Mobile Social Advertising Gives Big Brands Big Engagement

While mobile advertising is still in its infancy on social networks, marketers are closely monitoring this emerging channel. “Mobile Social Advertising Fights To Win Over CMOs,” a new report from Yankee Group, sheds light on why mobile social advertising is back on chief marketing officers’ (CMOs’) agendas and how it will fit in the mobile marketing mix.

Highlights from the report include:
 Social networks are waking up to mobile advertising. During its January 2013 earnings call, Facebook reported that mobile accounted for 23 percent of its ad revenues in the final quarter of 2012. Twitter got serious about advertising last year as well.
 Big brands are responding to the level of engagement social media provides with mobile customers. CMOs are overcoming distrust of social media and reorganizing marketing operations to become faster to respond and more flexible on measurement. Brands across major verticals are following retailers’ lead by using mobile social advertising to drive brand awareness and specific promotions.
 Social networks must understand each vertical’s advertising requirements. Social networks will be in fierce competition to win ad dollars in 2013. The winners will invest in building ad sales operations aimed at gaining deep understanding and awareness of each industry vertical.

“Mobile advertising on social networks will remain in its adolescence until current format preferences evolve,” said Jason Armitage , Yankee Group Principal Analyst and author of the report. “The role of display ads on social networks is contentious, and CMO skepticism of social advertising’s value is even more marked when it comes to small screens. Future investment will focus on utilizing social recommendations and content marketing to drive awareness and advocacy for brands.”

G2Market Inside Scoop: The good news: mobile advertising on social media networks is an exciting emerging opportunity for content marketers to tackle. The bad news: there are still a lot of bugs to work out before brands can cash in. One thing is clear, however: relying on digital ads simply won’t cut it – and that truth opens the door to creative use of value-added content to engage the audience. Successful content marketing strategies must include a focus on what is “”format-friendly” to a broad mix of mobile devices.

(For more information, visit www.yankeegroup.com.)

- Carl Cooper
G2Market

iMedia Connection: Five Ways to Turn Brand Advocates into a Content Marketing Engine

Satisfied customers make the best Brand Advocates, according to iMedia Connection contributor and CEO of Zuberance, Rob Fuggetta. Consumers are far more likely to trust peer opinions of you than your opinion of yourself.

“Are you leveraging your highly-satisfied customers,” said Fuggetta. “AKA ‘Brand Advocates,’ to generate product reviews, videos, testimonials, and more? If not, you’re missing a major content marketing opportunity. Content created by Advocates is highly trusted and influential. According to Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 53 percent trust content that you create and post on your website.”

Fuggetta offers five tips to turn advocates into a content marketing engine. Here they are:

  1. Identify your Advocates. Ask your customers to rate their experience with you, and how likely they would be to recommend you to their friends, on a scale of zero to ten. Those who respond with a nine or ten are your advocates.
  2. Encourage Advocates to rate and review your products. Since, according to Nielsen, 70 percent of consumers trust online reviews and 67 percent won’t buy a product after reading one to three bad reviews, you need to make it as easy as possible for your advocates to create reviews good reviews.
  3. Enable Advocates to create stories about their experiences with your company or products. Personal stories good or bad have a big impact on consumer opinion of your company or products. Provide a forum for advocates to talk about their good experiences with your brand.
  4. Make it easy for Advocates to answer prospects’ questions. Prospects who take the time to ask Advocates questions about why they chose your product or service are the ones who are seriously considering your company for their solution. Provide a forum where your satisfied customers can interact directly with your prospective customers to leverage these highly qualified leads into sales.
  5. Amplify Advocates. Make it easier for your advocates to share the content they’ve created on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter and on shopping sites by including social sharing widgets in your content creation forms. Your advocates already want to talk about what excites them, helping them do just that will help your content marketing strategy too.

G2Market Inside Scoop: In the B2C world, it’s often easier to gain advocates who are willing to help get their peers excited about what you’re doing. Even so, B2B content marketers have access to these “independent” Influencers: satisfied customers who are eager and willing to tell how your product/service etc. helped them save money, boost efficiency or transform their operations. Whereas case studies and even webinars have long been a staple of B2B marketing, integrating customer tweets, Tumblr posts or Instagram photos on product pages can help take content marketing efforts to the next level.

(For additional information contact: iMedia Connection, www.imediaconnection.com/Feedback.aspx.)

- Jack Bradman
Sr. Client Partner, G2Market

Turner’s Zero Clutter Approach To Content Marketing: Three Things You Must Do

When done right, content marketing can transform your business, grow your customer base and impact your bottom line. But only if you are consistently executing a content marketing strategy. In a recent blog, Brendon Turner, a contributor for Search Engine Journal, offered advice and tips for the frazzled business owners who feel they don’t have the time to create useful content with any frequency.

“You’ve really got no recourse but to start using content to market your business,” said Turner. “The power of content marketing done right is irrefutable. It will without question, literally transform your business, grow your customer base and impact your bottom line, if you are consistently executing a content marketing strategy.

“As an example, your blog can account for more than 80 percent of traffic to your website and can be the source of 75 percent plus of your leads,” he says. “That marketing channel usually costs your company the least and provides the most return. If you don’t have much time to dedicate to content marketing then at the very least you should spend your time on the following three techniques that will provide you with the most return for the least amount of time and money.”

Here are Turner’s three techniques:
1) Create Amazing Content with Regularity. “It would be virtually impossible to have a content marketing plan without having any content. So you’ve got to produce content in some way or another. The content that you create has to be awesome! If you put fluff out for consumption it won’t be consumed. Period. Conversely if you plan ahead, learn a little about SEO, do some keyword research and take the time to create a publishing calendar or schedule – even if you plan to publish one new piece of content per day, week or even once monthly, stick to that schedule! Here’s a key takeaway: You have to be consistent with your publishing schedule. If you don’t stick to it your traffic will drop and it can take you months to regain ground. Momentum is a real force on the Internet.”

2) Build a List of Email Opt-in Subscribers. “Your email list is how you’ll generate most of your repeat website visitors. A highly responsive list will account for at a minimum 40 percent of comments on your blog posts and socially share your content four times more than any other source of traffic. To get a decent percentage of people that visit your website to opt in to your email list you’ve got to be in their face with an unbeatable offer.”

  • Turner advises against using an opt-in form placed on the web page because it will be competing with every other element of content on the page. Instead, you should create an opt-in that grabs your visitors’ attention. Try using a WordPress plugin like Popup Domination.
  • Make sure that the offer itself, as well as the look of the opt-in, is compelling otherwise it will just annoy your visitors instead of driving them to opt-in. Annoyed visitors don’t come back.
  • Turner recommends against giving away free ebooks as an opt-in prize, in favor of the new trend in offering a course of bite-sized useful and actionable information delivered over 7 to 30 days. Make sure you include a value estimate of the information your giving away so your visitors don’t just assume that free means valueless.
  • Color matters in marketing. Turner’s testing shows that the colors red, green and orange are the highest converting colors when used on a call to action button.
  • Turner’s testing shows that the highest rate of opt-in’s happen when the pop-up loads immediately when someone visits a website for the first time. And the highest conversion rate occurs when the opt-in form is placed underneath the offered content.
  • The more information you seek the more likely your visitors will get bored or frustrated. Turner recommends just asking for email addresses.

3) Convert Content Consumers into Social Media Fans. “You can use a pop up box for converting readers into social media fans. As a user scrolls further down the body of your article or blog post, pop up a box and ask them to ‘Like or Follow us to continue reading this article’ and be sure to provide a ‘No thanks’ link that will close the pop up box. This one tactic can acquire thousands of Facebook fans and Twitter followers for you. Ask your visitors to socially share your content and to follow you. The three largest social sites that mean anything are Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Just encourage your visitors to engage with you on those three places. This will help your content to spread virally and will also help to improve the search engine rankings of your website too.”

G2Market’s Inside Scoop: Content marketing is not a “one-and-done” activity – once you start, you need to continue creating fresh and compelling content or your audience will wander off. Don’t underestimate the value of developing opt-in email subscribers or social media fans, but remember that from the standpoint of your audience, it’s all about them – not about what your business wants or needs to know. Serve them well and they will be more likely to reciprocate – with their business.

(For additional information contact: Search Engine Journal, www.searchenginejournal.com/contact.)

- Jack Bradman
Sr. Client Partner, G2Market

Uberflip Says Content Marketing is Growing: 91 Percent of B2B Marketers Are Doing It

Ninety-one percent of B2B marketers are focusing their resources on content marketing initiatives and as a result, companies are increasing their budgets for blogging, whitepapers, videos, webinars and other types of content marketing campaigns, according to a new infographic on the state of B2B content marketing in 2013 from Uberflip.

“It’s no secret that content marketing has become widely popular in 2013. However, there isn’t a lot of research on how B2B brands are implementing and measuring the impact of these tactics,” said Neil Bhapkar, Uberflip VP of marketing. “Companies are increasing their budgets for blogging, whitepapers, videos, webinars and other types of content marketing campaigns; but it’s important to look back to see what’s actually working and learn about common challenges and find ways to address them.”

Uberflip’s infographic explores how B2B brands are leveraging these tactics, including common objectives, promotion tools, metrics and reported results. Data sources for the infographic include the Content Marketing Institute, Forrester, IDG Enterprise and eMarketer.

Here are a few of the key highlights:

  • 68 percent of CMOs will increase their budget for content marketing in 2013, according to the CMO Council.
  • 87 percent of marketers listed social media as their favorite content marketing tool, followed by website articles at 83 percent and eNewsletters at 78 percent, according to CMI.
  • 94 percent of brands create content from scratch, according to IDG Enterprise.
  • Young social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are growing as content distribution tools, according to CMI.
  • 82 percent of companies use content marketing to engage customers and prospects.
  • 55 percent of companies use content marketing to drive sales.
  • 44 percent of companies use content marketing to educate the market.
  • 43 percent of companies use content marketing to build thought leadership.
  • 43 percent of companies use content marketing to increase web traffic.
  • 19 percent of companies use content marketing for SEO.
  • And two percent of companies use content marketing to stay up to date with competitors.

G2Market Inside Track: Content marketing is not just for consumer-focused sites – far from it. But B2B content marketers have a more challenging task to execute than do most of their B2C counterparts: convincing senior management that it is an essential core strategy and not a part-time, low-priority activity. These are all great tactics to use when reaching out to a B2B audience, but don’t forget to sell your content marketing value proposition to the C-suite too. Top-down support is critical if you want to gain the necessary resources to maximize the impact of these efforts.

(For additional information contact: Uberflip, 416-900-3830, www.uberflip.com.)

- Susan Aluise
Sr. Editor, G2Market

PR Newswire: Three Mobile Marketing Strategy Tips for Small Businesses

There are three content strategies (single-thread, double-thread and triple-thread) that are necessary for small businesses to best attract and retain mobile traffic, according to a recent article from Christina Zila, Textbroker director of communications. The article, published in PR Newswire’s PR Toolkit, explains the differences between a single-thread, double-thread and triple-thread mobile marketing strategy and why refining these strategies based on your visitors’ needs may lead to increased traffic and e-commerce opportunities.

“Your site isn’t just seen on a desktop anymore,” Zila said. “About a quarter of all time spent online is spent on a mobile device, according to the research company GfK. That’s traffic that you can’t afford to miss. How do you best attract and retain this mobile traffic? Just as with a regular website, you need to have pertinent content displayed in a format that fits the device. Mobile visitors show different behaviors and search query types than desktop users, and there are further differences between smartphone and tablet users. A recent study by comScore showed that nearly three quarters of tablet users use search, whereas just over half of smartphone users do.

“About 40 percent of smartphone users searched for local business information, but only about 20 percent of tablet users did,” she continued. “To paint with broad strokes, smartphone users are looking to fulfill an immediate need on the go. Tablet users, on the other hand, are looking to be entertained; reading news and content, watching videos and playing games are popular tablet activities. Depending on the traffic volume you see for your site from different device categories, you can adapt your strategy to cater to these general search behaviors. As you see how your specific audience reacts, you can refine your strategy. Since there are three audiences that could possibly have different behaviors, you could have three different content strategies: single, double or triple thread content strategies.”

  • Single-Thread Strategy: This strategy uses the exact same content for all versions of a site. It works well with responsive design, which adapts display elements and font sizes to the dimensions of a device on the fly. It also is a practical solution for sites with a single focus and straightforward layout. A local dry cleaner, for example, may be able to keep a single thread of content.
  • Double-Thread Strategy: This strategy plans a specific set of content, different from the content for desktops, specifically for smartphones or for mobile devices in general, depending on audience needs and device usage. Here, a souvenir store may have a full product description for each item in its content for desktops and tablets but just a bullet list of features for smartphones to allow more room for a product photo.
  •  Triple-Thread Content Strategy: This strategy assumes that each device type, i.e. desktop, tablet and mobile, needs separate content. This strategy may be the most pertinent for large companies, but done right, it can help increase traffic and conversions for smaller players. It may even become a strength, since the majority of users that experience a badly optimized site will leave for a competitor. A variation on this strategy is to write content in sections. Each thread then shows only the sections of the full content that make sense for the audience.

G2Market Inside Track: In today’s device-agnostic content marketing environment, Triple-Thread is a triple threat. The strategy is a common-sense revival of the browser-agnostic website development that many companies embarked upon in the early days of Internet commerce. Like it or not, your digital content is likely the first – and only – business card your audience will ever see, and your content needs to be optimized for the variety of ways your potential customers want to consume it.

(For additional information contact: PR Newswire, www.prnewswire.com; Textbroker, www.textbroker.com.)

- Carl Cooper
G2Market