There are a lot of online marketing options these days.  Social media alone hosts a party of solutions.  We know (through SEO best practices and a series of 2011 Panda updates) the production of content is important.  We also have come to understand (especially considering the popularity of social media) that the dissemination of content is also integral, elongating the reach of marketing initiatives, offering a better chance to secure consumer relationships.

An aggressive brand is likely to look back in wonder at the accumulation of tools and online real estate, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest accounts, one or more company-related blogs, and a range of non-textual content (pictures, videos, podcasts, infographs).  What do you do with all the online real estate?  Like savvy, offline property owners, online brands need to make the most of real estate to produce revenue.  Consider the following dissemination suggestions, helping to build a community out of content:

Twitter

Twitter is a great tool for making connections.  Depending on your business model, it may make sense to spend more time on the social platform than less.  However, what we do know is that people like using Twitter for coupons.  Does your brand offer coupons, discounts, or host ongoing sales?  Make sure content associated to discounts and savings are made public on this real-time news platform.

Company Blog

Outspoken Media did a post a little while ago about the wane of corporate blogging.  While your business may find it beneficial to devote resources elsewhere, hosting ongoing posts on a company blog addresses several needs.  First, it keeps fresh content on your site, which pleases the search engines.  Secondly, it curtails the need for ongoing press releases as PR trends shift.  Lastly, it provides opportunities for branding and transparency (a company blog can be an extension of ‘about us’ sentiments).  If resources are devoted toward more offsite initiatives, such as guest blogging, don’t completely neglect your company blog(s).

Pinterest

Have you explored Pinterest?  The site is fairly new; so, it is likely brands have not realized all the things to do with it.  Todd Bailey offers Pinterest tips.  I like one suggestion regarding leveraging brand-related pictures.  This is especially advantageous for retailers of clothes, art, furniture, and beyond (items of consumer interest deserved of a rich, visual experience).  Depending on services/products a brand offers, particular modes of media are better suited for marketing.  Let’s consider video.

YouTube

‘Content is king’ and ‘user is king’ are two, common mantras in the online marketing community.  Both are true; it’s about providing the kind of content your user desires.  In modern times, content is podcasts, pictures, textual articles, videos and more.  YouTube offers impressive usage numbers, making it prime real estate for a number of business models.  Is your brand properly communicating with consumers?  Would some messages be improved via video production?

Facebook

There’s been discussion about how Facebook counts its active users (and names its celebrities) but online marketing professionals can’t deny its benefits.  People use Facebook.   What a brand needs to research is the how and when regarding respective customers.  I wrote about working on the weekends; posting and engaging fans on Facebook may be more beneficial during traditional “off” hours.  When are the best times to leverage Facebook to connect with your target market (is it during ‘your’ off hours?)?  Is some brand-produced content better suited for the platform and percentages of your consumers using Facebook?

Happy Valentine’s Day, valued WebiMax readers.  Are your customers headed, straight as an arrow, toward your site’s services and products, not just today, but each day of the year?  Search engine optimization facilitates a love connection and the endless search for brand attention.  Brands engineer goods and services to meet the needs of valued customers.  Online marketing helps align and spark brand-consumer connections. 

Online marketing has become diverse (offering an array of separate yet intertwined initiatives), yet ‘separate’ services ‘connect,’ working well together to create online success.  For instance, copywriting (an essential SEO need) is complemented well by social media usage (gives content further extension and exposure).  Let’s consider more search engine optimization, inter-service love connections:

Technical SEO < —— > Pay per Click

Technical SEO addresses the on-site needs of a  Web property such as meta data, ensuring search engines properly read a site’s pages and understand what on-site elements are ‘communicating’ to engines and users.  This helps a brand’s exposure on the search engines; as Comscore’s January SE data reflects, users mainly leverage Google (Google Webmaster tips) for search at the moment.

Addressing technical needs helps search traffic and PPC (pay-per-click) services complement technical notions well, giving brands immediate opportunities for increased exposure.  While PPC demands meticulous attention to ensure ROI, it’s a good service to leverage while natural SEO efforts gain momentum.

VSEO < —— > Web Design

I read a good post today on Google+ by Erica McGillivray.  If you’re using Google+ (Rand Fishkin urges all people in marketing to develop a strategy), you’ll notice personalized search results and interests of others in your circles.  Undoubtedly, you’ve noticed more videos finding way into SERPs.  Video production is another method of conveying information; in some cases, video can better communicate than text (think about DIY projects).  A number of vendors opt for video production and VSEO (video search engine optimization), allows for better exposure.

Your brand may love the idea of VSEO, deciding to host a number of on-site videos.  Web design services invigorate and improve the design and usability of Web properties.  While your brand is producing videos, it is necessary to improve the look and function of its associated online properties.  Videos intrigue attention while Web design implementations aesthetically please browsers and improve user satisfaction.

Copywriting < —– > Social Media

Great content is essential for every brand.  While video, infographs (see infograph of StumbleUpon success via Distilled), podcasts, and other varieties of media are expanding our interpretations of ‘content,’ copywriting (have you been paying attention in copywriting class?) remains an integral part of a successful SEO campaign.

Of course, brands desire increased readership and traffic.  Social site, like Google+ above as well as Twitter and Facebook (read Todd Bailey Facebook tips).  Social media sites allow for real-time sharing and increased exposure to Web site content and properties.  If a brand is producing content, social media becomes a complementary process it can’t afford to pass over.

Thanks for reading – Happy Valentine’s Day

Remember Bo Jackson?  I sure do; I ripped through his Bo Knows biography with the fervor of a twelve-year-old kid, mesmerized by a titan of a multi-dimensional athlete.  Along with popular trends of the day, such as French-rolled jeans and Umbro shorts, I was into the ‘Bo knows’ commercials and campaign. 

It was creative and Bo Jackson was the prime candidate to serve as face-man for the marketing sentiment.  Today, most online marketing professionals have to emulate the jack-of-all-trades sentiment of the ‘Bo knows’ campaign.  It’s of paramount importance, integral to success that an SEO knows a variety of things.

Naturally, to become a multi-dimensional all star like Bo, SEOs need to put in the training.  Great clients and savvy businesspeople don’t place the entire online marketing campaign in the hands of providers; they also put in the time to understand trends and best practices.  SMB owners interested in search engine optimization and online success, should be asking, “What would Bo know?”

Bo knows SEs

Bo would know about the major search engines and how consumers are engaging each.  In deciding upon successful SE strategies, it’s important to understand each has its own set of “rules” or guidelines.  If you adhere to the suggestions, your site(s) will slowly but surely secure more authority and SERP exposure related to respective products and services.  But don’ spend too much energy here; there’s more to “know.” Plus, a lot of respected sources agree that a brand needs to spend less time worrying about SEs and more time on addressing customers.

Bo knows social

In the early nineties, you gave out buddy bands to show your allegiance toward friends and others; today, you “like,” “follow,” and “one up” them by engaging social media sites.  Facebook and Twitter have quickly become bastions of real-time information and platforms for cyber, ‘word-of-mouse’ marketing; and, oh yeah, you probably want to give Google+ some love too.  Just remember social media sites are to be used in a social fashion.  Don’t neglect your customers; be sociable with them.

Bo knows copywriting

With a plethora of ‘content’ options (videos, infographs, podcasts, and more) I should really tweak ‘copywriting’ to ‘content implementation.’  Online content is how your brand relays information to interested consumers.  I suggest using a number of implementations to engage your crowd, much like a teacher would engage a classroom.  Be careful with stale, ad-dense, low-converting copy; don’t assume throwing keyword-drenched pages on your sites is a way to attract engines and eventually consumers.  Neither enjoys bad content; the latter won’t be interested in your brand and is likely to bounce off your pages, but the former will get animalistic on you.

Bo knows branding

I personally take an intense interest in branding and reputation management.  They’re both very important, because as suggested above, a successful brand is going to attend to customers foremost when it comes to online marketing; SEs are a means to the brand-to-customer-engagement end.  Brand management involves creating associations for the general public and envelopes products, services, logos, mission statements, CEOs, employees, and more (anything connected to your brand).  The Web is a rich source of information; consider any consumer can get their virtual hands on information in real time and you got yourself an unwavering necessity to pay close attention to how your brand is exuding sentiments and how those are received by consumers.

Conclusion

The Web doesn’t sleep.  Online professionals take a break,  even all stars need rest, but make sure you’re continuously training and attending to the ‘knows’ of SEO and online marketing.

Could you believe a student tried pulling that on me once!?  As if a little wit would tickle my funny bone, excusing him of his in-class trespasses.  I’m a sucker for wit; it did; I let him go. 

I read a good post today regarding copywriting.  The author relays a lot of good insights.  The notion of the original ‘hook’ especially hit home and reminded me of endeavoring to captivate the attention of a different audience – a classroom of high school students.   If you never had the pleasure, it’s quite challenging.  Teens are stuffed in small chairs for forty-five-minute blocks at numerous intervals throughout the school day while instructors (some armed with nothing more than chalk, a tweed jacket, and passion in mind) endeavor at ‘attention captivation.’

The education systems don’t just drop you off in the jungle; you go through some training, learning how to develop cohesive and hopefully attention-warranting lessons.  Sometimes it actually works.  Are your readers as fickle?  Consider the following copywriting tips.

The Hook

I was never great at securing dates in high school; I always thought if I did more planning rather than awkwardly approach girls, speaking in an extempore fashion, things would’ve went more ‘my way.’  Can you relate? 

That’s an example of some kind of ‘hook.’  If I started writing about copywriting, you may roll your eyes due to the fact there’s probably about a billion URLs connected to the topic.  However, not all professionals readily discuss personal topics such as unsuccessful dating.  I was attempting to ‘hook you in’ my conversation; that’s a tactic many teachers use to start the lesson.

Can you think of an analogy that works well with your main topic?  It could be humorous or related to current events, but mainly, you want to hook readers with something immediately relatable and a bit intriguing, so they’ll want to give you a little bit more attention.

The Synopsis

By this point, the students have realized I’m not going to talk about my personal life or current events any longer; I’m going to segment into an educational lesson (boos resound throughout the crowd).  I’ll want to give the audience a synopsis of what’s to come and what we can assume we’ve accomplished by the end of the lesson.

For instance, I’ll tell the class my main objective and what activities we’ll do to reinforce the knowledge.  Actually, I used to greet every student at the door and give them their ‘North Star’ for the day, a sheet delineating the lesson ahead (along with a graphic representation of impending homework (more boos)).  Many writers can achieve the hook and the synopsis in their intro paragraph or paragraphs.

The Information

The informational portion of the lesson is what I want the learners to ultimately “get.”  In this case, I want to help copywriting professionals better communicate with readers.  In this case, my entire article is the “informational” portion, but as we know, “learning” entails much more than reading and listening…teachers reinforce relayed information through activities.

The Activities

Connecting with readers via text is a bit difficult; it’s not like being in a three-dimensional classroom where you can interact with learners one-on-one, perhaps that’s why SEO videos have grown in popularity.  It’s difficult to engage in activities when we’re all on respective computers and residing in different locales.  Perhaps a graphic organizer would help:

 

 

Pieces of the Copywriting ‘Lesson’

 

I. The Intro

A. Hook – what is your piece about?  Think of an analogy, a way to immediately get the attention of readers.

B. Synopsis – what is going to be presented throughout the piece?  What are you going to teach me and how are you going to do it?

II. The Body (bulk of lesson)

A.  Relay intended information to your readers

B.  Could any graphics, links, videos, pictures, etc. be used to strengthen the lesson?   Stimulating multiple senses enforces learning (infographs are mighty trendy and helpful in the world of online marketing these days).

III. Activities

I’m penning this graphic organizer, so readers can use it as a reference piece in the future.  In some cases, you can strengthen points relayed by giving students an activity to do.  For example, Ethan Lyon wrote a great piece at SEOmoz about a link-building tool.  He gave readers step-by-step instructions to complement his article’s textual information.

V. Closing

At the close of the lesson, a passionate teacher hopes they have relayed information in an ascertainable fashion, opening with a hook, then explaining the lesson to come, providing information and engaging students in activities to enforce learning, and finally wrangling everyone together at the end to review what was learned.

 

In conclusion, let me review what I have endeavored.  We wanted to go about a piece of copywriting much like a lesson because we want our readers to feel like we have provided them with value, rather than merely attracting their attention for ulterior, commercial motives.

To start, we want to initially intrigue readers by throwing them a line, creating a metaphor, which is immediately recognizable.  In online marketing, many writers pose a consumer-relatable ‘issue.’ 

For instance: Are you tired of a sore back due to using a small, oddly-shaped vacuum?  Cleaning shouldn’t equal discomfort; you need the “XYZ” orthopedically-shaped vacuum cleaner, offering superior cleaning power and a comfortable, medically-endorsed design!

Next, we want to clearly delineate information, providing reinforcement in the form of links, graphics, videos, infographs, etc.  Remember, activities always help, even if it means giving your readers some post-blogging homework (why not write at the SEOservices community section!).  At conclusion, we want to go over the day’s/copywriting pieces’ events, reminding readers once again of the main points, hopefully steering attention to the realization they”ve learned something new.

Thanks for reading.

I read a good post the other day presenting a copywriting sentiment; great content does not guarantee links and exposure.  It doesn’t, unfortunately, despite the time, energy, and hopes of some scribers.  But, solid content is still solid content; there’s use for it.  Content production facilitates search engine optimization campaign successes, but you can do more with your information.  If you are a currently discontent with your content, consider composing a strategic plan of attack regarding ongoing production.

Industry Evergreen
Imagine a site browser as an industry novice, one who has very little exposure and understanding of your services and products.  How would you educate them?  I often suggest penning industry, evergreen articles; elementary tidbits of industry info, which is easy for beginners to ascertain. For instance, a search engine optimization novice may wonder about the history of SEO.

What should you do with such content?  Placing articles within an on-site resource section is a start.  That way, those new to the brand, products, or services may learn more about what the brand offers.

Hot Topics
Where do people in your industry go for current news?  For search engine optimization news, I regularly read a number of SEO blog posts.  In addition to educating novices, it’s important to share news with industry cohorts and consumers further along the sales cycle and savvy about the industry.

If I were a brand, desiring more in-industry clout and authority, I would take notice of hot topics in the industry and respected platforms, then inquire about participation. Can you pen an industry-related guest post on behalf of your brand?  Can you submit a newsworthy post, hoping it is well received by editors and posted on reputable industry sites? In many industries you can; be proactive.

Viral
There’s no guarantee a piece of content will go viral, but there’s always a chance.  However, I think most would be surprised to find there’s a lot more planning involved than mere luck.  Those of you, penning well-thought posts and producing other kind of insightful media (infographs, videos, podcasts) may be disappointed at the amount of online traction or lack thereof.

For instance your video production endeavors may culminate in being one of the top viral videos of the year, but with planning, you’ll have a better chance.  Rather than unleashing your content, hoping the world finds it, be proactive.  First, you may contact a number of sources, inquiring about their interest or possible input regarding such a project. Secondly, you can arrange for social media help before your content’s release.

For instance, Twitter allows users to make customized lists of followers.  For instance, I may segment my online marketing followers into particular groups aligned to specific marketing subgroups, such as branding.  If I were preparing a post on branding, I may send a message to my “branding”-related, Twitter followers giving them the heads up, asking them to please share my on-topic information to others who may find the info helpful and insightful.

Thanks for reading and continued good luck with your content!

Cyrus Shephard posted over at SEOmoz regarding the origins of Google’s Freshness Update, providing illustrations of how variations of “fresh” content influence rankings.  The article provides great insights fed in an easy-to-digest fashion.

It got me thinking about SEO copywriting for one, and its importance, but also about how content is implemented throughout a site.  It’s not only necessary to host SEO-focused content, but it is best practice to implement content differently, segmenting your site, creating a robust consumer experience.  Let’s consider constructing a “content-robust” site.

Level One

“Level one” pages are those we would expect to see from a Web site – homepage, about us, service and goods pages, contact, and so on.  All of these pages need SEO copywriting at inception (or hopefully SEO finds its way on the page at some point), but “constant” movement is not needed.  Depending on the overall structure of your site, your homepage may see movement due to daily blog posts and information pulled from other sites such as Facebook or Twitter, yet the basic content won’t regularly change in most cases.

Update these pages as your company adds services and products, shifts branding focus, or revamps the layout or design.  Otherwise, look to other areas of your site for regular updates, creating “movement.”

Level Two

Does your company have a blog?  Hosting a blog benefits search engine optimization and addresses “freshness” requirements.  Regularly posting content on a blog aligned with your main site shows Google your site is regularly “moving.”  Elect two to three in-house professionals to address your company blog on a daily to weekly basis.  If you do not behold the in-house resources, consider seeking external SEO copywriting services.

Level Three

Another post, stemming from SEOmoz, highlights search engine optimization’s need to become more diverse, helping clients optimize their content, but also aid in facilitating social connections and establishing overall authority.  Such a process takes time and diligence.  However, particular implements may facilitate online networking and authority, such as developing a community-oriented extension of your site.

Consider orchestrating a community extension of your site, offering opportunities for others to discuss topics on forums, post to guest blogs, and form niche groups, aligning like-minded browsers.  Such a platform inspires browser engagement with the brand as well as creates a lot of “movement” and fresh content on your site.

Conclusion

Consider creating a dynamic site, one hosting multiple levels of content and site “movement.”  Most novices don’t have their level-one pages groomed with a search engine optimization comb.  Many small businesses don’t regularly produce blogs.  Only a small number of sites offer extended communities.  What’s your level of freshness?