The Curata Content Marketing System

Managing content marketing strategies can be very difficult to many organizations.

First of all, they may not have the expertise in-house and may work with several agencies to help them accomplish this. Second, their efforts are decentralized with no documentation in place to help build a strategy with an end goal in place. Third, they may have content but have no clue or idea on how best to use their content. They may still believe in the misconception that you need to post anywhere and everywhere.

In fact, most companies are so focused on trying to reach high levels of hits, clicks, likes, and leads that they forget the end goal of their content marketing strategy. If your end goal is to educate your customer base or to make them feel valued as a customer, then your content marketing strategy should be governed by it and not the other way around.

One systematic approach that I found to help with developing a solid content marketing strategy is The Content Marketing Pyramid™ by Curata.

Their system is a framework that is designed to help companies formulate and document solid content marketing strategy. The framework brings order and stability to chaotic content creation. Using their words, “it can improve your focus, increase the production and it can create a predictable stream of successful content”.

Instead of grading the system myself, in fact, I use it and have downloaded their ebooks, I thought that it would be better to alert you to Curata, they have a great blog and many downloadable ebooks that can get you on the way to successful content marketing creation.

I am not a spokesman or get paid to talk about them, like you, I am just a marketer that is trying to get better at his job, and I like to share what I learn with others. The system really works and can make you a rockstar at your firm. Go to any of the links that I have provided, or click on this link to read more from the Curata Blog.

Sincerely,

Eric Toro

Research your online marketing vendors

As I peruse the internet, I see more and more companies offering SEO, Internet Marketing, Link Building, Social Media Strategies and other online services to help you increase your page ranking, link juice, and followers.

This is the digital age of snake oil and while there are many legitimate firms that are out there to help your online and social media presence in a very real and legal way, there are also the scammers trying to separate you from your marketing budget.

The reality is you should do your due diligence when seeking a provider, you should research everyone from your designer to your agency and if have someone handling social media check him out as well. This will ensure that you get the best people to handle your online presence.

Also be leary of your brother-in-law’s cousin who designs web pages, or your neighbor’s nephew. While sometimes it is good to hire people that you are acquainted with or receive positive feedback on, for the most part, this can work against you and you will probably have a bigger problem on your hands in the long run.

I normally check out a person’s past work and business relationships. I do not count a relative or one of their personal friends as a reference since who would give their buddy a bad review?

They should have bonafide business relationships and samples of worked performed or services rendered that show their competency as well as their ability to deliver. So that I can shorten this post here is something to remember when you hire a person or team with a real and proven track record, you will most likely achieve or receive the outcome you would be looking for.

If you cut corners and go with people that promise or say that they can achieve your outcome without any real research on your part, most likely you will end up losing money on an effort that was futile, to begin with.

So do yourself a favor and research your vendors, in the long run, it will save you time, money and frustration!

Click here to read an article from seomoz, a leading site on Search Engine Marketing and all things SEO related. Seomoz is now Moz and the little robot below is Roger their mascot.

Roger from MOZ

 

SES Conference – What did I think?

ses-newyork2012

In March I attended the SES Conference & Expo at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan. I have to say there was plenty of information being dispensed by means of express clinics (1+ hour learning seminars) to small groups and much larger venues with panels of speakers to appeal to bigger audiences.

First of all, if you read any of my post you probably noticed that I do attend many trade shows and expos dealing with marketing both traditional and online. However, in this day and age, online marketing seems to be the big thing that individuals and businesses seem to focus on. The only traditional marketing trade show that I attend is the annual DMA (Direct Marketing Association) show which this year is to be held in Vegas and I probably will not attend this year.

The downside to online marketing is actually the medium itself, it constantly evolves, new standards are rapidly created and web development is constantly changing. It is like trying to hit a moving target that moves at lightning speed.

In order to stay afloat with your online programs, you need to learn the new jargon, track new technologies, learn to code and understand formats. There is a need to constantly review the programs that you implement like SEO/SEM, social media, Adwords, keyword placements, per-per-click and e-mail campaigns.

Many shows that I attended in the past, fell short of this idea since their focus was on grabbing new business and not truly educating the business person on what he needs to review and his ROI in relation to investments made in online intelligence (I consider all online marketing practices as intelligence). This is where SES comes in:

Most of the SES events this year covered the following:

  • How to design search engine-friendly web pages
  • Constructing a business case for your board to encourage a greater investment in search engine marketing
  • The basics of building links and why they are important to rankings
  • How to select an agency if you decide to go down this route
  • Manage your pay-per-click campaigns and analyzing your return on investment
  • Building an analytics package into your business and interpreting the results to build greater success
  • How to convert more of your visitors into buyers with refinements to landing pages
  • Better integrate search with your other marketing channels
  • Produce and optimize web video and audio content on your site
  • Tap into traffic from local search listings

I have to say that as far as SES goes it delivered, many of the companies that exhibited provided good overviews of their product and where they fit into the marketing mix. I thought that Microsoft had a great presence since they gave me a good explanation about the Bing Webmaster tools that I have recently begun using.

I also enjoyed my conversation with a company named Visistat who developed a GEO-IP based analytical and web capture software for online sales and marketing teams, BTW I started to use it as a result of trying it at the show and it had a tiered pricing structure based on usage and page views that even very small mom and pop firms could afford.

The downside to SES, many of the companies exhibiting were still catering to larger Fortune 500 companies with huge marketing budgets and many of the web applications were enterprise level programs attached to enterprise level pricing so many of the online programs were way out of our reach to use. This alone makes it difficult to keep going to these shows and finding suitable vendors with reasonably priced programs for small to medium size businesses.

Other than that I will attend next year since I did receive good information and hopefully, I may try some new online programs next year if their pricing structure goes down!

Sincerely,

 

Eric

Social Media Strategies – What will work for you in 2012?

 

SEO Strategies in 2012

Search the Internet on Social Media and you will get clobbered by a plethora of options and suggestions as to how to go about your social media strategy for 2012. I will not tell you what you need to do but I will tell you that in this day and age, any business that does not have a plan in mind will suffer in the long run.

Today, all companies need to include some social media marketing into their mix, like it or not, it is here to stay and will only evolve over time. Of course, not everything is created equal, for instance, I manage the social media outlet for a medium business that provides services for other SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses).

Their demographics or universe is quite small as compared to a consumer-based outfit that may cater to individuals on a global or regional scale. So Facebook for them is not an option because 90% of their traffic comes from industry-specific portals. These are the sites that most business people go to for specific products and services, for the most part, they know where to look!

When I visited one social media trade show and let me tell you, I have been to quite a few, it amazes me that most of the attendees are still smaller outfits vying for the market on selling deals in localized markets, home goods, mom and pop shops, software, phones, magazines, books, music, foods, downloads and the list goes on.

Do you get the point, while social media trade shows provide some good information, even many of these events do not cater to markets where the need for social media may not be so clear. So it calls for you to do your due diligence and research areas where social media can be implemented effectively to increase your presence in your target market.

Let me provide one very basic example and I mean basic! For instance, let’s say that you represent or work for a firm that strictly deals with HR, so for you researching LinkedIn, CareerBuilder and Monster may be a start. Why, because you know that these sites or portals received huge amounts of traffic from possible candidates that fit your need or meet your business model.

I neglected to say Facebook because while they have apps that can be used to cull out business profiles from one’s Facebook account, it is still an app and many more conservative business professionals would not want to share a site with their 12-year old. Facebook is still primarily a social networking site for friends and family. See the NY Times article: Sifting the Professional From the Personal.

Of course, this is my personal opinion and I feel that Facebook will eventually go the way of Myspace which is now rarely spoken about by most young people that you meet.

Enough of Facebook, the point is to do your research find out where the traffic you want is going, build a company page in LinkedIn, don’t stop there, start a blog, go to WordPress, Tumblr or Blogger and write about employment issues, get links from sites that you want to build strategic partnerships with.

Adwords are good but these programs can get pricey, learn before you burn cash in any PPC program. Remember there are a lot of SEO, PPC and social media charlatans on the net, if you do decide to go the route of an agency check them out thoroughly and check their references out as well, make sure that the reference is not a brother-in-law or someone who benefits from their business other than getting quality work and good traffic.

As I said before you need it but start out small, learn as much as you can, there are plenty of websites designed to teach you about social media, just go to the marketing links on this site and you will see plenty.

Understand where your traffic is going and remember the only way to win it is to be in it!