Author Archives: link2city.com

June 14, 2017
Does your online marketing strategy have the following?

  • A website
  • Original content (a blog)?
  • Social media presence

If you have all three you’re probably nodding along and smiling at how you’ve checked all the boxes. But what if I told you that wasn’t enough to get your business found online today?

It’s time to go beyond the basics with your online marketing strategy — and should you have to be everywhere to do so?

image: https://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/online-marketing-strategy-be-everywhere.png

Is “Be Everywhere” A Smart Online Marketing Strategy?

I recently read an eBook, The Everywhere Brand: Embracing the Universe Beyond Your Website (and App), by best-selling authors Jay Baer and Jeffrey K. Rohrs.

The eBook details the basic online marketing strategy and how it has changed.

These savvy authors say it’s time to think differently about how you engage customers online. And I agree.

Here are just a few of the ways online marketing has pivoted:

  • According to Nielsen, the average U.S. adult internet user visits 45 mobile websites and uses 28 smartphone apps per month.
  • In November 2016, mobile surpassed desktop internet usage for the first time ever.
  • Mobile search now accounts for nearly 60% of all searches.
  • Voice search now accounts for more than 20% of all searches on Google.

Jay and Jeffery define an “Everywhere Brand” as:

“The Everywhere Brand is a brand whose digital knowledge — the factual assets about a company that capture consumer attention — exists consistently and accurately in a great many online locations, not just on a corporate website and app. This universal approach ensures that The Everywhere Brand serves customers on the digital planets they frequent, translates into a better brand experience, and drives more business opportunity.”

The biggest point they underscore is that most website visits are 10-seconds or shorter in duration, and they are often referred by search engines.

7 Key Traits Of Brands ‘Being Everywhere’

Our authors also insist that if you want to be a ‘be everywhere’ brand you must have the following seven traits.

1) You must be customer-centric. In other words, do you really know how your customers see you? How do they search for your brand online? How do they use search, maps, digital directories (think search engines and AI, like Siri or Alexa? Voice search now matters!

2) Be Active. Are you actively updating all of the information that’s available online and through digital media to reflect your brand’s most current information? Because there are hundreds of digital areas that provide information on your company (maps, directories, search engines, social networks, GPS, etc.) this is no easy task.

3) Organization. (DUH!) Outdated data and the cure to being everywhere means you have to put the three things to work:

  • People — who is in charge of being everywhere?
  • Processes — what processes ensure your data is up-to-date?
  • Technology — what technology helps you achieve the above?

4) Thinks in real-time. With 71% of all online searches happening in real-time through mobile devices, your ‘be everywhere’ brand must also happen in real-time. When weather, illness, or other emergencies take place, are you prepared? Is your data instantly updated?

5) Is granular with their data. Taking a page from SEO, you know how important it is to stand out and be different. Meaning you have to get down to the nitty-gritty with your data and be AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE when putting information about your brand on the world wide web.

6) Is always responsive. Do actively solicit reviews for your company? Do you always respond to those reviews, even if they’re negative? You should! Feedback can be hard to swallow but responsive, ‘be everywhere’ brands look at feedback as a way to improve.

7) Strives to be innovative. Granted, this is easier said than done. Resting on what you have done won’t get you anywhere. You’ve got to be a risk taker, make plays, run tests, and constantly be looking for “what’s next” in your industry.

Should Your Brand Be EVERYWHERE?

If your online marketing strategy is to “BE EVERYWHERE” that’s totally fine (and doable). But you have to own it.

You can do that in three simple steps by:

  1. Choosing where you’re going to BE
  2. Making sure those assets (owned or rented) are accurate
  3. Ensuring your online data (people, products, location data) is always up-to-date

As Jay and Jeffrey point out in their eBook,

“This goes far beyond each location’s name, address, phone number, and hours of operation.”

If and ONLY IF you are able to make that commitment, go ahead and be a ‘be everywhere’ brand.

If not, you may want to start taking baby steps to get yourself going in the ‘everywhere’ direction.

How do you feel about the ‘be everywhere’ business mentality? Do you agree or disagree, and why
As seen on business2community.com


Small website optimization is extremely tricky, especially on a limited budget. But that’s why you should actually double your marketing efforts. You need to promote your website, attract traffic, and slowly build your way to the top (where the magic really starts to happen).

Here’s how to simply and effectively promote a small website and help your SEO efforts go further with a content strategy, social media marketing, link building, and PPC marketing.

Content Strategy

The following process will help you craft a detailed content strategy and produce content that matters.

Be Smart & Realistic

If your site is small and drives no traffic, you must have plenty of content and a solid content plan. High-quality articles, infographics, videos, and e-books should become a cornerstone of your growth strategy.

You can’t be everything to everyone, though. Be realistic when you set your content goals.

If you want to drive traffic, you need some content. If you can only post one single, high-quality article a week, then do so.

Your goal is to put something useful and powerful, something that can help people resolve their problems and soothe their pain points. Don’t break your back trying to produce tons of low-quality content that nobody needs.

Analyze Your Competitors

Analyzing what your competitors do (or don’t do) can help identify sweet spots for your content in the same niche. Some tools you can use to gain many content insights:

  • SimilarWeb
  • Ahrefs
  • Majestic SEO
  • BuzzSumo
  • Klout

If you lack funds to purchase the subscriptions of the listed tools, consider using SimilarWeb and Ahrefs. You can use SimilarWeb for free pretty efficiently to sift out your competitors by traffic and distribution channels. Ahrefs will help when researching top content and content ideas. It is worth trying even if you are working with little to no resources and have to choose one tool to purchase.

Once you find the perfect role model for your site’s content, don’t just copy its strategy. Rather than parroting what everyone else is doing, you want to find your own unique content approach. Eventually, this will make optimizing your small website much easier.

Figure Out What People Really Want

Getting the inside scoop on your competition is important. But if you want to scale your business, you should do everything you can to know your audience. To do this, you have to answer two questions that may appear simple, but really are quite tricky to answer:

  1. What do I offer to my target audience?Think long and hard about the first question. Ask your employees, colleagues, and even friends and relatives to help.
  2. What does my target audience search for?You will need to go over search suggestions on Google, Quora, and Yelp. Sites like Medium can also provide insight into how your users think and what they are looking for.

Answer these two questions and you will never have problems getting your point across to your prospects. You’ll also never fall short of ideas when generating content.

Just Write It!

Once you have a list of ideas on the table, you have to dedicate a chunk of your time and resources to content production. For many, the actual production of content can often be difficult and tedious, but this is a critical step to move your content strategy forward.

High-quality content depends on many factors and everyone has their own way of creating content. While there is no one-size-fits-all formula, here are some basic things you should keep in mind:

  • Create deep, well-researched content.
  • Write down every idea you come across.
  • Don’t edit while you write; leave editing for later.
  • Produce content that is at least 800 words.
  • Prioritize user intent, not keywords.
  • Research long-tail keywords.
  • Come up with a headline that sparks curiosity and provides value.
  • Add compelling visuals to your text content.
  • Stick to a regular schedule (create a content calendar).
  • Don’t forget to share your content.

With this simple framework in mind, you can come to grips with content generation. Practice makes perfect.

You’ll inevitably face different challenges and might not see the results of your content strategy right away, but don’t let this discourage you. Content pays off in the long run.

Social Media Marketing

Once your site is optimized and your content is published, it’s time to share it. While this step doesn’t deal with SEO directly, sharing your content, and nurturing a loyal following on social media are keys to drive traffic, improve engagement, and increase conversions.

Simply sharing your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter isn’t a terribly effective strategy, especially if you own (or promote) a small company. So how do you build a solid base of brand advocates?

Analyze Your Target Audience

To nurture a following, you need to know who you want to target. Failure to do so can spell death for your online efforts. To nurture a following, you need to connect with your audience on an emotional level.

To research your target audience, access Google Analytics’ Audience feature. Make sure you look through every tab but pay specific attention to the Demographics and Interests tabs.

This will give you a clear picture of who your prospects are then you can figure out how to appeal to them.

Build Trust and Authority

Trust and authority are absolutely key to your success. If people neither trust you nor view you as an authority in the industry, why would they visit your site or “like” your Facebook page?

Here are some ways to establish yourself as a credible site:

  • Create and share high-quality content consistently.
  • Develop your own voice and mission (be different).
  • Tell stories about your brand, be useful, and solve problems.
  • Give away great content for free.

These are your pillars to building trust and authority. For additional methods to try, I recommend looking here.

Share on Select Social Networks

Most digital marketers and small business owners fall into the trap of targeting the mainstream social channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat all at once. This is a huge mistake, especially if you lack the budget.

Start by targeting one social network. Then replicate your strategy on other platforms later.

Start with Facebook. Pretty much everybody uses it. Share educational and entertaining content (e.g., links to blog posts, GIFs, memes, videos).

Also, allocate a portion of your marketing budget to boost your Facebook posts. This way you not only increase post reach but also target your demographic more specifically.

After Facebook, Twitter is your next logical step. Again, don’t just share the same content on your Twitter feed. To get on the radar of your target demographic, post and retweet great content, follow influencers, and press as many red hearts as possible. You have to hustle on Twitter to get noticed.

Tip: If your brand includes plenty of visuals (like in fashion or beauty), it makes sense to target Instagram and Pinterest. But make sure you share high-quality pictures. Posting subpar content won’t work here and can actually hurt your marketing efforts and brand perception.

Select Smaller Social Media Platforms to Target

On top of major social networks, I strongly advise targeting Quora and Medium as well.

Quora can work miracles setting you up as an authority in the industry. Write useful answers to relevant questions and you will quickly build a solid base of followers. Then, start placing links that point to your content and a steady stream of prospects will visit your site.

If your digital marketing and SEO strategies are mostly content-focused, establishing a separate Medium publication can boost your business authority. It can help you refine and reinforce your message while pushing out more natural, conversational content.

Build Links to Blog Posts & Landing Pages

While your main focus may be on your brand following and on-page elements, don’t forget to dedicate some of your precious time to off-page, too. For an established, large corporation, off-page optimization is typically already taken care of because:

  • Off-page routines are partially covered by content and SMM strategies.
  • High-quality content is the best way to attract links naturally.
  • Google is all about natural link building.

But as a smaller company with a limited budget, you will have to give your backlinks a nudge and take time nurturing your off-page factors. Here are a few easy ways to strengthen your backlinks:

  • Register your site in directories and listings.
  • Reach out to pitch media, bloggers, and influencers.
  • Write guest posts.
  • Promote scholarships (.edu and .gov backlinks).

All of this will slowly start building links to your site. Just remember that you’re not aiming for quantity here — be picky because the most helpful links come from relevant and trustworthy resources.

PPC Campaign

This one is optional, so I won’t go into too much detail here. If you lack the budget or don’t have previous experience running a cost-efficient pay-per-click campaign (or any campaigns whatsoever), you may want to wait on launching a PPC strategy. A poorly executed campaign can eat up your budget and return zero results.

If you feel confident in your abilities to launch a PPC campaign, here are 11 things you need to do:

  • Define your goal before you start.
  • Determine your budget.
  • Identify relevant keywords.
  • Analyze these keywords to sift out negative ones.
  • Bid on selected keywords.
  • Use one keyword per ad to maximize your chances.
  • Write catchy headlines for your ads.
  • Include informative copy that appeals to your audience.
  • Target ads to landing pages that align with the ad’s intent.
  • Analyze and monitor your ad performance.
  • Enhance the ads and change bids when necessary.

Conclusion

You don’t need a huge site or massive budget to start driving decent amounts of convertible traffic to your website. Anyone can get things off the ground and slowly make their way to the top.

Putting SEO strategies on the back burner because your site is small is detrimental. SEO helps you attract consumers.

If you feel that doing anything on a small budget or without any budget at all is impossible, don’t worry! While it certainly won’t be easy, it is doable.

The most important thing is to maintain an open mind and be receptive to learning from mistakes as you launch your small website optimization strategy. With plenty of practice and a bit of due diligence, you can optimize your site to be on par with the best of the best.

As seen on searchenginejournal.com

Jun 14, 2017 by Larry Alton In Marketing Tips 2

Want your brand to stand out? Stop writing boring 500-word posts on your blog that receives 100 visitors a month. Other than giving your site a tiny shot of SEO “juice,” you really aren’t doing anything positive for your brand. What you really need to do is put yourself out there and make some noise.

Stop Copying Everyone Else

The ease and simplicity of the internet is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s allowed for unparalleled innovation. It’s also enabled people to become successful without needing access to some of the heavily guarded resources and technologies that only large corporations had in the past. The internet has essentially leveled the playing field by enabling anyone and everyone to reach the masses.

On the other hand, the internet has removed many of the barriers to entry that previously existed in the business world. No longer do you have to do all the legwork that goes into building a business from the ground up. There are drag and drop website builders, cheap freelance labor, and social media networks with hundreds of millions of users.

The issue is that both sides of this “sword” are now cutting at the same time. When you study the digital marketing industry, in particular, it’s clear that everything is oversaturated. Because the barriers to entry have been removed, the number of people, marketers, and brands creating content for the hungry masses has dramatically increased.

You have marketing executives from Fortune 500 firms who have spent 25 years studying business competing with millennials with nothing more than laptops and internet connections in their urban lofts.

Some would argue this is good — and it is, to an extent — but the problem is that the vast majority of people in the industry don’t have a foundational understanding of how marketing actually works. Therefore, instead of being creators, these so-called marketers are mimes. They have the tools to be successful but lack a real understanding of how to effectively use these tools. As a result, the majority of those in the industry end up copying what the few are doing.

There’s nothing malicious in the copying. It’s just a natural instinct. On a micro level, it may even seem to be effective. You get a few clicks here and a couple of conversions there. But when you zoom out, suddenly it becomes apparent that we’re operating in an internet-sized bubble where everyone is doing the same things. The result of this lack of differentiation is an inability for brands like yours to make your marketing stand out.

Make Your Marketing Stand Out

Do you see the problem? In an oversaturated market, it’s the little guys that get squeezed out. The bigger brands have enough of a reputation to survive. When everyone is just blending in, brand equity will catapult these brands to the top. This leaves you scrounging around for the leftovers.

It’s time to stop scrounging and start excelling. Create a game plan for how you can make your marketing messages stand out in an internet landscape that’s heavily oversaturated. You’re going to have to think for yourself, but we’ve got a few big-picture concepts to get you started.

1. Be an Early Adopter

Have you noticed recently that some of the social channels you’ve been using seem to be delivering lesser returns? (This may not be the case for you, but it’s a common problem for many.) Facebook, Twitter, and other traditional social media platforms are experiencing serious content fatigue and this is a good time for you to temporarily (or even permanently), seek out some newer channels.

“For entrepreneurs and startups, it pays to be on the leading edge of social media and other marketing mediums. The early adopters are nearly always the most successful participants in these marketing avenues,” intellectual property attorney Robert Klinck explains. “Sure, you will probably invest some time in some avenues that don’t end up going anywhere, but one big hit will be enough to make up for multiple failures.”

While not technically in the early adoption stage any more, platforms like Snapchat and Periscope offer much better avenues for visibility. They also encourage greater creativity in order to be successful. You can’t just create a clickbait blog post and call it a day. You actually have to dig in and get creative, which will force you to become a better marketer.

2. Understand Traditional Content Doesn’t Work

Traditional content is dead. In other words, you can’t just write a clever headline, develop an opening, slap three or four paragraphs in the body, and then tie everything together with a nice, neat conclusion. The average human attention span is now down to 8.25 seconds. Considering that it takes roughly five minutes to read an average 500- or 600-word blog post, this means we, as marketers, face a distinct disadvantage when it comes to engaging readers.

You must learn how to reach through the screen and grab your audience’s attention from the very moment they’re exposed to a piece of content. For a blog post, this means spending just as much time coming up with the headline as it takes you to write the post.

For a video, it means nailing the opening frame and giving the viewer a reason to stick around past the 10-second mark. For an infographic, it probably means selecting a compelling color scheme that stands out from afar.

It’ll require more time and energy on your part to create content that stands out, but there’s value to be harvested from such an investment. Quality is far better than quantity in today’s internet marketing landscape.

3. Connect with Social Influencers

The irony of the current marketing industry is that brands have more access to customers than they’ve ever had in the past. Yet, despite this, customers are less interested than ever in directly dealing with these brands (at least in a marketing sense). Millennials, in particular, are largely distrustful of brand messaging and would prefer to tap into their own networks for social proof and advice.

When explaining why consumers trust recommendations from a third party more than from the brand itself, marketer Kristen Matthews does a good job of making the issue relatable.

“You don’t usually trust a person at a cocktail party who comes up to you and brags about himself or herself and spouts fun facts about his or her personality to convince you to be a friend,” Matthews says. “But you often believe your mutual friend who vouches for that person. An influencer is the mutual friend connecting your brand with your target consumers.”

The thing about influencers is they don’t always fit the mold you might expect. They tend to be average people with gregarious personalities and large personal networks who are interested in talking about a subject that interests them. By connecting with these folks, you gain direct access to their followers — who just so happen to be your customers.

It can take a while to build relationships with the right social influencers, but make some time in your daily schedule to create movement in this area. It’s not something that will happen over a single email or interaction. Months of hard work usually go into forging these relationships.

Do What Others Aren’t Willing to Do

At a conference where he was speaking, marketer John Jantsch was recently asked to explain the secret to success in the industry. Despite being blindsided by the question, Jantsch knew he had the answer.

“My answer wasn’t a secret so much as a truth — the secret to success is to be willing to do the things that others aren’t and be prepared to do them for a really long time,” Jantsch explained.

While that isn’t the sexy answer — and probably not the one the conference attendee was hoping for — it’s the truth. You can’t just copy what everyone else is doing and then wonder why people aren’t being receptive to what you’re throwing at them. In reality, your actions say that you’re just hoping to blend in.

Want to make your marketing stand out in a way that resonates with people and gets your brand noticed? Do what others aren’t willing to do. Seek out unique avenues. Learn how to align yourself with the right people. Create stellar content that you’re proud to attach your name to. These things may not be easy, but they work. That’s what it all comes down to. If you want to stand out, you’ve got to know when to blaze your own trail.

As seen on smallbiztrends.com

How can Remarketing benefit my business?

Remarketing is a powerful internet marketing technique that allows you to stay connected with your target audience, even after they leave your site. By presenting your ads to visitors even as they browse other websites, you are gaining brand exposure and becoming more recognizable to your target audience, raising trust and making them more likely to purchase from you. Remarketing also allows you to appeal visitors who didn’t convert, re-engage visitors with abandoned shopping carts or reach customers within a certain time period after they completed a purchase.

Google AdWords allows advertisers to remarket through their platform by creating remarketing lists with a set of rules. You can targeted all website visitors or you can target visitors who came to a specific page on your website or completed a specific action. Then Google will trigger your ads to show to the same visitors on websites across the Google Display Network.

Facebook remarketing works similar to Google AdWords remarketing, but rather than showing your ads across websites within the Display Network, your ads are shown on Facebook. The concept is the same: someone visits your site or interacts with your brand, they’re tagged with a code you implement to track them, and then while they’re scrolling through their Facebook feed your ad pops up to remind them what they’re missing.

Call Link2city today to schedule an evaluation of your current Marketing efforts.