Mark Crosling believes currently we are witnessing the beginning of a new Chapter in internet history, where Search and SEO are just one part of the process which is Content Marketing. An entrepreneur, investor, and strategist, Mark's main interests are content marketing and social media and how the combined result of them is changing search results. Mark is also a photography fan and on Pinterest you can find a lot of great curated by him photographs.
What brought you on G+ and what was your first post on Google?
I’ve always admired Google for experimenting with product development by just putting it out there and seeing whether it sticks. When Google+ was released, I was on the sideline until my first post early December 1, 2012:
I look at that post some 2 years later and I’m thankful it wasn’t a straight link drop - at least it had a caption!
I was initially drawn to Google+ by the simplicity of the stream and how visual many of the posts were. In part this was due to the photographers that embraced the platform very early.
What followed was my “ah ha!” moment when I realized that every Post had its own URL and was searchable. For me this was very powerful. The icing on the cake was the generosity of people giving advice on how to do this and that on Google+.
What on- or offline world experience has most influenced your time on G+?
The people I follow on Google+. What they post and share. It’s a kaleidoscope of many thoughts and interests which fascinate and inspire me. My disappointment is the impossibility of consuming all the content that’s provided.
What’s the thing that made your life on G+ easier?
As soon as I began to understand the culture on Google+, it made posting and participating a lot easier. It gave me confidence to voice an opinion in a thread, or Post something which I believe would resonate with people that followed me.
I read a definition on culture recently as being “that’s just the way we do things around here”. This is so true of Google+.
What would your advice be to newbies here?
- The starting point is to understand what you want to achieve by participating on Google+. It can be for any reason or interest, but your experience and enjoyment will be greatly enhanced by understanding your reason for being on G+
- Spend time and thought fully completing your profile on the “About” page.
- Knowing what your objective is on Google+ enables you to find the Influencers and commentators in your field of interest. These are the people you want to follow.
- Before you post anything, get a feel for the culture and dynamics of Google+. Spend this time learning some basic skills like formatting a post and basic etiquette.
- When you feel comfortable, start engaging, commenting and sharing Posts. People you follow will start to notice you, and in turn, may follow you back.
- Start posting your own content as well as continuing to engage with other peoples posts.
- Take it slowly and enjoy it!
How many people do you have in the circles for which you’ve turned notifications on?
I have a small number of Influencers and people whose opinion, commentary or photography I don’t want to miss.
What’s your favourite G+ feature?
Hangouts On Air (HOA) – hands down! Originally Hangouts were a feature of G+, but over time have morphed into the overall Google ecosystem.
As a content marketer, Hangouts accelerate the “know, like and trust" in building relationships, which means businesses can reach their customers quickly and with authenticity.
What has being part of the PYB Academy done for you?
Apart from getting to know and bond with fellow Academy members, the PYB Academy has fine-tuned my understanding of certain features on Google+ that I’d taken for granted. In particular, Circle Management and the tools available to optimize Circles.
How did G+ shaped your professional life?
As a strategic content marketer, Google+ has enabled accessibility to Influencers in an industry or niche. This is extremely valuable, and if done correctly, gives your content a far greater reach.
What was the thing you always wanted to know about G+ but were afraid to ask?
I’ve never been afraid to ask and always ask if I don’t know something. I believe you can ask the most esoteric question on Google+ and you’ll get an answer, probably many. Try doing that on Facebook.
What do you think is the most effective bridge between Google Plus and Content Marketing?
That’s an excellent question.
Content Marketing starts with your customer or potential customer who may not even know you. Google+ enables you to find these people and Influencers with the help of Circle management tools. Posting relevant content that engages will be shared and that leads your potential customer back to where you want them – your web site.
The other huge bridge between Google+ and Content Marketing are Hangouts. Without the ability of being face to face with your potential customer, it’s Hangouts that can accelerate the trust and authenticity to enable a transaction. And it gets better because they’re free and have an endless shelf life on YouTube.
Because it was Christmas Teodora Petkova was interviewing herself and asked:
What was your first thought when you heard about Google +?
I wasn’t dismissive but thought “oh, another Google product”. It wasn’t until Google started prompting integration of YouTube, Google+ and Gmail accounts that I started paying attention and took action. That’s when I aligning my accounts, completed my “About” page and observed what was going on. I was quite taken by the comradery on Google+ and have not looked back!
Thank you Mark!