Top marketing news, articles and tips from the last week of June 2012.
Social Media Strategy
Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the multitude of social media channels to address? To keep up and see results, it’s crucial to develop a strategy, and address any mistakes along the way. Brad Smith (@BradleyESmith) shares three social media mistakes you probably don’t know you’re making, and what you can do to fix them.
- Ask the right questions. Think less about frequency, and more about building a sincere presence.
- Focus. Decide which platform(s) you want to predominantly concentrate efforts to avoid spreading yourself too thin.
- Have realistic expectations. Be loyal, consistent and patient to see results.
The contact form is a simple tool, yet it’s common to come across many that are poorly constructed. To ensure that your contact forms do what they’re made to—generate leads—see Neil Patel’s (@neilpatel) five ways to improve your contact form conversion rate:
- Eliminate unnecessary fields.
- Make sure your form is clear, user-friendly and articulate.
- Provide ghost texts to show exactly what you want.
- Use field focus highlighting and in-line validation to reduce confusion.
- Design for mobile first (its simplicity carries well onto the desktop).
While on the topic of lead forms and generation, consider rethinking the benefits of giving away free content. Comedian Louis CK (@louisck) and musician Amanda Palmer (@amandapalmer) have both charged for their content, which proved extremely successful. A powerful content marketing lesson learned by both: top fans will pay, even when they can get the content for free.
Content marketing strategy is useless, however, without the necessary buy-in to execute your plans. If your CEO isn’t on board, check out these common content-marketing misconceptions compiled by Chris Winfield (@chriswinfield), and the talking points to help combat them, such as:
- Compelling content gives people a reason to return to your website.
- It’s necessary to provide resources first, and pitch second.
- Value-based content is a long-term asset that spreads slowly (but surely).
- Involving other teams can help meet company objectives.
Last week, Google announced several product and system updates at its I/O 2012 Conference. Some of the most popular include the Google Nexus 7 tablet, which will ship mid-July, and Android OS 4.1, Jelly Bean.
Google also revealed a new Explorer Edition of its prototype camera-equipped glasses, available only for attending developers. Naturally, Google showed off the specs in style, as skydiving employees used them to live-stream their jump above the conference building.
Google+ users can now send customized invitations to events, which are automatically added to your Google Calendar, allow you to share photos in real time, and collaborate photos based on those who attend.
If you’re a Facebook page administrator, you’ve probably noticed Facebook’s new Voice feature. Now, Facebook has made it much more intuitive for users to engage on pages as individuals instead of brands. While this offers the benefit of personalizing your brand, be increasingly aware of the voice you want to set, and which entity you’re using.
Although this is a welcomed change, Facebook is under fire for two major updates: the Find Friends Nearby app, and automatically changing users’ default email addresses to @facebook.com accounts. Facebook has since said that it could have acknowledged the change to make users aware.
As John D. Sutter (@jdsutter) says, “our digital lives are now so invested in Facebook that it would be nearly impossible to pull out at this point.” But, many are lashing out about Facebook’s individual decisions, and becoming unhappy with the social network as it becomes more “un-fun.”
- Five years after the Apple iPhone launch, Business Insider deems the “super computer” in our pockets the most successful—and disruptive—product in history, destroying companies in its path, creating its own industry and ecosystems, and continually inspiring competitors.
- LinkedIn just scored big with inbound marketers. Its new feature allows users to send targeted status updates to followers, an excellent way for companies to help create brand loyalty, build relationships and convert leads.
- Amazon’s cloud outage this past weekend took down Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram, and other services along with it. If you’re storing in the cloud, make sure that you have proper backup and disaster recovery systems in place.
- Twitter is "introducing stricter guidelines around how the [its] API is used." Essentially, it plans to go after third-party apps, and close the walls around those that aren't developed by Twitter itself, effectively ceasing its tweet syndication with LinkedIn, among other partnerships.
- The New York Times plans to launch “NYT Everywhere,” a new initiative designed to bring its content to third-party platforms including Flipboard and Android apps.
Resources of the Week
- Kapost and Eloqua share how content can become your most productive marketing activity in the ebook, Content Marketing ROI.
- Learn basic SEO essentials on your next lunch break with these short, new Google webmaster videos.
What articles made your top list last week? We'd like to hear your opinions.
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