So it’s already 2016 but, typical of my own blogging, I am late to the punch. For my own purposes, I’ve been reviewing my company’s internet marketing strategy and processes so, as I like to record what I’ve learned for myself, I thought I’d go ahead and write them here.
It’s therapeutic for myself and eye-opening as I take a moment to realize that I need to step it up in 2016!
In 2015, here is what I saw…
I saw a huge surge in this format. There are even podcasting coaches now. Once a person finds that niche in coaching that system, you know it’s a growing tool and only going to get bigger. I have a client, Amber Callahan, and a strategic partner, Jena Rodriguez, who started podcasting this year with great success. They love the format and the ease that it can provide in generating evergreen and shareable content.
They found the piece on the intent that they can call their own with their own voice. Like Seth Godin says in his book, Tribes, (affiliate link):
Heretics are the new leaders. The ones who challenge the status quo, who get out in front of their tribes, who create movements.
A podcast gives a leader the platform to challenge their tribe’s status quo in a way that an article, blog, or magazine ad cannot.
If you have a service that you feel could stand a unique voice or needs to be heard, consider a podcast.
Your homework: Take some time and find your favorite podcasts in your industry, then maybe think about how you can start your own. What can your individual personality offer your Tribe?
Videos and Periscoping
This and podcasting could almost be discussed in the same topic. As the typical blog post changes from just a couple of paragraphs; videos and its counterpart, Periscoping, grew in popularity. As we learn that on the internet, anyone can purport to be just about anyone, trust in a company or a person can be gained through a video.
Just using a few videos can help your company move from blah to wow! A video takes the written word and puts some individuality to it. No one can be you. No one can copy your personality. A video makes sure that your customer meet you.
Periscoping takes that idea to the next level with simultaneous streaming of your video. It’s the ultimate, “I am who I say I am” tool.
I can see that in 2016 that this type of video will grow as the next generation of social media changes.
Your homework: Take a moment and watch a periscope video. Would this work for what you do in your industry?
In my own company, we went back to our prior customers and suggested changes to their website. Many were made years ago and needed a refresh but mostly they were not responsive.
Google emphasized their goal in 2014 to make the user experience on mobile an important feature. Therefore, their search algorithm reflected this change by making sure a website was responsive or mobile friendly. It affected how or if your website landed on the coveted first ‘page’ of a mobile google search.
Your homework: Check your website’s responsiveness? Does it need some tweaking?
The word branding has taken on new meaning in today’s online marketing landscape. Branding is not just your logo and message but your individuality. Branding in 2015 meant you and your team. Branding has taken on the human element.
In 2010, I coined the phrase, “Business 2 People.” Instead of Business to Consumer or Business to Business, we found that we are marketing more and more to people and individuals. Branding means showing your flaws, your humor, and your personality.
Branding is more than the company, it’s the sum of it’s parts including the parts of your team.
Your homework: Consider allowing or tasking a team member to give their voice to the brand. Have you taken a team photo lately that shows off your uniqueness?
Boy, did this grow in 2015! I would say that content marketing combines all of the above; videos, blogging, press releases, case studies, tools, social media posts. It’s the ultimate branding experience since it needs to come from you and your team.
I have recommended to clients that they at least hire someone to help prepare videos and write or advertise, obviously, but it needs to have the customer’s tone and voice. You still have to be a part of the process.
In 2016, we should see more growth including short-form content for mobile devices. Things that are easily consumed on a mobile device; case in point, periscoping.
Your homework: Take 30 minutes and brainstorm all of the different ways you and your company can deliver unique content.
SEO, content, and social media
This is where it all blurs together. You honestly cannot do one without the other. Search Engine Optimization has taken on new meaning other than keywords and key phrases. In 2015, SEO was, and should be, defined more by the technical aspects like indexing, research, code. But content and social media is the output and result. Your content needs to be shared on different platforms for visibility. The point is to generate traffic to your website and, most importantly, keep them there so they convert.
Your homework: Where do you stand with your content and social media? Are you doing one? Are you doing the other? You should be doing both.
So here’s to 2015 and the year of the branded content! An here’s to 2016 and the ever consistent changes in internet marketing.
Isn’t it grand?