Content Marketing News Roundup — Friday, March 2, 2012

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Recent changes in Facebook are making it more difficult to organize and advocate, says Alan Rosenblatt, Associate Director of Online Advocacy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Some new elements that are making it more difficult to create an effective outreach page include:

  • The inability to see a list of your fans — you can’t see which are loyal supporters and which are trolls.
  • Facebook provides limited information about the demographics of your fans.
  • Users are no longer able to send out updates to the entire list of fans.

Rosenblatt is also upset with Facebook about suspensions. Facebook has a friend recommendation tool, based on the friends of your friends. However, once Rosenblatt pursued these friends in hopes of building his network, they complained that they have no knowledge of Rosenblatt and he was temporarily suspended.

“I find this completely reprehensible of Facebook. They are actively encouraging me to friend people based on mutual connections and then punishing me for doing what they push me to do,” said Rosenblatt.

More Are Weeding Out Facebook Friends

In its earlier phases, the number of Facebook friends a person had indicated their popularity, and the goal was often to acquire as many as possible. Now that other social networks are becoming popular, people are beginning to become more selective about what they want to achieve in each network.

Not only are people cutting back on their network sizes in Facebook, but they are also becoming stricter when it comes to privacy settings. A new Pew report on social media says that 58% restrict privacy settings, especially women. In fact, 67% of women restrict their Facebook profiles to friends only, whereas only 48% of men do the same.

If users start restricting the number of friends they have on Facebook, it could damage the company’s ability to sell advertising, which is more valuable the more friends a user has.

Collusion Add-On for Firefox Tracks Your Trackers

It’s no surprise that our actions online are tracked, often for marketing purposes. Now Mozilla has created an add-on application that allows you to see who, exactly, is doing all of this tracking.

Frank Reed, managing director of Marketing Pilgrim, downloaded the add-on and gave it a spin. He was impressed with the results.

“It’s one of those nifty visualizations that does more to make you look at it and go, ‘Oh crap, that’s what is going on behind the scenes’ from the [sheer] volume of dots and lines it creates. If you want to get in the weeds with the tool you can and it will give you more detail as to the actual players in this data grab game,” writes Reed.

Although Reed doesn’t think this tool will necessarily change anything in the data-tracking wars, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of who is watching you.

Cheap Tools to Increase Landing Page Conversion

  • ClickTest: You can upload an image of your landing page, and ClickTest gathers testers who will click where they are most inclined based on criteria that you give them. This can give you an idea of what components of your page are most instantly clickable. If you sign up to be a tester yourself, this tool is free.
  • Concept Feedback: Alex Cohen describes this resource as “a community of online professionals who will review new designs or concepts and provide detailed feedback.” It costs $99 per review. You just submit a live link to your landing page and it’s bound to come back with tons of helpful notes and suggestions.
  • Unbounce: Cohen says that this tool is ideal for “small businesses who want to create landing pages using their library of templates.” It’s the steepest resource on the list, running $50 per month on the basic plan, but Cohen says it’s worth the money, and you can get started for free.

Improve Your Events With Social Media

Virtual or hybrid events can provide benefits by allowing access to people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. However, it can be hard to make a virtual presentation have the same feeling of personal connection that a physical event provides. Jay Nelson, a trend spotter for nonprofit organizations, has some tips for bridging the gap:

  • Engagement: Social media is a great tool for putting feelers out and getting a sense of what people initially think about a topic before you even begin your presentation. This can help you tailor your talk to be as effective and helpful to your audience as possible. Jay Nelson says that one of the ways to accomplish this is to create a hashtag keyword for your event and get it going on Twitter.
  • Feedback: In a virtual event, it can be harder to gauge the response of your audience. Nelson recommends Poll Everywhere, a tool that “allows people to cast their opinions via Text Message (SMS), Twitter, or clicking on their response via a web page.”
  • Dialogue: Once your presentation is over, use all of your social media outlets to keep the discussion going and retain the attention of your attendees. Throw out questions for followers to answer, and polls to gather feedback about the event.

Looking Ahead in Content Marketing

Rebecca Lieb has been working with more than 50 senior marketing executives to determine where content marketing is heading in the future. Some trends:

  • Companies are beginning to look toward multimedia and mobile marketing over text-based marketing favored in the past, like blogs, press releases, and bylined articles.
  • Marketing programs, with their new multimedia objectives, are going to require bigger budgets and new talent. Creating images, infographics, and video cost more than text projects, and requires a totally different skill set.
  • Search optimization and email outreach will still be important in terms of pulling in consumers. But both segments will have to adapt to the changes in search engine optimization, as well as making emails relevant, with video and images playing a big role.
  • Growth: Lieb says that, “[E]very single one of the 56 marketers we interviewed is increasing investment in content marketing and content strategy.”

Image of Facebook logo is used under Fair Use: Reporting.

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