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Digital Media Producers: Trust Your Gut (Part 2)

By | Digital Marketing, Miscellaneous, Online Marketing Ideas, SEM | No Comments

Content Devoid of Quality is Worthless

In this day and age, when it comes to online marketing, no one’s really an expert. The digital cosmos is evolving so rapidly that it’s impossible for everyone to agree upon a definitive set of practices that ensure the viability of an Internet-based marketing campaign. Sure, there are elements of popular strategies that breed success, but when developing your next digital platform, it would be unwise to purely concentrate upon traditional customs in lieu of originality.

It’s widely reported that a website’s searchability is most influenced by the quality of its content. Yes, this is true, but come on… the philosophy behind this approach isn’t nearly novel enough to deserve the volume of attention it receives. The quality of anything determines its popularity, and it’s a waste of time to deliberate whether or not it’s necessary. Of course it is!

If you’re not infusing quality into your work then what’s the point?

Back-To-Basics

Now that we’ve established the importance of sound content, stop reading other “Best Of” lists and take a moment to think about the nature of your customer/user base. This is precisely where you begin formulating a unique and convincing content strategy that communicates value while distinguishing your brand’s identity from the crowds of other similar enterprises, imitators and “me-too” enthusiasts. What are your users/readers/customers interested in? Why do they even care about you? What motivates them to get up in the morning? What industry insight can you leverage to amplify your brand’s appeal? Instead of worrying about what other firms are doing, use your imagination and conceive an original idea to lay the groundwork for a unique and compelling content strategy. Easier said than done, right? Wrong! Imagine yourself in the shoes of your most valued customers. Become familiar with their heartbeat’s rhythm. Visualize what success truly means to them. Unearth their passions and motivations. Then, after all that, somehow nurture your discoveries into opportunity.

OK, that last part can be tremendously difficult… I’ll admit it.

Trust the Almighty Algorithm

Once you’ve grasped why people seem to enjoy what your brand’s about, integrate all of your findings into a meaningful search marketing campaign. So what, the previous statement – in itself – lacks originality, but it would be unforgivably foolish to neglect the sheer power and authority of strong SEO. This is because search engines are quite literally the gateways to the Internet. People deploy the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo on a regular basis to support the buying process. If content’s truly king (sorry – I’m beginning to despise this expression), then SEO is its noble ancestor- or, if you will – its raison d’être. So, by and large, SEO should be at the top of your priority list. Heck, the top of your priority list of priority lists! The centerpiece of your entire digital strategy. The first thing you should think about when you wake up in the morning! Well, not before your family, of course. But you get the point.

Perhaps I’m being a little dramatic, but listen; those crazy and unpredictable web spiders (think: Google’s equivalent to drunk uncles) are known to appreciate and respond well to strong content ergonomics – freshness, diversity and richness. You can read more of those “SEO 101” blog posts and list-based articles all you want, but lest I warn you of their wild inconsistencies. Like I mentioned earlier, no one knows for sure, but the three aforementioned content traits – freshness, diversity, and richness – are undeniably the greatest influencers, particularly when fused together into a cohesive strategy.

Craft an exciting narrative for your brand, decide upon the relevant digital channels, create some engaging content, own your environment, and last but not least – trust your gut.

Do it the right way, but do it your way.

By incorporating these content traits – or at the very least, becoming aware of them – you’ll have the requisite knowledge base to further optimize your website, and everyone knows what that implies…

Higher conversions!

Content ergonomics is much simpler than you thought, huh?

Please, by all means, let us know how these strategies are working out for you in the comments below.

Content Marketing Is The New Black

By | Digital Marketing, Online Marketing Ideas, SEM | 3 Comments
content marketing

Photo Credit: SuperHypeBlog

Pop-up ads are out. The debate about the true effectiveness of a well placed banner rages tirelessly on. You know you’ve heard it being touted around the digital marketing sphere: Content marketing is the new black.

It seems what every future-leaning business is trying to emulate is the brand-turned-publisher approach of executing an advertising strategy. With this shift in mindset from traditional to native ads (advertorials, sponsored content, etc), it’s unsurprising that –  just like subtle product placement in movies or on TV – strategically embedding links in relevant, engaging content is far more effective in adding value to the user experience over the blatant promotion of your product.

What I’m getting at is that a well thought out content marketing strategy put proactively to work can be a powerful relationship-building and brand positioning tool.

Remember: your end goal here should be building engagement and using that to boost your bottom line across your conversion funnel. Do not indulge in obvious self-promotion. Never resort to hard-selling tactics. Prioritize relationships over transactions. Quality and value are key; making the customer experience as fun, frictionless and interactive as possible are your primary objectives.

Turning Water Into Wine

Why are you trying to write content and what are you trying to achieve from it? The obvious first step in deciding what information to prioritize sharing with your audience is asking yourself the following: Does it align with your brand narrative? Is it relevant to your product or service? Does it add value? Next, ask yourself, do you want to establish yourself or your business as a thought leader in your industry? Assume your audience is hearing what you have to say for the first time. Presenting information that is easily understood from a layman’s perspective is inherently easier to remember and instantly more share-worthy. It’s basic human nature to gravitate towards what’s easiest to remember and partake in what people tend to have similar or polarizing opinions about.

Putting It Out There: Effective Content Distribution

Once you have your content ready to go and a communication schedule or broader game plan in place, distribution is usually the next hurdle. Here, it’s important to remember to use social to re-enforce content, and not the other way around. Effective content distribution is a crucial factor in controlling how existing or new customers interact with your brand. Think: Halo Effect. You come to love and trust the brands you’re most familiar with. Similarly, when you really really like one aspect of a product, you tend to hold a positive predisposition towards everything else that it offers and derive more value in sharing it. And vice versa.

Re-Purpose Existing Content to Optimize Your ROI

Re-purposing existing, archived content that best resonated with your audience is an often overlooked way to boost customers’ engagement with your brand or product. And adding genuine value to the user experience is arguably at the core of truly effective content marketing – a positive user experience can go a long way in building or fuelling your brand presence without much out-of-pocket spend. Leverage this. Here’s a few ways how:

Hub-and-Spoke It – Tweet key takeaways from past articles that were of most interest to or saw the most engagement from your audience. Even going so far as asking for a re-tweet or share can bring surprising results. Ask questions. Reach out to influencers or otherwise recognized experts or authorities in their fields for new perspectives on past projects. Let their legions of followers or site visitors into your circle to add more fuel to your marketing fire.

Visualize Your Content – One of the best ways to optimize content for sharing is to make it visual. Share existing or create custom infographics that are relevant to your content to help simplify concepts and boost engagement across your blog and social media channels.

Break up longer pieces of content into a whole series of blog posts.

Accumulate blocks of posts to use as supporting documents for a whitepaper, put together an e-book or put a face to your ideas by hosting a webinar.

Do you use content marketing for your business? Let us know in the comments below.

Movember: What Can Marketers Learn From Their Mustaches?

By | Digital Marketing, Online Marketing Ideas, SEM | No Comments

As December fast approaches, Mo-Bros around the globe are sharpening their razors to rid themselves of their furry upper lip. But guys, before chopping off your crumb catcher, lets all take a moment to ponder a few of the things Movember has taught us about Marketing.

1. Take Risks

Most startups can relate to with this One. Adam Garone, one of the mustachioed pioneers behind Movember, fought long and hard to build Movember into what is today. He nearly lost it all Movember 2006 but 4 years later, it was and remains the most successful fundraising campaign in the world.

2. Implement an Epic HashTag

#Movember is recognizable and short. It’s wide reaching and can be used again year after year. During this bristly month, it dominates social media proving that the power of a great hashtag cannot be denied.

3. Be Fun

When thinking about business, this one might be a little counter-intuitive, but it works. Movember reaches a huge demographic, with surprisingly half their website views from Mo Sistas. Their premise is all at once engaging, fun and memorable. They use humor across the board with their unique language, branding and celeb endorsement. The key here: they’re and consistent in their message and they delivery it in a quirky yet accessible way. They legitimized the mustache! How fun is that?

We’re working with Charlie’s Club, an excellent example of a start up whose implemented the above and have put their best mustaches forward this Movember!

Movember Banner

Common Reasons You Have A Slow Website And What To Do About It

By | Digital Marketing, Online Marketing Ideas, SEM | No Comments

Nobody likes a slow website, and we all know that the majority of visitors will abandon a site rather than patiently wait for it to load. As you can imagine this can seriously harm your site’s rank!Slow Website

Page load speed has become an important element in determining a website’s page rank. It directly affects your conversion rate, bounce rate, page views, not to mention visitor satisfaction and ROI. If you haven’t considered how your page load speed is affecting your search ranking, you should. Below we’ve listed some of the most commons reasons for slow website performance as well as some helpful tips and tools to optimize your website’s loading time.

IMAGES – With the rise in visual content, it’s increasingly important to include images to drive higher engagement and sales. However, if your images are too large, you risk slowing down the load time of your pages. You can reduce the size of images by adjusting the resolution. Try using Photoshop or Yahoo’s Smushit tools to resize large images without changing their look or visual quality. Read more on effective image creative here.

PLUGINS & WIDGETS – There are tons of cool and useful plugins available but too many can seriously slow down your page load speed. Try to keep your plugins and widgets to a minimum,  delete (NOT just deactivate) the plugins that you’re no longer using and update the ones you are using with the latest version.

HOSTING – One of the most common issues with slow loading sites is poor hosting. When choosing your hosting company do your research, read user reviews and stick to reputable hosting providers.

PAGE SPEED TESTS – It’s important to give your site a check-up and perform page speed tests regularly. Google measures the speed of your website using a Page Speed score ranked between 0-100.The faster the speed, the better the score. You can obtain your score using Google’s Page Speed Insights. Other tools like Pingdom and Yahoo’s YSlow allow you to check how quickly your website loads and provides recommendations on how to improve it.

When it comes to website performance, keep these 4 helpful takeaways in mind; optimize your images, keep plugins and widgets to a minimum, choose the right host and regularly test your page speed!

Do you use any other tools or have any other tips to avoid or fix slow websites? Let us know in the comments!