This week’s best reads 1

1. @allanschoenberg‘s post this week on B2B Voices was definitely one of my best reads this week. Avoiding the One Cup Approach to B2B Content goes beyond simply promoting content marketing as good B2B practice and examines the need for diversity in using social media to execute on your content marketing strategy.

Allan’s post works for me on a number of levels. Firstly it identifies a faux pas I see a lot of companies making – this is simply that they are using social media in a singular way….as a “push” mechanism for their PR. So what we end up getting via their social media efforts is the same old stuff we saw on the front page or their website.

He’s also identified why this problem crops up again and again, noting three good reasons – the one that stands out to me is lack of content.  More…

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When NOT to use Social Media: When damage prevention is paramount 1

Why am I writing this post?When NOT to use Social Media

I get asked for advice on social media a lot. I’ll admit it – I quite enjoy sitting down and hearing about people’s individual communications-based situations to assess whether social media can be of any help.

However, I think it’s also important to be honest about when social media is the not the best answer. Many social media agents and consultants will have you believe that social media is always the best solution for all marketing and communications requirements. I’m more than willing to admit that there are times when social media is not the best option.

The scenario

  • A friend of mine works for a large national company who run an annual awards show to recognise the projects and employees of outstanding merit. My friend, a senior member of comms staff at the company, called me to ask about More…

This week’s best reads Reply

The Content Matrix – On Tuesday @sharilee tweeted this link to this graphic hosted on visual.ly (a good sharing facility for diagrams and other information based visuals).

Posted headstream on visual.ly/content-matrix

I thought it was  really worthwhile not only because of all the different forms of content we as B2B marketers should have on our checklists, but also because it notes the *cost* of various different forms of content.

I didn’t agree with the way a few categories were placed (all said and done, case studies are actually very expensive to produce) but I did appreciate the way the matrix acts as a good reminder to make sure we have the little content tasks taken care of perhaps before we invest a lot of time and money in big content production projects. 

Companies risk fines over new data rules (requires free FT.com subscription) – Data….rules….cookies. Yes I know…*yawn*. But this is an important article for anyone who runs a website, anyone who owns a business, or anyone who works in the marketing, PR or comms department of a company. This is particularly important if your site is an e-commerce site. More…

Spotlight on Content Marketing: Part III – Content marketing + social media = BFF Reply

There are two previous parts to this series (Part I, Part II).  They both explain my thoughts on content marketing as a concept, its history and the relationship between B2B content marketing and social media.

The questions that made me go hmmmmm……..

Recently, I sat on Cognito’s Breakfast Byte panel which focused on social media in B2B financial services. A straightforward, simple question generated a lot of interesting conversation:

What advice do you have for those who want to get started using social media for B2B marketing?My answer? A question: 

Who has a content marketing plan in place?

A few hands went up and I got the feeling people were interested in hearing more.

Want to get started in social media marketing?  More…

What’s on my marketing desktop? Here’s 10: 1

I thought I’d kick off my “Digital Marketing Tools Review” category by sharing a list of the programs I have open and running day to day on my desktop that help me to do my job in B2B tech marketing. I will follow soon with my top ten favourite mobile apps as well as a different post (or maybe a few) dedicated to various social media sharing sites, but for now I’ll share what keeps me going during the 9-5:30 Monday to Friday spot.

If you like the post and want to share, I’d love to hear about the tools you can’t live without.

These are a bit of a random mix of desktop applications and web based apps (they are not in any particular order):

1. Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is my preferred app for tweeting because I need the multi-column view. I tweet from my own account and two other business related accounts, and I need to be able to see the activity in all of them all of the time. I also want to see my mentions, direct messages and the results from any given #hashtag I’m following.

2. Bitly

Bitly shortens links for my tweets and provides me with analytics so that I can who has clicked on my links.

3. Linkedin

I’ve been a member of LinkedIn since 2004 and I use it more than ever. I like the news feed stream featured on my home page and I am actively involved in several LinkedIn Groups (I will list these in
another post!) Once or twice a week, I make time to get involved in group discussions – this has been a great way to learn about everything from marketing automation to SEO. I run a LinkedIn Group for my business and as a business, we do use LinkedIn to gather intelligence on people who’ve recently made job moves or people we’d like to invite to industry events. I often “hear” about events relevant to me via LinkedIn which is useful because I can see a list of everyone attending. Lastly, I use LinkedIn for its original purpose, which is to make connections with like minded business people – I’ve been contacted and have met some extremely useful connections using LinkedIn.

4. Google Analytics

Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics stays open on my desktop all day, every day.

I monitor the traffic of three different websites and produce daily reports to review not only top content, but also top referral sites. For a *free* tool, I have to say, Analytics is pretty impressive. I can monitor which browsers my audience use, whether they are accessing the sites via mobile devices, and how long they stay on the site. I can also identify keywords and content that are causing high bounce rates.

More…

This week’s best reads Reply

What a busy week. Trying to cram five days of work into four is never easy and Easter weekend activities were on top of me before I knew it!

Here we go – my best reads from this week:

  • The Cost of Bad Content: This was definitely the best thing I read this week. As you will see from parts I and II in my Content Marketing series, I take special interest in anything that does a deep dive on it as a concept and am especially interested when people actually apply some analysis. This post is excellent – it actually looks at whether people are assessing how much content marketing is costing to produce, and whether the content is measurably helping the business or if it’s in fact a waste. I think one of the best points Michael Brenner (@brennermichael) makes is that B2B marketers often focus on content marketing activities rather than the measurable results the content marketing should produce. He also points out that as a whole, we B2B marketers are not necessarily doing a great job of measuring the impact of *bad content*. I encourage you to read this post and ponder it. On my part, it’s inspired me to get going on the final part in my Content Marketing series.

*The other thing I read (which is now a few months old) was Want jobs? Upgrade your wireless network. This article looks at the number of jobs the move from 2G-3G created, and examines the move (in the US) from 3G to 4G and how it will likely have the same effect. From the article: “It sounds like a small number, but it adds up: By September, the study predicts the 4G network transition will have directly created 231,690 U.S. jobs.”

This week’s best reads Reply

I’ve decided to add a new category called “This week’s best reads” just to highlight some of the amazing material I come across on a weekly basis – I promise to keep it all relevant this blog and will not be directing you to some of my usual web haunts (I’ll admit it, I love those photos of baby pandas as much as the next gal and my husband does send me some LOL articles from the Dailymail.co.uk):

Here we go – my best reads from this week:

  • Only 13% of B2B Marketers Drive Leads with Social Media@ilonah tweeted this article and I was intrigued as I’d just sat on the panel for PR Firm Cognito’s Breakfast Byte (Topic: Social Media in B2B Financial Services) and in the audience were a lot of B2B Marketers curious about how to better to drive leads using social media. I am not surprised that only 13% of B2B marketers feel social media is driving leads, but what was missing from this survey was quite a large comparison category – that being corporate websites.

Source: As noted in image. Taken from http://socialmediab2b.com

Spotlight on Content Marketing: Part II – Social media: The medium shouldn’t be the message, but it is 2

In Part I of Spotlight on Content Marketing (Content Marketing is not a new concept!) I made the following claim:

There is nothing new about the concept of content marketing. There is also nothing new about today’s preferred choice of delivery for content marketing (the web)……but combine that with the power of social media and you’ve got enough to inspire a series of endless workshops that will take a reassuringly expensive bite out of your marketing budget. 

Here’s another one:

The reason B2B businesses are jumping on the content marketing bandwagon is because they are finally realising they have the ability not only to generate leads by producing creative, helpful stuff, but also because they can produce, publish and distribute it themselves!  In short, they can share it. The rise of social media has been the tipping point. 

The medium shouldn’t be the message, but it is
Marshal McLuhan's Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

The key is in the method of delivery. 48 years after the first publication of Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man his claim that the “medium is the message” still rings true.

Simply put, it’s taken social media to highlight content as the basis of a good marketing strategy.  More…

Spotlight on Content Marketing: Part I – Content Marketing is not a new concept! 4

The world outside *must* feel the need to educate me as there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t receive an email or LinkedIn invite to a course dedicated to content marketing.

Content has a way of stacking up at chez Reid!

I try not to be irritated, but when an email or invite comes along that describes content marketing as “the newest trend” or new in any way, I become annoyed. I want to be clear on this one:

There is nothing new about the concept of content marketing. There is also nothing new about today’s preferred choice of delivery for content marketing (the web)……but combine that with the power of social media and you’ve got enough to inspire a series of endless workshops that will take a reassuringly expensive bite out of your marketing budget. 

As you’ll see later on in the series, More…