[Seafoam Media | August 2019]
As a business leader, you understand better than most the importance of hiring good help.
Think about how important it is for your company to hire a reliable accountant, a quick-response IT team, a knowledgeable lawyer. While each team member knows quite a bit, no one would dream of handling all these specialized tasks alone; that would waste time and money. Part of being a great business leader, after all, is understanding your own strengths and weaknesses and reaching out to experts when you need them.
Now, think about how you handle your company’s marketing strategy. Do you rely on your administrative assistant to post on social media every so often? How much do you really know about SEO? Do you have all the resources you need to get the marketing results you want?
Your digital profile works for you day and night. It’s always on. And as your hardest-working asset, it should offer you the best return. Are you developing it the way you should?
Digital Marketing Evolves as Quickly as the Internet Does.
The state of digital marketing is constantly evolving. It used to be fairly easy to “trick” Google and boost your rankings. Now, however, the bots are getting smarter, and they’re learning to play together.
Every year, Google makes hundreds of changes to its search functionality, sometimes rolling out major algorithm changes that digital marketers need to keep pace with.
When it comes to local SEO, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google My Business, and other social media sites all feed into Google’s algorithm. Customer reviews do as well, and they play an increasingly bigger role in establishing your authority as a business.
Inbound Link Authority
Do you have inbound link authority? This is another tool that boosts your visibility on Google. Sometimes called link-building or backlinking, it refers to the number of legitimate sites linking to you as a subject matter expert. If you aren’t getting inbound links, you’re probably not doing enough to get noticed.
Marketers may not say “content is king” any longer, but we still recognize that content is consumed in myriad ways across the internet, and it’s a tough task to write both for human eyes and roaming bots. Is your on-page content relevant, up-to-date, and compelling?
Do you have people on your team willing to take deep dives into the murky waters of analytics? Anyone can log into Google Analytics, but not everyone can make sense of the results. If you’re not getting regular insights on organic search, including bounce rates, page views, keyword rankings, and other useful benchmarks, you may be missing a huge piece of your overall marketing picture.
More consumers do their web browsing on mobile devices than ever before. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Personalization is the watchword of the future. What is it? Essentially, it’s the ability to give your site visitors a custom, personalized experience based on their needs. When it takes over as the next big thing in marketing, will you be ready?
To be effective, marketing must be interconnected. All of the above factors, and inevitably a few we haven’t come across yet, will all come into play in the digital future. That’s why it’s important to have a team dedicated to staying on the front lines and keeping track of the way Google evolves.
Partnering with a Team of Marketing Experts is Worth the Cost.
When you hire a marketing team, you’re getting more than a decent-looking website and a kid who understands Google better than you do; you’re getting a team of professionals. What you’re really paying for is time, brain-power, and creativity: the time it takes to research the competition and create a strategy that makes sense for your business, the brain-power that comes along with years of expertise in the field, and the creativity it takes to stay ahead with bold ideas.
We believe that a marketing agency can offer a level of professionalism that in-house teams can’t. Why? Because we put all of the pieces of the puzzle together into a strategic whole:
- Competitive Analysis and Branding Strategy
- Content Strategy and Execution
- Website Design and Development
- Search Engine Optimization and Analytics
- Social Media Marketing
- PPC, Email Marketing, and Video
Keep reading! Below, we go into a few factors we consider as we execute on a plan for our partners’ success.
First Things First: Define Your Goals and Fine-Tune Your Message.
The internet is a vast place. It takes strategy to insure that you’re not just adding to the noise. To break through the static and have a real impact, you need a well-defined brand and a clear message broadcasted and shared on the right platforms.
Before we design a website or write your first email newsletter, we start at the beginning: we clarify your branding and messaging, we size up the competition, and then we outline the strategies and tactics that will help you reach your goals.
It’s been said that if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. We don’t execute on a marketing plan until we have a marketing plan – one with objectives that make sense for your business, not the business we worked with last week.
Your Website is Your Hardest Working Employee.
You wouldn’t keep an employee that didn’t work well with others and had little to offer in the way of character and expertise. Why would you accept anything less from your hardest working asset – your website?
If you don’t have an up-to-date website, or if you do have one that’s confusing or unwieldy, you’re turning off customers who increasingly use their laptops and mobile phones to research and make buying decisions.
You may know what your website should include, but we’re guessing you haven’t earned a degree in web design. You probably haven’t thought much about the psychology of color or the way users typically navigate around a site. A great marketing team has that resource. What’s more, a great marketing team considers your target audience, builds an easy-to-navigate site, and collects data to learn just how that website is performing and continually improve it.
If You’re Not Reaching Your Target Audience with a Well-Defined Message, Your Marketing Efforts are Wasted.
Since we mentioned your target audience, let’s take a longer look at that piece of the equation.
Think about your close friends and family. If you’ve known a group of people for a long time, you instinctively know what drives them, what values they hold dear, what quirks of personality they display.
A similar thing happens when you find your business’ target audience and get to know them on social media and elsewhere. You start to predict which ideas will catch hold. You’re no longer throwing out taglines and hoping one or two will stick. That “flyers on windshields” approach simply doesn’t work anymore. Luckily, though, consumers are still susceptible to the same emotional drives human beings have always had. Tapping into those all-too-human drives is the key to great marketing.
It is not about being everywhere, but being where “your people” are. A perceptive marketing team can help you find your tribe, so to speak, figure out their motivations, and tap into those emotional touchpoints with engaging content.
Insightful Content Matched with Smart SEO? What a Beautiful Relationship!
While any SEO specialist can talk about Google, it takes a professional to create content that both attracts customers and understands what the bots are looking for.
It’s easy enough to add a quick paragraph to your “About” page or post something on your favorite social media channel. What’s harder is developing a consistent message and voice, and drafting web content that’s scan-able and SEO friendly. At Seafoam Media, we don’t look at search engine optimization as an algorithm you need to hack, but as a guide showing what your customers really want. We take time to do the sort of deep-dive research that informs our content strategy. Then, we draft copy that will establish your brand in the minds of your customers and drive traffic to your social media pages and your website.
It’s not easy. It takes talent to put a message across succinctly and elegantly so your newsletters, articles, social posts, and emails are shared – not ignored or discarded. This high-quality content eventually pays for itself in greater awareness and rising numbers of conversions.
Great Marketing: All the Things, All the Time.
The factors we described above are just a taste of what a marketing agency takes into account. A top-notch marketing team understands how to translate analytics and subtly shift a message to reach the right audience, providing a holistic approach that’s difficult to achieve alone. We handle all of this and more, and we do so with a team of specialists who have experience working with all kinds of businesses, in all kinds of industries.
When you think about the countless hours, the late nights, early mornings – all of the work that your team pours into your business day after day – are you willing to gamble on anything less? Be honest: is your team connecting all the dots?