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Before the New Year gets away from us, I want to make some resolutions as a blogger.
Here are some of the things I hope to do from now on. Add your own suggestions in the comments if you'd like, but please go easy on the sarcasm.
Those that have used Medium (300,000 have published there) know it to be a slick and enjoyable tool.
But now Medium has decided it's a platform and not just a social network for writers.
So, what should marketers know about Medium?
Sadly, for years affiliate marketing has been seen as the poor relation of the digital advertising family.
Tracking networks and technology companies typically selling the channel as a no-frills, “no-win no-fee” way to pad out marketing plans.
Anyone can be a writer these days. All you need is a computer with an internet connection and a tenner to spend on a domain name.
The problem is: anyone can be a writer these days.
On Friday, Google explicitly stated what it expects from bloggers who receive free products (read the blog post here).
In a nutshell: a prominent clarification of a commercial relationship, a no-follow link and content that isn't suspiciously hotchpotch.
We already knew this, so why has it peeved some SEOs?
The editor-in-chief of Huffington Post UK caused a mini Twitter storm last week when he told Radio 4 that unpaid journalism is more authentic, more real than a paid column.
This ignited pretty much the same debate that raged when HuffPo was sold to AOL in 2011. Many unpaid bloggers suddenly felt aggrieved that their work had lined Arianna's pockets.
But in 2016, this gaffe is more a lesson in PR than it is a chance to re-examine the economics of publishing.
Like many companies, in the last 12 months the main focus of our marketing strategy at SaleCycle was to produce content. And lots of it.
However, on further inspection it turns out we might have been focusing on the wrong metrics.
The content marketing gold rush doesn’t seem to be slowing, and articles advising brands they need to jump on the bandwagon continue to plague the internet like timeshare salesmen in 1970s Spain.
But does your brand really need content marketing?
Maybe. Personally I’m pro-content, but I also don’t believe enough thought goes into why and how brands are doing it.
It's annoying that in 2016 a headline like this is still relevant. We’ve all poked fun at silly stock imagery, but it seems once the laughter fades some of us continue regardless.
I’d put it up there with meaningless buzzwords as one of the uglier sides of marketing that refuses to die.
And while it does provide people like me with ammo for our snark guns, it is also incredibly offensive to look at.
According to our friends at Google, the most searched for fashion term in 2015 was “How to walk in heels”.
This may come as a disappointment to fashion brands who have been told search is all about sales.
Customers were NOT hungrily Googling the latest pictures from catwalks in Paris or Milan and working out where they could ‘get the look’.
Pay what you want (PWYW), sometimes called ‘pay as you feel’, is a principle whereby consumers choose how much money they want to give in return for a product or service.
I can already hear you scoffing and clicking the back button, but hear me out: publishers need to be constantly experimenting with different ways to make money, particularly with the rise of ad blocking, so why not consider this approach?
“You’re getting a bad rep, young man. Smoking in the toilets. Bunking off early. Listening to rock and roll music. What are you rebelling against?”
“What have you got?” you reply as you kick-start your motorcycle and zoom off to an early death, leaving a trail of dust and alienated friends behind you.
You think you’re so cool, and you probably are, however your brand isn’t in the business of selling cool... Unless of course your business happens to sell air conditioning units or Ray Bans... Unfortunately your business sells bespoke handcrafted scratching posts for kittens, so that argument is moot.
You’re giving the wrong impression.
And by ‘wrong’ I mean one that you didn’t want to give when you started out and continues to develop.
Reputation management is about creating a perception of your brand, one that you’re happy to cultivate and present to the general public and one that falls in line with your own goals.