Cheap noise in the online marketplace
Marketers may be more transparent, but they’re as full of useless information as ever
I’m in the thicket of online media every day. I’ve studied and practiced many “best practices” in social media, blogging, email and web content. I was a very early adopter of LinkedIn and Twitter, then Facebook. I’ve been doing email marketing successfully for about seven years now.
My educated opinion is there is something wrong with current “best practice” marketing models that will have to change at some point. Marketers may be more transparent, but they’re as full of BS as ever. It’s not intentional BS, it’s just a lot of useless information to which I’m referring as BS.
Why is this? Most marketing departments are trying to out-tweet and out-blog each other in an attempt to win the Google position race. So what happens to content? It becomes diluted and cheap, even if it’s on topic and raises visibility.
Now PLEASE don’t misunderstand. There are many excellent blogs and writers out there sailing valiantly in the ocean of mediocrity. Much of my continuing education has been gleaned from reading good blogs. They can be entertaining and very enlightening. The perfect turn of phrase in a tweet can open up a whole new area of interest and enrichment, but finding such a tweet is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
If in doubt, leave it out!
If planned and executed well, a blogging and social share strategy can certainly raise your keyword rankings in Google. That’s great, and the planning and execution should only include high-quality content.
Quality over quantity
I’ve been experimenting with cutting back the volume of my own social shares for business, focusing on uniqueness and quality of information. My third-party share rates are up. If a post doesn’t smack you with a “must see more” kind of experience, you won’t share it. If you won’t share a post or be moved by it to take action, just how effective is it?
When other people – outside your organization – enthusiastically share your content with their valued friends and connections, you’ve struck social pay dirt … if it leads to referrals and new business.
I understand the term “conversions” to include when people fill out a form on a landing page for a free e-book download or newsletter subscription. You “converted” them from an unknown human entity to a “lead” in the database. You have their email address, but did you really convert them? Do they even have the capacity to be a client? Do they have relationships with potential clients?
That’s where good marketing automation or good salesmanship comes into play to nurture the “lead” all the way to being a paying customer.
However, high-quality content over high-quantity noise will shortcut the lead nurturing. My newsletters and blog posts generate direct sales without a lot of lead-nurturing because people in the audience really like the message and therefore conclude that we can help them. People call or email a direct response. Those are my key metrics.
Striving to be at the cutting edge of your industry requires cutting-edge thinking, better product design, superior service models, strong and deep relationships … what else can you think of?
Being the first to re-tweet a technology advance or scoop news from a third party may be fast, but it’s also quite easy. What did you and your company do to advance the technology? Why are you the best reseller of that hot new technology? If you consistently demonstrate best, you’ll be talked about with just a few well-conceived and well-placed posts. Others will do the volume-sharing for you and your Google search rank will tend to skyrocket when that happens.
Our potential to positively affect each another through communication is enormous with the digital tools we have. We need to channel our messages in valuable ways, or it’s a waste of time. Let’s try to focus more on what really matters in business — quality work, quality relationships, and growth – things worth blogging about!
Chuck Sink, a marketing consultant and writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.