Seven Basic Questions to Aid in Improving SEO

Since the number seven in numerology means ‘searcher and seeker of truth’, the title ‘seven questions’ is appropriate as effective SEO will help seekers find the answers and solutions needed.

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Delivering on client SEO depends first on understanding their business and their goals.

Ask these important questions:

  1. How competitive is their business niche? (Determine through industry specific key word search + location)
  2. Are they claiming their location on digital mapping sites and through local directories like the Chamber of Commerce?
  3. Do they need global, national or local exposure?
  4. Are they creating unique content? How are they sharing it? Are they utilizing cross platform promotion?
  5. Are they using keywords effectively? The revival of long-tail keywords can help companies stand out. Try this useful tool: Übersuggest.
  6. Who is the target and what is the targets intent?
  7. What is the budget?

Complimenting SEO with well-placed online advertising is a must have for effectiveness.  What is the objective?  Increase sales of products or services? According to Forrester, thirty percent of online shoppers start at Amazon to research products.  Amazon accounts for more than 19% of all U.S. ecommerce revenue.  So perhaps this is could be a great fit to advertise for some of your clients?  Or perhaps location apps are a better fit for those in the service industry.  Here is a great slideshare presentation on 20 apps that could be the compliment your client’s campaign needs.

It is also important to take into account devices usage statistics, gender and content area when planning for clients.  You need to know where the eyeballs are and how to reach them.

It may seem overwhelming, but when dissecting marketing and optimization step-by-step, effectiveness resides in client-by-client customization.  No two organizations are alike.

What are some of your tactics, tips and tricks?  Please share.

8 Basic Steps for Integrating Social Media Marketing – Forging a Foundation for the Future

Marketing strategies and campaigns have substantially grown in complexity.  Maintaining current content while cultivating branding and engaging audiences is not for the faint of heart.  So how do businesses maximize brand loyalty while elevating comprehensive campaigns through the use of social media visibility without compromising control?

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  1. First and foremost, develop a social media policy.  When you don’t know where to start, look to those who have established policies and start your outline from there.  Check out these policy examples: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, American Red Cross & Starbucks.  Prior to moving forward, let your corporate legal counsel review and edit if necessary.
  2. Through your internal means of employee communication (Newsletter, Intranet, Digital Social Board, etc.…) ask each employee two simple questions. First, ask each to provide a brief description of what they value most about the organization they chose to serve.  And secondly, ask each to provide their level of comfort with social media on a scale of 1 to 10.   Ten illustrates exceptional ability.
  3. Identify a social media team that includes a rep from each department.  These are internal marketing links to the marketing department giving the organization a holistic voice.  (Employee buy-in is paramount to campaign success.)
  4. Utilizing internal feedback, task the marketing team to formulate a comprehensive integrated marketing campaign employing a combination of: PR-Blog(s), video, customer/client/patient testimonies – content, geo initiatives, discount partners like Groupon, social media and gamification.  Remember, each medium needs to be customized based on intended audience and approach and some platforms may not be a good fit.
  5. Minimally, test pilot campaign initiatives with your own team prior to launching them live.  Ideally, launch the campaign using a controlled test segment and employ random sampling to measure penetration and impact.
  6. Fine-tune if necessary prior to campaign launch based on reactive feedback.
  7. Task your whole organization with monitoring campaign initiatives.  Strong public relations and exceptional customer service is everyone’s responsibility from the janitor to the CEO.
  8. Base measurement on a campaign-by-campaign basis deriving from initial strategy and desired outcome.

Corporate Sponsorships: Strategic Marketing or Obligatory Handouts?

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Any marketing team leader or members understand annual budget planning and sponsorship obligations.  Sponsorships are important to relationship building both locally and nationally, all in the name of brand awareness.  That said, how does one introduce intriguing product integration that feels natural and not forced in relation to program content?

A stellar example of who’s getting it right is Volkswagen.  They integrated the Beetle as a Shark Cage two years running.  The unorthodox yet brilliant concept was introduced on-air as a short-form content series allowing viewers a chance to watch as a marine biologist took the Beetle Convertible for a subaquatic road trip. In addition they paired the series with Shark Week “sneak peeks” which offered exclusive looks into the forthcoming Shark Week programming. (Sessions, 2013)

See one of their Youtube promo below:

See the subaquatic road map here!

VW leveraged digital media through an organized, strategic campaign approach.  Their utilization of Vine, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube was cohesive and without doubt, resonated with the audience based on social response.

The lesson here isn’t for marketing departments to fight for multimillion dollar, one month campaign pushes. The lesson here it to be authentic.  VW put their money where their mouth is through monetary support to protect the oceans in a push called Surfrider in conjunction with the Shark Week campaign.  When corruption is everywhere it’s refreshing to see a large corporation with honorable intentions and by judgement of their campaign response, I’m not alone.

About Surfrider – They are a grassroots organization. They’re local in many coastal regions, and operate in 18 countries worldwide.

Quest to Conquer the Unconquerable

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My drive and desire to attain my Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications was a derivative of my professional experience.  I worked in digital information management and corporate healthcare, specifically public relations and advertising.  Due to the rapid evolution of our digital media, I felt ill equipped in creating, managing and growing a unified voice and brand while forging down a blended traditional and digital media approach.  My type-A personality left me needing to learn more both for professional and personal growth and understanding.

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With an ‘A’ equivalent average GPA, I feel successful thus far but I also understand the value of an education is directly based in ones drive to learn and grow.  For me, this extends far past tuition and text books and well into everyday life.  I am constantly reading and researching industry trends.  That said, when discovering  Brian Solis and Jess3’s Conversation Prism above, those overwhelming feelings come rushing back: How do I conquer the unconquerable?

I’ve come to understand that marketing success in utilization and participation happens within the process of customization.  Not an earth shaking observation, I know, but pertinent to help others like me. It’s important to understand that there is no need to be using each and every latest media trend.  Simply said, pick a blend that makes sense within both traditional and digital media outlets and use what works.

Each organization has it’s niche and target demographics.  Taking the desired message to the right target helps to deduce what proper traditional and digital marketing outlets to utilize.  My understanding of information and workflow management paired with my integrated marketing communications understanding blends nicely within this ever evolving world.

Katrina McCullough