It is that time of year when everyone is repeating the same blog post about 2019 trends. Yes, Stories and video will grow, AI and bots will increase, blah blah blah, as we continue with a slight rewording of 1000 other December blog posts. The end.
That was easy enough. Now to fill the space with something interesting we will be doing for 2019 that we see as important.
In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg made a series of posts about community and Facebook. Facebooks announcement caused the businesses of the internet to collectively get upset because Facebook was going to take away their audience! Oh man, I heard it all, “Facebook hates making money!” “Facebook is personally out to get me and wants to put my Shopify store out of business!” “It is all a plot to make us buy more ads!” While the last may partially be true, I thought it was entertaining seeing people making grand claims of Mark Zuckerberg waking up in the morning and setting off on his life’s goal of destroying that one Shopify store with $30,000 a year in revenue for no reason at all other than being evil. The fact that this store sold weapons, pornography and drug paraphernalia had nothing to do with it, of course.
Facebook is going back to its roots, the dorm room goal of Facebook of connecting the world. Of relationships, not sales and news. People are abandoning Facebook and Twitter for other platforms more personal, with more friends and family and not an endless stream of ads both paid and organic. And I couldn’t be happier.
The 2019 trends for Zilker is to embrace and join this mission with Zuck. If there is one thing social media has done in society is increase depression, sadness, and even anger and violence! As a marketer and as decent human beings, this concerns us at Zilker. So a trend you will see from us in 2019, in addition to common sense following the industry, we are on a mission to deliver more positive, family-friendly and helpful relevant content to our client’s audiences every day.
Your happiness matters to your customers and us matter to us. At Zilker, our goal is not to merely sell and make your customers buy. Our job and responsibility as human beings are to help create happiness with your customers. Families and friends are important to us, they are essential to you, and they are critical to your clients.
When you use Zilker Marketing, this is our promise to you. That we will not only care about money, we care about you and your relationships. We care about your customers’ connections. Now, in this season of families and relationships, but also depression and materialism, we are affirming our commitment to you. You matter to us. Your customers matter to us. We hope you all know this and want to make sure you have a fantastic holiday season this year. Call your mother, bury a grudge, do something to make yourself happy and do something to make someone close to you happy. Most of all, please take care of yourself and enjoy this holiday season because you are amazing and you deserve it.
People are always on the lookout for the next big thing in marketing. Everyone is guilty to some extent. We had all reshared that dress nobody could decide the color or some celebrity doing an ice bucket challenge when we were content starved or short on time. I have done it, you have done it. Its one of those dirty little secrets of quality digital marketers.
Or even still, there are others out there who do even worse. Some people will intentionally try to manipulate algorithms in social media like when people started turning still images into a video. Others are continually trying to optimize their SEO content by paying for backlinks or keyword stuffing their articles. I remember the wild west when I created my first web page I would add a photo then add 1000 meta tags to it filling the page with keywords because Google was ranking pages based on who mentioned the keyword most. Back then all you had to do was say the word photography one more time than the competition to be ranked number one when people searched photography.
But, times change. Staying ahead of the curve gets harder and harder. Dirty tricks work, but not for long. Now services like Google and Facebook are catching on to these ‘black hat’ techniques and punishing people for using them. So, while your little trick may be getting you more eyeballs today, be careful before you celebrate, an update tomorrow to algorithms can punish you for that trick for the next year or more.
The best solution to a great marketing game, even in the digital era is to do what has always worked:
Create great content that people like and want to share and engage.
Easier said than done, right?
You are probably thinking to yourself right now I sound like one of those people who demand you go viral and all your problems will be solved. Well, in a way, that is what I am saying. Of course, I am not telling you to create the cat playing a keyboard and rocket your way to millions of views, but I am saying if you focus your energy on giving people what they want, things they will enjoy, you won’t always have winners. You will spend some time creating content that nobody likes or even sees!
These days, not posting at the right time on social media can be as productive as a billboard in a dark alley behind a tree. Other time, the most straightforward offhand post can get you thousands of shares. There are always anomalies and often there is nothing you can do about it.
However, more often, there is something you can do about it. If you create content people want, people will want more. When you see people responding positively to a post or a blog post about bullying, you know people will want to see more information about bullying.
Also remember, there is a difference between helpful content and shameless promotion. If you can not authentically care about your audience and the audience needs, you may be in the wrong business. To succeed in today’s marketing world, you have to give people what they want. The days of telling people what they should do are gone. And while putting in the effort of quality content may be hard, I guarantee you: it is not as hard as getting your page or content banned for not playing by the rules.
You need SEO
In today’s world, marketing is the future. Gone are the days when you could just put a commercial on television or an ad in the newspaper and watch the customers pour in. Customers are bombarded with ads everywhere they go. They have lost their effectiveness. Even worse, companies and ads have lost trust.
To get the attention of companies these days, you need to prove your trust, it is no longer implied. You do this by offering to help people in minor ways, like explaining to them why SEO is important. While a billboard or radio commercial may work in a smaller Texas town, in a place like Austin, you need more. That is where SEO comes in. People have many concerns about SEO, and we are here to dispell the concerns.
It still works
Most importantly, many people seem to think SEO no longer works. We are regularly surprised at people who think SEO no longer works because the ten-year-old tricks like keyword stuffing and clear fonts no longer work. The fact is, SEO is just more specialized. The early days of web searching there were all sorts of dirty tricks people used to rank higher in search engine results. As time went on, Google got rid of these tricks to make rankings deliver based on the best quality pages. Some people like JC Penny never changed and were even delisted from search results. The bottom line is, if you build your page offering genuine value and benefit to your customer, Google will list you higher in the search results. It is simple. It is also not going anywhere. Google will keep updating and changing, SEO will always change, but it will always exist, just the methods change. This is why a dedicated professional like Zilker is what you need to stay on top.
SEO Increases Market Access
The numbers don’t lie. The most business goes to the top three results. Over 60% of people use one of the top three links in a search, in fact. And almost all business goes to the first page of results. If you are not at least on the first two pages, you are not benefiting from search results at all. If you are not investing to get your name on the first page of some search terms, you are losing money and customers.
It is cost-effective
Organic marketing is both cheaper and more effective than paid ads. Most people skip past the paid results on a search and choose the top organic results of their search. Paying a professional to put you there is cheaper per click than paying for an ad, especially when you usually have to hire a person to place your ads for you as well. Investing in SEO, when done right is also the more trusted brand option over any paid source.
SEO Can Boost the Effectiveness of Your Other Marketing Efforts
All of your other marketing, from print ads to social media to word of mouth benefits when your SEO is performed well. A well-done blog post gets shared with others who then benefit. People will share your page and blog posts on social media, they will come to your page for helpful advice you always give. The bottom line is a well done and informative page is a benefit to your community, and it improves the value and trust of all of your other marketing efforts.
Your competitors are doing it
Remember, every time people search for your type of business and go to a competitor, that is because they invested more into SEO than you did. If you are not constantly moving forward in your branding, you are not standing still, you are falling behind everyone who is moving forward.
If you feel you need to improve your digital presence, feel free to call us today, and we can discuss your SEO strategy and put you above other Austin businesses.