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Tag: Social

Senate intel hearing details Russian social media disinformation tactics

March 31, 2017 No Comments

 The first half of Thursday’s Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s hearing on Russian disinformation campaigns wasn’t quite as fun as watching James Comey squirm his way around classified intel in the House, but it did provide some valuable context on Russian cyber methods and social media campaigns. Read More
Social – TechCrunch


Optimization at the intersection of search, content, social, mobile and local in 2017

March 17, 2017 No Comments

The digital environment is rapidly shifting. There are over a billion websites online, and customers have countless brands to choose from when seeking solutions to their needs.

Consumer behavior has rapidly matured with the growth of the online world. Customers access the internet through a variety of different platforms and channels. Two thirds of shoppers report using more than one channel when deciding to make a purchase.

At the same time, customers have also begun to abandon a traditional buyer’s journey. They now interact with brands through a series of high-intent touch points across multiple devices. Customers now guide the relationship, and brands need to be there to serve them.

Search engines responded to this shift by evolving the query algorithm to better understand intent and mold their search engine results pages (SERPs) and provide fast, convenient answers for users.

To succeed in this modern digital ecosystem, brands must do the same. They must understand how to develop content that accurately reaches the target audience based upon concrete goals.

Not only is understanding cross-channel trends within marketing key to reaching customers, but it’s also a key ingredient for brands to achieve greater ROI. Nearly 3/4 of marketers employing cross-channel methods report that these interactions result in ‘major’ impacts to the number of site conversions.

More than half also say that cross-channel marketing helps them improve their retention, and increases the likelihood of customers becoming brand advocates. Customers who arrive at your brand through cross-channel research also carry a 30 percent higher lifetime value. So organizations that go through the extra effort to create the cross-channel atmosphere will see value from their decisions.

Opportunities at the intersection of channels

For the modern marketer, the opportunity for brand success lies at the intersection between search, social, content, mobile and local. SEO is the core driver as it helps ensure material is easy to find online.

Social is then your megaphone. It broadcasts a message across the various ‘watercoolers’ of the online world, helping to engage customers in a personal way, while also drawing attention to content. These two work together to build visibility and traffic.

Next, combine efforts from these two channels with content, mobile and local strategies. Effective campaigns in these three areas grasp the devices customers use and their intent behind searches. Creating material that fills these needs builds engagement and drives relationships and conversions.

The key is creating content ready to serve customers across various devices and platforms. Brands need to meet customers where they are in order to provide them information; but without data, this is impossible. Data can let brands know what their customers search for and what they want to see when they make these queries.

It will also inform them of the success of their efforts and where adjustments can be made.

Our research at BrightEdge shows that organic remains the largest driver of traffic, with 51 percent of the people arriving on a site coming from SERPs. When using SEO as a multi-channel asset that can attract visitors across different touch points, it’s easy to understand how these different types of marketing intersect to spur growth.

Making a success of the intersection of search, content, social, mobile and local

Step 1. Analyze your current website

As companies adapt to a mobile-first world, they must create web experiences that are responsive and driven by rich experiences. However, without understanding or adhering to SEO best practices, content creators can inadvertently cause technical errors, duplicate content, or orphan pages.

These issues severely impact organic search performance resulting in decreased traffic, conversions, and revenue.

To best understand how the intersection between these various elements will work for your brand, you need to look at your site currently and gauge how leads arrive. Ensure that you break down traffic, including by device, to better understand the motivations of your existing customers.

This will provide insight into where to focus more of your efforts and safeguard your content and website.

Step 2. Perform keyword research

Looking at statistics behind applicable keywords will reveal traffic rates and competition levels, helping you better understand the terms and topics that most interest your prospects.

You also want to monitor trends as part of this research. Trends will reveal rising topics of interest, allowing you to create and promote content of interest before all of your competitors, establishing your authority and ranking.

Step 3. Look at the user intent behind keywords

Marketing today is about understanding the micro-moments that dominate user activity. Customers reach for their devices when they experience a particular type of need they want fulfilled. The better you understand the intent of these customers – whether they want to go, do, buy, or know something – the better you will be able to tailor your content to meet these needs.

Search engines have been tailored to predict the intent of customers, which explains why some searches have features such as local 3-packs, featured images or videos and Quick Answers. Understanding the intent behind searches allows marketers to create content messages and formats that will most likely appeal to customers.

Step 4. Make sure all content is mobile friendly

Customers today are on mobile for a large part of their digital experience. More searches today take place on mobile. Compared to desktop, mobile devices now account for 65 percent of all digital time spent. All content produced should serve the needs of customers on these devices through responsive web design, fast mobile load times, page navigation and layouts that reflect the needs of mobile users.

Remember that mobile also strongly overlaps with the need for local optimization. Over fifty percent of on-the-go searches have local intent. Local mobile search can be a powerful step in the conversion process. In fact, 80 percent of these searches result in offline purchases.

This means that as brands optimize for mobile, they should also pay close attention to the local and “I want to go” intent for particular keywords. Optimizing for hyperlocal search can be critical for attracting these customers.

Step 5. Optimize all content through SEO best practices

Remember, SEO is the driver of this explosive intersection between channels. As you create content for different user intents and devices, you must optimize it. This means more than just including keywords. You should also pay attention to meta descriptions, title tags, image alt tags, layout and how the content fits in with the rest of the website.

Familiarize your content creators with basic SEO practices and ensure they work closely with the SEO team to create material that will rank as highly as possible from the moment of publication.

Step 6. Broadcast content through social media

As you create optimized content for different channels, ensure your content and web teams partner with the social media team to develop a promotional strategy. Followers on your social media platforms have already revealed some degree of interest in your brand. A strong posting strategy will enhance this relationship and encourage more to enter the sales funnel.

As you publish content, promote it on the social media sites where the target audience most likely resides. For example, highly visual content developed for young adults in their late teens and early twenties might best promoted through platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. The better you understand your audiences, the more highly targeted your content strategy will become to generate returns.

Such promotion will broadcast your content, encourage sharing and increase visibility before it even ranks highly on SERPs. As an added bonus, promotion can also drive traffic and attention to your site, increasing the odds of others linking to your page from their own websites.

This can then help boost your reputation and authority in the Google algorithm, potentially increasing your position on SERPs. As you rise in rankings, your content will naturally attract a wider audience, showing how the different pieces of this strategy work together.

Although the dangers of siloed marketing have been apparent for several years now, the potential implications of relying on these outdated strategies cannot be more apparent than they are today. The customer does not live on one channel or one platform, and brands must meet these needs with a consistent voice.

Understanding how these elements intersect can help brands create an effective strategy. Follow this six stage process and see how using content, SEO, search, social, mobile, and local can spell success for your organization in 2017.

Search Engine Watch


Instagram VP Kevin Weil joins board of social fitness app Strava

February 20, 2017 No Comments

kevin-weil If you’re trying to build the Instagram for exercise, it helps to have the guy building Instagram for Instagram. That’s why Strava has added Instagram head of product Kevin Weil to its board of directors. Formerly VP of Product for Twitter, Weil has proven his skills through a rapid set of launches at Instagram including its surprisingly successful Snapchat Stories clone. Now Weil… Read More
Social – TechCrunch


Super Bowl posts on social media are up from last year, but didn’t top 2015’s record numbers

February 6, 2017 No Comments

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Super Bowl LI may have made history as the first Big Game to go into overtime, but that may not have translated into record ratings, or, as it turns out, record social media engagement, either. According to Facebook, 64 million people posted 240 million interactions its social network last night, an increase over last year’s 60 million users and 200 million posts during what was, then,… Read More
Social – TechCrunch


Google Introduces a Social Where Next Suggestion Patent

February 4, 2017 No Comments
Jellyfish
Jellyfish from the Birch Aquarium

Google was granted a patent this week on offering recommendations or suggestions for places to go for members of social groups.

A social group, such as a meetup group that may get together for social events, may use the internet to communicate and interact, and look to for recommendations on where to go next. The patent from Google looks like it might be useful in providing a framework for such a group to make it easier for them to meet at locations and check in at those places and tag one another in photos to associate them with locations that they may travel to.

I could see an offering like this being built into an existing social network such as Google+, and wouldn’t be surprised if it was introduced at Google+ by Google.

The patent that describes this recommendation system for a social group goes under the name:

Social where next suggestion
Inventors: Matthew Nicholas Stuttle, Sebastian Dorner, and Alexandra Gherghina
Assignee: Google
United States Patent 9,558,242
Granted: January 31, 2017
Filed: October 15, 2013

Abstract

A group recommendation provides end users in a social group a set of recommended destinations based on the combined personal preferences of the members of the social group. Members of a social group are identified using a combination of location based signals and social graph information in response to receiving a recommendation request. The group recommendation may be determined by combining the personal preferences associated with each member of the group into a master preference profile. Alternatively, the group recommendation may be determined by first calculating an individual recommendation list for each member of the social group and then calculating a composite score for each recommendation on the individual recommendation lists.

I could see a group that liked visiting places together discussing going someplace together, such as the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, California. Members of the group could “check-in” at the location when they arrive. People in that social group could tag photos of the location or of people at the location with the location name, so that they could see each other there. A group recommendation for places to go to for lunch or dinner could then be shared among the members of that social group. This would be the “Social where next” described in the patent’s name.

This sounds like it could be a fun element for a community that might involve people who are near each other, or who may do things together at specific locations. Would you use a “social where next” recommendation system if Google introduced one?


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Fading anonymous social network Yik Yak is laying off most of its employees

December 9, 2016 No Comments

Yik Yak down Yik Yak, the once universally recognized anonymous social network that virally took over college campuses back in 2014, is planning to lay off a “significant” number of employees, first noted by The Verge. The company is said to be retaining mostly engineers as it notified its team of about 50 employees earlier this morning. In a statement to TechCrunch, Tyler Droll, CEO of Yik… Read More
Startups – TechCrunch


Fading anonymous social network Yik Yak is laying off most of its employees

December 9, 2016 No Comments

Yik Yak down Yik Yak, the once universally recognized anonymous social network that virally took over college campuses back in 2014, is planning to lay off a “significant” number of employees, first noted by The Verge. The company is said to be retaining mostly engineers as it notified its team of about 50 employees earlier this morning. In a statement to TechCrunch, Tyler Droll, CEO of Yik… Read More
Social – TechCrunch


Timing is Everything in PPC and Social Media Marketing

December 6, 2016 No Comments

Stopwatch. Close up of a Stopwatch.There is a quote from one of my favorite movies that truly struck a cord with me through the years and it’s never been more relevant now with regards to PPC Advertising on Social media platforms such as Twitter Ads and Facebook Ads. In the movie “A Good Year”, Maximillian Skinner (Russell Crowe) tells his employees that “The secret to riches, lab rats, is the same as the secret to comedy… timing.” In this post, I will talk about the benefits of leveraging this strategy and the storytelling effect on future events.

 

Back in 2005, when I was managing the PPC Strategy for an Automotive Catalog Company, I relied on Google and Yahoo to compliment a TV Show on the SpikeTV Network which was promoting the products from the Catalog. I actually won the 2008 Semmy Award for this article entitled “Optimizing Paid Search & Landing Pages for TV, Radio and Print Advertising” where I highlight the importance of “bridging the gap” between online and offline media so that the user experience is seamless. Nowadays with Social Media Advertising, anyone can leverage current events within a matter of minutes for as long as it’s shelve-life is still relevant in peoples minds.

 

An Example of Leveraging the Power of Timing:

Max owns a company that sells dwarf Lemon Trees across the USA. Customers can either order online or call to place an order. Recently in the news, a new study finds that Lemons have shown to reduce the risk of cancer, amongst other great benefits. (this is actually all true) see article “Health Benefits of Lemons“. Now, with this information going viral through TV, Radio, Organic Search and especially Social Media, a savvy marketer could leverage this new study to promote their exotic Lemon Trees.

 

In order to maximize this strategy, here are a few things that need to be addressed before the advertiser spends a penny.

  • Call to Action and Messaging: Make sure to integrate both the recent news as well as the benefits of owning an exotic lemon tree
  • Understand the targeting abilities of the social media platforms (interests, #hashtags, etc..)
  • Creation of a “hybrid” landing page to compliment both the health benefits as well as the product. This is a great time to enhance any photography, descriptions, etc…
  • Create a special offer for those coming from these advertising venues.
  • As always, ensure Analytics and Tracking are working properly.
  • Once the “shelf-life” of this news article subsides, document the key learnings and create a process for future related news stories.

 

 In Conclusion:

Today, our population lives in a seamless world of receiving information from smartphones, tablets and computers. Furthermore, it is these same devices in which people are making decisions and are engaging in impulse buying behaviors that all advertisers need to be following. In the PPC landscape, advertisers have always dealt with Saturation, increased competition and rising advertising costs in order to keep themselves relevant. However, not everyone is using a search engine these days. They are on Twitter, Facebook, etc… So, the next time you see or hear a news article about something related to your business, remember this article.



The NFL will reportedly relax their social media rules so teams can post more GIFs and videos

December 4, 2016 No Comments

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after a touchdown by Latavius Murray #28 against the Carolina Panthers during their NFL game on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) About two months ago the NFL implemented a new social media policy that effectively banned teams from posting any video-based content during games. The backlash was tremendous, with fans and teams criticizing the NFL for negatively impacting fan’s social media experiences, especially during a TV ratings slump. But now it seems the NFL has decided to relax these restrictions. In a memo… Read More
Social – TechCrunch


Marketers now turn to social for product launches

November 30, 2016 No Comments

When it comes time to launch a new product, the majority of marketers in the US, the UK, and Australia are now turning to social media.

Five by Five, a marketing communications firm that specializes in product launches, polled more than 700 marketers in these countries and found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of them consider social media to be the highest-priority medium to promote new products.

Sales promotions and email were the second and third most popular launch marketing medium, respectively.

most-important-channels-for-launch

According to Five by Five creative director Martin Flavin:

“Social media has become the most important way to generate buzz for new products and services before they appear. Shareable content and social engagement allow brands to create a groundswell of pre-launch interest in a way no other channel can match.”

Social media is now more popular a launch marketing medium than PR/press, television and direct mail.

Is social enough?

Social’s popularity among marketers for product launches isn’t just based on the fact that social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat offer access to billions of consumers around the world.

According to Five by Five, social’s popularity is also based on the fact that it’s a readily accessible medium that marketers can turn to in a pinch, which is increasingly important given that products are being conceived, built and launched much more rapidly than ever before.

In fact, two-thirds of the marketers the firm surveyed indicated that they usually have no more than six months to prep a new product launch, which can make it more difficult to execute launch strategies that rely on mediums that aren’t as accessible.

windows_8_launch_event_in_akihabara_tokyo

But social isn’t necessarily a perfect medium. Despite its accessibility, it can be very difficult for marketers to cut through the clutter on the most popular social channels, and attracting attention is only likely to become more difficult as marketers put the bulk of their eggs in the social media basket.

For those that are able to attract an audience and generate buzz for a new product, that buzz can also be short-lived thanks to the speed with which the social media world moves, so marketers shouldn’t expect social buzz to sustain a new product.

Instead, they’ll need to plan for a relatively quick transition to post-launch marketing, which will usually include marketing mediums other than social, including search, which as PR Week’s Robert Smith notes, has been called a more powerful medium than social by WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell.

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