What does advanced marketing look like?

Kerry Gorgone asked this intriguing question on Twitter:

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Advanced marketing subjects is an interesting question. What is advanced marketing? What does advanced marketing look like?

To answer this question, let’s look from the perspective of the martial arts. In your beginning days, you learn mechanics. How to punch. How to kick. How to block or evade. You drill the basics, learn to condition your body and mind, and get good at doing very tactical things.

In your middle years, you evolve from individual tactics to series of tactics strung together. The Japanese martial arts call these kata; loosely translated, kata means form or pattern. They’re the memorialized versions of fights that were won and lessons learned, basic strategies for winning.

In your advanced years of training, you transcend tactics and individual fight strategies to look at strategies and points of view outside of the fight itself. What caused the fight? What causes people to be violent? How can you set up your life and the lives of those you care about to be less at risk of violence?

Turning this lens back on marketing, in the beginning of the career, you’re doing all the 101 stuff. What’s a good tweet? How often should you send email?

In the middle of your career, you should be building campaigns by putting tactics together, leveraging tactical synergies, and working towards your overall marketing goals.

The advanced part of your career is when you evolve beyond campaigns to grand strategy. What’s the big picture really look like? What are the things that will impact your marketing in the next year and the next decade?

For example, I was recently reading the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2015 report. This is a fascinating, brilliantly written report of political, economic, societal, and technological threats to our collective well-being. Look at some of the top-ranked threats:

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Let’s look at the upper right hand corner, which are the threats with the highest impact and the highest likelihood of occurring.

Cyber attacks. Water crisis. Underemployment. War. Climate change. All of these risks are macro trends that will impact our entire civilization. If they’re societal shocks, you can bet they’re going to impact your overall marketing strategy. The question becomes: what are you going to do about it? How are you going to plan for it?

Some of these macro trends will be marketing opportunities. On climate change, technologies that slow or even reverse climate change and carbon emissions will be hot commodities. If you’re looking for an exciting marketing opportunity, that kind of technology promises adventure for you. Underemployment will change the landscape of the workforce; can you be one of the leaders in finding new ways to retrain people or identify transferable skills we’re not even looking at now?

This is what advanced marketing looks like. It’s light-years beyond the best time to tweet or what color a dress is. Using your marketing skills to address these challenges will not only be profitable, but could make you into the superhero you’ve always wanted to be.


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Should you repost your social media content all the time?

Why repost the same content on social media?

Why do you see popular brands and influencers recycling their material in the span of hours?

It’s not because they’ve run out of content. It’s because of churn.

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In social media (and digital marketing), we churn two things most: attention and audience.

Attention churn is the amount of attention any of our content gets. Take a look at this chart below of one of my more popular tweets:

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This tweet reached half of its lifetime audience in 65 minutes, and reached 80% of its lifetime audience in slightly more than 10 hours. If this content were an important selling piece for me, I wouldn’t even get a day’s use out of it. That’s attention churn, the speed at which your audience moves onto new things.

Audience churn is the constant change in the makeup of your audience. Every day, you lose audience members. Every day, you gain audience members. Below is an example from Facebook of Net Likes, which are the Likes you get minus the people who Unlike your page:

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Even in your web analytics, you’ll see this. Below is the ratio of new users to returning users for just visitors to my website from social channels in a 30 day period:

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This proclaims that 2/3 of my audience which comes from social media hasn’t seen my website before. That’s a staggering number, especially if your business relies on repeat customers.

What does this mean for us?

We can’t count on our audiences having seen things that are old hat to us. We can’t count on them knowing what they should and shouldn’t do once they become a part of our community. This is the epitome of the curse of knowledge. We see what we share every day. A new audience member has seen almost nothing. What’s boring to us is fresh to them.

If your analytics look anything like mine, take three basic tactical steps to ensure your audience is always being welcomed and is always seeing the important stuff.

Ensure your properties all have welcome messages of some kind. You could put something as simple as a link in your profile, or share a daily welcome message. My daily welcome message makes up almost 5% of my campaign-based website traffic:

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Make clear your top calls to action in your website design. New audience members should have no ambiguity about what you want them to do:

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Consider reposting your best content on a regular basis so that different parts of your audience see it. I’m about to embark on a new organic social campaign that will share links to my latest book on a very regular basis over 30 days, to see what happens. There are plenty of software platforms and companies that will offer to do content reposting for you (for a fee, of course). You can also just do it manually, by sharing the same content at different times of day.

Audiences and attention are churning all the time. Who you talk to today can differ significantly from who you talked to yesterday. Don’t assume that everyone has seen everything you have to offer!


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Link building is dead, long live link building!

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The king is dead!
Long live the king!

This cry from medieval times at first appears contradictory until you think about it:

The former king dies: the king is dead.

The new king ascends to the throne: long live the king!

The same is true of marketing techniques like link building. Old link building was:

  • Send mass emails to webmasters, begging for links
  • Spamming blog comments
  • Making widgets with automatic links back
  • Buying link placements
  • Submitting crappy guest blog posts
  • Auto-syndicating your content on thousands of low quality domains

Link building is dead! Google has even said so.

The new link building is:

  • Writing content so good that journalists and publishers pick it up
  • Connecting and building real relationships with influencers and journalists
  • Creating tools that people want to share
  • Guest posting for direct traffic, not links
  • Buying no-follow ads to reinforce your content’s visibility
  • Frequent social/email engagement with your audience, sharing your content and encouraging people to share with their audiences

Long live link building!


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