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Marketing Triggers: How to get customers to fall in love with your ideas

August 7th, 2012
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Noted author, speaker and copywriter Sally Hogshead will keynote this month’s B2B Summit 2012 in Orlando. To whet your appetite for her keynote address, “The Nine-second Attention Span: Selling your brand, and yourself, in social media,” let’s look at her talk from TEDxAtlanta to begin learning how to grab your potential customers’ attention, even though they likely have the same attention span as a goldfish …

 

 

Related Resources:

B2B Summit 2012, August 27-30, Orlando

Blandvertising: How you can overcome writing headlines and copy that don’t say anything

Improve Your Copywriting with Help from Social Media: 7 Tactics from David Meerman Scott 

Copywriting: How to improve headlines on landing pages and blog posts

B2B Social Media: Video of Jay Baer destroying social media myths

August 2nd, 2012
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At B2B Summit 2011, keynote Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert, discussed social media marketing myths. Here are a few excerpts…

 


At the upcoming B2B Summit 2012 in Orlando, keynote Sally Hogshead will present, “The 9-second Attention Span: Selling your brand, and yourself, in social media.”

Here are a few key takeaways from Jay’s keynote excerpt video embedded above:

0:30 – Myth #3: How B2C uses social media doesn’t apply

3:30 – The overemphasis on Facebook “likes” as a metric

5:06 – Focus on being social, not doing social

 

If you enjoyed these excerpts, you can watch Jay’s full one-hour B2B Summit 2011 keynote, for free, on MarketingSherpa.

 

Related Resources:

B2B Summit 2012, August 27-70, Orlando

B2B Summit 2011: 5 takeaways on social media, lead generation, building a customer-centric approach, and more

B2B Social Media: Jay Baer discusses social media ROI and Facebook likes [Video]

TEDxAtlanta – Sally Hogshead – How to Fascinate

Email Summit 2013, February 12-15, Las Vegas

Social Pros 6 – Instagram Lessons from a Giant B2B Company

Overcoming ‘Get Your Money’s Worth’ Syndrome in Your Facebook Timeline Cover Image

July 5th, 2012
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Let me talk about an old advertising problem I’ve seen raise its ugly head recently, thanks to Facebook’s shift to Timeline. I like to call it … “get your money’s worth” syndrome.

This is a problem as old as media buys.

 

Are you a white space hoarder?

And, it makes sense on the face of it. A marketer buys a specific piece of media, say, a quarter-page ad in the newspaper. Then, his agency creates a clean ad with a straightforward call-to-action.

But, before that ad gets published …

The marketer must approve it. He sees a lot of white space, so he starts to think, “Well, I paid $15,000 for this space in the newspaper. And, we’re only using a small portion of it. I can add in information about three other products we offer. And, more about our features and benefits. And, seals for some of the organizations we’re members of. And …”

The list can go on forever. In the agency business, we used to call this “trying to cram 10 pounds of, um, stuff, into a five-pound bag.”

The worst offenders tend to be small mom-and-pop shops, and you can see these in the free direct mail coupon advertising magazines that are sent to your house, with names like Mint Magazine, Money Saver Magazine, Clipper Magazine, etc.

Every square millimeter, wall-to-wall, is covered with ink. I was reminded of this recently while walking down The Strip in Las Vegas one night during Email Summit 2012. Everything screams for your attention.

 

If everything is emphasized, nothing is emphasized

I noticed the same problem while helping a local nonprofit adapt to Facebook Timeline with one of my neighbors. My neighbor is not in marketing, and she’s just under 35 (young unemployed people: I’ve noticed that pretty much anyone under 35 can consult on Facebook marketing to pretty much anyone over 50, and really add value).

We agreed on a simple image with a simple headline for the organization’s Facebook Timeline Cover, the new header photo that goes across the top of Facebook Pages now that Timeline has launched.

(Note: There is a common misconception that you cannot use any words in this cover photo. You can … you just can’t sell. Here are the guidelines directly from Facebook about what isn’t allowed in your cover image:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as Web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”)

After providing direction, I stepped back and let my neighbor and the nonprofiteer work on it over the next few weeks (ah … the life of a consultant).

I found out they went through several rounds of changes. Why? The well-intentioned philanthropist kept adding more and more details into that one simple photo, trying to get across every possible thing the organization could do for the visitor.

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Blog Awards: The 13 best marketing industry blogs (according to you)

July 3rd, 2012
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I remember when I first started out in the industry. I used to devour Creativity, Ad Age, Adweek, Mediaweek and Communication Arts. Trade publications like these helped me learn about the industry, and helped me do my job better.

While trade pubs are certainly still valuable, many marketers now also turn to industry blogs to help them do their jobs better. So, we asked you, the MarketingSherpa blog audience, to nominate and vote for the most helpful blogs in several categories.

If you’re looking for information to help you improve performance and advance your career, check these blogs out. I’ve asked a representative of each blog to answer a couple of questions.

Also, while MarketingSherpa normally relies on a team of writers and reporters for all of our blog posts and doesn’t allow guest posts (especially from vendors), we’re going to make an exception for these award-winning bloggers. We’ll invite your picks back later in the year for the rare opportunity to guest post on the MarketingSherpa blog, all to help give you a diversity of helpful industry advice.

And the winners are …

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Social Spam: Don’t let spammers interrupt your customer conversations

June 15th, 2012
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I have a good buddy, and our friendship dates way back to middle school. We don’t get to talk on the phone much anymore, but when we do, I really value it. Just getting to focus on him and his BUY VIAGRA! life and see how YOU SHOULD BEGIN WITH CHEAP RALPH LAUREN CLOTHES!

As you can see, the topic of today’s MarketingSherpa blog post is social spam. Social media is, inherently, a conversation. And, some marketers really understand that. They speak to their customers, listen to them, and don’t engage in antisocial media.

Even for the marketers who do get it, it’s so frustrating to deal with social spam. You’re trying to have a real conversation with your customers, and then some knucklehead autobot posts 50 comments about cheap Ralph Lauren clothes.

It’s an issue we deal with here on the MarketingSherpa blog. We use Akismet to filter out obvious spam, and monitor the rest of the comments manually. We have a high standard, so occasionally real comments get accidentally blocked (if that ever happens to you, just email me). Our goal is to make sure you draw value from the conversations taking place on this blog, not to simply up our comment counter.

To help you deal with social spam in your own social media marketing efforts, I talked to a few experts in the field.

 

The social spam challenge

“Email spam is a well-understood problem for which a large number of commercial solutions exist,” said Mark Risher, co-founder and CEO, Impermium.  “Conversely, it’s still early days for social spam. Most social platforms lack an adequate content cleansing solution to address the multiple forms of abuse.”

That is why social spam is so prevalent. Mandi Frishman, Marketing Manager, Make Me Social, ran a quick test for the MarketingSherpa blog.

“I just went to Pinterest and typed ‘eggplant’ into the search bar. Of the first 14 pins, eight were from spam accounts. I’m overwhelmed by the sheer volume of social spam that I see each day, especially when running data pulls on behalf of clients.”

 

Click to enlarge

 

Of course, Pinterest isn’t the only social sharing website facing this challenge. Tim Howell, Community Manager, Make Me Social, created a brief chart showing the prevalence of spam and Tweet Zombies in the electrical industry.

“We pulled 60 days’ worth of data from Twitter, which is typically the most common source of social spam,” he said.

 

“In the first pull, we brought in the full, unfiltered flow of posts from Twitter on a wide range of topics, brands and products in the electrical industry,” Tim said. “For the second pull, we applied a few filters to remove the most common signs of spam activity. It’s nearly impossible to remove all spam posts from this data, but even the most basic filters reduced the amount of spam by over 130,000 posts.”

But, you don’t only have to worry about competing with social spam on well-known social networking services — you have to keep your own sites clean as well.

“It not only plagues major platforms like Twitter and Facebook, but it affects the comment sections and forum boards of practically every news site and blog with a decent page rank,” Mark said.

“The Q1 samples we pulled from the Impermium global defense network revealed 4-8% of social Web traffic is spam, up from 2-5% just six months prior. While these numbers may sound relatively small, consider that in 2011, 90% of all social media users experienced some form abuse.”

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Social Media Marketing: 10 minutes with Brian Solis

June 5th, 2012
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Focus on what people value.” That is my main takeaway from my interview with Brian Solis, principal, The Altimeter Group. As he sees it, Facebook is a democracy, and you can’t simply shove marketing messages down your followers’ throats (or in this case, into their Timelines) and expect to be successful.

In our 10 minutes together, he discussed so much more, including why many social media marketers are misinterpreting the movie “Moneyball” …

 

Luke Thorpe, multimedia specialist, MECLABS, and I grabbed Brian Solis after his keynote at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012, and he graciously gave us 10 minutes packed with interesting marketing insights.

Here are a few key points in the video, in case you want to jump ahead:

0:09 – Social media marketing metrics and Facebook EdgeRank

1:30 – The unlike button

2:24 – How to find out what your customers want

3:56 – The American Express Link > Like > Love campaign

4:38 – How to talk to business leaders about what really matters in your social media marketing campaign

8:46 – Social media is not just conversations; it is business data

 

Related Resources:

Email Summit 2012 DVD Combo Special (includes the Brian Solis keynote)

In Social Media, Your Return Represents Your Investment

Social Media Marketing: Finding and winning hyper-social consumers

Email Summit: Integrating mobile, social and email marketing channels

Inbound Marketing 2011: The 9 social media, content marketing, and SEO articles your peers shared most

Blog Awards: Vote for the marketing industry blogs that you find most helpful

June 1st, 2012
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We asked for your nominations, tallied up the results, and now we want to know who has earned your vote … for the marketing industry blogs that you find most helpful.

What blogs have made you better at your job? Helped you garner impressive results for your company or clients? Reward those blogs by using the poll feature to vote for your favorites in the poll below, a list of the most-nominated blogs chosen by you, the MarketingSherpa audience.

It’s an interesting list. Some very established industry blogs; some I had personally never heard of before. You can vote in the poll below (in just one category, or in all the categories) and then scroll below the poll for links to these blogs if you’d like to learn more.

The top vote getters will receive the MarketingSherpa Reader’s Choice Award in their category, as well as be invited for a very rare opportunity – to write a guest post on the MarketingSherpa Blog.

 

UPDATE: Voting has now ended. We’re now tallying up the votes, so be sure to check back later for the winners.

 

Read more…

Social Media Platform Selection: Keep your eye on the bigger picture

May 31st, 2012
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The news of Facebook’s recent IPO has mostly focused on technical glitches at NASDAQ. But, one question sits in the back of many marketers’ minds: Is this a sign that the social network will not continue its market dominance?

After all, we’ve seen the rise and fall of sites like Friendster and MySpace, along with the constant emergence of new social media platforms like Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

So, in the midst of all this change, what is the biggest factor you should keep in mind when exploring social media platforms?

Not the social media platform itself, according to Kaci Bower, senior research analyst, MECLABS Content Group, and author of MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook. Kaci suggests you focus on your bigger inbound marketing strategy and architecture rather than relying on tying marketing to any one platform, even if it does have more than 800 million different users.

 

A strategic approach can give you a distinct competitive advantage

Integrating inbound tactics is the marketing equivalent of avoiding sugar and exercising every day, Kaci claims.

“The vast majority of marketers agree it’s critical, but a much smaller percentage follow through,” she says, citing MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report. “Seventy-six percent of marketers believe integrating SEO and social media is essential, but only 47% are actually doing it.

“A 30-point difference is huge,” continues Kaci. “It indicates the challenge of inbound marketing integration — it’s far easier to give it lip service than execute it.”

 

Lost in the noise

She suspects that is due to the massive amounts of information in the marketplace on SEO, social media and content creation. Consider this graphic that illustrates the complexity of the social media landscape by showing the huge amount of social media marketing and social networking tools and platforms.

Of course, you don’t have to use everything. Just use what works best for your company. As you can see in this chart from the Inbound Marketing Handbook, usage and effectiveness do not always consistently match. For example, two of the most hyped social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – showed significantly more usage than effectiveness. Meanwhile, blogs may be more effective than many marketers realize.

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Social Media Marketing: Proactive social touch generates 17.5% more sales for moving company

March 30th, 2012
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Hey marketers of 1985 … imagine if you could overhear many of your potential customers’ conversations in an ethical way. Why, if they had an interest in buying a product or service in your category, you could just reach out and start a conversation of your own. This would be way cooler than a hoverboard or flying car (although not quite as cool as the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor).

Of course, the year is 2012, and we’re now living the dream. On social media, people open up their conversations to the world about what they want to buy, where they want to go, and what they’re trying to crassly self-promote. But how many marketers take advantage of listening combined with proactive social touches to act on these conversations? Here’s a real-life example of how it can work. So I tweeted …

 

 

Most people probably just saw my tweet as a crassly self-promotional attempt to brag about the beautiful March weather here in Jacksonville while trying to poach top marketing talent from frigid northern locations and let them know about the job openings here at MECLABS. (wink, wink)

However, one clever marketer saw an opportunity of a different kind …

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Book Giveaway: The Zen of Social Media Marketing (2012 Edition)

March 29th, 2012
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This week’s MarketingSherpa Book Giveaway features The Zen of Social Media Marketing (2012 Edition) by Shama Hyder, CEO, Marketing Zen Group.

I’ve been reading through this volume for the last several weeks, and I just keep finding new ideas and actionable advice for social media marketers. I thought one point Shama made was particularly interesting:

In this book, I’ll be using the words “customer” and “client” interchangeably to refer to both, because there isn’t much difference between them when it comes to using social media marketing techniques: you can ATTRACT, CONVERT and TRANSFORM both with the same material.

 

Instead of providing more of what I’ve been enjoying, I decided to call on a much more expert source …

 

Shama’s 5 takeaways

For MarketingSherpa readers, Shama provided her five main takeaways from this latest edition of her book:

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