What does the Death of Guest Blogging Mean for Online Marketing

Last week saw Google exec Matt Cutts take to the internet to announce the death of guest blogging. At the EBS Marketing blog we wonder what does this means for online marketing?

Google engineer Matt Cutts took to his own personal blog to answer a whole host of questions about the role of Google right now. In his post he took the time to speak about the role of guest blogging on the modern internet. He basically said that it has no role.

So what did he mean by this. He basically talked about it in relation to Google. Many modern online marketing techniques focus on Google, as they should. This is because many people Google what they want rather than directly looking for it.

This means that any modern company has to be on page one for their service. They need this so that potential customers will see them when they search for the service in question.

In online marketing we use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to do this. This is where you use the keyword people are searching for in your content. Google registers this keyword and takes it to mean that your site, post, etc. is relevant to the search in question. This means your post, site etc. then rises up the Google rankings

This is why guest blogging has become so popular in online marketing. Blogging itself is a great way to boost you up the Google rankings. Therefore guest blogging is a time effective way of broadening your outreach. However this type of blogging leaves itself open to spam content.

This contradicts Google’s recent initiatives to combat bad SEO practices. Basically Google has become increasingly concerned with making sure that content is actually relevant to the search term in question; this is why they’ve developed algorithms such as Panda  and Hummingbird. It’s also why they’ve cracked down on guest blogging- it’s penchant for spam content means that the content isn’t always relevant.

Cutts’ himself explains it in his blog post. He says that “guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.” However he further goes on to say that he “wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well.”

At EBS Marketing this is quite clear; don’t guest-blog, you can’t ever really know where the content is coming from and if it is spam laced. However you should still blog. Blog’s that are relevant and context specific still rank, and rank well. It’s all about trust.

Therefore if you want to use blogging effectively in your online marketing strategy, blog yourself. It’s only going to work as an effective online marketing strategy if you trust the content and there’s nobody you can trust more than yourself.

LINK TO INFO: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/

Nostalgia as Online Marketing Device

In the world of online marketing the industry often goes by the mantra that newer is always better. By the very definition of the fact that marketing has been moved online, they are embracing this rule.

However in the opinion of EBS Marketing newer isn’t always necessarily better. We aren’t talking about the tools we use for online marketing here; we’re talking about marketing content.

Today (Thursday 2nd January), it has been announced that a whole host of classic video games from the 70’s and 80’s have been put online into an  internet archive ready and waiting for people to play.

On its own this isn’t news that the online marketing community would necessarily be interested in. However it is part of a larger trend of the consumer public looking towards the past for its entertainment and inspiration.

Look at the last decade in fashion for example. How many of the trends that graced the catwalks and high streets found their origins in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s? Look at TV. How many shows have looked to past genres and decades to become a success?

Marketing in recent years has also taken advantage of this too. Look at the popular 118 118 ads that ran through Big Brother for example. They took advantage of a popular 70’s image and played on it to capture people’s attention.

This is why nostalgia works as a powerful marketing technique. It plays on people’s individual pasts, their memories. It uses fond memories of happier times. It plays on this to associate those happy memories with the product in question.

So it makes sense that this should be moved online. We’ve seen in the past decade that nostalgia orientated marketing techniques are powerful. It’s these adverts that the rest of the world discuss around the water cooler the next morning. We’ve also seen the power of online marketing. The whole world is moving online, it’s where the potential and opportunity is.

So it makes sense to marry them to create something even better. Innovation as a concept is based around this principle. People take what is already there and improve it, make it better, so that the advantages of the old way are highlighted, not left to fall to the wayside.

This is why the nostalgic online marketing technique works. It takes what we love, what has worked in the past and reinvents it. It takes what we love and repackages it. It really proves that it pays to rely on what you know.

Is Bing an Alternative to Google?

EBS Marketing recognises that we increasingly seem to be coming to rely on Google in online marketing. With this in mind we wanted to ask is Bing an alternative to Google that we can utilise in online marketing?

The BBC featured an article on this very subject this week and they brought up some interesting points. They basically alluded to the fact that Google is a major element in modern life in 2013.

It quoted a whole host of statistics. These centered on the fact that despite all the branching out they’ve done over the years, they’re still basically a service that makes its money through its search engine.

It quotes some impressive figures. These include the fact that 90% of UK-based desktop searches and 92% of mobile searches in June, according to net analysis provider Statcounter, were conducted on Google  It also quoted 78% figure for US desktop searches and similar statistics for popular markets such as China, Europe, South Korea and Russia.

The implications of this are obvious. In the modern world you need to have your online marketing campaign register on a search engine. This is because modern consumers don’t look specifically for web addresses. They search what they want using search engines.

If 90% of desktop based searches in the UK are conducted via Google in the UK this tells us one thing about Google. This is that is that if you want to have an effective online marketing campaign in the UK, it needs to rank on Google.

So is there a viable alternative to Google? Google dominates the market; it’s a veritable monolith of the internet. However the BBC article seems to point to Bing as a growing alternative.

Bing certainly doesn’t have the star power of Google; nothing does right now. However the article does point out that Bing is growing every day. The article argues that even though it only boasts a 20th of the search traffic of Google; it is the growing rival of Google. It points to innovations such as photograph technology and social media aspects to explain this.

So this doesn’t mean that you should be using Bing as an alternative to Google. However it does mean that you should be using it in tandem with Google. It’s a growing search engine and in this modern world of online marketing, you need all the help you can get to reach as many people as possible.

The Beyoncé Technique: Not So New After All

Last month the world of marketing was shocked by Beyoncé. Out of the blue she suddenly decided to release an album. No promotion, just a release of 14 new tracks and 17 new videos.

Since that day in December many in the industry have taken to hailing Beyoncé as a genius. The album has sold tremendously well. Indeed at the EBS Marketing blog we’ve explored and analysed what went into this marketing ploy.

However what people seem to be forgetting is that the technique the singer employed is hardly new. It may be new in the album business, but the idea that you can surprise people and make money is one that has been used as a key part of various marketing strategies for years.

We see this in business throughout the years. We see it in media, we see it in entertainment. We see it in various sectors of society. Apple is probably one of the clearest examples of the use of secrecy in marketing. They actively punish people who give away product details before their release.

Another example is popular TV shows. Execs will do anything to keep the various shock plot twists that feature in their programmes a secret. You hear about people being fired all the time for giving away top secrets. It’s a constant battle.

What Beyoncé has done isn’t to teach us something new. It has rather been to remind us of what we already know, to reteach us the value of secrecy in online marketing.

So what is it that makes secrecy such as powerful online marketing technique? We often spend so much time and money on building up hype on online platforms that it seems to go against everything online marketing stands for.

However with a quality product, it doesn’t. That’s the key. Beyoncé’s method worked because she is Beyoncé. Apple’s products sell because they are Apple. You have to have a reputation for delivering quality and you have to follow through on it.

From here the product does the work for you. The shock value of the surprise from a person or company with a reputation gets the ball rolling. The product itself keeps said ball rolling. People turn to social media sites and blogging sites and do the marketing for you. It’s like your outsourcing the online marketing to the customer itself.

This reminds us at EBS Marketing that the tactic of keeping details a secret is one that has to employed carefully. It has to be calculated. If the secret isn’t going to make big news, then there’s no point in keeping it a secret in the first place.

Online Marketing: The Silent Approach?

When it comes to online marketing there are various techniques that can be used to craft an effective marketing strategy. It really is a very versatile field.

You can craft eye catching YouTube videos that delight and amaze. You can reach out to your audience on every social media site going and hook in millions of fans. You can blog about every subject under the sun, yet sometimes, the silent approach works better.

So what do us at EBS Marketing mean by the silent approach? We don’t mean doing nothing online; otherwise it wouldn’t be an online marketing strategy. What we mean is the element of surprise. The element of surprise can actually be extremely powerful in online marketing.

Why though? Why would keeping quiet about something then promoting it work? Let’s look at the release of Beyoncé’s new album this month to find the answer. Nobody knew it was coming. It has been announced by the record label that it was in the works, but nobody expected the release of it anytime soon.

Then the album suddenly hit. The 13th December saw the announcing of the album and she really went all out for it. She crafted clips for every single track that dominated YouTube. It was promoted like crazy on social media. It dominated gossip column inches that day. Everyone was talking about it. She certainly knows her stuff.

It’s important to note here that this only works because she’s already a celebrity. She couldn’t have marketed herself this way online if she’d been at the beginning of her career. People wanted to know what she was up to, so she hyped them up by not giving anything away. Then she made sure they knew exactly what she was up to.

This teaches us a valuable lesson about both online marketing and life in general. It really is all about timing. You roll out the campaign too early, and then it might not appeal to potential consumers in the right way. You roll it out too late and it might simply pass them by.

It also teaches us about using the art of building anticipation in online marketing. Keep them guessing get them excited.  You can’t give the game away until they really want to know what it is.