Social Media Content Strategy

So what is an Optimized Content Strategy?

An Optimized Content Strategy is the art of deliberately producing content, based on keyword phrases that are driving organic search traffic and conversions, that demonstrates an understanding of your target customer’s knowledge acquisition at various stages in their buying cycle. Then delivering that "optimized" content to them in a relevant and compelling way to grow your business by socializing the content through your organization’s social networks. In this context, content can consist of: website content, blogs, press releases, case studies, white papers, how-to guides, emails, news and events, videos – whatever it is your prospects and customers want to consume, in the format they will best be able to consume it, and on the various platforms on the web they may be receptive to consuming the content.

Search Rankings: Optimized Content Strategy

Here are a few reasons why producing and distributing fresh, relevant, optimized content must be part of your marketing strategy, if you want to rank in organic search and be relevant in the social networks.

1. Social Signals
December 2010: both Google and Bing announced that they factor social signals into their organic search algorithms. According to Google, social media and social networking are about relationships and relationships prove relevance and relevance is at the core of organic search. Social signals are the new back links. It is becoming apparent that social signals will continue to rise in importance as the lines between social media and search continue to thin.

Optimized Content Strategy Approach: Distribute your optimized content strategy to your social networks and give your website visitors and content consumers every opportunity to socialize your content including: tweets, re-tweets, Google +1’s, Facebook Likes and Shares, YouTube views and LinkedIn Shares. Of course, you need to build out your social networks too – not just more followers, but each platform offers different content formats and offers an opportunity to spin your message.

2. Google's Panda
March 2011: Google starts penalizing sites for manufactured back links.

Optimized Content Strategy Approach: For long-term success with your SEO and social media strategies build out your back links by producing and distributing relevant fresh content such as optimized press releases and blog posts. Optimize your content for the keywords you know your prospects are using to find you and that they are converting on. Point back links in the press release, blog post or case study to your website, or better yet, a conversion page. Then socialize the content through your social networks including: Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

3. The Freshness Updates
November 2011: Google launched an algorithm change called the Freshness Update that gives priority to fresh, timely content such as press releases, blogs, news and events.

Optimized Content Strategy : Give Google, and your customers, fresh, relevant, timely optimized content.


So while the fundamentals of organic SEO remain important – such as ensuring you have a strong technical website with keyword optimized pages, good site architecture, and building local search and industry-specific directories for back linking purposes – a real shift is taking place in the on-going approach to traditional SEO. That shift is the creation, publishing and distribution of an optimized content marketing strategy. This is only possible after the base is built - your website - but the conceptual aspects of a content strategy are actually the foundation for your entire Internet Marketing Strategy. And developing the conversations with customers is an ongoing process....
Posted: 3/2/2012 9:32:10 AM by Shep Morrow

Recently, the head of Google’s team that fights against web spam announced that they will be changing their search engine algorithm to “reduce low-quality ‘exact match’ domains” so that they don’t show up as highly in the results.

What does this mean? That search engine optimization is changing. Even if you sell books and own www.books.com (i.e. an exact match domain), your site will find itself tumbling down the Google search results if the content on the site is poor.

And this isn’t the first time that search engines have made crackdowns on sites that have low quality content. Just in the past two years, Google’s Panda started punishing sites that manufacture back links, Bing and Google acknowledged that they incorporate social media recommendations into their algorithms, and Google began preferencing content that is fresh and regularly updated.

It’s more important than ever before in local internet marketing to create unique, high-quality SEO content in order to ensure that your site stays near the top of the search rankings. If people don’t like it and recommend it, search engines will quickly let you drop from page one to page two – or worse.

Say Goodbye to Stuffing and Spinners
What this translates to is a long overdue goodbye to those websites who employ less-than-savory internet marketing tactics to keep their pages near the top of the rankings. Sites that simply stuff their pages with high-ranking SEO words and provide little in the way of valuable content are falling by the wayside. So, too, is the use of “spun” articles – writing content in such a way so that it passes things like Copyscape to make it “unique,” but really just uses slightly different words to say the exact same thing.

Instead, site owners need truly unique content created by people who know how to write, and that content needs to find social approval in the form of Likes, +1s, and so on in order to be seen as relevant. Not something that typically would happen for those sites that employed “cheats” to attain their high ranks.

Strategies for Optimizing Your Content
First and foremost, what this new world order means is that you need good content, so your initial job is to locate an expert in internet marketing consulting who can produce that. Once you feel that you’ve got that person, you have to make sure that you are sharing your content in as many ways as possible – that means getting Likes and shares from Facebook, tweets and retweets from Twitter, repins on Pinterest, and any other social media services that you find valuable.

In order to stay relevant and fresh, you need to create new blog posts, press releases, case studies, and more on a regular basis. On top of that, you have to make sure to include backlinks that point to your site or a conversion page while continuing to promote the content via social media.

All of this, as you might imagine, can be a little time consuming. Worse, it’s something that is constantly in flux as Google and others continue to refine their approach. That’s why it is so valuable to work with an expert in internet marketing consulting as you try to grow your brand.

Posted: 10/4/2012 1:57:14 PM by Shep Morrow

Advantage of paying a Retainer to a Digital Marketing Agecny

Why pay a Marketing Agency a Retainer?

Digital marketing is, at its heart, a research-based and data-driven process, as performance optimization and increased sales require a series of incremental steps. You wouldn’t hire an internal marketer and remove their capacity to research how to improve your website and online communications, so why would you hire an agency this way? Here are several reasons why taking a retainer-based approach to digital marketing with your agency is not only wise, but crucial to maximizing your return on investment.

SEO: fine tuning what works
Search Engine Optimization is something that every internet company tells you need, but do you understand where it fits in marketing your business? Whether you’re measuring your success by organic web traffic, or leads generated, the key to achieving success marketing is attracting new prospects and converting them into paying customers.

Are you arming your marketing efforts with the power to attract those leads and nurture them? This is one incredibly powerful reason why retainer-based efforts, just like internally-focused staff, can be much more effective than project-based ones. Consider - to be truly successful at SEO, you must do all of the following:
  • Discover a problem or area of focus
  • Research the problem or area
  • Propose a hypothesis and solution
  • Create and implement the solution
  • Test and record the solution’s effectiveness, and
  • Report on the solution.
In most cases, this cycle repeats to continue improving the area of focus, or to find a new problem to address or area of focus to grow. Have the ability in both time and budget to allow this cycle is crucial to any long-term SEO plan.

Software Platforms
One advantage digital marketing agencies have over in-house small-to-mid size enterprise teams is the ability to afford and test software platforms. By now we’re all familiar with the basics - Google Analytics, Google AdWords, SEM Rush, and automation tools like Hubspot. But most agencies are looking at platforms to enhance these, reporting, research, local search optimization, review monitoring, and conversion optimization.

What you get with a digital retainer is access to all these tools, affordable through your retainer because the cost and use of them is spread out amongst several client groups and brands. Try getting them all at once on your own, and you’ve likely ate up a significant portion of your budget for the year. But paired with your digital agency team, you not only have the tools and the data, but the talent and experience to put both to work.

Content Strategies that evolve
Another clear advantage of arming your digital agency with time and budget is the ability to create evolving strategies. Your products change. Your target audiences change. The market changes as competitors enter and leave, economies shift, and production techniques become refined and more efficient.

How many of these factors are you monitoring? Do you know when a new competitor enters your market, what their primary unique selling propositions are, and what audience they’re targeting? Oftentimes, the savviest businesses are on top of these changes - from a business perspective. But that vigilance has to extend beyond the finances and operations planning into marketing.
Your content strategy should always reflect your business goals as a company, and that means it should shift as often as anything that comes up that affects your goals, positively or negatively. What parts of that strategy are affected depends on the market changes.

A living content strategy considers those competitive factors already mentioned, as well as campaign keywords, email cadence, content topics and their delivery types, and more. New social platforms come and go. SEO rules are updating frequently as Google and its competitors improve how search engines work. If you’re not armed to meet these strategies, you’re behind the game. And with digital marketing changing every day, that’s a place any marketer, and business, can ill-afford to be.

Data driven Marketing ROI
How often do you hear a new marketing idea? Now, ask yourself this: how often is that idea backed up by data, including web analytics, audience demographics and psychographics, ad performance, email performance or other traffic and conversion metrics?

Ready for another question? How much of that data is yours? There’s a billion studies that tell you which inbound marketing practices are best, which content promotion strategies work, and what the best paid media channels are. But as useful as these studies are the strategies, tactics and campaigns based on your actual performance data are where you can make money.

Your digital marketing team has trained for this. The devil is always in the details for us - the improving bounce rate, that strange increase in referral traffic, the drop-in email open rates, the surge of conversions. In these details, we find the clues as to what the audience is (and is not) responding to, and we use those clues to craft the next successful campaign.

Not every idea that’s driven by data is a home run, and there is always value in taking risk on an idea you feel in your gut is right, even if you have no data to back it up. But empowering your digital marketing partners to research, report and hypothesize is the key to turning every marketing dollar into a wise return on investment. This kind of retainer investment on your behalf gives your team permission to hunt, to find the next efficiency, to uncover the next hidden gem of campaign goodness.

Why do you want to pay a Digital Marketing Agency a Retainer? Let me count the ways:
  • SEO: fine tuning what works
  • Software Platforms
  • Content Strategies that evolve
  • Data driven marketing ROI
Want to know more about Prices for a Marketing Makeover?
Posted: 1/9/2017 2:25:52 PM by Shep Morrow