What’s The Future Of Marketing

Thanks to the smartphone and the evolution of mobile technology, we have a front-row seat into who consumers are. Mobile data gives us the most precise and current view of any individual consumer. For over a year now, HitTail has been talking to its audience about one aspect of the future of marketing–the long tail, where smaller more agile companies can live in “niches” left behind by larger competitors. It works perfectly online, because inexpensive “word of mouth” marketing is intensified through the ability to forward links in email and the use of social networks.  To really divine the future of marketing, you have to look at how a “long-tail” or niche advertising campaign picks up momentum, and how the company intelligently leverages its revenue to go back into more creative marketing.

Marketing has historically been about communicating messages and ensuring it goes to the right person – framing a product and its brand then deciding what to tell that target market.  HitTail prescribes a particular formula that helps small to medium sized companies master that process of generating consistent, reliable small successes. It is useful to think of marketing as two separate disciplines: delivery and message. Delivery is how we get our message out, message is what we get out.

Trends Driving The Future Of Marketing

Here are the trends that have the biggest impact on the future of marketing.

  • The evolution of mobile devices is one of the prime factors influencing the marketing world.
  • Transparency will dictate brand-customer relationships. Genuine brands that create real value, will be rewarded.
  • Content, particularly visual content, will rule the roost in the online marketing world.
  • Content co-creation between brands and consumers will become a popular trend.
  • Social will become an integral part of the broader marketing discipline.

Conclusion:

Marketers are preoccupied with questions like: What is the next big campaign? How can we turn our client into the “next big thing”? What is the next hot trend going to be in retail? Etc. Knowing this, what do some of the top minds in marketing predict for their own futures?  Marketing landscape will change in the  five years from now based on top innovators in marketing and advertising.  The future of marketing is not about the large, established and complacent organizations. It’s about the little guy with enough creativity, determination and patience. All of these trends and innovations are shaping a fast-changing marketing landscape.

What are your thoughts about The Future Of Marketing? Feel free to comment and discuss below.

Benefits of SEO: Why You Definitely Should Use It

SEO is an effective and important marketing strategy and there are many benefits to a good SEO strategy, we have outlined the top 10 to help you understand why SEO is awesome. Websites should engage in search engine optimization, or SEO as it’s commonly called. SEO agencies are able to track nearly every aspect of their strategy, like increases in rankings, traffic and conversions. What are the advantages of SEO?

Here are the some advantages of search engine optimization.

1. Cost effectiveness.  SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies because it targets users who are actively looking for your products and services online. Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo provide organic listings, i.e. free listings. So, when your website is listed on the first search engine result page, there’s no need for paid advertising like Ad-words. The traffic resulting from SEO is more qualified than many other marketing strategies, resulting in cost-savings for companies.

2. Increase in traffic. SEO also focuses on creating informative and keyword relevant title tags and meta descriptions, which show up in the result pages. Having optimized tags and descriptions helps to increase click through rate, which also promotes increases in qualified web traffic. However, with SEO, the traffic is never ending. Just make sure you maximize these results by using long tail keywords.

3. Build more trustworthiness. People use search engines such as Google because they know they can trust the results it gives them. So, having your site listed on Google’s SERP makes your website trustworthy as well – a definite plus in your favor.

4. Take Your Business to the Next Level. One of the advantages of SEO is that it gives you an opportunity to excel above your competitors. Granted, your competitors are using SEO too; however, long tail keywords tailored specifically to your site’s niche and purpose gives you a chance to capture the right target audience.

5. Hit your local target audience. With SEO in full force, there’s no need to run out and pay for billboard advertisement locally. SEO consists of rearranging the site’s architecture and links to make pages within the website easier to find and navigate. This not only makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and find pages, but also makes it easier for users to find information on your website as well. Instead engage in SEO marketing with long tail keywords geared towards your local audience.

6. Higher sales. Thanks to advanced technology we can now get the internet on mobile devices. In short, people can Google a business while on the go. All of the previously mentioned factors will unquestionably result in more sales. This is one of the best advantages of SEO; after all, you want your website to make money.

7. Brand awareness. Since top position rankings result in significant impressions, having your website in these top positions on the result pages translates to more exposure for your website. Plus, being on the first page for your targeted keywords not only helps users to associate your brand with those keywords, but it instills trust, since companies on the first page are generally perceived to be more trustworthy. The more your pages and content rank in high positions in the search engines, the more chances you have for users to see your content and associate with your brand. Using SEO will make your brand stand out from the rest and can easily be the boost that you need to see your sales go through the roof.

8. Customers data access. Using SEO you get your customer data. Customer data is extremely valuable in this business and is not that hard to come by with the right tools. You can discover new products to expand to by looking at keyword data and seeing what people are searching the most for. You can use this to your advantage and find a high search volume keyword with low competitiveness and although that may be hard to find it has the potential to bring in thousands of sales per month to your website. Manipulating it to your advantage can be exponentially beneficial for your business.

Conclusion

All of these advantages of SEO result in one thing: you’ll get a great ROI(Return on Investment). Considering this is what you want for your website, it’s well worth the time and effort to make SEO part of your marketing strategy. Search engine optimization has many benefits, but we know it can be costly at first. Unlike advertisements the affects of SEO are permanent. They don’t suddenly stop if you stop paying for them. Of course you will need a little upkeep to maintain that top 1st spot ranking. If you want to grow your business invest into a SEO campaign today.

If you have used HitTail SEO Checker Tool in the past or are using HitTail right now, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Chinese SEO Just Got a Little Bit Easier

As of a few weeks ago, HitTail now supports Chinese characters and the major Chinese search engines such as Baidu and Sogou.

After many hours of toiling, tweaking and testing, we have worked out the undocumented kinks and are now live and supporting a handful of Chinese language domains (with more coming on board soon).

If you are a Chinese SEO or perform Baidu SEO, HitTail is now a viable option for your long tail keyword needs.

Building a Critical Mass of Content for SEO

Building a critical mass of content for SEO has its purposes as well as its downfalls. As a webpreneur it’s important to know both sides of this critical step in developing and maintaining an online business.

For starters, creating content for SEO purposes involves writing high quality articles richly embedded with competitive keywords. Doing this on a regular basis is a good step towards dominating the search engines, especially since Google loves content.

However, too much of a good thing can be bad … even for your website.

This brings us to the downfalls of building a critical mass of content for SEO. While adding content is good, it’s problematic when you add too much at once.

Here’s why:

  • You’re bombarding your readers with too much content to read at once.
  • You’re likely not targeting specific areas on your website.
  • The content’s quality probably isn’t the best since it’s being rushed to publication.

While this reality may be disappointing to anyone wishing to overload their website with content, cheer up. There are ways to build a mass amount of SEO content without bombarding your readers:

  • FAQ pages
  • About pages
  • Whitepapers
  • Blogs

Just remember that information that doesn’t require updating is best written as a content page. Information that has temporary value i.e., will require updating, is best created as a blog post.

You should also remember that SEO shouldn’t be your only purpose for building a mass of content. You want to inform and entertain your readers to the point of conversion.

Additionally, you want your website to look authoritative; a leader in its niche. You want readers to view your site as trustworthy.

When you build a critical mass of SEO content with this information in mind, you’ll generate traffic towards your website. And best of all, you’ll increase your income.

 

 

 

 

The Art of Writing Damn Good Blogs

The Art of Writing Damn Good Blogs: “Most bloggers have a topic in mind for their blog right from the start.

However, don’t just flail around wildly in the topic as you try to write your posts. You need to find out what your readers want, what they will respond to, and what will get them to take action.

Once you understand your readers, you will be able to provide them with something of value to them in your blog posting.”

Another tip to gain from this article is to scroll down to to near the bottom, and take note of their “Tweet This” link… clever!

Leveraging the Twitter Parrot Effect for Online Marketing

Admittedly, I haven’t blogged much here on the HitTail blog. I could slap excuses on it like, HitTail’s running reliably as promised since it’s launch in late 2006, showing real-time search hits and issuing writing suggestions, which when acted upon, pretty reliably seize you the first page of Google results. It’s a nice little secret weapon in online marketing circles, and the fan-base is as strong as ever, despite our switch from freemium to try-and-buy last year.

The fact we sustained such a business-model switch is remarkable, and that we’re going into this recession with a $10/mo product that helps you sell your wares online… well, it couldn’t be the conditions for a more perfect storm.

I’m hoping for nothing less than to get the entire world of bloggers who are trying to build their traffic merely by virtue of writing (if you write it, they will come) onto HitTail. It’s a modest goal, as all the other ways of doing this are too convoluted (analyzing your own log files with an algorithm like HitTail’s) or expensive (using one of the few packages that’s finally catching onto the long-tail thing). So HitTail fans, start spreading the word.

Speaking of blogging–of course, micro-blogging with Twitter or Facebook status and posted items (now links) is all the rage. When these pages (like Twitter tweet pages) are not protected with a login, they do influence search, but the landing pages are usually nofollowed–meaning that they don’t confer the SEO benefit in turn to the sites you link to. None-the-less, services like Twitter are valuable online marketing tools because they do help drive traffic to your site, albeit not directly.

There is another interesting effect that inspired me to get this blog post out today: the Twitter “parrot effect”.

In other words, I post, then a HitTail user posts about my post–because it’s about them, and micro-blogging is so easy with tools like TwitterFox.

Amplification of my message ensues, and the cycle continues.

So even though I haven’t been posting here much in the HitTail SEO marketing blog, I have been posting in Everyone Loves HitTail, where I collect the quotes, testimonials, and generally every mention of HitTail that my monitoring tools clue me into. And recently following a bout of post-vomiting, I noticed my monitoring tools reporting back to me every post I made… twice! Once in the standard blog monitoring tools driven by Technorati and Google Blog Search (as expected), but then again by people micro-blogging about my blog posts. I’ve posted the screen-shot below to show the Twitter activity on HitTail recently–none of those are me.

Yet, about half are repeating my words.

Nice.

Online marketers, take notice. If you’re not maintaining a clip-book of positive quotes in a blog that somehow ties into social networking in a way that ensures your built-in audience is tuned-in, then you’re not even doing the basics.

Corn Syrup, Mercury, Bees and CCD: The Long Tail of News

Forgive me for diverging from this blog’s normal topic of marketing, but I feel that the importance of researching the long tail of news cannot be understated and the following could be a good example of this. The following chain of events occurred from reading the news — not from using HitTail — but I think it just goes to show what can happen when you dig deep into data. Hopefully this is not lost on today’s investigative journalists. I hope one of you will find this story and research it further than I can.

This morning I read on a story buried on page 8 of my morning paper that mercury has been found in a large percentage of corn syrup. An hour later, I read a new column on the New York Times website about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that is quietly ravaging American bees and endangering our food supply. CCD has been a mystery since its discovery in 2006. Yet today I noticed one key aspect that had been left out of prior reporting that I had read. Honeybees are fed on corn syrup while being moved between farms. Corn syrup that has now been found to likely contain mercury. While a minor amount to humans, this could be toxic to bees.

Part of the problem of CCD is that once bees are infected, they often leave the hive never to return. That makes diagnosing them difficult. Yet, according to Wikipedia, symptoms in mercury poisoning include include sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech), disturbed sensation and a lack of coordination. Maybe the bees can’t find their way back. It probably also lowers their defenses, making them susceptible to other diseases.

Bee keepers, please try feeding bees on something else other than corn syrup. Reporters, keep digging in the long tail for potential news angles like this one. I don’t know if there is any correlation between the two stories, but both are important issues that independently deserve more press.

Top SEO Marketing Tools

HitTail is one of the top SEO marketing tools available, especially at the price. Imagine being able to be hand-fed writing suggestion topics for your blog that are specially determined to have the ability to achieve top search position for your website? You might pick up 100 more hits/mo or 10,000 new search hits per month, based on a single blog post or new webpage. Results may vary, and we encourage using traffic esitmator tools such as the AdWorks keyword tool to help you decide which keyword suggestions to use. But this post for example is on the topic Top SEO Marketing Tools, because it was fed as a HitTail suggestion. How long do you think before HitTail itself is on page one for that precise search? Let’s watch.

The Future of Advertising

For anyone who is interested in the future of advertising, I am going to be giving a short talk on the subject at the New York Future Salon meetup tomorrow. And if advertising does not excite you, there will also be other cool topics on the agenda such as future connectivity, Internet governance, and decentralization.

Full details are available on Meetup.com, but here is the time and place:

  • Stone Creek Bar
    140 East 27th Street
    New York, NY 10016
    (between Lexington and 3rd Avenues)
  • Saturday, September 20th @ 4pm

Calculating Natural Search Value

As a follow up to the post on the Value of Search Engine Traffic, here are some very basic ways to calculate the value of SEO for two types of prospective clients – eCommerce sites and Publishers.

1) eCommerce site (conversion rate x average order value)

Simple Example:

Current conversion rate: 3%
Average order value: $20
New search traffic due to SEO (per day): 8,000 visits *
Total new Revenue from SEO (per day): $4,800

Assuming the client does nothing to improve their conversion rate (i.e. reducing bounce rates, streamlining the buying process), they can expect $4,800 per day in additional sales after doing SEO.

2) Publisher (ad impressions x CPM)

Simple example:

Ad impressions per day: 50000
Average CPM: $5
Ad revenue per day: $250

Projected impressions after SEO: 90000
Projected ad revenue per day: $450

* The simple calculations above don’t account for the difference in click-through rate from securing a #1 position vs #7-10. As you know, the CTR for a top listing is much higher than the CTR for a lower ranking. This should be factored in when you are estimating how much new traffic your company can deliver for a client.

An alternative approach that HitTail Premium uses is to measure natural search traffic based on the Cost per Click values from Google AdWords. For example, we can count the number of visits to your site as a result of organic search and multiply that number by your average CPC to come up with a monetary value for that traffic. While this isn’t completely accurate given the variance in keywords and their respective prices, but it does give you a ballpark estimate on how much money your search traffic is worth.

These exercises are useful to show the opportunity cost of NOT doing SEO. Often times, winning SEO business is a matter of showing an executive how much money they’re leaving on the table by NOT doing SEO.

Feel free to add in comments on other ways to assign a monetary value to search traffic for different types of companies beyond Publishers and eCommerce sites.