Content and SEO – Again

Content is King

Many people have for many years now been saying that for SEO, “Content is King”.  But what does that really mean and why is so important to a B2B company?

This is a basic article, so let me spell some things out for those who are new to all of this.

SEO – search engine optimization – making your website the best it can be for success on Google and other search engines, preferably a spot on the first page.

Content – the information on your website, including pictures, picture tags, etc.   But most importantly, the text and preferably blogs.

B2B – Business To Business.  Companies that sell products / services to other businesses as opposed to the general public.

It’s great if you sell HP or Xerox items and you have the text from that item mention the brand and pictures that mention the brand.  But this will only go so far.   Remember there are only so many slots on the first page of Google.

 

Content and Search

As Google creates smarter algorithms, content becomes so much more important.  What search engines want on their first page, are websites that give the searcher everything they need regarding the search they just made.   To this end, the search engine will look at all those keywords and meta data and links.  But they will also look at your content.

Do you have new content?  Is the new content relative to the searcher’s needs?  Is the content unique?

If the answer to those questions – any of the three – is no, you’re going to slip down the page to other pages.

The reason this is key to B2B companies is that so much of your content is product and price.  Any competitor, in your city, in your state, in your country, in the world, carrying the same products will have the same or similar content.  How are you any different?  Why should Google move you to the top?

NEW

New content will move the needle.  Now you are different from all those other companies because you have something more recent on your site than the rest.

RELEVANT

If a searcher is looking for a tablet to use for business, what information on your site will help them make a decision to buy and specifically buy from you?  Did you answer with a product name, or a discounted price?  Do you think they can get that same price somewhere else?

relevantContent.   Reviews of your service, testimonials of happy customers.  Forget free shipping what about delivery and training and service?  How about your personal review and recommendation of the product including why you use it?  These are things you can’t put in a product description, brand name text or price.  These are the things that will make a customer comfortable with buying from you in person, and the same goes for online.   And the more Google sees that, the more Google likes your site.

As an added bonus, relevant content gets shared more often, giving you links to your website and better social media engagement!

UNIQUE

Here is where  you CAN NOT cheat.   DO NOT pick up a review written on another website.  Do not pull text from an expert.  Because repetitive content gets ignored.   If Google sees the same article on 15 websites, it assumes the original author is the only site that counts.

See?  Original author.  Write your own content.  You can have the same ideas about the product, even share a quote or two.  But the content should be yours, authored by you to again move that needle.

 

Where does this new, relevant, unique content go?

I hear you.  You are too busy to be reviewing the products you have to sell.  You hate writing.  You can’t trust the receptionist to do it and the sales person rather sell than market for you.  And once it’s written, where does it go?  What do I do with it then?

Blog_(1)It goes on your blog.   I can’t even imagine a business today having a website without a blog.  Blogs are not just about your favorite recipe or what toys are great for your kid, anymore.

Blogs are where you prove your expertise, and ultimately prove you are worthy of your customers spending their dollars.

When a customer can justify spending the money with your company some crazy cool things start to happen.  They really no longer care about price.   They will recommend you in person, and online.   They will follow you on social media and share your info with others.  And the next thing you know, you have more customers.  You also have more social shares.  And more links coming to your site.

And what do you know.  Looky there.   Google moved you up.

One word of caution.   This isn’t magic.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  Like growing your business, you are now growing your Google / online reputation.  That takes time.

And one personal observation.  The less “salesy” you are in your content, the more credible you seem and the more likely shares and links will happen.

I’m not a writer, I’m a business owner.

I know.   That’s why I’m here.  Or my competitors.  Or your marketing agency or service.  There are many people who will give you new content for your site.  You’ll need to weigh the service provided versus the price you will pay.

I would be honored if you chose me.

Marketing and Technology

Are you crazy about your iPhone or Android?   Have you replaced your desktop, laptop, book, with a tablet or big huge phone yet?

If you have, you’re behind the technology.  Enter wearables.   Forget that big phone or tablet, where’s your  watch?   And coming soon:  forget needing  a screen, wear your bracelet and have all your technology at your fingertips…. on your skin.

Wearable technology is a thing and it’s growing and will continue to grow.  

Check out the Cricet Bracelet.

As technology morphs and becomes more a part of us, literally, how does marketing keep up?

Marketing through Technology

Basic marketing concepts still work.

1.   Have a unique selling proposition
2.  Know your audience.
3.  Reach your audience.

But how we do them has vastly changed.

Unique Selling Proposition

Having a unique selling proposition is way more than answering the question “How are you different from your competition?”  How will you differentiate yourself from your competition is one thing but what about the competition for the same dollars?    And not just dollars!   How will you differentate from your competition on time spent with your product?

Let’s take a movie theaters for instance.   They don’t just compete with each other for entertainment dollars.   They compete with casinos,  concerts, even Chuck E Cheese.

They compete for screen time.   They compete with YouTube, Cable television, online streaming services, network television and more.

Think about your product.   What does it compete with for usage value?  And what does it compete with for time values?

downloadAnd how does your answer translate on a billboard, on a television screen, at the movie theater, on a laptop, a tablet , a phone and now, get that big message on to a teeny tiny watch.

Know your audience.

It’s great to know if your product reaches men or women, baby boomer or millenniel.  And maybe you know some psychographics as well.  They’re more active, soccer moms, healthly living.

Do you know how they use their media?  Are they on Facebook?  And when?  Do they tweet?  When do they watch TV, in real time or  delayed viewing?   Do they subscribe to commercial free television with cable or online?   Do they read magazines? Do email campaigns reach them?

Do they own wearable technology?

Now you have your unique selling proposition, you know what that is based on usage and time, you know your audience likes and dislikes, how do you translate your message to that medium they have chosen, and remember that media might be a 1×1 inch square on their arm.  Or it might be a tiny little billboard on a smart phone.

Reach your audience.

tablet-hunchRight about now, you are catching on that if you can answer all the previous questions, you are better armed with the knowledge to reach your audience.  But there is still so much more to consider.

Let’s take the cricet bracelet shown above in the video.  How will your message, written to show your value to your audience look on various skin colors?

If you’ve learned that you need to do mobile and television advertising, how does that play out?  Video?  Gif?

Which websites do they go to, how many social media platforms do they belong to, when are they watching television and checking their email?

Technology Fractured the Audience

Years ago, advertising became very fractured.   There suddenly were hundreds of television stations instead of 3 to 5.   There were 40 radio stations as opposed to 5 or 6.

Technology is fracturing marketing and advertising again.  The internet is infinite.   And soon, so are the ways and devices we use to harness it.  Traditional media have suffered but hasn’t yet died.

And to really throw a wrench in the works, Word of Mouth still works.  And it works really well.   And with email and Social Media, that Word of Mouth is magnified to the nth degree.

And don’t forget that in addition to marketing, advertising and selling to your new customers, you need to retain and up sell your current ones.

It can be quite confusing to a local businesses how they should market themselves and where they should advertise themselves.  Throw in new technology, like a bracelet that projects your tablet onto your skin, and it’s easy to see why you might want to throw in the towel.

My advice to my clients is to really listen and learn.  If you know the answers to all the questions asked above, a couple of choices will become clear to you.  And use those avenues until they stop working for you.

And answer the questions often.  Because people adopt new technology as fast as they can create it.  Answer the questions and find your new path before the old ones stop working.

I realize that today I have given you more questions than answers, but it’s the questioning that keeps you current and relevant and viable to be in business tomorrow, next year, and the next decade.

 

 

 

The All Important Social Share

I recently read some articles in how to get more responses to your posts on various social media., specifically shares.  The result of these articles basically was that you have to pay to play.  I wrote a blog a couple years ago how Facebook was dead for small business, because you have to pay to play.  Since then Facebook has changed their ways, easing up on some of the algorithms that monitor our feeds, but to get great shares, it still pays, to, well, pay!

And in all my years of advertising, I have never found a more cost effective way to advertise than on Facebook.  That, however is another post.

There are still some tactics that work to help get your posts shared, especially for local businesses.

Try These to Get People to Share:

Share Signs1.  Use local pictures and videos.  Appeal to your customer base by reminding them why your city (and your business) is so great.

2.  Collaborate with other local businesses and cross post.

3.  Feature your fans on your page.  Happy pictures of customers who are tagged, make more people see your post as they comment, share their pictures, and your post is seen by friends of theirs that may not have already liked your page.

4.  Build your email list.   Use the tools from iContact or Constant Contact to get more email accounts on your list, use the Call to Action button on FB.   And then use that email list to talk about new promotions.

5.   Ask for the share.  Got a particular post that is doing well?  Reshare and encourage reshares.   Got a post you definitely want to get out?  Ask your fans to share it on their timelines.

6.   Offer special promotions.  Recently a local bar and restaurant asked their fans to like, comment and/ or share their post.  Then they randomly chose a name who had liked their post, shared their post and commented on their post to win a $50 gift card.

7.  Join local groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and participate in them.

8.  And it bears repeating, not every post should be about selling your product.   Have fun with your posts, make them share worthy.

There is an art now to getting shared, and it starts with knowing who your audience is and how they share.

I found a podcast (and summary article) by Bryan Kramer, Author of Shareology:  How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy.  That explained the types of people who are on Social Media.  We’ve all seen those lists before, and they haven’t changed much.  What’s different in this podcast is how they share.  What they share.  And why.

Social Media Types and What They Share:

Different people who share1.  The Career Minded:  someone that is using social media to become a thought leader in their industry.  They share relevant information on not just their industry but also on their position (sales, accounting, management) industry.  Almost everyone on LinkedIn fits into this category but you will also find them on other social media.

2.  The Altruist:  someone that has a favorite cause and shares information about that subject all the time.  They may be political, ecological, animal welfare, etc.

3. The Boomerang:  this could be a troll, it could be a negative experience or a positive one.  This person will ask a question, not only to get a reply but to also reply back.    In a positive light, this person is actually moving your post up in visibility through the repeated comments.   If it’s a troll, they could be just using your post for their own agenda.

4.   The Connector:  This person shares to connect one person to another.  They are great  at networking and enjoy matching people up.

5.  The Hipster:  This person likes to try new things and share it before anyone else.

6.  The Selective:   This person shares very little, is very selective on what they will share.   Often this social media-ite is a lurker.   Watching, reading, reviewing but sharing very little.

It’s good to point out here, that, a person can fit into more than one category.  A blogger might be a Connector, a Hipster, and Career Minded.  It will depend on what they share, when they share it, but now….you know WHY they shared it.

Using This Knowledge to Get The Share

Hands holding signs like share, and other social media wordsKnowing certain tactics to get more shares and why people will share a post can help you with the content of that post.   Lets say you want to promote a new product.   Featuring some customers testing the product in your place in a smiling photo, plus a “give it a try” price, and making sure it’s something no one else has, will probably work well.     A post like this uses the following tactics:

  • Local people
  • Local picture
  • Special perks for fans

And the type of people who will share this post are:

  • Hipsters

And if you’re lucky:

  • The Selective
  • The Connector

I hope this blog has helped you get better at your Social Media efforts, and will garner you more shares on your posts.   And if you have found it helpful, of course, I’m going to ask for the share – please share it on your Social Media profiles.   Yes.  Even you, The Selective!  And should you find that you’d prefer someone handle all this for you, I’d be honored to have the opportunity to work with you.