You’re probably asking yourself, “Why slide 25?” Lemme explain. Actually no, that would take far too long. Lemme sum up: slide number 25, which is focused on what marketers are doing that actually work for them at each stage of the funnel. I found this slide incredibly useful and practical for someone trying to do their best work with limited information (which is all of us, isn’t it?). First, observe. Then let’s dive in:
Quick caveat, before I go digging into this slide: I know not everyone’s customer journey looks the same. But if you’re working with limited information, this is a great place to start. You can create your own version of this as you learn what works for you.
Build Brand Awareness
The other great thing about blogs is they can address things that don’t fit into your website’s navigation. They are a market research goldmine to get a better sense for what is driving people to your site when you experiment with keywords. But, good blogging is not complete without it’s sisters: SEO and social media.
Let’s start with SEO...
Doing the SEO research is a key part to being found. On the topic of commonly heard phrases, if a blog post gets posted on the internet but there aren’t any keywords to find it, does it ever get read? The answer is a resounding NO.
If you’re doing it, you win over your competitor who is not doing it. And there’s a shocking number of people failing to invest in this step. Do your research. Know what people are searching for. And do it in a way that aligns with three big categories for your product:
And if you’re not sure where to start, I recommend AnswerthePublic.com. It's kind of amazing. You can put a word in and it will dump out all of the questions that people are asking around that phrase. It might make your job easier. Try it.
Don’t let SEO down. It makes your blogs sad.
Did You Notice that Social Media had its Own Bullet Point?
You’re generating content? Perfect. Those posts feed the social media machine. That’s why 25% of people are using tweets, stories, and updates to share their content. They’re using strategically chosen hashtags (critical, please do your research and find the ones that work best for you, please, please, pretty please) to help build an audience and get their message in front of people who might not have known about them in the first place by offering relevant content.
Oh, and keep it rolling ok? Consistent social media updates means more visitors to your site that could turn into more customers. For my clients, I recommend the 3/2/1 social media plan.
Something to note: this only works for evergreen content. Events are too timely and don’t lend to long term social strategies unless you start advertising your event far in advance. Like Content Marketing Institute does for Content Marketing World.
Doing this will ensure you have a constant stream of social media on your channels. No one will ever think to themselves, “Geeze, they haven’t tweeted in awhile. I wonder if they monitor their channels.” It will always look like you’re rocking your social media game even if you have a slow week here and there.
In-Person Events Rock!
So, using events can give you an opportunity to know who you are, and how you might benefit them in some way. That could look like a networking event, a class, or a cocktail hour. This is an opportunity to build trust with them and show that the people in your organization are human beings. They want to have fun or get information and connect with other human beings. You want to give it to them in a way that’s easy to ingest, piques their curiosity and isn’t really about you. It needs to be about THEM.
I personally hate newsletters, on the whole. But there are a few that don’t suck: Content Marketing Institute. Ladies Get Paid. Tech Ladies. The Riveter. FBomb Breakfast Club. I’ve heard killer things about Ann Handley's as well.
The holy grail here is to get people to fanboiii over your content. You want them disappointed if it goes into the promotional folder because they’ve told Google ten times that they want it in their main inbox. If they watch out for it, you are creating a relationship.
Also incredibly useful: email nurtures. But, let’s save that for another blog.
In Person Events… Again
Oftentimes, if your product or service is over a thousand dollars it can take some real time to close a deal like that. If that's the case for you, multiple events throughout this process make absolute sense. Can’t get married without meeting the person a couple of times (I mean, that’s my philosophy, no judgement if you are doing the arranged marriage thing). These could look like VIP parties, panel invitations, conferences, parties for an award win.
No matter what your event is, ensure that what you’re putting on is an intersection between people’s passion or plague and your passion and solution. And when an event is done right, as Joe Pulluzi and Robert Rose like to say, marketing can be a revenue stream.
Oh, Case Studies, How We Love Thee
When you do it right, it’s an onion
Marketing isn’t a one-and-done sort of project. As the slide illustrates, you need multiple efforts at each level of the funnel. When it’s done right, each layer of expertise and well-executed messaging creates… well, an onion. Layers and layers of thoughtful, data-driven, creative marketing. A delicious, and profitable onion.
I'm a veteran digital marketer whose career has grown up with the Internet.