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Posts Tagged ‘Social media’

Microsites can be a powerful lead generation machine any time you have a unique call to action especially when 50% of purchases start online these days.  To be effective, a digital campaign must drive a relevant conversation. David Meerman Scott nailed it when he said,  “Instead of one-way interruption, web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the precise moment that a buyer needs it.” Finding the right conversation and capturing that interest in a digital microsite is the holy grail of digital demand generation.

Here are my top 5 quick tips on how to drive a successful lead generating microsite that will support a successful digital campaign.

1. Start with the market conversation. Let’s say you are building a site for marketers, your first step would be to start with research on organic momentum for marketing topics. Take the time to think about what marketers care about now — Social Media Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Behavioral Marketing, etc.

2. Build a microsite that is experiential.  Your microsite should be an immersive experience.  Its goal is to provide the visitor with lots of rich information in a very interactive, compelling manner, with a rich use of multi-media assets.

3. Consider serving dynamic content. You may want to consider a different experience based on the prospect’s interest and buying stage. If a user downloads a white paper on an overview on ad retargeting, you can assume they’re in an exploratory stage; your website can be configured to serve up more content aligned with that stage.

4. Include relevant tie-ins to social media. Do you have a Twitter following, Facebook fan page or LinkedIn community? Make sure to add the appropriate share icons to show viral growth.  Pen blogs & consider media placements to drive relevant audiences to your site.

5. Use analytics.  The use of social media analytics, web analytics and behavioral analytics will help you get to know your prospects & push relevant information. For example, find out what audience your microsite is targeting through web analytics that let you do SEO and inbound traffic analysis to show how many people clicked from non-email links. Media analytics can also show how many ads were clicked that then led to conversion.

Here is an example of a microsite we just launched in the U.S. projected to drive 15,000 registrations  for our organization.  What do you think?

http://www.ibmconnectedcustomer.com/us

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Interview with Frank Donatone, co-author of ‘Audience, Relevance and Search’

 

Frank, you’ve been working to drive natural search rankings on IBM.com for key terms. Can you talk about your overall strategy & some of the tips you give to webmasters when building out their web presence?

The key to SEO is capturing prospects in all phases of the sales cycle — essentially it’s all about getting the right content at the right time to the right audience.  You need to focus on freshness, relevance and engagement of your audience. I have a few general rules that are critical to a winning strategy:

1.   Do the proper keyword research. Find the epicenter of organic interest. The first thing to do if you want to optimize your pages for search is to find out what keywords, related to your theme or topic, are searched for most often by your audience. These keywords become your site’s nomenclature. If you place these words and semantically related terms prominently on pages in your site, you will have a better chance to get higher ranking pages in search engines and qualified traffic.  

2.   Use relevant content to capture prospects in the awareness phase. Your web landing page experience needs to tap into the interest of the searcher using keywords that are relevant to that searcher. Think of it like searching for a mate on ‘match.com’; the more you have in common, the more likely you will get asked for a first date. Remember traffic volume is not the end game — the end game is targeted qualified traffic.

3.   Focus on long-tail search more specific to your product. The idea is to develop a set of 3-4 related keywords, or a “keyword cloud”, which are searched by your target audience frequently. Then you need to develop pages that use the words in this cloud. For example, use “supply chain for retail” instead of “supply chain”. Sure, you will get less traffic, however the traffic you get will be targeted and create a lower bounce rate, therefore, better results for your search marketing efforts.

4.   Maximize your “findability” on social media sites.  Social media is critical for success since social sites have their own internal search engines and are also ranking factors and integrated into the results of external search engines like Google and Bing. Take Google for instance, it has integrated its new Google+ social network and its +1’s feature within Google search results, creating ways to be found through social media and influencing search ranking position. When you use keywords in social profiles, Tweets and Facebook updates, you are making yourself “findable”. Images and video content are also becoming increasingly important factors to be relevant in social media and external search engines.

5.   Continuously measure web effectiveness. First, you need to look at page ranking; second, the volume of visitors you get from Google and other external search engines. Web analytics tools, such as IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics, can help you find out where your visitors are coming from and then filter the results to show only those who come from external search engines. You can also run reports in modern web analytics tools that show what keywords brought users to your pages, and in what volume. You can also measure performance by looking at metrics like visits, bounce rate, time on page and conversions.

Thanks Frank. This is great advice for Marketers. I’ll try to think of SEO as a dating game — make yourself attractive to those prospects and engage in their social circles to find your match!

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I spent the day at the #SocialCommerce Summit in New York City today. It was a packed agenda filled with ruminations and theory on the intersection of Social Media and Commerce. The discussion has me pondering the enormity of the social phenomenon which is touted as just as revolutionary as the emergence of the web a decade ago. Interestingly, it occurred to me, that the broader story isn’t about technology at all but about the basic human need for human connection.

I learned today that the oneset of Facebook has changed the rule from 6 degrees of separation to a norm of now 4.9 degrees of separation. That’s why we,  as marketers,  have moved from mass advertising to micro-location based targeting within communities of users. This social shift has changed the very dynamics of commerce. We are now living in a liquid economy where 100s of users can be a relevant, targeted customer base. Hence the rise of location- based, community-based social communities all geared to making relevant human connections.

For today’s consumer, the WHY matters as much as the WHAT. For example, if I have tickets to a concert, I can sell to the highest bidder on Craigslist, but I would rather sell to a friend. There is more being exchanged than money in this transaction. In today’s economy, you need to think about the full economics of the transaction beyond the dollar value. To today’s digital buyer, the connection matters more than the end service or product and therein lies the secret to these new business models.

In fact, the contextual relevance matters so much that communities are developing story-based engagement models. I want to engage, learn, buy from others I trust in my circle. A story is formed around me and those who ‘like’ me. They matter to me more than commerce, more than material ‘things’.

Do I want to go to that ‘Kings of Leon’ concert? Buy that new ‘Chloe’ bag? Drink your brand of ‘Starbucks’ coffee? It depends:  are you my Friend?

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