The shift from SEO to Inbound Marketing

We’ve been living in a world where SEO dominates the marketing scene. It’s all about picking the right keywords to get the search engine to rank a company as high as possible in search results, making it look like the authority on a particular topic. But lately there’s been a need to shift away from SEO and toward inbound marketing. From using multiple devices to changing the way we phrase things in our search, search engines are becoming increasingly intelligent so they can keep up. Google, for instance, pulls information on the searcher’s location, preferences, and search history to get the best search result possible. But these personalized search results edit_findinhibit accurate SEO reports. Not to mention that SEO can’t tap into mobile apps and select content based on the user.  Google took it one step further when it rolled out its Hummingbird update last year. This algorithm makes it easier for Google to interpret conversational language, helping the search engine understand the intent of a given search rather than interpreting just a series of words.

Typing a simple question into Google’s search bar will tell you just how far the search platform has come. Translating words, giving facts and answering questions directly in the results page eliminates the user from having to click on the link for a website. If one searches a specific question, such as the best restaurant in his area, will Google will answer his question by ranking results based on the highest ratings and reviews. In addition to changes in the way we search eliminating the use of SEO, pay to play is dominating the web now, making SEO a less productive strategy.

Search engines like Google and social media sites such as Facebook benefit from showing ads, and companies benefit from getting clicks on these ads.

When you have high relevancy and great targeting with this valuable content, you please both ends.

So what does this mean for the future of marketing? Simply put, your business should adopt inbound marketing techniques and focus less efforts on SEO. There’s no longer a need to select keywords that “trick” a search engine to rank your website higher than the competitor in search results.

Why switch to inbound marketing?

Switching to an Inbound strategy can be highly advantageous to your brand because, first and foremost, it draws people into your brand. Whether people are drawn to your company via social media, a share from a friend or coworker, or through your own site, you’re bringing consumers to your website and social media sites organically, thus driving traffic and producing leads.

Producing rich, quality content on your outlets builds expertise and trust among your consumers. When people find value in your content, it leads to shares. This link building can lead to professionals in your industry sharing your content on their site. By using your knowledge and expertise to write quality content, build a helpful website, and interact on social media, your consumers will find more value in your company than your ability to manipulate a robot to bring your website to the forefront of searches. Leverage your content marketing, PR and social to get your SEO value without relying just on search engine optimization. Ultimately, having a strong Inbound strategy will help to find and convert leads and keep your current customers happy and loyal.

 

Want to focus more efforts on Inbound Marketing? Check out our Inbound Marketing capabilities and we’ll work together to create a powerful plan to bring in new business.

Foursquare marketing: What and why

Foursquare marketingWhile we’ve talked about social media marketing before, now we’re going to get specific, location-specific to be exact, with talking about Foursquare marketing: What it is and why businesses do it.

The social media app Foursquare debuted in August of 2010, allowing users to “check in” to their locations and interact with their environments via any applicable mobile device.

As a way of utilizing the app’s tools, Foursquare marketing allows businesses to send Foursquare users to their physical locations while also allowing Foursquare’s social media functionality to market their business over the web, all while giving Foursquare users incentives and exclusives.

The first perk of Foursquare marketing is pretty obvious: Business owners can provide Foursquare points and other benefits as incentives for “checking in” to their locations. Users earn Foursquare points for each check-in they complete (sometimes earning “mayorship” of that location), and, by syncing with the user’s other social media hubs, these points along with badges and other accomplishments can be compared with their friends who also use Foursquare. Users then compete, for example, to see who can visit the most places or who is the most loyal to a given franchise.

The second perk of Foursquare marketing goes a bit deeper: Foursquare marketing allows businesses to offer specific and exclusive offers to consumers who use the service. In exchange for visiting a location, users can not only earn credentials on Foursquare, but can gain discounted movie tickets, free meals at a restaurant, even become part of a Foursquare loyalty program with that business. Check out Mashable’s Campaigns Editor Lauren Drell spotlight on six worthwhile Foursquare marketing campaigns here.

In this day and age, anybody with a mobile device can become Mayor of the Office on the Second Floor with Foursquare. As an added bonus, businesses can also further the communication and interactions that they have with their consumers along with providing solid exclusives via Foursquare marketing.

Call us today if you’re dying to  dip your toes into Foursquare marketing?

Social Media Marketing: How It Can Help You

First, let’s start of with defining “Social Media Marketing.” It’s understood in the marketing industry as using social media channels to market your product or business.  Social media channels included mostly digital assets like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin, Foursquare, Yelp, Urban Spoon, and others.      

Social media is a rich location for marketing because this has already has a large presence.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FACT: Facebook users return to the site over 95% of the time withing 30 days.

Social media marketing aids your businesses in identifying the potential customers that can benefit from your services, provide feedback, and allows you offer immediate customer service.  This also enables you to fully understand the needs of the consumers and listen to their suggestions.  Listening to they have to say on how you can improve your product or business creates a strong bond between customers and companies, which makes for a very loyal fan base.  Social media marketing includes this collective conversation that is happening online and can really be the doing or the undoing of a company.  Check out Buddy Media’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jeff Ragovin talk about brands adapting to social media or dying here.

So let’s get into some specifics.  Social media marketing doesn’t just include having a Facebook brand page or a twitter account.  It’s about knitting together all digital assets associated with your brand or business and compiling a cohesive marketing strategy.  And as we always suggest, any social media marketing strategy should compliment or at least include the consideration of any traditional media marketing plans for the brand or company.  Get the inside scoop on digital vs traditional media here.

Post your answers here: Do you think your business can benefit from social media marketing?

Is your social media really under control?

By: Ryan Harrell, Creative Director
As a social media firm we get a lot of inquires as to how we can help a business market itself using social media. The whole process usually goes like this: A business comes to us asking for a quote and wondering what we can do. Our leadership team outlines a plan to get their customers engaged and figure out how many hours we will devote to this each month and develop a budget. Once they see the quote they either move forward or remember they have a receptionist or a nephew that has a Facebook account and figure how hard can it be. They then turn over control of their business image on all social networks to this person.

Now in some cases the #’s increase
I once talked to a client who said he has a person from his office doing his social networking and his #’s were going up. (Meaning that he was gaining new friends and followers on each of the networks.) I thought great, keep them engaged and you should be able to gain new customers. However upon looking at his profiles I quickly realized this probably would not happen. His business was localized. Meaning you could not really utilized his business unless you were local. However most of the likes and follows came from people not in the local area. It seems an online ad campaign had been ran incorrectly and he got a ton of likes, however not from anyone who would ever be able use his business. Even worse these were dead likes, or people who did not interact at all.

It is about the Apps.
Another situation I ran into was a friend who had a guy run a contest for him on his Facebook page. He did a giveaway and had tons of interaction. It would have been a successful once. However in the middle of the contest his page dissipated. It was no where to be found, gone for good. Where could it have gone? He was in the middle of a very expensive media buy and had tons of ads going out talking about the contest. How could this happen? It turns out the person running the contest did not use an app that followed Facebooks TOS. You see Facebook has guidelines for the way you can run giveaways and contests from the site. You have to use an app to run a contest, it has to be moderated and it has to follow the terms of service for Facebook or you could risk loosing your page, all the likes and data you have built up. There is no fine to pay to get it back either. It is gone for good. Now that is a tough price to pay.

Help I cannot get into my Facebook page!
I got a call one time that a friend of a friend could not login to the page they created. They had just secured the URL they wanted and was beginning to feel good about connecting socially with current and potential clients. So to take it to the next level they hired a social media expert to do some work on the page. They were happy with the work and got busy with the business and life and decided that they would let the social media expert do their job. A month into it the “expert” changed the rates, and demanded that the amount be paid immediately. It turns out since they were an admin on the Facebook page they were able to remove the original page owner and hold the page “ransom.” In order to get the page access back they would have to spend a money over and above the monthly fee, something that was for sure not in his budget. He decided he would create a new page instead of paying and something else happened. Since this guy was not in his local area he sold access to the page, URL and all the likes to a competing business in another area of the country. If you do not think this happens you can check eBay, there are new seasoned fan pages coming up each day on there.

The only way to be safe is to use us.. (Just Kidding) You have to be safe when dealing with social media experts, or companies you have not heard of. It is way to easy to deem yourself an expert, or call yourself a company and have bad intentions. This happens anytime there is a new area like social media that is changing the way we do business. One thing is for sure we have a lot of clients, extremely happy with the results, and you can be too.

Call us today and learn how we can help your manage your business’s social media.

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Fayetteville NC 28301
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