Tag Archives: content creation

Top 2015 Social Media Predictions – Disruptive Technologies

It’s that time of year again when many social media “professionals” publish their predictions for the coming new year. Rarely, but on occasion, there are less than general forecasts that hit the bullseye. More often than not, many of the predicted transformations, Social Media & Digital Marketing Predictions for 2015platform trajectories and overall suggested industry paths are more or less off base or plainly obvious already from the previous year.

Although we don’t profess to be any more effective with a crystal ball, we believe we do have a fairly good pulse on the industry and have made some pretty on target predictions in the past. Though this is going to be one of our more lengthy posts, as we attempt to detail the background behind these predictions and outline where we see things going, it will be worth the read.

What we believe is very different about this coming year is due to social media in general, as well as the main platforms have matured in significant ways over the last several years, making their current paths pretty obvious to many. Furthermore the consolidation of platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp, among many others have further shown an industry that has grown up.

So What’s Next?

It is our belief that 2015 will see the rise of some very disruptive technology in the social, content marketing and search spaces. These required digital marketing components have become more and more disjointed and the gap in the playing field between the massive content sites and the small brand or blogger is widening at an alarming pace.

Why Is A Change Coming?

When an industry matures, what often happens next is consolidation. The acquisition of perceived current and/or future competition. We have seen this hold true in nearly every industry on and offline. Growth becomes more difficult as an industry matures and market penetration reaches critical mass, requiring acquisition to enable continued growth into new and adjoining markets.

Let’s face the facts, the common thread across all digital marketing is CONTENT. In 2013-2014 Facebook taught us that content is not only key to social and digital marketing success, but more importantly we have to find better ways to utilize it and control it if we are going to be successful – OR – you are going to have to pay to get people to see your content online.

Most of us now know that you must be consistently creating great content and getting traffic to that content in order to make it effective, however Mashable, Huffington Post and the numerous other massive content sites are dominating the noise, shares and traffic online. Everyone from large to local brands, as well as marketers and solepreneurs are now creating content, but are also competing with the plethora of content, news and celebrity sites where there is just no level playing field has become a big problem today and is only expected to get worse.

Today’s Options:

Given the current state of social media and content marketing, you are left with four main options to get traffic to your content.

1) Huge Community – You already have a huge loyal social community built (Big Brands). This represents only about 1% or less of social media accounts.

2) Sharing Platforms (Triberr) – I’ll share yours if you share mine, but wait, you’re not sharing mine. Even when you do share mine, few in your social community care what you share and I don’t get much or any traffic. Are you sure you’re really influential?

3) Social Pay to Play – If you want traffic to your content on Facebook, you better start paying. Does it work, sure! Is it sustainable or cost-effective? We don’t believe it is.

4) SEO/PPC – So you’re spending time on SEO for your content in hopes that it drives traffic. The only problem is that Google only wants to show searchers the most popular PAGES for their search, not the most resent/relevant content for their search. Why? Because they want you to invest in Pay Per Click ads on their platform. This isn’t a real solution for long-term, sustainable content traffic. Is it an option for traffic to your home page or landing page still, maybe…

General Predictions For 2015:

Now that social media and digital marketing has reached this mature phase, we can comfortably predict the next phase, which is disruption. Mature markets with massive companies dominating their space will always give rise to new innovation by smaller, lesser known businesses. We saw this with Google years ago, as they rapidly displaced the previous dominating search engines of AOL, Yahoo, Lycos and Alta Vista. (Ok, we just aged ourselves)

In 2015 we believe we are going to see technologies that will disrupt the status quo of the combination of social media marketing, content marketing and SEO/PPC marketing. These disconnected marketing components are ripe for new and innovative technology that will deliver unique and disruptive capabilities in 2015. We believe technology that uncovers new and completely unique ways to drive traffic to content, provide paths to improved social ROI and diminish the SEO/PPC models we have seen over the past decade are going to be made clear very soon.

Disruption Areas To Watch In 2015:

There are several key areas that I think are going to be dramatically effected with disruption in 2015:

1) General Social Media Marketing – As social media marketing becomes more and more complex, new technology is required to make it easier, regardless of user experience, knowledge or skill. This is a requirement for the industry whose time has come.

2) Big Data – The internal, open web and social silo’s are disconnected and therefore not as useful as they could be. Solutions that connect open web content to traffic to social will change this for big and small brands.

3) Traffic To Content – Technology that levels the playing field for content creators, exposes their content to those that need it and expanding the social reach of content in new innovative ways will be realized.

4) SEO/PPC – Though never going away, Google has made it clear that the inevitable demise of SEO is a top priority. Using SEO and PPC for content traffic will become less useful, requiring innovative technology to replace it.

5) CrowdCuration – We believe we will see the rise of new technology called crowdcuration that will make curating and sharing unique content very efficient, while enabling social users to build new traffic, thought leadership and communities through this new platform.

We will be writing a lot more on these 5 areas over the next 6 months, so be sure to subscribe to our blog, or add our feed to your BundlePost account.

 

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Filed under automation, BundlePost, Content, content creation, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Results, SEO, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, social media tool

How To Maintain Consistent Website And Content Traffic through Social Media

Maintaining consistent traffic to your content, website and landing pages is crucial to your online marketing success. The ability to understand your top traffic sources and subsequent traffic patterns once they land on your content is key to reducing the frequent ups and downs that are difficult to predict. Am I right?

How to Maintain Consistent Web and Content TrafficIn fact, many marketers and brands experience continual highs and lows of traffic depending on their ability to maintain consistent content creation, Pay per click (PPC) advertising and a consistent social media presence. The challenges that surround these required activities and the resources required to maintain consistency are just a few of the reasons that predictable and sustainable traffic levels are difficult to realize for most.

We all know these challenges and we are continually attempting to improve the results, often without success. The problems brands, marketers and other organizations face in this environment are easy to define, establishing simplified, results driven solutions should be as well. Unfortunately. for many they are not, so let’s try to change that.

How to Maintain and Scale Web and Content Traffic?

We have established processes and technology (BundlePost) that has enabled us to consistently maintain predictable and scalable traffic to our site, content and landing pages every day, week and month. We have achieved the predictability by following a duplicatable process on a consistent daily basis, and you can too.

1) Social Media – If you aren’t doing social media right, nothing else in this post is going to help you. Think of your social media as the foundation of your web, content and landing page traffic. You must have a consistent, active and engaged social presence at the core of your traffic strategy. If you are unsure whether you have this soundly in place, refer to the numerous posts on our blog about what a proper and effective social presence looks like.

Here’s a couple of blog posts that will help, should you need clear definitions of “Doing Social Right”:

– 50 Random Things I Have Learned About Social Media Marketing

– 18 Amateur Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid – Part 1

– 18 Amateur Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid – Part 2

2) Connect – Imagine finding the perfect radio station with your exact target audience you’re trying to reach, but they only had 60 listeners. You would never get ROI if you ran your ad there, even if every single listener bought from you. Likewise in social media, you must have a large enough target audience in order to see consistent, predictable results. You must find and connect with your target audience to continually be growing your community, provide them with selfless value everyday, all day and most importantly build relationships with them through conversation and appreciation.

3) Content Curation – Giving selfless value through curating great content is important. Be sure that you are doing it consistently and the topics are relevant to your audience. Good curation will earn the right to share and promote your own content.

4) Content Creation – If you are not creating good content consistently, you will not build thought leadership or have anything new to deliver to your audience. Consistent new content written for your audience builds a following of loyal readers that rely on you for knowledge and new information.

5) Marketing Messages – When you are doing social properly, you earn the right to pitch what you do. I am not talking about tagging people in your marketing messages, but rather posting about your product or service across your streams. When you have earned relationships through conversations that were started through great created and curated content, people are far more open to click on your marketing messages. You must have your marketing messages in your streams daily that lead to your landing pages.

6) Evergreen Content – When you are creating great content consistently, you build a repository of content to share repeatedly. Remember that people are not signed into social networks all day long and you are adding new connections to your community frequently. Therefore many will not have seen a blog post you wrote months ago and you will want to use that content in your streams again and again in a conscious and strategic way.

The key to all of these important activities is consistency. The more consistent you are, the more each component achieves improved results. When you consistently do them together, the results become dramatically compounded and through measurement and tracking you will be able to scale up and maintain consistent traffic to your website, landing pages and content.

to get consistent traffic, you need to understand where it's coming from and leverage this sources more

To get consistent traffic through your social media marketing efforts, you need to understand where the traffic is coming from and why, then leverage those sources more. When you take the time to understand your top traffic sources, you will be able to spend more time where you are getting the most consistent results, and less time where results are more challenging.

What Is Your Traffic Achieving?

Once you have laid the foundation of your process and are consistently executing it, you need to ensure that you have a plan related to dealing with the consistent traffic you are driving to your pages. If you are going to start achieving consistent traffic to your site, your content and landing pages, you need a plan to convert that traffic.

What is your goal for the traffic? (what are you trying to achieve? example – leads, newsletter subscribers, new trial accounts, etc.)

Is your page messaging and traffic flow conducive to that goal?

Are you measuring and tracking your conversion of new unique visitors that sign up, order, become a lead, etc.?

Do you have lead capture forms and other technology in place to facilitate the intended goal?

 

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Filed under Audience, Blog, connection, Content, content creation, Curation, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

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?

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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

Social Media: It’s Quantity AND Quality, Not Either Or

For many years I have been explaining that social media is like a freeway. The analogy here is that you must have enough cars on the road (curated posts, status updates, etc) on the freeway every day, all day, if you are going to be seen and therefore be effective. This concept is extremely important on all platforms since we know that social network users are not logged on watching their streams all day long. Whenever they log in, or step up to the side of the freeway, you want to ensure they see one of your cars flying by that is something interesting and relevant to them.

With the onset of Pay to Play, specifically on Facebook, the posting quantity element becomes even more crucial. For over two years now, we have been slowly and methodically increasing the quantity of posts we send every day and have found that there is a direct correlation with the amount of clicks, likes, comments and overall real results that this has achieved. If more people see you every day, your results will increase, as long as your posts are relevant and valuable and you don’t over do it.

social media quantity is as important as qualityWith Facebook massively constricting anything resembling organic reach for pages that are not paying to boost their posts, marketers need to increase the volume of posts they are doing to maximize the organic reach they can garner. In fact, all social media platforms are adding advertising models in order to monetize their user base. At the same time social network monetization is occurring, the volume of content being generated, posted and shared within the social graph is continually increasing at exponential levels. What that means for you is that quantity AND quality of curated and created content you post are equally important. You MUST increase the volumes you are currently posting if you are going to maintain your existing result levels, let alone increase them.

There are no surprises here. I have been saying this for years. In fact, as early as 2008, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg defined the “Zuckerberg’s Law” about content sharing. The “law” is very similar to what many in technology known as “Moore’s Law“. Zuckerberg said, “I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before…”

Last week, a friend of mine sent me the following tweet:

@brianrants –  I think @jaybaer unknowingly makes the case for @BundlePost extremely well here

In Jay’s incredible presentation he asks the question if it is time to replace the rifle with the shotgun in social media marketing. Though I definitely agree that the posting volumes have to increase dramatically if you’re going to continue to be successful, I would and have always said that it has never been an either or situation. It’s BOTH!

Conclusion:

I prefer not to use the shotgun analogy as it has more of a negative connotation to most people. The implication is that of slinging mud on the wall in the hopes that something sticks. That is not what I am saying or implying whatsoever. Rather I am saying that quality, relevant and interesting content is a requirement, every bit as much as the quantity you are posting… And now that the game has changed, the quantity needs to increase to keep pace.

I am also not going to say that paying for boosted posts is out of the question. There may be a place for that for many marketers. But again, this is not an either or scenario. Volume matters…

The social media marketing game has changed and you have to change with it or be left in the dust.

Are you aware of the changes that are impacting what you were doing?

What are you doing to work with these changes in order to continue to maintain and increase your social success?

What does all of this look like for Twitter? You need to have more than 20 relevant, valuable posts per day if you want to even be seen. And that’s a MINIMUM.

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Filed under Content, content creation, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Social Media Conversations That Become Leads

Conversations within social media is what builds relationships. Those resulting relationships are what lay the foundations for real results like sales, revenue and customer acquisition. But the question I hear most often is “How do you get into conversations that become leads?”

Social media conversations that become leadsOne way to get into conversations is to simply start them with others. For brands this is an infinitely more difficult task given the resources required, the restrictions of certain social networks and simply time. This doesn’t scale well and therefore is often only a small part of a social strategy long-term. Starting conversations with your target audience is effective, but requires massive resources to pull it off with anything resembling return on investment (ROI).

Another and more frequently used approach to starting conversations is something I call luring.

I frequently use analogies to correlate social media marketing to things that most people already understand. I find that many comprehend some of the complexities of social media much better this way. So let’s look at social media engagement or social selling as fishing.

Lure, luring, fishing. Get it?

If you agree that “Content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships and relationships result in ROI“, then we can equate content to a fishing lure and getting a bite on the line as a conversation. The reason for a fishing lure is to attract and catch fish. Different sizes and types of lures are designed to attract different types and sizes of fish. Therefore the right content, created and curated (the lure) in your streams will attract a certain type of prospect and therefore increase the chances that they share, comment or like the content you post (the bite).

Furthering our analogy, if you don’t cast enough times on the day you are fishing, you greatly reduce your chances of getting any bites. Casting your lure into the lake only a few times will likely result in no fish being attracted to your lure. You have to keep casting, reeling in and casting again in order to increase the odds that a fish will even see your lure, let alone be attracted to it. This is why having enough consistent, relevant, valuable content in your streams is so important.

This gets even complex when there are numerous types of fish in the lake, but you’re only interested in catching a specific kind. Now you have to consider WHICH lures (content subject matter) are best to attract that specific type of fish and also how many times you need to be casting and reeling in your lure each and every day in order to get a bite. If you want to attract fish that have a higher propensity to engage with you from the content you post, focus on curating content that highlights the challenges that your product and service solves for your target audience.

5 Social Media Ways To Foster Conversations With The Right Audience –

  1. Enough Posts (Casting) – social network users are logging on and off, and switching from desktop to mobile all day long. If you do not have enough posts all day, every day, you’re likely to be seen less.
  2. Content Type (The Lure) – Whether you are curating or creating content, you need to ensure that what you are posting is relevant and interesting to your target audience. Know what THEY are interested in and post about those topics. This is what will get them to engage YOU.
  3. Crowded Waters – Just because an article is popular or comes from a popular site, doesn’t mean you should post it in your streams. In fact, I would say that in most cases the opposite it true. Sharing content that everyone has already seen, read and shared themselves is hardly an effective strategy. If your peers and competitors are fishing in the same cove of the lake, grab your fishing pole and fish somewhere else where this fish see less of the same lures.
  4. Create Lures – Along with posting curated content, you should also be creating content. Think of this as the experienced fly fisherman that ties their own flies. Know your intended audience (fish) and what they’re interested in and create content that connects their needs, challenges and interests with what you do, without overtly pitching your product or service.
  5. Leads – When you have a “fish on” (conversation started) don’t reel it in as fast as humanly possible. Take the time to expand the conversation around your contact without immediately moving to what you do. Building relationships over time is what gets results. Getting a bite and immediately attempting to land the fish is a great way to rip the hook out and lose the fish altogether.

At the end of the day, social media marketing lead generation is not dissimilar to the real world. Relationships take time and often require many conversations to build trust. Taking the time to earn that trust will open doors to discuss what you do with your connections and turn relationships into leads.

If you’re having the right conversations with the right connections, your conversations will become leads.

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Filed under Brand, Community, Content, content creation, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Selling, Uncategorized

How To: Expand Local Business Social Reach Through Content Creation

Even the smallest brands and individual online marketers need to create relevant content for their target audience. It’s about creating thought leadership in certain topics, staying top of mind with your audience and driving traffic to your site through your blog or other social platforms.

Expanding Social ReachThere are many types of content creation that marketers and small brands can and should be doing. Some of the types of created content are; Blog posts, video, images, graphics, infographics, email newsletters, landing pages, events. Most of these kinds of content creation can be done with limited resources, using smart phones or by outsourcing to experienced small agencies.

Expand Your Social Reach:

One of the important and often overlooked reasons consistent content creation is so important is that it provides the opportunity for local businesses and small marketers to expand their social reach. By consistently creating content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience, you also generate content that other social media users want to share.

At the heart of effective social media marketing is sharing or “curating” relevant content from others. In fact, when done properly, about 80% of what a social media marketer posts should come from sources other than themselves. This means that they need recent, relevant content on a daily basis and a lot of it!

Some How To’s:

  • Be consistent with at least 1-2 blog posts per week. Make it easy by using images and videos you capture in and around your daily work and personal activities as the basis for your posts.
  • Optimize your posts around locality and topics both your audience and content curators are interested in.
  • Share your content with hashtags both your audience and content curators are using and following around your locality and topics.
  • Write for legacy, not always events. In other words, create content that is not event-driven but is timeless and can be posted, read and consumed long-term, not just for a specific date or event.
  • Identify and build relationships with social media accounts that post and share about local content frequently. By developing these relationships, they will likely find and share your content as well.
  • On the day’s you publish your posts, schedule shares on Twitter up to 3-4 times across the day and once on other social platforms.
  • ALWAYS include at least one graphic in your posts.
  • Share the graphic from your blog post on image networks like Instagram and Pinterest with a link to the blog post it came from.
  • Share your legacy content in your social streams repeatedly over time.
  • Start conversations with your target audience when they post something that is connected to one of your recent posts. As the conversation develops you can mention a blog post you did on the topic and share the link. (when appropriate)

Some Never Ever’s:

  • Never tag people/accounts when you share it on social media. We call this spam. Earn relationships that want to share your content.
  • Don’t create content that is only and always about you, your company or what you do. Instead create content around what interests your target audience at a rate of 80% and 20% of your blog posts should be about you, your products, services and specials, etc.

Content creation can be a very effective way for local businesses to drive traffic to their website. It is best done when it adds value to the target audience and is not-self centered. Include outreach campaigns to develop relationships that need your content for their social media strategies and always thank those that mention and share your content.

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Filed under Blog, Content, content creation, Curation, Infographic, Marketing, Relationship, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Spam, Strategy

How To Know Your Social Media Content Strategy Isn’t Working

Determining what isn’t working within your social media marketing strategy is imperative. Your content strategy is often one of the areas that is off, and the reason your efforts are thus far in vain. If you don’t have a proper social media content strategy it will affect the rest of your social media marketing results. Identifying the key indicators pointing to what’s not working is extremely important.

Social Media Content StrategyWhat are a few of the signs that the content strategy you are using with your social media marketing isn’t working?

1) No Shares – One of the biggest things you should be seeing that will validate the topics and content you post about are shares. If you’re not getting a fair amount of RT’s and shares of the content you curate, post and create, your content strategy is missing the mark.

2) No Engagement – When your community likes and comments on the content you are posting to your streams, you can infer that the content types and topics you are posting about is resonating. But lets be very clear here. I said likes AND comments. A subtle thing many miss is that likes without comments is not a good indicator of relevance. You’re looking for both likes and comments that show your content strategy is connecting with your audiences interests.

3) No Clicks – One thing that is often overlooked is the measurement of traffic to YOUR websites, landing pages and content. When you have nailed a curation and creation content strategy, you will be providing consistent content that resonates with your audience and opens interest in content you create and more importantly an openness to investigate what you and/or your company actually does. If your social media posts about you and your services aren’t generating traffic, it’s a good indication that nobody cares what you post.

4) No Leads/Sales – At the end of the day, social media marketing needs to be about results. It needs to be about more than just clicks, engagement, likes and community size. If your content strategy is working and you have speaking to the proper audience with the content you curate and create, it will lead to conversations and then relationships.

Earning relationships should be your focus from the beginning. Providing selfless value through content posting, content creation and shares will open conversations with your community. As those conversations increase, relationships are formed, thought leadership is established and relationships grown. Through those relationships you will also generate inquiries, leads and revenue.

If you have the proper content strategy in place and are doing the proper activities surrounding what you post, likes, comments, conversations, clicks, traffic, relationships and sales are the result.

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Filed under Community, Content, Curation, Engagement, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Uncategorized