Tag Archives: relevant

When Brands Fail To Remain Relevant, They RadioShack – Who’s Next?

Now that the buzz and media frenzy about the demise of RadioShack and the analysis of why by Wall Street and other experts  is beginning to subside, another consideration should be examined. What happens to brands that do not remain relevant, stop innovating and sit on their hind quarters? Well in short, they RadioShack…

When Brands Fail to Remain RelevantAre You Relevant?

On and offline businesses should be getting a clear message that remaining relevant through evolving with changing times is a must. The penalties for not doing so can be incredibly harsh as we have seen with many top brands in North America that became so massive and full bureaucracy that they could no longer move or even make decisions quickly when times changed. A reliance on their “brand” coupled with an expectation that their customers would remain loyal if they continued to do business and usual has resulted in many going the way of RadioShack.

Many have commented and speculated as to the reasons for RadioShack and other big brands falling, but the details all tend to simply boil down to not remaining relevant and changing with the times. We’ve seen very similar results with the likes of Palm, BlackBerry and even Kmart. Regardless of the industry, company size or product niche, brands and marketers must realize what their customers want, how their buying habits change and how marketing and delivery of products and services continually change.

Who’s Next?

We believe the next industry that we can expect to experience a significant shake up is in the content world. Now we bet you are thinking we mean online, and that will be part of it, but for this discussion we are referring to content providers, television and Hollywood.

Just like digital disrupted the music industry with the rise of the iPod and later online music services like Pandora and iHeartRadio, the cable and satellite space is going to be in real trouble. Visual content we normally think of for television, movie theaters and DVD players has been on a long transition toward streaming services via the likes of Netflix and others.

Now before you start thinking “duh, we know this”, it’s important that we take the discussion to a deeper level. Beyond the innovation of technology resulting in an advancement in relevance that Streaming Video providers are delivering to the market, there are a few other things that they are taking advantage of that might not be as obvious.

1) People hate their Cable Company – Maybe hate is too strong of a word, but most of us dislike Comcast and the like. We feel you have extorted from us for years, displayed horrible customer service and near zero concern for us as a customer. Your social media has highlighted these facts to many and your prices are not sustainable. Most of use want something better, that gives us control, without the $200+ monthly bill.

2) Content is becoming a Commodity – With the internet expanding in technology and access on a daily basis, we know how to get the content we want, without being tied to our television. Though we like our local content and special “shows”, we are tired of you controlling the content we have access to and when and how we can access it. Additionally, your technology is seemingly ancient and we want the latest, easiest to use and non-tethered options that fit our lifestyle.

3) On Demand Rules Consumption – The way we want to consume content is changing. We have increasingly busy and diverse work hours and responsibilities for career and home. We want access to content when it is convenient for us, not you.

These are just a few of the reasons that Comcast and the like are going to see a disruption in their monopoly businesses. Technology is advancing and driving down price, while increasing access, mobility and on demand capabilities today’s consumer wants. Innovation, service and care has all but disappeared in the space, while prices and restrictions continue to rise. Consumers are screaming for alternatives and the industry is only clamping down harder to retain their domination. This opens the door for massive market disruption.

Online Disruption As Well?

These similar constraints and concerns will ultimately disrupt online content consumption patterns as well. As consumers increasingly tire of Google and Facebook controlling the content they’re able to see and easily discover and marketer frustration is amplified for many connected reasons, a shakeup to the status quo is certainly going to come in short order. Consumers want the most recent relevant content in increasingly simplified ways and content marketers, brands and blogs need improved abilities to get in front of those consumers with their content. Do you see the similarities here? Another space rife for disruption.

How do you see relevance and innovation disrupting on and offline brands, marketers and consumers in the future?

 

 

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Filed under Brand, Content, customer service, Facebook, Google, marketers, Marketing, Social Media

14 Things I’ve Learned About Content Curation In Social Media

We recently published a post called “50 Random Things I Have Learned About Social Media Marketing” that quickly became one of our most viewed posts of all time. It was obvious that many people appreciate a clear and concise post that lists actionable items and truths about effective social media marketing. We decided to apply the same principle to a post about content curation.

14 things I've learned about content curation in social mediaContent curation is something that has been written about quite extensively, however most people still don’t seem to understand what it is and how to be effective with it in social media. In fact many brands even ignore the importance of curation in their streams and instead continually talk about themselves.

Let’s start off by assigning a definition to content curation that is easily understood. Content Curation is the act of discovering, aggregating and posting online content that was produced by others, not yourself. Curation is typically focused on a specific topic or small number of topics that are considered relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. Though it is often misunderstood, to actually curate relevant content is to also add context, editorial comment or attribution to posts that you are sharing, content curation has become synonymous with aggregating and sharing relevant content whether or not context is added to the post.

As the founder and CEO of Bundle Post, an experienced social media marketer and previously a social media agency founder, I have a lot of time and effort invested in understanding and effectively using social content curation. Here are just a few of the things I have learned over the years that I believe you will find eye-opening and helpful.

14 (of the hundreds of things) I’ve learned about curating content in social media:

1) Knowing your audience and what they’re interested in is imperative.

2) Curating content from the same popular sources everyone else is, is not effective.

3) Curating content that is suggested from sites based on what others are already sharing is not effective. (see number 2)

4) Curating unique, recent and relevant content that is targeted toward your audience’s interest, will initiate engagement by your audience.

5) Retweeting on Twitter and Sharing posts on Facebook is not curating with a strategy, it’s executing someone else’s strategy. You need to RT and share other people’s posts, but not as your entire posting strategy.

6) Hashtagging curated posts with a strategy will grow your target audience if you do it properly.

7) Important reasons you must curate quality content posts:

  1. Provide relevant, selfless value to your community
  2. Build thought leadership on topics important to your strategy
  3. To stay top of mind with your audience
  4. To spark conversations
  5. To earn the right to share and promote your stuff

8) Developing a specific curation strategy is an important part of an overall social media strategy.

9) People are not logged in watching their streams all day, every day. Having enough relevant posts all day long is important.

10) Being consistent with your curation posting makes a huge difference in your results.

11) Proper content curation sparks conversations with your audience and that leads to relationships and ROI.

12) When a curated post receives a lot shares, likes and engagement, it is resonating with your audience. Schedule it several more times over the next week to maximize the effectiveness of that single post.

13) There is no choice between quantity and quality with content curation. It’s always BOTH.

14) Curated social media posts that often get the most shares and engagement are the ones that are by relatively unknown sources!

As you can see, effective social media curation is anything but mindless sharing. It is conscious and active and based on a deep understanding of your audience. There is a substantial difference between the end results of sharing content suggested by some algorithm, a tribe you belong to or content that is really popular as opposed to curation of unique, recent and relevant content your audience finds interesting and valuable. The thoughtful execution of a well thought out strategy is what makes content curation massively effective in the long run.

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Filed under Brand, Content, content creation, Curation, Facebook, Marketing, Relationship, Results, Retweet, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Tools, 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.

 

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

Social Media Content And The Social Selling Process [INFOGRAPHIC]

Content is so incredibly important in social media marketing. Many marketers and sad to say social media agencies don’t realize the true impact it has on getting to the all important return on investment results that are often missed. Social media content is a crucial part of the “social selling” process as well, so I decided to put together a little infographic on a process we use to show how content starts everything!

Social Selling InfographicOf course every business and industry is different and some of the steps and details will need to be adjusted for your specific brand. The important thing to note is that content drives the social selling process. Content is what starts conversations with your target audience.

There are few important steps I want to point out:

1) Content – Where it all starts. You need to know the topics your audience are interested in, then find and post articles, news and information that is valuable to them. You need to have enough of that content posted throughout the entire day, so that whenever your audience is online, one of your posts is seen.

*the quantity of posts per day varies from social network to social network. For example you would post much more frequently on Twitter than your personal Facebook page. You would post much less frequently to your company Facebook page than your personal Facebook page. Then of course there is LinkedIn, Google Plus etc…

2) Conversations – These are what build relationships. No matter whether you are a BtoB (Business to Business) service company, or a local restaurant, people tend to do business with people they feel they know and like. Since conversations build relationships, this is key to the social selling process. The content you are sharing should be so relevant, interesting and valuable to your audience that they like, comment and/or share it. That opens the door to a thank you and a personal or business question or conversation.

*be sure to focus the bulk of your conversations with those that are prospects for your product and service. Spending time in conversations with a dad in Ohio, when you are a local beauty shop in Texas doesn’t further your sales efforts. That doesn’t mean ignore those that are not prospects, just use common sense and your time wisely.

3) Explain – When a follower asks about you or what you do, you are now in selling mode. This looks very different from one business type to another. Give a short answer and always include a link to your brief video, marketing piece or webpage that you have previously designed for this specific purpose.

Be sure to only do this with someone you know is a prospect for your product/service.

*be prepared with posts that are already written to cover the various questions you might get and edit them specifically for the person you are speaking to at that moment.

4) Next Step – Do you know ahead of time what the next step is or should be in the social selling process? If you are a restaurant, do you have a special to hand off to someone to get them to come in? Does your BtoB service company have a demo procedure you can immediately plug into with the person? Do you schedule time on your calendar for soft invites for “Let’s talk” or “we should talk” options right at that moment?

Know exactly what your options are and what works, then drive down the appropriate path with each relationship as the conversation lends itself.

5) Ongoing – Whether or not the person/company becomes a customer after going through the social selling process, you will always want to go back to monitor and engage. If you have established a relationship and know they are a prospect for you, monitor their activity for opportunities to share their content and/or engage in additional conversation. This goes for those that become customers and those that do not. I can’t stress this enough.

As you review the social selling process inforgraphic and the details I have outlined here, you should be asking yourself a few questions.

  • Is the content we are sharing interesting to our audience?
  • Are we getting frequent comments, likes and shares from our community every day, all day?
  • Is the engagement we are getting from prospects for our product or service?
  • Do we know which followers/fans in our community are our prospective customers?

If the answer is no to any of these four questions, your content strategy, topics, frequency and targeting is most likely off and needs considerable adjustment. Additionally, appropriate social CRM solutions should be immediately employed to enable you to better focus time and efforts on the right conversations with the right people.

P.S. – Don’t SPAM!  That is all… :-)

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Filed under Community, Facebook, Fanpage, Followers, Infographic, Marketing, Monitoring, Relationship, Social content management, Social CRM, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Social Selling, Strategy, Twitter

Content Doesn’t Matter – 4 Things To Avoid

Let me be clear here. Content that is not targeted to your audience, is not consistent in your feeds and does not spark sharing and conversations, doesn’t matter…

There are four things you need to avoid surrounding content, if you want it to matter at all.

1) Posting content without a clear intent is a great way to get your audience to tune out. You know, constant random stuff that is not at all interesting, relevant or valuable. When your community sees content like this on a frequent basis, they tend to tune out most everything else you do. Hence, Content Doesn’t Matter…

Have a clear strategy designed to consistently posting relevant, valuable content that matters to your audience.

2) Mostly retweeting and/or sharing content posted by others isn’t leading. Sourcing and curating your own content that is relevant to your target audience is imperative. Doing so creates thought leadership with your community and makes you a reliable source that is top of mind whenever they log onto the social graph. You want your audience to be looking for your posts, not passively seeing your constant sharing of others content.

If you are just going to share what other people post, know that you will get much less shares yourself. Hence, Content Doesn’t Matter…

3) Not posting enough content makes you invisible. I have often referred to social media as a Freeway. You must have enough cars (Content/Posts) on the freeway everyday so no matter when your audience steps up to the side of the freeway, one of your cars go by. You need to efficiently aggregate content that is interesting and relevant to your audience and post it consistently across the social graph.

If you are posting content a few times per day on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, you need to understand that nobody is even seeing what you post. Hence, Content Doesn’t Matter…

4) Never creating your own content won’t work. Articles, graphics, blogs and videos are all required content every company must have. Content creation has become a required component for being a thought leader in your industry.

If you are not consistently creating your own content every month, you are not going to see the best results from your social media marketing. Hence, Content Doesn’t Matter…

So again, content doesn’t matter if you are not using it properly. Focus on developing a content strategy that addresses these four areas and you will quickly see improvements in all of the appropriate metrics of your social media marketing.

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Filed under Community, Facebook, Marketing, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter