Episode 11 is all about your digital marketing strategy. Guest speaker, Daniel Rowles, is an expert generalist and educator in this constantly fast changing industry. Listen to learn about how to use your digital marketing channels alongside your SEO efforts to ensure your targets are met, and even, exceeded.
Daniel Rowles Educates around Digital Marketing:
- Fellow for The Chartered Institute of Marketing, which means he teaches on their behalf.
- Written multiple books; Digital Branding (make sure to get the 2nd edition, which I’ve contributed to!) and Digital Culture.
- Lecturer at Imperial College in London
- Founder of Target Internet. They offer face to face training as well as a digital marketing e-learning platform and training for global businesses, such as Tesco, where we met!
What to do when we constantly face challenges in a fast-changing environment:
Daniel speaks about how digital marketers increasingly need a broader set of skills. There’s a big overlap between channels, such as social media, content creation, search and public relations. It’s about being hands-on and getting the most out of your channels so he recommends that we step back to look at the user journey.
Google’s See, Think, Do, Care model might be a standard sales structure but it helps you plan everything you do in digital and other forms of marketing by looking at how users interact with varying channels and what they do when they are interested around your topic rather than your product specifically.
Is There a Connection between Social Media and SEO?
Target Internet did an experiment to look at the correlation between shares and visibility. They pushed out content and had influencers amplify the content via tweets. They saw their Google rank jump from 80th position to first on the 1st page. Although this suggests that social sharing does affect visibility online, Daniel had a theory that if it’s sharable, it may also be clickable. So the ranking position may have been affected due to the click through rate rather than social signals, however it could be that both have contributed to the monumental jump.
Daniel mentions Wordstream, which has a free keyword tool that analyses content on a URL to provide keyword suggestions and performance data.
Another finding was that if there were 160 shares and less than half as many clicks, it shows that people aren’t even reading that content before sharing it! In this day and age there is too much content that people are satisfied with only the title of an article.
Daniel uses Hootsuite to monitor frames using hashtags for free. Brandwatch has in-depth social media monitoring but as an enterprise tool, may need more budget. Answer the Public uses data from Google & Bing and although just offers the topics around your search term, you’re able to see what users are searching for which is a good place to start.
Finally, Target Internet also focus on their personal tone when generating conversation on Twitter. They find that it encourages many more shares and lots more people engage with it.
Link Building in 2018
It’s not about link building but about taking a general approach that distributes content and Target Internet are seeing this work really well for them.
As standard bits of content don’t generate as many links any more, Target Internet have examples of things that do. For example their Digital Marketing podcast doesn’t only have over 40k listeners but it generates a lot of links. Guest speakers tend to share the content, whilst others share the podcast due to finding it so useful. Daniel says they also have an ethical policy so they donate £1 for every pound they earn to services to good causes which encourages blog posts and press releases, creating more trusted links.
This, coupled with a skills benchmark tool that 5 thousand people made use of, which means that a lot of data was gathered around the skill gaps among digital marketers. Find it for free at targetinternet.com. They were then able to share this data which made great articles and therefore more links back to the site!
How to Track Digital Marketing Performance
Track your sharing using bitly links. As Daniel uses these for social sharing only they can see analytics that refers just to that and can tell that 70% of those are done via dark sharing, which is through emails and direct messages. Less of us are willing to share publicly so this is a great way to see what is happening with your content behind the scenes!
URL builder on Google Analytics is also a great way to track content performance. It attributes your content to the rest of your site and where you’ve originally posted it as well so it can be a great tool.
Social Media in 2018
- Less social. We’re seeing a lot less sharing and personal updates on Facebook. We’re much more likely to share in the dark, as mentioned above.
- Government. China are using social profiles to determine whether or not someone should have a job. I’m sorry I couldn’t find the article I read but it was among where the government was also using this information to determine whether or not they are able to take a flight.
- IBM Watson. Personality insights are created via artificial intelligence. Your tone of voice is analysed via language that you use and it’s seen as pretty accurate. However, there are plenty of issues around this.
- Advertising gone wrong. What if you’re being followed with specific advertising for a condition which you thought you had… but don’t?
There’s definitely a lot more awareness around privacy and data sharing. The question is where the responsibility lies.
Instant Answers; Bad for Business?
There’s the challenge of by-passing the search results when Google provides you with their information. Is this biased or written in a particular way?
Also, when it comes to instant answers that are pulled from a website, Daniel saw that one of their content pieces saw a decrease in click through rate and then presumably a drop in rankings because of that.
Google is testing this and although there’s no negative intent, it’s important to understand the user journey. It’s our responsibility to try and focus on the target audience and offer them what they need, rather than manipulate.
Search in Branding
Digital branding is the sub of all your touch points, from the call and customer service to the products, the podcast etc. It’s not just about the logo or visual design but impact overall. Search is therefore very much part of this also!
Multi channel funnels report is useful in Google Analytics. Tracking every channel before you converted for a period of time. For example it will be able to show you that search was involved in X% of your customer journey and Daniel sees this growing in the coming years.
Journeys are increasingly multi-touch-point and complicated so take Daniel’s advice of taking a step back. Listen to episode 11 now below or via iTunes.
Music credit: I Dunno (Grapes of Wrath Mix) by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/jlbrock44/56346 Ft: Jlang, 4nsic, grapes.