When I landed my first job right after college, I remember being told by my then-manager that to have a successful career with the company, I have to be able to quickly come up with a solution on my own. The professional world generously rewards quick, independent thinking and I’d have no hope of progressing if I’m incapable of thinking on my feet. Or at least, that’s how the thinking goes. From my observation though, I think that philosophy applies more to certain field than others.
In the field of finance for example, independent thinking isn’t always necessary since you’re typically operating within a rulebook where diligence is of utmost importance. In other fields, such as technology where progress is made on a day-to-day basis and in marketing where trends evolve as fast as the public’s attention span, the rulebook gets rewritten at a pace so rapid that you’re going to have to be able to reorient yourself every now and then. This is why for marketers and SEO services, the word agility is of the utmost importance.
Agility in SEO
SEO stands at the crossroad of technology and marketing. As SEO deals heavily with search engines and their algorithms, any progress made in search technologies would no doubt have an impact on the practice of SEO and since it’s not like the likes of Google will ever stop tinkering with their search algorithms, SEO services will never be able to rest on their laurels. At the same time, as SEO falls under the general umbrella of digital marketing, SEO still have to abide by the whims of the public and current trends, making it impossible for you to succeed if you’re content just staying in place.
Agility then comes into play as businesses doesn’t just require the foresight to predict where society is heading next but also be able to react quickly to something that’s unexpected. Avengers: Endgame being the total hit that it is now can be easily predicted, which is why it shouldn’t be hard for your business to come up with marketing materials that subtly references the film. But what about something awesomely unexpected like the bottle cap challenge started by taekwondo instructor Farabi Davletchin where he kicked a bottle cap off a bottle in slow motion over Instagram?
That viral craze began somewhat predictably, with Davletchin challenging several notable figures such as Jason Statham into performing their own version of the bottle cap challenge. As with any viral craze, the challenge soon began to delve into absurdity when the diva we definitely do not deserve Mariah Carey, jumped in by removing the cap not with her feet, but with her impressive vocal range. These viral crazes are pretty much the norm now and it would take clever thinking and swiftness of mind to turn it into something uniquely yours the way Mariah Carey did.
Start with a flexible and immediately actionable plan
The thing with trends is that they leave as fast as they come and as our attention span grows shorter and shorter, making a long-term marketing plan is pretty much pointless. For example let’s say that you were there firsthand when the bottle cap challenge craze started to go viral. Instead of responding however, you went to the drawing board and sit on it for weeks trying to figure out the best way you can capitalize on this trend. By the time your preparation’s ready and that you’ve earn the needed approval to execute the plan, the world has moved on to a new trend, like the 30-50 feral hogs thing from a couple weeks ago.
The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t rely on a rigid, long-term plan for marketing. Setting a long-term goal is acceptable but you should always be flexible in how that goal is reached. Marketing can sometimes be more about being reactionary than it is about foresight and you’re going to be relying on your responsiveness more often than not. Marketing can also takes an iterative form as you might find when your current strategy isn’t working, it might best to tweak them rather than starting from scratch all over again.
Focus on your team
Flexibility and an open mind isn’t a trait that’s possessed by everyone which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as sometimes, being rigid and uncompromising can be useful. The world of marketing however, the latter is a cardinal sin as you’re going to have to be able to see everything not from your point of view but from potential customers. What the public find interesting might not always line up with your preferences and businesses need to find someone who can easily reconcile with this contradiction to handle their marketing efforts.
Take advantage of data
You have to understand the difference between what’s popular and what’s trending. At any given moment, holiday-related hashtags will always have traction even if there are months in which they’re used more. On the other hand, trending hashtags are marked by a meteoric rise over a short period of time and that’s what you want to capitalize on as there’s only a limited window where the public’s interest is at an all-time high. One way you could differentiate between these two points is by the use of analytics.
Numbers, to the dismay of those who hated math in school, help make sense of the world and the can be hugely invaluable in the world of marketing as long as you know what to look for. Looking at a bunch of data isn’t particularly useful all by itself but when interpreted by someone who can translate those numbers into a model of human society, they’re practically golden. Just as you need people that can react to whatever society is up to these days, you’re going to need someone who can actually tell what society is up to.