Marketing is at its best when it’s perfectly aligned with the needs of its audience. In the years right up to the end of the last century the marketing bible followed Jerome McCarthy’s 4Ps, where the path of any product or service from its point of origin to the consumer was determined by the mantra of Product, Place, Price and Promotion.
This is a fundamental truth and in reality it has not changed. A product or a service are still important. The consumer’s ability to find it is crucial. The price plays a critical role in uptake. And promotion helps create the necessary buzz, brand recognition and brand value that can lower impulse buy resistance and augment sales.
But though things are the same they are also different. The years up to the end of the last century were marked by a top-down approach where the message of what to buy, how to buy it and why was controlled by the supplier. Set-up costs were always so high that anything that did not scale and could not scale could not be brought to the market. In that world volume sales were required just to break even and controlled scarcity was used to exact premium prices.
None of this applies now. In a social media driven world where consumers are knowledgeable, empowered and vocal, any product that attempts to tell them why they need it or how good it is, is doomed to fail from the start. The traditional 4Ps of marketing have given way to what Ogilvy advertising has called the 4Es of Experience, Everywhere, Exchange and Evangelism.
Oh the humanity! I don't care how obscure, famous or infamous you and/or your blog is, every blogger can relate to blogger anxiety - that feeling one gets before clicking the "Publish" button of, "Am I sure this post is the best it can be and how can I tweak it so I become famous like Jason Falls or Brian Solis?" I'm feeling it already as I type this damn good sentence in an explosive opening paragraph. BANG! (You'll get joke later on in the infographic).
One of my favorite people to follow in Google+ is a guy by the name of +Mervik Haums. He recently shared this infographic by Copyblogger entitled 11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs and I thought it was worth sharing with you for a few reasons.
- The infographic itself. It's colorful, eye-catching, hip - and the clever use of color to highlight keywords adds a subtle subliminal touch to the story it tells.
- I wanted to go through the exercise of using the ingredients in a blog post.
- I needed a bulleted list for the post (OK, so I made it a numbered list. Sue me!)
The rules of SEO have forever changed. B2B companies take notice: your corporate website, with its standards and guidelines for copy and content style, may soon require a total makeover.
Much has been said about the volume and quality of backlinks to your B2B or corporate website, determining your SEO success. That will be covered in a part II of this SEO article for B2B marketers.
But what about the importance of SEO on your website? This is what you have immediate control over and when optimized appropriately, will drive the most immediate returns (in SEO page 1 Google visibility). But the ongoing Google changes, sometimes at a whim and seemingly meant to penalize B2B sites, are making it harder for B2B marketers to stay in top.
Here are 5 ways B2B or corporate websites can evaluate their on-site SEO program to have 2014 success in SEO:
Let's start with a question: Are online reviews important to your customers? The answer: Only if you want to sell something. Consumers, whether they're in the market for a Tesla or a toaster, are increasingly savvy, and a recent survey from software company Baynote and the e-tailing group cited online ratings and reviews as the most influential source of information for those making both online and in-store purchases.
"Today's customers do their homework," notes Shelly Kramer, a Kansas City, Mo.-based brand strategist whose firm has advised clients like Chipotle and Wal-Mart. "Your customers check you out long before they ever decide to buy from you. They rely less on advertising and more on search results. They rely on their friends' opinions. And they rely on customer reviews."
In the e-commerce world, reviews signify validity. "Making sure you have a good online presence and reviews that speak to your credibility is a big part of doing business today," Kramer says. So, how can your business secure a presence on (and dominate) online review sites?
Now that brands can email their followers on Google+, something that Facebook doesn't allow them to, it opens up a whole new avenue for marketers to explore. Google was probably feeling the burden of losing out to other social media platforms, and decided to re-work its strategy for 2014. The following updates make me feel confident that Google+ is here to stay in the years to come.
1. Google segregated emails into Inbox, Social, & Promotional, which improved overall user experience. Google understood that people do want to read promotional messages, but they don't want to be interrupted when they want to access their inbox - especially at work or in school.
2. Google integrated YouTube comments with Google+, and allowed content creators (brands or others) to interact with real people. People that couldn't hide behind the mask of anonymity.
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