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Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine results page (SERP)
1. Defining your market and performing market research
You are well aware of the basic concept of marketing: the "action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising." Today, we will delve into the world of digital marketing, with a small discussion on when and how physical marketing should be used. After we discuss types of marketing and a few strategies we will then provide insights and tactics to help you perform your own market research to better amp up the quality of your marketing strategy.
Digital marketing includes more than just your social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter: it also includes how you advertise (including banners, affiliate links, and sponsored posts) but it also includes anything and everything you put on your webpage.
Online advertising is determined based on trends established by user activity on the Internet. Performing market research will gather data about a targeted population so that an advertising event, or campaign, is successful.
The more traditional digital advertising comes in the forms of banners, pop-ups, side-bar graphics.
Here are two more options to consider:
Sponsoring posts (whether on a blog, website, or social media platform) is a great way to utilize influence marketing, or taking advantage of someone's popularity or expertise to your benefit by appearing on their website or page and being seen by their specific audience.
Sponsoring a post in blogger speak is different than sponsoring a post in advertising speak. In the blogosphere, this is where a company or brand sponsors a post in exchange for you essentially selling their product or service (whether it's written sales-pitchy or not).
In advertising speak, this is when someone can go about their usual business but then refer back to their sponsor for financially funding them so that they can content create.
For example, the Super Bowl has Coca-Cola as a sponsor, but the football players aren't constantly Coca-Cola this and Coca-Cola that.
This is when you simply pay for someone to promote you: either on social media or on a website.
There are two ways you can do this:
- Paying money for them to include and feature your name, product or brand online (in-post mentions).
- Giving them free product/service for them to in turn take a picture of/with that produce/service and therefore feature your name, product, or brand online
Guest posting is another way of doing this. It is where, where you write and create content for another's website for them but can use your name as the author. This is also freelance writing and three scenarios exist: they pay you as a freelance writer, you pay them to advertise on their site, or it's done for free.
search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses everything from the words and phrases you use in your copy to how you name your images and graphic used on each web page. The term SEO refers to the techniques an strategies one uses in order to gain a higher position, or rank, in the search results yielded on search engines (SERP, aka search engine results page) like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The higher the spot on the SERP, the better.
SEO will be covered more in-depth in BYB102, but here are a few key take-aways:
The most popular social media platforms seem to be ever-changing, so we will focus on the five constants as of 2016: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat.
But first, we are going to define some essential key terms before moving forward, crediting this Hootsuite blog post for their assistance with certain definitions below:
Clickthrough: the action taken by a visitor on one webpage that clicks on a hyperlink (or a page button or graphic) and is then taken to another page or new website altogether.
Hashtags: A word or phrase that follows the # symbol and does not include any spaces breaking up the words (eg, it appears to form one word together). The Hootsuite states that "#Hashtags are a simple way to mark the topic (or topics) of social media messages and make them discoverable to people with shared interests. On most social networks, clicking a hashtag will reveal all the public and recently published messages that also contain that hashtag."
@mentions: When one person includes another person in the conversation by using their username on that platform immediately following the @ symbol. For instance, @skill_space on Twitter and Instagram.
Feed: "The social media data format that provides users with a steady stream of updates and information." (Credit: Hootsuite)
Campaign: the umbrella term for a social media marketing or advertising event. Each campaign includes step-by-step tools for strategically setting up the campaign so that you can launch it to go live and then track the success using analytics. Campaigns usually require money in exchange for the platform to run and promote your campaign (paid advertising).
Analytics: "Analytics tells you what happened. In general, it involves using technology to gather data which analysts can study.The goal of analysts is to examine this data, looking for patterns in behavior. The most common way of gathering data is using a tracking tag on a website or software application. The tag registers a “session” when a user visits and then stores data about what pages they visited, what actions they completed, and how they interacted with different elements such as clicking on buttons or performing a search." (Credit: Hootsuite)
A feed and management tool for both open and private groups, conversations, store fronts, and business/brand pages.
Advertising campaigns with different control options and now Facebook Live.
As of July 2016, there are almost 1.6 billion active users.
A feed consisting of 140 character news bits, and occasionally images and graphics.
Updated to include polls, videos, and more interactive features.
Focus can be social, to connect with others using hashtags and @mentions, and networking.
Advertising and marketing campaigns.
As of July 2016, there are approximately 320 million active users.
A feed containing pictures and 15 second videos.
Originally socially geared, but more steps are being made for businesses and brands, particularly in terms of advertising campaigns.
Focus includes connecting with others using hashtags and @mentions.
Only third-party apps show analytics.
As of July 2016, there are approximately 400 million active users.
Boards and feeds of images and graphics, called "Pins," that encourage clickthroughs to other websites.
Visitors can now shop via Pinterest images, as well as using hashtags and @mentions to filter.
Advertising and marketing campaigns.
As of July 2016, there are more than 100 million active users.
A photo and video messaging application originally for social purposes, but now advantageous for marketing purposes.
Each message can be received and viewed for up to ten seconds and then it is no longer available to the recipient.
Ability to live text, chat, and video call.
Currently lacks analytics feedback.
As of July 2016, there are more than 100 million active users, with roughly 60% of them contributing content daily.
Honorable mentions: LinkedIn, Google+
Data attained from DMR (Digital Marketing Ramblings), Google, and the platforms' own webpages.
Specific strategies for social media marketing, including ad campaigns, can by found in BYB102.
adding some graphics
Occasional images and graphics can be incredibly helpful for website visitors. The key word is occasional. An overabundance of imagery can be overstimulating and can distract the readers from getting to the heart of the message.
Choosing your words
Like we said above in non-scannable text: you want to have a simple writing style, break down large concepts (and not use specialized words unless you are speaking to a specialized audience), avoid marketing jargon, and be clear and concise. Essentially, get to the point at an eighth grade reading level. No, your readers aren’t stupid, but they are busy.
Here are times when images and graphics are necessary:
navigation or directional graphics: those that help visitors navigate to where they want to go or guide/direct them to where you want them to go
increasing content value (namely for articles and blog posts)
- to create a break in a large block of text