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Connect business results to employee engagement in 4 steps

Ragan

Organizations struggle to quantify the impact engaged employees have on business results. Intuitively, it’s a no-brainer—engaged employees cost less and produce more. It’s that simple.

Many studies and reports support this hunch: Engaged companies have stronger levels of profitability and retain their employees.

So, why do most organizations have difficulty quantifying this? It’s primarily because of the process. Here is how we (unfortunately) see an employee engagement survey process play out in many organizations:

An organization conducts an employee engagement survey. The corporate communications or HR team presents the results to the executive team. The executive team asks, “How does this tie to our business results?” (Say this in your best CFO voice.) The communications/HR team scrambles to find data and metrics to make comparisons. The team realizes the process was not designed to make effective comparisons. The team can’t share any comparisons.

This is certainly not the best return on your survey investment.

There are many reasons why comparing employee engagement survey data to business metrics is difficult. Here are four ways to overcome these difficulties to show valid comparisons:

Read more…

Facebook’s Declining Organic Reach a ‘Real Nightmare’ for Marketers

Eye on Media, Matt Kapko Blog

Facebook can’t be faulted for following the same path as other mass media channels that came before it with regards to advertising, but there are many marketers who are still hoping for something different this time around.

Over the past couple weeks numerous reports have surfaced indicating a sharp decline in the organic reach of Facebook posts. The slowdown is nothing new. In a short pitch for ads in April 2012, Facebook calculated the average organic reach of page posts at 16 percent of all fans.

So what’s changed? A survey last month of more than 100 brand pages by Ogilvy concluded that “it’s only a matter of time” before the organic reach of content published by brands is “destined to hit zero.” The analysis found that organic reach of those brand pages was hovering at 6 percent, marking a 49 percent decline over a four-month period.

The organic reach of brands with more than 500,000 likes was barely hitting 2 percent in February, according to the Social@Ogilvy report.

“Right now we’re very mad at Facebook,” Dave Martin, Ignited’s senior vice president of media, said earlier this week at the Mobile Media Summit. “The reason we’re so mad at Facebook is because Facebook won’t allow us to share content with our followers and fans as we could a week ago.”
Pay for Play? No Thanks

The pay-for-play option isn’t exactly paying off in spades either, he says. Now when Ignited purchases ads for its brand clients on Facebook it “takes longer and costs more than it ever has and our engagement scores go down,” says Martin.

Worse yet, because there’s so much uncertainty about the genuine interest of many brands followers, far too many ads are simply “reaching people that don’t even care,” he adds.

Continue reading…

Steer clear of these 15 social media mistakes

Ragan

Social media is the most popular online activity, so it makes perfect sense for businesses to want to tap into it to increase sales. More than 90 percent of businesses use social media.

But simply opening an account or sending out some tweets is not enough to make social media platforms a viable and profitable part of your marketing strategy. By avoiding some missteps, businesses have the ability to increase their return on investment (ROI) and create more opportunities from social media accounts.

Avoid these mistakes:

1. Not having a strategy.

Less than 20 percent of businesses say their social media strategy is mature. Social media users are constantly inundated with information and messages. Businesses that don’t have a social media marketing strategy won’t ever cut through the clutter and deliver an effective message to their target audiences.

Creating a strategy includes having distinct and measurable goals, developing a clear social media policy, thinking through a brand’s social media voice and planning out a content calendar with end goals in mind. Without a clear strategy, businesses could create the best content on the Web but receive little to no engagement.

2. Not integrating with other digital assets.

Social media works best when you integrate it with other digital marketing efforts. One mistake many businesses make is to leave their social media accounts on islands. Not only should you link the accounts together, but tie them directly to websites, emails and paid search advertising campaigns.

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Digital advertising hits $43B, passing broadcast TV for the first time ever

VentureBeat

This past year, digital advertising online and via mobile crossed the $40 billion mark for the first time ever, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. Since 2004, the average growth rate has been 18 percent. And this year, digital ad revenues surpassed broadcast television for the first time.

Not shockingly, mobile is leading the charge.

Search remains the largest overall category, at $18.4 billion, and display hit $7.9 billion, according to the IAB’s numbers, but those categories are growing much slower than mobile and digital video ads. Search is “only” growing at 8.6 percent, while mobile ad revenue jumped 110 percent to $7.1 billion last year, and digital video ad revenue has tripled over the past few years to $2.8 billion.

It’s important to note that, while web and mobile advertising revenues beat out broadcast TV for the first time, broadcast + cable advertising revenues still dwarf the digital take. And, of course, networks are aggressively expanding to new digital means of distribution.

While the digital ad market is expanding, it’s also extraordinarily concentrated — perhaps more so than any advertising market since there were just three TV networks.

Read more…

Infographic: Why visual content is better than text

Ragan

Did you know that it’s 50 times easier to get a video to rank on the first page of Google than other content types? Here’s why visuals are an important part of any content strategy.

People process visuals 600,000 times faster than text.

Website visitors typically read only 20 percent of the text on a page.

People retain 80 percent of what they see and only 20 percent of what they read.

If you aren’t incorporating visual content into your organization’s communications strategy, these statistics from an Ethos3 infographicmay be enough to persuade you otherwise.

Here are a few compelling facts:

  • Social media users are 40 percent more likely to share visual content than other types of content.
  • Ninety percent of online shoppers said they find videos helpful when making purchase decisions.
  • It’s 50 times easier to get a video to rank on the first page of Google than other content types.
  • Infographics can improve website traffic by 12 percent.
  • Ninety percent of the information your brain receives is visual.
  • More than 60 percent (65 percent) of people are visual learners.

But there are still more reasons why visual content is important. Check them out in the graphic below:

Click to see infographic

Millennials Trust User-Generated Content 50% More Than Other Media

Mashable

It seems as if millennials have avoided traditional media ever since they learned how to read.

The results of new research by marketing startup Crowdtap and the global research company Ipsos shed new light on how the connected generation gets its news. When it comes to trust, it turns out, millennials almost always choose their peers over professionals.

User-generated content (UGC) is media created by your peers. It includes status updates, blog posts and restaurant reviews — any content from non-professionals without any real motivation besides adding an opinion to the sea of already existing opinions. In a more logical world, it isn’t the type of content we’d trust over a professional’s review.

Ipsos’ study, however, reveals that millennials trust UGC just as much as professional reviews. UGC is also 20% more influential when it comes to purchasing and 35% more memorable than other types of media. You can chalk that up to the fact that millennials spend five hours per day with UGC.

The infographic below gives the visual breakdown of how much time millennials are spending with UGC, where they’re getting it and how it’s affecting the media landscape.

Click to see infographic

New Expectations for CMOs

IDG Connect 0811 New Expectations for CMOs

In a new CMO report from Deloitte and Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, the 5 new CMO expectations were discussed. The 5 expectations were:

  1. Take on Topline Growth
  2. Own the Customer Experience
  3. Dig Into Data-Based Insights
  4. Operate in Real Time
  5. Master the Metrics that Matter

Are CMOs ready to face these expectations? Not really, but they’re getting there. 53% of CMOs feel the pressure to enable revenue growth, but they struggle because they don’t completely own the conversion path. This has been one of the bigger problems that CMOs are facing; they have to work across functions in order to get things done. This comes into play with the customer experience, too. CMOs now own the largest share of the customer journey, but they need to work with product and service teams in order to create an optimal customer experience across all channels. There’s no doubt that CMOs are feeling the pressure of the digital era, but with that comes big opportunity for growth and the ability to reach all of these high expectations.

Continue reading…

The beginner’s guide to measuring social media ROI

Ragan

For a marketer, return on investment defines a campaign’s success, and many executives demand hard numbers.

According to a study of marketing expertsperformed by Domo, however, three out of four marketing experts can’t measure social media ROI.

Let’s look at the basic yet vital aspects of social media marketing ROI.

1. ‘Likes’ and follows: Measuring engagement

The simplest way to gauge social media ROI involves counting followers on Twitter, your “likes” on Facebook, and consumer affiliations on all your other social media sites.

Keeping a spreadsheet to track social media conversions (followers, “likes,” etc.) gives you data to show that your campaign delivered X new social media connections. Facebook shares and Twitter retweets are also vital to documenting a campaign’s success.

Simple tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics help you track a specific post’s success, pinpointing customers’ response to particular types of content.

To measure the success of a given keyword, hashtag, or unique topic, try Brandwatch, GroSocial, and Keyhole. They explain trends on social networks for the keywords you enter.

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(Re)defining multimedia journalism

Medium

There’s no consensus among journalists about what the term multimediameans, or even whether to use it anymore.

The multimedia skills listed in a job advertisement might span a range of specialties from web developer to videographer. Some ads specify “proficiency in multimedia” with no further explanation. A 2013 ad seeking a multimedia producer was more precise: “Your core duties will involve a variety of multimedia — audio, video, photos, informational graphics, and motion graphics — to support our core news content.”

“One of the most pressing needs mentioned by journalists in various countries was the acquisition of new multimedia skills,” according to findings from a recent study that surveyed more than 29,000 journalists around the world.

Despite the continuing use of the term multimedia, not every journalist thinks it should be used nowadays. Eric Maierson, a producer at MediaStorm since 2006, hates the word multimedia. There is irony in that, because until recently, MediaStorm called itself a “multimedia production studio.” However, Maierson explained: “I believe ‘multimedia’ is the word we’ve come to use when describing photographers who make documentaries.” (Nowadays MediaStorm calls itself a “film production and interactive design studio” and produces mostly video documentaries. Past projects include Crisis Guide: Iran, a good example of pre–“Snow Fall” multimedia.)

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Does Your Digital Content Play the Dating Game?

IDG Connect 0811 Does Your Digital Content Play the Dating Game?

There is a strong tendency to put the date of publication on digital content assets or mention a time period within them. Doing that changes an asset to have a limited shelf life as the assets time clock starts ticking. And tick it does, as B2B buying team members are less patient then in the past when it comes to assets they consider too old.

Four years ago IDG Connect conducted extensive buyer preference research among enterprise organizations. At that time, buyers stated that a asset was considered too old if it was 14 months or more past its offering or publication date. It’s important to note that once an asset went beyond 18 months, buyers stated that it negatively affected their perception of the vendor. The benchmark was clear, and content management required keeping content fresh enough for buyer needs.

Now that age baseline has shifted, compressing the acceptable limits of content before it is considered old. New global research conducted by IDG Connect among enterprise buyers in the US and United Kingdom reveal that in both markets content is considered old after 10 months and has negative impact on perception after 13 months. But there are some clear ways for vendors to avoid negative perception among buyers who prefer content currency.

1. Avoid Unnecessary Dating: Look at you asset portfolio and confirm your tendency to inadvertently highlight content that is dated with a limited shelf life. Those limitations can come from something as simple as the asset identification system you use. If the date of publication is part of your numbering and tracking method, consider making a change to something that is coded, so you understand from the system the date of the asset but that will not be clear to those that consume it.

2. Set Dated Asset Standards: Set standards for content that requires dating. This can include assets that present market research.  Some content types do require dating. One area is assets that include research where buyers want  assurance that they consume insight that reflects current sentiment or trends. For that type of content, insure that you have set refresh points to update the findings. Vendors should conduct research to periodically refresh their view of market conditions even if it is for internal purposes. But both in  cases for external thought leadership or internal strategy and planning, make it an annual event at a minimum.

Continue reading…