Archive for January, 2012
According to a report by eMarketer only 14% of senior marketing managers consider their business to be fully integrated with social media. With that in mind, and as the 2012 trends for marketing all refer to the continued growth of social media as a platform, it is vital that marketers have a structure in place to fully benefit from their social offerings.
The most important thing to remember about social is that it might not be suitable for everyone (there I said it!), you don’t have to dive right into a social strategy if your organisation isn’t going to benefit. To see if your company could benefit from a social strategy, and whether that strategy stands a chance at success, we’ve put together this simple checklist:
1. Do you and your company have clear goals for your social strategy?
The more specific your goals the better. It’s a lot easier for the people taking on the task of growing and implementing the strategy if a clear set of goals is awarded to it. Keep in mind why you are doing it. Is it to increase conversion rates, build brand awareness or improve customer service?
2. Do you have the manpower to fully commit?
Social media is about the personal touch. Having a dedicated team providing content and real-time responses will stand you in good stead. Involving people from various areas of the business provides you with greater exposure to a wider audience. Using their collective experience will help to shape the approach going forward, driving an uplift in visits to your site or your blog. In the long run this strategy will yield impressive results.
3. Do you have the content?
The most important part to social media is having the content to ensure you can deliver thought-leadership, build trust and increase credibility. A good place to start is by looking at your existing material and deciding what can be recycled for social. As you create new content it’s important that the material is optimised for social. Use eye-catching headlines and visuals, as well fresh new ideas to make sure your content drives customers to find out more about you.
4. Do you understand where your audience is?
Research at the beginning is essential. There is no point placing all your content on Facebook if all your potential clients are on LinkedIn. Make sure your attention is focused on the right areas.
5. Does your company website engage with new prospects?
It seems like an obvious one but it can so easily be overlooked. It is important that traffic driven to your site can be assessed. Where are the leads coming from? Once you can establish the reasons people are coming to your site, and from where, you can use this information to direct future social strategies. Make sure you have prepared your site beforehand. Make sure it is a site you are proud of, and above all ensure you have a strategy in place for dealing with any lead generation (contact forms for example).
6. Are you able to ensure your social media is useful at every stage of the buying cycle?
It is vital to customer retention that your social brand remains consistent throughout the buying process. Make sure you have steps in place to both monitor and track your customer’s conversations, supplying them with the content they need at the right time.
The bottom line is social media is important to a modern marketing strategy, but done badly it can be damaging. The difference between social media and more traditional marketing is that it takes time to build momentum and provide a visible ROI. However, by making sure you have all the above steps in place you can ensure a great foundation for social marketing success, and by maintaining a long term strategy it can deliver real business benefits.
The ranking position of pages searched by an Internet user is decided by what happens off the page, in the form of links from other sites. The complexity of SEO is getting those links to form organically. The emergence of social media marketing has helped to define a new era of SEO by creating an appealing and natural way for these links to evolve. However, if your content fails to attract these natural links your social media can’t do its job.
So what can be done to enhance your social media and effective SEO? Content, content, content. The more valuable the better. Your content needs to tune into the needs and wants of your target audience. Before you begin writing for SEO understanding your audience is key. Simply asking “What creates value for my customers?” can help to focus your online marketing efforts.
Understanding search engines
Most of us use search engines everyday yet many don’t understand the basics of how they work. Taking a look under the search engine hood and discovering what makes the engines tick is the best way to focus your SEO and achieve the rankings successful businesses need.
Search engines use three techniques to rank your web pages.
Search engine “spiders” are perhaps the most widely recognised search engine tool, they effectively “crawl” around the web sifting through content. These computer codes find information on a web page, “reading” it as they go and following the links from your pages to others.
If your site isn’t “crawable” then your ranking capacity is already disadvantaged. As search engine spiders crawl the links of your site, they make copies of the pages – and using additional analysis – give your site a score for the page, and the association of the page to certain words.
The search engine spiders regularly return to re-evaluate your content but if it can’t see your content, or doesn’t understand it, it will fail to index you correctly. So with this in mind easily accessible and fast-loading code is vitally important.
The job of the crawling spiders is to not only browse but to also store the content in a database.
This indexing system allows searches to become faster and more efficient, constantly checking how relevant content is to the search terms being used.
The most important element of search is the way in which the relevant results are delivered to users. These occur through complex and closely guarded algorithms. That said they follow a set of rules that allow your content to battle with other content to satisfy a user’s keyword search, delivering what the search engine feels is most relevant.
Effective SEO copywriting
So what can you do to make sure that you’re making the most of your web pages? Well, complicated as it sounds, search engines are relatively simple in their needs. All they require is for the information to be delivered to them in a way that they can understand. The complications arise when you’re trying to deliver keyword friendly and searchable copy with genuine reader appeal. This is where the SEO Copywriter can add significant value to your site. Ensuring that the balance is right is vital to success, of course you have to have research your keywords and phrases, that’s SEO 101, but you also need to remember that the search engines aren’t your customers. Ultimately copy needs to sell and persuade, not just tick the search engine boxes. Do both and the results can be staggering.
Here are our top tips for ensuring your content is optimised:
1. Use research tools
There are many SEO tools and a lot of SEO software available online to help you find the best keywords; Google’s Keyword Tool is a great place to start. You can also give your SEO a boost through Sponsored Ads, paying for design and usability to give you a great start.
2. Be specific
Keywords are key but keyword phrases are just as important, base your keyword terms on geography and specialty, as well as synonyms.
3. Research the popularity of search terms
Pay attention to popularity of search terms associated with your businesses or sector. You can also enhance the success of your search terms by behavioural-targeting and using long tail keywords (a keyword phrase used when the website wants to refine searches to the web page, or when the user is searching for a specific term)
4. Make sure you’re relevant
Your search terms should be highly relevant to your service, product or end goal. Keyword relevance measures how well your keywords match what a potential customer is searching for. By analysing your keywords through online tools you can replace poor-performing keywords with more relevant ones, keeping your web pages featuring highly.
5. Build up content resources
Keyword phrases and search terms are what are valuable to your potential users; use them as a foundation for your content. It’s essential that your content is up-to-date and fresh. Regularly reviewing your content helps search engines pick-up on the date of when a page was last updated, and can give you an opportunity to review and tweak your keywords and phrases.
6. Link, link, link
Search engines are able to analyse the popularity of a site through the number of links back to it. Using this analysis, the ‘spiders’ can discover how pages are related to each other, and in what ways, and because trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites this method provides a vital cycle of sharing that can provide a great way for search engines to identify useful sites.
SEO doesn’t, or shouldn’t, stifle your content. The most effective SEO is when creativity and these tips build a foundation together, creating an easily searchable and valuable site. Getting these simple steps right is a great basis for reaching your target audience more effectively now and in the future.
EMC Corporation, the world’s leading information management company, has appointed independent London agency The Crocodile to lead global campaign development in IT Transformation and Big Data, following an international five-way pitch.
The Crocodile has been an EMC roster agency for some years, participating in project-based campaigns at global, EMEA and UK level. The pitch, which took place in late December, has coincided with the creation by EMC of a new internal campaign team with a brief to drive EMC growth in the rapidly developing ‘IT as a service’ market. The win hands The Crocodile a key strategic agency role working alongside campaign teams in Boston and London.
EMC’s pitch brief required a fully integrated results-based approach using digital, social, email and direct mail to drive leads through to sales qualification via an internal CRM platform. Additionally, participating agencies were required to demonstrate clear understanding and experience of the global technology market and the dynamics of both direct and indirect sales channels.
“Working with EMC plays to our core strengths as an agency,” explains Adam Wooff, founding partner and managing director of The Crocodile. “We bring informed strategic focus and cut-through creativity to the table, along with a clear perspective on the mix of activities that will genuinely impact the buying behaviour of EMC’s customers and prospects. These days there’s simply no room for tokenistic marketing – anything we do has to prove relevance, tie in to sales activity and make a measurable contribution.”
Chris Blaik, senior director, Global Campaigns at EMC commented, “The Crocodile has a proven track record in not just building world class, award winning campaigns but an ability to truly understand the go-to-market priorities of our business and channel, crucial to driving value in today’s end to end environment”
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