Inbound marketing and content marketing have been on my mind a lot lately. More specifically, how to get smarter on inbound and content marketing has been on my mind. With as fast as our worlds are changing thanks to new information being shared and created online every day, PR pros need to continually strive to soak up new information related to how we can best help our clients share information online and reach the people who matter most to their business.
As PR pros, writing is at the core of what we do. So naturally, we need to understand how content can successfully be used for PR and marketing purposes online…but not in a skeezy “look at me, all I do is talk about me, me me” kind of way! Good storytelling through content combined with the power of social media can drive sales. But just like every other communications initiative, you don’t just slap together content, post it everywhere online you can possibly think of, then sit back and wait for the sales to roll in. With every content marketing initiative comes a strategy.
Since acquiring new knowledge and ideas related to this topic has become my latest obsession, I was really excited when I read on Spin Sucks that there would be a webinar about growing sales through inbound marketing with Marcus Sheridan from the The Sales Lion. I was in a really good place at the end of this webinar because Marcus discussed several things that we’re already doing for clients, but I also came away with some new ideas.
And of course, I want to share some of the important things Marcus discussed during this webinar. So here are key takeaways, with some commentary from yours truly added in parentheses:
- Your industry niche is not the exception to the rule. Inbound marketing can work for any type of business.
- Long tail keywords will change your life (I can definitely attest to this one through the SEO programs we’ve implemented for clients!). They’re the low hanging fruit of the content marketing industry. Three words or greater makes up the long tail. A long tail keyword is a question stated as is.
- The long tail is so important because people serious about spending money type in longer words on the Internet (I buy this, but I’d love to know the source of this stat). The problem is too many people get caught up in the short tail when thinking about content and SEO.
- Anyone who has ever answered a question about your products or services is a content producer within your company. Pose one question to your staff: What are the top questions we get from clients/customers? Get exact questions the way customers word them. Brainstorm and write down questions from prospects. You should come up with at least 100 and not spend more than 30 minutes. Now, take those questions and turn each one into the title of a blog post. You’re not really thinking if you say you don’t know what to write about.
- People are afraid to talk about cost, but that’s what customers want to know. Marcus’ cost page acquired him more customers than any other page/content on his site. Figure out how to talk about pricing. Don’t ignore it.
- Marcus never used Google’s Keyword Tool in his life (I understand why Marcus never used it, but I think Google’s Keyword Tool is definitely valuable and provides great insight when you’re performing keyword research). The greatest SEO keyword tool is in clients and employees.
- Talk about problems and solutions. Be open to how your product/service isn’t for everyone. You can’t make everyone happy.
- Use the “versus” concept to create content – X vs. Y. Incorporate comparisons into your content.
- Write about negative things related to your business/products/services because people want to know that information. If someone searches “negative reviews of…” or “problems with…” you want to address those issues with solutions through your own content.
- Don’t go after the big gun search phrases that the Goliaths own (this is a big one – don’t start by going after the most generic keyword phrases related to your business that have 20 million search results in Google). Remember, start with low hanging fruit.
- Remember that 80% don’t click to the second page on Google.
- Freekeywords.wordtracker.com/keyword-questions – type in any phrase and it pops out major questions online related to that phrase.
- Create your own content army and leverage blog posts throughout the sales process.
- Don’t just think about content from an SEO perspective.
Thanks to Marcus, Gini Dietrich, Lisa Gerber and the rest of the Spin Sucks team for putting together this webinar!
Do you have additional inbound or content marketing tips? If so, share them in the comments.