Digital Strategy 2011

Digital Strategy 2011 This is a guest post by Tim Aldiss from his blog: ————————————————————————- The start of a new year heralds a series of articles about predictions for digital trends 1, 2, 3 for the year ahead, but instead I thought I would summarise where I believe we are after the year gone by. It’s all too easy to start by thinking by platform. For example the last 5 years at least has always been heralded as the year of mobile, and it certainly looks like this year will be the year of the tablet, but it is of course important to think platform-agnostically! It’s also easy to start by thinking about channel. Has online stolen more budget from offline, has paid media spend been nibbled away by social media investment, etc, but again here it is important to think across channels, on & offline and ‘through the line’. I believe that the most obvious trend for 2010 has been the shift towards thinking about the end results – the outcome & the user experience – and how greater understanding of this can help not only all of your marketing activity but also your business as a whole. Every business gets to a stage where it realises how important expenditure on research is. That level of awareness is added to by a mix of worry that the research may in some way not be accurate or relevant depending on the methods used. Well it is now more possible than ever to research end users, and in almost real time, to get low cost information that is ready to use. Take a look at the success metrics around Direct Line Insurance’s ‘ideas lab‘ as an example . For me this shift to the focus on the user experience is a revelation as it also reflects my decision to move out of a direct role in marketing and back into web development where, working with Cubeworks, I now have a great opportunity to align my 10 years experience in SEO with Cubeworks core strength in User Experience Design. For years Search Engine Optimisation has been the mother of channel-based strategies. It’s always been proven as the most cost effective path to new and returning customers. To an extent it still is, but the problem with search is that it is still dominated by Google, and by an algorithm that has for a long time been showing...

Reclaim your Facebook content

Reclaim your Facebook content I’ve worked on several Social Media campaigns that have naturally gravitated towards Facebook as a popular social platform that affords familiar sharing functionality and presents the lowest barrier to entry i.e. everyones already on it. There are a lot of annoying things about Facebook, but the thing that’s been getting to me most (yes more than the privacy issue) is that whatever anyone contributes to Facebook remains ‘in the cloud‘. It’s probably my SEO background getting the better of me, but I want to own that information, that content. I want it to benefit me in the traditional sense of content i.e. one that generates links, citations and attention to my websites. Keeping an eye on the SERPs as we do at ThinkSearch we are now starting to see Facebook pages creeping into the Google results for more competitive search terms. If the balance keeps on as it does it will be Facebook that outranks you, me and our competitors. Obviously the supports the end goal of Facebook’s advertising revenue based business model so they are laughing all the way to the bank. But what about that content. Well it occurred to me that there is plenty of talk about the new open protocol that Facebook supports – FBML (Facebook Markup Language) – but what everyone is scrabbling to do is support Facebook’s head long plummet to domination by integrating their content the wrong bloody way! Why put widgets all over your Facebook page that plant your blog content into Facebook? Why integrate widegts into your blog that allow users to jump straight of back into Facebook leaving your site? Surely this must happen the other way. What about all that lovely user generated content? What about all those lovely references to your site and connections to others? Where is the benefit to all the effort that you have put in over the last 20 years of the web gone? For the time being it seems like the FBML support is basic and developers struggle to implement the code in any other way than within the Facebook canvas i.e. inserting the content using an iframe as opposed to being written into your page, so the benefits are yet to be tested, but to me this is a treasure trove to...

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