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Keyword: ‘data’

Social Media Marketing: How I found the Facebook topic that was 371% more effective

October 25th, 2012 9 comments

I was a fat kid. Fat kids like cake. Once upon a time, when I was eight years old, I cleaned the entire house to surprise my mother. She rewarded me with a gigantic slice of cake. From that point, I scrubbed the entire floor, organized the pantry and washed the dishes in pursuit of that glorious reward — fresh cake.

The point is, if you do something right, and you recognize the relationship between your actions and the reward, it makes sense to put forth maximum effort to reproduce the action that resulted in being rewarded. The problem with social media efforts is that success usually goes largely unnoticed by businesses.

 

Find your hidden cake

I recently conducted a social media audit for a Research Partner. While working through massive amounts of data provided via Facebook Insight reports, I noticed something interesting. When filtering the most frequently syndicated content to reveal the five most viral posts ever produced by that partner, a pattern emerged. Three out of the top five posts were on the same topic, in the same format.

There’s more. The top five most syndicated posts averaged 22,424 stories created per post by users, whereas the bottom half of the top 10 averaged only 6,042 stories created per post by users.

So, not only were the top five posts more effective at causing syndication from users, but they were 371% more effective.

Since no fat kid would knowingly forgo cake, it’s probably a pretty safe assumption that no business would knowingly do less effective social posting if they knew they could be doing something more effective. (After all, cash is better than cake.) That means the company must be unaware of its achievement.

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Marketing Research: Only 25% of marketers can show value to the organization

October 23rd, 2012 No comments

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Julie Schwartz, Senior Vice President of Research and Thought Leadership at ITSMA (Information Technology Services Marketing Association), and Laura Patterson, President of VisionEdge Marketing. Both were involved in recent marketing research, 2012 ITSMA/VEM Marketing Performance Management Survey: The Path to Better Marketing Results.

The survey was conducted during the summer of 2012 via email and social media invitation through Twitter and LinkedIn, and included 405 completed surveys.

Here is a chart outlining details of the respondents:

 

Click to enlarge

 

All respondents were analyzed by company type, company size and by a self-grading system (grade results included, and note that “D” was the lowest possible grade):

  • A – Marketing demonstrates contribution to the business: 25%
  • B – Marketing makes a difference, but contribution is not measured (these marketers were considered “middle of the pack”): 33%
  • C and D – Marketing may have an impact, but not known if impact is material (these marketers were considered “laggards”): 33% for “C” and 9% for “D”

Click to enlarge

 

Here are the key takeaways from the research:

  • Marketing’s satisfaction with its ability to measure, analyze and improve performance is shockingly low
  • Marketers are caught in a downward spiral as they report past performance to continually prove the value of marketing
  • A few exceptional marketers have cracked the code; they excel across the board in data, metrics, processes, tools, analytical skills and reporting
  • These grade “A” marketers can clearly demonstrate their value and contribution to the business
  • The number of “A” marketers has remained relatively constant over time, but we see a decline in the number of “B” marketers

Because the heart of this research was marketing performance management, the self-described grades listed above were created by the key question: What grade would the C-suite give your marketing organization for its ability to demonstrate its value and impact on the business?

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Informal Study: Professional image content generates 121% more Facebook shares

October 19th, 2012 1 comment

All content is not created equal. For instance, according to a Nielsen report, men spend more than 247 million minutes per month viewing video via social media. Yet, women spend just 228 million minutes, despite the fact that more than 4,000 more women log on to social videos per day. Men just watch longer. If you want to engage men, videos are a superior form of content.

The still photograph remains king of the proverbial hill in terms of generating engagement with fans on social platforms. A 2012 study by ROI research found that 44% of users are likely to engage with brands if they post pictures, against 40% for regular status updates, and just 37% for video. Given that startling piece of information, a reasonable person might be led to ask the question:

 

Are all photographs created equal?

Do grainy, low-quality photographs thrown into a Facebook stream, more or less as afterthoughts, have the same impact as high-resolution, high-quality photography? Does it matter if the content is only photographic, or do graphical images also generate higher engagement numbers? Let’s look at one industry that is quite popular among the coveted 18-24 demographic on Facebook: entertainment (the companies shall remain nameless).

We begin by dividing the image content of several popular pages into two broad categories. First, there is the professional category. Images in this category tend to be high-resolution, feature-striking photography, be character based and contain only those graphics absolutely necessary to convey essential data. For example, look at the following image:

 

Click to enlarge

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Inbound Marketing: 5 tips for cultivating user generated content

October 11th, 2012 1 comment

Despite the fact that we have never met them, and usually have no clue as to their qualifications, consumers put increasingly greater stock in the word of their fellow consumer.

“[User generated content] is just something that has evolved, but in many ways we have always had it,” said Kaci Bower, author of the MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing Handbook citing mass reviews and word of mouth.

“Now, with the advent of social media, it is just exploding. Now consumers and brands actually have a place to share their opinions, thoughts and ideas,” said Bower. “It actually provides a platform for user-generated content to not only be created, but also shared quite easily.”

The puzzle is in learning how to harness its power.

Social media provides a more intimate cyber setting than any other format, and because of that fosters feedback that is more conversational and for better or worse, people don’t hold back. It gives marketers insight into what their consumers are really concerned about, or happy with.

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Email Marketing: 83% of CMOs says social media will affect email programs

October 4th, 2012 1 comment

According to the 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, CMOs see social media and mobile as the developments that will have the biggest impact on email marketing in the near future …

Q. What new developments will most affect your email marketing program in the next 12 months? Select up to five developments.

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So here’s the challenge to you, email marketers of the world. Not only must you integrate social media into your email marketing, you must integrate a rapidly changing social media environment.

Just when you thought you could rest after successfully integrating Twitter and Facebook, for example, along comes Pinterest.

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How the Presidential Race Impacts Holiday Advertising

October 2nd, 2012 1 comment

At MarketingSherpa, we focus on providing case studies and how-to instruction that provide actionable takeaways for our readers. An overwhelming proportion of this content covers digital marketing channels and topics, such as email, social media, website optimization and more.

Of course, traditional marketing channels still have their place, and today’s post looks at two channels we don’t cover very often – the traditional media channels of television and radio advertising.

Several weeks ago, the Consumer Marketing newsletter article was a how-to guide on the trending tactics and tips for the holiday 2012 marketing season.

One tip featured some of the unique aspects of this year’s holiday calendar and how marketers can take advantage of an extra holiday shopping weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A tip that was not included in the article exploits another unusual aspect of this year’s holiday shopping season – the effect of the presidential race on television and radio advertising.

This tip applies equally to consumer and B2B marketers, and we understand not all of our MarketingSherpa blog readers engage in traditional media marketing. But, for those who plan on television and/or radio advertising over the next several months, this tip provides both a challenge to face and an opportunity to exploit.

JT Hroncich, President, Capitol Media, says the presidential race will impact traditional media buys in two ways – one negative and one positive.

“Thank Barack Obama and for Mitt Romney for your inflated ad budget,” JT states. “Every four years, marketers go head to head with candidates and issues-based organizations for advertising. The number of TV and radio advertising spots tend to decrease, while their rates increase.”

He adds that marketers should be prepared for early spot buys, now through early November, that will be considerably more expensive and harder to get than they are during non-election years. JT says when budgeting for traditional media, expect to spend more for those early spot buys and to consider some late season — mid-November, early December — buys after the season is over. Any unsold inventory can be up for grabs.

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B2B Social Media: 4 steps to get your listening dashboard started

September 18th, 2012 1 comment

The Internet has a wealth of free, public information that could help you uncover sales leads, get closer access to industry influencers, monitor your competition, and curate news for content marketing.

One way to tap into this wealth of data is with a listening dashboard. At one of the roundtables recently held during the B2B Summit 2012 in Orlando, Nancy Chou, Senior Director of Customer Success, LeadFormix, shared a presentation on how B2B marketers could use social media to generate leads by creating a “listening dashboard.”

 

What is a “listening dashboard”?

A listening dashboard is ultimately a customer intelligence gathering strategy that consists of collecting and combining together smaller pieces of information to produce a larger and more insightful picture of a given topic, brand or prospect.

Here are some of the benefits Nancy listed that a listening dashboard can offer:

  • Hear what people are saying, and uncover sales leads whenever people discuss relevant keywords
  • Gain closer access to the industry influencers through the article and blog posts they write
  • Monitor your competition, gather sales intelligence and beat your competition by following discussions in real time
  • Share fresh news and content from industry thought leaders with prospects and customers

 

How to set up a listening dashboard

If you’re interested in building your own listening dashboard, Nancy provided four steps for building a listening dashboard for free:

  1. Create a list of the RSS feeds you typically read
  2. Gather additional newsfeeds on specific keywords using sites like alltop for newsfeeds and technorati or Google blog search to gather blogs written by industry thought leaders or topics of interest
  3. Start following influential people on Twitter using search engines like listorious and wefollow that categorize Twitter users by keyword
  4. Set up a Google Alerts account to be notified whenever a keyword, industry topic, competitor or thought leader releases new content

The steps above will get you started; however, if you need more sophisticated social media monitoring and tracking services, fee-based tracking tools are available.

 

Related Resources:

How IntraLinks Used Social Media to Generate Twice as Many Sales-ready Leads as Any Other Channel

B2B Lead Generation: 6 social media tactics from 7 experts

Social Media Marketing: 9 tactics for B2B social channel advertising

B2B Social Marketing: 4 ways to build one-to-one relationships with social influencers

Social Media Metrics: Three touchy-feely numbers to help you benchmark and improve

September 14th, 2012 No comments

It’s no gigantic secret that marketing has taken a turn decidedly toward the more empathetic, conversationally oriented initiatives in the last decade. The days of corporate marketing czars sitting high atop the hill of commerce, and sipping Scotch while devising cleaver ways to manipulate consumers, have come and gone.

If you want to play the game in this new social marketing environment, you’ve got to learn how to engage people in meaningful conversations.

Given a Facebook page, the average marketer figures he or she is more social than a hipster with a smartphone. They’ve checked the social “box,” and now it’s time to return to the magical land of value propositions and conversion rates because, when measured within the context of the traditional marketing paradigm, there isn’t much return on the effort of being “social.”

Of course, we know social media marketing is valuable. For example, according to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook, 85% of marketers surveyed said social media is increasing in importance as a lead source, while most marketers found tactics like telemarketing, direct mail and trade shows to be decreasing in importance over the last 12 months.

 

Social media metrics

The problem lies in the metrics we use to measure that value. The traditional “how many, how much” metrics of historical Web analytics simple won’t do. And, while the goal of any marketing program is ROI-based metrics that truly show impact on the bottom line, many social media marketers struggle with making the transaction all the way from a top-of-the-funnel activity, like social media marketing, to revenue recognition.

So, don’t overlook the touchy-feely metrics of the social sphere to help you understand where you are and what you can do to improve. Social media isn’t paid media advertising. It isn’t a one-way conversation. Here are three metrics to get you started evaluating if you’re taking advantage of the social nature of social media:

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B2B Social Media Marketing: 5 career killers and how to overcome them

August 28th, 2012 No comments

Day one of B2B Summit 2012 has finally arrived.  Today, I had the opportunity to listen in on the panel discussion “5 B2B Social Media Career Killers … and how to overcome them.”

This session went beyond simply helping your company, and on to improving the future of your personal career.

MECLABS Director of Editorial Content Daniel Burstein moderated the panel of three B2B social media experts: Eddie Smith, Chief Revenue Officer, Topsy Labs; Chris Baggott, Chairman, Compendium; and Nichole Kelly, President, SME Digital.

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With the introductions made, they jumped straight into the first B2B social media killer …

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Lead Generation: Trends in 2012 marketing budgets

August 24th, 2012 2 comments

According to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report (free excerpt at that link), 71% of survey respondents indicated that generating high-quality leads was a top challenge.

So, in today’s blog post, let’s look at lead generation budget trends (hint: money is moving to online tactics) and provide some resources to help you make wise use of that budget.

To help you get the most effective use of your budget, here are several case studies and how-to articles for some of the tactics mentioned in the above chart.

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