A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

Effective Internet Marketing Means Getting Wider

April 21st, 2013

Social Fresh EastI’m currently on the plane flying home from Social Fresh East held in Tampa on April 18, 19. This is my first conference since being hired on as the Director of Client Services at Ephricon. It’s my first conference I’ve attended as an “agency guy” instead of a “consultant” or “entrepreneur”.

Jason Keath always puts on an incredible conference. I’ve worked with him quite a bit the last few years and it always amazes me how skilled he is as a content curator. He chooses great content for his blog. But his social media conferences are downright amazing. He pulls together incredibly smart people who are fantastically skilled presenters.

This year, my work with the event was mostly behind the scenes. Primarily, I had the pleasure of catching several of the speakers and interviewing them as soon as their presentations were over. This included Chris Brogan, and the key social media managers for Jet Blue and ESPN. I tried to come up with good behind-the-scenes questions for each of them.

It was very enjoyable and interesting. I’m hoping Jason shares the videos online soon. If you want to watch them, just sign up for the Social Fresh email newsletter to find out when they are available.

So, what did I learn from Social Fresh this year?

The title of this post was the teaser. Here’s the explanation…

This year, several of the speakers in one way or another explained that “digital marketers” need to think less about “marketing the business” and think about “marketing the marketing”. Confused? Hang with me here…

What they really mean is that people are not interacting with businesses. But they are interacting with content. But not just content. They interact with quality resources, topics that inspire, and useful utilities. Jay Baer had a great presentation (and an upcoming book) on that last topic, called “Youtility”.

Marketing your business is hard and not very effective. Marketing these things (your marketing) is much easier.

But it’s not just this front end marketing that is two-step. I had a great conversation with another speaker, Ryan Cohn. He’s a Facebook advertising guru and a pleasure to chat with. (I originally met him online through the SF Facebook Ads conference and online portal.)

Ryan explained that the true power of Facebook is not just about getting likes, comments, and shares. The real power is when someone shares your post and people like or comment on THAT. In other words, when people share your share. He explained that it is not as easy to measure. However, Facebook weighs that heavily into the PTAT (People Talking About This) score.

That makes sense, right? Think about it. People may like, comment, or share something you do just because they like YOU or your BUSINESS. But when they share it and their friends like what that share, that means those people actually like your CONTENT, not just YOU. It’s a strong indicator of quality content.

So let’s sketch this out.

Online Marketing started as this…

Market -> Business

and has evolved into this…

Market -> Business -> Share

But I think we’re now evolving quickly into this…

Market -> Marketing -> Business -> Share -> Sharing the Share

Got it now? Effective Marketing is Getting Wider!

I don’t think this phenom is isolated to Social Media, either.

Let’s talk about Search Engine Optimization. For years, we’ve been trying to get links for rankings. But we’re moving away from that. It’s too difficult and often not a good use of time. We’re now creating more content. The better the content, the links just come natural to that content. That content typically gets shared more as well. In my opinion, it looks more like this…

Market -> Online Content -> Links ->  Rankings -> Business

Effective Internet marketing is getting wider!

YoutilityThis is going to be especially true as we move more toward mobile marketing. Ads don’t work. Phones are more personal. We need to push our useful content and “Youtilities” to reach these people.

Is this harder or easier? I’m not sure. There’s more steps, that’s for sure. There may be a greater need for creativity (perhaps).  However, when I asked Jay Baer about this, he felt that it may not require as much creativity if you follow the correct process.

But one thing is for sure. It requires we know our target audience better than ever.

That’s what I learned at Social Fresh East this year.

Agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.