It's no secret that this year, SEOs and Social Media bods have been throwing the 'C' word around like it's the next big thing. Well, it's safe to say that content is not the next big thing, it's actually been a big thing for quite some time now. A marketing discipline in its own right, it can make or break campaigns and can be instrumental in attracting and retaining customers.
Since Google got SEOs all flustered with the Penguin and Panda algorithm updates, SEOs have tried valiantly to keep on the right side of the search giant. The idea is that by creating great content, that's loved and shared by all, and avoiding spammy link building techniques, Google will reward people for their efforts and let them rise through the SERP rankings. If you've read my stuff before you'll know I'm an advocate of integrated working and so I'm all for SEOs and Social Media people creating great content; after all, it'll make our jobs as Content Marketers far easier. However, there's one tiny thing that's really been bugging me of late: the omission of content strategy.
Now that we've got all and sundry talking about content marketing, the strategy side of things is often overlooked. People are more interested in getting content out into the ether for others to link to, share, and like rather than thinking about the bigger picture - and it's obvious that it's happening.
How to recognise those without a content marketing strategy
No consistent message
I have a confession to make.... I really, really like Facebook Ads. Whew! I'm glad I got that off of my chest. While it might not be a popular thought, Facebook Ads are a great way to hyper target your desired demographic on the biggest social network out there. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand why people do not like Facebook Ads. If you execute a campaign without the proper insights and strategy, you very well could waste hundreds of dollars. With a little research and practice, a quality Facebook Ad strategy is very achievable, however that will be saved for another blog. I really want to talk about a new finding that should re-energize your enthusiasm for paid advertising on Facebook. Ready or not, here it comes!
Facebook Advertising can positively impact the results of paid search marketing results!
There you have it. You can now start loving Facebook Ads again. This discovery was made by the folks at Kenshoo when they conducted a study of a 2,500 plus store retailer. They took a look at the retailer's results where certain segments of the targeted audience were exposed to just paid search and when they were exposed to paid search AND Facebook Ads. Their findings were very interesting. Here is a breakdown of the four main takeaways:
The holidays are usually a make-hay time for marketers. One simply can't miss the opportunity of catering to the shoppers' inflated appetites (not to mention that salespeople often whet those appetites themselves).
So, what does your marketing plan include this season - another boring sale? If you are up for something different this year, here are a few ideas for flavoring your festive content with holiday cheer the right way!
Set your goals
First off, while planning your content marketing activities for Q4, think of which categories of customers you'd like to engage. Think whether your marketing activities at Thanksgiving/Christmas will be centered around:
I'm usually quite matter-of-fact in these actionable posts, so straight to the point! Here you'll find 8 ways to help you measure how effective your blog is.
1. First of all, compare the natural growth of visits to your blog overall with regard to a similar period the previous year, and then the average visits for each post. Compare also the bounce rate, sources of traffic, social conversion, individual visitors, pages visited and average stay on your site and in each post.
2. Measure the number of people who unsubscribed to your newsletter, email or RSS subscriptions in the last month / quarter / semester / year. This way, you'll understand whether your content is the right content for your community, if you have an interesting community and whether there is a connection with your readers. According to the measurements I carry out of my blogs and others I'm in contact with, the average rate is usually 2-3% per month at most.
When social media first appeared it offered a way to interact with your peers. Slowly it grew to become a viable place to market and network. Wide used techniques for this marketing and networking were developed, and have stayed widely in use throughout the passing years. Actually, you are probably using those techniques yourself in the way you promote your business today... but this won't cut it in the modern world. Simply being online nine to five, sharing things, and promoting the crap out of your business does not work anymore. Let's take a look at how you can revamp this stale old strategy into something which will actually help you bring in customers and sales.
Forget Cookie Cutter Promoting
Social media participation is a necessary part of an integrated marketing mix. Customers and prospects look for reviews and online activity before making purchase decisions. Joining the right networks can expand marketing reach and introduce your brand to new people. Social network site loyalty often follows when an active social hub generates leads and revenue. Becoming loyal to a platform is risky business because things change.
Only a few years ago, MySpace was the top social site in activity and revenue. Facebook came along and left MySpace playing catch up. Shortly after Google+ launched, I commented online that it would contribute to Facebook losing relevancy within five years. Most of the responses I received included the word "crazy" in less than flattering messages. Now, less than three years later, Facebook activity is declining.
Facebook was originally designed for young users. The appeal to that target market is gone. Teen interest in Facebook is waning. This is an immediate issue for brands that serve the teen market. It is a pending issue for brands that serve their parents. If the parents joined Facebook because of their teens' activity, they will follow their children to other sites.
Does the shift in teen activity mean that Facebook is dying?
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