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Digital Strategy

The Question: “What should I include in my content marketing?”

Here are the things that YOU SHOULD be including in your content marketing efforts.

You don’t just need content, you need Awesome Content!

Developing relevant content does not have to be a difficult. It doesn’t require any special tools, secret or magic. It all begins with understanding who your prospects & customers are, how they behave and what they crave.

The formula:
Useful x Consumable x Inspired = Innovative Content

This process begins with the creation of a piece of a REAL IDEA, Not some 2,000 word “evergreen” piece or ebook. Something Awesome.
Many marketers will tell you this should be a 50 to 100 page ebook or massive how to guide. The problem is most people can’t handle it. Big = Overwhelming.

Everyone wants to believe there is a magic bullet. So create the Magic Bullet!

Highly valuable & easily consumed content is the gift that keeps on giving. This content will attract links, generate traffic and build brand awareness.

Once your content is created, blast it EVERYWHERE: Company pages, email, blog, sponsored updates, Display ads, SlideShare, PPC, Twitter, etc.

Simple Execution
In many cases it is easy to develop a set of goals, but a plan is specific, executed over time and measurable. After determining what your Big Idea is going to be, write that out into a series or digestable snapshots that can easily be distributed over time. This can include videos, infographics, blog posts, 3rd party posts, podcasts, etc.

Week 1: Publish & Schedule Your Content
Week 2: Conduct a Webinar
Week 3: Run a Contest
Week 4: Lead a Twitter Chat
Week 5: Do an interview: On TV, Online, At a Conference, etc.

While all of this is running your content is being promoted though influencer outreach, promoted posts, email, sponsored updates, paid search, retargeting, organic social, organic search, etc.

Everything gets tagged and tracked for performance evaluation and follow up.

Your Blog
Make your blog content diverse, relevant and structured.

Monday: Case Studies, Statistics / Infographics, Industry (35% time spent)
Tuesday: Strategic Research & Analysis, Points of View, Thought Leadership (20% time spent)
Wednesday: How-To Posts, Guest Blogging, Peer Content (25% time spent)
Thursday: Bold Points of View / Strong Opinion, Challenger (5% time spent)
Friday: Light-hearted, Cultural, Funny Amusing (15% time spent)

A Quick View
SEO – Lays the groundwork
Social – Fuels the content
Content – Fuels the demand

Winners:

  • Consistently deliver content that their target wants to consume & share
  • PR efforts guide their vision as a leader in the space
  • Deliver amazing experiences on and offline
  • Build a thriving community

Make a plan, make it Asesome, deploy, track & measure, optimize, close new business and WIN!

And this is why we are considered the best content marketing agencies in St. Louis.

The job of marketers is becoming more and more complicated.
We now have access to so much data on customer insights via analytics tools and are expected to know how to measure and what the data means.
Recently a study from Forrester shows how organizations successfully use marketing analytics tools to develop relevant & compelling customer experiences.

Consumers expect to find what they want from their smartphones, tablets and laptops at any time from anywhere. These behaviors and commonly referred to micro-moments give marketers more opportunities to connect and engage. They also allow marketers to identify valuable insights about consumer behavior.
Effective marketing measurement is is the key to success here.

To understand the challenges we marketers face in measuring performance and creating the technology & tactic recommendations, Google commissioned Forrester to perform a survey of 150 marketing, analytics and information technology executives. The research shows how successful marketers are able to leverage analytics tools effectively so they make the most of consumer interactions.

Key findings

  • Marketers must be able to link marketing performance to business results. Of the survey respondents who were identified as “sophisticated marketers”, 53% said they adhere to well-established KPI’s & metrics that tie directly to business objectives. These marketers work with companies that are at least 3X more likely to hit their goals than other organizations.

  • The right tools are critical to success. 26% of marketers surveyed believed that their marketing analytics tools are well-integrated & work seamlessly together. Contrast that with marketers with well-integrated tools who are more likely to outperform revenue goals.

  • Marketers that employ complete itegrated marketing analytics platforms see an increase in performance and results. Smart marketers who deploy a complete integrated marketing analytics stack of five or more tools are 39% more likely to see improvement in the overall performance of their marketing efforts.

To Download and learn more about improving marketing performance with analytics, check out the full study, “How Marketing Analytics Increases Business Performance” by filling out the form below.

Download "How Marketing Analytics Increases Business Performance"

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Instagram confirmed last Tuesday that it is adding an algorithm that will reorder posts & videos users see in their feeds.

Commentors from Instagram stated that the posts will be shown to you…

“based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

The globally popular photo-sharing app didn’t say when the new algorithm will go into effect, but The New York Times, reported that the changes will roll out slowly with a small set of tests that affect only a “single-digit percentage of users.”

Instagram now has 400 million monthly users and makes sense as to why they are making similar changes to what Facebook made in 2009. According to Instagram, users only see 30 percent of posts in their feeds.

Some sources reportedly believe that this is a sign to advertisers that brands will have to pay to be seen just like on Facebook, but the difference with Instagram is that they do not have isolated brand accounts vs personal accounts. They could potentially figure this out algorithmically, but tha would be very daunting since there is such a proliferation of personal brands leveraged for business.

If you are interested in social media or content marketing please contact us by calling or filling out the form below.

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Google officially announced today that starting in May 2016 they will begin significantly ranking better Mobile Friendly websites and penalizing those sites that are not responsive or have mobile versions of the website.

Check out Google’s announcment here: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/03/continuing-to-make-web-more-mobile.html

They started ranking mobile websites higher last year and now it isn’t an option.  You must have a mobile friendly website or face the consequence of lower mobile search rankings.

From the #1 St. Louis SEO Agency!

These changes have been taking place over the past few weeks, but they are not very solid.

We wanted to give you a clear picture of the new Google SERP changes that could have a massive impact for search marketers.

First, let’s look at the old Google SERPs.
You would find typically 3 text ads above the 10 organic search results and 8 text ads down the right side rail of the page.
You can see how this SERP orientation looks below.

Old Google SERPs

Now let’s look at the New Google SERPs.

In the new Google SERPs layout we find 4 texts ads above the 10 organic search results and 3 text ads below the organic search results at the bottom of the page. NO text ads down the right side rail of the page.
You can see how this SERP orientation looks below.

New Google SERPS March 2016

Why is this a big deal?
There are a number of reasons.
1. We now no longer have ad positions 8 – 11 on the first page of the search results. While these positions may not have produced high volume returns, they definitely contributed to incremental and profitable revenue for many companies.

2. With a 4th text ad above the organic results it pushes the organic search results even farther down the page. This is probably one of the largest hits to organic search since the last major algorithm change!

Will this layout remain in place?
Not sure. The data on Google’s end will determine that.
If usage remains consistent by advertisers & consumers and ad revenue increases slightly, then it likely will remain.

What are your thoughts on the new Google SERP changes?

Check out a video explaining this in more detail.

You have probably thought about starting a Podcast to Market your Business or Organization.

This is why I put out the Business Guide to Podcasting.  Keep Reading.

But inevitably questions bubble up like…

  • Will this help the company?
  • How do I start?
  • How much time will it take?
  • How much will it cost?

These are all valid questions and the simple answer is that Yes, it will help your company and for everything else it varies based on how much you want to do, how long, what level of quality, frequency, how agressive you want to market it, etc.

I recently put an article out on LinkedIn that answers all of these questions in depth with examples.

Check out the ultimate Business Guide to Podcasting here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/businesses-guide-podcasting-john-bracamontes

 

We work on all podcast production and marketing with BIGWIDESKY here in Clayton, MO!

The Only St. Louis Podcast Agency.

A 2013 study calculated that over 500 websites are created each minute.

That is a HUGE number.

Let’s be conservative and say that today in 2016, 75 of those new websites are being created and are scheduled to replace an existing website every single day.

That is a very large number of sites putting themselves at risk!

 

How are they putting themselves at risk you say?

 

Well, let us give you an example.

 

Imagine you have a website that looks so 2005.

You want to update the look, the copy and make it responsive.

All with the goal of turning more visitors into customers.

These are Awesome goals!

Let’s say your site has an average conversion rate compared to the industry and 75% of your site traffic comes from Organic Search.

 

HERE IS THE THREAT!

When migrating your website in most cases, your URL structure will change.

This will make all of your old URL’s or links to your site break and generate either a 404 error or some other server error.

If that happens:

  • Visitors are very unhappy and will leave your site

  • Google will penalize you for a bad user experience

  • Your rankings will drop

  • You could be dropped from the search engines completely for a while

 

What can you do to FIX This?

Map your current website URLs to your new website URLs

Create 301 redirects (using .htaccess or a plugin or whatever you use choose to create this)

Test the redirects to make sure they are correct

Submit a new Sitemap to the search engines

This is the Number 1, Most Critical Step in Preserving Your Website’s Current Authority, Visibility and Integrity.

If you don’t, then you will most definitely use the acronym FML in a tweet, text, post, etc. soon after.

 

Social Media is a must do when it comes to growing a business, communicating with customers, acquiring new customers and becoming a real brand.  Many companies are not doing it, Many companies are “kind of” doing it, few companies are doing it successfully and only a small fraction of businesses are running social media at the highest level.

We break out Social Media Marketing effort into 3 Phases.

  1. Table Stakes (thanks to Eliot Frick from BIGWIDESKY for this name)

  2. Successful

  3. Top One Percent

*We don’t even consider not doing it a phase.  If your company is not on Social Media, please call us right now, at this very moment so we can get you up and live on social.  Every second you are not online and up on social media the quicker your company will die.

 

Table Stakes

When it comes to Social Media Marketing there is a minimum level of effort that must take place.

Having live profiles that contain consistent and accurate company information, imagery, posting content regularly at some frequency and linking to these profiles from other places on the web including your website, other social profiles, email, etc.

This is easy and will give you a boost in the search engines, overall customer visibility, website traffic, foot traffic, leads and sales.

Example Table Stakes Social Media Profile

The Dallas Furniture Bank

https://www.facebook.com/DallasFurnitureBank/

https://twitter.com/dalfurnbank

The Dallas Furniture Bank has consistent and accurate information, while posting regularly.

There is not an a large amount of engagement and obviously not running any paid promotion.

This is fine for many companies and should be getting done, but could be getting done in a more significant way by moving into the Successful Social Media Marketing phase.

 

Successful

To be running at the Successful Social Media Marketing phase, you must be doing everything in the Social Media Table Stakes phase plus driving consistent meaningful engagement through strategic organic & paid tactics as well as relevant strategic content (copy, images, videos, documents, etc.).

Example Successful Social Media Profile

The Watering Bowl

https://www.facebook.com/TheWateringBowl/

https://www.instagram.com/thewateringbowl/

The Watering Bowl has consistent and accurate information, while posting regularly.

There is good engagement, they respond, comment, message and are running some paid promotion.

This where most companies should be, but there is still one more level that your business could be reaching, it is the Top One Percent Social Media phase.

 

Top One Percent

To be in the Top One Percent of companies on Social Media you must be everything from the 1st and 2nd phases, plus creating a massive amount of content, promoting accurately through all means possible, engaging like your life depends on it and having passionately dedicated resources to work on this 100% of the time.

 

Example Top One Percent Social Media Profile

Red Bull

https://www.facebook.com/redbull/

https://twitter.com/redbull

https://www.instagram.com/redbull/

Red Bull does everything on social media, all the time, in every corner of the web and is engaging, relevant and passionate.  Strive to be like Red Bull when it comes to the social media part of growing your business.