How do you describe yourself when you meet a new business associate? Are you a Director of SEO, Content Marketing Specialist, or Online Reputation Management (ORM) guru? Better question: Are these titles really describing different roles within marketing?
ORM has been around for a while; see this Huffington Post article to get a good grasp on it. On the flip side, traditional SEO has been dying for years and has converged with content marketing, market research, user experience, and even PR. Online PR is proliferating, but is also shifting in a number of ways. And content marketing, touted as the latest and greatest in the online marketers' toolkit, is starting to blend and look like the tactics listed above.
In the end, it doesn't really matter how you define any of them. Because as a marketer, you should be focused on getting results for your clients or the brand you work for.
Here are four tactics to use no matter what your marketing title is:
1) Be an Industry Thought Leader: Developing and marketing interesting, compelling, and easily digestible content is the best way to increase visibility for a business. For example, this infographic by LWG Consulting was launched in April, and has been marketed across the web, and hundreds of backlinks have been built pointing to their site from other sites that wanted to share this valuable content. This effort has resulted in traffic increases of more than 2500 percent to their website.
The creation of proprietary studies, industry-relevant eBooks, and blog posts that give away your company's trade secrets are the bread and butter of today's marketing game.
2) Understand Google's New Authority Signals: Alongside content, according to Jason Bayless who tracks the top 50 SEO firms in the U.S., "Google is rewarding sites that show they are the authority in their space. Just being a product or service provider isn't enough these days - you need to prove how much you know about your services/ products in order for Google to trust you and rank your site highly."
3) Focus on Authorship and Social: According to Google's Matt Cutts, links will become less and less important over time as the Google team finds better ways to understand expertise and quality content on websites. Link building has been the focus of SEO work for years, so this represents a major change to the industry. Putting emphasis on other signals such as social, authorship, and producing content will be increasingly more important.
4) Maintain User Focus: Every algorithm update by Google in the last several years has been an attempt to improve user experience. Google maintains their audience by providing whatever results they are searching for. Old school SEO tricks like keyword stuffing, cloaking, duplicate content, and link farms negatively impacted the user experience, and are now being devalued if not penalized by the search engines. It's time to stop trying to "outsmart" Google, and start focusing on providing the answers your potential customers are asking. Leverage brand-owned content like your website and blog, reputation management properties, social media channels, video, and even your Google business listing so your brand appears at every touchpoint of a user's search process.
The era of digital marketing as an all-encompassing, multi-channel, multi-faceted, integrated approach is here. It's about determining who wants what, how you can reach them, when and where they want it. It's not about simply optimizing a site, it's about interweaving your marketing strategy with content, PR, ORM, mobile, apps, social, local, adaptive real time marketing, and targeted ads. The key to success: Create strategized, omni-channel, and intelligent marketing campaigns and evolve to become a 2.0 marketing organization.