Whenever business owners hear about 'content marketing', 'social media' and 'social content' they immediately write it off as 'not for them'. It is very common to hear the comment “well that stuff is better suited to consumer facing companies” however this is a huge misconception. Whatever you call it at its purest form any format of content marketing is a form of customer relationship marketing or CRM.
Red Evolution Opinions & Musings
Social media has changed the way that marketers and business owners spend their time and their budgets. However, it is no longer enough just to "do social media".
Once you get started in content marketing, one of your biggest challenges is likely to be committing to it and creating great content regularly. We often get asked the same question... "what should I write about?"
I regularly get asked to speak to groups of businesses about social media. It usually spills into a general chat about social media, search marketing and everything in between. One common theme when speaking to these groups (and feel free to ask me to speak to your business group) is confusion and fear. People are confused about what to do and they fear doing the wrong thing. There's also a general feeling that ignoring social media is a plausible strategy. If this is where you are, read on for some plain English help and advice.
I was browsing a Linked In group I'm part of and musing at the lack of engagement on some, what I thought were, quite interesting topics. Scrolling down the page I noticed a post from someone with a title that loosely said "Buy Stuff From Me". I see this kind of thing a lot and I'm concerned people are just not getting social media.
Digital Marketing and SEO As loyalty and brand awareness schemes take and increasingly digital and social media driven approach this is opening up a whole new world of opportunities for SEO's and digital marketers. SEO has long been a tool in a digital marketers tool box however it is often something which gets overlooked by many companies. The major problem with SEO is that many businesses and clients fail to understand the importance of SEO and so its often dismissed in its importance in favour of more traditional techniques and new buzz words such as Social Media.
I was driving back to our office in Aboyne last week when I was tailgated and overtaken by a van. The van belonged to a company called M&J Seafood, I know this because their lovely brand was written all over it. The van's registration was WR61 FSJ and the incident took place at 13:38 on the B976, I know, what a geek.
I have often said that social media is not as effective for business to business use, however this is not to say b2b businesses shouldn't embrace social channels. What it does mean is a more considered approach is required to be successful.
As Groupon announce today of a significant loss of over $42 Million many have been led to ask the question “Is the Groupon bubble about to burst?”. Groupon has made its name by transforming the online voucher code and offers industry spawning a range of competing sites such as Wowcher, MyCityDeal and LivingSocial. With this said things haven't always been a bed of roses for Groupon who have faced complaints from users and participating companies alike with problems about offers, how they have been publicised or misleading claims which they have then have had to face the ASA over. As a result Groupon has also had its fair share of negative publicity with some companies blaming them for their bankruptcy when offers have gone awry. With this said are we as a society wakening up to the negatives and drawbacks of this type of voucher industry? Groupon has also been pulled up by the British Office for Fair Trading amidst claims of posting misleading vouchers and adverts as well as exaggerating saving claims on their site. In addition to this Groupon was reprimanded 48 times by the ASA last year for breaching advertising regulations and had over 60 of its adverts banned in the space of 6 months.
With the ASA now extending its remit to all marketing campaigns and content businesses are going to be under increasing pressure to make sure that they can still make their voices heard in new and innovative ways without getting banned and slapped with a fine. Until now social campaigns through channels such as YouTube and Facebook have been safe from the scrutiny of the ASA however that is all set you change. Many campaigns which have failed to make it to TV have often succeeded online such as this one:
This is point is really for all the market analysists and data planners out there. So many companies forget the usefulness of social media when it comes to Christmas to the point where there are in fact very few social strategies which focus on incorporating a holiday message. However social media is a tool which can be greatly utilised for 2 key reasons during a holiday season, these are:
Search marketing as a specialism is continually being overlook during marketing campaigns. Despite the numerous reports that provide case studies, advice and insights about the wealth of advantages which search marketing can offer it is still being pushed to the outskirts of marketing campaigns by brands. I think this a party due to the fact that many companies do not understand SEO and search marketing so asking them to dedicate time and budget to something like this is naturally resisted against. However this theory would work if it were not for the strength of social media, a channel which is increasingly popular as a marketing tool yet very few companies know how to utilise it to its best or even measure its effectiveness or ROI! Search marketing provides a fantastic support network to other more standard marketing campaign channels such as direct marketing. However as digital marketing grows in popularity, partly thanks to the powerhouse that is social media, could search marketing finally have its value recognised !? This change could also be spurred by Google's foray into social media with the introduction of Google +1 which links the two specialisms to hopefully show the not only the true worth of social media but also the importance of search marketing in a marketing campaign. There is no denying that Google is a formidable force. It has integrated itself into our lifestyles, as has social media, so linking the two not only differentiated itself from other social media sources but could also be the company who can finally make brands see the value of search marketing.
If anyone can save the beleaguered social media outlet, Myspace, surely its pop star turned actor Justin Timberlake!
There are currently more than 600 Million Facebook users and 200 Million Twitter users however despite this there are over a Billion more email accounts than social media accounts combined. Email is a long forgotten art and many people overlook the fact that it still plays a critical role in social media and consumer engagement. It is said that for every 1 Facebook follower a business will have they will have on average 70 email subscribers. With this in mind any business who chooses to capitalise upon this and integrate the two should be laughing! In short social media can reach new pockets of clients which you were previously unable to engage with while email can be used to not only retain and continue engaging with consumers but to also direct existing consumers towards your new social media channels. According to Silverpop there are 5 key ways which a business can do this, they are:
As social media becomes THE buzzword in the marketing industry so many companies have become blinded by what social media actually consists of and what they need to do to make the most of it. It has become a concerning fact that when questioned many companies are under the illusion that social media consists purely of Facebook, Twitter and blogging and the like. However what most people seem to overlook is how much email can do for you as a business and the fact that email marketing is also classed under the social media umbrella!