The times they are a changin’, but one thing still holds true. Big brands need to focus on search engine optimization (SEO) as they push ahead with social media and content marketing efforts in 2016.
It’s a Portable World
This year mobile usage is projected to surpass desktop search practices by a landslide, and Google is taking note. Websites that don’t offer mobile friendly options are being punished when it comes to search engine rankings. But just being mobile friendly isn’t enough. To stand out you also need to optimize your content to climb to the top of mobile search results — even if your company is a household name.
Big Brands Need SEO Strategies Too
Unfortunately, big brands get a little apathetic when it comes to their content. They feel that because they’re already a big brand, they don’t need to appease Google because they’ll show up in search results simply because they’re so well-known.
But, that’s naive thinking.
Companies need to address SEO within their content marketing plans if they hope to keep their online position and presence. Simply pushing out content (without a properly implemented SEO plan in mind) will not help in the long run. Missing these opportunities to add optimized content could slowly put a company, no matter how large, behind in the content marketing game. Their webpages will slowly drift lower in results, and they’ll eventually feel the sting.
By making an SEO strategy a priority in conjunction with a properly executed content marketing plan, big brands could be getting a lot more impressions, clicks, and ultimately sales. Simply put, Content + SEO = Rankings… Even for big brands.
Storytelling Is in – Selling Is Out
This year, I think social media will play an even bigger role in content because SEO factors in brand signals and social media signals. Some big brands are putting an even greater focus on storytelling (not selling), which is what I think Google really wants to see. Search engines thrive on solid content and insightful stories, which is music to my marketing ears.
Social media is a great opportunity to tell your brand’s story in a way that’s compelling and unique. To do it right, back up your social media efforts with additional in depth and inspiring content on your website. A great way to do this is to implement a strong blog strategy that plays really well with social media. It’s all about bouncing readers back and forth between your blog and social media feeds so you can grow your audience and brand awareness.
A Look at the Key Players
A few companies with notable big brand SEO strategies out there right now are Taco Bell and Volkswagen. For as many years as they’ve been in the public eye, they’re still putting out amazing content and fantastic videos. They focus on their brand’s stories and do things that make them look cool. They’re doing this all while giving a nod to the technical end of marketing and not ignoring SEO in their content creation process. I think, in the long run, that’s what Google wants as it evolves and updates its search processes.
Making Every Day Taco Tuesday
Taco Bell has a really relatable personality. On social media alone they have vibrant photos, engaging promotions, and witty comments. They indirectly promote their brand and the things they are selling by just being awesome and sticking to fun things that really speak to their audience. As a consumer, telling me that you’re the best and that I should buy your products is boring. Making me hungry by posting a close-up of your latest taco creation with a simple line like “Major cheese alert.” makes me think about what I’ll grab for lunch. A great example of their amazing content can be seen in their “Bigger Than” commercial.
Funny Little Cars, Fabulous Posts
As I mentioned, Volkswagen also creates entertaining content that people share without a second thought. It’s just that awesome. They’re telling engaging stories versus just focusing on getting keywords, links and product launch information out there.
Their YouTube videos often feature rally racing superstars Tanner Foust and Scott Speed. In the snippets they highlight Volkswagen events, like drool-inducing vintage and tricked out modern Volkswagens that you want to tell your friends about over beers. Their approach doesn’t focus on telling you the features of their latest car to come down the production line. Their focus is on making you fall in love with their brand, period.
Simply put, they’re just really creative and they just do a stellar job telling their brand’s story across the board. They own it and they know it. You look at a site like Volkswagen and there’s not much indexible content on their core site pages. They’re heavy on design but they barely lift a finger from some of those SEO best practices on site, but somehow they rank for so many core keywords. I think this is because they’re just telling an all-encompassing story and that is not always an easy thing to do.
Follow in Their Footsteps
Want to win at SEO and content marketing? Follow in the footsteps of big brands that are doing all the right things and creating content that’s enticing, engaging and just plain amazing. People will naturally share, link to and comment on it.
If you have questions about incorporating SEO into your social media or content marketing plan, discover how Volume Nine can help!