There’s often a tendency in digital marketing to focus on single elements that are considered “high impact” such as link building for example.
In a post Google Penguin and Panda world, these “high impact” tactics are also “high risk” tactics and the most successful brands are focused on increasing their visibility across all channels rather than just appearing in search results for a “main” keyword or trying to artificially rise to the top of search results using dangerous tactics such as unnatural link building.
In this blog, I take a look at a few online marketing channels that when combined with a creative and well thought out holistic digital marketing strategy, can increase your brand visibility in a sustainable way.
Content marketing isn’t simply ‘blogging’. It’s about creating content that resonates with your target audience which results in their increasing consumption of your content. It is not a direct sales tool.
Here’s an example:
I’m looking to go on holiday to Japan, I’ve never been so I have no knowledge of the country. Before I even begin to look for hotels I’m going to be looking into things such as visa requirements, electricity outlet types and perhaps popular areas of the country to visit.
If you’re a travel agent specialising in holidays in Japan and you’re regularly creating content that I find when researching this information, if this content answers my queries, the more often I land on your site and it satisfies my search intent the more memorable your brand will become.
In time, this could lead to me booking my hotel and flights through you when i’m further down the ‘pipeline’.
Search Engine Optimisation
With 20% of daily searches never before seen in Google, SEO isn’t as straight forward as some might have you believe. Smart SEO revolves around answering search queries that don’t yet exist as well as the obvious terms such as ‘holidays to Japan’. Those that focus on the obvious and highly competitive terms alone are destined for failure as the smart marketer aims to show up for as many search terms as possible – including those that are incredibly ‘long tail’.
Long tail keywords make up around 75% of all searches. They can be defined as search queries over 3 words long and generally, have low search volume but often indicate a searcher is further down the sales funnel. However, in aggregate, long tail keywords have more search volume than their short tail counterparts and are much less competitive. In some verticals you can expect a long wait potentially years to rank for highly competitive short tail keywords. The smarter option is to rank for as many search terms as possible whilst the more competitive terms come later.
Just like traditional PR, Digital PR is designed to help increase your brand awareness and help boost your authority. With Google considering citations’ (mentions of your brand without links) as a ranking factor, it’s important to consider more traditional channels that have made the transition to digital.
Being considered an ‘authority’ in your industry goes a long way to establishing trust with your target audience: Regular mentions in industry and even national press goes a long way to boosting your brand visibility and is a great way to establishing you as authoritative.
In the below example, I provided comments to the Daily Mail (the most read news website online) for their coverage of the new “Right to be forgotten” from search engines ruling. Read the full article here.
Pay Per Click Advertising (Including Search, Display and Re-Targeting)
PPC Advertising offers a controllable platform to increase your brand visibility. Search adverts on search engines such as Google and Bing enables brands to appear for specific search terms on a regular basis and can also be a great asset to put time limited promotions and events in front of your target market.
Display advertising enables brands to place adverts on websites by either identifying specific websites your target audience may visit and also automatically place ads on websites through contextual targeting (matching your ad’s keywords to relevant content on a given website). Great for increasing brand recollection and combined with the other channels in the blog, a valuable tool.
Re-Targeting (or Re-Marketing) is used to show ads to visitors (on websites they subsequently visit – including Social Media) that previously performed an action on your website, for example, dropping out of your conversion funnel. By re-targeting visitors that meet this criteria you stand a much higher chance of tempting them back. Re-Targeting also allows us to be very creative by setting time periods ads will run (which can be used to target previous visitors at different parts of the sales funnel) and even show visitors ads containing specific products they previously viewed.
Social Media is here to stay, with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and even Snapchat all offering different opportunities, a consistent, well thought out social media strategy designed to convey your company culture and engage with your target audience is key to boosting your brand visibility.
Social Media also allows us to ‘laser target’ social media users and serve highly relevant adverts to them: A great tool to amplify your contents reach.
A holistic digital marketing campaign is the best way to increase your brand visibility online to its maximum potential. Using content marketing to satisfy users quest for information, re-targeting these visitors on other websites they visit and engaging with them on Social Media helps build brand affinity and extend your reach online.
Doing just one of the above is possibly going to give you results if done well, but they will be limited. If you truly want to increase your visibility online, concentrate on building your brand using as many online marketing channels as possible because if you don’t, you’ll always fall behind those that do.