How To Do Branding Exercises Like A Pundit

The first quarter of the year has passed by and you’re working on a marketing plan. And worse, you’ll be ending the year with a crappy and failing marketing strategy again. Ouch!

But you can’t do the same strategy, the same structure and the same attack. If you wonder why you are stuck somewhere or in a dilemma of being in a plateau state, then you might need to take a closer look at how you integrate all your marketing efforts and align them to your branding exercises.

If you are struggling to get out of your current state, then consider the way pundit’s do their own branding exercises.

Management_Gurus
Management_Gurus

Take a look at how blue-chip Digital marketing and SEO junkies do their thing and get it right the first time:

Rand Fishkin

Background:

Rand Fishkin is the founder and developer of Moz, a software company who creates tools for SEO and other digital marketing specialties.

Moz is known to be the go-to site for SEO newbies and even experts.

Rand Fishkin actually banked on his experience to become wherever he is right now. He has started his career way before social media started and just about a decade later when the web was born.

His years of experience with websites, marketing and search led him to the success where he is right now. But more importantly, he had grown his network by providing insightful blogs that helped a lot of SEO practitioners in the field.

His value and content-rich blog posts, teaches, directs and warns people about the possible trends and changes in search engines and search behavior.

Rand self taught himself about how SEO works and its offshoot was his moz blog which became a big part of his company’s journey and success.

Strategy:

His team had 6 basic principles they live on and it is: Transparency, Authenticity, generosity, fun, empathy and exception.

Transparency applies when strategies and content are not made secretive; when you’re a help, you become a source of solution. Rand believes in building relationship, familiarity and trust as the basis of powerful and efficient digital marketing.

  • In making content viral: “Who will support and amplify this content and why? “
  • Amplifying methods: Broadcast (social media, email and events), 1:1 Outreach ( Social, email, Personal) and Paid Promotion
  • Find the booming content on your niche
  • Know where it was shared
  • Know the influencer
  • Copy what worked for them
  • Befriend influencers and be in their network
  • Experiment
  • Leverage sharing channels- Email, SEO
  • SEO works best with Content Marketing and know them better
  • Make Keyword Research a habit
  • Don’t stop failing!

It is his creed to be transparent, authentic and generous,fun, empathetic and exceptional with content, as he freely shares with other SEO practitioners or companies (e.g., LinkVista Digital Inc) of his field a lot of information that might even threaten his own company’s existence. But this very reason also made him and his company, live on.

 

Jay Baer

If you are a content marketing specialist planning to publish a content or book soon, then you need Jay’s advice and strategies. Jay is known to be one of the most retweeted person among digital marketers and B2B marketers. He is the author of a New York Times bestseller, Youtility.

Jay also started early in content marketing as he is a Certified Speaking Professional, consultant and founder of a social media and content marketing consulting company convinceandconvert.com. He has inspired many in marketing and customer service as a speaker.

Nonetheless, what is Jay’s secret to Youtility? What does it take for your book to be a New York Time’s Bestseller?

On his LinkedIn account, Jay shares to us how he got the book deal, how he wrote it and his marketing tactics to get the book rolling the numbers. Pretty much everything that an aspiring author needs to know. Here’s how:

Book Deal Secrets

  • He hired an Agent- Jim Levine
  • He connected with a publisher that loved his concept. His advice? Find those who are enthusiastic about your idea.
  • He had a marketing plan that got him his book deal. His secret: Plan things in advance.
  • His speaking invitations was also one way for him to give a hint about his upcoming book and made it the backbone for his book.
  • He used transcriptions
  • He used scrivener
  • He created and adhered to his writing schedule.

Writing secrets

  • Peer editing before finally giving it to the final editor.

Production Secrets

  • He chose a good title- use common marketing terms. Jay had to solicit opinion from a few of his close friends and followers
  • He also used peer reviews in cover design
  • He made the book feel accessible by making it smaller and shorter. This was his key to make the book look approachable and friendly to newbies wanting to learn marketing strategies. Bigger books can outright mean overwhelming information.
  • He read his own audio.
  • He made the data look consistent by customizing the charts and graphs and making their style look and feel the same.
  • He built marketing into the book by creating social media accounts for it.

Marketing Secrets

  • As mentioned he planned his marketing strategy in advance and built anticipation for the book by broadly talking about its concept in advance.
  • He accepted speaking invitations for seminars as his way to freely promote and sell his book.
  • He built his own online store. He asked his blog followers, email subscribers and clients to buy in advance from him personally.
  • He incentivized pre-orders.
  • He had a video trailer made
  • He had a music video made as well
  • He aggressively pushed for pre order advertising
  • He hired a publicist
  • He organized the launch on base camp and used guest posts as currency
  • He built a freestanding website and atomized the content

That’s a pretty long list, but this chronological arrangement of things can greatly help you in your content marketing efforts. As they always say, failing to plan is preparing to fail.

 

Avinash Kaushik

Avinash is a digital marketing evangelist at Google, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, motivational speaker, blogger and author of a best selling book Web Analytics 2.0, and Web Analytics: An Hour A Day.

Avinash believes in customer engagement as a metric for success more than getting likes and reactions. He is for customer experience and long term relationship and commitment. You will see his blog posts are about how consumer experience affects your success, if not about hard core digital marketing strategies.

From one of his blog posts he has given 7 incredible branding exercises that he liked from more than 7 different brands and here they are:

Anticipate your customer’s needs- make the experience flawless.

 Automate your software and avoid asking too many questions upon log in and avoid giving them the wrong feed or unrelated information

Reduce the cart and checkout abandonment rates by changing your customer’s experience on the checkout page

  • Make sure the page is uncluttered.
  • Big font on delivery text with different colored button.
  • Use words like “secure” when continuing to payment stage.
  • Shows if product is in stock.
  • Give another chance of redeeming yourself when customer doesn’t proceed to checkout by adding heart buttons for wishlist strategically.
  • Provide your contact numbers on upper task bar or where it is easily accessible and seen
  • Make sure the checkout page is ads free.

Do not underestimate the power of a good copy

  • Clear, straightforward but creative at the same time.
  • Consistent
  • Copy should be filled with love or passion, an emotional connection to the customers
  • Soliciting reviews should sound like a plea for you to hear your customer’s minds out
  • Make people feel your passion by having a good copy.

 Have a customer focused CTMB (Convince Me To Buy) experience

  • Make your Product title clear
  • Show variable options to make your customers think they have other options that suits their budget
  • Make sure to have a “Previous” button in case customer wants to review something
  • Strive for better visual experience
  • Assume your prospective customer’s intelligence by giving them options to customize
  • Make things simple. The simpler, the better.

 

 Strive for Transparency

  • Don’t sound or look scammy
  • Make your terms and conditions page simple
  • Don’t have symbols on your page that may cause distrust or confusion
  • Don’t scam your customers- don’t post pricing that aren’t really accurate
  • Strive to make each transaction digital- avoid arranging phone calls for a deal as much as possible
  • Tie something related to your product that can be related to customer’s location, age, gender, etc.

Strive for Immersive Brand Experiences

  • Have an easy sharing option. Integrate consumer reviews on social media
  • Make your brand persona clear for people to connect to
  • Have a consistent color palette
  • Tie your pages together
  • Build lasting commitment by tying up a good “Sign Up For Our Newsletter” Page

No wonder why Avinash is labeled as Google’s Digital marketing evangelist! He really has something to say to digital marketers out there. He criticises on how big brands can spend millions of dollars just on digital marketing and advertising alone, but unable to keep their customers connected.

Indeed, loyalty is about customer experience and engagement.

 

Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer is a social media marketing guru, a globally renowned blogger, author, and consultant to PR, sales and marketing and has been in the industry providing services for more than 30 years. He has worked with grassroot startups to big business establishments with global reach.

If you are dying to know how Mark does his social media marketing game, here is how to get started:

  • A social media strategy should be an offshoot of a pre existing company marketing strategy with coherent goals and consistent tone and voice.
  • Check your company culture. Your office personality or attitude will reflect on how you treat people online. Your upper management should be ready to engage with the public.
  • Have a solid Social Media Lead and Team
  • Have a grounded Social Media Policy among your employees and set expectations on how they should interact and engage online. Be specific and give details of action plan when things become out of their control.
  • Know your sources of rich content based on your company culture. It can be your company’s blog, podcast, video series or any combination of which.
  • Measure your success right.
  • Develop a network who will share your messaging.
  • Know where to post your rich content and where you can engage. Be on the right platforms.

 

Jeff Bullas

If you are a planning to create a blog and looking for a teacher, Jeff Bullas is the guy you need to know. Jeff is a multi- awarded digital marketing, content marketing and social media marketing influencer and business blogger who have more than 5 million unique blog site visits per year.

Jeff has a blog post where he had shared with bloggers his way of creating blog post titles are that are catchy, SEO-friendly and easy to understood.

Blogging can never be as easy with Jeff on board, here are his insights on how you can drive traffic to your blog and make your quality content more visible online.

  • Research Keywords Properly. You can use several keyword research tools such as, Moz, SECockpit, UberSuggest, KeywordSpy,and KeywordTool.
  • Don’t make too long titles using generic keywords. You can use co-schedule.com in doing this. It is a free tool and can be upgraded to premium, should you wish more help.
  • Avoid Keyword Stuffing
  • Headlines should be content-related and should outright say the benefit of the click
  • Have a good balance of words. Co-schedule.com groups the keywords into 4 different categories: Common, Uncommon, Emotional and Powerful
  • Use powerful or emotional words that are not so cliche or overused
  • Add numbers to your headlines to give people a hint how long your article will be like
  • Use Trigger words of viral titles: How, Why, and What
  • Always use active voice in headlines
  • Use free headline or title generators such as SEOPressor’s Title Generator, Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer, Hemmingway Sharethrough, Blog Title Generator.

 

Danny Sullivan

Danny Sullivan is the founder of searchengineland.com, which is an authority site for anything SEO and SEM.

He is also the Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media which produces the globally acclaimed SMX (Search Marketing Expo) Conference Series attended by big digital marketing affiliated firms and other non related niche authority sites that have prominent online presence such as Moz, Microsoft, Mayo Clinic, Bing, Google, etc.

SMX is also a good way to start your digital marketing game even if you are still on your startup phase. Danny and his team created the infamous “Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors” and in case you haven’t reviewed it yet, here’s what it says:

 

On Page SEO

  • Content– should be well written and substantially quality, researched with the right keywords, fresh and hot, with vertical content (images, videos, etc), direct answers to searches and shouldn’t be thin or shallow. Should think about content marketing ideas while writing one.
  • Architecture– search engines should be able to easily crawl to pages on site, should not have duplicate content issues, mobile friendly and indexed, load quickly, with meaningful keywords on urls, https to provide secure connection and shouldn’t show search engines different pages than that of humans.
  • HTML– html title tags should contain relevant words to topics, meta description tags should describe the pages correctly, structured data in pages, headlines with relevant keywords, without keyword stuffing and hidden words in pages intended to be found for.

 

Off Page SEO

  • Trust- links and shares should make the site a trusted authority, should encourage longer time reading, existed for a long time, with verifiable identity of authors, without pirated content, and with less ads.
  • Links- should be from quality (trusted, respected) sites, point at pages they should be found for, should be many to point to your webpages, should not be paid for ranking purposes and blemish-free of spamming.
  • Personal- should identify visitor’s country (locality), regularly visited, and socially favored.
  • Social- Content should be shared by networks of credible reputations and shared on social networks.

 

Takeaway

It can be extremely tedious for you to do all of these branding exercises all at once. Each of these digital marketing pundits have mastered one specific craft they love to do and shares their knowledge to everyone. It’s time for you to master one and stop playing a jack of everything.

The way to win in branding is always how your content connects to people, how you created it, how it benefits them and how they can learn more about it.

These branding exercises are for naught if you don’t value your content consumers or blog visitors. Always put their value first, be ready to become a publisher and engage as much as you can. The key to online visibility is constant practice and constant failing, unless you know how to fail, you’ll never realize how to win.

 

Author Bio

Before Patrick Panuncillon founded LinkVista Digital, he was already fascinated by the thought of having highly-satisfied customers and resolving all of their concerns. Therefore, when he founded the company in 2014, he made sure that one of the services offered by the corporation is SEO management.

Author: Guest author

This is a contribution by a guest author. These guest posts are protected by Creative Commons unported license 4.0. Viewpoints are that of the author only. For posting articles as a guest author, please send your proposals to editor@business-fundas.com