Search and Social: What Marketers Need to Know About the Changing Landscape

Do you use social media and search to promote your business?

Are you wondering how the landscape of search and social is changing, and how to benefit from it?

To learn about the key changes in search and social, and how they impact your marketing, I interview Lee Odden for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Lee Odden, author of the book Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content MarketingHe’s the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and the editor of Marketing Blog. Plus there is a killer SlideShare tip you’ll want to pay attention to.

Lee shares his insights into the world of SEO and content marketing, and the elements of his strategy that have contributed to his success. You’ll learn about the four categories of content that you must create for your sites, and tips for getting the most out of them.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Search and Social

Graph Search and what Facebook is doing

Lee believes that Facebook is always going to progress towards having a more robust search engine.

Right now they are collecting a lot of data, and as Graph Search continues to roll out to more people, they will refine and optimize how it works.

facebook graph search

Facebook's Graph Search.

It’s not just about providing a better user experience, there is ad play too. Lee feels that this is the driver. Lee believes that Facebook will move towards providing marketers opportunities to get in front of people and offer contextual advertising in the way that Google does.

Before implementation of Graph Search, when you did a search on Facebook, the results would come from Facebook’s own data set such as Fan Pages, Profiles, Groups, etc. If Facebook couldn’t find what you were looking for, they would provide search results from Bing.

Facebook is still working with Bing, but the search result set they offer is a lot different. The filtering options are more robust. However, today when we want to find something specific, we still use Google.

As a marketer, Lee feels that it’s important to understand the customer’s journey and experiences. Often an idea surfaces on Facebook, and to validate the idea, people go over to Google expecting to find something that they can act on.

Listen to the show to find out how the Facebook search capability is similar to what they have allowed to advertisers.

How Google is using Google+ to impact the results consumers see

Marketers need to consider the public social content crawled by Google Bot, the integration of Google+ and authorship, and the association between Google+ profiles and associated content in search results.

Lee believes that it’s virtually impossible to employ a successful organic search optimization effort without robust social content or social presence. These social signals have eclipsed signals like links.

When you look at simplifying SEO best practices, we are not just talking about content, keywords and links. We have to equally include the importance of social content and social signals.

Marketers really need to understand the search results landscape for their key search terms, and to what degree social content competes with you.

Lee gives an example of how social is impacting search results. Every search experience result could be unique because of geography, and whether you are logged in or not.

As marketers, we still have to execute standard SEO best practices. We have to make it easy for Google to find and understand our content. Our website content needs to be organized in a logical way that’s easy to understand. If you want to be known for something, then be specific about it. Make sure it’s interesting, compelling and shareable.

Optimization is a lot about making things easier for Google and easier for people to consume. At the same time, you want to have robust interactive and proactive social participation. You want to create and promote content and interact with others who are topically relevant and building up their influence as authors.

Use plugins so people can easily share your content to the social networks that they belong to. It will have a big impact. It’s going to allow more people to trigger into the social graphs that they have interest in this kind of content.

If you think Google+ is where your market is, or you want to accentuate the social impact on search, then you should really emphasize Google+, not only from the widget standpoint, but also your interactions with people there.

Listen to the show to find out the plugins and tactics Lee uses to encourage his audience to share his content.

Is the idea of search engine optimization really dead?

Lee says it’s important to understand what you are doing in the context of who you are trying to impact—it’s the results and performance in sales that pay the bills.

One major shift that his company made 5 years ago was to start to understand the interests, goals and pain points of the target audience they were marketing to. As you understand what your target audience is interested in, you’ll want to create profiles. Then you should use keyword research with the understanding of what you want to optimize.

Traditionally, SEO involves going to Google Adwords keyword tool, entering some keywords, and going after the most popular searched phrases. The difference comes when the consumer interacts with these keywords. What if your content is not compelling and engaging to them?

google adwords keyword tool

Keywords are just the start.

Current SEO is the idea of understanding who your customers are and what they want. SEO is about creating content that moves your customers along the sales cycle, so when they find it, they realize it’s what they were looking for.

Listen to the show to learn why as more people share and consume your content, you will become more discoverable.

The future of search and social

Lee shares how platforms such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook are all driven by creating value for shareholders and monetization. Innovation happens at some level. You need to create a better user experience; otherwise, people won’t come to your site to use you. These companies are driven by the need to generate revenue.

With regard to the future, Lee wonders whether there will come a point when consumers will get dissatisfied or become more like sheep.

If people are willing to compromise their privacy, then Lee sees Facebook as more of a destination. In addition, if Google stops focusing on making search a part of what they stand for, then their growth will remain the same.

Google has a lot of free things that we integrate into our daily life, such as Google Docs, Gmail, Google Maps, etc. They’re disrupting other business models. Many people also forget that YouTube is owned by Google.

google products page

Google offers many free tools and products.

Listen to the show to find out why Facebook doesn’t provide the waterholes that Google does right now.

The current state of content marketing

Lee talks about how companies have been marketing with content for a long time—as early as the 1800s—and that the notion has been popularized over the last couple of years. In Lee’s mind, people are doing other things under the umbrella of content marketing, and feels that this is unfortunate.

The reason why search engines exist is because of content. Content is often the outcome of people sharing on the social web, and companies are creating content specifically for marketing.

You’ll discover Lee’s definition of content marketing and why guiding the customer through the sales cycle is so important.

Listen to the show to hear why content marketing is more meaningful than infographics, white papers, etc.

Content marketing ideas that work

You’ll learn about the four different types of content, and why you would want to include them in your marketing.

  • Evergreen content
  • Co-created content
  • Curated content
  • Repurposed content
four types of killer content

Four types of killer content you should use in your marketing.

Lee explains what happened when Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing World, approached his company to help promote one of their conferences. Not only did the promotion get 40,000 views on SlideShare, but it made SlideShare’s Presentation of the Day, Week and Month within a couple of days.

You’ll discover the advantages of promoting your content on SlideShare instead of a blog post and how to use Slideshare for lead generation.

If you have an active LinkedIn presence, then adding the SlideShare app to your LinkedIn feed is a very smart thing to do.

Listen to the show to hear the marketing techniques Lee used to promote one of Content Marketing World’s conferences.

Lee’s Blogging Success Strategy

Lee sees blogs as an extension of what you are thinking about, and a means of creating information that’s useful to your target audience.

Whether people contact you to hire you, or ask you to speak at events, or when influencers want to do joint projects with you, or even when the media reaches out to you, it’s a result of discovery through search and social.

Lee and his team members contribute to his blog. It’s an agency blog. It exists to serve the purpose of the agency in his community. It’s perceived as a publisher. From the SEO perspective, Lee’s blog is seen as an industry blog, and it adds a premium to Lee’s company’s brand.

Lee explains that all their business is inbound. Some of the companies that have hired them include McKesson, HP and Dell. The reason why companies approach Lee is because they’ve heard of him through the content found on his blog.

Listen to the show to hear how Lee got to do a presentation to a $22-billion company.

Lee’s Top Tip

Lee’s advice is to focus on the people you’re after—the consumers.

Make an effort to empathize with people you’re trying to do business with and decide what you want their experience to be like. Think about what you can do to optimize their experience, how they find the information and what you want them to do.

Listen to the show to hear why this has been instrumental in a lot of companies that Lee has worked with.

Discovery of the Week

You might want to check out a really cool tool by GTmetrix that helped us get to the core of a problem that we’ve had recently at Social Media Examiner.

gtmetrix

GTmetrix is a great site to test your blog speed and tell you what's slowing it down.

It runs an analysis on your website and not only tells you how fast it is but what can radically be reducing the speed of your website.

Some of the results include:

  • How fast the pages are loading
  • Total size of the page
  • Total number of requests

Listen to the show to learn more and find out what was slowing down our site at Social Media Examiner.

This Week’s Social Question

Maranda Saling from Bellflower Communications asks, “Is there a way to embed your blog into your website, to reap the benefits of both?”

bellflower communications home page

Maranda Saling of Bellflower Communications sent in today's social media question.

Maranda, here’s what you need to do.

The best thing you can do is to integrate WordPress into your website. For example, you could set up your website to include your blog, which will give you something like bellflowercommunications.com/blog.

Or you could do like Social Media Examiner, and have your website become your blog. Many people build their entire website on top of WordPress and it’s very easy to use.

It’s a good idea to have your blog and your website integrated if you are trying to attract more search traffic. There are only a few circumstances where you would want your blog separate from your website. One is when you want to create a different brand and another is when you start a blog that takes off and it becomes bigger than your brand.

Listen to the show to gain more insights into why the ideal situation is to add a blog to your website.

Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.

Other Show Mentions

Social Media Marketing World is Social Media Examiner’s latest mega-conference—taking place at the waterfront San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina in San Diego, California on April 7-9, 2013.

As you’d expect, Social Media Examiner recruited the biggest and best names in the world of social media marketing for this conference. Only the best for you! Be sure to check it out.

Lee Odden will be one of the presenters, along with over 50 others, who are some of the biggest names in the world in social media marketing.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on search and social? Please leave your comments below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, and host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. He also authored of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.washthebowl.com Craig Daniels

    Loved the interview, more than the information it was enthusiasm for the user that Lee expressed that got my attention. Good insights and useful stuff… Thanks

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  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks so much Craig :)

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  • Gordon Diver

    Great post Michael – always enjoy hearing Lee’s take.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Gordon – Lee is a smart man

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Gordon – Lee is a smart man

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  • Lee Odden

    Thank you for doing the interview with me Mike, you are a true professional :)

  • Lee Odden

    Thank you for doing the interview with me Mike, you are a true professional :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for being such an expert Lee :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for being such an expert Lee :)

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  • http://www.patcoakley.com/ Pat Coakley

    IMHO, One of the best of the 28 (Wow,28!) podcasts, Mike. Perfect blend of your skilled questions and the expert’s breadth of practical as well as currency of the big picture. Need to listen multiple times, not only to practical tips like SlideShare, but some of the future considerations that can’t yet be answered: the galactic push of “monetization” strategies into the socialization platforms may eventually have a negative tipping point for its social user.

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  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks so much Pat :). I think you are gonna love some of the upcoming episodes as well.

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  • Debra Hilton

    Hi Michael,
    Thank you for your excellent podcast. I enjoy all your episodes and always learn new applicable things. The slideshare.net tip was amazing and I’m glad to be introduced to Lee Odden.

    What is your favourite sharing plugin for WordPress?

  • Debra Hilton

    Hi Michael,
    Thank you for your excellent podcast. I enjoy all your episodes and always learn new applicable things. The slideshare.net tip was amazing and I’m glad to be introduced to Lee Odden.

    What is your favourite sharing plugin for WordPress?

  • http://www.toprankmarketing.com/ Lee Odden

    Very much appreciated Craig!

  • http://www.toprankmarketing.com/ Lee Odden

    Very much appreciated Craig!

  • http://www.toprankmarketing.com/ Lee Odden

    Nice to meet you too Debra :) Re: WordPress, I’ve been using Digg Digg but am open to trying a new one. Would love to hear your faves.

  • http://www.toprankmarketing.com/ Lee Odden

    So glad you liked it Pat. I agree, Mike is a true pro and this is a great podcast series.

  • http://www.toprankmarketing.com/ Lee Odden

    So glad you liked it Pat. I agree, Mike is a true pro and this is a great podcast series.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Debra – Like Lee, I use Digg Digg

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Debra – Like Lee, I use Digg Digg

  • http://twitter.com/cherylmclaugh Cheryl McLaughlin

    Michael. Excellent podcast and it came at just the perfect time! First, Michael, when you described the growing pains of the SME site, that is EXACTLY what has just happened to our site, thewomenseye.com, at about the same time (makes me wonder…) and I’ve been in the netherworld of troubleshooting the issues. Your tip of GTMetrix was awesome! Second, I thank you and Lee for talking about what’s going on with search and social in such a clear way. I’m knowledgeable, but not a techie-expert and I now have an action plan. So, thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/cherylmclaugh Cheryl McLaughlin

    Michael. Excellent podcast and it came at just the perfect time! First, Michael, when you described the growing pains of the SME site, that is EXACTLY what has just happened to our site, thewomenseye.com, at about the same time (makes me wonder…) and I’ve been in the netherworld of troubleshooting the issues. Your tip of GTMetrix was awesome! Second, I thank you and Lee for talking about what’s going on with search and social in such a clear way. I’m knowledgeable, but not a techie-expert and I now have an action plan. So, thank you!

  • Tara Husband

    Wow Mike. The podcast sounds amazing. The jungle theme reminds me of Survivor! I’m sharing the link all over. Question. Can I listen when it’s LIVE? Thanks.

  • Tara Husband

    Wow Mike. The podcast sounds amazing. The jungle theme reminds me of Survivor! I’m sharing the link all over. Question. Can I listen when it’s LIVE? Thanks.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Tara – Glad you enjoyed it. I don’t broadcast live because I do a lot of editing to make it sound great.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Tara – Glad you enjoyed it. I don’t broadcast live because I do a lot of editing to make it sound great.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you found it helpful. Isn’t that GTmetrix.com tool awesome? Did you disable all your plugins and then run it?

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Glad you found it helpful. Isn’t that GTmetrix.com tool awesome? Did you disable all your plugins and then run it?

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  • Cheryl McLaughlin

    Yes! GTmetrix.com is awesome! I’m disabling the plugins later today and will find the culprit(s), hopefully. Thanks again Michael for providing such great information and expertise. I encourage people to subscribe to your site often during my classes and consulting.

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