5 Pinterest Boards for Content Marketers

Are you a content marketer? Do you love Pinterest? If you don’t, you should, because there is no better place to find relevant content for your industry, nor is there a quicker way to share that content. Not only can you find plenty of items to educate you on the latest information in today’s online market, but you can also use it to promote yourself by creating a fun and informative board for others to follow.

Plenty of others have had that idea, and they have created some great boards that you should check out. Five of my personal favorites are possibly even the best boards on the social networking site.

1. Internet Marketing Posts

Internet Marketing Posts

Most of these pins are links to outside sites, and all of them are high quality posts that are really helpful. You can find information on topics like creating better content, niche ranking, and using YouTube to generate traffic, among others. I am surprised this board doesn’t have more followers, as the quality seems to have been carefully maintained. One thing that is disappointing is that there are only 42 pins, and it has been stuck at that number for a while. I would have liked to see more posts, and maybe if there were more posts, there would be more followers. Nonetheless, what is already posted is well worth a look.

2. SocialMedia.nl Infographics

SocialMedia.nl Infographics

This is another board that should have a lot more followers than it does. The board features more than 300 infographics related to social media, content marketing, and PR, and I have found many great ones that have been really helpful. The graphics are in English, but the descriptions are not, and that might explain why there are fewer followers than I would expect. It’s probably harder for the majority of users on Pinterest to find this board by searching. In any case, this is a must follow for anyone who is looking for industry specific infographics.

3. Branding/Marketing

Branding/Marketing

This one is a smaller board, but there is nothing but high quality infographics on marketing and branding here, including a few good ones on the history of content marketing in both a pre-modern and modern context. Everything here is really interesting, and it is one of my favorite collections of visual data that I have found anywhere on the web. And that is saying a lot, given the many blogs now dedicated to the topic.

4. Infographics

Infographics

One of the largest infographic boards on Pinterest, this board has 1,400+ pins and thousands of followers. Of course, there isn’t a specific subject focus for these pins, so it can be a bit hit and miss when it comes to searching for relevant content marketing pieces. I have noticed a bit of an emphasis on social media, however, and that can be helpful, especially for general information that you can apply to your industry’s context.

5. Marketing, Media, Etc.

Marketing, Media, Ect.

This is mostly a board for infographics, but there are some links to outside articles, as well. I have found a lot of really cool data here. The fact that there are 90+ followers, yet only 27 pins, should speak for itself. There is quite a bit on content marketing on the board, as well. It isn’t updated often, but everything on the board is so good that it is worth the follow.

Conclusion

Content marketing is an interesting and varied topic, and there is always more to learn. Boards like these give you a ton of information and allow you to enjoy yourself while reading them. Not to mention, you will also have the ability to share that content with others who might find it useful.

What are some of your favorite marketing boards on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments, or share your own!

Source: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/5-pinterest-boards-for-content-marketers/45958/

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Where Good Content Goes Wrong

Between Google Panda and Penguin most people are taking a good hard look at their content strategies. Or at least they should be.

Not only do we need to think about making unique content that offers enough substance to pass through Panda filters, we need to think about content that can help you earn Penguin-proof links.

Even if you have a section of your site dedicated to what you think is “linkable content” there are still a couple of crucial ways even the most well-intentioned content can fall short.

If your content isn’t helping you build the kinds of future-proof links that your site needs, take a good look at your content and see if it runs up against some of these most common content weaknesses. And if it does, there are some ways to re-vitalize it.

It’s Too Commercial

The overly-commercial trap is really easy to fall into, even without realizing it.

Maybe you stripped your content of the kinds of bias that qualifies as sales copy. Maybe you did some keyword research to see what people are searching for and wrote instructional content on subjects associated with your business. But even so, your content may still fail to bring in links.

Take a step back and look at what’s around the content. Your header, and main nav, OK. Along with your Free Shipping promotion, AdSense, intrusive side bars, a Live Help option and/or a pop-up. Not as OK.

It’s good to write content that is closely associated with your business, but when you limit yourself to keyword containing topics instead of embracing conceptually relevant ones, you only limit your own potential appeal.

Solution

Pare it down and diversify. If you think a piece of content might be linkable, keep it as clean as possible.

It’s OK to keep your brand name attached though; you don’t want to lose all the good will that comes from offering professional advice, and when content gets shared you want your brand to be the clear owner.

It’s also important to get outside your keyword box. Write content on supplemental subjects to support your products or services conceptually rather than literally.

Broader subjects with wider audiences provide far more possible recipients than staying limited to your niche. Especially when you consider that half the other websites talking about your subject are also trying to make money off of it.

It’s Too One-Sided

Even good content, can fail to be well rounded. If you’ve peeled your content pages down to their non-commercial skivvies, they may still come off commercial if your interests are the only ones represented.

There are always two sides to a story. If you’re only telling the one that makes you look good, even facts can seem biased.

You can also back yourself into an audience corner; the only people who want to share your story are those who already support your cause, so you’re probably not reaching anyone new.

Sometimes content can also suffer from a lack of perspective. If the information presented comes from just one voice or one source, it’s still fairly shallow and won’t measure up to a lot of the more comprehensive resources in your niche.

Solution

Be objective and get re-enforcements. If you really want content on a subject to stand out, take a risk and present the other side of the argument.

Write about the more contentious aspects of your business and give people information to draw their own conclusions. And when you do make a case, back it up with unaffiliated sources that don’t have a dog in the fight.

When your subject matter doesn’t exactly spark opinionated discussion, enrich your content by adding other voices to the conversation. Quotations, multiple opinions, expert contributions and even external links lead to more complex resources with the kind of depth that make them worth linking to.

Nothing Really, But No One Knows About it

There’s a good chance you have something on your site which is really cool. Too bad nobody sees it. It’s not all that surprising that the link count is low if:

  • You’ve been passive about waiting for people to find and share your content.
  • You’ve only distributed it on networks where all of your likes and followers were purchased in bulk.
  • You’ve never sent a single individual contact, newsletter or email blast to the kinds of people who have both the power to give links and a vested interest in your subject.

Even when promotion is a pivotal part of your process, if you’re talking to the wrong people it may be a waste of time.

Places that commonly share videos may not be the right crowd for an infographic. Those who usually link to industry news may not be the most receptive to evergreen resources.

If the asset you’re selling is a huge departure from the rest of a site’s content, your chances of getting the link aren’t good. But when you play to what people want, your odds improve tremendously.

Solution

Build a real audience, of the right kinds of people and put your content in front of them. Gaining a public for your content can take a lot of forms, from gathering an engaged following in social media to establishing a subscriber base or collecting contacts. But you have to make sure you play to the right linkers in the right way.

Doing that successfully generally comes down to knowing what forms of content people respond to on different platforms and what topics your link targets find the most compelling. Without that kind of research from the outset, then your content is a linkability crap shoot from the beginning. ‘

Even under the best of circumstances a major component of getting content off the ground is outreach. Without that, it’s hard to ever build up an effective social media community or bring actionable awareness to your content.

Summary

If your content isn’t getting links, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a lost cause. With the right refinements or enhancements your site has a shot at coming up with kinds of links that you’ll never have to worry about taking down.

Source: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2189951/Where-Good-Content-Goes-Wrong

Making the Best of PPC Basics

I wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that virtually all PPC marketers have been through a stage with one account or another where, no matter what you try, the account just would not perform. You typically notice that the conversion numbers have dropped significantly over the past couple of months, and you perform some standard steps to correct what has gone wrong with your account:

  • Keyword Performance: Do a thorough analysis of the top-performing keywords on your account to find out if there has been any drop in the traffic they are sending you.
  • Keyword Diagnosis: Diagnose your keywords to find out if any of the negative keywords added by you have been blocking your ads from showing up for the most relevant keywords.
  • Seasonality: Check seasonality trends to figure out if the drop in conversions has actually taken place due to seasonal variations.
  • Competitor Behavior: Is there a new competitor in your market who has been very aggressive online, or have any of your existing competitors adopted new strategies that are working wonders for them? Conduct a competitor analysis to find out if changes in their advertising strategies have caused you harm.

Apart from the above common steps to solve the problems facing the account, many PPC marketers also implement a few additional techniques to, hopefully, increase the number of conversions received on an account. Some of these techniques are:

  • Display Network: Try out the display network, preferably for the theme that generates the maximum number of conversions on the search network.
  • Image Ads: Use image ads for existing display network campaigns due to the fact that users surfing on the display network will be more enticed towards clicking on image ads.
  • Conversion Optimizer: Use the Conversion Optimizer with a view to getting a high number of conversions at your target CPA value.
  • Remarketing: Retarget users who have been on your website but may not have converted.
  • Google Analytics: Make use of Google Analytics data like Bounce Rate to find out the performance of the standalone landing pages. View the Top Content report to find out which pages on the website work best, and then create specific standalone landing pages based on this report.
  • Ad Extensions: Implement ad extensions like site link extensions or call extensions to engage people in a more efficient manner with your standard text ads, etc.

While any of the strategies mentioned above may have worked for you at times, there is still a chance that none of the above have worked for your account and have only led to a high spend with no conversions, which resulted in a high account CPA. For example, if remarketing and image ads did not work for you, they might have resulted in high account spending and caused you more damage instead of repairing the problem.

So are there any options left for you in such a scenario? Oh, yes, there is certainly a ray of hope left, and the chance of your account getting back on track still exists. So what if the above so-called “advanced” strategies didn’t work for you? Let’s look at some basic concepts that are generally overlooked by many in favor of the “foolproof” strategies, but these things can also make your account perform.

Budget Optimization

Have you been spending too much on campaigns that aren’t working for you, or have you reduced budgets on campaigns that previously worked but have recently dropped off? I suggest aggressively increasing budgets for the historically best-performing campaigns and see what wonders it can do for you. Beyond historically best-performing campaigns, increase the budget for a campaign that hasn’t performed well in a while but that used to perform well, and there is a good chance that campaign might get leads again once it starts getting a little bit of your attention.

As an example, one of my clients who ran a home remodeling service had a “Bathroom Remodeling” campaign that had stopped converting at all for a few months between January 2012 to April 2012 (as seen in the screenshot below). I was running the campaign at the lowest minimum budget and didn’t give it the desired level of attention because the account had been performing well before then. However, when the account performance recently went down, and I couldn’t figure out what else was wrong with it, I raised the budget for the bathroom-related campaign to see if that would do any good. Would you believe it if I tell you that the campaign got two conversions that month? Well, see for yourself in the screenshot provided below. That campaign got 33% of the total conversions that are usually recorded for that account every month.

To conclude the point, budget optimization, if used intelligently and correctly, can do a lot more good for your account than just simply keeping the monthly spend under control.

Keywords Bids

Along with budget optimization, bid optimization plays a great role in helping an account perform well, even a dead account, for that matter. If you’ve been running your keywords in the same average positions for a long time, and you are happy with their conversion results, I suggest picking out a few average performing keywords and trying new positions for them to see if this can increase conversion performance and make you even happier than you already were with the account performance. If you are a risk taker, go ahead and try different average positions for your top-performing keywords, as I believe this is totally worth the risk.

Broad Match Modifier Match Type

The importance of broad match modifier match type has been emphasized repeatedly since the time Google launched it. Even in my personal experience, I believe it can be of immense assistance, and I ensure that every theme of mine has keywords in the BMM match type. To make the utmost use of this match type when you need your account to perform, pick out your top-performing keywords for every theme and add them all in to the BMM match type. This will help you improve the traffic coming to your website in terms of both quality and quantity (better quality than broad and better quantity than phrase), and, as we all know, quality traffic is always a key contributor to earning conversions for an account.

Ad Copy

Human nature is such that we get bored with things very easily. I want you to think of your target audience in the same way. They may get bored seeing your same old ads with the same old USPs. Thus, you should keep revising your ads to create new, attractive ads that will increase the odds of users clicking on them. New ads also help you stand out from your competition.

Basic things like using exclamation points, capitalizing the first letter of every word, using trademark symbols to establish brand credibility, and using prices in ad text can make a big difference and should be remembered when creating new ads for your account. Check to see if your existing ads are lacking any of these basic components, and if they are, make some of these basic changes to compel users to click on your new ads.

Keyword Variations

When optimizing your account in the past, you might have paused certain, broad keywords that could have received conversions for you, but at a poor ROAS or CPA value. Now may be the time to add these broad match keywords in restrictive match types like exact or phrase, as these new variations have a high probability of earning conversions for you, preferably at a tolerable CPA or ROAS value.

Ad Scheduling

Did you entirely forget about the ad scheduling you performed on your account? Too bad that it took time to realize that the same ad scheduling has been restricting your visibility, and it should be turned off now to let the ads run through the day. This will give the account a fair chance to show its potential because it will receive the maximum possible traffic. Needless to say, negative keywords should be added frequently to help refine the traffic received in terms of quality, which will improve your odds of receiving conversions from exceedingly relevant traffic.

Conclusion

Although the points mentioned above are very basic, PPC marketers tend to ignore or forget them quite often due to the lure of improving their accounts’ performances by implementing all the “foolproof” strategies. I suggest making the most of the basics before giving up hope, and you are bound to see some good results that will make your clients happy once again.

In the next post, we will discuss the various strategies that we implement in order to improve account performance and a few places where marketers generally tend to go wrong while executing them. Until then, I hope the above points help you see some good results. 🙂

Source: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/making-the-best-of-ppc-basics/45561/

Giving Your Local Search Marketing a Boost

Google Place

Most of the time, businesses tend to exclude local search to their online marketing campaign. What they didn’t know is that geo-specific searches are cost effective. Most consumer purchase is made locally; thus, it’s safe to say that a user is ready to buy a product if he or she is doing local search.

If you want to improve your business’ search result on local listing, follow the tips listed below.

List Your Business on Local Directories

It is important for every business to list their brand on local search engine directories like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and CitySearch. Local directory listing adds value to the business information that you share to the public. Just make sure that you post accurate and active details, such as contact number, so you won’t lose sales opportunity.

Update and Optimize Your Profile

Listing and filling in your business’ contact information is not enough. You also have to update it and make sure that all your profile details are correct and active. Optimize your profile by listing your business on relevant categories, add custom fields, include keyword-rich business description, provide location maps, and integrate brand-approved photos and videos. Doing so can definitely leverage your search visibility.

Spread Your Content

Other than major search engines, you should also list your business on other online directories. You can work with a content distribution partner that can provide broad reach for your business. This will make it easier for you to reach potential customers and establish your brand’s online credibility across multiple platforms.

Ask for a Product Review

Asking your existing customers for a product review could also be ideal, because it establishes your online reputation and helps your search engine ranking. It also informs search engines that you’re proactive and serving your consumers well. The more people talk about you online, the higher your page rank will be. It can also encourage other people to consider your product.

Monitor Your Campaign’s Success

It’s important to track your business campaign’s success, because it tells whether your business is heading up or down the drain. Use web analytics to track the traffic that your business is getting from local searches. Integrate it with your relevant offline tracking data such as coupons, so that it’ll be easier for you to monitor any return on investment. If you don’t know how to monitor your campaign’s success, you can seek help from a trusted third-party online marketing firm.

Your business will miss a lot of opportunities if you fail to leverage your local search marketing. Hence, it’s important that you integrate it with your other online marketing campaigns.

Source: http://aboutsocialmedia.com/articles/giving-your-local-search-marketing-a-boost/

Define and Align: A Manageable Content and Social Media Marketing Process

In our experience, we’ve discovered that we usually have to ease our clients into the realities of organic web marketing. They can get behind the groundwork of SEO easily enough; user experience and integrating the right keywords: these are not totally alien concepts to anyone who’s been around the marketing scene for more than three seconds.

But when we get into the truth of how much time and effort goes into the actual work of raising their web visibility–that it’s an ongoing process that will require them to generate content and build relationships–we often see some reluctance.

To combat that reluctance, we’ve put a lot of thought into how we conduct and explain our particular version of content marketing.

Defining our Terms

Before we get into that, a quick note about said version of content marketing. In general, we understand that content marketing is usually considered different from social media marketing. Content marketing is about drawing attention to the content on your website; social media marketing is about encouraging engagement on the various social media forums out there in cyberspace.

When we work with clients on their web marketing, we tend to blur that line between content and social media marketing. Every strategy we develop includes both. Valuable content–blog posts, infographics, videos, whatever content type aligns with the client’s goals–forms the foundation of any web marketing effort. Once we’ve got the value, we utilize social media to get the word out, engage, build relationships, and ultimately brand awareness. See the blurring?

To us, the label matters less than having a deliberate and intentional strategy to provide something of value on an ongoing basis, because content and social media marketing ultimately work together to build:

  • Value in your company or organization (or on behalf of your client)
  • A personality and brand that people know and trust
  • Sustainable relationships
  • A supportive online community
  • Domain authority and desired rankings

The Solution

So, when our clients consistently had a tough time grasping what it takes to raise their visibility on the web, we decided that something had to be done.

To that end we’ve developed an approach that clearly explains and delineates the process, step-by-step. It spells out who does what and when and how and just, in general, makes the whole thing both more manageable and more palatable to our hesitant clients.

We always start out by explaining that our organic web marketing process includes three stages:

  • Stage One
    SEO & Local Search (research & implementation)
  • Stage Two
    Link Building & Social Media Strategies (research & development)
  • Stage Three
    Ongoing Implementation & Measurement (which never, ever ends)

This graphic depicts Stages Two and Three. It is the process that we use to develop and implement content and social media marketing strategies for our clients:

Content Marketing & the Social Process

By the time we get to this part of our (almost painfully) well-defined process, two things have come to pass:

[1] Stage One Has Been Completed
Way back at the beginning of Stage One, the clients completed a data collection questionnaire that provides us with a general understanding of the following:

  • design preferences & assets
  • logins (website, analytics, social)
  • competition (top 3)
  • target audience (and level of expertise)
  • website (most important pages, most significant tasks)
  • calendar (highs and lows, significant events, holidays, roadblocks)
  • team (point of contact)
  • marketing efforts (print, social, SEO, email marketing)
  • goals & expectations (SEO, social media)

We have reviewed these findings and worked through all of the necessary website and SEO efforts that are part of Stage One of the project (site audit, navigation development, user experience, keyword research, on-page optimization, local search integration, etc.). 

Stage One lays the groundwork so that the website is optimized and ready for all the targeted traffic we’re going to generate. We’ve also discovered the keywords that we will be integrating into both their link building and content/social media marketing strategy so that we are building links to the right pages on the website once we get to Stage Three.

[2] We Have Defined & Aligned Everyone’s Expectations & Responsibilities
Every client has different budgets and expectations of participation. Some clients have a large internal team that can dedicate the time to ongoing content generation and strategy implementation. Other clients really need to lean on our knowledge, expertise, and resources, so at that level we act as their third party web marketing team and carry most of the load for them.

No matter what level we are working with a client, we always make it very clear what it takes to achieve desired results and who will be held accountable for achieving these results. If a client asks us to assist them with research, analysis, and strategy development, but they want their internal team to do the ongoing implementation, we cannot be held accountable if our recommendations are not carried through. It’s really important to establish these guidelines with a client even before you go under contract. It will certainly make for a more successful and long lasting consulting partnership.

All that being said, here’s how content marketing and the social process breaks down:

Step One: Analyze & ObserveStep One: Analyze & Observe

In this first step of the process, you’ve got to get a really strong understanding of the the social climate. Analyze what the client is currently doing (or not doing) with their social on their website, blog, and print marketing efforts. Do the same for their competitors. Get a solid understanding of what is going on in their industry, focusing on the social space.

Your goal with this analysis is to put together a list of general observations: what are the common threads between the client and their competitors? What could be done better? Note the gaps in content and where gains can be made. We record these observations on a chart so that we can integrate them into the analysis and recommendations that we provide the client. These observations will also be very helpful when you begin developing the strategy and calendar in Step Three below.

Build Your Online CommunityStep Two: Build Your Online Community

In Step Two, you will be establishing the foundation for the online community. At this point, the goal is simply to get acclimated to the social spaces where the client will be following, reading, engaging, and at some point, providing valuable content.

So, based on what you discovered from the data collection findings about the target audience(s), current efforts, and goals, which social media outlets seem like a match?

Let’s say you’re going to recommend Twitter and Google+ as targets in their content marketing and social strategy. Find the thought leaders in their industry on Twitter and Google+ and follow/circle them. Read the content they’re passing around, engage with them where appropriate, add the people that they are following to your list. Start to get a feel for how the online community operates (posting frequency, content type, tone, etc.) and get acclimated. Take it slow.

Reminding clients that social media is a tool and not a strategy helps them to understand that it’s important to have a plan in place. It’s not about being on every social media outlet. It’s about being on the right social media outlets and customizing the content to the target audience. This will ultimately build the best online community and bring your client desired results.

Developing an online community is an important and ongoing process that is worth a great deal of dedicated time and effort. This community is going to help you carry the load. If the community trusts and values you, they will help to do some of the heavy lifting when it comes to getting the word out (marketing your content). More on this in Step Five.

Develop You Strategy & CalendarStep Three: Develop Your Strategy & Calendar

As mentioned, at the beginning of a project, we ask our clients to define their goals and expectations. This allows them to communicate their desires, and it gives us an understanding of whether their expectations are realistic.

If there are any red flags (i.e. wants a too-quick turn-around: 15,000 followers in six months with no budget to fund large campaigns), then certainly we address any concerns at the beginning of the project.

Before we begin developing the strategy and calendar, we outline a list of realistic goals and how we are going to work toward them. Again, we integrate this chart into the analysis and recommendations that we provide the client so that they have an understanding of what we are going to be accountable for.

Goal Setting Chart

These goals and action items are just the precursor to their strategy. The analysis and recommendations that we provide the client includes a very detailed, step-by-step breakdown of their strategy (all the stuff we’re going to help them do or do for them).

As you’ve probably guessed, every strategy we develop includes content generation on an on-going basis. But we also include targeted strategies and ideas for whatever is necessary to meet their unique goals, things like apps, contests, events.

Our strategies are detailed and very specific. We provide step-by-step instructions for every campaign (i.e. what to do prior to the contest to ramp up, what to do during the contest, what to do after the contest), so that the strategy can be easily followed by the client’s internal team (in case we’re not handling the implementation). And, hey, if their budget allows us to do the work, then these details make it easy for our team to execute.

The narrative of the social strategy is also accompanied by a digital calendar that includes all actions to be taken and who is responsible for completing them. We make sure the calendar allows plenty of time for first-draft content reviews and revisions prior to launch/implementation.

Google Social Media Calendar

Our clients prefer that we provide some guidance, so each of these calendar items includes a brief description of the task. If you click on one of the calendar items, there is some detail so that whoever the task is assigned to, they know exactly what is expected of them. Because the calendar is digital and everyone on the team has access, when we make changes to their schedule or strategy, everyone is alerted.

Google Social Media Calendar Details

When you’re developing the content and social media marketing strategy, make sure that you are aligning all efforts (SEO, link building, social media, email marketing, etc.). Everything, from print to web, should be integrated and leveraged. You can then determine which tools and methods you will use for measurement (we love Raven, SEOmoz, Google Analytics, and Sprout Social) so that you can show the client the progress that is being made.

Create the ValueStep Four: Create the Value

Once the strategy is ready, it’s time to create the content. Clearly this is an ongoing effort, but having a strategy to follow will ensure that content is being generated on a regular basis and that it is working towards meeting the goals that have been outlined. It will also keep everyone involved organized and focused so that you’re not heading towards burn out.

On a side note: we like to encourage clients to integrate links to other valuable content (articles, video, infographics, etc) in their posts. This helps to provide a more engaging user experience and it also gives the opportunity for link and egobait. You can always publish a post and alert the author that you liked one of their articles and mentioned it in your post.

Get the Word OutStep Five: Get the Word Out

The content has been created, so now comes the fun part. When getting the word out, you have two main goals:

First, provide something of value.

Second, be authentic (and make sure that you’re consistent with voice).

Every social media outlet is different and your approach should reflect that. Don’t use the same teaser for Facebook as you use on Twitter. Not only are the formats of these outlets different, but so are the audiences, their behaviors, and their expectations. Take the time to customize your messages and you’ll get better results. You can then measure and analyze these efforts in Step Seven and determine if you need to try a different day of the week, time of day, reduce/increase frequency, or a whole different approach altogether.

Monitor & EngageStep Six: Monitor & Engage

Once the content is out, you will want to be hands on, so get ready to monitor and engage. If you’re not getting bites on your content (re-tweets, mentions, etc.) try some direct engagement. Tweet, use other social outlets, or even email people directly to encourage some action.

As we’ve said, depending on budget, we may do some or all of this work for the client. We always define specific tasks that the client is responsible for and specific tasks that we are responsible for (and they are always noted on the calendar). Joint tasks usually include things like daily review of the online community and social media outlets, as well as responding and engaging.

Even if we are not engaging on behalf of the client, we are always monitoring the client’s efforts. This provides the client with useful feedback that will help them to learn, improve, and ultimately be successful. Certainly we are always monitoring data, and we provide a series of reports analyzing and explaining their metrics in the next step, Measure & Analyze, below.

Measure & AnalyzeStep Seven: Measure & Analyze

Accountability is really important, especially because clients will always be concerned with ROI which can be difficult to quantify with content and social media marketing.

We continually communicate with the client and provide bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports that all serve specific purposes.

The bi-weekly report is meant for a quick look. It’s a short, 1-2 page report that we email to the client that includes a ‘Way to Go’ section (things they’re doing well), a ‘Some Reminders’ section (things they need to remember to do to keep them aligned with the strategy), a ‘Benchmark’ (current state of social efforts), and a ‘Looking Forward’ section (actions required). It’s a quick accountability report that provides the client with an understanding of what we’ve been working on (and perhaps what they need to be working on).

The monthly report is the month at a glance, including significant social media activity (increase in following, furthering reach, etc.), trends we’re seeing, and other things to look out for (there may be some link building or SEO items to point out here). We include screen shots from both Sprout Social and Raven, as well as any screenshots of analytics specific to the social media outlet (i.e. Facebook).

The quarterly report is the most in-depth as it includes a look at the global picture. This report illustrates the progress of everything we are working on for the client: SEO, link building, content marketing, and social media. Clearly we are monitoring, analyzing, and taking action on these pieces throughout the quarter, but this reporting session is meant to really dig in, analyze the data over a longer period of time, and make the necessary improvements in all areas (SEO, link building, and social media). This meeting is always a sit down, face-to-face (if possible) with the client. We may make changes to the strategy in this meeting or address new work that the client would like us to take care of.

Rinse & RepeatStep Eight: Rinse & Repeat

Once you’ve completed this process, you can start over with a new idea, a new goal, and a new strategy. Follow the same steps and customize the process for the work you do with your clients.

Along the way, don’t forget to celebrate the little victories. We get really excited about getting re-tweets, targeted links, and engaging with thought leaders. We teach our clients to bask in the excitement of even the smallest accomplishment. It helps them to understand how hard we work for them (with them) every day.



Savvy?

So, that’s how we do it. For now, anyway. We are continually working on shaping our systems and processes so that we can provide our clients with the most value (and get them desired results). You can certainly use this process as a guideline, but keep in mind that every client and project is going to be unique and will require customization at some level. And, of course, as content and social media marketing evolves, this process will require adjustment.

We’ve discovered that spelling things out, dissecting and cataloguing the entire process, severely reduces the terror that our clients experience in the face of the alien world of content marketing (just like Area 51 does it). And it makes sure everything runs smoothly for us as we implement as well.

So, how about you? How do you convince your more timid clients to commit to the real deal? And, since we are always striving for improvement, we’d welcome your thoughts on how we do it, too.

Source: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/define-and-align-a-manageable-content-and-social-media-marketing-process

Bing Search Quality Insights: Friends and Experts

The foundation of web search has been built on keywords, links and clicks pointing to pages. This approach is great for finding web sites but search is more than about simply finding pages. With the help of social networks, people are able to share nearly everything they do in digital form and offer their opinions on almost every conceivable topic. From real-time streams to social conversations, connections are created that present the opportunity to bring people into the search equation. Today Paul Yiu, Principal Group Program Manager for Bing Social, provides an overview of how we incorporated people into our latest release. No matter what query you submit to Bing, you may be amazed that some of your friends, influentials or experts often know something that you are searching for, in addition to high quality web documents that you always count on.

– Dr. Harry Shum, Corporate Vice President, Bing R&D

people sqi

The goal here is to bring you a list of people that might be able to help you get more done. For instance, here is an example of how the Sidebar might help you plan the perfect adventure in Hawaii.

Friends Who Might Know

Depending on what your friends have been paying attention to, and their profile information, Bing will recommend them as people that might be able to help. Let’s look at the Hawaii example. For me, when I search for “Hawaii,” I see the following:

– Two friends that have shared beautiful photos of Hawaii

– A friend who likes the Hawaii page on Facebook

– A friend who likes a couple of topics related to natural aspects of Hawaii, and

– A a friend who lives in Honolulu, who could help me plan a trip

Another example of how this works is with general category search. For example if you search for movies or restaurants, you may see things your friends have liked, as potential recommendations. I was delighted to find out how much I have in common with friends in terms of our taste in movies and food.

In terms of how we order these friends in the sidebar, it’s a combination of how many activities and attributes match your query, the type of activities and attributes that made the friend relevant, and how likely our ranking system thinks you will find that information useful. Since we launched the feature a month ago, the system is learning quickly which types of information inspire the most engagement from users. The more you use the product, the more accurate that Bing gets at recommending friends that might be able to help.

People Who Know

Beyond friends, Bing can help you find people who are influential about the topic you’re searching, based on what they’ve publically blogged or tweeted about. In a glance, you will see top experts and enthusiasts from leading networks like Twitter to quickly check out what they have to say about the topic you’re searching for. You can follow them, ask them a question or see what they have shared in the past. While results may vary when it comes to Friends Who Might Know, in the People Who Know section of the Sidebar, for now, Bing displays the same results for each user. The idea is to recommend people that are influential or popular in the context of your query or topic.

There is some similarity here to how we think about ranking documents. There are signals that are relatively static, and there are signals that are more dependent on the query. In terms of static signals, we look at:

– Followers in Twitter, and how many there are

– How influential the person is in general, i.e., how much does he or she get re-tweeted

– Who he or she follows on Twitter

– The likelihood that the Twitter user is a spammer based on peculiarities in his or her connectivity graph.

When it comes to query-dependent signals, we look at a user’s influence, i.e., how well does his or her content get retweeted around this particular topic. In a way, a retweet is like “social anchor text.”

Here is an example. I was interested in finding out more about a new HBO show by Aaron Sorkin, so I searched for “The Newsroom.” I see that Emily Nussbaum, a TV critic from the New Yorker, has been engaged in interesting conversations on Twitter. The content on Twitter supplements really well the news articles and reviews I can see in the web search results.

 

While general authority matters, our machine learning techniques try to surface the people who are Influential or Popular for the particular query topic at hand. As a result, people who are generally influential on Twitter (i.e. have a large general following) may not be guaranteed to appear for a query or topic where he or she has little influence. For example, Kim Kardashian is influential on Twitter but probably won’t appear for the query “machine learning.”

More to Come

We are working feverishly to enhance the content and improve the quality of people results. We’ll let you know as soon as new capabilities are available. Many thanks for your helpful comments and suggestions. Please keep them coming!

– Paul Yiu and the Bing Social Search Team

Source: http://www.bing.com/community/site_blogs/b/search/archive/2012/07/02/bing-search-quality-insights-friends-and-experts.aspx