Here are the top Internet strategy, marketing and technology links for the week of May 19, 2013…
Google has released a number of changes to its applications during its conference, Google I/O (with more to come). Google+ is mostly a deserted island, at least compared to Facebook and Twitter. But, unlike, Facebook, Google has the opportunity to integrate integral applications socially. Gmail is one of the most popular email programs. Hangouts and Google Chat (Talk) are also popular. People do spend time (and lots of it) on Google’s various platforms. Unlike Facebook, these platforms are pretty important to the day-to-day running of many businesses. While the changes Google has made certainly are a step in the right direction, it will be interesting to see how (and if) they continue to integrate their platforms. Given the failing of Facebook Home as a way to integrate more fully with day-to-day activities, Facebook may want to keep an eye on Google (they probably already are).
With a whirlwind of announcements at its Google I/O developers conference this week, Google’s vast suite of social products is finally starting to look like it was created by a single company and not cobbled together via a series of haphazard acquisitions. Here are the highlights of what’s changed…. – Making Sense Of Google’s New Social Stuff: Messaging, Hangouts & Google+ by Taylor Hatmaker
What do you think?
In the coming weeks and months, a dollar sign will start popping in Gmail accounts of people who already use Google Wallet, and a quick click lets users define the recipient and the amount they’d like to send along as an attachment. Since all of these transactions run through Google Wallet, the usual caveats are in place — sending funds from a connected bank account is totally gratis, but those who prefer to pay with credit or debit cards are subject to an additional 2.9 percent fee tacked on. You also need to be over 18 to take part in the funding fun, though. – Google Folds Wallet Support Into Gmail So You Can Send Money As Attachments (TechCrunch)
Cloud services and software as a service are flourishing. IT departments are freed from having to support hardware and software infrastructure, and users get the latest software updates. But the backend of these types of services is the data that they are able to collect. By being able to view a spectrum of users across many different industries and uses, many companies are able to collect valuable marketing data that is not directly related to the services they are providing. The use of this data may be helpful for individuals as companies are able to leverage it to make a better match between want and need. The value of this information to marketers is clear. Will companies and individuals be willing to contribute to this type of data collection, especially when most are blissfully unaware? Time will tell.
The other reason is that the big part of big data really is important if you want to get a really clear picture of what’s happening in any given space. While no single end-user company can (or likely would) address search-engine optimization, for example, by building a massive store comprised of data from hundreds or thousands of companies as well as the entire web, a cloud service dedicated to that specific task can. – This is why big data is the sweet spot for SaaS by Derrick Harris
As a Business-to-Business (B2B) company, you may feel like you have to uphold a very professional image, so Facebook doesn’t make sense for you. Or that your prospective customers won’t be on Facebook because it’s clearly for kids and grandparents.
B2B companies may have larger average purchases and longer purchase cycles, but both of these require building relationships, and Facebook can help. Facebook is the world’s largest network, and while people may be there to connect with friends and family, they’re not adverse to building business relationships, as long as it’s done in the right way (think resource & relationship rather than advertising and gimmicks). People want to buy from people, and there are a lot of people on Facebook.
We’ve had a lot of luck using Facebook with B2B companies to build relationships around topics and ideas that their prospects are passionate about. What about you?
But at the end of the day, what really matters is having a social presence, showing your personality, humanizing your business, and having a little fun in the process of course. We all know the B2B sales cycle is long. Your Facebook posts are little touch points that can make all the difference in staying top-of-mind with your prospects. B2B marketers really underestimate the power of this, so there’s a lot of opportunity to show improvement. – Marketo’s Jason Miller On Facebook For B2B: Why So Serious? by Dennis Yu
What is Facebook’s future? It seems to me, like it does to Derek Brown, that perhaps it’s stumbling slightly. The seeming failure of Facebook Home isn’t making the future look any rosier. Add to that the meh type of changes lately. More importantly, look at the so-so record of marketers being able to use Facebook, as well as to accurately gauge how well their efforts are even working. Unlike Google, which makes measurement and analytics as transparent as possible. Facebook is kind of a pain in the butt towards marketers. And if companies stop wanting to spend money there … and if people find a better way to communicate with grandma. What does Facebook have left to offer?
Suffice it to say, the company is not exactly setting the world on fire with these efforts; more importantly, these are not (individually or collectively) doing much (if anything) to materially enhance Facebook’s relationship with its users; substantively increase the level of dependency felt by its advertising clients; and/or fundamentally alter the trajectory of its franchise or business. Said differently, where is Facebook’s second act, like Android (acquired, transformed and massively scaled by Google) or iPad? Where is its money-printing AdWords product? Where is its PayPal (acquired, and massively scaled by eBay)? Where its its quantum leap forward? Where is its disruptive force? – Will Facebook Go Out With A Bang? by Derek Brown
What are your thoughts?
Here are the top Internet strategy, marketing and technology links for the week of May 12, 2013…
We all know that the B2B buying cycle is much longer than the typical B2C cycle (hello, <5 mins?). B2B selling is about building relationships with potential customers and being a knowledge resource. Producing quality content can help B2B companies connect with potential customers and build up relationships that may lead to a sale. Forrester has found that B2B buyers found 70% of the content they used to make a purchase decision themselves (as opposed to through marketing or advertising efforts). While a good marketer can be fairly invisible in their content distribution methods, it does show the need for making sure your content gets in front of the right people (and not just on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn).
Content marketing has therefore become much more than product and solutions collateral, campaigns, mailings, and fulfillment. B2B marketers have to be great at being found by buyers in their early research phase (the phases we call discover and explore). In a way, successful marketers will “fool” their buyers into consuming their thought-leadership and educational content in stages 1 through 5 — while hardly realizing its source. And the most successful marketers will learn how to mix their brand “scent” into that content without appearing to be selling — to the extent that buyers will count it as part of their 70%. – STRENGTHEN YOUR B2B BRAND WITH BETTER CONTENT DISTRIBUTION by Peter O’Neill
Links into your website are a signal to Google that you have good content. While you can just continue to produce good content and hope that you’ll build up the number of links coming into your site over time, guest blogging can help accelerate that process. A good guest blogging opportunity is with a site that is within your target market and has the same audience that you’d like to have. An engaging post on a guest blog can go a long way to helping your link building efforts, but can also introduce you to more people who will hopefully become regular readers of your blog.
In the world of today’s SEO, it simply isn’t enough to throw some key phrases on your website’s pages, or start a blog to create a steady content stream. You need to build links. Traditional link building can include optimization of press releases for syndication, as well as solicitation of links from relevant external sites. But have you delved into the word of guest blogging?
In addition to great link building, guest blogging also affords you the opportunity to earn a great reputation as a thought leader, and offers exposure to your own blog, brand, and website, and much faster than it will take you to build the reputation of your own blog. It’s akin to publicity, but the kind you have to work hard to earn. – Effective Link Building Secrets: Guest Blogging by LEE RUSH SCHWARTZ
As we all know, producing quality content takes quite a bit of time and effort. There is so much drive to produce more and more content, faster and faster, but I think that Geoff is on the right track here about slowing down, but producing better content. It’s something I’ve also considered. In order to keep regular visitors, I feel like I need to continue to curate content, but maybe there’s some value in slowing down and just offering valuable insights instead. Something I’m going to think about and consider carefully. What about you?
There’s only one answer to the content quality problem. The market needs to move away from frequency and form as the primary focus, and return to delivering substantive insights that are differentiated and valuable.
Differentiation includes more depth and passion to provide greater insights. It means committing to our craft to deliver high quality content that stands out in both the standards of information and presentation. Consider tearing down existing form factors, and rebuilding to develop new approaches and ways to excel. Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi calls this epic content marketing. — The Content Quality Problem Here and There by Geoff Livingston