What The Shift From RSS to Social Media Means for Marketers

What The Shift From RSS to Social Media Means for Marketers

A fundamental shift has occurred over the past two years in the way people consume content on the Internet. Not quite six years ago, Google bought the RSS service Feedburner for $100M and integrated it with their blogging platform, Blogger, as well as allowing bloggers on other platforms like WordPress to syndicate their content through it.

According to Compete, Feedburner is on a downward trend in terms of traffic:

BuiltWith seems to corroborate this:

feedburner usage stats
Source

In fact, Google seems to think that RSS is dying because they have deprecated the Feedburner API and are even talking about shutting it down completely in 2013. That should signal something to marketers if Google does not think the product worth keeping alive, even if simply because Google is the big player on the Internet and holds the ability to shift mindsets and kill verticals if they wish.
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Should I Create An App or Use A Mobile Site?

Should I Create An App or Use A Mobile Site?

This past Sunday evening I sent out a tweet that garnered a large number of replies, so I thought I’d write a full post on it and try to flesh out my thoughts about apps vs a mobile website. Here is the tweet:

I asked this question because I am, to a great extent, an app minimalist. The other day I was curious about using Google Chat (Gchat) on my iPhone, but when I did some investigation and was about to download the most recommended app, I realized something. I don’t really want Gchat on my iPhone. I actually really like that when I’m not at my computer, people cannot reach me unless they have my cell phone number or my email should I choose to check it (and I have notifications turned off so as not to be disturbed when I do not want to be). But I digress.
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Talking Marketing with Leo Widrich of Buffer

Talking Marketing with Leo Widrich of Buffer

On January 15th I had the great pleasure to get to do a video hangout with Leo Widrich, one of the main guys behind the well-loved social media tool Buffer. I reached out to Leo because I’ve been following him for a while on social media and reading his blog. I’ve been seeing Buffer’s awesome growth over the past year (I even became a paying member recently), so I was interested to get Leo’s take on marketing, especially content marketing.

Leo is a smart young marketer, and I was quite intrigued to hear that Buffer’s content strategy was heavily influenced last year by Rand Fishkin’s Content Marketing Manifesto talk from last year’s SearchChurch meetup in Philadelphia. Leo said that since they took Rand’s advice to heart, their traffic to their content has quadrupled and they have seen a lot of success. I was also intrigued at the end of the video how Leo talked about their strategy going forward in regards to content, but you’ll just have to listen to the whole thing to find that out 🙂

Also, if you like this sort of format, my company is running Fireside Chats with Marketers in NYC as meetups this year. Sign up if you’re interested.

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The Future of Cross Platform Publishing

The Future of Cross Platform Publishing

I recently read a post about cross-platform publishing that absolutely blew my mind and changed my paradigm about how I am thinking about content and publishing moving forward. It’s called Adapting Ourselves to Adaptive Content, written by Karen McGrane who has led content strategy and information architecture engagements for sites like The Atlantic and Fast Company. The time is now, I believe, for thinking about content as a separate entity unto itself, not beholden to one platform but rather extendable across platforms. Read more about The Future of Cross Platform Publishing

Do The Work, or Quit Blogging

Do The Work, or Quit Blogging

You just read a click-bait title. I apologize for that.

Before you run away, dear valued reader (see what I did there?), here’s my thesis:

A person should not blog or publish on the Internet (not all publishers are bloggers) if they are blogging to fulfill a perceived “need”. If they are doing it for reputation, links, or anything else, blogging is a wasted effort. Blogging or publishing works when you do it because you cannot help but write and publish.

Barry Adams recently wrote a post on State of Search entitled Can The SEO Industry Embrace Longform Content? Read more about Do The Work, or Quit Blogging

Do The Work

Do The Work

SEO is not about quick wins. I get asked all the time to “give us something that we can do now that will have a noticeable effect”. People, everyone, wants to get the most bang for their buck, and this especially happens in business where there is direct pressure to produce ROI. After all, no one brings in a consultant until they are unable to solve their own problems. At this point, your problems become mine.

If you’ve been seeking quick wins and they’re not working, what the heck makes you think that me giving you quick wins is going to fix your problems? Quick wins have not been solving your issues until now, so why do you think anything is going to be different with my quick wins? Read more about Do The Work

SEOs are Growth Hackers

SEOs are Growth Hackers

Growth hacking has become a buzzterm in the past 6 months, ever since this post written back in April by Andrew Chen. There’s even a growth hacking agency in New York City (linked at the bottom of the post) and startups are starting to hire growth hackers to help them scale up their user base faster.

I’ve heard the growth hacker term thrown around a lot, and have experienced both positive and negative reactions to it from people I know.

The goal of this post is to define down what a growth hacker is, how this integrates well into online marketing, and then to give a few examples of some growth hacks I’ve either seen or heard about that have helped tech startups grow. Read more about SEOs are Growth Hackers

The Future of The Visual Web and The Future of SEO

The Future of The Visual Web and The Future of SEO

I swore at my computer the other day (sorry Mom). You see, I had just seen a tweet that led me to this page:

That, of course, is the current Airbnb homepage, where they announced that they have built out neighborhood pages, such as my neighborhood of Boerum Hill.

I didn’t swear because they launched something that I wanted one of my clients to launch. I swore because they did it so damn well. These pages are beautiful. They have local knowledge, large photos (which is rare for travel, but makes so much sense), and they don’t talk about themselves – rather, they let people see the area and qualify themselves, with only a call to action at the end.

This marks, in my mind, the final step in a move towards the visual web – these pages are going to rank because they are so useful and beautiful (though they do need to work on SEO on these pages) and they will naturally attract links.

The web is becoming visual; SEOs need to get on board. Read more about The Future of The Visual Web and The Future of SEO

Viral Marketing Lessons from GoPro’s Hero3 Launch

Viral Marketing Lessons from GoPro’s Hero3 Launch

You may or may not know that I am an adrenaline sports junkie. As a rock climber, skier, bike rider, and a recent first time skydiver (with plans to get my certification), I love watching content involving these sports. In fact, one of my Saturday rituals is to read an article or two on 99U, formerly The99Percent, and then to see what is live on RedBull TV.

That is, until I discovered the magic of GoPro’s content and now that is a go-to.

GoPro recently launched their Hero3 camera, which is considerably lighter, faster, and better (also more expensive) than my Hero2 which I bought a few months ago to chronicle my bicycle journeys around Brooklyn and NYC.

I had always wondered why GoPro didn’t do more marketing, and was genuinely curious what they would do when they launched a new product. After all, I’m pretty interested in viral marketing product launches, so let’s examine what GoPro did and how they successfully launched their new product.
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Linkbait Is Not A Content Strategy

Linkbait Is Not A Content Strategy

Alright, time for the next installment of “X Is Not A Content Strategy”. I’ve decided to write a few posts around this because of the reception my post from last week, A Blog Is Not A Content Strategy, received from the community.

This week, we’re going to talk about linkbait. Linkbait is a term that was coined, apparently, by Aaron Wall of SEObook back in 2005 when he said if “”you are in a field that can’t build links naturally create linkbait” (source). To be clear, in this post I am talking about one-off linkbait pieces and not linkbait as part of a content strategy.

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A Blog Is Not A Content Strategy

A Blog Is Not A Content Strategy

Content marketing has been around for years, but until recently Google was not making good on their word to rank content that deserves to rank. Instead, we could all easily find examples where sites were ranking off of low quality directories, link wheels, blog networks, and many other tactics. But since Penguin, Panda, and the myriad of other algorithm changes this year, SEOs have started to finally embrace content as a viable means, but we’re still running into old mindsets from clients, and honestly a lot of SEOs are not good at creating linkworthy content. Read more about A Blog Is Not A Content Strategy

The Myth of Overnight Success

The Myth of Overnight Success

America seems to be enamored with the idea of “overnight success”. We see people who become seemingly overnight sensations, often through discovery on Youtube, and are catapulted into the limelight. We see people on TV who become hyper-successful because they were on a reality show or something of the like. These people seem like “overnight successes”. I don’t think there’s any such thing, though.

Examples

Let’s look at a few of my favorite examples. Read more about The Myth of Overnight Success

Building A Social Presence As An SEO [Guest Post]

Building A Social Presence As An SEO [Guest Post]

Note from John: This is a guest post from my friend Mack Fogelson over at Mack Web Solutions, located in beautiful Colorado. I first met Mack at Linklove Boston in April 2012 and then had the pleasure to have more conversations with her at Mozcon. She’s a bright mind with a bright attitude and it’s a pleasure to have her guest posting!

We work in a pretty amazing industry. It is full of remarkably brilliant people, cutting edge knowledge, and never ending challenges. It’s also really competitive. You definitely have to do your fair share of the hustle in order to make a name for yourself as an SEO. This is where social media comes into play.

There are three reasons that you should care about building a social presence as an SEO:

  1. You know that social signals may be contributing to better rankings, so there’s no point in avoiding it any longer.
  2. There’s no way you can feel confident about recommending content and social media marketing to your clients if you don’t even use it yourself (ouch).
  3. And most importantly, social media allows you to connect with other humans. It’s a great way to meet people, maintain friendships, and foster business relationships.

Like anything in SEO, building and maintaining a social presence is hard work. And also like SEO, it can be incredibly rewarding. Read more about Building A Social Presence As An SEO [Guest Post]

Agile Project Management

Agile Project Management

There has been a lot of buzz around agile marketing/the agile methodology in the SEO/online marketing space in the past month or so.

I blame Jonathan Colman. First he did an interview here on this site, then he spoke at Mozcon, then he did a Whiteboard Friday, and all along the way for the past couple of years he has done presentations that have shaken things up.

He’s gotten SEOs started talking and thinking about agile marketing and project management. As SEOs/marketers, we’re not able to make developers get things done faster, but we are able to optimize how quickly we get things done for our clients (and then the work is onto them), unless we are doing the work directly on their sites for them in which case we are able to affect that timing.

So where and how do agile practices intersect with marketing? What if you’re a consultant – how do you do it? I’ve worked with a good number of clients up to this point, so I’d like to share with you my methodology for it. Now remember, I’m not one of those consultants who talks to their client, then goes away and prepares a 100 page document and presents it to them, then follows up with a phone call to discuss it. Read more about Agile Project Management