Once you’ve published quality content then you can focus on “Inbound Marketing” — developing a strong social presence, working on your ‘brand’, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Pay Per Click — these are inbound marketing skills which lead customers to you as opposed to outbound marketing where you approach the customer with banners and button ads, email marketing and other traditional techniques.
Why do we do what we do? It’s a great question, posed by Joe Pulizzi, friend and colleague, and founder and CEO at the Content Marketing Institute in a post that lays it straight out — “Your WHAT Doesn’t Matter if Your WHY Is Lacking“. Let’s find out how knowing the answer is key to business success and in so doing learn why one paddles a canoe.
Why do we do what we do in business?
Joe wrote the foreward for our new book on CRO — Conversion Rate Optimization. Optimization for conversions (when a visitor comes to your site and takes a step closer to doing business with you) is part of what we do because it helps marketers win more qualified leads. And conversions are one of the focus areas in our marketing strategy model we follow which we call R.A.C.E. — Reach, Act, Convert, Engage. Again, that’s what we do, but why do we do this? You might as well ask why do canoe enthusiasts paddle canoes (I will give you my answer below)?
I know what Joe does — he provides resources to help Content Marketers including content marketing conferences which I have attended a couple of times (highly recommended).
I know what each of our healthcare clients do. For example, one provides software for hospitals so they can manage revenues better. I know what our hotel clients do — they provide a resting place at a vacation destination. But why… why are we all in business?
Why ask why? The answer is that your marketing success depends more on the why and less on the what. Or, as Pulizzi puts it, “Your why is the problem your product solves.” Ok, let’s see then: (more…)
Facebook ads can take on many appearances depending on the ad type and the device used to view the ad.
Are Facebook ads dead?
Short answer: no, they’re not. Not even close.
Long answer: Facebook ads are still very much alive and thriving. How alive you might ask? Looking ahead, KISSmetrics statistics indicate that Facebook is expected to generate at least $4 billion in revenue this year of 2015 from ads alone.
For that kind of money to be spent on ads alone, it’s apparent that this method of marketing is worthwhile and working for many businesses.
So why do certain ad managers swear that Facebook ads are a lost cause? This could depend on a number of factors, but most likely businesses that didn’t see any immediate results so they became discouraged and turned off their ad campaign prematurely. (more…)
In preparing for our PAII Webinar on Online Marketing Recommendations for Websites (Sept. 30th — register online, it’s free), we took a closer look at some Hotels & Inns we had reviewed recently to look for the strengths in their social media strategies.
Below, I’ll outline some things we know are strong for both the Balch Hotel and the Edenwild Inn with regards to their presence in the social venues. First, let’s look at the Balch Hotel:
The Balch Hotel covers a range of social sites including those above (Google+, Twitter, and Facebook) with a smart strategy to emphasize different advantages of staying with them
Are you practicing SEO… without the “engines” of CRO?
What is it that you want to achieve with your company website? Is the end goal the sheer glory of seeing your web appear high in the search engine pages for random keyword phrases? Or perhaps the c-suite execs push for numbers – the more people that arrive at the site each month, the better?
Of course not.
Search engine rankings and number of visitors are meaningless unless they convert into leads or clients. Even if the only goal of the website is to provide information, it is still desirable that the visitors that land on the site have an interest in the topic and their path through the site to find the information they seek should be productive.
The point of the website is to have visitors interact with it in one or more of any number of pre-determined conversion goals. SEO gets the visitors to the site but CRO gets them to interact with it and hit those conversion goals. (more…)
Are you closing your social media connection loops?
How can you engage strong Klout leaders in social media, then close the engagement loop? Let’s take a look. This post begins with a focus on a great engagement tip using HootSuite — the pro social media dashboard, scheduling and swiss knife tool. Then we’ll look at a SlideShare presentation (still another content engagement tactic you should explore) and with a takeaway on content strategy. The beauty of the sequence is that using social media, one connection led to another and this post closes that loop.
Let’s start with a Hootsuite tip (disclosure, Webdirexion is a pro solution partner with Hootsuite and both Julie Hume and myself are certified in Social Media Marketing by Hootsuite University). In a nutshell, this tip focuses on finding and engaging Klout leaders. You read it right — “Klout” is the name of a ratings service that looks a key performance indicators in social media and assigns you a score. The higher the score, the more Klout you have… see Webdirexion’s Klout score here.
The Klout Technique in Hootsuite
In the screenshot below, using Hootsuite, you can see that I have first filtered in the “stream” of twitter users that have mentioned our company (@Webdirexion) using the Klout filter set for at least 40-45 strength. This reveals at least one possible Klout leader for engagement:
3-steps for engaging with Klout leaders as a social media marketing tactic.
My reply, which links back to this post, shows in the Hootsuite stream with the original message.
After I review a Klout leaders profile, I check number of followers (Vinay has 4400+ followers that may see my reply to him) and further qualify the the contact. Then I actually read the post and follow the link in it. I need to do each of these things to qualify the contact (ie. a possible client or a colleague?) and make an intelligent reply. No robo-replies here — being “social” means you actually talk to one another with authentic dialog.
Following the link in Mr. Koshy’s original post led me to the slideshare presentation included below — and gave me the right inspiration for a reply. Note that in the reply, I did three key things:
I linked back to this article which mentions the dialog
I put some text before @vpkoshy because if I did not, only vpkoshy would see the reply (credit to our Julie Hume for the tip on that tactic)
I used a hashtag to extend visibility for the reply
The Content Strategy Concept (from a Slideshare presentation)
Note how the Content Pillars support each of the objectives above.
On slide 28 shown at right, in a presentation recommended by our Klout Leader friend from Australia, the author (Christel Quek) gives a diagram of three “content pillars” supporting the audience, brand objective and user motivations. What a concise way to picture your “content marketing” work to be done.
There are also a number of great tips for social media marketing in that presentation, including:
Using hashtags as a call to action
Let your brand personality shine in social media
Remember to use social media to “listen to understand”
Focus on how your products or services touch people’s lives
Make your user the hero
Recognize your champions — influencers
I then left a comment at the slideshare. Thousands of people will see the tweet. Mr. Koshy will see that Webdirexion replied directly and followed up and respected his tweet. Ms. Quek will find out that a Koshy tweet led to a blog post with her slideshare embedded (below). Who knows, maybe Vinay Koshy and Christel Quek will learn about and help be influencers for Webdirexion. It’s a social circle — see how that works?
Here’s the slideshare on winning at content strategy:
Hootsuite: Social Insights with Adam Pisoni Co-founder – Yammer
At the center of this post’s tactical tools is Hootsuite, so we’ll end with a short video of thoughts related to using the platform.
How does a company respond fast enough to their customers that are themselves, communicating, sharing and learning at faster and faster speeds due to technology? Adam Pisoni of Yammer has some thoughts in the following video. Yammer is a private social network that helps employees collaborate across departments, locations, and business apps. Note that you can add Yammer and dozens of other networks and apps into your convenient Hootsuite pro dashboard.
Remember that curation is a content strategy, while tools are tactics in search of a strategy.
One of the tactics in the Content Marketer’s arsenal is called “curation”, where you find and republish quality content in a newly “packaged” way. The idea is that you add value at least three ways — you assemble a package that would be hard to find or gather elsewhere; you contribute some editing and related content yourself; and the UI of the “package” facilitates readership (on different devices and through smart layouts that leverage content in a streamlined fashion) and social sharing.
We’ve tried four of the major services for curation over the past 3-5 years, so I wanted to give you some take-aways about each — Flipboard, Paper.li, Rebel Mouse, and Scoop.it. I’ll give you a sample of what we have used them for and thoughts on results but first the most important thing I can tell you is that these tools are tactics… in search of a strategy. What do I mean by that? Well, too many content marketer’s seem to rush into the latest greatest tool and deploy it as a tactic with no clear publishing strategy (niche, readership, purpose of publication, editorial guidelines, etc.) in hand. Planning is in order. And, remember the old adage — if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Curating a good publication takes time and consistent effort, so you need to have a clear picture of the end goal and how it will pay off for you. Remember that curation is a content marketing tactic, not a publishing strategy. (more…)