I had so much fun creating the Content Marketing World soundbites images, I decided to do the same with from my recent trip to Search Engine Strategies in Chicago. Below are some of the great insights and quotes I jotted down while at SES Chicago.
UPDATED 11/12/12: Presentation deck from the workshop is embedded below.
Location3 hosted on-site training at the Search Engine Strategies (SES) Chicago conference on November 12. Account Director Anne Baum (@searchdiva) and Social Media Planner Angie Pascale (@angiepascale, that’s me!) led a half-day workshop titled, “Advanced Local Search and Social Strategies.”
In the workshop, we discussed how local search marketing, social media and mobile marketing are coming together, how to leverage these initiatives for national and local businesses, and what the future holds.
Other take-aways included:
- Insights on new Google+ Local pages, how they differ from Google Place pages and how local businesses should manage data on these pages
- How to structure and optimize local pay per click campaigns to meet your online goals
- Utilizing display and retargeting for local products and services
- How to develop localized content and engagement strategies to leverage social media
- Tips and best practices for reaching and engaging on-the-go consumers through their mobile devices
- How to integrate campaigns and provide a consistent user experience and message across all platforms
- Methods and tools for measuring performance and impact of social, local and mobile marketing efforts
- Industry insights and trends to predict and prepare for future initiatives in local, social and mobile
The workshop involved an educational presentation where attendees learned about local search and social media strategies by following one customer’s journey from interest to research, recommendation to validation and finally, decision, paired with the integrated marketing efforts carried out by an agency at each stage in the purchase path. Additionally, the workshop involved a live evaluation of one student’s AdWords account and social media channels.
The workshop took place from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Monday, November 12.
Thanks to all the students for attending, and for their undivided attention and thoughtful questions. We had a fantastic time helping to improve and integrate your digital marketing, and didn’t even mind the chilly and windy Chicago weather!
On September 20, Facebook made some changes to it’s ranking algorithm, EdgeRank, which has caused major decreases in organic and viral reach. According to EdgeRank Checker, organic reach decreased 25% and viral reach descreased 45%.
Facebook stated that the changes were meant to “de-clutter” the newsfeed and create a better user experience, but it has made brands and page owners extremely upset, naturally, especially after it became apparent that Facebook only shows your posts to 16% or so of fans. But, don’t worry, Facebook states, you can pay for Promoted Posts to reach a larger portion of your fan base!
The EdgeRank changes have led brands to seek out alternate ways to increase their reach without having to pay. A new Facebook feature, Interest Lists, has been where many brands landed.
Interest Lists display in the left sidebar and are similar to Twitter lists—users can add brand or personal pages to a specific list, then view all posts from those pages in one continuous stream. To encourage users to add them to Interest Lists, we have seen several brands posting a variation on the following message:
We’ve had several social media clients ask whether they should do the same, and our recommendation is that it doesn’t hurt to ask fans to add you to an interest list, but we don’t feel it’s necessary to post this exact message that is going around. It can be done in a more personal and informal way.
The thing to keep in mind, however, is that Interest Lists still cannot guarantee reach or views. Users must actively add a brand to the Interest List and then they must click on the Interest List link in the side bar to actually see the updates. So it depends on if the user will actually be checking their lists as to whether or not it will increase the reach of the posts, and we just cannot predict usage patterns at this time.
Do you think Interest Lists will take off? Are you using them for your brand or personally?
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about Tumblr lately, and with the announcement of an analytics platform being fully released in November, we thought it was time to provide some tips and best practices. For a general overview on Tumblr and how brands are using it, check out a previous Location3 blog, “Tumblr: Is It Right for Your Business?”
1. Use Photo Posts When Possible
UPDATED: Section updated after meeting with a Tumblr brand strategist and getting some first hand tips. Thanks, Jeff!
You can choose from several types of Tumblr posts, each with their own features and benefits. The photo post displays images in an aesthetically pleasing way, however, it does not have a title. Using a text post will allow you to still post photos along with text, and includes a title where you can insert relevant and high volume keywords. Yet, the photos do not display as nicely.
We recommend using text posts as much as possible, unless it makes your high quality photography look poor. Additional posts types are quote, link, chat, audio and video. Only link posts and chat posts allow you to add titles.
We originally recommended using only text posts due to the ability to add titles, and thus, include more high-volume terms. However, after some discussions with Tumblr and more investigating, we would like to modify that recommendation. Due to the nature of Tumblr, photos really are the most appealing and engaging types of content to use. While they do not include a specific title area, you can affect the page title modifying the URL (see Tip 3 below). The terms you use for the URL will be translated into your page title.
For example, the title for this blog http://blog.warbyparker.com/post/33658946101/graphic-designer-chase-kettl-created-these is “Zagg Pepper | Graphic designer Chase Kettl created these.” While it’s not the most SEO friendly title, it does have the capability of including keywords while maintaining the high quality visual experience.
2. Ask Questions & Enable the “Ask Box”
You can choose to answer questions publicly or privately when users ask you a question in the message box. Since Tumblr does not have a comment functionality like other blogs, this is the only way readers can get in touch with you.
You can ask questions by ending a post with a questions mark, this gives you the option to “allow people to answer.” The answers would be stored with the post similar to comments on Facebook posts.
3. Leverage Tagging & Customization Capabilities
Include relevant, high-volume keywords in tags, custom URL and title, where possible. These words should relate to your brand, your products/services and any similar topics that are included in the posts.
4. Make sure the Search Engines See You
In the settings section of your Tumblr, make sure to check the box for “Allow search engines to index your blog.” If you do not, no matter how many reblogs or traffic you get, you will never rank in Google, Bing or any other engines.
5. Keep it Short and Sweet
Short posts heavy on visuals. There are no character limits like on Twitter however it is still micro blogging, keep your posts punchy and quick to read.
6. Engage with Others
“Like/Heart” and “Reblog” other users posts. This shows you are active and want to engage with other users. This also gets your account name in more places. Follow influencers in your vertical.
7. Add the Tumblr Bookmarklet
The Tumblr toolbar addition, Bookmarklet, allows you to post from anywhere on the web. Be sure to give original credit. You can also post from the mobile app.
8. Get Listed in the Tumblr Directory
List your Tumblr in the official directory by either asking your followers to recommend you on Tumblr Tuesday or you can pay to be a feature blog.
9. Queue Up Posts for Increased Efficiency
Tumblr’s scheduling feature isn’t as robust as other blogging platforms, but you still have options for creating drafts and scheduling posts to assist in managing time and resources. Publishing options are:
- publish now
- add to queue (you set when and how often queue pushes live)
- publish on…
- save as draft
10. Cross-promote and Repurpose
Cross promote posts throughout your social networks and drive traffic back to your Tumblr. Make sure, however, to treat each social network differently but posting an original message on each. Below are some ideas for cross promoting and repurposing content:
- Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn – Repost on Tumblr some of the best replies you are getting for a question that you asked on these social sites.
- Instagram – Post some of your better photos from Tumblr onto Instagram, driving followers on both networks.
- Pinterest – Because Tumblr is a picture-based blogging platform, images from your Pinterest account translate extremely well into Tumblr posts.
11. Measure Success
Until the new analytics platform is released next month (and maybe in addition), make sure to add Google Analytics to your Tumblr to view traffic, keywords, referring sources and other metrics. Note that the engagements that make Tumblr unique–reblogs–will not show up in Google Analytics.
12. Expand Your Reach
Tumblr offers sponsorships–Radar and Spotlight–that help to increase reach of your account and drive impressions and followers. More information on sponsorships can be found here: http://www.tumblr.com/sponsors or your Location3 rep can assist with providing more information.
Thanks to Project Manager Nicole Whiteley (@NicoleKWhiteley) for putting much of this information together.
The colorful women’s apparel brand Fresh Produce selects digital marketing partner Location3 Media to increase visibility and grow ecommerce business.
Boulder, CO-based apparel company Fresh Produce needed assistance increasing the brand’s online presence. Known for its refreshing color, relaxed look and everyday comfort, Fresh Produce had a loyal customer base but believed they were only scratching the surface of their potential in e-commerce. The brand selected Location3 Media as their digital marketing agency of record to help increase revenue, support and build brand image and expand the successful plus-sized product category.
“We are pleased to align with Location3 Media in our efforts to continue to grow our online business,” said Tia Mattson, senior marketing manager at Fresh Produce. “The team’s deep understanding of multi-channel brands and their approach to strategically shaping the path to purchase makes the digital agency a perfect fit for Fresh Produce.
Location3 team members will provide Fresh Produce with a complete digital brand strategy including recommendations and execution for display and pay per click advertising, digital advertising creative, search engine optimization, blogger outreach and Facebook advertising. The digital partner will also complete an extensive social and email campaign audit to provide insights and opportunities in these channels.
“It’s a pleasure to work with a brand that truly knows its identity and connects with its consumers as closely as Fresh Produce. Their well-developed brand voice is a natural fit for expanding the paid media presence, improving search coverage and increasing engagement on social media, and the bright colors and prints make creative work a pleasure,” said Location3 President Alex Porter (@porter32).
Fresh Produce got its start as a small family-run business almost 30 years ago. Husband-and-wife team Thom and Mary Ellen Vernon started silk-screening T-shirts in bright graphics at a friend’s apartment and sold them out of a booth at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Long Beach, CA. The demand from consumers for their brightly colored USA-branded T-shirts soon led to the start of the Fresh Produce women’s clothing brand. Today Fresh Produce has 27 retail locations across the United States and the brand is sold at more than 400 independent retailers and at freshproduceclothes.com. Over 80% of Fresh Produce apparel is sourced, assembled, and made in the USA.
At one point in the not so distant past, social media was like the Wild Wild West—unconstrained by the laws and rules forced on other media sources. Users reposted any image onto their own blogs without asking or crediting the owner; and bloggers accepted significant sums of money to write rave product reviews without mentioning the monetary exchange.
But no more. A few years ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) expanded copyright laws and disclosure guidelines to cover social media channels and initiatives (something they had not done since 1980!). Following are the basic issues, and some quick tips for ensuring you adhere to the guidelines and cover yourself in the unfortunate event of a lawsuit.
THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
The most recent FTC update occurred in October 2009, but still remains relevant and enforced. Following are the main items that were updated:
- Any advertisement featuring a testimonial discussing an atypical experience with a product or service (e.g., “I lost 200 lbs. with the FlexBelt alone!”) must clearly disclose typical results.
- “Material connections” between the advertiser and endorser must be clearly disclosed. Materials can mean direct payments, free products or gifts of any kind. This update was made to address bloggers and social media specifically. Bloggers must state their connection to any product/service they endorse if connected materially.
- Endorsers, not just advertisers, can now be held liable for false or unsubstantiated claims or for not disclosing connection.
- Celebrities have a duty to disclose relationships with advertisers when using mediums outside of traditional advertising, such as social media or talk shows.
Full details on the FTC guidelines update: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/11/p034520endorsementguides.pdf
Endorsements must reflect the honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experience of the endorser. An endorsement may not convey any express or implied representation that would be deceptive if made directly by the advertiser. If an advertiser would like to repost a testimonial made on one site onto another, it does not have to be the exact text, but it cannot be presented out of context or reworded in a way that distorts the original message.
If the endorser is claiming to be an expert in a field, they must back this up by information on experience or training in that field, or by scientific evidence. This does not apply if the testimonial covers subjective attributes, such as taste; however, the endorser must support findings by showcasing an exercise of which they are an expert at evaluating (e.g., taste test by a panel of randomly selected consumers).
Full guidelines on testimonials: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf
The advertiser and/or agency conducting blogger outreach is responsible for ensuring that bloggers disclose their connection to the brand or any payment received, and that they know what can and cannot be stated. This correspondence should be documented in writing and contain assurance by the blogger that they will include said disclosure. If the blogger fails to disclose the connection for any reason, you have these documents on file showing that you followed procedure and made every effort.
How can you be sure if the blogger needs to disclose something? Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to any, then it is considered “sponsored communication” and the blogger must disclose:
- Was blogger compensated?
- Did blogger receive free product/service?
- Was their opinion solicited?
- Did you reach out directly?
Celebrities are an exception, as is usually the case. Celebrities do not need to disclose because it’s assumed they are being paid for everything they do; however, they must disclose a material connection when appearing on or utilizing non-traditional outlets, such as a talk show or Twitter.
The advertiser may be held responsible for copyright violations created through user-generated content (UGC). The safest way to utilize UGC is to leave it as submitted. Never edit a single letter or pixel of content provided by a user.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Safe Harbors can protect advertisers from liability resulting from the activities of users, and place that liability on the infringing user. The safe harbors are essentially ways for advertisers and agencies to proactively cover their butts to avoid copyright infringement issues:
- Do not provide a financial benefit for infringing activity
- Include take down and termination notices about copyright infringements; notices can be part of sign up process or live on website where users can access them
- Alert user if their materials have been removed due to copyright, indicate specific material in question, and provide opportunity to rebut if they believe it was wrongly removed
- Provide releases for copyright (intellectual property) and publicity (personal property)
To qualify for the safe harbors, an advertiser must satisfy the following criteria for UGC:
- Advertiser is an entity offering the transmission, routing or providing of connections for digital online communications
- Advertiser did not initiate the transmission of the material
- Transmission, routing, provision of connections or storage is carried out automatically
- User, not advertiser, must select the origination and destination points of communication
- Advertisers must not modify the communication selected by the user
- Communication is transmitted “through” the system or network of the advertiser
- No copy of the communication is maintained on the system or network in a manner ordinarily accessible to anyone other than anticipated recipients
- No copy is maintained on the system or network in a manner ordinarily accessible to anticipated recipients for a longer period than is reasonably necessary for the transmission, routing and provision of connections
PHOTOS & IMAGES
Creative Commons licensing allows you to reuse work such as photographs without violating copyright laws provided you credit the photographer or individual that created the work. Creative Commons is most frequently associated with Flickr, due to the fact that it’s a great source for finding free photos.
To locate Flickr photos that you can use, go to http://www.flickr.com/search/advanced/. Make sure you have the following check box marked, then enter a search query.
To download the photo, you must first click on it to bring up the image’s page. Once you do this, right click on it to choose which size you’d like to see and download (400-500 is usually big enough for blog posts).
For photos with buildings, landscapes, animals, etc., be sure to credit the photographer. Simply adding the caption, “Photo by John Wilson” with a link back to the Flickr photo works just fine.
Do not use photos with people in them, unless you are willing to seek out the individuals and obtain signed publicity releases for each person.
The types of releases required for commercial use are different for intellectual and personal property. Copyright releases focus on the intellectual or material property itself (e.g., photograph, article, etc.). Publicity releases focus on personal property, and allow advertisers to use the photograph of a particular person.
PinPhoto (http://photopin.com) is another site that allows you to find and use photographs and image at no cost. The gavel image above was found using PinPhoto. The site makes it easy to properly credit the photographer and the site with a simple line of code that you can copy and paste into the HTML section of your blog.
Some verticals have specific laws and guidelines that explicitly address what they can and cannot do and say on social media channels. For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is responsible for enforcing regulations on financial companies, has stringent rules regarding solicitation, antifraud and anti-waiver provisions, Exchange Act and others. Essentially, those in the financial industry must be extremely careful that their social media content does not come off as advice for making investments, selling stocks or other financial actions. If you are in the financial industry or another industry that is highly regulated, be sure to familiarize yourself with those guidelines and rules specific to you and your brand.
Essentially, you should err on the side of caution whether you are the blogger, one reaching out to said blogger or brand being blogged about. Same goes for tweeting, Facebooking and all other online mediums. Use good judgment and be honest, and you should have nothing to fear by way of lawsuits.
Disclaimer: Location3 is not a law firm, nor are our employees lawyers. The information included in this blog is meant to guide you in the basics of copyright laws and FTC guidelines for online marketing efforts. Please review any social media practices with your own internal council.
UPDATED 12/10/12: The Twitter header will roll out to all users on December 12, 2012. If you have not uploaded a header image by that time, a default grey image will appear instead, so be sure to upload your header before then.
Today, Twitter announced the addition of a new profile header, allowing you to add a little personal or brand flair to your account. The header image displays on Twitter.com and mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android.
Before Adding New Twitter Header
After Adding New Twitter Header
As you see from the before and after images above, it certainly adds nice touch to the profile. (And the resemblance to Facebook and Google+ is getting closer and closer!) Dimensions for the image are 1252 x 626; however, you can zoom and scale once you upload the image.
Twitter is obviously encouraging photographs over banner advertisements, due to the placement. The new header is situated as a background image for your profile photo, profile name and bio, which are now centered on top of the header.
It’s quite simple to add the header. Just follow the instructions below:
1. Log into your Twitter account and click on “Edit profile.”
2. Find “Design” in the left navigation and click on the link.
3. Scroll down to “Customize your own” and click on the “Change header” button.
4. Upload your image and resize or zoom as desired. Click “Save” and you’re done!
5. Now navigate back to your profile to have a peek at your new look!
Twitter also announced a number of other aesthetic changes today. New versions of the iPhone and Android apps contain a photo stream on user profiles, displaying thumbnails of all shared photos and images. Swiping right or left will allow you to navigate through more of these shared images. Twitter’s iPad app also has a more interesting image display with in-line expansions of photos and videos.
As Instagram’s user base continues to grow (80+ million users now), images and photos are certainly taking the center stage on social networks. What do you think of all the Twitter changes today?
Don’t miss CEO Andrew Beckman at Digital World Expo (DWE) on September 28. He is speaking on “Making Money with the Future of Search” along with Daron Babin, CEO of NewGen Broadcasting, the parent company of WebmasterRadio.FM.
In the session, attendees will gain a key understanding of where search marketing is headed and how to prepare for the future by leveraging this critical digital marketing medium. Key takeaways include: maximizing social media placements for indexing, paid search opportunities on mobile devices, video search marketing, advancements in search engine technology, local search and more.
Digital World Expo is annual conference highlighting emerging interactive and digital media channels, with in-depth workshops for attendees and new business for exhibitors and sponsors. This year’s Expo takes place September 27-29 at the Mirage Events Center in Las Vegas. Andrew and Daron’s session takes place from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, September 28. Mark your calendars and register for DWE today!
Conferences are great for recording soundbites and money quotes from intelligent, insightful and successful individuals, and Content Marketing World was no different. Below are some of the better soundbites I recorded while at the conference.
“Content is fire, social media is gasoline.” – Jay Baer (@jaybaer), Convince and Convert
“Make your content about your customers, not about you. Make the customers the hero.” – Ann Handley (@marketingprofs), MarketingProfs
“You can’t force engagement. To make something social, you have to make it findable and sharable, and that’s it.” – Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel), Twist Image
“Be the best teacher in the world at what you do.” – Marcus Sheridan (@thesaleslion), The Sales Lion
“Don’t confuse context with device.” – Margot Bloomstein (@mbloomstein), Appropriate, Inc.
“Content marketing is not a campaign.” – Andrew Davis (@tpldrew), Tippingpoint Labs
“Being first can mean that you’re more successful, even if you’re not better.” – Sam Sebastian, Google
Disclaimer: I was frantically trying to capture all the amazing things these people were saying during their presentations. Because of rapid firing of great information, some of the following may not be exact quotes, but I tried to capture the context as best as possible.