On Tuesday the 26th of April, The Candidate attended a digital marketing training masterclass hosted by TheEWord. The event was held in partnership with Google and was hosted at their pop-up digital garage, which had been taking temporary residency at the Manchester Central Library.
The afternoon was designed to help us unlock our full potential when 'Reaching New Customers Online'.
The first half of the workshop was run by theEWord's Daniel Nolan, who provided us with some top tips for tailoring our online presence and engaging with customers. Then we heard from Kleon West, TheEWord's Business Development Director, who delivered an insightful talk on content creation.
The second half of the afternoon was an interactive session presented by Google's Christine Mohamed; helping us understand how to reach new customers online and the different Google applications we can manipulate to aid us in this pursuit.
Upon arriving at the trendy digital hub, we were kindly offered some refreshments and were seated in the intimate, make-shift lecture space. Daniel kicked off proceedings by talking about the importance of discovery.
He discussed the following;
Discovery, coding and meta-data
"If we can fully understand our audience, we can tailor our web presence towards them and then ultimately, we will better engage with them."
Daniel ran through a number of methods and techniques we can use to better understand our audience and how they behave online; such as using Google trends to see how consumers use search engines in the industry or programmes such as Buzzsumo or Followerwonk to see what type of content they engage with the most.
Next he discussed the do's and don'ts of coding and what we can do to ensure our websites are search engine (and Google) friendly!
Finally, he covered the importance of meta-data and how audience focused content, naturally placed key words and relevant internal links can increase your websites rankings and page visits!
Daniel then passed it over to his colleague, Kleon West, TheEWord's Business Development Director, who discussed at length the content marketing process and how it works; even detailing how you can turn Kanye West's next public twitter melt down into a successful content strategy for your company!
He highlighted the importance of creating unique content which not only has personality, but is made visible to the audience at a time and location they would naturally find it.
TheEWord's top 10 tips for improving digital visibility and engaging with customers online:
- Understand your audience- Thoroughly research your market by looking at customer databases, feedback forms, sales records, market research and consumer research to better understand them.
- Get your coding right- Coding is the foundation of any website, so it must be perfect. Have all content in HTML, include important keywords and branding to improve meta-data, keep bounce rates low by having a fast page speed and make the website structurally simple to improve user ease and experience.
- Optimise your meta data- Good meta data will increase your Google rankings and ultimately improve customer traffic. Remember to include a call to action, structure data in a visually attractive manner and provide answers or solutions to customer queries.
- Create engaging content- Include content that is both valuable and original on your landing pages. This could mean including quizzes, testimonials, expert guest articles or infographics.
- Remain relevant- Use tools such as Buzzsumo or Followerwonk to find the key areas of interest for your target audience and then create content around this. Pizza Hut had success with this earlier in the year when they offered Kanye West a job after he publically asked Mark Zuckerberg to help relieve him of his apparent $53M debt on twitter!
- Consistency is key- Build a content marketing calendar with all the topics that address your customer's needs and schedule this taking into account seasons, trends and big changes in the market such as new product launches.
- Amplify content effectively- Distribute content into a space where your audience already spends time; utilising blogs, partnerships, paid promotions and social media as necessary. Consider your audience demographics, for example there is no use advertising holiday homes in Cumbria, to people who live and reside in Devon etc.
- Keep audiences coming back- Publish content regularly, reframe and repurpose content to maintain engagement, share content across different social platforms and at optimal times, tailoring the message to each social network.
- Protect your investment- Work to continually review and improve your site, checking for errors and correcting code and backlinks.
- Improve conversion rates- Constantly test and improve your website to make it more user friendly using CRO. .
Next up was Google's turn and we were left in the capable hands of lead trainer Christine Mohamed. Christine explained how the Googlebot works when scrolling our websites and how we can use the Google features to enhance our customer offering.
"The way consumers purchase goods has been completely transformed due to the rise in popularity of blogs, reviews, company websites and social media. Consumers gather all the information they can before buying, so companies must be easily found in search to make a sale!"
How to use the Google applications to reach customers online:
- Google trends:If you type in key wordsthis will show you the fluctuations in traffic over time, which you can use to build your content around. For example, if there is a peak in search levels for Christmas trees starting in September, why not set up an "Order now, pay in December" offer on your website.
- Google my business:Listing your business on Google can allow local customers to find information such as contact details, business hours and your pin location more easily. You can also add office tours, post content, read customer reviews and gain important insights about your business.
- Google Keyword planner:This can help expand the terms and phrases your audience may be using to search online and help you target your SEO to fit the attitudes of your audience, understanding them better. For examples;searching trainers vs. sneakers.
- Google Search Console:This enables you to see where you rank in search and allows Google to crawl your website, spotting for errors and checking re-directs.
And finally…you're going to want to hear this.
Googlebot's like mobile sites that:
- Are readable without the need for constant zooming.
- Have content that fits the size of screen and doesn't need to be scrolled horizontally.
- Have buttons and links which can be tapped easily, ie. With enough space in between them for people with wider fingers.
- Avoid flash software (as this is less common on mobiles).
We loved how much useful information was packed into one short afternoon session. We will be keeping an eye out for future TheEWord events! Thank you, guys!