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Inbound Industry Report: November 13, 2011

Top marketing news, articles and tips from the second week of November 2011.

Content Marketing

m is for marketing

Marty Weintraub(@aimclear) shares 26 awesome tips for content marketers in Content Marketing Essentials: Tactical Advice from A to Z. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • “A - Bring A-list writers. You get what you pay for so using $14 a page writers or automated software won't yield the level of content that will matter.” Quality always mattered to your readers and credibility, but after Google’s Panda algorithm update(s), it matters to the search engines, too. 
  • “J - Just remember that 25 visitors a day is over 9,000 a year.” I love this. It can be so easy to think that your content isn’t useful if you don’t see huge audience numbers, but taking a step back to see the impact of smaller numbers over time—especially if you’re in a niche industry with a small audience to begin with—is truly powerful and inspiring.
  • “P - Think of your feeds as a publication, not a website.” What blogs, magazines, columns or papers do you have to read regularly? Think about what makes them so valuable, and how you can make your company content that useful to your audience.
  •  “T - Allocate enough time.” Good writing, particularly when research is involved, takes time. So does reacting to pieces that spur conversation; joining networks of interest to share your work, and debate and discuss ideas; and other activities that help to share and spread your content.  

Chris Penn (@cspenn) offers A Simple Content Value Test in an effort to help raise the bar on content quality. Before publishing a new piece, Penn recommends that you ask yourself if in its creation you learned or laughed, and if you love the end result. If it doesn’t hit the mark in at least one of these areas, your content is likely in need of some additional work.

Social Media Policy

Can A Twitter Account be a Company Trade Secret? Jeff Roberts (@jeffjohnroberts) reports about a San Francisco court case that is exploring this very question. Background: former PhoneDog employee Noah Kravitz used a Twitter account, @PhoneDog_Noah that reached about 17,000 followers. After leaving the company, Kravitz kept the account and changed the account handle (AKA the account name) and PhoneDog sued, claiming ownership of the account.

Lawyer Venkat Balasubramani examines the legalities for Ars Technica. In, Who Gets Custody of a Twitter Account When an Employee Quits? he explains the court’s stances on key claims of the lawsuit, ranging from economics to data ownership to the economic advantage of the Twitter account’s contact list.

Money quote from Balasubramani: “The takeaway is that there needs to be a written agreement that governs this issue.” In other words, if your company doesn’t have a social media policy that addresses this issue, it should—especially if you have any “high value” social media employees.

In, Are Twitter Followers a Company Asset? Cynthia Boris offers some practical examples and advice, both from the company and employee points of view. These are worth a look, and might offer a good starting point for that policy if you need it.

SEO 

Rand Fishkin (@randfish) shares easy-to-digest advice in 4 Graphics to Help Illustrate On-Page Optimization. He covers:

  • Keyword use and density on page
  • Use of the keyword outside of page copy
  • How search engines determine page quality 
  • Strategy in targeting multiple, related keywords on one page or more

In the News

LinkedIn

LinkedIn launched a new Group Statistics dashboard, which provides details on the demographics, growth and activity of a given LinkedIn group. The information can be found by clicking the “Group Statistics” link in the right-hand column of any group’s main page, or through a bar graph icon underneath the group in the “Your Groups” list.

Use Group Statistics to help you identify which groups are most worth your time commitment, particularly if you’re considering several for the same interest. Or, if you manage a LinkedIn Group, start checking the statistics to monitor group activity levels, spur conversation when there are lulls, and track and report group success over time. 

Google

Google opened Google+ Pages for business. Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) wrote a great overview, which includes details on setting up a page and their functionality. Note to brand owners and marketers: at this time, the verification process to set up a branded page is limited, if not non-existent, so if you haven't secured your page yet, go here now and follow the setup instructions.

The Think With Google team launched Think Insights, a website that houses information on consumer trends, industry research and marketing insights. There are multiple categories and search options, providing marketers—or anyone with a paper to write or presentation to create—with the tools to identify trends, dig into mobile usage data, view real-time information on what people are publishing and consuming, and more. (Source: The Next Web)

I admit that in my first few searches I was a little disappointed with the results, or lack thereof, that the site provided. But, after playing around and understanding its organization and navigation, I see its promise. One thing I noticed: If you’re searching for data on a specific topic (e.g. social media adoption in business), it helps to make your search more broad and sift through results (e.g. “social media business”) rather than using a highly specific search as you might use in standard Google searches (e.g. “twitter adoption rate among executives”). 

What were your top marketing stories of the week? Comments are open for your opinions.

Laurel Miltner is the assistant vice president at PR 20/20, a Cleveland-based inbound marketing agency and PR firm. Follow Laurel on Twitter: @laurelmackenzie.

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Image updated from takomabibelot
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