Digital marketing is about learning from the past and creating growth, both of which are always top-of-mind on the first of each year. Ring in 2015 with these 5 digital marketing resolutions based on the shifting trends of online search.
1. Get Back to Basics
When the trail gets lost or the waters get muddled, its always best to return to where you started. This is also true for digital marketing. It’s easy to get caught up in the Buzzfeed lists of must do’s and the hottest search trends of the year, but at the end of the day you’ll always need a solid foundation to fall back on. This foundation can be built on Google’s own principles for what a high quality site should be or on the tried and true strategies you’ve always used for success.
2. Focus on Strategies not Tactics
A tactic should always be driven by a higher level strategy. Tactics, or specific action items, should be determined within the context of your overall strategy and that strategy is used to define what the end goal will look like. Not having a strategy would be akin to taking off and flying without an airport to land at.
Having a strategy will also help you understand why you’re doing something before taking action. Too often tactics are used with no guidance or consideration to how each might affect the intended outcome. Define your strategy, then build out specific tactics to fit within that strategy, rather than the other way around. For more on strategy and tactics, read our blog post that compares strategies versus tactics.
3. Focus on Quality over Quantity
A content strategy should be a part of your overall digital marketing plan, however this content needs to be of high quality. Too often a content strategy is developed that is focused around how much content can be pushed out each month. While this should be considered, the quality of the writing needs to be top of mind as well and may even be more important.
On WordPress alone there are 42.6 million blog posts published each month. Want to stand out among the crowd and noise? Write high quality content.
This will make your content more likely to be read, shared, and shown by Google, as the search engines reward this high quality content.
4. Build Meaningful Connections
This resolution is geared towards social media, but can parlay into the messaging on your site as well.
The most successful businesses have a customer base that is also a part of a tribe, in the sense that they are evangelists and proponents of that brand. Take Apple, for example. Apple has been wildly successful due to the products they develop and the following the brand has received because those products provide value to the lives of their users.
Within the digital marketing community, Moz provides a great example. Moz has grown into a market leader because of its ability to connect with their users as well as connect digital marketers with each other across the globe. They sell a tool, but more importantly their company is founded on providing value to its users. This has created a strong community around Moz.
Connections can also be made with influencers within your industry and market. Link building is going by the wayside to make room for ‘Link Earning’. The best way to earn links is to build a community of influencers who want to share your brand. Again, see Moz. If you build a great product and brand others will want to be a part of your story.
5. Tell a Story
On top of building a community, it is also important to tell a story. What this means is to not only tell the story of your brand, but to also welcome others into that story and let them know how they can be a part of it. Too often brands push out content and information on their site that is uninspired and bland (and comes in the form of a list of benefits).
What really needs to happen is the creation of content that helps a customer understand how the product or service can fit into their lives. This is best done through a story or use case scenario.
This story helps customers identify with the use of the product and a second, and just as useful, benefit of this is that it opens your website up to appear in semantic queries. Semantic, or intent-based search, has become more important in the last 6 months and will be even more relevant moving forward. It means that Google’s search algorithm understands questions and longer query strings instead of just pulling out specific keywords.
2015 and Beyond
These resolutions will help get you on the right path for 2015. Focus on best practices and move forward with building your brand as authoritative and an integral part of your market. We wish you success in 2015 and if you need a little help along the way, give us a shout!