Search and Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing (Paperback)
This is one of those books where the title says it all: "Search and social: the definitive guide to real-time content marketing". In a nutshell, its about effective online marketing.
The book is aimed at marketeers and content managers (including those who do the whole thing themselves in a small business) and focusses on the overlap between search and social - between machines and your human audience - in the context of real-time content marketing.
The book takes you step-by-step through all the key concepts so you can read it front-to-back or dip in as a reference work. Topics covered include:
- What is real-time marketing/publishing? - How search and social approaches have merged - How to develop a strategy for real-time content marketing - Market research tools & approaches for identifying your audience & producing resonant content - How to find out how well what you have is working - How to create effective and engaging content that resonates with both search (machines)and social (humans) - How to engage with popular social network platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+) - How to get your message out via blogs, Google News & press releases - How to engage in forums, wikis and answers sites, and how to build your own - Technical stuff like RSS feeds, URL shorteners & sharing buttons - How to set up and optimize video and image strategies
This is the sort of book you could spend a term studying at university or a whole year at A Level. That's not to say it's hard to understand - quite the opposite. But it is big, and it is comprehensive. Everything you need on this topic in one place.
If you have a business, it's extremely likely that nowadays you will seek to promote it by an online presence. But online promotion is much more than simply putting up a website and hoping people will find it. There are excellent books dealing with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which is important when you are constructing your website. But online marketing has more to it, and this book covers all the important aspects that work along with your website to enhance your online presence. The 14 chapters cover all the different areas. Not every business will need to impliment everything in every chapter, but whether your business is a small one offering a local service, or a supply business shipping internationally, or an online consultancy, or whatever, there is bound to be something useful for you in this book. I found out that I was doing quite a few things right, and was pleased about that, but there were other things to think about too. A limitation might be that online fashions in blogs and other things can change quite quickly, and trends vary from country to country, it seems. I don't think we are all that big yet in the UK on Pinterest or Stumbleupon. But it's good to have an overview of the possibilities. If there is a criticism of this book and others like it, it may be that the loanguage sometimes becoamse a bit wordy and 'business-speak'. But there has got to be something helpful here for any business.
Everywhere, everyone is saying that content is the best marketing approach. If you are looking for advice on how to care for your lawn you are more likely to find some information from someone who has written about the subject? You find their articles from the search engine. Then you see they answer feedback, have a facebook account, tweet and all that good stuff. So after a few rounds of asking questions and joining in the facebook discussions, you need a book on looking after your lawn. Guess what the guy has written one ...
Search and social takes you through different tools and techniques. Some you may like and some you may not. That's your choice, you can only work with something you feel comfortable with. The information in this book helps you understand how to use what you want in your toolkit along with tips and tricks on the technology side. The topics are broken into fairly solid chapters but the steps inside each are easy to dip into before progressing, maybe a page or two at each time.
Out of all the material in this book there will be something practical you can use, but more importantly, understand.
I have used this book from content marketer's perspective, and was particularly interested in the advice for growing a following and community on Google+, as this has been an unusually vague area for the last year or so. It hasn't disappointed. The advice is clear, straight-forward and effective, and the author does a great job of highlighting what areas to focus on with a Google+ marketing campaign.
In addition to the Google+ advice I found the chapters about content marketing as a discipline to be useful, and appreciated the recommendations on developing content strategy in relation to social network presence. It's all very coherent and sensible, which is welcome in such a saturated subject area where there are endless 'experts' offering their advice on a daily basis.
It is very timely for anyone involved in SEO, as the traditional link-building processes have firmly been replaced by social, and of course the core of social is content.
Overall I'd say this is invaluable advice at the right time, and a worthy addition to resources such as SEOMoz and MajesticSEO for content marketers.
I cannot top the numerous and valid plaudits already piled on this book. It is well-written and very pertinent. I have picked up quite a few tips on where and when to market my business, particularly on how to draw attention to it. The information on Tags in particular showed me I did not know as much as I thought I did. If your business is involved on-line activity, don't rely on your consultants alone - read this to understand this new digital commercial world better.
I use search engines quite a bit and have noticed how often I expect a good term to turn up the business page I seek. However, that is far from the case. I know that the first sites to come up have paid to be at the top (e.g. search hemmorrhoids and ebay and amazon will offer to sell you some) but the next pages are often newspapers or business directories. It can take quite a while to track down a home site, maybe by page 3; if I were a SME, I would want to be as near to the top of the list as possible. This book can help. You cannot afford to ignore digital marketing if you want your business to succeed.
I have to agree with most of positive comments on this book - this is an excellent book.
Too many social media/digital marketing guides assume a base level of knowledge far below the reality today, yet the more advanced are too specific to be truly interesting to the more 'general' marketer. It is also highly readable and not at all dry, to its great credit.
This book strikes a great balance - explaining the basics and core functions/competencies while using case studies and examples that inspire and get you thinking about how you can use the learnings in your day to day job.
Put this on your bookshelf next to your copy of David Meerman Scott's 'New Rules...' and you will have the beginnings of an excellent marketing reference library for the modern age!
The first thing to know about this book is that you are getting your money's worth, it is very in depth across a broad range of subjects. Any gaps in your knowledge, from SEO to Social Marketing to Video's are all in there.
I would suggest that this is a very good book to use a sort of backstop to your day to day business. It s worth flicking through the contents whenever you have a lull in the day and you will probably find something that you should be doing to help your business along. It is a bit dense to just read from start to finish, so I think the pick and choose method is probably most fulfilling.
I see great ways of getting customer engagement from this book. I can put into place quite a chunk of his without anyone noticing the hangers at work however allot of he things mentioned are not in my control an would e view irrelevant. Great social media book mind and well worth he money if you have the control to do what you want it's our online marketing.
The author has written a big book claimed to be aimed at business owners, marketing executives and CMO's, as well as SEO practitioners and strategists, social media practitioners and strategists, online content creators and publishers, and any marketer wants to take advantage of a new opportunity. Quite a haul.
Ironically, for a book about content and the Internet, it does of course come in the format of a traditional book. Clearly traditional publishing still has its merits. It does however give in an appendix a list of further reading online.
Many aspects of the book look like a textbook minus the academic references. It is a large square book of over 350 pages that focuses heavily on content creation and how to get found/visible/distributed.. The author is clearly experienced and conversant and the reader will get a lot of practical advice, direction, tips, and reference to various practitioners. While there are very many mentions of all the obvious players and a lot of others besides, the book perhaps lacks any thorough case studies.
I don't think it's a CMO book - unless it's a small company - but it is a book that most marketing practitioners would learn from. And it is readable if not a novel.
Although it deals with strategic questions, I think the advice here is generally either obvious or high level, but I do think that anyone who knew this content would be well-equipped to think strategically - or to contribute to strategic conversation - if they were so minded. There is nothing like knowing your stuff for being able to plan well.And many senior marketers have reached that level without having practical hands-on in this field.
This book is a very useful handbook for the new landscape of `search and social'. It starts with the overarching premise that not only have we gone past the point of simply talking about social networks - it makes more sense to talk about society being more intrinsically networked, all the time - but that social networks and search are inextricably linked. Social network posts are showing up in search results, and search engines are using social network posts to bring a degree of `freshness' to search results and make sure that results are tailored in terms of time as well as relevance.
The first two chapters are certainly the most ground-breaking, covering the immediate (real-time) nature of marketing and communications and the fundamental overlap between search and social. The rest of the book is a useful handbook, a how-to guide on understanding how you as a marketing professional can understand and use the area of overlap between S&S, including understanding your audience, planning content, understanding the right platforms to use, as well as a few technical bits and bobs which may come in handy. Most of the theoretical concepts are covered in chapters one and two, with three to fourteen looking at strategy, content, execution, management and evaluation.
It's not perfect: on my first read I found myself switching off a bit - there's a lot of marketing buzzword language in there (elevation, synergy, fire hose etc) but be patient with it - I found that I'd missed a lot and got a lot more out of it the second time. Also, because it's a handbook, if you read it cover to cover you may that some of the content feels a bit overdone: is it necessary to explain the ins and outs of the need to use video and images in your communities, for example? Likewise, at one stage the book reminds teams not to spam and use common sense! However, if you have this on your desk as a guide, I can imagine that if you're planning in a hurry, it won't hurt to be reminded of these things so that you don't miss anything out.
There are some real gems in here as well - the outline of conversational vs. keyword analysis (i.e. understanding both the key words to sprinkle into content and also understanding how people search for content conversationally, such as `which laptop should I buy'?) was very valuable. I'm sure that other readers will find other things more useful, but the insight on setting up an individual URL shortener was very interesting, and the evaluation section also had some good insight on how to make reporting more interesting that just numbers and figures: Rob goes to lengths to remind marketers that they are dealing with people, not just numbers on a google analytics chart, which is a very valid point. However, the real value of the book is in understanding the overlap between S&S, and how to use it to benefit your brand and the public.
Overall, a very useful guide to the space - and many thanks to the author for nudging me to read it a second time; it was well worth it.