4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse
There will always be companies that are innovators, adapters and sadly those that are incapable of seeing the future of industry. This is the business equivalent to natural selection, unfortunately.
America was once driven by the production of goods and as we transitioned to a more service oriented country, there was an evolution of sorts. There were companies that adapted and some that didn’t do so well. Those companies went the route of the steel mills in Allentown, Pa. The decline of a primarily production oriented world to a more service oriented world took a while to totally decline, but the transition of traditional to digital, that we are living through now is moving at a much faster pace toward its demise.
Two examples of the extreme change and fast transition from a traditional to digital world is the release of the Beyonce album, or I should call it the Beyonce Digital Project because that’s what it was. Some are saying, what’s the big deal and who really cares. WELL, we all must take notice because the release of the Beyonce Digital Project was a game changer in the music industry. This album release will change how marketing is done moving forward and this change will not be limited to just the music industry. At one time artists had to go through a series of procedures and promotions to push a new project. Beyonce’s release flipped the script on the entire industry in a mind-blowing move that totally blind sighted the industry. She used the brand that she built by way of social media, to be her own team of brand ambassadors willing to plop down their hard earned money to grab that digital release. In this bold move, Beyonce went directly to the consumer, cutting out any and everyone in the process by releasing her music directly to iTunes to be downloaded digitally. THIS was HUGE and changed the game more that we could ever imagine.
The second instance that displayed a step in a digital direction was Paramount dealing the deathblow to film, as we once knew it. Paramount will be the first movie studio to go all-digital with the distribution of their films. THIS IS HUGE! At one time, Paramount would release films in 35 mm format, which costs around $2,000. Now, due to going digital with the future releases of film, they can release films in digital format at around the $100.00 price point. The kicker here is that although this format is cheaper for the movie distributor, the smaller movie houses will incur the brunt of this move at least initially. These smaller and probably mostly independent movie houses will have to shell out upwards of $70,000 to become digital ready. This again, is a huge demonstration of the “adapt or die” philosophy, which will impact some business in an adverse way.
Both of above examples are an indication that we are at the beginning of a full blow digital revolution. Organizations should take notice of the changes that are happening before their eyes, some will but many won’t. I’ve actually noticed that some organizations are not embracing digital at all but in fact, they are moving back to their toasty non-digital comfort zone. All indications point toward a mostly digital world so it’s advantageous to embrace the change sooner rather than later. Progress is never comfortable but is inevitable, ready or not.
Although the changes that are happening within organizations are not as extreme as the two examples that I spoke of previously, companies still must adapt to a world that is moving closer to all digital. Below are four relatively simple things that can save your organization from the #DigitalApocalypse.
Concentrating on Content:
There is an ongoing debate about content; it’s effects on SEO, if it should be called Content Marketing and more. Who cares about all of the back and forth and the correct phrasing, WHATEVER! What matters is that without content, moving into 2014, you will most definitely be screwed.
The importance of content is irrefutable, you must have it and it must be GREAT. Content will effect your entire digital marketing plan, your social media strategy, your SEO and more. Content creation has become a $118.4 billion industry. Those numbers alone are an indication of the importance of great content. So prepare to become a publisher, outsource your content marketing or essentially become invisible online.
If you think about the importance of content creation it is very logical, if you produce more quality content it increases the amount of content that is available to be indexed by Google. This is especially important after the Hummingbird changes with Google, which was a game changer for websites, indexing and SEO.
NOW, it is just not enough to grab your local black hat SEO dude that promised to get you to the top of Google and have him buy some back links for you. In fact if you do that, you may not need content for quite a while, because Google may penalize your website or your website could even be banned.
At one time the black hat SEO route, to increase search rank was a method that could get results, if only for a short while. Even if the results were temporary it would allow your neighborhood black hat SEO dude to run out his 3-month contract while looking like the magical SEO guru. NOW that is not enough, so black hat SEO dude may have to step his game up. The folks over at Google are pretty darn smart and are hip to those tactics. The days of black hat SEO are seriously numbered if not extinct.
Leaving black hat SEO methods behind in favor of content creation is a great route to go and it’s an above board method of increasing rank with Google without the risk of being penalized. Content creation will allow companies, small and large to compete on a level playing field, for moving up in search ranking with Google. No matter the size of the company, if they produce great content and if they push that content by way of their social media channels THEY will reign supreme in the relevance game with Google.
Content is truly KING for a variety of reasons:
- Great content allows you to present your company as an authority in your industry, increasing your rank on Google.
- Content will increase the likelihood that people will link to your website, this solves your back link issue. Hence, increasing your rank with Google.
- Great content shared on social media was not thought of as important a few years ago, but those days are over. Social Media is extremely important and sharing great content on social media channels allows you to appear “likeable” and this will increase your rank with Google.
- Great content with effective keywords increases your on page optimization and guess what? It will [let’s say it all together now] increase your rank with Google.
The takeaway about content:
There is NO easy button, no guru to bail you out and no work around. YOU must start to produce great content if you want to become relevant enough with Google to increase your ranking. Google is a business, just in case that has slipped the minds of folks. As a business it is their job to produce the best results for search queries because this allows them to generate ad revenue and to STAY in business. Gaming the system is not the best route to take at this time with Google. So guess what, either make a decision to dedicate yourself to the work needed to create great content that is worthy of being pushed higher in search ranking or your competitors will. It’s very simple.
Focusing on Mobile
Mobile is not going away, primarily because we have evolved beyond talking on the phone that is attached to the wall. Beyond just the telephone aspect of your mobile device, it has essentially become a pocket-sized computer that forward thinking organizations are using for targeting a previously untapped demographic.
At one time it was just enough for organizations to have a website that displayed the brand, company name and address. Then we progressed to having a Facebook page with a company brand and relevant content. NOW it is not optional but imperative that organizations have a mobile presence as well.
With the decline of desktop and laptop sales the increase in buying trends for mobile and tablets are hard to miss. I actually had a conversation with a Director of Marketing at one of the largest organizations in my area that said, “We do not need a mobile presence.” My mind slammed shut with a final, “Conversation Over” as she was obviously living through a #DigitalApocalypse.
The takeaway about mobile:
It doesn’t matter if you decide to go with a responsive design or traditional mobile design. It is, however imperative that your company’s online presence be viewable by mobile and tablet, this is no longer an option.
#DigitalApocalypse is the disastrous phenomenon in which individuals; organizations and entities have selected NOT to embrace our new digital world.
I will be the first person to tell you that I am not really a numbers person, but what I should say is that I am not a numbers person when those numbers have no relevance to my interests.
I took a web Analytics class in grad school, I absolutely loved it and I was immediately HOOKED. This was a tough class for some but for me, the concepts immediately clicked. I think this is because I saw how beneficial these concepts would be moving forward. When I saw the heat maps and demographics I fell in love, in fact it was love at first sight. Oops I’m so sorry, I’ve digressed terribly.
One thing that I immediately loved about analytics then and what I still love about it now is that it shows the data. You know where your visitors are coming from, you know how long they’ve stayed, you know which pages and content they’ve focused upon.
I can never express the importance of analytics enough; because analytics display your success and bring attention to areas that you may need to focus upon more, in graphic details. If your brain rejects the word analytics think of it in terms of measuring your results, because that’s exactly what analytics are. Analytics measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, your efforts, and your time. They allow you to see what’s happening, what you are doing successfully and what you need to improve upon.
The takeaway about analytics:
You can have the most beautiful, fancy website with all of the bell and whistles imaginable, but if you have no data to analyze the successfulness of your web campaigns, your website is essentially worthless. This applies to traditional websites and mobile websites alike.
Increasing Your Google+ Usage
There is so much back and forth about Google+, it always has been and probably always will be. I was a part of the original beta team on Google+, as were most of my digital marketer friends, so of course I have always been a huge advocate of the platform.
Google+ has been improved upon since its original debut! The layout has improved substantially, Google integration has greatly improved and it has grown its user base.
Although the improvements to the look and feel of Google+ have been spectacular what is more impressive is that content posted on Google+ show up in search results. This is why I don’t understand the push back about this platform. Why would we NOT want our content to show up in search results, after all that is WHY we are there right, why we are online, why we work so hard to increase our exposure, right? Increased exposure means more business and more sales, which is after all what most web presences are all about.
The takeaway about Google+
If you want more exposure on Google start using Google+, it’s just that simple.
Digital Marketing is a game changer on a worldwide level but organizations must have the ability to recognize the change and adapt in mid-stride sometimes, due to the quick nature of the changes. We are living through an exciting time for those involved with digital marketing and those that are willing to embrace the change. Lets all embrace the many changes that I anticipate are ahead and enjoy our brave new digital world.
Posted in Marketing
Tags: #DigitalApocalypse, Anise Smith, Blogging, Business, content, content is king, Content marketing, Digital marketing, Facebook, Google+, Hummingbird, Internet Marketing, iTunes, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing strategy, Mobile, Mobile website, Music industry, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Spamdexing, Technology
10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014
2013 is coming to an end, therefore it’s time to analyze, evaluate and make changes going into the New Year. We all make resolutions about, health, wealth and happiness so why not include changing our employment situation. This is especially the case if you are one of the 71% that hate their jobs.
When I wrote the article, 71% of people hate their job; I was astounded by the response to the article. I was more surprised that there were so many people that were unhappy with their employment situation.
Sometimes people can feel stuck in a situation due to a variety of reasons and they become very reluctant to make a move, so they just grin and bear it. It seems that there are up to 71% of the population that are willing to grin and bear it.
Guess what people, we are moving into a new year so NOW is the perfect time to make changes in your life. More people need to be a part of the 29% that LOVE their job instead of the 71% that hate it.
We are now living in a very digital world, so now we need to look at new ways in which we can gain the edge in competing for jobs. If you are a Digital Marketer, you may find yourself consulting, working for an organization or both. Sometimes as digital marketers, we do not effectively market OURSELVES as a BRAND and that is very important.
If you are in a more traditional industry, chances are you are NOT marketing yourself as a BRAND either. In this increasingly digital world, all people that are looking for new opportunities should start to see themselves as brands so that they can compete in this tough job market. Most people are using some type of social media recreationally. So, if you are involved with social media even socially, these ten tips will be perfect for your 2014 strategy for grabbing your dream job.
Whether you are a digital marketer or just someone looking for a new career path, it is imperative that you see beyond your present situation and come up with a creative way to change your career path. The first step is visualizing yourself, not as JUST a person trying to get a job, but as a brand. It is very important that you think of yourself as a BRAND and you should market yourself accordingly.
A huge part of viewing and marketing yourself as a brand, is maintaining a very visual digital marketing footprint separate from the brands that you work with, if you are a digital marketer. It is GREAT to work in this ever-growing digital marketing industry but as digital marketers we must maintain our own digital marketing persona totally separate from the organizations that employ us or that we consult with. So, it is very important that we continue to develop and grow our own individual personal brand and digital footprint.
If you are NOT a digital marketer you should start to incorporate some branding content into your personal profiles. It is very important that all people see themselves as marketers, if only to market oneself to the world in seeking a new or better career path. It is more important than ever to utilize social channels for career advancement in addition to traditional résumés and this is primarily due to the growing importance of our digital footprint.
I’ve read on numerous occasions that traditional resumes are very close to becoming irrelevant because our entire digital presence is available online for all to see. More and more recruiters are utilizing the digital presence of employment candidates to get a better feel for potential employees before they even read resumes. This is one of the reasons that we must make sure that we have a positive and flattering digital footprint and that we continue to develop our own personal brand.
There are pluses and minuses to having your entire online persona for all to see. The biggest plus is that you are always visible; the biggest minus is that you’re always visible. LOL. This is the primary reason that we must be aware, more than ever about the types of content that we display on our digital marketing channels. So it is imperative that we have a strong personal brand and a positive digital footprint. Take a look at the ten steps below, to help develop your personal brand:
1. Logo: Create a logo for your brand. My brand is Anise Smith, so the first thing I did when I started to develop my brand almost five years ago was to have my name created in logo form. If you are creating a new logo make sure you have it created in 3 different formats. Have your logo created in EPS format, which allows it to be duplicated for print and web, PNG for use when you need a transparent background AND jpg for general use.
2. Uniform Branded Look: You should have a consistent branded look across all of your social media channels. So create your Facebook cover, Twitter layout and other digital collateral with the same branded look.
3. Facebook: CLEAN up your Facebook profile! I have seen some things in my daily virtual travels that would definitely be viewed as negative. If you want to promote a positive personal brand YOU MUST start with presenting a positive Facebook image.
I am connected to my father, teenage son and many family members on Facebook, so I only share information that I would share with them offline. This is a great way to mentally keep your content clean and shareable. Don’t post information that you wouldn’t share with your grandparents, parents or children. If you wouldn’t yell it across the dinner table during a family meal, DON’T post it on Facebook. PERIOD!
Before you hit the POST button, think about how an employer would view your post. If there’s even a question of how your post would be viewed by employers or just followers in general, DON’T hit POST. Better yet, picture your grandma peering over your shoulder while you’re writing your post. If grandma wouldn’t approve, don’t post.
Facebook is a huge part of branding yourself and you should use it wisely. Assume that ALL potential employers will check your Facebook profile, because they probably will. So it is best that you put your best foot forward starting here. After you clean up your profile, showcase yourself. This may involve loosening some of your privacy settings to showcase certain areas of your profile.
- Make a cover photo that showcases your talent. Facebook covers are 851 × 316.
- Add your employment history, in the work and education section.
- If you attended college, utilize the education section to add information about your school.
- Use the project area to add the projects that you’ve worked.
- Facebook just added a section for professional skills; add your skills in this section.
- Don’t forget to use the contact us section to add your website, blogs and social media channels.
Facebook can be utilized almost as a resume if you add the right content and if you are a little creative.
4. Twitter: This is a great avenue to showcase your knowledge and to present yourself as an expert in your area, which is very important in creating a brand for yourself. Having a great Twitter profile allows you to make amazing connections while building followers organically, both of which are crucial to your personal brand. So make sure you are utilizing this channel and showcasing your capabilities to your followers and potential followers. If you are unfamiliar with Twitter start practicing keeping your verbiage short, because you only have 140 characters to make your point. So, you must use them wisely. To get started check out these easy steps:
- Create a header for your Twitter layout, it should be no larger than 1252 × 626.
- Create a Twitter background with your contact information. Twitter backgrounds are 1920 × 1200.
- Display a presentable image of yourself.
- Add a descriptive; yet brief bio using 140 characters.
The importance of Twitter cannot be overlooked in the process of branding yourself. Studies have shown that recruiters from the top employers in the country, are using Twitter as a way to recruit top talent. YOU want to be considered the top talent and you want to be noticed by these recruiters. So Twitter is essential!
5. Google+: There has always been some controversy about the importance of this platform. I’m not exactly sure why, since it is a GOOGLE platform. Most know that Google is pretty darn awesome. So, needless to say I’ve been a fan since the Beta release! Another reason to get acclimated to Google +, Facebook has been losing a bit of steam recently so it is very important that you create a profile on Google+. Additionally content shared on Google+ shows up in search results. Enough said!
*Note* You can schedule your posts for Google+ and other social channels. I’ve used a few but I find that, Buffer is the best scheduling platform available.
6. Blog: I am really partial to WordPress but the most important thing is that you have a blog, which you contribute to regularly. So, select the platform that you are most comfortable with. [Wordpress, WordPress, WordPress, hmm, did I suggest WordPress?] A blog allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field utilizing your own content AND it allows you to provide this content to your social media channels.
Additionally you can create a page on your blog for your online resume. A web version of your resume allows you the convenience of sending a link quickly from pc, tablet OR mobile device directly to anyone that is interested.
Also, make sure that your blog is viewable by way of mobile device. So many people are mobile that it’s almost mandatory that your blog be viewable by mobile device. This also offers you the unique opportunity to respond to emails from recruiters and send a resume link right from your mobile device, within seconds. WINNING!
7. Triberr: If you have a blog YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST be a part of Triberr. If you are not familiar with Triberr, you need to become familiar quickly. Triberr is THE BEST platform to utilize if you want to get exposure for your blog. This platform is second to none!
So, Triberr in a nutshell: It’s a platform that allows exposure of your blog through mutual sharing of content. As a part of Triberr you would join tribes of interest. After joining the tribe(s) you would then connect the RSS feed of your blog to the Tribe. This allows your tribe mates to share your blog content to their Twitter followers. Additionally all of your tribemates will have their blog RSS feed attached so that you can share their blog content with your Twitter followers.
The Triberr platform allows you to multiply the reach of your blog through the mutual sharing of content. This platform is Google Juice for blogs and if you have a blog you need to be a part of Triberr, period. Check out Welcome to Triberr and the Guide To Getting Started With Triberr.
8. LinkedIn: Is probably the most important step you can take to meet contacts, extend your network and place yourself in the faces of recruiters searching for your expertise! Make sure you have a presence on Linkedin, make the proper connections, get endorsements, join groups and totally embrace this platform.
MOST companies in search of top talent will be actively involved with LinkenIn, so make sure you have a GREAT profile and keep it updated.
- Use keywords in your headline and through out your profile.
- Use an appropriate profile photo.
- Complete your entire profile.
- Add slideshows, links and blog posts to display your skills.
- Share professional content that is relevant to careers or your industry.
- Monitor your profile because you can see who has been checking you out. If you have a visit from a person of interest, visit their profile. They will now know that you have visited their profile and this may allow you to spark up a conversation.
- Follow companies that you have an interest in because you may be able to connect with people of interest at that company.
Linkedin is one of your most valuable resources you can utilize, if you want to change your employment situation.
9. YouTube: Videos are a GREAT way to showcase your talents. So create a 2 Minute video to showcase your capabilities.
- Add keywords to any and all videos that you create because this will help Google to index your videos.
- Add your video to your website or blog.
- Share your video on your social media channels.
- Add your video to your LinkedIn profile.
10. BrandYourself.com: Allows you to monitor your digital footprint as it displays on Google. You will get a report if any of your digital marketing channels have gone up or have fallen down in ranking. This service is GREAT because it allows you to see how your brand is displayed on Google according to rank and it is FREE!
Are you currently utilizing any of these platforms to brand yourself? Are you using different channels? Let me know! As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, circle me and/or follow me.
Tags: 71% of people hate their jobs, Anise Smith, blog, Blogging, Brand, Business, careers in 2014, Digital footprint, Digital marketing, Digital marketing in 2014, Facebook, get a job that you love, get a new job in 2014, Google+, hate your job, how to love your job, how to love your job in 2014, how to not hate your job, Internet Marketing, job search when you hate your job, Marketing, Marketing strategy, most people hate their jobs, new job in 2014, New Year, people hate their jobs, Social Media, Social network, start 2014 with a new job, Technology, Twitter, what to do when you hate your job
Social Media, Education and Social Good
I have been working within the marketing industry for quite a while and I’ve witnessed many changes, all of them very exciting. The transition from marketing by way of traditional means, have evolved into a new digital phenomenon that rivals, if not surpasses the Internet boom.
Social Media has allowed us to reach out to many beyond our borders, and this is huge for business but also great for those with an interest in doing good. Social Media has demonstrated that it can be a vehicle to drive social good more than any channel that I’ve seen in the past. This is exciting because it brings together those that want to be a part of social good projects with those that are in need of help. This is win -win for all involved, the creator of the project and the recipient of the project.
As much as I love social media I feel 100 times more passionate about education. So, a short while ago I realized that there was no reason that these two worlds should NOT collide. What better way to make that happen, than by creating a new project that allows me to merge the two things that I love most?
I founded Urban Freshman a short while ago, it is a new organization geared toward providing valuable resources for parents and teens to help prepare them for higher education. I felt compelled to create this resource for a variety of reasons. As a mom to a new high school student I feel as if the American public school system is lacking, education has not moved into the age of technological advancement to the degree that is needed to compete and budget cuts to some inner cities will adversely affect our young people for many years. ALL of these reasons and more, factor into why this resource is needed and why I created Urban Freshman.
The digital world is growing, people are more plugged in than ever and this includes kids and parents. In spite of this our current public school systems are not fully preparing our kids for the future. [Take a quick peak at the slide show below]
I know that I cannot change education on a global level but I can provide the information needed for kids and parents to make informed decisions about higher education by way of Urban Freshman.
Although I called this a social good project and I guess technically it is, but for me I feel like I MUST do this! I feel a need to do something beyond complaining on social media about education and how it needs to improve. Additionally I feel as if every work experience that I’ve had, has led me to do something beyond the 9-5 and to contribute to something that has the capacity to help so many.
In closing, we should all try to use the wonderful and global world of social media to make a difference in some way, because now due to social media, we have an opportunity to make a difference on a unparalleled level. Also, if you know a parent or teen that would benefit from Urban Freshman, please share.
5 Career Solutions For The 71% of People That Hate Their Jobs!
I wrote a post titled, 71% of People Hate Their Jobs and I started a bit of a dialogue about how people really feel about their workplace. It was really astounding, that so many people were unhappy in their jobs. If I had been asked to guess at that statistic, I would have though maybe about 45% – 55% at the most, were unhappy with their current employment situation. I would have never guessed the number to be so high, at 71%.
This means that in our daily travels most people will encounter one or more of these 71% and their unhappiness with their employment situation could affect our lives. The chances of encountering one of these unhappy people, if we must deal with customer service oriented industries is probably relatively high. This explains a lot! I am thinking about experiences that I’ve had with customer service professionals, workers at supermarkets, fast food restaurants and it explains a lot. So, I felt a need to provide some tips that may help those in the 71% feel better about their bad employment situation.
The easiest and lamest advice I can offer is to quit your job if you hate it. However, we all know that in the real world, that is just not an option. Since this is not an option, an alternate means of coping is the only choice until a better more permanent solution is available.
One of the hardest things about being in an unbearable position is the helplessness that the situation creates. This is the case with a lot of situations not just a job. The helplessness of living with a job that you hate, is that it is tied to the money that you make, the ability to provide for your family AND the ability to LIVE. We all know that without income supplied by said hated job, life could be so much worse. So, we can just take the “Take this job and shove it…” option off the table for now and lean more toward solutions that will be beneficial in the short term and long term.
A few solutions:
Think about WHY you hate your current job, this is the key to making changes. Sometimes, people find themselves in careers that were selected when they were 17 or 18 when they originally chose their college path. WE are so different than we were at 17 or 18 , and with growing up we may find that the choice we made at this age may not be a fit when we are 30 or 40. So self-evaluation is a great start!
Get involved with a cause that you find near and dear to your heart. It can really add a very fulfilling aspect to your life that may be lacking. It will also allow you to distract yourself from your current situation until your situation changes and most importantly, you will feel connected to something that matters to you.
Update your job skills, this is always a GREAT thing to do whether you love your job or not. It allows you to stay abreast of what’s going on in your industry and will help with future opportunities. Also, it looks great on your resume!
Return to School is also a great way to expand your knowledge and formally brush up on your skills. Take some time to reevaluate your career choice if you find that your unhappiness is a result of a poor career choice or consider learning more about your present field if you are in the industry of your choice. Either way, learning more can only improve your chances of changing your employment situation.
Start a business because it is a perfect time to start and grow a business WHILE you have permanent income. This could prepare you for unexpected and unplanned changes in your employment situation. It could also prepare you to move away from the 71% that hate their jobs to the 21% that love what they do.
Find what you love and do it! If you are not doing what you love now, continue to pursue your dreams until you are doing what you love! As usual, I welcome your opinion, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and or Google+.
The What, When, Why and How of Content Creation
We have moved full force into a world where marketing has become education based, NOT sales driven as it was in the past and this calls for a different route to be taken with marketing based initiatives.
Content creation is rapidly moving toward being a huge driving force behind what once was traditional advertising, marketing and sales. This changes how we think about marketing in general and will require organizations to re-evaluate their marketing strategies. Based on these changes, the ability to create original, thought provoking and shareable content is not optional anymore it is mandatory.
According to Ad Age’s survey, 55% of marketers have increased their content-marketing budgets this year and is expected to do so in 2014 as well. The companies that are forward thinking enough will be a part of this trend, those that are still old school will not and fall that much father behind in creating the digital footprint needed to present themselves as authorities in their field.
At one time there were sales collateral produced by companies that were used to promote that company as an authority in their field. Traditional print pieces, brochures and magazine articles were once used to promote organizations but with so many people living in a plugged in world these channels are no longer as effective as they were during the print era. This is the dilemma, so what’s a company to do?
It’s time for companies to take the shift in consumable media serious and open their eyes and minds to change. People are just not consuming media utilizing the channels such as print as much as in the past. Media or content is consumed on social media channels and blogs by way of tablets and mobile devices. So it is imperatives that business who want to be viewed as authorities start to take content creation very serious. Businesses MUST start creating content AND publishing that content to the channels that people are utilizing!
So let’s take a look at the what, when, why and how of getting started.
This is the easiest question you can address because the WHAT of content creation is promoting WHAT it is your organization does. Every office has one or two people that are informed about EVERYTHING about the company. These are also usually the people that have been with the company since the company started. This person is a valuable source of information to a content creator! They are your brand ambassadors and they have the ability to provide the WHAT of content creation for your content creator.
You should create as much content as you or your company can physically manage and post it as much as possible. If you get a content creator that is on their game they will be able to stretch out a small amount of content into multiple pieces of creative and engaging posts on a blog. This content can then be posted over a period of time. It would be a great idea to create a publishing calendar so that you can have an organized and consistent flow of content moving through your digital channels at all times.
By providing an abundance of content this allows you or your company to become authorities within your industry. If you become an authority in your industry you can increase your exposure, improve Google placement and potentially increase sales. This is just a no-brainer.
At one time the company with the biggest marketing budget was the company that had the most exposure and sales. The same thing applies here except we are dealing with online content, which has essentially replaced a lot of traditional marketing channels as a way to consume media.
There are so many ways to create content and so many types of content that you can create, written, visual, video or a combination of all. The most important thing is to provide a variety of types of content and use analytics/insights to gauge the effectiveness of the content that you are providing. Some say that visual content does best, some say video but every audience is different. This is why using the data from analytics is imperative because it will allow you to see what kind of content your readers like. This allows you to create and share more of the content that is in demand and less of the content that is less than favorable.
To get a better idea of the importance of creating content for your brand, take a look at the infographic below.
As marketing changes so MUST the willingness of companies to keep up with the trends that will keep them ahead of their competitors and content marketing is one of those trends. We no longer have such a high demand for print, brochures but an increasing demand for blogs, newsletters, website articles, white papers, and special reports. Content creators are key to providing this type of content and it is essential that that content be original, engaging and shareable.
So stop reading and get started with creating great content for your brand!
Posted in Content Marketing
Tags: Advertising, Anise Smith, Blogging, Business, content, content creation, Content Curation, content is king, content marketers, Content marketing, Digital marketing, Facebook, google and content, Google+, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing strategy, providing great content, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Twitter
I was a HUGE fan of Google Plus from its initial introduction and I was one of the many people within my social circle that jumped on board immediately. We were all a part of the original beta testers and were immediately impressed with this platform. In the earlier stages of Google plus, there were many that were of the “either or” mentality about social media, either they leave Facebook or try Google Plus. Even with so many doubting the importance of Google plus, there were many within my social circles that knew that Google was on to something. Many, like myself are still of that mindset.
I had a discussion over a year ago, with a recreational Facebook user that argued how irrelevant Google Plus was and how it would remain so because HE felt as if Facebook would always rule. As a recreational social media user that shared pictures on Facebook two or three times and would log on every 3 months or so, how could he recognize the importance of a platform beyond his own minimal recreational use. I won’t even go into why anyone NOT living under a rock in Narnia with centaurs would ever minimize a Google platform. With the exception of a few platforms, Google has been known to turn dust into gold.
Although I have always been excited about the possibilities of Google Plus I never thought of it as a platform for casual users. I always thought of Google plus and its extraordinary capabilities for business owners and digital marketers. Honestly I never pictured a person like Mr. Recreational user pounding away and connecting on Google plus. However I did think of digital marketers like myself and other likeminded marketers in my social circles utilizing this as a huge platform to boost their exposure and their clients’ exposure in ways that we have never seen before, even with Facebook.
I am not comparing it to Facebook beyond placing in into the category of Social Media platform. I’m not minimizing Facebook in anyway, because who could ever minimize a platform that really was a pioneer in the sharing and oversharing world that we live in today. Facebook literally changed HOW we communicate, how much we communicate and even extended into the workplace changing the marketing and advertising fabric of practically EVERY organization in business. Facebook could NEVER be minimized because they really changed the world and our views of communication and sharing information.
Although Facebook boasts over one billion active users Google plus has the power of the biggest search engine in the world behind it, Google. This is what separates Google plus, as a social media platform, from Facebook. Google is so darn huge that we don’t even use the phrase search engine anymore. I don’t search, I FREAKIN’ Google. I haven’t searched something since back in the 90’s when those now obscure search engines like; Looksmart, Infoseek and AskJeeves were around. WE ALL FREAKIN’ GOOGLE NOW, we DO NOT search.
Google in all of it’s greatness has been “on to something” since the introduction of Google Plus and they have, in their own Google Greatness kind of way molded this platform into a platform that shouldn’t be ignored. There have been many subtle changes to Google and Google plus since they pushed the social search platform out to the masses.
Initially Google plus wasn’t much to look at with its small narrow banner and boring look, but the layout has been tweaked a few times to create a much better-looking page. The last few tweaks consisted of the banner change and a full layout change.
There were outward changes to the Google plus platform but most of the changes were behind the scenes with Google and very gradual. These are the changes that will benefit businesses most.
- The integration of all Google Services
- Uniform sign on
- Personalized search results
- Google places merging into Google Local
- Blogger ability to be shared easily on Google+ Pages
- Blogger becoming a much more relevant blogging platform
- Google+ and team up with Zagat
- Finally, the push toward social search
In essence there has almost been a full integration of all Google Services with Google Plus at most and at the very least these services greatly compliment Google plus. Any way you look at it, the integration of these services with Google plus creates an avenue in which shared information meets search. SOCIAL SEARCH.
Social Search is something that Wajam tried but never was able to move forward as successfully as Google will. Also Facebook tried to play the social search game with Bing. We all know how that worked out. Besides there really cool TV commercials, no one really gives a poop about Bing because they are really kinda’ sorta’ irrelevant in the search game. Or I should say in the Google Domination Game.
Google plus is the platform, now that it is merging all of the Google services, will be a pioneer and will dominate Social Search. An avenue where social results will play a role in search results. Oh wait, that’s happening now.
Take a look at the graphic below of an image that I posted to Google plus that displayed in Google search results, for a company that I represent in the digital marketing space.
THIS is Social Search, THIS is Google plus and THIS is why you are seriously cheating yourself if you do not have your company page on Google Plus.
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That guy just posted some stuff to #Facebook, He’s obviously an EXPERT. I’ll hire him said no company ever!
I often have conversations about Digital Marketing and how things have changed. We have gone from focusing on Social Media and toward focusing on Digital Marketing all within a year. Although there has been a transition in dialogue and definitely a shift in consciousness, one thing that has not shifted is the degree of people claiming to be experts.
I’ve had a number of people say, “ I am a F-ing Expert.” Oh, I’m sorry seriously? I wonder if these people realize that I’ve been following them on a variety of social media channels AND I have a permanent echo in my mind of some of the dumbazz questions that I’ve seen in their feed. So, um yeah you post some stuff to your Facebook page but a Digital Marketer, that does not make you.
We have really reached the age in technology that companies are searching for more than a person that can post a few cute animal photos to their Facebook feed. I have always said that Digital Marketing is about way more than just posting content to Facebook. The social media aspect of digital marketing is about posting content that reaches out to touch readers/views and engages them enough for them to respond and share. This is of course all WITHOUT tagging 200 friends with the highest Klout score.
Not only do the peers of the so called experts KNOW that these people are no such thing, so do employers looking for talent in the Digital Marketing space. It’s NOT enough to post some stuff to Facebook, you must be on your game now that capabilities in this space is high. The first indication that a person is NOT on their game is those that claim the loudest about their expertise in an industry are usually the ones that aren’t. How can you be an expert in a field that is growing at super quick speed? The people that are dominating this space are those that quietly go about their way doing their thing while continuing to learn their craft.
It is not even a question about companies diving into this space; it is a must if they want to stay in business. Guess what, if you really think that claiming that you are an expert is going to be enough, good luck with that.
I read a statistic that said 90% of content consumed occurs in front of a screen. This means that most of the content that is being read, which has to be created by someone will probably be created by someone in the Digital Marketing space.
A huge part of being a Digital Marketer is creating engaging, relevant shareable content NOT just posting some crap on Facebook. Although the creation of this content is very important, there are so many more things that define what digital marketing is all about. Those that GET THIS, will be the ones that will be in demand in this space.
Right now we are at a pivotal moment in history and in the growth of this industry and it’s the ultimate Shit Got Real moment. NOW is a time when the Marketers that are so in demand move to the top of the pack and the chest beating, “Im a F-ing expert” Gurus fade to black.
If you want to compete in this space it’s time to start doing and stop yapping. Some of the in-demand skills are any combination of the following:
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content Management Systems
- Web Analytics
- Customer Relationship Management
- Web Usability
- Mobile Web
- Mobile Marketing
- Direct Response Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Content Optimization
- Product Marketing
- Marketing Agency Experience
- Project Management
- Video Editing/Creation
- Video Marketing
- Social Media Analytics and more
This list includes just some of the expectations of a Digital Marketer that I’ve read about. So needless to say you MUST be on your A Game, beyond just posting stuff on Facebook and boasting about your perception of your own expertise.
Hiring within this Digital Marketing Space is at an all time high and I expect that it will be continuing it’s upward growth. This growth is primarily due to the opinion that traditional marketing is failing in the area of producing tangible results. There was a huge report conducted by The Harvard Business Review, which states that CEO ‘s are tired of traditional marketing that lack results. This opinion is probably a huge factor in the growth of the Digital Marketing Industry. Take a look at the graphic below to display the growth in this field.Although traditional marketing may be struggling according to this study it doesn’t minimize the need for businesses to market their companies capabilities. This is one of the things that are fueling the growth of Digital Marketers. It allows companies that are hiring to merge services already in use with new technologies to cover an area that is growing exponentially.
So if you are on your game in this digital marketing space, you are holding a winning hand right now. Take a look at the areas in which companies expect to place organizational focus in the graphic below.
If you are NOT holding a winning hand in some of these area, brush up on your skills, stop bragging and get on your game. Because really no one wants to hear about what a rock star, guru, maven what-ever-the-hell you are calling yourself this week, especially if your game AIN’T TIGHT.
As platforms are introduced to the digital marketing space we continue to be spread thin in trying to embrace them all. At a certain point, as Digital Marketers we must really look at the amount of time we are spending on platforms. Then we should decide which ones we need to keep, make priority and decide which ones we might need to reevaluate.
It’s not as if we are discarding platforms but more like be realistic and making a conscious choice to stop spreading ourselves thin. This is exactly what can happen if we continue try to embrace every new platform that presents itself in this ever-increasing digital marketing space.
I wrote a blog post about the 13 Digital Marketing Platforms That We Must Embrace in 2013 and I am a firm believer in embracing those 13 platforms successfully and minimizing my interaction with some others. I am not going to eliminate them just reevaluate how much time I need to spend on them and utilize platforms which help to manage time more effectively.
A few really essential platforms that help me to manage my time more effectively is as follows:
This option is by far one of the BEST things that Facebook accomplished in all of 2012. Not only was it a great addition, but it also allowed people to explore a FREE option of scheduling posts. This allows me to exercise my life’s philosophy of “If It’s FREE, it’s For Me!” I love Facebook schedule posts, I utilize this often because I manage more than a dozen Facebook pages and this is a GREAT time saver!
This continues to be a GREAT option for scheduling social media posts! Buffer has continued to improve by adding analytics and additional social media channels that can be utilize through this platform. One of the things that I really love about buffer are that the toolbar and WordPress sharing plugin that allows you to add posts to your Buffer schedule at any point in your online travels. So this continues to be a GREAT platform whether you go with free posting or expand into the extended options offered if you decide to upgrade. If you go with the upgraded options you will have the ability to add unlimited posts and share to up to 12 social media platforms. Whichever option you chose Buffer should be a part of your digital marketing time management strategy.
I have been using Laterbro for quite a while and I cannot say enough about this platform. Although not as popular as some of the other scheduling tools, Laterbro is still a winner. It is FREE and allows you to schedule content to Facebook and multiple Twitter accounts. If you have not had a chance to give Laterbro a run, you should make a point to do so.
I am a HUGE fan of Triberr and I can never say enough about this amazing platform. Triberr is a platform that allows you to team up with other people in tribes to share content through Twitter and other social media channels. One of the things that I really LOVE about Triberr is that it allows you to determine how you’d like the schedule sharing the posts of your tribemates. You can share in15-minute increments or up to 24-hour increments. Although not officially a scheduling platform, Triberr allows you to schedule information of your tribemates with your content to create a very nice flow of content through your Twitter feed.
If you are using a self-hosted WordPress platform for your blog take a look at the plugin Tweet Old Post. This allows you to share some of your WordPress blog posts through your Twitter feed automatically using this plugin.
Last year I created a post about 12 Platforms That We Should Use in 2012 and my goodness what a difference a year makes. So much has happened in the world of Digital Marketing in 2012, all pretty exciting. Progress is always a wonderful thing and all of the changes, good, bad or ugly is history altering in this industry.
With so much change occuring last year, we should start 2013 with mastering some things that will alter and enhance our lives within this ever changing digital marketing space. Take a look at the 13 things you should master in 2013.
- Google+: Last Year Google+ barely made my list although I was always a fan. I must admit to being quite guilty of not utilizing this platform as much as I should. So this year I will change that! Google has really stepped up their game with this platform and that is a game changer for social media platforms. Google has integrated all of the Google services, this is HUGE. Google rolled out a great connection with Blogger, Youtube, merged Google Local and added Communities. ALL HUGE, especially when Facebook has been making so many changes that have not been beneficial to brands. One of these changes is the algorithm change almost forcing brands to utilize Facebook ads to get the exposure that they once had for free. Also the new layout that doesn’t allow branded iFrame pages to be the default landing page, again forcing brands to look at other channels for driving website traffic, namely Facebook ads. Finally Facebook doesn’t allow contact information on brand cover pages. ALL of these choices that Facebook has made make it very easy for brands to explore Google+ for their brands.
- Explore Twitter more thoroughly: As Facebook minimized avenues in which brands could expose their contactinformation to their followers, Twitter provided an opportunity for brands by way of the new layout and header to maximize exposure. This is reason enough to explore Twitter more or utilize it more, if you currently do not use it as much as you should.
- WordPress: If you are not utilizing wordpress and you have an old school traditional website, now is the time to consider looking at WordPress as your website/blog platform. The endless possibilities of this platform is enough to make you take a look at it and go for it. Also venture outside of the templates offered by WordPress, there are so many websites that offer templates that may better fit your brands needs. If you can’t find one suitable, consider getting a custom template created just for your brand.
- Triberr: Is a MUST have this year as it was last year, maybe more so. I cannot stress the importance of this platform enough. EVERYONE that blogs needs to be a part of Triberr for the maximum exposure to their blog. The key to Triberr and being successful is being selective about Tribes. Make Triberr a part of your digital marketing strategy for 2013 NOW!
- Refresh Your Brand: Your digital marketing strategy loses its effectiveness without consistent branding. It is very important to have a memorable and consistent brand across all social media channels. A new year is a great time to freshen your old brand or even start from scratch.
- Monetize Your Content: If you have a decent blog following you should consider monetizing your content. Look at Google ads, affiliate marketing and other monetizing options.
- Go Visual: Even if you are currently put off by Instagram don’t let that stop you from diving into other visual platforms. Check out Flickr, Pinterest or both. Don’t forget to incorporated Youtube into your Digital Marketing Mix. The new year is a great time to create a company capabilities videos displaying some of the new services that you offer or emphasize some of the other services that you currrently offer. Incorporate your new refreshed brand while you’re at it in to your Youtube channel.
- Add some traditional Marketing to your mix: All of any one way to market is never a good idea even in this very digital world. I have blogged often about integrating digital into traditional marketing, but there are a few traditional marketing concepts that work well with digital marketing concepts. Although traditional marketing has changed so much it is not totally obsolete. A fusion of traditional and digital marketing is something that should be explored. Consider doing a direct mail campaign to reintroduce your newly branded online presence and wordpress page. This will allow you to tie your marketing efforts together and create some buzz about your newly branded online presence.
- Explore new technologies: There is always a reason to explore new technologies, primarily because we are living through a huge period of change with technologies. Although these technologies aren’t exactly new, they are not totally embraced yet so learn more about Augmented Reality, Cloud Computing, 3D Printing and more.
- Explore Mobile: Just in case you haven’t noticed yet a lot of people utilize their mobile device probably more than their laptop and/or desktop. Make your site mobile ready, if you haven’t done so yet. Also consider getting a mobile website if you do not have the ability to make your site mobile ready and create a redirect from your traditional site to your mobile site. This would allow people that are on mobile devices to automatically go to your mobile site if they are on a mobile device.
- Explore QR Codes again: Mobile devices aren’t going anywhere, if anything usage will increase as the years go by. QR Codes are a great way to create great campaigns to get people to your website. Make sure your QR code campaign is well planned and executed. A few tips, you must have a call to action. You must give a person a reason to scan and make sure your QR Code scans to a mobile device. Finally have a GREAT QR code scanning App. I am currently using Scan.Me and It is the best QR code scanner that I’ve used as of yet because you just move your mobile device close to the QR code and it scans. That’s it, no fiddling around, minimal steps. Tie your QR code campaign to your new direct mail campaign! WINNING!
- Social Media Time Management: Time management is essential with social media, which can honestly be a huge time suck which could lead to burn out without effective time management. Social Media burn out is not even an option, if you are a Digital Marketer. So utilize tools that will help you manage your time more efffectively.
- Finally, Have FUN! Digital Marketing is FUN especially if you have figured out a way to effectively manage your time!