Tag Archives: online

Three Important Components Of Content Marketing

Important Components for Effective Content Marketing Content creation and content marketing has become a crucial element to any digital marketing effort. The transition from big brand only tactic to common place for all online marketers has and will continually expand. Using content for search engine placement and optimization, social network exposure and traffic is quickly becoming a must have component in any online marketing strategy.

While there are certainly many components to effective content marketing, here are three buckets that really require attention and preparation.

Content Creation -

In order to conduct content marketing effectively, you have to create content for your target audience that has relevant value.

  1. Who – Do you know who your target audience is? Be very clear about exactly who you are trying to reach with the content you create.
  2. What – Do you know the challenges your target audience is facing and/or the type of content that drives their interests online? Create compelling content that addresses their challenges and connects to their interests. Create content that speaks to them, not always about you.
  3. When – How consistently and frequently are you creating content?

“Create content that speaks to them, not always about you.”  Tweet:

Promotion/Distribution -

It’s one thing to create content, it’s wholly something different to promote it and get traffic to it.

  1. Channels – Know the online channels where your audience spends most of their time. Be highly active in those channels with consistent, relevant, selfless content that is not yours. By providing relevant, curated content consistently, you will earn the right to promote your created content.
  2. Community – The more consistently and frequently you create content, the larger and faster your community will grow. That includes your social following, subscribers to your blog and organic search reach.
  3. Tools – If you are active in all the right channels, providing selfless value to your audience and therefore built a large and loyal community, you need to ensure that you have an effective tool stack that helps you distribute your content to friends, followers and advocates.

Our tool stack incorporates Hootsuite, Bundle Post, Bundlet, Triberr and our email newsletter system. You want to be sure that the tool stack you are using is highly efficient and effective. Be sure that the tools allow you to promote your new content when it’s published, but can also manage that content for addition postings into social media easily and with strategy. You’ll definitely want the ability to seamlessly track when you shared the content last and schedule it repeatedly moving forward to ensure the optimum reach, traffic and exposure long-term. Social Content Management Is Important!!

Conversion -

Experienced content marketers know why they are creating the content they produce. They understand their objectives, processes and they track it to ensure the goals are being achieved. If they are not, they make changes to the process and do it again. Are you doing this?

  1. Objective – Do you know the goal and objective for your content? Have you planned, developed and tested what happens to the traffic your drive to your content?
  2. Process – Do you have a well thought out process and supporting mechanics to convert the traffic to your content into leads, customers, inquiries or subscribers?
  3. Tracking – Are you tracking the traffic to your content and measuring important metrics to determine what is working and what isn’t?

Although content marketing and content creation do not rise to the level of rocket science, they are both highly specialized components of today’s digital marketing requirements.

What are additional components that you utilize within your online marketing efforts?

5 Comments

Filed under Community, Content, content creation, Curation, Hootsuite, Marketing, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, social media tool, Tools

The How To’s of Customer Targeting, Acquisition And Retention In Social Media

In a report released earlier this month, “Over 85% of US marketing executives cited acquiring new customers and increasing retention as the top two 2014 marketing priorities.” After reading this, I asked myself when isn’t that the top two priorities of most executives? Isn’t that why a business is marketing to begin with? But I digress…

Customer Targeting Retention & Acquisition in Social MediaThe report further outlined that Executives said that “getting or holding target customers’ attention, as well as finding their target audience online, were the top two major challenges.

I find it interesting how larger brands and agencies find these things so challenging. They have the biggest budgets, the most resources and yet still navigate the online marketing world as if it is print or television. In today’s social networking world, finding your target audience couldn’t be more simple. Holding the attention of target customers is really just as easy, if in fact you are doing it properly.

What small, local and medium businesses lack in the form of resources and budgets, they more than make up for in common sense, nimbleness and the ability to effectively execute quickly. If and only if you understand one simple truth about digital marketing in today’s world…

It’s NOT about YOU!

The reason most of the big brands see the issues outlined in this report and challenging is because most have yet to recognize this fact. Big brands often solely self promote their wares and create a persona of “too good to engage” to their audience. A quick scan of most brands social media feeds and mentions will uncover huge communities that are attempting to engage with their favorite brands and those same brands ignoring the comments, mentions and engagement by the very target customers they say they are trying to find and hold attention with. Is it really this difficult to understand?

Acquire and Retain Customers:

If your priority is to acquire and retain customers, engage them. Make them feel wanted beyond their pocketbook. If you ignore your audience, they’ll not be your audience for very long.

Get Attention:

If you want to get the attention of your target customer, create and curate content that they are interested in. It might not have anything to do with your industry, product or brand. Meet them where their interests are and make your feeds be about them, not you.

Find Your Audience:

If you want to find your target customer, simply search for the people that are your target, connect with them and show interest in who they are. There’s no place this is done any easier than Twitter. I have said many times that Twitter is the hub of social media marketing.

The Wrap Up:

In an age where Facebook organic reach is declining to ultimate zero and the need for real results from social media marketing and other online channels are increasing, marketers need to adjust their “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. SMB’s need to better recognize the opportunities readily available and gain the knowledge and executional capabilities required to capitalize on them.

Twitter is your friend, learn it and execute it well to grow your targeted community. It is one of the only social networks that enables you to easily find and connect with your target audience easily.

Facebook now requires you to pay to reach the audience you already invested heavily to grow. Recognize this and either establish a budget to do that or maintain your presence there, but get better elsewhere.

Above all, look at your social media connections as more of an intimate one-on-one relationship, rather than an audience for your advertisements. If you stop ignoring your community and respond to their mentions, seek to converse with them about what they’re doing and curate recent relevance based on their interests, you will earn their respect and gain their interest in what you do.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Brand, Community, Content, Curation, Engagement, Facebook, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Questioning The Status Quo Of Content Marketing, Traffic, Social Reach and SEO

When it comes to blogs, content creation and digital marketing, most content marketers are trying to achieve one main thing – TRAFFIC. You develop quality content for your audience in the hopes that you can generate new traffic and then repeat traffic that returns often. Mostly this is done through SEO, social reach and email subscriptions that connect your created content with those that find it interesting, relevant and valuable.

For the professional blogger, big brands or content sites, all of this comes together through high volumes of frequent new content, multiple authors and massive traffic. With very little budget, the average business, marketer or brand is often competing in all Status Quo of SEO and Content Marketingareas of online marketing, including social media, SEO and email subscribers in an uphill battle for eyeballs. The resulting content marketing, social media and search quandary becomes a high school-like popularity contest with few winners.

Popular content becomes the driver without regard for quality and social media becomes flooded with people sharing the same piece of marginal content. The social graph is flooded every day with shares of blogs, articles and news from the same sites and writers, which often contain tired, reused story ideas. Does this sound familiar?

Here are some questions we are asking ourselves:

  • For Social Marketers:

1) Is there a difference between recent/popular and recent/relevant content?

2) If curating recent/popular content drives more clicks and shares, does it also result in the desired engagement and relationships with your target audience?

3) Does curating the same popular content sources/authors day after day achieve real net results?

  • For Content Creators:

1) Is most popular search results benefiting the content creator as much as driving Pay Per Click competition for an advertising platform?

2) Does “tribal” sharing really achieve measurable results, clicks, views and expanded social reach of/by your intended audience?

3) Does the status quo effectively get your content in front of both your target audience and those that need it for curation?

Should the Status Quo Somehow Evolve?

As we continually ponder these questions at Bundle Post, we are also considering answers that have the opportunity to level the playing field between big brands, content sites and the average blogger, writer and brand.

  • Are there more questions we should be asking?
  1. What would it look like if content marketing, blog traffic and SEO were turned on its head to better benefit content creators, curators and the content consumer?
  2. What if there was an easier way for content creators to get their content in the hands of those that need to curate it, thereby expanding their social reach with their actual target audience?
  3. What if all the great content that is often undiscovered could better compete with the recent/popular content sites?
  4. How would content marketing, SEO and traffic evolve effectively if most recent/relevant quality content, not popularity became the bar?
  5. How can something like the Bundle Post RSS Project be used to positively impact brands, curators, consumers and social media marketers?

We are purposefully not answering some of the questions because we want to know what you think. We’d love your input and ideas.

 

10 Comments

Filed under Blog, Brand, Content, Curation, Results, RSS Feed, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing

Has Social Media Eliminated the Need for Face to Face Networking?

After a slow period of adaptation for many business people, nowadays most savvy business people are soundly embracing the Internet and social media for their networking and marketing needs. Even those who held out against social media use in their business are now realizing that this powerful force is here to stay and that using it is cost-effective and delivers results. In fact, many are starting to wonder if social media has eliminated the need for real world networking.

Face to Face Networking Remains Relevant

Digital NetworkingWhile online marketing is incredibly efficient and widens your scope of who you have the opportunity to network with, networking face to face is still incredibly important. This is especially true if your clientele is at least partially local. Getting out and meeting people will do wonders for your business, because those who may be on the fence about using your business will be more likely to be swayed in your direction after getting to know you.

There are many things that you can achieve much more readily in person through face to face networking. These are the things that tend to be more challenging to achieve when you only network online. Face to face networking lets you:

  • Build relationships that will lead to cross marketing opportunities with other businesses.
  • Establish yourself as a subject matter expert with your local community.
  • Stand out from the competition that is not doing face to face networking.
  • Get immediate feedback and responses that take much more time online.

Integrate Online And Offline Networking for Maximum Results

Integrating online and offline networking can produce the biggest benefits for your business. In fact, doing so allows you to be very strategic in your networking efforts and make the most of the time you dedicate to real world networking.

Use your online efforts to connect with others who would be ideal customers or fellow business people that you could partner with. Share local networking opportunities with these people and plan to meet at a real world networking event. Not only will you benefit from solidifying a relationship that you have started online, you will likely meet other people through that connection. When you attend networking events, check in via social media and you will likely find that there are other people you are connected to online who are in the same place.

As with any time you meet up with clients or business associates who are virtual strangers  to you, keep safety in mind. Always choose a public meeting place and use your own vehicle to get there, so you can leave quickly if necessary. When possible plan to attend daytime networking events or meetings. Share your plans with a trusted individual, who agrees to check on you if they have not been contacted at a prearranged time.

Even though the Internet is a much safer place to interact with strangers, there are distinct advantages to meeting face to face. Be wary when you do so and you can reap the benefits while not putting yourself in danger. Get the best of both worlds when you network online and off.

This was a guest post by:

TiffanyTiffany McDonald is a mommy, wifey, blogger and cat lover. She is also addicted to coffee, the Internet and all things social. She will talk to anyone willing to listen and is currently on an education campaign regarding family safety and security. She believes the new technologies surrounding home automation will empower caregivers for those of all ages. Connect with Tiffany on TwitterLinkedinor Google + 

7 Comments

Filed under Community, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

CEOs Watch A Lot Of Video – Social Media Marketing Is The Great Break-Through

Executives and Video75% of Executives polled in a recent survey told Forbes magazine that they watch work-related videos at least once per week.

Do you know what that means? It’s proof that once a person becomes an executive, they don’t just give up their social media or online habits. Executives are totally reachable online. At times there is a perception that you need to sell to the lowest common denominator and hope that they bring your pitch to the next Monday morning meeting. Most marketing efforts target the bottom tier of the pyramid (because it’s the wider net to cast), in hopes that somehow the big cheese will get wind of it.

Why aren’t more companies marketing to the President/CEO/CFO/VP if these are the people with the main decision making power? Because we still envision an out-of-touch authoritarian perched in a corner office on the 25th floor, guarded by a security desk and card access points. Want to know the best (or worst!) kept secret of the digital age? The Internet is the great equalizer. The invisible wall between your marketing and their eyes does not exist. We do not still live in a world where every memo needs to go through a secretary before it gets to the corner office on the 25th floor.

Video can help you shatter that illusion and speak directly with an executive demographic. Here’s an earth-shattering factoid: CEOs use the Internet too.

To be clear, most VPs, Presidents and CEOs aren’t wasting their 9 to 5’s passing around the latest cat meme or spending hours on YouTube learning the Harlem Shake. Know your audience. Forbes says that 50% of CEOs watch “work-related” videos on YouTube at least once a week. They are looking to catch on to new ideas that will add value to their business. They are searching for inspiration, knowledge, partnerships, information and value-drivers. They are fed business related content through their social media channels like Linkedin, RSS feeds, blogs and even Twitter.

Perhaps the most interesting number is 65%. That’s the percentage of CEOs who visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video. Here’s where Explainer video becomes a marketers dream. You can bust through that the pre-digital-age “wall of engagement”. The primary decision maker watches videos, and then actively engages with the information. Video is not passive marketing; rather, it is active marketing.

Social media marketing is this generation’s great break-through. You don’t need a secretary to book you a meeting; if you’ve invested in video content, you’ve already got your foot in the door.

This was a guest post by:

Christine SheppardChristine Sheppard is a movie buff with a degree in Film and a career in B2B marketing. She graduated from Carleton University with her BA in Film Studies, and continued her education at Ryerson University specializing in Film Production and Media Arts. Her approach to marketing is strongly influenced by her education, exploring the effects of new media on popular culture and keeping her finger on the pulse of the trends in marketing communications. Her career highlights include promotions and copy writing for film and television and her role as a marketing specialist launching innovative digital projects, traditional, and social marketing campaigns in a largely B2B environment. She is a member of the talented team of writers at Illustrate iT. Head over to the Illustrate iT Blog to read her weekly posts about the hottest topics in video marketing!

4 Comments

Filed under Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Video