Remember the infamous taunt: ‘finders keepers, losers weepers‘? – It’s still perfectly valid today; the key is to always be the ‘finder’…
Marketing folk are constantly bombarded with an influx of data. Sometimes that data is pretty (like who opened our emails) and sometimes it’s ugly (like diminishing conversion rates), in both cases we can rely on the old cliche: beauty is in the eye of the beholder…
Ugly data is humbling. For me, if bad data exists, I know the marketing is working – just not correctly.
An analogy: If I designed a bicycle and the reviews were that it only travels 100 metres before the tyres give out – to me, that means the bike works, but the tyres are crap. I need to improve the design, but the concept is technically sound.
The same is true of marketing efforts – low CTRs mean the message is visible but needs tweaking, poor retention rates mean I’ve piqued your interest, but I haven’t convinced you – and so on.
So how can you gain as you go? – Here are 7 examples:
 Internal links
Every time you post a piece of content on your blog that mentions anything else your brand promotes, link to that mention. If nothing else, this improves the user’s experience – when the stars align, you might get a conversion.
In an ideal world, every page of your website should be canvassed for relevant content to interlink with, however, this is an ongoing process and can be handled retrospectively. Start small and you’re already winning.
 Non-branded keywords
Every brand wants visibility. Seeing Pepsi’s website when I search online for “Coca-Cola” is a loss for the latter (this doesn’t happen, btw).
There are some technical SEO practices you can put in place to be seen (meta-data, rich content, outbound links etc.), however, it’s always worth remembering that people searching online sometimes find you by chance.
I like to approach brand-exposure with the idea that my brand is unknown and unpopular.
Albeit slightly self-pitying, this allows me to carry out keyword research based on behavioural actions made by my target audience: what would someone who doesn’t know me but is interested in what I offer, search for?
 Social standing
Taking advantage of the fact that the best things in life are free starts a conversation about social media. Sure you can start a paid strategy on Twitter, or remarketing on Facebook but before reaching for your wallet, how about making a connection?
By analysing your followers, and their followers, you can build content around specific search terms and then target accordingly. Social should feel natural to your audience, so including their handles, hashtags and responding to their comments is a good way to start a dialogue that could lead to more.
 Tailored remarketing
Remarketing is so much more than banner stalking based on a homepage visit. By creating lists of people based on advanced user activity, one can really gain an insight into specific customer journeys, and how your audience is unique.
For example, if a user visits your checkout page, does not convert but then visits your blog – they are likely still researching your product. Conversely, if a user begins on a product page and then leaves your website they may be comparing the same product elsewhere based on pricing.
In each case, the message I would create would be different, for example, a reminder for the first and a discount code for the second.
 User reviews
Before I buy anything these days I look for a review. I also look for the worst reviews before the best ones. Cynicism aside, there is another reason I do this: recommendation from a stranger is the most objective description I’m going to get.
As obvious as this sounds, it’s also very common to ignore reviews and feedback when marketing, and instead work towards individual targets and deadlines. This is a perfectly reasonable way to work, but it means missing out on little nuggets of information that could yield great results.
There are also practical uses of reviews, such as tying them into your paid search ads with seller ratings, and building brand reputation on universal reviews sites like Trustpilot – both great ways to persuade an unsure audience.
 Mobile messaging
If in 2017 you’re still not marketing for desktop and mobile devices you’ve probably lost my attention.
These days, I use my desktop for streaming my favourite shows and my mobile for everything else.
Getting close and personal with text-message ads is a great way to get my attention. Not all text-ads are created equally but things like booking confirmations, event reminders and discount codes work great to keep people engaged. On mobile, keeping the message short is a good rule of thumb.
 Cross-keyword research
There is no one certified method of keyword research that you should be doing, however, it seems quite common for marketers to start with relevant phrases and build from there.
It’s easy to forget that all of your marketing efforts are constantly growing your list of keywords organically, and should be reabsorbed into your research whenever possible. Some examples of these gems include internal search terms (from website search), organic keywords (from PPC) and historical search queries (from Google Analytics). Use it or lose it!
There’s your 7! – May your results be fruitful!
Martina is a Digital Marketing consultant, developing cross-channel techniques since 2010. This blog explores industry developments with real-life application.