Is this what you’re doing wrong with your online marketing?
The pressure’s on. The digital arena of selling online has opened up before us and we tremulous marketing gladiators are out in the middle facing the lions. Because if today’s companies can’t compete in the digital world, they’ll have an alarmingly short lifespan.
The trouble with being a marketer these days is that the tools, the tactics and even the technologies are changing so fast it can be difficult to keep up. It wasn’t very many years ago that every online marketer worth his or her salt would recommend the same two paths to internet greatness: SEO and PPC.
Whole agencies were set up to go through your site stuffing keywords into the hidden metadata. This doesn’t work any more.
Search Engine Optimisation, when it started, was basically about tricking Google’s indexing algorithms to get your website higher up the search rankings than your competitors. Whole agencies were set up to go through your site stuffing keywords into the hidden metadata. This doesn’t work any more. Google got smart to it and the other search engines followed suit. They update their algorithms so often it’s impossible to keep up, and that’s the point. They don’t want you to be tricking their little indexing spiders. Hidden keywords now have a generally negative effect. Of course SEO still has a vital place – more on that later.
Pay Per Click advertising in all of its various forms is based on the age old idea behind any advertising: you put a signpost to your product in front of people who are likely to be looking for it. Sounds like it should be an easy win, yes? Ah, but the Age of Internet- Created Cynicism strikes back. With so many thousands of companies starting up and shutting down, with so many scams and adverts dressed up as serious news stories, consumers are growing wary. They don’t believe something just because you tell them to.
Now you have to build trust, and that means forging a proper relationship with your potential customers before you try and get them to open their wallets.
The power of organic
Creating useful content for your audience is an extremely powerful way to build that relationship. Blogs with insights, anecdotes and resources will keep visitors coming back to your site, and it comes with far greater benefits than running an advert.
A library of useful articles helps build your reputation, too
For a start, organic content is the gift that keeps on giving. You’ll get the rush of new interest when you publish it, sure, but that article will be a permanent resident on your site, attracting visitors and boosting your organic search engine rankings too. A library of useful articles helps build your reputation, too, and gives you more chance to engage with potential customers through comments or social media. All of that will keep you in their minds when the time comes for them to need a product like yours.
It can feel that investing in marketing should mean paying for advertising, but that investment will be better used to create some good quality organic content, attracting people for months and years after it’s first published. You don’t need to pay out huge amounts for an agency to create it for you, either. If you need the guidance, templates and tools to get your people creating content quickly and confidently, take a look at what our Publishing Studio offers.
3 rules of creating killer content
However you approach your content strategy, it needs to be engaging, interesting and useful for your audience. Here are three quick tips:
1. Quality over quantity
An old adage, but more relevant now than ever. Two well thought out, well written articles per week is better than 10 bits of tat you’ve copied and pasted from somewhere else on the web. Remember it’s your reputation on the line – customers will judge your company by the quality of the content they find. And it’ll benefit you in very obvious ways: more shares, likes and clicks means more leads for your business.
You should always repost your articles several times on social media to get the most out of them, but have respect for your audience. Space out the posts and try to focus on different elements of the article each time. People may not always realise just how useful they’ll find your content!
2. Go visual
When was the last time you actually saw a text-only post in your Facebook feed? Everything is swarming with images and videos now, and your content will have to stand out. Find a good quality stock photo library (there are even some good free ones) and choose images to support your articles. If you can create graphics and diagrams (perhaps using some of our templates) that’s even better, as it’ll be unique.
3. Balance entertainment & education
You’ll need to be providing genuinely useful content to build your reputation and help your customers, but remember that people generally turn to social media to be entertained. Try to put up some light-hearted posts too. They’ll get people’s attention and help to humanise your company.
3. Write a daily list
I’ve found that working straight from my Trello list tends to end with me getting distracted by my other tasks. So every morning I look at my task list and write down (using pen and paper like some sort of caveman) the three vital tasks that I MUST do that day.
This has been far more effective than I expected.
By physically writing down your tasks, you start your brain engaging with them, and you’re left with a distraction-free list of work to do. Only once those vital things have been done do you go back to the master list. Or take a nap. Whatever takes your fancy.
4. Kill the distractions
We can’t multitask.
Really, we can’t. Our brains just won’t work that way. And the nearest we can get — rapidly switching between several tasks — leaves none of them getting done well. In fact, studies have shown that after switching tasks it can take our brains up to 20 minutes to settle in to proper work again.
And we can only concentrate for about 25 minutes. Seriously, our brains are rubbish at focussing on lots of things at once AND at focussing on one thing for a long time.
So, we work with what we’ve got, using this variant of the Pomodoro technique:
NOTE: The original Pomodoro technique says to do four 25 minute sessions then take a long break, but I’ve found it easier to concentrate when I take my long breaks between tasks. Your mileage may vary.
There are some more great tips for motivating yourself at work in this article from Toptal: