Content, content, content! Content is King! With the recent Google “Panda” and “Farmer” search engine optimization (SEO) updates, Google has taken a stand against websites that provide little original content. So I thought content might be a good topic for the Twitter chat #SMchat on May 18, 2011 at 1P ET.
I’ve talked to a few people about content recently and I’ve asked two special guests to join me to discuss Content Marketing on #SMchat: Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, and Danielle Leitch, Executive Vice President of Client Strategy at MoreVisibility.
Ann spoke with me about her new book, Content Rules, written with C. C. Chapman and personalized especially for me (see photo) after I spoke at the MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Forum and what she said makes sense to me:
“My feeling is that you can’t have a Social Media Strategy without first having a Content Strategy. How can you speak before you know what to say?”
Danielle also recently discussed content strategy during the new #MVchat Twitter chat on May 12, 2011. If you haven’t joined #MVchat it’s a good place for a quick (half hour) discussion on different internet marketing topics. #MVchat is held on Thursdays from 3:30-4P ET. After the chat, I asked Danielle about content driving online revenue and she said:
“Content is essential when it comes to providing value to the user, positioning well in SERPs, creating sticky site or social account and establishing self (business) as industry leader. All of the above will contribute to revenue generation in one form or another – so YES, content directly correlates to making money online. Measuring time versus value for that content production is critical for ROI analysis. Don’t produce content for the sake of text – offer value in all content delivered.”
It appears that Danielle isn’t the only one who thinks good content equals more revenue. According to a MarketingSherpa case study on Content Marketing: Inbound strategy pulls in 25% more revenue, 70% more leads http://bit.ly/ldyBs2
I’m very excited that these smart ladies will be joining us and I’ve got several questions for them and for everyone who will be participating in #SMchat:
- Do you think sites with good SEO practices have been impacted by Google’s Farmer and Panda updates?
- Do you have a Social Media Strategy? A Content Strategy? If both, which came first and why?
- Nearly 1/4 (23%) of all social media messages contain links to content http://bit.ly/kUJBO0 – how do you make it easy to share?
- Have you found content=revenue like the MarketingSherpa Content Marketing case study? http://bit.ly/ldyBs2
- Now that we’re not just writing brochures, how can you repurpose content to minimize overload on creators? http://bit.ly/m7gtVE
Look for answers from Ann (@MarketingProfs) and Danielle (@DanielleLeitch), along with me (@SharonMostyn) and the rest of the #SMchat crew on May 18, 2011 from 1-2P ET! We look forward to seeing you there! Can’t make it or just shy? Leave your question or comment below and I’ll make sure you get an answer.
Today I participated in #CROchat, a Twitter Chat on conversion rate optimization that has become a favorite, and a discussion started about the length of qualification forms. Ion Interactive said no matter what length the form is please don’t ask, “How did you hear about us?” Several of the #CROchat participants agreed, but Carlos Del Rio wanted an explanation. Ion Interactive shared a blog post by Anna Talerico on banishing self-serving questions from your conversion process, and although I agree, I feel that’s only part of the answer.
Yes, you should definitely limit or remove questions that don’t have any value for the customer from your conversion path, especially the “How did you hear about us?” question. During my DRTV (direct response television) days, clients often wanted to have the call center ask it and we would get free-form answers like “my wife/mother/friend/boss told me to call” or “I saw it in the newspaper” (tough to do when it was a TV-only campaign). People lie, or they tell you what they think you want to hear, or they simply say, “I don’t remember” which is true more often than not.
Here’s what to do instead: Set up campaign tracking.
- Track by medium – Online (SEO, PPC, Affiliate, Email, Social Media), TV, Radio, Print (Newspaper, Magazine), Billboard, etc.
- Track by source – Google, Yahoo/Bing, Email Newsletter, WJZ-TV, WWMX-FM, USA Today, etc. – Be as specific as you can: is there a specific webpage, newspaper section, radio or television show?
- Track by content – Make sure you test ads against one another. Continuous testing will optimize your media spend.
- Track by keyword term – This is especially helpful for PPC ads, but you can also track any special phrases in your other ads.
Joe Teixeira from MoreVisibility wrote a great blog post on how to set up tracking in Google Analytics. His post’s emphasis is on paid search campaigns, but with a little ingenuity you can make it work for any other media.
There will be times, especially when dealing with offline media, when people don’t cooperate and just use the “base URL” instead of your customized version with tracking in place. Watch your analytics to see spikes in traffic where many of the users are coming from the custom URL and use your best judgment on attributing some or all of the “base” traffic to that source. If you’ve got a sophisticated analytics program like Coremetrics, you can even track your viewers by first click, last click, or distributed click attribution. Eric T. Peterson did a great white paper on appropriate attribution that might be helpful for a better understanding of that concept.
How did you hear about this blog post? Since I don’t advertise I can tell you without asking, someone saw my Tweet and either directly or through a combination of events (your mother saw my Tweet and told you to check out my post) you made it here. I can look at my analytics and tell you for sure or you can leave a comment below to let me know!