In this week's curated marketing post, we take a look at: branding on the web, why IRL (in real life) shouldn’t necessarily have to be indicated as such, time-saving Twitter tips, four ways to fix weak content, and what your business can learn from — gasp! — a content farm.
As famously stated by Wired’s Chris Anderson, “Your brand is what Google says your brand is, not what you say your brand is.”
Face it: The web has changed the art and science of branding in fundamental ways. This article by Chris Chariton, though ecommerce focused, offers several key takeaways for any kind of company that is struggling to establish or solidify its brand online.
- It is the combination of brand recognition, brand experience and brand exposure that results in overall brand value. Use multiple channels to get your company in front of target audiences, give consumers positive interactions and excellent customer service, and stay in touch with prospects and clients.
- Build your brand online — in multiple locations. Having a website is not enough in a world where consumers seek information from multiple sources. Cast a wider net through a combination of content, social networking and targeted online advertising.
- Measure your success. Use analytics to determine what drives action, leads and sales. Monitor mentions of your brand and product names, as well as online chatter, to determine what resonates with your target audiences.
This article by Alexandra Samuel takes a look at our tendency to refer to the offline world as "real life," thus diminishing the power and potential of online social connections.
After establishing that the Internet and online communities are, in fact, an integral part of the daily lives of many in modern society, Samuel offers several reasons to start taking social networks more seriously. Her tips, in my opinion, are essential to understand if you’re interested in leveraging online tools to better establish your personal brand, as well as build personal and professional networks.
Money quote: “To say that ‘reality’ includes only offline beings, offline conversations and offline communities is to say that face-to-face matters more than human-to-human.
(OK, so this article is from last week. We missed it then. Maybe you did, too.)
One of the biggest objections we hear from businesses in regard to embracing social media is that there is not enough time in the day to fit online strategies into already hectic schedules. While social media participation does take time, it is possible to participate without losing sight of other objectives or falling short on other priorities.
In this post, Mark Schaefer shares a few tips for tackling Twitter in 20 minutes per day, whether you’re just starting out or have already established a presence on the rapidly growing social network.
The biggest challenge? “Being effective in 20 minutes a day means knowing how to use these time-saving tips and then having the discipline to prioritize.” Sometimes the thing that can make social media a time waster, rather than a valuable business tool, is that it’s easy to get distracted and pulled in multiple directions. Going in with a solid plan for success — and a time limit when necessary — can help reduce this tendency.
When developing content, it can become difficult to edit and critique your work. This is because after working on a project for some time, you become quite close to it. You understand it, you know what you want to say, and sometimes you even feel like there’s no better way to say it. (This is, however, rarely the case.)
In this article on Copyblogger, Ali Hale offers four solid tips to “zoom back out and get the big picture” before publishing a new piece of content.
- Let it rest
- Read as a reader
- Ask for feedback
Check out the full article for specifics.
By Richard MacManus, this article takes a closer look at the content farm Suite 101, and features insight from the company’s CEO Peter Berger. Clearly, media and publishing as we know them are being turned upside-down due to an increasing number of people using search engines to gather information and the abundance of (often free) content available online. Content farms like Suite 101 pump out hundreds — even thousands — of articles per day, developed solely around popular search queries.
Though I think it would be a highly unlikely scenario for us to recommend content farming to clients, there is definitely a lesson in Suite 101’s model for companies looking to establish themselves as industry leaders through content: People are searching the internet daily for help with their problems. Most likely you’re in business because you offer something that can help. Really think about what problems your products/services alleviate, and develop the content to help your prospects find you, on their terms. Give them the information they seek, in the format that they want it in.
Money quote for marketers, from Berger: "What rules in this space is topic expertise."
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