In today's advanced internet world, "anyone can look at anything from anywhere in the world and evaluate a company. If a company isn't doing a good job, word will probably get out", says Nick Garner, Global Head of Search for Unibet.
As the tools available via the internet are shifting and developing, customers are shifting the way they look for information. Therefore, it might make sense to focus more of our budget on things such as better CS and brand protection rather than other marketing strategies that are, albeit, more easily tracked.
"Persuade the powers at be to move some of the marketing spend to the "brand spend bucket", that is a very good thing", says Garner.
Anecdote #1: Target affiliates who are a part of the journey of customers finding information about your company.
The more expensive a product is, the more time customers will spend searching online information about the product. Affiliate sites are a lot of the places where these searches end up, so be sure you're on good terms with these affiliates!
Anecdote #2: Don't bullsh*t.
"Users can spot bullsh*t a mile away if they have been around the internet long enough", warns Garner. "Using the internet is like having a language, and for young people, the internet is like their second language. This is a critical point- you cannot bullsh*t these people!!"
Anecdote #3: Google wants the best information out there so they can sell adverts.
The big picture with Google is that their market share isn't really going anywhereâ¦there aren't many new people coming online, but their revenue is growing dramatically. Why? Penguin is Google's big push to drive up revenues and Google has killed of millions of affiliate sites by squashing "spam". Affiliates are certainly getting hurt by this, but penguin is making Google more money.
Conclusion- Google is becoming an ads engine.
Anecdote #4: Brand protection
Identify all core brand phrases per country, find websites that say nice things about your brand and link build to those sites. Address forums and sites that are saying negative things about your brand and clean up your results.
"Online reputation management is worth looking at", advises Garner. "When they think of your brand, they are going to be looking for footprints online about your brand, even those crappy forums from 10 years ago. People are good at finding information like this, by the way".
Anecdote #5: Stay away from black hat strategy!
Black hat SEO used to work and it still may work, but only temporarily. Building brand is key to ranking well in Google now- you must have a "real" footprint. Its very important to get the information side of things sorted out as Google is going to make it tough to rank well if the focus is on the commercial side. Information and brand is the key these days- you have to mix in "commercial" with as much information as possible.
The main takeaway from the presentation? The internet ecosystem is shifting from a lot of people "talking shite" (Garner's words, not mine!) and shifting towards the truth. Simple as that.
This guest post is courtesy of Rebecca Liggero from last year's World Gaming Executive Summit.brionv – Flickr]