Keeping on top of the latest SEO trends and Google changes is hard; but learning about it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve ever wondered how you could harness the power of the dark arts of SEO, learn new tips, tricks and current online marketing techniques, then EverSpark Interactive’s What’s New In The World of Google Meetup is for you. This free meeting and discussion group, held every Wednesday morning, features professionals from every corner of industry. It’s a great group of people, and anyone who attends is sure to walk away with a few new tactics up their collective sleeves.
Please join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 from 8am – 9:30am. You can RSVP on the Meetup.com link below. However, we understand that work and home schedules sometimes get in the way. When it does, you can always catch up on all of our discussions with our blog recap posts. This is also a great way to review previous discussions you may have attended, and investigate some of the issues covered further.
The meetup takes place at EverSpark Interactive’s offices located at:
6 Concourse Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30328
RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/Whats-New-In-the-World-of-Google-Everspark-Interactive/
What’s New This Week:
Aligning Digital Marketing & SEO – Buyer Personas & Inbound Marketing
This past Wednesday, EverSpark Interactive’s own personal rock star and current Senior Account Manager, John Stringer, discussed the idea of Digital Marketing Campaigns, buyer personas, and how useful offers can be worked into a site’s overall marketing and SEO plan. One of the core elements of this is designing campaigns around the inbound marketing methodology, which is one of the more effective ways to drive traffic and convert customers on the web.
In a nutshell, inbound marketing is about creating “content people love” on the web and using content marketing, offers and lead nurturing based on a buyer’s decision making process. By using an effective content strategy, including blogs, podcasts, videos, creatives (e.g. info graphics, surveys, etc.), and social media, you can draw customers closer to a brand and get them into a well-designed marketing funnel via “premium” offers. According to John, the best practice of this is to understand your target market so you can “give them what they want, when they need it” versus trying to force them through your own decision making process. Considering that Google’s Mission is to organize the world’s information in a universally useful and accessible way, how can internet marketers align this idea with their own strategy to make it more useful and accessible content for search engines?
In order to best come up with a plan to suit a client, John suggested using inbound marketing as the center of a full Digital Marketing Campaign circle, starting with organizing goals.
- What are the desires at play? For example, what are the desires of a particular client and what they want to accomplish with their website? Is it to be the top ranked website of its kind in a particular area? Is it to drive X sales?
- Establish Benchmarks. You can determine this by looking at your current visits and leads per month and how they relate to actual sales conversions. Then, assess what digital marketing the client is currently engaged in (blogging, on-page & off-page SEO, social media, video, PPC, Content Marketing, email workflow and so on).
- Establish SMART goals when organizing your goals. This means your goals should be:
Discovering Your Buyer Persona
Every campaign is created on buyer personas. When it comes to determining exactly who your buyer is, you are essentially creating a portrait of what your perfect buyer looks like and what their behavior is. For example, it can be:
- Demographics, such as age, sex, location or income.
- What they like to read or watch on television?
- What are their pain points? For example, what are the potential problems he or she is facing and how can your product or service address that?
- What are their purchasing habits?
- What kind of questions would they ask if their family member was involved in a dog biting incident?
Once you’ve identified exactly who that person is, the idea is to create “premium” offers and other content to address the questions, challenges and concerns they may have. By educating and providing your top buying targets with the information that they need in a particular situation, they are more likely to warm to your brand and ultimately select you when looking to make a purchase. Once you’ve answered that, make sure your website has been appropriately developed to make it fully accessible to both search engines and users alike.
One of the examples John used during his presentation was the idea of a dog bite lawyer setting up his or her Digital Marketing campaign, as well as uncovering their buyer personas. In essence, the Digital Marketing Campaigns target three simplified stages in which they live in: Awareness, Comparison and finally, the Buying stage.
What’s the first thing a potential customer/buyer persona seeks out once they or their loved one has been bitten by a dog ? What’s the next step after that? Why or when would they need to look for a lawyer?
Why should they use a particular dog bite lawyer service? Are there specific rewards or benefits to using a certain dog bite lawyer?
What specific call to action increases the chances to buy or become a client? What are the specific points that this customer is looking for?
Buy looking for the best “conversion opportunities” based on the above stages, John explained you can create campaigns that employ the inbound marketing methodology and a wide range of other tactics to increase your client’s ROI.
Once you have the particular S.M.A.R.T. goals in mind and have identified your buyer personas, it’s then time to plan your Digital Marketing campaign. Continuing with the idea of a dog bite lawyer client, here’s the basic rundown of arranging your inbound marketing timeline.
- Graphically designed Calls-To-Action (CTA’s) are key means of drawing attention to your offers so you can create a conversion path.
- The center piece of the campaign are the landing pages (LPs) the CTAs direct your target market to. These LPs will provide access to useful “premium” content like eBooks, checklists, webinars, etc., in exchange for filling out a form. The more valuable the offer, the more information you can request in the form.
- Think informative blogs (e.g. “3 tips to avoid after a dog bite”), videos (“What to do when your child is bitten by a dog?”), and other valuable creative pieces (e.g. Infographics, surveys, etc.) that are related to your “premium” offer. Sharable videos and infographics are also highly desirable for use in online media and social media.
- Include CTAs to your premium offer on all of the above
- Use SEO, social media, PPC, Re-targeting and paid content marketing to help drive traffic
- Outreach to influencers including groups, blogs and media that might be interested in your content, creatives, and client’s story.
- Set up your workflow in a reasonable way. For example, an email schedule of what potential customers/clients would be sent.
- Day 1: Thank you for your interest email, along with contact information.
- Day 2: Send through a Frequently Asked Questions article to help drive buyer awareness.
- Day 3: Send a checklist of things you should know when dealing with a dog bite.
- The list can go on, but should essentially offer value based on the decision making process from whatever stage your offer targets. The emails should guide the recipient down the decision making process in a highly valuable way. John has found that initially having a soft approach, particularly in the awareness stage for longer sales cycle, can reap rewards. This means you’re spending more time educating your potential client, as well as letting them get to know your brand.
- All of your campaigns are essentially a test, but by using the right tracking tools (e.g. Google Analytics, automated marketing platforms, call tracking, etc.), you should have measurable results.
- Once you have enough data, you can review each campaign’s results and use any insights that you pull in to help shape each of your new campaigns, doing away with elements that did not perform up to standard and replicating those that did.
John will be creating a video of his presentation in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that in our future meetings and on our blog update posts!
Jive & Yammer: The Future of Corporate Communication?
Our good friend and frequent meetup attendee, Hal Schlenger, was kind enough to give us an overview of the future of inter-office communication with the use of both Jive and Yammer. As he rightly pointed out after a quick group poll, email is pretty much taking over everyone’s lives. In fact, most of the group said they spent at least part of their free time catching up on both professional and personal emails either in the evenings or the weekends. By using new communication software, could we see the death of the dreaded flooded inbox?
Both Jive and Yammer are essentially a communications and collaboration portal for projects. However, unlike Yammer, with Jive you can invite those outside your company to join and collaborate on projects. With Yammer, you must have the same email address extension to be on a particular portal. Not only does this kind of setup allow for easier searching for particular bits of information or communications, it keeps everyone on the same page with a projects progression. Companies that tend to be using these systems right now are generally 1,000 employees strong and above. However, while uptake in usage of these programs is slow, many who are using it have found it cuts down on phone calls as people are able to find the relevant information they need both quickly and easily. Will these new tools make it possible for a clean inbox? Only time will tell.
Some Great Tools You Should Be Using:
Have you ever wondered how Google actually “sees” your page? Created by a member of the Google Webspam team, Netcomber allows webmasters to do just that. Links, Whois information, it’s all in one place, allowing you to also easily start reverse engineering both your site and your competition’s. Also an essential tool to add to your arsenal is SelfSEO, which allows you to look up the IP address of any website, as well as the website’s country or hosting location.
There’s also some additional love for MajesticSEO’s range of tools with their new SEO Neighborhood Checker. While many website owners don’t have their own dedicated servers for their sites, it’s a good idea to see who else is sharing your server. This can also help to indicate if a site is potentially owned by the same group or company — a great tool for dissecting a site and reverse engineering the competition.
Sound The Alarm: It’s A New Google Update!
Just a few days ago, the following tidbit of information popped up on Matt Cutts’ Twitter account:
Cue loud gasps from the web. What does this mean? While there’s much speculation on what the rammifications of this development will actually be and how it will impact search, MarketingLand’s recent post gives a good overview. While they’re speculating that it could impact 7.5% of search results, it will be interesting to see how the release affects the web over the next week or so. You can be sure we’ll be discussing it in our future meetups.