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Have you heard the back and forth on how Data is marketing’s savior or how Data is way overvalued in Marketing?

On both sides of the debate, there are many opinions and strong feelings about how important it is to decision making, composition, design, user experience, etc.

Here’s the thing…

Everything is Data!

Seriously think about it.

  • The reason you don’t or do like a specific food… DATA!
  • That feeling you get in your gut when you know something is right or wrong… DATA!
  • The Best Practice you tout as being so knowledgeable on… DATA!

Emotions, likes, dislikes, associations, beliefs, etc. are all crafted from experiences and historic data that form these things for you as a person or business.

You can take that data at face value or read in between the lines to solve problems, create efficiencies, innovate, become self-aware, understand an audience, etc.
This information is extraordinarily important as it concerns decision making or creation at all levels, in all environments across all mediums.

See how we use data in our approach to content marketing here.

For the 18 years that I (John Bracamontes) have done work online and in the digital marketing space, not once had I ever submitted work to be recognized as a job well done.
My opinion was that the work spoke for itself, because I drove leads, and leads meant new sales, and new sales meant higher revenue for my clients.

 

“Why Would I Need An Award To Show Greatness?”

 
Is how I thought.

I’ve seen over the years other agencies share in the successes of their teams and genuinely promote how great their clients are, which began to soften my perspective on the benefit of awards and recognition for the work outside of its result.

I realized that uniting with a sense of pride on what you do for others, recognizing the value and celebrating together is massively powerful.

So this year, Acumen submitted one entry in the St. Louis Business Marketing Association’s B2B Marketing Excellence Awards.

That night the team was recognized for the work we did (and do), we had fun and celebrated together, celebrated with others and set a precedent for the future of the agency.

No longer will we hide our wins and pride for the value we bring to those who choose to work with us!

And Thanks to Kopytek.com for being such an amazing group to work with!

In July 2016, Smartphone apps accounted for 50% of all U.S. digital media time!
This means that future months are going to be higher than 50% and solidifies the strength mobile has in the United States.

Another report showed the top 15 apps (by visits) in July 2016, which is another thing that really got us excited as Digital Marketers.
Check out the list below and we’ll explain why.

Top 15 Apps by Visits in July 2016

  • Facebook: 149,657,000
  • Facebook Messenger: 131,609,000
  • YouTube: 115,351,000
  • Google Maps: 100,347,000
  • Google Search: 90,260,000
  • Google Play: 88,625,000
  • Gmail: 80,461,000
  • Pandora Radio: 76,781,000
  • Instagram: 73,546,000
  • Amazon Mobile: 71,427,000
  • Apple Music: 68,002,000
  • Apple Maps: 60,956,000
  • Pokemon Go: 54,535,000
  • Snapchat: 54,113,000
  • Pinterest: 51,291,000

Why this is so great for Digital Marketers

You’ll notice that Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Gmail, Instagram, Snpachat and Pinterest are all listed.
Obviously, the high use of social media platforms is huge for marketers. Social is strong and continuing to grow.
But the app use of Google Search is massive for search & content marketing and Google Maps is huge for local search & optimization

YouTube remaining high on the list is a strong signal that video continues to be a huge preference for users across the U.S.

Pokemon Go is a little bit of an anomaly since it just launched and got so much PR hype, but still great news for mobile, marketers, apps and gaming.

Even more interesting is that these apps are platform gateways.
Few on the list are transactional or solely functional, they connect you to networks of people and information.

Our Perspective

Very happy to see these numbers and as Digital Marketers we are very excited about the future of what we get to create and optimize!
Platform integration will be mandatory, user behavior will be easier to measure, interactions can be even more personalized and those same interactions can be created more intimately.

Sources
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/Smartphone-Apps-Are-Now-50-of-All-US-Digital-Media-Time-Spent
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/Pokemon-GO-Captures-55-Million-Mobile-Users-in-July-Ranking-13th-Among-All-Apps

I’m going to make this a very short article.

I continue to talk to companies who are not seeing results from their “content marketing” or the agencies doing that work for them.

And EVERY TIME it is due to the same thing.
The content is not being distributed effectively.

In fact, much of the time that content isn’t being distributed at all!

Here’s the Thing About Content Marketing Distribution

Many companies and agencies still believe that you can simply create sexy website or write well crafted blog posts and it will generate new business for them.
This is WRONG!

While a sexy website and well formed content is useful when applied correctly, if you do not distribute this to those who will benefit from it most, then you wasted your time and money.

That’s it.
Your content MUST be delivered multi-channel to ensure visibility, awareness, conversion and revenue.

Go-To Distribution Channels

  • Website (optimized for search engines and users)
  • Blog Posts
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Paid Search
  • Video
  • Print
  • Streaming Radio
  • and more

Wherever your prospects are, you must be there.

Quit just making pretty looking & sounding things and start putting it to work.

What we see over and over again are people and agencies speaking on how easy SEO is and minimizing it by only talking about the most basic aspects of both SEO and overall Digital Marketing.

Why is this?
It definitely makes it easier to sell, but is that the only reason?

We dug in and realized that the reason most people minimize how important the tactics within Digital Marketing actually are (including SEO) is because they SUCK at Execution. They cannot do the work well.

It’s easy to say you should be strategic and speak to the right people at the right time online, but when it comes to actually pulling that off, most fail and fail hard.

This is where we differentiate in that our execution is deep and drives massive results.

Our advice to everyone is to Quit talking about Digital Marketing like you know something if you can’t back it up with execution.

Talk to us!

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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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!

Acumen Studio would like to introduce you to our Newest Rockstar Karen Huelsman!

Karen has been performing SEO for over eight years and worked on hundreds of sites. You will usually find her reading about the latest SEO trends and the newest marketing techniques. Her favorite books to read are inspirational and motivating books. She is currently a member on the Southwestern Illinois College Web Advisory Committee and speaks at the college on SEO & marketing.

In her spare time, she volunteers for the Carlyle, IL food pantry. In the summer, you can find her at the lake.

Her hobbies are:  photography, traveling, boating and fishing (“especially, when I catch more than my husband” -Karen).

We are so excited that Karen is on board and Killing all things SEO!