This Week’s Top Reads • 3/24/15

 In Top Tips

Top Line Lessons:

  • Confused about link building and your SEO goals?  Read more below to learn useful tips for incorporating link building into your SEO plan.
  • Looking to get your small business started on the social media frontier?  Follow these seven simple steps below.
  • User generated content is well-trusted among consumers and has the added benefit of taking the creative onus off you.  Check out these 10 user generated campaigns that worked well.
  • Email is constantly evolving, and there are no “one-size-fits-all” best practices for it.  But this current data will help you optimize your email and improve results. 

#1. What’s the State of Link Building for SEO in 2015 and Beyond?

  • With no definitive rules regarding link building and SEO, marketers are in the dark about if and how to include it in their SEO processes.
  • Google does take links into consideration in its ranking algorithm.  Make sure your content stands on its own and encourages users to share it on their own blogs and sites.
  • Google also takes steps to discount “spammy,” overly similar or numerous, irrelevant and otherwise low-quality links.
  • But just because link building can have a negative impact, doesn’t mean it will!
  • To Google, legitimate links are still a sign of “trust, credibility and authority.”
  • To garner such legitimate links, focus on creating high-quality content users will want to share.
  • If you have relationships with any other bloggers, guest-blogging is a great way to earn valid links.
  • This is more costly and difficult than link building in the past, but if done correctly, the results will be worth it!

#2. A Beginner’s Social Media Guide for Small Businesses

Getting your small business, organization, or campaign started on social media is a necessary step toward long-term success.  Keep these suggestions in mind as you develop a digital plan.

  1. Do your homework: define your audience, figure out who they are, determine what you want to say to them, and choose which platforms will work best for you.
  2. Coordinate Your Channels: harmonize your various pages for one common purpose—to drive traffic to your website.  Don’t forget to include like and share buttons to make it easy for followers to pass on your content.
  3. Start Small: start off with a manageable load of one or two accounts.  Remember to post often by blocking out social media time in your schedule.
  4. Listen and Share: conversations on social media happen in real time.  Always respond to comments, mentions and feedback, and line up content ahead of time so you always have something useful or interesting to share.
  5. Create a Daily Schedule: settle into a routine with a pre-determined number of actions on each of your accounts every day.  As you strengthen relationships, you can begin to join in and even initiate conversations!
  6. Consider Paid Advertising: even if your budget is small, investing in sponsored promotions of your accounts can increase their visibility and impact.
  7. Keep at it: it’s vital to measure and analyze your results and to re-adjust accordingly.  Pinpoint which tactics are and are not working and make changes accordingly.

#3. 10 User Generated Content Campaigns that Actually Worked

User generated campaigns have great potential.  Check out these three successful examples (the remaining are in the link) and consider whether similar efforts could work for you.

  1. Starbucks: In 2014 Starbucks announced the White Cup Contest, asking customers to sketch on a Starbucks cup and submit it as an entry in a competition.  The winning entry became a limited edition cup.  Starbucks received 4,000 entries in 3 weeks and showed how it values customer input.
  2. Coca-Cola: In a successful attempt to off-set declining sales, Coca-Cola rolled out the “Share a Coke” campaign, releasing Coke bottles with customers’ names on them and encouraging people to share photos of their personalized bottles.
  3. Coffee for Less: To improve SEO and organic search traffic, this company created new features on its website to make it simple for customers to read and write comments, boosting both search engine traffic and conversions.

#4. 7 Data-Backed Tips for Sending Better Emails

Every organization does email marketing.  Make sure you do it better by keeping these key findings in mind.

  1. People view email on a broad range of devices.
  2. Engagement rates are not consistent across these devices.
  3. Emails must be optimized for mobile.  No exceptions!
  4. While emails formatted with HTML can feature colored, bold and italic text.  Plainer, text-based emails are still preferred by older readers.
  5. Email filters are becoming increasingly common.
  6. Not all email marketing is ignored: some recipients self-select themselves out of your pool by taking certain actions.
  7. Subject lines have a direct effect on CTRs.

Need some advice about the big, bad world of digital media marketing?  Contact us here at Change Media Group and find out more about how we can help you!

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