If You’re At A Loose End, Now Is The Perfect Time To Work On Brand Outreach

*Contributed post

With many businesses still operating a skeleton staff, entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to work on their brands and reach out to their audiences. If you run a company (or manage one) and feel like you’re at a bit of a loose end, don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Start working on it today and see how far you could get.

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Knowing where to start is always a bit of a challenge. Do you focus on Instagram first or concentrate instead on SEO? It’s not entirely clear. 

The good news is that you don’t have to decide everything all at once. Taking small steps towards your goals on any platform can help your enterprise enormously. Once the economy picks back up, you’ll be in the perfect position to start selling again, taking advantage of what looks like a massive surge in pent-up demand. 

Speaking of the economy, it still isn’t clear how things are going to work out. Recently, we’ve seen promising jobs reports coming out of the BLS as well as substantial gains in the stock market. So commentators are now wondering whether we’re looking at a short, fast recovery, unlike the long, slow one that we saw after the financial crisis. 

Remember, before the coronavirus hit, the situation was good. And entrepreneurs could look forward to excellent returns on their marketing investments. By October this year, or possibly earlier, the worst of this situation should be behind us. So long as policymakers can get out of the way and allow businesses to operate uninhibited, there seems little reason not to expect demand to bounce back. 

So when it comes to brand outreach, what are your priorities? Where are smart entrepreneurs spending the majority of their time right now? And what’s the reasoning behind their decisions? 

Build Linkless Mentions

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Nobody quite knows how things are going to play out, so there’s a reluctance in many quarters to spend vast sums of money on digital advertising and PPC. Company bosses that have spare time on their hands, therefore, are keen to find other methods to boost their SEO and get found online. 

Linkless mentions might sound like a total waste of time. Everyone knows that SEO is all about link-building. But recent updates from Google suggest that mentions might be just as crucial for boosting rankings and getting your site onto the first page of results for specific keywords. 

Like the Russian search engine Yandex, Google knows that links aren’t the be-all and end-all of digital marketing. Sure, they help to indicate site quality, but they’re not a guarantee. A lot of sites try to game the system.

Mentions across a broad array of related sites, including social media, could be a better indication of value. If people are talking about you, who cares if they’re taking the time to link to your site? That in itself is sufficient to indicate that you’re providing something fundamentally valuable to people. 

Mentions primarily include any instance where third-parties talk about names, addresses, and products associated with your brand. It could be on their sites, social media, or even on popular publicly-editable sites like Quora. The trick is to create content that gets people talking. 

The more mentions you have, the higher your trustworthiness, and the more known you become. As people flood to your site or discuss your brand online, Google takes notice and considers that in its ranking calculation.

Voice Search Optimization

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If you’re still at a loose end after creating all that juicy content and sharing it with everyone else, you might want to think about voice search optimization. 

Just a few years ago, people laughed at the idea that anyone would optimize search for what people said into their smart speakers. But voice search penetration is on an exponential trend. Companies like Google and Amazon are driving it, owing to their new smart speaker product lines. Estimates suggest that people are now making more than a billion voice queries per month. 

The takeoff of voice search devices has been nothing short of spectacular too. Because of these products, people are getting used to talking to their computers. For some, it has already become second nature. 

Google and other search engines don’t treat voice search differently to typed search – not in any fundamental sense, anyway. However, users typically say different things out loud than when they type into a search box. And that’s where voice search optimization comes in. 

Typically, people are more willing to talk at length when speaking out loud. Typing a long question into a search box is a chore, but saying it out loud is no more difficult than having a conversation. It feels like second nature. 

Any company that specialises in SEO knows that voice search keywords as a massive opportunity. From now on, users are going to use more long-tail searches. And that means opportunities to snap up low-hanging fruit. So long as you can find voice search data, you can tap into this emerging category and use it to your advantage. 

Repurpose Your Old Blog Content For 2020

If you run a mature business, you likely already have a library of content sitting on your site. Here’s some good news: nothing is stopping you from refreshing it for 2020, and getting all the juicy outreach benefits. 

Most companies don’t need to continually churn out new content forever. Instead, they just need to do topics in their purview well. If you wrote something monumental relevant to your industry in 2016, don’t let it wallow in your blog archives. Instead, root it out and see whether you need to change anything to update it. Remember, four years have passed since then and now. You may, therefore, need to upgrade to the latest findings, use more recent statistics, or provide a new section that brings the reader right up to date. 

This task is fundamentally creative, but one that can have powerful results. Removing the old content and republishing it with minor updates immediately grabs Google’s attention. Plus, it saves you the bother of actually having to rewrite the entire thing from scratch – not something you want to do. Just remember to remove duplicate content before you publish the new article, which might lead to cannibalization. 

Copy Adwords Ads For Your Titles And Descriptions

This outreach idea is a little naughty, but it works incredibly well, precisely because ad text is already so optimized. 

Companies know that if they want to get clicks for ads, they have to create compelling copy that will immediately make people click. For this reason, the actual text that you see on these search ads should form the backbone of the blog posts and descriptions you use. 

Start by searching for products or services in your area. Then take a look at the sort of keywords that other firms target in their ads. Scan them for words that seem to have proven benefits (and come up again and again) and then simply use these as a basis for any new material you create. You don’t want to use ad copy verbatim, but it can provide useful and helpful insights into the form your text should take. 

Take Keywords From Your Competitors

This idea follows in a similar vein to the last. The idea here is to pinch the words your competitors are targeting and give them stiffer competition.

The easiest way to do this is by using a keyword tool – something that scans their site and then tells you what they’re targeting. You can also do it manually in search engines to find which specific keywords they are ranking for. 

Fundamentally, you’re trying to do two things when you adopt these strategies. First, you’re looking to see precisely what your customers are looking for when they search for your products and services. And second, you’re drumming up good content ideas that will interest your target audience. 

Use The Word “Because” In Your Email Marketing Header

Psychologists are continually looking for new methods marketers can use to get people to take action based on their marketing. And through their efforts, they’ve found something remarkable and interesting: users are more likely to respond to a query if it contains the word “because.”

It turns out that people are always looking for reasons to say “yes” to things, but marketers don’t always provide them.

When writing an email, put the word “because” in early. Show your audience why you’ve decided to speak with them. Say something like, “I’m writing to you because you showed an interest in our services” – something along those lines!

The word “because” also makes it seem as if you’re reaching out is legitimate. It makes the person on the other end feel like you have a good reason for talking to them instead of just spamming them in the hope that they will respond in a way that you would like. 

With the economy still partially-shuttered, now is a great time to work on your outreach and get things done. Take advantage of it while you can. 

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