How Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) attract qualified leads has changed significantly, because integrated digital communications have dramatically changed how people find, use and share information. EDO Leaders who embrace and leverage these changes can outdistance their competitors. This is the fourth in a four-part series of articles detailing how digital marketing has reinvented EDO Lead Generation. Article 1 addressed How Branding Has Changed. Article 2 addressed How Audience Behavior Has Evolved. Article 3 addressed How Mobile Dominates Information Exchange. This final article addresses How Social Networks Changed Content Consumption. All four articles are available at www.usdmdigital.com
Social Media marketing has leapt to the forefront of digital marketing tactics, because Social Networks have significantly changed consumer behavior, news and information consumption, search engine analytics and rankings, and strategies for content distribution to engage customers in business-to-business marketing.
Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain them.
Social Networks have become dominant sources for news about events and issues, a forum for discussion of brands, and can enable businesses to reach the right target audience at a low cost. Formerly a mostly B2C channel, social networks are increasingly used as B2B channels for branding, customer engagement, and demonstration videos.
The ability of an organization to embrace data-driven, social media marketing is an enormous opportunity…or threat. Smaller, more agile, organizations can now affordably embrace this opportunity to out-market larger, slower, competitors.
When you focus on connected data management to power your social media marketing, you gain outstanding opportunities to maximize efficiencies, reach new prospects, and increase revenue. Data will inform your marketing decisions, as well as quantify the value of your program to your board or stakeholders.
Because data feedback informs marketers what content their audiences respond to, many social networks have doubled down in the past few years on the amount of content they produce to capture and retain the attention of their users. A brand’s engagement with its audience now stretches across multiple touchpoint experiences.
Faced with an enormous quantity of articles, blogs, embedded stories (native advertising), videos, and other content, audience content consumption behavior has shifted away from long-form content to much shorter content that allows them to skim key points and click for more information. Images and videos draw attention more quickly. Video is the most engaging content.
Some news and information sites have radically changed their content strategy on their websites and in their social marketing to more quickly capture their audiences’ attention with an engaging photo and headline that links to additional content.
Seamless integration of this content efficiently across multiple platforms is essential, yet can be challenging sometimes. Some tools are free, some are costly, but ultimately you get what you pay for and you should not pay for any more than you need.
Where do you start upgrading your program to be more impactful? Who do you ask? Which do you choose? What will it cost? How hard will it be to implement with your staff and current systems? Do you insource or outsource? How long will it take to see real impact? Seamless integration of this content efficiently across multiple platforms is essential, yet can be challenging sometimes. Some tools are free, some are costly, but ultimately you get what you pay for and you should not pay for any more than you need.
In attempting to answer these important questions, many C-level managers encounter as many recommendations as people they ask. Marketing managers have their favorites. Technology vendors swear theirs is the best. But what is most important is “what is right for your business goals, budget, staff and infrastructure.”
Some questions to ask your EDO marketing staff:
- Are your current social media marketing efforts as effective as they could be?
- Is your technology informing your decisions?
- Are you getting quick insights or do you have to sort through disparate reports?
- What tools do you need?
- How does our social media presence rank against that of our top competitors?
- How much more budget do you need and what would the ROI be?
One effective and prudent approach is to engage a qualified, third party, digital marketing consultant that has deep technology and marketing strategy experience. They should be qualified to assess products and data management. They should not be a software sales company. Most importantly, you want to engage a digital marketing consultant that can work collaboratively with your team to identify your challenges and opportunities in your current marketing and assess your current systems. Ideally, they also have deep experience in destination marketing.
OK, here comes the shameless plug – USDM Digital® does all this. We integrate all the complexities to make it easy for you. Our social media consulting services began at the dawn of Facebook. We address B2B or B2C social strategy for branding, engagement, your competitive set (this is more important than most marketers realize), and more.
We provide opportunity assessments and recommendations to take your program to a whole new level. You give us your vision and we will help you devise the winning strategy. Our Digital Gap Analysis® uncovers your missed opportunities. Our Digital Strategy Playbook® leverages competitive market intelligence and business insights to build your strategic marketing plan. It’s your vision – in an executable playbook.
The resulting Report is often eye-opening and aligns with what your marketing team wants and needs. Subsequent recommendations may include updating software, processes, staged implementation, assisted oversight, or even advanced training, to get your business or organization digitally “data-connected” so you can maximize your reach, efficiencies and return on your social marketing investment. These are all options you want to have when you are making the decisions about social media strategy.We provide opportunity assessments and recommendations to take your program to a whole new level. You give us your vision and we will help you devise the winning strategy. Our Digital Gap Analysis® uncovers your missed opportunities. Our Digital Strategy Playbook® leverages competitive market intelligence and business insights to build your strategic marketing plan. It’s your vision – in an executable playbook.
Today’s data-driven, uber-connected, networked world offers new challenges and great opportunities which are transformative, important, certain to occur, and achievable.
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