21st Century Renaissance Man

Aug 15, 2013

Fishing Charters

We do a lot of work for fishing charters.  I decided to draw a little comic for one their Facebook pages.

Unfortunately all my kids fall into the kid on the left's category.

Time for a road trip!

Aug 14, 2013

Content is King

Originally for my companies blog.

I get asked everyday "What will it take to get my site on the first page of Google?" and most of the time I confidently answer with "content is king".  I stand by that answer emphatically. The implementation of the answer is where people usually get bogged down. We often find ourselves creating what I call "filler content": blog posts, social drips, and wordy product descriptions in the hope that Google will identify our site as relevant enough for the coveted page one spots.

Once we have all this content, we set out to find back links in an effort to entice Google to ordain our site an authority on the subject and rank us higher in its algorithm.

Sounds simple right?

The part missing in the above statements is this: Google is constantly trying to make their search engine think like a human.  They want the search results users get to be relevant to not only the keyword, but also the essence of what the user is actually looking for.  Furthermore, they are taking it even further by trying to make results relevant to each specific user.  They take into account the device you search from (mobile or desktop), the location the search originates from (geographical data), user specific data (previous searches and other collected data) and then combine it with the sites PageRank, keyword relevancy, back links and I am sure that a chicken gets sacrificed along the way before finally displaying your results.

This system is not perfect, at least not yet, but as thousands of young engineers work diligently to refine this complicated, one-day-sentient behemoth of a creature we call the Google Algorithm one thing stands out in my mind as the key to successful Internet marketing: "Content is King".

The creation of content produced with humans in mind is paramount. As in any marketing effort, you have to start with the question "How do we engage our target audience?". What are the hopes, fears and desires of our future customers, and how can you tap into those feelings and, with a little creativity, convince them your product will help make their life better?

I call it "soul marketing" but it is more commonly known as Brand Recognition.  You must identify who buys your product and produce content that will be relevant to them, and not just when they are looking to buy!  To be successful in marketing you must insert your company name into the ethos of your product or services industry.  Subconsciously you want potential clients to associate their keyword search with your specific brand.

Most of us will never substitute our brand for a common term (search/Google, tissue/Kleenex, drink mix/Kool-Aid) but we can associate our brand so closely to the term that it becomes associated closely with it.  For instance, when I say "Let's get coffee sometime," I am really thinking, "Let's meet at Starbucks."

Online, this can actually work for a small business or niche company if you work diligently to insert yourself into the industry.  If you can create meaningful content that is shared or highly interacted with as people search for a product you sell, they will keep bumping into you as they do their pre-buying research.

The more places your content appears, whether explicitly placed or through being shared, the more your company will become known as an authority to the actual user or potential client.  Google is trying to make a search engine that thinks like a human (in particular the actual human performing the search) so it will display results that make the end user say, "that is exactly what I was looking for".

Just like when I say, "Let's get coffee," and then search my iPhone for the nearest Starbucks, Google wants their algorithm to know what you want even when you are not specifically saying it.  And when they cannot identify your customized exact result, they will choose the next best thing: sites with a history of being the useful to others looking for the same. They will determine this the same way we as actual humans would: who else is buying, what is being said about it (what do our peers say about it), where is the company located, how does it compare to similar products (reviews), what is the reputation of the company and when can I get it.

The adage remains true: "If you build it, they will come."  Create an online presence (or brand) that is unique, helpful and creative (hopefully just like your company) and you will accomplish what the question "How do I get on the first page of Google" is really asking: "How do I make my company relevant to potential customers?"

Ultimately these two are the same thing.

Aug 12, 2013

The importance of spell checking

I have always considered myself somewhat of a decent speller.  However, I have been struggling as of late due to the extremely frustrating inability to edit posts on Facebook.  Why they continue to leave this function out I will never know.  They could at least let you make changes and annotate that "this post has been revised" along with a link to the old post.

On top of this, I have made some photoshop spelling errors and uploaded them to Facebook as well.  Once a post gains traction (meaning it starts getting likes and comments) I can't find it in my heart to delete the pic and upload another.  Again, no ability to edit.

I would complain and say it is all Facebook's fault, but instead I will strive to not be lazy double check my work.

Note: If there are spelling errors above, let me know and I will edit them.

Aug 8, 2013

The art of self promotion

I'm today's fast paced world social media has become the defacto way to keep up.  More people get their news, information and even find products and services through this new age media.  But you have to be relevant.  Just posting for the sake of being on social media is rapidly becoming the way to get ignored.  This defeats the whole purpose of being on the internet all together.

I have been experimenting with relevancy and it is very difficult!  How do I post content that people want to read, interact with and share?  And how do I do it everyday without resulting to re-posting other peoples re-hashed spam?  These are the questions I have been working out over the last few weeks and I am slowly finding new and different ways to be relevant:

A comic I drew was tweeted by the reporter on Oregonlive.com.

Another comic I drew was used in a Facebook campaign and has been well interacted with. I learned that it is not possible to edit a post so I need to double check my spelling!

I signed up for Pintrest: not sure yet how I am going to use it to be relevant, but there are a lot of people there so we will see.

I am trying to write quality blog posts for my customers and have quality blog posts on our Portland Advertising Agency site.

These are just a few ways I am striving for relevancy, but it is a learning process and I hope to improve with time.  Look for better blog posts, new comics and other great content as I improve.  Ultimately I hope to position myself and Side 2 as a dominant content creation ad agency.

Aug 7, 2013

PortlandFlash.com

I am building a new site: Portlandflash.com and we are looking for a couple local (Portland) businesses to help us with some amazing deals they want to promote.  Did I mention it is free while we beta test?


Aug 5, 2013

Write the punchline

I have created a comic and asked people to write the punch line, you can be a part by clicking the pic:



Aug 1, 2013

Keep Portland Beard


Social Media and Contests

We are really cranking up our social media at Side 2 - there is a lot of great content that can be generated for our clients.  After two weeks of working on Bloging I have turned some attention to attracting a fan base and driving social media traffic.

We are running some tests and I have started playing with viral content.

My first viral attempt:


And now a contest: https://www.facebook.com/1800doorbell/app_204169126292521 on Facebook.

I will be testing more the rest of the weekend to see what draws traffic.