If you have a personal Google+ account or you manage a Google+ page, you may have heard that the service will be terminated on April 2, 2019.

The internet giant has announced that from as early as February 4 users will no longer be able to create new Google + profiles, pages, communities or events.

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A recently released report has highlighted the growing importance of online content creation in the form of blogs, videos and SEO-driven content in business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategies.

The report by Hubspot entitled “State of Inbound 2017” reveals the top marketing and sales challenges and priorities businesses face today while examining new trends and channels that will soon affect the way we all do business.

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“Jeez, I just hope the song doesn’t stop,” jokes Damon Beard as he leans back in his big, bright red-backed chair, relaxed in jeans and tee shirt.

The East Coast Radio presenter is in Studio 1, and he’s craning his neck to check the Google Analytics which is displayed on one of four LCD screens at the entrance of station’s headquarters in Umhlanga.

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Your website should be the central hub where you add and publish new content which can be shared across your various channels – using videos, blog, social media, email newsletter and a host of other content marketing strategies. However, all your digital activities should point people back to your website, which if finely tuned and professional in its appearance will convert visitors into customers.

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By being honest, proactive and engaging, the soft drink giant won the hearts and minds of Facebook users and turned a potential negative into a big positive.

A week before the start of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio the mother of all rainstorms battered the greater Durban area, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

At times it felt like Armageddon as storm after storm lashed the neighbourhood where I live and work, causing damage to property, roads and the landscape. Sand, stones, trees, litter, cars and sadly, even people, were washed away in the maelstrom.

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When you think of the word “selling”, what image pops into your head? For me, it used to be that of a middle-aged man in a brown suit and an attaché case filled with lots and lots of brochures.

Admittedly, that guy could have been my father, an old-school dyed-in the-wool salesman back in the day when selling was all about visiting customers in a particular geographical area - sometimes cold calling - and pitching products or services to the managers on the factory floor. Convincing them that their business would be better off buying stuff from him.

Fashions have changed and sales reps are now armed with iPads and smart phones, but what hasn’t changed is that direct selling will always be part of the mix. However, businesses – from large multinationals such as Microsoft to the shop around the corner - are increasingly focusing on content marketing to boost their bottom line. Why? Because it works.

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According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more powerful than social media for driving business. See an article in Memeburn below.

Here is a quote from the article:
"The Wall Street Journal reports that brands “don’t really” have a social relationship with their customers as Facebook and Twitter posts only reach about 2% of their fans and followers; and less than 0.1% of fans and followers even interact with these brand posts."

If you have 1,000 likes on your page, you will only reach 20 of them with a post. And just one lonely person will interact with it. Only one person out of 1,000. And, here's the kicker: that interaction is often negative because social media in the corporate space is widely used for complaining and moaning.

Also, let's not forget that with social media, you do not own your data outright. Why spend so much money for data that you don't directly own or control? With your email database, you own and control all customer data, the way it should be.

Now, please re-read that first line: brands don't really have a social relationship with their customers. Gartner Research also confirms that social media has reached a phase that they call the "trough of disillusionment."
Social media, when used properly, can enrich your communication. However, your email database should be the core foundation that you work from - and the communication with that database needs to contain good quality content. Let social media serve your database, not the other way round.


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