integral part of companies attaining the necessary capital for success and strategic growth.

My Adventures in Domain Names

Domain NamesMy buddy Thomas Bosilevac (@bosilytics) and I started our Web design/marketing company back in 1996 and had dreams of being Internet entrepreneurs.  One of the first steps in this journey was to register a company domain name (aka: Web address, URL).  Needless to say, we had a lot of opportunity to get a good, errr, great domain.  We ended up with Merlin-Enterprises.com…hey, we were only 20!  Actually, there were several reasons, but in hindsight, (obviously) that was a #fail.  [The next year we ended up with KBKC.com, UEarn.com and a few others.]

In my third year of college (1997), my friend Jeanette and I ventured on a summer road trip to Dallas to see the Dave Mathews Band.  On the drive down there, we discussed what bars we should visit, but neither of us had ever been to Texas.  I saw a few billboards with hotels, restaurants, etc.  I thought, what if there was an Internet guide where you could find listings/peer ratings of various bars, dance clubs, live music, etc?  When I got home, I began searching for related domain names, like NewOrleansBars.com (which I still own).   It’s a lot like sifting for gold and a love for finding good domains was born.

I had some savings bonds my grandparents gave me when I was born.  I took a risk and made an investment in about 100 domains.  I saw a need for user-driven forums (Vbulletin) where people can find the bar/nightlife spot, driven by peer reviews.  This expanded into other verticals, like real estate and entertainment.  In the years following, I had aspirations of developing the sites, growing the traffic and selling them off.

In the end, I sold about 30 domains and bought a few more.  So luckily, I got my investment back; I think my grandparents would be proud.  I currently have too many “irons in the fire” and am looking to sell about 60 great domains, (see the full list of domain names here).  I am interested in selling or possibly co-developing the domains.  If you have any questions per available domains, please email pchriskovac@gmail.com.  Thanks!

If you have a domain name story or adventure, I’d love to hear it.  Please leave a comment.


Chris Kovac

Integrated Marketing Summit Redux 2010

Like most years, 2010 had its ups and downs.  After reflecting a bit, one highlight for me was participating in the Integrated Marketing Summit (www.integratedmarketingsummit.com).  IMS (@IMSummit) is a national conference circuit where marketers (both B2B and B2C) talk about how to integrate marketing strategies and tactics.   It was a great experience on many levels.

The best part, by far, was the people I got to meet along the way.  It was interesting to go to a number of cities (7 I think) and get different attendee and speaker perspectives on marketing, business and life in general.  I met a ton of truly great folks and drew inspiration from a number of them.

The thing I really enjoyed was over going out and grabbing a bite to eat (and maybe a libation or two)  after the conference with the other speakers.  It was awesome to share thoughts and ideas with peers who are very smart and have progressive marketing minds.  More importantly and without exception, they are really great people.  I can honestly say I made a lot of new friends.  It’s also been cool to see ideas scribbled out on napkins becoming reality…I can’t comment further, yet, but I think there will be very exciting things happening in 2011.

Props to  Shawn Elledge (@selledge) the inventor/owner of the Integrated Marketing Summit.  I think Shawn was a pioneer in trying to get marketers to think about how all the pieces of the marketing puzzle can be integrated, not just focusing on the “new, shiny” tools, like social media.   I thought there was a good mix of client-side experts from big brands (Best Buy, Intel, etc), national/regional marketing agencies and entrepreneurs.  It was nice to get a holistic perspective and to debate different points-of-view.

Finally, I thought the speakers at every conference were exceptional (there are far too many to name here).  First hand, I though the content was (mostly) fantastic.  I also tried to get feedback from people in the sessions and it was overwhelmingly positive…seriously.  Great job Shawn and I’m sure a number of people would echo that.  I look forward to seeing what 2011 brings!

If you are interested in viewing/downloading my presentation decks from IMS and other speaking events, please click on:  https://chriskovac.wordpress.com/chris-kovac-social-media-speaker/

Roger Waters’ “The Wall” live @ Sprint Center 10-30-10

<Draft – just in case>
I have a few things I need to post, but wanted to share my experience at Roger Waters’ “The Wall”  from a few weeks ago.  I had VIP (floor) tickets to the show back in the day (1993), but I couldn’t get off work at Hen House (I worked in the Deli dept) and I had to give my tix to a friend.  I finally reazlied my dream on 10-30-10 at the Sprint Center in KC.  Best. Show. Ever. (no hyperbole).  I was lucky and ended up in FLR3 and 15th row.

The Wall was perhaps the best live show I have seen.  The production values were unbelievable and the show/music was perfect, and I had very high expectations.  I hope to make it to the Tacoma show in December.   More to come but here are a few pics (from my iphone 😦 ).  I don’t have video, but you can probably find good vids on YouTube.


United Way of Greater Kansas City Announces Social Media Committee

I wanted to share a social news release per the United Way social media committee announcement.  You can find the release here: United Way of Greater Kansas City Announces Social Media Committee to Lead Efforts. We formally announced the committee and social media campaign at the #smckc breakfast last Friday.   You can see that presenation via SlideShare at: http://www.prweb.com/releases/unitedwaygkccommittee/socialmedia/prweb4504314.htm.

I wanted to thank Mark Jorgenson, the 2010 United Way campaign co-chair, whose vision made this happen, the UW staff that have been great champions per this initiative and the individuals that helped form the social media committee who have done a wonderful job, from the initial strategy to the tactical execution.

Thanks to you and the Kansas City community for helping a wonderful cause!


United Way GKC’s Social Media Committee & Campaign

The United Way Greater Kansas City officially launched their 2010 Fall campaign and announced the formation of a social media committee during the #SMCKC breakfast (Social Media Club – Kansas City) on Friday, September 10, 2010.  We need your help!

The presentation slides from the SMCKC breakfast are embedded below, or you can click on the following link: http://www.slideshare.net/chriskovac/smckc-breakfast-united-way-gkc-social-media-launch

Mark Jorgenson, the 2010 United Way campaign co-chair, made a commitment to help make the most of the social media phenomenon by forming a committee to help the organization create a strategy for increasing awareness of its fundraising goals.  Some of the top social media professionals in the Kansas City area volunteered to help with a number of initiatives that include: helping craft a social media policy, training for UW staffers, creating an editorial calendar for Twitter and Facebook, several online video campaigns and more.

You can support the United Way of Greater Kansas City number of ways: donating via the United Way web site, volunteering your time at any number of United Way supported agencies, spreading the word via the United Way GKC’s social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) and more.  If you have any questions, please comment on this post and I will email you back.

Thanks for your support of the United Way and Kansas City!

The 2010 United Way GKC Social Media Committee includes:

• Mark Jorgenson – United Way campaign co-chair and US Bank (@KSBigRed)
• Chris Kovac – United Way GKC Cabinet co-chair and Director of Social Influence for Nicholson Kovac (@chriskovac)
• Shannon Schlappi – Owner, Locker  Partner & Rockdex(@DramaClub)
• Ramsey Mohsen – Consultant and video-blogger(@RamseyM)
• Dr. Simon Kuo, Ph.D. – Founder LightThread (@Simonkuo)
• Shane Adams – Community Manager, AMC Theaters and Asst. Pastor Olathe Community of Christ (@shaneadams)
• Kerstin Deppe – Social Influence Supervisor, NK and Treasurer of #smckc (@KayHasWings)
• Mike Burns – Senior Manager at Perceptive Software and #smckc board member for standards and ethics (@wrytir)
• Jessica Best – Marketing Manager, emfluence (@bestofjess)
• Zena Weist – Social Media Director H&R Block (@zenaweist)
• Zach Cobb – Owner, Westside Studio (@zachishere)
• Jonathan D. Mast – Black & Veatch (@JonathanDMast)

Reserving Social Media Profiles for Business

Last night I was editing my presentation for the Chicago Integrated Marketing Summit (going on today) and I wanted to share some thoughts, both for companies currently using social media and those that are just getting started.  The bottom line is: register your company/brand profiles on all (relevant) social media sites, even if you are not going to use them in the near future.  These sites include: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress (blog), Flickr (photos), and a handful of others.  For reference, see Brian Solis’s Conversation Prism (click on the link) for a nicely organized list.

Here’s why…You run a (high) risk that someone, maybe even a competitor or ex-employee, will register a profile and you will have no control (and little recourse) over what they post.  Obviously, that can be very damaging.  There’s risk, but there is also opportunity!  One of the benefits of this is more “relevance” in the search engines.  In short, “relevant” links pointing back to your website (from 3rd party sites), the search engines gives you “extra points” in the search engine rankings.  Another benefit is qualified traffic generated from people clicking on a link that’s embedded in your bio.  Finally, make sure you register common misspellings of your company/brand names — make it easy for people to find you.

Placeholder best practices include:

  • Have a relevant & search-friendly (using relevant keywords) bio within the profile
  • Include messaging that says “Hi..we’re not yet on _____ but you can find more information about us on our website at _____.com
  • Make sure the profile is properly “tagged”with relevant keywords
  • Register your company, but don’t forget brands and product lines
  • Look for opportunities to own an issue (preventing infections, child education, etc)

I’m interested in any comments you may have.  The preso is embedded below the post.  Thanks!


Presentation from IMS Chicago

Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) at BigOmaha on the Thank You Economy

I went to BigOmaha (@BigOmaha) over the weekend and really enjoyed Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk on one-on-one scalability and the Thank You Economy.  I will be posting more detailed comments soon: 

P Chris Kovac

First Post on Mobile Local Social – Social Media Monitoring


I am happy to say I am now blogging for MobileLocalSocial.com.  I will be writing more about that later on…

My first post, “Social Media Monitoring for Marketing Professionals” is a general overview of social media monitoring, including technology and marketing uses.  I will be writing more on the subject and other social media marketing topics several times a month.





Nicholson Kovac Agriculture New Media Usage Study

Nicholson Kovac Agriculture New Media Usage Study

Large Acreage Corn and Soybean Growers Actively Engaged in Social Media, Text Messaging During Workday

48% of large acre corn/soybean growers send 5 or more text messages a day! That’s just one of the findings from a survey conducted by Nicholson Kovac. In this week’s program you can hear Sheree Johnson, Nicholson Kovac Senior VP and Director of Media talk about their findings….

IAB sets social media guidelines – Chris Kovac quotes

I was quoted in the latest issue of BtoB Magazine on social media ad metrics and best practices.  You can find the article below.

IAB sets social media guidelines
Recommendations seen as essential to making medium “safe and scalable’
Media buyers also said the guidelines will help them in their efforts to develop and measure social media campaigns for clients.“There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace right now because people aren’t speaking the same language,” said Chris Kovac, social media supervisor at Nicholson Kovac, a b-to-b marketing communications agency based in Kansas City, Mo. “Establishing a common language has to be the first step,” he said.

“Once we’re on the same page, then we can define subgroups of advertising. Is it an interactive banner ad, is it an engagement ad, etc.”

One of the most important things to measure in social media is engagement with users, Kovac said. “We want to measure the behavior—not just who’s clicking on what,” he said. “Then we can understand who are the influencers. For example, we look at how many people are commenting on our blogs and forwarding them to friends.”

Kovac said that while measuring social media is important, it is also hard to standardize metrics, particularly for something like influence.

Why you should want to work in social media!

(Live draft)

I work at a terrific advertising agency. My job is to develop and integrate social media marketing into the ad agency model. Introducing all these new social media marketing “tools” internally and externally can be a challenge. It is like drinking from the fire hose; so much new information to understand and digest. How can I introduce these new tools to my company while still making it exciting (and relevant) to learn?

We are trying to integrate social media marketing into the culture of our agency. How is this best accomplished? Obviously, forcing information down someone’s throat usually does not yield positive results. Plus, how do you overcome presentation/information fatigue? These are lessons learned from my experience building and integrating interactive marketing services into an ad agency model. So, why not make it fun? Because it actually is!

So, this weird notion came to me in a dream. Why would anyone not want to work in social media? Therefore I decided to post my thoughts to my blog. I may post my full strategy/plan on this blog down the road. I would love feedback, etc.

Spend all day playing on Twitter

I am sure a lot of people that read this blog are familiar with Twitter. If not, Twitter is a microblog/community where you post “tweets” about what you are currently doing, links to cool web sites/ videos, etc. It is an interesting mix of personal and professional communications. I have become a Twitterholic.

Am I on Twitter a lot? Yes. Am I really screwing around? No. I use Twitter to talk to my peers in social/interactive marketing. It keeps me current on how our industry is changing, current best practices, thoughts from respected gurus, case studies (good and bad) and much more. I am actually going to finish a post about why I love Twitter so much. I have also met a ton of great people in Kansas City and throughout the nation that I would not otherwise have connected with.

Social media peeps are social

Social media professionals tend to be offline social creatures as well. Via social media channels, I have been introduced to a number of super-cool people that I have met in person. There is some kind of strange and intimate bond that I have experienced when talking to people in my social network. In my experience, early adopters of social media are very forward thinking, progressive, friendly, willing to help you in any way possible, and actually care about people in their community, etc. Finally, there is little to no negativity. It is a near utopia (at least for now – hope it stays that way).

Be a trend setter

Social media marketing is truly relationship marketing (one to one) and will not only impact marketing, but the way human communications continue to evolve. How cool is that? There can be only so many ad formats (ads on buses, buildings, etc) so their will be a revolution from the status quo (frequency, frequency, frequency) to less frequency and more relevant engagements. As many have said before me, “as marketers we need to quite talking ‘at’ our target audiences and start talking ‘with’ them.” For me, I find nearly all mass media message intrusive and non-relevant.

Do not need formal training, just passion

IMHO, immersion is one of the most important aspects of being a social media professional. You have to live and breathe this stuff; it is the only way to really learn. The skies the limit! People like @garyvee and others have parlayed their social media presence literally into fame and wealth. You could be next! It is much like programming, if you do not love it, than you should find another calling.

Forward looking

The way humans communicate is rapidly changing and evolving. How cool (and scary)! Soon, the Web and TV (and mobile for that matter) will all be mashed up. This means web widgets (like Twitter) will be on your TV and vice versa. I can only image the changes coming in the next decade, let alone in the next few years. It is our job to stay at the forefront of trends and even help create them! How will this impact the world of social media and marketing in general.

Several opportunities

There are a number of different jobs within social media and a variety of companies that will utilize your skills. You can work in technology, on the client side or work with an advertising/marketing agency. Specific job functions include: strategic planning, project managing, copywriting, web development, e-marketing, graphic design, application development, market research and much more. Does that sound palatable to you? I will expand on social media opportunities in a future blog post.

You could be a billionaire

Well it is a possibility, but not likely. However, this frontier is wide open. You can chart your own path and create opportunity. The cost of entry is low along with the risk; but, the reward can be potentially huge. There are a number of social media start-ups which seem similar to all the new Web ideas in the late 1990’s through the early 2000’s. Where will your path in social media lead you?

Your thoughts?

I encourage and appreciate your thoughts on this subject.  DM me on Twitter if you want (@chriskovac)

My tips for achieving great SEO/SEM

Full disclosure:  I responded to a HARO per “tips to succeed in SEO/SEM.”  I probably run the risk of ruining the HARO (I have not heard back yet) but I took several hours to think through and answer the questions.  Plus,  SEO/SEM is a passion of mine since 1996.   So, I will go ahead and post.  I am happy to take down if the story is a go.  Cheers.  Chris Kovac

Your “claim to fame” in a short sentence.

Professional online and search engine marketing since 1996.

What are your top five tips to achieve great SEO?
1) Networking – Search engines often change the rules (or algorithms) on how they rank a Web site. It is important to network with fellow search marketers to keep up on how the industry is changing. There are a number of discussion forums, blogs and other sites where you can engage your fellow search marketers. My networking tool of choice is Twitter, because you can engage your peers on a 1:1 basis.

2) Attend conferences – There are a number of quality search marketing conferences. I recommend Search Engine Strategies (SES) and SMX. Usually the speakers and panelists are the leading thought leaders within search marketing and provide timely information and advice that can help you achieve great SEO results. Attendees are usually willing to share their thoughts and experiences and most everyone is approachable. It is also a great way to connect informally with your peers at the social events.

3) Test your theories – I encourage search marketers to test and retest your search marketing theories. Part of search marketing is experimenting and then focusing on what is working. With advancements in tracking capabilities, it is easy to set up a simple tracking code to test the results of your search marketing campaigns. I often start with a “shotgun” approach and then refine the campaign to a targeted, “rifle” approach.

4) Stay white-hat – Don’t give into the temptation to try to “spoof” the search engines with link baiting or other “black-hat” tactics. More often than not, you will succeed in generating high rankings until your site/s gets blacklisted and removed entirely from the search engines.

5) Track your campaigns – Before the campaign starts, develop campaign objectives that are measureable and that you can test against. There are a number of ways to track a search marketing campaign. The best practice is to use a tag-based analytics provider. Then you can not only track the visitors to your site, you can also track their behavior and ROI.

What are the three biggest mistakes in terms of their SEO activities?

The three biggest mistakes I see SMEs make include:

1) Beginning a SEO initiative in the middle (or near the end) of a Web site development project. This means significantly more work to: revise the copy after the fact to ensure it is search engine friendly, rename the URLs with relevant keywords, create SEO-friendly Header tags, create relevant Alt text and most importantly, increase the link relevancy or Page Rank on Google.

2) Failure to stay current with SEO best practices. As previously mentioned, it is important to stay current with SEO best practices and how the search engines are changing the way they rank a Web site. This mistake is easy to resolve by subscribing to enewsletters, going to conferences and talking with your peers in search marketing.

3) Finally, not tracking the success or ROI of the search engine campaign still seems to be somewhat common. There are a number of ways to set up campaign analytics. One of the best known (and free) tools is Google Analytics.

How would you explain SEO and SEM to somone who has never encountered either before?

I explain to clients and internal staff that SEO and SEM are just tools in the marketing toolbox. SEM (aka paid search) is a cost-per-click model, meaning you only pay when a user actually clicks on your search engine text ad. SEM is best for driving specific actions, like a purchase or signing up for an enewsletter.

SEO is a longer process to make a Web site achieve high rankings in the search engines for free or “organic” listings. SEO is a good strategy to increase awareness and drive qualified traffic to your Web site, even if they are in the information gathering stage of the sales cycle.

How should business people identify and choose their search advisors/consultants?

I recommend utilizing referrals when trying to find a solid, professional search adviser/consultant. There are so many companies that say they are search experts, but I have found that most are far from being proficient. I would also ask prospective search professionals to provide examples of successful campaigns, case studies and the methodology for developing a search campaign. Finally, previous experience in the industry/category is also a big plus, as this will reduce the learning curve.

What can search really do for a business? Do you have any examples?

Integrated search marketing can be one of the most powerful marketing tools for a number of reasons. The primary benefit is the ability to drive qualified traffic to your Web site that results in an action by the end user. That action can be a lead, sale or even drive call center volume. Often times a solid search engine campaign will produce ROI that will rival any other marketing tactic.

We have a number of successful SEO case studies. I am more than willing to share the results.

What’s in store for search in the near future?

I think in the near-future we will see “virtual personal assistants” that will understand how we search for information and will facilitate that search. The “assistant” will remember every search term we have ever searched for, the Web pages we have visited and the formats of information that we are most interested in. Specifically, those formats could include: text, audio/video and photos. I also think the search assistant will be integrated into our computers, mobile telephones, car navigation and even our home appliances.

Which search resources would you recommend that business people read/follow about SEO/SEM?

There are a number of resources that business professionals can follow to stay at the forefront of SEO/SEM. I recommend sites like: Searchenginewatch.com, Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization – SEMPO.com, Searchengineland.com, MarketingProfs.com and blogs by Danny Sullivan.

DM me on Twitter (@chriskovac) if you are interested in discussing.

NK Announces Digital Offensive in B-to-B Marketplace

This release is the culmination of about 6 months of work for me.  This is phase I of a suite of 10 different social media marketing services.  Please click on the release for more info.  Thanks!

NK Announces Digital Offensive in B-to-B Marketplace
Proprietary Process Underpins Social Media Savvy Suite of Services: Nicholson Kovac Inc., one of the nation’s leading independent marketing communications agencies, today introduced a suite of proprietary social media services designed specifically for B-to-B clients.

read more | digg story

Social Media Club KC – breakfast video

From @jeffisageek Blog:  http://www.jeffisageek.net/blog/2008/11/11/smckc-breakfast-recap/

From Jeff’s blog –

Recently all of us social media types got together for our monthly breakfast and we had a great turn out and some great conversation.

If you are in the Kansas City area and a user, fan, or just interested in social media please join us…its free to everyone, casual and very laid back.

My thoughts:  This is a very cool group of progressive people.  Check out the community page at http://socialmediaclubkc.ning.com/


Chris Kovac

Poker Hand Analysis – $5/10 No Limit Holdem Poker

I went to play a poker tournament at a private club on a Wednesday night.  It was a small game, 22 players and the buy-in was $25.  The group of guys were very cool and it was a lot of fun. I drank my fair share and busted out of the tourney after being early chip leader.  Take it from me, drinking and poker do not mix at all.  I thought it best to go home and play some online poker.  I did vow to play smart and only play one table (I usually play 4-6).  Long story short, I played 1:15 and played awesome.  Played a complete pro style 17/13/5.  That means I entered 17% of all pots, raised pre-flop 13% and I was very aggressive.  We played a full-ring 9 seat cash game @ $5/10 No Limit Hold’em.  There was also at least 2 professionals and everyone had a full buy-in or more. Fun!

Here are the hands:
http://www.pokerhand.org/?33820633-barreling with garbage on $5/10 NL
This is an interesting hand.  I am in the cutoff (right before the button).  The action opens to a raise under-the-gun raise (a very strong raise) and it folds around to me.  I have 5c5h and I opt to call and set-mine.  I have position and this is an easy call with any pair.  Everyone folds (table has been tight, unusual fir these stakes) and the flop comes 10,10,8 rainbow.  Opponent is first to act and fires a $61 bet into $85 pot.  That is a typical continuation bet, on that flop he will fire with any two cards, especially at the mid-high stakes.  Knowing this, I put him on 22-99 and some A high suited hands and maybe down to 10,9s.  He is a good player and he is also aggressive.  He raises 17% of all hands and that is high, therefore his range is somewhat large.  This means there is no way he hit this flop and I have position (the most impt thing in poker).  I decided to float him and call.  I am playing his cards and betting style, not mine.

Turn comes 6, so the board is 8,10,10,6 rainbow.  He checks, as I expected.  He must be concerned, because my call looks very strong.  That brings up another point.  I could have raised the flop on his $61 bet.  But, on that board it looks very suspicious.  If he calls my raise, say to $169, I cannot put any more money in the pot and basically loose no matter what to a good player and that’s a huge loss.  So he checks the turn and I bet big $155 into a $205 pot.  That is a large, it means business bet.  He calls, which makes my heart sink (love online poker). BTW, if he bets out on the turn, I fold nearly all of the time.

The river is a 6 and the board = 8,10,10,6,6 – lol.   My hand (5,5) is dead, I can only play the board.  He checks again.  I think about it and because he checked the turn, a huge sign of weakness after he raised pre-flop.  That is an 80-90% obvious sign that he will not call a big river bet, even after check-calling the turn.  I believe he wants me to check down the river and his Ax or pair of 77s can show down.  I opt to fire a third bullet betting $380 into $520 pot.  That looks very strong to a good player.  If I bet $450 or overbet $575 he would call with A high in a lot of cases or like 77,99,JJ.  My bet screams that I have a 10 and was betting for value the whole time.  He thought about it (as I was kicking myself for loosing $600 on one hand with garbage) and he folded, giving me the pot.  I think I played it correctly, although I could have also folded to his flop bet.

I think given my opponents line, this move (player dependent) works about 80-90% of the time.  So if you bet $380 to win $520 and win 75% your EV = very high and profitable.  Note:  at lower stakes ($10-200 buy-ins), my play would have never worked.  Its easy to call with an A high for $8 or $35, but $380 is different.  Low stakes players typically think everyone is bluffing (most often they are not) and call with the worst hands ever.  Like calling all in pre-flop with J9s and beating KK, it’s sick and wrong and happens all the time.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?3382064Continuation betting with nothing after 3b (rereaising) preflop @ $5/10 NL

I had been playing fairly aggressive, but not out of line.  I had AKo in the small blind.  There was a mid position open for a raise.  It folded around to me.  His raise is standard and he’s a good player that will open (first to act) raise with a very wide range of hands; maybe down to like 6,7s or worse.  This is a tough spot with an unmade hand.  Calling here is really the wrong move, because you have absolutely no idea where you stand in the hand and you are out of position.  I make a standard 3bet (reraise) and he calls.  I’ll take a fold there every time.  His call means he has prob any 55-AA, AKs-AQo, a narrow range.


Flop 55Q two diamonds.  I am first to act.  Because I reraised, I control the hand.  I absolutely have to bet a good sized bet here.  I also have to bet on most flops, no matter what.  If I fold, I loose the hand every time as he bets and I have to fold with nothing.  I fired $205 into $250 (80% is a stronger than usually bet) pot.  Luckily he folded. Given his narrow range discussed above, the only hands I am afraid of were AQ, KK, AA, Ax diamonds.  He has no 5 expect for 55 equaling quads.  My preflop reraise range in the SB is typically 10,10-A,A through AQs-AKo.  I sometimes raise here with 56s and up and that is how you win, you throw people completely off.  My reraise is very strong and most players that open raise (if they are somewhat loose) will fold to a preflop reraise.

This is a spot that will get you into a lot of trouble.  Though, odds are (high) that he did not make a hand.  That board nullifies all his pocket pairs 22-JJ and AK, AJ and he simply cannot call.  If he does, we most likely will be playing for stacks in his mind.  You have to be careful here.  If he calls my bet, I am done, even if I hit a lucky A or K.  Usually, if he checks that flop (a sign of strength given how this hand plays out) and you hit on the turn he has you soooo beat (like he has KQ, better 2 pair) and you loose all your money.

Good Luck at the tables!


Analyst: Half of ‘social media campaigns’ will flop

Adam Sarner, an analyst with market research firm Gartner, has projected that over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies with Web sites will have undertaken some kind of online social-networking initiative for marketing or customer relations purposes. But, he added in an interview with CNET News, 50 percent of those will fail.

read more | digg story

Interesting story, there is going to be a shakeout in the Web 2.0 space similar to the Internet shakeout of 1999/2000.

Chris Kovac – BMA Lunch and Learn – October 16th

This program should be exciting!  Click here for more details:  http://bmakc.org/Event/Event.asp?IdS=0000FD-741CFD0&Id=59

Chris Kovac, the BMA (Business Marketing Association) Programs co-chair, announces an exciting BMA Lunch and Learn — Social Media Monitoring and Engagement. The lunch is scheduled for noon (people begin arriving around 11:30 am) on Thursday, October 16th.

Chris will be moderating a discussion that includes Justin Gardner (Social Media for AMC – @jpgardner), Adam Coomes (President of Infegy, creator of Social Radar – @adamcoomes) and Valerie Jennings (Jennings Public Relations & Advertising). Each speaker will have approx 10 minutes to discuss their thoughts per their respective disciplines. The final 30 minutes of the lunch will be open to questions from the audience.

The lunch will explore social media monitoring and engagements from three different perspectives: technology, client side and agency side. It would be awesome to get your thoughts on what is most relevant to you and your organization.

I appreciate any thoughts/comments you may have.


Chris Kovac
@chriskovac (Twitter)
http://www.linkedin.com/in/chriskovac (LinkedIn)