The Marketing Companion (social media marketing)

tron bad guy A few months ago, my blog was a target for a denial of service attack. What this meant was that a "bot" was set up by somebody (in this case a person in The Netherlands) to hit my site over and over so many times that readers cannot access the blog. It was a random attack and this might seem like a pretty dumb business plan, but apparently a lot of companies are obsessed with breaking into my site ... and probably yours too. The result was that I had to spend many hours and thousands of dollars to recover from the problem and guard against future attacks. My hosting company set up an app that would send me an alert when somebody tried to log into my site five times in a row, I had to turn off these notifications when they started arriving every five minutes. That's right. New attacks were occurring hundreds of times a day! That gives you some idea of the relentless barrage of bad stuff coming at our websites. More seriously, some of these bad guys are getting through. You have probably read recently about a number of bloggers turning off their comments because of the new spam attacks that are getting through to their blogs. Anecdotally, it seems in the past few weeks more people are also suffering from websites that are hacked or crash under denial of service attacks. And of course, there have been several high-profile stories about companies experiencing serious data breaches that compromise their customers. All this makes me wonder ... Are the bad guys winning? In our latest Marketing Companion Podcast, Tom Webster and I explore this topic and much more. In fact, we begin with an enlightening discussion about the diplomatic opportunities for American bacon but then also get into:

  • Are we seeing smarter spammers or the unintended consequences of Internet complexity?
  • Does Google actually play an indirect role in spam attacks on small businesses?
  • What is the business cost to keeping the bad guys away?
  • Highlights from the new book Social Media Explained
  • A trick to get to the heart of social media strategy
  • New thoughts on measuring social media marketing ROI
  • A discussion on who should be leading your social media marketing effort

Ready to listen to this discussion? It couldn't be easier to do

Direct download: TMC.22.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT

online radio In the newest episode of The Marketing Companion Tom Webster and I examine a brand new study from Edison that reveals some eye-popping new insights on podcasting, online radio and social media consumption. Some of the highlights of this podcast episode include:

  • Introducing "Poodle King" Webster and Social Media Explained
  • The explosion of online radio and the implications for content consumption
  • Extraordinary changes in podcasting content, consumption, and audiences
  • Mobile implications for content consumption and "digital snacks"
  • Surprising new numbers on Google+ (is it finally a real thing?)
  • The phenomenon of Instagram and Snapchat
  • Where is Facebook in the mix ... declining, growing in new ways?
  • Facebook as the "plumbing" for teens

Ready for more? Of course you are!

Direct download: TMC.21.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

marketing conferences

I go to a lot of marketing conferences and they are undeniably a great way to learn, network and stay up to speed on the human and technological breakthroughs that are transforming our business. But how are they changing? How important are they? Does it make sense to attend? To sponsor? This is probably a topic on a lot of minds as our personal time is compressed and travel budgets are slashed so Tom Webster and dove into this topic on our newest Marketing Companion podcast. Some of the topics we cover include:

  • The truth and myth of SXSW
  • The "beating heart" of great conferences and the one thing that can kill an event
  • Conference networking strategies
  • Large - regional - local conferences .... which are thriving, which are dying and why?
  • The conference "glass ceiling"
  • The minor leagues and the major leagues of marketing conferences
  • Conferences and content strategy

  • Are conferences becoming elitist?
  • Does it make sense to sponsor a conference?

Ready to learn more? Of course you are! Here we go!

People mentioned in this podcast:

Jay Baer

Mitch Joel

Gini Dietrich

Jason Keath

John Jantsch

Scott Monty

Direct download: TMC.20.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 1:26am EDT

influence marketing is hot As many of our channels for reaching customers are getting strangled, brands are turning to new ways to connect and communicate with customers. One natural opportunity is to align with the authentic advocacy represented by bloggers and other powerful content creators. In an information-dense world where it is more difficult to become the signal instead of the noise, blogger outreach is escalating, providing both financial opportunity and ethical dilemmas. This dynamic provides fascinating and entertaining fodder for the latest Marketing Companion podcast. Tom Webster and I dissect some of the most important issues in the field today like:

  • Flout: The New Standard for Influence. Really.
  • Why bloggers are trumping mainstream media
  • A first-hand account of escalating influence marketing
  • Why 95 percent brands are stumbling in the influence marketing field
  • Stepping over the line -- Influencer or infomercial?
  • How to create raving advocates the right way

Hey! I'm ready to listen to this all over again! Are you ready?

Direct download: TMC.19.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:58pm EDT

marketing mix A number of news items coalesced recently and made me wonder ... what is the true role of social media in the marketing mix today? How has it changed? Is it really about connection? Is it still a way to engage with customers? Or, has it been so overrun by agencies and programmed content that it is little more than advertising? Maybe you have been wondering the same thing? This is such a vital topic that Tom Webster and I decided to tackle this on the latest edition of The Marketing Companion. Have you listened to our podcast yet? If not, please give it a try. We always aim to deliver entertaining and thought ideas to help you through the latest marketing trends and you might have some fun along the way, too. In this edition, we explore:

  • The time element --- social media versus advertising
  • Estimating the sales power of social media
  • Weak links versus strong links and how this converts to sales
  • The correlation between share of conversation and market share
  • Social media at the top of the sales cycle and at the end of it
  • Is social media more like advertising or marketing?
  • A case study illustrating the impression power of social media
  • How will social media platforms re-invent themselves to ignite a "wow factor?"

Yes, we covered a lot of ground in just 30 minutes! Are you ready to give this a listen?

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading: A Comprehensive Guide to the Most Persuasive Psychological Manipulation Technique in the World

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy

The results are in: A case study of social influence

Posts about Esurance Super Bowl ads referenced to in the podcast

Why the little guy won marketing's biggest prize

The missing link between awareness and action

The mind-boggling lunacy of people who were impressed with Esurance's Super Bowl ad

Direct download: TMC.18.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

incorporating public speaking into your marketing mix

Over the past decade, companies and executives have re-discovered the power of incorporating public speaking into the marketing mix. Some of the advantages include:

  • Creating high-quality content that can be leveraged in many places
  • Cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience with a message
  • Good PR opportunities.
  • Building a personal brand that also can accentuate a product and company brand (think of Richard Branson)
  • Leveraging a position of personal thought leadership to promote a company

This growing trend has impacted marketing strategies and transformed the professional speaking industry. One speaker told me that it is more difficult getting high-level paying engagements now because so many companies are willing to offer their executives as speakers for free. This opportunity is not often evaluated in terms of marketing strategy so Tom Webster and I thought it would be an ideal topic for our latest edition of The Marketing Companion podcast. We had a lot of fun on this episode and begin by rolling out a new content marketing "product" that includes "Breaking Bieber." You have to hear it to believe it! But we also roll up our sleeves and get into a discussion full of tips on how you can be more effective in adding public speaking to your marketing mix:

  • Ideas on how to be a more effective and entertaining presenter
  • Structuring your speech for maximum impact
  • Overcoming nerves -- The introvert's guide to public speaking
  • Rule the slides -- Keys to preparation
  • Is your speech intellectual property that needs to be protected or do you want it to go viral?
  • Leveraging speaking-related content in other marketing formats

Are you ready to rumble? Of course you are!  

Folks mentioned in this podcast:

Mitch Joel

Tom Martin

Tamsen Webster

Direct download: TMC.17.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 10:53pm EDT

leadership When I was in graduate school I took a class that examined the qualities of leadership. I have to make a confession ... the only reason I took it was because I thought it was going to be an easy blow-off class! I was completely wrong. This turned out to be one of the most interesting and inspiring classes of my career and it ignited a lifetime of study on the subject. It turned me into a leadership junky.

My fascination with this subject was one of the reasons that drove me to write Return On Influence. I became obsessed with this idea -- how do you become a leader on the Internet -- a place that HATES leaders! Trying to understand those changes was a lot of fun and believe me, leadership DOES exist on the Internet, whether people want it or not. To a large extent, I think the "You're not my boss" attitude of social media has made the idea of leadership an unpopular concept. I see this anti-leadership mentality dripping from online posts and comments.

And, to some extent, the attitude may have been codified when Zappos recently announced that it was eliminating titles and organizational charts. This was too good of a topic to pass up for me and I think you'll enjoy the discussion Tom Webster and I have on this topic on the newest edition of our Marketing Companion podcast. But that's just the beginning. Tom and I cover a lot of ground in this edition. As you may know, a recent post I wrote called Content Shock went crazy.

Suddenly, I felt like I had become the center of attention for a large portion of the marketing dialogue. When we recorded this episode of the podcast, the personal implications of all this attention and the clubbiness of the social web were weighing on my mind. This led into a discussion of "content curation" versus "content assembly." Is curation a legitimate way to stand out today? Isn't every move Google makes HURTING the idea of curating content as a strategy? Tom does a great job in this podcast providing some tips for skillful content curation.

Are you ready for some podcasting fun? Well, wait no longer.

 

Direct download: TMC.16.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:15pm EDT

information overload

Over the past few weeks the interweb airwaves have been humming and buzzing with data pointing to the increasing costs of getting your content seen and distributed through an over-crowded web.

  • In a recent Advertising Age article, Facebook reports: "Content that is eligible to be shown in our news feed is increasing at a faster rate than people's ability to consume it."
  • study by InboundWriter shows only 10 to 20 percent of a company’s website content drives 90 percent of its online traffic.
  • Social platforms are creating programs to highlight organic content from the brands that spend the most money on their ads. So paid ads and sponsored content will soon be driving the “organic” reach of content.
  • Reports claim the price of social media monitoring is going up because there is so much more content to process
  • According to a recent IZEA survey, 61 percent of marketers have paid "influencers" to mention their product and share their content.
  • According to a LexisNexis (client) study on International Workplace Productivity, 62% of white collar workers admit that the quality of their work suffers because they can’t sort through the information they need fast enough.

All of these trends support the idea of a "Content Shock" that is coming -- if it isn't here already -- for many businesses. Businesses who just pump out more content -- even "better" content -- are engaging in a strategy that is becoming increasingly difficult because the cost to succeed is going up, up, up. What are you going to do about it? That is really the dialogue that has to be happening next, right? And that is the conversation that begins here, in this new edition of the Marketing Companion podcast I created with Tom Webster. We start with a little fun, introducing a new idea called "Prickstarter" and then get into some pretty deep ideas about content and audience that includes:

  • The advantage of "ether" in the marketplace
  • The decline of RSS and the coming Age of the Great Algorithm
  • Media is media. Integrating channels to present one message to your customers is a key idea.
  • Audience is not the same as "buyer" -- Creating personas may be an out-dated strategy?
  • A focus on emotional ties and "human" as a competitive strategy
  • Bronies and the Celine Dion play -- you just have to hear it to believe it
  • Passionate content versus content and why "helpful" is not a point of differentiation

Pretty amazing, right?

Resources mentioned in this podcast

Comment from Ken Rosen that served as an example of Content Shock

Three phases of the web reference from Microsoft's Dean Hauchomovitch Shel Holtz post on consumer view of Content Shock

Christopher Penn discussion on owned, earned and paid media

Website of Dr. Robert Cialdini

Website of Voices Heard Media

Illustration courtesy BigStock.com

This content was created as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions. hits counter

Direct download: TMC.15.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:39pm EDT

reach

In our latest Marketing Companion Podcast, Tom Webster and I examine three ripped-from-the-headlines topics critical to digital marketing: A decline in Facebook reach?

-- New research from several sources indicates that Facebook algorithmic tweaks could be dramatically depressing the visibility of brand posts to their audiences. We dissect this data and discuss whether this is real or something that could actually get much worse.

Are we safe? -- Our last podcast covered 2014 marketing trends and I predicted that the "malignant complexity" of Internet systems would provoke more attacks to a vulnerable system.

We look at the recent Target breach -- 40 million credit card profiles were stolen -- and an analyst remark that indicates something even more sinister could be going on here.

Influence marketing trends -- An influence marketing company released some eye-popping data about the number of marketers who are actively paying influencers to promote their brands.

The trajectory of this trend is remarkable and strikes at the heart of some moral issues of content creators. I think this will be a profound topic for 2014 and beyond and I think you will enjoy this lively debate!

Are you ready for this? Of course you are!

Here is the podcast, at your service:

References in this podcast:

Jim Tobin article on Facebook reach

Agora Pulse article on Facebook reach

Scott Stratten

Direct download: TMC.14.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This not your normal 2014 forecast post about Facebook advertising and "the year of mobile" (yawn). Tom Webster and I put our heads together to really think through some of the implications of what we're seeing out there and the six projections we developed are not exactly run of the mill social media fare. I think you are going to really enjoy our latest Marketing Companion podcast. It is going to surprise, and perhaps even startle, you.

The podcast starts out with a visit from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christian Bale (you have to hear it to believe it!) and then untangles six marketing mega-trends:

1) Malignant complexity

2) Re-aggregation of audience

3) The cost of security

4) The death of "last touch" attribution and implications for search and offline marketing

5) Dis-intermediation of manufacturing (the biggest impact on marketing since the Internet?)

6) Atomization of content This podcast is guaranteed to get you thinking about our marketing future in new ways.

What's that you say? You can't wait to dive into it?

Well I certainly can't blame you so here it is in stunning high-definition technicolor:

References in this podcast:

The password management tool is Dashlane.

Direct download: TMC.13.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:23pm EDT