• Duo Consulting
    Michael Silverman on October 15, 2014

    4 Reasons Drupal Is the Best Social CMS

    It turns out Drupal and Social Media are a match made in heaven. Because of Drupal’s system of modules, integration with external websites can be as easy as installing a module that fits your site’s needs. And once these modules are installed, you will have a central place to manage profile information and plug-in modules, such as follow and share buttons.
  • marin-software
    Brenda Ton on October 25, 2014

    Why Cross-Channel Retargeting Drives 200% More Clicks

    To help enterprise advertisers optimize their growing retargeting programs, Marin Software surveyed 233 digital marketers of leading brands and agencies to produce an 18 page report covering important trends, benchmarks, and best practices for cross-channel retargeting success.
  • Google loves change probably more than any other company in the world and that’s noticeable in their algorithms, especially Panda and more specifically, a new iteration in the form of Panda 4.1. With this new update, it has been reported by BrightEdge that brands saw an astounding 90% loss in their organic search footprint when Panda 4.1 hit the web late September.

    Google loves change probably more than any other company in the world and that’s noticeable in their algorithms, especially Panda and more specifically, a new iteration in the form of Panda 4.1. With this new update, it has been reported by BrightEdge that brands saw an astounding 90% loss in their organic search footprint when Panda 4.1 hit the web late September. So, what does Panda 4.1 mean to your content marketing strategy? Keep reading.

    Whats new?

    It is hard to find exactly what Google’s secrets are behind their algorithms however, here are a few things you need to know about Panda 4.1.

    • Panda targets duplicated content

    • Will help small businesses do better in Google search results

    • Panda targets sites with a general lack of content

    • Panda targets machine generated content

    Who has been impacted?

    With the new Panda 4.1, Affiliate, Informational, Local Business Sites, Government and Educational websites have all been affected (some for the good, some for the bad).

    How Panda 4.1 changes your content performance strategy

    Here are a few points you need to consider with Google’s new Panda 4.1 algorithm.

    1. Quality

    To be able to successfully generate high traffic to your website, you need high quality web pages and to achieve this, you need to evaluate your site against some of Panda’s expectations in Google search quality guide.

    1. User Experience

    User experience is so important to Google and you need to make sure you are putting your customer first. Using Google Analytics will help you decide on your next steps to improve your website but you also need to create a strategic approach that will benefit what the user wants.

    1. Page Optimisation

    Every single page on your website needs to be optimised in an extensive way which will include action points for each page ranked on importance. To do this, you will need an SEO experts help.

    How do you feel about Panda 4.1?

    Mobile apps for musicians provide the opportunity to sell music via iTunes, promote exclusive tracks, share videos, build a social media presence, send event notifications, start a fan loyalty program, create a mobile store, hold contests, engage with fans, and much more.

    Media consumption on mobile devices is on the rise. By 2015, one-third of mobile users in America will regularly listen to music on their smart phones. Music and video already account for more than half the $30 billion mobile content market. Your fans expect the ultimate mobile experience in audio and video music, whether streamed or downloaded. Mobile consumers of music is a huge market, and mobile apps for musicians enable you to tap into various marketing opportunities, and literally be in the palm of your fans’ hands.

    Mobile apps for musicians provide the opportunity to sell music via iTunes, promote exclusive tracks, share videos, build a social media presence, send event notifications, start a fan loyalty program, create a mobile store, hold contests, engage with fans, and much more.

    The YouTube Creator Studio app is a one-of-a-kind app that allows musicians to manage their YouTube channels using mobile devices.  As a musician, you can interact with your fans and monitor channel performance on the go.

    Broadcast your events live to your audience with LiveStream. The technology is device-agnostic and allows musicians to reach out to their fans via Android,Apple smartphones, or television. You can stream concerts or a behind-the-scenes videos, and even chat with your audience during the stream.

    Bands and musicians are among the most followed and networked users on Facebook and Twitter. There are a number of mobile apps available for these sites. Tweet Lanes and Twidere are two free apps for twitter that have garnered good reviews. Use these to connect with your audience on Twitter. Tweet for a Track is a web application you can use to promote your music. Tweet the link to your song, and readers who retweet or share it on Facebook can download the song..

    Facebook is easily the single largest platform for musicians.  Many bands and artists run extremely popular pages on Facebook, for example Shakira, Eminem, and Justin Beiber. BandPage is the most popular service used by musicians seeking to connect with their fans  and market their music. The BandPage app allows you to post tour dates, videos, photos, and more to your Facebook page. You can also earn royalties through BandPage for the music that is played on your Facebook page.

    Bandsintown Concerts is an app that lists upcoming concerts. The app allows musicians to reach out to their audience and provide information. It also links with Facebook and Twitter. Musicians can use Bandsintown Concerts to establish and connect with a local fan base.

    There are online resources you can use to create custom apps and market your music. The challenge is in getting prospective fans to download the app. You could offer incentives such as discounts on your online music, loyalty programs, giveaways, and discounts on concert tickets.

    Musicians can create, promote, and sell music on their mobile devices using the right apps which can also be used to reach a wide audience through implementing an effective mobile marketing plan.

    The Content Promotion Strategy Decision Tree is a flowchart designed to help you answer that question. Depending on your content marketing campaign’s timeframe, budget, and goals, you can determine whether an earned, owned, shared, paid, or converged media strategy makes the most sense for that campaign. You’ll also want to pay attention to which type of content fits into each strategy.

    To build the relationships that are a necessary part of content promotion, you engage with a community of existing and potential customers through your company’s blog, resource pages, and social channels. In other words, you identify the audience and then create content for it. Determining what content to create that meets the audience’s needs, however, is just one piece of the content promotion puzzle. You must also get that content to the audience where that audience already spends time online.

    You have to know the answer to, “How do I promote my content?”

    The Content Promotion Strategy Decision Tree is a flowchart designed to help you answer that question. Depending on your content marketing campaign’s timeframe, budget, and goals, you can determine whether an earned, owned, shared, paid, or converged media strategy makes the most sense for that campaign. You’ll also want to pay attention to which type of content fits into each strategy.

    Earned

    An earned media strategy is one that involves gaining online coverage through media outreach and relationships. This content is written about, or includes a reference and a link to, the piece of content you’re promoting, ideally by others outside your company – by journalists or influencers who you’ve built relationships with over time. When a journalist or influencer writes about content you’ve created, that’s unbiased coverage seen and shared by their audience. Thought leaders and influencers inside your company could write an article about a piece of content, and then you could earn its placement on a media outlet with an audience interested in that content. In either case, the point is to share information altruistically.

    Owned

    An owned media strategy involves using owned media content to inform customers—both existing and potential— not only of your products and services but also of the industry itself. Owned media content is what’s housed on your website: company blogs, webinars, white papers, videos, ebooks, infographics, and case studies. (An example is NASA's News page.) This is the advanced content you’re likely to promote at some point. You have complete control over it and can use it to help consumers keep up on the latest industry advancements, navigate persistent myths, and learn about the newest trends. By providing helpful content that consumers can rely on, you build trust and lay a foundation for a longer lasting relationship.

    Shared

    A shared media strategy uses posts, tweets, and updates to distribute and share content. Obviously, sometimes posts and tweets are created on the fly – the immediacy of social media is what makes it so powerful (check out this list to find out which companies get it right) – but that doesn’t mean they should ever be off the cuff. Social media interactions between your brand and your customers should be natural, and when appropriate, fun. However, these interactions should always adhere to brand guidelines and be professional and helpful. When you’re promoting a piece of content through social platforms, use language appropriate to the platform – your LinkedIn updates are likely to be more formal than your tweets, for example – and write out the accompanying text for each platform ahead of time, paying attention to word count restrictions.

    Paid

    A paid media strategy employs online advertising via sponsored recommendations, posts, and articles. Sponsored content is generally identified as such. Paid media content should be created with the same standards as with any content you create – its purpose is still to educate and inform your customer (even if you’re paying to put it in front of that customer).

    Converged

    A converged media strategy is a combination of earned, owned, shared, and paid tactics to promote content on a variety of channels.

    Regardless of the strategy you choose, all descriptions, articles and posts or tweets should be consistent and adhere to brand messaging guidelines. And of course, that language should resonate with the intended audience.

    No matter your timeframe or budget, there’s a strategy that will fit your needs and help you meet your goals. What tactics have you employed as part of the above strategies for promoting your own content?

    What is social media's ROI, and how can it be measured? It's fair to say that many of our clients come to us with unrealistic expectations about social media. There are plenty of reasons for this, but I believe the biggest is that they become disillusioned by seeing other companies' content receiving hundreds of thousands of views each, and automatically expect the same levels of success for themselves.

    What Is Social Media's ROI, And How Can It Be Measured?

    It's fair to say that many of our clients come to us with unrealistic expectations about social media. There are plenty of reasons for this, but I believe the biggest is that they become disillusioned by seeing other companies' content receiving hundreds of thousands of views each, and automatically expect the same levels of success for themselves. This view-chasing results in their campaign having the wrong focus from the get-go, which essentially dooms it from the start.

    Social media success goes well beyond that of its final view count, but many of our clients end up thinking their venture has failed simply because they don't understand the other benefits offered by this modern form of marketing.

    So What Exactly Is The ROI Of Social Media Marketing? 

    This is one of our clients' most common questions. Before considering anything else, they want to know how much money they stand to make from a social media campaign, and how quickly they can make it. But all this mindset achieves is leading them to believe that their campaign has failed if their Facebook or Twitter accounts don't immediately blow up. Jumping the gun like this can cause a campaign serious harm.

    Instead, our clients should consider the following: 

    Why Bother With Social Media Marketing? What's The Point?

    When asked this, our clients usually tell us one (or both) of these answers: 
     
    1. Our competition is using it, so we need to maintain our own online presence in order to keep up.
    2. Our customers expect us to be innovative, so we want to stay ahead of the curve. 
     
    While the first answer is a valid reason for your business to make the switch to social media, the second response is by far the best. Simply chasing your competition makes your company sound desperate; it suggests that you're jumping into the scary world of hashtags and retweets without really understanding why - and that means your campaign will lack the focus it requires to be successful. 

    The second answer is so, so, so much better because it makes you look like a trendsetter. It says that you want more than just for your customers to see you as innovators - you're also looking to engage with them at a personal level. It shows you want to help them. That you value them as more than just a sale, but also as a person.

    And that sums up what makes social media marketing such a powerful tool: it's the ability to publicly interact with your clientèle in a way that was never possible before.
    social media roi
    Source: wired.co.uk

    However, it also represents why social media marketing's ROI is so tricky to ascertain: the appreciation of a customer is a difficult thing to measure, but it's still every bit as valuable as a high view count. Now, you can show your clients that you respect them enough to engage with their queries. Because you're showing them this respect, they will offer you theirs in return.

    This results in higher levels of customer loyalty, which, yes, will eventually lead to sales.

    social media roi
    Source: reward-guide.co.uk

    Then I Should Definitely Invest in Social Media Marketing?

    Let's be clear, social media marketing can be a complete waste of your company's time, effort and resources. If you plan to jump into this complicated place without a clear strategy, don't expect it to be worth your time. Think of it like this: if you don't bother to learn the successful ingredients of a social media campaign, how can you know if it's been successful?

    Social media marketing may seem like common sense, but the hundreds of companies stung weekly by rookie mistakes will tell you otherwise. You have to remember that, at its core, social media marketing is just that: marketing. Without the right strategies, it won't be successful. A traditional marketing graduate can't just translate their skills to social media, just like a car mechanic isn't necessarily able to fix your PC.

    So how can I Prepare my Campaign?

    Remember that on social media, people are primarily there to socialise. When they address your company, they are talking directly to the people who work there - not to the company itself. The most important thing to learn is how to take advantage of this.
    social media roi
    Source: pancommunications.com
    With guidance and consultancy from a digital marketing company, you can be taught the most efficient way to use social media. Once you know the basics, you will have formed the foundations of a solid strategy, which will eventually enable you to use social media for the incredibly powerful marketing tool it should be.

    So can Social Media ROI be Measured?

    In a word: yes.

    But it's more complicated than that. ROI can only be measured when expectations and goals are clear and realistic. The best way to set these goals is by seeking the professional guidance of a social media consultant from the beginning. At the end of the day, it's a powerful tool - but only when you know how to use it properly.

    Don't forget to check out part one here.

     

    What goes into the construction of a tweet? How do you define your social voice? Tips on how to master the 140 characters, in a personal manner.

    Twitter: so much to say, so little space – how can you possibly fit everything into a mere 140 characters? Ah, well that’s the challenge, and the gratification. Constructing a tweet seems simple to some, from an unfamiliar high level. However, for people who specifically choose every single character they share, and want every word to count, it’s more of a purposeful task.

    With that said, there is a thought process, or at least there should be, when constructing a tweet. What point are you trying to make? Are you attempting to stir up a conversation? Supply information? Simply vent? I’ve heard from too many people that they don’t understand Twitter, saying, What’s the point? I have nothing to say. I applaud those people for not tweeting just for the sake of tweeting, telling the world they had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Some people use Twitter just as a listening tool, a place to aggregate their news and other interests. That’s fine.

    There are different types of tweets, as I noted. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that about 50% of my tweets revolve around sports, whether it’s sharing an article, talking about a game, fantasy football related, and/or interacting with others in the sports realm. Makes sense, as sports journalism is not only my background but I’m a sports fanatic by nature. Since entering Corporate America a few years ago, maybe 30% of my tweets provide information about my industry, mostly revolving around social media news, tips, quotes, etc. The remaining 20% is probably divided into equal parts tweeting at brands/companies and leaving room for some random thoughts and of course inspiring wisdom.

    I have a friend in Miami who entered the Twitterverse quite early, as I did. We were both covering the Marlins as sports journalists at the time. To this day we still message each other, in awe, whenever people misuse and/or overuse hashtags. Here are some tips:

    1. If you have more than two hashtags in a tweet, it’s excessive – pending the circumstance, three tops. Also, I go back to my point of constructing a tweet, as we always made an effort to insert the desired hashtag, which is normally the topic of focus, natively into the tweet as part of the conversation.
    2. Another note that should hopefully be common knowledge for avid Twitter-users: if you begin a tweet with “@” only that person and overlapping followers will see that tweet. On the flipside, many people think that adding a “.” before the “@” is simply just lazy.
    3. When I share articles, usually the title is automatically generated via the share widget, along with the link. I like to add my commentary to the post and this always is a battle with characters. Trust me when I say that I spend the extra 30 seconds to manipulate the words in a way where I do not have to use short hand or poor grammar. I cringe when I see people use a number instead of a letter or shorten a three letter word such as “you” to “u” – yes, others actually pay attention to this; I’m certainly not the only one.

    I understand that the rules are indeed bent when it comes to Twitter. They darn-near almost broke when the huge journalism and blogging rush joined the platform around 2010 as people focused on speed and breaking stories rather than facts, correct punctuation and grammar. However, I feel humankind has bounced back to figuring out what is important, and realizing there are ways to get your point across effectively yet correctly. At least, I’d like to hope so.