The Search Exchange conference in Charlotte today opened with a keynote from Sarah Evans of Sevans Strategy. Sarah has accomplished some great things in the world of PR and Social Media. Her specific stories and case studies were fantastic.
I’m sure there are others that will blog about her main points. But of all the things she said, I wanted to comment on the points I benefited the most from. The points below in bold were hers. Some of the comments below them are my commentary.
1. Collect success stories.
She did not specifically state this, but in her discussion about her work with having a weekly chat on twitter about journalism, she mentioned casually that she has been “collecting success stories” on how others have benefited from the chats. Smart move.
2. Content and New Media should be PULL marketing, not PUSH.
If you create content (text, audio, video) you should not be with the intent of blasting it to your audience. It should pull people into what you do. Nice point.
3. Personalize the distribution of your content.
Sarah mentioned that she does not distribute content the same way for every message. Each message should be distributed based on the type of content it is. This is a lot smarter than just blasting every message everywhere the same way. (Nice point. This is not typically done well.)
4. US News needs to be Portable, Personalized, Participatory
This point was my favorite. I talked with her about it a little during the break. Think about the way news has been reported and consumed for years. The standard model is changing. People want their news to be where they are, for who they are, and interactive.
Personally, I think this applies not just to news, but to any content. If you are a content creator, it’s time to start thinking about all three.
Thank you Sarah!
Overall, her comments were incredibly insightful into the world of PR, Journalism, and Social Media. A big thank you to her for visiting us in Charlotte and giving a great presentation.
(Please feel free to leave a comment below if you were present and wish to thank her as well.)
For years, marketers have been saying that Mobile is the next big thing. But 2010 is finally the year this becomes a reality.
Mobile marketing is now being heralded as the “seventh mass media”, right after Print, Recordings, Cinema, Radio, Television, and Internet.
Start with apps
Between December 08 and December 09, Smart-Phone ownership moved from 11% to 17%.
Apple’s iPhone, while only accounting for 25% of the US Smart-Phone market, was responsible for 97% of all mobile app downloads.
In January 2010, Apple announced that app sales had topped 3 billion; 2.5 billion of them apparently in 2009.
Don’t forget SMS (texting)
Recently, a UNC professional business fraternity asked me to speak to their members. I had about 75 intelligent college students in front of me. So I started asking questions. (Free market research, right?) Here’s what I found.
Twitter or Facebook? Almost no Twitter. (No surprise.)
Which phones do they use? Majority iPhones. (No surprise.)
Do they txt every day? Yes, duh! (They literally laughed when I asked that.)
How many get marketing messages via txt? About 75%.
Do you mind getting marketing messages via txt? Almost none did.
I must be getting a little old and out of touch. Because that last one surprised me. I know there are more mobile phones than computers. But did you know that getting marketing messages via SMS is widely accepted by young Americans?
Of course, marketing via SMS needs to be done right. It is even more personal and intrusive than email. Obviously, spam is highly offensive.
Make no mistake. Marketing via TXT and Apps is now mainstream in 2010. Time to jump in, right? Join me.
How to get started
I’ve already started. I hope you have too. It seems as if New Media (Internet) is not so new after all. Mobile marketing is even newer.
If you are new to this, here’s what I suggest based on what I’ve learned so far.
1. Get a smart-phone
No more excuses.
If you get an iPhone, great. That’s probably ideal.
If you prefer a network that works, you can do what I did. Get a cheap iPod touch to get comfortable with the iPhone OS. (News flash: The iPod Touch does almost everything an iPhone can do.) Then, get an Android phone on a good network. This will allow you to use the location based stuff. As a side benefit, you learn both operating systems.
2. Start using, start learning
Start using your phone – a lot. Use things you normally wouldn’t. (Think FourSquare is dumb? Use it anyway.) Knowing various apps inside and out puts you at a huge advantage.
For learning, there are plenty of blogs out there. They are ok. But IMHO, the books are even better. Everything changes, but a search on Amazon will reveal some books that have been written in the last six months that are very interesting.
If you’re smart, you’ll start talking with app developers. These guys are on the cutting edge of the next big thing. (Even if they don’t know it yet.)
Start by talking to people you already know. Personally, I joined our local Charlotte iPhone developers group on Meetup.com. I’m sure you have one locally as well. I look forward to some interesting discussions with them.
Google now has a new feature that gives some interesting insight into what they care about. More accurately, it shows what they want YOU to care about.
To see it, login to your Google Webmaster Tools account. (Don’t have one? Go signup now.) Then, choose the website you have decent rankings and traffic for, and choose YOUR SITE ON THE WEB > SEARCH QUERIES. See screenshot below.
The resulting screen should look like this.
SIDE NOTE: The screen shot is for this blog (www.TheJungleMap.com). Please understand that search engine rankings are not what I’m trying for with this blog. (In other words, I rank for a lot of strange things that I never meant to. I also don’t rank for things I would like to – because I’ve never tried.) Your results will hopefully look a lot different. (My other sites do, I assure you.)
Important points to note
1. Google shows your AVERAGE position In other words, ranking reports are not that valuable. Just because Web Position Gold (or some other ranking checker) reports that you are ranked #2 does not mean you always do. Rankings vary by time, geo-location, and many other factors that fluctuate.
2. Google shows your CTR (Click Thru Rate) before position Honestly, we all need to stop caring about our rankings. Good SEOs know this. Ranking #1 does not mean you get the click, let alone the conversion. A lower ranking can get good clicks. Other times, a top ranking will get no clicks.
What Google wants you to care about…
Google’s clear message here is that you should focus less on specific rankings and start focusing on getting the click. This has been the message of Google’s advertising program (AdWords) and now the message is migrating to natural search.
By the way, Google has always wanted users to click on Ads in Google. (No surprise. AdWords is how they make 97% of their income.) They encourage us to write ads that people will click on by emphasizing CTR as the goal.
But now the message is being extended to your natural listings. They want you to care more about getting the click. How? Mostly, by writing better title tags and description tags which will encourage users to click on your listings over your competitors.
NOTE: Good SEOs have known for years now that title tag writing is not just about rankings.
What you should care about…
As interesting (and yet not surprising) as this new development is, don’t be too fooled.
Google is trying to make their search engine the best it can be. They want users to love the results they get on Google. Clearly, if users are happy with Google, they keep coming. If the users keep coming, you keep advertising. Simple as that.
But as online marketers and website owners, your emphasis should not just move from trying to get a top ranking to trying to get more clicks. Rather, your goal should be to get the conversion (sale, signup, etc).
The ranking is important. The click is important. But the sale is most important.
Remember, search engines don’t have wallets. People do.
If you want to know exactly which keywords convert into sales, and then how to get the RIGHT rankings and clicks, the best tool you could have is a good Google AdWords campaign. It’s the starting point for successful search rankings that bring profits. Done right, AdWords can teach you exactly which phrases bring in the money.
I know. I do it for my e-commerce sites all the time.
As I posted earlier, the main reason we moved was due to the excellent opportunity not only to save money, but to have free access to several extra rooms that will be used nicely for our classes, client meetings, and other future functions. (Stay tuned for announcements on that.)
Here are some pictures. To start with, I have booked all of our classes for the rest of the year in this classroom. (Pretty nice, eh?) We had our first one last month when Brandon Uttley and I had 8 students for our Social Media training class.
The front lobby looks like this…
We also have a “library” that can be used to meet with clients…
And this room is setup more as a conference room (including projector)…
But the room I’m most excited about is the “ballroom”. It can easily be setup to seat over 100 people with tables.
What do you think? Nice, eh?
Got any ideas of what I could do with all these rooms?
I know I do. Look out 2011! Big things may be coming up.