CIM Marketing Podcast - Episode 54: Your social media spring clean
- 31 March 2022
Stop social overload
This podcast will:
- Ask why marketers persist with practices that bring no traction
- Reveal the techniques for better social media engagement
- Explore why human nature is the key to social success
Ally Cook 00:01
Welcome to the CIM Marketing Podcast, the contents and views expressed by individuals in the CIM Marketing podcast. And not necessarily those are the companies for which they work. This series is currently being recorded via web conferencing. We apologise for any issues with the audio.
Ben Walker 00:20
Hello, everybody, and welcome to the CIM Marketing podcast. And today, instead of looking about what's hot in social media, we're going to concentrate for a while at least on what's not. We talk about adopting new trends and racing with the baton towards the latest craze. But what should we be binning what should be part of our social media spring clean? And to answer these questions, we are joined today by a very special guest, Aaron Rodgers, who is himself a host of a major podcast, the digital marketing podcast for target internet. And Miss Molly McCarthy, who returns from CIM headquarters at more Horton she is, of course Digital Marketing Manager for CIM and A popular guest on this show. Molly, Ciaran, how you do today?
Ciaran Rogers 01:11
Great, good. Yeah,
Ben Walker 01:12
it's great to have you here. So social spring clean. We're talking about what's hot, what's not Molly MacArthur, what should we be binning? What should we be getting rid of in terms of our social media usage?
Molly MacArthur 01:24
I think it really depends on the company. Different things work well for different companies, and the sort of spaces that you're in. So for example, CIM over the last couple of years, or probably since the pandemic began, we've seen massive decline in the engagement on our Twitter. So it's to create, the users that we're getting from Twitter to our websites declined by in excess of 80%. So that's an area where we're slowing sort of slowing down, putting less focus on putting less pressure on ourselves to sort of force to make it work. And looking at other platforms like LinkedIn, and Instagram, we've seen up to a 700% increase in users that were driving there. So really sort of focusing on not cutting anything off entirely, but focusing on the platforms that work for us. And that's, that's just in our space. But speaking to people sort of like in the sporting industry, Twitter is flying right now. So I think it really massively depends on where you're at.
Ben Walker 02:23
Why is this such a differential between the trend in one industry and the trend in another industry? Is there any explanation for it that you found? I mean, that's quite a remarkable change in behaviour. Karen Rogers isn't at the model. It just is.
Ciaran Rogers 02:36
Yeah, let me jump in on that, because I've got a nice like analogy that I always like to use to help people get their heads around social media. So try and think of different social media channels like a party. So you know, Ben and Molly, if I was to say to you, okay, what sort of parties LinkedIn party be like, yes, like, you know, a CIM networking business, like party, maybe a little bit cheese mine thrown in it? And I'm, well, maybe not, maybe not? What sort of what sort of party is Facebook, as really interesting when you start getting into it? And actually, if you look at sort of the audience that you've curated around your own personal Facebook, like presence, Ben, like if we got all of those people into a room? Like, what would that party look like that? What would that room be full of?
Ben Walker 03:19
What what would it be for love?
Ciaran Rogers 03:20
Well, I'm asking you, Ben, I want to know about your Facebook connections, like who's there who's at this party is probably presenting like mine, it's like a really weird connection of like, a really dysfunctional part of lots of random people who were at school with lots of people that you've worked with over the years, and peppered with, you know, a few friends, actual people that you do actually have, like, you know, regular connections with, if you think about parties, and every social media network can be, you know, bogged down into a bit of a party. It's a good way, I think, because there's certain ways of behaving a party, you know, the way I behave at the, the, you know, the CIM networking party is very different to how I behave like Facebook, which for me, I tend to sort of categorise as like family barbecue party, in terms of who's people connected, there's a whole mix of people there, you know, and it would be a bit weird at a family barbecue to start handing out business cards wouldn't it wouldn't be bad the CIM, that party that would be that would be appropriate. So certain norms, so always behave. And again, when you think about parties, this is a really interesting thing. And Molly, you've probably got some thoughts on this. Different people move on from different parties and go to like, new, new, exciting venue. So I think, certainly in the UK, you know, a lot of people that were quite active on the Facebook party, for example, have moved on to other more exciting places and potentially moved on to Instagram or Snapchat or other places. And again, on Twitter, you know, I think people are moving around on that. So new people are adopting it, and other people are leaving and it sort of comes in comes in waves.
Ben Walker 04:48
The nature of each individual party that has changed you ask him who would be in my Facebook party is as simple as that is no one as I was famously said on this podcast, used to be an empty room. But it's interesting that you use the example that the analogy of a family barbecue because that hasn't always been that way, you know, it was very hot and trendy when it first
Ciaran Rogers 05:09
first launched. But remember, it's changing all the time. It's it's different things in different places, like, you know, when when I run training courses for CIM, we have people from all over the world come on that training course. And it's incredible, like, you know, we've had students from Egypt, and over there, you know, it's much more like, like LinkedIn is, that's how people using Facebook, which I, I couldn't, couldn't imagine using Facebook like that, that would feel weird to use Facebook by it, like, like LinkedIn, and I've trained people in, you know, Eastern Europe and stuff. And again, they're like, they don't necessarily even have LinkedIn, it's not even necessarily a thing out there. You know, it's just doesn't have enough people on the network for it to be worthwhile with them even bothering with. So different norms ensue in different countries. But I think also, different norms ensue in different in different industries. And actually, remember, these are networks. So the benefit of being there is reliant on lots of other people who you need to connect with being there. And people move, people move on to different venues, all of that all of the time.
Ben Walker 06:08
They're certainly moving CIMs case, Molly's example is quite, quite astounding. You know, they've left Twitter to the sportsman, during their after game drinks in the big bar, or the or the football, the football club, and they've moved on to the CIM, cheese and wine at LinkedIn, and presumably, to the sort of glamorous house party that is Instagram. Why Molly? Why is it happened?
Molly MacArthur 06:31
I think we saw the biggest shift or the beginning of the pandemic. So I think people look the sort of loss of security that they had in their jobs. And they were trying to promote themselves more on LinkedIn. So sharing our achievements far more than we'd ever seen before. And trying to like sort of grow their networks and build connections that way, whereas Twitter, sort of just like, pinging tweets out here, and now without really building any strong connections. But yes, I think it's just a case of networking and sharing things on that platform, which is quite different, different style to Twitter,
Ciaran Rogers 07:04
is one other thing to add, I think you can't always assume that people aren't there, they might just not be wearing the hats they were wearing before. So for example, pretty much everybody you need to connect with, is on Facebook. But it's not appropriate to start pitching at them in like a b2b environment. Because it's not necessarily a b2b environment. You know, people people have different hats. So just the fact that I'm there doesn't necessarily mean that I want to engage. It'd be interesting to research it, wouldn't it but, you know, maybe actually, the way people use the platform has just changed. And actually, you know, when you think about your networks of actual people that you're connected with, you will have certain norms. So Molly at the CIM, um, like, how do you choose to, like, interact with people within that community, I'm guessing, you know, it might be through through WhatsApp, or through email, or maybe it will be email. But again, there are certain norms that the flow, but as we all know, those, those norms shift gradually, over time to constantly shifting, shifting sand. And I think, you know, Molly, my money, what you're doing is the right thing, you're looking at what gets results. Because remember, that's why we're there, we're not just there for the fun of it. So you know, this golden thing, really do more of what works and less of what I've what doesn't, and you can definitely try out a few new things. Don't just assume, you know, arrogantly, oh, what I'm doing is not working, because everybody has moved on. Now, it might just be that you're a bit rubbish at what you are what you do. So you have to try a few things. You have to you know, try a few different ways of doing stuff. But when you see, you know, much better results coming through those things, you perhaps trying another platforms, I think you have to conclude Yes, you maybe the audience has just moved on or, or they're using the platform in a slightly different way. And we need to adjust.
Ben Walker 08:48
Molly is doing that she's actually riding the crest of a wave in terms of capturing the trends. But is everybody doing that? Well, Ciaran, is everybody doing that? Well, do you look at the space and sometimes think I'm surprised they're doing this? Should they be doing
Ciaran Rogers 09:01
this be really honest with you? I love that you've asked me that question. Because if we want to have a rant about this for a long time, most people get why are you even on social media? lately? They just post out the same thing again. And again. It's like why? You know, it's almost like, oh, well, we have to post three times a week, because that's what we do here. But if you looked at how, like, everybody's just ignoring you, you know, it's just you've got no traction. But what are you even trying to achieve by shoving this stuff out there and you just seem to think that, you know, build it and they will come is it doesn't work like that, but you've got to have you've got to be adding value. You know, it says say all the time everybody's doing this just posting stuff up week after week after week. And seriously, if they were actually looking at the results, they'd be getting depressed and going you know what, why are we still doing this? It's just like that joke of the guy that goes to the doctors and starts poking himself in the eye and said Dr. Hurts want to do this and it says we'll just stop doing it then So what? Why, and I do feel like some people social media, which when you look at the company, it's like, why are you doing this? It's embarrassing. You know, you're not ashamed of the lack of traction that you're getting. Have you not got anything better you could be doing? Or do you just gotta have the imagination to try something new and different than that, that for me sorts out, you know, the real movers and shakers in the social space with the the also RANS, I think is harsh, isn't it? But I just feel quite strongly about this, Ben,
Ben Walker 10:29
it's hard because sometimes you do have to be cruel to be
Ciaran Rogers 10:31
kind. Yeah, you do. Ben, you have to squeeze the past from the boil before
Molly MacArthur 10:34
it gets better. Something that we do is we review our social media performance on a monthly basis, we pull out what are the top things that are really working for us what isn't? And then see, are there any trends in that, or anything that we can keep going? And we found recently, trends are moving so fast. So we have if something's working, we just have to make the most of it. Do as much as we can, and, you know, expect that it probably won't last forever? Well, those sort of fundamentals are what works is very similar. The trends that come and go are very quick. But yeah, so we do this monthly review of what's working, we have KPIs and goals. We know what is good, what we ultimately aiming for. Is it gauge moments, direct messages, traffic, we have very different KPIs for each platform.
Ben Walker 11:18
What about the things motion reels tick tock? And how are you using that? Has that been a big change in helping get your traction and engagement up?
Molly MacArthur 11:27
Yeah, that's been massive for us, particularly this year, we were sort of a little bit maybe late to the game with tick tock. But yeah, we're getting on board with the rules now. And we've seen, obviously 300% increase in engagements since we started posting rules, some of our rules on on average, they reached double the audience that we do with a static post. So yeah, it's it's incredible reach. And often we see, whereas with a static posts on Instagram, or carousel or stories, we're reaching people within our current following, you could look at the statistics in the background, and you can see what percentage and followers versus new people that are reaching and rules are reached outside of our current following. It's like 80% new people versus 20%, our current following so it's been enormous for us for growth over the last year. That's,
Ben Walker 12:20
that's amazing. And that sounds like it's really working. Do you ever walk into sort of copywriters used to use third party music third party tracks, and have to concern yourself with copyright?
Molly MacArthur 12:29
Yes, this is something that we struggle with. Because as the Chartered Institute of marketing, we have to be squeaky clean. Absolutely everything we do, we're setting the standard. So we were very careful at the moment about what sounds we use. I do see brands that are using trending sounds and it's I'd often wonder how they're managing to do that.
Ben Walker 12:49
How are they managing it? Ciaran, it just does beg the question if you're using track, yeah. Are you going to walk into you know, battle with Apple and Sony and
Ciaran Rogers 13:01
well, copyright? So I have to like, like, front load this answer with I am not a lawyer. And everything I say you should check on this. Because it's a pretty like legal, like music. copyrights are pretty scary world, isn't it? Poor Oded Sharon's, like suffering with it at the moment isn't he's constantly constant, constant battle with things like that, I think my understanding of this, and actually, anybody listening might have like an insight into this. And but my understanding has always been that, you know, the way this works is on sort of fair use principles. So I know we're tick tock like, it's like 15 seconds, isn't it? Is that right? Money is 15 seconds. Yeah,
Molly MacArthur 13:38
we can go up to 10 minutes now.
Ciaran Rogers 13:40
Yes. Okay. So I don't know how to do it. But my understanding when they first launched was that 15 seconds of music was kind of considered fair, fair use because you're not using a significant portion of it. And whether that still stands and how they get, I don't know, you'd need to ask Tiktok on that, but I'm hoping their lawyers have looked at that. Otherwise, someone would shut down the the platform,
Molly MacArthur 14:04
they do actually provide a library of copyright free music. So if you've got a brand account, there are only selected sounds that you can use. And I went to, I think it was it was a talk in London in like January 2020. So just before pandemic, and Tiktok was speaking there. And someone posed this question to them. So like, how are brands using the songs? And they
Ciaran Rogers 14:26
did they start sweating?
Molly MacArthur 14:29
They did. Yeah, they said it's absolutely down to the brands to make sure that they're, you know, within the working within the law,
Ciaran Rogers 14:37
check, check with your lawyers, people. Don't take our word for it, check. It just got to be so careful with things like this, because actually I've seen you know, brands come a come a cropper is a few years back now, but I was doing some consultancy for a brand where they they had a whole library of like images that they'd licenced and you know how it works like they were producing like a monthly magazine and that magazine got passed on to the web team and the web team. put online, no bad, bad move, is the images weren't licenced for online. And yeah, they got fined 1000s. For that, and yeah, you've got to be really sharp on your permissions. And I think Molly, you know, the CIM are very careful with this, obviously, they have to sort of lead by example, with all of this. But actually, the repercussions are quite significant. And there's no getting around it. You know, there's a digital record of what you did, and what and what you published, you know, we find that with the podcast, everything that we use, actually is stuff that we've created ourselves within the podcast, because it's just, it's just too risky to start including clips of, you know, unlicensed, and copyrighted music.
Ben Walker 15:42
Absolutely. And it's hard for people to get their head around, because we can listen to any track anywhere, anywhere in the world at any time with, you know, streaming services, Spotify, and Apple Music, and so on and so forth. There are multiple of them, or all supplying 10s of 1000s, or hundreds of 1000s of tracks that we have instant access to. But as you say, if you embed them in other media, if you use them to promote your own work, you put them in a film and tick tock on his computer game or what have you, you do risk running into copyright issues. So be very careful. Be very careful as the lesson from Ciaran Rogers and Molly MacArthur when using copyright, but don't stop using it. Presumably you should try to use it within fair and reasonable use
Ciaran Rogers 16:26
by keyboard make your own can't be more creative. It's up the game. Start again, we need more music in the world. So there's certainly that's the simple answer.
Ben Walker 16:34
You can always create your own and musicians out there.
Ciaran Rogers 16:37
I've done been actually what I've done. Yeah, I've I've written stuff like YouTube videos and, and put stuff out there. And actually, it's not that hard. And it's so much fun. You just have to be able to have the time to time to do it. But there are there plenty of really creative people that licence you try and do plenty of like really great tracks that you can like by now like it used to be like, just like listening to your ears bleed trawling through hours and hours of royalty free music that actually I think there's some amazing libraries out there now to pull stuff into creative projects. And a lot of them are, you know, licenced within things like the Adobe Creative Suite, cloud, you can, there's lots of stuff that you can do there. So actually, it doesn't need to be that onerous. You can be very, very creative with some really high quality stuff. Now it's moved on from basic clipart type music that
Ben Walker 17:29
used to get back in the day. So you can originate material, you can originate media, you can be creative in the way that you source media, from the likes of Adobe Creative Suite, or the brands, of course, are available. What are the tools? Can you use Ciaran, in this age of hot, fast social media to really bring it to life and get the traction that you've been talking about? And we all desire?
Ciaran Rogers 17:53
Such a good question, Ben. Well, what nice, what everyone wants to answer is, do you know I see, only to take a step away from the technology and recognise Do you know what? The platforms, the tools, the techniques that what's trending right now that changes all the time? But there's one thing Ben, that doesn't change, and that's people, you know, and actually, we are still the same as we were, you know, I didn't know like 30,000 years ago, and we stepped out of caves. Literally saying, beware, we have needs we have once and we have one overriding obsession, which is ourselves. Ben, is this this is not getting to you but your favourite subject is definitely Ben Walker. And Molly's favourite subjects is Molly MacArthur, or Ciarans favourite subject is Ciaran Rogers. Because we all see ourselves don't we as like centre of our own, like Truman Show like it that is our life, really. And it's, and I think this is one of the like, universal truths that I've seen. Over the last. I've been in digital marketing now. 25 plus years. And it has always been at the forefront of what works. And that's like, what's in it. For me, that's what you've got to answer for the audience. And I think that's why, you know, more dynamic content, like video formats and stuff with music, why that works so well, because it's entertaining, but it also it grabs our attention like we are. And there's, there's normally, because there's a linear sequence. There's a story involved in there. You know, even in the shorter segments, there are stories and there are characters and their emotions. And as creatures, we're really drawn to that. And so, you know, the challenge for marketers is okay, in order to grab attention, you've got to bake in movement, you've got to bake in creativity, and you've got to bake in a motion. And you've really, really got to make sure it all leverages on what's in it for me, you know, so the whole world is on this never ending. flicky finger scroll through the infinite, like newsfeed that's coming out of multiple different different platforms like it never ends, does it you never get to the bottom of it. And the one thing you've got to do to grab people's attention is give them a firm what's in it for me? And this is where it gets so into like formal marketing, right? So well, you know what who you're trying to get the attention of. And that's where often where it goes wrong and brands, and organisations haven't really thought through who they're trying to reach. Like, if I'm going fishing a great fishing strategy is not, let's catch fish, you're gonna come back empty handed and hungry. If you do that, if you want to go fishing, you need to know what fish we try to catch. Where do they hang out? What kind of food today is exactly the same questions when I consider you know, the fish that I'm trying to catch on on LinkedIn, or on Twitter or on Snapchat or on tick tock, and it's exactly the same rule. So that universal truth of people are people is so so important. And I think actually constantly walking in your customers shoes and asking, like, what's in it for them? What's in it for them, and baking that into what you're putting out there? That's massive. I mean, Molly, you must have seen this in some of your most successful posts about when you take a step back and go, your why was that successful? Actually a little come down to there was a really clear and good What's In It For Me, For certain audience of people. What's amazing about this, Ben is when you get traction, and you get a lot of engagement, then whatever platform you're on, the social media algorithm kicks in and goes, Oh, that was good people like that. I'm going to show it to more people. It's actually these algorithms I loved in my case, obviously, I'm really advanced AI, actually is pretty basic, at the heart of it. That's what that's what it's doing. And it actually doesn't make a distinction really, on most of the platforms between was it was positive or negative reaction, it just gets reaction. Right. This is why we've had some incredible, you know, situations where, you know, crazily people you'd never would have thought would become major leaders in their countries have like won national elections out of the blue and, and stuff. And actually a very often I'm not gonna get into the politics of that. But very often, the reason why they've they've risen to that kind of prominence is more like off the back of the negative reaction they had from the haters than the positive reaction. Because what's happening is those social media algorithms are kicking in and giving people more of what engage them. So if I come out on social media and say something outrageous, like it gets a lot of engagement, and then it gets shown to lots of people, even though people are trying to slap me down fact, it
Ben Walker 22:11
is absolutely fascinating. And it's interesting that the technology doesn't distinguish, particularly between a negative reaction and a positive reaction. It's just looking for a reaction. But when you're CIM and drain have to be squeaky clean, Molly MacArthur, how do you make sure the engagement you're getting is positive, rather than negative?
Molly MacArthur 22:30
I think for us, we, we try to put to get into those algorithms of where we're getting people to react to stuff. We try to play on humorous stuff in marketing, particularly with the short video reels. We don't typically word things in a way that will sort of provoke negative reactions from people it's all sort of worded on in a positive light. We don't come out and say anything extreme, like, get off Twitter, it's not working, or you know, like, those sorts of things. We're very neutral in our tone while having sort of, you know, opinions and thoughts about what works and what doesn't, but we don't have any really out there opinions posted.
Ben Walker 23:14
But just on that, what would be wrong with you're telling the industry that, you know, actually in this sector, Twitter's not working because that that's your professional finding,
Ciaran Rogers 23:23
I think you'd be polarising things way too much. They're been like that every organisation has different audiences. So like for Molly's audience at the moment, she's finding it's not working so well on Twitter. But there'll be plenty of other marketing organisations that it does work really well. For, say, for example, target internet, via Twitter is a great channel for us very effective channel, it's one of the most successful social media channels for us. So we have to stop looking at like the whole world as as one shape. And one thing it's not, you know, just like the whole world's not trying to catch fish. So Molly would never come out and say, don't bother with Twitter, you can't catch fish that you absolutely can catch some amazing fish on Twitter. So
Ben Walker 24:04
how do you decide them from emulating what you're currently doing, which is being successful, which in your case, is LinkedIn, in your cases, Instagram, but it's not Twitter to actually say, well, actually Twitter's working for some other marketing organisations? To what extent we tried to innovate and test Twitter?
Molly MacArthur 24:23
That's a really good question. And actually, a reflection of this conversation is not that Twitter doesn't work for us. It absolutely does, but not the volume that we can get elsewhere. So we have a resource of five people in our team that works across absolutely every digital platform that we run. And if we had all the resources in the world, yeah, Twitter is a great platform, but what we're seeing is that our time and efforts were getting more reward elsewhere says, Yeah, I wouldn't say it doesn't work for us. If we, you know, had the resource to to put more into it, then potentially, we'd see you know, a bit of an increase but it's just doesn't match the volumes when when I'm looking at the number of engagements, people are reaching the traffic that we're driving the conversions on our site, you just can't compare the two, the efforts have got to go towards the platforms that are really like driving we we need them to
Ben Walker 25:16
emulate, you're successful, the little bit of innovation, but you've got to concentrate your efforts on where the market for your engagement is. So if part of your spring clean and as part of your social media spring clean, how ruthless should you be Ciaran Rogers, is that is there anything that you should cling on to or or should all bets be off, and if you're finding something's not working, you shouldn't be in it.
Ciaran Rogers 25:40
If you finding something that's not working, try doing it in a different way, a few times. And if that still doesn't work, you have to get to a point where you you have to be in it. I mean, you know, much like Molly at the CIM, I think every organisation has limited amount of budget resources and people. And actually, as market, it's our job is to just find ways of communicating the message that we have to get out there. And inevitably, you use the most effective channels to do that, I think to be really effective at this, you've got to constantly be looking back at previous week, previous month, to see what worked and what didn't and to ask, Well, why, you know, and doing that, you can try all manner of different things. But eventually, you do get to the point where you just realised you know, what, we're just flogging a bit of a dead horse here. Let's move on. Question everything. Look at your costs for everything. You know, what's your cost per per lead? How many leads do you need to, to convert? It all comes down to the hard numbers at the end of the day. And actually, I've begun to look at like turnover, some kind of sacred cows at the moment, I'm beginning to think, you know, what, when you actually look at the cost per lead, from, say, that Facebook campaign, like actually, the cost is really high. And actually, when you start working out how many of those leads actually convert, the cost is astronomically high, or your pay per click campaigns on Google, you know, if we when was last time actually looked at what you're spending per click. In some cases, you might be spending 1520 pounds to get a click Whoa, that's a lot of money. And you and you don't question it, because well, that's that's just the cost. But I think we've all lost sight of the fact these costs are escalating every single year. And I know and I think back to maybe 567 years ago, a lot of brands were smashing money out of their direct mail budgets to focus on digital. But then back then we were making those decisions when you know, traffic was cheap, like you could get traffic for, you know, eight, nine pence, a click not eight, nine pounds a click. And actually, I think it's time to reevaluate some of this stuff and go to you know, what, what would happen if we started doing direct mail again? Like, how would that stack up? Because you know what, it's not about digital marketing. It's not about social marketing, like wake up. It's just about marketing. There is no real, like, digital marketing is just a fake construct. Really, when you think about it, your job is just to get, you know, lead sales, brand awareness, whatever you're trying to trying to do. But could you get better results from from that. And as you start to look at those as like you would look at digital channels, there's a wealth of stuff you can now do, we've got so much more that we can measure and kind of get strategic about I'm not against throwing the baby out if it's problematical. Yeah, and like completely turning things on the head. And actually, going back a little bit old school,
Ben Walker 28:21
the social media Spring Clean can sometimes include throwing out social media,
Ciaran Rogers 28:25
absolutely. Like if I can get a better result by doing direct mail, then why not? For me, in my experience, the best bet is back in both, right like mixing your channels, it's always been like that, they'll always be one channel, that's an absolute star for most businesses. And sometimes you're lucky and you have a few of them. But the best way of getting the message across is to repeat it again and again, through like multiple messages through multiple layers. I think that's when, you know, content marketing works best. But I think also we have to recognise that the cost of being in these little digital bazaars has gotten astronomically more expensive, not just indirect costs, but in time and resources as well. And actually, we need to constantly be re evaluating other ways of achieving the same thing. And if direct mail is a part of that last time I checked, my front doormat as a customer is nowhere near as busy as my email inbox, or my social media feed. So why on earth wouldn't that necessarily be a good place to to get my attention and get the message across?
Ben Walker 29:23
I'm always surprised by how much direct mail gets my own attention and you sort of feel it's old fashioned. But actually, if you get something nice and interesting through the post, I do look at it and I often buy from it is interesting, isn't it? When you're trying to survey the landscape, you're you're surveying every landscape, not just social media and not just when we go on LinkedIn, whether we go on Twitter, whether we go on Facebook, whether we go on Instagram, whether we go on tik, Tok, or reals. We also have to look at the rest of the marketing landscape, direct mail, and so on and so forth and normal publishing. That's a lot of time and resources. You'd say it's a huge amount of time and resource just to do that surveillance. Nevermind the delivery when as marketers do we focus on find that time, Molly McArthur to focus a little bit on ourselves so that when we actually come to do our messaging to do our comms, we're coming up with great interesting things that are going to get engagement. We're not spending all of our time as surveyors.
Molly MacArthur 30:20
I think, as a digital marketer is, is quite easy. Well, not It's not easy. It's never easy. But it's, it's easier in those spaces. For example, being on social media, there's always things popping up on my feed from people, I follow the experts in their field, whether it be display, SEO, or PPC. And I see their staff come up on a regular basis and say, Oh, this has been updated. This is what's working well for other people. And so I'm getting these updates, of what's working and what's not in my feed already. And things like listening to podcasts, just as you're sort of doing work. Listen to the digital marketing, podcast, talk internet one all the time. It's absolutely brilliant to just spark new ideas and try new things like Kieran you recommended. This video taught might have been over a year ago. Now this video tool automatically generates copy from an article if you pop a link in there blew my mind. And we tried it. And it was absolutely brilliant. I just listened to that while I'm working. So it doesn't have to be a really sort of hard task or going on these formal courses doing a formal qualification, just like keeping up to date here and there. Follow the right people listen to podcasts. And it sort of sparks ideas for me at least.
Ben Walker 31:28
So follow follow Kim's podcast is.
Ciaran Rogers 31:33
Other Other good podcasts are out there. I mean, I think I think you're right, look, just for my point, Ben, I just think you need to be relentlessly curious. And that's all we do at Target internet all the time. And Paul, Daniel has a real hard time getting me to do anything, because I'm just, I'm off chasing all sorts of things all at a time. But that's what you need. Oh, I wonder what would happen if you know what if we did this? What if we did that. And it's only through a little bit of experimenting, and setting things up. So sort of following general principle that you can have all sorts of opinions about what might work. But it's just your opinion. Like, it's not fact, your strategy is not fact. Like, I've come up with lots of strategies that have just fallen on their backside and failed. And I can know a bit but it's your best guess, very often. And like Molly use all sorts of sources to try and educate your best guess and back, you know, potential things that might work. I love looking at other industries, and like reading case studies and what's worked for them, and then transposing that into into my own world all of the time. But all of that involves, you know, doing things looking at the results, and deciding whether it's got legs on it, should you iterate a little bit, or should you just, you know, try something completely different. It's a constant, constant game, and it's so much fun to play.
Molly MacArthur 32:52
Yeah, I agree. Yeah, it doesn't need to be formal training, constantly driving for better results. How can we do things differently? I think, yeah, Karen, you're absolutely right. staying curious.
Ciaran Rogers 33:03
One more tip for everybody listening on this, Ben, like, stop just blindly following more and more 500 word articles on blah, blah, blah. Honestly, this, this is tonne of that, you know, either the ones that have been thrown at you through social media. So the way you need to look at those is, oh, that's an interesting idea. I'm going to test that out, not just I'm going to do that and just assume it's going to going to work. And that's this is again, this is a great learning opportunity to do, because it might have worked for that marketer, that's why they've written it up and told you about it, but try it out yourself and set it up in such a way that you can see what the results were. And if it did work, and if it didn't, that's that's the real key. So every time you run campaigns, actually you have an opportunity guys to trailblaze to cut a path through you know, your your sector and your segment of the industry and discover what works and what doesn't and actually, you know, what, what more fun can you have than you know, being the person that shares the results of that with the wider marketing community so that they can say that's an interesting hypothesis. I wonder whether that would work for us and actually through lots of us doing this actually, we we learn and we know what works and what doesn't we're not just taking some you know, internet gurus word on it. Like never do that certainly never listened to anything I said on the podcast, I did target internet and assume that's going to work for you that will be that will be commercial suicide, potentially. But test it out if it's given you some ideas now, like you did, Molly was with that tool. Lumen five, which amazing tool for creating little video video clips. And actually, you found it worked for you. Okay, great, right, Ben, you might try it and it might absolutely fall on its backside. In which case, you know, you've not like put all your eggs in that basket and come out looking silly. You know, you've learned and then out of that. It's like, Well, why didn't it work? Like you can learn so much more. I think sometimes by things that fail when you analyse them, you got to take the time to do that and constantly be looking behind see wave where you've come from or what you've achieved.
Ben Walker 34:58
We take the wind of terrorism resources that are out there to us accept, as Ciaran says that they're not gospel. And just because they work for someone, they did not work for another one, how can we shape those? Do you think Molly MacArthur into maximising the opportunities that are ahead of us as digital marketing managers?
Molly MacArthur 35:15
Like Ciaran said, Just testing absolutely everything that we feel like will work for us, we can tell very quickly what will and won't produce the results that we're looking for. So I think being clear in what it is that you're after, ultimately, and being willing to try and contest.
Ben Walker 35:30
Do you see any particular opportunities ahead, Ciaran,
Ciaran Rogers 35:34
I mean, there's just some really simple things I think everybody should be doing and know that they're not, you know, so often I get frustrated when I follow links on social media. And I can see there's no tracking code on that link. Ah, know what I missed opportunity. Like, just like, find out about UTM tracking codes. You know, if you're using Google Analytics, they won't ask you to work with a number of different analytics platforms. But they're a way of ensuring that you can sort of measure the the downstream traffic you get from all of that, you know, very resource and time intensive social media activity that you you're doing, so I post something on on Facebook, for example, Ben, and I don't put a link on it. You see that link? And you think, Oh, my mate, Molly would love that. And what do you do you SMS or WhatsApp it to Molly go, Hey, Molly, check this out. This looks really cool. Right. And in that scenario, because I've not put tracking code on it, there's no track back to know that it was cute. And it was that activity you did on Facebook that got the the got Molly to take action. And granted, Molly never saw it on Facebook, you know you did Ben, right. But the difference is site makes such a difference when you put tracking code onto that link. So we're hardwiring into the URL, you end up sharing, you know where it was originally placed, then Ben, when you share that with Molly, however you share it, when Molly follows that link, information on where it was placed, goes straight into my analytics, because it's hardwired into the actual actual URL. And like not enough market is doing that. And actually, I've tried this with lots of different organisations I've seen, just by making that one change, suddenly, they discover they've got four, sometimes five times more engagement that they're getting on this social media activity, they just didn't know it, because it was all been sucked into that most useless of analytics segments, none straight Direct, which is basically our Google Analytics going didn't know where they came from, it just appeared, so turned up to sort of teleported in. So you know, tracking everything like that for we're all used to doing it for you know, advertising campaigns, because there's, actually it's easier to do and tick boxes, and it happens. And actually, a lot of this goes into email as well, you know, because you can get a box that you can check in, say, MailChimp, or Constant Contact, which adds these tracking codes, but actually, we should be adding them manually to all of our social media posts. And when Molly I know, this is something that you guys do if you send a big, like, it's it really helps, isn't it to measure the results?
Molly MacArthur 37:54
Oh, massively, yeah, it, it really does guide what we do. And that's how we can see that we know that focusing on LinkedIn, we're gonna get the most out of that for the resource and talent we have to put into it. Yeah, it really is our sort of guiding light for sure.
Ben Walker 38:07
So it's about being curious. Yes, trying different things. Yes. But as obvious as it might seem to say it, it's not always done is be able to measure when you've been curious. And you've done that experimentation, what is actually working, if you can hold those things in our minds, we become better digital marketers very quickly. Okay, I'm going to put you to on the spot, then, in the next 12 months, let's say the next 18 months, if you had to choose one thing we should be doing more of as digital marketers. And one thing we should be doing less of? What should it be? And Molly, we'll start with you.
Molly MacArthur 38:47
I think as we said, testing, and for us, testing on what's working is video, short form video at the moment, across all of our platforms, paid advertising, organic channels, is where we're getting the engagement. So I'm gonna be testing
Ben Walker 39:02
what it is that less or
Molly MacArthur 39:04
less of, or, for us, less Twitter, we were dragging it down from five posts a day, focusing on what's really working and doing more of
Ben Walker 39:19
Ciaran Rogers 39:21
I just thought I think we should all be making more time to learn. No, it's kind of it's a bit of a it's a bit of an end goal on this podcast, isn't it? Because obviously, the CIM exists to help marketers learn, but, you know, I think stuff is changing so much quicker than we can learn about it in so many different areas. And actually, it's absolutely absolutely crucial. And as we've discussed in the podcast, it's not just about, you know, attending formal training, sometimes it's about, you know, testing things out to learn, and experimenting and learning about your own audience. If, for me, the most crucial thing as a successful marketer is to obsess about my audience, to study them and to learn with it. You know, you have to study that almost harder than you study marketing. Marketing gives you some amazing ways of reaching them. But you know, really study that audience really work out what's important to them really work out what gets their, their juices flowing and their fingers clicking. And, and, you know, their fingers dialling to pick up literally pick up, pick up the phones, and the more you can do have that. And like less stuff, less time spent trying to churn out more and more stuff. Oh, my God just do do fewer things better. You know, we don't need any more like randomly bland blog posts about whatever it is, you've decided to bang on about three or four times again, this week, like, had something of value, create something that's really so awesome, everybody's gonna go nuts about it. You know, I'm a massive fan of Rand Fishkin is 10x theory where he said, Look, you know, take any subject, read the world's top 10, like articles on that subject, and Google will tell you what those are, and other search engines are available, just go read it, and then go and create something 10 times better, just the mere attempt to do something like that is going to really raise your game. And hopefully, you should start seeing, you know, much better, much better results is that there's an old adage that you can't Polish poo. And it was never like true of content marketing. And yet, I think literally, a lot of us are on a fool's errand trying to do just that. And it's not going to end well. And it's just gonna get a bit messy and a bit smelly. So as she'd like, stop doing that and start polishing some, some diamond start, start reaching out looking at your best performing content, and making it better. You know, rather than just churning out another random, small thing on whatever it was else you thought of, like, take stuff that you're really good at already, and make it better. And whenever we do these things, we've always get, you know, stellar results off the back of it. It's definitely definitely a route to riches. That one
Ben Walker 41:56
Sterling advice from you both. Thank you, Molly MacArthur and Ciran Rogers, very much indeed, for joining us today on the podcast. It's been excellent. And I hope to see both of you again, very soon, indeed.
Molly MacArthur 42:07
Ciaran Rogers 42:08
Thanks. Thanks for having us, Ben.
Ally Cook 42:10
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