How to clean up your digital marketing strategy for summer

If you’re like us, summer probably has you ready to pack a cooler, hop in the car, and hit your nearest beach, lake, or cookout.

But before you break out the shorts and burgers, take some time to reevaluate your digital marketing strategy. Summer is a fantastic time of year to get rid of digital clutter, dust off old concepts, and get ready for the season ahead. Here are some digital marketing strategy tips that can help you meet summer head-on.

1. Scrub down your social media

First, take a look at your social media platforms—all of them, even that Tumblr account your intern created for you back in 2009. If you have empty platforms sitting around with just a couple of lonely, outdated posts on them, you might want to close the account for good. Either that, or explore social media management options that can keep those accounts looking healthy for you.

Once you’ve axed—or recommitted to—your forgotten social platforms, focus on the content you do have. Are there any photos that don’t communicate your current brand strategy? Posts which advertise services you don’t offer? Shots of a location you no longer occupy? Now’s the time to do a social clean-up. Taking just a few minutes to tighten up these details will let your visitors know that you value quality and run a tight ship.

2. Fix your follower lists

It’s no secret that social sites are all bustling with fake accounts—last year, for instance, Facebook revealed that about 260 million of its accounts are spam or duplicates. Although they might seem harmless, fake followers can damage your digital marketing strategy efforts by making your measurement data inaccurate. That’s why it’s a good idea to comb through your followers and identify those that are clearly impostors, then remove them. That way, your analytics measurements, such as engagement and reach, will be more accurate.

3. Wash your website

If you don’t have any website maintenance services in place, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves. Verify that all of your links work; that none of your contact forms are broken; and that your necessary plugins are all up to date. If you’ve added plugins throughout the year that you never really used, consider getting rid of them—a professional developer can advise you on what you really need, and what’s just junk. Lastly, take out the trash. If you use WordPress as your CMS, go through your Drafts section and delete test posts, duplicate content, and anything else that didn’t make the cut. (And, moving forward, try to do site maintenance throughout the year instead of all at once—it’s a lot better for the health of your website.

4. Clean up your online content

Now, examine the website content you do have. Double check that all your blog and page content is optimized for SEO, with adequate length, links, keywords, meta information, and heading sizes. (If this is all Greek to you, a digital marketing expert can help translate.) Often forgotten, but just as important, is readability: make sure that you’re using active voice and short, bite-sized sentences that guide the reader through the page. Lastly, focus on the visual design of your posts. You never know how far back someone might browse, and having a consistent visual appearance boosts your brand credibility.

Need help with your digital marketing strategy?

Now that you’ve got everything squeaky clean, it’s time to party. By that, we mean the fun part of our jobs: thinking of ways to fortify and build your business. You might want to add new content to your website; update your logo or sales materials; build a new marketing strategy; or even explore a complete brand overhaul. If so, be sure to reach out—we’re here to help.

RLM Marketing Madness: The Final Four

After winning the Final Four, SEMrush is the 2016 RLM Marketing Madness Champion!

After the Final Four, SEMrush capped an amazing tournament run with a buzzer beater upset victory over giants Google Analytics. And after making it through the earlier rounds with impressive victories over social media superstars Sprout Social and Simply Measured, SEMrush seemed destined to go all the way.  Thanks to all of the 16 great marketing tools that participated in the tournament.  We saw some riveting matchups this year, and are already looking forward to next year’s tournament.

For a complete recap of the tournament action, follow RLM on Twitter and/or search for #MarketingMadness.

RLM Marketing Madness Final Bracket


 

Semifinal Results

@Sprout Social vs @SEMrush – SEMrush wins and advances to the Championship

@GoogleAnalytics vs @Optimizely  –GoogleAnalytics wins and advances to the Championship

 


Elite 8 Results Recap

Survive and advance–that’s what tournament time is all about. It’s no different for our 2016 RLM Marketing Madness Tournament.  After two intense rounds of marketing tool battles, we are down to the Final Four!

Sprout Social enters the semifinal round riding high winning over Hootsuite in Round 2. Then Optimizely is leaving a trail of marketing automation dust as it advanced with tough victories over Hubspot and Marketo.  Finally, in a difficult SEO matchup, SEMrush muscled out an impressive victory over feisty Moz to book their place in the Final Four.  Lastly, in the final Elite 8 matchup, Google Analytics bounced MailChimp from the competition.

The Final Four will tip off on Thursday, March 31st, featuring Sprout Social vs SEMrush in the first semifinal and Google Analytics vs Optimizely in the second semifinal.


Each match up was decided by a 24-hour Twitter poll.  The team with the most votes advanced to the next round.

For a complete recap of the tournament action, follow RLM on Twitter and/or search for #MarketingMadness.

The Madness Marches On! 

The Elite 8! Round 2 of RLM Marketing Madness

Round 2:  Elite 8 Matchups Set for Monday, March 28th!

After a whirlwind Sweet 16 round, we are down to 8 teams left in the 2016 RLM Marketing Madness Tournament.  Who will win the Elite 8?

ROUND 2 SCHEDULE

1 @Hootsuite vs  2 @SproutSocialSprout Social advances to the Final Four!

3 @Marketo  vs  4 @OptimizelyOptimizely advances to the Final Four!

1 @Moz  vs  3 @SEMrushSEMrush advances to the Final Four!

1 @GoogleAnalytics  vs  2 @MailChimp  – Google Analytics advances to the Final Four!

We have some amazing matchups slated for Round 2.  Social media superstars Sprout Social and Hootsuite face off to battle it out for a spot in the Final Four.  We will also see two SEO powerhouses, Moz and SEMRush, go head-to-head in the second round!  On the other side of the bracket heavy hitters Google Analytics will try to “convert” a victory over MailChimp.  Will MailChimp face a “hard bounce” from the tournament or will the team deliver and start “clicking” at just the right time? Rounding out the Elite 8, an Optimizely upset over Hubspot in the first round sets them up for another marketing automation matchup against Marketo in our final pairing.

MarketingMadnessAnnounce-Elite8

The Round of 8 tips off on Monday March 28th.  Each match up will be decided by a Twitter poll that will run for 24 hours from tip off.  The team with the most votes will advance to the next round. Make sure you follow the matchups on Twitter and place your vote for the marketing tool that you cannot live without!  You can also follow #MarketingMadness on Twitter to stay up to date with all of the tournament action.

Follow RLM on Twitter and #MarketingMadness to stay up to date on all the tournament action.

The Madness Marches On! 

RLM Marketing Madness 2016

We are excited to host the 2016 RLM Marketing Madness Tournament, an epic battle for bragging rights among the top digital marketing tools available today.

The Marketing Madness Tournament Selection Committee has been hard at work reviewing the potential participants and determining the top 16 seeds. We selected each team based on its number of twitter followers.

The Sweet Sixteen:  Round 1 Matchups

RLM Marketing Madness Tournament Bracket

We have some powerhouse programs in the field and some rising upstarts looking to deliver some big upsets. The first round sees several cross-discipline matchups, such as the intriguing #2/#3 battle of social analytics power Simply Measured vs SEO-focused SEMrush.  Then, there are also some very interesting potential second round matchups, such as possible head-to-head battles with social superstars HootSuite and Sprout Social. Finally, there’s a chance for a Hubspot/Marketo marketing automation showdown!

The Round of 16 tips off on Wednesday March 23rd. A 24-Hour Twitter Poll will determine all matchups. Then, the team with the most votes will advance to the next round. Make sure you follow the matchups on Twitter and place your vote for the marketing tool that you cannot live without!

ROUND 1 SCHEDULE

1 @Hootsuite  vs  4 @BuzzSumo – Tipoff Approximately 9:00am ET, Wed. March 23

Then 2 @SproutSocial  vs 3 @Canva – Tipoff Approximately 9:30am ET, Wed. March 23

 

1 @Moz  vs  4 @UserTesting – Tipoff Approximately 10:00am ET, Wed. March 23

Then 2 @SimplyMeasured  vs 3 @SEMrush – Tipoff Approximately 10:30am ET, Wed March 23

 

1 @GoogleAnalytics  vs  4 @ScreamingFrog – Tipoff Approximately 11:00am ET, Wed. March 23

Then 2 @MailChimp  vs 3 @CrazyEgg – Tipoff Approximately 11:30am ET, Wed March 23

 

1 @Hubspot  vs  4 @Optimizely – Tipoff Approximately 1:00pm ET, Wed. March 23

Then 2 @KissMetrics  vs 3 @Marketo – Tipoff Approximately 1:30pm ET, Wed March 23

 

We will update this page with tournament results as they unfold.  Stay Tuned!

Follow RLM to stay up to date on all the tournament action.

Let the Madness begin!!!

#MarketingMadness

NC Businesses: Today’s Marketing is Complex

We wanted to learn what’s important to NC businesses when it comes to marketing. So we conducted an informal survey to discover common threads of thought.

If you’ve ever felt like the tidal wave of new marketing technologies and media is overwhelming, you’re not alone. NC businesses report their top marketing challenges are generating leads, brand awareness, budgets, and staying current with marketing technology.

Among the items people mentioned as their biggest problem was just keeping up with marketing developments. Additionally, they cited tracking results, keeping up with Google, and determining the most efficient advertising sources. Sound familiar?

When asked what kinds of marketing they do, over 70% of NC businesses mentioned digital marketing.

Within the digital category, social media and websites ranked prominently, followed by email. Interestingly, although over 70% of replies mentioned websites, less than 20% mentioned SEO, as shown in the chart below. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and retargeting were less than 10%. We believe there are big opportunities for smart marketers to gain a competitive edge and capture more leads by practicing aggressive SEO and content development. Additionally, digital advertising is low cost and can be effective in driving quality traffic and capturing conversions.NC Businesses

The research also revealed that traditional media remains an important part of the mix. One of the challenges mentioned was how to integrate traditional media like print and broadcast with digital tactics. Companies need to understand how to integrate the various media types, and the role each medium plays in the purchase cycle.NC Businesses

Whoever was the first to coin the phrase “May you live in interesting times” may not have imagined the world we live in today, but it certainly captures the marketing world. Today, it’s almost a full-time job just to keep up with the changes in technology and the digital landscape. It’s easy to be distracted by the latest hot tactic or trending social site. But the rewards are greater when businesses invest the time to make sure the fundamentals are in place. If your website looks nice but your SEO is lagging, you are likely missing business opportunities.

The Bottom Line: Digital marketing is crucial for businesses

Companies that practice ongoing SEO and digital marketing garner more visits and leads than those who lack a disciplined, consistent program. But too many companies don’t have the time or expertise to manage the constant changes in a nearly real-time environment. If you find yourself experiencing similar issues, give us a call.