7 min read

The 90s R&B Guide to Online Marketing

Aaliyah Dana Haughton

There are so many Digital Marketing Guides out there but not enough (or any) that use 90s R&B to get their points across. Well, that’s all about to change now. Buckle up, pull up those parachute pants and get ready to learn all about online marketing R&B style. Don’t ask me why. There is no science behind it, but trust me it just works.

Listen to the playlist, watch the videos, and follow these tips. Your website traffic will increase, your Google rankings will jump like House of Pain but be warned your fashion sense may take a nosedive too. This musical journey down memory lane will help embed these building blocks of website optimisation and online marketing and may make you smile. If you can’t get down whilst optimising your website then there really is no hope. Enjoy.

This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan (1995)

This guide to online marketing is how we do it at Loom. We follow these tips every single day. There are lots more that we use and millions to be found strewn across the web but these are the basics that we find work best. It’s important to develop your own ideas– marketing is all about innovation. If you land upon an original way to generate genuinely valuable content for your target audiences on a regular basis then you will do well.

Kiss From A Rose – Seal (1994 & re-release 1995)

A high-quality link from a trusted and respected source is invaluable – think of it as a kiss from a rose (like what we did there?). A single link pointing back to your site from any of the following domain suffixes ‘.gov’ ‘.edu’ ‘.ac.uk’ is fantastic news for your site. Similarly, links on the BBC, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mashable, Digital Journal are phenomenal.

Understandably, these are not easy to come by but if you work hard at becoming a true authority figure in your sector then this is the reward. Each industry has its own specific high authority domains that are worth their weight in gold. Google sees these backlinks as a virtual fist-bump from the coolest kids on the block. Backlinks from high-ranking domains is a great indicator to Google that you are a trusted voice and that users will benefit from a visit to your site. It is better to have one good link that you’ve earned through quality content than 100,000 dodgy links.

The Best Things in Life Are Free – Luther Vandross & Janet Jackson (1992)

There are plenty of free website tools and demos available online. It’s sometimes hard to spot the good ones with such a proliferation of tools. The best free tools can make implementing your marketing strategy and monitoring the health of your site so much easier. The major players will charge you for their full packages but often make excellent freebie features available like MOZ and AHREFs.

When looking at search behaviour and keyword research use Ubersuggest, Google Ads’ KeywordTool, and Keywordtool.io.  For backlink analysis then Moz.com and AHREFS allow you to see the backlink profile of any URL and offer loads more top free features too. Plagspotter tells you just how much of a site’s content is duplicated elsewhere on the web – essential to stamping out harmful plagiarism. Have a good explore of Searchmetrics demos for more social media tools. As you can see, Luther and Janet knew what they were singing about.

Bills Bills Bills – Destiny’s Child (1999)

So the best things in life are free but sometimes you simply have to treat yourself and spend some moular. If you are serious about the technical health of your site and want to go deep in your site analysis then the full packages offered by the big-hitters are essential. As we mentioned Searchmetrics, MOZ, and Ahrefs offer some fantastic tools that allow you to have so much data at your fingertips.The best content will always get shared naturally and you should not pay for links. However, you can use targeted Facebook advertising, PPC and display marketing to promote it to relevant target audiences.

Mr. Loverman – Shabba Ranks (1992)  

Whether you are male or female, it’s time to get ready to assume the role of the social media Loverman. You know more than most the time and effort that goes into producing great content or how funny a Tweet has to be to make you laugh after being up to your neck in Google Analytics for three hours solid. Show that you appreciate the good work of others in the community you are working in by commenting, liking, sharing, retweeting.  Don’t be afraid to share and promote the good work of brands and people even if you see them as a competitor. A golden ratio of 1 self-promoting to 5 non-self-promoting posts on Pinterest (see our excellent post on Pinterest and brand awareness), Google Plus and other platforms is a good idea. So spread the love and you may just find that people appreciate and share your good work too. Shabba.

One in a Million – Aaliyah (1996)

It keeps on coming back to the same point – content! In a post-Penguin 2.0 world, your online success more than ever is about producing unique, shareable, and quite frankly kick-arse content. Ensuring that your content is unique is vital to the success of your online marketing campaign. Aaliyah’s ‘one in a million’ is a concept worth thinking about – make yours the one article out of the millions that get posted online each day to stand out. Again, this takes time. Use Google Alerts and Google Trends and any other way you can think to make sure you are producing content about something that is topical and relevant to your target audience. Search the web to see if people have covered it before. If they have, then come up with a new angle. Take time to unearth the compelling narrative in your brand that will really connect with people. Spend time brainstorming approaches until that eureka moment. It’s not easy being that one in a million, but it sure is worth it.

Creep – TLC (1994)

A little gentle creeping or ego-baiting is a good technique for content marketing. Mention influential figures in your content, link to their sites, ask them for quotes, hell, you could even interview them. By flattering someone’s ego and building a relationship with them through social media, may make them notice your work. Now we love Rand Fishkin and find Barry Schwartz’s blogs essential reading so occasionally we might let them know. But we’re not creeps, right?

Sincere – MJ Cole (1998)

Be sincere and be honest when online. It’s so important to be honest with your target audience and customer, with Google, and with yourself. Online marketing is not about swapping dodgy links in some cyber back-alley or bashing out a 400-word blog of nonsense for a few concealed backlinks. It’s about producing well-researched, well-written, well-presented content that you know will add genuine value and clarity. If it took you time and effort to produce then it will be shared naturally online. Spending several hours developing some evergreen content is far more worthwhile than anything that can be done quickly. Marketing techniques, however subtle, are obvious nowadays to savvy users. Don’t try and dupe your reader and don’t try and dupe Google by any blackhat SEO techniques. Be sincere.

Breathe and Stop – Q-Tip (1999)

Once you’ve produced your content, take a moment out. Breathe and stop. Now, go back to what you’ve written or produced and read it again. Make sure that there are no errors: these include factual errors and spelling and grammar mistakes. Ensure that a lexicon of related keywords appears snaturally in the copy. Do all of your internal and external links take you to the correct landing page? Are all your title and header tags in shape? Have you filled out all your Img Alt tags? Does it look brilliant? Good – breathe and stop and post.

End of the Road – Boyz II Men (1992)

You’ve made it through our list! You’ve bumped and ground your way down our R&B guide to online marketing and arrived at the end of the road but here’s the snag, there is no end. The road is long and winding. A good marketing strategy is one that can adapt and evolve. Google algorithm changes like the Penguin 2.0 update will always have some bearing on how you approach your website. And you will always need to think of new ways of generating and presenting content, of earning links, of using social media. But this is what makes ours the most exciting industry in the world.

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