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Picks of the Week: Sept. 18-24

Posted by Laurel Miltner on September 24, 2010

For today's agency Picks of the Week, we've collected articles to shed light on the following: How Google Instant is changing long-tail SEO (with data), demand for social media jobs (and its potentially lacking talent pool), benefits of using Twitter, tips for including content curation in your marketing mix, and thoughts on the level of fun marketers can expect in today's industry.

Search Marketing

Google Instant: Fewer Changes to SEO than the Average Algo Update

Keith wrote an article last week about how Google Instant may impact SEO and business marketing. To continue the conversation, we turn to Rand Fishkin, who pulled together some real-world data on how Google Instant is impacting SEO since it rolled out on Sept. 8.

Armed with some handy — and telling — graphs, Rand walks through data on referring search terms by keyword phrase length. The results may surprise you — changes found were all-but negligible. See Rand’s full post to learn more about Google Instant’s impact on SEO, and particularly on long-tail keywords. It also includes a sampling of other relevant articles about Google Instant and its affects on searcher behavior.

Social Media

Social Media Jobs are a Bright Spot for Recent Grads

This article by Adrianne Jeffries explores a growing demand for social media careers, such as community managers, editors, analysts, marketers, product developers and even social media executives.

According to Adrianne, the demand for this type of job is “growing fast - even at a time when the recession seems poised to double dip and more than 9% of the population is unemployed… The number of social-media job postings on the job site Indeed.com has increased by more than 600 percent since 2005.”

So how are today’s students being prepared for these new roles? Adrianne points out that some universities have added social courses to curricula — including Social Media, an Internet marketing class at Columbia, and Competing with Social Networks at Harvard. In fact, “Birmingham City University even offers a one year master's degree in social media,” Adrianne reports.

However, as we learned a few weeks ago in the article How to Teach Social Media in Journalism Schools: “The issue for many journalism schools [and likely other educational tracks as well] is incorporating social media into an established and packed curriculum, within an academic environment where the pace of change is slow.”

For a look at how journalism schools in particular are starting to bring social into the classroom, see a new article from the MediaShift series on journalism education, Professors Speak out About Changes Coming to J-Schools.

Key Takeaways: If you’re a PR student, understanding how to use social media in business will be critical in your future career, but you may need to seek this knowledge out yourself. If you’re a manager that expects social media skills of your new hires, you may want to think about ways to include high-level social media training in new hire onboarding.  

Why I Still Like Twitter

Twitter has been making some pretty big strides lately, including the launch of its own mobile apps and the introduction of the more user-friendly “new Twitter.”

In honor of these upgrades, David Griner shared the reason why he still sees Twitter as "the hub of [his] online life."

If you’re not yet familiar with Twitter, and don’t quite understand how the platform can provide real value, reading David’s thoughts may help to shed some light on the news-driven social network.

  • With Twitter, there is no false sense of privacy, as you may have with other social networks like Facebook.
  • Twitter is well suited to encourage people to share things about all elements of their lives, and blends personal and professional into a seamless experience. Because of this, you get a better idea of who your peers actually are, and what makes them tick.
  • As Twitter is largely used for sharing news, you discover events as they happen.
  • It’s beginning to prove itself as a great platform for businesses to connect with customers (and vice-versa).
  • As most Twitter-active bloggers likely know, it’s an excellent source for blog traffic.

For more on the value of Twitter, see David’s complete post.

Content Marketing

4 Content Curation Ideas to Implement Now

Inspired by Paul Gillin's recent B2B Magazine article, Curation is the New Creation, Joe Pulizzi shares specific curation techniques that marketers and brands can employ to further establish themselves as trusted industry experts:

  • Develop lists that serve as the go-to source on a topic relevant to your target audience.
  • Launch a curated microsite, through which you share quality articles, videos and other content, from a variety of sources, covering a niche topic related to your brand.
  • Distribute eNewsletters — a similar concept to the curated microsite, only delivered directly to your readers’ inboxes. Just be sure you adhere to enewsletter marketing best practices.
  • Turn your Twitter account into a curated news feed. (This is likely a stronger idea for a branded account, rather than a personal one, as personal accounts lend themselves better to authentic interaction.)

In addition to Joe’s tips above, another option is to write a weekly or monthly wrap-up post on your established blog. Hmmm… Sound familiar?

Key lesson for marketers: As the flood of information continues to increase, rather than just adding more to the mix, think about how you can help your audiences sift through the clutter — it may provide more value than you think.

Or, as Paul said in his B2B article referenced above: "Humans face a problem our species has never confronted before: We have too much information. Our challenge has shifted from finding what we need to filtering out what we don't. Today, curation is nearly as important as creation."

Marketing Industry

Advertising and Marketing Have Never Been so Much Fun

In response to an Ad Age story about top professionals leaving careers in advertising behind, due to dramatic industry changes that suck all the fun and creativity out of the job, Edward Boches argues that the industry may never have been more exciting — and ripe for new kinds of creativity.

The benefits of new technologies and online social networks mean more interaction with target audiences, and at the core “great ideas and storytelling remain essential but they’re but one aspect of creativity in the post digital, neo-social, me-focused age of connectivity.”

Ironically, it is largely due to their past successes that in the end, Edward thinks it’s true that history’s major industry players may falter in this new age, if they are “stuck in old process and [their] production models can’t adjust.”

It is the smaller, more agile and truly creative players that are situated to win in the future, because they are willing to try to things, and are actively “challenging their agencies to figure out better ways to combine content, UX, social media, utility, mobile and new opt-in retail applications into something coherent, measurable and even predictable… [and] finding inspiration from outside our industry.”

Key takeaway: Don’t let yourself get too comfortable with the way things always have been. Simply because something is the status quo doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be challenged.

What were your favorite articles of the week? Comments are open for your opinions.

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