Just before Google’s 15th birthday a seismic change to how Google performs search had been introduced to the world. Coined as the “hummingbird”, the algorithm is designed to focus on precision and speed when it comes to search query results. An algorithm is the formula Google uses to sort web pages and digital assets in order to return the best results or SERP’s. (Search Engine Results Pages).
The major emphasis is to deliver semantic search and as opposed to the previous algorithms that focused on keywords or search terms, the new algorithm will pay intelligence to user intent. Google is making a play to increase its dominance as a search engine authority by focusing on the intelligence of search as opposed to providing results on search. A sentence, a phrase, conversation, context are all being considered when delivering the results as opposed to just search terms. In short Google’s Hummingbird is applying search intelligence on a user query.
Companies now have an even bigger playing field from a contextual perspective to sell a unique selling proposition. Strategically content managers can now focus on delivering more context to products and services than just the usual element of white noise and trying to gain authority by keyword placement. The intelligence factor will allow calls for social media, engagement, and social influence to play its part in gaining authority when deploying a content strategy.
While content or inbound marketing has been the poster child for the last few years when it comes to digital trends, the semantic language on how search is being looked at calls for an even bigger outlook on contextual marketing and making content sexy. While much can be said about the white noise also called “crap” that being shoveled online, Google will focus on quality content which will open the digital playground to a smarter way we deliver and view content.
The introduction of the ever-increasing voice search, and smart phone usage rising will cause the algorithm to embrace such advancing technology by making search easier, faster and even more accessible. Companies will be forced to start paying attention to the quality of web pages, the clarity in messaging as well as the user journey as opposed to the traditional approach of putting it out there and hoping for the best. Much focus will be put into a website architecture and overall page performance going forward.
The Knowledge graph and local search will play a huge role where quality content delivers an authority as opposed to just content. As a business we will need to focus on the intent, needs, wants, solutions and problems to our audience as opposed to just ranking for authority.
My good friends Andrew McGivern and Bob Garlick have just started up a new series of Maven Interviews and recently invited me to come on their show to discuss context marketing. Now everyone knows some of my talks on content however my take on context marketing is a recent finding and a game changer. Bob asked me some great questions and I ended up defining digital story telling and recent trends in the content market.
The big take away is writing content is no longer just for authority but also for influence. I highlighted the importance of the web user journey and how that impacts conversion. We covered elements of inbound marketing. I think this was one of my most relaxed interviews and the answers were unscripted. I really had a ton of fun on this interview with Bob.
You can review this awesome interview by clicking on the Maven Podcast.
One of my favourite things to do is networking. There are so many interesting people in the world, and the more events you get to, the likelier you are to meet the people that will make a difference in your life and business. It’s also great to do a bit of people watching while at these events, to see how other people approach networking.
It can become pretty obvious when someone is a little too eager to try and sell themselves or their business, and it can turn people off quickly. I’ve always been a firm believer that your initial few minutes of meeting someone should include trying to connect with them on at least one of these fundamentals: vision, value or purpose. Once you have a connection it will be easier to have a natural conversation about what you do, what services you may offer, and if you think you have something to offer them.
But when people come out of the gate sounding like gypsies selling a magical snake oil remedy that you can’t live without, that chance to have an authentic connection is lost. It’s more important to build the value of your fundamentals than to claw desperately at a chance to make some money. In this life I’ve learned it’s not always about what I know, but who I know, so I try hard to avoid coming off as a snake oil salesman, instead searching for meaningful interactions that leave all parties involved feeling like they’ve gained something. This has proven to be an effective method for me time and time again. And the more I practice it, the more the opportunity to collaborate with different people presents itself.
So instead of looking at your next networking event as a chance to sell, sell, sell, remember that connecting with people and showing them who you really are is the most effective secret weapon to assist in selling yourself or your business.
Balance is talked about a lot these days, and it can mean very different things to everyone. When I think about balance in my work and life I relate it to managing the time I spend on any one thing. This can be challenging in this busy world we live in, but if you manage your time effectively you will be more productive in the end.
For example, when I have a meeting or a call with a client its important to me that I make sure we do not go over the planned time commitment. This way I won’t have to sacrifice the time I need for other tasks. While it’s ideal to believe I’ll never spend more time with someone than I scheduled, it’s not always realistic, so I make sure to not over schedule myself in a single day or time block. This way the extra 15 minutes here and there won’t throw an entire schedule off kilter!
Balancing your time to increase productivity also has a lot to do with distractions. Take some time to identify which distractions are your kryptonite. Things like social media, TV and email or web surfing are the biggest culprits for most people, so start to assess how much time you “numb out” with these kinds of mindless activities….woops, there goes 2 hours! If you genuinely need to use social media, email or web to do your work, then make sure you have clear and achievable goals for that time you invest, so you’ll be able to identify if suddenly you’ve wasted too much time.
This plays right into the reasoning for having an agenda, and I do mean an agenda in mind and on paper. I’ve always found that when I’ve got my time mapped out in a physical agenda it keeps me accountable and realistic about how much I can cram in to one day. This is also effective for preventing mind wandering, and scatter brain habits of thinking.
But the single most important idea I’ve come to accept is that time for personal growth and living a full life is critical to overall balance of my well-being. Too much work can burn you out, too much play can slow you down. It’s all about the balancing act.
I recently sat down for a drink with my good friend fondly called “Skim” who is a PR marketing genius. We share similar immigrant backgrounds and stories and decided to talk about how we are building our personal brands in Vancouver. I gently said, ” It’s not what you know but rather who you know!” Skim then responded, ” It’s not what you know, It’s not who you know but rather who knows you!” This statement hit a strong chord with me and my mind started just going in so many different directions. In fact this statement has been on my mind for the past few weeks.
So last week I decided to put this to the test with some amazing results. I decided to talk to influencers that knew me well to explain what my goals were and where I want to go. Today was a great day for karma. My influencers became my heroes and put me in touch with decision makers, bigger influencers and movers and shakers. I have had three call this evening and two of which are introducing my brand and speaking to a market I haven’t tapped into or cracked. The third call was a referral with a huge celebrity in Canada that I have been on the phones with for the past few weeks.
The lesson here – People you know have the power to influence your brand by putting you in touch with people who need to know about your brand, your story or what you have to offer.
My friend Skim was absolutely right, “It’s who knows you in this big city that can make all the difference!”
My strongest recommendation is genuinely build and nurture relationships. Give back to people who may not be your customers and let them know more about you. The biggest gift a friend can do for you is to become your hero by promoting you or connecting you with someone they know! Who do you know that can help influence you? Who knows of you? Questions to ponder and figure out!
On January 31st 2012 I founded a local Meet up group called the Internet Marketing Thinktank in Vancouver, British Columbia. The group was designed to provide entrepreneurs, businesses and the corporate crowd to learn, connect and take action. In the past 18 months we have held various types of events, mixers, panels and conferences. Most of all our content is always free and geared towards fresh and current trends as well as a plethora of resources.
I was so proud to see the meet up grow and hit the 500th member earlier in July. The meet up is starting to turn into a high impact business community with so many different backgrounds and experiences. The last three events have been growing and I am pleased to say that we have been having full house events with high turnouts for our monthly events.
Where do we go from here? The answer is simple, we will continue to stand out and bring out some of the industries most talented and knowledgable speakers with the intention of keeping our content current and resourceful. We will also display an exciting summer and fall line up of events that will leave you wanting more. IF you would like to join our free business community, click here.
Integrated techniques are the marketing fusion of traditional offline strategies blended with digital and social strategies. This blend of marketing strategies builds an all around diversified approach making your overall strategy versatile and integrated.
Integrated Marketing is the tactical delivery of blended strategy to ensure that you capture all touching points with your clientele. As we are morphing into a more digital arena we are seeing an increasing trend of consumers using different forms of communication with respective brands through various platforms.
The three elements to consider when creating an integrated campaign is
- Consumer Reach
- Consumer Behaviour
- Consumer Reactions
A unified marketing strategy can tap into all three elements above with tremendous results if done correctly. The ultimate goal for an integrated campaign is conversions and many different campaigns show success in different mediums and marketing strategies based on industry and product line.
One of my proudest achievements was close to home. I was recently approached by the Merita Movement group for an interview for a documentary labeled “Our beloved land. After arranging a time to meet and an hour interview I recently heard that the finishing touches were being put into this exciting documentary about inspiring youth from Africa.
I was truly honoured to be featured in this documentary having been born in Tanzania, East Africa. Here is a little description taken from the Merita website on what the movement is all about.
“Merita is a passion driven movement comprised of individuals who desire to see young people on the continent of Africa empowered, unified and strengthened; Concurrently grounded in their indigenous roots and yet avian in their dreams and aspirations.
Our intention is to accommodate space, resource and method to breakthrough old cycles and advocate self actualization and growth amongst creative entrepreneurs both individually and collectively.”
I am excited to show case the video trailer on my blog below. The trailer is truly inspiring with the screening to showcase later this fall. Tweet me @boscoanthony if you would like to attend this screening in Vancouver, British Columbia. Enjoy!
I recently designed my very own life hack productivity task sheet to help me deliver on my accountability. As my brand evolves my time and direction is spent on various elements and I was feeling of anxiety as I felt I was being pulled in so many different directions. This is when I needed to start listing my various priorities and tasks by the different categories. I was able to manage what was urgent and tasks that could use more time.
I also found that my writing manually on this sheet it gave me a sense of accountability that was even more effective than a smart phone or a digital copy. Yes you heard me say that by writing tasks manually on this task sheet delivered better results. There is something about writing on a document that gives me a sense of responsibility and ownership.
The key is to have a visual listing process. The checking of tasks out of the priority lists gives you a sense of accomplishment and rewards. The beauty of this template you can print as many copies and use them either daily or weekly based on your needs and the goals you set for yourself. Since I started using this format I have been on top of my priorities and manage to complete anywhere from 20-30 tasks a day.
I have seen so much rapid success with this sheet that I have been asked to share it with my colleagues and friends online. So here is a visual copy created through MS Excel on my cheat sheet
- News Sources
- Market Places
- Content Distribution Channels
- Social Networks
- Search Engines
Ultimately all of these elements should link back to your website or brand. The footprints can integrate with one another and can be both off-line or online. The digital space can contain various channels, platforms and interfaces that make the entire foot print of your brand.
As a brand your ultimate conversion is the call to action that you determine through your social media goals. However before you can achieve a conversion you must configure the purpose of being online or social. After identify what you want the audience