“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 digital marketing plan 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.
Author: Jason Parks is the Owner of The Media Captain, a Digital Marketing, SEO and Social Marketing Agency.