Marketing as a Game of Chess

Edan Gelt

What is marketing strategy and what do strategists do? I feel like I’ve answered this question so many ways but defining it through the game of Chess is my ultimate favorite.

Marketing is the act of taking a look at your business from a 500-foot level. In comparison to Chess, the board is your marketplace (or your business) depending on how you want to play, and the goal is to either capture your clients or maybe it’s to remove your competitors (depending on your 500-ft view).

So how is Chess like Marketing Strategy?

Goal: Checkmate an opponent’s king

Strategy: I’ll open with “X strategy of opening moves” and attempt to control the middle of the board. Protect my king.

Tactics: I will move my knight here to respond to you moving your pawn.

Do Opponents Moves Change Strategy?

Like Chess, even with the ultimate strategic plan, you can’t always control your opponent’s moves so your strategy needs to be nimble enough to account for the unexpected.

Referring to the above example, I’ve created a mock client. Assuming, I am the owner of my own football stadium (don’t I wish) and I’ve set my goal, objective, strategies and tactics as below:

Goal: Increase NOI

Objective*: Increase attendance and food sales

Strategy: Offer promotional prices for pre-season buyers

Incorporate a ticket/food combo plan

Tactics: Send email newsletter to attendees of last seasons games

Create social media ad for my target audience (research zip codes of prior attendees to establish list)

Create special offer of ticket/food and send out postcards to existing attendee database to upgrade ticket to combo

Place media on X,X,X radio stations promoting pre-season prices and food combo.

Buy bus backs and billboards in markets whose demos match fans.

Looking at the above – the marketer creates strategies and tactics that match the goal of the company (increase NOI) and coordinates the mediums and professionals that will go into making the plan a success.

Going back to the game of chess, imagine the plan is in the implementation stage and the weather has been rainier and cooler than expected leading up to pre-season. Ticket sales aren’t moving. Food sales are no longer important – it’s time to change the strategy and tactics.

Move queen, reevaluate strategy and adjust the tactical plan.

Goal: Increase NOI

Objective*: Increase attendance and ancillary gear sales

Strategy: Offer promotional prices for pre-season buyers

Incorporate a ticket/gear combo plan

Offer rain or snow gear with ticket prices (branded umbrellas, rain sticks, hats, gloves, etc)

Tactics: Send email newsletter to attendees of last season’s games

Create social media ad for my target audience (research zip codes of prior attendees to establish list)

Create special offer of ticket/gear and send out postcards to existing attendee database to upgrade ticket to combo

Place media on X,X,X radio stations promoting pre-season prices and gear combo.

Buy bus backs and billboards in markets which demos match fans.

Once you have your marketplace set up and you enter it, time to play!

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Basics of Search Engine Optimization

PPC, SEO, ORM, SMM? What are they and what do they do? I’ve often been on the other side of the table as a client being handed hefty reports filled with stats and concepts that just don’t make sense. The graphs show me positive and my sales are negative or vice-versa. I’ve also been lead to believe marketing efforts aren’t effective without these fancy acronym strategies in my toolbox.

If you’re like me, relax. It’s okay. Traditional marketing still works but having an EFFECTIVE digital presence is a must in today’s environment. Start slowly and do it right – understand what you are doing and what you are paying for before you sign up for it all.

The TRANSLATION:

PPC = Pay Per Click
SEO = Search Engine Optimization
ORM = Online Reputation Management
SMM = Social Media Marketing

SEO

I’ll start with SEO as it is a key foundation to building a relevant website. After all, without a good website, PPC, ORM and SMM efforts may be fruitless.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the areas of website development that improves the ranking by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo in organic search results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) relates to visible content on your website which will appear in search engine results.

If a site appears at a higher and more frequent rate in the search results list, the higher number of visitors your website should attract. These visitors likewise may be turned into customers.

SEO covers different types of search that include local information, imagery, shopping, video content, news and more.

Edan Gelt

SEO strategy is understanding how search engines work and developing the exact keywords or terms your target market is searching for, what platform they are using and how to develop content to meet consumer demand.

Optimizing a website includes activities such as editing the content of the website to increase the relevance of searches, backlinks to relevant sites, inbound links on social, removal of indexing barriers, etc.

Basic Ways to Optimize Your Web Contents

Widely recognized as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, the principles of optimizing web content is continually changing as mobile behavior, social media and search engine algorithms continue to evolve. Here are some tips to optimize your web content to engage, inform, and share information and content with your target audience.

Learn About “Real Time” User Behavior

Before even writing your website content, know your target market. Learn about what their interests are, what platforms they are using to search, what information they are searching for. Monitor Reddit, Facebook, Linked-in, and other social sites to come up with compelling articles and web content to drive social shares and gain influential coverage.

Improve the Format

Improving the format of your web content is also a good optimization tactic. Make use of formatting such as bold, bullet points, italics, short headlines and subheadings, and so on. This will make it possible for your audience to be able to read the page easily and find what they are looking for but at the same time, help enhance SEO.

Headlines should be clear, brief and approximately 70 characters long. Encourage your target audience to click the headline, read the content, engage and share the news.

Even though this may only be one of the factors which determine the visibility of your web content, headlines and subheadings are often the deciding factor if a reader is going to click through to your story or not. Make use of the headline and sub-headings to strengthen the relevance and theme of your story. This will improve the interest of your viewers, as well as the open rates. Make sure the content supports the headline to prevent bounces.

DO NOT include text in pictures formats. If you have a promotion or something that is important, formats such as .jpg or .pdfs are often not recognized by the search engines and won’t be discovered in search (ie…Text embedded in MEMES).

Edan Gelt Chicago Business

Use Natural Links

Natural links are links to your content from other sites. They are often earned and not solicited. The links are often regarded as natural or native since the third-party sites are only linking to your articles and web content because they find it interesting and useful. Using natural links of your own content within your web content will also help enhance your site while at the same time provide the reader with additional relevant information. This will drive more traffic to your website.

Include Multimedia

Including multimedia such as pictures, videos, etc. is also a good way of optimizing your web content. You can insert your company logo for branding, as well as embed photos. You can also include graphics, charts, and video links. Rather than describing the news you are passing across in words, showing what you are writing about in graphs, pictures, sound & motion, is a wonderful idea.

Make Use of the Algorithms

Search engine algorithms are vital to effective digital web content. Algorithms make use of mathematical equations in determining the relevance of your story to a particular search. The goal of the algorithm is to be able to match the right content with the specific requirement of the individual performing the search. This may be best left to an SEO expert as I’m still trying to get a grasp on google-bots (this is even out of my league).

By following all the tips mentioned above, you will be improving the chances of your articles and web contents ranking higher in Google or other search engines.

The above tips lay the foundation of what SEO is and how to start optimizing your own website or content. For more information about SEO, feel free to contact me directly through Linkedin at :  https://www.linkedin.com/in/edan-joy-gelt/

By: Edan Joy Gelt, CMD, MBA
www.Edangelt.com

The Social Experiment -Social Media 101

Two weeks ago, I tried a social experiment.  I attempted to brand myself as a fitness expert.  I’m 40 years old (maybe 41 but who’s counting), I can’t run worth anything and I would not be considered athletic by any stretch of the imagination.  Regardless, I wanted to try my hand at building a brand and using only organic ways to do it.

Edan Gelt

In the corporate world, I was never truly trained in social media.  I mean, I went to social media conferences, I attended a certification class at U of I  (I’m certified in digital marketing) and read countless articles on the importance of brand building in the social environment.

When I went off on my own, I sold social media as a skill but did I really know what I was doing?  I kept up on the social changes but honestly, I didn’t have a clue.  I posted on FB daily like any social gal should do but my impressions sucked.  Even when I linked the social content across multiple platforms.  I would have 500 followers on a page and get like 30 impressions – blah.

Thankfully I had a friend who spent countless hours with me showing me the importance of linking, building unique content, introducing me to new platforms and convincing me to lose all inhibition and go “all out” – (which later included publicly pole dancing but you can only find that on my social platforms – take a peak).

I set up a Tumblr blog on edanjoygelt.combegan visiting studios and writing opinions on each visit.  Because the content was unique, it was already a win.  But once it was posted on Tumblr – then what?  It was going nowhere unless someone knew it existed.

I then curated the content through Scoop.it to social platforms I had set up, which gave me a little more power but still, nothing to write home about.

The biggest key was Facebook – I started a Joy of Fitness page https://www.facebook.com/edanjoyfitness/, then I tagged everything with my name #fitnessmom #joyoffitness and then also with my name Edan Gelt and Edan Joy Gelt (so it would share across my personal content as well).

I invited everyone I knew, I added friends and asked them to do the same.  This exercise landed me 200+ followers.  Pressure was on!

I started a twitter page, a google plus page and more and began curating my original content on tumblr, sweeping it up through scoop.it to and sharing it across the platforms.  I’m still struggling with tagging on scoop.it so I some times just post direct for my own unique content.

The fitness locations I would write about would also share my facebook page posts – and why wouldn’t they, it promotes the studios too.  The result – the Facebook fitness posts and reviews would sometimes get up to 1700 views!  But wait – I only had 200 followers, how could this be?

This is how organic social works.  The content was unique, the sharing told FB it was interesting and the engagement confirmed it with some sort of top secret FB algorithm.  This shows up organically in people’s feed without paying for ads.

I’m still learning and I’m only on my 11th post but I thought I would share my first ever social experiment.  Stay tuned for more!

By:  Edan Gelt CMD MBA

Originally posted on http://edangelt.com/post/157502587301/social-media-training-101