In the history of search engine optimization the rank of a piece of content in search engine results has typically come down to two key drivers: relevancy and authority. Relevancy is all about using the right keywords in your headlines, sub-headlines and anchor text to match what people are searching for online. Authority has predominantly been defined by the number and type of sites that are linking to your content via inbound links. Pretty standard stuff, right?
Well recently, things have changed a bit. More and more, search engines have begun to incorporate social context into their search results. And it's high time we dive into what role social context is playing in SEO, and how marketers can adjust their strategies to match the changing character of search. So without further ado, let's get into the nitty gritty of what's being called "social search" and learn how it affects marketers.
A brand is like the lead character of its own story. And like any story character, brands have values and beliefs that become associated with them through their actions. The challenge for marketers is to characterize their brands first before...
Here's a terrific infographic from colleague Jim Signorelli that will help you create a persona for your business. Once you have a persona, it becomes much easier to target your storytelling and marketing/branding efforts. And connect more forcefully with customers.
There are 2 ways of finding your persona:
Examine all of your stories and determine their common characteristics. Then look at Jim's infographic to refine and finalize those qualities. Create your persona based on your discoveries. Examine this infographic to determine which character/characters you think you/your business embodies most. Check it against your stories. Build your persona from there.
What is a persona? It is a descriptive profile of a typical customer that includes a character type/archetype, demographic info, and as much flesh and bones information you can collect to create a bit of a story about this customer -- their likes, dislikes, challenges, etc.
Thanks Jim for putting together this very helpful infographic.
And if you want to dig into this topic more -- and get even smarter about using archetypes for marketing/branding -- read The Hero and The Outlaw; Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes by M. Mark & C. Pearson. It's one of my bibles :)
We have all heard it said many times: "Content is king." In general, this statement is true, but it needs some qualification. This column looks at the role of Query Deserves Diversity and how it impacts your content strategy.
Good article by Eric Enge about the need to differentiate content to stop it from becoming ambiguous in terms of search.
The bottom line is that "Potential linkers, or people on social media sites that share content related to buying homes, aren't going to share your new articles on mortgage tips or home inspections, unless the articles say something very new, different, and compelling."
So we've come full circle. All the SEO activity in the world won't help a site that doesn't have unique, compelling content. Content is King after all.
"So, how do you tell a story in the digital age that stands out, captures people’s attention and gets them to act, engage with your institution? My favourite story for quite some time now and one I’ve been showing in workshops around the world is the story of the Troy public library."
Ok -- the author here isn't writing anything revolutionary. So you can skim the text. But watch the 2.5 minute video! It's the reason I selected this piece.
The video is brilliant -- and a perfect example of how story triggers can make a difference in social causes and social cause marketing.
The video is about a library. It is controversial. Now I am a big fan of libraries so I was rooting for it (my personal bias). And the video itself is a really good example of a digital story.
I say 'story triggers' because the library used story elements and metaphors that sparked stories within the viewer's/reader's brains. The library did not actually tell a full-blown story yet the public reaction was immediate and powerful.