Castelli Consulting Unlimited

Legitimizing Artists, Athletes, & Businesses.

What Defines A 'FULL' SEO Strategy?

       Preview of the FULL Approach.

     In order for a brand of any kind to  be successful, one thing is painfully obvious; If you are not visible on Google (or Bing), you might as well be INvisible. So, how can we make sure that your company's name shows up on the front page every time? The answer is actually relatively simple; It simply requires following something I call the FULL approach. 

      If you want Search Engines to take you seriously, it is imperative that your website has a blog. - And, on this blog, it is necessary that your blog contains FULL; 

FULL Stands for the Following... 

                                                                 - Fresh Content.

                                                                                  - Useful Content.

                                                                                                    -  Locational Content.

                                                                                                                              - Linkable Content

Now, Let's Look at 'FULL' In-Detail... 

F Stands for Fresh.

      "Fresh" simply means that you're following a - if not constant- consistent schedule. However, just because your content stays constant, does not mean that it will help you gain traffic. On top of consistency, the content must also be varied. There are generally three major categories you can choose in regard to topics.- And they mirror the 70/20/10 rule mentioned in my blog post about Social-Media Management. The three things you can usually write about without working too hard are; 

     - Informational posts (I.e. "How To's", News-Based Posts, etc.)

     - Social Posts (I.e. Posts about other brands, other people, other sources, etc.)

     - Promotional Posts (I.e. Sales, Loyalty Programs, Etc.)

In so few words, if you can keep your content regularly-updated (approx. 1-2 posts /week) , and also keep it varied, you're already on the right track.


U Stands for Useful.

       "Useful" is, frankly, a very simple aspect of any successful branding blog. 'Useful' means, essentially, that your content, your writing, and your information, actually has meaningful value.  For instance, you own a scuba gear company.- You might post a blog about the 5 best coral reefs in the world. This way, if somebody searches for these reefs, your brand may very-well appear. Another example, if you haven't caught on, could be, you own a fair-trade jewelry brand. - You could post about the 5 most powerful jewelry brands that do NOT engage in fair-trade practices. In this instance, someone may search for one of these brands and happen upon your post & realize that they would much rather purchase from you. See? Simple.


L Stands for Location

       If you want your page to mean anything to google, or bing, you MUST, MUST, MUST write location-based posts. This is literally the easiest thing you can do to draw google, and customers, to your site. I'll make this quick, because, holy hell... it's not difficult.

- A workout brand, etc. : Top 5 Cities for The Workout Junkie According to *Insert your Brand*

Boom. You now have 5 different blog posts you can write. 

For example, The 5th Best City for Workouts - by *Insert* - Then, tell them to come back tomorrow to see #4.

 

- A Preppy clothing line : Top 10 Preppiest Colleges - According to *Coastline Outfitters*

Boom. You can now bring in college students & people searching for preppy clothing near campus.

 

- A Boat Dealership: Top 5 Coastline's For Boating in the United States - By *Insert Brand*

Boom. You can now  become visible to boating enthusiasts from 5 different United States Coastlines. 

 

      As you can see, the opportunities are endless. Find the motivation to write some blogs. Find a little bit of creativity in that brain of yours and, in no time, you'll begin to garner national search recognition for your brand, one blog post at a time.

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The Final L Stands for Linkability.

       Linkability is simple. It's simple if you're posting the right way; and if you have followed the first three letters of FULL, the final "L" is a breeze.

 

       Linkability implies- whether it be on their own websites, or on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. -  people will be willing to share your content. And, if you make your content Fresh, Useful, and, Locational... Linkability will be a piece of cake.

 

Congrats. You are no longer SEO- illiterate.

The Perks of being an Insider. 

How Can We Design An Effective Social-Media Approach?

Let's Check The Stats Before We Begin... 

  • Posts That Use Picture & Video Outperform Posts That Only Use Text.  

  • A Majority Of Users Feel The Most Important Aspects of A Brand's Social-Media Page are ;  1. Fresh Content , 2. Relevant Content , and 3. Attention to Followers.

  • About 50% of Followers Find Their Main Reason For No Longer Following A Brand is "Boring" Content.

Utilizing Picture & Video on Social-Media.

     We understand that pictures and videos outperform posts that only use texts. But this doesn't mean you just go posting pictures and videos at random. Upon examining this data a little more closely, you will see that different kinds of content (video, picture, text) performs better with different kinds of platforms. For example, on Facebook, videos- on average- will be viewed by 8.7% of a brand's audience, Status Updates will be viewed by 5.8%, and Pictures are viewed by only 3.7%. Inversely, on Twitter, tweets with pictures received 35% more engagement, tweets with an image received 26%, and those with #hashtags received 18% more engagement. So, as you can see, adding video and image-based content will provide a boost to all of your social-media platforms... however, there are definite ways to maximize your results. The best way to boost engagement is to utilize the strengths of your platforms. Don't be afraid to use video on Twitter, or to use photos on Facebook, but- if you're looking for engagement boosts- keep in mind the stats.

     One more thing; Visual content, no matter the platform, is 40x more likely to be shared and/or retweeted.

Read that & weep. 

 

Freshness. Relevance. Attentiveness. - Your Social-Media Holy Trinity

1. Freshness

       Freshness, in a nut-shell, means one thing.

And it can be explained in these 3 simple letters; ABP.

A, Always.

B, Be.

P, Posting.

Always. Be. Posting.

     

     Okay... When I say "always", what I actually mean is, between 1-3 times a day, per platform.

- But be careful. 

    Just because I tell you to post 1-3 times a day, doesn't mean you should simply schedule your tweets, posts, pictures, and videos to all show up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram  at the same time. As you can see in the infographic below, there are optimum times to post for each platform. - With Facebook's best times being between 1-4pm, and Twitter's best times being 1pm-4pm on Mondays and Thursdays. 

- A Note: Though it isn't visualized, Instagram's best posting times are between 7pm & 10pm, Thursday - Sunday.

2. Relevance.

     This one is easy. We've mentioned it before and we'll mention it again. If you want to experience consistent growth as a brand, especially in regard to social-media, you'll have to post consistently relevant content. There is no better way to kill social growth than to post random, odd, and off-message content. It is absolutely vital that you manage your brand's social-media presence in a way that is similar to how politicians run campaigns. This means, "controlling the narrative", and "staying on message." Customers need to know who you are, what you sell, and why you sell it. If you start throwing curve-balls, they'll start to become uncomfortable, and you'll inevitably scare them off. The best way to make sure you stay on-message and cement your identity in a customer/follower's mind is to adhere to the 70/20/10 rule; wherein...

 

- 70% of your content is Informational (I.e. "How to's" , Interviews, etc.) 

- 20% of your content is info & posts about/from Other People (I.e. A sport's brand may use quotes from athletes.)

 and... 

- 10% of the content is based on sales, promotions, and specials. 

 

Simply, keep your content reliable, useful, and varied. 

No Curve- Balls.

3. Attentiveness

     Attentiveness, in so few words, is literally the easiest aspect of any social-media strategy. - And it very-well may be the most important aspect as well. So, if this is the case, why do so few brands pay attention to their followers? Maybe, they're too cool. Maybe, they're too stupid. - In my opinion, it's probably a mixture of both. Look, everybody wants to feel important. Everybody wants to be valued. Everybody wants to feel important. There is no better way to make your followers feel all three of these sentiments than to simply reply to them.-  or give them a retweet. 

     When a customer or follower reaches out to you, whether it be through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. , they're doing it for one of two reasons; A. They're happy, or B. They're not happy. - Both, you'll find, are major opportunities to add one more loyal follower to your brand's social-media profile. - Just don't ignore them.

      Whether the follower reaching out to you is happy or mad, they're really only looking for one thing; a response. Happy followers want to be thanked for their loyalty, and unhappy followers want their feet to be kissed. As a result, the method to create a loyalist is simple. Just reply. Tell the satisfied customer that you appreciate them. This can be as simple as replying with a canned...

Boom. This idiot is now in a loyal follower.

      ... As for the unsatisfied customer, they just want to be told that their complaints are legitimate (which they probably aren't) , and that you are willing to do anything to fix it. They say the customer is always right. Anybody that has had any experience in customer service knows that this is false. 

An employee is told that the customer is always right and, in fact, the customer is usually a moron and as asshole
— Larry David

Truer words have never been spoken.

          At the end of the day, every customer just wants to feel valued. If you can make your followers feel valued with a little bit of personal outreach/contact, you have achieved your goal of being attentive. If you can maintain your attentiveness, your brand will begin to gain a reputation as a "company that cares", and there is no better reputation than that.

Wrap-Up.

     To bring it all home; stay fresh, stay relevant, and stay attentive. If you can do all three, while utilizing image-based content, you will see your follower/like count begin to grow in no time. Cultivate interest and loyalty, and your social-media momentum will be unstoppable. 

 

- AC

Why Is A Brand Identity Important & How Can We Build One?

     Who the Hell are You?

     Let's be honest; Your brand has a logo, it has a Twitter, it has a Facebook, and it has an Instagram.- Hell, it even has some customers. However, even after incorporating all of these... "things"... these things that are supposed to reflect the value of a company, you're still not quite comfortable in saying that your brand has an identity. I mean, sure, you have a mission statement- and a slogan too- but, even still, something feels a bit off. Maybe, it's atmospheric pressure, or fluoride in the water... or maybe it's your conscience saying that you- and your company- could do better. Whether you care to admit it, or not, a brand identity is more than a pretty website. It's more than cute pictures and funny tweets. It's more than the founders and the customers. - And, I hate to break it to you, its certainly more than your product. 

     Let me ask you something, do you remember a little device called the Zune? Of course you do. Sort of. Do you remember it because it was cheaper than the iPod? No. Do you remember it because it had FM radio capabilities and the iPod didn't? No. Do you remember it because, instead of Apple's rate of 99 cents a song, it offered a $15 year-long pass to all of the music you could think of? No. Unfortunately, the sad fact is, the only reason you remember the Zune is because the only thing that matched the superiority of its product capability, was the inferiority of its product identity.

As you can see, very clearly, even if your product (or brand) is superior, if it isn't supported by a believable, honest, and powerful, identity, no amount of perks will save it from an underwhelming and, short-lived existence.

Now that we've examined the importance of having a Brand Identity, let's build one. 

I know. I'm pushing your attention span to the limit. So, I'll make it quick. I call this the CPR list because it, almost literally, will breathe life into any brand's (struggling) identity.

1. Consistency

  Though you don't want to become boring, your customers need to know what to expect from you. You need to pick out some pivotal aspects of your marketing and stick to them. Keep them varied enough to be interested, but keep them consistent enough to build a reliable and established customer base. Slogans (or mottos) are a great example of the need for consistency. Sure, you might wake up with a brilliant jingle in your mind every day, but there is a reason McDonald's has stuck with "I'm Lovin' It" for 13 years as well as covering their signs with "Billions and Billions served." You see, McDonald's believes what I believe...

- Slogans are like Martinis. - One isn't enough & three is too many.

Simply put, keep your branding, your message, and your marketing interesting, but not erratic. 

2. Principles

 This one is simple. As a result, it will be short and sweet. If your brand has principles, it means you're being honest with yourself and your customers. You know not only what you make, but why you make it. Nike is successful because it doesn't try to be something it isn't. - This becomes apparent when examining the company's decision to cancel its production of golf equipment. With golf, Nike focused heavily on the what and very lightly on the why.

 When examining your own brand, it must be understood that, without a purpose, without a why, your attempts to create and garner a meaningful following and customer base will almost always fall short.

Simply, nobody buys what you make. - They buy why you make it. So make it matter.

3. Relevance.

   When someone decides to spend their money on your products, they are essentially saying that your brand, your messaging, and your identity is representative of who they are. This is where it becomes immensely important to cater to your targeted audience. 

This is the easiest concept in the book. Find out what makes you different, and if you market correctly, the aspect of your company that makes your brand different is the same aspect that makes your brand relevant. 

The formula is this: Difference + Relevance = Identity. 

The companies with the most powerful identities are the ones that capitalize on their innovations, and turn them into the defining aspect of their brand.

Boom.