B.L.’s an author and blogger who has written comprehensively about Internet marketing and social media for years. She’s also orchestrated some pretty successful programs for companies ranging from IBM to McGraw Hill. So she knows what she’s talking about.
There are plenty of ad agencies that don’t get social media at all. Of course there are plenty that do. There are also lots of SEO and digital agencies that remain clueless when it comes to building brands. And I’m pretty sure someone could make a list of PR agencies that don’t have the creative chops to generate content that’s actually worthy of an invitation into people’s digital homes and communities. But I digress.
For me, B.L.’s comment and Rebecca’s post are reminders that successful social media programs call for all three: SEO, PR, and content worth remembering. SEO marketers are essential if you want to be search-friendly and findable. PR professionals, once they master the relatively easy task of listening and engaging, are likely to excel at inspiring, building and mobilizing a community of followers. And lo and behold, even as modern marketing makes the transition from one-way communication to a conversation, guess what? Once every brand is on Twitter and Facebook and YouTube, once there are more conversations going on than anyone can ever keep track of, one of the only things that will matter is the idea and the experience or content that brings that idea to life.
Add to that the eventual arrival of Web 3.0 (or whatever we end up calling it) and the increased contextual relevance that will make search even more powerful. When that happens, attracting attention, getting asked to join the conversation, or finding anyone to listen will be even harder if someone’s not already looking for you. You want an invitation, attention and buzz? You’ll have to do more than learn the etiquette of social media. You’ll want to make sure that everything from your comments to your blog posts to your contests to your video not only adds value, but that it does so with the kind of cleverness and creativity that will make it stand out. True there’s no rule that says advertising agencies are better at that than anyone else, but the good ones have an impressive track record.
My prediction is this. CMOs, being overwhelmed as they are, will demand that their agencies offer all three capabilities: SEO, PR and big, creative social media ideas. And if they can’t get them in one place, they’ll definitely insist that their two or three agencies work as partners to maximize a brand’s investment. So here’s my advice, for what it’s worth. Let’s all focus on something positive. Instead of constructing an argument as to why other types of agencies are clueless, we should all prove that we’re not, by building our capabilities and our alliances.
Wha are your thoughts?
BL Ochman, How to pick your social media guru
Bruce Nussbaum in Business Week, Are Big Ad Agencies So Clueless That Corporations Should Avoid Them?
Peter Young, Managing reputation: SEO vs PR