As a recent college graduate, I don’t have a lot of “real world” experience. However, thanks to a student internship and my current position as a marketing specialist at a company that operates almost 100 percent online, I do have almost two years of Internet marketing experience under my belt. In that short time alone, I’ve witnessed — and had to adjust to — some big changes in the rules of SEO. With the recent rollout of Google’s Penguin, for example, I’ve watched a number of competing companies take a hit in the rankings, which has no doubt left their marketing departments reevaluating and revamping their SEO strategies.

The point of all of this? In the world of Internet marketing, one has to be on top of the latest SEO trends, aware of tried-and-true SEO techniques and willing to change ones tactics at a moment’s notice. This is called agile marketing.

Day by day, agile marketing is becoming a more common term in the Internet marketing industry. In fact, this practice is becoming so relevant that a group of marketers gathered in San Francisco in June for the SprintZero: The Physics of Agile Marketing meeting to discuss the discipline of agile marketing. Their goal was to define agile marketing, understand why it’s important and develop rules for success. Right now, this is the information we have.

Four reasons marketers should value agile marketing

  1. Speed. Thanks to tablets, smartphones, e-readers, e-mail, content marketing and the countless other forms of media and marketing tools out there, different kinds of media are becoming more and more disconnected from each other — a trend that won’t slow down any time soon. In the game of SEO, time is of the essence, and one’s ability to implement new SEO trends is key to ranking high.
  2. Priority. To get a high ROI for your SEO efforts, you have to make your marketing techniques a priority. Whether you have one person or an entire team working on SEO, this job should have a spot in your business structure.
  3. Engagement. Now more than ever — thanks in part to Google’s personalized search technique — social media has an impact on SEO rankings. The more engagement you have on these sites, the better.
  4. Relevancy. Google loves original, quality, accurate and timely content. By sticking to these rules, your content will remain relevant and Google will reward you for it.

Five tips for effectively implementing agile marketing

Although agile marketing is still new in practice, leaders in the Internet marketing industry have already established a few tips for success.

  1. Plan ahead and set goals. Each year, establish a basic annual marketing plan that defines your themes and marketing goals for the year. Each month, evaluate your plan to incorporate the latest tools and purge any practices that aren’t providing the results you want.
  2. Pay attention to when and how you fall. Just like with any small business venture, failure is part of the SEO game. Don’t be afraid to see your rankings fall, but pay attention to why and when you fall so it doesn’t happen again for the same reason.
  3. Cut it out if it doesn’t work. The transition from traditional Internet marketing to agile marketing can be tough, but don’t be afraid to say goodbye to techniques that aren’t yielding the results you want. It’s likely that your competitors are cutting out these programs, and you don’t want to fall behind.
  4. Don’t manage agile marketing via e-mail. Google loves visible, mobile content, and e-mail just won’t cut it anymore. Instead of focusing on e-mail campaigns, make social media, website content and other shareable content the priority.
  5. Use your resources. As Internet marketing becomes the norm for nearly all businesses and industries, more and more resources are popping up all over the web. By simply typing “agile marketing” into your search bar, you’ll have an endless supply of videos, articles, tools and more right at your fingertips.

Agile marketing is the new face of Internet marketing, and although this list is nowhere near exhaustive, it is a good starting point for those who are new to the SEO game.

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Whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience under your belt, you need to build credibility to ensure the success of your brand or business. Being considered an expert in your field is one of the most effective ways to do this. Of course, the best way to be perceived as an expert is to actually be an expert, so here are few steps you can take to help the process along.

1. Pick up a pen…or a keyboard.

Whether you’re a full-fledged expert or you have a limited knowledge of your industry, you probably still know more about your market than the general public does. To establish your position as an expert, share what you know on as many public platforms as possible.

Once you’ve established a following, consider writing a book to further solidify your expert status. Remember, the best way to build your following and improve your credibility is to provide relevant, interesting and accurate information. Before you get started, you need to identify your goals, know your audience and check your facts.

2. Say it loud and proud.

Everybody has a story to tell. As a small business owner, you have experience that could benefit other people who are trying to establish their own start-ups. Once you’ve built an online following, try your hand at speaking to local organizations, civic groups and schools. Find an audience that you can relate to — a college business course if you’re a young entrepreneur, for example — and schedule a lecture or seminar. Chances are slim that you’ll be compensated for your first few lectures, but you’ll build your reputation as an expert — and get more publicity for your business — with each appearance you make.

3. Call yourself an expert.

It’s true that many experts have a master’s degree and years of impressive work experience on their resumes, but nothing makes you an expert like self-confidence and personal proclamation. Believe it or not, if you’ve developed and tested an idea, shared your knowledge, and established an audience for your brand or business, you’re an expert!

It’s important to hold onto your reputation as an industry expert once you achieve it for two reasons.

  1. More than half of small businesses fail within their first few years.
  2. The competitive entrepreneurial world is always changing.

It’s no secret that people remain loyal to brands and companies that offer better products and services than their competitors. Be sure you practice what you preach by staying on the cutting edge of what’s new and relevant in your industry. Your business will thrive as a result.

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