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Google has created more than a social media destination with Google+ – but also an opportunity for marketers to enjoy stronger synergy between search and social media.
In the video featured here, iCrossing thought leaders Tarah Feinberg, Matthew Gagen, and Alisa Leonard discuss how marketers will be able to use Google Plus to learn more about their customers with highly refined insights and then improve their search marketing campaigns.
Google Plus is not yet formally open to brands – but as Tarah Feinberg states, it’s important that marketers start learning from Google+ now.
“Understand what’s going on with this platform,” he asserts. “Everything on a personal level can be transferred to a professional level.”
This video is the first in new iCrossing thought leadership series known as iCrossing Real-Time Insights. Through Real-Time Insights, iCrossing provides advice on topical issues to help chief marketing officers build connected brands and businesses. Real-Time Insights are created by the iCrossing Live Media Studio.
— David Deal, Vice President of Marketing, iCrossing
What stands out about Google’s approach is that it is clear they are not out to build another destination social network (thank goodness).
Rather, they seem to be out to build the social OS— a social data layer that underpins everything, creating a more significant and measurable relationship between a brand’s website, paid media, natural search and social engagement. They are doing what Facebook should have done. +Pages, Google+ for businesses, are not slated to launch until early fall.
Here’s what’s exciting
The relationship between +Pages and +1 means that the social graph will be connected with actions across natural search, paid media and website content. It means big opportunities for marketers to create strategically integrated, connected digital programs across bought, earned and owned media.
Consider the impact of a connected program
A paid media program utilizing +1 could extend its targeting through social re-targeting (if I +1 an ad, it is served to my social graph and takes priority over other ads), and at the same time capture those audiences in a social database for ongoing messaging & engagement beyond the paid campaign (when I +1 an ad I am given the option of joining the brand’s +Page right there)— and, that brand messaging (content) shared through the +Page in turn creates visibility in natural search, yet another high value brand touch point.
Additionally, If I add +1 to my site content, say at the product category level or even product level, and that content receives a lot of +1′s, that action can have a positive impact in two ways:
1) Customers that +1 the product will be asked to join the brand’s +Page circles (site interaction to CRM!)
2) Your site content benefits from improved search visibility from social signals
When we see that content scarcity has given way to content overload, fixed channels of communication have dissolved into a myriad of complex networks, and once-captive audiences have now become active participants in conversation– it begs us to re-think how we do marketing.
The future of marketing–it’s about content, conversation, continuity and commerce. It’s about real-time and context.
Because it’s time to make another declarative about THE FUTURE OF MARKETING…….RAH!
Thrilled to have launched the iCrossing Live Media Studio, “the industry’s first-ever resource dedicated to real-time marketing through content and community.”
It’s time to evolve beyond social media marketing, the focus of the Studio is on using data-driven insights to create real-time brand experiences through content, community building and digital dialogue as part of integrated marketing programs—entirely focused on measurable results.
Keep up to date on Studio happenings via The Content Lab….and catch some of the things we’ve got up our sleeves
Marketers are all abuzz about content marketing. Indeed, it seems to be the hottest marketing topic right now, and everyone is taking a serious look at how to evolve digital programs to align to a content-centric approach. In many aspects, this renewed focus on content is an extension of the social media marketing evolution, and the recognition that in order to succeed in a real-time, always-on social web, content – as it always has been for search – is king. As the sounding bell for content grows louder, there are many questions that arise when talking about content strategy:
How does a content strategy fit into an overarching digital approach? What processes or frameworks should we have in place to get started?
First, its key to think of content as core to your digital strategy, that it is embedded into every brand touch point and fuels bought, earned, and owned channels. Another key point is to think of content strategy as editorial strategy. It might sound like a subtle difference, but thinking about content in terms of editorial strategy means focusing on audience-centric, top-down brand narrative development as well as bottoms-up, channel-specific content needs that fold into one cohesive marketing program. This approach allows for an overarching approach to be customized even at local levels while maintaining strategic integrity.
When developing a content marketing strategy, consider the five P’s framework:
Prep: Content should be informed by insights. Consider the inputs you will need to answer strategic questions including: who is the audience and what objectives are you trying to achieve? What does the content ultimately need to say and how should it come to life? Crafting your content programs based on key insights is crucial to success.
Program: Rather than developing a strategy once and executing, content marketing requires adaptability. It can be helpful to think of your content marketing in terms of living programs, as captured in editorial and engagement calendars, that are assessed, analyzed, and optimized on an ongoing basis. Much like paid media, your content strategy should adapt quickly based on what’s working – and what’s not.
Produce: Producing content is perhaps a brand’s biggest challenge. High-quality, multi-platform content is key to driving true engagement and results. Considering the content spectrum below, content can come from many sources and can create a variety of both evergreen and topical content opportunities. Keep in mind that when producing content, all assets should be sharable (social-friendly), accessible (mobile-friendly), and visible (search-friendly).
via The Content Lab
Publish: Content should be multi-purpose and multi-platform. Content is published through owned media channels like the website, branded social spaces, and email. You can also think of your content as being “published” through paid media, as in the case of Google Media Ads, video ads, or Facebook Sponsored Stories.
Propagate: Beyond publishing, develop a plan that ensures content will move through networks. This is where content and community go hand-in-hand. Embedding your audience engagement and SEO strategy into your content program is key to ensuring that your content will propagate across networks, creating earned media and increasing reach and effectiveness – ultimately driving performance success.
Creating content for content’s sake will not help marketers. A thoughtful, structured editorial framework that speaks to all of your audiences is the key to success.
Originally written for ClickZ:
The ROI of social media should be evaluated by 3 key performance categories:
- Impact of individual channel performance on marketing goals
- Impact of social engagement on other marketing channels (e.g. optimizations gained in paid media)
- Impact of social engagement on cost centers (i.e. call centers, R&D, HR, etc)
Since all of my usual blogging thoughts have been going into client decks lately, I thought I would break the absence with this pretty awesome video. The Knock! Enjoy: