“I was recently interviewed for a webcast/podcast by one of these young guys in a new company,” Matt Bailey told me on the phone last week. “So I went through one of my training modules for him. It went well. He wrote me right after—wait, let me find the email—about what was going to happen after this thing went live. Really impressive. It was much more than just getting it out there.”
Bailey started to read from the email. “‘The podcast went live this morning, here’s the link, here’s who it goes to, here’s where and when it will be reposted within 6 weeks. A system marker will go out to promote each podcast.’ Rinse and repeat,” he added.
Anyone attending Bailey’s 2½-hour social media workshop on the morning of Nov. 10 at SIIA’s Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS) in Miami Beach will leave with a similar plan. (Early-bird pricing ends tomorrow!) The first hour he will lecture but the second hour will involve calendars and active planning. Your social media work “should be something you can do in a half hour each day if it’s planned right.”
I knew I was on the same page with Bailey when he said, “Publish great content and make sure people know it’s there.” He even pointed to that same New York Times leaked Digital Report that I’ve often referred to. “One of the big things I pulled from that is the different mindset of The Huffington Post. When you finish writing a story there, it marks the beginning of its article life. For The New York Times it marks the end. That’s it in a nutshell.”
Listening to Bailey is both a learning and pleasing experience. It helps that he’s in a good place, accepting a recent offer to sell his client services business to a former partner, giving him more time to do what he loves—speaking and training. “There was a limit to what [speaking assignments] I had been taking,” he said. “I’ve developed online marketing training for the DMA and Lynda.com. And now I’m working on my own as a follow-up to my talks.”
He also teaches a bit at Rutgers University and has a new book coming out titled Wired to Be Wowed: Great Marketing Isn’t an Accident. “It’s different [from his first, the more textbooky Internet Marketing: An Hour a Day]. You can read this one on a flight and be happy. Although the first one is still relevant because I never talked tactics, always strategy.”
“Having a publishing schedule is the key,” Bailey said. “What content can you plan for, do ahead of time? Every Thanksgiving you can do an article about this. Get it ready. Is it good Facebook content? Two weeks later let’s put it on Facebook with a different picture and headline. We’ll look at what we got in likes and see if we can beat it.
“You don’t pre-push on Twitter; no one cares unless it’s timely. Where does it make sense to push this article? When are we going to do it? How? Break into little parts? Then we’ll do a content marketing and social media marketing calendar.”
Bailey laughs hearing himself say content marketing. “I think I’ve been doing that for many years.” As for social media, so many people are using it yet failing to identify who their target customers are. In his training he asks, what makes you decide what you put on Facebook? Your target market is upper income people in their 40s 50s and 60s. So think about who you have dealt with, the name, the face, who have you met? Are you posting Facebook updates that that person would want to read? Are you speaking to the people you’re trying to target?”
Bailey watches many companies put young people and/or interns in charge of their social media “because they’re young and they know the stuff. But they don’t know how to identify target markets, he said, and lack the experience to get the most out of it.”
“There’s a decision-making matrix [in social media] that you can look at from an ROI perspective,” he said. You can look at behavior, who is contributing, whether people are reading more than one article. If they come from this source, what do they tend to do? Are they looking at that page and moving on?
Bailey’s other big go-to is analytics. He’s also presenting a session at BIMS on online testing. “Analytics is the heart of marketing; it’s where you learn,” he says. “So many companies don’t ask that next question or they may not be talking to [their audience] correctly.”
I recall Bailey delivering sessions on Google Analytics that were clear and insightful. Is that still a focus? “Yes, it remains a good starter package,” he said. “If you’re not using it, you’re banging your head. If you’re doing e-commerce with any level of seriousness, not just sales calculations, but inventory…it’s the way to go.
“If you want more accurate, drilling down information, you could pay for another analytics package. But very few people are using all of Google Analytics. They are using maybe a fourth of what it can do. Are you tracking goals? Do you have goal values established? That’s an important conversation. What’s your value of a subscription vs. the value of an email address? [Can you say] it’s worth this much to get an email address?”
I asked how he keeps up with all the changes. “Authorship has changed, links have changed, but the more things change, the more they stay the same…If you focus on one area, you lose sight of the holistic development standpoint, so it’s best to keep [new things] at arm’s length, unless it fits. That’s what I’ve always done.”
In his session on online testing, he will look at the tools on the market like iTracking and A/B testing. Some are well-known, some not. But he will also get across the message that testing is more than taking a day or two every month to test a couple things. This is the behavior of your potential customers!
“People with testing experiencing get great results and can point to why. They make time. It comes down to ultimately creating a culture of testing,” he said. “You can start small, so people can see the results [and why you are] trying to produce a data-centric culture. Before we can get anything, what does the data say?…What is a good third-party way to look at my data, to test in a low-impact, high yield way?”
With some speakers, you leave their session with notes. With Bailey, you’ll leave with a plan.
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering diversity, Newspaper in Education, marketing and leadership before joining SIPA in 2009 , and then SIIA in 2013.