Advertising agencies do put a considerable amount of effort into their advertising strategies, and now as online marketing is getting mainstream attention, we see them coming up with sophisticated and convincing strategies. A 3 letter Acronym is popular with online marketing. PPC (pay per click), which we know is very real, and SEO (search engine optimisation), and SMO (social media optimisation) and now we have SCO (social content optimisation). I have looked at their strategy and flow-chart extensively, and have worked in advertising for 10 years, along side many agencies, including the one that created this new one. The whole point of this new SCO is to show that search and social are not mutually exclusive, and a few added bonus points. Here is a look at the issues, and further points to consider.
- Auditing. The first stage of SCO is the general audit of what people are talking about on a particular client’s website. This makes a certain amount of sense. It is a look at what content assets a client have online, and what their followers or related users are actually talking about, and comparing the two. This is relatively simple stuff, and is a job for some junior staff to do.
- Search-able and Shareable. The goal we see arise from this is knowing what the majority of users are interested in and then creating content and media that is appropriate for them. This again, makes sense. If you were serving food at a construction site canteen, and you wanted to sell more of it, you would start asking around to see what the majority of people wanted to eat. Social media websites make this pretty easy, as we only have to analyse words, images and video. Creating simple software to assist with this can be done without any programming knowledge.
- Breakthrough? As a plan of action, it makes clear sense to a potential client, although it is not really any groundbreaking strategy. Anyone in business would and should be doing this. On the other hand, making content that your users will be impressed by is probably going to come from a creative department. Creating something ahead of the content curve of your readers is the true art of content developers. Not so far ahead that it loses traction, but far enough to give them a jolt, and inspire them.
Can we really say this is a new strategy? It is more like grandstanding and banner adding to something that should already be apart of sensible and step-by-step SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media strategy. Advertising agencies are very good at selling themselves to their clients, and then managing down their expectations – the words spoken directly to me by a major Asian director of a substantially sized ‘digital agency’.