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An Original Idea: Try Something New in Social

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do in a mid-size or large organization is to try something new.

But when it comes to social media, there is nothing more important. Regardless of what you read on Twitter and Facebook, hear on Webinars or at conferences or find in your own day-to-day online activities, no one has all the answers.

Sure, there are a lot of experts who have had success on different projects. But none of them know your business, your unique challenges or the personalities of your customers.

So take a small risk on a social site that’s on-brand and on-strategy and see how your audience responds. Don’t go crazy with so many new things at once that you can’t tell what’s working and what is not. But do something different, look at the results, modify it to see if the results improve. Then continue to learn and optimize.

What will you try today?

Consistently Good Or Occasionally Great? Which Is Better?

As a content marketer, which would you rather work with – consistently good content or occasionally great mixed with mostly mediocre content?

It’s not an easy choice.

The consistently good content lets the audience know exactly what they’re going to be getting time after time. It gives them a reason to subscribe, come back and share. It helps build brand equity, build authority with search keywords and increase social media influence. This type of consistency can carry over to product engagement and sales.

On the other hand, occasionally great content, even when mixed with mostly mediocre content, can make a huge splash. It can have longer legs, increased engagement and a wider reach. This content can elevate the authors to expert status. These are the types of pieces that entire campaigns can be built around – emails, webcasts, speaker panels and media tours. This type of content can result in uneven product engagement and sales, but huge spurts.

Part of this comes down to whether you prefer a lot of singles and doubles or home runs with lots of strike outs.

My preference: Consistency. In the end, I think this builds confidence with the audience and long-term authority that carries over to other areas of a business. While home runs can be magical, the strike outs are momentum killers that I would rather avoid.

Your thoughts?

If Great Content Is Created And No One Reads It… Why Content Isn’t King

Conduct a simple Twitter or Google search on “Content is King” and you’ll receive hundreds of results ranging from Bill Gates to Fast Company preaching this overused truism.

But the facts don’t back up the myth.

Newspapers are loaded with great content, yet few people read them. Printed books are collecting dust in out-dated bookstores across the globe. Countless whitepapers are posted daily on the web but the intended audience never finds them.

There are lots of individuals and businesses turning out great content because that’s the easy part. The tricks, the parts that are the real king makers, are figuring out how to get an audience to find the content and then engage with the content. Without that, you’ve got nothing more than a monarch without a kingdom.

Now that web audiences are fragmenting from destination websites to multiple social media venues, mobile apps and beyond, it’s more important than ever to focus not just on developing quality content, but figuring out how to deliver it.

After all, “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it…”

Nov 9

Chicken Or The Egg? Did Obama Follow Business Or Did Business Take Cues From Campaign?

As the analysis of the recent presidential election is being written, it’s becoming increasingly clear that President Obama’s campaign used a combination of social media, targeted advertising and feet on the street knocking on doors that mirrored a strategy many successful businesses are following.


The social media air campaign included viral YouTube commercials that were picked up by Twitter, Facebook, bloggers and news organizations. It included sponsored tweets and Facebook posts. The campaign also used Google+, Reddit, Instagram and other social venues.


For television advertising, it mostly stayed away from the networks and developed specific commercials for specific demographics that aired on specific cable channels, thus maximizing its budget and the impact.


Finally, Obama had the equivalent of an internal and external sales organization, making calls to existing clients (supporters) and prospects (undecided voters) while knocking on doors to make in-depth sales pitches and confirm that the sale (vote) would go through.


Many successful companies are already using these techniques, having forgone traditional national advertising campaigns while instead micro-targeting customers and potential customers in order to drive sales, retain clients, spread their value proposition message and build evangelism among their most fervent supporters.


So which came first: the Obama campaign’s roadmap or successful business strategy? I’m not sure, but either way, more businesses would be wise to follow this direction.

Trying To Obtain Perfection Usually Means Less Than Perfect Results

Despite long ago entering the digital age, many marketing managers still think print first. Maybe they aren’t creating print components, but they are still using old school, print-like thinking.

The result is a process that tries to get everything perfect the first time. Days/weeks/months are spent on the nuances of the message, the details of the creative and the multiple layers of review. Rather than ensuring the baseline objectives of the project are being met, they reach for perfection, with less -than-perfect results.

The reason is that rather than creating a culture of optimization that takes advantage of the digital age – build, release, analyze, optimize, repeat – organizations find it difficult to break with tradition. There is social media that can allow consumers to weigh in on new initiatives, multivariate testing that gives companies the ability to test multiple creative concepts at the same time, Google Analytics (for free) or higher end programs such as Omniture (not free) that provide insights that give companies the ability to make informed decisions.

It takes courage to pull the safety cord and go to market with a concept that may not be completely perfect, but the time wasted marching toward nirvana can result in missed opportunities, stale concepts and poor response.

What’s been your experience?