In today’s Picks of the Week, we take a look at: improving keyword research with YouTube, the intricacies of local search for large organizations, marketing implications of the expanded Facebook-Microsoft partnership, how to measure engagement and the ROI of social sharing.
According to Keiron Hughes, although keyword-insight tools from Google, HubSpot and others are incredibly valuable for metrics like search volume and competition, "they don't provide the bigger picture, which is what you should be looking for.”
So, why YouTube?
Says Keiron: "Unlike creating a web page, uploading a video to YouTube is very accessible to anybody with a video file and an internet connection… Google prompts people to provide descriptive content about the video, such as explanatory text (description), a relevant title, and appropriate tags — so not only is it easier for the videos to be sorted, it means more data is available for us to mine."
By finding a few relevant videos on YouTube, and reviewing the comments and related videos, you’ll likely gain some excellent insight — and find new keywords that your target audiences actually use — that you otherwise may have missed. Check out Keiron’s full post for more details and specific examples.
This is an excellent, in-depth look at local-search optimization by Rand Fishkin.
You may be surprised to know that, according to Rand, “[Local search] is one of the most challenging tasks in the SEO field… you can't go the classic route of building a single page of content and simply replacing the geographic keywords with each city you're targeting. Content needs to be meaningfully unique and target the [highly localized] intents [of your target audiences].”
In my opinion, there are two key considerations for marketers:
- For potentially very good reasons — perhaps Google adapts to the fact that local businesses simply don't have the resources of big, but often have the information their buyers seek — local search is a very tough arena for national organizations to compete.
- There are specific strategies to employ if this is important to your business; however, due to its time commitment (and necessary budgets) consider how important local optimization really is to your business before going all-in.
If local search is a key element to your business, I highly recommend reading Rand’s full post.
Search and Social
Facebook and Microsoft Team Up
Earlier this week, Facebook and Microsoft made a deal that allows Bing to access publicly available personal data shared on Facebook, which it can integrate into its search results.
As reported by Adam Ostrow in Facebook and Bing’s Plan to Make Search Social, “Bing users now get an experience that’s customized using Facebook Instant Personalization. Now, that means searches (where appropriate) will feature a Facebook module that shows you what your friends have liked as it relates to that search, as well as a smarter people search results.”
And, as stated in Facebook, Microsoft Deepen Search Ties by Geoffrey Fowler and Nick Wingfield, “The deal could also give Microsoft a way to distinguish Bing from Google's market leading search engine.”
If you have privacy concerns about the partnership, Geoffrey and Nick also mentioned that “all the information shared with Bing had been made public by Facebook users, and… [users can] opt out of the new services.” Additionally, the data will not be used to personalize advertisements on Bing. (Yet?)
Three key marketing takeaways from this announcement:
- Implications for personal branding: Over the next few weeks, conduct some Google and Bing Searches for your name to see what results appear on both sites. If more or less information is appearing from Facebook than you’d like to see, adjust your privacy settings. Also, now may be a good time to update your profile information and “likes,” as well as evaluate/clean up your friend network.
- Search is continuing to become more social. If social media isn’t a part of your search marketing strategy yet, it needs to be.
- Though Google is still far-and-away the leader in search, a preferential partnership between Facebook and Bing could drive more users to the search engine underdog, particularly for people searches, and topics that benefit from friends’ input.
This article includes thoughts from several Content Marketing Institute contributors on how marketers should measure engagement.
A few favorites:
- Doug Kessler: “For us, the big goal is not just to get downloaded and read, it’s to get people to share the content with others. That says, ‘I endorse this. I’m happy to link my reputation to it.’”
- Elizabeth Sosnow: “Engagement is not about numbers, it’s about people… develop metrics that reflect what success with this group of people will feel like.”
- Stephanie Tilton: “To measure engagement, marketers need to understand how well their content is moving buyers from one stage to the next. It starts with including a call to action and creating a unique landing page for every content asset, and then paying attention to prospects’ online behavior.”
- Keith Wiegold: “Engagement shouldn’t be your end goal, but delivery on your objectives should be… Engagement means something different to different customers as they are in different stages of relationship with your brand — hence measuring engagement means looking at multiple metrics against achieving objectives.”
For more information, see the full post.
ROI is obviously a huge topic in social media. This article by Mario Sundar offers social ROI details on an interesting mini case study from Eventbrite. The company used analytics and conversion-tracking data to valuate event sharing on four platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and email.
As Eventbrite published on its own blog: “Events are inherently social. When people buy tickets for an event, they want to share the experience – and the news – with friends. The social Web fuels the conversation and the communities that arise around live events. This conversation isn’t new, but we are now able to track the resulting transactions with unprecedented granularity.”
By determining how much people share event information on each platform, and how much revenue visitors from that platform generate, the company was able to valuate a “share” on each.
So, what were the results?
- Value of a “share” on Facebook = $2.52
- Via Email = $2.34
- On LinkedIn = $0.09
- On Twitter = $0.43
Marketing lesson: By taking advantage of measurement on the web, and digging into your data, you can better focus campaigns in the future based on core objectives. For example, with this information, Eventbrite can better target its calls to action, as well as focus on rewarding its best users.
And, a side note to those who say that email is "dead” — at least in EventBrite's case, that is far from the truth.
What were your favorite articles of the week? Comments are open for your opinions.