Most marketers understand the importance of having a digital presence for their brand nowadays. They have seen the numbers, know lots of people are spending a great deal of time online, and naturally want a piece of that pie. Finding out how and where to get this audience attention can be a challenge for marketers making their first forays into the digital space.
Using Facebook and Twitter are often tempting because of the hype surrounding them; they are constantly in the trade press, have huge audiences and offer the opportunity to have direct conversations with potential customers. However good on paper, marketers are often (rightly) scared by the amount of dedication that they may need to manage it; building an audience and engaging them over time takes real planning and dedicated team members creating and posting content – often at great expense. Gaining attention in these areas can be a challenge, when brands are competing with everyone from friends to big companies, who are all becoming expert content creators. The biggest fear for marketers would be to invest heavily in these channels, start creating content and building a community, only to find out that it never really takes off.
For most businesses getting the website right seems like the best place to start, even if it feels somewhat ‘old hat’ compared to the the newer social media platforms, and we would agree that that it’s worth getting the site right first. The website is the place customers will expect to be able to find when looking for info about a business, it’s an environment that marketers have total control over in presenting their business and brand, and the potential to ‘show off’ the brand is heightened with advances in web design and development tech and skills. Making an aesthetically pleasing and functional site that will provide a good service is a realistic option and won’t necessarily break the bank.
(Forthglade website built by Green Chameleon)
But making a great site will not necessarily ensure it gets seen, although it certainly helps. There will come the point when any marketer will wonder if they’re missing out on potential customers that their competitors are snapping up – a really valid concern. When these worries come up, most know enough to look to Google search to see how they’re ranking against competitors on key searches for their business. The key searches are those that show the searcher has an interest/query that the business’ product/service could help out with – showing that the person is a relevant lead for the business and someone that’s worth attracting to the site. A site’s search position will dictate how many of these vital leads the site will likely get, so it’s easy to see how important they are.
So how can businesses get their site to the top of Google? In this case there a variety of tactics which brands can take to improve their position, without having to invest their whole marketing budget. Initially there are quick SEO (search engine optimisation) wins, which are worth checking off. These include making the site readable and including relevant keywords, which will ensure the website has a chance to rank well. These should have been covered in the web build by the web development agency, but it’s worth checking just in case.
If these quick wins don’t take a site to the top, then creating some targeted web content is usually a great option. By creating content that is genuinely useful for the customer and relevant to the business product and brand keywords, Google will recognise that the site has authority in the field and reward it by pushing it up the ranks. As more visitors come, attracted by the useful content, the site’s position will improve; further attracting people, and so on…
Sounds easy right?…In theory it is, but to create really effective content it takes a lot of planning and skilled execution. Success will need a good analysis of the target audience, the brand and business objectives, as well as awesome design and development to bring it to life.
There are a lot of examples of effective branded content out there, it’s become a design field in its own right. We’ve picked some of our favourite ‘interactive’ pieces below, a highly impactful category which can deliver a message effectively and help improve search ranking (including an example of ours which has done pretty well, if we may say so ourselves). If you’re interested in hearing about what branded content could do for your business get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we love to work on these kinds of projects and are confident in their ability to help businesses grow.
GSM – Oil Map
Hennessy – Mastered From Chaos
Inside Asia Tours – Step Inside
Take a look at our case study here, we have also just been nominated for the Drum Content Awards.