Even if you have no particular interest in video games, you’re probably familiar with Pokemon Go, a mobile app that was released in July and became a global phenomenon almost instantaneously. While there are many popular games and apps out there, Pokemon Go is uniquely powerful in blending the “real world” with the fictitious environments of the game. That’s because for all intents and purposes this is an augmented reality game, one that cannot be played simply by sitting at home, phone in hand. To play Pokemon Go, players actually have to get up, move around, and visit different real-world locations where they can find and “capture” different Pokemon creatures, making for a game experience that is distinctly interactive.
Ever since content marketing rose to prominence, it has enjoyed a DIY ethos. Content marketing is something that anyone can do, at least at a basic level: Any small business owner can create a Facebook account, send out some tweets, share behind-the-scenes snapshots on Instagram, and pen some company blog posts. While there is ultimately much more complexity involved with content marketing than just these few things—including particularities of strategy and reporting—the bar for entry is relatively low.
Most business owners take online reviews fairly seriously—as they should. Consumers are increasingly turning to sites like Google+, Facebook, Yelp and Angie’s List to help inform their purchasing decisions. In this consumer landscape, online reviews can carry a lot of weight, and can have a significant impact on a brand’s public perception and ultimately its bottom line. That’s not where the significance of reviews ends, however. They don’t just shape consumer behavior, but also search engine rankings. The question is how.
Online marketing has always been fairly keyword-centric, and not without reason. While it is certainly possible to overuse keywords, or to use them in a way that’s not strategically sound, having some good, solid keywords can provide direction for your content creation. It can also ensure that the content you develop is properly categorized and qualified by the search engine algorithms. Meanwhile, when it comes to PPC advertising, keyword research is essentially mandatory. The bottom line: If you’re thinking about digital marketing, you have to be discerning in terms of keywords.
Although it’s usually imperceptible to the general public, Google tweaks its algorithms pretty regularly; in fact, changes to the Google search algorithms are ongoing throughout the year, as search engines seek to fine-tune their product and provide users with even better, more relevant answers to their queries. Though most of these updates pass without any fuss, occasionally there will be a seismic shift in the way Google does business—an algorithmic update so significant that it engenders equal parts excitement and panic among SEO buffs and marketing professionals.
Social media has long been leveraged by marketers as an ideal channel for content curation and distribution. More and more, though, social media is being embraced as a platform for original content publication. For an example of this trend, look no further than to LinkedIn Pulse, in which the social networking site has effectively developed into a prime avenue for posting unique blog content.
Most small business owners understand how important it is to optimize their website for maximum search engine visibility. Actually executing good SEO is a daunting prospect, though, especially for those with no particular technical background in this field. Not only is SEO a big concept, touching on everything from website design to social media savvy, but it’s also ever-changing. What counted for good SEO in 2015 may not be as effective in 2016. Simply put, it can be hard to keep up, especially for small business owners who already have a million other things on their plate.
The mission of the enCOMPASS team is pretty straightforward: We strive for Great Work That Makes a Difference, and look to employ our art and our craft in ways that help our clients educate consumers and ultimately build their brands. We do what we do because we believe it is important to the many business owners we have the pleasure of working with, and attaining client satisfaction is really the only reward we seek. Nevertheless, the enCOMPASS team is flattered to have our work recognized by others, and honored to announce our receipt of 13 Communicator Awards for 2016.
Keywords will probably always play an integral role in online marketing. While keyword use can be both haphazard and counterproductive—as in the practice of “keyword stuffing”—smart keyword use is essential to good SEO & effective SEM. It provides relevant information to the search engine algorithms as well as to search engine users; it provides focus and direction for content creation. As such, targeting the right keywords is a critically important step in an integrated marketing approach.
Many business owners have a complicated relationship with customer feedback—especially that which is offered through anonymous online review sites. Receiving praise from a customer is always a good feeling; receiving critical feedback, while painful, can at least point toward opportunities for growth. Sometimes online reviews can simply be mean-spirited, highly negative in their tone but lacking any substantive tips for improvement. These tend to be the most frustrating of all.