Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy at Kalicube, discusses what brand tech is and whether Google is your new business card. At some point in time, even if you’re a new business, your brand will be Googled. Unfortunately, what many organizations don’t understand is that controlling what appears when someone searches for their brand name is absolutely critical to their business. Today, Jason talks about whether Google is actually your business card or not.
[00:00:00] Narrator: From advertising to software as a service to data. Across all of our programs and clients, we’ve seen a 55 to 65% open rate. Getting brands authentically integrated into content performs better than TV advertising. Typical life span of an article is about 24 to 36 hours. If we’re reaching out to the right person with the right message and a clear call to action, that is just a matter of timing.
[00:00:33] Narrator: Welcome to the MarTech Podcast and I Hear Everything Production. In this podcast, you’ll hear the stories of world class marketers that use technology to drive business results and achieve career success. We’ll unearth the real world experiences of some of the brightest minds in the marketing and technology space so you can learn the tools, tips, and tricks they’ve learned along the way. Now here’s the host of the MarTech Podcast, Benjamin Shapiro.
Welcoming Back Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) and Remembering the Discussion About BrandTech
[00:01:02] Benjamin Shapiro: Welcome to the BrandTech episode of the MarTech Podcast. I’m your host, Benjamin Shapiro. And today we’re going to be discussing if Google is your business card. Joining us for our BrandTech series is Jason Barnard, who is The Brand SERP Guy at Kalicube, which is a digital marketing agency that is pioneering the concept of Brand SERP optimisation and Knowledge Panel management. Yesterday, Jason and I talked about what is BrandTech. And today we’re going to continue the conversation talking about whether Google is actually your business card or not. All right. Here’s the second part of my conversation with Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy at Kalicube. Jason, welcome back to our BrandTech series on the MarTech Podcast.
[00:01:45] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely brilliant, Ben. Thanks for having me back.
[00:01:48] Benjamin Shapiro: Excited to have you on the show, excited to get to do this early and often, as we discussed yesterday. We’re launching a thing. We’re trying to coin the term BrandTech, which is what we described in yesterday’s episode in great detail. It’s the interstitial layer between what most people think about brand marketing, creating a message that resonates with your audience. And it’s the notion that there are all of these new digital platforms that serve as a filter before your brand message actually gets to the people you want it to. And if you’re not careful, your message can be distorted. But if you do it right, you can open yourself up to all sorts of audiences that you might never have been able to get access to.
Google, the Biggest Platform That Is Relevant to BrandTech and Brand Marketers, Is Your Business Card
[00:02:27] Benjamin Shapiro: So, I’ve set the table. We now know what BrandTech is. Let’s talk a little bit about its application. And I think the biggest platform that is relevant to BrandTech and even brand marketers these days is Google. So talk to me about whether Google is actually your business card or not now.
[00:02:44] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, I was hoping that you were going to say that the biggest platform for helping brand managers with their brand online is Kalicube Pro, but I was disappointed is that you said Google, but you’re right. And what we do at Kalicube is manage what Google understands and how it presents us when somebody searches your brand name. And I’ve been saying for years, Google is your business card.
[00:03:08] Benjamin Shapiro: Why?
[00:03:08] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, every single client, every prospect, your investors, it doesn’t matter. They will google your brand name at some point in their journey. Potential employees, another example. And so brands will say, well, I’ve got a very low branded search volume, so it doesn’t matter. But if you’re a startup and you’ve got 20 searches a month on your brand name because you’re not well known, what happens if one of those 20 searches is the investor who’s going to give you $10 million. If that Google business card looks accurate, positive, and convincing, you’ve nailed $10 million. If it looks amateur, you’ve lost $10 million.
Some of the Things to Consider in Managing Your Google Business Card for It to Show Your Brand Message
[00:03:43] Benjamin Shapiro: And it’s really nuanced, right? I’ll speak from personal experience. I run the MarTech Podcast. People might look for Ben Shapiro podcast. Well, that actually creates a whole heap of problems for me because as it turns out, there’s a political podcaster that has the second most popular podcast in the world. And so when they’re looking for who’s the host of the MarTech Podcast and they go by my name, I’ve got some Brand SERP problems.
[00:04:09] Benjamin Shapiro: Now, if you happen to be named after another political podcaster and you are in podcasting, my sympathies, but it’s not just about what your Google My Business or what you’re feeding to Google to say about your website. It’s also what Google is deciding they should show and who they should show it to. So give me the 101 here. If Google is your business card, the primary place people look to understand who you are and what your company is, what are some of the ways, tools, things that you need to consider as you’re starting to reformat your business card?
[00:04:40] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): Exactly. This is what I built Kalicube Pro for. Basically, I had this problem. There’s another podcaster called Jason Barnard. He does music. I’m a musician, so there’s immense confusion for Google. And what I managed to do was dominate. So it becomes an idea of saying, I need to dominate through Google’s understanding of me as opposed to the other Jason Barnard from a personal perspective. And Kalicube Pro, I built the entire platform to see where is Google getting its information to understand who you are, what you do, and who your audience is, number one.
[00:05:15] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): Secondly, what are the results it will tend to show? Will it show Twitter? Will it show LinkedIn? Will it show Facebook? Will it show Crunchbase? And that depends on your entity type, person, business, podcast, music group, whatever that might be, your geolocation, and your industry. And what we can do is then analyse that and say, here are your sweet spot targets that you need to aim at for branding in the space of getting Google to understand who you are, what you’re doing, who your audience is. And I would argue that we do not have any insight into our own audiences as powerful as Google. I can’t think of any tech platform that understands who our audience is better than we do.
[00:05:55] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): And from that perspective, once Google starts to show your brand message on your Google business card in the way that you intended for the audience you intended with the offers you actually have that are going to help that audience, you are nailing it. Because if Google has understood, one would hope. Because it understands the world better than any other tech platform, your audience is going to be convinced by the message that you are pushing out to them. So for me, Google is a window into your market, into your audience, and to see how well you’re resonating with them.
Quoting a Movie to Compare It to People Who May Have the Same Personal Brand Name as You
[00:06:29] Benjamin Shapiro: Now there are different types of entities. We both explain personal problems that we have with people searching for our names. Have you seen the movie Office Space? Might just be purely an American film, but are you familiar with it?
[00:06:42] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): I’ve heard of it. Isn’t there a guy with glasses thing behind a desk?
[00:06:46] Benjamin Shapiro: There’s a part of the movie Office Space. And basically, it’s meant to be a stereotypical American company. And these guys start to decide that they’re not going to work very hard but want to stay employed.
[00:06:57] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): Totally different film. I do apologise. And then they set around the swimming pool. Yeah.
[00:07:02] Benjamin Shapiro: There is a guy with thick glasses that, not to spoil the movie, blows up the company at the end of the movie. So, it’s a comedy. And there’s a man that works at the company whose name is Michael Bolton. Michael Bolton’s a famous singer from the 80s that did a lot of power ballads. I don’t even know if I’d call them power ballads, but a lot of ballads and very emotional songs. And at one point, the Michael Bolton in Office Space calls the Michael Bolton, the singer, a no talent ass clown. That’s a quote, not my words.
Challenges Faced by Organisations and Personal Entities With Their Brand Names
[00:07:31] Benjamin Shapiro: And so, we’ve both got no talent ass clowns in our lives, people that are posing to be us that may or may not be more prominent in the eyes of Google. And that seems like it’s a personal problem. It also can happen for brands. So talk to me about some of the challenges that you see, different types of entities happening. Obviously, we’re talking about personal entities, me, you, we, or individual people. What about organisations? What are some of the challenges that they have with their business card on Google?
[00:07:58] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): With organisations, you have trademark and company registrations, which tend to make most brand names relatively unique within their georegion. So the problem is definitely reduced within a georegion for a company. You will not have two companies doing the same thing within a specific georegion or rarely. So, the problem is less prominent. But the huge issue with organisations is that they don’t understand that controlling what appears when somebody googles their brand name is the single most important thing for their business. Because not only are the people who are searching your brand name bottom-of-funnel or post-funnel clients who are just navigating to your website, but also Google’s, once again, representation of your brand through your Brand SERP, search engine results page, the exact name result in Google, represents Google’s understanding of you. And I cannot emphasize enough that everything you are doing within your SEO, search engine optimisation, strategy depends on Google’s understanding of who you are, what you do, and who your audience is.
[00:09:08] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): And one thing I wanted to do right in the beginning and I totally missed my chance is Google is your business card is something I’ve been saying for years, but increasingly Google is your website. And if you search for a name, for example, if you search for Jason Barnard in America, you will see what I call filter pills at the top. So it gives you my result then it says videos. If you click on that, it will show you my videos. Then if you click on songs, it will show you my songs. And if you click on education, it will show you where I was educated. Now, for the moment, that’s for people, it’s for songs and it’s for products and it’s for books. But at some point in the next year or so, it’s going to be for companies. And that means if you think about the filter pills, search my name, Jason Barnard, and you’ll see the filter pills and you’ll see it is fundamentally simply a navigation system for the Google based website, mini website about you or your brand or your group or whichever one it is. And that for me is a huge challenge we have to deal with in the years coming forward.
The Steps to Take So You Can Protect Yourself or Your Brand From Unwanted Modifications of What You Want to Say and to Establish Your Brand Presence
[00:10:08] Benjamin Shapiro: What I’m hearing from you is that there’s different problems for different entity types. When you talk about individual people, my personal business card, you have to worry about other people that look and sound like you, the other Ben Shapiro, the other political podcast, or the other Jason Barnard. We both happen to have the same problem. It is imposters. It’s lookalikes. It’s confusion about which person you’re actually looking for.
[00:10:32] Benjamin Shapiro: On the business entity side, very rarely is it while there are two businesses that are named the same thing doing the same type of work. There’s no two Nikes. Nobody’s confusing Apple Computers with Apple Cleaning Services. The problem that you have is that Google as an algorithm, as a brand display function can modify and change what you want to say about yourself. So what are some of the ways that you can protect yourself or your brand from Google making unwanted modifications of what you want to say to your customers to establish your brand presence?
[00:11:11] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): It comes back to the most fundamental point. I said Brand SERPs are the most important point, but actually underlying your Brand SERP is what I call your Entity Home. Google call it reconciliation or the point of reconciliation. And what we don’t often realise is that Google, the algorithm, is looking for one page on the internet that represents your entity as a person, as a company, as a music group, as a music album, as a TV show, as a podcast, whatever it might be. It’s looking for that one page that you control, that represents you. And it seems counterintuitive to imagine that Google’s looking for something that you control to explain who you are, what you do, and who your audience is.
[00:11:54] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): But the point of it is that it’s got lots of fragmented information that it’s found around the web, and it’s trying to put it together like a broken plate puzzle. And it’s not able to do that with confidence. What it’s looking for is your full plate puzzle, all put together correctly so that it can compare what it’s found around the web, which is desperately fragmented. So, from that perspective, the single most important thing for you is to make sure that Google understands where your entity, in inverted commas, lives on the internet. You provide a clear explanation of who you are, what you do, and who your audience is. And then you point it to the different sources that corroborate that so that it can then build its puzzle and compare that to your version and become confident that you are telling the truth.
Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on Being Interested on Looking at Different Platforms Other Than Google
[00:12:41] Benjamin Shapiro: There is a way to influence Google, to write what you want them to write about you. And we talked about BrandTech being the ability to create and craft a resonating message to reach your audience, but you have to run it through this platform filter, these technology solutions that are going to display that message, and they have the ability to filter it or misinterpret what you’re saying as they see fit. That’s the challenge of BrandTech.
[00:13:07] Benjamin Shapiro: And we’re going to dive more into this topic as a reoccurring series. We’re going to bring Jason on and talk a little bit more about BrandTech, not only why Google is your business card, how to optimise, but also some of the other platforms that are out there. Not everybody has Google as their business card. I would argue that Apple is actually our business card as a podcast. People are searching for in the podcast app store, which is a little bit more of an edge case for most brands. But I do think it’s important to understand the various different platforms in the way that they are interpreting who you are as a brand and trying to display that information to your audience.
[00:13:42] Benjamin Shapiro: Jason, I appreciate you coming on the podcast and recording another episode of our BrandTech series. Thanks again for being my guest.
[00:13:48] The Brand SEPR Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely brilliant. And I would just like to say I focused on Google, but I will be so interested to look into all of these different platforms and understand how it is we deal with that filter, how it is we explain to these machines who we are, what we do, and who our audience is so that they can, as you said, represent us to our audience in a manner that makes sense to our business.
Get In Touch With Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Through Twitter, LinkedIn, and His Company’s Website
[00:14:11] Benjamin Shapiro: Lots to look forward to. And that wraps up this episode of the MarTech Podcast. Thanks for listening to my conversation with Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy at Kalicube. If you’d like to get in touch with Jason, you could find a link to his LinkedIn profile on our shownotes. You can contact him on Twitter. His handle is jasonmbarnard. Or you could visit his company’s website, which is kalicube.com.
[00:14:38] Benjamin Shapiro: Just one more link in our shownotes I’d like to tell you about. If you didn’t have a chance to take notes while you were listening to this podcast, head over to martechpod.com, where we have summaries of all of our episodes and contact information for our guests. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter and you can even send us your topic suggestions or your marketing questions, which we’ll answer live on our show. Of course you can always reach out on social media. Our handle is martechpod on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Or you can contact me directly. My handle is benjshap. And if you haven’t subscribed yet and you want a daily stream of marketing and technology knowledge in your podcast feed, we’re going to publish an episode every day this year. So hit the subscribe button in your podcast app, and we’ll be back in your feed tomorrow morning. All right. That’s it for today. But until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy.