Advanced Social Media Marketing? Back to Basics First!
by Massimo Burgio
I keep reading about companies and brands “investing” in very expensive internet marketing and social media “executive reports“, where the only things they get is aggregated data that doesn’t reflect at all their business, their market and, most of all, the level of resources, professionalities and skills these companies will have to actually deploy in such fields.
At a recent meeting a potential client asked me: “Do you know that on Instagram there are 58 pictures uploads per second, 5 million pictures per month“? I looked at him and, with my best “consultant’s smile” I said “Sure!” – but at the same time I was thinking “And what do you care, when your website is not even optimized for search engines, your social media presence is risible, and the Instagram users are not your target audience?“.
Q: “Did you know that on Instagram there are 58 pictures uploads per second, 5 million pictures per month“?
A: “What do you care, when your website is not even optimized for search engines and your social media presence is risible“?
This section of the site used to be very active as a blog, but we stopped blogging at the beginning of 2013. This article is from December 2012, but we think that its insight can still provide value, so we included it in our new site, in this “ex-blog” section that we now see mostly as a “online marketing resources” page, a sort of oldies but goldies.
We hope you liked the article, feel free to share it. Sorry if some references are dated; we “remastered” our blog posts to fit the new GSI site design, and we included a few updates while republishing the content, while deciding to leave the articles mainly untouched, as they also represent some sort of “family photo album” for us.
Thank you for reading our blog, and for following GSI. Massimo Burgio
Other classic things I hear at meetings are the need for a “viral campaign“, the desire to “develop an iPad application” or even to implement an “e-enterprise model” – and this is when, respectively, their company websites are not even SEO-friendly, their target audience is not tablet-ready, or their internal resources still cannot get the difference between a browser and a widget (yes, this still happens in 2013). It’s about time to stop this hype, and to go back to basics!
I don’t need to write a long article about it, as I’ve always been advocating the need for a rational approach to internet marketing, and a strategic approach to search and social media marketing.
Let me just drop a memo: before engaging in internet marketing activities, specially if expecting quality results and some form of return on the investment of money, time, resources and reputation, companies need to refocus on the following basics:
a solid internet marketing strategy;
clearly defined internet marketing goals, supported by achievable KPIs;
a skilled and constantly trained internet marketing team;
a website optimized for search engines, performance and conversion, social media ready, and of course responsive, for best visualization and interaction across all platforms, including mobile and tablet;
a solid social presence across several social media networks and platforms;
content, editorial and engagement plans, consistent with strategy, goals and target audience;
a social media / internet marketing policy for employees;
constantly monitored analytics, and an actionable analysis of data.
Does your organization have all the above basics in place? If not, don’t waste your time, money and resources trying to achieve a level of internet marketing you are not ready for. Just take a step by step approach, and you’ll eventually get there. But, first of all, remember to go back to basics! The key to a successful re-engineering of the entire internet marketing and social media marketing set-up are two major interventions, and both gets filed under “training”:
strategic training for top management and A and B level executives, that will allow to re-focus, re-plan, re-structure and re-organize the internal resources and the whole company focus;
operational training for all employees, specially for those whose whose activities have an internet marketing impact, so they can learn the basics, and also the advanced topics of social media marketing.
To learn more about the importance of internet marketing and social media marketing training, check out my relatively new blog article about training – while the article has been published more than one year ago, the content and the Slideshare presentations included are still very valid to today’s internet marketing training needs. Or you can just get in touch with us, and we’ll figure out together what are your organization’s training needs.
At my next speaking/reaching commitments I will be talking about some of the topics I already explored a lot over the last year or two: social media strategies, social media optimization, video optimization, and social media policies – of course updated to the latest news and insights. But I want to take advantage of this post to share the presentations I created on a new topic: social fundraising – a topic I’m particularly proud of since the two case histories are related to one of the most inspiring communities I ever been part of: Burning Man.
I love to work with my colleagues and friends at xister, the Italian cutting edge interactive agency I have been involved with since its launch almost 10 years ago, when we all spinned-off Deepend Italy, sinking with all its (awesome) international network through he black hole of the internet bubble of 2001. Some of my Deependers friends founded a new agency with the same design/strategic-driven approach but completely (much better) philosophy. Since then we have crossed paths several times and worked together on several projects, putting also a strong focus on training to the constantly growing xister team (and “sister” company’s Art Attack Adv). GSI is currently working with xister on a couple of projects for major Italian food brands, with GSI supporting xister and its clients on social media marketing, both strategy and operations.
The content of my presentations at the different events changes according the time I have for my presentation, but the core of the research, methodology and messaging about the creation and release of a corporate social media policy for employees is pretty much the same as the one you can find in the presentation here below from International Search Summit London 2010, hosted at my Slideshare account. This is also the most complete presentation I did on the social media policy topic to date, spinning the topic off a Facebook Marketing session.
I love TED Talks, the series of inspirational keynotes that bring together the smartest people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design (hence, TED). Started in 1984, the project now got to a much larger scope, inviting to deliver a keynote the most influential, inspiring and ingenious people of our society, people with a vision, with courage and with a little more than something to say – they say things that can change the world, or at least your way of thinking.
TED is much more than TED Talks. There are two TED Conferences in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, a TED Global conference in Oxford (UK) each summer, the TED Talks video site, a TEDx program for TED events worldwide (one of the most famous is TED Talks India) and an annual TED Prize award. TED spreads out also into the Open Translation and Open TV Projects, equally cutting edge initiatives.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure and the honor to be invited at the International Search Summit (ISS) in Berlin. I already spoke at ISS in the past (ISS London 2009), as the series of conferences hits some of the major cities in Northern Europe, including Oslo in the Scandinavian region.
ISS is a series of conferences organized by WebCertain focused on a specific vertical in search: multi-country, multi-language search marketing. This is also the reason why the ISS Berlin show is included in the much larger Localization World Conference, another international show with a global coverage, focusing on everything local global business.
For ISS Berlin I got back to a search topic after speaking a lot about social media strategies in the latest month: video SEO optimization. Well, the topic is borderline, as the online video optimization lays is somewhere between SEO and the “new” social media optimization techniques, so I could have bridged search engine optimization and social media marketing.
Just to get straight to the point, here is my presentation on video SEO optimization for ISS Berlin, posted on Slideshare as usual and embedded here below.
Just to give a brief summary of the presentation, I started with the now classic SEO Detox Clinic, my idea of 12-step program for hard core SEOs who want to step into SMO (social media optimization). I thought it was very appropriated since the focus of the presentation, and it is always a slide well received by the SEOs in the audience.
The presentation continued with a definition of video SEO, actually the only solid one around, provided by the video search engine Blinkx: “Simply put, video SEO is the art and science of ensuring that your video content attracts as much traffic as possible“. As simple as that. But not so simple…
I contextualized the topic of video SEO talking about the how video are important in the new social web, touching base on social media enablers, that include Google’s blended search results as well as RSS, mash-ups and social networks. I took the opportunity to introduce the Conversation Prism designed by Brian Solis and Jess3 Thomas, the one in the great infographic below, which I love to call “social media mandala“.
After talking a bit about videos on SERPs (including the now classic eye-tracking study by Enquiro) and the new video search features at Google, I introduced a research by German search engine marketing agency SEOlytics that showed the change in video penetration in German search engine results (Google only, as it’s the predominant search engine in Germany) from January 2009 to January 2010. The presence of videos on SERPs grew over the last year from 4.53% to 17.58%, and the presence of organic search results among the “blended” Google results “shrinked” from 82.74% to 39.62%. Very interesting (see presentation above for detailed charts).
“After all, video is better than porn“ is an always popular line when I speak it out at conferences, specially when it is associated with the image in the slide below, where Google Insight for Search shows that the volume of searches for “youtube“, “video” or “videos” is bigger then the volume of searches for terms like “sex” or “porn“. This is an analysis that stands also for a comparison of those terms, that once were “kings of the web“, with other search terms such as “facebook” or “social networks“.
The presentation then moved on to analyze the opportunities and the strategies for video optimization, with tips for optimizing both “hosted” and “posted” videos, meaning both videos published on a company website, or published on third parties sites, such as video sharing sites as YouTube, Metacafe, Dailymotion, Yahoo! Video, MySpace Video and more.
I shared a list of 10 video SEO tips for hosted videos – nothing new, for those already engaging in SEO:
1 – Content is king, make it relevant and interesting 2 – Title: make it catchy and keyword-rich 3 – Video formats: make different formats available (file type, size) 4 – Use optimized tags and video thumbnails 5 – Video length: internet-wise timing 6 – Keyword-rich localized descriptions / transcriptions 7 – Include URLs at the beginning of description 8 – Share it: allow rating, responses, embed, download, share/send to friends 9 – Distribute it: adopt RSS/ MRSS feeds, video sitemaps and social bookmarking 10 – Localize your videos: replicate content in multiple languages or replicate videos with subtitles + create local video sites
Followed by 10 video upload SEO tips for posted videos:
1 – Make sure video tags are relevant to the video content 2 – Be generous with tags, and adopt keywords variations 3 – Match video title and description with top tags / keywords 4 – Have one common tag for all your videos (related videos) 5 – Don’t use natural language and conjunctions in video title 6 – Choose clear, appealing, creative and HD thumbnails 7 – Use one video channel per language, and optimize it 8 – Try to make it to the “Most view” or “Most discussed” tabs 9 – Generate more views by changing Title and Headline 10 – Try the new features: inclusions and annotations
The ISS Berlin presentation concluded with more advice about the use of some of my favorite video upload tools, such as Tubemogul or TrafficGeyser, who allow maximum distribution with little effort, and with a quick view both at video long tail, video analytics, and how to create video RSS, MRSS and video XML sitemaps.
My final advice at ISS Berlin was to always hear a word on the topic from Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz, and I introduced one of the “SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday” educational search videos featuring Randy giving always good SEO advice. I embed here below the suggested video SEO optimization podcast, but I strongly suggest to browse the entire series of the SEOmoz videos on Vimeo, you’ll find plenty of SEO good tips!
Beside of my presentation, other speakers delivered very interesting presentations, such as those by Andy Atkins-Krüger on Top 10 Tips for International SEO, Isabella Ballanti on SEO Localisation, Dixon Jones on Identifying and exploiting local links, Sébastien Monnier on Achieving European Search Success and Thomas Bindl on PPC Techniques for long tail optimization. Unfortunately I missed most of the presentations as I have been working a lot that day on urgent projects, but of course I managed to have a look at the presentation and to keep the conversation going with some of the speakers also during the networking moments!
ISS Berlin has been a great experience for me, also thanks to the great organization support provided by Gemma Birch of ISS, and also because – you won’t believe it since I travel so much – this has been my first time ever in Berlin, and I really enjoyed it!
Also, did I mention that I have been awarded a ISS Medallion Speaker Award for getting (ex-equo with my friend Dixon Jones) the most votes from the audience as best speaker? This put me in the International Search Summit Hall of Fame, in good company with other great speakers such as Dixon Jones and online PR legendGreg Jarboe? =)
The 13 answers, all enlightening, make a perfect list that all B2B marketers should review before deciding to engage on social media marketing (and they are a good list also for the B2C marketers, too!). I shortened some of the longest ones from the original version published on Mashable, and added a final recap of the learnings at the end of the article.
But it’s not all – the lesson learned are 13+3+1 because I republish here also three very interesting contributions to the online conversation by members of the Mashable community, and I added my own lesson learned too! Let’s review all these insights and experiences in social media marketing for B2B. (more…)
Even if I find challenging and honored when I get invited to speak or moderate panels at great conferences at big venues, (like SES London 2010 the week before), I still love the atmosphere, mood and networking of smaller conferences like RIMC 2010. When there are less than 300-400 people in the room I feel free to walk among the audience with a microphone (or two) in my hand, make eye contact with the attendees and shoot the occasional question to the audience, even during my presentation and not just for Q&A. (more…)
It’s a little bit of a shame that I took so long to publish this interview to Robin Good. Originally recorded on a sunny december morning in Rome, these files ended up in a back-up hard drive I lost track of, and that I finally found more recently (with a lot of other “lost files“). Nice that I finally got them back.
Robin Good is one of my favorite references when it comes to internet marketing. Despite of the Sherwood-esque nickname Robin Good decided to be public with, Robin (real name Luigi Canali De Rossi) is an italian chap living in Rome where he set up the headquarters of his organization, that keeps growing behind the efforts of the knowledge sharing website Master New Media and other independent publishing ventures such as RobinGood.tv.
As a matter of fact, independent publishing is what made Robin…. independent, as he has been the very first pioneer in Italy (and among the firsts in the world) in setting up a business model based on Freeconomics (the free Economics recently discussed in a book also by Chris Anderson of Long Tail fame) – giving knowledge away for free, empowering web users towards the adoption of internet tools that can actually make them free to set up any publishing initiative on the web.
Robin Good’s business model is based on advertising, and Robin has been the first independent publisher in Italy to be able to get a steady stream of profits generating uniquely from advertising on his web properties.
So I put my SEMPO hat on and, on a sunny december morning in Rome, I finally met and interviewed Robin Good! please note that, even if the recordings are 2 years old, the topics discussed from both Robin and myself (below) are still hot and valid today – maybe because we both are internet visionaries? =)
Independent publishing has been of course the topic of the first part of the interview, a good way for Robin Good to introduce himself and the topic. Watch the video!
In the second part of the video Robin Good touches base on search engines, and compares search engines to “The Great Librarian“, a very interesting metaphor that really amused me – but very true! Watch the second part of the video interview.
Third and final part of the interview to Robin Good went back to independent publishing and, more in detail, on the vast availability of internet tools that can allow any user to set up any publishing venture on the web for free.
Watch out, free from buying big platform, but still costly in terms development and maintenance. Setting up an online publishing venture is not a game and requires vision, skills and plenty of time material. And yes, some money too – because Freeconomy is good, but then you will find out that to make a great job you still need the premium version of most of the free tools… anyway, Robin’s vision at this regard is pretty clear, and I personally support it. Watch the third and final part of the video interview on internet tools.
Just to make this post complete, I need to post also the videos that Robin Good shot while interviewing me! That’s right, as a Master publisher and video evangelist, he didn’t waste the opportunity to interview me for RobinGood.tv about SEMPO, search and social media marketing.
My videos distributed by Robin Good have been around online for a long time. I can recap them all here in this post for your convenience, and to recreate that cool mood of a sunny december morning in Rome with Robin talking about giving out and sharing on the web.
The first set of videos is an interview in 5 parts titled “SEO and Social Media: Q&A with Massimo Burgio”
Part 1 ……………….. Part 2 ……………….. Part 3 ……………….. Part 4 ……………….. Part 5
Robin Good also edited other two fragments of the interview, one still on SEO topics “SEO: The importance of good content“, the other one “What is SEMPO?” to introduce the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization I proudly represent. Enjoy the videos. Thanks Robin!
SEO: The importance of good content ……………. What is SEMPO?
The first time I saw the video of the Dancing Guy at the Sasquatch Music Festival 2009 I couldn’t stop laughing, and the video still cracks me up every time I see it – I’m not the only one, by the way. The famous first viral video of the Dancing Guy at Sasquatch already scored more than 2 million views on YouTube, while there are several other version of the same scene taken by other people in the crowd, from different angles, and each of the videos already hit the several thousand hundreds views on YouTube.
So why is this video getting so viral? Simply because it’s a funny video, and also because it’s about a community – I bet each and everyone of the person in the crowd viralized the video on their own, spreading it out to the social web, sending the link to friends and sharing it on social networks. Let’s watch the video first, then we go back to discuss why it is also inspirational, beside of being funny.
A couple of months ago I have been hired, via my friends from Spanish search engine agency Overalia, to design and deliver a two-day workshop on the topic of Tourism and Travel 2.0. The workshop, two full days of Spanish content, training, site clinics, tools and exercises, has been offered to CICtourGUNE, the Center for Cooperative Research in Tourism, a Basque governmental agency dedicated to generate knowledge excellence in the areas of tourism and mobility, with offices in the very cool technology Park of San Sebastian (Basque Country, Northern Spain – Euskadi, in Basque).
We had about 25-30 people in the room, all related with the Travel and Tourism industry: some from local hotels and local tourist services, people from a museum and from the local Tourism Board at the San Sebastian City Hall. The rest of the attendees had ideas and business plans to launch in the Travel industry, and were looking for some good advice to be successful on the web.
Good audience at CICtourGUNE – very interested people, strongly motivated to put things in being and to launch projects straight away, but unfortunately lacking of all the foundations about basics of search and internet marketing – difficult for me to get them started in the 2.0 arena, and to vertically enter into the online Travel / Tourism industry topics, so I decided to invest day one of the workshop in providing the audience with a solid understanding of what internet marketing is about, before dedicating day 2 to social media and its applications and declinations for the Travel 2.0 industry. (more…)
This is an article I wrote as guest blogger for SearchCowboys.com, after I collected a series of video interviews at the recent SMX London Conference, where I was invited to make a presentation about Social Media Marketing.