With the advent of Social Media, the public has moved from being menial content consumers to holding a strong role as content creators. Bloggers are making an impact in the world, Tweeps decide the very fate of a marketing campaign and Facebook “Superstars” play a major role in spreading news like wildfire. And not to mention YouTube Directors who rival their Bollywood counterparts.

The concept of Citizen Journalism has existed for quite sometime. But, with Social Media gaining momentum and technology easing out newer platforms to help content creators, Citizen Journalism too, has see tremendous growth.

It’s not just the specific individuals, who take it upon them to don the role of a “Citizen Journalist”, who are making waves on the web. Common day bloggers, through their share of voice, are making themselves heard – be it on niche topics or on day-to-day matters of concern. And in due course, what has to be accepted is that, power is returning to the Common Man.Continue reading

Mike Stelzner Social Media Examiner

Content Marketing has been my field of focus for quite some time now. Hence, when I chanced upon a tweet by Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner mentioning about a hangout with himself and Marcus Sheridan on Blogging and Content Marketing, I felt compelled to take a look.

Hangout on Content Marketing and Blogging

The hangout, embedded in Social Media Examiner’s Facebook Page, started off at 0130Hrs IST September 6/1500Hrs Eastern September 5. The audience had to put in their questions as comments. I happened to be the first one to drop in with my questions and lashed away with three of them. Due to time constrains only one was answered.

Below, I have listed out the gist of the session and a few takeaways I received. In brackets have mentioned who the quotes came from – Mike or Marcus.

  • Blogging is harder now. Quality blogging that is. Hence, to stand out and make our voice be heard we have to not just be a regular blogger but also a smart one – (Marcus)
  • One main reason why we see many bloggers get depressed after blogging for quite sometime is that they rely on the number of views, shares, re-tweets etc to measure the value of their blog. Rather than that, focus should be on lead conversion – (Marcus)

 Mike Stelzner Social Media Examiner

Q) How “exactly” do you define content marketing and differentiate it from the larger perspective of Digital Marketing. Or is it like CM just forms a subsidiary in Digital Marketing?

  • Answer varies from person to person. Digital Marketing is closer to Inbound Marketing, where Inbound Marketing consists of Content Marketing (content production) and Social Media Marketing (Content distribution and spreading the message) – (Marcus)
  • Content Marketing is using information to promote. Not comparable to using direct promotion of service/product – (Mike)
  • Digital Marketing also includes SEO, PPC Ads, advertising etc. Can be used to deliver content. If focus is on direct sale its DM and if focus is on getting the word about your content out, its CM – (Mike)
  • CM should start as teaching and informing. Direct selling is too subtle – (Marcus)

Q) How to track conversions via blog?

  • Simple Google Analytics not enough. Its not just the numbers. Find how many pages a person visited, how much time they spent, on which page they spent most time, what ratio of people visiting fill your forms and convert to direct leads etc. you need names to analyse. Not just numbers to track conversions – (Marcus)
  • Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics is pretty helpful for this – (Mike)

 Marcus The Sale Lion

Q) How to integrate storytelling? Is it important?

  • Integrate a real life experience as a story into each and every blog post. Use that story to answer the problem. This way, on comparing with a real situation, it’ll stay in the mind of the reader for a longer time – (Marcus)
  • If you don’t have a story to tell, well, you’re wrong. If you’re alive and breathing you always will have a story to tell. Identify that story – (Marcus)
  • A big part of storytelling actually includes selling yourself. Especially because you’re telling your story. But don’t be a hack. It doesn’t hurt to tell other people’s stories too. Integrate that with what you have to convey – (Marcus)
  • Define what works in your industry, integrate with your story and present the content – (Marcus)

Q) Should one be a passionate blogger or a useful one?

  • Useful. Many useful blogs don’t have passionate bloggers behind it. Usefulness brings the audience. Not passion – (Marcus)
  • Be passionate. Eventually you’ll reach there – (Mike)
  • Being passionate doesn’t pay bills! Just passion isn’t enough to be successful blogger. You need a mix of usefulness, strategy, common sense and wisdom. And remember, no matter whatever you say, 5% will find it offensive/boring. Forget about them. Focus on the rest 95% – (Marcus)

I for one, enjoyed the session thoroughly. Have already been following the Social Media Examiner Blog for a long time and they always give me a reason to go back.