Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The power of listening in social media marketing


According to an article that was released by The Wall Street Journal  The Myth of Social Media social media usage has grown incredibly. This is how social media usage looks like: 

·         Facebook users post 4.75 billion items of content
·         Twitter users send 400 million tweets
·         Instagram users “like” 1.2 billion photos
·         YouTube users watch 4 billion videos

In order to succeed in a world driven by so much social activity, brands must learn to be social and interact with their customers and prospects as they do in an offline context. Social media advertisers should not ignore the most important aspect of the platform: social.

Engagement is very important for success on the social platforms. Whether advertising with static ads or video, engagement is the key to success. For the advertising agencies which “grew up” producing television, print and radio spots, this has proven a hard concept to grasp.

 Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, says this of branding in the digital age: “A brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” Exactly. 
Social media content must engage with social media users. In other words, it should be “social” and encourage interaction with the consumer rather than just preach. 

For example suppose we have two companies, A and B who are both running social media campaigns. Which company has more social media “clout”? Company A has 300,000 Facebook likes and 250 people active on their page, while Company B has 25,000 likes and 14,000 people active on their page.

 If you answered Company B, you’re correct! It doesn’t do you any good to have 300,000 likes or followers or friends if no one is reading your content. And, Company B, can potentially grow its audience by creating a well-informed digital strategy.

Why most content strategies fail

It is no longer a cliché that if you are not content marketing you are not marketing at all in the digital age. This is because content is no longer king but rather it is now the kingdom.
Content is key to be discovered on the internet. Search engines, especially Google, are regularly updating their algorithms to weed out what they term poor content. The emphasis on quality content has increased.

It is imperative that brands step up their game in terms of content marketing. From blogs to social media posts, the demand for high quality online content produced in a consistent manner has increased.
As is the case with all other forms of marketing, content marketing requires brands to constantly think of new ways to reach their consumer base. At the same time, it is imperative for brands to review past performance to determine what has or what has not worked. With the introduction of numerous new tools, it has become possible to automate many aspects of digital marketing. When it comes to content marketing, success requires originality, creativity, and customization.
If you have noticed recently that your content marketing strategy is not everything that it should be, it is possible that you could be making at least one of the following critical errors in your approach.

Not Being Selective of Publishing Opportunities

In the past, content marketing strategies often dictated that you publish wherever and whenever possible. This strategy was based on numbers. The more often you published and the more places you content was seen, the better. Today, that is no longer the case. In fact, failing to be selective of where you publish your content could actually harm your brand if your content is posted on a website with poor authority. Regardless of how well-written your content may be, if it is published on a website with content that is deemed to be low quality, your brand is going to suffer. Prior to accepting an invitation to guest blog on any website, take the time to scope out the site and determine whether publishing there will help your brand or harm it.

Not Branching Out from Social Media to Share Content

Social media has proven to be an effective tool for quickly and easily publishing content. Even so, it is important to recognize that social media is not the only source for disseminating your content. Taboola, a content recommendation website, is certainly one to watch. According to Fortune magazine, Taboola reaches approximately 400 million unique visitors each month and serves up 1.5 billion recommendations on a daily basis.

Not Considering Content Linking Authority

Linking to other sites can be a great way to boost your own content marketing efforts, but prior to doing so, you must first vet the other sites. Google is increasingly concerned with domain authority. By linking to a site with poor domain authority, whether it is through a guest blog post or even something as simple as a link mention, you could unwittingly drag down your own content marketing strategy.

Disguising Advertising as Content

Unfortunately, too many companies have been slow to make the transition to quality content. Far too often, many brands continue to churn out what amounts to advertorials disguised as articles. Today, this simply will no longer cut it. Not only is it important to publish high quality content for SEO purposes, but it is also vital for winning the trust of your consumers.

Not Measuring Content Marketing Results

Perhaps the worst mistake that marketers make today when it comes to their content marketing strategy is simply not measuring the results. Without gaining insight into what works and what does not, there is no possible way that you can correct your course. While click-through rates and bounce rates are important in terms of sales, when it comes to content marketing, it is important to focus on the type of media that interest your customers the most. For instance, which of your most recently published content did your customers engage with the most? Even a basic tool such as Google Analytics can provide you with this level of insight. Additionally, find out how your content was shared by using a tool such as Hootsuite.

There is little doubt that content marketing is growing increasingly sophisticated. As search engines continue to place enhanced focus on the importance of quality content, marketers of all sizes must learn to keep pace in order to remain competitive.

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