Copywriting and marketing news
Here’s my latest random bunch of marketing and marcomms-related stories.
Comment spam still going strong
I’m still getting loads of comment spam. For the uninitiated, comment spam means spoof comments on blog posts or any other content where you give people the option to respond. The sheer volume I get indicates it’s still working, ie. enough unwary people are approving the comments and the links they contain to make it financially worthwhile.
Spammers’ comments include at least one link back to the site they’re promoting. When you approve the comment you give them a backlink. They’re often ‘bad neighbourhoods’ like pharmaceuticals or porn, places you don’t want your business to be associated with.
It’s easy to spot spam comments. The language is often terrible, either written by someone whose first language isn’t English or spun by content spinning software so it just doesn’t make sense. Many are suspiciously general, fitting any number of circumstances. They’re often suspiciously flattering, too. If a comment says something like, “Your post is very good, I agree with everything you say. You have done a lot of research and I think your blog is excellent”, it’s probably spam.
The solution? Wise up to the signs. If you run a WordPress site, install a spam protection plugin like Akismet and change your site settings so comments can’t go live unless someone sets up an account and you actively approve what they say. Delete all comments unless you’re 100% certain they’re legitimate. And nofollow all in-comment links, even those in comments you know for sure are legitimate.
How to ‘nofollow’ links?
Want to know about nofollowing links? Here’s what Google says about it.
Here’s the code behind the link above. Simply add the rel=”nofollow” command to your link code to prevent search engine bots from taking a link into consideration, as highlighted below in pink:
<a title=”about ‘nofollowing’ links” href=”https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>
Content marketing nightmare – 27 million new bits of content shared every day
Content marketing hasn’t even gone mainstream yet. But an astonishing 27 million new pieces of new content are being shared online every day, which means countless millions more must be sinking without a trace, unshared and unloved.
It just goes to show how difficult it already is to make an impact online. And it’ll only get tougher as more marketers and business owners take the content marketing route. To get shared, your content really does have to be exceptional.
Businesses with blogs get 67% more leads a month
Do you have a blog yet? According to the Business2Community site, 76% of B2B organisations do, and they get 67% more leads than blog-less businesses. At the same time 62% of online marketers reckon blogging is an effective content marketing tactic. If you’re lagging behind, it’s time to get blogging. You can add a WordPress blog to your url in five minutes and it’s free. Then you’ll benefit from:
- a platform on which to showcase your expertise
- a place to send people via social media
- a comparatively simple way to keep your web presence fresh and current
Can you ignore social media marketing?
In today’s ridiculously crowded digital marketing space, social media is a powerful way to grow a community of interested prospective punters, fans and advocates. It’s an excellent way to maximise your content’s chances of being shared. It’s great for brand building. And it’s a good way to ‘show’ search engines how popular your content is relative to other people’s, through social shares and so on.
But what about the bottom line, your ROI? Is SMM generating money… or not? If you’re currently social media marketing into a black hole, you need to know whether or not it’s delivering a return on your investment.
My ROI calculation is very simple. I know exactly how much of my time I spend each day tweeting. I know how many of the people who follow me turn into paying copywriting customers and how much they spend with me. So I can figure out my social media marketing ROI easily.
If it isn’t profitable or at least paying for itself, why are you doing it? If you’re using social media to grow your brand rather than generate direct sales, do the numbers still stack up? Can you even tell? Or are you haemorrhaging social media spend with absolutely no insight into its performance?
Can you just stop social media marketing? Yes, you can test not doing social media marketing and see what happens, dropping networks one by one to identify the impact of each. It seems radical but you can always start up again. Just make sure you benchmark everything so you can actually tell if knocking SMM on the head has an impact.
Fresh stats about the mobile web in 2014
Telemetrics’ 2014 stats are out. They reveal – not that there was ever any real doubt – that the mobile web is fast becoming one of consumers’ favourite routes to purchase. If your website still looks a mess on a small screen, it’s time to get it sorted.
- 46% of British consumers use mobile devices as their primary purchase decision tool
- 60% reported being at home when they last accessed the web via their smartphones, even when there’s a desktop or laptop within reach
- People are 18% happier with the information available via smartphones than they were last year
- 37% of those surveyed bought offline after doing research via their mobile
- 35% of respondents said they buy goods and services via mobile devices
And finally, if you ever doubted the rise and rise of digital marketing…
On 2nd July Marketing Week reported how senior British marketers predict digital marketing will make up 75% of marketing budgets within the next five years. They also acknowledge that marketing is changing at an ‘unprecedented rate’. In their words:
“The Accenture report, based on a survey of more than 580 senior marketers globally, found that 78 per cent believe marketing will “undergo fundamental changes” over the next five years, with analytics, digital and mobile highlighted as the key drivers of this change.
More than a -third (37 per cent) of marketers believe digital will account for 75 per cent of their marketing budgets by 2019, while 35 per cent of those questioned think mobile will account for more than 50 per cent. The figures suggest a huge growth in digital investment over the next five years, with brands’ digital spend way behind this level at the moment.”