Persuasive Picks For Week Of 6/10/13

SOCIAL-MEDIA1-300x3001Every marketer expects a return on their social media efforts, but many still struggle with prioritizing which social networks to use – and how to allocate resources. In Social Media ROI for Business: Facebook Versus LinkedIn, business strategist and Business2Community contributor, Daniel Burrus explains that when you understand the psychology of social media and the various types of networking that fall under each umbrella, you can make smarter social media decisions for your business.

Many see content marketing as just that—marketing. But smart marketers know content simply provides the avenue for storytelling. MarketingProfs‘ Jay Pinkert provides some advice on how to grab attention and connect with potential customers, through those stories, and to do it authentically in his post Make Content Marketing Authentic: The Case of Customer Stories.

influencersEveryone preaches about building relationships with online influencers, but no one ever shares tips for how to do that. So, How Do You Find Influencers in Your Area to Help Grow Your Business?  SocialMediaToday contributor, Jennifer MacDonald, explains how to identify and build relationships with influencers in four simple steps.

It’s an age old question that nags all marketers at one time or another:  ”How can I get more followers on Twitter?” While quantity shouldn’t trump quality, like it or not, people can and will judge you on the size of your Twitter network. If you want to know how to make your Twitter content more attractive to potential subscribers check out Shea Bennett’s post on AllTwitter7 Tips To Get More Followers On Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC].

“Influencers Who Inspire” Our Latest Interview with Rebecca Lieb of the Altimeter Group

Rebecca’s experiences as an editor, marketer and analyst with the Altimeter Group, make her a perfect expert resource for our Influencers Who Inspire series.  She is also the author of The Truth About Search Engine Optimization and most recently, Content Marketing.

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What is your favorite outdoor activity in the summer and where do you recommend going to do it?

Hot weather and I are not the best of friends. Aquatic is my way to deal. Swimming laps, bodysurfing in the ocean, or scuba diving (a longtime passion) – if it’s summer, look for me near the water!

You have spent parts of your career as an analyst, an editor and an author; which of these positions is/was the most rewarding? If you can’t pick one, what are/were the highlights of all three?

I really view all these positions as a continuum. I’ve spent my career exclusively in media, first film, then television, then digital – with a bunch of print experience sprinkled throughout (periodical and book publishing). My job has always been to scrutinize the media landscape, chart its growth, and how to connect with consumers. I also have substantial experience as a marketer (I don’t just tell them what to do – I’ve done it, too!). Admittedly, my marketing experience is confined to media as well: film and television. So basically, it’s been all media, all the time.

The most rewarding part is easy. It’s been being there as one of the most important developments in the history of media and communications has taken place and taken shape. Undoubtedly, the most exhilarating part of my career has been experiencing and watching the rise of digital channels: the opportunities, the pitfalls, the disruption and the possibilities are endlessly fascinating. Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time, right?

As an editor and analyst you regularly hear from PR representatives pitching you for meetings. What makes a pitch or briefing request stand out to you and /or prompts you to respond quickly?

Easy – the ones that indicate the person pitching has done their job. They know who I am, what I cover, and they tailor the pitch accordingly. You would not believe how many pitches I get about a new hotel opening in Tulsa, or executive hires in the meatpacking industry. My contact information is ‘out there’ in lists sold to the types of spray-and-pray PR firms that give the industry a bad name. The concept of “know your audience” isn’t a new one, but it’s what matters most. It’s also critical to differentiate “pitch” from “press release.” Digital changed the press release. Once the news in on the wire, it’s out there. Don’t ask me [journalist hat on now] to cover it. You broke your own story.

Digital marketers want to know — with the masses of new social marketing tools, platforms, buzzwords and best practices — how do you manage to stay current?

All research, all the time. Really. I subscribe to over 200 RSS feeds and scour them all day long. I stay in the traffic. Every week I have dozens of meetings and briefings with people and companies in the industry. It’s a full time job, and then some, and it requires a lot of focus. In other words, you have to concentrate on what matters to your area of coverage. I don’t look at ALL of social media, for example. My arena is the marketing and media aspect of those channels. I leave deep dives on other aspects to my very capable colleagues.

How do you filter the news? What news sites or influencers do you visit/follow as your go to resources for news content to share each morning? (Do you have a news outlet as your homepage or do you search Twitter for keywords that are meaningful to you?)

As I mentioned above, my RSS feeds are my homepage. When Google folds Reader, it will feel as if the internet is broken for a while. I’m currently experimenting with replacements such as Reeder and Feedly. There are also people I follow very closely on Twitter and Facebook to stay abreast.

In your upcoming keynote at the Banff Media Festival you will talk about Content Marketing in the form of the Paid+Owned+Earned Media Ecosystem. With content lines blurring more and more, who do you see as the ultimate keeper of the content within an organization?

Funny you should ask, because after I completed a research report (co-authored with my colleague Jeremiah Owyang) on the convergence of paid, owned and earned media, I worked on a just-published piece of research entitled “Organizing for Content.” This research deals exactly with the question, “where should content live in the org chart?” Precious few companies have a an actual content division, yet marketing, PR, communications, community, social media and a myriad of other company components are invested in finding, creating and disseminating content. I invite your readers to download the report, which outlines six frameworks for enterprise content orchestration.

In your opinion, what has been the most important change in SEO tactics over the last few years? How do those changes impact the way we should think about content marketing today?

When it comes to SEO, the fundamental things apply. Good content, well-written, keyword-conscious, and don’t spam or be blackhat.  I was fascinated last year when I conducted research into WHY major brands engage in content marketing. In 57 interviews with really major companies (e.g. Coke, IBM, ToysRUs, Adobe, etc.) only one single brand (Nestlé) mentioned SEO as a reason behind content marketing. My instinct is this isn’t because SEO is unimportant – au contraire – but because it’s no longer channel du jour. Like email (which, by the way, not one single brand mentioned – and what’s in an email if not content?), SEO is becoming a background channel. Like wallpaper – there, but no one’s really talking about it anymore. They’re looking at mobile, social, video. That’s fine – but beware Bright Shiny Object Syndrome, which can cause you to ignore basics and fundamentals.

What one piece of advice (perhaps from your most recent book on the topic) would you offer to a marketer starting a content marketing campaign today?

Strategy before tactics! We’ve seen this occur again and again. A new technology or channel is launched and someone says, “Hey! We need a [Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter presence, etc.]. A smart marketer counters with “Why?” What’s the goal? What are the required resources? The budget? How will we achieve it? Produce it? Measure it? Who’s the audience?

On a lighter note, we noticed that you tweeted the tongue and cheek Onion post, the other day, about how much people “love” being sold by sponsored content like videos on publications’ websites. Just for fun, can you share with us your favorite example of sponsored content gone wrong?

Wow – you just reminded me of something that goes way back in my career, back in the 90s when I ran global marketing for a major cable TV network. I came into the office on a Monday morning following the weekend when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash. A rival network was sponsoring a touring exhibit of her gowns. Across the back cover of a major magazine was splashed their ad, with the banner headline: A Dress to Di For!

Lastly, when you venture out of NYC for business travel what is the one thing you take with you, the one thing you can’t wait to leave behind and the one thing you can’t wait to come home to?

1. Laptop

2. Hmmm…maybe my MTA Metrocard?

3. It’s a tie: the cats and the boyfriend

Interested in learning more? Please leave any questions or comments for Rebecca below.  You can also catch up with her at the Altimeter Group website or follow her on Twitter.

Persuasive Picks for week of 8/20/12

Diane Schwartz of The PRNews Blog recollects one of her favorite childhood memories of the annual shopping excursion for school, with the coveted “list” in hand. Fast-forward decades later, now as a PR pro, she’s penned a new list of 11 Supplies for Your Back-to-School (PR) Backpack.

Pinterest is taking over social media like a tsunami of college students on a pizza delivery guy. Why not? It’s fun, highly addictive and now the 3rd most popular social media network. So how can you leverage that popularity to expand your reach? Carrie Morgan of Convince & Convert provides 5 Ways to Use Pinterest to Boost Press Release Results

The rules of search have changed. In fact, they change on a daily basis. Experts say social media’s influence on driving business via the web is expected to surpass search engine optimization (SEO). So, how can you use social media to increase your SEO rank and ensure that the rank and ensuing traffic will convert to web business? Jasmine Sandler of ClickZ provides some tips on How to Increase Your Search Rank Using Social Media via Mashable

Building brand loyalty is one thing. Marketing smartly through digital platforms is another. And strangely, the two don’t always walk hand in hand. Kyle Montero at iMedia Connection explains that digital marketing and fostering loyalty aren’t always mutually exclusive, but if you’re looking to jumpstart or improve your own online engagements with customers, you’d do well to take a page from these Brands breeding loyalty through digital

Persuasive Picks for week of 6/4/12

Go ahead and throw out everything you used to know about SEO, such as link building, keyword-rich content, internal links, and tracking results on SERPs. It’s time to start over. MarketingProfs‘ Aaron Dunn writes that in a little over a year, Google has rendered 10 years of SEO dogma mostly useless in The New Google Search: Six Changes That Rocked the SEO World.

Everyone knows Pinterest is one of the fastest growing sites of all time, shooting up to No. 3 among social networking sites in less than two years. Bonnie Kintzer, CEO, Women’s Marketing Inc. and iMediaConnection contributor, explains that it’s also the first design-focused site to reach mainstream working women with children in large numbers – the sweet spot of many brands and retailers in 7 reasons why Pinterest is unique for marketers.

You’re a small business with very limited resources (time, money, and employees), so how on earth can you incorporate a social media strategy into what you’re already doing – especially when there are so many avenues out there to cover? Liana Evans provides some helpful tips to get the most out of Social Media on a Small Business Budget on ClickZ.

Social Media Marketing success is based almost entirely on how well you engage your customers. James Meyer would like to qualify that by “almost” reasoning that if your efforts are not supporting a quality brand, product or service, you could do most everything perfectly and still not get great results. On SocialMediaToday he provides a number of great tools that create visibility and allow you to monitor your effectiveness in Measuring Engagement Levels in Social Media

Persuasive Picks for week of 3/12/12

Does social media affect how you spend money? You betcha. Drew Olanoff of TheNextWeb says that it isn’t whether social services influence how we spend money, but how they affect our habits – and gives readers a closer look at three ways social media is doing this: influence, information, and indiscretion (yes, indiscretion).

Lisa Evans gives some expert advice on How Small Businesses Can Integrate SEO Into Their Social Media Efforts. She writes that optimizing your social media efforts so that both search engines and social community members can find your content is essential, and provides some helpful tips to integrate into your social media strategy – via ClickZ

Jason Blount posted on SocialMediaToday that Facebook Is No Longer Just Social Media – rather it has evolved into a personal representation of a user’s self and pretty soon almost every application that you use on a regular basis will integrate directly with your Timeline.

A recent report published on MarketingProfs, LinkedIn Use by Professionals in Industrial Sector Surges, shows that the use of LinkedIn among engineering, technical, manufacturing and industrial professionals continues to rise; and sites that keeping up to date with the latest business and product news and technologies is the most popular use of social networking within the tech/industrial sectors.