On a typical day, what do you do in terms of digital marketing? You develop content calendars, plan out posts, reach out to influencers, and do search optimization all day long. You write, and you write some more.
You are on social media letting it suck your day out, but do you know why you are there in the first place? You connect with others on LinkedIn, and then what happens?
LinkedIn has always been an important social network for businesses (all sizes). Meanwhile, Twitter is about to roll out a better Direct Messaging system, as Matt Southern pointed out earlier on SEJ. There are tools like Connect6 that help you gain insights about people in a flash. Why do you think all these tools exist?
It’s to help you build connections faster than ever. But we marketers are hard-pressed for time. We have to deliver results. We have clients breathing fire on our necks, and none of these have “speed”. But, they do have “value”.
How you should balance both speed and value: put your soul into search optimization as you should but give way to people.
Do what you should for SEO, first
It does start with you and your approach to SEO. Get your listing up on Google, optimize pages for appropriate keywords (just don’t overdo it), maintain social media profiles. and keep that “engagement” on. Google calls for fast page load speeds, page relevance and responsive design – as Geoff Kenyon points out on moz.com your head in.
Jayson DeMers of Search Engine Watch insists that Guest posting isn’t as bad as Matt Cutts made it out to be. Thought leadership is critical and guest posting should be an important part of your content marketing strategy.
Don’t stop anything to do with SEO yet. Just do it the right way.
The power of personalization and passion
Put a tomato on the table for long enough, and it’ll rot. Something similar happens to drab content you’d want to churn out by the dozen for SEO. Even for well-written posts online today, there’s still something missing: personalization and passion.
What would you do if “digital marketing” was your first love and someone who doesn’t know Google from Bing rubbishes it? I’d lash out and even threaten to kill, that’s what.
Get into the “threaten to kill” mode (whatever strong emotion you court, that is) and then, write out your content. Let your readers know what makes you tick. Tell them what you want to but show them your personality.
If you are not the assertive type, practice writing so much that you’d actually become one. If you are not opinionated, get an opinion on everything.
While you are at it, don’t forget to decorate your recipe with visual content ingredient. Tools like Canva can help you put your emotions in a visual way.
Additionally, ignore comments that come biting back at you. Everything worth doing usually invites bombers like opposing points of view and a few trolls.
It’s not about SEO, content, and social media; it’s about you.
Connect first. Hustle later
Thanks to the need for speed, we don’t connect. We simply ask if we can guest post, for example.
Wouldn’t things be different if you actually knew the blogger well before making that request? Wouldn’t there be more chances of success if you were buddies? If you are into link building, step back. Give yourself a few months before deadlines. Learn to connect with people first, using any tool you are comfortable with.
That’s why we talk about Semantic technology that Google embraces. That’s why we link to others while commenting on social networks using “@ and +”.
Blog posts are basic. Do more
It’s easy to do blog posts (no matter how awesome the post is) compared to doing any of the other things for link building as Jon Ball points out in an earlier post on How to do Link Building at Offline Events.
Hosting offline events, conferences, getting local newspapers to cover your story, sponsoring events or conferences, and inviting industry experts to speak, and giving stuff away – none of these are for the average marketer or business owner.
You could do online courses, podcasts, videos, and slide decks too.
Undertaking work of this magnitude calls for passion, months or years of relentless pursuit, and possible failures along the way.
Easy doesn’t cut it. You know better.
Walk the mile, just like that
You know how hard it can be. You’d spend time, every single day, supporting others’ cause — writing about others, speaking about others. You’d get on social media and just contribute by answering questions, running scheduled chats on Twitter, sharing others’ content, and more.
You’d do this for years and you won’t get anything back until you do. There’ll be a day when people notice what you are doing for them. Then, it all changes for you.
You write, they read. You create a video, and they’ll view. You run a podcast, they’ll subscribe. Put up an opt-in form and they’ll want to be in.
You give, and they’ll swallow.
SEO has everything to do with the “give and swallow” part. It’s hard to give. It’s hard to walk the mile. Now that Internet glues us to laptops and mobile devices, people are not really on priority.
They ought to be. SEO isn’t bigger than the very fabric of humanity.
People are business. Opportunities come from people. Every dollar out there moves from one person to another.
Do what you have to. Get your basics right. From this point on, focus on how many people you “really” know enough for that relationship to grow further.
Do you focus on SEO and forget people? What do you do every day to connect with others? Tell us what you think.
Learn from real practitioners not just trainers.