Top marketing news, articles and tips from the second week of August 2012.
With the help of my curating partner in crime, Laurel Miltner (@laurelmackenzie) and I handpick the articles each week to include in this lovely, little recap of industry news. So, when questions arise, such as “Should You Curate Content?”, we obviously have a biased an
To curate effectively, it’s important to recognize what curation is and what it’s not. Mark Sherbin (@MarkSherbin) does a good job of explaining the essentials curators need to know, including curation versus aggregation. Instead of automated tools, we personally sift through the weekly industry content, a human element that “sends a powerful message of inclusion to customers.” Follow these additional best practices to curate content the right way for your business and audience:
- Explain why the content is important.
- Include clear links, and credit original content.
- Post snippets, but don’t give away the “punch line.”
- Be picky; readers can only digest so much.
- Find your voice (or, said more enthusiastically, “Stamp your flair on the content you share”).
If curation turns out to be a fit for you, don’t stray from your content strategy. You should be both curating and creating. Tristan Handy (@jthandy) thinks that curation is “part of a balanced social media diet.” And, to generate the best results, find your content creation versus curation sweet spot.
Speaking of sweet, Nabisco-owned Oreo twisted its brand strategy by tapping into pop culture and trending topics for a very cool visual content campaign. To honor its 100th birthday, the brand plans to share an image of the cookie for the next hundred days. Check them out on Oreo’s Tumblr account—its latest celebrates Left-Handers Day (warning: have a glass of milk on hand while viewing).
Website & Search
Content is also a large part of your website, and you want each page to perform at its best. A/B testing can help you do just that by quantifying isolated variables, such as calls-to-action, headlines, images and copy length.
- A/B testing does not hurt SEO; in fact, it improves your site’s functionality.
- It’s not just for landing pages; try out tests on emails, PPC campaigns and CTAs.
- Run tests until you reach statistical significance—95%+ confidence in the results.
- Do a series of basic one-variable tests for clear-cut conclusions.
Get a glimpse at the guidelines for running effective A/B or multivariate tests, courtesy of Google.
- In response to the identity hacking of Wired reporter Mat Honan, Apple has suspended over-the-phone AppleID password request changes. The change follows similar security tightening at Amazon, which also aided in the hacking incident.
- We’ve all heard the “Google+ is ghost town” gripe. Google’s trying to kill this perception by promoting the social network via traditional advertising tactics, such as print and TV media buys.
- Did you know that URLs with tracking codes are deducted from your referral visit traffic in Google Analytics? Don’t feel bad, neither did Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan).
- You’re about to see a lot more of those “tiny square dongles” (not my words) attached to mobile devices, especially at your local Starbucks. The coffee giant invested $25 million in Square, and will be using it to process payments across their 7,000 locations starting this fall. See more of what Square has up its sleeve to take retail by storm.
- Four guys + 48 states + people with great ideas = concept for the IdeaMensch Road Trip. The crew is already a month into their journey to inspire innovators across the U.S. Clevelanders, join the crowd on August 22, and hear some fascinating speakers. (Note: PR 20/20 is a Cleveland event sponsor)
- Facebook’s new post targeting option will allow marketers to pinpoint their brand’s message by segmenting updates based on age, gender, relationship status, education and workplace.
- HubSpot and Ektron, a web content management provider, have partnered together for product integration and joint marketing and sales.
Stats & Studies
- A recent survey by Rocket revealed that only one in five CIOs said social media was in their top three most influential channels for buying tech products. Though this may seem like a blow to marketers, further findings reveal the importance of content marketing and PR, as CIOs look to supplier websites, webinars and IT publications for information.
- Deals and discounts are no longer Facebook users’ number one reason to follow a brand. A Performics study showed a larger percentage of users said they followed companies simply because they shopped at their stores or purchased their products, and want to stay up to date with information the companies share.
What articles made your top list last week? We'd like to hear your opinions.