In the Content Marketing Trilogy of Discovery, Consumption and Sharing, there are a mix of media types online marketers employ to facilitate the connection between brand information and consumers / buyers across the customer lifecycle relationship. Those media types are often characterized as Paid, Earned, Owned and Shared media. What do those media types mean and where do they fit within an online marketing mix? Here’s a 30,000 foot view of each media type and what they might contribute to a content marketing strategy:
Archive for July, 2011
Certainly one of the best cities in the U.S. for a conference is San Francisco and in a little over 2 weeks the famous ClickZ Connected Marketing Week returns with 5 days of deep dive online marketing education, networking and knowing SEOs, plenty of fun. A big part of the week is the SES San Francisco conference.
I’ve been attending SES conferences since 2005 and while both the online marketing industry and the SES conference have changed quite a bit, that change has spurred continuous innovation to the benefit of attendees, sponsors and speakers. You’ll find many sessions at 90 minutes instead of 45 or 60, so speakers can really get in-depth with their topics. There are also a number of sessions completely programmed by specific advisory board members, an approach that is new to this SES. To Win a Free Pass to SES San Francisco, Read on!
One of the practical opportunities for companies that acquire and engage customers through a sales force, is through social media content and participation. In fact, many corporate marketing departments have found their field sales reps active on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even YouTube before headquarters has. Such “rogue” social media activity might be proactive, but can also create issues without adherence to corporate standards and provide conflicting experiences for customers.
A salesforce that functions as educators, consultants and in some ways “subject matter experts”, can be a formidable asset for corporate social media efforts towards engagement and customer acquisition. Rather than shutting down individual sales reps blogs and Facebook accounts until corporate gets their social strategy in place, companies should consider how to coordinate and empower sales teams as social media ambassadors of the brand to their individual circles of influence and social networks.
This is the second of my “workation” blog posts this week, so I hope you enjoy the brevity.
My oldest son is a relatively new fan of skateboarding and I’ve noticed some interesting comparisons with his advancement of skills to the experience of many social media marketers – or any new discipline for that matter.
To be clear, I don’t know much about skateboarding beyond the games of suicide and smear we played as kids, skateboarding down the hill by my childhood home. Think “Mad Max” on skateboards. There were no ramps, half-pipes or skateboard parks back then. Trust me, it was a very, very long time ago. But the challenge of learning something new, seeing other accomplished skaters and the social aspect made it appealing and fun.
Recently I spoke with Content Strategist, Margot Bloomstein, who was conducting research for an upcoming publication about Content Strategy intended for a variety of audiences. In particular, we discussed productive interactions and exchanges between Search Engine Optimization professionals and Content Strategists.
Organizations advance their reach and engagement goals through content and Strategists work to audit, develop strategy, plan, create and maintain that content. Ahava Leibtag provides an excellent and practical approach at CMI in her post, “Creating Valuable Content” which outlines how content should be: Findable, Readable, Understandable, Actionable and Shareable.
SEO and content strategy intersect in more ways than optimizing web pages with keywords. My take on Margot’s question, “How does SEO and content strategy interact?” starts with understanding customer segments, behaviors and preferences for information discovery, consumption and sharing. Knowing what customers care about and how those concerns and interests manifest as search keywords and social topics folds very well into the keyword research practiced by professional SEOs.
Bringing insights about content marketing to light often involves the importance of understanding what topics and pain points customers care about. Creating content for business communications with customers, peers, employees and the industry is an essential part of doing business.
Creating content alone isn’t enough to ensure intended audiences will read it, so researching search keywords and social topics related to your business is a helpful way to empathize with what customers are looking for and what they’re interested in.
Content and SEO go hand in hand, especially for improving discovery of brand stories and key marketing messages. SEO and content marketing best practices call for research into what language customers use when searching for your products and services so that content can be optimized for better visibility. The result of that research is a keyword glossary managed through a SEO Project Management tool and/or a spreadsheet. These phrases are a mix of broad concepts the company wants to be known for as well as phrases indicating more specific customer intent.
At Intel’s first Social Media Conference in Portland this week, 100+ Intel social media practitioners from all over the world came together with about 20 industry subject matter experts to share and engage social media best practices.
One of those speakers was Lionel Menchaca, the Chief Blogger at Dell and a real pioneer in the world of blogging and social media for the enterprise. Lionel told the story of Dell’s initial blogging efforts that turned the tide of Dell Hell as well as other practical insights. Here are his tips on best practices blogging for the enterprise:
1. Write about topics that matter to your customers, especially the tough ones. Dell has a social media command center to track topics and inspire ideas, issues to deal with.
My friend Bob Knorpp has a good piece on AdAge this week:”Why Marketers Should Break Free of the Digital Content Trap” about the fallacy of content. He makes some good points about companies going through the motions of creating and promoting content on social channels with motivations of retweets, likes, shares and links over real engagement. I have to agree where he says, “content alone is a dead end for ongoing engagement”.
While many savvy online marketers don’t see content as a shortsighted substitute for social strategy or simply as a SEO tactic, but a proxy to creating customer experiences, there are even more who do. Content is a vehicle for discovery, engagement and sharing. Content is the mechanism for storytelling and if social and search optimization are also involved in a qualitative way to aid in discovery and sharing of those stories – then all the better.