Category Archives: SEO Management

Winning Strategies Focus on the Three R’s of Content Marketing

Have you ever noticed that when you see a McDonald’s, typically you will also see a Burger King? Or when you see a Target, odds are a Walmart is in close proximity? With brick and mortar brands, this is visually obvious, but the same coincidence is true when it comes to online space. Type in the keywords for your brand and you’ll notice that you might appear in the search results, but so do your closest competitors.

A little competition is actually a good thing. It gives brands a benchmark to compare or strive toward. It also provides consumers with choices. That’s right, I actually said that consumer choice is a good aspect of competition. A healthy bit of competition serves as a natural reminder for brands, forcing them to consistently have a gut check, evaluate current positioning and offerings, and push toward product enhancements.

While competition can be great for creating product roadmaps and defining consumer demand, it does make the landscape a bit more treacherous for online content marketers. Have no fear – we have three rules of content marketing that will steer your content marketing efforts toward search results success.

Roulette Anyone?

One of the biggest hurdles for any content marketer is to figure out how to create pieces that are not only interesting but also entertaining. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to make it fun – take it back to grade school and make it a game. Get consumers involved through a game of chance…a game of roulette.

Don’t leave the reputation of your brand to chance but rather make the involvement of your consumers exciting by engaging them in a way that they’ll never be completely sure what they’ll get. Make your message the surprise.

An excellent example of this is the new Doritos campaign, which is aptly named Doritos Roulette. This incredibly creative campaign has chip lovers across the globe rushing to purchase the mixed bag of regular Doritos with a handful of extra spicy ones in order to play the game for themselves. And word is spreading like wildfire on Vine and YouTube as consumers film their games and share their experiences.

By creating something that is fun and engages consumers in such a way, Doritos has established a campaign that is self-feeding with a message that is spreading virally and organically across cyberspace.

Rivalry Develops Advocates

Rivalries are a staple of our everyday lives through athletic teams, hometown cities and our brand preferences. New York vs. New Jersey, University of Texas vs. Oklahoma University, Pepsi vs. Coke – it’s something that is ingrained in our culture.

So why is this the key to content marketing? Glad you asked! These rivalries are key drivers for creating brand advocates. Think of how many times your grandparents preached about the dependability of a Buick as you were growing up or how many times you found yourself buying the maximum amount when your favorite but slightly more expensive brand, Tide, went on sale. Brands can become such a part of our lifestyles that, as consumers, we do a great deal of storytelling in hopes of swaying others on behalf of our favorite brands.

This natural tendency of rivalries helps create some of the strongest brand advocates. As content marketers, it is our job to fuel the fires of rivalry, providing our advocates with additional ammunition and publicly thanking them when they take a stand on our brand’s behalf.

Recognition Is the End Result

Want to increase your brand’s organic reach without spending a fortune? Recognize your consumers. This gesture of recognition often instills a sense of pride and provides a natural motivator for increased word-of-mouth advocate marketing.

You see this in restaurants all the time – a menu board full of sandwiches named after the store’s more famous and/or loyal patrons. Domino’s recently took this cue and created an app that allows customers to not only customize their pizza but also name it, and they can even earn money for local charities when other consumers order one of their creations.

Not only does this give consumers a chance for the public spotlight, it also allows Domino’s to put themselves in a position of charitable giving within individual communities, giving consumers even more reason to pledge their loyalty to the brand and return again and again.

Creating a Game Plan for Your Brand

The first step to any journey is always the hardest. At Haley Brand Intelligence, we’ve helped hundreds of brands create roadmaps for success with their content marketing strategies. If you’re ready for your brand to get into the game, contact Haley Brand Intelligence and let us guide you to a winning strategy.

 

B2B Buyers Research Online Before Buying

b2bmarketingSimilar to their B2C counterparts, studies are showing that in order to stand out and grab new business, B2B companies need to pack their websites with informative content to perform well in search results and engage potential customers.

In order to generate leads online, companies are turning their websites into information destinations for potential consumers doing research on their buying needs. Just as they do for themselves, when looking to purchase for business, consumers use search engines and social channels to find out as much as they can about a company and their products before making their final purchasing recommendations or decisions.

According to a recent study by the Acquity Group, 94 percent of business buyers and purchasers complete some sort of online research before making a purchase decision. The methods they use follow similar trends seen on the B2C side of business:

  • 77 percent use Google Search or Bing
  • 84 percent check the company’s website
  • 34 percent visit third-party websites to find out more about a company
  • 41 percent read online reviews about the company, their products and customer service

Like their personal consumer counterparts, business consumers consult an average of 10 online sources before finally making their purchase decision.

Create a Competitive Content Archive

Depending on your industry and size of purchase at stake, consumers may or may not want to conduct the entire transaction autonomously online. However, regardless of industry or size of purchase, the fact remains that consumers will do research before making their decision

In order to capture their attention and earn their trust to move on to the next phase of the purchase life cycle, you need to have an army of content resources ready and at their disposal to answer their questions. A strong content archive can educate your leads and help guide them through the sales funnel.

For many consumers, a lack of online information about a company is becoming a deal breaker and is seen as a warning sign; companies without content or willingness to provide information are viewed as too new, not large enough, and having no stamina or longevity.

Give your consumers what they are thirsting for – create a content archive that is full of information about what sets your company and products apart, provides insight into who you are as a company, and explains to the consumer why they need you. And once you’ve created the content, you’ll want to share it across the web on various social platforms, forums and industry publication channels. The more of your information that gets out there, the more the search engines will find it and deliver potential consumers to your site.

Doing the research, planning and outlining a plan of attack, and creating informative and captivating content is a huge task and one many companies don’t have the resources to achieve. That’s where Haley Brand Intelligence comes in. Our team of industry experts can create a content archive and content marketing strategy that will get your company noticed and bring leads to your doorstep.

When you’re ready to engage prospective consumers online, contact Haley Brand Intelligence and let our team create a content strategy that will deliver for you.

4 Ways to Drive Up Your Brand’s SEO Power With Pinterest

DrivePinterestSince first appearing on the social media landscape in 2010, Pinterest has captivated users and puzzledonline marketers around the globe. The free site is now valued at over $5 billion and has proven itself a force in the online social realm.

Online marketers are now faced with the task of creating comprehensive social strategies that incorporate Pinterest. What makes this platform trickier than the others is that it is based solely on visual content – videos and photographs. For brands that don’t have tangible products for sale, this task can seem very daunting. But don’t give up just yet!

We have pulled together a list of four can’t-miss, proven strategies both B2B and B2C brands can incorporate into their current social strategies that will drive up SEO performance and increase your brand’s overall online performance.

Let Your Brand’s Personality Shine

As counterintuitive as it might seem for many, lifting up the curtain and letting consumers see what goes on in the daily life of your brand is actually a good thing, and Pinterest is the perfect place to do it.

In fact, introducing prospective and current customers to the “personality” of your brand instead of always simply spouting the praises of your products creates a relationship with your target audience. It’s the brands with strong, more personal relationships with consumers that survive when times are tough and create consistent positive gains year over year.

Consider adding Pinterest boards that not only show your various products and services but also introduce your team, show behind-the-scene moments from company events or even tell about your staff’s top movie and book picks. Let the personality of your brand’s employees help to tell the story of your brand.

Let Pinterest Do the Heavy Lifting

As Pinterest’s authority grows, so will its impact on SEO performance and its ability to more strongly impact your search rankings. Incorporate links to your site and hashtags that relate to your products and services into most of the items you post on Pinterest. Incorporating them here ensures that a larger number of those within your target audience will see them and that the search engines will capture them and consider them in the algorithm and site analysis.

The additional practice of incorporating links and hashtags into your Pinterest postings will go a long way in increasing your overall search rankings.

Making Your Content Pinnable

Along the same lines of Facebook’s “like” button and Twitter’s “tweet” button, Pinterest has an option to let users share content they find across the web by “pinning” it. These “pins” onto Pinterest count as backlinks to your website and will go into your overall SEO scoring algorithm.

Don’t let your brand miss out on this opportunity! Incorporate social share buttons, which include the ability to like, tweet and pin, into your blogs and galleries on your website.

Pay Attention to Performance and Trends

Want to make sure your content gets picked up and repinned on Pinterest?  Then make sure your brand is pinning content that your target audience is interested in.

Pinterest offers outstanding analytics for businesses, so take advantage of them.  Their analytics will give you the perspective you need to evaluate whether your current Pinterest content strategy is the right answer or if you need to shift into a different direction.

Mastering the waters of Pinterest and creating social media strategies that outperform the competition is something the Haley Brand Intelligence team understands completely. Online social media brand marketing is our passion and creating strategies for success is what we do. Wherever you want your brand’s social strategy to take you, Haley Brand Intelligence can provide the guidance to get you there.

3 Revealing Musts From the Content Marketing Institute

The practice of online content marketing is a mainstream practice and one that has been adopted by both B2B and B2C marketers over the past 10 years. In their fifth annual report, the team at the Content Marketing Institute has provided facts about the trends, challenges and best practices found within the science behind content marketing.

The detailed report offers insight into several areas, but there were three in particular that stood out to us.

Guidance for B2B Marketing Content Creation

Not surprisingly, there isn’t a definitive answer on this. However, the report found that 59 percent of B2B marketers publish content at least weekly. Of that, 42 percent publish new content daily, leaving only 20 percent who stated they only published once a month.

This percentage is growing annually as more and more content marketers discover the power of online content development. Publishing content occasionally is no longer an option; daily interaction on social media and minimum weekly blogging or on-site content creation is now a requirement in order to stay ahead of the competition.

The Most Effective New Methods for Content Marketing

One of the things the report does well is create a distinction between method usage versus effectiveness and establish the importance of how the two concepts must work together for long-term strategy success.

Case and point, search engine marketing (SEM) is seen as being effective by more than 52 percent of B2B marketers surveyed for the report; however, content marketing tools, which can help establish baselines, report on impact reach and outline keyword strategies for optimal performance, are only used by 13 percent.

If these tools were used when strategies were developed, these marketers would see a drastic increase in their overall effectiveness, making the effort they are putting into its use more cost-effective, impactful and worthwhile.

Adjusting the Right Budget for the Job at Hand

The report had a surprising find – on average, only 16 percent of the B2B marketers surveyed spent most of the budget on content marketing and 44 percent admitted that they spent less than 25 percent on content marketing.

Although it is clear that historically the bulk of most of these budgets is being spent on avenues other than content marketing, more than 54 percent of those surveyed stated that they will be drastically increasing their spend over the next two years in order to stay ahead of the competition.

The Haley Brand Intelligence team understands the pressures of needing to maximize your budgetary dollars. Our team of industry professionals knows how to deliver on performance without breaking the bank.  When you’re ready to take your content marketing strategy to the next level, contact Haley Brand Intelligence and let us guide you toward online performance success.

How to Successfully Integrate Social Media Into Your Website

Adding Social Media to WebsiteIntegrating social media into your website, branding and marketing is just as important as creating main content for the various pages of your website. As the content within your website tells users what you do, it’s the social media content that brings them to the site and oftentimes serves as the initial introduction of your brand to new potential consumers.

The Importance of Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement now plays a huge role in a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance. The content developed, both by a brand and by social consumers, now counts toward your brand’s overall search results rankings.

A well-delivered strategy could easily move your brand’s search result display from page three to page one within weeks, making you visible to an endless number of potential consumers.

Still unsure about the importance of an integrated social media strategy to your brand’s website community? Here are a few statistics that might just sway your way of thinking on the matter:

  • The message received on a brand’s Facebook page has a 47 percent impact on a consumer’s purchasing decisions
  • More than 62 percent of the global population engages in social media on a daily basis
  • 76 percent of Twitter users actively retweet updates and posts by their favorite brands
  • More than 12 percent of Twitter users have admitted to purchasing a product based on the message/updated of a brand posted on Twitter
  • 70 percent of the Fortune 500 companies engage in social media on a daily basis and have incorporated social media tools into their brand websites

Social Share Icons for Social Media Success

Now that you understand just how much is at stake for your brand when it comes to social media, let’s take a look at a few steps that will help you create and implement a more successful social media engagement strategy on an ongoing basis.

Social share icons typically appear as a small group of buttons (like a mini-toolbar) on content, such as blogs, images and articles, which provide consumers the ability to quickly share your content with others on social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Social sharing tool bars are available for free via Po.stTicketMy and Sociable.

Your social share icons should blend in with the rest of your site and not be too distracting, as the focus needs to remain on your content. When positioning the buttons, keep them in line with your content and how users will interact with it. For example, on a blog, put them at the bottom of the blog, as that’s where users will look for them after they finish.

Along with a social sharing tool bar, allow for users to provide comments and feedback on your website. This is traditionally seen on product and services pages, testimonials pages and blogs.

Giving consumers a chance to pass on an opinion or provide quick feedback in the form of a comment section allows for user engagement, two-way conversations between your brand and your target audience, and provides additional content for your website.

Once you have incorporated the ability to share and engage into your website, you’ll want to add social media tracking to your tool sets. Whether you add it to your Google Analytics or incorporate it into your internal in-house reporting and tracking, being able to see how your social media engagement is performing in real time is what is more important. This real-time reporting provides great power in the “what’s hot now” with your consumer base and will let you adjust your content, roll out a new promotion or put out a public relations fire at a moment’s notice.

Have questions on how social media can incorporate into your brand’s current marketing strategy? Contact the Haley Brand team and let us work with you to develop a strategy that helps you connect with your target audience and uses the power of social engagement to further promote your marketing message and drive home sales.

Know the Elements of a Twitter Strategy for Success

Twitter StrategyOver 85 percent of today’s Fortune 500 companies are active daily in social media, and of that group over 73 percent have Twitter accounts. To stay on top and garner the most impact of their social endeavors, these brands have carved out entire positions and teams who do nothing but focus on social media and online brand marketing interactivity on their behalf each day.

Smaller brands face a different challenge when it comes to social media engagement, as they typically cannot afford to hire entire teams to drive their social media engagement, so they must maximize and streamline their daily efforts.

Believe it or not, Twitter has turned out to be a bit of a secret weapon for smaller brands. Not only does Twitter put you in front of a larger audience you may otherwise have not reached, it also has a direct impact on your search engine rankings and performance.

Know Your Audience Demographics

To get to the heart of things, if your target audience demographics are on the younger side of the population, then being on Twitter is a no-brainer…it’s an actual must.

Recent studies have shown those most active on Twitter are those who find themselves in the 18-24 and 30-49 age range groups. If half or more of your user base or target audience falls within either of these two age groups, then Twitter needs to be a long pole in your marketing tent.

Know Your Competitor’s Strategy

Take time to get to know what your competitors are doing on Twitter. If your competition has been successful in building their social media audience, then learn from them.

Take a bit of time to review their Twitter pages. See if there is anything they do that is working that you could improve on and implement into your own strategy. Compare them all and decide on what you could do on Twitter that would help you stand out from them.

Know the Value of Daily Activity

Unlike the content on your site, to develop credibility and a consistent following, daily activity is a requirement on social media for long-term success. The less known or understood aspect of daily activity comes with the concept of “being in the right place at the right time.

Specifically, Tweeting at a bad time, when none or less than the majority of your target audience is online or active, is futile. Unlike other platforms, if they aren’t there when your Tweets hit the wall, odds are they won’t see the message.

There are three options available here:

  1. Block time on your calendar to work on Twitter manually a few times a day. The trick to this method is that you can’t miss your window of opportunity – if you do, then your efforts might be wasted.
  2. Use a social media management tool to schedule your Tweets to post automatically throughout the day or week. This way, you only need to set aside time once a week to schedule all of your social media posts for the week and then allow the tool to push out the content at the right time. Of these two, especially for a smaller brand with limited resources, this is obviously the best option, as it will maximize both your time and effort to the cause.
  3. Work with a marketing agency that not only understands the importance of social media engagement but the value in online brand marketing.

Know the Value of Experience

For so many brands, having the expendable time to focus on understanding their target audience and the intricacies of the art of social media is a luxury few can afford. That’s where understanding the value in incorporating the experience of others comes into play.

The Haley Brand Intelligence team has years of proven social media strategy and execution success. When you’re ready to move your brand into the realm of social media, contact Haley Brand and let us create a social strategy that will allow your brand to stand out from the crowd and flourish online while you spend time focusing on the other aspects of growing your business.

How to Make the Most Out of Twitter

new-twitter-profile-header-size-dimensions-2014-433x300When it comes to brand marketing, your brand serves as a reflection of your business’s ethics, reputation and purpose. There is more to branding and marketing, however, than simply deciding on a mission statement and pummeling the online atmosphere with social media propaganda.

The trick to online success lies within the development and implementation of an online strategy. If you’re looking for where to put more of your efforts for the most bang for your buck, then turn to Twitter. Twitter has a high success rate and a large audience base, and the content and effort put forth on this platform will count as both social media engagement and unique content, which can impact your overall search engine ranking results.

Here are a few tricks of the trade that will help you maximize your online Twitter engagement efforts and perform like a true marketing and branding champ.

Enhance Your Twitter Page’s Appearance

When it comes to online engagement, you have less than 12 seconds to grab the attention of any new user who lands on your website or social media page. Impossible to do while still maintaining your brand’s integrity, you say? Actually, no.

To relay your brand’s message, grab a user’s attention and begin the process of online engagement on Twitter, considering employing the following tactics:

  • Use a hi-res (high-quality) picture of your logo as your profile picture.  This tells users immediately that they are at the right place.
  • Use a unique header image, a relatively new feature now offered by Twitter. The header dimensions are 1252 pixels by 626 pixels. Do something that shows your brand’s personality, as this will not only instantly grab a user’s attention but will also help your brand stand out in the Twitter stratosphere.
  • Personalize your Twitter background design with the color and theme of your brand. This will establish brand consistency in your online appearance.
  • Create a compelling bio. Keep in mind that you only have 140 characters with which to work, so use your space mindfully. Make your bio unique and attention-grabbing and something more personal than your typical straight-line “about us” piece. Also, incorporate keywords in this description, as this content counts toward your overall search ranking performance.
  • Take time to understand your Twitter user base (keeping in mind that not all of your target audience of potential consumers use Twitter).  Find out the demographics of your audience that use Twitter and what their activity schedule looks like.
  • Create a daily engagement strategy for Twitter. Of all of the social media platforms, daily activity is most critical on Twitter as the wall moves and refreshes constantly, so if you don’t tweet often, your tweets are less likely to be seen.
  • Craft tweets that promote your company’s purpose, offer sales and special offers, and engage your target audience in daily activities such as reviews, surveys and testimonials.
  • Incorporate hashtags into your tweets in order to elevate keywords.  This not only improves your performance on Twitter but also on off-site search results.

Your Plan for Online Marketing Success

The Haley Brand Intelligence team collectively has years of proven social media strategy and execution success. We’ve elevated brands from the Twitter ether regions to the Twitter limelight.

When you’re ready to move your brand into the realm of social media success, let the Haley Brand team create a social strategy that will allow your brand to stand out from the crowd and flourish online while you spend time focusing on the other aspects of growing your business.

Does Facebook Make the Right Connections for Your Brand?

Midyear is here and it’s time for many brands to step back and evaluate their social media performance for the first half of the year and adjust as needed for the remainder. Facebook, a longtime requirement for most successful brands, has had a year of ups and downs already, causing many to question its value in a brand’s social media portfolio.

Facebook now has over 1.28 billion active users and more than 30 million brands with some sort of a presence on the site. With that many consumers available in one place, Facebook is a marketer’s dream.

Here are a few facts and stats to keep in mind while your brand evaluates and plans for the remainder of 2014.

  1. More than 19 million of the businesses on Facebook have optimized their Fan Page for mobile. Considering 399 million Facebook users use mobile on a monthly basis, if you want to compete, your brand should do the same.
  2. Facebook ads now command a 122 percent higher price tag per ad unit than they did just a year ago. Brands spent $2.66 billion on Facebook advertising last quarter, which is an increase from $2.27 billion the previous quarter.
  3. 829 million people use Facebook on a daily basis, an increase from 802 million last quarter. In comparison, Instagram is only used by 200 million people each month.
  4. The average Facebook user spends 40 minutes a day on the platform. That’s a lot of opportunity for any brand.
  5. Facebook users bought $234 million worth of virtual goods and gifts on Facebook over the last quarter.
  6. Why is it important to consider video on Facebook? Because twice as many people now watch videos on Facebook in their feed compared to just six months ago.
  7. There are over 1 billion searches performed on Facebook each day. With those kinds of numbers, shouldn’t your brand be part of the search result?

Despite the competitive landscape, Facebook continues to outperform market expectations in both revenue and user engagement, which ensures that it’s still one of the top social media darlings and a must-have for any brand’s online marketing portfolio.

Build a Strong Social Media Brand Presence

With all the competition out there, creating a presence for your brand is not only more important than ever, but ensuring you stand out is now trickier than ever.  The Haley Brand Intelligence team knows how to create brand social excitement online.  Wherever you want your brand to go online, Haley Brand Intelligence can provide the map to get you there.

Preparing Your Brand for the Impact of Panda 4.0

Google impacted the the engagement strategies of marketers everywhere with the rollout of Panda 4.0earlier this year.  Panda 4.0 was considered a major update to Google’s search algorithm and was put in place an an attempt to boost exposure for high-quality, content rich sites.

The Panda 4.0 Effect

M127331_panda4Although many webmaster and industry insiders were preparing for it earlier in the year, Panda 4.0 officially made its debut on May 20 with the intention to connect users with better sites.  In addition, Google stated that the new implemented algorithm changes are expected to created better advertisement matching and performance for the thousands of brands utilizing per search marketing strategies.

While Google’s update, unsurprisingly, had a positive effect on its own business, it should also come as no surprise that other companies might be hurt by this update, especially those that earn significant business from Google search.  Sites such as RetailMeNot and eBay lost about one-fourth their valuation by the end of May due to falls in traffic numbers up to 30 percent.  Less traffic means fewer sales for these powerhouse online brands.

Better Positioning for Engagement

Now that we’ve all had time to feel the impacts of the roll out, it’s time to begin adjusting our online marketing and engagement strategies to more effectively with in the new rules.

While curated content (content shared or reposted from other sites) will still play a large role in the overall search-scoring algorithm, it’s fresh, relevant content that will now carry the most weight.  Blogs, on-site messaging, infographics and videos are the elements that will push a site to the top of the organic search results positions.  And when it comes to securing placement for paid ads, those brands that revamp their content game and produce content that supports the new Google playbook rules, will have a distinct advantage over other paid advertisers.

With Google laying down the new rules of search engagement, many of the social platforms have adjusted their engagement rules as well.  Most notably of the platforms is Facebook.  Gone are the days of “he who posts the most, wins” strategies, which gave brands equal credit for content curration as it did for true content creation.  Reposting or curating of content no longer carries the same rebranding and ranking impact power it once did.

To truly leverage curation and branding on Facebook, brands will now need to incorporate hash-tagging and linking to their own site if they want to retain branding elements and tracking on Facebook.  In a nutshell, when you find an article you feel will speak to your followers, repost the curated content on your site and then post it on Facebook with a hashtag for your company and the appropriate content category call out.  In doing so the original content creator will still receive credit for the article or post; however, no your brand will also receive credit for your curation of the article or post.

The new rules also put a huge emphasis on freshness.  Instead of posting blogs once a week, try twice a week.  And to optimize your sharablity factor, try and include photos, videos or infographic elements as well.   Doing so will not only offer you a second option for tagging (each element can be tagged separately), but posts with these type of elements are 75 times more likely to be shared by users — thus, increasing your overall online marketing reach.

While the new rules have shaken up the online engagement world as we once knew it, you can be sure it won’t keep the industry leaders down for long.  In order to stay competitive, now is the time to reevaluate your online strategy and adjust in order to remain in the game of search rankings.