New Research: Social Media Trends For Marketers In 2013 (Daily Deal Sites 80% Down?)

Social Media Examiner has just released its annual Social Media Marketing report. It reveals some interesting data about this year’s social media marketing trends. The entire report is available for download here, but I’d like to highlight some of the report’s most surprising and significant points. In a survey of 3,025 marketers, the study determined the following:

-The use of social bookmarking sites has plummeted from 26% of respondents in 2011 to just 10% in 2013. De.licio.us, DIGG, Friendfeed, etc., are rapidly falling in favor where marketers are concerned. (According to ebizMBA, the  most popular bookmarking sites are currently Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and StumbleUpon.)

Forums (24% in 2011; 16% this year) and geo-location services such as Foursquare (17% in 2011; 11% this year) are also in decline.

Respondents with more than 5 years experience are far more likely to use LinkedInLNKD -1.43% than the average respondent (92% vs. 70%).

Marketers who spend more than 40 hours a week on social media are more heavily focused on Pinterest, Google GOOG -1.1%+, Instagram and YouTube than those who spending 6 hours a week or less on social media marketing.

Biz-to-Consumer marketers have adoptedFacebook FB -2.94% at a greater rate than Biz-to-Biz marketers; however, the opposite is true for LinkedIn. Although Facebook is the most important social platform for a strong majority (67%) of B2C marketers, Facebook and LinkedIn are tied among B2B marketers at 29% each.

67% of marketers plan to increase their Twitter activities. This is a significant majority, but is down slightly from 69% last year and 73% in 2011. Younger marketers are much more likely to use photo sharing sites such as Instagram than their older counterparts.

-Here’s the biggest shocker, for me: the report says80% of marketers have no plans to use daily deal sites, such as Groupon GRPN +1.28% or LivingSocial in the near future.

About the Data: Of the 3025 marketing participants in the study, 56% primarily target consumers and 44% target businesses. 72% of the respondents are 30-59. Females represented 62% of the survey sample. 57% are in the U.S., with the U.K. (9%) being the next-most heavily represented country.

Some of the data is not surprising. The use of bookmarking sites and forums has never emerged as a mainstream tactic for marketing pros. In fact, as reported by fellow contributor David K. Williams, the most popular forums and bookmarking sites are most heavily skewed towards entertainment and ‘funny pictures’, current research maintains.

Reddit and Digg are the top social bookmarking sites that continue to have the most power remaining for marketing and managing traffic en masse. On the flip side, the most surprising finding in the new report is that 80% of marketers surveyed aren’t planning on using a daily deal site for their marketing efforts this year.

Marketers’ Dream Come True?

The decreased plans for daily deals is the finding that, for me, presents the biggest surprise. In my experience (and that of others I have interviewed recently), daily deal sites are highly beneficial to brand marketers and products because of the “no cost” efficiency the model presents.

For example, Mike McEwan, owner and CEO of Very Jane (a daily deal site for boutique fashion, jewelry and accessories), notes that many of his sellers depend on the marketing they do through his site as their primary source of income. Says McEwan: “I have personally seen many small, obscure sellers and brands get their start from a daily deal on our site that went viral.”

Thousands of sellers market boutique items on etsy, eBay, or Amazon. However, each seller is in charge of their own promotion in these platforms and are competing with hundreds of sellers with very similar items. For a new or emerging brand to gain access to an efficient marketing avenue that is already established and efficient with no upfront costs would appear for many to be a marketer’s dream come true.

 

Social-Media-Chart

 

Lifetime Value of a Customer

For marketers who work for an established brand, daily deal sites may seem like a lose/lose proposition, since the most common model splits revenues between the manufacturer and the site at a ratio of somewhere around 50/50. When you consider that the “deal” is generally at least 50% off retail price, the math doesn’t seem to leave room for a workable profit. However, the lifetime value of a customer is the piece of the equation many marketers are inclined to ignore. Here’s the equation for the LTV (Lifetime Value) of a customer (courtesy of Brad Sugars, Entrepreneur.com):

(Average Value of a Sale) X (Number of Repeat Transactions) X (Average Retention Time in Months or Years for a Typical Customer)

Now the equation looks different. According to Sugars, it’s the lifetime value of your customers, in the end, that will determine the ultimate success of your company.  What are your own online marketing plans for the remainder of 2013? Do you agree with the study’s results? I welcome your thoughts.

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How Social Media is Changing the SEO Industry

It is painfully cliché to talk about “the rise of social” and “the power of social media.” That happened a long time ago. Now it’s settled, and we can make some real progress.

The power of social lives on beyond its ubiquity, and wields a transformative impact on SEO. Please understand that I’m not going to propagate any myths about how to increase your rankings via social media. Nor am I going to propose that SEO-is-dead-so-long-live-social. Instead, I’ll attempt to demonstrate how social is infringing upon the traditional realm of SEO as a major factor in how people find information, convert, and interact with the Internet.

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SEO & Content Marketing: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Quality content seems to be the main edifice on which any SEO campaign can gain a deep-rooted search presence.

SEO vs. Content Marketing Tasks

This shift of focus to content creation (and content marketing) has created a misconception in the minds of some website owners that just because they publish content regularly on their website or blog that their SEO is taken care of. Content creation isn’t SEO.

Website owners made a similar mistake in the past when they focused only on the quantity of links they were getting from various sites to “take care of their SEO.” It took Google’s Penguin update to jolt them and remove that misconception.

SEO is a branch of marketing, but yet it is unique in its own way and beyond marketing when it comes to technical aspects. SEO also has many other objectives and long-term effects and benefits (e.g., rankings, traffic) for the site being optimized.

The SEO tasks related to content can be summarized as below:

  • Ensure that the site is crawled correctly and regularly.
  • The site URLs are being indexed as per the XML sitemap and robots.txt specifications.
  • The site is gradually ranking and is having an improved search presence as a result.
  • The regular monitoring of the metrics and data of the webmaster tools and Google Analytics to be sure that the above tasks are gearing the site in the right direction on the web.
  • Implement the Authorship Markup.
  • Implement the Twitter Cards and Facebook Open Graph.
  • Update XML sitemaps for text content, images, and videos.

On the other hand, content marketing tasks involve:

  • Regular content creation.
  • Working on a content strategy.
  • Plan the process of sharing it on social media and all over the web in various forms.

The Declaration of Interdependence

Though content marketing and SEO are interconnected and SEO efforts get a boost if the high quality content goes viral, website owners must not only assign importance to content creation and sharing. You must also keep a regular check on the core SEO tasks of monitoring the crawling and indexing.

Neglecting core SEO tasks may result in losing out on the long-term benefits that can accrue out of all the social media efforts, as all social media signals may not get passed on and get correlated to the site if it isn’t being regularly crawled or indexed by the search engines.

Content shared on social media has a very short life span. Readers quickly move on to the latest content which is creating a buzz and catches their attention.

The purpose of sharing content is to try and get the maximum outreach. Therefore, it shouldn’t just create a buzz, result in retweets, and create ripples – it should also get crawled and indexed by search engines to give websites long-term benefits.

Website owners must clearly understood the importance of SEO.

Content creation isn’t the only way to go. Instead of creation, you can curate content and be active on social media platforms, having relevant conversations revolving around the curated content.

Google’s Knowledge Graph is taking search to a completely different level. The Knowledge Graph is also paving the way to new approaches toward SEO.

Semantic search isn’t just about the web. It’s about all information, data, and applications.

The content writer may write good quality content but an SEO professional is always the right person to keep a check on the code for the content behind the page so that it is readily accepted by the search engine bots and gets its due from search engines.

SEO & Content Marketing: Heads & Tails

SEO and content marketing are two different industries but are like two sides of the same coin. Your SEO may or may not create content for you and at the same time your content creator or writer may or may not optimize your site.

No doubt, every piece of quality content boosts your search presence – provided your site has been optimized wisely for the search engines and the search engines can easily index and extract the right context of the content to make it prominently visible on the search results for their users.

Both industries, though interrelated and interdependant have distinct identities. A content creator needs to have knowledge about the concerned industry for which he wants to create content but a SEO needs to have knowledge about the search engines, their algorithms, updates, webmaster tools, analytics, etc.

While it’s possible that one person may have general knowledge about all the essential SEO and content marketing tasks, in the field of medicine there are general practitioners, but specialists are most trusted for their advice.

You share quality content with the groups, circles, or people you’re connected with on various social media platforms. If that content is valuable and informative, only then does it have the potential to be shared further, go viral, and reap the targeted return on investment (ROI).

Source: Search Engine

Content Marketing – B2B

Not doing content marketing? Where’ve you been? Creating and sharing valuable content helps brands stay relevant and meaningful. If you don’t use it to sell, and keep it authentic and high quality, content marketing can be a great way to build customer loyalty.

Blog Services Review 2012 – IV

If you want to write a blog deciding on which one to use is a difficult choice to make as there many options to use. So in this series see some rankings for the different blog sites. In Part I of our series we gave you the different characteristics based on which we have ranked these different blog sites. In Part II we looked in detail at different features of the design tools that different blog sites offer you. In Part III we ranked the blog sites on the basis of the promotional & tracking tools they offer you. In this post we look at the different technical help tools that different blog sites offer you! Continue reading