‘Use your Paid, Owned and Earned Media not only to sell in the short term but also to increase the size, engagement and value of your Proprietary audiences over the long term’(Rohrs 2013)
Rohr’s conclusion is that three elements are essential when developing proprietary audiences these being size, engagement and value (Rohrs 2013)
Genuine engagement goes far beyond a basic ‘like’ and the generic tactics utilised by organisations such as pictures of cute kittens, I’ll argue that real engagement is based on interaction above and beyond simple likes or pluses its based on conversation. I feel that ‘join the conversation’ almost qualifies as a banality such as ‘content is king’, if Social Media for business is allowed to degenerate into turgid missing caption competitions and the use of ‘cute’ stock imagery then its a real opportunity lost by Small Businesses to engage and build a genuine rapport with their clientele/customers so there is a need for businesses to genuinely join the conversation rather than just pretending to, engagement is earned it cannot really be bought.
I appreciate that social media needs to be monitored, but while developing metrics and measurements practitioners could potentially fall into the cynic’s trap of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. At the heart of every Social Media success story lies engagement.
Of all the Social Engagement Metrics I have examined, I prefer the ones proposed by Avinash Kaushik because they are readily measured but don’t rely on too esoteric metrics, the metrics he proposes are as follows:
• Conversation rate
number of replies per post
• Amplification rate
number of shares or retweets per post
• Applause Rate
number of likes, favourites or plus ones per post
• Economic Value
Value per visitor (kausik.net)
Conversation Rate. Amplification Rate. Applause Rate. Economic Value. Four simple measures that get you to focus on the right thing from a social media participation perspective help you understand how well you are doing at it, and quantify the business impact. (kausik.net)
These Measurements offer the best of both worlds as they offer actual figures for those who like to measure the impact of social media additionally practitioners can easily monitor campaigns. Kausik helpfully suggests Analytics solutions capable of monitoring these metrics.
I believe that engagement lies at the heart of effective social media some commentators dismiss engagement as a meaningless buzzword I disagree completely and feel it’s a shame that that the term has been devalued, hopefully this article has provided food for thought and a possible solution for monitoring the impact of your social media efforts. Note that Carl Potts Designs offer social media campaigns designed specifically for Smaller Businesses contact me today to request a consultation.
Content Marketing is possibly the most influential trend in online marketing today with insert facts here.
I want to use this weeks post to explore the concept and clarify what successful content marketing requires then I’ll examine the benefits of content marketing, and how it fits into your overall marketing plan. We’ll then conclude with an overview of the takeaway points
At first glance Content Marketing appears to be an easily understood model, a number of authors suggest that it’s nothing new only that delivery of engaging content via a website hub is a new variant of an old approach, examining the concept beyond the simplest level, Ann Handley suggests
‘Content is what sets your company apart – because it will define how you relate to your customers, and whether your customers choose you over anyone else’ (Curata 2013)
Joe Pulizzi argues that Content Marketing is far more than simply creating content which answers the questions of leads and potential customers, Content marketing sets out to complete business objectives which can include
• Increasing Website Traffic
• Brand Awareness and Visibility
• Asset Downloads
• Lead Generation
• Building trust
• Improving customer loyalty (Source: Curata 2013)
Content marketing has a number of benefits, amongst these being
• Better Search Engine Rankings
• Developing customer trust
• Brand Recognition
It is a lot easier to publicise a website which is filled with great quality content which solves peoples problems as opposed to one with hardly any content. Search Engine Optimisation in 2014 is basically concerned with the development of good quality content, with recent Algorithm changes by Google such as Panda and Penguin have penalised sites with poor quality content, not so much ‘build it and they will come, rather answer their questions, entertain them and they might come’
Jay Baer suggests that top of mind awareness is a powerful sales tool i.e. when a customer thinks of a brand they think of your company, Content Marketing is a fantastic way for generating top of mind awareness especially when your content promoted via Social Media
We’ve seen that Content Marketing is not really a new approach to marketing it is however a new discipline (Pulizzi 2012) beyond the obvious creation of content there has to be underlying and measureable business objectives, it is not a case of simply ‘creating content for contents sake’, there is no need to go over the many benefits of content marketing again. The Consequences of having poor quality or little content are worth examining
• Lack of Customer engagement with high bounce rates
• Poor Search Engine rankings
Please note that the Carl Potts Designs Newsletter regularly covers topics such as ‘what is good quality content?’ and how can Website content be promoted effectively. Please signup today for the monthly newsletter if you would find further information on this subject and other online marketing topics interesting.
For this weeks Blog post, I’ll be returning to the content theme I’ve explored previously. By now it should be fairly obvious that I’m a firm believer in the advantages of content marketing. This post aims to go beyond the obvious and address the quality issue, which is in my opinion what differentiates great content from merely acceptable content. Great quality content shares many characteristics with good quality content however there is other qualities which make all the difference, that’s the ‘secret sauce’ if you like
Good content has the following qualities, it is:
Great Content is has all these qualities and the following in addition
• Passionate, the Author genuinely cares about the subject
Kristina Halvorson defines it thus:
Great content meets users’ needs and supports key business objectives. It engages and informs. It’s well written and intuitively organised. It keeps people coming back for more’
(Kristina Halvorson 2012)
In the great content gold rush of 2014, everyone (or nearly everyone) has been in a rush to create and offer free content. Personally I feel this is unsustainable. Far too much of the free content on offer is of mediocre quality and simply rehashes other peoples content. The Emphasis needs to be on quality over quantity, Google checks the quality of content as part of their Algorithms this includes factors such as spelling and grammar. Originality is another Factor that needs to be considered, although given the rate n which new content is being developed all the time, its hard if not difficult. Eschewing tired platitudes is a big step in the right direction, I won’t provide examples here I’m personally sick of seeing them. To show I’m not just Mr Negativity I’ll provide 3 examples of what I’d consider to be great content.
Renae produces really great professional videos, her lively presentation style (which may take some getting used to), the branding between her videos is slick and consistent, difficult and possibly dry topics are covered with verve and style. In my opinion this is great quality content. A sense of fun infuses her videos this lifts it above the vast majority of her competitors who recite facts in a ‘bored nerd drone’. Her videos manage to combine this sense of fun with an awful lot of useful and relevant information. This is what in my opinion makes them great content.
As one would expect from a typographic expert the layout of this article is impeccable, a number of issues are debunked by the author as he examines web typography in depth, a substantial number of additional resources are provided which will allow the reader to consolidate his or her knowledge of the subject and related areas. This in my opinion is what makes it great content and the 400 domains back linking to the article, underlines this verdict.The article can be viewed here
This week’s blog post will focus on the choice of major social networks available. For Smaller Businesses, it’s unrealistic to cover every social network. So eventually a choice needs to be made which networks to cover. The considerations and criteria I use for making my choice will hopefully be of interest to people, especially those in a similar position and help them to reach considered decisions on behalf of their own business or company, I’ll examine 3 major networks from a local perspective (i.e. my local area (North Lancashire/South Cumbria where my prospective clients are generally located)
Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social network amongst my prospective client base, however it’s not all positive. Facebook has an excellent reach especially for paid ad placements, which are categorised as suggestions by Facebook, recently changes to Facebook such as the edgerank algorithm mean that organic (free) Facebook posts reach less people than was previously the case also Facebook can be somewhat difficult to take advantage of for sales purposes, its strengths are social so its excellent for brand awareness, however I’m not sure if I want if increasing brand awareness or sales as top priority from my social media effort.
Twitter is another popular and established social network it's more accommodating for business use than Facebook, where business can be somewhat intrusive at times. The ‘salesperson in a soiree’ problem that was discussed in the Carl Potts Designs February Newsletter .As yet I’m not sure how well established twitter use is amongst SMEs I suspect it lags behind Facebook use in that sector as many SME business owners already have personal Facebook accounts. Prediction is not an exact science; however I expect twitter use to continue to grow in the SME sector over the next few years with SMEs becoming aware of the benefits of an active twitter presence, recent changes to Facebook organic (unpaid) reach will encourage SMEs to use other social networks, Twitter I suspect will be the main beneficiary of this.
Google plus is the dark horse in the social network race. As a comparative latecomer its not as well established or widely known as Twitter or Facebook, which is ironic given the clout of Google, if Google plus is shown to have an impact on Search Engine results (especially Google) then I expect take-up of Google plus in the UK to increase dramatically as it has in the United States, I suspect YouTube (which Google own), Google Analytics and Gmail will encourage more businesses to examine Google plus
The Social Network market is in a constant state of flux as the major players vie for a larger market share. There’s no ‘one size fits all approach’ which will work for every business, it depends on your company’s client base and the networks they are currently using and the networks you think they’ll use in the near future, if your business is highly visual such as fashion or artwork then Facebook makes perfect sense especially if you serve a younger market, if your company wishes to make really effective use of social media then they need to try to make their product or service visually stimulating, or at least interesting which for certain industries could be fairly problematic(note: if you are solving the problems which trouble your customers you are by definition ‘interesting’ at least to your customers) so understanding what concerns your clients makes perfect business sense and will allow you to tailor your social media and content strategies accordingly. As I need to be very familiar with Facebook for business use I’ll continue to maintain a presence there, with my main focus being on twitter