The Digital Dish

Three Best Things to Happen at the TrackFive Holiday Party
Dec08
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Three Best Things to Happen at the TrackFive Holiday Party

Three Best Things to Happen at the TrackFive Holiday Party

Have you ever had one of those warm, content feelings in the pit of your stomach as you realize you are exactly where you are meant to be? This is the best way I can think of to describe the TrackFive holiday party. Although we have different company events throughout the year, this is by

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How Animation Adds Value to Content for Our Brands
Nov29
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How Animation Adds Value to Content for Our Brands

How Animation Adds Value to Content for Our Brands

We recently added motion graphics to our marketing strategy, and the moving images have brought new life to our brands! Although we have dabbled with graphics and videos on social media, we never had

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Track5’s Top Five: What We’re Thankful for in 2018
Nov20
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Track5’s Top Five: What We’re Thankful for in 2018

Track5’s Top Five: What We’re Thankful for in 2018

I know, I know. You’re probably rolling your eye

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Tips for Writer’s Block | 5 Ways to Coax Creativity!
Nov19
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Tips for Writer’s Block | 5 Ways to Coax Creativity!

Tips for Writer’s Block | 5 Ways to Coax Creativity!

.So there you sit — staring at a glowing screen,

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Blog

Skills Marketers Need to Kill It This Year

When I tell people that I work in marketing, I usually expand on that with a generic explanation like, I write blogs, website content, and manage social media for several brands. Immediately I get a response along the lines of, “so, you get paid to play around on the internet all day?”

Yes. Sort of. But not really.

Marketing isn’t as simple as it sounds, and it’s probably one of the most undervalued but cultivating tech careers out there. Believe it or not, websites don’t just magically show up on the first page of a Google search, and the information you’re reading online isn’t all written by robots. So, with that said, here are the skills marketers need to kill it this year!

Top Six Skills Marketers Need to be Successful

skills marketers need

1. You should be good at reading people

When you’re trying to lead people to your brand, you have to be good at knowing their triggers. In other words, you have to understand who your audience is and what they want. Marketing is often the process of leading someone on a personal journey to where they finally decide on your brand. That’s why reading people and building relationships is one of the most important skills marketers need to kill it this year.

2. You should be even better at communicating with them

Once you understand who your audience is, the next step is knowing exactly how to communicate with them to get them to do what you want them to. Keep in mind that there are many forms of communication – emails, blogs, newsletters – are all written forms. But there are also other ways to communicate with your audience such as videos, podcasts, and infographics.

3. Technology is your best friend

Technology is your best friend if you want to kill it in marketing going forward. Technology is constantly evolving and so should your technical skills! If you don’t know how to make a video or take a stellar photograph, take a class. If you’ve never recorded and edited audio (like in a podcast) try it out! Also keep in mind how technology works, and how your audience might be using it. For example, it’s not enough to think of keywords in the context of a Google search. You now have to consider that your audience is asking Alexa or Siri questions about where to find travel nursing jobs or the highest paying trucking positions.

4. Content creation is key… so you better be creative

Just because technology is taking over doesn’t mean that some good, old-fashioned writing skills can be tossed to the side. Writing and content creating is still one of the key skills marketers need. In fact, blog writing is getting more and more technical and competitive. It’s not enough to write a fluff piece of 500 words and slap it online. Now, research, interviews and in-depth content is killing it. This means that you better be creative if you want to succeed as a marketer. Like I said above, it’s also very important to think of content creation outside of the written medium.

5. It’s your job to make boring data interesting

Data… statistics… zzz.

Let’s face it. Numbers can be extremely boring, especially for creative writers and those artsy types that are typically drawn to marketing careers. However, data is powerful, especially if it’s specific to your brand. It’s your job as a marketer to pay attention to granular details and find a way to use it to your advantage. Yes, this might mean working with numbers. I know, you’re rolling your eyes. However, with the right presentation even the dullest of data can be interesting.

6. If you’re lazy… bye!

If you don’t want to work hard and fast, don’t pursue a career in marketing. This is an industry that is technology driven, constantly changing and requires monitoring, adapting, and commitment. So, basically, if you’re lazy… bye! Laziness, or the ability to half-ass projects, is not one of the skills marketers need to kill it this year.

What do you think are some of the top skills marketers need to be successful? Share with us in the comments below!

SEO Tactics for Small Businesses | Some Basic Tips!

Each year there are more SEO tactics to become aware of for the benefit of your business. When you’re working to ensure your company’s websites are performing the best they can, it all comes down to staying ahead of the curve. No matter what your product or service may be, there are SEO tactics for small businesses that you’ll want to stay aware of and implement. It’s not just the trends you have to consider, but how these tactics can stay sustainable throughout the year. Today we’ll talk about some of the basic SEO considerations to make if you want your small business to flourish:


SEO Tactics for Small Businesses | Basic Tips:

Unless you’ve been totally avoiding the internet and all the marketing required to make your small business a success, it’s no secret that mobile SEO is huge. Along with a greater volume of searches, mobile devices are changing the approach consumers take when finding information on a product or service. This means that SEO tactics for small businesses absolutely need to account for this shift. Mainly there are 3 main things you’ll want to consider:

  • Voice Search
  • Featured Snippets
  • Local Search

Optimizing your small business’s site for each of these aspects of mobile search can have some huge results. That’s why we’ll break down each of these critical SEO tactics for small businesses.

Voice Search is Here to Stay

Whether it’s through a smartphone, home assistant, or even a desktop more people are doing voice searches than ever before. Last year in 2017, 33 million voice search devices were used by 40 percent of adults each day. Compared to its launch in 2008, Google’s voice search received 35 times more search queries in 2016. Since voice assistants have been added to more phones, TVs, and dedicated devices than ever, SEO is following suit.

SEO tactics for small businesses

In terms of SEO tactics for small businesses, you’ll always want to answer specific questions via ‘first-page content,’ and by this I mean content that provides the absolute best and most concise answer. This is what will ultimately get you popping up on people’s mobile devices which leads to our next point…

Featured Snippets are Best

If you’re optimizing for voice search at all, that means really nailing those featured snippets. When people are searching for a product or service your small business provides, they’re likely looking for something very specific. Doing some keyword research into what phrases your customers are actually using allows you to earn these featured snippets with greater accuracy. Then, not only will your site be easier to find on mobile devices, but will also populate on full desktop pages better.

Local SEO is EVERYTHING

If you’re a small business then you already realize the importance of optimizing your website for local searches. When you consider both voice search and rich or featured snippets, local search is where these things really make sense. Most of the time, people are going to ask for products and services “near me” or “in my area.” Writing content featuring keywords with your city or location is one way to do this in addition to having a Google My Business profile. This way people can instantly find your store hours, directions, and a phone number without doing an additional search or even clicking onto your website itself!

Overall, SEO tactics for small businesses include many other more nuanced factors, however, these are some of the most common and effective ways to increase your site’s reach and rank. Combining voice search, featured snippets, and local SEO ensures you’re getting the best return on investment for any marketing and content writing efforts you’re undertaking.

What are some ways your small business optimizes itself for Google and other search engines? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Write a Press Release that Journalists Won’t Ignore

Full disclosure: Before I accepted my position as a content marketer at Track5Media, I was a reporter. Now that I’ve crossed to the other side, I have to be the pesky marketing person harassing the media. It’s quite an adjustment. After a year into my marketing position, though, I’m realizing how much of a benefit it is to have both a marketing and journalism perspective. From my commitment to fact checking to my awareness of how press releases are received and perceived, I see how my time as a journalist shapes me as a marketer. I’m not special. Lots of journalists are making the transition in their careers from journalism to marketing. I know that the skills I brought with me, I’m also competing with in this industry. With that said, I realize that my experience is still valuable to those who haven’t been frantically looking for a story on a Friday afternoon. Here are some tips (from my perspective as a reporter) on how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore.

Five Tips on How to Write a Press Release that Journalists Won’t Ignore

how to write a press release

Are you tired of writing press releases and sending them but not getting any news coverage? Here are five tips on how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore.

Target the right reporters

It’s not enough just to write a press release and blast it out through one of those fancy distribution websites. I mean –  do that –  but also think about how to target the right media. Is there someone locally you know who covers the industry you work in? Is there a specific magazine or industry newsletter that might be interested in your news? It’s always best to target the right audience.  a personal copy of your release.

Get their attention

Make sure you have a catchy subject line when you email them. Look at some recent articles that they wrote, and consider the language or phrases they used. Make your subject line sounds like something they would write.

Make them care

Just because something is exciting to you and your company, doesn’t mean it’s exciting to everyone else. That’s why if you want to know how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore, you have to think about what makes it to interesting to other people. Construct your press release with that thought in mind. You already care. That’s why you’re making the announcement. Your job, however, is to convince other people that they should care too.

Give it to them straight

Consider the five W’s – who, what, where, when and why. Make sure your press release answers all of those questions and then some. Make sure you give them all of the details and that they’re accurate. For example, if you forgot to write a press release about a new hire and it’s six months later, don’t try to tweak the content so that it seems like it just happened. There’s nothing more frustrating for a journalist than to be fed old news.

Follow up

The most important part of how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore is to follow up. You can do everything right, but at the end of the day, reporters are busy. They’ve got many others just like you sending them story tips and press releases, and they have an editor yelling at them to make a deadline. Even though they might be interested, your outreach could be lost in their inbox. Send them a follow-up, or even give them a call! Sometimes having a friendly conversation on the phone will help you to stand out above the rest.

Do you have any additional tips on how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore? Share with us in the comments below!

Show Me the Money | How to Get Rich Snippets

As Google continues to updates its algorithms, you’ll also notice that the layout of the SERPs (search engine results pages) will change as well. Over the years we’ve seen a variety of changes to the SERP. One example is the change in paid search results. Previously, the “ads” were easily identifiable and located on one side of the page. Now, you can barely distinguish them from the organic search results. Another example of a change that Google has made to the SERP is the introduction of a rich snippet. A rich snippet will essentially provide a summary of the information a person is looking for directly on the page. Snagging this prime real estate on the results page will increase exposure, authority, and traffic. Below we’ll take a look at how to get rich snippets.

How to Get Rich Snippets

What is a Rich Snippet?

Before we can figure out how to get rich snippets, we first need to know exactly what they are. Rich Snippets is the term used to describe structured data markup that site operators can add to their existing HTML, which in turn allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page. This essentially tells Google “this is the information your users want to know right away.” It also allows Google to display more information from that specific page. Instead of just showing a title and brief meta description, it can show product reviews, prices, bullet points, and a variety of other pieces of information that searchers might find useful.how to get rich snippets

 

 

Based on the information you want to present, there are actually specific ways that you can optimize and markup your data, but we’ll get into that shortly. Ben Goodsell reports that the click-through rate (CTR) on a featured page increased from two percent to eight percent once it’s placed in an answer box, with revenue from organic traffic increasing by 677%. Let’s take a look at how you can optimize your website and content to snag some valuable rich snippets.

Schema and Structured Data

There’s still a hot debate over whether or not structured markup and schema increase your chances to land a rich snippet. However, when it comes down to how to get rich snippets, it certainly doesn’t hurt to point Google in the right direction. You can use a resource like Schema.org to implement a specific code that tells Google what information your page is trying to promote. These specific schema markups include recipes, products, reviews, and a handful of other things. While your content should already be easy for Google to digest, structured data will provide a roadmap, so they can navigate your site with ease.

SEO Optimization

When people want to know how to get rich snippets, I tell them it’s all about optimizing your content. One of the first things you should do before you even write content is to do some basic keyword research. There’s no point in providing information that nobody is looking for. Instead, you’ll want to think about the information your brand can provide, and cross-reference that with what people are searching for. You also want to make sure your content entices readers to click on it. Find a way to get people to click on the featured snippet. You don’t want people to read the featured snippet and move on. In the end, you want them on your site.

Write Good Content

The last, and probably simplest advice I’ll give on how to get rich snippets is writing good content. We’ve already touched on the importance of good keyword research and SEO optimization, but let’s think simpler. Google wants rich, detailed content that’s going to provide answers for users. This means that blogs or other forms of content that are just a few hundred words aren’t going to cut it. You’ll want extensive and informative pieces of content that allow you to stand out from the competition. You’ll also want internal links as well as external links that link out to authoritative sites. Content is key when it comes to snagging those rich snippets, so make sure you’re putting effort into it!

If you’re looking to take advantage of the rich snippets feature, we hope these tips helped! If you have any other advice on how to get rich snippets, feel free to comment below!