Consumers are constantly changing how they discover new products and services, so businesses, too, must evolve how they reach their customers and potential customers. Pumping time and money into only SEO may improve your conversions, but relying on Organic Search alone is not a winning strategy. We are here to inform you about all the different platforms and options when it comes to marketing.
The customer journey is no longer linear – it is dynamic and reliant on many platforms and touchpoints. See the chart in our blog “Measuring Marketing Attribution” to see just how dynamic and different all the touchpoints are in our modern world.
This blog intends to inform you of all the different avenues you can use in your marketing such as content marketing, email marketing, and PPC. In a later blog titled, “Part 2: So, You Want to do Marketing, Where Do you Start?” we will take these avenues and channels that we introduced here and tell you in which order you should be implementing them in accordance with the size of your marketing budget and time you have on hand. Scroll down to the green box at the bottom of this blog to sign up for weekly updates that will link you to that blog when it comes out. For now, let’s identify what’s in your marketing bag that you can pick from.
This article is one in a series of deep-dive blogs that are educational content. These longer-form articles inform our readers about not only essential marketing information but also our personal feelings and values that we hold as a business. Make sure to read our last blog in the series after this, “Retargeting.”
Content marketing is an approach focused on creating valuable and relevant content to attract and retain a defined audience, to ultimately drive customer conversions. Content marketing can range from blogs and podcasts to Instagram posts, and other social media. High-quality content is key to visually growing a brand presence, and being able to adjust to the nuances of each platform will only ever be a benefit to you.
There are some specific strengths of content marketing that cannot be found in search results alone. Here are some examples of why it’s important to work with content marketing in tandem with your SEO:
- It creates a sense of community around your brand.
- It allows you to manage your brand image. When people search for your business, your website may show up as one of the results, but your social media pages will also show up. You can control the narrative in how your audience perceives you.
- It allows customers to directly interact with your brand, which builds a relationship and creates a conversation.
- It educates your audience about your offerings. You can create content demonstrating use cases and how-to guides. This can act as a point of inspiration for a purchase when the potential buyer can understand how the product works.
Whichever strategy you choose for content marketing, make sure that you are tracking your performance – learn and pivot to focus on what type of content works the best for your business. Social media is highly flexible and dynamic and with new updates to apps all the time, and new publishing platforms emerging it’s important to stay on top of trends and the next best thing.
Here are a few examples of content marketing that you should consider integrating:
With a higher word count than just copy on your website, blogs offer a space where your unique style and personal voice can shine through. With the ability to add links and resources, along with the space to flesh out any personal advice or opinions you have, blogs serve as a great way to boost your credibility with your customers and potential customers.
When it comes to blogs, it’s overkill to try to publish five blogs a week each stuffed with keywords that try to over-optimize. Not only is that a straight shot to a lot of poorly thought out and short content ending up on your page, but it will also quickly lead to burnout. It’s better to focus on consistency and quality. We recommend choosing two days a week to publish blogs in the beginning and sticking with it. Focus on topics that you feel passionate about and think you can help contribute to an ongoing conversation in some way. Maybe not every blog, but at least every one in four blogs should be like that.
Another avenue that is writing-heavy that you can utilize is publishing an eBook. This definitely won’t apply to everyone, but if it’s a long-term project you want to do alongside publishing blogs, it can help bring in a different kind of audience to your business. But just like we’re about to talk about with podcasts, make sure you don’t put it off until the “perfect” time or you have an idea for the “perfect” first chapter to write the eBook, just get started as soon as possible and perfect it later.
Podcasts are another creative outlet that you can publish through, with over 104mm active listeners in the US. While it may seem daunting when you’re first starting, a podcast is an even more direct line of communication with your audience that showcases you and your business’s unique perspective. It also allows people to hear your physical voice, which can go a long way in creating a connection with your listeners.
At marketANDgrow, Sajid has a weekly podcast called the #TWIMshow. When he was just getting started with the podcast, however, he had a lot of indecision leading up to starting it. He thought he had to have everything perfect before he started, which ended up just getting in his own way. Looking back, he wished he wouldn’t have spent so much time fretting over that first episode. He even says it ended up being crap anyway, and there was no one to listen to it. But once he got over that initial hump and just started posting regularly, his podcast just started improving along the way. What we’re trying to say is that you have plenty of time to perfect it as you go along. Don’t worry so much about what equipment you have, just use what you have to get your voice out there.
There are over 3.6 billion global social media users, and being able to reach this large audience can drastically broaden your customer base. Everyone knows the big platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, etc. However, the key is being able to hone into each platform’s strengths and use that to your advantage. For example, Pinterest is great for eCommerce businesses because of its visual aspect and the easy linking back to your website.
Don’t be afraid to use all of the tools at your disposal. Infographics are a great way to display content in an easy-to-understand graphic format and can be published on all your platforms including your website. They help simplify complex topics so they are easier to understand, which boosts your credibility.
Ok, so you’re not a writer. Video platforms are your friend! Videos can be published on your website, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, you name it. And these days, Google will index videos that are on your website. Listen to #TWIMShow episode 117 where Sajid covers this topic. Short-form videos are a great way to quickly capture your audience’s attention with bite-sized information that can draw intrigue to your business, while long-form videos can aim to educate and build a stronger relationship between the customer and your brand. Videos are a great alternative to blog writing because essentially they allow your voice to be heard without needing spell check or Grammarly. Working with your strengths instead of against your weaknesses will make you sound more authentic since everything will feel less forced. Plus, you will probably be more likely to keep a consistent schedule and not let things fall behind.
Content marketing is a long game. You can’t just post content that has a million keywords that took you months to perfect, and it will automatically take off like a rocket ship. It’s not going to happen like that. Sajid once went to a conference where he heard Vanessa Van Edwards, a popular author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, talking about just this. She said that she wrote blogs twice a week for years and showed that only her friends and family would read them for a long time. But after four years, her readership took off like crazy – her Google tracking chart looked like a hockey stick. The point of her story is that you shouldn’t give up on your content marketing just because right now not many people are reading it. There will be that one person that stumbles upon your blog and then suddenly they’re in the rabbit hole and reading all of your content. That is when you convert them to your follower and believer in you with the content you’ve been putting out for years. You never know when that break is, so keep at it so that when people do find you, they can see your consistency. We’re going to dive much deeper into this topic in part two of this blog and you do not want to miss what Sajid has to say on this topic, so be sure to look out for “Part 2: So, You Want to do Marketing, Where Do you Start?”
Email marketing allows you to communicate to your subscribers and customers to sell products, share news, improve cart abandonment, and more. It is highly effective, it allows you to engage with your audience on your own time and foster relationships in a highly controlled environment.
Our most significant piece of advice on this front is as long as you have one person subscribed to your email list, make sure to send out one to two emails a month at a minimum. You might think to hold off and wait until you have 25 subscribers to start sending emails, but that is not the right way to grow and scale your business. One subscriber is better than zero. Get started right away so that when you do get to 25 subscribers, you will have already worked out all the kinks and will naturally have a smoother product to send to people.
We have a whole blog on email marketing for you to check out if you’re interested. There you will find tips, opinions, and help with your email marketing. Email marketing is also a really good method of retargeting, which we have a blog on as well.
Digital advertising and pay-per-click (PPC)
PPC ads attract consumers to your website when they search for a relevant keyword. PPC and SEO strategies should complement each other since both rely on keywords that should shift together. Using data to gather insights into both organic and paid search results can provide a more holistic view of keyword trends, which will fuel future keyword discovery and performance improvement. Below are a few PPC best practices, but for more information be sure to check out our blog “Google Ads Optimization Made Easy – 6 Tips to Save Big.”
- Identify keywords with high costs per click (CPC) and low organic visibility and cut your budget in these areas
- Create relevant ads that are focused on consumer needs and wants, and make sure your creative team knows your demographics to create highly targeted and relevant ads to optimize your CPC
PPC should probably come after you’ve already done the content marketing and email marketing and are ready for the next big boost. We will go more into the specifics of this in the second part of this blog coming out in the next few weeks.
SEO should not be siloed. By prioritizing the customer journey and leveraging SEO insights, you can create cross-channel platforms that connect with customers across all of your touchpoints. This only helps your business by improving your digital presence and therefore driving higher and faster returns on investment.
Knowing how to measure your growth from all of these channels is a very important aspect of integrating them into your marketing strategy. Be sure to check out our blog “Measuring Marketing Attribution.” Also, be sure to stay tuned for the second part of this two-part blog series where we will tell you which of these channels you should start with based on your time and budget. Scroll down to subscribe to our Monday newsletter to keep up to date.