While most people consider social media mainstream, it's still very much in flux. The rules of the road are constantly changing as more technologies are made available and others die off. They change fast enough that companies relying on professionals who count six-hour courses as all the experience needed to become a quasi-expert will eventually falter.
What this means for communicators is that they not only need to pay attention to trends, but also how tactics change along the way. They also need to identify strategies that will stand the test of time. Ergo, anybody can pump up your Facebook fan page or create traffic spikes. But it takes something all together different to develop a long-term communication strategy that enjoys tactical lifts without becoming reliant on them.
This week's review of fresh content provides insights from five voices who know the difference. If you read these posts carefully, you'll find a deeper view of the division between tactics (sometimes unethical, in one case) and strategies.
Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of April 5
• Measuring Brand Value.
Patrick Collings, brand strategist and partner for a South African-based management and creative consultancy, delivers a presentation that provides an introduction to brand valuation. The presentation includes several global methodologies across a robust 113-slide deck. It includes the average contribution of brand value to a company in established and emerging markets. It also fits in nicely with communication measurement models that we've developed, which considers how brand value provides a leg up for communication programs.
• Google PageRank Update – Internal Pages and Top Content.
Sometimes analysis is full of surprises that turn common belief systems on their head. In her analysis, Kristi Hines demonstrates how popularity does not equal PageRank. For her purposes, Hines suggests PageRank is not all that important as she places an emphasis on content that provides readers value. In her experience, popularity often comes before PageRank.
• Journalistic Sodbusting.
Many people know that astroturfing is on the rise, especially in the unweeded comment sections of dailies. This post, penned by Ike Pigott, details how in evaluating 336 comments, he found comment names might have changed but not the tone, style, and talking points. It's a common enough practice that I advise clients to ignore the comment sections of dailies. It's often the playground for people with agendas, paid or not.
• McKinsey's Four Ways to Get More Value from Digital Marketing.
Valeria Maltoni offers up four points that pinpoint one approach to digital marketing by way of a content-based brand strategy. The points are solid enough: coordinate online activities; syndicate content that empowers customers; increase multimedia coverage; and make decisions on how to properly use the data that is available. It's smart stuff, with much of it pointing to badly needed integration.
• 5 Ways to Leverage Real Time Search in Your Online Marketing Mix.
Most people know that SEO is evolving, but Michelle Bowles nails five considerations that can help companies stay ahead of the curve. She details how content, fans, news, content promotion, and optimization all play a role in developing a better SEO strategy. Among the most important tips, from our point of view, is the increasingly important role of real time search. As more micro content from social sites appear in search results, tinkering with keywords on Web sites is not enough.