Brain Vibe

marketing muses to stay engaged

Social Media Insight to Optimize Paid Search and Display

What if you could target your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts in paid search and display the way you target your direct marketing efforts?  Analysis of your b2b social media networks may give you that edge.

In my quest to get more out of social media than just followers and a soapbox platform, I am looking at what content my network follows, reads, and shares more closely.  In my last post I talked about the analysis of hashtags in tweets, and how that could help me better understand the personas of my network.

Now I am looking at what else I can gather and what I could do with this.  In particular, I am interested in the content being shared: blogs, web pages, video, etc.  The titles tags, description meta tags, and urls all have keywords that tell a lot about interest areas and build a richer persona.  This step got me thinking, could I tighten alignment to my network by optimizing…?

  • My paid search to reflect keyword tendencies in shared content
  • My display placement based on sites aligned to my market offers
  • The SEO on my own website

Right now, SEM allows anonymity which creates challenges when you want to focus digital marketing efforts on existing customers or known prospects.  My paid search and media plans look at broad behavior, demographics, and firmographics but specifics on their web patters at the individual level is sketchy.  However, if I align my followers to my customer list and profile their specific personas compared to the broader market, I get much closer to a targeted campaign.  This makes my digital efforts more closely resemble my direct marketing efforts – smaller targets, highly relevant content shared, higher conversion.

Another reason to think about  b2b social media beyond influence marketing and make it work to drive revenue and customer relationships.

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Filed under: b2b, blogging, customer relationship, social media marketing, Web Analytics, , , ,

The Importance Of A Compelling Blog Title

search seo sem long tailMost people adhere to the fact that to improve SEO a key component is having a keyword rich blog title.  Okay, that’s a no brainer.  However, I think there is more to a great Blog title than savvy SEO, but still a big factor in search.  You need to create a compelling blog title that stands out in long tail search and after PPC efforts.

I wrote an article several months ago on social media in Latin America.  It was never a show stopper in terms of first day visitation.  What is interesting is that it is no. 2 of my top most read posts and almost never fails to get at least one reader per day.  Outside of a topic that is probably compelling, when I’ve analyzed the results of long tail searches and those specific to latin america, this post is not on the first page.  It is not on the second page.  In fact, it is ususally pretty deep in the search results.  At times I just give up. (Yes, Google will customize results based on your profile, but I don’t think it alters the results drastically.  For those unfamiliar, do a search with your name on Google then have your friend do the same thing on their computer.  You’ll get similar but different results.)

This really got me thinking about how people determine what search results they are going to click through and I’m coming to the conclusion that two things are happening.  1)  Search results at the top are more marketing driven and may not actually be sources seekers consider a good source of information for a variety of reasons.  2)  Once a seeker has determined to head down into the bowels of search results, they need an easy way to realize the information they seek.

As marketers, we spend a lot of time focusing on the former.  However, I think there is something to the latter to consider.  People are pretty savvy at cutting through the marketing results.  URLs are a dead give away as to who is providing the information which can be pro or con depending on what the person is attempting to know or do.  Long tail searchers are more indicative of researchers trying to educate themselves and are looking for trusted sources.  Thus, moving deeper into search results let’s them move beyond perceived biased information driven by savvy marketing.  But, if you’ve ever gone more than a couple pages deep, you know search titles become more and more irrelevant and vague with a few gold nuggets thrown in.  Thus, the title of your blog is even more important to stand out from the pack.

For acquisition strategies, best practices for SEO/SEM are still the way to go.  If you want to cultivate a market and reach deep grabbing customers at the beginning of their consideration process, having a better understanding of long tail search and the ability to stand out after primary search pages is key.  Not all of your blogs will be able to stay at the top of search results over time, but a good number of steady pullers in your portfolio will help attract visitors over time and help them become more aware of what you have to offer.  Pick a strong blog title to stand out.

Filed under: blogging, social media, social media marketing, , , , ,

Timing Is A Critical Success Factor for Blog Posts

Timing is a part of content relevanceThe success of your blogs and it’s post is as much about the timing of your article as it is about the content.  We often get caught up in trying to have the right message or idea and take for granted that when we post our readers are ready to hear it.  Thought leaders are ahead of the curve in their ideas and have been spinning a story for some time.  The posts can be eye-opening, but readers may not be ready to implement on those ideas.  Relevance of the content takes on two aspects – it addresses a need, and the need is for an imminent event.

If you’ve taken the advice of blogging often, building a network or readers, and put SEO to good use, there comes an ‘aha’ moment when it actually works for you not only to get your voice heard, but to be available at the right time when a reader is ready.  I found this out recently after several months of blogging.

One my my very first posts discussed leveraging social media tools in schools to better connect educators, students, and parents.  That was back in February.  As soon as I posted it, I groaned, as at the end of the day I felt it was too niche and not quite in the writing style that I wanted.  Results were lack luster, and while a big part of that was that this blog was new, I also felt it was because it was a bad post.  So, as time when on, it was further buried in my blog archive where I thanked the blog gods that it would be too old and deep for anyone to actually read it.

Low and behold, the end of the school year came.  I logged into my stats tracker expecting dismal numbers as my posts have been few of late since I began working at an interactive agency.  To my surprise, traffic for the day had reached the second highest number of direct visitors ever.  What did it?  The blog on social media tools for schools.  Why?  It was right at the time that teachers were stepping back from the everyday activities of teaching and having the time to consider how to improve for the next school year.

Looking at my long tail search and traffic trends I’ve found the aspect of timing to be key.  My blogs on metrics spike at times when people are planning or at quarterly transitions.  When iPhone begins leaking information on upcoming products or features, the couple of posts on my obsession with my iPhone go up.  I also find that posts that aren’t big on particular days, seem to be consistently pulling in traffic and I’m thinking this also has to do with the readiness of readers to address the blog topic, like mobile opportunity in Latin America.

It took me a while to figure out why some blog posts did better than others as they would be of such diverse topics and depth.  I’m beginning to think it has to do with TIME.

Filed under: social media, social media marketing, , , ,

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