Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Notes from Internet Marketing Association 2012 Conference


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I attended the conference in September 2012 because many of these topics will shape how United Way of East Central Iowa marketing strategies are executed in the future. These are my notes as I listened to the speakers. I’m posting these here to reference them later. If you choose to read them, I hope you’ll find them interesting.

Opening remarks:

IMA wants to collide marketing and technology. A new niche.

IMA wants to create standards for Internet marketing. There is a new certification (Certified Internet Marketer). “The CPA of internet marketing.” My thought: I might try to get it.

Not all about online, though. Don’t forget about offline.

Irvine Technology speaker:
More and more marketing is online because that’s where people spend more and more of their times.

Job growth in social media is on an upward climb. Web analytics, too.

Predictive Marketing

by James Maiocco of Microsoft

Trying to predict the things people need to have. Most technology now records what happened.

Marketing: What matters?

What we record has impact on what we do all day. (TV, email, etc.)

There is no magic formula to predict what will happen… slow down and determine what is important for your business.

You cannot use ALL the tools out there that could help you. What you need to do is slow down.

Narrow your focus on consumers. Buying online: Suggest more relevant additional items.

Mathematicians can help you shape your message honestly. Air travel fare: “We are 80 percent confident the fare will rise.” (Based on formulas, history, etc.)

My thoughts: I’d be interested to know how consumers respond to this. Do they trust this kind of message? Or do they think somebody just made it up? Maybe link to explanations, etc., for transparency?

Social media policy: managing risk to reach potential

Everyone is talking about social media. Social media is here to stay.

Most questions asked on social to brands are NOT responded.

Most companies do NOT offer training to employees. (My thought: I see a market there!)

Define who responds and in what time frame, etc. How do we make sure to respond to customers very fast and in a appropriate way!

My thoughts: Define simple rules! Do this. Don’t do this. Keep them simple. Offer training. Non-threatening feedback. Define a playing field. What can be said. What cannot?

LinkedIn presentation

by Jonathan Lister, VP at LinkedIn

Emotion plays a critical role in marketing.

For LinkedIn, people might relate to future goals. They are investing time.

LinkedIn adds two members per second.

Understand how people use networks. Then tailor your message to their expectations. LinkedIn is different from Facebook, for example.

Match your message to the user’s mindset.

Social strategies for great customer experiences

by Melissa Boxer, VP at Oracle

Social media is an integral part. What has happened in market place?

The conversation we have with consumers has changed. Consumers dictate the conversation they want to have.

How do we leverage this great social channel with customer base? But there is no way of measuring the ROI.

Think of social as an overall part of your customer strategy.

When expectations are not met brands get dumped.

Budgets will increase for social and social strategy.

People want to engage! They want to be social.

As we move from transactions to interaction. How does this change not just marketing, but the entire organization.

Every part of a business has to embrace social.

How do you centrally manage all of this? It’s hard to do! Use tools and technologies.

Many tools are in silos. Email is separate from social. Social is separate from web, etc. (My thoughts: WordPress might be an option to get much under one roof, though, I can’t say that I have accomplished that yet.)

Personalize interactions. Need to be meaningful. Want to get to a sample of 1! One on one interaction!

But need to deliver unified experiences. Needs to be seamless.

Make it easy and rewarding for your customer to do business with you.

How do you monitor conversations? Use information to drive more streamlined conversations.

Learn — Measure — Improve

Need to pay attention! Consumers have a choice!

Consumers manage relationship with you. Need to have some things in place for this.

Truth about Digital Marketing

Ann Lewnes, with Adobe

Lots of misperceptions about marketers. Many CEOs think marketers are disconnected from business results. Too creative, etc.

Adobe spends 74 percent of marketing spend on digital.

People have troubles showing the impact.

A community member created this Fotoshop by Adobe video. Adobe rolled with it and shared it. Not sanctioned by them!

Constantly test, watch for trends, refine.

The more your site is personalized the higher the revenue per visit.

Myths: Data is killing creativity.

Study found that one in four are living up to potential. People are asked to produce. Not create.

Creativity, however, is core to what marketing is about. There is no substitute for creativity.

Creativity plus data is the best mix. Make creativity count.

First break out session

What’s an interactive digital or online environment?
A gathering of people in a common environment.

Analyzing data: One presenter mentioned that they hired a person with financial background to analyze data.

Think of your brand as a fan.

You can learn a lot about online audiences by running targeted Facebook campaigns. And it’s in real time so you can adjust as it’s running.

When you figure out our audience well they will share what you are doing organically … because they care.

Circque’s Totem show went to Boston…. Targeted other events in same price range (Celtics, Symphony, etc.) and then ran time based ads: 21 days left.

Marketing to millennials

By Tilly’s (tillys.com)

Ticketmaster went from physical locations in stores to the current online portal.

Big change.

Omni Channel 5Cs

Context
Content, Community, Customer, Commerce

Don’t just put something on social media to check the box. Millenials want one on one. You need great content. Quality over quantity!

Great content, shared in the appropriate context, will increase your community, creating customers and commerce.

Project management solutions

By @mavenlink and others

How can technology help marketers manage the work?

Online, mobile, solutions.

Maximize creative time and spend less time on tracking things. Tools can make it easy, says @ONESHARPDESIGN

Getting people who haven’t used software on board might take some time. One step at a time. Show advantages, ease of use.

Accelerating content marketing and search engine rankings

By Michael Fern, CEO of Intigi

Content is king. Content farms with low-quality content not so good.

Fresh content wins the day.

Websites that are overoptemized are penalized. Some SEO firms are now trying to turn more into content firms. Traditional SEO not as effective.

My thought: Another reason to provide quality content.

Content needs to be:
Valuable
Relevant
Unique
Fresh
Authoritative
Readable
Usable

Creating value
Who is your audience?
Educate, entertain, provide utility
Deliver distinctive value

Make sure your site does not have too many CTAs (call to actions). Keep it simple.

Online marketing and Adwords

by Frederick Vallaeys

Search ads work but they can get expensive.

Everyone is now competing on a limited set of keywords (due to Google suggestions)

Listening to how Google Adwords has evolved. Along with all the other Google changes I hear/heard I know that Google changes all the time, it appears based on data analysis.

Educational articles can help you rank high in search – says @siliconvallaeys That’s why “How to build…. ” articles can rank high organically. Businesses buying ads aren’t getting the same keywords.

Landing page optimization is important!

Make sure they are user friendly.

Mobile

On average people check their phone every 6.5 minutes.

More than half of phones in the U.S. are smartphones. We will soon call them just phones.

How content impacts mobile … (Jeanniey Mullen, CMO at Zinio)

The world has gone crazy with choice
Content is king? Don’t believe it?Check your storage. People save and save all kinds of content!

Most content goes unused after the first 72 hours.

My thought: We need structure!

Relevance is the only solutions.

All these different devices impact how and if your content works.

Content atomization matters.

Brand relevance based on recommendations.

Stan Rosenberg:
Great brands connect with Millenials by sharing, accessible, engaging and relevant stories.

Email marketing

By Joel Book

Digital media has transformed marketing. 98 percent of data on the Internet has been created in the last two years.

What does all this mean?

Today’s consumer is different from even 3-5 years ago. Has access to much better and more content.

Marketing to the power of one!

Email is in a renaissance. Why? Because brand advocates are engaging that way.

61 percent of people who read recommendation consider buying item.

22 percent buy it.

Source: Zuberance

Email is the backbone.

Permission is key to opt people in!

66 percent of consumers have made a purchase as result of email marketing message. No other channel even gets close to that channel!

Best Buy sends 20 million emails but there are 18 million versions due to personal recommendations and customization.

Social media: Give them a reason to identify themselves and let them opt in to your email list. 75 percent of social media users say they prefer email from brands.

Reason email is in a renaissance is because we check email everywhere now on mobile devices.

YesMail is up…
Many brands face issues with delivery

80 percent of emails are Gmail, Live, Yahoo, AOL.

Consider doing an inbox placement report before sending emails.

Best practices:
Look at who is engaging with you … If somebody hasn’t engaged for 15 months make them inactive.

Clean up data

Analytics

Article discussed:

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did

Advertising

Content marketing is the future of marketing

Don’t overload your website (homepage?) with too much content.

Build a good website:
Captivate —- promote —- target —- justify

What you offer — what you see —- to whom —why?

One of the best ways to get videos ranked high in search is to transcribe them.

Content and native placement is the future of advertising

People on the web love to look at content.

Who looks at ads? Eight percent of users generate 85 percent of clicks.

Almost half of mobile users click on ads by mistake.

Content = engagement
Ads = interruption
Interruption is a bad user experience

People put up with ads because they want the content.

More and more companies are starting to produce their own content. Producing content used to be hard. There was a printing press.

But now there’s a lot of content.

The problem now is to get your content discovered.

Native placement is within content… Like within Twitter feeds. A promoted Tweet, for example. (My thought: It should be relevant, though.)

To be in the content feed you have to be in the content business….

Tips:
Create a brand voice
All brand activity can become content

We are all competing for human attention…. And people are being bombarded with messages. You need to bring something of value.

Wrap

A good conference overall. Some ideas, definitely.

Note: This also appeared on the United Way of East Central Iowa Marketing Blog.


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