We believe sales occur from two basic drivers, first promotions and secondly your brand identity. Building your brand identity is about telling your story, becoming the expert in your field and gaining customers trust as a serious knowledgeable brand. Essentially this involves creating and distributing content that makes you stand out. In turn others will link to your content creating credibility with search engines and improving your SEO score. Thus more traffic and more sales.
For example a lot of the content here is adapted, it originally appeared on the PNConnect Blog. Written by Porter Novelli. By adding this link we are providing credibility to the PNC Blog and thanking Porter for the inspiration.
Online content suffers Content Decay, essentially it is rapidly lost and loses value. Twitter posts last seconds, Facebook posts days, but blog posts last forever, get indexed by search engines and become a driver of traffic. So as a general rule of thumb why waste time writing lengthy social media posts that are gone tomorrow when you could create a content engine for long term success.
In very simple terms content decay is the outcome of putting all your content on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks that are not indexed by search.
Sure, your ‘real time marketing’ or education piece might get a bunch of shares over a few hours, but then it’s gone, for good. You’ve spent all that budget and time for a flash in the pan. And 48 hours later you’re asking yourself, “Now what?”
So, Now What?
Developing a hub and spoke model that connects your store blog to your social network activity solves this.
This model provides both short-term and long-term value to all your content. I would add a Newsletter and Pinterest to the graphic above. Newsletter are by far the cheapest and most effective form of marketing, while less so than 5 years ago, this statement still holds true.
Publishing original content on your store blog and then promoting and syndicating effectively across social channels will initially drive that short-term engagement. It starts conversations and drives traffic.But then that ‘attention’ begins to wane. We’re all on to the next thing.
For consumers it’s the next thing in our Facebook feed from our friends or another brand we follow. For the brand it’s the next item to be published/promoted. Remember that great thing Brand X posted on Facebook last Tuesday? Yep, neither do I. Since that content is NOT indexed by search it’s almost impossible to find.
By having an owned channel that is indexed by search, the long tail begins to kick in. That original piece of content is now drawing in search traffic, day in and day out for the foreseeable future. As your content archive grows it’s search value grows as well.
Revenue generated in the first 24-48 hours is driven by social network activity. This may be our initial Facebook post and Tweet and subsequent shares withing our audience. Then this activity almost flatlines after the second day. Now, search has it’s day, or should I say days/months/years. The revenue generated by inbound search soon eclipses the original social activity.
Pinterest creates an interesting opportunity as it behaves more like a search engine than social media. Pins on average peak after around 3 months on site.
We strongly recommend that all your social media content be driven from your store blog.
Here is just one example of a campaign.
You write a review of a product in some depth with several product images including a lifestyle image of the product. How do you then leverage that blog post.
1. Take a teaser of the blog post and put it on Facebook with a read more link to the blog post. Use the Lifestyle image.
2. Pin the Lifestyle image with some text and a link to the post
3. Add the images to Flicker
4. Tweet about the product
5. Perhaps you create a Video , include it in the post and load it up to YouTube with a link to the Blog
6. Send out a newsletter focusing on the product review.
Want to go further ? Okay lets do a giveaway for the product, a random winner from everyone who signs up for your newsletter or comments on Facebook, or how about you offer 10% OFF the product you reviewed for a week via a coupon and of course promote that via Facebook, Tweets and a newsletter.
One simple blog post just became an engine for traffic generation, in the immediate on social media, but later on Pinterest and your store blog via search engines.