Monday, March 30, 2009

Is Social Networking A Waste Of Time?

My friend and colleague, copywriting expert, Bob Bly, has an intersting discussion about social media going on on his blog. I chimmed in and it occured to me to comment about this topic on my own blog as well.

To check out the full article and discussion, visit:

However, in a nutshell, one of the commenters mentioned that " a direct response marketer’s metrics, social media is a waste of time..." and " networking is simply real world interpersonal networking digitized. You wouldn’t try to apply direct marketing practices to a business networking event, and you wouldn’t expect to launch a marketing campaign with a “Chamber of Commerce Business Mixer Strategy...”

Good, valid points, however, I disagree somewhat. And here's why:

Social media, to me, is a hybrid between relationship/network marketing and direct marketing.

It’s relationship marketing if you know how to be a strategic thinker as well as be creative with your marketing messages. In other words, what to say and where to say it. Targeting is key. You have to look at each social media website to see if it, and it's users, are the right fit for your marketing message and business. Then, you need to craft your message accordignly. And that requires good creative, copywriting skills. (I've had tremendous success with LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg and StumbleUpon. But not so much with Facebook. For my business, Facebook users are not necessarily the decision makers I want to get in front of to help build my consulting business. However, I still promote my website on Facebook. I get to enjoy ancillary traffic and the backlink (SEO) from a top ranked website. But I don't count on real, solid leads.)

It’s direct response as you can measure results. Granted, it’s not as cut and dry as some other online marketing methods, like email. Where deliverability, clicks, opens, sales, and ROI is concrete. But, for me (and my business), I can specifically track any leads or sales I get back to specific social media platforms. And I can measure traffic to my website via Google Analytics from those same sites. As a core direct marketer, I don't waste my time on something I can't tie a metric to.

What do you think?

FYI, see these other two related articles I wrote on social media: (article in “Online Marketing” section on “Measuring Social Media”).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Video, SEO and the Top Sites to Be On...

Many marketers are uploading video to YouTube, but they reaaaaallllyyy don't know how to exactly leverage this platform.

First, let's reiterate that video is content. And content should be leveraged and syndicated. This will help (as I wrote in my "SONAR" post) with backlinks, SEO, traffic generation, lead generation and monetization, and buzz.

The best video sharing sites to upload your videos to are:
YouTube, Google Video, MetaCafe, and DailyMotion.

These sites are extremely popular and get the most traffic/visitors.

Also, don't forget you can also syndicate your video content through RSS (if you have RSS on your website).

OK, some quick tips on optimal video for SEO:

1) Clips should be less than 5 minutes (1-3 min.), relevant, benefit oriented and interesting for the users. They could also be teaser snipets that link to a fuller-length video that is housed on your website.

2) Make sure your video has a powerful, eye-catching title. This is where good copywriting skills come in. Think "headline" or "banner ad" -- something that a user will only see for a few seconds then decide if they will click.

3) Make sure your title and description is chock full of your top keywords, keywords that are in your video and that your target audience will search under.

4) Make sure your video is tagged (meta data) properly with your keywords to get picked up by SE Spiders.

5) Make sure your video has either your company logo or URL for branding.

6) If the video is on your website, encourage other users to "republish" by providing the proper code. This will help with viral marketing.

7) Cross-market your video in your eNewsletters, website, and in your social media accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) to drive traffic and create buzz.

When done right, marketing via video is a cost effective, efficient, and powerful way to get prospects and profits. And best of all...the viral factor could be off the charts!
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