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Social Media And The 3 New Pillars of Marketing

Social Media Aug 24I have been involved in sales and marketing to create new business for clients and my own companies over the years and I have used many different methods including cold calling, database marketing, fax broadcasting, direct mail, mass media, letterboxing plus many other types of what has become known as traditional marketing. Over the last few years I have noticed that the results for many of the old types of marketing has continued to diminish as new technology has emerged and recently I wrote a post that mentioned the importance of content as an important component in this new approach titled “New Study Reveals: Content is King… Not Social Media” that highlight how important the new rules of marketing are in growing your business and attracting new clients. 

So it has come to the point where the question has to be asked “Is it worth continuing  with the old methods?”  and “Is there a better way and are there more efficient methods of marketing?”.

The evolution of the the search engine’s marketing power… (you could almost call it the “Rise Of The Machines” with the development and power of the 800lb gorilla called “Google”) is making redundant the old methods of getting your business and products and services found. This is due to the all pervasive obsession of society with”Information” and the “Information Age” and its delivery platform called the Internet. Additionally in recent years the rise of the smart phone (dare we call it the “iPhone”) has enabled us to find information and content “Anytime.. Anywhere”  as the usabilityof the devices, portability of the platforms and the speed of networks allowing us to obtain information anywhere we want it, in different mediums whether that be text, audio, video and images has evolved into a complex and powerful multi-channel and multi-media environment.

So what are the 3 New Pillars of Marketing? and why are they important for “Getting Found Online”.

  1. Content
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  3. Social Media 

1. Content: Of these three content has always been around on the internet before the other two and even though it was important from day one (the internet was initially built to provide textual information and documents to be communicated between universities) the capability of the technology to enable it to be found easily was cumbersome, slow and very inefficient. In 2009 the internet can deliver information in many different mediums.

  • Blogs
  • Video
  • Text
  • Powerpoint Presentations
  • Audio Podcasts
  • Video Podcasts
  • Microblogging
  • Audio
  • Wikis
  • Forums
  • Vlogs (Video Blogs)
  • Webinar

Note: I have even heard of a blogger taking their blog content and re-purposing it in to 10 different mediums and if you take into consideration the different technology environments listed above you may start to get a bit creative with your content 

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): In essence SEO is the technology and effort required to make it easier for potential customers to find your content. It is the practice of building your site and inbound links to your site to maximize your ranking in search engines, where most of your customers begin their buying process.There are essentially 2 types of SEO practices.(For a more in depth look at SEO go to my blog post “How Social Media Can Help Organic SEO : 2 Case Studies”)

“When people refer to “organic SEO” (search engine optimization), they almost always use it as a blanket term to describe the unpaid, algorithm-driven results of any particular engine. However, a sophisticated search engine optimization company will often take the meaning of “organic” one step further. To such companies, the “Organic SEO” is essentially 2 Things (but not only). These are

1. What shows up in the “natural” search engine results

2. Methodologies used to achieve such rankings, such as great content and utilizing social media like Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Technorati, Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon and other types of social media 

  • Artificial SEO: A search engine optimization company using “artificial SEO” will ask, “How can I get links pointing to this site without adding anything of value to it?” The latter approach usually leads to reciprocal linking schemes, link farms, the purchase of text links, and more—anything except making changes to the Web site that entice others to link to the site without the link being reciprocated, without paying the Web site owner, or without asking “pretty please.” There is a stark contrast between “Organic SEO” and “Artificial SEO.” Of course, any decent search engine optimization company will make certain that a site is listed in all the popular directories, such as the Yahoo Directory, the Open Directory Project, and Business.com. A good search engine optimization company will also continually seek any industry specific directories where your site should be listed. But truly using “organic SEO” means evolving your site into something that holds actual value to your prospects. In my opinion, this is much more beneficial in the long run than the artificial methodology of trying to garner incoming links that the site does not truly deserve.”

3. Social Media: Social media amplifies the impact of your content. When your content is distributed across and discussed on networks of personal relationships, it becomes more authentic and nuanced, and is more likely to draw qualified customers to your site. The leverage it provides can be astonishing as your “interesting, unique and valuable content” gets embedded and linked in blogs and websites across the web. Your great content is praised, commented on discussed as you sleep and work and play. You will be amazed where it travels. I use a URL shortener that  tracks the time and location of the clicks on my “Twitter” links as well as a tracking tool on my blog that shows me the time and place of links and clicks.

So what are the critical Social Media Channels you should be using?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blog
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

Note: These are the top 5 and if you have read my article How Many Social Media Channels Should Your Brand Be Using? you will be aware of the exponential effect of using more then one Social Media Channel” Over the next few weeks we will go into more depth on the elements that you need to address within each of the three pillars of the new rules of marketing.

So what traditional marketing methods have you used in the past and what marketing mediums are you using now and finding to be effective?

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Philippe Borremans

    Hi Jeff,

    Your blogpost “tells it all”; content, seo and social media. I was intrigued by the “repositioning of content”… I wrote a post some time ago on what I call platform independent publishing here: http://www.conversationblog.com/journal/2008/7/10/platform-independant-publishing-or-getting-your-news-out-the.html & would love to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for yoir insigts.

  • JAD Prinsloo

    IMPRESSIVE ! Can I please ask whether you cannot apply those skills to sell this product to an Internet Company?
    I have developed and patented a radical new Payment Method for use for trading on the Internet that does not use Credit Cards. Market research shows an 80% acceptance rate among potential users. I am now looking for a “Super Salesman” to market it. I will offer a 30% commission.. The potential is huge [think of the volume of trade on the Internet] and the successful Salesman will make many millions. I will also pay 5% commission to the person who introduce me to the successful Salesman. Is this the correct approach to solve this problem and if so, where do I get a Super Salesperson to do the thing?
    I regard this new method as superior in all aspects and it is my dream to have millions of Internet users benefit from it!

    This Method has a number of advantages.:-
    It does not make use of Credit Cards
    It does not require the purchaser to supply his name, personal info
    or any numbers to be supplied.
    And no addresses. Like taking cash it will not be necessary to know the name of the buyer.
    It is very user-friendly
    It is an extremely safe process. Possibility for fraud is about nought.
    Vendors , no need to establish the authenticities. Guaranteed payment.
    Assured deliveries of items bought..
    Banks will get more business.

    Respectfully yours,

    J A D Prinsloo

  • True, content is king. But I would caveat that. Good content that’s relevant to your target audience is king.

    Just writing a bunch of filler, unoriginal articles may help support some internal linking and keyword strategy, but it won’t get you the valuable backlinks that are critical for rising up the SERPS via organic SEO.

    Spending the time to create valuable, clever, humorous or interesting content that is meaningful to your target audience will help secure those valuable backlinks, and also push some referral traffic your way.

  • You can have related information here.

  • This is a complete and nicely written post that touches upon many bases.

    I just would like to add to this fascinating discussion that it is not just the medium or vehicles for marketing what has changed by the whole philosophy and approach behind it.

    In other words, it is not just about substituting fax broadcasting by blogs but about understanding and internalizing ‘the new rules of marketing and PR’ in David Meerman Scott felicitous phrase. It is only then that we an makes the most of the new channels and applications.

  • Hi Jeff,

    Certainly, Content is King, but only in relationship with Context. Content is most important, but is not as relevant or impacting without Context. Also many Internet developments are focused on creating a better Context.

    I’ve written an article on the Content-Context relationship.
    The Content – Context Diarchy:

  • Great post and couldn’t agree more that those 3 are now the most crucial.

    I would argue however that the order should in fact be: content creation, social media, then SEO. It’s somewhat of a trick question to ask what the priority should be because in fact the 3 are so interconnected. But I find if you have a good content and/or social media strategy that is clean and able to be scaled, you’re half way there to good SEO. SEO experts may disagree with this but so be it. The opposite is not necessarily true (i.e. good SEO gets you half way to a good content/SM strategy).

    One question I have, from a content creation perspective, do you recommend that clients start from a central strategy and then personalize for each channel/platform accordingly, OR develop unique strategies for each?

  • I’ve heard “Content isn’t king, conversation is”. I think in past we’ve focused mainly on content because in one-way media it was important to focus on the message. But nowadays we shouldn’t forget the conversation part which is becoming more important. And at the same time we should still be able to effect to the content of the conversation. This is the challenging part for companies and brands. Accepting the fact that they can’t control the conversation.

  • Good informative post with great content. Thank you. I agree with the concept, although some of my clients need more of a focus on social marketing and some less. It greatly depends on the audience/market. It also seems to be somewhat industry dependent. Thanks for the great post.

  • This is a really great post. Thanks for write about it. I’m truly agree with @OscarDelSanto and @karikko.
    IMHO, “New Marketing” is not based on tools, it’s based on philosophy and concepts from the first part of the decade, like “Permission Marketing”, “Word of Mouth”, “Customer Evangelism”, “Communities” and others.

  • @Rolando:

    Agree, though maybe a chicken-egg question, but is the philosophy enabled by tech or vice versa or maybe they go hand in hand?

  • Great post – I really liked the explanation between organic SEO and artificial SEO.

    And I would add Slideshare to your list of essential Social Media channels for businesses. I wrote a recent blog post on using Slideshare for Business at http://tomhumbarger.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/using-slideshare-to-promote-your-business/.

    Tom Humbarger

  • This article was great, thanks for the tips. I especially liked the tip about seo. @marklatimer

  • Impressive thing of your blog is content. I really appreciate this, you can do one thing that you should share your blog to some other blogging sites.


  • Totally agree, are the basic pillars that existed for many years, we don’t have to forget them

  • Wiemer

    Interesting post, although it unfortunately solely focuses on digital/ social media/ content presuming this is what makes brands grow nowadays. It discards the ‘old marketing methods’ as being outdated and no longer effective. I would argue this is not the case. The two most important factors contributing to brand growth (i.e. succesful marketing) are mental and physical availability. With mental availability I mean that people need to be constantly reminded of a brand and the brand needs to stand out/ be salient in order to get noticed. Physical availability speak for itself, although many companies adhere to a very narrow defintion of physical availability (e.g. “people can order 24/7 on our website – there are many more ways of being physically available for your customers!).

    ‘New media’ or social media are currently being positioned as the ulitmate marketing tools even though several studies show that customers do not engage more intensely with brands via these media (e.g. read this study about Facebook-fans and brand engagement: http://adage.com/article/digital/study-1-facebook-fans-engage-brands/232351/ ).

    Crucial for marketing to be succesful is reaching as many potential customers as possible. Over 50 years of scientific marketing research has shown/ proven that the majority of sales come from light users and infrequent buyers of your product or service. In addition to this, loyalty appears to be a given and can only be influenced by increasing (or decreasing) penetration. This is what is known (and well documented) as the Double Jeopardy Effect: big brands have more customers who buy your brand (somewhat) more than smaller brands. The key is that loyalty (e.g. purchase frequency or average products held per customer) doesn’t vary as much as penetration does (i.e. the proportion of buyers buying your brand).

    Aside from content, I would therefore argue that REACH is also king (or queen, however you would lke to see it). Social media are (just) an addition to the existing pallet of marketing tools. Bare in mind that television still has the biggest reach and that television viewing time has not decreased since the introduction as all these new media (internet, social media, etc.).

    So yes use these new channels, but please don’t discard the ‘old’ ones because it may end up hurting your brand.