Content Marketing Definition

How do marketers define content marketing? 50 marketers give their content marketing definition. Plus useful resources.

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What Social Media Metrics Mean For Your Business

12 Mind-Blowing Social Media Metrics FactsTracking social media performance in achieving key business objectives is critical to proving your marketing effectiveness. Without it, your ability to get additional budget, resources and (dare I say it?) keep your job are at risk.

To understand the disconnect between social media engagement and driving business results, examine these 3 data points:

  1. 88% of businesses will use social media for marketing in 2014, based on eMarketer’s projections. Tweet This Social media use for business is mainstream. It’s baked into companies’ business plans. Yet don’t jump to the conclusion that businesses can measure how social media contributes to achieving their goals. US Firms Using Social Media For Marketing-eMarketer-2014-1
  2. 88% believe social media is important to be competitive, according to Hootsuite’s Social Business Benchmark Survey. Translation: At a minimum, you need to be present on social media to keep up with your competitors, even if you can’t figure out what it’s doing for your bottom line.
  3. 50% of the c-suite understand social media’s power based on Useful Social Media’s The State of Social Media 2014. Tweet This Social media metrics facts-chartSimilarly 43% say executive buy-in is a challenge in the Social Business Benchmark Survey. Rememberyou need c-suite support to get budget and resources.

12 Mind-blowing social media metrics facts (with charts)

So, what do businesses track to determine social media success?

Here are 12 mind-blowing social media metrics facts. 12 Mind-Blowing Social Media Metrics Facts

  • 34% of executives are confident they measure social media correctly according to The State of Social Media 2014.Social Media Metrics Facts

YIKES!!! This means 66% of executives doubt that they’re tracking social media right. This is consistent with the Social Business Benchmark Survey that found that 39% of respondents believe they can transform social media data into actionable insights.

Why do they believe that?

1. Assessing the easy-to-measure stuff.

This should be no surprise. Social media started as something marketers did on the side and backed into social media metrics later.

In The State of Social Media 2014, the top 3 metrics were:

  • 48.7% measure activity or engagement.
  • 47.3% measure web traffic.
  • 47.0% measure followers or likes.

social media metrics facts - chartAt best these metrics show that your social media marketing yields interaction. But, that’s not enough.

Social Media Explorer’s Jason Falls clarified this challenge best, “Fan acquisition means doing something to get the attention of users on a social network so they will opt in to your messaging. Customer acquisition is doing something to convince a person to purchase something.” 

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

You can improve your ability to convert traffic into leads or sales in the following ways.

  • Include a social media call-to-action to increase response. Consider driving prospects to join your email list or other interim step in the purchase process.
  • Use tailored landing pages to drive sales related actions. Keep the branding and scent consistent so social media followers stay and take action.
  • Incorporate unique tracking codes that can be measured on your sales systems. I’ve seen many firms use fewer codes and be unable to measure the origin of the sale.

2. Tracking branding.

Even traditional media has difficulties measuring branding impact. Therefore it’s no surprise that less than 1 in 5 can do so via social media, according to The State of Social Media 2014.

  • 18.1% measure sentiment. Sentiment can be a soft metric attributable to branding.

On social media, your branding must go beyond your name and logo. It must be recognizable in an image, photo or presentation to help make an impression on your target audience without being promotional.

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

3. Monitoring reputation on social media.

Based on Social Business Benchmark Survey, monitoring what’s said about your company is highly important. Specifically:

  • 81% of respondents use social media to learn about their firm’s reputation.
  • 79% of respondents use social media to monitor external communications.

A key reason to have social media monitoring is to track potential issues with your company, brand(s), and/or senior executives so you’re able to respond quickly and appropriately. If you’re lucky there should be nothing to track.

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

  • Ensure your firm has a set of social media policies. Don’t just create a set of social media policies. Make sure your employees understand how to handle themselves when they’re representing your firm.
  • Have a social media crisis plan to respond to an issue. Be prepared. Make sure key people are on call when a crisis hits.

4. Measuring leads and sales.

According to The State of Social Media 2014, less than 1 in 4 marketers measure sales.

  • 23.3% measure leads.
  • 19.5% measure sales.

These metrics contribute to your firm’s bottom line. They’re the type of hard data I recommend tracking.

Yet they’re difficult to measure. In most cases, it’s not marketers’ fault. Unfortunately that’s not a good enough reason to give you more budget and resources.

Why?

8% to 46% of the time, depending on the platform, social media is the first, last or only platform touched by the customer, based on AOL research. Social media has its greatest impact on the middle of the purchase funnel where it’s difficult to track. Convertro_SocialMedia_report 2014-2

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

You can improve your business’s ability to generate leads and sales using social media. Here are a few suggestions

  • Create a business blog to support sales. Focus on answering your customers’ questions and showing them how to use and style your products. Link to your product pages where appropriate.
  • Use LinkedIn to build relationships with prospects. Get your employees, especially your sales team, engaged on LinkedIn on a regular basis. This works better for B2B although it can be useful for supporting your B2C business through supplier and distributor relationships. (Here are some useful LinkedIn tactics to help you.)
  • Post presentations, ebooks and PDFs on SlideShare – B2B social media gold to get qualified sales leads. At a loss for ideas? Take the Lee Odden Epic Content Curation approach to ebooks.
  • Build your Pinterest presence. B2C marketers can take this social media interaction to the bank. (Here are the Pinterest tips you need.)

50% of respondents in The State of Social Media 2014 said they could track social media ROI, up from 44% in 2013. This compliments Extole research‘s finding that 52% of marketers find it difficult to measure social media ROI. Social Media Metrics Facts-Chart

This should be no surprise. As any MBA student can tell you – without the ability track sales, you can’t calculate ROI.

5. Reducing costs and returns.

Social media can save sales and returns (a form of negative revenues).

  • 73% of respondents value the ability to resolve customer complaints and questions on social media, according to the Social Business Benchmark Survey. These factors help convert prospects into customers and keep customers from making returns.

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

  • Promote your social media customer service across all of your social media presences and owned media. Let people know where to get problems resolved.
  • Count hard numbers in terms of comments, reviews and issues to ensure that they’re handled appropriately.

In total, these social media metrics facts make the case for better connecting your social media activity with your lead generation and sales processes on your website, via phone or in your retail establishments.

To this end, it’s important to ensure that your firm’s sales and costs analytics systems can capture your social media tracking codes.

What other social media metrics do you think are important and why?

BTW, here are some useful related article on:  5 Things You Can Do Get Social Media Driving Revenue.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/photographingtravis/15317323381

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How To Attract Your Audience On Social Media

Social Media Audience BuildingIs your social media building your prospect and customer base?

Let me first tell you a story that may seem unrelated before we dive into what you need to do for successful social media audience building.

During my first trip to Patagonia in Chile, one of our activities was fishing since it’s known for its outstanding fish.

The small Chilean rowboat style fishing boats were colorfully painted and moored in a lake adjacent to our hotel. The guide told us to return at 7:00 pm to fish.

Not understanding the first thing about fishing, we insisted on leaving earlier so we could shower and change before happy hour and dinner. He tried hard to convince us our timing was suboptimal, but we wouldn’t be persuaded.

So we showed up at the dock at 4:00 pm to fish. Wearing bright orange life vests while throwing baited fishing rods, the guide trolled the entire lake. After an hour of our fruitless pursuit where we didn’t even see a fish we decided to go back.

Lesson learned: To catch fish, you must fish where and when the fish are around; not when it’s convenient for your schedule!!!

The same holds true for social media audience building. Businesses tend to be active on social media when they’re at work, not when their target audience, both B2C and B2B, is active on social media. Your customers are people with personal lives; many of whom consider social media to be a personal activity.

Social media audience building: What you need to know

With social media, put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Don’t just make assumptions about your target audience. Instead see the world through their eyes based on their experiences and colored by their needs.

1. Know your customer.

Go beyond the basic demographics and psychographics. Create a fully fleshed out marketing persona.

2. Understand your audience’s behavior patterns.

Get to know how they use social media and gather information, especially purchase-related content. Take the time to appreciate who they turn to for advice and input for buying decisions. To this end, craft a social media persona.

3. Be aware of the devices and channels your prospects and their influencers use.

Social media and content marketing aren’t a one-size fits all proposition. Know what type of device your audience favors for different types of content consumption and their timing.

Social media audience building: Where to find schools of fish

Here are 10 actionable tips to help your social media audience building efforts.

1. Find the social media channels where your key audiences spend their time.

Don’t just run to be an early settler on the latest social media platform. Explore all of the social media options. Check out where your competitors and close substitutes have built their outposts.

2. Participate on the social media platforms your customers use when they’re active.

Just posting when you’re at work doesn’t maximize your social media presence. You’re using social media only as a one-way publishing channel. This goes against social media’s multi-dimensional approach.

Instead, spend some time to determine when your target market is active and engage with them then!!!

Hint: People check in on social media all day long as a filler activity. BUT they’re most active during me-time, after school or work, in the evening, and on the weekends.

3. Establish your social media bonafides.

Be real. Share and share alike.

Understand that social media is about the community not about your business.

Integrate your website and contact information into each social media profile. Also cross link your presence.

4. Lure prospects in with good content bait.

Offer your audience high quality content. Subtext: provide them with high protein content they actively seek to answer their needs.

Don’t overlook the power of entertaining them. Everyone needs some levity and gossip. (When I was at The Economist, the obituary was consistently one of the most read articles since it was their version of gossip.)

The objective is to pay-it-forward. Don’t think “WIIFM” (aka: What’s in it for me). That’s the wrong mentality for social media.

5. Integrate your branding into everything you do on social media.

Even if you’re a small company, be consistent with your 360° brand across social media platforms. Your firm will appear larger and more professional.

This is a great way to add personality without being too personal. Peg Fitzpatrick does a great job of this by creating a eye-catching visual when she shares a piece of content. Social Media Audience Building example

6. Share other people’s stuff.

Remember social media isn’t about you! Shouting ME, ME, ME doesn’t cut it on social media.

Back to the point above, pay it forward. Don’t expect immediate direct results.

The objective is to get the attention of the people whose content you’re sharing and to be helpful. You want to be viewed as the go-to source of information. This positions you as a thought leader, growing your audience.

7. Ride the news and latest trends.

Take advantage of trending topics. The objective is to add to and enhance the multi-directional conversation.

This doesn’t mean me-too articles and posts. Nor do you want to be viewed as pushing fake or empty information.

Only 20% of Twitter content was true information based on Twitter research related to the Boston Marathon bombing.

  • 29% of the content was rumors and fake content.
  • 51% of the content was generic opinions and comments.

8. Catch the seasonal migration.

Tap into seasonal topics and accepted hashtags to broaden your reach.

Also, participate in memes that apply to your business and entertain. This doesn’t mean posting cat videos just because they attract a lot of shares.

9. Join social media gatherings.

Whether it’s a Google Hangout or a Twitter Chat, socialize. This is a great way to broaden your reach and meet new people.

Even if you’re an introvert, realize that no one can see you on the other side of your computer screen if you don’t want them to.

Act like you’re somebody important. But as your mother taught you, mind your manners. (Unless of course, you’re Jason Falls or Erika Napoletano!)

10. Maintain baseline activity.

Keep your presence active on a continuous basis. Don’t build up your audience and then go on vacation. Use scheduling tools to keep your presence alive.

Also, don’t be afraid to show that you’re human. Show that you’re personal with an occasional photo of a non-work event or activity.  This subtly explains to your followers what’s happening.

Understand that whatever you post on social media will be public regardless of what your privacy settings are. So count to 10 and consider the implications of your personal posts on your professional standing and brand.

 

Social media audience building is a lot like fishing. You have to be where the fish are, when they’re active.

Take the time to build your social media following and related audience by using a mix of methods to reap the long term results.

What is your favorite social media audience building tip and why?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


  • Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .


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