With this blog post we’ll be concluding Digital Greenlight’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing blog series. If you missed the last two posts, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. This month we’re exploring additional ways that brands can demonstrate their vision and voice to audiences as well as the basics of Online Reputation Management.
Content Marketing is one of the absolute best ways to help a site generator traffic. Creating a blog that produces high quality, industry relevant information, and tells your brand’s story will naturally accumulate links over time through social shares and digital word of mouth. This can increase both brand and website authority in a industry. Adding additional content to your website every month can also increase organic search engine traffic through what are known as “long tail keywords”, or keywords that are longer and more specific words and phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase. An example of a short tail search would be something as simple as “brown shoes”, whereas a long tail would look similar to “mens brown leather shoes in size 13”. Traffic acquired by long tail keywords are generally more engaged and further along the conversion process. Another advantage is that there is generally lowered amounts of competition due to lower volumes of traffic.
Essentially, maintaining a blog gives you the opportunity to use long tail keywords in context, and a blog will also provide material to be shared on social media – which can further increase reach, and provide value to your audience.
Content marketing comes in a variety of forms, including email newsletters, blogs, photos, or videos. When a highly engaged user is comparing services or products, they will frequently scour a site for all the information they can find to make an informed decision. A well-curated blog, gallery, resource page, or healthy email campaign will help guide them towards making a purchase from you. When you give them exactly what they’re looking for and more, it can demonstrate your value and authority as an industry leader.
Finding the right imagery to combine with your message is important as well. If a product is cool, sleek, and sexy why would you want to have a dopey campaign populated primarily full of memes and 90’s graphics? Establishing branding guidelines for visual content is important to ensure consistency across all channels that visitors can find you on. Images can be incredibly powerful on user’s behaviors. For example…
Images (with or without text!) grab a reader’s attention immediately. Animated gifs, for example, also drive an enormous amount of attention online. Essentially, the logic is that by having a visual with text, a user is presented with something they can’t ignore. There’s no way to just look past a brightly color image, and with a gif (like the one used below) a user has no choice but to watch exactly what you want to show them. There is no play button or stop button – the image just happens and repeats infinitely. Videos and gifs go hand in hand too. A gif can provide an incredible highlight for a clip that you want visitors to watch as or it can provide the ability to speak directly to a user with a tone and backdrop that suits your business. Visuals also represent SEO opportunities through proper tags on the technical side too.
Reaching out to your customers via email is still, since 1993, one of the most effective ways of marketing online. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to get your message directly in front of users who want to know more about what your company does. It also allows for businesses to create loyalty and generate sales from existing customers. It gives you a chance for your message to be seen directly by your target customer in a location that’s familiar to them – their inbox. There’s no reason to not be updating your customers – especially if people are giving you their email! The people who sign up want to hear exactly what your brand has to say! That said, it’s much easier to talk about why an email list is important than it is to actually create and run one.
Fortunately there are a ton of shortcuts that have been developed to expedite this process. Companies like Constant Contact and Mail Chimp have packages that will cover most of the basics as well as some of the more complicated parts. In some instances, there’s no reason not to utilize this aspect of online marketing and in some instances a monthly email can be a massive traffic driver month to month.
Whether you just need to highlight particular products or update clients and prospective customers, there’s nothing like an email newsletter. When choosing to promote using this route, it’s important to plan your content in advance so that you can maintain a regular mailing schedule. Being predictable builds trust with your users. It’s also important to give anyone who signs up the ability to unsubscribe whenever they wish – it’s the law!
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Smartphones give people the opportunity to quickly leave a review or ‘check in’ virtually everywhere they go. Are you listening to what they’re saying?
In essence, Online Reputation Management is the art of watching the internet for all mentions of a brand – positive or negative. When done right, it’s actively keeping track of your reputation online and, when necessary, reaching out to unhappy customers to fix developing image issues as they occur.
It should be understood at this point that there are a number of different locations where customers can leave good or bad reviews about a company, and those reviews are going to impact a lot of potential customers. Being able to quickly discover a bad review and respond in a positive way gives you another chance with a customer who feels wronged, and it shows future customers that your company cares about their experience with you.
One of the most positive parts about an active ORM campaign is that individuals who write negative reviews, when responded to appropriately, can become major positive brand advocates in the future. Being swift in dealing with image issues can turn a problem around immediately and help to create more brand advocates. Essentially ORM can be viewed as crisis management. When someone says something awful about your business you need to know immediately. When a vocal customer takes to social media or any other site it’s important to respond to their concerns in a way that solves the problem and the quicker it’s fixed the more likely that they’ll become a vocal advocate for your brand.
So that’s it! If you’ve read parts 1, 2, and 3(this one) you’re now familiar with the fundamentals of online marketing. If you still have any questions, don’t worry! We’re here to answer them. Fill out a contact form here and we’ll be back with you as soon as possible. Stay tuned for our next blog post!