This week’s digital fun and frolics take us to Google’s SGE using your content unless you block Googlebot entirely; Google Ads releasing Demand Gen ads; thoughts on the dullness of B2B social media, the importance of Customer Lifetime Value; and some reminders about how to make content *interesting*. All that wrapped up in an amusing bundle by yours truly. Read it now, without delay, and enjoy.

Surprise! Google Extended does not block SGE

Remember how we talked a few weeks ago about blocking ChatGPT and similar bots from accessing and reading your content to train their AI models? Well, the Google version, Google Extended, which is a single line add-on into robots.txt, doesn’t work in the way people thought it might. 

Essentially your content will still be used to generate content for SGE (Search Generative Experience) results and there’s nothing you can do about it, save blocking Googlebot entirely. Great, huh? You think you’ve found a way to stop Google and… nup. 

I’ve got to admit I’m not keen on blocking Google or ChatGPT – if your content is out there, it’s out there and should be subject to copyright issues if work is properly derivative (or copied), which AI doesn’t really do. Blocking intelligent, quality writing and knowledge as a means of increasing intelligence goes against the very purpose of that writing and knowledge. 

Want to learn more about SEO, robots.txt, and AI? Or just the joys of digital transformation into this AI world? Give me a shout.

Google Ads Releases Demand Gen Into The Wild

Google Ads is rolling out a new demand-gen style of ad. These will replace Discovery ads. essentially they are an extension of Performance Max campaigns in that they sit in-feed on Google’s properties other than search – think YouTube / YouTube shorts etc. They target people in similar ways to other paid social ads and really work on affinity / lookalike identification. These ads will appear to people who have not expressed an interest in your product / service but may be interested (hence demand-gen and being early to mid funnel). It should be available now to switch, or create, or all existing campaigns will be rolled across in early 2024. 

Talk to me about Google Ads, PPC and driving demand with Paid Social ads. 

Overcoming Dull B2B Social Media

Even though we are heading into the big consumer-fest that is the last quarter of the year, this is an interesting commentary piece on what’s working and what’s not in regards to B2B social media. Now, B2B can be tough at the best of times, but getting people interested in updates from your Paper Mill company can be hard yakka. Unsurprisingly, the way to the audience’s heart is not bland updates, but content that is designed to engage your audience. Think of it as blogging, or micro-blogging: products & solutions, recruitment (what a great place to work), brand and community. Pretty much behaving as a person on social – without all the arguments and conspiracy theories one hopes. 

I’ve only been advising clients to behave as “people” on social for the last 15 years of consultancy, glad to see the market is finally catching up. 

Talk to me about B2B social media and creating content strategies that engage and drive outcomes. 

Reminder about Customer Lifetime Value / LTV

It looks like today is my hobby horse day. I often have conversations with clients about how much a customer is worth to them over their lifetime. They call it Customer Lifetime Value, I’ve always just known it as Lifetime Value. You’d be surprised how many, or how few, have done the calculation. 

This is a handy little primer on LTV, giving you a quick rundown of the basics of the calculation which is essentially: how long are they a customer for, how much do they spend over that lifetime, how much does it cost to acquire them and keep them. Add your pluses and minuses and you end up with a figure of how much a customer is worth overall and over what time period,which really helps with cashflow questions. 

In case you’re on the fence, you really need to calculate your Customer Lifetime Value, it helps you to properly contextualise your marketing spends and understand what you should / shouldn’t be spending. Target $CPA suddenly gets a lot more flexible and a lot more sensible. 

These are the kinds of the things I can help you with as a Virtual CMO. Contact me to find out more. 

Ways to Create Engaging Content

Really? Are we still talking about very simple ways to make content engaging? I guess we are. So, in continuation of my hobby horse theme for this week, let’s do it. This piece is a handy little reminder about some of the elements which go into creating engaging content. 

Think: audience identification and customer journey position; the power of language and storytelling (resonance); audience relationship building; user involvement; and user attributes like thinking style. 

So there we have it, five ways to engage your audience. All true, but they have forgotten initial engagement to pique interest, and the path the content must take – engaging content is fantastic, but I’ve lost count of the number of fabulous content pieces I’ve seen which have not been allied to a definable business outcome, eg click, download, purchase, etc, anything which moves the customer to the next part of their journey. 

Let’s chat about content strategy and creation when you have a moment and conversions & CRO if you want to do more with your content. 

Belmore Digital Updates

In the last week, I have added three new blog posts – all are worth a read:

I’ve also added a video about me to the About JB page, and a video about Belmore Digital to the homepage.

Finally, I’m posting these videos and more to the Belmore Digital YouTube channel. Check it out :-)