Filtering by Category: Featured Posts

Social Media – If it hasn’t changed you – You’re doing it wrong

2007 doesn’t seem too long ago does it?

The fairly unanimous business argument back then was that Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, even blogging - was a narcissistic waste of time with no measureable return on investment.  Jump forward three years to half a billion people on Facebook and Twitter at 175 million strong, the sound of businesses scrambling to get up to speed is almost deafening.

It’s about Change

What most businesses we speak to don’t initially get is that the culture of society has fundamentally changed.  The way that people receive information has radically shifted in the last twenty years and that change has accelerated in the last 5.

It’s about Marketing

Businesses adapt their processes as new technologies come along – the arrival of economically viable robotics fundamentally changed the manufacturing industry.  Does it not make sense then that the arrival of practically zero cost distribution would change the marketing world?  If you are trying to incorporate Social Media marketing as if it was another process that you need to fit into your already busy schedule then you will fail

It’s about Now

There are no lead times in Social Media; content is published immediately and reacted upon within seconds.  It’s not about spending days working on copy for an ad that will be published once and read by millions, it’s about publishing a hundred times to a hundred different people with different copy every time and then reacting to their direct responses.

It’s about Bullshit

Western culture is so immersed in media that we are all experts.  We’ve had marketing speak rammed down our throats for so long that any whiff of corporate messaging is quickly relegated to the spam bin and your brand is weakened.  To sustain a Social Media campaign you have to be yourself, you have to know your product and service inside out, the person operating the Twitter account, the Facebook wall, writing the blog posts, has to know and love your company, anything less and your customers will call you on it.

It’s about Time

For those business owners who know every inch of their company and every employee personally – a Social Media marketing campaign should change your life!  If you have a dedicated marketing resource in house, how they spend their working week should look radically different now than it did three years ago.    Think about those robots on the assembly line and how manufacturing companies were able to grow faster and more efficiently once they managed the change.

It’s about You

This is all so very new and from what we can see there are no cookie cutter solutions.  There are tools that make this easier, there are protocols and best practices that can enhance your actions, but ultimately it comes down to you and your business.  If you’re ready to join this brave new world, call us, we’d be happy to talk with you.


Image Credit: Car Manufacturing Robotic Arms by razvan.orendovici on Flickr

Content – Are You Sure You Can Handle It?

I WANT YOU to write blog posts! by Search INfluence on Flickr

You get it!

Adding quality content to your website is the best way of moving up through the search engines – whether it’s text, video, audio, images – whatever – so long as it is relevant and interesting – the more new content you add the more likely it is that people are going to talk about you.

So why do the vast majority of people find it so hard to actually follow through and do this?

Producing Quality Content Takes Time

The majority of our clients are small to medium size businesses – if you’ve got less than ten employees it’s unlikely that you have the budget for a dedicated online marketer – so – whose job is it to write the copy for the website?

We can guarantee that the person with Marketing in their title is rushed off their feet with traditional channels - the longer term ROI of online / social media marketing just doesn’t stack up in the short term; phone a client or write a blog post – guess which one loses?

Writing Quality Content is a Skill

We’ve written this before but it’s worth repeating: just because you watch House religiously doesn’t mean you can diagnose your own illness and a passion for the Practice doesn’t make you a lawyer. Sure you’ve been writing most of your life but it doesn’t mean you’re any good at it.

Writing for the web is different than writing a letter or an essay or even a marketing brochure – there is a structure and an underlying logic to writing a blog post – it isn’t hard to learn but like the professions above, you have to practice it to get good.

Setting Yourself Up to Fail

As a small business owner myself I think the reason people struggle with producing copy is that they don’t allocate a significant value to it. Because they’re smart and capable individuals they look at the act of producing web copy and assume that they can do it themselves - why pay someone for something that you’ve been doing since you were three?

Of course what happens next is that life gets busy, time gets short and if they do actually allocate time to write they suddenly find that it’s hard to convey what they want in an interesting way. Be honest – if you have ten things to do – which do you do first – the ones you know how to do or the ones you have to work at?

Outsource the Writing of Content

We’re working with a couple of different clients who have some copy for their sites but need it optimized for SEO – keyword phrases researched, text tweaked, re-presented and organized. Good copywriters can charge anywhere from $35 an hour up to the $100+ - we tend to work with people in the $50 to $75 an hour range and are delighted with the quality we receive.

If you can establish a relationship with a writer who over time gets to know your business – where you can have a 15 minute Skype conversation with them where you relate the idea of what you want to get across – maybe provide a couple of links to sites – have them produce the copy, tag it and then post it to your site – how much is that worth to you?

This of course has sparked the idea for the next post – which will talk about online marketing spends shifting – I wonder what companies are doing with the hundreds of dollars a month they were spending on “SEO” – link building, multiple sites, etc – do you think they’re now spending it on copywriting?

Image Credit: I WANT YOU to write blog posts! by Search INfluence on Flickr

New Content Consulting – Part 1

So what’s this “New Content” approach all about?  Why is everyone buzzing about needing a “Content  Strategy” and should you have one too?  We  will break these questions down over the next few posts, but for now, let’s  have a look at why content is becoming more and more important. Content is Zarg

Yes we’re all aware of the expression “Content is King,” but  it seems that content is turning into Emperor and Galactic overlord as well....  If you’ve been reading Kilted Chaos over the years  and have kept even a tiny bit of an eye on SEO trends, you will know that the  number one way to move up through the search engines is to add new content to  your website.   And we’re not talking  about hiring an off-shore firm to produce ten 300 word articles a week; that  worked for a while a few years back, but now the content has to be real,  relevant and compelling.

Fool Me once…

One of the major reasons we think that the focus is turning  back to content is that people are getting used to how the Internet, and in  particular search works.  They may not  have a clue about the underlying algorithms but they have built up a huge personal  store of information based on their own experiences.

We have been marketed to for years, decades, centuries; no  matter how cool Jon Hamm makes advertising seem, most people would much rather  not be sold to.  Years of clicking on  paid links that lead to horribly designed sites that don’t actually offer the  best price, have taught people that the left hand side of Google is far more  likely to yield a better result than the right.

Customers as  Publishers

With the left hand side of Google being driven by community  derived importance (and yes I know that’s loose but I’m not going to sum up Google’s  search algorithm in a sentence) i.e. – how many links are coming into a page,  it’s interesting to consider just how large the “community” has grown in the  last few years.

In the old days you used to run around, submitting your  website to search engines, hoping to get into the Dmoz registry and  establishing link exchanges.  The thing  was – you were dealing with people just like you – other businesses who had  something to sell.  Most “normal” people  didn’t have a website, most links didn’t come from the actual customer and hell  – over half the population wasn’t even online.   Check out this graphic:

http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

While you’re sitting there gob smacked by the figures, let’s  throw a few more at you:

- Number of US Facebook users in July 2008 – 27.8 million - Number of US Facebook users in July 2010 – 125.9 million - Estimated # of Blogs at start of 2009 – 200 million - Estimated # of blogs now – 400 million

Here’s the thing; it isn’t just that there are a lot more  people online; it is that these people have their own pages, their own websites  – they are their own publishers and they can publish your link.

Write For Yourself

With so much content being published from so many different  sources, it makes sense that only the good quality content is going to rise to  the top.  It is no longer automated bots  and other businesses that are sharing links and driving traffic – it is your  customers.  Customers don’t speak SEO –  they don’t like to read paragraphs stuffed with keywords – they’re just like  you and me – they want to read well thought out articles that add something of  value – that gives them knowledge and insight that they didn‘t have  before.  And if the content is really  compelling, they may well forward it, tweet it, share it and even write about  it – and that is where the SEO juice really starts to kick in.

Yes you should absolutely write with SEO and targeted  keywords in mind – of course they should be featured and highlighted within  your text but, write for yourself first.   Write as if you were talking to a colleague in a bar, write as if you  were telling your mother about how your business works – start there and then  tweak it until you have your target words in the text.

Bottom line – someone may find you because they stumbled  upon a keyword heavy article, however, unless it reads well, they aren’t going  to forward it.

Last Man Standing…

..or Woman It has been an auspicious month for Kilted Chaos – Alex and I met for the first time – our articles of incorporation finally arrived, signed by Wyoming’s secretary of state – we’re delivering on 3 major corporate projects across three different countries and we have a kick ass creative genius that we’re nurturing. An overnight success that took 3 years!

Over the next month we will be re-branding Kilted Chaos, we won’t be losing the chaos sphere or our rather irreverent approach to business, but we will be making it easier for companies to understand what it is we do. We’ll be taking the lessons that we have learned while working with clients big and small over the years and applying them to ourselves. It’s the words – “lessons we have learned over the years” - that form the basis of this post. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business or an independent band – it is the lessons you learn by actually doing it that eventually shape what you become.

Alex and I first met online 3 years ago, I can’t remember the community – could have been Craig’s list, could have been a Wordpress message board, but he delivered a solution to a problem I had and did it in a way that made me want to engage back. Over the years we have built a relationship based on the equitable delivery of work product – we have learned how to communicate using email and Skype, we know how to disagree with each other, how to motivate each other, we’ve educated each other in new areas and as a result, we have a company that solves problems for many different types of organizations.

Over the years we have watched people and companies come and go – we’ve seen “Gurus” rocket to stardom for a couple of months and then just as quickly disappear – we’ve watched the aggressive self-promoters last a little longer but ultimately suffer the same fate – and yet all the while – we’ve been getting better and better at what we do.

The thing is – at some point – you have to actually deliver – or as Seth Godin says – you have to ship. Your sites have to work – your product has to actually rock!

We love this paradigm – both in business and in music – sure, right now – there’s a million different things competing for attention – but eventually – the wannabees, the poseurs, the douches, the people who are in it for the fast buck – they’re going to die out because they can’t sustain. We’ll be left with the people who kept at it – who did it – who didn’t give up, who learned from their mistakes and got better, who actually know how to make shit work and to make shit rock.

© 2011-2019 Simply Friday All Rights Reserved| Contact|  Design by me