Over the last year, we’ve heard a lot about fake news. Even before that there were questions about celebrities and social media stars connections with large brands. Who believes the photos in glossy magazines haven’t been airbrushed? Or that celebrities write their own autobiographies? Increasingly, the general public is getting wise to the reality of the people they aspire to be like. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a post and believed Clint Eastwood has died! So what does this heightened awareness of ‘the fake’, do for influencer marketing? Read More
When asking the question do seo packages really work we’re not talking about the kind of bespoke seo solutions that we offer through GrowTraffic. As a freelance seo consultant I’ve been asked many times why I don’t just have a banded service offering packages you for £100, £200, £250 a month etc. Read More
The way to effectively create a well-known brand is exposure. Numerous small businesses are created fall mostly as a result of their neglect to consolidate the online showcasing of their product or service. Read More
The Internet is a competitive marketplace and you cannot succeed in it without extraordinary or unique content. No matter, whether you own a website or blog, content is king and always will sit on its throne. Regardless of the glim of graphics or the excellence of strategically placed images, if your site doesn’t offer well written and compelling content then the visitor will rapidly exit and dubiously return. Read More
In a recent ruling the European Union Court of Justice has decreed that hyperlinking could infringe on copyright.
The Dutch publisher of Playboy has won a landmark victory about their photographs being uploaded on a file sharing website without their permission. Read More
Over the past few years, content marketing has dramatically changed. Or we can say that it has transformed the way businesses interact with their customers. Traditional marketing or advertising methods are no longer effective if you do not offer a characterized content marketing strategy. Today prospects are in search of strong information that helps them make good decisions. Most of the consumers search products and services online before making a purchase. According to one study, 75% of prospects prefer to learn through blogs or articles instead of advertising messages. Read More
It’s essential to understand what your customer wants, needs and expects. There are a number of different ways we do this in marketing, most of them involve market research processes that produce an outcome which aligns products, services and marketing materials to the customer.
Voce of the customer (VOC) is one such market research technique. VOC is generally more at home in the IT, services or product development department than it is in as a marketing research technique however I believe it’s an incredibly valuable process for marketers to go through in getting a deeper understanding of their customers.
Traditionally, VOC is used at the start of the new product design (NPD) process but I’d advocate you can use this process when first coming up with new marketing campaigns as well.
Voice of the Customer creates an in-depth list of the customers’ wants and needs, which are then placed into hierarchical categories which can then be prioritised based on their relative importance and customer satisfaction with other alternatives out there.
VOC work always relies on both qualitative and quantitative data analysis – so we’re talking about things like focus groups, interviews, ethnographic techniques, contextual enquiry etc but central is the use of interviews with potential customers to determine their experiences with existing products or services or alternatives within a category/sector. This can easily be applied to marketing materials, by asking customers about the types of marketing they’re received from competitors and going through how this impacted them and their understanding of the products and services available from competitors whilst detailing their reaction to it.
From this process Needs Statements are then produced, placed into a hierarchical structure which is generally then prioritised by the potential customer. This method can produce valuable insights for businesses when thinking about how to focus their marketing on the areas which will really push a potential customer’s buttons.
When used in product development terms VOC is part of the Quality function deployment (QFD) process which helps to take the needs and requirements of a customer, and transform them into actionable outcomes and stages in the product development process, defining the product characteristics. Essentially it creates quantitative outcomes from more qualitative inputs.
When used in a marketing environment, VOC could be a valuable tool to validate or transform elements of the marketing messaging and positioning frameworks. It backs up Audience Specific Messaging which addresses pain points whilst providing validation that the brand messaging ties into what the customer really values, requires from marketing material and what they believe they will interact with.
The real benefit lies in further removing the marketer (and our biases) from the process however a word of caution: the customer doesn’t always know what they want and if you ask them they will often tell you they want and need what they already know if out there. As with NPD, marketing must push this further, surprising the customer to ask the question – “How did I ever do without this in the first place?”
Dr Search, AKA Dr Pete has recently released his findings about HTTPS in a blog post detailing data Moz has been tracking in the two years since Google made HTTPS a ranking signal back in August 2014.
The results demonstrate that around 1/3 of all page one results on Google now use the HTTPS protocol suggesting it’s time to get serious about changing to HTTPS if you’ve not already. Read More
The modern world of online marketing is all about content marketing – anyone who tells you differently has found some magic beans or more likely is in a position of market dominance or just a really small niche. The thing is you’ve got to make sure you’ve got a joined up approach from everything from your brand to your content to your SEO. Read More
I’ve been working in marketing since 2003 and a lot of that time has been spent carrying out search marketing activities. Over the years, when working on the seo of websites we’ve got closer and closer to working on the quality of the content. If you’re managing your own website you’ll have heard about the fabled Quality Content Google suggests makes sites rank in its listings, but as quality is a subjective concept I thought I’d review how to create quality content that will help your website rank. Read More
If you think about what we do as marketers, one of the core things we do is try to make a difference in the world, to change the world in some small way, even if it’s just changing the way a member of our audience might think. Read More
We’ve been thinking about content marketing and the strategy behind it. I was lucky enough to have heard a colleague Steve Porter present on the subject and this got me thinking. Here are my thoughts on his presentation, which he himself was inspired to create based on a content marketing strategy piece produced at the end of 2015 by Horizon Peake. In addition, I’ve looked at my own experiences, taken info from those around me and tried to include some useful content from others. Read More
Marketing is changing with the changing face of the way we consume content and media and it’s important that marketers, and especially online marketers step up and take more proactive leadership roles within businesses. Read More
Every business owner I’ve ever met has explained to me the things that make their business different from their competitors, however when it comes to targeting their Google they naturally want to rank for the most competitive, generic search terms. The thing is, for most businesses the best place to start is to try to target their website to those things that make their business different in the first place. The rest will come in time. Read More
OK – I’ve said it, I hate writing content. I’m a marketer in a world of content marketing, I’m a freelance seo consultant that spends a lot of his time writing content and I work as a brand marketing manager in my day to day role and I’ve still want to say I hate writing content. Hmmm maybe I’m overstating it, but here we go! Read More
I still talk to clients who want me to build them hundreds, if not thousands of links, and this comes back to a general misunderstanding about what search engine optimisation is in 2015. As a freelance seo consultant I often have to go through a phase of education, or perhaps re-education! Read More
As a freelance seo consultant myself you’d probably expect my answer here to be yes, and overall my answer if yes, however your situation may dictate that it’s not necessary for you to get a freelance seo consultant in after all, rather you can focus on what you can do to better promote your website yourself. Read More