Stop me if you have heard this before. I had a rather eye-opening chat with a Content Marketing Manager from a rather large marketing firm.
An Eye-Opening Chat with a Content Marketing Manager
So I stopped at a bar/restaurant a couple Saturdays ago for a cold one and a young woman comes in (I won’t divulge my age, suffice to say most everyone I meet is younger than I), sits next to me…watching a football game and rooting for Clemson. I inquired if she was a student there, and she replied she had graduated a few years ago with a degree in Communications.
Since I went to school back in the day when the AV geeks pushed a 16 mm projector around on a cart, I asked if she landed in TV or radio, since that was my “old school” idea of a “Communications Degree”.
She works as a “Content Marketing Manager” at a rather large firm here in Upstate South Carolina.
WOW. Imagine that. Sure glad I stopped in today for a beer….
Someone I can actually have an intelligent conversation with.
Maybe even learn something.
On both counts.
Worse, it soon became apparent that there are some small businesses that are being fleeced.
I won’t give a blow by blow account of the conversation, suffice to say the highlight reel should be on ESPN.
She told me she writes Content Marketing posts in WordPress. When I asked what SEO tools she used she answered “Photoshop”. (I kid you not).
I asked again. What SEO tools do you use? and even threw out some common ones (Yoast, SEMRush, SEO Ultimate, All-In-One…).
She said “I just write them. I think someone else does that.”
Seriously? Then they need to rewrite them anyway for keyword density, the URL slug, H1 Titles, alt descriptions and so on…I’d have to guess that there really is no SEO and it’s just for a spell check. To partly confirm this, I then asked how long are they?
“What is your average word count?”
It’s common knowledge that Google doesn’t really pay much attention at all to a post under 300 words. And if it’s 250 words, you would surely want to use every trick in the SEO book to give it some chance of appearing in a search return. After all, that is the primary goal of any content marketing/ digital marketing plan.
This is starting to get scary.
Then I asked “what kind of tracking tools do you use?” It doesn’t make sense to toss stuff out to social media just for likes. You have to see where the “looks” are coming from. You need to know who is reading it and where did they come from, and you would want to use a URL shortener and a tracker so you can keep track of the performance of every individual post….You can’t run effective content marketing if you don’t know what hits the mark and what misses. And keeping track of Facebook likes is flying blind.
So what tracking tool do you use?
Hootsuite is a social media scheduler.
Think “I want this post to hit Facebook at 8 AM on Tuesday and LinkedIn Wednesday at noon.” It does not track URL traffic. Hootsuite does offer a shortener in the advanced mode, but you’d need to track those in Google analytics, like any other web traffic.
I asked again. What are you using as a shortener or tracker for URL hits on your content marketing?
She answered with a question of her own.
“What do you think of Instagram?
I gave a detailed answer based on different types of clients and goals. She looked at me and said “the highest likes I got for a client was 6. He got 4 likes on Facebook and 2 on Instagram. So I don’t think Instagram works as well.”
Now..having given up on any questions regarding SEO, where Google listings are half the battle in content marketing, and having given up on tracking and reporting issues, I just had to ask a few more questions.
What kind of client got those 6 likes? (floor refinishing)
How many posts a week do you write for them? (one)
How much to you charge for that? (are you sitting down?)
Now she really opened up and shared a much deeper frustration. Seems the company she works for doesn’t share the cost to the merchant for their services to the employees that work there. In a conversation with the client she was not supposed to have, the client apparently shared his frustration with her because they pay….
(She even admitted it “seemed kind of high”)
That’s when I realized that there is a small business here in South Carolina that;
- gets 4 (incredibly short) posts a month
- little or no SEO
- no tracking or reporting
- and pays about $1000/per “like”
Now even if that includes a kick-ass website, even if they created and maintained a half dozen social media profiles, even if they content market that business to death…for over $70K a year, they owe that business AM and PM drive time radio spots on a half dozen stations, professionally produced 30 second TV spots on Good Morning America and The Nightly News With Lester Holt AND Dancing with the Stars, and billboards on the interstate and…
Now I touched on this in a prior post. Most marketing companies don’t know jack about SEO and most SEO firms know very little about marketing. Yet the two are intertwined.
What if you could find a firm that has been building websites since the Netscape days. What if that company had marketing experience dating back to the mid 80’s as well as being a Google Partner.
Well, you’d have Web It.
Meanwhile…for some perspective, take one of our clients.
They get 5 original posts a week (average length 928 words with extensive SEO). They currently have a website we built and maintain with a shopping cart that has over 3600 items and an event calendar with over 400 events. They are on the first page of Google, above the fold, for over 60 common search phrases direct from the Google Keyword Planner, and we’ve tracked 137,830 clicks on their social media posts in just one year. Plus added benefits such as occasional press releases, store flyers, PDF creation and more. Just over a year ago, they had a “desktop” website that had about 3,500 annual “unique” visits (that excludes the google bots and such). This last year, their mobile friendly site we built has had over 82,000 unique visitors.
(Unique visitors refers to the number of distinct individuals requesting pages from the website during a given period, regardless of how often they visit. Visits refer to the number of times a site is visited, no matter how many visitors make up those visits. When an individual goes to a website on Tuesday, then again on Wednesday, this is recorded as two visits from one visitor.
The purpose of tracking unique visitors is to help marketers understand website user behavior. – Source Wikipedia)
And we could do this for about 5 more years to even come close to that price.
It all blows”you get what you pay for” clear out of the water.
Before you sign with any digital marketing firm, you need to talk to us here at Web It.