Why you should be building your brand online

If your brand already earns good revenue through a digital channel, you’ve got a great opportunity.

Hopefully, you’re already capturing lots of organic traffic and I expect you’re fully engaged in offline advertising to build awareness and drive acquisition. However, given how online advertising has declined in value as consumers have found it increasingly easier to ignore, you might be wary of using digital to reach your customers. You shouldn’t be. It’s a brilliant way to build brand awareness and engagement.

The great thing about digital is the depth of content a brand can create. Video, editorial, interactive rich media; it’s quite a big list. Taking this and combining it with the disruptive technologies of social media offers your brand exciting opportunities, if used properly.

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Promotion and using influencers to build your audience; the ASA speaks

A key aspect of the work we do at DVO is driving awareness of our clients’ content and brands. After all, we can publish the best content in the world on their websites and promote it on their social but that’s often seen by just a small section of the potential audience.

That’s where our digital communication and promotion arm comes into play. DVO’s team-within-a-team is dedicated to helping our stories reach as wide an audience as possible, so we can engage more people and bring them to our clients’ owned media. Think of them as a mad hybrid of media buyer, planner, PR person and promotional expert working on the myriad digital platforms that exist.

But that’s all marketing speak.

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Five questions that say yes to content marketing

Why you should be saying yes to content marketing and dropping some of the old practices, they could get you in trouble.

I’ve been taking a good look at Eric Enge’s pieces on Search Engine Watch recently. They make it absolutely clear why content marketing is such a compelling proposition for brands and why older link building practices have become a genuine liability.

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam and the public face of its search quality team – the SEO police if you like – said this recently when asked by Enge what the best link building strategy was:

Make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings.”

The same is true of all your online content.

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The rise of the growth hacker

The rise of the growth hacker. Another digital term to describe a practice we’re all doing as marketers anyway or something new?

The term growth hacker is something we’re hearing a lot these days, is it just another buzzword or something more? In a previous post I referred to a survey that highlighted a skills gap in digital marketing. And while it was commissioned by a recruitment company (presumably in the hope of generating business) it also raised a big question that many brands encounter, certainly the ones we speak to: how do we structure our marketing departments and what skillsets do we need?

Today there are so many platforms, marketing automation tools and strategies ­– not to mention traditional media and PR – the list is getting longer and longer. Continue reading

Google doesn’t buy holidays

browsers

DVO has operated in and around the world of SEO for a number of years. It’s always been an important element of driving awareness and conversion and, as long as organic traffic via Google represents a large portion of site traffic, it probably always will be.Continue reading

Useful content drives sharing

When our clients commission us to create content for them, our first goal is to create something that provides value to the viewer. Last year, IBM demonstrated this idea by creating adverts that doubled as benches in urban areas.

The best approach in content marketing is one that keeps in mind not only the objectives of the brand who wants potential customers to know about them, but also one that takes the viewer into consideration. Sometimes companies are so concerned with ‘viral’ content that they forget what makes content go viral in the first place.

A marketing study by Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 72% of the people they polled shared content because they found it interesting or entertaining. But does it really take a genius to sort out that thought-provoking or entertaining (and sometimes both) content motivates people to share? The key then is combining the two.

What’s so successful about IBM’s approach is that they are not only changing the typical interaction that happens between an advert and its viewer, but they’re also providing something of value to the viewer. Sure, it’s just a bench. But it’s enough that it gets individuals interacting with it.

That’s the approach that DVO consistently takes with content. We seek to combine entertaining with thought-provoking or usefulness to create content with value. During our campaign with PropertyWide, we used their expertise to create an engaging infographic that compared the average rent prices in cities across the UK:

Both The Independent and Economic Voice, among many other publishers, found the content useful for their audiences, and the information appealed to multiple audiences from finance blogs like Savvy Scott to student publications like TopUniverse.com.

Experience has taught us that the best rule for creating content that effectively spreads your brand message is to understand what makes people share. Highly effective content marketing involves making either thought-provoking or entertaining content. And if you can combine both, you have the best both worlds.

We’re a London based content marketing agency that can help you optimise your webspace. If you’re interested, get in touch!

The importance of long-form content and why you should be creating it

Long-form content is vital. The stats don’t lie, deeper content with rich visuals works much harder for your brand.

Whilst I admit that on the surface the online world we live in seems to place a great amount of importance on short-form content, it’s the long-form content that really engages consumers. It’s our job as a full service agency to get to the truth and uncover these insights. You will be able to find multiple articles that celebrate the economy of a 140 character Tweet; of ten minute Ted talks that are revolutionising everyday education; and of infographics that can explain complex data in a scannable and shareable visual.

So where does this leave long-form content? Is it all over for articles that run into thousands of words? The answer is no. Here are the reasons why long-form content should play a role in your content marketing strategy.

Google likes long-form

While you should always create content for real people, the fact that Google likes long-form content cannot and should not be ignored. There is little use in creating content if Google won’t rank it and people can’t find it. Content without an audience is the tree that falls in the woods with nobody to hear it – it’s irrelevant. Google is getting smarter and it knows if you are creating derivative short-form copy that isn’t telling your audience anything new. It favours content that is original and in-depth, and that truly offers something to its audience.

Encourage engagement and loyalty

It is a fact that reading a 10,000 word treatise on the latest trends in your business is not going to be appealing to everybody, but since when is successful content marketing, or successful business for that matter, about appealing to the lowest common denominator? If you have a niche audience, they will appreciate well researched and well put together long-form content that provides them with an expert point-of-view rather than a throwaway sound bite that is repeated throughout scores of pages on the internet.

Easy access

There was a time when access to long-form content meant storing bulky encyclopaedias on your shelf and subscribing to numerous printed magazines, but that is no longer the case. In our age of mobile technology, everybody can have access to long-form content on their smartphones, tablets, and kindles. The staggering popularity of online self-publishing indicates that a broad cross-section of people are accessing long-form content regularly via their mobile devices. Not only is long-form content accessible via many devices, but it is becoming easier and easier to manage how we read this content through sites and apps such as longreads.com.

People love stories

Human beings are storytellers by nature. We find our way through the world by talking to other people, by sharing our viewpoint, and by listening to the tales of others. Storytelling is something we have always participated in, and something that we engage with every day.  Marketers responsible for creating content can get so caught up in following trends that they forget they are writing for real people. There is no better way of making your audience feel something than by getting into the details of storytelling, exploring deep psychologies, and giving your audience the kind of context that short-form simply cannot provide.

In conclusion, short-form content undoubtedly has its place, but when you want to create something valuable for your audience that promotes true engagement and loyalty, long-form content should be at the heart of your content marketing strategy.

If you’re looking for a London based digital Content Marketing agency to help boost your brand then give us a call on 020 3771 2461 or drop a note through our contact page.

 

10 ways you can profit from content marketing.

This week we discuss how you can move from a nice to have to a must have, creating profit from content marketing to make it an invaluable part of your strategy.

We’re often asked “how do I profit from content marketing?” The point of marketing – any kind – is to inspire action. What that action is depends on your business. But, for most, this usually involves buying a product or service. Effectively, marketing should get people to take notice of you. The content is meant to grab someone’s attention, make them listen and then call them to act. Simple, right?

Well, not always. The internet is an entirely different medium from television, radio and print. Thus, the traditional tactics used to market brands on these platforms, don’t always transpire to success online. The web works in a completely different way. Online, content is the most valuable thing and profit from content marketing is the goal.

On the internet, people go in search of interesting and valuable content. And understanding this is the key to drawing profit from content marketing.

Forget 30-second TV ads and radio snippets of someone yelling at you to ‘hurry, buy now’. It won’t work online. Looking at the digital habits of shoppers, they don’t want to be bombarded with advertising telling them why to buy something. They’re smarter than that and they expect more.

Take the made-for-television ads, which act as previews for many YouTube videos. These ads usually have a ‘skip’ button pop up after 5 seconds – which is the route most of us would choose to take. This goes to show one of the stark differences between television and online ads. The attention span of an online user is far shorter. If you can’t grab someone’s attention in the first few seconds, you’re never going to get it. In essence, the 30-second ad is dead, and instead you only have an extremely small period of time to get your message or name across.

So, to profit from content marketing, you need to create branded content that readers, viewers and users are going to see and share. Don’t make an advertisement. Make content.

How can you do this?

1. Start a blog for your brand and post regularly on it.
2. Create an infographic about a relevant news story and include your logo on it.
3. Start a Twitter account for your brand and use it to interact and connect with followers and potential clients.
4. Create a quirky animation and share via social streams.
5. Produce a video for YouTube, or even found a channel on the site if you want to regularly post videos on here.
6. Comment on other people’s blogs, forums and twitter posts. Rather than fill their pages with spam, engage with them and contribute relevant and values responses.
7. Create an ebook. This is a great way to get your whole brand message across in one lump.
8. Start a free podcast or webinar featuring specialist industry advice. You can then use transcripts of these to produce an ebook.
9. Identify a common problem or issue that faces your industry and produce a report that provides solutions on the topic.
10. Formulate a press release and distribute it through a site like PR Newswire where it has a possibility of being picked up by a high profile site and included in their content.

If you’re looking for a London based agency to help with your marketing needs, then why not get in touch with DVO!

Content Marketing: Why it should be a community effort

We discuss the importance of content communities and why building them is vital to your online marketing success

Building content communities is a must have for any brand looking to successfully market to the reality of todays connected consumer. Content Marketing hinges on the simple notion that your audience will engage and interact with your brand as long as the content you provide is relevant to their needs, of a high-quality and is provided regularly. The question is: how is it possible to do this?

The answer: it gets easier when your content communities begin to grow.

Reaching a position where your audience is engaged with your brand at such a level to help create your content is seen as the Holy Grail for many companies. Why? Because it affords you the luxury of being able to depend on your supporters to talk you up as well as bring new ideas into the mix, from the other side of the table. After all, a community that feels their thoughts and ideas really matter, are more likely to champion the brand.

While the content might need a little work in order to bring it into line with your style guide and editorial tone, the difference in voice can be refreshing. The change of tone will be a welcome change for your readers, and the value of having one loyal fan sing your praises to others is substantial. Marketing basics commends the strength of word of mouth – using consumer generated content is, essentially, the digital version of this age-old practice. In a study conducted by Nielsen, 92 percent of 28,000 participants across 56 countries stated that they would trust word of mouth recommendations from their family and friends over all other forms of advertising, in other words, ‘earned’ media is worth its weight in gold.

So, how do you go about creating these meaningful relationships with your potential brand ambassadors and guest bloggers, as they’re intrinsically linked to the success of content communities?

First of all, make it abundantly clear that user generated content is an invaluable commodity when looking to gain fresh insight and perspective into your audience wants and needs, and that you’re keen to introduce it as such so to give your audience credit where it’s due.

Another key point is to consider the kind and level of audience engagement you’re asking for. Is it a simple testimonial, an image, or perhaps it’s something a little more involved. While the number of submissions will usually decrease with the amount of effort required, those people who do take time to prepare a quality submission are more likely to align themselves closely with your brand and are a valuable resource to hold on to. With this in mind, it’s essential to look at the quality of the content, rather than just the quantity.

Competitions are also highly beneficial as a way of incentivising a request for user generated content. One successful example of this comes from IMEDEEN. In 2012, the beauty brand launched a competition to find women to represent its range of anti-ageing skincare supplements. The brand launched the competition globally, asking for those with ‘natural beauty’ that belies their age to come forward. Paired with a highly efficient PR campaign, the competition was given a great amount of exposure. The results? Three winners (and brand ambassadors) from Brazil, Scotland and Corsica and a wealth of content.

Much of the content world has taken well to the practice of teaming up with others in their industry. Many content marketers provide a great example of this when they call on others in similar roles to enrich their sites with guest posts and interaction. It’s refreshing to see camaraderie within an industry and readers will find the change in tone and pace a welcome break from brand rivalry.

With content acting as the lynch pin in Digital Marketing, it’s important to make these connections with your brand’s fanbase to keep your site and social activity as fresh as possible.

If you’re looking for a London based digital agency to help with your marketing needs, then why not get in touch with DVO!

How to find a wider audience for your content

We discuss the importance of brilliant content and why it’s so important to think strategically about how you create your content to get the results you want.

The crux of successful content marketing lies in the creation of brilliant content. But even well-written, game changing content needs some marketing of its own in order to gain and grow a dynamic and lively audience.

Brilliant content can sometimes attract a decent crowd all on its own, but more often than not it’ll need a big nudge in the right direction. To prevent your best content from gathering dust in the corner of the internet you need to get the right people engaging with it and talking about it.

  • Tailor your strategy: It’s important that you position your content in front of your target audience and that you aren’t simply frantically throwing your content in the faces of people that will find it irrelevant. Tailoring not only your content but your content promotion strategy will see it spread and reach a wider audience much more quickly and effectively.
  • Get it in front of an influencer: Influencers can be anyone; from an industry specialist, a celebrity, an author to an uber blogger. Anyone who has a large social following and, above all, someone that your potential audience will listen to. Finding relevant influencers that simply can’t say no to sharing such wonderful content will mean that your brand can become an authority in that field. If a piece of content is passed on through social media, whether its Twitter, Facebook or Google +, by an influencer it will automatically instil a level of trust in your brand. If all goes to plan you will find your brand on its way to widening a loyal fan base.
  • Start a conversation, engage people: Tap into the mind of your potential audience, what do they care about? What do they want to know? What are they biting their nails over? Do they have a problem? Solve it for them. Look into current trending topics and what the most prevalent influencers are chatting about over Twitter.
  • Create a Blog: Your brand needs a blog. This will give you the opportunity to tap into a brand new audience and makes shareability literally as easy as clicking a button. Express the unique voice of your brand via the content of your blog, this will increase the likeability of your brand and in return you’ll be rewarded with the trust of your audience.
  • Don’t be boring: Create something that people will want to share, but really think about it. Making facts look pretty or fluffing them up into a piece of editorial is not shareable content. Infographics, Ebooks, white papers, videos, images and blog posts are just a few examples of some of the exciting content that you could be sharing with your potential audience.

Finding a wider audience all comes down to creativity, relevance and trust. Get excited about your content, have faith in your brand and promote it in every which way you can. Create brilliant content! When the shares, comments, likes and retweets start coming in, watch your audience grow.

If you’re looking for a London based digital Content Marketing agency to help with your marketing needs, then why not get in touch with DVO!