It’s time to look in the digital mirror. Do you like what you see? What does your “digital-first impression” say about you? And why should you care? Whether it’s your company website or your social pages, your web presence makes a bigger difference than you think. In this episode, our guest Andy Crestodina makes the case for investing in your digital presence right now, to make the impact you want tomorrow. He also shares tips on how your digital content must adapt to stay competitive, engaging and relevant. Join us!
Ruth Stevens: Why is content marketing important and how should marketers be thinking about their websites from a content perspective?
Andy Crestodina: One of the easiest ways to understand content marketing is by contrasting it with advertising. Every ad you have ever seen or have been exposed to is basically interruption. It was distracting you while you were trying to do something else. Every billboard, every cold call, every banner ad, every spam email—you know, a lot of advertising is really just push marketing. Content is what people look for. It’s what they want, what they share, what they searched for and what they subscribe to. One easy way to think about it is just go look at your browsing history, and it will immediately show you that content marketing is still relevant. Another way to think of it is, why would anyone visit your website if you don't have content marketing? There really isn't anything there without it, except the promotional parts of your site, which means that you're missing out on a huge audience.
Ruth Stevens: What are a couple of things that marketers could do to get results from their websites?
Andy Crestodina: Well, a lot of key phrases are people looking for answers, and they land on articles and blog posts and content marketing. Other key phrases we searched for have a more commercial intent where the person knows they need a service or a product. They land on product and service pages. The third category for keyword intent is the navigational query, and the person who is already brand aware. Google your brand, and see what is showing up and how those pages look. I think that anybody can immediately get better results from digital by just doing basic brand reputation management and polishing those pages that are the most visible.
Cyndi Greenglass: Why do you think that results and metrics are down?
Andy Crestodina: I have given the advice for years to increase engagement on your articles by making them more visual and by giving people more opportunities to click by making them longer and deeper and more detailed. Those are exactly the things that Google has done to make Google more engaging for their visitors. It’s simple visitor’s psychology, but best practices for engaging with people is to make the page they land on filled with images and detail. Also, make it long and give people lots of things to interact with. You can do that on every blog post you create, and that is precisely what Google is doing the search results. In a visually noisy environment where there are many opportunities for the visitor to engage.
Cyndi Greenglass: At the end of the day, it is about people and the investment we make in people.
Andy Crestodina: Networking relationships are so important. Get to know people, because the opportunities you will have in marketing two years from now have a lot to do with WHO you're talking to today. The first step in networking is to go polish your LinkedIn profile. Make it shine. It should be filled with recommendations and endorsements and detail—even keywords, photos and images. What is coming in the future, no matter what it is, will be a variation on influencer marketing, and it will benefit the people who took the time to invest in people today.
Cyndi Greenglass: How should companies be keeping their image with their website fresh?
Andy Crestodina: Certain industries sites age faster than others. If you're doing design or if you're a high-tech company, then it likely needs to be redesigned in a shorter interval. The rate of change is partly about visitor’s expectations. Technology changes and sometimes something comes along like mobile responsive websites and we all have to adapt right away. But, if you want to make a difference on your site similar to your LinkedIn profile, make sure to convey basic information very quickly. Ask yourself if the top of part of your homepage, the above the fold content on your homepage, if the visitor sees only that, will they know what you do at a glance. Is your header explicit?
Key Takeaways/Three Little Piggies
- We all have to be focused on making sure that our websites are delivering the help and the positioning that is right for our target audience.
- Make sure your websites are optimized and that they have visuals and video and are engaging. Have calls to action to engage visitors.
- The humanizing factor is important. Networking, engagement and collaboration relationships are key.
Marketing Communications Today presents Horizons, it’s forward-thinking, looking ahead, through the front windshield and beyond, into the marketing future. Join Cyndi and Ruth bi-weekly for new ideas, technologies, tools and strategies that are emerging to help marketers navigate over the marketing horizon.
Meet our guest
Andy Crestodina is a co-founder and CMO of Orbit Media, an award-winning 40-person digital agency in Chicago.
Over the past 20 years, Andy’s provided guidance to 1000+ businesses. He’s written hundreds of articles on content strategy, SEO and Analytics. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.
- Top 10 Online Marketing Experts, Forbes
- Top 50 Marketing Influencer, Entrepreneur Magazine
- Top 25 Content Marketers, Express Writers/Buzzsumo
- Top 10 Social Media Influencers, Social Media Explorer
Meet the hosts
Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from WVU.
Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.
Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.
Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.
Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!