Lunchtime reading: digital marketing

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in the rare and blissful situation of having three hours in a chair minus laptop while the fabulous team at Spirit Hair worked their magic.

We’re all busy and struggle to find time to read. Yet whether what we read is a tweet or one of the classics, we’ll take something away from it - often without realising. One thing often leads to another: a tweet may lead to a question or debate or article. Said classic may lead to metaphorical debate and more (or just the explanatory York Notes).

And while half the challenge in today’s world is about finding time to read, the other half is finding the content from which we can learn best or most (picking the interesting, explorative content from the search engine content).

To pick up on my point from my previous post about learning from our peers, today’s content isn’t just created by elders, seniors, long-timers. In all reality, while the theory books keep being published (and there are some worthy of the tree felling), there are few worthy enough of holding their weight for long - because the world is moving too fast.

Today’s reading fodder is created by anyone who realises they’re testing and learning something, and choosing to share it. I imagine it's like the open graph of the collegiate tutorial: one’s thought prompts another’s question, which ignites another’s counter and so on.

Back to the hairdresser’s chair: I tweeted that I was using that time to catch up on my reading and subsequently tweeted the best (and worst) of my pickings. This went down well, better than I had anticipated. I picked up followers, retweets and favourites. Hopefully the sites I was linking to picked up those and some traffic too (my pleasure).

While I found some gems of advice, tips, and test outcomes, I don’t feel like I have really retained an accessible reference to those gems (sorry twitter). So here’s the first of what will, with all the best of intentions, be a regular collation of my favourite reads of the preceding few days (I daren’t say ‘of the week’ just in case I have a #ManicMonday and miss a week here and there).

To be fair to what I read a couple of weeks ago and to reflect the real purpose and benefit of this annotation, I’m going to start with those articles.

Tweet #1

First up: any life left in Twitter events or are they old skool unless they’re spontaneous? via @comms2point0

What I liked about this article was threefold:

1, the author (in fact the whole blog) has a sense of humour

2, it identifies the faddish nature of social media - once something has been done successfully a few times, it’s old news and therefore no news

3, it recognises that this fickleness is short lived in our retro-passionate times and that once rested, a previously successful ‘thing’ can be reignited to great acclaim (until it becomes over used once more)

In conclusion, what it’s really saying is that some people did Twitter events well, others didn’t. The concept was burned by the latter rather than hailed for the former. Got an event coming up? Give it a try.

Tweet #2

No.2: a summarised and not-too-long list of actually useable #digitalmarketing resources via @montfortio

My tweet genuinely sums up what I think about this article. I’ve read so many articles over the years that are ‘top this’ or ‘best of that’ only to read like a back scratching exercise with minimal value to the reader. Whereas this blossom of an article carries genuinely useful and usable resources. No, you can’t or won’t use all of them all of the time, but the list is long enough to digest and to pick from, and short enough to keep you interested and (most importantly) short of being overwhelmed.

An aside, the #digitalmarketing hashtag proved fruitful for engagement with industry peers globally.

Tweet #3

No.3: how to use social media to drive leads into your sales funnel via @kimgarst

Now I find some of Kim Garst’s headlines quite the hard sell, but her blog contains some juicy tips and anecdotes, so it’s worth looking beyond the title. This post is more tips than miracles for lead generation, but you’ll do more wrong ignoring them than skimming past the hype to her nuggets of experience.

Tweet #4

No.4 Improving CTAs via @SpinSucks. Good point re @zulily but it may work for them (more engaged base, more sales)

This is a timely read after the previous article. They both focus, to some degree, on database growth and targeting audiences. Spin Sucks author, Gina Dietrich, pulls up Zulily for its aggressive sign-up requirements, but while relatively novel in retail, they’re commonplace on publishing and some travel sites. And typically that kind of aggression is rewarded with better engaged lists. Back to the article headline: however good you think your calls to action (CTA) are, you have to test them and tweak them regularly.

Tweet #5

I won’t share this tweet. It referenced an article that was a prime example of click-baiting. At the time of reading I heralded it as my #noshitsherlock moment of the day.

What did I take from it and what might you wish to take from this?

Not all content is created to engage and educate, some is just there to make some peoples’ numbers look good.

Obviously if you have counter considerations to my own thoughts on the above articles, please comment below and let’s discuss!