Monday, July 11, 2016

It's Marketing Content Management, Not Online Wizardry

Some marketing "gurus" like to use clever, proprietary brand names for products and services they offer. Don't get me wrong; I like clever as much as the next guy. Certainly, some of those products/services, particularly ones developed for specific industries or niches, are unique and very helpful.

Others make me say "hmmmm."

I'm into plain language and common sense marketing. While I constantly try new tools and apps and stay on top of SEO best practices, it goes against my nature to jump on a new trend just because it's new or worse, because everyone else is doing it.

Online Marketing is Still Marketing

I read a lot (too much?) about social media and content marketing, and I'm annoyed when a hyped-up headline sucks me in to read about a "new approach to online marketing" that's not really new at all. It's basic marketing.

That said, even after 20+ years of playing in the marketing communications sandbox, I've found excellent advice in some of those articles - often buried in hyperbole, but never the less useful.

Here are three I've been glad I read lately. I hope you find them useful as well.

1. NAP consistency is important

In this case, NAP= Name, Address, Phone. And heavens yes, it's important - you can miss listings, create duplicates that will confuse prospects, and over-spend because you're paying for the wrong (or too many) listings or ads. In the dark ages (pre-internet) we managed such things with a tool we called a Style Guide. You can call it barbaric; I say it's rudimentary.

I truly recommend a style guide, and can usually create 
one for your company in just a few hours that will help 
keep your content marketing efforts on track - no matter 
who handles your social media posts. Want one? 
Get in touch

2. SEO Still Matters, But Site Visitors (Readers) Should Come First 

Newsflash: you don't sell to search engines. You make sales to people, AKA site visitors, AKA readers. So, you need to write copy and design for them first. In this article, Jeff Bullas does a nice (if slightly hype-y) job of highlighting some current SEO trends and how to work with them. I can't help but point out that they're on the common-sense side. The fact is that SEO algorithms are getting smarter and more in tune with human thought (search) processes every day. That's a good thing. 

3. Write Good Headlines 

There are hundreds of ways to write bad headlines - and just as many ways to write good ones. Write good ones. Please. While MOZ does a good and thorough job with the details, I take a more personal approach to headlines. I ask myself, Would I click on it if I were looking for this particular article or product? And, If I clicked on it, would I be disappointed or feel tricked or cheated? If the answer to the first question is yes and the second question is no, it's probably a pretty good headline. Only then do I run it through the keyword check and try to wordsmith it a bit to garner extra (qualified) clicks. 

Old-Fashioned Marketing & Common Sense

Know your product, craft a good message, and get it in front of the right prospects. Yep, once upon a time we called that "marketing." Then the internet came along and we fell in love with the tools, almost forgetting that we're still trying to reach people. Readers. Site visitors. 

Whatever you call 'em, people buy stuff, and they're the ones you need to talk to. If you'd like help crafting a common-sense marketing plan and delivering an on-target message to your best prospects, please contact me

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