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lead generation

Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem

GUEST POST: Brad Shorr, Director of Content Strategy at Straight North

The lead generation component of your Internet marketing efforts is the engine that drives that campaign to greater success. What’s more, like any other kind of engine, that lead generation component is built from many moving parts that all need to be working together to deliver the best results. However, too many Internet marketers today go out into the marketplace with lead generation campaigns that are missing crucial elements. This causes them to miss essential opportunities because their lead generation campaigns aren’t operating at their highest efficiency. Many times, the reason these campaigns don’t function the way they should is simple — they were constructed without knowing how all of their pieces should fit together.

Here at professional SEO agency Straight North, our team members have spent a lot of time examining successful lead generation campaigns to understand what makes them work. After putting so many of these campaigns under the microscope, we’ve identified all the elements that these campaigns need to have in order to appeal to each of the unique types of visitors websites attract. For example, including case studies is an effective way to connect with website visitors who are serious about buying and conducting research; while highly sharable social media posts help attract people who may not even be thinking about a product or service until a friend shares the content.

These and many other components are essential for a lead generation campaign. Yet because there are so many of them, it can be difficult for Internet marketers to build their lead generation campaigns without forgetting anything. Just like building any other kind of engine, having a blueprint or schematic can be very important. That’s why we at Straight North have created the infographic you see below. Using it as a type of blueprint for your lead generation campaign can help ensure that you don’t leave anything out when building or revamping your campaign.

created by Straight North a professional SEO agency

Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing company in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. With more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, Brad has been featured in leading online publications including Forbes, Moz and American Marketing Association

digital marketing search and social influence

Digital Marketing: The Search and Social Influence

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Eastern Michigan University, Center for Digital Engagement’s Search Marketing Workshop. The theme of this year’s event was, “The Fusion of Everything”. While Digital has shifted from web only to many things: web, mobile, car, home entertainment system, etc;. search and social media remain the constant in this fusion. As a result, digital marketing is becoming more and more personal.

With digital, you can be marketed to at any time and messaging is tailored to your preferences.Click To Tweet

I’d like to share some of my favorite highlights, tips, quotes and “snackable chunks” from the workshop.

The day started with a Morning Keynote from Jon Beebe, Director of Digital Advertising and Analytics at General Motors discussing “Advanced Audience Marketing: Using Big Data to Understand, Recognize and Engage Customers.”  Big Data for Marketing has big opportunities. Every engagement as the opportunity to create different sets and types of data. Here are some highlights:

  • Throughout all interactions, customers move from one state to another. All data can be anonymously matched back to a “Universal ID.”
  • Outside-In Approach to Data:Leverages external data partnerships, and may include or exclude customer data, depending on objectives and the target customer. “Universal ID” enables cross-interaction recognition, integrated messaging and media efficiencies.
  • Integration provides greater customer insights but a one size fits all approach is suboptimal because the path to purchase is complex.
  • 3 integration barriers: poor data quality, siloed departments and inability to link different marketing technologies.
  • Stream together behavioral data with your customer data. Engagement from your audience can help optimize your content.

At the Integrated Digital Marketing Track: Search and Social, Making It All Work Together included presentations from Susan Emerick, Principal of Brands Rising, Jeff Alderman, VP, Partner of Performance Digital-Search, Universal McCann and Sean Hickey, COO of PWB.

Highlights on General Search and Social Integration:

  • Create a vision of the integrated world within your company and have a shared plan to get there.
  • Play to their strengths: search is a demand/pull tactic, social is an engagement/push tactic.
  • Encourage bi-directional learnings.
  • Be a testing fanatic.
  • Use a centralized measurement system.
  • Avoid waiting until it’s perfect.

Brands are looking to engage people that are seeking information and express intent to purchase. The real time bidding ecosystem including SEM and social enables brands to identify, engage and acquire audiences throughout their decision journey.

In the Effective Social Campaigns breakout, we heard fronm Kelly LaVaute, Editor in Chief, Chevy Social, FleishmanHillard, David Murray, Manager of Social Media, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Taylor Hulyk, Social Media Director, re:group.

All three speakers shared real campaigns, what their goals were, what the results were and what they learned. My favorite takeaways from this breakout were:

“Branded hashtags don’t really insert you into a conversation. Broad ones help you to be a part of a broader conversation.” – Kelly LaVaute

“I believe that creating an emotional connection with social communication is the most important thing.” – Dave Murray

“When faced without assets, advertisers can use social to run photo contests that drive engagement and assets.” – Taylor Hulyk

Following the workshop, re:group posted a blog on how to execute social media contests for the purpose of crowdsourcing customer multimedia assets based on Taylor Hulyk’s talk at the workshop. Make sure you bookmark it!

We wrapped up the day with a lunch panel that included Bob Chunn, Co Founder and CEO, ContentOro, Shamir Ozery, Director of Marketing, Message Blocks, Matt Laurin, Web Marketing Analyst, General RV and moderator Grace Hsia, Co-Founder and CEO, Warmilu.

We discussed in general, how do you make digital work without blowing the bank?

Here are some tips:

  • Business owners should learn how to do as much as they can on their own. Use videos and blogs to teach yourself how to do a lot of your own work, and outsource what’s left.
  • Use marketing channels for what they’re intended for.
  • Creating content! Content creation is not paying for search but get the benefit of people searching.
  • Content marketing is a solution to the need to communicate with customers.
  • Creating content and curating will help you avoid spending a lot of money and getting nothing back.
  • Figure out what your goals are FIRST. Figure out what you’re trying to accomplish, THEN look at the data according to that.
  • Focus your efforts on the outreach and use free tools to analyze data.
  • In order to grow you need to look at unbranded traffic/keywords.

The workshop resulted in plenty of valuable information and takeaways that were very applicable to marketers and their everyday use of digital marketing. I am looking forward to 2016!

You can catch more highlights from myself and all the attendees who were tweeting out information and quotes with the #EMUDigital hashtag with my storify story:

 

 

 

 

 

social seo

4 Easy Social SEO Tips

Social Media Marketing is all about connecting, engaging, building a community and sharing valuable information. Ultimately, we are trying to get our message across. We want to do that in the most effective way and with such a crowded online business world, we do our best to stand out. We also do our best to be seen. One way we do that is with SEO and Social SEO.

What is Social SEO? Well let’s break it down. SEO is Search Engine Optimization. The idea behind having an SEO strategy is taking steps to helps your website show up in search engine results when searching key words or phrases that are relevant to your content. Social SEO is simply the idea that there is a part social media links play in website search rankings. That means that your social profiles and pages will be key in helping with your SEO efforts.

Although SEO can seem quite complicated, and in some ways it is, there are some things you can do yourself to get on the right track. I am listing 4 ways that you can boost your Social SEO strategy with little effort:

1) OPTIMIZE your Profiles and Pages. In our Business Fuel Group, we share some “mini-training” from time to time on Fridays called “Friday Fuel.” The very first segment we shared when we launched our Facebook group community was about Making Your Social Media Profile ROCK! We were simply offering tips on how to optimize it. In a nutshell, be descriptive and take advantage of every opportunity to plug in those appropriate keywords and phrases in about sections and bios. By all means, DO create a BUSINESS Page on Facebook for example. For one thing, your business must have a page, not a profile based on Facebook’s terms. But also, Pages are indexed by Google, while Profiles are not.

2) Be Shareable. Make sure your content is as easily shareable as possible. Include social share buttons on your blog posts. This counts for your updates and tweets as well. That means you have to share valuable engaging content. So people WILL share it.

3) Post With Purpose. Be sure that when you’re sharing that valuable content, that you are including the keywords you have identified for your business. Be sure to also work in your business name. Share fresh content on Twitter. Always share your blog posts. “Cross-pollinate” your content by including images with your blog posts and pinning those images on Pinterest, for example.

4) Get to know Google+. Google Plus is google’s social site. That alone is a clue. Sharing your blog posts on Google+ is going to help you appear in Google search results better. The +1 feature allows people to recommend your posts and help further your reach and boost your SEO. See my article on Social Solutions Collective about how to grow on Google+ here.

Don’t neglect some very key things about your social presence like consistency, using your business name and customized URLS.

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