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I knew it would happen sometime in 2013. I’m glad it happened sooner rather than later.
For a while, many of the smaller bloggers such as myself have been preaching about how search, social, and content marketing are all actually a singular activity that can be broken down into a proper repeatable process. There have been skeptics and naysayers, the majority of whom work in one of the three industries and would not profit by the consolidation of things. In other words, someone who is trained in SEO who only opens up Facebook to see pictures of little Timmy sliding into 3rd base would not benefit by the emergence of social signals into search rankings, so they choose to pretend like it doesn’t help (or in some cases, saying that it can actually hurt your rankings).
When an article by Jeff Bullas, a respected internet marketing expert, came across my feed this morning with the title, “6 Social Media Trends You Should Not Ignore in 2013“, I was hopeful that he would mention the convergence of the three disciplines and was extremely pleased when it was the top trend mentioned…
“Expect to see more content marketing tools, tactics and strategies that accept the fact that social, search and content are increasingly integrated and intertwined.”
Tools – perhaps. It’s challenging to put together a tool set that doesn’t spoil the mix. The reason for this is the need to focus on quality and value above all else. With tools, they have a tendency to automate processes that end up hurting in the long run. By mentioning tactics and strategies, I couldn’t agree more. As someone who wakes up at 2:30 every morning to read my feeds and stay on top of the ever-changing worlds of search and social, I am always hopeful to find more strategies that will enhance my current playbook.
As we plunge further into the year, there will be more and more articles written about the convergence. Some will be spot on. Others will be misleading as the natural tendency to convert everything into a template will send many down the wrong path. You need skill, creativity, and resources at your disposal, not tricks or schemes. Google, Facebook, and Bing are getting smarter every day. They’re learning how to recognize the difference between content that truly brings education, entertainment, or resource value to the table and the content that is churned or spun. If you read about a strategy that operates without expertise or the human factor of discernment, run away as fast as you can.
Think quality. It’s the point at which search engine optimization, social media promotions, and content marketing converge.