Content Marketing & SEO Part 5


Content Marketing & SEO

One size fits all marketing is ineffective

Traditional marketing relied on a theory that one message can connect with a mass audience. The internet helped branding become more multidimensional. Websites can be full of different versions of brands. The one size fits all model was designed to reach a vast market through a numbers game and limited media, but it did not always reach its target market. Today SEO has become a realistic way to develop a significant loyal online community.

Brand Diversity

One of the keys to business survival in the 21st century has been brand diversity. TheBrand Awareness internet has made it easy for a brand to become a package that serves a market with many different niches. By offering many different products instead of one product a brand potentially reaches a much wider market. Each version of a brand can have its own web page using keywords associated with the brand. One of the many reasons for creating many different brand versions is to offer the brand in different languages.

Brand diversity may imply that a conglomerate is the force behind the business, but small businesses can also be diverse. Using creativity, a local business may find reasons to market different product versions to different market segments. The more a brand can offer customization, the more personalized it is and the more it fits the model sought by modern consumers.

Research Beyond Demographics

In the 1990’s demographics played a huge part in the mass marketing of one size fits all products. By selling products to specific target demographics there was a consensus among marketers that everything came down to age groups. Then psychographics became part of marketing that expanded the thinking to include interests and lifestyles as important market factors besides age group. Tech gadgets have been marketed as lifestyle items, in which several different versions fit different lifestyles.

Ever since Google introduced Analytics, the marketing world has gravitated toward this tool and similar traffic tracking programs as a measurement of marketing power. Analytics take the marketer into a world of online behavior, which can reflect how well a website is presented. Now that markets can be studied on a micro level, thanks to SEO and web stats, it’s possible for a marketer of a brand to meet the needs of various markets.

Updated Products

Unlike last century’s products, this century’s products require much more frequent updating, especially when it has anything to do with digital products. One marketing message can no longer summarize a product in a way that meets the needs of modern consumers. Software, books, video games, music and blogs can all be updated seamlessly in the cloud. Even T-shirts can now be designed in the cloud.

Part of SEO involves updating web pages, as search engines favor fresh content. Authoritative blogs that are updated frequently carry heavy weight with search engines. The internet has helped expand the boundaries of branding, giving owners more flexibility in reaching niche markets. All you mostly have to do as a content marketer is write a useful article for each different market you are trying to reach.

Reaching Niches with Content Marketing

The secret to effective content marketing has always been to create unique and compelling content. The beauty of content marketing is it allows you to get indexed in search engines as much as possible when writing about the various niches associated with your brand. While last century’s marketers were mainly concerned with demographics, this century’s marketers have much more data and must think about customers more as individuals than statistics. Take the lead in content marketing by writing about various niches within your market.

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.


Repurposing Content


Repurposing Content for Various Media Formats

Multimedia has been a concept developing for decades to empower creative minds by presenting a message through different forms of communication. Computers and the internet have become the vehicles for accomplishing many multimedia dreams. The amazing power of the computer is that it can now combine video, radio, music, books, slide shows and many other types of media into one platform.

Deciding on Formats

Your computer has become your media center for producing content that can be Repurposing Contentexperienced through several different formats such as video files, audio files, news feeds, text files, image files, HTML and many other things. You don’t really need to know the technical side of multimedia other than how to copy and paste a code into web pages. Understanding basic HTML is a good idea even if you never plan to write code. Then again, if all your web-based solutions will be through easy to use cloud platforms, then all you really need to know is how to click a button that says “upload.”

No longer do you need to worry about the technical headaches and bandwidth issues of hosting your own videos, since you can just upload your videos to YouTube and link to them on your site. Images as well as videos are hosted on Flickr. You can create slideshows with SlideShare. Ebooks can be constructed through cloud platforms such as CreateSpace, Lulu or Libiro. Audio can be recorded and stored on SoundCloud. You can also upload original music to ReverbNation. Each of these platforms allows you to build a digital library for multimedia presentations. Let your imagination guide you on the appropriate forms of media to reach your audience.

Hard Copy Formats

The physical world and digital world can work together in an efficient streamlined manner. While digital publishing is more cost efficient and eco-friendly than print, there are certain times when it’s reasonable to use print to expand your market. It’s also true that CDs and DVDs are wise to manufacture if you know there’s a demand for them. It becomes unwise to manufacture thousands of physical discs if you have no way of marketing or distributing them. You may want to create different versions of your content for each type of media format so that it’s not considered duplicate content by search engines.

The best of both worlds is accomplished when you use an on demand philosophy. If you have 100 requests for your ebook in hard copy form, then it makes sense to print 100 books. You can do the same thing with selling videos as downloads or DVDs or music as downloads or CDs. By interacting with followers on social networks, you will be able to learn the formats in which people want to consume your content. You may want to manufacture a limited number of DVDs and CDs simply to give out free at street fairs and trade shows. Printed flyers are still one of the best ways to get the word out about your business.

Advanced Multimedia

Remember that standing out is always more important than blending in when it comes to content marketing. If your competition isn’t doing anything too amazing with content, then almost any multimedia ideas you come up with will be better. But if your competition presents a lot of videos, photos, audio and ebooks, you might trying taking multimedia to the next level. Creative cutting edge media such as video games, highly attractive colorful infographics and heat maps, animation and interactive technology. Take the lead in content marketing by investing in equipment and software that helps you produce sophisticated, artistic multimedia productions.

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.


Value Based Customer Service


Value Based Customer Service

It has been said that the airlines are one of the primary examples of value based pricing. They have convinced the public that if the person next to them is flying for much less than they are it is because of some factor that we (the passenger in the seat next) could not get because of time or some other nebulous consideration. The airlines have convinced us that we should pay additional to fly with luggage with an increasing rate for 1 bag or 2 bags and a horrendous rate for 3 or more bags. Here have a couple of cookies and a pop … really it’s on us! We seem to accept this and are happy to fly on their airline. 

What they have missed was the unintentional results of this “value based pricing.” As they started to charge for luggage, passengers reduced the larger bags and started using the carry-on.  The value based customer serviceconsequence was the carry-on bag now filled the overhead bins to the extent that the airlines were forced to offer to check your bag for free at the gate. Today you get on a plane and often have to place your laptop bag under the seat rather than into the bin because there is no room. Or you can pay an additional fee for more “value” and jump to the front of the line so you can be the one to get your bags into the overhead bins.

What the airlines have forgotten is the other “value” and that is the value of the passenger who is the customer. It is the customer that pays the fares, the customer which generates the revenue base that allows the airline to schedule the flights.

 The formula is Customer> Value> Price> Cost.  The idea is the customer perceives the value and is willing to pay the price. 

A further unintentional result is the manner in which the employees end up treating the customers.  The culture runs down from the top and when the CEO’s and CFO’s decisions are based upon selling perceived value that philosophy carries over to every department of the company.

A real life example … recently I was flying from Boston to Denver on a United flight. The passengers were herded into Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4. Group 1 boarded and then group 2 and so on until it came to group 4. At that point there was an announcement that the overhead bins on the aircraft were virtually full and it was probable that you would have to check your bags or place them under your seat. One CSR came down to the agent who was checking the tickets and asked if he could announce that people that were willing to check their bags could come forward and they could board right away.  In a loud voice and with complete disdain this agent stated, “I do not do that any longer as the passengers were getting smarter and simply tore the tags off while going down the ramp and then boarded the aircraft with their carry-on in tow.” Of course the cattle in Group 4 were supposed to hear this and be properly chastened, as they were the group that placed the lowest “value” on the flight and as a result were the last group to board the flight. It was a despicable display that treated the airlines customers as worse than second class customers.

The question is how was all of this allowed to come about? We the passengers must take some blame but that is difficult because for the most part all of the airlines do the same. Banks are another example, do it our way or don’t do it at all. This whole value system comes down from the top of the organisations. Pricing executives are hired and moved to the upper floors of the corporation. Value has become king and service moved to the lower realms.

I am not against sales and purchases being made on value.  I am willing to pay what I think/believe something is worth; but it cannot be at the expense of courtesy, dignity and customer service. It cannot be because each company has gone the same route and left the passenger with no choice except to accept they are cattle to be herded into Groups. These same executives that preach value based pricing must also preach excellence in customer service. Every passenger is important and should never be made to feel lesser and unimportant to the airline or any other company. 

I have railed against an airline and in particular United because I had firsthand experience; but the principle remains the same for all business. Price on value and sell on the perceived value, but always remember the basic truth and that is the customer is always number 1.

Starbucks does it well … ever paid for their coffee? You are paying for the experience and the perceived value and you are treated well.  Airlines and banks figure it out and do it better.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.


For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Content Marketing Providing Useful Solutions


Content Marketing : Providing Useful Solutions

Your job as a thought leader is to pinpoint problems and offer time saving or money saving solutions. Around that core dimension you can add a wide variety of elements to your storytelling. Bloggers who don’t offer solutions tend to get discarded into the space of forgettable internet history, which is by no means a lonely place. There are  more blogs that fail than succeed, but the winners are the ones who make life better for others.

Challenging Common Thought

One way to enter the realm of online problem solving through blogging is to analyzeContent Marketing current market conditions and evaluate trends with the intent to be critical of the ones that don’t really matter. If you study the music industry you’ll find that many trends have been nothing more than well executed marketing schemes. Certain genres  or artists have remained a continuum through multiple generations, such as the Beatles, whereas certain trends have had short life cycles before burning out.

Figure out the difference in your field between long term mainstays and short term trends. Don’t be afraid to criticize short term trends because it can help build your track record in the long run. Embrace established order that you probably can’t change and pick apart the quick rise and fall schemes that are fragile and aren’t worth defending, especially if they add up to big expenses over time. Consider how the SEO schemes of a decade ago are now outdated and could have been costly for followers who latched onto them. You can demonstrate thought leadership by helping readers learn to see through popular myths.

Identifying Problems

Every business or industry has limitations, which many times are swept under the mat. Businesses tend to hide their problems from public view for branding reasons. You don’t necessarily have to single out any competitors, but you can gain an advantage in your content marketing by developing a list of customer “pain points,” which are any scenarios that create uncomfortable problems for consumers regarding products or services.

Even if you do not have readily available solutions to specific problems, take note of them anyway. Create a list of pain points as long as possible because every single one of them can be turned into a compelling blog at some point. Rank the pain points by severity and by your ability to resolve them at least through ideas. You many not have the resources to develop product solutions, but that doesn’t have to stop you from establishing yourself as a thought leader. Eventually you may come across partners who can help create such products.

Offering Solutions

Content marketing at its best is about offering useful solutions that improve an industry and consumer experiences. Your ability to provide solutions in your blogs can be enhanced through inspiration and brainstorming. Inspiration can come from art, movies, music, books, sports or other areas of pop culture. Solutions do not always come from the top geniuses on the planet. Many times they surface as a result of group discussions or ideas triggered during a game or activity.

Solutions are powerful topics in your blogs because not only can they win the loyalty of online customers, they can also get the attention of possible business partners or even the media. Newspapers and TV news reporters crave covering new ideas and inventions, because it helps build their own images as thought leaders. Search engines are waiting to rank web pages, especially blogs, that provide answers that their users are searching for.

Take the lead in content marketing by offering blogs that speed up people’s quest for resolving difficult matters.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Content Marketing – Thought Leadership


Content Marketing – Thought Leadership

The core objective that determines whether or not content marketing will be worth the enormous amount of time and effort is thought leadership. Are you able to become a thought leader in your field or are you more comfortable with being a follower? If you just want to be a follower you will inevitably be overshadowed in search rankings by more creative competitors. Thought leadership is about assuming command and determination in your industry at creating a huge community of followers.

Modern Expertise

Traditionally, leadership in general in our culture was reserved for the few who chose Content Marketing - Thought Leaderspaths through higher education or may have already been born into powerful circles. Rarely were mainstream people expected to become heads of big corporations or invent products that change the world. Experts were considered individuals with degrees from prestigious universities, professors, high profile business leaders and people with years of experience in their trade. Authors of books released by major publishers gained similar credibility.

Thanks to Google and other search engines, the definition of “expert” now includes a longer list of people who might not have those traditional qualifications that define expertise. Apple innovator Steve Jobs also inspired a new culture of people who want to change the world. These inspiring tech pioneers elevated the confidence of many people to pursue innovation as a vehicle for attention and respect. It’s now ok to go against the status quo and offer new ideas to improve systems and products. People who inform and inspire others online with original content are now called thought leaders.

Gaining a Competitive Edge

Study your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You may not be able to counter their strengths but you may find creative ways to counter their weaknesses. Perhaps they have limitations that are short-sighted. Even if you do not have the means to offer a better product you can still use their weaknesses to your advantage by commenting on them. Look for weaknesses that you can be the first to comment on and offer ideas for improvement.

If you can develop a steady stream of ideas that can improve your industry, you can take the lead in content marketing by utilizing business blogging. One rant isn’t going to change the world much, but a series of well thought out blogs can at least start to attract like minded followers who can convert to customers. As OTR Web Solutions President Ian Conklin has said, “clients want to believe they found you .. not that you found them.” 

Blogs are important because search engines regard them as potentially authoritative and prioritize them in rankings. That’s how many people end up connecting with thought leaders.

Video Credibility

Making informative videos adds to your credibility as a thought leader. YouTube has become the new encyclopaedia for people to gain knowledge quickly from trusted thought leaders. While blogs are meant to be personable written journalism, video can be even more personable and memorable. Now that online video has become so popular, a huge body of evidence is showing that people are more likely to remember what they see in an online video than what they read in a book. One reason for this phenomenon is that viewers can start and stop videos whenever they want.

The ability for people to learn from video has accelerated the time frame of learning curves in our society. The more you can inform people in videos, the more they will regard you as a helpful thought leader and want to check out more of your videos. Sharing your videos on social networks will help increase views.

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Creative Content Marketing Ideas


Content Marketing – Ideas for Creative Content

Content marketing is all about storytelling. Without this major ingredient, the recipe is flawed. It’s about connecting with people and building an audience that’s already searching for the topic in search engines with keywords. All you need to do is expand on those keywords and turn them into stories that you can share through different media, such as your website, blog, newsletter and social media profile.

Several formats can be used for content marketing. Essentially, it involves whatever typecontent marketing is all about telling your story of multimedia you’re comfortable with. Content can be created and shared in the form of text, audio, images, charts, info-graphics, videos or innovative new types of media. Many successful campaigns are built on a large quantity of text mixed with graphics or other media.

Planning Ahead

The first step to contenting marketing is mapping out the universe of possibilities for content ideas. Like keywords, start with general concepts and move toward specific detail. Creating outlines will help guide you to expanding on content because outlines will tell you where the story is leading.

Before setting out on this adventure of producing material, do some research and experience for yourself your topics. Gather information and organize it in a way that’s easy to use for your own reference purposes. Some people create different word documents for different topics and store them in one folder on their computer. Others like to create multiple folders stored in one folder.

Evergreen Content

Plan on creating evergreen instead of static content. Evergreen means something that will always be fresh for the people who discover it the first time, as opposed to content that becomes dated. Almost any subject can be treated in an evergreen style.

Evergreen content can be achieved if you tell a story in an historical context. In other words, the statement “gas prices are $3.50 per gallon” will become outdated, whereas the statement “gas prices hovered around $3.50 per gallon in 2013” is more of a timeless fact that will always have relevance as a time marker.

The reason you want to present your content in an evergreen style is that it saves you the work from eventually changing or eliminating content. Once web pages are created they become part of Google’s index. Even though Google encourages fresh content, they still give old web pages high rankings if they present useful information.

Problem Solving

Think about the buying cycle of your customer. Plan stories that will lead to when it’s right to buy your service or product. Important components of storytelling should be about problems and solutions. Make a list of what your customers tend to complain about. You can do this by studying existing reviews on sites within your industry. Create stories that address these issues.

Tell your story in a conversational manner, even if what you are selling is technical. Content marketing is all about humanizing your brand as opposed to last century’s marketing strategy for bigger than life mystique. Figure out how to tell the same stories in different ways so that you can recycle content that links together. Pay attention to word count and try to get it up to several hundred words per page.

Original ideas

Make your content as original as possible, which helps search rankings and your credibility with followers. Some of the ways to craft original content are to write about your historical perspectives, interviews with experts and lists of tips for efficiency. Check what your competitors are doing and do something different. Write about what the industry needs to improve. Give your readers something they can be excited about so that they’ll share it with friends.

Take the Lead in Content Marketing – Access the OTR eBook on Remarkable Content

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


What is a Landing Page and Why Do I need One


 What is a Landing Page and Why Do I need One

A landing page is not just any page in a website. It’s a crucial page that can make or break your marketing campaign. And by extension, it can help or hurt your sales.

This is why professionals spend hours poring over landing pages. They don’t stop at stunning pages. Testing and tweaking are part of their job too. The result of their hard work is a perfect landing page that converts well for a long time.

Take the lead now by creating landing pages that convert.

What Exactly is a Landing Page?

Your website’s home page is a landing page. But it can also be any other page where visitors are prompted to make a specific action or result. An effective landing page contains a lead form for obtaining a visitor’s information. It can be a simple email campaign page where visitors are promoted to fill out a form with their name and email address. Or it can be a detailed data capture form with more than four fields.

What Can You Get from a Good Landing Page?

You may have seen hundreds of landing pages already. The question is, are they any good? Have all of them convinced you to sign up or give up some of your personal information? Realize that only a handful of them are effective. So if you’re going to design a landing page, make sure it’s a good one to get all of these benefits:

Increased Conversion Rates

Targeted landing pages are likely to raise your chances of converting traffic into leads. They can, for instance, encourage visitors to sign up and receive product offers and recommendations from your company. You can personalized these offers and recommendations so that prospects are likely to buy.

Establish Lasting Relationships

Of course, landing pages can prompt actions other than buy this or proceed to checkout. When people fill in a form, they are at the same time entrusting their personal details to your company. This comes with caveat of course. Never ever break their trust. Send them useful stuff only. Make friends with them through helpful information and irresistible offers.

Getting people’s trust and actually making money out of your marketing efforts are two compelling reasons to craft an high-converting landing page. Don’t worry if you’re not a designer, you only have to familiarize yourself with winning landing pages and understand the basics.

What Makes Landing Pages Effective?

You don’t need technical knowledge to create a good landing page. But you do have to be brilliant at the basics. Here’s how.

>Less is more, especially in design. So keep your design clean and simple. This will help visitors focus on the product you’re offering or call-to-action. Your design should make it easier for visitors to focus. Anything unnecessary will only distract your visitor from completing an action.

>Make it easier for visitors to thoughtfully consume content. Use enough white-space for them to think. Doing so will help them make sense of what your product or service is about. You don’t rush them into buying and regret their purchases later. But you do give them the necessary push to buy or get something valuable.

>Create responsive landing pages or design for multiple platforms: full-size and 11-inch monitors, mobile and tablet screens. The percentage of users using smartphones and tablets for researching and buying is rising. Don’t miss out on these opportunities.

>Hire a professional copywriter who perfectly understands your business and your target audience.

>Use relevant images and videos. Also, be wary of using stock photos. Use fresh, relatable and unique photos instead.

 Take the Lead with our free 48 page eBook – How To Use Landing Pages For Business

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


What Bartending Taught Me About Branding


Bartending – Branding

I moonlight as a bartender and I absolutely love it. I’m very good at it and make great tips. I reasoned that I was excelling at it because I have product knowledge and I understand the art of mixing flavors. I figured that those skills, combined with my quick bartending brandingwit were responsible for my success. Then I noticed that a group of customers were following me even when I changed bars. The fact that they would ask when I was working and show up on those days got me to thinking. (Though I admit, being a bar industry type, I was inclined to attribute my Bar Star status to my awesomeness! It just had to be my awesomeness, rugged good looks, or then again, maybe it was simply my humility that was bringing them in!)

After speaking with a wonderful couple who are a pair of my regulars, I discovered that I had actually created a brand for myself without realizing it. A brand which included not only my beverage knowledge and mixing creativity, but also the newsboy hat that I love wearing, plus an element which I soon discovered was the key to it all.

Bartending – Branding: The ‘Why’ Factor

What makes me a good bartender is also part of what makes me tick in other areas. I realized that when I’m behind the bar (and other places for that matter) my desire is to facilitate a unique and positive experience. Stepping back and figuring out why I do what I do was really eye opening. My “look” and attitude behind the bar all serve a single purpose. They are meant to provide my customers with the experience they are looking for. Be it a first date, an anniversary, or simply a chat and a beer after work, my goal is always to have my PEEPS leave in a better state than when they came in. This is my ‘why’. If I am successful, they will come back again and again.

Integrating Your Personal ‘Why’

Discovering why I do what I do behind the bar helped me really uncover and fine-tune my brand. Now, in every endeavor I undertake I ask myself this question: “Why do I do this?” By discovering the ‘why’, I am able to fine-tune my personal brand and the brand of the business or individual I am working with. This helps them take the lead in their industry and achieve their immediate and long term goals.

Working behind the bar, the goals of the customer are very often time sensitive. That being the case, I like to read their body language and converse with them to discover their ‘why’ for the visit. Once this is established, I mesh my ‘why’ to theirs and we become a team with a common goal which has more tools to accomplish these goals. Once I discovered this formula, I realized that it is easily transferable to clients I work with on marketing and branding. My goal is always for them to have the best possible experience and to help them take the lead.

The Benefits

By seeking out the ‘why’ first, we build a solid foundation together for the project. This will then facilitate an upbeat and efficient process – which in turn yields positive results. There is also the strong likelihood of exceeding the expectations set out at the beginning of the project. Behind the bar, in marketing, or in any other industry, establishing a good relationship leads to the all-important Satisfied Customer and repeat business is a consequence. A satisfied customer is a delighted customer, and we all know that delighted customers are the best promoters of you and your business.

The Silver ‘Re’ Cap

  • Discover ‘Why’ you do what you do
  • Integrate your ‘Why’ with your businesses ‘Why’
  • Build your brand around ‘Why’

Social Media is a Conversation


Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development and content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.


Brand Marketing Strategy


Brand Marketing Strategy

Expand Your Brand Content

After you’ve envisioned your brand marketing strategy by plotting a series of newsworthy stories on your calendar, you can move a step further by expanding yourbrand marketing strategy web content in various directions to give your sitemap much more depth. Search engines love sites with hundreds of pages of deep valuable content. They keep updating their algorithms to favor such sites while pushing thin content sites down the rankings. Avoid expanding too quickly for the sake of quantity so that the search engines don’t write you off as a spammer. Instead, grow productively and thoughtfully with quality content.

Provide Detail

One way to expand your web content is to provide deeper details of items you’ve already written about. Let your sitemap guide you as an overall outline for your website. Not every page needs to be linked to the “master sitemap,” which can provide links to sections that have more thorough indexes. The architecture of your website should be set up so that each broad section has its own folder. Within these folders are subfolders for deep links to pages that house more detailed content. Think of your website as a tree that never dies. Its root is the main directory, which encompasses different sections, including a sitemap, which also links to various sections, which lead to deeper links.

Try not to get too scientific about SEO since it’s never been an exact science and its guidelines keep changing through search engine updates. One thing that has been consistent through all these changes has been search engines reward high quantity sites with high quality pages while almost every other type of website has been punished somewhere along the way. High quantity/low quality doesn’t work and neither will a five page website of any quality compete well with a high quantity/high quality site. Quality is measured by the information you provide that can be objectively determined as useful information to online users. Sites like Google know exactly what types of information are in demand.

Ideas for Unique Content

Unique content can be easily created through uniqueness on perspectives, exclusive data, product demonstration tips, historical facts and customer reviews. Videos have become very important to many industries now that YouTube has become a vast library of free video content. By creating educational videos, even with bare minimum quality video equipment, you can engage viewers and offer transcriptions at the same time that double the impact in search engines. Make a point to capture footage of any public events or interviews that you do and then use them to link with various angles of the same topic in your blogs and articles.

Your brand marketing strategy will naturally manifest from expanded content that’s meaningful to your followers. Focus some of your videos, blogs and articles on company personalities who can share the brand narrative to the online community. Let people become familiar with humans who work for your company by offering details to their backgrounds, which fosters familiarity, giving customers a more personalized feel of your business.

Give Industry Commentary

Let your most knowledgeable and articulate experts have a voice on your site. If you’re a one person company don’t be afraid to share your personality with the world, which can make your brand more human and memorable. Comment about your industry’s past, present and future. Discuss the industry’s strengths and weaknesses. By providing a timeline of your industry’s development, you can educate your customers and gain trust in many ways, especially if no one else is doing it. Crystalize your brand marketing strategy by researching unanswered questions in your industry and offer new ideas.

Take the Lead – Download our eBook On How To Use Pinterest for Business

Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Branding Strategy Blogs


Branding Strategy Blogs

Plan a Series of Stories

One of the most forward thinking branding strategies is to use a calendar to schedule stories about your brand. These stories will appear as blogs, articles or videos on yourbranding strategy blogging website. You may even consider writing eBooks that are also available in print on demand. Instead of waiting for the media to tell your story, tell your own story with all your new media tools. Remember that storytelling is what sells products these days.

Story Ideas

Writing a story about something you created is much easier than writing one about someone else’s creation. The story does not need to follow many rules other than it needs to be appealing and rewarding to your followers. The stories do not have to take the form of a book or a DVD. The most important thing is that they represent an evolution of your brand with a continuous stream of fresh content. Use your imagination – the key to branding strategies – to shape the stories.

One idea to get the project rolling is to use a calendar as your roadmap. The story does not have to have a beginning, middle and ending or have a certain number of chapters. It can just be a series of announcements or a series of events. The calendar will simply assure that you are doing something regularly to update your brand for online users who are always hungry for fresh content. You might plan an exciting event once per month and create 12 chapters for a yearbook that documents your brand’s evolution for the year. The events can be public parties, seminars, webinars, meetings, interviews or messages about product development.

Newsworthy Stories

Ideally, you want to craft newsworthy stories that can become press releases. Planning a year’s worth of stories, whether they are weekly or monthly, will help keep your brand visible in the media without paying a cent. One way to do that is to be involved with charity or public service events. Television stations and newspapers like to cover such events because they raise their own credibility with the community. You may not be able to come up with twelve news stories for the year, but you can probably come up with three or four and simply build the series of stories around those main events.

Many news stories increasingly come from public relations firms who are hired to promote brands. The PR firm might be hired to help a battered company restore its image through a positive news story. Use the same principle to be your own PR firm and craft stories designed to strengthen your brand’s image. One of the most common branding strategies that gets news coverage is when a research firm conducts an interesting study such as a public opinion poll that calls attention to trends that affect certain brands. News outlets like to documents trends, especially those confirmed by studies that produce approval percentages and other statistics.

Focus on Genuine Events

Planning a series of stories to elevate your brand does not mean fabricating truth or trying to create false impressions. That’s the type of thinking that can backfire and become exposed by critics unless there is obvious artistic intent. The newsworthy stories you create should be legitimate events that become part of your brand’s history. What you are really doing is developing your own documentary. It can be dramatic and entertaining but remember that its purpose is to boost credibility and increase interest in the brand. Be careful not to promise what you cannot deliver. By planning ahead you will not have to worry about where your claims will lead.     

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Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

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