The Free-Marketing Gravy Train Is Over on Facebook

Over the past several months, Facebook has been reducing the organic reach of Pages. A recent study found that companies’ posts dropped from reaching 12% of their followers in October to just 6% by February

Facebook and its popular Pages platform have been a cornerstone of most companies’ social-media marketing strategies for years. But if the brands, organizations and celebrities that use Pages want to continue to reach Facebook’s 1.23 billion monthly users in the future, they’re going to have to pay up.

Over the past several months, Facebook has been reducing the organic reach of Pages. Even if a person Likes a company or organization on the social network, they’re unlikely to naturally see that Page’s content in their News Feed. In a recent study of more than 100 brand Pages, Ogilvy & Mather found that companies’ posts dropped from reaching 12% of their followers in October to just 6% by February. The tech blog Valleywag reports that Facebook is planning to dial reach down to 1% to 2% of followers eventually.

Facebook declined to comment on the percentage of fans that see posts from a typical Facebook Page (the last publicly disclosed figure was 16% in the summer of 2012), but the company admitted in December that posts from Pages are reaching fewer users. Facebook attributes this change to increased competition as more people and companies join its service. The typical user is inundated with 1,500 posts per day from friends and Pages, and Facebook picks 300 to present in the News Feed. Getting squeezed out are both posts from Pages and meme photos as Facebook shifts its focus to what it deems “high quality” content.

The solution for brands with declining engagement, according to Facebook, is to buy ads. “Like many mediums, if businesses want to make sure that people see their content, the best strategy is, and always has been, paid advertising,” a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

The transition to paid marketing on what has long been a free-distribution platform may be a tough sell for some brands, particularly small organizations or individuals who have built up audiences over years. So far, though, pressing the screws to Pages hasn’t hurt Facebook’s bottom line — the company generated $7 billion in ad revenue in 2013, and research firm eMarketer projects that figure will grow to about $10.8 billion this year. That’s good news for the company’s investors, but maybe less so for the people suddenly being asked to fund the social network’s financial growth.

Matt Cutts: Google Mobile Queries May Surpass PC Search This Year

Speaking at SMX West last week Google’s Matt Cutts said that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if mobile search exceeded desktop queries this year. A similar comment was made by a Google speaker informally during a roundtable discussion at the International Franchising Association conference in New Orleans earlier this year.

We asked Google for an official statement and the company declined to provide one. Google doesn’t want to oppose mobile and PC search. Rather it wants to emphasize cross-platform marketing and experiences.

Mobile vs. PC search india

The comments above refer to global query volumes not in the US or North America where PC-based search still far outstrips mobile queries. However in many developing countries, such as India, mobile internet traffic has eclipsed the desktop.

Globally mobile traffic is about 30 percent of all internet activity. That’s also the case in North America.

There are roughly 2 billion PCs in the world and more than 5 billion mobile devices. Thus it is inevitable that both mobile internet traffic and mobile search will ultimately surpass the PC globally.

Still when it happens it will be sobering and perhaps even a shock to some who still see mobile as a kind of secondary channel.

Bitly Will Provide Click Data to Moz

Bitly, the Internet’s URL shortening leader, announced today that it will provide data and click-tracking technology to Moz.

Moz’s optimization software previously used link data from Twitter to rank web pages’ social media relevance but it is turning to Bitly to get a more complete picture of user behavior.

“The Bitly click dataset is hands down the broadest and most authoritative available to anyone looking for information on how their content and brand is performing across the web,” Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin said in a news release.

Bitly, which made the announcement from the South By Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, also announced two additions to its executive team. Rob Platzer, formerly of AOL’s Patch and Outside.In, is the chief technical officer and Melissa Wallace, formerly of Buddy Media, is vice president of marketing.

CEO Mark Josephson, who joined the company last summer, said the partnership with Moz is part of Bitly’s effort to unlock more value from data supplied by the 600 million active Bitly profiles.

“I think people sometimes take Bitly for granted as the shortener for the web,” Josephson said. He said Bitly is working to change that perception by reminding marketers to about how useful the data can be for understanding customer preferences. Among the changes on the way is a resigned dashboard that will more clearly display the comparison between a brand’s social efforts and organic sharing.

Google’s Algorithm update Hummingbird

Over the past fortnight I have heard an awful lot about Hummingbird. How it is going to destroy many businesses and wreck the free flowing search ability of Google users.

This is beginning to puzzle me greatly as nothing about Hummingbird has anything to do with destroying a company’s website.

In fact, it is more about heralding a better search experience for users.

So What is Hummingbird?

What Google is trying to do is create a more “easy flowing” experience for those searching online.

Really to carry on where they have started, in my opinion, with predictive text and searches and look for whole sites that can help to satisfy a user’s needs as opposed to single keyword searches. Look how Google Glass and the general Big Data move in search tech to see how it is possible to help users find out exactly what is best for them based on their prior searches, history, social media etc.

Google is just looking to make sure that sites that come to fruition for a searcher are targeted to these general trends as well as the keywords being typed. Expect Google to encourage more longer tailed phrasing in its searches to offer as detailed a search result as possible.

Quite how they are looking at an entire site per search at one hand, yet telling us that it is looking at unique web pages on a site through its Panda update this year is still something that puzzles me.

 

How To Become A Video Marketing Master

While we all dream of success, only those who reach for the stars will ever get there. Marketing is one way for us to build our business into something respectable. Using video marketing is a great new way to promote your firm, so read on to find out how to do it right.

The biggest aspect of your video marketing should be your content. Without excellent and relevant content, your video marketing will fail. If viewers are not interested in your videos, you will not be able to make a sale. Make sure that you have interesting and relevant content to be successful with video marketing.

Interviews make great videos. Have a friend or a colleague interview you if you want to give some details about your business and products or interview some customers if you want to share some original reviews of your products. If possible, find an expert in your field who is willing to be interviewed on your products.

When you create a video for marketing purposes keep it under 2 minutes. You want your target audience to watch the whole message, and if it is too long you will potentially lose audiences as they click off. You can always continue a thought or message in a follow up video if needed.

Always take along a video camera with you. You can talk with an expert or just show how your experience went. If you are asked to give a speech or lead a seminar, you should definitely arrange to have it recorded.

Videos need to be personal to catch the viewer’s attention. Be fun, friendly, calm and confident and your watchers won’t change the channel, so to speak. The more open and honest you are, the better received you will be. Stick to topics you’re truly passionate about as that will come out in your demeanor.

Depending on what you are selling, you might not even need to film a video. If you are hoping to get people to buy a computer software product or use an online website or service, screen capturing might be a better way to go. Just create a video of what you offer and what it does while you narrate why they want it.

As was mentioned earlier in the beginning of this article, a good video marketing strategy is a great way to improve the visibility of any business. When you implement the advice this article provides, you are putting you and your business in a better position to success. So get out there and start video marketing today!