What are your marketing priorities for 2010?

The smart money is backing social media…

Money spent on social media-related advertising is already expected to grow significantly this year, and now we also know that the medium is considered the top priority in the digital space according to a survey of senior marketers.

The research, published today in eMarketer, shows that 45.4% of respondents considered social a ‘top priority’ while another 42.2% deemed it ‘important’. That narrowly beat out digital infrastructure for the top spot, with other marketing tactics like search, mobile, and blogger outreach trailing significantly. Source: Social Is the Top Priority for Marketers in 2010 [STATS]

Maybe you’re one of those who knows they need to incorporate social media into their marketing plans, but feels like the train has already left the station. Maybe you don’t even want to admit that you don’t know where to start? No drama! No one can get you up to speed faster than our team! Comment, call or contact us to talk more about where you’re at and where you want to be…

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Repurposing Content for Maximum Impact

[Hitterdals Church, Telemarken (i.e, Telemark)...
Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

The gospel is to be communicated. This is evangelism. By what means should this communication happen? I get the feeling from the Apostle Paul that it’s “by all means” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Paul preached and spoke as he traveled the Roman roads from city to city. He wrote and utilized the volunteer help of messengers to spread his ideas. He hit the synagogues, the marketplaces and even the prisons to share the gospel. Yet the tools at Paul’s disposal were quite limited compared to our arsenal today.

By enlarging your congregation’s collection of tools, you can stretch the value of your communications strategy and talk to new audiences in new places via new mediums never possible in the early apostolic era. Consider this:

  • The pastor’s message can be re-distributed by media through the mail.
  • It can be printed in periodicals and publications.
  • It can be offered in a media player on a website.
  • It can become part of a podcast, updating weekly with very little effort or financial cost.
  • Pieces of that message can become blog posts when re-worked for an online reading audience.
  • More pieces can be sent out as a daily devotional email.
  • Nuggets from that message can be tweeted and retweeted, or shared on Facebook.
  • Discussion arising from all of these distributions can create opportunities to converse with people previously out of reach.
  • Those conversations can become the beginnings of new content as the message takes on a life of its own by its listening audience.
  • A short clip from the message (if recorded on video) can land on YouTube.
  • Church members can share the clip on their Facebook wall.
  • The slideshow from the message can be shared online.
  • The slideshow, transcript, and audio and/or video can be packaged together and distributed by download, CD or even custom-imprinted thumb drives for other churches to benefit from.

Should we be creating new messages? Absolutely. But we can also take what God has given already and put it to its fullest possible use, spreading it around in the cloud of content we’re all breathing and then fielding the questions that arise.

The mission has never changed: Get the gospel to the world. But the tools have multiplied many times over, allowing us to do it more efficiently than ever before. Which means we can spend less time fighting to create more content at all costs and spend more time simplifying our message and distributing it effectively.

It’s all about churches this morning @ on the ‘elevation blog’ — due in part to rediscovering ‘Church Marketing Sucks’, subscribing to their feed, and being reminded of their great content…

I want to put a really fine point on this post by saying imho — it’s all about using a blog as a homebase that automatically re-expresses or redelivers content to multiple points without additional burden on the church staff [same principle applies to business, btw!]. For example, the author puts podcasts above blogs, but a podcast is nothing more than an ‘audio’ category in a blog. Here’s an example — get it?

I quoted the whole post above for busy people — pasters, ceo’s, thought leaders — who wouldn’t normally take the time to click through to the source. Comment, call or use the contact form to connect so we can talk about how this applies to your ministry…

Big Talk. Small Acts.

If you’re going to do anything in Marketing, is it more important to focus on “how many?” people you put your message in front of or “who?” you put your message in front of?

You can see this as the classic “quantity over quality” debate or you can look at it as “big vs. small,” however you slice it, it’s hard to argue that brands can now get major results through many small (and sometimes minimal) acts. There are winning business cases (in fact, more than you may think) around every corner. A cause for celebration if you dabble in the Social Media space (we like to claim those small victories as our own).

But, Social Media alone will not save you.

While some small brands can do many small things that achieve incremental results, the bigger brands tend to be doing a whole lot more of the the little things while pushing their weight around if something clicks. One example of this would be the indie-turned Paramount Pictures scareflick, Paranormal Activity. Leveraging many of the Social Media platforms (from Twitter and YouTube to Eventful) the movie had an initial groundswell that enabled Paramount to kick marketing dollars into additional online spaces (and traditional mass media ones too) and slowly push it to become the blockbuster that it became.

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’re interested in learning more…

The importance of curation

From a 30,000 foot view, there are two types of bloggers; creators and curators. Let’s talk about curation as an ‘art’ form…

“Content aggregation (the automated gathering of links) can be seen on sites like Google News. Overall, this type of aggregation has been seen as a positive thing for content creators and publishers, and up until very recently, it was left to technology. Content creation, meanwhile, was a human effort.

But all that changes with curation — the act of human editors adding their work to the machines that gather, organize and filter content.

“Curation comes up when search stops working,” says author and NYU Professor Clay Shirky. But it’s more than a human-powered filter. “Curation comes up when people realize that it isn’t just about information seeking, it’s also about synchronizing a community.”

Part of the reason that human curation is so critical is simply the vast number of people who are now making and sharing media. “Everyone is a media outlet”, says Shirky. “The point of everyone being a media outlet is really not at all complicated. It just means that we can all put things out in the public view now.”

Who are curators? What can they gather and re-publish? Do they have the right to get paid for curation? If so, who’s adding the real value, the content makers or the curators/publishers?

For creators — people who’ve spent their careers making content and trying to sort out an economic model — curation can seem like an end-run around hard work. And so the conflict ultimately comes down to this: Is curation about saving money? Or about adding value? The answer, it appears, is “yes” to both.

http://curationnation.magnify.net/embed/player/?layout=&playlist_cid=&media_type=video&content=X4R3BR2QN5MNHDJC&widget_type_cid=svp

“A lot of it is economic — doing more with less — and it has crossed every media industry,” explains Allen Weiner of Gartner Group. “If you think about the tools you want to give an editor to make him or her more complete, you want to give them curation tools.” It could be “something they add to their own content. As more old media companies attempt to do more with less, publishing tools that allow this efficiency without demeaning the product quality … [are] going to be very important.”

So certain things are clear — there’s an economic imperative to add curation to the content mix. And from a user perspective, well done curation is a huge value-add in a world where unfiltered signal overwhelms noise by an ever increasing factor.” Source: Why Content Curation Is Here to Stay

My guess is that this blog is 3% creation and 97% curation. Does it work? You’re here, aren’t you?

Posterous is the key

The folks at Posterous describe it this way…

Here’s how Posterous fits into MY thought leadership workflow…

Posterous is the key to ‘dead simple’ internet publishing and is an important part of the ‘consumption to production’ continuum. I’ll be outlining it in more details as the series goes on…

How often should I post?

The icon used by Apple to represent Podcasting.
Image via Wikipedia

Let’s start here…

“Without question, blogging provides an effective way to market your business, be a valuable resource and build your personal brand online. And most folks know that, generally, the more frequently you blog, the higher your traffic. But does that mean you should follow the advice of many to create a new post every single day?

Focusing only on traffic numbers, instead of the concentrating on sharing content and building relationships will send you down the path to burnout. Here at WebWorkerDaily, we have multiple writers contributing to help keep the content fresh. But for one-person blogs, blogging daily works for some and not for others.” Source: Just How Often Should You Blog? – WebWorkerDaily

Go to the source for some good thoughts on ‘how often’ — it’s really good stuff! In the meantime, I’m heading in another direction…

I just closed out my best blogging month ever traffic-wise. What was significant to me was that I did it in a ‘short’ month with no speaking engagements. Usually, when I have a chance to speak, my traffic spikes because all the seminar attendees check out my site — it’s usually good for a couple hundred pageviews. In February, however, I did it all on my own, post by post by post. I’ve already laid out all my tactics and tools in the series “Top 10 Tactics and Tools for Tightening your Tribe” and yes, I used them all this past month. I did make two significant changes, however. #1 I redesigned my site using the ‘Thesis’ theme which promises some kind of magic SEO foo and really seems to have delivered for me. #2 I experimented with spreading my posts out throughout the day. Instead of posting 3-5 posts at 6:00 AM, I spread them out every two hours or so throughout the day. Whether it was one, or the other, or both, my traffic’s going nuts!

HubSpot gives me a grade of 96 on my site, Google tells me I have 6,076 pageviews over the past 30 days and Alexa tells me my site is ranked 484,123 in the US. Not much left to prove from my perspective and the thing that excites me most is that my success is the result of a systematic process I can teach to anyone. I usually benchmark myself against local radio station WTAQ because I like to see how I fare against ‘old’ media in my market. They have an Alexa ranking of 116,615 which is really awesome. It thrills me that I’m actually ranked higher than local social media wunderkind Dana VanDen Heuvel [a good friend to e1evation], although I’m sure that won’t last long. He’s at 520,219…

I’m certain my traffic will drop some during the upcoming month as I’ll be directing a great deal of my creative energy toward three projects I announced in February. They are the Social Media Academy — an online training class on the top tactics and tools for effective social media, The Damn Good Social Media Guide — the accompanying ebook, and last? A weekly podcast. I’m currently looking for beta testers for the Social Media course. If you’d like to save yourself the $499 fee and get all the content in a rough format for free, comment, call or contact me and let me know. As always, thanks for reading…

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Some straightforward thoughts on social media…

…from Wisconsin social media guru [no, that’s not an oxymoron!] Dana VanDen Heuvel…

“Social media is an umbrella term for online technologies that connect people through networking, according to Dana VanDen Heuvel, founder and president of the Marketing Savant Group, Green Bay.” Source: Social media connects organizations, customers | greenbaypressgazette.com | Green Bay Press-Gazette

He goes on to say…

“”The value of social media is that it connects customers to us or to each other. It’s not just a list of Web sites or things to download,” VanDen Heuvel said. “It’s about meeting people in their medium. That is really what social media is designed to help you do.”

Businesses should care about social media, because it has changed people’s expectations of what organizations do online as compared with five years ago, he said. Also, three out of four Americans use some form of social technology: blogging, micro-blogging (Twitter), social networking (Facebook), sharing videos and others.” Source: Social media connects organizations, customers | greenbaypressgazette.com | Green Bay Press-Gazette

He goes on to talk about offering unique value through your social media outposts and such practical things as how often your should update Facebook pages, etc. Follow the link to read the rest of article — it’s really good stuff…

btw, Dana’s a great speaker and I owe a lot to him in terms of my growth and development in social media over the past year. Do take the opportunity to see him speak if you ever get the chance — you can see his schedule here. When you want to talk tactics and tools for IMPLEMENTING Dana’s strategies, however, comment, call or contact me! I’ll help you put Dana’s strategies into practice…

😉

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