It’s Day Three of the Sage Marketing Academy and there was a lot of ground covered.
We began with the business card analysis topic (already discussed here) and moved on to discuss search engine marketing and optimization.
Search Engine Marketing and Optimization
This is a far-reaching topic with a lot of considerations. There’s a lot out there on the internet about those topics and I’m not going to be able to do it justice in this post.
Suffice it to say that search engine marketing and optimization is an extremely important concept and we should all pay attention to it and how easy (or difficult) it is for people to find us on the internet. Here’s a statistic that underscores that thought:
The #1 position in search engine results can receive up to 42.3% of all click-throughs and the #2 position will drop to a measly 11.92% of all click-throughs.
So … figure out what key words (search terms) your prospects would use to find you and optimize your website to get to that #1 position!
When you are thinking through your key words, give consideration to the “long tail” theory as well. The long tail essentially says that the main key words for searching will be slammed with requests but there is a lot of opportunity to grab the folks searching for more specific topics.
So, as an example, in my world, I would like to capture the audience searching for “CRM” or “Sage CRM”. Well – there’s a lot of competition out there for those terms. When I blog, I will use those key words a lot but it’s also beneficial to create specific articles such as “How to Create Custom Integrations Between Sage CRM and Sage Accpac ERP”.
There won’t be as many people searching for a term on the long tail but when they do, you will be capturing their attention. Something to consider as you create your website and content (blogs, brochures, pages, whatever).
A great idea presented by marketing wunderkinds Dan Kraus and Laura Lorenz of Leading Results was the concept of marketing themes. In a nutshell, a marketing theme is a way to tie together several marketing initiatives under a common umbrella.
Great marketing themes:
- Are value based
- Drive content that educates
- Drive content that builds trust
- Create engagement opportunities
Some theme examples include:
- Excel is not meant to be a reporting tool
- Duplication of effort
- Outgrowing your current system
- Finding the right staffing
Find one that works for you and break it down into sub-topics that can then be expanded upon over the course of several posts, webinars, etc. It’s a great way to help you plan out new content (which is always a challenge) and help your search rankings.
I am doing this more and more with my own efforts. See my recent effort on “Bizarro Social Networking” as an example.
This is a good segue into blogging. Blogging is ugly, time-consuming, hard to get started and then it’s difficult to keep going. I realize that I’m painting a pretty bleak picture of it but … it’s the truth.
It’s also true though that blogging should be a key component of all of our content strategy. It can:
- Add depth to your website
- Provide a place to show your expertise
- Allow you to display your corporate personality
- Give you a platform to repurpose other content
- Provide a tangible way to allow others in your value chain (employees, partners, customers) to contribute
- Feed the search engine spiders
For me, the biggest benefit of blogging is that it allows people to get to know, like and trust you before they even meet you. That goes pretty far with building relationships with people which can lead to doing business together.
This post is already longer than I typically like (if you made it this far – congratulations!) but we covered a LOT of ground on Day Three.
Most of the afternoon was spent discussing Social Media – it’s importance in today’s world and the many different paths that you can follow. If you are reading this blog, I have to assume that you probably are aware of the value of Social Media.
Your challenge – like mine – is probably figuring out how to make sense of it all and how to prioritize your efforts.
I would recommend that you start with a blog. From there, you have (hopefully valuable) content to distribute to the different avenues – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Slideshare, etc. Once you get a pattern of producing fresh content, slowly start trickling it out to the folks that would find it of interest.
Note: It all has to start with VALUABLE content. It’s going to be a rare person that is interested in reading blog articles that are nothing more than sales pitches. Put the audience first and your products and services last (if you mention them at all). By talking about your audience’s needs, wants, problems, you will speak more to them than droning on about your awesome set of products and services.
Believe it or not, there were a few more topics covered on Day Three. One in particular that is of huge value to you and your prospects and customers is public speaking. I will break that out into an upcoming post (and if I have time I will expand on a few other topics not covered above).