The Digital Marketing Process is Not a Microwave – It’s a Work in Progress

The Digital Marketing Process is Not a Microwave – It’s a Work in Progress

The online/digital marketing process is one that requires effort, consistency, ongoing analysis and technical know-how.

And when implemented correctly, it can help any business owner reach the goals they have set out for their business.

However, the question is not always “does it work?” but rather “will I see immediate results?”.

The answer is pretty simple and disturbingly straight forward: Unfortunately, not.

Everyone wants to see immediate results from their digital marketing and understandably so, but this is a process that simply cannot be rushed.

Sure, there are ways to achieve temporary results such as Google Ads, buying likes and followers, content automation, link manipulation or other bad-guy SEO (search engine optimisation) tactics.

However, if your aim is to achieve significant and long-lasting results for your business, then you must understand that digital marketing simply isn’t an overnight job.

 

Digital marketing process

How long does it take for digital marketing to work?

 

Understanding the digital marketing process in detail will help you understand why it may take several months to see results. It will also help you understand why it’s more than worth the wait.

Firstly, to put things into perspective, if your business already has an established following of 20,000 people as well as an existing social media strategy, then the chances of seeing almost-instant results are relatively high.

However, launching a new business, one unknown to the market with several recognised competitors, will require more time before seeing any results.

Bottom line is – The length of time it takes to see results from digital marketing depends largely on where you start, what your competitors are doing, your budget and your focus areas.

 

Where do you start?

 

Well, your online marketing should start with a great website design. One that’s mobile responsive and ready for any device. Additionally, website speed, user-friendliness and content precision are vital to any successful website and must be taken into consideration throughout the website design process.

 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

 

Once your website contains the above criteria – the next step is to start with SEO.

Search engine optimisation should be the very next step in your digital marketing strategy. BUT – SEO must be executed strategically.

SEO is the process of making your website the most relevant to search queries used to find businesses like yours.

Essentially search engines i.e. Google need to make sure the websites they present to their users in search results are a.) as relevant as possible to the search result and b.) provide comprehensive information that improves the lives of their users rather than wastes their time by providing inaccurate information or no information at all.

Now considering the fact that there is an unfathomable number of online searches performed every single minute of the day – it has become extremely important to be at the top of every search result relevant to your business.

  • Not being at the top of search engine results will end up in your website losing a serious amount of traffic.

Appearing at the top of the search engine and attracting the right type of traffic ultimately results to an increase in conversion rates – which is the aim of the digital marketing game.

Focusing on SEO means that you are focusing on providing search engines with clear indications on what, who, how and why your website deserves to be at the top of their results.

 

Content marketing aka inbound marketing or am I just “blogging”

 

The next step is content marketing otherwise known as inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing uses search engine optimisation, content marketing and social media marketing, to attract prospects while highlighting a service or product.

The special thing about inbound marketing is that it’s equally relevant and effective for businesses with small or large followings as well as start-up or well-established businesses.

Unlike the blogging craze that started up a few years ago, content marketing has a specific purpose.

Instead of blogging about difficult social interactions at your weekly yoga class, preferred coffee temperatures and why zoodles work well with cashew nut cheese sauce – content marketing aims, or it “should” aim to create and speak to business’ narrative.

Writing a blog each month is easy enough – but there are several aspects that need to be considered and effectively incorporated before “blogging” becomes lucrative.

Business relevancy, trending topics and how your clients go about finding the information you’re presenting must be at the forefront of your content marketing strategy.

Additionally, your content marketing plan must adopt your SEO strategy. Again, SEO works towards making your website the shiniest diamond of the lot and indicates to search engines that your website is the best match for a search query.

 

Are your competitors using digital marketing?

 

We often have clients whose competitors have been around for years and their position on the search engine appears to be practically cemented.

Yes, this is a problem, but instead of fixating on how your competitors are ranking above you – you need to focus on how to dislodge them.

Although search engines aren’t entirely predictable – there is a certain equation to working your way up their search engine results.

Of course, it will be much harder to outrank your competitors who already have a sturdy and established online presence – but it’s not impossible.

Competitor analysis requires looking at their SEO strategy, assessing their content and social approach and where applicable, evaluating their Google Ads plan.

Digital marketing process

It may be that your competitor has an inferior product/service to yours, and we know it hurts to see them raking in the clients and cash, but if their marketing campaign is holistic and effective – you will need to take their efforts and ensure yours are even better.

If you have a top-shelf product or service, you can find new audiences, foster their trust and convert them into paying customers who are likely to keep coming back.

 

Budget – How big is yours?

 

Big companies have big marketing budgets – and are likely to provide quicker results than that of the average SME business’ budget.

Now this isn’t to say that a tight budget won’t produce results – it may just take a more time.

A more generous budget means more time can be spent on digital marketing efforts, and more input generally means more output and quicker results.

No – your competitors don’t necessarily have the upper hand – but you will have to make sure whoever you pick for the job has the right modus operandi going forward.

There are thousands of digital marketing agencies in Cape Town for example, with only a select few following the right steps.

Most demand a retainer with no transparency on what or how your money is spent. Unlike companies with unlimited budgets who may not necessarily ask questions – if your budget is tight, you need to see a breakdown of services and you need to see reporting on what has been done and what the effects were.

 

What do you focus on first?

 

A singular approach is not going to cut it. For example, you cannot depend solely on one type of service such as a pay-per-click campaign without making sure it aligns with your website’s SEO.

The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving. It’s therefore imperative that you adopt a holistic strategy which is expansive and comprehensive.

It’s at this point that it becomes clear that digital marketing is an ongoing, long-term commitment which requires constant nurturing and a company that addresses all its aspects rather just one or two.

 

How to choose a digital marketing agency

 

The important thing to remember when hiring a digital marketing agency, is that digital marketing is not simple, or an easy one-size fits all task.

With that said, gone are the days where you had to travel around to different companies to have your company’s different needs and wants met. Most online marketing companies should offer an all-inclusive package.

Assessing the services of an online marketing company and how much they can offer you in terms of output is important.

Steer clear from digital marketing “experts” who tell you that it’s a quick and easy method to increase your lead generation or sales. These people are likely employing black-hat SEO tactics that will result in Google penalising your website. Buying followers, likes and reads is also not a worthwhile method – your followers should become brand ambassadors for your business, and it doesn’t help having 10 000 followers living in Nepal if your company and its services are only offered in Cape Town.

Going organic doesn’t only apply to how you pick your veggies, but also how you build your following and in turn client base.

 

Digital Marketing South Africa – Digital Marketing Agency Cape Town

 

In order to see genuine results, you need to stick with a digital marketing strategy for a minimum of 6 months to a year.

However, if you are not correcting every aspect of your website from back-links to user experience, providing high quality content or posting frequently, it may take much longer.

The process of digital marketing entails measuring goals that have been set and when achieved, new goals are set, and a new strategy devised to work towards them.

It also involves identifying when things don’t work and a devising new plan.

Our digital marketing agency in Cape Town aren’t afraid of a challenge and love working with clients from all spheres of business.

We’ll get to know you, your business and what your goals are. We provide monthly reports, a breakdown of services and true love – haha.

Transparency and communication are key, and we hold the relationships we have with our clients very closely.

We’ve grown our business from a copywrite service to a full-scale online marketing company – successfully serving website design from our brother company ITM Website Design Cape Town and SEO, content marketing, social media marketing as well as pay per click advertising.

Contact us for a free SEO audit and let’s chat – we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about our website design and the digital marketing process we follow.

Giving Credit in Content Curation

Giving Credit in Content Curation

To Create or Curate Content? (V)

 

Giving Credit

Content curation is not stealing… Unless you do it wrong!

Content Curation Rules

There’s a fine line between content curation, sharing and stealing content. Some people may not even realise that they’re stealing in the first place, claiming “I just don’t know how this online stuff works”.

However, it basically boils down to this: remember the school assignment analogy? This is an extension of that.

Think about it, there’s no way in hell your teachers would accept any assignment from you if they thought you wrote everything yourself. They’d probably make some kind of sarcastic comment like “Yeah right, Darren, you wrote that just like I single-handedly built the great wall of China.”

You need to make your sources known, so that the audience (and Google) can check if they’re reputable sources.

Also, if you wrote a great article and someone used it without giving you a mention, you would likely become annoyed. It would be unfair.

So, there are a few steps to take to ensure that all people involved in the creation and curation of the content are happy.

Always make sure to attribute!

The author’s name and the link to their article will suffice, you can add them into your body content.

If you quote, use quotation marks. Tell us who said that (a name) and where they come from (a company, which you could hyperlink to).

To cite data, make the copy around the data mention where it comes from, and add in a link to their site (right to the data’s location, not the homepage), so that the reader can find the context of the data.

Those are the main points, but here’s a mini checklist to keep you on track:

  • Compile various reputable sources;
  • Don’t quote too much;
  • Fill-in gaps in the information;
  • Add in your own opinion and
  • Give appropriate credit, where it is due.
  • Always link back to the original content, so nobody can point a virtual finger at you.

WEBSITE DESIGN

Without an effective website, your content curation strategy will struggle to gain traction and an audience. In addition, your website should support your marketing efforts and include elements such as a Blog posts and Social Media. Your website should incorporate the ability to present multimedia and be focused on conversion of your website visitors.

Digital Marketing South Africa

For all your SEO, digital marketing, content curation and Social Media marketing needs, contact us and speak to one of our experts today.

Digital Marketing South Africa recommends the professional web design Cape Town services of ITM Website Design.

 

The Personality Traits of a Content Curator

The Personality Traits of a Content Curator

To Create or Curate Content? (IV)

11 personality traits especially helpful to content curators:

Content Curation

Content curation is a very complex task, it takes a certain person with certain skills to be able to complete the job properly. Here is a list of characteristics that make for a competent content curator:

Content curation and Curiosity

Curiosity is essential to curating. You should have a thirst for knowledge like the blood-lust of an ancient vampire who’s been released from a thousand-year sleep.

The thirst will drive you to dedicate the time and energy to consume as much as you can.

This requires you to be open-minded (to foster a supportive environment of open dialogue and understanding) as well as sceptical (of all the fake information out there).

Subject-matter expertise

A curator should entail expert-like knowledge of a subject. Learning increases resolution: the more you know about something, the more you can truly appreciate its details. Including the slightness in differences of traits, qualities and weaknesses. Content curation is possibly the best way to learn the most about a subject.

You do this by reading up on the topic; interviewing established experts; collecting, researching, and analysing resources, data, trends and statistics.

You should also try to facilitate discussions with fellow fanatics and scholars. When I say fanatics, I mean those who don’t have a formal education in the subject, but are regarded as valuable and trustworthy experts. Always consider and compare differing viewpoints and question established assumptions.

Then you write about it.

Strong ethics in content curation

The personality traits of a content curator

Content curators regard a set of strong values that one strives to adhere to during decision making, thereby filtering out ones own reality.

A curator’s values will define the scope of the ‘net’ they throw to ‘catch’ information.

Whether it’s a small net with big holes (not very useful to catch the good yet tiny bits) or a large net with medium holes (optimal to ensure a wide scope and good quality), this plays a large part in the way as well as what one curates.

Ask yourself why you do what you do, and what you stand for. Challenge yourself, travel, experience as much as you can!

Alternative traditions and cultures will open your eyes to many realities and thoughts that you might not previously have considered. This will lead to you discovering a lot more about yourself and your ethical standpoint.

Transparency – Disclosure

Curators thrive on credibility and trust. Transparency, the conscious decision to not keep secrets or hide personal information for one’s own benefit, is imperative to curation. Share your motives and interests, especially if they may be interpreted as a conflict of interest.

The audience has a right to know the motives of a curator, to know what drives and rewards them, so as to afford a level of trust that is not superficial.

Hardly anyone wants to read content picked out of a personal whim, they require cold hard facts about their interests, or an interesting perspective that they would never have previously considered.

Empathy

To identify deeply with another person or group is essential to content curation.

Since the aim is to answer the questions posed by the audience, it is important to connect with who the audience is, their language; needs; interests and expectations, to find out what they would like to know.

Personal voice within content curation

The personal voice is a personal view on a specific topic, shared with the public. A content curator is not objective, no. We do not keep a distance from the subject matter nor the collections we create. The job entails bringing in one’s bias, prejudice, perspective and opinion to any and all pieces created.

Content curators are highly involved with the subject and content. Content curators actively question the value of information, rationally analyse to identify key strengths and weaknesses and always offer their own perspective.

It can be said that a curator without a strong voice is nothing.

Pattern recognition in content curation

The ability to easily recognise similar information patterns across a range of completely different contexts or appearances.

It’s an invaluable skill to be able to identify trends or the emergence of novel ideas before others. This entails a devotion of more time to the study of your topic; curate more; pay increased attention to detail, nuances and subtle traits that are easily overlooked.

Organisation and content curation

Is the ability to recognise similar items, logically group and label (categorise) them in an order to ensure easy navigation through the information.

To curate content is to make sense out of chaos. To create the logical, clear organisation of information leads to better understanding of concepts.

Attention to detail

Involves being aware of and sensitive to the care for small, sometimes seemingly insignificant items or details that are part of something.

To do this you must dedicate ample time to the content curation process; ensure a peer-review of the content, generate comments and feedback to it and double review it (yes, I’m serious).

Systematic categorisation

Being thorough, analysing things within a systematic procedure, executing high precision tasks without leaving anything to chance.

Content curation is about being precise and giving quality information, there’s no way to do this without having a system of categorisation.

Check, vet and verify. Always.

Patience

Is the ability to wait for extended periods of time without losing focus or sight of the objective.

Patience is a core trait that is needed in order to allow ample time for a curated collection to develop. Research and content curation take time. The value is not found in the speed of which you can operate, but how well you can understand the topic and present the information.

Conclusion

Another way to look at content curation is to imagine it as a distillation process. You start with a vast quantity of subject matter, and systematically sift and refine all the material until you have a pure concentration. A potent, 100% extract.

Your ultimate goal being to dose your audience with undiluted shots of pure, useful information to facilitate their understanding on a particular subject.

Digital Marketing South Africa

We are masters in the arts of content curation and endeavour to leave no stone un-turned. To learn more about the importance of effective content curation, contact us.

 

How to Curate Content Effectively

How to Curate Content Effectively

To Create or Curate Content? (III)

How to curate content

How to curate content

Content curation is not the easy way, but it is the smart way.

I must warn you, content curation is by no means an easy or simple task!

Although you may save some time from not having to physically write each article, there is no rest! You end up using that saved time to sift through much more content.

This is the catch, you save time from writing, but use it productively, to grow a fully comprehensive picture of the subject.

You become an expert on the topic by compiling masses of knowledge and immersing yourself in the nitty-gritty.

Only then, when you emerge with a simultaneously broad and in-depth understanding of the topic, do you start to present a collection of all the best pieces of information.

It’s your job as a curator to take all the different, relevant, jagged bits of knowledge from everywhere, and create a smooth masterpiece.

A holistic, all-encompassing, seamless flow of information that tells you everything you would want to know about a subject, in one place.

Sounds easy, right?

How the heck does one curate content?

It may seem like jumping into an ocean of content at first. That’s because it is.

There is so much out there, it can be overwhelming to say the least. But there are ways to narrow your search down to a much more manageable list.

Here are a few guiding questions to ask yourself when you curate content:

  • What is the audience’s intent?

Are they visiting your site to find out more information? Would they like to purchase your product? This will give you the insight to find a topic and subtopics for future (curated) content.

  • Is this content on brand?

Is this message consistent with the message your business sells? If not, you are wasting your and your readers’ time..

  • Is this a trusted source?

This is imperative. I cannot stress this one enough. If you’re not sure, it’s not worth it. The only thing worse than being a fool, is repeating a fool’s deed.

  • Is it offering something unique to my readers?

There are literally a million sites that they could read from, why on Earth should they pick yours? Add something useful to their lives.

  • Are you practising ethical content curation?

These are simple ways to stay ethical:

  1. Compile various reputable sources;
  2. Don’t quote too much;
  3. Fill-in gaps in the information;
  4. Add in your own opinion and
  5. Give appropriate credit, where it is due.
  6. Always link back to the original content, so nobody can point a virtual finger at you.
  • Is it entertaining or useful in some way?

These people want stimulation, they want good, wholesome knowledge in an easy-to-digest package. That means quality fibre.

You’re the one to give it to them.

That was a little about how to curate content. It should be easy to attain the goals of content curation if you have the characteristics of a professional curator. Watch this space for Part 4, the “Who” of content curation, for personality characteristics of successful curators.

Digital Marketing South Africa – Content Curation

We have a team of digital marketing and SEO experts who know exactly how to. For more information about our comprehensive online services, contact us.

What is Content Curation?

What is Content Curation?

To Create or Curate content?

What is content curation and why use it? (II)

What is content curation?

What is content curation?

If you’re asking this question, think about your days at school. If you were given an assignment, you research the topic. Next you would answer the questions of the assignment by finding the best possible information and compiling it.

This is a way to perform content curation on the information you have been given.

Finding and isolating the most relevant information on the topic is vital. The next step would be to organise all the useful information from different sources into an essay that is logical, easy to understand and read.

Content curation is very similar, except no one hands you a piece of paper with questions to answer. Your questions come from your audience.

If you know them well enough, you should be able to determine the audience’s intent: what they want to know. From there you can start providing them with a full-on meal of knowledge, complete with all the tasty bits of information they so desire.

You might have created an article in the past which is still very relevant, use that! Update it and re-post it. This is possible with most online and social media marketing.

You may have read an article from someone who you know to be a reputable source or an expert on the subject. Use their link, just remember to give them the credit they deserve.

If you’re decent at curating, you’ll be able to give the audience the answers to questions they haven’t even asked yet. 😉

Why would I want to curate content?

Content curation has become essential for brands looking to build a relationship with their audience.

It adds that back and forth of human interaction that the world of web so often lacks. It also serves the ultimate and wonderful purpose of assisting your audience and customers find relevant information which will ultimately help them in their lives.

For instance, if you are a dentist, you could post articles on the latest news concerning cavity prevention, or how a change in your diet could keep your teeth from crumbling down to the gums.

As a health care professional, you could debunk medical myths.

The possibilities to do good through curating your content are endless. This type of work does not go unnoticed and is highly appreciated by your audience.

So, let’s sum up why you would want to curate content.

  • Conserve your time and energy… Psych!

It’s been said that it’s exhausting and time consuming to come up constantly with new content. It’s also hard to get all you want to say down in one article, especially when a topic is extensive (trust me, I know).

Curation is an effective way to keep readers up to date and build a comprehensive picture of your topic for them to understand.

But, that also means even more time, research and dedication. That being said, you can save on the resources it takes to create fresh content.

You’re not only re-posting, you’re adding value, your perspective, filling in gaps and verifying facts from multiple sources so that you can…

  • Stay ahead

Be considered a leader of thought in your discipline. An expert.

If you continuously post about the latest, validated and most relevant topics, it will show your audience that you have a deep engagement in your field and are a trusted source of knowledge.

This should build your business a loyal following from your audience. When curation is done correctly, it can strengthen your email list, help define your brand online and strengthen your organic SEO in time – as a by product.

  • Repetition is annoying. Annoying. Annoying

It’s silly to re-create a message if you’re going to say the same thing in almost-the-same way. There’s no need to add to the vast abyss of online clutter on the internet.

As a curator, you should always add value! Sure, extract the best bits to illustrate and explain, but don’t stop there. Add your (educated) opinion, commentary, a review or even a little introduction to help facilitate clear understanding.

  • Avoid narcissism

It can be intensely boring to only write about your business. Don’t get me wrong, it’s imperative to the success of your business, but all too often it can end up sounding like a kitsch, hard-sale pitch.

Note: if it’s boring to write, it will most probably be boring to read. This, in a world full of instant-gratification seeking humanoid monsters, is a death-sentence.

  • Act as a “spark”

Whether igniting online networking opportunities; a new business venture or partnership; or simply inspiring a local reader, our content should have purpose.

It should light fires under the bottoms of our audience! To read; act; buy; to do MORE (hopefully, for good).

  • Grow your business

Keep existing loyal readers stimulated and encourage them to spread your virtual word by staying:

  • Consistent– Regarding usual posting times and quality content,
  • Relevant– to the topics that interest the audience,
  • Original– No repeats, I personally beg you!
  • Somewhat entertaining– By offering a variety of quality articles from different perspectives on the same subject. (since most people enjoy gifts, remember to give value.)

Those were the “What’s” and “Why’s” on content curation. If you’re interested in reading more, such as the “How’s” and “Who’s”, watch this space, part three will follow.

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An Introduction to Content Curation

An Introduction to Content Curation

To Create or Curate content?

That is the question.

An introduction to content curation

An introduction to content curation

 

An introduction into types of content

There are 3 main types of online content: Content Aggregation; Content curation; and Content creation.

Although for this post, we’re only going to touch on aggregation (I don’t recommend it, you’ll find out why, so just keep reading).

Content creation

Constantly creating quality content is a great, if not the best, way to keep your website up to date and simultaneously give your organic SEO score a boost, thus keeping your business in the eyes of your audience.

So, what’s great about content curation?

We all know how time and resource consuming it can be to usher in original content all the time. Also, if your market is very competitive, if everyone is writing about the same topic, we’re bound be bombarded with many articles of a very similar nature.

This, along with the influence of social media, has contributed to the absolute disarray of content (and spam!) on the internet.

To quote Mitchel Kapor: “Getting information off the internet is like having a drink from a fire hydrant.”

This is where content curation comes in.

The focus and definition of content curation is in the logical grouping, organisation and presentation of the most relevant pieces of content regarding one topic, in one place.

The content could have been written by you in the past (so long as it’s still relevant), or you could have found the source elsewhere.

You could rewrite the posts and fill in any gaps in the information with new, sound knowledge.

Content aggregation

This applies to content curation, whereas content aggregation is simply taking the information from one site and using it on another (or linking to it) as it is. Aggregation contributes to the many duplicates of content on the web, adds no further value and can negatively affect your SEO score.

Curation is kind of like cooking a meal filled with delicious ingredients. Then, after cooking, you pick out the prime pieces of the dish, only the juiciest morsels. Yet, instead of gobbling it up like a little piggy, you share them with your loyal audience.

Sweet, right? You’ve gone through the whole pot just to ensure your readers only enjoy the best. If that doesn’t show you care, then nothing will.

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Our digital experts know all there is to know about content curation so you don’t have to. To learn more about content curation and other important digital marketing aspects, contact us.