“Content is fire, social media is gasoline.”
– Jay Baer, NYT Best-Selling Author & Marketing Guru
When it all comes down to it, the actual products or services that your business markets to those outside in the big, wide world is pretty inconsequential. It could be anything, and it usually is. Sell it, and they will come, as someone must’ve said at least once in the history of mankind. Regardless of what your product or service might be, how you go about presenting it to that same big, wide world could be the difference between the riches brought by global business supremacy and your level of poverty living on unemployment benefit.
So what’s the best route to take to the door of potential customers? Quite simply, the internet, and the power of social media. The only obstacle to moving along that path is this: having those potential customers actually know that you exist in the first place. Physically standing in their driveway, frantically waving your arms and trying to attract their attention will probably just gain the interest of local law enforcement.
Therefore, you need to understand the seriously crucial importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and if you don’t, you really need to hire someone who does. If Google doesn’t rank you, no-one else will. That’s the hard truth faced by businesses all over the very same big, wide world that you’re in, whatever it is you and they are marketing.
Truly effective SEO requires that you have something worthy of Google’s attention in the first place. The best experts in the field of SEO are going to be a little pushed to say the least if, for example, you only update your blog every 3 months, your website is more about you and your dog’s exploits rather than how to order your latest product, and no-one, absolutely no-one is saying how cool your brand is on Twitter.
Blogs Written by Rock Stars
For the last few years, there has been a particular phrase bandied about by content marketing-types: rock star content. In other words, all the content that appears online regarding your brand has to be “rock star quality.” It kind of implies that only a few, especially talented performers can actually cut it, to get up on the internet stage and have thousands upon thousands of adoring fans in awe of their every word. Not true.
When it comes to blogging, many businesses fall into the trap of believing that the frequency of posts is the be-all and end-all. Google will surely notice you update your site very regularly. It doesn’t matter if the post is a little boring, or a little off-topic, or even a little risqué, just get it out there. And do it now. Baloney, dear reader. Here’s why.
You don’t have to be a rock star or the next William Shakespeare to write quality blog posts. You do, however, need to optimize your blogs SEO-wise, always provide information of interest to your target demographic, and become an expert in your brand’s field. The bigger your following, the greater the chance of turning many of those followers into paying customers. Always excite, inform, be original, and of interest, however often that is. Remember, even rock stars need to get the lyrics down on paper.
Make Mobile Tech Your Best Friend
The impact of mobile technology on the world of marketing has been huge. Bigger than huge. It’s not surprising when you consider that, according to PEW’s Research Center, U.S. mobile phone ownership now stands at a highly respectable 95% (with 77% owning smartphones), and that 98% of text messages are actually opened. 98%. That’s a serious amount of exposure. Therefore, you don’t have to be Einstein to recognize the value of text message marketing.
If your business has not yet got to grips with this mobile tech phenomenon, do so. If you need help in adopting this as part of your overall brand strategy, there are many SMS marketing services out there that will provide you with everything you need (list creation, message drafting, and sending options).
Social Media: Make it Personal
We live, like, eat, comment, sleep and share in a world governed by the kings and queens of social media. And this world (as big and wide as it is) becomes more personal by the minute. That goes for marketing, too. To truly create a business-customer relationship now, you can’t wait for people to just simply walk into your store – they shop in a different way today.
To become as effective as you can be when it comes to online marketing, you need to get personal. Look at new personalized online marketing strategies, and then benefit your brand by tracking customer behaviors, and targeting them accordingly. Take one of the kings or queens mentioned earlier – Facebook. Their advertising platform, Facebook Ads, becomes more audience-specific by the day, enabling you to successfully target either a California family that goes surfing each and every weekend or a California family that prefers to watch movies online during that time, eating nothing but Hawaiian-topped pizza.
Furthermore, never forget that, because of social media’s reach, if customers wish to be negative about you, it’s oh-so-easy. Google doesn’t look too kindly on such negativity, so always remember how to keep your online reputation as sparkling as possible.
One way of reaching out to your existing customers in a positive and personal way, and turning them into possible brand influencers (those who fairly worship certain brands using social media) in the process, is through promotional products, such as corporate gifts – items that are branded, are of very high quality, and are sent out to specific customers, eg. those who openly declare their loyalty to the brand online through social media platforms.
The Art of Live Streaming
Speaking of Facebook, they reported that, in 2016, over 100 million hours of video per day was viewed on their site. That’s one big DVD box set to get through, regardless of the amount of pizza being delivered. Clearly, social media users love it, and can’t get enough of it. Live streaming your brand’s appearance at events, shows and conferences is a quick and cost-effective way to get your brand out there.
This form of visual marketing does rely on graphics that are professional and that can engage. Remember, the amount of time that an audience member stays engaged, known as viewer engagement, is getting shorter and shorter. Did you know, and this is based on a 2015 Microsoft study of Canadian media, that the average human attention span is now down to just a mere 8 seconds? Frightening, truly frightening. Did you also know that’s shorter than the average attention span of a goldfish? It doesn’t state whether it’s in a bowl, pond or the kitchen sink. Now, that’s not just frightening – that should be community public address systems announcing, in a somewhat petrified voice, the imminent end of the world.
Therefore, you have no choice but to grab that audience with your live stream grab those potential customers, and get their full attention before the urge to click on something else becomes too great.
To Junk Mail or Inbox?
Even though there are those that say email marketing has already had its day, consider this. Here’s a somewhat more positive question to pose. Did you know that around 91% of U.S. adults actually like to receive marketing messages via email from brand’s they have previously interacted with? Therefore, an email marketing strategy does have its place in brand promotion. This is as long as such emails focus on:
● Industry news
● Links to new content
● Brand promotions
Your email content should mirror your website content, including your blog, in terms of quality, helpfulness, and professionalism. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you aren’t particularly interested in what this email has to say, why should its recipient even bother to open it?
Sell It & They Will Come…
2017 is over halfway done. Online businesses looking to enhance their SEO processes, and really get their brand out there, will already be looking at what 2018 may bring, the newer platforms to engage customers, and how the proven marketing trends that brought success this year can be applied. Certainly, those trends will become even more focused on mobile technology, and a strong bearing will be on the detail a company can bring to their brand – fluffy content just doesn’t cut it anymore.
The 5 proven steps to complement your SEO campaign described here will place you strongly with what’s to come. By concentrating your marketing efforts and resources upon quality blogs, mobile tech and text messaging, a more personal social media presence, live streaming, and quality brand content via email, you may well get ahead of the rivals in your field. Your job is to stay there.
What are the current marketing strategies you use to boost your search engine ranking? Are there things that you would tweak now that you’ve seen how they’re working out? Please feel free to share (yes, we’re all at it) with a comment below.
Lastly, remember – sell it and they will come.
Double Your Growth.
We curate the best of inbound marketing news and send over the top 10 we know will contribute to your growth - once a month.