Content Marketing... You've heard of it. At least, if you follow social media marketing at all, you should have. It's the hottest topic in the industry right now - and for good reason. Content Marketing is one of the pillars of the inbound marketing philosophy, pioneered by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah co-founders of Hubspot. (They co-wrote the book, literally, on inbound marketing - which in the simplest description is the philosophy of attracting potential customers with value and relevant content instead of interrupting them in their daily lives or what is the old way, outbound marketing.)
What's all the hype about? Honestly, the only thing I'm surprised by is how long it took to really become the focal point of the conversation in regards to social marketing... It makes sense though because we need to learn to walk before we run, right? 50+ years of outbound marketing gets a lot of people programmed to think and act a certain way towards marketing strategy. The hype is fully legitimate and possibly even under-stated. As most are aware, Google has recently undergone some algorithm updates which is to penalize those who have been employing certain types of questionable SEO tactics, also known as 'black hat' tactics. Why, you ask? Because Google's primary concern is providing the user with the best result per their search term... this means Google views content, original content, as highly valuable because it shows that the website it found is more relevant to the end user's purpose for searching that term.
What should I do about it? What you need to do, if you haven't already, is get your website a blog. (Such as this neat one right here!) Blogging is by far the number one way to do content marketing. Essentially you're providing free, valuable information to whoever will read it on the internet in the hopes that the search engines will direct users to your site due to the content on your site and its relevancy to the end user.
"Social Media" is the word nowadays on everyone's lips, whether it is the young students or the adults or the major enterprises. However, I would like to describe some of the terms that are used in social media and why it is important for your business.
Social media is a technology channel built on web 2.0. It simply connects people on the web. It could be a video site such as youtube.com, metacafe.com or social sites - faccebook.com or orkut.com, myspace.com or online gaming sites. It could even be a blogging or micro-blogging sites such as twitter.
Social networking has become the medium where individuals of similar mindset come together to form specific groups, for example, classmates, people with particular hobbies, technical members of a committee or a small rural community or neighbors from a town. The only difference between earlier social networking and the present scenario is the new technology – internet and www. This has enabled people from across the globe to connect and stay in touch, exchange information within seconds.The "distance" is slowly disappearing and world is becoming "small" (small world phenomenon).
For some marketing professionals, the mere mention of the phrase "real-time marketing" inspires head scratching. Add the notion of "social data" and it is enough to make the average marketer start sweating. The reason for their anxiety is simple: The perception of real-time marketing is often far from reality. Many believe it requires a wealth of teams, resources, and technology, but in reality it doesn't need to be that complex.
Progressive marketing organizations have advanced from treating social media solely as a communications channel, to a data set that informs decision-making. Why not? After all, social data is really consumer data with some exceptional characteristics that I refer to as the 3 R's: richness, regenerative, and real-time.
A cogent evolution of social media monitoring is applying the analytics technologies and methodologies used in Business Intelligence to social media data to uncover insights. This technology, known as a marketing decisions platform, can improve marketing activities across the entire marketing lifecycle – planning, activation, measurement and optimization.
One thing that can't be said about blogging is that it's a new thing; successful business models based on blogging can be found and studied in almost any niche imaginable. That's usually what entices people relatively new in the industry to start blogging – the proof that it works, and the "you can do it too!" message that's being sent to them, directly or indirectly.
Generally speaking, everyone can create a successful blog and become a blogging rock star – you don't even need to know the basics of coding anymore, just buy the domain name and hosting and throw in a nice layout and you're ready to start. Well, no matter how easy it may sound, the truth is that the vast majority of the new bloggers will fail.
If you don't want to be one of them, please read carefully what you should watch out for.
1. If you just build it but don't promote it, they won't come
In an ideal world and an ideal case for you, right after you publish your genius post someone important will stumble upon it, recognize its value and share and recommend it to death. But this isn't an ideal world, and you have to understand that the Internet is seeing hundreds of thousands new blog posts published each and every day. The chances that someone will accidentally find yours are very bad, even if you're not so good with math.
Social marketing is important; enough has been said on the matter. Executing that marketing however is a more nuanced affair. It isn't simply a matter of "doing it," there has to be a clear goal in mind, with an overarching ethos and objectives that align with that.
It might sound haughty, especially compared to actual real-life social interaction. But compare "making friends" with "business networking." One is done casually and on a whim, the other is far more determined and precise.
The problem is despite the social nature of social marketing too many SMM approaches think it is just about making friends. Let's address that misconception.
Myth 1: Update Constantly
A social channel with nothing on it is a dead one, and nobody will want to pay attention to it. So nobody will. It's the same as a Friend on Facebook who never posts anything; all they do is lurk. With nothing to contribute, there is no participation in the social community, so there is no reciprocation.
You could fill your company's Facebook Page with loads of updates every minute of every day. And it would all be for naught. Too many updates often drown out your own posts. If your feed is filling so fast that nobody can get the opportunity to see a particular post then it might has well never have been posted.
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