Part 3: Platform-agnostic recommendations for the long term
Regarding Google, SEO experts predict that organic search traffic will continue to decrease for the highest performers — despite consistently increasing search volume — which correlates with the appearance of SERP features and voice search.
Facebook’s recent announcement of an algorithm shift to prioritize “meaningful interaction” is anticipated to have a double-whammy impact of eliminating organic Facebook reach while simultaneously increasing advertising expenses.
But for many, the impact of these things has yet to be seen. So, what’s at stake if you just keep doing what you’re doing? Is it worth your time to try to solve a problem that you haven’t actually yet experienced? How do you plan future marketing initiatives without knowing if, when, or how these things will impact you?
Lesson 1: Keep close tabs on current initiatives.
You must know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and be explicit about the measurable impact that you want each initiative to produce. For example, if SEO is an awareness channel for you, your success metrics will be different from others who use it as a consideration or conversion channel. Having a clear sense of purpose and outcome will allow you to make smart moves if and when the time comes. Define your metrics and watch for movement.
Lesson 2: Make the most of captured audiences.
We all know that the cheapest means of new customer acquisition is through existing customers. Take advantage of your captured audience’s attention by digging harder into your retention and recruitment efforts. For instance, we’ve switched some of our clients from a Facebook campaign to increase their liker audience to one that drives email newsletter subscriptions instead.
Lesson 3: Plan new initiatives with a long view.
Add another section to your strategy brief that addresses the long-, mid-, and short-term costs and benefits of new approaches. The role of numerous third-party tools should be carefully evaluated for each initiative. Consider this: If Google turned off your organic traffic tomorrow, what purpose would all of those articles serve? Do they stand on their own in terms of helping, educating, or converting your audience?
Diamond + Branch is currently integrating all three of these approaches across our client profile. Doing so really helps us hedge our bets against forces outside of our control, and our clients appreciate the extra thought and planning.
The truth is, I’m not much of a gambler. Instead, I take inspiration from this quote from one of my all-time favorite TV shows:
“I’m not psychic, that’s just the illusion created by extreme preparedness.”