A Catalyst for Fierce Contemporary Digital Marketing

EAG, February 1, 2015

The-Value-of-ContentFierce Digital Marketing With Contemporary Content

A business website hasn’t been a marketing luxury for years now. It is a catalyst for business success, much like a Yellow Pages listing was back in the day. For many of your customers, your business website is the first point of contact (and impression) they have with (and of) the company or brand. This website will either build trust in your brand or send them running off in search of another company – your competitor. Regardless if your business is based online or off, customers are searching for you online, and making purchasing decisions on what they find there. Indeed, your Web property is the virtual cornerstone of your digital marketing efforts.

In 2011, $1.1 trillion of all retail sales were “Web influenced,” according to Forrester Research. Those sales weren’t just for online purchases of consumer goods. Diners are turning to review sites like Yelp to get the scoop on that restaurant they’re tempted to try, while new businesses have an opportunity to compile or highlight positive reviews in a centralized location, which builds user confidence.

Driving action, websites are the catalyst. Fierce and compelling content is king. A well written website can serve as an anchor for any digital marketing campaign, as any business to business ad agency should tell you. Your social posts can point back to blogs or pages on your website dealing with a relevant topic, while social advertising campaigns can direct new customers to a landing page that builds your brand. Content should be the catalyst for these small business advertising and marketing objectives:

Boost Search Optimization

A website is a fiercely effective boost to your business’s search optimization rank. A high organic ranking can spell success for any business, regardless of paid search advertising budgets. In fact, according to Search Engine Journal, 70 to 80 percent of users ignore paid ads, focusing just on the organic results.

If that figure isn’t enough to convince you that you need to boost your website’s organic ranking, consider that 75 percent of Web users never scroll past the first page of search results. Instead, they’ll enter in new search terms if they haven’t found what they’re looking for.

Your website copy needs to walk the line between talking to Google and talking to your customers. SEO content that’s keyword-dense but sounds like it was written by a robot may help boost page rankings, but it will not be the catalyst for converting browsers in to customers. Each page on your website should focus on one or a small handful of relevant keywords and present information that’s both engaging and informative, since it will be the landing point for new customers who have found you online.

Build Brand & Executive Credibility

Unless you’re under the age of 12 or over 95, you know you cannot believe everything you read on the Web. Building brand and executive credibility is essential since it’s often difficult to tell who is behind the content on a site and whether or not they can be trusted. Use website content as a catalyst for establishing thought leadership for company executives, building loyalty to your company or service through creative storytelling and gaining trust in your brand.

Spelling counts. According to RealBusiness, 74 percent of Web users pay attention to the quality of the content on a website, noting that spelling and grammar matter, and 59 percent will avoid doing business with a company that has obvious spelling and grammar mistakes on its website.

Credibility is also about becoming a source for information, not simply promotion. It’s no secret that Web users hate “marketese,” that overly promotional copy style that’s full of fluff buzzwords and completely lacking in substance. For new (or growing) businesses that are looking to expand beyond their current client base, thought leadership-style content draws consistent traffic to your site, blog, and social profiles.

If you’re an offline, brick and mortar business, consider blogging about local happenings and events, sharing photos on social platforms, or offering a spin on relevant news. This way, readers find your online presence looking for the information that matters to them. While there, they will come across your current promotions and get that final nudge to check out your business.

If you’re an online venture, this means engaging in conversations relevant to your product or service. For example, eco-friendly businesses can blog or socially share important news and study findings. Graphic design services can blog about new trends in designs and share articles about successful campaigns. The more customers begin to view your online presence as a source for “need to know” information, the more likely you are to become a go-to expert in your field… a catalyst for fierce marketing success and sales.

Increase Engagement

Engaging, entertaining, informative copy engage users in learning more about your product’s or service’s features and benefits, as well as reading into your brand’s back story and the executives behind the brand. Effective content is as essential to building brand loyalty, which drives repeat sales, as having a quality product.

Think that’s an exaggeration? Look no further than Toms, which markets itself as the “one for one” shoe company. This brand, along with many other conscientious brands, have used online marketing and advertising tools to build a brand story that goes far beyond the quality and practicality of the product they’re selling, and builds a feel-good story for consumers that makes wearing or using their products attractive.

Their brand is so successful, and their site so engaging, that they have launched a Toms Marketplace page, encouraging their customers to shop with other conscientious brands.

Writing for the Web is Not Like Any Other Type of Writing

To write for the Web, you must forget everything you learned in your college writing classes. Web content is a highly specialized style of writing.

If you aren’t ready to outsource to a professional copywriter, here are five tips to help you revise your Web copy:

  1. Headlines should be fierce and eye-catching. According to Copyblogger, 80 percent of Web users will read headlines, but only 20 percent will read past that key phrase.
  1. The content needs to be scannable. Of that 20 percent who do read through the rest of a website, they’re only reading 20 percent of the content on a page, according to Nielson Norman Group. Key points in your page should be highlighted. This can be achieved through some of the following:
  • Bulleted lists catch attention and should highlight main points
  • Hyperlinks to relevant sources, new pages, and studies or statistics draw attention
  • Key points and figures can be highlighted using different fonts or colors
  1. Each paragraph should focus on one concept. If you’re making a series of points, don’t list two in the same paragraph because Web user behavior shows that they will skip over additional points as they’re scanning the page.
  1. Employ inverted pyramid This is the writing style used by journalists whose writing style was developed so that a story could be hacked off at the end of any paragraph and still paint a complete picture (this format was meant to make it easier for page editors to insert content around the page’s advertisements). Start with your conclusion and list key facts right up front.
  1. Keep it short. If you aren’t used to writing for the Web, Coco Chanel’s iconic fashion advice is particularly relevant. Draft your copy, then, using a critical eye, cut your word count in half. Look for words that can replace descriptive phrases, and think about what details are particularly important.

All Roads Lead Home – Your Website

 According to eMarketer, 86.6 percent of American small and midsize businesses cite responsive websites as their most important digital marketing tactic. Whether you’re offering a product or service for sale online or promoting an offline venture, it all starts with a website loaded with SEO-rich and compelling content. After all, it is the website that is the catalyst for all things content-generated from digital marketing to organic search engine rankings and sales conversions.

So, Are You Ready to be the Catalyst for Fierce Digital Marketing?

Being a good tactical marketer is only part of it. How do you become a great, better yet fierce, ferocious digital marketer?  Fierce digital marketing means pushing buttons.

Take No Prisoners

Monitor your competitors online. Go where they go. Stalk them, follow them, emulate them and then leave them in the dust. Target competitors’ customers. Target your competitors. If they put up a billboard, you put up a bigger billboard (digitally, of course).

Get Out from Behind the Keyboard

With all due respect to millennials and digital natives, the world does not live by the iPhone alone. Really fierce marketers get in your face in as many ways as possible. The advent of radio did not ruin other media. Television didn’t cause the demise of radio, cable didn’t end network television advertising (just ask Super Bowl advertisers) and digital marketing won’t replace all other channels.

Don’t put all your advertising eggs in one digital basket. Be bold and broad. This is an era of consumer-led choice. Never forget that in your marketing endeavors.

 Be Willing to Admit Your Content Might be Crap

If your content is crap, it cannot be king. Fierce digital marketers don’t pedal the same old content. Nobody is reading that garbage. Sure, content is king and content begets search engine rankings. But write something worth writing about. Take a stand. Be smarter than the other guy. Don’t be second about anything – in your digital marketing game or anywhere.

Catalyst: Be an Agent of Change

A catalyst is a change agent. You can’t be a catalyst for anything, not even digital marketing, if you are not willing to make changes – to think outside the proverbial box. And change is not always comforting to marketers.

Change involves risk. Most marketers bristle at the idea of upsetting ten customers even if it means the possibility of winning fifty new customers. A bird in the hand… you know the rest.

But a fierce marketer, whether digitally focused or not, is willing to be a game changer. Just ask Coke about New Coke. That failure didn’t stop them from stepping outside themselves to become the leading seller of alternative drink products.

 Now, go out there and be a fierce catalyst for contemporary digital marketing.

 

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