Thursday, August 21, 2014

What link building tactics do you use?

Is link building  dead?

in short link building is not dead, and will not die any time soon!

That being said we do need to understand the many issues that surround link building, and the implications of your personal link building strategies.  In the past when things in search first started out links were the primary SEOVI (Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicator) and links were gamed to the extent that Google and other search engines started showing very distorted and poor SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages)
The search engines thus introduced algorithms that started to look for patterns that these so called BLACK HAT search engine optimisation practitioners were using, and started penalizing those who they thought were cheating or gaming the system.  Google now has a number of NAMED ALGORITHMS , as well as many un-named algorithms,  that look into these matters and related matters where Search Engine Optimisation Technical staff and online marketing practitioners SPAM the search engines in a variety of different ways using many different techniques.

Some of these named algorithms include :

>>  PANDA
>>  PENGUIN
>>  HUMMING BIRD
>>  PIGEON

These algorithms help to improve the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages) and some are punitive, while others add value to the work of those who apply recommended tactics that are rather technical and difficult to implement, such as Google's author and publisher programs that are connected to Google plus.

This short video below will help you understand why I say that link building will not die any time soon, but link building has changed and it is now necessary to selectively screen out bad links and focus exclusively on high quality links from reputable sources when ever possible.  The question asked was does Google have a version of search where back links are excluded.  listen to what  +Matt Cutts had to say then evaluate your own situation.






The question thus becomes  What is link building and why is it important?

In short links, some times called HYPERLINKS are the tools that you use to allow  the end user, or your audience to move from one place on the internet to another, and are the only tool that search engines have of locating your online content.  If there are no links pointing to your page, then a search engine has no means of locating your page, and it will thus never be found in search.  In the past the more inbound links a page had the better it did in search results.

Link building is the process that you follow to ensure that your web pages or blog posts acquire in bound links, be they internally from   pages within your own web site /  blog or externally from some other online resource.

Today, due to the amount of SPAM generated by so called BLACK HAT SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION this is no longer true, and Google as well as all other search engines now use the quality of links more than the quantity of links.  Then  within Google search there is the issue of PANDA and PENGUIN  which both have negative or punitive tools that tackle SPAM and bad quality web pages

It is thus important that you understand the  need to have a link building policy in place, and that this link building policy needs to be well documented and shared with every person who has anything to do with your total marketing plan.  Bad links can come from a number of sources, and those who do not know about these issues can very inadvertently make use of a link building farm or some other bad tactic, thinking that they are helping your marketing efforts.   New employees or  junior marketers who have not been exposed to the impacts of bad links may not understand what a link farm is, and believe they are being helpful in getting traffic to your pages.

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF BAD LINKS TO SINK YOUR ONLINE MARKETING EFFORTS,  BE CAREFUL WHEN DEVELOPING YOUR LINK BUILDING POLICY

The social media is currently a very big source of links to your online content, and as such you do need to have a social media policy in place to deal with these issues. Once again Your social media policy needs to be well documented and shared with everybody who has anything to do with your marketing, be it online or not.  You need to remember that all your offline marketing has a very big impact on your online marketing in many ways, especially when it comes to issues around search. You will need to include your link building policy within your social media marketing policy,as they are very interconnected.

Off line marketing has strange impacts on your intended target audience, and this is where you should use terminology and language that is specific to your business interests.  Your target audience will be induced to use the words and language in your off line marketing to search online to discover more about your company, your products or your services, and you need to be aware of this in your online marketing, especially in your social media marketing, as this is where you will have direct one on one conversations with your target audience as well as many others who may or may not have a direct interest in your product, service or business proposition.

The people who you have conversations with online within the social media space, may or may not decide to place links within their posts to your web pages or blogs, and as such you need to influence these OUT SIDERS in a positive manner so that any links that they may place within their social media posts are positive and  relevant to pages within your web site or blog.

These issues are also confounded and confused when marketers say that you should not be doing any link building at all.  Link building as a term is also a very difficult term to come to grips with in the current scenario where past link building practices have destroyed web sites through their spam attacks and the use of link farms.  Link building has definitely changed a great deal over the last few years, and is now a very delicate art that is not properly understood.  On the one hand an online resource must have inbound links, these links need to be of high quality and carry some authority to have any success in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages) and on the other hand excessive links as well as links of low quality can cause a web site or blog some serious damage within the SERP's.

The guys at +Moz recently published an article called The beginners guide to link building   which I have found very helpful, and shared with my audience in other places.  The G+ post embedded below is actually what inspired this post, as I commented there  and had an interesting conversation with both  +Mike Gracia and +William Rock   Take some time and read the comments as I believe they will help you to understand the great difficulties that we as online marketers have in dealing with the changes in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) issues as well as how different people interpret the terminology within the  search engine optimisation world.  Please remember that these are sensitive issues, and need great care, so ask for second and third opinions, then apply your own mind and be aware of those who are willing to game the system.
  

THERE IS LOTS OF BAD ADVICE OUT THERE 




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why Should people connect with you?

Why Should people connect with you?

This is a very powerful and important question that all business owners need to answer, and they do need to be honest to the point of being brutal when they answer this question.

Online marketing is a very complicated affair, and there are so many different aspects that one needs to get under control, that it is very scary for all small business owners. There is so much help online for each segment, that it boggles the mind, and confuses the issue even more.

So where does one start with these issues?

Start with documenting your business purpose, aims and objectives, then evaluate these and compare them with your current marketing efforts, and understand what this means for your target audience.  Are you chasing the numbers, or are you trying to have a conversation with your audience?

If you are chasing the numbers then your audience will see this and ignore you, how ever if you are trying to have a conversation with your audience, they will interpret this and respond appropriately.

People will connect with you if you give them the opportunity, and respond appropriately when they take up your offer. Its kind of like walking down the street, if you avoid eye contact with every body and look the other way,  why should they stop and speak about the weather.  On the other hand if you look at people and greet them, then perhaps you may be able to strike up a conversation and discuss the weather,  a local event or some other common issue.  If you are all salesy and just push your self onto people and start talking about a product you want to sell, asking then to buy your stuff, then most will also ignore you and walk on past, or even worse call some back up and get you chased out of their space, and if you are in a shopping mall call security and get you turfed out of the building.

 


Being online is no different to life in the real world when it comes to behavioral issues, and trying to connect  online has the same principals and issues as trying to connect with people in real life as this short video (just under half an hour) with +Jason T. Wiser  and +Yifat Cohen explains quite well
This video is part of Jasons HOA's that he holds to promote his business interests, actually  highlights some of the related issues.   Watch the video and enjoy the feeling that you get when things fall into place so that you have a better understanding of why your target audience would want to connect with you.
Once again #FUFISM or Functional User Friendly Integrated Social Media is all about using the social media as a communication tool to integrate all your marketing into one solid well oiled marketing machine, so think carefully about why your target audience should connect with you within the social media space and do what needs to be done so that your target audience feels comfortable connecting with you within the platforms that you make available to them, and that you respond to the attempts that your audience makes to interact with you.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

FUFISM INFOGRAPHIC discussing impact on SERP's

This infographic discusses how #FUFISM impacts on your SERP's and shows some of the many different aspects of SEO that need to work together  in a collaborative effort to generate meaningful Search Engine results pages for your intended target market audience.

FUFISM is a marketing philosophy where the social media is the core communication tool that allows the different sections of your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) team to collaborate and share information,  in a manner that binds all your marketing, both online and off line into one single super marketing campaign.

It should be remembered that the purpose of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is to ensure that your intended target market complete the call to action statements embedded in your online content after discovering your online content through using a search engine.

See  (http://4ubrand.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html) for a definition of SEO
See (http://4ubrand.blogspot.com/p/fufism-functional-user-firendly.html) for a definition of #FUFISM

how #FUFISM impacts on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and resulting search engine results Pages (SERP)  pages


Thursday, July 03, 2014

What is the VALUE of a link in 2014?

The question around the value of a link in 2014 is a complicated affair, and needs some careful evaluation from a variety of different angles.  Before we can discuss the value of a link we need to define what a link is and how many types of links there actually are.

We use the term Link very liberally in conversations these days as if every body actually knows what they are and how they behave in all the senses of the word, but this is very far from the truth.

The word LINK is an abbreviation of the term HYPER-LINK.  There are many different types of links, but all do the same thing, they act as transfer points to transfer the viewers attention from what is currently displayed on screen to a new screen with different information (read content).  A link is usually indicated by a visual change of the mouse pointer from an arrow to a hand,as the mouse pointer moves across the screen from an inactive area to an active area.   Different browsers or platforms and different operating systems have slight variations of the same theme, where the mouse pointer or activity indicator moves around on the screen under the control of (you) the end user, in many new mobile devices this is not so evident, as these devices use touch screens and the presence of an active spot may be indicated in a number of different ways, and is even some times not indicated at all but purely presumed to be an active image or link icon.

An active area is defined as the space where the hyper link is active and will function when the end user (you the viewer) clicks on the active space whilst the mouse pointer is in the active mode, or in the case of a touch screen  when you  (the end user) tap or double tap on the active area of the screen.


Links come in two basic disguises, a text link and an image link.  A text link is usually indicated by a change in the colour of the text, and may or may not have associated pop up alerts that inform the viewer (you) more about the link in the form of a text box.  In some cases you may also receive an on screen indication of some sort, informing you where the link will take you, but this is usually not present on mobile devices.

Example of a text link What is FUFISM 

http://4ubrand.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_14.htmlNotice that the question What is FUFISM above  is a different colour to the rest of the text on the page and that when you hover your mouse pointer over the coloured text a popup box informs you more about the link in question.

On the left is an image link, and when you click on this image you will be taken to a page (in this blog) that discusses hash tag marketing .

 So there are basically only two varieties of links  at text link and an image link.  You can use both of these in a variety of different ways, but at the end of the day there are only two distinct types of links. 

The first thing that needs to be considered is the total number of links that are generated every day, and how this vast number will in fact dilute the value of each link.  lets look at it from the perspective of a pie-chart, where each web site that has inbound links is a slice of the pie.

How many slices will there be, and just how thin would each slice be?   what would determine the thickness of each slice, would it be the number of inbound links, would it be the quality of these inbound links, would it be the age of the inbound link or would it be a calculated combination of all these plus many other factors?

The answer is that the thickness of each slice of the pie would be a combination of many different SEOVI (Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators) some which we have control over and some which are totally out of our control, and some which we may influence, but not have any real control over.

Rand Fishkin had quite a bit to say about this issue in his whiteboard chat where he discussed whether links were losing SEO value or not and what SEO's ( Search Engine Optimisation Practitioners) should be doing


Links are very important for all search engines to find your pages and then index them, so if nobody links to a page in your web site and you have no internal links to that particular page then it will never be indexed by a search engine and thus never found by your intended  target market audience, unless you
  • send them the link to this page by email,
  • mention the link in a radio advert, 
  • publish the link to this page in some print media advertising or 
  • use some other advertising medium to get the link in front of the eyes of your intended target audience.

It is my personal opinion that links still have great value for search engines, and will do so well into the foreseeable future.  How we acquire, then manage  these recommended  links is an issue that needs very careful consideration, as there are issues that can cause some considerable damage to our web sites reputation and value in the eyes of search engines.   

There are issues such as GOOGLE's PANDA, PENGUIN and HUMMING BIRD ALGORITHMs as well as many others which need to be considered here, so take your time to understand the many diverse issues that impact on your web sites inbound and out bound linking policy.

Be sure to inform your social media team, as well as all others who work on your online marketing of these issues and get their buy in to your linking policies.  Link building is still a very important part of the OFF PAGE SEO  work that you need to manage, so take care and do things in a well managed and properly documented fashion so that you can later use this to evaluate your success or failures and work out what you need to change when things do not go according to plan, and your SERP's are not what you would like them to be.

Now before you get all philosophical and say what does the social media team have to do with these issues understand this...

SOCIAL SIGNALS ARE LINKS THAT CARRY SPECIAL SEOVI (search engine optimisation value indicators) WHICH LINK INDIVIDUALS TO ONLINE CONTENT IN WAYS THAT SEARCH ENGINES CAN DEVELOP TRUST FACTORS FOR BOTH AUTHORS OF ONLINE CONTENT AND INDIVIDUAL ENTITIES SUCH AS 

  • PEOPLE, 
  • G+ PAGES,
  • G+ COMMUNITIES
  • FACEBOOK PAGES
  • PINTEREST PROFILES
  • TWITTER PROFILES
  • INSTAGRAM PROFILES
  • WEB SITES
  • BLOGS
  • OTHER ONLINE ENTITIES
 So social signals are just special links that need special attention from an SEO perspective as these are becoming more and more important from a SEOVI (Search Engine Optimization Value Indicator) point of view and thus need attention within your marketing strategies that focus on online content.

So to answer  the question "What is the value of a link in 2014" I put forward the opinion that the value of a link in 2014 is an awful lot more important than most SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) consultants will tell you, so make sure that you understand what a link is, and where you should be focusing your OFF PAGE SEO EFFORTS so that the value of the inbound links to your web site / blog or other online resource can be optimized through your social media strategies in ways that align with your online marketing policies.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Google plus engaement issues from a #FUFISM perspective

Google plus is a great platform for a variety of reasons, with the primary one being that you will have a foot in the door as far as Google Search is concerned.  Google has many indexing issues with other social media platforms, and the walled garden effect is often very serious, with all non public posts being excluded from Google's sphere of influence.

Getting traction within any specific market is an ongoing issue that needs due diligence and proper interpretation of your target market audience, and when using the social media you need to ensure that those who follow you, or are within your social network form part of your target market audience. This means that you need to do true, in-depth target market research, and have a very clear understanding of who your target audience is and how you are going to interact with them in a manner that allows you to place your call to action statements. Google plus has specific options for you to do this via specialist business pages that are directly linked to your personal profile and associated page.

You do need to separate your personal life from your business life when doing any social media marketing. Failure to do this will lead to poor branding and mixed signals to your target audience.  You personal profile should be used as a platform to brand yourself as an ambassador for your business and community related pages within all social media platforms, and you should never be salesy or pushy within your personal profile page.  This sounds very easy, but is infact a really difficult thing to do.

You personal profile page describes you as an individual, and is where your personality and industry specific knowledge will shine through and allow others to interact and engage with you on a personal level.  once you have a personal connection then you may, if appropriate, lead this person down the conversion path to become a client, customer or fellow activist in your cause.

You should have a business page in place,  where you do business related stuff and push you business opportunities through links to your web site, your blog and other online resources.  You should also have a community page in place where your business issues are discussed in depth and you mange various sectors of your business opportunities, through different categories within the community,  informing those who have taken the time to join your community of your services, products, events and other areas of interest.

As an individual you should also be a member of  various communities that have links to your business model, your products, your services or the events that you handle. This is industry specific, and you will need to choose these after studying your intended target audience and their social media habits, so that you can lead them to your business page or your community without being pushy or obnoxious in any way.

Your entire marketing team needs to be up to speed with he various platforms and different sections of each platform that you, as an individual are using, so that your personal and business profiles can be used to the best advantage to interact with your
target audience in the most appropriate manner.

A post by +curator Circle  discussing some of these related issues within Google plus itself.








Thursday, April 17, 2014

Social media issues and SERP's

 I was following this conversation https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RandFishkin/posts/4keiQ5C4BF4 started by +Rand Fishkin of +Moz and replied to a comment, then thoght   hey this is almost a full blog post, so coppied it and pasted that comment here.

 I have made a few adjustments so that the information flow within my comment makes sense without reading the whole conversation, which evolved around SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and related marketing issues, where a big brand's SERP's were discussed, with the question being

Why did their face book page appear above their web site in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages) 

My response....

These are very tricky issues, and great care needs to be taken when creating content to ensure that links are functional, and that you do not always link to the same page within your blog or web site.

Linking to a home page only does not do very much good, as any single page within a single domain, can only carry so much domain value value, and the page rank value of any page is limited through an algorithm, so that it can not exceed any page within the entire domain by more than a fixed percentage difference of the domain value.  This keeps very small web sites out of the picture, and rewards the big brands with big sites considerably, as they can build a sizable domain rank value an awful lot easier than a small web site would, how ever there are other issues at play which mitigate this a little or considerably depending on who you talk to..

Getting the inbound links is one issue, but getting inbound links to a number of different pages is a lot more difficult, and this takes some serious effort on the part of your management team to ensure that all parties are on the same page in the company marketing strategy book.

In theory your social media  posts should link to different pages of your web site or blog, and discuss the content of that page, or at least be semantically linked to the page that the post links to.  Your web site should be set up so that a brand page on G+ is the registered publisher, and your authors should also have G+ profiles that are accredited as authors of specified pages within your web site or blog.

If you use the Google author and Google publisher methods to gain trust from Google your online work will do better in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages)

Problem is that people have got a *FRIGHT ATTACK* and now fear using links due to the associated penalties of *PANDA and PENGUIN* because they have not been properly informed by their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) team on the issues related to PANDA and PENGUIN.  

These two Google Search Algorithms carry punitive SEOVI (Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators) and distribute them out to sites that they deem are cheating or pushing their luck in some way.

The fact that a disavow tool even exists has caused some panic in the ranks of marketing folks, and they have spread the word that links can be poisonous to your site or blog.

This misconception needs to be put to rest, but I will not be doing that, as this creates work for me.  Links are still the most important part of Google's algorithms, and they will be for some time to come.  Social signals are also links, but they carry different information than a standard hyperlink, and also have a hook that drags information about the source of the social signal (you when you clicked the like button) along for the ride, with instructions on how to get back home, and where to deliver the parcels that they are carrying when getting back home, so that counters can be updated and verified.

Inbound links to a page are the most vital SEOVI (Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators) and carry the most weight of any signals for Google to determine  your SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages)  It is for this exact reason that you need to link to your blog posts and web pages from within your social media posts.





If your face book page has more inbound links than your web site, it may appear above your web site in the SERP's (Search Engine  Results Pages).  to solve this issue, be sure to link out to your web site or blog from your social media profile in post that you make an a regular basis.  Be sure to link to relevant landing pages where the content is semantically linked to your posts, and do this often. This will or at least should generate enough links to your web site, as these are carried along in the shares, and re-shares of your faceBook posts








hope you understood this and found this useful.  for more see http://4ubrand.blogspot.com

enjoy you day further

other links on this blog that are recomended reading for this issue
http://4ubrand.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html  (what is SEO)
http://4ubrand.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_4.html  (links and link building)
http://4ubrand.blogspot.com/p/fufism-functional-user-firendly.html  (What is #FUFISM)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The marketing benefits of a CATCH ALL email address?

MARKETING BENEFITS OF  USING A 

CATCH ALL EMAIL ADDRESS

CATCH ALL EMAIL ADDRESSES EXPLAINED

 A catch all email address is a very powerful marketing tool that comes along with owning your own domain, and as the name says, it catches all.  This is a very technical issue that is simple to implement and easy to use with just a little planning and an understanding of what a catch all email address can do.

An email address is divided into three distinct parts,

YOURNAME@DOMAIN

the first part (RED) is the user name on your mail server
The second part (BLUE) is the postal indicator
the third part (YELLOW) is your domain

To be able to use a catch all email address you will need to have access to the mail server for the domain in question.  If you own the domain then this is not an issue, how ever if you are doing marketing for a brand, product or service provider you will need to negotiate the use of a catch all email address with the IT or web section / division

Each active email address that a company uses is registered as a user with their mail server, and is set up by either the web design team, the internal IT division or a person appointed by the company to manage their email issues.     A catch all email address is a specific email address, which has been given special privileges and user rights on your mail server , and will as such receive all  emails that are addressed to any  non registered email user within your domain.

Many large email providers ensure that all unrouted emails are sent directly to the BLACK HOLE  (Deleted) as there would be an awful lot of unrouted emails. How ever most  companies that sell products and services to the public are small and have a low level of unrouted email.

So a catch all email address  is an email address that receives  all email addressed to  every unregistered username  on your company email server.



The next issue to consider once you have a catch all email address set up is,  how are you going to manage your catch all email address, and who will be responsible to ensure that all received emails are dealt with in the appropriate manner.

A catch all email address works best when you apply a #FUFISM based marketing strategy.

Your email service provider has already set up spam filters that will eliminate a large percentage of SPAM , and these include such things as the marketing of porn sites and the sale of VIAGRA  as well as some pay day loan offers that arrive by email.

You will need to set up filters to further sort out spam from customer interactions, automatically forwarding engagement emails to the correct employee's email address, then deleting detected spam, and following up with human inspection of the remaining emails to determine if they should be deleted or acted upon.

The marketing power of a catch all email address is not at first self evident, as it really comes to play in evaluating the ROI (Return On Investment) of individual marketing campaigns.  Imagine giving each marketing campaign it's own individual specific email address, and having stats on which email address  was used to convert prospects to customers, along with where each email address was displayed or used.

How to set up a marketing campaign using a catch all email address

 Create the content for your marketing campaign as per standard practice for your company / organisation .

In the call to action statement ensure that you are requesting a response by email.  Choose an email address that will have some meaning to your target market audience, and ensure that this email address is not registered with your email server as a user.

An example here would be seo4u2use@info4u.co.za if you were selling Search Engine Optimisation Services  and your domain was Info4u.co.za.

Be sure to  check with the person who reads the catch all email that they have re-routed (forwarded) the email address chosen for this campaign to the relevant person, and do a physical check by sending mail to the specified address and ensuring that it is received by the correct person before you allow your web design team,  your blogger or your social media staff to publish the content that you have created as part of this specific marketing campaign.

Once you have a few campaigns running you will soon be able to see which ones are working and which are not working by evaluating the information  flow patterns to each separate email address. The beauty of using this trick with a catch all email address is that you do not need to create a new user on your email server for each new campaign, then go through the rigmarole of  setting this email account up on an individuals PC or laptop.  All you need to do is ensure that the filters on the catch all email address are functioning correctly and that email sent to the campaign specific email address is re-routed (Forwarded) to the correct person, or persons within your team.

There are many other benefits that come along with a catch all email address, as it can be used in many ways to do a host of different Public relations things, like when you do an email survey, having the  email address read product.survey@info4u.co.za  where product.survey is relevant to the end user and their interests thus this  will elicit a trust factor and hopefully get better responses.

Another strange benefit of a catch all email address comes into play when people know your domain, but do not know any specific email address at your domain and they thus use a pot luck email address like help@info4u.co.za or ceo@info4u.co.za which your staff who manage the catch all email address will be able to re-route to the correct person within your company or organisation.

The marketing benefits of using a catch all email address are not easily recognized, as these are hidden in the  technical notes of the mail server architecture and the technical staff do not get along so well with the marketing staff at most places where I have worked.  This means that the technical details and marketing value of a catch all email address is not discussed with your marketing team, and thus most marketers that I have spoken to do not even know that such a thing as a catch all email address actually exists.

The ability to have many different email addresses that each refer to a position within your staff is a very powerful tool when used on the contact us page, as this creates the illusion that you are a  large, well structured and organised business. When a potential prospect takes the time to write to more than one member of your management team, as many people do, and gets personalised replies from each email that he / she sent the trust factor is elevated considerably.

Making use of a catch all email address is as simple as teaching a person how to set up a system to re-route emails to the correct person within your organisation, as well as establishing a set of filters  that automatically forward emails to designated email addresses to the correct active email address.






Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Content from a FUFISM perspective

CONTENT FROM A FUFISM PERSPECTIVE

To be able to discuss content from a FUFISM perspective we first need to clarify what is content and then elaborate on the purpose, aims, objectives and related issues of different types of content.   When discussing content from a FUFISM perspective we do need to remember that the primary focus will be on marketing within the online arena

CONTENT

There is very little difference between content and information, and these two terms can quite often be interchanged, with out distorting the meaning of the sentence.  That being said content and information are not exactly one and the same thing, as content contains information, but information does not contain content.

Content comes in a variety of different disguises and then in various combinations of these different disguises.  Each different type of content has its own subset of different media where it is found, and these are listed in the second list labeled content medium.

CONTENT TYPE 

  1. text
  2. images
  3. audio
  4. video

CONTENT MEDIUM

  1. printed material (books, news papers, magazines, files, flyers and posters)
  2. Radio (audio)
  3. television  (audio visual)
  4. digital and online  (computer files  /  web sites  /  blogs  /  social media  /  forums)
  5. verbal speech and telephone conversations  including interpersonal communications (lectures / teaching / meetings / customer interactions)
For us to be able to transfer information from one person to another or to groups of people this information must be known and understood by the originator, then  converted to a document / file using one of the four basic content types or a combination of these, then made available to the receiver of the information through a medium and  in a manner that the receiver will be able to interpret  and take some desired action, as in the call to action statement within that specific content.

Most information that a company has, is stored in basic text format and kept in files either printed or stored in digital format within the company intranet, which is accessible by the company staff.   This content is used to formulate policies and work flow issues as well as for general administration and management of the company or organisation.

As far as this discussion is concerned we will deal with a very small subset of content, which is created and managed, specifically for the purposes of marketing, advertising and related management of company marketing and advertising issues from a FUFISM perspective.

The marketing cycle

The management will establish procedures to create more content, which is purpose orientated to achieve specific goals, aims and objectives, and establish rules for the distribution of this content to specific target groups to further the purpose, aims and objectives of the organisation or company.

Now that we have established the basics of content we need to establish the purpose, aims and  objectives of having a FUFISM based content policy, and then establish a means to implement this policy so that we can use the company's existing content to create, curate and manage a FUFISM based social media marketing machine that will allow you to do your marketing and advertising from a well informed and properly managed base of operations.

So just to ensure that you are up to speed with what FUFISM is all about take a short detour and do some revision of what is FUFISM here

All marketing starts with (or rather should start with) a brief from the management to the marketing department discussing the product / service that they want exposed to the public along with the public's expected reaction and how this is expected to be managed further down the line by other departments such as sales, production, Public relations and general administration staff.

The marketing team take this brief and then begins putting in place the necessary content that will be managed, manipulated and configured into a format that is suitable for the chosen medium or media and then distribute this content according to the developed plan.  This is quite a lengthy procedure and needs to be properly planned so that the content can be created then released in a co-ordinated and well managed manner.

Content development Stage one

The first stage of content development starts  with studying the marketing brief and identifying as well as documenting the product / service to be marketed,  then analyzing this to determine a target market or group of different target markets.  Next step is the listing of the different mediums that your selected target market groups  use followed by calculating which media will be used to convey your desired call to action statement to your intended target market, and documenting this.

Target market research and documenting the the target market trends, practices and habits as well as their preferred communication channels and language use is an essential part of stage one in the content development cycle. 

Content development stage two

Now that you have a target market and the desired medium that your content will be channeled through you will need to start developing a content strategy plan that will entice your selected target audience to take the desired action on your call to action statement in a manner as dictated in the original marketing brief. This usually involves
  1. a web site 
  2. a blog
  3. one or more social media platforms
  4. Optional extras
    • news paper advertising  
    • Radio advertising
    • magazines advertising
    • billboard advertising
    • distribution of flyers
    • TV advertising
    • other branding  / advertising options
Each of the items listed in the list above will have their own content creation issues, and have their own content management plans in place that will all need to be co-ordinated and managed by a single person who will ensure that the FUFISM principals are in place so that these different efforts can work as one collective campaign with a few different micro campaigns doing their bit to entice your desired target audience to follow through the entire conversion process as determined in the original marketing brief.

Content development stage three

The four  pillars of your content strategy listed in content development stage two need to be evaluated carefully and then you need to adjust the content of each specific sector to match up and back-up all the other sectors, and repeat as is needed. This is essential and needs to be done as a collective effort by all who are working on your content from various different angles before it is published for the first time.  Plan your content publishing schedule carefully and ensure that these take place in the planned order, and that all cross linking is active and functional.  ensure that each piece of published content is functional and displayed online as it was designed to be, fixing all errors as soon as discovered or reported.

make any adjustments as needed, and follow up with aggressive social media support marketing. Be sure that you have briefed all staff who are in the call to action value added chain, and that everybody in the conversion chain has the necessary content to answer customer queries and solve related customer issues in the shortest possible time frame.

List of pages used during research for this post.  this list is not complete, but each link here is a worth a read.as it will expand on some issue around content, content creation, content curators and  content curation

http://fufism.info4u.co.za

http://4ubrand.blogspot.com

http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/2014/02/01/curation/

http://www.softalkapple.com/blogs/factminers-more-or-less-folksonomy

http://d20innovation.d20blogs.org/2012/07/07/understanding-content-curation/

 

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Pinterest and FUFISM

 FUFISM back ground info

#FUFISM or Functional User Friendly Integrated Social Media has many facets and covers a large spectrum of different strategies. Each social media platform has its own traits and needs to have its own set of in-house rules that need to be made available to all people working on your marketing team.

This means that your marketing management team need to determine a platform specific policy for each social media platform which your marketing team should have access to.  Each Member of your marketing team actually needs to have a copy of  each separate social media platform's policies and procedures after being work-shopped on the main purpose of using that platform within your total marketing strategy.

To some this may sound like a bit of over kill from managements directives, but if not done,  the results will not be any where near what they should be.  One must remember that the purpose of using social media as a marketing tool is to get the end user or your intended target market to specific pages within your website, where he / she will be expected to follow your call to action statement.

So how does PINTEREST fit into this picture?

Pinterest is a picture / image sharing social media platform that has many unique characteristics and we will focus primarily on the ability to have themed pin boards for pictures in selected categories. If you are not familiar with pinterest then you should take a short detour to www.pinterest.com and have a peep see what all the fuss is about before reading further.

The first step in this process of using pinterest as a marketing tool is to write up the purpose of using pinterest along with a set of aims and objectives as well as an in-house policy document on how the rest of your marketing team should interact with your pinterest profile and boards.  Each specific marketing campaign should have its own separate documentation for your pinterest profile, and share the pin boards that you have in place.

To be able to write up the purpose of using pinterest as a marketing tool one needs to understand what pinterest does and how this is done.  see http://business.pinterest.com/whats-pinterest/ for details

PINTEREST purpose related issues

From a FUFISM perspective pinterest is an image sharing platform that allows your marketing team to use a single  image reference in ALL other social media platforms in a way that it will funnel your intended target market back to the page where that specific image with its associated call to action live, in anticipation, waiting for your intended target audience to be enticed into clicking on your call to action statement.  This means that the original image MUST be enticing,  and clearly depict something that your target audience will relate to, such as your product or a very descriptive image that reflects your service or the idea that you are trying to convey to your intended target audience. see http://www.pinterest.com/pin/100275529177237087/  Remember that once an end user clicks on your pin he / she will be taken back to the original page where the image was first pinned.

Use a URL shortening service and generate a user friendly URL that will help you entice an end user to click on the link to your pin. example http://bit.ly/hashtag-marketing   this link  opens a page discussing hash tag marketing (#hashtagmarketing) in this blog.

Pinterest is a powerful social media platform that is growing into a must have marketing tool, as it adds very large volumes of SEOVI (Search Engine Optimization Value Indicators) to your online work. Pinterest has a large domain authority that spreads an awful lot of SEO value and is instrumental in elevating many web sites higher into the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages)  If you can get others to re-pin your pins and share them, then the social signals associated with your pin will add further SEOVI to your pinterest profile, which in turn will boost your other SEO efforts. Pinterest adds true value to your semantic profile within all search engines, and this is of extreme importance within Google with the advent of Google Humming Bird Algorithm which has a very large focus on semantic issues.

IMAGE NAMING and descriptions

Referencing your pinterest pins in posts within other social media platforms adds extra value to your pinterest profile as a whole and the specific pin in particular.  You need to make use of this through using an integrated approach, and ensuring that you mention your pinterest pins in the correct context within your social media posts on all other social media platforms.  This is not such a difficult thing to accomplish when your marketing campaign  is put together from a FUFISM perspective, where the big picture is properly in the central marketing focal area, and your pages where your call to action statements are properly constructed using the image which you will pin within your pinterest profile as a visual hook with the in page assembly, using well thought through
  • image file names
  • Image descriptions
  • image titles
  • image alt text
  • image key words

PIN BOARD NAMES within pinterest.

This set of target market orientated image expansion tactics needs to be well thought through and be  well documented so that your copy writers who construct your other social media posts can use the same set of key words during their efforts to entice your intended target market to click on the link back to your page. The description of your pin within your pinterest profile should also contain as many of these words in well constructed sentences or partial sentences as you can so that they make clear and meaningful impacts on your intended target market should they read them.  This is also very critical from a semantic perspective as these efforts will add tremendous semantic value to both your pin and the original web page where your image and related call to action statements reside.

You will need to take some time and effort in evaluating the naming process of your different boards within your pinterest profile, and ensure that each individual board is named  and described with your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tactics in mind. These pin board names and descriptions must fit into the rest of your marketing plan, as they will be associated with your web site, blog and other online marketing avenues.

For more help in setting up your pinterest profile and related in-page SEO issues  contact our friendly staff at pinterst.help@info4u.co.za,  visit our Google plus page or ask your question in a comment on this post.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Basic information flow issues for FUFISM based marketing

FUFISM INFORMATION FLOW PATTERNS

FUFISM  is a marketing philosophy where the social media forms the core element in your marketing strategies and is integrated into your total marketing plan as the main communication platform which is dictated by company policy. 

#FUFISM is an acronym for Functional User Friendly Integrated Social Media, and is a very far reaching  marketing strategy which includes all the different aspects of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and is extremely target market focused. A FUFISM based marketing campaign originates with the management deciding on a  product / service or idea that they want marketed, then giving the marketing team a directive to develop a strategy that would achieve the purpose, aims and objectives within the company's marketing policy framework.

The marketing team will then establish a target market audience and generate some content around the product / service or idea that the management has instructed them to market, which is target market specific.  Once they have the content and have established a content marketing strategy, the marketing team would start by establishing a web page or group of web pages where the target market focused call to action statement and the conversion funnel end point are accommodated.

Next step is to write one or more blog posts marketing the web pages in question, which is followed up by using the social media to market both the blog posts associated with the web pages as well as the web pages themselves.  This is then backed up with the necessary social media links and social media platform specific logos being added to both the web pages and the associated blog posts.



You would now have a three pronged marketing strategy with 
  1. a web page or group of web pages as the base
  2. A blog that backs up the web page / pages and interacts with your social media platforms.
  3. One our more social media platforms that promote and interact with both the blog and associated web pages in ways that the intended target market can reach out to your staff and communicating directly with the appropriate  employees in your organisation through online based forms in your website, on your blog or through the aspects of the social media platform that you have used.