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The Loop blog covers all things online marketing – from website design to SEO, content marketing and social media. Stay in the loop, not out on a wire.

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While 2015 has seen the way we search the internet – and not just on Google – continue its rapid evolution, 2016 promises to have even more surprises in store. Here our latest blog explores what you can expect to see more of in the New Year.

The Scoop is our regular scoop up of the latest in online marketing. In this edition of The Scoop we take a look back at 2015, while catching up on some of the things happening right now - from Google's RankBrain, the latest search ranking factors, B2B trends, and the social video boom.

Both the future and the fate of Google+ (dependent on what side of the fence you sit on) have been much debated across the web. Has Google’s social network, Google+, got a future? Or is it ill fated?

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When Google rebranded its long-established Webmaster Tools as the ‘Google Search Console’ earlier this year, we might have scoffed just a little here at Loop.  The ‘new’ console didn’t appear to offer anything fresh, apart from a renamed Search Analytics reports section (previously called Search Queries reports).

The Scoop is our regular roundup of content marketing, SEO and social media stories. All scooped by the Loop team. In our first edition of The Scoop: global and local SEO ranking factors outlined, the state of B2B content marketing report, Google's latest Penguin 3.0 update and our latest free e-book guide is released.

“Content marketing might seem like a new concept,” runs the intro to our latest how-to guide. “But it has been around a long time. In its most basic form it is selling through storytelling.” The new how-to guide – Get started with content marketing – was launched just this week.

We've launched a host of digital marketing resources that businesses are able to access and use for free. Here at Loop we've created an entirely new area on our website – called Your Content Central – which houses everything from e-books and films to cheat sheets and how-to guides. 

Building a bridge and forging a relationship between your brand and its audiences is essential for your online marketing to succeed. And this is where social media can become a tour de force for your business.

The web is a big place and it's easy for your efforts to get lost. While it can be difficult to rise above the noise and the strenuous efforts of others without resorting to shouting (i.e. posting too much of the wrong kind of content and in the wrong places), being open and boundless in your approach by using your imagination is going to help you to stand out.

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A video presentation on Google+ and its influence on search by our director, Richard Wynn. The short film forms part of a series entitled 'In a nutshell', produced by online video marketing company, Bitpod.

Creating original content may be one of the ways to establish yourself as a thought leader in your chosen industry. But it’s easy to forget that sharing other people’s content can also be a valuable way of reaching and influencing audiences, and building a brand.

Twitter offers a range of cards that enable businesses to create a more engaging experience for users who share their content. But towards the end of last year it added a new, more powerful card to its deck, and made it available to Twitter advertisers. 

Our blog series with local technology writer, Mark Jones, continues with native advertising. As people navigating the internet and visiting websites have become more wary about the traditional display adverts they’re constantly bombarded with, it has become necessary to explore different, less intrusive, methods of delivering effective advertising. That’s where native comes in.

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Dear friends, we would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. But we couldn't just leave it at that, without talking about online marketing in some way or another. So here goes.

In our new blog series we’ve hooked up with Devon-based technology writer, Mark Jones, to look at the latest digital platforms and practices. Mark doesn’t live far from our Loop base so we thought: why not, let’s write a series of blogs together. So let’s explore emerging online opportunities and the internet as a hot-bed of creativity – starting with Vine.

Here at Loop we believe sound and structured planning will always lead to great results. That’s why we use a friendly model with a slightly jargony name called SOSTAC: situation, objectives, strategy, tactics, action, control.

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#FreeYourMarketing is all about what you need to do now as a business owner or marketer if you want to get found in search results, be seen on the web and drive real traffic to your website. What we’re saying is that the past is past and how you might have previously carried out SEO - how you optimise your site for search engines - is completely different in today’s world.

Google’s Penguin updates have been transforming the face of search for some time. Aimed at stripping away spammy approaches to search engine optimisation (SEO), the updates have changed the way you need to carry out SEO. Here are seven pointers to help you stay ahead of SEO and keep you in with a shout when it comes to people finding your business online.

So, Penguin 2.0 is now here having been rolled out by Google over the last couple of days. For SEOers this is major event. Not as big as Penguin 1.0 which really hit hard last year, but a huge event nonetheless. For many businesses the update could mean a serious dent in search rankings and much-needed traffic.

The internet has transformed marketing. The relationship between a company and customers is now, more than ever, a two-way process – with customers increasingly wanting to engage with brands in new ways. And, when we're online, our expectations have changed too.

It seems that brand newsrooms are the hot new trend in marketing right now. But should you believe the hype or not? According to Saya Weissman's blog on the Digiday website: “In reality, the model is not right for the majority of brands.” But brands are finding the newsroom idea enticing.

I’ve just been thinking about my twin obsessions since the New Year: my online marketing business, Loop, and losing weight. I've come to the conclusion that how I approach both is firmly rooted in the new marketing landscape, which is increasingly digital and data-driven yet one in which brand, story telling and experiential marketing still hold true. 

Online, the new mantra says, you are what you publish. And 2013 is undoubtedly the year for brands to become publishers. Content marketing is now. That is, how you position and tell your organisation's narrative through online content and link this to key stages in your customers' decision journey. Simply so they engage with you and make that mental leap from liking what you say to wanting to do business with you.

In an excellent post on the E-consultancy blog late last year, Ashley Freidlein suggested that we used to talk about T-shaped people in marketing: "That is, marketers with a broad set of knowledge and skills across marketing but with a deep specialism in a particular area.”

This is the second post in our series looking at thoughts and ideas that have interested us here at Loop over the year. At the Hubspot inbound marketing conference – Stop Marketing, Start Engaging – David Meerman-Scott gave a fascinating and lively presentation about the 4th way to generate attention.

As the year draws to an end this is the first in a series of blogs looking at thoughts and ideas that have interested us here at Loop over the year. 

I attended the Content Marketing Show in London in the week. Held at the rickety but venerable Conway Hall in Holburn, the show celebrated the best of online marketing’s hottest subject, content marketing. Or “instant direct mail” as my friend derided.

Here at Loop we understand that the internet has handed people more control and influence over brands than ever before. That’s only a good thing. The days of simply broadcasting (or for some brands just shouting) your messages are over.

Content marketing is one of the hottest topics in online marketing. Econsultancy's first Content Marketing Survey Report, released recently and based on a survey of more than 1,300 marketers working for brands, agencies, and publishers, is a prime example of interest in the subject.

Hubspot and their all-in-one inbound marketing software will hit the UK for the Inbound Marketing Conference on Tuesday 6 November.

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