Search engine optimization gives companies a natural and more sustainable search engine presence than paid search advertising, which marketers can use to generate website traffic and online conversions.
In the past, marketers have relied on SEO for both objectives. However, annual findings from Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) and Econsultancy suggest companies worldwide are increasingly using SEO primarily to drive site traffic.
Last year, marketers were about equally focused on using SEO to generate leads (32%) and drive website traffic (34%). But this year, the 87% of companies worldwide who are using SEO have a clear preference for their main SEO objective: 42% primarily turn to SEO to increase website traffic, compared to only 29% for lead generation.
The New Social-Media Currency Is Putting a More Accurate Price Tag on Content-Based Engagement
Brands are flocking to services like Klout, PeerIndex and UberVU to find, reward and recruit their most-influential consumers. These tools are new and their overall merits are up for debate, but the push to measure influence shows no signs of stopping. So what happens when advertisers start using those same influence metrics to rank online publishers? Get ready for the next digital-media bloodbath.
Established publishers — let’s call them “blue-chip” sites — like The New York Times, Vogue and Gourmet are facing well-known headwinds online: Lower CPMs than they’re traditionally accustomed to with print, competition from content farms (after all, Demand Media’s IPO made its valuation worth more than the Times’) and deciding whether and how to deliver their content across multiple platforms.
Being held to influence-measurement standards set by services such as Klout is the next blow that’s coming around the corner. Here’s why:
Influence-measurement tools will give brands a quick read on the publications that are delivering the most social bang for their buck.
There are four mandates that companies are adopting when they are examining and analyzing the success of their online marketing and social media programs. I recently gave a presentation to the Measured Marketing Roundtable at Techpoint, Indiana’s technology and economic development association, that outlines these new metric must-dos.
We’ve been pretty vocal over the past couple of years about how marketers should define success in social media and (perhaps more importantly) how they shouldn’t define success. To put it bluntly, if you’re focusing on fans and followers then you’re almost certainly doing it wrong.
But saying that raises the question: If the number of fans or followers you have doesn’t tell us whether you’ve succeeded as a company, then what does it tell you? And if your CEO shouldn’t be worried about the number of wall posts you’ve generated, then who should be paying attention to this number?
Since last summer, I’ve been using a structured model to help my clients focus on delivering the right social media marketing data to various stakeholders inside their organization. Social media programs throw off so much data that the key to measuring and managing your programs well is focusing each stakeholder on just the pieces of data that are relevant to helping them do their jobs. If part of your job is measuring the success of your social media marketing programs then you need to start segmenting the stakeholder groups you’re providing that data to, and tailoring the type of metrics, the volume of metrics, and the frequency of reporting you provide them.
Special Treatment of Select Customers Isn’t Anything New
Just as companies have been treating wealthy customers, or customers who are more likely to spend more with preferential treatment, there’s no surprise that some companies plan to segment customers based by influence. As more consumer data appears in social media channels, relying on influence metrics like Twitter followers to blog readers will help companies identify those that can hurt or help the brand on a grander scale. As a result, companies naturally will seek a standard measurement for measuring influence.
Businesses are Relying on Easy-to-Understand Klout for Finding and Prioritizing the ‘Elite’
Klout, starting to integrate into many digital touchpoints. From hotels in Vegas offering special services to those with high scores, to a growing range of services that Klout is integrating with, and even politicians, the service is starting to grow. In fact, I just learned that social integration and curation vendor Echo is already helping some clients sort which content appears on the corporate website based on their Klout score, see their documentation to learn more. Just last week, we learned that Klout is starting to integrate their service right into Twitter.com using browser extensions.