Digital marketing is opening the doors to reach more clients than ever via your website, online ads and social media. The catch is, trying to keep up with your many profiles and working with virtual or third party vendors can quickly make a mess of things. If there are 50 different versions of your logo scattered around the internet, then consistent branding might be the lifeline you need to get organized and attract more business in the coming year.

Marketing guideA Brand Guide (also called a Style Guide or Brand Bible) is a visual representation of what your company is/does and what that looks like to others. Created by a graphic design expert or marketing agency, a Brand Guide sets the rules for how your business is represented online or in person. Depending on the size and scope of your business, your Brand Guide could be one page or a full binder. Regardless, there are a few key elements that all true Brand Guides have in common.

1. Your Story
Start with the story of your business. Talk about your history, vision, important milestones and hopes for the future.

2. Your Logo and Stationary Guidelines
Your logo guide should include the correct use of your logo and your tagline. Make sure to include visual samples of the right and wrong way to use your logo. This can include colors, sizes and different versions that you may have. You will also want a formal business card design, email signature and letterhead to represent your company.

3. Your Color Pallet
A graphic designer will help you create the perfect color pallet. This will be invaluable when you are working with 3rd party artists and designers so they can quickly learn your brand.

4. Your Tone
Content is still king so you will be producing a lot of web copy, ad copy, blogs, articles, reports, etc. You might not be creating all this content on your own but you want it to sound like it all came from one person. The Tone Guide and samples will help you quickly hire and train virtual assistants and copywriters to get the job done.

5. Your Web and Social Media Standards
Make sure all of your social media accounts match your website, logo and overall brand. Create specific tags and #hashtags that represent your company, brand and products. You can also formalize standards to use when engaging with the public via social media.

It’s no secret that social media has grown to become a necessity in any online marketing strategy. Whether a brand wants to drive attention to its company, product or professional services, social media is a well-known, cost-effective way of attracting positive attention (in most cases). On the other hand, without following the specific protocol of social media branding, the careless use of these platforms can damage a business in a matter of days.

Within the past few years, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become widely recognized as powerful tools for communication, both in the B2C and B2B industries. And whether you are aware of it or not, your prospective employers, partners, customers and competitors could be viewing your posts at any moment. With this in mind, it’s important to maintain best practices so that your social media strategy effectively supports your business goals and best showcases your brand’s personality, and on multiple channels.

On these newly crowded channels, it can be difficult for consumers and brands alike to separate the wheat from the chaff. We’ve assembled two examples of brands who have their social media game on lock. Read on to find out how you can cut through the competition and reach your fans like never before:

Old Spice Makes the Comeback of All Comebacks

old spice smell like a man social media campaign

At the end of 2009, Old Spice was an aging brand. Their customers were old; their reputation was old…and they were in danger. Obviously, a reboot was in order. And what a reboot it was!

During the Super Bowl of 2010, Old Spice launched their “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, featuring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa. Mustafa talks to the “ladies of the audience,” trying to convince them to buy Old Spice for their man while staring directly into the camera. It was a hit, racking up 26 million views on YouTube.

If Old Spice had stopped there, it would have just been a great online commercial. But what followed five months later was pure social media genius: Mr. Old Spice, as Mustafa was now called, jumped onto Twitter to answer questions from fans—in real time, via YouTube.

When selecting who to answer, the Old Spice Social Media team had a novel and crucial approach: they selected fans not only on the potential of their questions, but also selected them based on their influence on social media. Thus, when they interacted with a fan, they could be sure that his or her response would get maximum coverage.

The influence-filtering approach, combined with the real-time nature of the campaign, left fans sitting at the edge of their seats. It was a recipe for success that boosted Old Spice to its status as the number-one branded channel on YouTube. Numbers later showed that it drove sales, too: Old Spice reported that sales doubled in the month following the campaign.

The bottom line: by responding to their fans according to influence, Old Spice was able to combine high production values with spontaneity and still count on having an impact.

We All Scream for Fourth Meal!

Of all the fast food restaurants, who knew that Taco Bell would be the one to conquer social media? It’s true! The company’s flippant, irreverent, yet ultimately best-friendy tone turned out to be perfectly suited to social media marketing, particularly for speaking to that ever-elusive generation: the coveted millennials.

Using a sassy mix of English and Spanish, Taco Bell encouraged its fans, followers, and subscribers to “Live Más” and “Think outside the bun.” But that was just the beginning. What really sets Taco Bell apart from their competition is their commitment to two-way, fun, and productive communication.

Screen capture of Facebook post from lady on Taco Bell's page asking for a poster.

One 17-year-old fan posted a request to their Facebook wall: “will you send me a poster of my favorite burrito?” To her surprise, Taco Bell not only agreed, but one-upped her. They sent her a giant poster taller than she was, they liked and commented on her Instagram feed with the acronym “BFFAE,” Best Friends Forever And Ever.

Screen capture of Instagram photo and comments of girl with Taco Bell poster.

The bottom line: Taco Bell treats every interaction with a customer on social media as a chance to create a fan.

Thinking Outside the Box with Social Media

Consumers today crave honesty and authenticity from their brands. The definition of professionality is changing; it’s no longer enough to be polite and respectful. Today, brands are expected to be funny and candid as well. In their own ways, Taco Bell and Old Spice have each managed to mix humor, authenticity, and just the right amount of silliness to achieve a perfectly balance social media presence.

search engine optimizationSEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website for search engines, so you can get traffic by free, natural, organic and editorial search results from different search engines. All search engines rank web pages and other content such as local listings and videos on the basis of what will be most relevant to the user’s search.

They then display website pages which are more relevant and authoritative towards the top of the results, with the relevance being decided by analyzing page content in relation to the users’ search query. Search engines also analyze and assess authority on the basis of quality and the number of quality links that a page has.

How has SEO has evolved over the years?

The SEO industry has evolved immensely over the past few years. A few years ago, SEO was very different to how we see it today. In the mid-90s and mid-20s there were no web analytics available for websites unless you had a major website and a big budget. There were not that many good options, and the few good options that were available were not cheap!

seoIn 2006, SEO started to become a profitable business when little or almost no analytical data was available, and SEOs wanted to find a metric which they could track and which they could easily influence without analytics. During this time, search engines used the same format to rank websites, and because of that the result is almost the same. It was easy to track where a site ranks and then to relate the data of a ranked site with traffic, transformation and other data was being measured. Due to the consistency of SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), there was no clear relation between the rankings.

Then there was a time when search engines used rank tracking. Now search engine results have changed and that’s why search engines no longer use rank tracking.

Google has around 85 different SERP features, and 85% of all searches usually show one or more of these features. These features work so efficiently, and due to the effect they have on CTR’s (Click-Through Rates), the #1 organic ranking position appears right below the fold of the pages and also reduces your CTR for that position.

As years go by, SEO is becoming more efficient and SEO’s are continually looking for new metrics for rank tracking.

Some of the metrics through which Google analyzes the data on internet are given below:

  • Organic Volume Traffic

  • Keywords which drive organic traffic

  • Percentage of organic traffic (non-branded) keywords compared with branded keywords

  • Highest transforming organic keywords

  • Ranking for top keywords

  • Domain authority or Google page rank

  • Quantity, Quality, Relevancy and Diversity of External Links

  • Quantity, Quality, Relevancy and Diversity of Linking root domains

  • Cost of per conversion from organic visit

The above mentioned list was once perfectly accurate, but since search behavior is constantly changing, so is this list.

Today, search engines use keywords. If you want a good rank for your page, you have to choose good keywords and keywordsmention them naturally within your page content. Try to spend time brainstorming and researching keywords using tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner. The other thing that is important for SEO today is page authority. We should move our focus to get traffic from keywords to getting traffic to pages. Driving traffic to a good quality content is easy irrespective to how keywords are targeted. SEO’s also consider brand power to increase traffic. Use link-building efforts through guest blogging or by sharing your content to make your brand stand out. In addition to these points, your website should be well-designed, and should load quickly, since page load speed is another of Google’s ranking factors.

Conclusion

So to conclude, over the last few years, SEO’s have had to adapt quickly to the regular changes in the industry, which are still progressing. From the above article we come to know how SEO was then and how they are now. They have changed greatly as compared to the past years. The SEO’s are now ranking the web content more efficiently and has evolved so much over the years.