Think before you speak. It is a piece of advice that has been given to everyone, everywhere at least once in his or her life. Years ago, saying something offensive (intended or otherwise) to someone was generally kept within a private circle even if there was backlash. Perhaps it was heard through the grapevine, but the whole world didn’t know about it.
Now the whole world can know about it. Taking a screenshot
of a text message or filming a moment is simple; sharing with the world is just
easy. In May, a text message conversation between a comedian and a woman who
rejected him for a date was released on Twitter, and social media took it and
ran, flooding Twitter and Facebook with requests that venues ban him and, of
course, frenzied insults. Similarly, earlier in the year, a young doctor was
filmed berating a driver; the resulting backlash was so severe that she
eventually made national television appearances to apologize.
For these types of indiscretions, in which a person is
obviously in the wrong, having said or done something reprehensible, it seems
that there is no apology that satisfies the online masses. For others, such as
those who have posted or done something offensive unintentionally, the outcome
is the same. Google searches for these and other publicly-shamed individuals,
names still result in news reports about the incident, and it seems that they
are there to stay.
Steps to Survival
The connectedness of the Internet has brought about great
things. People rally together to raise funds for those down on their luck; a
good deed is recognized and rewarded. When the opposite happens, it turns into
a social media witch hunt, a relentless crusade to ensure the offender suffers
for what he or she has done.
This type of behavior is not limited to individuals.
Businesses can be the target of social media witch hunts as well, and it can be
just as damaging. While all stories are different, there are a few things that
can be done to avoid creating a bigger media storm.
1. Avoid the knee-jerk reaction.
Once the tweets, posts and messages start flooding in, you may want to reply to each and every message to explain or apologize and delete any trace of the crisis. However, itâ€™s best to take a moment before you start typing up replies or deleting messages. The line between it’s too soon and it’s too late is very fine, however. Sometimes a late reply is just as bad, and so itâ€™s imperative to keep a close eye on social chatter and have a plan in place.
The Internet has made it virtually impossible to delete
anything for good. It can be a waste of time to track down every copy of a
photo or video.
2. Offer a sincere public apology.
It’s important to acknowledge the mistake or wrongdoing. Don’t try to excuse away the behavior (I was tired!), as that is often see as justification instead. Writing a public apology is an art form, with various studies and books published about the subject. In the Harvard Business Review (http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/5313.html), for example, public leadership professor Barbara Kellerman says that an apology should serve a â€œmoral purposeâ€. A full apology, she says, features a few key points: acknowledgment of the offense, acceptance of responsibility, expression of regret, and a promise not to repeat the offense.
This one, carefully constructed apology can be shared across
all your social media platforms, with the hop that it gets shared just as much
as the offending content that necessitated it.
3. Right the wrongs.
You may not be able to take back what was said or done, but
it is clear that steps should be made to ensure it never happens again. This
can take a number of forms, depending on your business or the issue: an offhand
comment made by an employee at a retail shop, for example, could result in a
company-wide training program.
4. And then keep quiet.
If the comments seem to be rushing in faster than you can read them, it’s often better to just be patient and remove yourself from social media for a while after you’ve issued your apology. Although comments may always crop up about the incident, time truly does help. Eventually, the vitriol dies down and you can get back to business.
5. Set up a plan.
For businesses, a fully trained social media team should have a plan in place in case of a crisis. A team will know what to do when a rogue tweet is posted or an executive is caught on camera saying something inappropriate. For individuals, it’s important to follow that aforementioned age-old advice. Think before you speak and post.
The power of content marketing is quite clear. Those businesses that employ a content marketing strategy have conversion rates that are six times higher than competitors that don’t. It’s no wonder why businesses are spending more on content marketing. For those enterprises looking to do more with content marketing, here’s what you need to know.How to Identify Content Topics
There is no point in creating content that won’t connect with your audience. Creating content requires investment in time and resources. To identify winning topics, you can use this process:
- Research Keywords
Organic search drives 51 percent of traffic to websites, as search engine giant Google handles more than 3.5 billion searches per day. Take advantage of the wealth of data readily available to you. Use keyword research tools to help you discover the kinds of searches that are driving people to your site, as well as content topics that, if covered, will drive more visitors.
- Analyze Interactions With Customers
If you want satisfied clients, solve their problems. That’s the way you build loyalty. Your content should be serving the same purpose. Talk with your sales and customer service teams about their interactions, and look at Internet forums discussing topics in your industry. Questions, complaints and general observations customers frequently have can give you golden ideas.
- Examine Data
Regardless of the amount of research you do beforehand, some content is going to do better than other. Data is increasing in importance in content marketing, because it will give you insights into what will perform well. In short, data is the key to improving your content’s performance.
How to Increase the Volume of Content
The “quality versus quantity” argument hasn’t been settled in the content marketing world. You should be consistently producing and updating content, as there is much evidence that fresh content influences search rankings.
Here are some things you can try:
- Hire freelancers: Whether you need blog posts, YouTube videos or infographics, freelancers are available to help increase the volume of your content.
- Repurpose content: For instance, if you write a white paper, you could use information from there to create a series of blog posts. You could even use stats for Twitter posts. Get the most out of your content through repurposing.
- Stick to your strategy: While 80 percent of marketers have a content marketing strategy, only 32 percent have documented that strategy. You need to flesh out a concrete strategy — and stick to it.
Winning With Content Marketing
A solid content marketing strategy can help you create a sustainable business. Follow these pieces of advice for finding great topics and creating solid content at the scale you want and you’ll be on your way to winning over more customers.
Online video has made huge strides in the past couple years, and it is slated to make even bigger ones in the next few. Video will account for 80 percent of consumer Internet traffic by 2020; on mobile alone, 75 percent of the worlds data traffic will be dominated by mobile video by the same year, according to Cisco€™s Visual Networking Index.
It is clear that consumers want video, what kind of video,
where and when are the questions marketers have asked. Some publishers, like
BuzzFeed, seem to have mastered the art of online video: BuzzFeeds Tasty
channel, which first launched on Facebook, has garnered millions upon millions
of views since its launch in July 2015.
Not all publishers can follow the same winning formula but
there are key pointers marketers can take from BuzzFeed and other successful
video publishers, with their billions of views and millions of subscribers.
Though it can seem daunting to create video, it is worth the investment, after
all, over half of respondents in a CopyPress video marketing survey indicated
that video had the best ROI.
1. Set a goal.
A video can build awareness, engage with consumers, nurture
sales leads and more, but one video shouldn’t aim to accomplish all those goals
at once. When developing a video marketing strategy, don’t just start creating
videos at random. Identify what you wish to accomplish from video, and craft
video series surrounding those ideas. For example, an e-commerce business
selling art supplies may want to push sales by creating a how-to or DIY video
series that uses their products. That same business could also attempt to
engage with viewers, posting a video series about interesting local art
2. Put it in the right place.
Producing a great video costs time and money, so don’t just
throw it on your companies website and cross your fingers. Many companies use
YouTube to host video, which makes it easy to create a channel and share on
other platforms. Social video, where videos are shared video Facebook, Twitter
and Vine, to name just a few, has made Tasty what it is today.
Where you post your video depends on the audience. For all
content marketing, B2B companies tend to use LinkedIn (94 percent) the most,
followed by Twitter (87 percent) and Facebook (84 percent); B2C companies use
Facebook (94 percent) the most, followed by Twitter (82 percent) and YouTube
(77 percent), according to the Content Marketing Institute€™s 2016 Benchmarks,
Budgets, and Trends.
Its important to remember that one video may not work on all
platforms, so make sure that the video is adapted for each one. Video on
Twitter, for example, is limited to a 30-second runtime.
3. Keep a schedule.
Everyone seems to want a hard and fast rule when it comes to
the frequency with which a publisher pushes out video content, but its not so
simple. One rule, however, is true: keep it consistent. Don’t publish one video
each day for a week, and then go silent for a month. Users like fresh and new
content, and while it doesn’t have to be almost every day like BuzzFeeds Tasty,
users should come to expect a video at a certain time.
4. Keep up with the times.
Online video is constantly changing, so don’t wait for the
next new thing to pass before you get acquainted. One of the latest trends is
live video, which 39 percent of marketers said they would be increasing use of
in Social Media examiners 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Don’t be
afraid to embrace new platforms, but don’t jump in too early if it is still not
well understood by your organization.
5. Don’t forget about the SEO.
No business can count on consumers to simply find its
content among the billions of choices available. To improve chances of your
video being seen and shared, it has to be treated like any other piece of
content in terms of SEO. Hosting your video on YouTube is a good start, as it
has a built-in user base.
Google itself requires three items in order to index a
video: a title, description and thumbnail. The search engine also recommends
including video sitemaps and schema.org on-page markup, and says it supports
Facebook Share and RDFa on-page markups. It is also recommended that video with
spoken audio includes a transcript.
6. Start Recording
Though video usage has exploded, only about 60 percent of
marketers say it has been effective, it may be due to the overwhelming number
of competing videos, coupled with the overwhelming number of platforms on which
video is available that marketers are having trouble. With the right goals,
strategy and platform, however, any business can use video to succeed.
are quickly shifting their focus towards a mobile-first business strategy to
drive sales and increase awareness. The rise of the mobile consumer in 2020 is rewiring
the mindset of how brands present products and services online. The following
trends are creating new perspectives and demands among mobile device users.
Adoption of multiple devices continues to increase
The rapid development
of mobile technologies continues to increase the ability of consumers to engage
with brands and buy online. Brands must deliver a seemless mobile experience to
capture mindshare of today’s mobile-first consumer. Paramount to this trend is
including the option to purchase products or services via smartphone and tablet.
The ‘always connected’ consumer typically uses more than one device and
interacts with brands from a variety of screen sizes. As mobile devices
continue to become more affordable, interesting, and feature-rich, consumers are
enticed to spend more time on their mobile screens, increaseing the need for brands
to deliver a consistent experience regardless of device-type.
Mobile is the primary or initial source of content.
As more users
adopt a mobile-first methodology, phone or tablet screens are increasingly the
“first” point of contact with a Brand. This trend of digital
consumption has pushed brands like The Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed to invest
more resources and consideration into their mobile strategy. Consumers expect
simple navigation and a consistent cross-device experience. They also expect
substantial long-form content, in video or text format, suited for smartphone
and tablet display.
Mobile usage is creating a “visual”
with a more visual vocabulary has become prevalent with mobile device users.
The ever-present camera feature on most, if not all, mobile devices put images
at the fore of social networks and now, thanks to Google, search. Because of
image recognition technology, consumers can look up search results based on a
photo. Brands have also begun using image recognition software to help
consumers find products through certain apps like Slyce and Asap54 by taking
and uploading an image of an item they are looking for and find its exact match
or something similar to it.
Brands need to
focus on how they can blend with the mobile lifestyle of today’s consumers. The
challenge companies are faced with is providing valuable goods and services integrated
with their consumer’s new mobile routine.
Content optimization combines the power of content marketing and SEO to create a robust, cohesive data-driven marketing plan that drives awareness, expands reach, and improves customer engagement. Organizations are beginning to see the value in implementing this type of strategy, finding that it builds trust, increases leads, and delivers greater ROI than traditional marketing strategies. Mobibi – The Collective Sales and Marketing Platform, is focused on the following 2018 trends.
- Using the power of micro-influencers.
Influencer marketing has skyrocketed in popularity, with dozens of brands trying to snap up industry experts whose followings number in the hundreds of thousands — this is influenced by the “bigger is better” mentality.
However, high-quality influencers no longer need to have a large number of followers — they simply need to have a fiercely loyal audience in a specific niche. Fans and devoted followers of online personalities and thought leaders feel connected to these individuals, trusting them as though they would a friend or colleague. Influencers are no longer just teens and young adults with funny videos or stylish photos; they have a connection to a specific demographic, such as IT professionals, executives and decision-makers. Leveraging these micro-influencers can be a powerful tactic to gain traction, establish credibility, or simply increase awareness of a product or brand.
- Creating content for proactive reputation management.
Brands often can’t control what is written about them online — in fact, it’s a feature used as a benefit for some content producers, such as Yelp. But when brands start creating and distributing optimized content, they can exert control over the way it is perceived online. Establishing subject expertise promotes trust, leading to a sense of authority. Not only will the brand voice be trusted, when something disparaging is written (whether true or not), it will be balanced with additional content chosen and optimized by the brand itself.
When brands don’t take the time to optimize their online presence — social media included — the consumers write the narrative. They must take charge of conversations about recent events in the industry, and establish themselves and their organization as an authority.
- Taking back content ownership from social media.
Social media is a powerful channel, but many brands have begun to rely too heavily on third-party platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Instead of focusing on growing the properties they own, they seek out virality for those brief moments of user attention. Social media has its place and should be a staple in any content optimization strategy; however, brands should focus on using it to drive traffic back to their owned properties and website.
Relying on social media alone is a dangerous strategy. In June 2016, publishers on Facebook noticed their reach per post had dropped 42%, showing that a brand’s reputation and reach on a channel that is not under the brand’s control can be wiped out with a simple algorithm adjustment. Facebook then reported in early December that metrics relating to iPhone traffic for Instant Articles (which hosts content on their platform), were underreported for a “small group of … publishers.” And in October 2016, just four years after launch, the popular video sharing app Vine announced it would shut down. The company said that users of the app can download the videos they created, which will also be available online — but there is no telling for how long. But when a company relies on a third-party platform, small issues can create big problems overnight.
- Stopping the oversaturation of email inboxes.
Email marketing has always been a top performer in terms of ROI, but customers are beginning to ignore their inboxes. Recent research has shown that sending too many emails — which many marketers are guilty of doing — can actually lower overall engagement. Click-through rates have recovered, but are still in an overall decline since email marketing’s heyday.
Consumers are continuously moving towards real-time interactions with a company. According to Forrester report, online chat as a tool for customer service interactions has increased from 38% in 2009 to 65% in 2015. This method of communication allows the customers to remain on the company’s website and interact without major effort. Live chats are popping up everywhere on websites, and not just for customer service — businesses are adding live chat as a way to promote content.
- Turning to content optimization.
The biggest trend for 2018 will be creating data-driven content strategies. The powerful impact of optimizing existing content, creating new content, and optimizing the distribution strategy — finding new places to promote content offsite and learning to strategically develop new onsite content — will help brands meet consumer needs at the right stage of the purchase funnel.
Content optimization strategies deliver high ROI, especially when repurposing content that has already been written. Many brands have digital content created years — perhaps even decades — ago that can be optimized, promoted and redistributed, resulting in increased traffic and more leads.
Content optimization is picking up momentum. Brands can use this tactic as a way to approach content marketing and SEO in a targeted, data-driven manner. This year, content optimization trends will shake up the way content marketing campaigns are executed, allowing brands to reap the rewards and ROI.