The Dynamics Of Social Media Marketing Change Faster Than Mindsets

Change Is The Only Constant In The Social Web – Embrace It Or Die Trying

Change Or Die - The Dynamics Of The Social WebIt’s unfortunate, but it’s true. If you’re one to keep up with the every changing world of the web and marketing online you’ll probably know what I’m talking about. Social media and digital marketing has made major strides from being a sideline “fad” that some businesses dabbled with 6-8 years ago into a more mainstream focus area for a lot of brands and businesses today that are looking at it more seriously. In India, we’re still considerably in the early stages of leveraging online channels for marketing and despite some really great examples of success stories, the bulk of businesses and professionals have a long way to go on the maturity curve in terms of really understanding how it works to really use these channels correctly.

One of the biggest challenges – expectations & mindsets don’t change at the pace online marketing trends and technology changes at!

About 3 years ago, we managed to build a lot of traffic for an online retail brand and the core of the social media marketing effort was a blog with a highly organized publishing and editorial schedule. Some of the posts we did went viral on Digg, the SEO was effective, there were traffic spikes from StumbleUpon and traffic build up happened in a matter of a few months. 3 years on in 2013, Digg is barely one of the top social media channels, Google has changed it’s algorithm a number of times and virtually none of the strategies that worked back then, work to that effect today!

The introduction of Googles Panda and Penguin updates virtually turned the science of SEO on it’s head ensuring mass link-building tricks,  directory submissions and other short cuts to quick traffic are methods of the past. Not only do they not work, you can actually be punished or blacklisted for over-optimizing or indulging in SEO techniques to quickly boost results. Having a Facebook page with 1000 fans back in the day actually meant anything you posted had a reach of 1000 fans which is no longer true. Facebook has consistently restrained the actual reach of updates on brand or fan pages over the years to encourage paid promotions and it’s currently as low as 8-12%.  That means out of your 1000 fans, only 80-120 will actually see an update on your page and you need to pay Facebook if you’d like to extend that reach. Getting Google+ +1’s never meant anything back then but have an influence on what you do now.

Bottom line – The dynamics of the web and what works in terms of marketing something have changed drastically in a very sort span of time.

More importantly, they continue to change, every month, every week and everyday. What worked a few months ago very well, will not work for you now. However, most people have not or will not accept that fact since mindsets don’t change as quickly. As a result expectations of what should be done, how to go about things and what is realistically possible are badly skewed since they based not on current dynamics but past routes others have used to build their web presence. You often find a marketing head or business owner demand instant search traffic, 100’s of links to their website in a month, 1000’s of Facebook fans organically in days, a high Page Ranking in a matter of weeks and requests for “SEO magic” that web marketing unicorn stories are made of. To them, their demands seem perfectly rational since there are real live cases of so many that have used those methods to deliver returns. They cling on to expectations based on what worked then and not what might work now. These are unfounded expectations which won’t see the light of day like believing a one time search optimization effort will instantly lead to success or publishing a blog or having a Facebook page will instantly have people visiting it or liking their page just because there are a lot of people on the web.

All said and done, just because the dynamics of the web keep changing, it doesn’t mean nothing works either. It simply means one needs to be able to change course with these changes, constantly adapting and ensuring expectations align with times.

Those that are open to experimenting, trying different things and adapt with every passing week will eventually stay on top the ever-changing web.

How To Create The Right Recipe For Digital Marketing Success

digital marketing success recipes– Create a Facebook page

– Blog 3 days a week

-Spend 32.6% of your budget on Google Adwords

-Spend 21 percent of your budget on content marketing

If there were one fixed recipe for online marketing success that stated the perfect blend of activity, medium, budget or things to do, we would all be as well known as Google, Facebook, Amazon or Youtube. There isn’t! Every company, brand, website or offering that you find online needs to go on a journey when it comes to digital marketing.

It’s a lot like trying to perfect a recipe. You add something, take away something else, taste, adjust flavors and keep working at it till you’ve finally come to the perfect recipe. There difference being…you need to keep at it or someone else will do it better.

There are always certain things that should be on your to-do list everyday to develop your online presence and that’s part of your fixed marketing plan. However, you also need to set aside time to try things that are outside the box because when you find something that works for you and add it to your recipe, it only adds to your marketing momentum.

Here is what we highly recommend to help you find the right recipe for digital marketing success


There is just a sea of different options when it comes to online marketing. Aside from your staple strategies, always try adding something new to the mix or at least giving it a try. You can never know if something will work for you or not without trying it out or exploring the possibility of doing something different. Can creating an affiliate marketing program and developing an online partner network add value? Should we explore a paid Linkedin advertising campaign? Will a premium listing on a directory website help drive more targeted traffic our way? Can we benefit from partnering with other complimentary offering sites? Invest time and effort into looking at alternative strategies and options that could add a new dimension to your business or brand.


Most marketing efforts online are easy to track and measure. It’s important to be patient while trying and adding new strategies but it’s just as important to keep tracking progress and measuring the outcome of each effort or campaign to gauge effectiveness. Perhaps you’ve distributed a press release. How far was the outreach? Did it result in an increase in flow to the website? Or maybe you’ve recently joined a new community online that is relevant to your business and been participating actively in discussions there. Is it resulting in referrals to your site? How many people ended visiting your site from that community?

Fail -> Learn -> Correct Course

Failing is a good thing when it comes to trying out different options as long as we learn from it. You may have created an offer for your Facebook fans which no one seemed to respond to. What went wrong? Is it worth trying again with some changes? You could have spent a lot of time directly reaching out to other sites with an affiliate offer but they were just not interested in it. Why? Can we restructure or build more incentive for partners? It could have been an online advertising campaign that didn’t generate enough clicks. Was the copy bad? Was the targeting wrong? Failure is part of the digital marketing process. It helps you learn, identify what isn’t working and correct course.

Identify What Is Working & Do More Of It

This is how you perfect a recipe. Not everything will yield results. When you do see tangible results as a result of a specific activity, step it up and keep it as part of your digital marketing mix. Being actively participating on a specific Linkedin group or travel portal like Trip Advisor (if  you’re a hotel for example) may have resulted in a significant increase in inbound leads or bookings. Keep at it and dedicate more time to staying active there! Perhaps a specific pay per click advertising campaign for offbeat keywords yielded a revenue increase at a lower cost. Increase the budget on that until it’s optimized and keep it as part of your ongoing efforts.

Don’t Stop Experimenting & Discovering New Streams

The online marketing world is a turbulent one that keeps you on your feet and demands you stay a few steps ahead of the next change, next big thing or next development that rocks the boat. While you’ve identified what’s working for you and made that a part of your outreach routine, keep trying new things, play with new ideas, strategies and tools to see what else could add value. A site or content with visually appealing images or original graphic content can benefit tremendously by dedicating time towards developing a network on Pinterest. It could result in a lot more traffic and conversions. A local restaurant or retail store could leverage Foursquare or prompt visitors to update their networks on where they are to spread the word.


There recipe ideally suited for you is the one that you need to work at and develop through an ongoing process. Keep perfecting it!


Stop Buying And Start Earning Your Traffic Or Social Media Fan Base

buying social media fans

Customer: How will you achieve this?

Marketing Agency 1: We’ll develop an engagement gradually by actively participating in social media conversation, publishing content, sharing and developing an all round presence to drive inbound traffic.

Marketing Agency 2: Don’t worry about it, we’re experts in SEO techniques, we’ll deliver 1000’s of links, guaranteed traffic and you will have quick results.

Customer: When can I see results? How much traffic can you generate at the end of the first month?

Marketing Agency 1: We may be able to generate a moderate few hundred to 1000 visitors through referral traffic in the first month but consistently build and later start seeing more traction from search traffic coming in from content that’s made an impact with users. 

Marketing Agency 2: We can get thousands of visitors in the first month, thousands of Twitter followers and thousands of Facebook fans…it all depends on your budget.

Customer: Obvious choice! Marketing Agency 2 knows what I want…you’re hired! 

getting facebook fans fast

Money can buy you traffic for your website, it can buy you quick marketing results and even the impression that you’re online marketing efforts are a success.What it can not by you is true online engagement.

When it comes to demand generation and online marketing instant results, quick traffic, rapid growth, small campaign cycles are words businesses and marketers like to hear. It’s all possible online just as it is offline, if you have advertising dollars to spend, attention can be bought. However, to keep that attention, you need to keep spending those ad dollars and when using these routes, one needs to remember:

Easy come….easy go.

Not that there is anything wrong with online advertising, banner exchanges, buying leads, traffic or fans but should that be the only strategy as part of the overall online marketing mix? The reality is, these quick result mediums are effective in getting attention but they work exactly as traditional push based advertising or marketing does.

There are no short cuts to the pull based or inbound marketing. It needs to be earned by offering something of value constantly but the results can be lasting. It doesn’t cost as much but it needs long term vision and commitment to grow an online marketing effort that draws traffic and customers towards you and getting people to talk about your business. It is the road less traveled, longer, more demanding but in the end….it leads to a better place.

Attention can be bought, trust needs to be earned and when you’re building a long term online presence that people can connect to, it’s working hard at building engagement and trust that will make all the difference.


Books Are Judged By Their Covers Businesses On The Web By Their Content And Conversations

A couple of years ago when we launched there were a smaller number of competitors both globally as well as locally. We were not positioning ourselves as a social media agency or a social media marketing company back then, we were simply a content marketing / inbound marketing team using our skills at creating and marketing great content to drive audiences for our customers. We evolved into social media service provider or agency since we started expanding our offering and capabilities. Of course more recently, there are a lot more digital marketing agencies many of which are competitors and I get asked “doesn’t the spurt in the number of social media marketing agencies intimidate you?”.

Truth is, of all the ones I frequently come across, the handful that scare me are the ones I find publish some really awesome content.

  • Great website copy with crisp messaging that talk to you & prompt you to explore further
  • Personality that comes through the writing giving you a feeling you somehow know them and can connect with what they say
  • Resourceful & engaging blog posts that tell you they know what they’re talking about …knowledgeable in their field
  • Smart use of graphics and video clips to help you visualize a message
  • Presentations, downloadable documents, demos, case studies, photos and other well crafted resources that help you evaluate and create an opinion of them even before you’ve picked up the phone or sent and email to contact them.

Online brand perception is formed even before you make any sort of contact with anyone from within a business or organization. It’s created through your content.

Don’t Cut Corners With Content Your Online Brand Perception Depends On It

That said… here are some pointers when it comes to content and your overall online presence strategy:

  1. Don’t skimp on time or money when it comes to creating your content, the new Google algorithm updates are based on rewarding sites with higher quality content that get linked to and mentioned purely because they are that good and not as a result of technical SEO gimmicks.
  2. Don’t look for short cuts, cultivate a following by delivering valuable content. Don’t buy bulk blog posts (the 1$ an articles types) from providers that piece together from others content and throw in a few keywords assuring you it will help boost links and search results. They will harm your site rather than do any good. Remember it’s now about quality not quantity.
  3. Make sure you inject your / your brands personality into everything you publish. Audiences on the web form impressions on who you are from what they have in front of them. A boring web web page full of factual information, statistics and data may convey information but not personality.
  4. With social media conversations, make sure those that represent your online voice are doing so the way you’d like your brands voice to come across. They are your voice after all and what they say reflects on your business.
  5. Be creative, don’t shy away from being vibrant or different. In a world where millions of conversations and millions of pieces get published every single day, being different helps stand out, getting noticed and carving an identity. (Hence the Pink Elephant in our logo) :-)
  6. Become obsessed with the content aspect of social media marketing, it does define how others see you online so give it the priority it deserves.

The next time you check out a website, a video, a blog post or presentation that belongs to a brand or organization, consciously think about how you’re making associations, what it tells you about them and how they come across. It’s how others perceive you from what you put out there on the web. The scales are tipped in favor of those that communicate better online!


Successful Online Marketing Aint All About Building Back Links And Traffic

What on earth is he talking about??? That’s contrary to every article on SEO and traffic building I’ve read till date!

The problem is many people who are charged with the task of turning their website into a successful marketing channel take these two metrics and set them as their primary objectives losing sight of the big picture. Back links, increasing your page rank, maximizing page-views, reducing bounce rates although considered metrics for successful websites should actually be secondary outcomes which result from going after a primary goal which is far more important “creating a high quality engagement with your online audience“. If you do this, the rest will follow and you’ll end up having more than just a website with impressive traffic figures but doesn’t do wonders as far as your key objectives go. You’ll have a long term online asset which works for you.

Here is what we’re talking about:

Super Holiday Hotels sets up a brand new website for their new property in Male, Maldives. They decide they want some aggressive traffic building activity for their new site with tonnes of unique visitors and back links from the top travel websites with high page ranks to increase their own page rank. They set out to hire a few freelance article writers who can deliver bulk posts 500 words in length at a steal, hire more freelance guys who do link submissions to directories and promise 250 plus back links to your website in a month and another set of guys who will comment on other blogs (some of whom will use bots) and pay them for every 100 comments posted. In 8 months the Super Holiday Hotels has 35,000 unique visitors a month! A success! Oh… and they also get an average of 3 visitors who fill in their online reservation form and book rooms with them each month.

The Beachfront Hotel sets up a brand new website for their new property in Male, Maldives. They decide they want to turn their website into a source of inbound reservations and bookings for the long term so that most of their sales will come through the website. They know the way to do this is build a reputation online, reflect their own hospitable personality and love for their island nation online through their social media channels and create relationships with online travelers so that some day they may arrive at the property as guests. They engage! (…just kidding) They create an resource for people traveling to the Maldives irrespective of where they plan to stay. They deliver great content which carries their personality as a business while also ensuring what they publish is information that readers can rely on and help them on their travels there. They work steadily at building a publication which is invaluable to anyone who plans to visit Male, creates a community of those interested in the island around their site, creating communities on Facebook, Twitter while answering questions for those communities keeping them updates on what happens on the island and the property. In 8 months The Beachfront Hotel has reached 10,000 visitors a month. Disappointment? Not really… they will eventually get to 35,000 in a few months time and keep climbing. More importantly, with just 10,000 visitors a month, they have averaged 20 bookings and reservations a month through their website which accounts for 50% of their occupancy each month. It’s working!

Quality! Quality! Quality!

Quality of your objectives and plan + Quality of your execution = Quality of your results

The Beachfront Hotel was not blinded by the numbers of back links and unique visitors. The visitors to their website were not a flow of traffic from some irrelevant high traffic website as a result of clever traffic building schemes, they were people searching for travel information in Male and found a reliable online personality by the name of The Beachfront Hotel which offered it. They interacted with them on Facebook, decided to explore the website a bit further and made a decision to stay there during their visit. In the long run…chances are…other high ranking travel websites will see The Beachfront Hotels online publication as a great resource for that destination and link them anyway.

Traffic and back links are a by-product of having a really great website which others consider a “great resource” or “important website” with your domain. With the right direction, right objectives and metrics to measure your online marketing success by, you’ll be on your way to building a really great web asset.

Targeting Your Community Through An Online Magazine

National Geographic magazine has always pulled in readers who have the explorer instinct. Popular Mechanics has managed to retain its fan followings through the decades. Cosmopolitan gets picked off the stands by today’s women fresh off the press and Playboy….well let’s just say has managed to strike a note with men world wide.

The point is, each of these publications has used the power of great content to engage a target audience for years and as a result has been a crucial marketing message platform for the hundreds of businesses that have advertised and connected with readers through them. Thousands of magazines have provided niche audiences with the content they seek and delivered an advertisement platform for the businesses who target these niches…but the magazine game just like newspapers and other publications is changing rapidly. It’s gone online and with iPads and Kindles flying off the shelves in consumer stores, the amount of time an average netizen spends reading online is only bound to climb quicker. Which means,  you better be there when they are searching.

Creating a successful online magazine on the web is a fantastic way to reach out to a very targeted audience and with publication platforms such as wordpress available, it puts everyone on a level playing field as far as being able to start one goes. What sets apart a successful online publication from the rest is the quality of articles and ability to update frequently because unlike a weekly, fortnightly or monthly, online magazines need to keep churning out great content daily. If you can do that and provide valuable content around a subject area, you can build a successful publication and have access to the audience drawn to it. Here are a few tips if you’re considering starting an online magazine to reach out to your target audience:

  1. Put yourself in the audiences shoes and think about the kind of articles, layout, categories and sections you would love to see on the publication and structure the content around this
  2. Put the reader first, branding second. Don’t base your articles purely on the brand or products that you wish to promote through the site, cover a wider area around the audiences interest and think of ‘what would interest them?’ before ‘what can I say about my products’. For example if you sell time-share vacations in Italy, then it’s better to base the publication on wider Italy Travel magazine idea than to restrict it to only time-share posts.
  3. Balance the content by creating a mix of well researched informative articles around the subject along with lighter pieces which people tend to share on the social web. It could do wonders to your traffic.
  4. Get readers to contribute to articles and share experiences. The advantage of having a magazine online is you can make it as interactive as you want so audience participation in interviews, discussions, comments and content is great.
  5. Offer RSS feed subscription, options for the content to be shared and email updates. If your content is great, it will distribute itself.

All considered, the online magazine or web publication is one of the best content marketing strategies around today. It’s targeted, non-intrusive, effective for SEO and becomes a long term online marketing asset for any business that can manage it consistently. For all you know, you could own the next Forbes, People, Vogue, Newsweek or Good Housekeeping on the web!

BuzzFactory Turns One Year Old Today

Happy Birthday BuzzFactory! A mood of celebration is set to take over here this weekend and why not? We finally turn one year old! It’s almost impossible to believe that it’s been just one year since we signed on our very first customer. So much has happened so quickly since it’s been one great first year and we’re going into the next one with a promising start and a lot of excitement.

When I started thinking about venturing out into a start-up all my previous experience in online marketing thought me  “Great Original Content” is going to be at the very core of every businesses web marketing strategies. It’s the fuel which drives search marketing, SEO, inbound marketing, social media marketing, online marketing campaigns, e-mail marketing campaigns and just about every outreach component which can drive more visibility online around one’s business. Original content which can engage people on the web is an ongoing everyday requirement without which a business doesn’t have much to work with and few busy professionals can commit to creating such content as frequently and consistently as required for online initiatives to work for them. However, with a bit of support, a defined daily plan and a dedicated team to execute on it there is little that can’t be achieved.

With each of our customers since 15th of May last year we’ve learned from them, absorbed their passion for their business areas and supported their content marketing and social media marketing initiatives. We’ve constantly experimented, innovated, learned and evolved as a business and for just one year, BuzzFactory has grown tremendously in terms of capabilities.

If we seem overly positive about the future and what the next year has in store it would have to be attributed to our experience working with our existing customers each of whom we’ve become a part of over time. We are extremely grateful to the amazing early customers we have (ones listed on our site and ones who are not) who have been incredibly supportive, referred to others and  carried us through the first year. It’s been a joy working with each one.

Keeping in with the spirit of turning over the year, the existing site, gets a cosmetic makeover and takes on a new look as it’s re-launched.  Cheers to turning one and here’s to many more!