For those of you who haven’t already heard, Google in late June acquired mDialog – a video advertising firm that specializes in helping large media companies measure and deliver video content to a wide range of connected devices. The implications of this purchase seem to be quite clear. Google’s looking beyond the PC to other platforms; it’s hoping to expand its large marketing arm to smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles.
That isn’t all Google’s looking to do – there’s a bit more to this purchase. Continue reading →
As Google strives to improve its algorithms and make content more relevant to the user, social networks gain more and more importance in determining how your pages rank online. How often people talk about your brand, how often they share your articles, how often they like your posts; all of these factors play an important role in how well you’re going to do (though true to form, Google’s remained fairly tight-lipped about just how important).
One thing should be clear: if content is king, then social media is most definitely queen. There was a time when I would have argued that not every organization has something to gain from going social. I think, at least in this context, that such a time is long since passed. At this point, it’s not a question of “if” you should fit social media into your SEO strategy – it’s a question of “how.” Continue reading →
In years past, Google was committed to bringing you the best search results, regardless of who owned those results. As the company has expanded beyond search, Google has increasingly promoted their own Web properties in search results. Nowhere is that change so obvious as Google+. Much more than simply another social network, Google+ has become an increasingly integral part of Google’s overall strategy, including how search results are ranked. Continue reading →
Authenticity is everything; If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
The above quote is a paraphrasing of a line sometimes attributed to Groucho Marx, and sometimes to others. It’s an important lesson for businesses to keep in mind when they are interacting with their customers online.
Many would say that it’s authenticity itself that matters, but anyone who has used the Internet for longer than five minutes knows that one does not have to be truly authentic to have a positive effect. Although, if a business can manage to be authentic, sincere, and genuine in its communications with its customers, so much the better. Continue reading →
Guest posting and corporate blogging have become an essential part of SEO and inbound marketing. If you’ve not written blog posts regularly, it can seem like a straightforward exercise, but when you’re looking at a blank page and a pile of notes, it’s not quite so simple to pull it together into a effective SEO package that is maximally sharable and readable for the intended audience.
We’re going to have a look at a few actionable tips and techniques for structuring a blog post to help marketers and SEOs create great content. We’ll be drawing a few lessons from journalists, who are masters at conveying information concisely and succinctly, but we’ll be modifying that advice to make it more applicable for SEOs and marketers generally.
We’re going to assume that you’re on top of the research, have your market personas in order, and know what you want to say, but just need a little help organizing and structuring it on the page.
For traditional advertisers, mobile is a bit of a head-scratcher. Display advertising revenue is in decline generally, but with the restricted screen real estate on mobile devices, there’s not a lot of space for advertising. Forms of advertising that rely on spatial dimensions, like banner ads, are not well suited to mobile platforms. Temporal advertising is more successful. That is, advertising that takes advantage of a viewer’s time, using the whole of the mobile display. Examples include interstitial ads in text (as seen in apps like Flipboard), or the pre-roll advertising that has become ubiquitous in popular videos.
These forms of advertising are missing a trick. They often don’t aspire to virality; instead, they piggyback on the virality of other content, taking advantage of the popular rather than targeting popularity for themselves. However, while users will tolerate a small portion of larger screens being taken up with advertising, they are much less willing to put up with interruptive advertising. Platforms that put a barrier between consumers and the object of their desire create an instant moment of irritation in their users. Content marketing, if done well, creates the object of desire. Brands become the providers of the object of value, rather than the irritants that users have to pass through to reach their goal. For that reason, inbound marketing, and content marketing in particular, is strongly advantaged in the mobile space. Continue reading →
Many small businesses find getting to grips with social media to be a troublesome aspect of online promotion. They often oversell and alienate potential followers, go overboard with sharing to the point of spamming, or set up a Facebook page or Twitter account, send a tweet or two, and then completely forget about it.
Social media for businesses is a marketing tool, and as with all marketing tools its use has to be consonant with overarching business goals. But, it’s not as simple as filling a page with products and declaiming how awesome you and your team are.
In creative writing classes, students are often told that the number one rule is “show, don’t tell”. The same rule can be applied to social media. Brands need to demonstrate their value to potential followers and sharers, rather than declaring it in overwrought PR speak or heavy product promotion. Authenticity is key. Continue reading →
When it comes to website design, speed and simplicity are key. It doesn’t take much for users to become confused or frustrated and abandon their intended action.
This applies particularly where user registration is concerned. Asking users to enter large amounts of data, or even minimal data in a confusing interface, can lead to users bouncing. For websites, that means lost conversions.
Social logins offer a method of drastically simplifying this process.
Social logins use existing social media network log-in data for a single sign-on process. The user simply chooses which network they would like to be associated with their new account, approves the login with their choice of social network, and that’s it (unless there is specific data that needs collecting). Social logins can drastically reduce the friction of the registration process. Continue reading →
Content curation is the collection and sharing of interesting, informative, or entertaining content from within a particular niche. It’s a great way of establishing a reputation as an authority and gathering followers with a particular set of interests.
For businesses, content curation helps demonstrate expertise, is less expensive than content creation, and perhaps most importantly, contributes towards cultivating relationships with potential clients, customers, vendors, and partners.
In an age where social media and content marketing are blossoming, the sheer amount of content out there — of vastly variable quality — makes finding just the right material to share a potentially time-consuming endeavor. Continue reading →