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How to Accelerate your Business with Search, Social and Content Marketing
Arnie Kuenn’s book, Accelerate; Move Your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social and Content Marketing is a must read for anyone looking to sell anything. In the buying process there’s a whole bunch of steps.
- I have to realize a need,
- I have to figure out how to get it,
- I have to shop,
- I have to evaluate,
- I have to negotiate and
- I have to buy.
Now, before the Internet changed our lives dramatically a majority of those steps included the potential supplier which was awesome for them cause I had nowhere else to go to get this information. I had to rely on them to engage with potential vendors at trade shows, presentations, phone calls, and that really put them in the game from the get-go and I hated it. It was long and tortuous process. But all of a sudden search and search marketing come along and everything changes!
The same steps are involved but now I’m no longer dependent upon the potential vendor to research and evaluate the products and the scenario became if you’re not found in the search results, you’re not included in the sourcing process, and the phone doesn’t ring nearly as much. So everybody scurries around. They all engage in SEO/SEM and those that are successful are back in the game … but now we’re seeing another huge change again … SEO/SEM are still really important but there are other factors involved. There’s big changes that not only impact what customers expect and will engage with but also from the search engine’s perspective what’s relevant.
- How have our expectations (as consumers) of what “good” content is changed? What’s the type of content that will get us to engage?
The gist: Minimal effort isn’t gonna cut it anymore. You really need to analyze bounce rate and time on page to assess the level of engagement. And your content must be solving customers’ problems.
- How about Social? How has social media impacted the ranking from the search engines’ perspective?
The gist: Social is today what “links” were just one year ago – a vote for your site. That vote is assigned value and weight by the search engines.
- The emerging majority of the population, Gen Y, look to engage and research online and with peers. If this is what the emerging consumer looks like, does that change what “good” content is? How do you make content appeal to Gen X, Gen Y and Baby Boomers?
The gist: Good content resonates with any demographic. Different platforms appeal to different generations and it’s worth considering having a staffer of the target generation manning the posts to increase successful engagement.
- What’s your opinion of re-purposing content across multiple platforms? How can platforms be used as a force multiplier?
The gist: Take content, break it into a series of blog posts, turn it into a video, make it a script for a podcast, turn it into a PowerPoint presentation.
- How would you recommend that relationship marketing could be best accomplished through social platforms?
The gist: Two words. Sincere engagement. Arnie can personally point to tens of thousands of dollars worth of contracts that have been brought in due to his personal Twitter account. A great Facebook example? The Motor Lodge is awesome at leveraging their Facebook presence as their sole marketing tool, doubling their occupancy rates as a direct result.
- What is the process for link attraction and at what point in time if I don’t see results do I need to take a step back and re-evaluate what I’m doing?
The gist: Link building differs from the process of link attraction but the mantra is still the same. Don’t get discouraged. Be patient. It takes time. Sometimes it can take up to 6 months before people pick up your content and start sharing it thus attracting links. But, the ROI can be phenomenal.
- Tying social efforts to a hard ROI, is this the year? Can we expect that type of measurement or should we view social media as a vehicle rather than a destination?
The gist: It has to be a blend. There are conversions that can be measured and attributed to social media platforms. On the other hand social media can be categorized as another communications channel that must be manned and worked properly just like telephone system or help desk.
- What are your tips for making content that cuts through the noise?
1) Answer your customers’ questions? (i.e. What does it cost?)
2) Focus on the headlines and titles you’re using.
3) Find a way to get involved with video.
4) Create content structured as lists.
My thanks to Arnie Kuenn for taking the time to discuss the convergence of search and social media! Check out the full interview!
Eddie Bluff is the Vice President of Key Accounts and Co-Founder of Site-Seeker, Inc., an Internet marketing company created by Eddie and his brother, Brian, in 2003. Site-Seeker performs the efforts necessary to drive qualified visitors to its clients’ websites; convert the visitors into buyers; measure the results achieved; and develop improvement plans based on performance.
Mr. Bluff brings over 20 years of experience in sales, account development, business process development, marketing, and service management to the company. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and worked for more than 15 years as a Manager of Sales and Marketing at PAR Technology Corporation before joining the Thomas Industrial Network. At Thomas, he signed the largest ever first-year contract in the history of Thomas Register with a sale in excess of $143,000, and he placed 16th out of 480 individual sales contractors in North America.
As the Vice President at Site-Seeker, Eddie travels the country conducting seminars and workshops focused on bringing clarity to the Internet Marketing industry. When he’s not on the road, he is responsible for developing relationships with key accounts, partnerships and co-management of the firm.
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