Archive for the ‘social marketing’ tag
I’m in San Diego today speaking at Social Media Marketing World. The message of content marketing has certainly taken root in the digital and social marketing space and as the message of content, content, content grows louder and louder so too does the level of frustration.
Producing content actually requires some work. Producing lots of content requires even more work and, well, let’s not event talk about the work required to consistently product high quality content.
But here’s the semi ironic thing. The problem with content is not that you don’t have enough, it’s that you have too much. In an attempt to feed the content beast many marketers have lost focus on the narrative of who they are, why they do what they do and why their customers are attracted to their brands.
In effect, we’re attempting to write about everything and in doing so connecting with nothing.
Before content will truly serve as an effective community attracting and building mechanism, it must be laced with a potent dose of focus.
That’s not to say that a good 50 Ways to do X post won’t always draw eyeballs, but so will wearing a really short skirt into a bar – the question is, does that lead towards building a supportive community and achieving your objectives?
Content must spring from the one true thing your business stands for and become a story that becomes a greater narrative that lives on in your community with no real end.
You do this by telling fewer stories – over and over again. You do this by using clarity, the one real thing you’re business stands for in the mind of the market, as a filter for voice and message.
You solve your content problem when you use content to:
- Narrow your focus to an ideal client’s unmet needs
- Share stories that build trust and expose vulnerability
- Help define problems your customers don’t know they have
- Give your customers a way to collaborate and personalize
- Help determine the real intent of your prospective clients
I happen to believe that the highest objective of any business is the building of a vibrant community. Start sharing less and focusing more on the content that signals why someone would want to join your narrative and you’ll start to witness how community actually forms.
On the heels of Google buying Wildfire and Salesforce nabbing Buddy Media, we have heard from two very reliable sources, plus a third anonymous source, that Gannett Co., the media giant that owns USA Today and other properties, is buying BLiNQ Media. The price for the Facebook advertising software and service is up to $92 million over a period of three to four years, with a quarter of that amount, $23 million, coming up front.
We hear the purchase agreement has been signed and the pair are now marching towards a close at the end of this month. The rationale behind the deal is clear: when brands buy ad placements on Gannett properties, it could use BLiNQ to also sell them ads on social sites and collect a solid margin.
Gannett is looking to BLiNQ, which has built up a profitable Facebook ads API business, to become G’s equivalent of the Washington Post Company’s SocialCode, its social media marketing and analytics agency (which picked up 15 Digg engineers in May). Gannett and BLiNQ, TechCrunch understands, have already been working together for about a year on ad campaigns for advertising clients, primarily via those brands’ agencies. This will bring more of that expertise in house.
Digital was one of the bright spots for Gannett in its Q2 earnings, reported in the middle of July. With overall revenues of $1.3 billion down 2% on print advertising pressures, in its publishing segment, digital revenues were up by 29.3%; in its U.S. Community Publishing division they were up 33%; at USA Today they were up by 37%; and at the company’s Newsquest UK division they were up by 10%.
BLiNQ has only taken in about $3 million in funding, none from VCs, since launching in 2008. It was profitable in its Facebook marketing business from early on, and so it hasn’t needed to seek outside investment. More recently, it has been expanding into marketing on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as Facebook’s mobile advertising efforts.
Among Gannett’s assets are digital marketing agency PointRoll and online circular company ShopLocal. You can see where a BLiNQ Media acquisition could position it very well to offer social ad buying services and tools to its advertiser and local business clients.
TechCrunch understands that in addition to David Nicol Williams, the co-founder and CEO of BLiNQ, Gannett was also interested in startup’s engineering team, led by CTO, Luis Caballero, who had also built up the engineering team at Vitrue. (Both companies are based in Atlanta, Georgia, which it turns out is something of a hotbed for social media marketing. Who knew?) TechCrunch understands that like Vitrue, Blinq has some IP that it is patenting. Blinq’s is centered around media optimization algorithms.
There is still “tons of innovation” that Blinq has left to roll out, we understand, so this could be the start of something interesting. With big media properties and advertising clients to test its products, it could crack the social code before Social Code, and help Gannett stay profitable as paper print media ends up in the wood chipper.
SEO is about your customers not the search engines
Nope, we haven’t gone mad; search engine optimisation really is all about your customers.
Most SEO companies are now playing nicely and not condoning devious techniques such as link buying, hidden text and generally exploiting every loophole and short cut they can find.
Apart from the fact that they were attracting hefty penalties for their clients, they’ve now realised that search engine marketing is more like social marketing and everything must be centred around the customer not the search engines.To be successful on line today, your strategy must include not only general keyword optimisation for your website’s structure and content, it must also involve social media marketing aimed at your customers.
No, that doesn’t mean sending out a raft of marketing messages every minute in the hope that you’ll wear down your customers and make them buy from you. Instead it’s about engaging with your audience, providing them with useful content and information and optimising your web content to reflect your customers’ needs.
For many start ups all of this can be quite confusing so this 10 minute video by Maile Ohye of Google might help. In 10 minutes she talks you through some basic search engine optimisation techniques for start ups to help you get on the right track.
It’s well worth a watch, so grab a coffee.
Remember the phrase “it’s the thought that counts”….well I wonder whether that now needs to read
” remembering is important but personalisation is what counts”
You see we have so many ways to remember – events on our phone, reminders on our computers….in fact you don’t even need to remember someone’s birthday in Facebook….Facebook tells you.
But that means that social media is diluting the value of remembering….so what is replacing the value?
I talk a lot about social business and that’s because mass individualisation is very near to becoming reality through 3D printing. This I would argue means that personalisation of the gift, the card, the message becomes a prerequisite……it’s the personalisation that now counts as did the date mean so much to you that you took the time to choose a personal message?
Social media, social marketing have been about connecting….in the months ahead the personalisation element will become more important…
“where design of the Internet and the Web is a search for set of rules which will allow computers to work together in harmony, so our spiritual and social quest is for a set of rules which allow people to work work together in harmony”
Words from Tim Berners Lee that I firmly believe is part of the quest of social business. We spend so much time connecting data, connecting contacts, using the world wide web to connect technology but how much time do we spend on that social quest?
Connecting data is “relatively” easy but connecting people socially and making the world a better place…well that is much harder. What I struggle with is this…
We are humans who have a basic need to be valued and needed…as much as we know that as an individual, we don’t spend enough time making sure that our social media work, our social marketing tips are also socially making a difference.
I firmly believe that social media is more than the use of social media sites…..it is adding a social quest to make human connection, make the world a little better place by your socialising on the web…
In a blog post titled Ten Ways to Adapt to the Evolution of Social Media, Vocus offers “ten ways to keep your social marketing up to date as social media for business evolves.” The list — which is pretty good (and I hate lists like these) — includes: “9. Emerge as a thought leader. This one is … Continue reading
Anyone who follows my blog knows that I’m not a big fan of Klout, or any service that oversimplifies the complex process of assessing online influence by boiling it down to a single number. However, I do think it’s important that organizations be able to understand the online influence of people they want to build relationships with.
Awareness Networks just announced a tool that takes an intelligent and customized approach to influence assessment. The Social Marketing Automation suite enables customers to identify patterns in public online conversations, extract profile information and create what amounts to custom Klout scores.
Here’s how it might work: A user could search Twitter for people who have engaged directly with a brand more than twice over the last month, have mentioned the brand more than five times and have more than a specified number of followers. The suite can also dig into publicly available profile information to add filters by location, profession or any other data that is publicly available on Facebook or Twitter. So if you’re looking for health care professionals in the Milwaukee area who frequently recommend Motrin over Advil, you can find them for prospecting or a targeted marketing campaign.
Awareness goes a step further by combining public profile data with conversation topics to create prospect databases. This information can be imported into CRM and marketing automation packages, easing what is usually a laborious manual process. Integration with Salesforce.com is built into the first product and most of the leading platforms will be added over time, according to Mike Lewis, VP of marketing at Awareness. This addresses the problem of lead quality, which is the biggest cause of sales waste.
Awareness doesn’t extract data from social networks directly but rather works with Gnip, a company that has license agreements with most of the top social networks to distribute their content. About the only major source Gnip doesn’t have is LinkedIn, which keeps its profile information close to the vest. But YouTube, Tumblr, WordPress and many other sources are pumped through its firehose.
Competitive advantage is fleeting in this business, and I expect that others will quickly add this kind of functionality. Awareness’ strategy is smart: It will focus on providing the core data mining and filtering technology and work with partners to deliver results to whatever marketing or sales automation tool they prefer. Victory will go to the swiftest.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but there’s a webinar set for Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 2 EDT at which more details will be discussed. Maybe you can pry some dollar figures out of the speakers then.
Full disclosure: I have been a paid consultant to Awareness on spot projects in the past, although I’ve done no work for the company in at least two years.
Dat LinkedIn een grote naam is als we het over social media hebben, zal niemand ontkennen. Maar zodra het over social marketing gaat, verschuift de aandacht naar Facebook, Twitter en Pinterest. Een gemiste kans, want er valt veel te halen. Niet alleen op LinkedIn.com, maar zeker ook geïntegreerd in de eigen media. In dit artikel vind je LinkedIn tips en insights en een aantal inspirerende LinkedIn-campagnes. Lees meer
Today’s guest post is written by Rusty Speidel.
Businesses today are under a great deal of pressure to create more efficient sales engines, especially online.
With all the competition and noise in the space, it isn’t easy to differentiate .
Sales reps must make their funnel of prospects perform better with less, while the gaps between product features are constantly shrinking and prices are cut as much as they can be.
So what’s a marketer to do?
Perhaps you’re faced with one, or a combination of, these challenges:
- Increase both the number of inbound leads and the close rates of these leads.
- Enhance the efficacy of each step in the sales funnel.
- Find additional ways to win business besides price.
- Define and execute specific messaging for each of your company’s major market segments.
- Position your company in the marketplace as the highest quality provider.
- Establish your executives as thought leaders in the analysis, definition, deployment, and support phases of the sales cycle.
- Enhance your marketing bandwidth and efficiency.
- Overhaul your web presence, especially where thought leadership, inbound marketing support, and content marketing are concerned.
The Real Challenge? Engagement.
A recent sales survey conducted by HubSpot revealed only 29 percent of sales reps are really prepared to understand customers’ business problems. Forty percent of survey respondents say their biggest challenge is getting salespeople to collaborate more with customers.
- How can your company improve its website to make search engines work for the business and to establish its members as thought leaders?
- What can be done to communicate your story in a way that is clear, concise, and ORIGINAL?
The Solution? Content!
Content and social marketing that share relevant stories and help to proactively solve business problems help solve that challenge. By sharing your expertise and making it available where customers are and knowing when they want to receive it, you build better relationships.
You have to become committed to the idea that a strategically deployed social media presence combined with solid content marketing is the best way to achieve your sales goals. Well-deployed content can enhance your relationship with potential customers throughout the sales funnel by increasing visibility and approachability during inquiry, providing a personal touch to those relationships and accelerating their progress through qualification.
- Establish industry credibility and expertise in the awareness stage. One of the strengths of social media is to drive awareness of a company, product, or service. It is a very effective way to establish credibility and expertise. Marketers need to share and promote content that piques interest where their audience is looking, so brand advocates and company evangelists will share it on professional networks and within their own professional circles.
- Provide customer solutions in the consideration stage. As buyers move into the consideration phase, they are looking for more than just product information: They are looking for solutions to business problems. They are doing more research before purchase than ever before and most of it is online or via their peers, not your marketing materials. They are also further along in the buying cycle before they ever have a conversation with a salesperson, so if you want to hold their attention you need to provide the content and information you want them to consume before you reach out to them.
- Content helps to close the sale and drive revenue. Buyers are looking to make safe purchases that help with company performance. By this point in the sales cycle, customer pain points are well-known. By proactively addressing concerns, objections, and questions via the social content and platforms you support, you can give customers a sense of confidence in your leadership and ability to solve their problems.
Content helps to shorten the buying cycle and enhance positive referrals after the sale.
What do you think? Do you completely understand your customers’ pain points?
Rusty Speidel brings a wealth of experience in brand positioning and management to the Jaggers Communications team. He has specialized in community building and preparing the communications around introducing new and science-based products to market. You can follow him on Twitter at RustySpeidel.
Although social media companies are still struggling to figure out how to monetize users, Google recently entered the crowded space by acquiring the advertising startup Wildfire Interactive. Wildfire, which initially launched four years ago, helps brands seamlessly manage social efforts across a variety of websites including: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Wildfire’s clients, [...]