With colleges out and students looking to make their mark or start a career this summer, here comes a rite of passage: Putting interns to work doing social media marketing for your business.
After all, who knows more about social media and spends more time on social networks? What business doesn’t want people to “Like” them on Facebook? Why wouldn’t it be a great idea?
It rarely is. As both an owner of a digital marketing agency and MBA faculty at Rutgers CMD who teaches digital and social media marketing, I hear it from both sides. Interns, who generously give of their skills and time, don’t get much from the experience. People who hire them then say they tried social media for their brand but not much happened.
Do businesses get what they pay (or don’t pay for)? Here are 12 lessons learned when interns do your social media marketing.
HAVE WITH A BUSINESS STRATEGY: Having interns do your social media is not a business strategy. Giving them a focus on the desired business results is a much better place to start.
TO BUILD AN AUDIENCE ON THE INTERNET TAKES TIME: The internet is one of the most effective and profitable places to build an audience but it doesn’t happen overnight. Thinking the work of interns in a few months can change the course of your business is probably not going to happen.
KNOW WHO TO ATTRACT: Social networks are great for building relationships that couldn’t have happened through normal channels like email and the phone. Having followers on Twitter or a robust Pinboard on Pinterest doesn’t matter if your audience is on LinkedIn. Relationships that lead to sales can’t be created until your customer is clearly defined.
IDENTIFY ADVOCATES: There are many case studies of businesses where social media played a pivotal role due to advocates who made strong, authentic recommendations. Louis Pasteur said, “chance favors the prepared mind.” The odds of advocates influencing your business are much greater if you spend time looking for who they are.
CREATE A “VOICE” FOR YOUR BRAND: Social media marketing is different from traditional marketing. It’s a conversation, not a monologue. Intern shouldn’t be expected to know the dialogue you want to make happen. You need to tell them.
HAVE PLENTY OF RELEVANT CONTENT: After your product or service, relevant content is your most valuable asset. Interns can’t make this up, you have to provide it at the outset with the establishment of key topics. Then, they can help you develop a content calendar.
MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS A DESIRABLE PLACE TO VISIT: People like to business with people they know. If your social media efforts starts to show progress, your audience will want to get to know your better. Don’t disappoint them with a website that doesn’t live up to the quality of your social media content and conversations.
INTEGRATE SOCIAL MEDIA WITH OTHER MARKETING INITIATIVES: Social media works, but it works much better when it’s integrated with all the other marketing efforts and each are supporting one another.
HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY: Every business should be guided by standards and values. If a real social media example helps, GM has a blog called Fast Lane. It’s written by their senior executives. Their social media policy is one companies big and small can learn from and we can all learn from GM.
CREATE AN ACTIONABLE SCORECARD: It’s more important to learn than to be right. If you’re wondering what a “Like” has to do with sales create an actionable scorecard of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that you can look at regularly, provides insights and helps you take action.
EMPHASIZE WHAT’S WORKING AND PULL BACK ON WHAT”S NOT: Some initiatives will work better than others so spend time interns have generously given you pursuing what’s producing results and de-emphasize what’s not.
VIEW TIME AS YOUR MOST VALUABLE, NOT YOUR MOST EXPENDABLE, COMMODITY: Many businesses start their journey with interns viewing their time as something that, for a limited duration, is expendable. There is a different way to think about it. That is, given what interns can do with the right direction, the time they’ve given you is invaluable because it’s capable of producing extraordinary results.
Are you having interns do your social media marketing this summer? Do these lessons help teach you how you should be putting them to work?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of pursuing a top rank for a website around specific keywords in a search engine’s unpaid or “organic” search results. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) focuses on purchasing ads that rank high and appear above or to the right.
The point with both is to get to a top rank. That’s what this 30-second video shows. It’s called a “Heat Map.” It’s is a controlled experiment that shows how we search for what we need.
When most of us search, we chose a website in a top position of the unpaid or SEO portion. However, as the video also shows, we are more likely to go to a website in a top position of the paid or SEM portion before we venture further down the page on the SEO portion.
SEO and SEM experts says, with confidence, both are proven performers that get results. Getting the experts to agree on when it produces results and how much it costs, that’s another story.
Here are 21 experts that take a position on SEO vs. SEM.
SEO takes a lot of time and tweaking to get it right. Positive ROI generally doesn’t yield for at least 6 months. – Jayson DeMers, Business 2 Community
86% of web searchers trust organic SEO listings more than sponsored/paid PPC listing. – Oli Gartner, Unbounce
SEO is more authorative in the end-user’s eyes and the clicks are “free.” – Geoff Grigsby, Maine Today Digital
In SEO, your goal should be to understand the keyword landscape of a topic. What keywords do people search for, and what does this tell us about their intent? What can we learn from looking at keywords in a broader context? – Jenny Halasz, Search Engine Land
Typically with organic SEO the work will continue to increase rankings for months or even years after the campaign is ended. Meaning you will have a long term ROI. – Chris Hornak, Eye Flow
80% of the traffic that can be generated for any website will come from the search engines. – Larry Kim, Wordstream
If you’re operating on a shoestring budget, it may make more sense to invest time in chasing high search rankings through SEO. – AJ Kumar, Entrepreneur
SEO takes longer (usually up to 3 months before you’ll see a result) yet these listings are more permanent. – Online Specialists
SEO is a longer term approach. Good original content, well implemented on page optimization and a solid link building campaign is usually more than sufficient for SEO – Tetsu Liew, Visualscope.
According to the Search Engine Journal compilation, 70-80% of users ignore paid ads and focus on organic search results. Leads that come from organic SEO have a 14.6% conversion rate. – Clayton Wood, seoreseller.com
SEO can be a part of SEM but, unto itself, is more of an art. This involves crafting a web page to try and attract as many search engine hits as possible, addressing such elements as content, keywords, and other factors to boost your site’s ranking in search engine results. You don’t buy anything as you do with SEM, but the results can be more dicey – YP – Advertising Solutions
The time frame can be tailored right down to the day and time of day in which ads are displayed. This kind of control is invaluable for any business. – James Broadfoot, Rank High Media
SEM uses paid tools like Google ADWords and Pay-Per-Click advertising. For companies looking to use part of their marketing budget online, it is a great opportunity to gain traffic to websites including social media or e-commerce sites. – Davanti Digital
SEM requires sustained amounts of money, and traffic stops when the money does - Brandon Dennis, Buuteq
50% of people arriving at a retailers site from paid ads are more likely to buy than those who came from an organic link. – Oli Gartner, Unbounce
SEM practices offer the advantage of immediacy. If you need to increase your traffic and your visibility right away, and you don’t have a problem with spending a lot of money, this may be the way to go. – Bob Gladstein, Raise My Rank
You should focus on keywords that suggest a purchase (or goal completion), that represent a category area that is profitable for you, and that you can’t easily get ranked for in organic (most of the time – there are exceptions to this). - Jenny Halasz, Search Engine Land
According to WordStream, if an advertiser buys ads for keywords they currently rank organically for, 89% of the traffic from paid ads will be new traffic. – Jeff Kershner, Dealer Refresh
PPC marketing will allow you to narrow down your prospects based on their demographic data. Many PPC platforms, like social media sites, allow you to promote to the age range, gender, income bracket, education level, and even marital status of the people who will be able to view your ad. – Larry Kim, Wordstream
SEM usually places you in a top position instantly (based on your budget limitations). can be targeted to specific geographic areas ranging from Suburbs, Cities, States, National or Worldwide, whereas SEO covers a specific country or state – Online Specialist
Paid ads are gaining traction, and more often not, getting more clicks than organic listing. Not all keywords are created equal and PPC can’t replace SEO – Jessica Ruth, Brand Manager in automotive business
Did these positions teach you something new about SEO and SEM? How you would use them for your business? Do you have a position on SEO vs. SEM?
80% of visitors to a website begin by typing keywords in the query box of a search engine
42% click on the website in the #1 position on the search page
90% click a website on the first page
These facts underscore the reality, if your brand is on the internet, a high rank on the search engines is a requirement for business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by remaining high on the list of results returned by a search engine. It is the single, most measurable, profitable and predictable activity a business can pursue in digital marketing.
Many are fooled because they believe, to get to a top rank, you need to know the right tools, tricks and people. So you don’t get fooled, here are 12 myths vs. reality about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
A GOOD WEB DESIGN FIRM IS ALSO AN SEO EXPERT: That’s usually not true because SEO begins with keyword discovery. This involves numerical analysis of keyword search volume, competitiveness and input from you about your expertise to compare to what consumers want. As it turns out, building a beautiful website and getting your site to a top rank with the search engines are two very different skills.
SEO IS ABOUT META TAGS , META DATA AND WRITING CODE: Once upon a time, the meta tag, an HTML tag that provides keyword information about a web page, was an important part of the SEO process. This process was quickly spammed to death. As a result, its importance has decreased. Today, it is of relatively low importance for effective SEO
SEO DEALS MOSTLY WITH ON-SITE MODIFICATIONS: Content from keywords plays a big roles in determining relevance, but off-site factors such as how many high quality or authoritative websites link to you is equally important. Relevance and authority are the two factors that drive search rank.
SEO INVOLVES TRICKING THE SEARCH ENGINE: The opposite is true. SEO is about creating web pages and writing copy that is intelligible to search engines and also creates an experience for visitors that makes them want to come and come back again to your site.
GOOGLE IS THE ONLY SEARCH ENGINE THAT MATTERS: It’s true that Google represent 70% of all searches and the percentage is growing. But, last year, Bing had a record year at 16% and is growing too. To focus only on 70% and ignore 30% leaves a lot of potential business on the table.
DUPLICATE CONTENT GETS YOUR SITE DE-LISTED: There is no duplicate content penalty. Duplicate content is substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. “There is no such thing as a duplicate content penalty” says Google in their webmaster blog. Bing and Yahoo say the same thing too.
PAID SEARCH HELPS ORGANIC SEARCH: In all of the experiences ever witnessed or heard about, it has never been proven spending on search engine advertising (PPC) improves your organic SEO rankings.
SEO HAPPENS QUICKLY: Nothing that is worth doing well happens overnight. With SEO, you are building equity in your brand. You should estimate 4 to 6 month for results behind keywords that matter for your business. A good tracking system shows progress and helps results occur in the most effective manner.
ONCE A SITE IS OPTIMIZED, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING ELSE: While the effects of a good SEO campaign last, rankings may begin to drop if you don’t update content and there are no new inbound links generated. However, if you continue to create good content, the site will stay “fresh” and hopefully you will continue to get real “organic” links from people who find your website useful.
SEO SOFTWARE AUTOMATES IT ALL: No, it doesn’t. There are plenty of apps and websites to help do keyword research, find possible link opportunities and analyze your competition. There are some really good tools and plugins that can help you do your on-site optimization. But none of them does the thinking for you. None of them is able to understand the subtle nuances of language, your customers and your business. No one of them gets results on their own.
SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN’T IMPACT SEO (AND VISA-VERSA): Social media has everything to do with impacting SEO and visa-versa. It is a source for content, keywords and links that drive authority. It not only helps your business get to a top rank, it helps your business get multiple rankings on a search page and it builds 1-to-1 relationships.
ONCE YOU HAVE A TOP SEARCH RANK, BUSINESS ROLLS IN: A top rank behind keywords that matter drives visitors to a website. The action they take, once they get there, depends on the how you guide them and create a good experience. For example of brands that do this well, here are 10 case studies that prove the ROI of SEO.
This clarification of myth from reality is to point you in the right direction so you pursue the right path for your brand. SEO is a marketing science. Although there are those who claim to know the “special sauce,” check first if their implementation of SEO relies on myths or reality.
SEO is something BarnRaisers does and I teach as part of the MBA faculty at Rutgers CMD. With colleagues Mike Moran and Tim Peter, we have a unique offering for companies with on-site training called JumpStart Workshops where we come to you and to “hand-on” training to deliver an effective SEO strategy and plan for your business.
Did these 12 steps clear up the myth versus reality about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for you?
With so many new tools, tactics and data to provide customer insights and measure results, how would Peter develop a marketing plan today? Here are 12 ideas.
Management by objective works if you first think through your objectives. Ninety percent of the time you haven’t:Peter was more concerned with acting on learning than being right. Today, he would likely be an advocate of agile marketing, a process that demonstrates the ability to adapt/change to market, customer, and competitive signals. Turning that learning into actionable insights.
The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer:His foundational principle for every brand would be at the core of the marketing plan. Today, this means his marketing plan might include CRM, Social CRM and, to keep and retain customers, possibly a Loyalty Club, Gamification and a Mobile App.
The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself:To gain insights into customer behavior, Peter might look into Big Data with the aim of helping make better business decisions.
The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said: As 90% of all purchase decision begin online, Peter would likely turn to Google Trends to analyze and interpret customer needs. He would probably regularly check the Google Analytics of his business’s website to understand consumer behavior for his brand and look into some social media monitoring tools for listening purposes.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t measure it:Peter would identify key metrics for growth and set up Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), an actionable scorecard to keep strategy on track.
What’s measured improves:Once KPI’s are established, Peter would identify the factors and time frame for Return on Investment (ROI). He would make sure there is consensus around the KPI’s and ROI so stakeholders are accountable.
If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old:It’s unlikely benchmarking, is going to be found in a marketing plan from Peter Drucker. That’s because, benchmarking, is process of comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests or best practices from other industries. Said another way, it’s setting the standard for the new from the old way of doing things.
The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear:It’s likely a Blue Ocean Strategy is going to be found in a marketing plan founded on Drucker principles. That’s a strategy to challenge everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, not by battling competitors, but rather by creating “blue oceans” of of uncontested market space ripe for growth.
Whenever you see a successful business, some once made a courageous decision:A Drucker marketing plan would likely be looking to Find the Next “S” Curve. Nothing grows forever. The time to innovate—the innovation window—is when the first growth curve hits an inflection point. How do you know when you’re hitting the inflection point? You never know. So the best companies are forever paranoid and make innovation a continuous process.
The best way to invent the future is to create it:Points 8 + 9 = 10.
Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plan:The purpose of this post is to be of help and guide you. Hopefully, it does, but whether it does or doesn’t, you still need a plan.
No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it. In teaching, we rely on the ‘naturals,’ the ones who somehow know how to teach:I teach the principles of Peter Drucker. Why? His wisdom means something to me and is a better way to bring a brand to market. It’s in plans for our clients at BarnRaisers and part of my MBA teaching at Rutgers CMD.
If you’re a fan of Peter Drucker (as I am), I hope you got something from these Drucker-ism. Did you?
CMO’s have a tough job where the pressure to produce bigger results in shorter time frames is increasing. But the good news is so is the average tenure of a CMO. It’s increased from 23.6 to 43 months since 2004 according to Spencer Stuart.
Perhaps, companies are appreciating the business impact of CMOs. After all, if an organization is going to succeed, it’s got to grow its customer base, and nobody’s better at doing that than strong marketers.
Does longer tenure put more or less pressure on CMOs? With longer tenure, you have greater pressure to live with results. With all of the data out there now, many expect greater accountability from CMOs and the analytic skills to demonstrate return on investment (ROI).
Is there room for CMOs to improve?
Here are 21 stats that show it’s leap before you look for CMOs and ROI.
91% of senior marketers believe successful brands use customer data to drive marketing decisions; yet, 39% say their own company’s data is collected too infrequently or not real-time enough to be useful (source: BRITE Study)
90% of CMOs say social data has impacted at least some of their decisions; only 47% use social data to make predictions or forecast sales. (source: Bazaarvoice)
85% use social networks in some way; only 14% tie financial metrics to it. (source: AdAge)
80% feel challenged by the amount of data they have to deal with and the difficulty of accessing it. (source: Forrester)
77% say getting tradition and digital marketing to work better together remains a major goal (source: BRITE Study)
71% see potential for Big Data to have a large impact on sales; only 16% have Big Data strategies for sales. (source: Forrester)
70%+ of CMOs report feeling unprepared to harness the power of their data to make intelligent marketing decisions. (source: HubSpot)
63% of CMO’s say “ROI will be the standard for their performance by 2015:” yet, today, only 44% say “I can measure ROI.” (source: McKinsey)
57% are not basing their marketing budget on any ROI measures. (source: AdAge)
52% say achieving or increasing measurable ROI is a top priority for the coming year (source: MarketingSherpa)
51% say a lack of sharing customer data within their own organization is a barrier to effectively measuring their marketing ROI (source: BRITE Study)
42% of marketers report that they are not able to link data at the level of an individual customer. (source: BRITE Study)
39% admit they cannot turn their data into actionable insight. (source: BRITE Study)
36% of senior executives believe “old favorite” events such as open houses, hospitality functions, fundraisers and seminars deliver the best returns among localized marketing channels but can’t do direct tracking. (source: Marketing Charts)
29% report that their marketing departments have “too little or no customer/consumer data.” (source: BRITE Study)
28% of CMO’s say their decisions are based on gut instinct (source: Edelman)
When asked which attributes they will need to be personally successful over the next three to five years, 28% said technological competence, 25% said social media expertise and 16% said financial acumen. (source: IBM)
24% say determining any kind of cost-benefit analysis is a challenge. (source: Marketing Chart)
23% find it difficult to measure and evaluate campaign effectiveness on a local level. (source: Marketing Charts)
B2B CMO’s say demonstrating ROI is their No. 1 concern yet fewer than 20% say they have the ability to measure it (source: Forbes)
7% say most of or all their spending decisions aren’t based on any metrics at all (source: Edelman)
Being a CMO is a complicated job. I know from ROI modelling I do with CMOs; teaching Measurement and ROI curriculum at Rutgers CMD as part of their MBA faculty and conducting a new On-Site Search Marketing Training workshop for companies and their marketing people. If you need to look at ROI, I believe I can help you from leaping too soon.
Are you glad the tenure for CMOs has shown improvement? Do you believe CMOs are now going to be more accountable to analytics and ROI? Do you think CMOs leap too soon before they look at ROI now?