Digital Marketing Trends, Part 2 of 5: Broadcast Social

As part of the daily curation I do with #the5, I get a chance from time to time to aggregate all the news I collect to look for trends. In the second of our 5 part series, we’re going to examine some current trends in digital marketing and what they mean for you. Today, we’re looking at…

Broadcast Social

Here are a few of the choice headlines in the last 7 months worth reflecting on:

The BBC launches Your Story, tying your Facebook timeline to news events
63% of Facebook/Twitter users get their news from social media
Facebook now lets you flag fake news
Google indexes tweets from higher social authority accounts more
Facebook’s Talks To Host Publishers’ Content Are Heating Up
FTC Puts Social Media Marketers On Notice With Updated Disclosure Guidelines

What we see here is nothing less than major social media channels attempting to become broadcast media. Users of these services now get their news from them. Social channels are the places that artists debut albums, TV shows premiere pilots and teasers, and advertisers spend like drunken sailors on shore leave.

thenewtvguide.png
Admit it, this reflects your viewing habits already.

What does this trend mean? Broadcast Social Media largely abandons the pretense of community in social media as part of main news feeds and timelines. Twitter looks more like a news ticker than it does a conversation. Pinterest and Instagram carousel ads look like catalog displays instead of conversations. Facebook’s eponymous News Feed is, well, a news feed.

There are certainly still plenty of places where community gathers; Facebook private groups, Linkedin Groups, etc. We haven’t lost those communities yet. But the main thrust of Broadcast Social is to behave like broadcast media.

How To Make Use of This Trend

Broadcast Social means rethinking where social media fits in your marketing funnel/customer journey. Instead of being lumped into one broad “social media” category, Broadcast Social means splitting your social media efforts into two different focus areas. The first area, community management, remains focused on engagement and building loyalty through conversation. The second area, your Broadcast Social team, focuses on broadcast media-like placements, advertising, and brand building/brand awareness.

Community management remains more in the middle of the funnel, behaving like email marketing to nurture and retain prospects and customers. Broadcast Social moves more towards the top of the funnel, behaving like other broadcast channels.

Finally, the change of social media to Broadcast Social changes how you measure social media. You can’t measure with one set of metrics any longer. By becoming a broadcast channel, Broadcast Social now has to be measured like other forms of broadcast media such as TV, radio, and print. It’s not inconceivable that we begin to measure Broadcast Social with something like digital GRPs (gross ratings points, how TV and radio are measured).

Stay tuned for the next trend in this series!

Digital Marketing Trends, Mid-2015 Edition
  1. Discontent Marketing
  2. Broadcast Social
  3. Video Games
  4. Sticking Around
  5. Winners and Losers

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Digital Marketing Trends, Part 1 of 5: Discontent Marketing

As part of the daily curation I do with #the5, I get a chance from time to time to aggregate all the news I collect to look for trends. In this 5 part series, we’re going to examine some current trends in digital marketing and what they mean for you.

Discontent Marketing

Here are a few of the choice headlines in the last 7 months worth reflecting on:

“Is podcasting the next big thing in sponsored content?”
“Why content marketing is like a food truck”
“Right and wrong ways to ignite your content”
“Media must differentiate your content”
“Don’t let secret sauce thinking ruin your content marketing”

The reality is that much of our thinking about content marketing is still highly executional. How do we know this? Consider the evolution of any marketing methodology:

evolution.jpg

In the beginning, we talk shop. How do you write a blog post? What microphone do you use for podcasting? We focus on the how – and when you examine much of the content being created about content marketing, it’s very much about the how.

Once you’ve figured out the how, you evolve to thinking about what to do, what choices to make. Content marketing isn’t there yet.

The last stage of evolution for any marketing method is strategy, why you’re doing what you do (and how you do it). We’re still in the nascent days of understanding content strategy in a concrete way.

This isn’t to say that businesses and marketers have no strategy at all; content strategy itself hasn’t developed because we still don’t have a great grasp of what works and what doesn’t. Strategy only evolves out of the complex collection of data, analysis, and insights that precede it in execution and tactics.

How To Make Use of This Trend

If you don’t have a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t, you cannot evolve content marketing beyond the execution phase. You simply throw things at the wall repeatedly and hope. Thus, the foundation of evolving your content marketing to higher levels is based on the accurate collection of data, thorough analysis of the data, and development of insights from your analysis.

Chances are, your competitors haven’t figured out content marketing in any meaningful way. You likely have an opportunity to seize the space and own it, but the window of opportunity is narrow. Try things out with a rigorous discipline of measurement behind your efforts. Quickly identify what works, then scale those efforts while testing new ideas. By doing so, you’ll develop your tactical cookbook faster than your peers. Ultimately, you’ll be able to craft content marketing strategy that’s efficient and effective.

Stay tuned for the next parts in this series!

Digital Marketing Trends, Mid-2015 Edition
  1. Discontent Marketing
  2. Broadcast Social
  3. Video Games
  4. Sticking Around
  5. Winners and Losers

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Sales or relationships is a false choice

Is there a sale on? @ Lowestoft, Suffolk

From the mailbag, Luke asks:

“I lately have been told to add people on LinkedIn and then cold call them about our products. I haven’t received a lot of good results. How do you choose between relationship building and sales?”

Great question. The strategy you’ve outlined above is immediately doomed to failure, because it’s the equivalent of walking up to someone and asking them to marry you without ever having gone out for a date, or even a cup of coffee. Whoever gave you that advice should stop giving advice for a little while.

Relationships versus sales is a false choice. It’s not an either/or; it’s a dependency. In order to get the sale, you need to have the relationship first.

The easiest way to begin building relationships is through what’s called giver’s gain: be the first to offer value, to give something freely, without asking for anything in return. You may have to do this half a dozen times, but it nets results.

Create content that solves people’s problems and offer it to them, as I do on this blog. If you’re using LinkedIn, first build out your profile to incite curiosity, then jump into communities and conversations where appropriate and offer general solutions that your products fit, without mentioning your products.

For example, if someone were to say, “My laptop keeps overheating, anyone know a way to handle this?” and you sold The Chillerator 2500 laptop cooling fan, you could offer as suggestions, “Definitely don’t use it on a padded/cloth surface – hard surfaces with plenty of ventilation will help. Could put your laptop on a sheet of aluminum foil like a baking tray, too, for passive heat reduction. Have you thought about a cooling fan for it?”

Thus, you’ve offered value, you’ve provided at least two solutions, and you’ve hinted at a general solution that matches your category of product without blatantly plugging your product.

If your product has no name recognition, you may want to look at investing in an influencer program to get some reviews of it. Distribute review units to people and direct them to post their reviews in LinkedIn’s publishing program, with all the necessary caveats about disclosure.

Ultimately, to build a relationship, be the first to give, give often, and give without immediate reciprocal expectation. It will take time to grow your professional relationships, as it does all relationships, but you will see results from it.


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