What is Brand Strategy? | Some Basic Tips

Here at Track5Media, we’re all about keeping our brands healthy and in tip-top shape. At the moment, we’ve got six separate lead generation websites (not including the one you’re on) that we maintain. The sites are devoted to healthcare staffing, commercial trucking, and senior care placement. And while there are many similarities between each site, their audiences and the types of content vary widely! Still, we do our best to maintain a distinct identity as Track5Media, whether that’s through our content’s voice, what we share on social media, and the overall aesthetic decisions we make. But what is brand strategy and how can you utilize it to your advantage? We’ll discuss that here!

What is Brand Strategy | Basic Starting Points

The main idea of any brand strategy is going to center on encompassing some specific, long-term goals that you can steer your product or business toward. It’s going to be figuring out exactly what aspects of your company’s character will stand out from all other competitors. Really, your brand strategy is a process that needs to connect these main things:

  • Consumer Needs
  • Your Product’s Value
  • The Competitive Environment

So while it may be natural to think that your brand strategy is your logo, your name, your website, or your product itself, this isn’t exactly true. Yes, all of these things are necessary aspects of facilitating a business, but really a brand is more closely related to the experience itself! It’s the intangible qualities of your company which are important to highlight and maintain throughout the implementation of your brand strategy.

But how? Here are some all-purpose takeaways:

Find your Purpose

As explained by Allen Adams, chairman of the North America region of brand consulting and design firm, Landor Associates,

“In a marketplace in which consumer confidence is low and budgetary vigilance is high, it’s not just making a promise that separates one brand from another, but having a defining purpose.”

Yes, it does make sense to define your business strategies in terms of the promises you make to your customers, but brand strategy often relies on that purpose you fulfill in the lives and businesses of others. In terms of how a brand exists in the real world or a digital space, Business Strategy Insider defined purpose in two general ways:

• Functional: Focuses on a business’s success in terms of the immediate or commercial reasons. Basically, the ‘how’ of your method of generating income.

• Intentional: Refers to a business’s ability to make money based on public perception and the impact it seeks to have on customers or the world in general.

what is brand strategy

Hone Your Consistency

As with any of the top brands out there, it’s often the case that there is a sense of cross-platform consistency. Essentially, you’re seeking to magnify your purpose and unify the presence of your brand by finding consistent ways to depict and communicate this.

In terms of online marketing today, bringing a consistent consumer experience from one device to the next is absolutely essential. Before most sales even occur, customers will have made several touch points with your product or service. Your brand strategy needs to account for the fact that a consistent voice, content, message, and service can all be found wherever the consumer journey may go.

It may be that someone doesn’t have a need for your product or service now, but when you can be the solution, then having that brand recognition is what it’s all about!

Stay Flexible

As much as marketers like to believe that a brand strategy is exactly as it should be, maintaining a healthy brand means staying flexible to change. Of course, you’re probably wondering how it’s possible to stay consistent while considering new insights and marketing maneuvers — but it all comes down to balance.

So if you’ve been running targeted ad campaigns that maintain your voice and communicate your message but the results aren’t what they should be, your brand strategy needs to accommodate updates made to itself. This often means finding a good mix of recognition and variation so that your content isn’t confusing to customers while building a stronger presence to reach your goals.

So, what is brand strategy? In the end, developing your brand strategy relies on the key components of recognizing your audience, understanding your purpose in their lives, telling your story as a company, and remaining open to the new opportunities to evolve!

What is brand strategy to you? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Basic Skills for Marketers!

For those who have been at it for a while, marketing can seem like second nature. And even though it’s not always the most natural process out there, there are some distinct skills that the best marketers possess. Maybe you are looking for a way to refresh your approach to marketing or are just getting started, but either way these 3 skills for marketers are not to be ignored!

So you may be thinking, “Connor, you didn’t even study marketing in college — how are you doing this full time?”

Well to put it plainly, I practice a form of dark magic that can convince people to let me get away with anything by reciting cyclical incantations as inscribed inside the Egyptian pyramids.

skills for marketers

Not really.

And then again, marketing is that very process of creating a media experience aimed at influencing real-world decisions, buying decisions, and sentiments… So not entirely different from magic! Truthfully, I learned a lot just by diving into this field and building my knowledge through an internship. With lots of great marketing blogs and resources out there, just about anyone can craft their approach to this field no matter the industry they’re a part of.

Still, these skills for marketers I’ll reveal next are definitely things I consider on a daily basis.

3 Basic Skills for Marketers

1. Pursue Multifaceted Content

While there are negative connotations to the whole idea of being a “jack of all trades, and a master of none,” content that performs well across various types of outlets can be some of your finest marketing assets. At a basic level, it’s going to be about posting new content frequently and consistently, working to build traffic, and find your audience who’s going to keep your momentum going. Sure you can build a site that performs well, but if you aren’t dividing your content up to reach the main social platforms and places where your audience hangs out, you’ll have little to show for it in the end. Truly, this is one of the most important skills for marketers to possess.

skills for marketers

Focus on “evergreen” content, or content that will never lose its relevance or value in the eyes of your audience. While trends change constantly, think about the information you’ll always need to express in order to keep your initiatives alive. This content will always need to provide users with some sort of value, a takeaway point of some kind, or if nothing else, a way to reach your products or services.

2. Learn To Optimize Existing Channels

Whether you’re a business owner yourself or just starting out in an entry-level position, it’s best to get a handle on the current channels through which company information and content is being broadcast. Unfortunately, the previous success of a channel doesn’t always ensure the success of your next initiatives as a marketer, making it important to learn ways you can test these channels for viability.

I won’t go into too much detail here, but there are things you can research further when learning ways to optimize a channel.

• Website Audits — Although sites may look fine on the surface, there are often lots of hidden SEO faux pas lurking below. Reviewing the way a website is structured and its various aspects that are crawled by search engines like Google can help marketers understand how people are interacting with the site and ways to improve its performance.

• Plan Strategies — Reviewing past strategies and their level of success can really help to inform the way that marketers can move forward. Incorporating the objectives and campaigns of other departments or aspects of a business can make for a solid strategy.

• Refine with A/B Testing — Using what’s called A/B testing, marketers can measure how well certain conversion forms are working and whether adjustments can be made.

3. Focus on Customer Relations

We’re truly in the golden age of building customer relationships. Whether it’s through retweets and comments, or direct messages on Facebook it’s easier than ever to interact with your audience. Of course, that means responding to positive and negative feedback in sometimes equal parts. As a general rule, it’s best to respond in a neutral and helpful way, despite what consumers might be expressing.

skills for marketers

Otherwise, people want a connective and better experience each time. Although that’s notoriously hard to deliver for some, it can really help to put yourself in someone’s shoes as they interact with your products or services. How would you want to be reached? What type of things would you appreciate seeing? Become the customer to realize your role as a marketer!

While this is in no way a definitive list you’ll need to know, this should be a good start to breaking into the field of digital marketing. Skill for marketers are constantly evolving and changing with the industry, so do your best to stay up-to-date and forward thinking!

The Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing

It can be difficult to keep up with the rapidly growing online marketing industry. Trying to tackle the latest SEO updates and staying active on all of the new social media platforms is a difficult feat, especially for small marketing teams. Check out the biggest mistakes in online marketing, and make sure they’re not a part of your online marketing strategy.

Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing: Marketing Plan

Having an Undefined Audience

Sometimes, online marketers focus on the wrong numbers. Although appealing to a larger audience looks good initially, this number represents the very top of the marketing funnel. The number of conversions matters more. To increase the number of conversions, you have to appeal to the right kind of traffic. Clearly defining your target audience will allow you to appeal to their wants and needs. When you’re providing the target audience with the detailed information they’re looking for, they’re much more likely to make it to the bottom of the marketing funnel.

Unproductive Calls to Action

Even if you have amazing content, you work was for nothing if you don’t prompt your user. Don’t settle for a bland call to action. Use language that encourages and entices your user to take the next step. Exciting calls to action that include special offers or have a time-sensitive element are typically more effective. Some changes, like SEO enhancements, could take months for you to see results.

Research & Evaluate

Before you decide to make changes to your marketing plan, research the effectiveness of new methods, and figure out if they could potentially work for your organizations. Measure your efforts for a set period of time, and see if the changes brought you closer to your goals. Be sure to allow enough time to test your methods.

Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing: Search Engines

Using Outdated SEO practices

Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms. SEO tactics that worked ten, five or even two years ago, may be out of date now. You may still be using SEO strategies that are killing your rankings. Keep up with updates released by the search engines themselves, and search for additional resources so you can stay up to date with the latest SEO changes.

Forgetting about Organic Search

For a period of time, paid search was all the rage. Paid search can give you results fast, but it may not be the best decision for long-term use. Although paid search is a good option under the proper circumstances, you may not have the budget to satisfy the needs of your organization. Discuss the timeline and budget for your marketing campaigns to decide which method right for you.

Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing: Content

Poor Content Mix

Your content should appeal to the interests of your audience. Mountains of text on your website and social media accounts will scare off users. Be sure to include a mix of photos, videos, and text. Consider getting creative or trying out new content trends, like podcasts. Having a diverse content mix will help you reach a larger percentage of your target audience, and it will keep them intrigued.

Mirrored Content

It can be difficult to create new and exciting content on a regular basis, especially if you have a limited staff helping you. As a result, many online marketers simply mirror the content across their online media. If you’re going to repurpose your content, spend some extra time to make sure you’re still providing high-quality content to your users. Instead of reposting the same blog, consider turning it into a video interview. If you’re producing content about the same topic, look at it from a new perspective.

social media outlets

Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing: Social Media

Not Engaging with Followers

Most online marketers focus on the engagement rates across their social media accounts, which are extremely valuable to an organization. While analyzing these metrics is important, it’s important not to be engaged as the organization itself. Keep up with comments, mentions, and tags. Engage with your followers when appropriate, and be sure to look out for spam and inappropriate content posted by users. Following these social media tips will help build your brand and make your accounts much more effective.

Ineffective Use of Media Channels

When choosing media channels, think about your audience. Make strategic choices that allow you to reach your target audience most effectively. Don’t fall for the latest social media trend. Just because your daughter loves Snapchat, doesn’t mean members of your target audience do. Do your research and determine which channels are appropriate for your message and your audience.

Think you might be committing some of these internet marketing mistakes? Change to your online marketing strategy. Meet our brands, and let us provide you with creative solutions so you can avoid internet marketing mistakes.

Blog Post Ideas | What Do I Write About???

Oh yeah, it’s Friday! But wait- you still have one last blog post to write before the weekend! You’ve written several already this week and it seems like you’ve exhausted all possible topics. How do you generate great blog post ideas so that you can still produce stellar content? This isn’t just about writer’s block, you don’t even have an idea that’s blocked yet. In case you were wondering, this blog is definitely unrelated to my feeling when I saw I had one more post due today… Anyway, you know you need to get writing, but where do you start?

Blog Post Ideas 101

Blog Post Ideas

Define Your Goals

There are plenty of goals that you could have for any given blog post. Some of them may even overlap with one another. While some of the more tangible goals for a blog post may include encouraging conversions, others can just be about attracting a certain audience. Between these two extremes, you could be writing your blog for any number of reasons. Whether that is to inspire trust from your readers or compile the perspectives of some influencers, there is no bad game plan for writing a blog. That is unless you have no game plan. Coming up with great blog post ideas will be infinitely easier if you know why you are writing. Once you do, you’re ready to think about what you’re writing.

Ask Yourself Questions

Of course, the question you’ve already been struggling with is, “what do I write about?” This certainly qualifies as a question, but not the type of question that can help you generate an original blog post idea. As you consider different topics, ask yourself more specific questions. For example, “what do I want to learn more about?” This can be especially helpful when writing about a specific industry. Any industry you could be writing for certainly has its fair share of intricacies that can be difficult to keep up with. However, if you are able to identify a specific trend or theme within that industry that interests you, it will be much easier to find that perfect blog post idea. Another great question to ask yourself is, “what do people ask me?” If your site offers a frequently asked questions page, this can be a great place to start. After all, this can tell you exactly what your audience wants to know!

Read!

Now that you have a general direction (hopefully!) it’s time to start reading! Keep in mind, if you still don’t have an idea for a theme, it may be a good idea to ask yourself a few more questions. While reading can certainly help inspire ideas regardless of whether or not you already have a theme, having some direction can help you identify sources to check out. Assuming you have that direction, search several unique queries that relate to your theme. For example, if you want to write an article about SEO, search queries like “SEO trends” or “guide to SEO.” Identify reputable sources and read on! You’ll likely learn a lot and very well may find a specific topic that you want to write about.

 

Hopefully, this article has helped give you some insight for creating blog post ideas. Of course, these recommendations are not all-inclusive. There are plenty of other ways to think of topics. However, the tips given above are a great place to start and are usually how I come up with my blog post ideas. At this point, the hard part should be over! Now it’s time to start writing. Need some help with this next step? Look no further than these awesome blog writing tips! As always, write on! After all, content marketing is alive and well.

Conference Tips and Tricks | Digital Summits and Beyond!

As digital marketers, it can be in our nature to deal with things from the comfort of a computer screen — and yet as much as we’d like to forget, digital marketing takes as much real-life, human interactions as it does strategic marketing wizardry! With Track5Media’s marketing team preparing for the upcoming Digital Summit in Philadelphia, we thought we’d share some of our most coveted conference tips and tricks.

Whether your team is headed to an industry-related conference for the first time or you’re flying solo, there are lots of things to consider before even stepping foot in the venue. So let’s get started!

5 Major Conference Tips and Tricks

conference tips and tricks

1. Organize your Pre-Conference Plan

They’ll be dozens of sessions led by some of the top influencers from far and wide, so that means you’ll need to pregame! No, not the type involving shotgunning beers in the parking lot, I’m talking about getting your plan together ahead of time. Of all the conference tips and tricks listed here, this one might be the single most important!

If you think you’ll just “figure it out when we get there” you may be on track to throwing away hundreds of dollars and missed opportunities for networking! Believe me, you’ll want to plan out exactly just which presentations you’ll be attending, scouting out any meet-and-greets, and of course, maximizing each intermission to keep everything running smoothly. If possible, grab a map ahead of time in order to avoid walking into a speaker’s presentation halfway through — ouch!

2. Hit the Biggest Keynotes

There’s nothing worse than checking Twitter and seeing valuable industry news you missed while wasting time elsewhere. If there are any big announcements, insights, or reveals during a keynote speech you should absolutely be in that room! In a lot of cases, keynotes don’t often hold break out sessions, meaning you won’t have to worry about missing other speakers or events… as long as you mind tip #1!

In any case, these keynote presentations are the crux of any conference, helping you and your team to really engage in the conversation and find solid talking points for anyone else you may encounter during your time there. You may not have much to relate to someone, but attending the same session can really get the ball rolling!

3. Don’t limit Your Scope!

Although most conferences are unified by a central theme or industry, that doesn’t mean every session offered will apply to your day-to-day needs at work. At the same time, some of the best insights can come from seemingly unrelated topics. They say you don’t know what you don’t know, and besides being stupidly redundant, there’s truth in that.

conference tips and tricks

Even sessions that are less-relevant to your focus can be useful if they are highly strategic. You’ll find that most marketing topics are extremely interrelated, so all it takes is one unseen connection between two topics to spawn your next breakthrough campaign — who knows!

4. Have the Right Gear Ready

Most conferences are not said and done in a single day, so you’ll need to be sure you can keep your momentum going the whole time. There’s nothing more stressful than trying to enter a new contact or follow someone on social media just to have your phone die! Extra battery packs, memory cards, and other accessories can be quick fixes to an electronic pickle.

We can’t stress this next point enough: Pack enough business cards! In the event your phone dies or someone else’s kicks the bucket, having a good ol’ fashioned analog business card may just save the day when meeting new or potential clients. Maybe they’ll get flung into the trash, or maybe fall out of a folder at a perfectly serendipitous moment — either way these little pieces of cardboard are never without their use!

If you have products to display or demo, make that a high priority. No one likes to watch you fumble around with faulty internet connections or other difficulties when a potential sale is on the line. Additionally, we mostly buy products because they make things easier, so don’t be your own worst enemy when it comes to demos!

5. Follow Up However Possible

So now that you’ve had your fun, it’s time to return home and get digging through all that swag, those business cards, and your notes (you were taking notes weren’t you??). You can do all the pitching and networking you want, but if you never follow up with anyone… did it really happen?

Send whatever follow up emails you can, reminding your contacts where you met, what you discussed, and about any ways to further collaborate or connect. Conferences can be hectic, exciting, but ultimately very productive so long as you really take the time to digest the experience. If nothing else, be sure to hold a team meeting where everyone can integrate whatever valuable conference nuggets they’ve prospected!

Finally, the Track5 team is headed to the Digital Summit in Philly at the end of August. If you’re going- be sure to hit us up!

conference tips and tricks

Did you find these conference tips and tricks useful? Let us know how you’re preparing for your next big company event in the comments below!

The Importance of Brand Storytelling

What is the importance of brand storytelling? The age of social media has become a great force in influencing consumers’ views of various brands, making online marketing more important now than ever. In fact, social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have gained popularity due to its appeal to customers, specifically through its use of storytelling. Brand storytelling is an important way to connect with your audience as well as expand your audience engagement. In this new era of marketing, personalization and networking have become important factors of successful marketing. This could be seen in the rise of fan bases in YouTube influencers as well as online bloggers. By establishing a connection with your targeted audience, storytelling can help you with brand awareness. Do you want to implement a successful marketing strategy to market your brand? Learn more about the importance of brand storytelling with these helpful tips.

The Importance of Brand Storytelling

The Importance of Brand Storytelling


What is Brand Storytelling?

Brand storytelling is a strategy used in brand marketing to increase brand awareness. Just as the word implies, brand storytelling is the act of telling a story through various mediums (e.g. videos, posts, social media, and etc.) to capture your targeted audience’s attention. Brand storytelling can strengthen and increase your audience by creating an emotional connection to your audience. Today’s audience is driven by personal connections that they make with brands. Engaging in brand storytelling can open doors to expanding your targeted audience. The importance of brand storytelling lies in the ability to successfully evoke emotions within your audience to establish a relationship. Implementing a successful brand storytelling strategy will help your audience learn more about your brand, helping you grow your audience.

Why Should Your Brand Engage in Brand Storytelling?

There are many benefits of brand storytelling. For example, a strong brand storytelling marketing strategy can distinguish your brand from your competitors. An important aspect of converting audience is by being memorable. As a matter of fact, studies show that certain parts of the brain are activated when you are engaged in storytelling. The importance of brand storytelling lies in its ability to capture the audience’s attention. Ultimately, consumers want to build relationships and network with brands. Fostering a community of engagement between your brand and your audience will greatly help establish a connection. With a strong strategy in brand storytelling, you will ultimately establish brand loyalty as your audience begin to associate your brand with your content.

Seven Tips for a Successful Brand Storytelling Strategy:

  • Focus on your consumers’ wants and needs: In order to generate brand awareness, you need to appeal to your audience, and that means that you need to focus on what your consumers want and need. At the end of the day, your audience is the people who you are selling your brand to, so prioritize them and listen to what they want. Tailoring your content to your consumers’ preferences is crucial to creating an appealing story.
  • Be aware of trends: Trends are constantly changing, but there is no surprise that they affect your audience. Remember the era of the Unicorn Frappuccino? Don’t dismiss cultural trends because they can be key to marketing to your audience.
  • Create customer value-oriented content: One of the goals of brand storytelling is to convert consumers and retain the ones that you already have. You want to evoke emotion in your audience and eventually change their beliefs and opinions of your brand, which will influence consumer behavior.
  • Venture into various mediasVideo marketing is one of the many popular platforms for brand storytelling. In fact, brands such as Weight Watchers, Apple, and Dove have gained popularity for their successes in brand storytelling through video marketing.
  • Don’t dismiss the basic structure of a story: A great story has a beginning, middle, and end along with a climax and a resolution. Don’t forget about the foundations of what makes a great story!
  • Evoke emotions in your audiences: Stories based on real experiences will generate more success because they convey raw emotions, making it easier for your audience to relate to your brand.
  • Bring out your brand’s personality: At the end of the day, you shouldn’t compromise your brand’s values. Highlight your brand’s personality through storytelling to help your audience learn more about you.
The Importance of Brand Storytelling

Infographic courtesy of Fathom

Why Your Site Needs an SEO Audit

It’s about time you have yourself your good ol’ fashioned audit. No, I’m not talking about an audit in a traditional sense, so you can stop burning those receipts and allocating your funds into those secret bank accounts, I’m talking about an SEO audit for your website. Before we get into things, however, I’ll give you a brief rundown of what an audit is, and what it will do. An SEO audit essentially combs your site to find areas where you can improve your onsite and offsite SEO. You’ll be to identify broken links, pages that aren’t optimized, and duplicate content among other things. While everyone should perform an SEO audit every now and then no matter how successful your site is, below are a few warning signs that you should perform an SEO audit ASAP.

5 Reasons You Need An SEO Audit

SEO audit

1. Broken Links

If you notice, or if your audience is noticing a lot of broken links, it might be time for an SEO audit. Broken links are a nuisance for visitors of your site, and they can often deter viewers from staying on your site. Essentially, broken links can decrease your conversion and lose you a lot of money if you let them get out of hand. An SEO audit will essentially find all of these broken links so you can repair them as soon as possible.

2. Algorithm Update

These updates are constantly occurring, which changes the things that you need to rank well on a SERP. Things you may have done in the past could be hurting your website after an update. When there’s been a massive change in search engine algorithms, it’s time to perform an SEO audit. This will enable you to maximize the compatibility of your site’s current SEO with that of any new algorithms. These algorithms occur pretty frequently, so make sure you’re checking in for any major updates that could hurt your site.

3. Visitors Are Down

Many website owners will notice that their traffic amount and conversion has decreased recently and immediately assume that it’s a marketing or advertising issue. However, it might be the way your website is optimized, so an SEO audit can make sure that you’re not spending money trying to fix the wrong problem. There are a few reasons that traffic could be decreased. You might need to reoptimize your pages. The way we search for things and what devices we use to search for them are constantly changing, so make sure that you’re optimizing your pages by using SEO best practices.

4. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content can strongly hurt your SEO rankings. While we hope you at least know that you shouldn’t be copying the same content onto multiple pages, there are still a few ways that you might be duplicating content without meaning to. If you have a product or service on your site that is on multiple pages, the descriptions of the content might be flagged as duplicate content. Although it can be a pain, make sure the content of your pages is at least slightly unique. One other aspect of duplicate content that many won’t realize is not using canonical tags for their site. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or duplicate content appearing on multiple URLs. This is to prevent Google from viewing pages starting with “http,” “https,” and other URL starters as different pages with the same content.

5. Outdated Content

One final reason that you might need an SEO audit is to identify outdated content. Not only can you identify content that needs to be updated, you can even use an SEO audit to identify content that might be worth repurposing as a guest blog on another site, or a more extensive article on your own site. Either way, breathing new life into your content can go a long way.

Need some an advice on an SEO audit? Shoot us an email or a message on Facebook!

The Best Marketing Traits You Should Look For

Here at Track5Media, we have a pretty tight knit group of marketers. While we may all have different backgrounds (none of us even majored in marketing) and areas of expertise, we’ve still managed to launch successful marketing campaigns as well as provide stellar marketing content for our audience. One of the things I often think about is actually why I was hired. After all, I initially came from a journalism background and picked up a minor in marketing late into my college career. However, the more I worked here and interacted with my team, I began to pick out the various traits that we all shared, and with the help of my marketing team, I think I can give you a few traits you should have as a marketer looking for a job, or a few traits to look for as someone looking to grow your marketing team. Below are just a few of the best marketing traits that a good marketer should have.

The Best Marketing Traits

Persistence

As a marketer, I’ve learned one of the best traits to have is persistence. Not every piece of marketing content is going to go viral. In fact, it’s very rare that your article or video you create will break the Internet. However, staying persistent and creating solid content continuously will steadily grow your following. It might take a few shots before you can hit your target audience, so make sure that you’re looking for someone who won’t get discouraged and is willing to change up tactics if one marketing outlet isn’t working.

Outgoing

I never fancied myself as an outgoing person, but as a marketing professional, I quickly learned how crucial it is to be able to approach someone and make them want to hear what you have to say. Whether it’s through email, phone, or face to face, having a positive and approachable demeanor is one of the best marketing traits to have. The good news is I don’t believe an outgoing personality is innate. People who were originally shy or introverted can learn to be outgoing or extroverted. I’m living proof of that. Even if a candidate seems like she or he is a little timid during the interview process, keep in mind that the potential may still be there, so don’t count out a shy interviewee just yet.

Writing Prowess

I think one of the biggest reasons I was hired despite having little marketing experience was my ability to write. As a marketer, a good portion of your duties will be to produce stellar content. Luckily through my journalism background, I was able to produce content that was both engaging and well written. Over at Track5Media, the majority of our new hires for marketing will be asked to provide writing samples as well as submit a sample blog so we can assess his or her writing skills. Those looking to hire new marketers should greatly consider writing as one the best market traits you should look for. You can often teach someone more about marketing, but it’s a lot more difficult to teach someone how to write well this late into their career.

They “Get” Social Media

You can’t be a marketer without knowing a thing or two about social media marketing, so it’s no surprise that one of the best marketing traits you should look for in a new hire is whether or not they are adept at social media. Marketing via social media is different than your traditional online marketing, so make sure when you’re interviewing candidates, that you ask them about whether or not they are able to market using social media. Have them write sample tweets or Facebook posts to see if they understand how to reach an audience via social media.

Initiative

Finally, one of the best marketing traits is initiative. In an industry that is constantly changing, successful marketing professionals have an initiative that drives them forward. They are constantly one step ahead of Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapshot. It does neither a company nor a marketer any good to sit on their haunches and wait for the big guys to make their moves in this industry. And in most cases, waiting for the big guys to make their moves will not only hurt your brand but probably penalize it in ways that are sometimes hard to correct. No one wants to have their website hit with a huge algorithm and disappear from the search engines, so finding marketers that have this desired trait is exactly what companies should be doing. But, initiative isn’t always easy to come by. It takes research, planning, and a lot of guts (and sometimes failures) to truly be a forward thinker. However, those marketers that manage to have this trait are those that are the most successful.

The Psychology of Clickbait

We’ve all fallen victim to the clickbait game. I mean, don’t you want to find out what your inner potato is? It might sound stupid, but for websites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy, using clickbait headlines has become a way of life – and there’s a reason why.

What Exactly is Clickbait?

When is the last time you scrolled through your feed on social media and it wasn’t full of strange, yet questionably intriguing links? You just HAVE to find out what character you are on F.R.I.E.N.D.S., and you might die of curiosity if you don’t find out how that adorable koala managed to cross a busy street and live. This, my friends, is clickbait.

Clickbait has become so habitual that Merriam-Webster added the term to their dictionary in 2015. It’s defined as:

“Something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.”

Essentially, the headline is misleading and the content does not deliver. The marketing idea was that any headline that gets people to click is a quality headline. This is quickly becoming old news, as quality content is becoming more important to retain consumers. But yet, clickbait is still everywhere.

Clickbait meme

Do you remember when headlines weren’t clickbait?

Why are Marketers using Clickbait?

With all of the fake news, propaganda, and “alternative facts,” people can’t tell what’s real and worth their time without actually clicking. It’s also more difficult for marketers to gain attention from their audience. So, they resort to emotional, quick-hit headlines that draw attention even if the content isn’t meaningful.

This is great for brands that use page views and cost-per-impression metrics to judge content performance. But, if you want to keep your audience’s attention, these are the wrong metrics to focus on. Using clickbait can result in higher bounce rates, lower engagement rates, and low credibility for your brand overall. Marketers are realizing this and quickly learning that misleading clicks can do more harm than good. So why are brands still using clickbait tactics?

Because it still works – for now.

The Psychology of Clickbait

Most people are well aware of clickbait and know that clicking on that link to find out dumbest things celebrities have done will probably be disappointing, but they still do it. Why? There’s a psychological reason behind it. Humans are undeniably curious, and there’s an information gap. George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, developed the information gap theory of curiosity. It’s the idea that people feel a gap between what they know and what they want to know.

Even when you scroll past a link that you know is clickbait, you’ll still be wondering what in the world the answer is. It’s just human nature, and we can’t help it. Curiosity is a mental appetite that we keep feeding but is never fully satisfied. So, as long as humans are curious, clickbait will still work at least to some extent.

The Future of Clickbait

While clickbait still draws in clicks right now, the popularity is likely to decrease in the future. Facebook made changes to its algorithm in 2014 to better control the content people see in their feeds. Users were complaining about how much viral junk with no real engaging content was all over their page, so the site reacted. The algorithm takes more control of the content seen by taking looking at much time users spend on the link they click and if they share/comment on the post.

With changes to social media platforms, marketers are changing their efforts as well. Not only to have their articles actually show up on social media, but to really engage their readers and focus on the right metrics. While having a great headline is still important, quality content is what keeps consumers coming back for more and will build trust in your brand.

4 Digital Marketing Misconceptions

Now that the weather is beginning to warm up, it’s time to do some Spring cleaning. No, I’m not talking about tossing out that old letterman jacket from high school, or those Nirvana records you acquired during your “grunge” phase – I’m talking about clearing out those pesky digital marketing misconceptions. You know, the ones that have been stuck in the back of your mind, shaping how you market your brand and company. With a rapidly changing digital marketing landscape, it’s time to finally bust some of these myths that may be holding you and your company back. Here are just a few digital marketing misconceptions to get rid of for good.

4 Digital Marketing Misconceptions

1. Digital Marketing Only Works for Big Companies

Actually, this is not the case at all. In fact, smaller companies can often see improvement over time a lot quicker than bigger brands can. Using Google analytics, you can monitor your marketing efforts and see real-time how your campaign is doing. It’s time to throw out the old way of thinking. It’s time to think big! No matter how big or small your company is, digital marketing can take your brand to the next level. This digital marketing misconception often will hold smaller companies back, but putting the time, money, and effort into a stellar digital marketing campaign can go a long way.

2. SEO Isn’t Important Anymore

Well…that couldn’t be any further from the truth. SEO is one of the biggest, if not the biggest aspect that drives a good digital marketing campaign. If people aren’t seeing your brand on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) then you’re not gaining viewers, and if you’re not gaining viewers, you’re not making money. Just because SEO might be a lot different than it was 10 years ago does not mean that it’s no longer important. In fact, learning how to apply proper SEO tactics are more important than ever before. With more and more domains entering the marketing game, it’s important to know how to set yourself apart from your competitors.

3. Negative Social Media Comments Can Sink My Ship

While it’s generally not a good idea to ignore negative contents, this isn’t necessarily something that will close the doors of your company. Nobody wants negative comments about their business let alone posted on social media where everyone can see them. Such comments could drive away some of your loyal fans and customers. Obviously, you should disable comments or delete any negative comments you get on social media, right? No! Social media is a great way to show transparency and show others that you’re willing to acknowledge and fix any issues. Remaining open and honest when interacting with your audience can create a sense of trust and loyalty with your viewers.

4. Digital Marketing is Expensive

Probably one of the biggest digital marketing misconceptions is that you need a big budget to create a successful digital marketing campaign. Other than some SEO and marketing tools you may want to purchase, creating a successful digital marketing campaign is relatively cheap. Perhaps the only most “expensive” cost you may spend for this is for the hiring of a marketing staff and a website. With the many smart millennials looking for employment today, you can hire a young employee that doesn’t cost too much – yet. Instead, what you really need to invest in is time. It might take a good amount of time before you see results, and many companies will give up simply because they do not see results right away.