“Relevance is a search engine’s holy grail. People want results that are closely connected to their queries.”
This quote is from Marc Ostrofsky, an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist and New York Times Best Selling Author. When it comes to online marketing, whether it be SEO, social media or paid advertising, being relevant is absolutely essential.
Online marketers want their Facebook posts to get hundreds if not thousands of comments, their tweets to get retweeted for the world to see and their search engine queries to catapult towards the top of Google.
Nobody wants to be standing in the corner at a New Year’s Eve party without having someone to kiss at midnight. The same can be said for digital marketers. They crave attention and in this competitive industry, having your content and website remaining relevant is a must if you want to succeed.
If you follow the 6 crucial steps to stay relevant in the digital marketing landscape in 2015, online marketers will be seeking your expertise on how you gained so much ground on the competition.
1. Promoted Facebook posts
The Wall Street Journal recent ran an article saying that brands are wasting money on Facebook and Twitter. They state that less than 0.1% of fans and followers actually interact with each post on average from a brand.
Facebook announced last week that another tweak to its news feed algorithm will soon make it even less likely brands’ unpaid posts will be actually be seen by users.
Don’t try and fight Facebook’s algorithm. Even though it is extremely frustrating for marketers who produce compelling content, if you can’t beat them, join them! If brands want to stay relevant, they will need to pay money to promote a post. Even boosting your post for $5 can make a big difference in regards to the overall interaction!
2. Social media brand advocates
If a consumer loves your brand, reach out to this person to see if they will help promote your company! A dental practice in Dayton encouraged its patients to make a post on their own Facebook page about their experience. The message that they were trying to convey was that the dental practice provided its customers with a caring experience.
This instantly generated referrals to the practice from friends of friends seeing these Facebook posts! Reaching out to brand advocates to see if they will help promote your brand is a no-brainer for 2015.
3. Google+ reviews
In a similar fashion to reaching out to brand advocates to promote content, the same strategy can be formulated to obtain positive reviews. Reviews are a source of truth that will live on the web indefinitely. It is amazing how many companies don’t even get reviews for their Google+ page, which is the first search result that will appear when people type in a branded search query.
Reach out to your customers to see if they will leave a review on your Google+ page.
An attorney in Tampa implemented a review strategy and within 3-months, they generated 17 Google reviews and have the most Google+ reviews in the Tampa area! If you focus on reviews in 2015, it will benefit your website and brand for many years to come.
4. Digital PR
There should be someone on your staff dedicating 5-10 hours per week on digital PR outreach in 2015. What exactly is Digital PR? It is reaching out to industry specific websites and making a pitch about your company with the hopes that these websites will do a write-up on your brand.
If these industry related websites end up linking back to your website, it will have huge SEO benefits. Additionally, the readership on industry related websites could help your business generate more leads! A pizza restaurant in Cincinnati constantly gets food blogs to write about the fresh new concept of creating your own pizza. This has resulted in great Digital PR in the perfect publications!
5. Mobile SEO
2015 is going to be a huge year for “Mobile SEO.” Google recently announced that they are experimenting with special ranking features for mobile-friendly sites. It is going to be critical for businesses to optimize their mobile site for SEO so they can rank well on this platform.
Making sure that your website is mobile friendly and optimized for SEO will have a huge impact on search results not only this year, but for many years down the road.
6. Digital marketing audit
Digital marketers tend to think that they are always right. Don’t be stubborn in 2015; if you are willing to listen to an outside source, it could open amazing opportunities.
We recently had a phone call with a digital marketing agency in San Diego. They are on the opposite side of the country so we are not in direct competition. We decided to conduct an audit on each of our websites and social media channels and then have a 1-hour follow-up phone call to discuss the findings.
It was absolutely amazing how much we were able to learn by having an outside expert interpret our various marketing channels. In 2015, have someone else conduct a deep dive into your digital marketing channels. This process will take 2-3 hours but you will gain invaluable insight!
Staying relevant on the digital frontier will require an open mind, digital outreach, brand advocates and some money behind your social media posts. Follow these steps and your brand will be extremely relevant in 2015.
In the introduction of this guide divided into five sections, I’ve talked about how blogging supports your business goals and why it should be a key component in driving revenue.
Before jumping into the first step of the process, let’s take an overview at what we have to do.
The process of generating leads with blogging starts with knowing the target audience. “I hear this everyday… could you skip it”
I could skip mentioning it in this post, but I like to learn from mistakes and telling other people how to avoid them. Honestly, I have written enough untargeted content in the early stages of my work at Marketizator and I must admit that it’s costly and frustrating.
You should also be sure that you attract good traffic to your website.
People who have an interest into solving a problem or exploring an opportunity with your product is good traffic. Bad traffic will affect your limited resources of time and energy – if it hasn’t already done it. Bad traffic means attracting the non-consumers of a product, the ones who have no interest in buying or using it ever.
3 simple tasks to blogging success
To see things more clear, here are the three tasks that you need to accomplish to start generating leads with business blogging.
Attract traffic to the website
Convince people to subscribe to an email list
Convince subscribers to convert into leads
And that’s all.
Only these three activities should concern you. Any other distraction has to dissappear from your way to be sure that you don’t consume energy and time on things that don’t matter.
Your efforts has to be targeted to moving the users from a stage to another.
The four stages presented above in the image correspond to your marketing efforts. As you see, people who come to your blog from various sources – social media, guest posting, search – are nothing else than strangers. They know nothing about the company, but somehow your content has attracted them to read more.
Once arrived on the company’s blog, strangers become visitors. You should know that Google Analytics is tracking visits, not visitors. A new visit is recorded each time the user is away from the website for at least 30 minutes or returns to the website using a different source than the previous one. For example, if someone arrives on your blog, read the content, leave and return after 30 minutes, you have two visits, but a single user who has made two visits.
The content marketers goal
The content marketer’s goal is to transform the visitor into a subscriber. The aim is getting the email address, being 100% sure that the user wants to give it in return for something valuable to him.
Finally, through various marketing tactics such as funnel optimization, email marketing and landing page optimization, the subscriber will become a qualified lead. That’s the final status that the content marketer has to “offer” to the user who once was just a stranger. Depending on the business model, a lead might mean something different for you: the user who is signing up for a free trial, a demo of the product, a series of paid courses, etc.
I would say that the first step into the process of generating leads for a business with blogging would be data analysis. But this guess is based on the fact that the marketer has already defined his goals and target audience. Otherwise, looking into data without knowing where you want to get is obsolete. Therefore, let’s be sure that you clearly defined goals for your blogging efforts.
1. Creating goals and conversion funnels in Google Analytics
When we’re talking about goals, we often refer to desirable things that we want to achieve. When our goals are not defined clearly, we cannot target our efforts efficiently because we don t know exactly where we want to get. The reason almost all of the career coaches encourage people to draw or write down their goals. Visualization helps us achieve goals.
In our case, we have to divide goals into three types:
Business goals: I will increase sales by 30%
Marketing goals: I will increase the number of paid accounts to 1,000
Website goals: I will generate 5,000 leads using inbound marketing tactics
This is just the first step into defining goals. In this article, I ll focus on the website’s goals, more exactly on creating goals for the blog. This is an easy task at the first sight, but you may have some trouble when Google Analytics is asking you to add a URL for each goal to be tracked or marked as “completed”. Let me show you.
Log in the Google Analytics account and then go to Admin, View, Goals, and CreateNew Goal.
I have chosen the “Sign Up Goal” only for the sake of the example. With this type of goal you can track the number of subscribers to the Blog’s Newsletter or any email list that has a free offer in the backside.
The last step is adding the URL of the destination. That would be the Thank You Page for subscribing to the Newsletter. You just have to copy the URL from your email service provider (Mailchimp, Aweber, etc.) and paste it in this section:
This is the procedure of creating goals for your blog. If you have multiple lead generation campaigns, you just have to create goals for each of them using the exact simple procedure.
Since you’re reading this blog post, I suppose that your ideal customers need to take a certain number of steps to give you money. Funnels help with seeing the process more clearly and knowing exactly what steps could cause confusion or anxiety to the customers on their path. Therefore, we could use Google Analytics to visualize our goals and track them to achieve positive results more easily. When you know where the problem is, you know where to act.
You can start creating a conversion funnel by enabling the “Funnel” option in the Goal description section when you create Goals.
2. Analyzing the current situation
Once you figured where what you wanted to achieve with your blog and visualized the goals, you can proceed to analyze the current situation. The outcome of analyzing data in Google Analytics has to show you where you have to improve, optimize, change something to achieve your goals. Data analysis starts with identifying the conversion rate of your blogging efforts.
More exactly, you need to figure:
How many blog visitors converted to subscribers
How many subscribers converted to leads
In this case, there are two possible situations.
You have already set up goals and funnels in Google Analytics. In this case, you’ll have to go to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages. Here, you have to look at Conversions > All Goals and analyze how many people completed the goal. Analyze the top pages that count for 80% of the traffic. These pages are the ones that include the keywords and phrases that generate the largest amount of traffic to the website.
You haven’t set up yet goals and funnel. If you’re doing it right after reading this post, you will have to wait until Google Analytics tracks visits and conversions.
Until now we have talked about the basic procedures that you need to follow in the early stages of generating leads with blogging. It is very common that marketers dive into more advanced tactics to get leads for their business without being sure that they have covered basic aspects such as goal tracking.
Once you have a clear idea about your goals and the way you’re going to achieve them, you have to be sure that you haven’t skipped something important on the way. The missed steps into the process of generating leads with blogging is making the keyword research and, then, the editorial calendar. Here are a few tips about these two planning activities:
Find a balance between the general words and the more specific ones. General keywords are costly, because your competitors cover them too. You have to place yourself in the ideal customer’s mind and think about what would you search for if you have to solve a problem or explore an opportunity.
Test your guesses using the Google’s search bar. Type the identified keywords and look at the first results, both organic and paid.
Test the performance of the chosen words with a Google AdWords Campaign
The role of the keyword research is to help with targeting your content better. Therefore, once you finished doing the research, you have to come up with the so called “long tail words” which are extensions of the target keywords. Let me give you an example from Marketizator. The primary target keyword is conversion rate optimization. Obviously, we couldn’t rely on this keyword because is overly competitive (costly). Therefore, we came up with a list of long tail keywords. One of them is the customer acquisition cost, which is included in the area of conversion rate optimization.
The keyword research has to be followed by creating the editorial calendar. Having a list of long tail words (I recommend using Excel sheets) you can start creating headlines for future blog posts. In our example, “customer acquisition cost” has become “How to lower the customer acquisition cost in # easy steps”. You can proceed with this tactic until you reach the end of the list.
Once you have a list of 20 headlines (they don’t have to be exact in this stage), use a WordPress plugin or other tool to schedule them for the next weeks.
You won’t have to worry anymore about what to write and not even confront the blank screen block that any blogger has faced at least once in their lifetime.
PRO Tip: Plugins may decrease the speed at which your website is loading. If you want to avoid it, use Google Calendar(it’s free) to schedule your posts.
Set up goals in Analytics
Create conversion funnels
Analyze how you do against the goals
Make a keywords research
Create an editorial calendar and stick to it
In the next post we’ll get in more advanced tactics that will help with generating leads for your business. I’ll cover one of my favorite topics in online marketing, studying the consumer’s behavior.
You’ll learn how to use surveys to get information that you couldn’t find out with other methods and how to use the insights to create targeted content and distribute it more efficiently.
Author: Elena Dobre is learning about digital marketing, business and life at Marketizator.com, the complete conversion rate optimization tool. She plays the role of the content strategist, but she’s also experiencing with CRO and lead generation. She enjoys discovering new online tools, hacks, brilliant minds and beautiful souls. Follow her on Twitter @HDobre.
Blogging is not just about content, publishing posts and hoping for the best. Done well with the right structure it can be a powerful portal for revenue.
In a previous post on this blog, I have analyzed how to collect email addresses using interactive pop ups. It made me realize that this advanced tactic may sound a bit complicated to people who are just getting started with business blogging. But I think that a complete guide to show how can the content marketer generate leads with blogging for an online business would make more sense.
This piece of content is an introduction to a series of five posts that will go through the phases of lead generation such as creating a framework, using surveys, optimizing landing pages and much more.
Here are the steps and insights into generating leads with business blogging.
Now let’s start at the the beginning.
There are two key business models that operate well with lead generation using content marketing tactics:
Service-based businesses: internet marketing firms, agencies and freelancers
Software as a Service (SAAS) businesses that offer products for client side marketers or agencies
Business blogging is an inbound marketing tactic used to generate leads. The lead could be defined as a person who is filling out the form to get in touch with an expert or to require a service. On the other hand, the lead for a SaaS business could be a user who is signing up to try the product for free for a limited period.
How does business blogging support business objectives?
Business blogging is a marketing tactic used to increase the online visibility of the company. This tactic involves using a blog to inform people about the company’s activity, values, mission and products. It is meant to educate, inform and it also needs a persuasive component too. To become visible on the internet, you need to provide content to let people know that you have something valuable to offer to them.
The benefits of business blogging
#1. Drive traffic to the website
The ultimate goal of business blogging is to generate qualified leads. This process involves driving traffic to the website’s landing pages (e.g.: contact page, sign up page) using inbound marketing tactics.
To get traffic to the company’s website you need to appear in the search results, right? In order to get that, your website’s pages have to get indexed by Google. But how much content can you include in a website? Besides the homepage, pricing page, contact page, about us page you don’t have too many options. The blog is the only solution to provide to Google pages to get indexed. Therefore, you need to create enough content (quantity matters), to post it on a regular basis on the website (freshness) and to convince people to share it (relevancy).
To understand how people get to your website, I’ll sum up the ways visitors arrive on the company’s website:
Direct search: Users type in the search bar your company’s name or brand
Paid search: Visitors are exposed to Ads, either on Google, Facebook or other channels
Organic search: Users arrive on your website because you delivered relevant content that got indexed by Google in front of your competitors
To become relevant for Google, you need to become relevant for your website’s visitors. Direct traffc is the most valuable for a company, but it requires having a strong content strategy. Every new blog post is a chance to get Google to index your website, increase the organic traffic and make people aware of the company’s offering.
#2. Reduce the amount of required content
Besides the company’s blog, there are other marketing channels that could help with getting noticed on the internet: Email, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc. Once again, you need content. Imagine, though, how much effort you would need to invest into creating content for each marketing channel.
The company’s blog help with reducing the quantity of content required to get noticed on the internet and also allows creating targeted content for the social media traffic. Moreover it insures that people are exposed to a unique, commited message about the company’s offering.
I see business blogging as the company’s attempt to tell a story. Like regular bloggers who are writing about their passions, the companies use blogs to let people know what they do, like and expect from this world.
#3. It generates qualified leads
It would be a pity to use the blog only to drive traffic to the website because it allows you to do much more. Once people get to the blog, they can do two things:
Consume one piece of content and leave
Consume one piece of content and request more
It’s in your control if they will leave or stay. To convince them to request more, you need to offer more. That’s why I say that offering free ebooks is efficient to grow an email list. I guess that you don’t want to work insanely to create content and drive traffic to the blog and then let people leave once they have finished consuming it.
Let’s see the exact steps to generate leads with blogging:
Visitors come to the blog and consume content
Visitors see a Call to Action with an offer (free digital paper or webinar)
Visitors click the Call to Action and arrive on a landing page(download or register to webinar page)
Use the company’s blog not only to drive traffic to the website, but also to generate leads for the business. As I’ve mentioned before, the blog has to support the business objectives.
#4. Create authority, differentiation and achieve other long term goals
The company’s blog becomes a valuable asset only if it delivers high-quality, relevant and targeted content. Integrated in the AIDA marketing model, the blog plays the following roles:
Awareness – the blog’s content is making people aware of a problem or opportunity
Interest – the blog’s content is making people interested into solving their problem
Desire – the blog’s content encourages people to give a name to their problem and raises the desire to solve it (you do that with Call to Actions)
Action – the blog’s content encourages people to solve their problem with the company’s products or services
As you see, business blogging requires commitment and consistency. It’s a never ending task because its role is to drive to continuos growth. Traffic, leads, brand awareness and authority are the major four outcomes of business blogging when done right.
Why does the company’s blog need optimization?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the goal is to drive people who want to solve their problem with the company’s products or services on the website.
But writing content is not effective if it is not integrated with smart ‘Call to Actions’. You will be wasting all that traffic and those visitors you have been working so hard to acquire.
Remember that people who have identified a problem after they have consumed your content will want to learn more.
This is what you have to do:
Offer them more, otherwise you’ll see them go to the competitors to get information about the problem and purchase their products instead of yours.
Optimize the blog’s design for conversions (i.e.: conversion is a qualified lead that arrives on the website’s landing page to sign up for a free trial or request a service). Optimization involves adjusting the website to achieve your goals. Website optimization has to be sustained by content marketing, email marketing and landing page optimization efforts to give results.
The 4 step process to generate leads with blogging
Optimization techniques help with adjusting the blog to achieve the blog’s goal – to generate leads for business. In order to achieve that, you should focus on the conversion funnel. When creating it, have in mind the AIDA model to define the exact steps the ideal customer has to follow to close.
Generating leads with blogging is a continuous process and requires taking one step at a time. Therefore, I have included in this beginner’s guide four steps:
Measurement – analyze data, set up goals and target metrics to see how you do against your objectives now and where you want to get.
Listen to the customer’s voice – Google Analytics is telling you what’s happening on the website. To find out why, you need to use surveys.
Grow the email list – you’ll find out the exact steps you need to take to get email subscribers. This post will also show how to test CTAs and landing pages and use advanced techniques to get more subscribers.
Convert subscribers into leads for business – learn how to use email marketing tactics and landing pages to increase the number of blogging conversions
These being said, hope this guide will help with having a clear, informed idea about what you need to do to get conversions from blogging and become a successful content marketer.
Making money online can be driven by many moving parts. Social media marketing, attracting traffic from search engines and the skill of converting those visitors into buyers are just a few of many.
For online marketers the holiday seasons can be your biggest sales opportunities. Many people now go online for shopping inspiration, best deals or actual purchases.
eMarketer predicts that the holiday spending in the US will go up by 16,6% in 2014 vs. 2013. So there is no reason why 2014 shouldn’t be a jolly good one.
Although Google is still the leader in online advertising, Facebook is moving quickly in the fast-evolving digital advertising market positioning itself as a “the” channel for reaching a highly targeted and engaged audiences.
If your company wants to take full advantage of these short and crucial two months on Facebook you need to be aware of two things:
Your need to stand out
When it comes to the matter of timing it seems that the phrase “shopping season starts early” today has little to do with advertisers and much to do with consumers doing everything possible to avoid your December ads and long shopping queues.
Around that time people click more on Facebook ads to find out about available promotions and products, so you shouldn’t miss out the opportunity to engage with them, drive traffic to your websites and convince visitors to go to your actual store locations.
So, it’s all about being one step ahead of competition and starting your activities by mid November.
If this timeline freaks you out because you still don’t have a solid plan or a huge budget that would made you stand out in the upcoming marketing frenzy, here are some Facebook holiday contest ideas that honor the holiday tradition of giving. These can be up and running on your brand’s Facebook Page in few minutes.
1. Old Friends, New Friends
E-mail marketing is a powerful holiday season tool, especially if you have holiday catalogues or newsletters you want to share with your customers. But if the size of your existing database does not match your ambitious holiday marketing plans, start with a simple Sign in and Win giveaway contest that will grow your mailing list and make your offer available to many new friends.
Use gift cards and make giveaways easily achievable, with a small prize for each (for example: allow 100 winners for a $25 gift card)
2. Kick off with the coupon blitz
People love getting discounts, especially during the holiday season, and it’s an easy and obvious incentive to shop at specific locations for gifts.
Make sure that coupons have a short shelf life that corresponds to the holiday season that require something in return such as an email address. This will enable you to benefit from the potential purchase and generate new leads.
3. Capture the holiday spirit
Holiday season is a perfect time to pimp-up your Facebook cover photo to reflect festive atmosphere.
Instead of just placing another photo from the stock photo library, try running a cover photo design contest and invite your fans to help you come up with perfect cover photo for your page. They can use a basic background or they can edit the photo or customize it with pre-designed elements, such as festive frames or stickers.
Choose the craziest, most beautiful or out-of-the-box proposal, make sure to upload the winner’s design as your business’s new Facebook Cover Photo and never forget to give credit to the cover photo design contest winner in the description.
4. Grant a wish
Customers love telling you what they think and your Facebook Page is a proof that they want to be a part of the process that delivers. Why not give them a chance to choose the product that you will have on a special holiday discount?
They can even help you choose perfect decorations for your store or vote for new holiday-inspired drink that they can try for free? Make the most out of these valuable insights into consumers’ needs and wishes and make them feel heard and appreciated.
5. Have some Xmas fun!
What type of Christmas present is best for you? What kind of holiday shopper are you? What do you get him for that perfect holiday gift?
These are just some examples of quizzes you can have during holiday season to generate smashing records and more Facebook comment threads. Make sure to create cool content and let your fans have fun answering a series of questions.
To achieve greater participation, prepare a questionnaire that’s quick to answer (up to 4-5 questions) and make it more fun by mixing texts with photos. If you feel inspired by these proposals remember that templates or applications for all these promotions are already created so you really need to put in about 10 minutes of your time to have them live on your Page.
What about you?
How do you market your online business during the holiday season? What Facebook contests have worked for you?
Look forward to reading your feedback and insights in the comments below.
Author: Aida Gadzo is a Senior Strategist and Content Creator at appssolut.com. She helps small and medium businesses master the “what”, “why” and “how” of producing and delivering engaging digital and social media content that will activate audiences and drive sales.
There is a seismic shift in how you as a business should be creating, thinking and evolving in the 21st century.
It revolves around the virtual world that cannot be touched but it is as real as any physical object. It is such a big shift that many business owners are ignoring it because they either don’t get it or are afraid of it.
It’s also called digital technology.
Here is a tale of two retailers. In it we can see a glimpse of what the implications are of either embracing the digital world or just playing at the edges.
In the USA Nordstrom is a brand that is investing heavily in technology and building its online brand assets. Over the last 3 years it has invested more than $2 billion in technology primarily aimed at making it easy for customers to buy online. That is 50-65 per cent of its cash flow. But sales have increased 50%. Its share price is up 200%. It is obvious that they get this social digital web.
The department store Myer on the other hand has invested very little in its digital presence and assets over the last two years in comparison. Its sales are flat and the share price is down 50%.
Which one would you invest in? Is business extinction a real possibility for one of them?
Hard assets and virtual assets
In the past retail was all about bricks and mortar street fronts. Investing in the physical location was a habit that has been with us for centuries. Buy or rent the shop and invest big in fitout, paint, walls, partitions, design and fittings. The budgets often go beyond hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. But it’s still the honeypot for the shopper to spend.
In traditional print media it was all about physical magazines, newsprint and mainly local distribution. It required hard physical assets and expensive printing presses. Now bloggers, online magazines and new breed news sites are producing online content without a printing press to be seen or a delivery van or a corner store.
But we are moving from an industrial age where the assets that were valued were physical but with the rise of the global knowledge economy the importance of virtual digital assets and technology is becoming paramount.
This can be broken into two online media asset categories:
Owned Media: This starts with the website, online store and blogs
Earned Media: This where you earn online attention and includes earned media from customers, fans and advocates
Why are these important?
Your brand can now be everywhere in a digital world. Google, Facebook and Twitter make that possible. Search engines can find you from an iPad in a coffee shop in Paris but your physical presence might be in Helsinki.
You are defined online: Online your content now defines you. That’s it. If your website has little content then it will position you as light weight and maybe not all that serious.
You are discovered online: Building online assets means you turn up in search engine results, be found on Facebook and other social networks as people share your content.
Trust is created online: Multiple views of your brand and content creates online trust. The Edelman Trust Barometer shows that being seen 3-5 times online takes your rust factor to over 50%.
Global scale: A small brand can be global online. It means that you have worldwide reach without leaving your office or shop.
People buy online: This trend isn’t going away.
Content is consumed online: Entertainment, education and inspiration is expanding on the web.
So what are the 11 digital assets that you should be building and investing in today to remain relevant, continue to grow and scale your business. Here is how to grow your business online.
Owned Media Assets
This includes the following:
Websites are your digital platform and the customers gateway to your brand. It maybe a corporate site or an online store or both.
it needs to be well branded, easy to use, intuitive and designed for a social web.
Blogs are your content hubs and attract loyal readers. It’s role cannot be underestimated in positioning your brand as a thought leader in its industry especially in the B2B space.
In B2C the role of the blog is more about engagement, entertainment and improving search engine rankings.
3. Social media networks
Social networks aren’t strictly an owned asset but rented (you don’t own Facebook or Twitter as you are there on their terms and conditions) but they are are seen by the consumer as part and an also an extension of your owned brand platform.
Placing a stake in the ground with the major networks with your brand name is now an essential digital asset to start and keep investing in.
4. Content that you create
Content is now a multi-media asset that needs constant investment. It includes articles on blogs, infographics, podcasts, images, videos and more. The challenge is to create the best content possible that will beg to be shared and spread your brand online.
This is a constant marketing continuum that needs consistent and persistent feeding. It’s a hungry beast.
5. Email list
Email is not a shiny new technology toy like the social media platforms, but it is still the primary business communication tool. Your email list needs time and patience to build. It also provides the means to reach your customers and prospects when you want.
The rise of high speed wireless and the mobile phone and tablets has made information accessible from anywhere. It can be a mobile app or a mobile responsive website that adapts to any screen size for easy media consumption.
Ignoring this can reduce sales for online stores, engagement on blogs and the viewing on corporate websites.
Earned Media Assets
Earned media cannot be bought or owned, it can only be gained organically, hence the term ‘earned’. This applies to “word of mouth” offline and online, building followers, connections and fans on social networks, building an email list and ranking high in Google organic search for the key words and phrases in your business niche.
This includes the following:
1. Conversations about you
One of your key objectives should be to create conversation on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. You need to earn this by building your following and creating epic content that starts the conversation.
2. Content that is created about you
Brands that provide great user experiences create raving fans and advocates. These include Apple, Lego and Red Bull. They will create content for free that mentions your brand. Octoly research revealed that 99% of all the content is created on YouTube about some brands. That’s free marketing.
3. Search engine rankings
You don’t own search engine ranking but earn them. It’s built on the original premise that Google created in 1998. It’s called pagerank. If your content is so good that the New York Times mentions and links to you then Google sees that as search engine authority.
Keep building those with other websites and you have earned the right to rank high in search.
Online partnerships are earned.
People and other brands will want to work with you in online joint ventures because you have built and earned online authority. This includes reach, trust and social proof.
As your earn online attention, influencers with large global online networks will also want to partner up. This is where it starts to get exciting.
It’s a long term game
The relentless pursuit of building your online assets and earning digital authority will be the work of decades. It needs that mindset, understanding and vision of how the digital economy is panning out for the next century.
It’s not going away.
What about you?
Are you investing in building your digital assets? Could you do better? What do you need to work on today?
Look forward to your insights and feedback in the comments below.