So, here’s a good New Year Resolution 2017: be authentic in your digital marketing.
When asked for advice we typically answer, “be authentic.” Be authentic online, in your content marketing.
Content Marketing is just a somewhat more expensive-sounding way of saying, “share your story.”
Yea, sure, we know…it’s a core principle of Relevanza but on the internet of 2017 and for many more years to come. Your content – what you share about you, your business or institution – will be the premium currency (sound expensive enough?).
And it doesn’t matter onto what kind of platform that content is delivered – old, new, desktop,mobile – it’s the content that is the core. It’s the telling of your story.
We would be remiss, however, if we didn’t point that your content, your story, will be seen most often in 2017 on mobile devices, smartphones mostly.
Is your effort to reach customers and supporters effective with the mobile tools you use? Have you even realized, yet, you need to be gearing your digital marketing efforts toward mobile devices?
So, what’s a marketeer to do? Quick answer: mobile. Longer answer: mobile. And the final answer is…yep…mobile.
Put simply, if you’re not gearing your digital marketing effort toward mobile devices your customers and supporters are literally walking and driving away from you.
The overlord and ruler of all internet searches, Google, made it abundantly clear: to be found in search you need to be found by consumers using mobile devices:
“To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”
What this means – in case you don’t speak digitalese, the language of Silicon Valley – your digital efforts should be easily seen, read and navigated on mobile devices. If it’s not you will never be found in the all important search queries made by the millions of internet users who now simply ask a question of the smartphone.
The phrase most often used is, “mobile friendly.” At the very least your website should be mobile-friendly. More than that, however, your website should be useful on mobile devices: quick, easy, responsive.
Call it anything you want but telling your story – and the stories of others – has been resurrected from generations of history, re-framed and put back to work in the age of the digital spaces, social media. Tell your story. More importantly: through good service, good product, beneficial contributions maybe others will want to tell your story, too!
The question becomes, then, “how” to tell one’s story? The answer is, of course, on a well-done website which features one’s blog. That’s right: a blog. It doesn’t need to be that scary. It’s really no more difficult than writing a letter to a friend or making a note in a journal or talking on the phone.
One’s blog in the core of one’s marketing efforts in the digital spaces. It is also the only place on the Internet where the user is in complete control. It’s home base.
But if the word, blog, makes you shutter in fear (or, even, sound old fashioned at this point) we can call it something else. We’ll call it your news or your updates or “what’s happenin’ now.” It matters little what one calls it as long as you’re using your website to – once more – tell your story.
Oh, and don’t forget the other part of telling your story: listening! It’s almost as important to listen – to what your audience says back to you; to what others say, to the stories of others. You will want to engage them, share their stories with your audience, talk back to them, comment back on those who choose to engage you.
Content, yes, but engage with others too
Tell your story, have something of value to say, inform (and, sure, toot your own horn when it’s warranted and authentic). But, mostly, tell your story. Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?
As the online universe expands – as it is so very rapidly – we have to also remember that content alone doesn’t get us where we need to be.
We must follow up content with context and, most important, engagement. This is digital marketing, after all. One can’t be social without engaging others in the dialogue.
This is how we build community – engage unto others as you would have them engage unto you.
We often explain social media to clients and friends who are confused, if not completely overwhelmed, by using the metaphor of the front porch. We’ve all had those glorious experiences of sitting around on the front porch, talking with friends and family, discussing everything and nothing at all.
Social media really is, for the most part, just like those treasured conversations on the front porch. Except, with social media, the front porch can be the entire world!
And just like those conversations need context, sometimes, so does your social media content. In this rapidly growing world – just for a quick example – your online content needs to be able to travel well between the various platforms and, even, devices. What looks and reads well on a desktop or laptop computer must also look and read well on a mobile device, a phone or a tablet.
We call this, “data persistence,” or, “content persistence.” You want your content to travel well, hang around a bit, appear to jump fluidly from one social platform to another; be as relevant and understandable as possible from one platform or device as to the next; maybe even to when and where your community might see you, read you, hear from you.
Finally, engagement is also key. Don’t just broadcast your message. Be ready to listen and talk back to those who reach out to you.
Over 60 percent of all adults in the U.S. are engaged in social media at one level or another. There is a lot of conversation in which to be engaged online, through the social channels. But like any good conversation, one must be actively participating in it.
Tell your story. Make sure your story travels well. Reach back when someone reaches out to you.
Need help with all that? Sure you do. Reach out to us. We’ll reach back. We can chat.