46 posts categorized "Social Media Marketing"

July 21, 2014

3 Effective Negative Marketing Strategies

Depositphotos_21043995_xs

Though it must undoubtedly be tempered by positivity and come attached with something of real value to the consumer, ‘negative marketing’ can be one of the most compelling ways to engage an audience. Whether it’s self-effacement, common enemies, or simply a list of the wrong way to go about things, spinning the ever-sunny face of web and mobile marketing into a scowl can work wonders for driving traffic.

Almost every industry should consider using it as part of their mobile marketing tactics, but many companies are hesitant to adopt such a potentially risky strategy. Last week we looked at the reasons why negative marketing, when done right, is so effective. Today, examine a few specific negative marketing methods…

1) Negative Titles

One only has to spend five minutes looking at clickbait headlines that pepper the web to spot two common patterns. One tactic is something we like to call ‘Inducing Incredulity’ – those titles that read ‘You Won’t BELIEVE What Happened After This Cat Ate Spaghetti’ or ‘This Free Weight Loss Method is HATED By Doctors.’ The pot of gold promised at the end of those link rainbows is always profoundly empty, and you’re left kicking yourself for trusting any content with such a profligate attitude to capital letters.

The other common – and far superior - approach to headlines is to present articles from a negative angle. Let’s say there’s a news piece about crime statistics in the United States, and you have a choice of two headlines: i)’Most Crime-Free Cities’ or ii)’Worst Cities for Crime’ – the content is precisely the same, but guess which title will generate the most clicks? It works just as well for lifestyle advice articles. Instead of ‘How to Roast the Perfect Chicken’ go for ‘How to Get Roast Chicken Wrong’. It may not be the most flattering comment on human nature, but the fact is, negative headlines translate into more clicks.

2) Shared Experiences

Creating brand loyalty relies on bonding with your audience, and one way to do this is by sharing negative experiences with them. If you can tap into an emotional touchpoint in an unexpected way, your reader will think of you as less of a corporate powerhouse and more of a friend. This is an especially effective mobile marketing strategy to launch your campaign with, as it puts you on an even footing with consumers, letting them know you share their pain. However, once you’ve created that bond based on shared negative experiences, it’s important to shift the tone to more positive, solution-oriented content.

3) Self Effacement

Nobody likes a braggart. That’s as true for businesses as it is for individuals, and whilst every company needs to ‘big themselves up’ in some way, a touch of self-deprecation is a really attractive way to get attention. Sharing your mistakes will make you seem more human, plus, if you do make a slip up, you can be the first to condemn yourself (before the blogosphere pounces). As long as your product or service is unimpeachable, you can afford to poke a little fun at your logo, CEO, or recent advertising campaign. 

July 08, 2014

Six of the Best: World Cup Apps

Depositphotos_41493421_xs

Another World Cup, another rush from mobile marketing strategists and app developers to come up with ways of capitalizing on an event that has the attention of millions around the globe.

With multiple matches each day (at least during the group stages) and live screenings beholden to every different time zone, it’s not always convenient – even for the most ardent fan – to keep track of all the action. On the Pacific Coast, for instance, games kick off between 9am and 3pm, when most people are at work.

Thankfully, there are loads of clever apps on the market to help you stay abreast of all the action. And unlike 2010, this year’s tournament has arrived at a time when smartphones are most definitely the default mobile device for Americans, so almost everyone can benefit. Let’s take a look at the very best World Cup apps out there…

1) ESPN FC Soccer & World Cup

This free app takes an exhaustive, comprehensive approach to football stats from around the world, but what we’re really interested in is the World Cup tab where users can find out all the latest match news and scores. It includes video content so you can key moments and catch up on goals. Customizable, well designed, and easy to use, the ESPN offering is a stellar one.

2) World Cup 2014 Brazil

Available for free with Google Play, this app is as utilitarian as its title. Stats-focused, with full competition details and data customization, this neat green and yellow app is a beautiful, Brazilian-themed tool that will ensure you won’t miss a thing.

3) 2014 Table

Another Android offering with a straightforward name, this takes a pared down approach, giving subscribers only the essential information they need. Great for bloggers and journalists who want to cut to the chase and find the latest scores and tables, 2014 table auto updates as each new development occurs.

4) LiveSoccer World Football Cup

Track live matches from soccer leagues around the world, or just use it for the duration of the biggest sporting event on earth. Customizable push notifications will keep you informed of all the latest goings on, and a rich user interface doesn’t interfere with a high degree of user friendly slickness. 

5) Squawka

Mobile marketing campaign managers have aimed this little number squarely at the stats-obsessed football fan who wants easy access to the cold hard facts. Player information is cross-compared, allowing subscribers to play the ultimate living room manager by supplying detailed information on everything from goals and substitutions, to fouls and assists. Every tackle and pass is logged. This one’s for the completist.

6) BBC Sport

Available free for both Android and iPhone, the BBC app is an essential download for any World Cup devotees. It combines live text commentary for each game with push alerts every time a goal is scored. There’s also a way to stream regular Radio 5 World Cup bulletins. Along with the iPlayer, British football fans get everything they could need to see them through to the final.

July 03, 2014

Six of the Best: Mobile Marketing Trends in 2014

Depositphotos_47641923_xs

Since 2010, the best practice for mobile marketers has been to interact with clients primarily through social media. Things have changed. Here are six of the best trends in mobile marketing for 2014:

1.Location Targeting

Location targeting has been around for quite some time now, but only recently has it been elevated to new capabilities. Location targeting has become much safer, commonplace, and convenient in the last year. And it’s getting better. As consumers continue to depend upon mobile devices that can find local products and services – when and where they need it – custom ads have been developed for these exact moments. Their activities are then recorded by marketers, so that the relevant information can be examined and tracked to appeal to consumers’ buying habits and movement patterns.

2.Programmatic Buying

Programmatic buying is basically the buying and selling of the consumer’s potential ad space. When a consumer sees an ad in the course of app use, in most cases that space has been won by the highest bidder. This service is getting new traction in the mobile marketing world: advertisers are able to summon historical intent side-by-side with profile data and behavioral data in real time. Forecasters expect programmatic buying to become the most common way to advertise to mobile users in 2015.

3.Wearable Tech

With the inauguration of Google Glass and Samsung Gear, mobile designers are blurring the lines where fashion meets technology. This giant leap forward has begun to provide businesses with new frontiers to claim in the territory of wearable tech. As many tech consumers have begun to embrace this new technology, marketers in turn have embraced their technological capabilities. Ideally, the seamless interactions inherent in these devices will allow advertisers to provide unique experiences for consumers.

4.Mobile Messaging

The ever-popular messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp continue to garner a larger user base. Clearly, an increasing number of people prefer to use these apps to communicate rather than text messaging or calling each other. Apps of this nature allow for a multimedia user experience in real time, which appeals to a new generation of mobile users. Mobile marketers are preparing for the influx of new users upon these platforms, designing revolutionary messaging strategies for the future of text-based communication.

5.Mobile Currency

It’s not just about PayPal anymore. Since everyone has to have a smartphone today, we are beginning to see an increase in the usage of mobile wallets. The mobile phone has become the new way to pay instead of using cash or a credit card. The demand for advertising in this space is bound to increase based on user demand alone.

6.Video Demand

Mobile video viewing has become very common due to faster wireless networks, improved technology, and an increase in data plans. Ads for this medium are likely to follow suit in the next year. Evidenced by both Vine and Instagram’s incorporation of video, as well as the aforementioned commonality of mobile video, it’s pretty safe to assume that this space will be a veritable gold mine for mobile marketers.

Within the past six months, the business of mobile marketing has undergone a revolution. The increase in mobile usage, cutting-edge tech, and the expanding consumer knowledge of mobile utility has broadened the ways in which marketers reach mobile users. It’s time to prepare for the wave of the future in mobile marketing.

June 26, 2014

How to Get People to Text In


Depositphotos_8309324_xs
 

When starting an SMS campaign, an important first step is to build an opted-in subscriber list by incentivizing potential customers or members to text in. to accomplish this, consumers must be motivated to send that initial text message that effectively opts them in to the SMS contact list. That incentive could be a product or service discount, a one-time coupon, a special offer, or access to exclusive information or privileges.

To increase the likelihood that potential customers will subscribe, considering how, when, where, and why to communicate with them is also essential. When the SMS text marketing campaign presents itself as an exclusive, limited-time opportunity, giving consumers access to something they wouldn't otherwise be able to have, customers are more eager to opt in. Remember, customers are skeptical about giving away permission to contact them, especially on their personal devices, so it’s important they understand exactly what special treatment they are receiving in return for such permission. It’s also important to make the opt-in process as fast and simple as possible.

What follows are some of the most effective strategies used to grow an opted-in subscriber list through SMS texting:

Social media: Facebook and Twitter are great opportunities for businesses to bolster their SMS text marketing efforts. Facebook's web widget, for example, helps build subscriber lists by allowing potential clients to opt in by texting the campaign keyword to a short code directly from their computers.

Web/Email: Email messages are another great way to communicate with current and potential customers about the opportunities a particular SMS campaign has to offer. Consumers who receive email newsletters, for instance, may jump at the chance to receive information directly on their phones in exchange for opting in…as long as the information is valued.

Newsletters: Include a blurb in the hard copy of the company's newsletter asking readers to text the campaign's keyword to a shortcode. Send them exclusive news or other important company or business information in exchange for opting in to the contact list.

Radio Commercials: Ask listeners to text the company's keyword to a short code for special discounts or more information. Radio stations themselves may also use text-to-shortcode strategies to make taking song requests a more streamlined process or to better run their listener contests. Regardless of what the call-to-action is, remember to keep it simple and memorable:

Text {KEYWORD} to {Short Code} for XYZ. For example, Text STUDY to 12345 for more information on how to earn your MBA at ABC University in half the time!

Other Sweepstakes/Contests: Offer customers a chance to win contests for increased customer loyalty by texting in. First, always consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with state and local laws when implementing contests. 

Signage: Signs inside stores – or at trade shows, lectures, or other special events – can be used to ask everyone who walks through the door to text keywords to shortcodes for information, brochures or special offers. Clothing stores, for instance, can create buzz around new arrivals through in-store signs asking customers to text in for special coupon codes.

Outdoors: Billboards containing a texting call-to-action allow for even greater brand exposure. Entice consumers by offering them exclusive information or a chance to win a contest when they text to opt in.

List-building is a process, and it takes time. However, it is well worth the investment. The more a business makes potential clients comfortable communicating via text, the more likely those same consumers are to convert and become loyal customers. Those customers will also be more responsive to future SMS marketing campaigns.

June 23, 2014

5 Essential Mobile Marketing Tactics for Local Businesses

Depositphotos_22184285_xs

SMS messaging and other mobile marketing tactics are an invaluable asset for any local business. Cheap, fast, regionally targetable and highly effective, a mobile marketing campaign can help you compete for custom in your area without the need for a huge budget.

As exciting as this brave new world is, many small businesses are hesitant to step into the future. By their very nature, local businesses are often small, serving a limited geographical area, and proprietors may have limited knowledge of marketing campaigns that go much beyond a website and local directory listings. They may not have thought about the possibilities of new technology simply because it hasn’t been necessary.

But instead of allowing your lack of knowledge to overwhelm you, do some research on how to take your marketing strategy to the next level. It could ensure your long-term survival.

The first step towards creating a vital, effective mobile marketing campaign is to optimize your website for mobile. Go back to your web developer to see if they can do this, or find someone who can. A mobile optimized site is easily navigable and viewable on a small screen, and improves the user experience compared with a desktop design, ultimately resulting in more traffic and conversions.

Once you have a mobile-friendly website, there are myriad options at your disposal for promoting your business to mobile users. The positive effects will be obvious, but more importantly, they are easily tracked and analyzed so you can see what works best for you. It’s been predicted by industry analysts that small business spending on local mobile marketing tactics will double every consecutive year for the next five years. Indeed, 41% of small business in the United States are already planning to increase their mobile marketing spend. If you want to join their ranks, consider some of the following essential mobile marketing tactics:

1) Email

Email is a great place to start. Everyone now uses email intuitively – all you need to do is adjust your messages so they are mobile-friendly:

  • Use a single column layout
  • Use 14 size font for body text and 20-24 for headings
  • Keep the headline character count to less than 40 characters
  • Make calls-to-action easily clickable (without zooming) for small screens
  • Ensure content is concise and readable without scrolling 

2) SMS

After successfully dominating social communications during the 90s and 00s, text messaging is flourishing as a commercial channel. Conservative estimates put the open-and-read rate of SMS at 90% - and that’s within a few minutes of the message being received. A few tips for effective SMS messaging campaigns:

  • Strike a professional but friendly tone
  • Keep content brief
  • Offer something of value, such as discounts and time-limited deals
  • Include a link to your website so recipients can easily access more detailed information 

3) Social Media

According to one recent study, some 40% of Facebook’s revenue now comes from mobile. If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention over the past few years, you’ll already have a Facebook page (if not – get one!). Now, look at it in ‘public mode’ on your smartphone. Is it easy to read and navigate? Is the most important information displayed prominently? There are multiple things you can do to improve the mobile user experience:

  • Encourage visitors to your store to take pictures of themselves and tag the photos with your location
  • Keep updates limited to a few words. The shorter the post, the more attention-grabbing it will be
  • Download the Pages Manager app to help your adjust your settings and view activity on your page
  • Make sure your listing on Facebook Local Pages is accurate

4) Directories

Listing your company with online business directories is a crucial part of boosting your web presence. You can post multiple listings within the space of a few hours and trust us: it will be a day well spent. Start with major directories like Yelp, Yahoo and Foursquare. If you’re in the food industry, get your business listed on GrubHub and other popular user-oriented sites. Encourage customers to leave reviews – the value of positive online comments cannot be overstated.

5) SEO

Hire a competent, plugged-in SEO consultant who is up-to-date with the latest trends in mobile marketing. Your mobile site should feature rich content like videos, and be kitted out with the proper redirect codes so that users are seeing what you want them to see. A proper SEO strategy is plays a significant role in boosting web and foot traffic, so ignore it at your peril.

June 19, 2014

How to Run a Successful SMS Trivia Campaign

Depositphotos_4439858_xs

Whether you’re a new business trying to make your mark, or a well-established industry fixture, a compelling mobile marketing campaign can help you reach more potential customers. A well-executed, original idea can easily set your brand apart from the competition. If it’s really special, it might even go viral.

Trivia marketing is a tried and tested framework within which you can flex your creative muscles. While it’s not a new idea per se, there is so much you can do with quizzes, competitions and other participatory contests to engage users. The fact is, people love to put their skills to the test. Give them the right sort of challenge and you will foster a long-term sense of brand loyalty that translates directly into revenue.

The best way to attract interest is by concocting a truly unique spin on the trivia concept. Still, it’s wise to look at examples of successful SMS trivia campaigns so you can begin to chart a path to your own jumping off point.

 

Starbucks

It’s no coincidence that the coffee behemoth is on top of its mobile marketing strategy. You don’t consistently remain the largest coffeehouse chain on the planet without having some pretty creative brains in your marketing department.

Last year, Starbucks used SMS messaging to winning effect with a trivia campaign offering customers prizes. Like any good mobile marketing strategy, it offered something of value whilst growing the company’s opted-in SMS contact list. After determining which kinds of devices users owned, Starbucks even followed up with an MMS message containing a short clip and information about a Happy Hour special offer. By leading with a teaser trivia question, the campaign reminded subscribers that they were part of the mobile campaign, effectively engaging them with the brand.

The campaign began with a trivia contest that quizzed subscribers about the company’s Frappucino. Users were enticed to respond quickly, with the first 100 correct respondents being offered a copy of The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Once recipients had sent in their answer, they received a follow-up message letting them know if they were correct, and encouraging them to reply with the keyword READYSET if they wanted to receive summer alerts.

This type of time-limited offer is crucial to the efficacy of trivia campaigns. The longer users sit on a text message from a business, the less likely they are to engage, and the SMS is soon forgotten entirely. By incorporating the first-to-respond element, Starbucks ensured that recipients participated quickly.

 

Chipotle

More recently, Chipotle had their own take on the SMS trivia idea. The brand sponsored and developed an original series for Hulu called Farmed & Dangerous, a biting satire on petro-chemical agriculture that encouraged viewers to think about where their food comes from. Already, the series had the makings of a brilliant marketing campaign that cast Chipotle in a positive, ethical light. Then they threw in a dose of SMS magic to engage viewers with the show and, by proxy, the brand.

The SMS trivia campaign was advertised during commercial breaks, and offered viewers a buy-one-get-one-free offer from Chipotle. By texting BADMILK to a shortcode, viewers were taken to a series of trivia questions relating to the current episode. Once three questions were answered, viewers were prompted to reply with the keyword REMIND to get future SMS alerts about the latest episode of the show. Each text message included a link to a mobile coupon.

Chipotle and Starbucks are two of the big boys to have successfully used SMS trivia marketing. If you lack the budget to create a web series or run movie soundtrack giveaways, there are plenty of other ways to leverage the power of SMS trivia marketing. See what you can come up with this summer!

June 18, 2014

A/B Testing Your Text Ads

Depositphotos_33310757_xs
 

By 2018, the world will see 9.3 billion mobile data plans in use. When it comes to capitalizing on the vast potential of mobile ads and SMS campaigns, marketers have barely begun to scratch the surface. Mobile marketing budgets in the U.S. alone will soon reach $4.4 billion, but unless businesses measure the effectiveness of their messaging, they may be wasting money. 

This is exactly why A/B split testing is an essential tool for successful mobile marketing. Instead of making educated guesses, marketers should instead analyze concrete evidence to assess which campaign messaging works. Using this method to fine-tune one of its own marketing campaigns, top Australian parenting site Kidspot, for example, saw user app engagement go up by 87% in just two weeks. 

What is A/B Split Testing?

A/B split testing is a method for testing two variations of a campaign to compare their performances. The A/B split testing of SMS texting campaigns helps boost ROI, allowing more marketing dollars to be invested in the messaging that drives the most sales. It also makes optimizing future campaigns possible.

Regardless of whether the goal is increasing the response rates or sales or simply reducing “unsubscribe” rates, the method is simple:

  • Write two variations of the SMS message.
  • Split recipients into two lists.
  • Message variation A goes to one list, variation B to the other.

To track which campaign message generates which responses, variations A and B should ask consumers to text in to two different short codes. If two different short codes cannot be used, the two messages should at least be sent a few days apart, giving the first mobile ad's effect some time to wear off for a better read on the data, which may be viewed via Google Analytics or a similar tool.

How are A/B Split Test Results Used?

Once data is collected, these questions should be asked:

  • Did one message have a higher “open” rate than the other?
  • Of the number of messages opened, did one variation have a higher response rate?
  • Did one message have a lower “unsubscribe” rate?
  • Which message generated the highest number of sales or inquiries?

If there is no significant difference between the two messages' performance, it's possible the SMS campaign messages were too similar. The following factors should be taken into account:

  • Tone: Did both message sound professional or friendly?
  • Keywords: Was a compelling keyword used in one message or both?
  • Price: Did only one version include the price, or did both? And were prices similarly presented?
  • Calls to action: How were they different? For instance, did they both ask recipients to text, or did one ask consumers to call?
  • Time of day: Consider testing to see if different times of day lead to the higher open, response, and/or conversion rates as well.
  • Subscriber lists: Consider testing one consumer demographic over another. For instance, some campaigns may be more effective with recipients living in suburban zip codes than those living elsewhere.

If one message significantly out-performs the other, principles used in the most successful message can be applied to future campaigns.

Companies may split test more than two variations – known as multi-variant testing – so long as their recipient list is large enough for a good sampling.  A/B split testing and multi-variant testing are excellent ways to ensure marketing dollars are going where they pay off the most and that each mobile campaign is more effective than the last. No matter how well an SMS or text ad campaign performs, there is always room for improvement.

June 12, 2014

Mobile Marketing Tactics: Buy Online, Pick Up In Store

Depositphotos_24631605_xs
 

In an era when Amazon.com can deliver almost anything imaginable – by delivery truck or even via drone  – consumers have increasingly come to expect items for purchase to be not only inexpensive and widely available, but also shipped to them quickly and conveniently. As a result, brick-and-mortar retailers everywhere are struggling to keep up with emerging technology. That struggle can be especially difficult in the midst of elevated demand for free shipping when retail margins are already growing thin.

The good news is that savvy retailers are figuring out ways to harness mobile technology to better meet consumer demand and simultaneously increase in-store foot traffic. Leveraging the power of SMS text marketing campaigns, retailers are urging their mobile customers to order items online and pick them up in-store.

Consumer Convenience that Also Benefits Retailers

Because of the high cost of shipping, increasingly more retailers are seeking cost-saving measures that include delivering purchases directly to stores instead of homes, as well as allowing customers to return mobile online purchases in-store, among other strategies.

Not only do omnichannel efforts help save retailers an enormous amount of money; shoppers appreciate the flexibility these choices afford them. During the past holiday season, for instance, more than one in three online shoppers in the U.S. said they would like the ability to pick up, in-store, items that they had ordered online. The added bonus of offering such an option to consumers is that more mobile online customers come through retailer's doors as a result, increasing the likelihood they will make additional purchases.

In-Store Pick-Up Gives Online Mobile Consumers More Control

While home delivery may sounds appealing on the surface, it becomes a hassle when consumers arrive home after a long day at work just to find that a delivery attempt was made when no one was home. Therefore, more than 80 percent of shoppers consider knowing when a package will arrive to be the number one most important service that mobile online shopping can offer.

In practical terms, giving consumers better control of when a shipment arrives can mean several things. One strategy is to use SMS texting campaigns to alert opted-in consumers that they may pick up items they've ordered online, in-store, as soon as the items arrives. Alternatively, customers may also be permitted to reserve an item online and then both pick it up and pay for it at a nearby store location. In addition, consumers may be given the option to buy the item online via an SMS text link and then retrieve it from the store at a later date.

Allowing in-store returns of mobile online orders, as well as alerting consumers that they may place orders using online catalogs while in the store, are a few additional strategies that offer the consumer increased convenience while also increasing in-store foot traffic. All of these improve the likelihood that mobile consumers will make additional on-premise purchases. In the end, these strategies create a win-win scenario for both businesses and satisfied customers alike. 

June 10, 2014

How to Get More Leads with Mobile Marketing

Depositphotos_19154269_xs

Lead generation on the web may seem straightforward enough: businesses simply promote offers on their landing pages and through social media, email, etc., and a lead is generated every time a potential customer fills out the lead generation form. However, mobile visitors do not behave the same as those who surf the web on a desktop computer. Therefore, the online experience needs to be adjusted accordingly in order for mobile marketing to result in optimal lead generation.

Following is a list of mobile marketing optimization strategies for better lead generation:

Using Progressive Profiling Forms. Online forms must be short and easy to fill out, or mobile users won't bother with them. Instead of using long form fills, asking for a plethora of information, progressive profiling forms can be used. With progressive profiling forms, fields that were filled out the previous time by the same visitor can be replaced with new fields, thus making each form shorter and ultimately creating easier navigation and more return visits.

Making Calls-to-Action Simple. The CTA text must be action-oriented, short, readable, and clear. Avoid distracting images that are too visually heavy. The CTA must also be easy to click on a small screen. Think: large buttons!

Advertising Mobile-Friendly Specials. Promotions and discounts that may be redeemed through mobile devices, such as on-location promo codes, are a great way to appeal to mobile users. For example, as customers enter a store, geo-location technology can offer them a specific discount for texting a keyword to the company’s shortcode. The result? An increased sense of customer loyalty as well as a longer list of leads for future business. 

Optimizing Content for the Mobile Screen. People often look at their smartphones when they only have a few extra minutes to “kill.” For this reason, many users may not reach the bottom of an article. Therefore, content should be frontloaded with lead generation links. The content should also be easily digestible, and the purpose of the article should be clear from the start. The writing must be concise and include bold, short, “tweetable” headlines. It's a good idea to test out different types of material to see what mobile visitors are most likely to read, whether it's “how-to” articles or lists – and then create more of that type of content.

Enabling Measurable Action With Just a Few Clicks. People pick up their mobile phones with the intention of taking action, whether that means sending a text message, making a call, or opening an app. Making it easy for users to complete an action in as few clicks as possible greatly increases the chance of bringing them to the point of conversion. When potential customers may simply click on a phone number to place a call, for instance, instead of having to copy and paste it, the odds that they will complete that call are greater. Hence, offer clickable phone numbers and hyperlinks.

Creating a Text Message Campaign.  A mass texting campaign is an easy to get new leads to “opt in.” As mentioned above, for instance, when customers walk into a store and see a sign advertising an automatic discount just for sending a text message, that's a difficult deal to refuse. In exchange, the store may choose to alert the customer once a month about future sales, making him/her a return customer.

The fact that consumers may now access the web so quickly and often means that mobile marketing has a lot to offer when it comes to lead generation. Smart business owners and brand managers know they will create even more leads if they actually make the mobile experience enjoyable for potential customers. Doing so requires making small adjustments to an existing web presence, and those small adjustments can lead to a big payoff in the end.

May 29, 2014

SEO Strategies to Avoid

Depositphotos_20332643_xs
 

Three letters represent the primary focus of any mobile marketing campaign, and have done for around a decade now. SEO. It’s come a long way since then, adapting to an increasingly complex array of strictures and barriers imposed by search engines in order to prevent people gaming the system, but the objective is the same: improve visibility for relevant industry keywords.

The fast pace of change in SEO best practices means that well-intentioned tips published a year ago may actually harm your rankings today. This is not a dilettantes game. To do it right, you need to stay on top of the latest effective strategies and, even more importantly, those tactics that have fallen afoul of Bot Logic. Smart mobile marketing tactics – or ‘white hat’ techniques – will be rewarded for creativity in the shape of increased clicks, impressions and conversions. The ‘black hat’ SEOs that still haunt our online world are fighting a losing battle. When was the last time you saw a link farm on page one for a popular keyword? I’m guessing some time around the turn of the decade.

Trouble is, the misinformed or naïve SEO strategist will be punished as fully as the cynical black hatter. Even if you adopt a mobile marketing strategy in good faith, if Google frowns upon it, you’re done for. It could set your business back months. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ‘must-avoid’ SEO tactics so you know what not to do…

 

Reciprocal Links

There is much confusion surrounding the value of reciprocal links. Of course, links from friends, family and business associates are a natural part of entrepreneurship. This is where the ‘link as vote’ analogy is helpful. Think of your business as an election campaign. You can and should reach out to potential ‘voters’ and ask them to support your campaign for success. But if you receive an unsolicited email from someone you’ve never heard of, and they request a link exchange, accepting it would be like associating your ‘candidate’ with the wrong sort of voter. In most cases, such emails will come from sites weighed down by links already, and the greater the link:valuable content is, the lower the value of each additional link becomes. Chances are, if they’ve contacted you (usually via automated software) they stand to benefit from your link much more than you from theirs. Don’t be tempted by offers of dodgy links. Bide your time, and grow your backlinks in a more organic way, and Google will love you forever. 

Peak Keyword

Back in Web 1.0, you could happily stuff a page with keywords, safe in the knowledge that this unsophisticated metric was given credence by search engines. Those days are gone. Now, when Google bots crawl a page crammed with keywords, they will consign that page to the bottom of the results.

Link Overload

Placing relevant links in your article is a key part of creating useful content – but overdo it with extraneous links and you will be stung by the search engines.

Comments

Just as link building needs to be done slowly and with great care, commenting on others’ blogs as a way of boosting your online profile can be a positive organic approach. But as with all good SEO practices, you need a rich mixture of tactics to get real results. Even if you’re only leaving comments of value, blog commenting for the sole purpose of building links is nothing less than spam.