SEO in the year 2015 really placed a lot of emphasis on writing great content for website optimization that truly caused visitors to really buy in and engage. More emphasis was put on developing lifetime value relationships with a heavy emphasis on retention. We all know that it is better to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one. Most SEO agencies or managers desire that their clients don’t get caught up in the vanity metrics of click rates and conversion rates that are specific to each offer or message you run. Those are nice indicators of immediate spikes in engagement but they alone won’t tell if that engagement will last. Conversion rates show the percentage of people that complete a certain action once, but it can’t tell how many times. These are surface-level and short-term successes. We want to know how our marketing campaigns affect long term engagement and if they are producing lasting changes in a user’s lifetime and behavior.
One of the ways that a brand can take advantage of this great SEO and social media space is to make sure that they are available and that they interact and engage. Engagement is so crucial to building great relationships with your visitors, customers, and your industry. How do we do that? What does that look like? Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia screams that we should: “Answer every single email and every single comment on your blog for the rest of your freaking life!” When you post something on social media, make sure that you engage in the comments. Don’t just tweet out but actually be available on you twitter account. I know that it is very involved but if you want to crush it in this attention space you must listen to your fans, your readers and the people that view your videos. I know you are probably saying, “Theo I don’t have time to do that.” So in real life you have the time to engage and socialize with friends and your office mates but you won’t do it on your social media and yet you expect people to respond to you? Well the same way you do social in real life is the same way that you do it on social media.
The way that you are going to win in this space is by listening. When you listen, you will know how to respond and when to respond. Only then are you able to show your appreciation by answering comments, posts, e-mails, tweets and so on. Of course it’s easy. Yes, it most likely will require long hours and take a lot of your time, depending on how many relationships you have, but it is worth it in the long run. You are in the attention business. What separates those who win in this space from those who don’t is that the winners are the ones who market where the audience actually is. Why are you on Facebook trying to reach 11-17 year-olds, if the majority of them have moved over to Snapchat? I can hear some of you CEO’s or CMO’S saying: “My customers are not on Facebook or Snapchat or Kik or Instagram,” yet you are the same one that just texted your buddy “LOL.” If you are “with it,” why would you believe that the millennial generation is not?
The digital media field is a rapidly changing field, which means that as a marketer, you must be open to change. The importance of being open to change must always be at the forefront of our minds. It must be your narrative that you don’t surround yourself with social automation. The crazy thing is that there are many SEOs or marketers that try to trick you using certain tools that claim automation is real and that they are human. Your intent matters and it goes a long way with connecting and resonating with your fan base or clients. Automation should not act as a disguise. It is perfectly alright to make things easier. So be open to change.
One of the new frontiers in digital marketing for 2016 is Video marketing. This space is more about the audience than it is the marketer. It’s funny how the industry no longer makes the rules but the community does. Although major corporations still spend big dollars on more traditional ad mediums like TV in hope of ROI, the shift is in the fact that they can no longer force feed viewers with commercials if they don’t want to suffer through them. Most people like you and I usually jump on our cell phone during these times, trying to catch up on social media to see what we missed. Or if you are fortunate enough, you fast forward during the commercial and that’s that. People don’t like interruptions because these days, personal time is valuable. How many times have you gotten upset when someone called you on your own time when you are trying to watch something or you are doing something? You want to say, “Why are you calling me? You could’ve text me and given me the option of calling you back on my own time.” The consumer is in control and we must meet them where they are if we are going to be successful in social media and digital marketing.
So don’t get caught up in the one-time interaction or how many likes or clicks that you are getting. Get excited about the long-term relationship and seek to add value to the lives of your customers or community. If you really want to crush it in 2016 and be ahead of the attention game then as Yoda would say, “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”
–Theo Kenon, SEO Coordinator