From one (former) client side marketing manager to another, here’s something you will already know: Our well known world of marketing has changed. Gone are the days where a TV ad, or ad in the local paper would automatically mean your sales soar! And it’s all down to digital advances, and the changes it has had on consumer behaviour.
Whether that be the end retail customer or B2B. We live in a reactive and immediate world – everything is available at the click of a button, marketing strategy and business messages need to adapt to fit in. Even the trusty Pub Quiz has had to adapt to changing times; questions you can’t Google, Bing or Yahoo. Or a phone ban with bonus points for reporting competitive rule breakers – it can get ugly.
And this change is not a generation thing. This is a true, widespread behavioural change. Who doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account these days? You. Your mom probably. Maybe even your grandparents? Not your little brother though… as apparently “no one uses Facebook these days, Sir” (or so a friend told me as he taught French to a class of teenagers last week)
Whatever the digital medium of choice, it’s made the world smaller, and replaced former lines of contact. Even post is becoming an oddity. You’re far more likely to receive a snapchat.
Again – this isn’t something you don’t already know… even the smallest businesses are tweeting.
However, it’s not just social you need to be abreast of. Yes it’s important, but it’s brief. It’s not the fountain of all knowledge, some sources are subjective, and studies show that although great for instant access, information sourcing tends to come from elsewhere.
Newspapers and magazines still hold trusted ground here, as do many online sites (BBC News, Sky News). Get featured there and you’ve got a great readership and captive audience!
But what if what you’re doing isn’t necessarily news-worthy? Well, that’s ok. In fact, it’s quite normal. And actually, isn’t it more important that those who will deem your messages most important, don’t have any trouble finding you when they are ready to ‘talk’?
This is of particular relevance if you are a small business, trying to get the right share of voice at the right time. This is where a good SEO and blog campaign comes in.
The ROI compared to traditional methods can be impressive; particularly if you’ve got a great team that want to write interesting content. In fact, investment can be free in that case. You can blog / talk about anything – don’t be afraid that what you have to say isn’t relevant. It will be to someone.
You have the freedom here to be as specific or technical as you want. Or just share some of your team’s personality with the world. On our Ricemedia blog for example, you can find a backlink help guide following the Google updates for a bit of DIY support, or some team experiences of attending a national (unashamedly geeky) SEO conference. And we don’t mind who reads what, as long as someone is finding it useful!
It really does apply to everyone. A national engineering or manufacturing company can use a blog to talk about industry advances, new technology and how they’re adapting. Or even best care advice on certain parts that could be weather sensitive. A school can use it to keep their community updated on activities, and bring parents together . Or a florist can use it to share their wealth of knowledge and help their customers not only with picking the perfect bunch, but understanding the etiquette of what to say and do when – during celebration or sympathy.
Think of it like a public service. You might be surprised to know it’s more than likely your local police station may have a blog to keep the local community updated on everything from top stories, officer anecdotes and traffic information. Check out West Midlands Police, they engage their local community brilliantly using blogger content and twitter. They’re even on Snapchat. Very cool.
I could go on.. but the point here is that using your own content to inform is a brilliant way to engage an audience, and generate a sense of trust.
So you’re probably wondering as the SEO experts, how that is relevant here… well it’s simple. People need to find you don’t they?!
We understand for any business, marketing spend is often a luxury – and a little luxury at that. Printed mail drops, posting press ads, radio slots – even signage outside your building – is expensive. And reliant on one key thing; the customer needs to see it, at a time when it’s relevant to them. That’s why, historically working out your ROI and sales conversion on marketing activity can be difficult.
But SEO is different.
Investing in good SEO and reviewing the content on your website to support that, can improve your rankings in Google search. If you’re looking for a restaurant, a service, or local company – you Google it. And I doubt you scroll through pages and pages of results… page 1 is about as far as you’ll go, and more often than not, it’ll be the top 3 ranked that get the most hits.
And that’s where you want your business to rank. But that’s not it; you want to know where they’re going next. Are they contacting you afterwards are you gaining traffic, sales leads? SEO analytics can do that. And it can pitch you against your competition to see where they sit in comparison.
Your content online and within your blog / website will support your ‘keywords’ and the services you want to be known for. You can monitor it, you can adapt seasonally in line with customer mindset – and more importantly, you can own it and react to peaks and troughs far more quickly than if it were print campaign.
Imagine the return on ATL campaigns you do run, if you’re top of the Google charts as standard? It’s a huge support to the impact of any marketing activity. And SEO is adaptable to what you’re doing, or what is relevant to your industry at the time. However changeable that may be.
In the worst case, you could run an expensive campaign or promotion – and even when people are looking for you via search engine, they don’t find you. Instead a competitor crops up. Well that can be tracked too – and rectified on the same day.
Not many print campaigns that can do that for you…. Worth considering when allocating your marketing budget!
Check out our blog and website to see what you can do you help your own site and blogger activity. And if you want more information, or think we can help – contact firstname.lastname@example.org