Social Media Marketing

TwitterUsersCaptureSo, Twitter reported interesting results yesterday. The active user count rose 18% to 302M.

The company further reported that 80% of users access Twitter via their mobile device. Really? That’s it? I’ll bet my usage is 99% mobile.

Sales increased 74% year / year to $436M. Unfortunately, between January and March 2015, $162.4M has burned off the company’s books.

Bummer for investors as the stock declined 18%.

Excerpts from Peter Bernstein’s article – Thanks for the quotes!

My thanks to Peter Bernstein for a great article. It’s always good to have a discussion with someone else that remembers what the taxi line was like at Comdex in 1986. Jacob Javits Center..wow, not a good time.  And yes, we have both been around the block..uh..twice!

Optify Report Says Google Dominates B2B Search and Twitter Outperforms Facebook on Lead Generation

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In the statement announcing the study, Doug Wheeler, CMO of Optify stated that, “Google has long proven to be the uncontested leader in the search market, and as our research shows, that authority will only continue into the foreseeable future.”

He further noted that, “With such a clear domination of search, we believe that marketers should diversify their marketing programs beyond organic search. It will come as no surprise if Google decides to monetize elements of its organic search data such as referring keywords, access to analytics or other, currently free services, leaving marketers no choice but to adhere to its terms.”

Wheeler had me with the word “monetize.” In fact, it prompted a call where I asked him for more insight on the findings. He congratulated me that my previous article was on the right track. He noted however, that Optify had hard data that the situation is “worse than you thought.” He went on to caution that the trend of an increase in “not provided” because you did not pay, and hence traffic was blocked, is laying the groundwork for what I have characterized as Google being a not insignificant (and possibly not inexpensive) tollgate on the Internet.

Back to the issues revealed by the study. Reality is that because of Google’s dominance, and the seeming lack of a disruptor, as Wheeler explained, “You are likely locked into Google as a customer and they are going to make you pay for the data.”
In short, traffic information at a high level is interesting and you need it, but the underlying data and analytics behind it are what are very valuable to marketers always on the search for more perfect data to fine-tune their efforts. And, because they are intrinsically valuable they will be something you have to pay for. You probably do so sooner rather than later.

It also means according to Wheeler that, “Because social media as we found is not great on referrals, content marketing and SEO are going to be harder work than ever before, and Google is likely to continue to adjust its algorithms.” He did say that such adjustments are not just based on locking in customers and positioning them to pay for value added, but also because the goal of business intelligence is to hopefully make tools continuously smarter and hence even more valuable for you the marketer and by extension Google.

I also wanted to share a few of Wheeler’s words of advice if you are putting together a marketing program. He said the study uncovered the fact that, “Things that bring traffic to your site are not highest converters.” Concentration does need to be on diversity with the understanding of:
What brings traffic to your site? What gets them to opt in so you can further engage them? Realization that social media may be valuable for getting awareness, and consideration, but it has yet to prove itself as a means for conversion.

Wheeler in fact stressed the fact that e-mail is the way to convert people. He said, “Use others to opt in, but convert using email. Work the funnel.”

Digital Marketing BS Detector! Ever want one of these? :)

I was reviewing a post from Uri for the Optify blog on the 5 Questions every marketer should ask before running a digital marketing campaign and couldn’t stop laughing when I saw this video he included from an episode on the Adobe TV site. I started laughing – probably to keep from crying. I am sooooo guilty … I throw around buzzwords and even after 25+ years of slinging it in the tech space I still have to be reminded.  I am sure many of you wished you had your very own digital marketing bs detector.

 

I really wish I had one that worked on the plumber, water heater, air conditioning and electrician guys!

Digital Marketing Q & A with Matt Heinz

matt-heinzMatt Heinz started Heinz Marketing 6 years ago and is now one of the most well-known marketing gurus in Seattle. Matt and I had a chance meeting in the hallway at Market Leader one day and have stayed in touch since.  After running into each other at every marketing function in Seattle for years, we decided to do some business together and recently I had him come in and evaluate the marketing and sales processes at Optify.

As we rolled out our 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report I was very happy to have Matt request a Q & A on the report and the data that we had gathered. Here’s how Matt kicked off the article.

Report: Analyzing 62 million web site visits for B2B marketing best practices

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62 million visits. 350,000 leads. More than 600 B2B sites. That’s a lot of data. Pull together a report based on what it says about marketing best practices – what channels are working, which lead sources work best, which social channels are most important, etc. – and we’re talking some seriously valuable insights for B2B companies and marketers of all shapes and sizes.

Having access to that data, of course, is the hard part. Unless you happen to operate the Web and marketing systems for those 600+ B2B companies.That’s where Optify comes in. I highly recommend downloading a copy of their 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report. Lots of great best practices, some which you’d expect but plenty more that were surprising and counter-intuitive to me.

I asked Doug Wheeler, CMO for Optify, to help me dig into more detail on some of the report’s findings. See the Q & A

Optify 2012 Benchmark Report: Google and Twitter Crush Competitors

Today we announced our Optify’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report.  Optify’s study analyzed over 62 million visits from more than 600 small and medium-sized B2B websites (only US-based .com sites with 100 to 100,000 monthly visits) from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 to determine the primary trends for online B2B marketing and share tips for B2B marketers and digital marketing agencies.

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If you don’t have time to download and review the report, we’ve developed an awesome infographic representing our key findings called Search and Deploy! Love that name :)

 

 

 

A summary of our key findings includes:

• Unlike more traditional market share reports such as the latest from ComScore, stating a 67% Search Share, our report shows that over the last year Google has increased its share of the search market to 90%+ (and growing) in the B2B sector. Bing was revealed as a distant second with approximately 5% of searches leading to B2B sites.

• Organic search is the strongest driver of known traffic to B2B sites with 41% of the traffic. In addition, Google is responsible for over 35% of all traffic to B2B websites making it the single most important referring domain in 2012.

• Blocked data continues to be a huge issue as “not provided” exceeds 40% of all organic visits from Google. Combined with visits from branded search terms, known keyword data from organic search continues to drop, leaving marketers with less than 40% of referring keywords.

•  While companies increased their investment in social media marketing, social media represented a small fraction of traffic and leads to B2B websites in 2012, contributing an average of 5% of all traffic and leads. Within social media, Twitter crushed Facebook in conversions 9-to-1 in lead generation campaigns.

• Email isn’t dead or even dying!  Email still shows high engagement rates with an average 2.9% conversion rate (well above the 1.6% overall average). This is a trend that keeps increasing as more B2B marketers leverage email for lead nurturing as well as lead generation.

Last night, Google announced their Q4 earnings – Google Profit Rises on Year-End Advertising Gain – demonstrating their dominance in Search and Advertising.  While Google’s earnings announcement surpassed analyst estimates, IMHO Google has continuously proven to be the uncontested leader in the Search market, and as our research shows, that advantage will certainly continue into the foreseeable future.

With such a clear domination of search and their obvious intent to eliminate keyword information (i.e. ‘Not Provided’), I believe it’s critical that marketers should immediately diversify their marketing programs beyond organic search to include content marketing, retargeting and especially focus on opt-in emails. Furthermore, it will come as no surprise if Google decides to begin monetizing more elements of its organic search data such as referring keywords, access to analytics or other, currently free services, leaving marketers no choice but to adhere to its terms.

If you are a digital marketing agency and the trusted advisor to your clients, please feel free to share out our information and encourage your customers to diversify their digital marketing strategy now!

Over the last week, I was able to speak on several press briefings regarding this study and expect to see the press coverage hit today.  As we see published articles and links, I will share the good news.

Thank you!

10 Steps for a Successful Social Outreach Program

Social outreach is the process of finding and connecting with influencers in a specific content category. There are people who know a whole lot about something that have built up a following of other people who want to learn and engage with them. Our very own Scott Fasser shares ten steps to putting together an effective social outreach program. 

Please check this out!

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