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5 Ways to Beat the Google Algorithm

5 WAYS TO BEAT THE GOOGLE ALGORITHM
19Jan

Have you ever written a blog post or produced a video that you were sure was going to be a hit with your audience, only to find out that it wasn’t doing as well as you’d hope, or worse—it was completely tanking. Well, the good news is that it might not be your fault. The bad news is that the fault could lie in the very hands of the thing we all depend on to get eyes and clicks on our work: the Google algorithm.

The Google algorithm is a mysterious thing; because they won’t divulge how it works, not wanting to give the key to their success away to other search engines, mastering the algorithm takes a lot of guesswork on the part of successful brands and marketers. But, let’s be honest, we’re not webmasters here, even if Google was transparent about the way their algorithm works and changes, a lot of it would sound like Greek to us. How it works isn’t necessarily important. What really matters is…how can we beat it?

  1. Be mobile compatible. We know that back in 2015, Google changed its algorithm to favor sites that had mobile capabilities. Make sure your site works on cell phones, iPads, and other mobile devices.
  2. Be consistent and authoritative. Priority is given to top tier websites that publish regularly. By authoritative, we don’t just mean well-written, but published by an expert source that gives valuable, unique insight to its readers.
  3. Diversify your strategies. Don’t think you can hack it just being good at one thing. The algorithm prioritizes sites that have a diversified outreach, not the ones that stick to the strategies they find important. Basically, just because your website is pretty and optimized for mobile doesn’t guarantee you a spot on the front page. If you aren’t social marketing and thinking of new avenues to attract customers, you won’t rank very high.
  4. Produce “content-rich” material. If you have a website that’s basically a digital billboard for your product, people aren’t going to linger there. The pages that users click on and stay on are the ones that achieve a high ranking. Start a blog or continuously add material to your page. Anything to keep eyes constantly on your site.
  5. Be flexible and always ready to learn. Google makes mistakes just like any company, but the way they fix those mistakes might have a negative impact on your website. It’s easy to get frustrated, but it’s not productive. Be ready at the drop of a hat to make the little adjustments needed to keep your company ranking where it should.

Yes, this sounds complicated. And it is! There are professionals who handle this sort of thing so business owners can focus on what’s important: running their business. If you’re vexed by the algorithm but don’t want to go into the arena all by yourself, call The Go! Agency. We know how to produce frontpage content.

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Got A Client Who’s Stuck On The Minutiae? How To Break Them Of The Habit Or Break Things Off

Got A Client Who’s Stuck On The Minutiae_ How To Break Them Of The Habit Or Break Things Off
15Jan

Clients are the definition of the old “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” idiom. Literally speaking, you cannot operate your business without a base of clients, but anyone in the marketing game has had the misfortune of taking on a client that was more trouble than they were worth.

There are a variety of specific reasons why some clients can be so dreadful to work with, but it seems almost every reason falls under the same umbrella: they ignore the big picture in favor of the minutiae. Instead of focusing on the goals or end results of their marketing campaign, they get fixated on small, usually meaningless changes that won’t impact the success of the project.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com, on January 15, 2021. Read the rest of the article here.

 

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Seven Tips New Marketers Need to Know

Seven Tips New Marketers Need to Know
12Jan

Thinking of getting into marketing? Find that you have a passion for the work but aren’t sure how to get started carving out your space in the industry? With digital marketing especially, you need to make a name for yourself; clients wouldn’t be busting down the door to work with someone who entered the field and sunk into the background. But everyone needs some advice to get things started and, after all my years in the marketing scene, I’m not short on wisdom to impart to newcomers.

The following are not tips that you’re going to find elsewhere, not because they’re especially unique, but because they require real effort to pull off. Most articles like this will give you pat advice like “get on social media!” or “make connections!” Yes, those are indeed things you should do, but before you can be proactive about starting your business, you should be internal, and ask yourself the big questions: Is it the right time? Am I good at this? How will I know when I’ve made it? These things don’t feel like work, but your business will flounder if you haven’t laid out a foundation for why and how you’re going to pursue a career in marketing.

There are no cheats or easy ways of doing this job. You want to make it in marketing? You’ll have to put in the work.

Understand the “why”
Before you make a plan or put down any money, ask yourself “why?” Why do you want to enter into this business? Why do you think you have the skills to become successful? You should have answers to these questions. Now, the point of this is not to have you curling up in the fetal position and asking “oh God, why did I ever think I could do this?” The point is to make sure you understand what you want out of this endeavor. Do you have the kind of personality and work structure that will make you successful as a marketer? Will this job make you feel fulfilled, not just financially. If you ask yourself why and struggle to find an answer, well, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have what it takes, but it might be a sign that this business isn’t for you.

Define what you can do
Know your skill before going into this industry, and have a thing that you do well. There isn’t a lot of room for innovation, but there is room for expertise. If you are really good at creating videos, make the thrust of your business about videos. If you have a command over social media platforms, advertise how good you are at that. Being a Jack of all trades usually means that you can do ten things decently, which is not very impressive. Instead have three things that you do better than anyone else, and build your client base around people who need the services you’re best at providing.

Know what success looks like
Three letters: KPI. Key performance indicators. Have a metric for what success looks like before you set up shop. You need to know your goal before you can reach it. Are high sales numbers important to you, or getting lots of sign-ups for your client’s service? Or maybe you care most about having a diverse range of clients. There’s no wrong answer to what success looks like for you, but you should have an answer.

Think about money
And not just “how am I going to make money?”, though that is also important. Think about how much you’re investing, the value of your time, how much you can charge with your experience level, how much your clients can reasonably pay you. Do an opportunity cost analysis. If you’re going to be spending more to get started than you stand to gain, don’t make the career move right now. Never put yourself in a position where you’re relying on clients to pay the bills.

Stake out the competition
Find out what the other businesses in your industry are doing. If they’ve been around awhile, try to figure out what makes them successful. If you’re cocky enough to walk into the marketing scene and think you’re going to reinvent the wheel right off the bat, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening. Keep the pace with your competition and establish yourself as part of the club first, innovate later. However, just note that keeping an eye on the competition does not mean being predatory or hostile. The ability to network is important.

Find a good “how-to” resource
Do not assume you know all the answers. Find a good resource to bounce questions off of, whether it’s a friend in the industry, a mentor, or even a blog written by a marketing guru. Something that will give you actual, tangible answers to all of your marketing questions. There are a lot of bright minds in the industry, but if I might take a moment to self-promote, The Go! Agency’s Blog is full of comprehensive articles about all aspects of digital marketing.

Manage your time wisely
If you don’t have good time management skills, learn them. No one is going to hold you accountable except yourself, and your clients are going to demand results whether you’ve managed your time wisely or not.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful; truthfully, these are all things I wish somebody had been nice enough to tell me when I started out. For more sage advice from a veteran of the marketing industry, check out the other entries in this blog.

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The Rise of Reddit and the Fall of Facebook: Is Your Company Prepared for the Shifting Social Media Scene?

THE RISE OF REDDIT AND THE FALL OF FACEBOOK_ IS YOUR COMPANY PREPARED FOR THE SHIFTING SOCIAL MEDIA SCENE_
5Jan

The social media landscape is constantly shifting, making it the last frontier where not even the companies we think of as the old guard are guaranteed safety. Facebook, once the titan of the social media industry, has seen a dip in the number of users aged 12 to 35 of close to 20 percent in just two years, meaning that a highly sought after demographic is pretty rapidly slipping away. What this means for you is that you need to get familiar with the new, hip generation of apps and platforms before the ones you’ve become accustomed to going the way of the dinosaur—or, more accurately, the way of MySpace.

Put simply, you aren’t going to want to market on Facebook if your core audience doesn’t use Facebook. In recent blogs, I talked about the dangers of trend-chasing, and how hopping on every latest “thing” can make your client’s brand reek of desperation. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trend-watching, though. As the demographics change and users switch their allegiances, you need to at least have a plan for adapting your marketing strategy for new outlets.

New platforms of note: TikTok and Reddit. TikTok is a massively popular video app that caters to the much sought-after zoomer generation; Reddit is an online comment board that quietly overtook Facebook as the third most visited site in the United States. Neither have been typical venues for digital marketing, but as the user base expands, clients will want to start engaging with those potential customers.

Reddit is popular for a community feature called an “AMA”; “Ask Me Anything”. If your brand is you-centric or based around a particular personality or subculture, having this direct line to your audience will go a long way towards building authenticity. Your brand isn’t just an outlet for selling stuff, it’s personable and modern! Also worth noting is that Redditers are a different breed of social media users; they will show disdain if your brand is too obvious or overly promotional. It’s kind of a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” community—if you want to funnel Reddit traffic to your website, be prepared to offer an incentive. The subreddit r/Deals is the ideal place to offer exclusives for anyone willing to give your business traffic.

For TikTok, you might need to expand outside of the office in order to launch a successful marketing campaign. TikTok is the one avenue where you should ignore the rule about trend-chasing; memes sunrise and sunset fast, so hop on the latest lip-syncing or challenge craze and get some attention while you can. Participating in a viral meme is essential to survival on the platform, and these things go fast, so you need to be on the ball and have one eye on TikTok at all times. Also, like Twitter, there’s a healthy influencer community willing to partner with appealing brands. Using an experienced influencer as a proxy could help cut down on the “how do you do, fellow kids?” vibe of a brand diving headfirst into youth culture.

Ultimately, running a successful campaign on arising platforms is a lot like westward expansion; someone has to push forward and set the pace for other brands to follow. And that someone…well that could be you! At The Go! Agency, we strive to be at the forefront of social media technology, and craft campaigns that can be easily adapted to emerging platforms. Is your business looking for a helping hand to get started in the brave new world of TikTok, Reddit, and other up and coming platforms? Give us a call. We love pushing boundaries.

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Social Media Trend Chasing Can Damage Your Brand

Social Media Trend Chasing Can Damage Your Brand
23Dec

Recently, Hootsuite released its annual report predicting some of the hottest new social media trends for 2021, including a new focus on the baby boomer generation and a reevaluation for some brands where their social media presence is concerned. In the rapidly expanding digital frontier, it can be frustrating trying to keep up with all of the latest fads. Here’s the good news: You don’t have to. In fact, you probably shouldn’t.

Trend chasing is a dangerous game. It can be very hard to master every emerging trend, and even if you do, your audience will likely be aware of what you’re doing. Struggle and desperation are not good looks for a brand, and ironically, nothing drives an audience away more than when a business is trying too hard to appeal to them.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com, on December 23, 2020. Read the rest of the article here.

 

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13 Ways To Engage Target Audiences With Visual Storytelling

13 Ways To Engage Target Audiences With Visual Storytelling
18Dec

by Forbes Agency Council | Expert Panel 

All successful advertising and marketing campaigns tell a story. Yet, some storytelling mediums have proven to be far more compelling to consumers than others. Visual storytelling captures both people’s eyes and their imagination, helping to quickly build narratives in the viewer’s mind through easy-to-follow cues.

Of course, haphazardly dropping a random mix of images into an advertising campaign, as striking as they might be, won’t equate to visual storytelling. A great visual advertisement engages viewers by telling a story and making them part of it.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com, on December 18, 2020. Read the rest of the article here.

 

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How To Advertise On Streaming Video Platforms: 14 Essential Tips

How To Advertise On Streaming Video Platforms_ 14 Essential Tips
16Dec

by Forbes Agency Council | Expert Panel 

The pandemic has seen many people camping out in front of their televisions and other streaming devices. More individuals than ever before now spend large amounts of time binge-watching their favorite streaming video content. In an environment so ripe for reaching target audiences, streaming ad spend has increased this year and is still on the rise.

Advertising on streaming services, also known as over-the-top advertising, is distinct from its television counterpart in many ways. Taking the same, standard approaches to creating ads for this space may not be as effective.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com, on December 16, 2020. Read the rest of the article here.

 

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Brand Audits—Reevaluating Your Brand for 2021

Brand Audits—Reevaluating Your Brand for 2021
15Dec

You’re sitting there, trying to figure out why the business you’ve invested blood, sweat, and tears (and lots of money) into just doesn’t feel like it’s working anymore. Some of the shine has faded, customers are less enthused and so are you. Well, your business is probably fine; it’s your brand that needs some maintenance. 

A brand audit is a detailed analysis of how your brand is performing, based on criteria that you set. Want to evaluate how your brand is doing in the marketplace? Perform an audit to measure your brand against its competition. The metrics you use to perform your audit are entirely based on what you want to know about your brand.

There are a million articles out there telling you how to conduct a brand audit: what elements to judge by, how to measure yourself against your competitors, what questions to ask your customers and what to do with their input. But once you have the results, where do you go next?

Don’t Imitate

It can be tricky to implement a brand overhaul right after conducting research on what your competitors are doing. They have a podcast and a Twitter account that’s popping off, shouldn’t you have those too? Maybe, but be careful.

To put it simply: customers shop at Walmart and Target. Unless you’re a niche company, your audience is going to have some familiarity with the competition. So, if you coincidentally start a YouTube channel just a few months after they did, it’s going to be pretty transparent about what you’re doing.

Now, should you not start a YouTube channel or podcast just because they did? No. But make sure to remember the findings of your audit and don’t do the same thing they’re doing. Even if they provide an identical service, there are multiple ways to tackle the same subject.

Stay True to Yourself

It’s unlikely that the results of your brand audit will tell you to bin your whole company and start over. Have faith that, regardless of the weaknesses you might have uncovered, the foundation of your business is solid; it’s just the brand that needs some refreshing.

If you were on social media already, you developed a digital tone for your brand—a specific way you package your posts and respond to your audience. You should keep as much of this intact as possible.

Think about this: if a brand you were following dramatically changed their logo and started posting memes, you would be put off. A brand refresh is about a series of little changes, not a sweeping overhaul. Redesign to match a modern aesthetic. Workshop a few of your posts to keep pace with a current trend. Add calls-to-action to the end of your content and spend time thinking of thoughtful replies when your audience comments.

Commit

Whatever it is you decide to do to spark interest in your brand, do one thing above all: commit to it. This means planning ahead and sticking to a schedule. If you’re starting a blog, write a month’s worth of articles in advance and commit to posting every Monday at 10am. If you’re producing a podcast, have a few episodes in the can before you announce it. 

Missing video publishing dates or going weeks between blog entries works for two types of people: amateurs and those who have a million other projects going on. Having posts or videos in the bank before you announce your new venture is great two-fold: you give yourself lead time to develop the next entries and have leg room to account for burn-out or correct a post or video that just isn’t working. This is the measure you’re taking to increase the visibility and engagement of the brand; it’s an investment, not a hobby.

A brand audit is a necessary part of heading up a business, since your brand is what connects you to your most valuable resource: your customers. But the audit isn’t the end of the line, it’s the prelude to the journey.

The data you get from your audit can be used in any number of ways. You know your business, you know what you can do well and what paths might be out of your reach for right now. 

Ultimately, how you decide to implement the findings of your audit are in your hands, but the information laid out in this article is invaluable no matter what avenue you decide to take. Don’t copy your competitors, find a better way to convey that information. Commit to your changes, treat your them like an investment and a crucial part of your brand. And finally, always remain true to the core of your business, a brand refresh doesn’t mean an overhaul.

A brand audit is not easy, especially if you’ve never done it before, or have no marketing experience. The Go! Agency is here to help, and elevate your brand while retaining what makes it special: you. We won’t overhaul your brand; we’ll work with you to make sure it rises above the competition. Contact us today to bring your brand into the future.

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The Human Brand: How To Make Your Social Media Presence More Conversational and Drive Engagement

Untitled design
8Dec

How many times have you seen products from a company that you were interested in, gone to check out their social media, and found the content lacking?

Some brands might find it a good idea to keep their interactions blasé and their feeds strictly business, but those looking to stand out among the ever-expanding competition? You don’t just need an audience, you need a fanbase.

Developing a digital tone for your social media outlets is essential in attracting audiences to engage with your posts and tweets. On Instagram, a killer picture with a call-and-response caption is probably fine, but for venues like Twitter and Facebook, you’ll need to craft a personality.

Every brand has a voice

Finding a tone has been an emerging trend in social media marketing for a while that really kicked into high-gear in early 2020 with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands took a heavy shift towards compassion and sentimentality that, while not a bad approach, was applied by too many outlets at the same time. 

For about two months, every brand from Ford to Steak-Umm was publishing a steady stream of “in these trying times” posts that made social media feeds feel like the depressing section of the Hallmark card display. We were all going through the same situation, stuck inside with many Americans having suddenly lost their jobs; after a while, people were going to get annoyed at the IKEA Twitter account telling them to take a bubble bath and indulge in self-care.

However, national emergencies do present an opportunity to test out your digital voice, and perhaps take risks when it comes to developing it. Coors, diverging from the somber tone of other major food and drink brands, started their #CouldUseABeer campaign, encouraging audiences to tag someone who could use a beer right about now. By the end of the campaign, Coors had given away 500,000 beers, meaning at least 500,000 people interacted with their campaign. Funny, how when audiences are presented with something fun to engage with…they tend to do it.

How to Build Your Voice (Without Being Obnoxious)

A good way to start developing a brand voice in a way that will get attention is to start responding to other brands accounts. You can do this across all social media channels, but it’s most effective on Twitter.

It all started with SunnyD’s now infamous “I can’t do this anymore” tweet from 2019. Originally, the tweet was part of a live tweet session of the 2019 Super Bowl, but it instantly went viral and lost all context, with Twitter users and especially other brands responding as if the SunnyD account was legitimately depressed. Pop-Tarts got in on it, Little Debbie tweeted some very important self care information, and generally everyone had a pretty fun time. 

Brands tweet irreverent things all the time, giving you ample opportunity to develop your brand voice in an arena where users will see your response, but your entire feed can remain largely professional and won’t be clogged with your attempts to find your tone.

The point of all this is not that you need to turn your social media into memes and comedy. You don’t have to necessarily be funny to have engaging content, but you do need to be something. Posting updates purely about your services or products might keep loyal customers following you, but it’s not going to drive the kind of engagement you’ll need to increase visibility.

Maybe you’re an empathetic brand, and apart from talking about your own services you post about semi-related topics like mental health. Maybe you’re an educational brand; hype up other educators in your industry, even if they aren’t using what you sell.

Your audience came on board for your product, but unless you’re continually innovating and developing what you sell, you’ll need to find a way to keep customers engaging with you after the initial purchase. I understand, the very concept of a brand voice might be confusing, let alone how to develop it. We’re not all gifted social media strategists or creative writers. Lucky, my team at The Go! Agency is, and we are more than ready to help your brand get established across all the right channels.

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You’re Losing Money If You Aren’t Using Email Marketing

GOAG 2020 1201 Blog Inline (1)
1Dec

It’s hard, in the midst of your daily routine of deleting a seemingly merciless influx of ads from your inbox, to think of email as a valid way to spend your marketing budget. But perhaps you’ve discounted this: what if those ads were from brands and companies that you liked?

Globally, nearly four billion people use email, with more than 293 billion emails being exchanged every day. Despite common perception—even personal experience—most emails are not banished to the depths of the spam folder; they’re being read, and they’re valuable real estate. 

When polled, almost 50% of consumers said they would enjoy getting updates and promotional materials from their favorite brands. Audiences want to hear from brands they have an attachment to, and as businesses, we should know how to answer demand. And if that doesn’t convince you, let’s talk about the thing that makes the world go ‘round: money. For every dollar spent on email marketing there is an average return of $44…that’s potentially over 4,000 percent profit. The long and short of it is that if you’re not investing in some degree of email marketing, you’re making a massive financial mistake.

What are the benefits?

You did see the 4,000 percent profit part, right? The financial effectiveness of email marketing is its greatest benefit, but let’s talk a little about why it’s so successful.

Email marketing is more effective at keeping customers than social media. While your email may not get as many eyes on it as a post does, emails ask for more from your audience. Interaction with a post typically ends at liking or commenting, but email requests a higher form of engagement. You’re invited to read more, and the experience doesn’t stop at the end of the email; handy “shop now” or “read more” buttons are a stealthy, effective, and aesthetic way of leading readers from their inbox to your site.

The dip from acquisition to retention is also much lower than other forms of marketing. Customers required through email have an 81 percent track record of remaining loyal to the brand, only 44 percent for other methods like social media.

“But won’t readers delete an email when they realize it’s trying to sell them something?” Not necessarily. Experian found that transactional emails—emails that contained product advertisements and a call to action—were opened eight times more than regular reminders, updates, or announcement emails.

So why aren’t you blasting out emails?

Email marketing isn’t especially difficult. What it is is time-consuming. In order to be effective, you need to be producing beneficial content with consistency.

Effective marketing happens in the form of a campaign: a recurring and concerted effort to draw potential customers to your site, in this instance via their inbox. As the brain behind an up and coming brand, you don’t have the time to come up with marketing blasts or commit to penning a thoughtful, consistent newsletter.

I realize that as a business owner, your life is hectic and full of demands, and throwing email management on to your already towering to-do list seems unnecessary. But it is. Apart from the audience outreach, I don’t know any company that can say no to a potential profit margin of 4,000 percent.

One of the many things my team and I at The Go! Agency specializes in crafting gripping, imminently clickable emails that will lead potential customers from their inbox to your business. We have an established flow that puts your emails in front of readers with consistency and gets the results growing brands are looking for.

You can reap the results of email marketing without doing the heavy lifting. We’ll provide the content, all you have to do is say “hit send.”

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