Archive for the ‘search engine’ Tag

A Tale of 2 Marketing Programs: Social Media Versus Search Engines

Social media is going to take budget dollars away from search engine marketing. Already is in many major brands. Simple economics are driving this transition.

If a major ecommerce player is spending 50% of their budget on search engine marketing, website optimization, and link optimization programs, but is losing the war to bloggers in organic search. Why would the ecommerce player continue to spend massive amounts of money on advertising when they can focus on blogger outreach (ethical, not paid) for far less money. Better yet, fix their customer experience and get customers to evangelize on their behalf.  this slide says it all….

Additionally, as we analyze the various social media monitoring and metrics tools, the challenge is pretty evident. Search engines work off of structured data. I can run an advanced search and build filters for my search results. The challenge with social search is that the taxonomy isn’t defined. How you talk about a problem can be completely different than I talk about it. Potential buyers may not even recognize that the problem they are discussing on social media is even in the market. How do you build an automated tracking of taxonomy around unstructured data?

Effective lead generation program within social marketing require human knowledge of your solutions and also the ability to follow discussion threads to identify contextual relavence. Over time, you should be able to fine tune the algorithms for your social monitoring programs to become 80% accurate, but the most successful programs are leveraging human knowledge to make social marketing engagement programs to become discoverable, impactful, and actionable.

Otherwise, you get the the large number of costly “unqualified” leads that flood into websites similar to the search engine marketing programs. These programs either make it up in volume or work the “long tail” of key words to reach better qualified buyers. Social marketing can get you to the “long tail” faster as most buyers start with questions in the long tail when they do not know what they are looking for and leverage the expertise of others to become more specific as they learn what they don’t know.

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A Social Media Marketing Primer for People Who Don’t Blog (and Never Will)

Imagine a typical CEO, late 40’s – mid 50’s, has one of the bright young guns, 3-4 layers removed in the organization, comes into a meeting and proposes that the organization do something in marketing around social media. The CEO’s only experience with “social media” is linkedin, possibly logging into facebook to monitor their tweens behavior online. Twitter? Google X application of the week? Invitation to X,Y, Z community every week? Blog? Nope. “They are lucky I check email on a regular basis with as busy as I am”

Sound like someone you know? Sound like you?  Sounds like most of us. At this point, you are saying, yep, so why should I pay attention to this social media stuff if I am not going to use it?

The short answer is…. because it is changing the face of marketing and business in general. Remember they said the same thing about websites, ecommerce, online applications, web hosting, etc…  Some of these you were leading the charge and some you were dragged kicking and screaming. The real question that you should be asking about social media is not whether there is value, but what is the risk if I am an early adopter….

The reality is that most of the people I speak with about social media will never blogs, but the real value in social media is not in getting all of your customers to chat about your product 24X7, because they won’t unless they are really, really angry, but how do you get the 10% of people who sign up, which is 10% of the people who visit to interact on your website about topics that will help your business… by the way, translates into about 1% of people interact… means 99% of us won’t on a regular basis (note: I can discuss technographics and real numbers with the best of them, but I am making a point about the value of having a small percentage actually engage to create value)

Anything is a better experience than the stale, 3 year old, and boring website you have today…. anything that differentiates your company, explains why people should buy from you versus the competitors, drives SEARCH ENGINE traffic to your website, and creates credentialling in the sales process is a tool that you should be embacing to club your competitors over the head… AND yes, you can get trememdous value from a small number of people interacting.

The how it works, how you manage risks, and how you go about getting your team to figure out how to make it work for your organization is the details that can be worked out. The question is whether you can see value in social media even though you will never blog….