An infographic published by VA Simple Services titled 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report: Key Findings, lists down a rundown of important facts. For starters, it says that spending more time on social media platforms helps brands understand the medium and, therefore, can easily provide insights which are essential in planning social media campaigns, and ensuring they are effectively targeting accomplishing their objectives.
And with the social Web’s real-time capabilities and varied features, it should not be much of a surprise that the brand’s business exposure online is the biggest benefit businesses are reaping from their social media uses. Here, Facebook tops the list of most used social media sites, unsurprisingly followed by Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube.
New numbers from research firm comScore confirm what has long been believed — Google+ is severely lagging behind competitors.
The Wall Street Journal reports, “visitors using personal computers spent an average of about three minutes a month on Google+ between September and January, versus six to seven hours on Facebook each month over the same period, according to comScore.” Users spent 4.8 minutes on the network in December and 5.1 minutes in November, the report said.
It has long been speculated that Google+ was on the decline, the recent report has confirmed that suspicion. The Wall Street Journal referred to the troubled network as “a virtual ghost town.”
In a call with analysts last month, Google CEO Larry Page said Google+ had 90 million users compared to 40 million in October. It seems users are signing up and filling out their profile, but then ignoring the network. Google+ is severely suffering from lack of engagement.
The situation is so dire that users spend more time on Myspace than Google+. ComScore reports that users spend only an average of 3 minutes on Google+ compared to 8 on Myspace, 17 on LinkedIn, 21 on Twitter, 89 on Tumblr and Pinterest, and 405 on Facebook.
In an article for The Atlantic, Rebecca Rosen hypothesizes why Google+ has found itself in last place.
“Google asked businesses and organizations not to create Google+ pages after many tried to do so, asking them to wait until official business pages were ready. Why not have these pages ready at launch? Why be so controlling over how people use your new network? By asking companies to shut down their pages, Google killed off an early source of content that could have brought people to the site.”
Rosen also notes Google’s numerous privacy blunders, “Google shot itself in the foot by doing more ‘evil’ — aka questionable privacy practices — squandering its biggest comparative advantage that it had over Facebook, its main competitor.”
Google maintains that they are on the right track. “We are making a long-term bet on the initiative and growing by every metric we care about,” said Brad Horowitz, a Google VP of product management.
Only time will tell if Google’s “bet” pays off, right now the odds don’t look so good.
As mentioned in my previous article about the movement towards content marketing, traditional marketing is being over-taken by content driven strategies that focus on distribution through social media. Advertising is not dead! On the contrary, advertising is stronger than ever, if you merge the old with the new. By combining traditional marketing, branding and advertising with content driven social programs, you are going to have exponential success through the combined efforts of you and your target audience.
Your content marketing strategy should be designed to expand on your traditional programs and develop relationships that will bring long term residual returns for all your advertising expenditures.
Here are some key steps to take when implementing your content marketing strategy.
Start with a set of goals – I always find the best way to implement any sales or marketing strategy is to first outline specific and measurable goals. Don’t just say, “Increase sales.” Your goals have to be well defined and measurable. An example of a productive goal is, “Increase sales by 15% within 6 months.” This goal is measurable and allows you to create accountability and benchmarks. Other goals to consider are increase mentions on twitter by 50% or secure 10,000 Facebook fans or add 5,000 subscribers to our monthly newsletter.
Who is your target? – Once you have a goal, you must identify who your target audience is and how best to speak to them. You aren’t going to grow your newsletter subscription rate if your target audience is 35-55 year old women by posting content about advances in fuel injection systems. You have to know who you are speaking too and what interests them. I try to place myself in the shoes of my customers or prospects and ask myself, what would interest me and keep my attention.
What are you trying to say? – Content marketing is no different than traditional marketing in that you have to have a message to deliver. What is it that you want to convey to your audience, what differentiates your brand or product, how are you better than your competition and how do you translate these attributes to a language that will be received by your target audience?
Decide on a strategy – Content marketing typically is broken into three strategies: long-form, short-form and social conversations. Long-form includes blog posts, articles and press releases. Short-form is typically Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn updates and graphics. Social conversations might include participating in and driving conversations by link sharing, video and blog commenting and forum discussions. You may decide to only use one or all three. All can be effective on their own and when used together.
Gotta have a plan – First you plan the work, then you work the plan. Your plan should include a calendar that works backwards from your goal date, include benchmarks along the way and include specific strategies, tactics, calls to action and responsibilities. This process can be a major project, but you will be glad you invested the time at the beginning, as it makes execution so much easier.
Build your content – You will be building content throughout the entirety of your project, but by creating about 20% of your content pre-launch, it allows you to both refine your message before it is seen and give you a cushion if you should fall behind during your campaign. Your content should be unique and different and speak to your audience incorporating your key message.
Grow a relationship – Remember you are not selling or closing, you are building the awareness of your company and product or service through engagement with your prospects and customers on terms that they prefer and desire. If you do this right, they will buy from you because they trust you and know you.
Remember, content marketing isn’t only about what you have to say. At least 70% of what you share should be curated (not your own) and specific to the needs and wants of your target audience. Remember you are building a relationship…it is all about them!
Share your message – It is time to get your words out there. Build a machine that includes relevant key words to your product or service and attach them to your message. Make sure you are using these key words in your tags and imbedding them into your blogs posts. SEO can play a huge part in getting your message found and increasing subscribers and followers. Don’t forget about Twitter, Facebook and social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. Don’t wait for your customers to spread the word, everyone on your marketing team needs to like, plus, retweet and repost your content.
Review and refine – Don’t wait until the end of your campaign to see if it worked. You need to measure everything and watch the benchmarks you have established. You should also be able to see what is working the best and what didn’t. Do more of what works and refine what didn’t. If you can’t get it to work, try something else. I have been shocked more than once at what blew up and went viral and what was completely ignored. Learn from your successes and failures along the way and refine your campaign to ensure you hit your goals and exceed them.
Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, you can’t go from 1 to 1 million followers with getting to 2 and every success is preceded by a thousand failures.
About Resident Places
Resident Places is a zero cost amenity to residential and mixed use properties where residents receive valuable money saving offers from local businesses through a co-branded coupon portal. These neighborhood deals are made available without any sales activity by leasing staffs or IT teams. Every deal printed through the co-branded portal will include the name of the property and is shareable via social media networks like Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter, which expands the reach and audience of the community’s brand to their residents, prospects and area businesses. For business owners, our unique offering gives access into a typically difficult advertising market – multifamily communities, with a low cost, high tech solution.
For Immediate Release
Resident Places Offers Zero Cost, High Value Amenity to Multifamily Industry.
Philadelphia, PA FEB 13, 2012 – Resident Places is pleased to announce the launching of Residentplaces.com into the Philadelphia Marketplace. Now Philadelphia property managers can leverage the explosion of online coupons to enhance resident satisfaction without adding top line costs or increased work load on leasing staffs!
Resident Places is a zero cost amenity where residents receive valuable money saving offers from local businesses through a co-branded portal. These neighborhood deals are made available without any sales activity by leasing staffs or IT teams. Every coupon printed through the co-branded portal will include the name of the property, which expands the reach and audience of the community’s brand. Best of all, the cost of our program is covered by local advertisers. No recurring charges, no software upgrade charges, no per user charges.
For business owners, our unique offering gives access into a typically difficult advertising market – multifamily communities, with a low cost, high tech solution. Business owners can be sure that their marketing dollars are focused on potential customers who are immediately proximate to their location.
Resident Places President and Co-Founder, TJ Goulet, stated, “We are very excited to bring a high value, no cost amenity to the multifamily industry. Coupons offer a great benefit to residents and Residentplaces.com will give leasing offices a tool to connect with local businesses.” Exec VP & Co-founder Rob Remus added, “Resident Places is a perfect offering, adding real value to the rental experience for residents and by creating a bond between leasing offices and local businesses. It is the Spunkmeyer cookies of digital amenities.”
- People use coupons – $3.7 Billion worth were redeemed in 2010, 74% of coupon users search multiple coupon sources each week and one in four consumers made a special trip to a store just because they have a coupon in 2010.
- Matches target demographic – 76% of households that are enthusiastic about coupon usage have annual incomes in excess of $35,000.
- Digital Coupon use is exploding – 47% of Internet users will redeem a digital coupon in 2011, digital coupon redemption rose 268% in 2009 alone.
Source: NCH Marketing, Inc. and Nielsen Company – Homescan and Premove.com
Co-Founder and President TJ Goulet, has been a leader in sales and marketing for almost 30 years. His background includes both entrepreneurial endeavors as well as nationally recognized achievement with a Fortune 500 Company. He entered the local search and coupon industry in 2005, when he launched his first directory and coupon portal. In less than two years, he successfully added 2,500 paid advertisers distributing over 8,000 coupons monthly in the Western Philadelphia Suburbs. Rob Remus, Exec VP, has over 20 years executive experience in the multifamily industry as both an owner and a manager. Rob also Co-founded Apartment Solutions and was National Account Manager for industry newsletter provider Illustratus. The third founder, Michael Fortinberry has 18 years in multi-family technology. In 2007 while at AIMCO, then the largest owner of apartments in the US, Michael was named one of the top 5 executives under 40 in the multifamily industry. After tenure as President of one of RealPage’s operating divisions, Michael has helped launch several new multi-family technology companies ranging from eProcurement to environmental services.
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Content marketing is on the rise and relevant and timely content needs to be an integral part of your marketing strategy. 90% of marketers are already doing this but not all have realised the extent of content marketing or how to harness it to its full potential. Though 60% of B2B marketers plan to spend more on content marketing, only 26% of those surveyed are actually doing it. With the rise of startups catering to the easy creation of content, this may create a shift in how marketers approach this area.
In 2011, Google’s Panda update attempted to separate the good content from the bad so those creating high quality content are beginning to see improved site rankings. Another reason content will play a greater role in marketing. This infographic by BlueGlass goes into more detail. It’s interesting to see the variety of tactics and what rates highly for B2B marketers. Traditional marketing is further down the list than expected whereas eBooks are on the rise.
Does this reflect what you are doing in your company?Read More