There are few things in life better than having that “Ah, Ha!” moment. You know, when things start to really click and a path for the future becomes a bit more clearly defined. Myself, and I’m sure other marketers in attendance at the AMA’s “Past, Present, and Future of Content Marketing: Impacting Behavioral Change” event had a few of these moments, as we listened in on a thought-filled panel discussion among esteemed industry experts.
Archive of Brand Management Posts
When building out a distinctive B2B brand message, one of the questions branding experts might ask is, “What are the current perceptions and attitudes about your brand?”. We all have our own perceptions, but nothing compares better than how others perceive or associate your message. While the easiest and most direct way to obtain this answer is to actually ask the customer(s), there are reasons why this might not be possible.
First, customers are busy and it can be difficult to get their time for such an exercise, especially for such a potentially penetrating question. Second, because of the sensitive nature this infers, customers may be reluctant to speak candidly (this is why branding experts would often want to interview customers separately).
Fortunately there are internet marketing related reports and resources that provide immediate insight into how well your B2B brand message resonates with target audiences. Here are five examples to consider.
A few weeks back I wrote a column for Search Engine Land on B2B buyer personas. In exploring the persona concept, it further supported my opinion that for SEO to truly be effective for the B2B organization, SEO needs to run hand-in-hand with traditional B2B marketing initiatives.
In this post, I want to discuss how B2B SEO discovery can be integrated into buyer persona development, in turn creating a more effective search engine optimization strategy in the long run.
What do I always tell clients, family, friends, cocktail party-goers (whose eyes glaze over as they get the answer), etc. when they ask about how social media can really benefit a non-consumer-products company (i.e. B2B social media)?
Build relationships. Strengthen relationships. Be genuine. Add value.
I always add something like “social media can help with driving traffic to your site and building links for SEO, but that isn’t the main goal.” (clients seem to enjoy this; friends, family, cocktail-party-goers – not so much).
And I believe it when I say it – and I believe it now.
What are you doing to establish trust in your personal or company brand today? Trust is a core component of a successful social media strategy. Without it, your promotional efforts may fall flat and your message often goes unheard or unread.
How do you establish trust online? One way is to help other colleagues in their endeavors online as well.
Unfortunately, trust is not established overnight. It’s going to take time, development and sound execution in order to be successful. That said, there are little things the online marketer can start doing today to get the ball rolling.
When most people think “search engine optimization” they think “title tags”, “keywords” and “content”. The majority don’t realize that the technical elements also play a very large role in how successful a site becomes.
The cleaner a site is “technically” the easier it will be for search engines and users to find it. All the on-page optimization in the world can’t help your site if no one sees it.
What got me thinking about this?
Today I was day dreaming about food (per usual) and I decided to see if there were any deals on gift certificates. I typed restaurant.com into my address bar and what did I get? An error page!
Businesses are constantly hearing about the new “hot” site or the success of someone else in social media and think they too should be jumping right in there. What people fail to see is that social media isn’t something you become great at overnight. These success stories didn’t happen because someone at the company simply signed up.
Social media takes work and it can certainly be overwhelming to get started with. The good news is that there are a number of people out there who know what they are talking about.
Recently a client was telling me about their Pay Per Click (PPC) program, and how there was an expectation from senior management that they always be present for a particular keyword. A 1-word keyword. In a competitive (i.e. expensive) keyword space.
I was saying that it is too bad that they were being asked to waste so much money. And it is a waste!
But, I was surprised when they told me about a little trick they were using – only displaying their PPC ad for that keyword when and where the CEO would likely be!
Aaron Wall just wrote an important post on SEO and the impact of brand strength in relation to competitive keyword visibility. The team at SEO Book provided examples of highly competitive keywords and the recent surge in brand-specific website rankings.
What’s important to note is that in some situations, companies clearly are adopting SEO best practices as it pertains to the keyword visibility in onpage elements like HTML title tags, Meta Descriptions and web page copy (“airline tickets” is a good example of major airlines optimizing their respective home pages). In other cases, strong brands rank incredibly well with very little keyword relevance on the page (check out Timberland for “boots” and the majority of search results for “watches“).
This past Monday I attended the Publicity Club of New England’s event, Best Practices in Social Media PR: A View from the Frontlines. (I’d link to the specific event, but apparently they do not archive past events online). Moderated by Kel Kelly of Kel & Partners, the session included four panelists – A.J. Gerritson of 451 Marketing, Mike Hollywood of Cone, LLC, Dianne Huff of DH Communications and Ted Weismann, Lois Paul & Partners – who each presented case studies of social media strategies in action with their clients.