How to accelerate lead quality and conversions with content marketing optimization


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  • SEO, in light of a content strategy, involves more than just the optimization of webpages with keywords.
  • Here’s a look at how you can develop a content strategy. “Content marketing optimization” is a term that’s come into vogue to describe the marriage of content development and the knowledge of how search engines crawl and index websites. This strategy covers both those elements.  Gauge the content demand by keyword area Examine social conversations to define the context of the content demand. Context is everything. Here’s where social conversations really give you a sense of language. How are they talking about it? Where? Why? How often? What kinds of answers are they looking for?Inventory your existing contentCompare existing content sources against the required contentEvaluate the quality of existing contentDevelop a gap-closure planCreate new or edit existing contentMeasure the impact on rankings and search traffic
  • Content creation is considered the most difficult tactic, so repurposing is a nice way to get ahead of the curve. Here’s an example of how you can audit existing content for repurposing. The first step is to take an inventory of existing content that has potential for inbound marketing purposes. Start with your website, blogs, sales collateral, presentations, analyst reports, press releases and executive interviews. ON and on. The more departments you include in your audit, the more content you will uncover.Next to each piece of existing content, list the number of ways you can repurpose it. By repurposing, we mean updating existing content or modifying content from one format to another to once again make it current and relevant to the target audience.I’ll now hand this back to Sergio, who’s going to show
  • Make it easy for people to find, consume and share your content.
  • How to accelerate lead quality and conversions with content marketing optimization

    1. 1. Webinars1. You will receive a link to the webinar recording2. Please fill out the post-webinar survey3. Join the MarketingSherpa LinkedIn group for exclusive updates4. You will receive a webinar-exclusive special offer on the 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition5. Connect and share – – Twitter @SherpaWebinar ∙ @SlingShotSEO #sherpawebinar
    2. 2. How to accelerate lead quality and conversionswith content marketing optimization April 26, 2012 1:00 PM ET Sponsored by:
    3. 3. Speakers Kaci Bower Senior Research Analyst, MECLABS @kacibower W. Jeffrey Rice Senior Research Analyst, MECLABS @wjeffreyr #sherpawebinar
    4. 4. Join the conversation on Twitter #sherpawebinar
    5. 5. A research-based webinar#sherpawebinar
    6. 6. Webinar content follows rigorous research• Annual research cycle •Industry research surveys •Case studies and articles •Identify best practices •Formulate methodologies •Actionable training #sherpawebinar
    7. 7. Benchmark Research Library – since 2008• The collective wisdom of more than 48,000 marketers• Nearly 5,000 pages of analytical commentary and marketer insights• More than 6,000 charts and data tables to validate what’s working – and what’s not – in marketing today #sherpawebinar
    8. 8. Today, we’re going to discuss: 1. Key findings about content marketing from research into 1,530 search marketers 2. Five steps ( 5 P’s) to improve lead quality and conversions with content marketing optimization 3. Two case studies showcasing examples of content marketing optimization tactics to build traffic, generate leads and drive revenue #sherpawebinar
    9. 9. Research background1,530 search marketers weresurveyed on: – Challenges and goals for search marketing programs – Growing shift to inbound marketing – Popularity, effectiveness and difficulty per SEO tactic – Role of content in SEO programs #sherpawebinar
    10. 10. Key finding: Content creation most effective – and most difficult Sphere size indicates level of usage 60% • Content creation 50% Content stands apart in cluster creation Keyword and of SEO tactics keyphrase Title tags SEO research 40% landing pages • Most effective at ExternalLevel of Effectiveness Meta URL structure link building achieving marketing description 30% tags Digital asset Social objectives optimization media Internal integration Blogging linking 20% • Also the most difficult Competitor tactic in terms of time, Benchmarking 10% money and effort required 0% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Degree of Difficulty Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530 #sherpawebinar
    11. 11. Key finding: Marketers are using many different content formats Sphere size indicates level of usage 60% Customer • Half of marketers Reviews surveyed state that Web 50% Pages Web pages are very Webinars/ Wecasts Whitepapers effective in helping Microsites them achieve their 40%Level of Effectiveness E-newsletters Case Studies marketing objectives Articles Blogs eBooks • Important to look 30% Press Releases Online beyond Web pages in Video Images Social Media Mobile Content content marketing 20% (other than blogs) Digital Magazines optimization efforts Podcasts 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Degree of Difficulty Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530 #sherpawebinar
    12. 12. Attendee question:Can you provide any statistics or results of using content optimizationin terms of lead conversion?- B. Saltys #sherpawebinar
    13. 13. Key finding: Content accelerates lead quality and conversions % Organizations Rating Leads from Organic Search as Highest-Quality Average Conversion Rate on Organic Traffic Content creators:12% • Convert 28% more10% organic traffic 9% 28% lift 7% • Deem leads from8% organic search to be of6% the highest quality more often4% • Produce higher-quality2% leads that are more likely to convert 16% 20%0% NON-CONTENT CREATOR CONTENT CREATOR We do not use content creation or digital asset We use content creation and digital asset optimization as SEO tactics. optimization as SEO tactics. Source: ©2011 MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded April 2011, N=1,530 #sherpawebinar
    14. 14. How can organizations mindfully approach thecreation and optimization of their content products? #sherpawebinar
    15. 15. Content Marketing Optimization 1. Purpose 2. Process 3. People5. Performance 4. Presentation #sherpawebinar
    16. 16. But, first, a definition… Content marketing optimization is a term that describes the marriage of content strategy and SEO expertise. “It is the art of understanding exactly what your prospects and customers need to know, deliberately producing optimized content based on keyword phrases that are driving organic search traffic and conversions, and then delivering that optimized content to them in a relevant and compelling way to grow your business by socializing the content through your organization’s social networks.”Sources: Content Marketing Institute; Krista LaRiviere #sherpawebinar
    17. 17. Content Marketing Optimization 1. Purpose #sherpawebinar
    18. 18. Set a goal before you start • Why should you create a piece of content? • What purpose is it going to serve? • Don’t take a checklist approach, thinking you have to do all types of content products #sherpawebinar
    19. 19. Focus on aligning content with your goals, audience and opportunities – and let that drive the design and topic. #sherpawebinar
    20. 20. Poll • Do you develop content for all 5 stages of the customer engagement cycle (Awareness, Consideration, Inquiry, Purchase, Retention)? – Yes – No #sherpawebinar
    21. 21. Target content to stages in customer engagement cycleCustomer Engagement Cycle Stage Content Goal • Raise general awareness of your brandAwareness • Increase website trafficConsideration • Encourage consideration of and activeInquiry interest in your products and services • Get prospects to choose you overPurchase competitorsRetention • Retain customers Setting even basic, high-level goals will provide a compass to keep you on track when youre planning and publishing content. #sherpawebinar
    22. 22. Example: Think like your ideal customerCustomer Engagement Cycle Stage Questions AskedAwareness How can I find the best deals on footwear?Consideration What do I need to consider when purchasing women’s running shoes?Inquiry What types of running shoes does this company offer?Purchase Why is it better to purchase from this company over another?Retention What would make me purchase from this company again? #sherpawebinar
    23. 23. Content Marketing Optimization 2. Process #sherpawebinar
    24. 24. Attendee question:I blog for a very small niche and have trouble finding keywords so I create contentbased on my experience (18 years in my field) and what I know will be of use to myreaders. I need a more structured approach. How to go about this ?- S. Bardot #sherpawebinar
    25. 25. Plot out a process Examine social Inventory your existing conversations to content and compare Develop a gap-closure define the context of existing content sources plan and create new or the content demand. against required content. edit existing content. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7Gauge the content Outline content Evaluate the Distribute optimizeddemand by topics and keywords quality of existing content to your socialkeyword area. for which you’re content. networks and give optimizing and create content consumers content themes by every opportunity to month. socialize it. #sherpawebinar
    26. 26. Gauge the content demand by keyword area • Enter search terms related to your business to bring up additional keywords, related search volumes, and level of competition • Find greater opportunities by targeting topics with: – Relevance to prospects needs – Somewhat lower search volumes – Significantly less competition for rankings #sherpawebinar
    27. 27. Create content themes by month • Understand the cyclical nature of your market so you write for their mindset at that time • Assign each month an overall theme • Structure content around four questions: What? Where? Why? How? • Answer each of these questions every week in your content strategy document #sherpawebinar
    28. 28. Inventory existing content for repurposing Existing content Repurpose existing content as News releases  Rewrite in conversational tone and post on blog Video of CEO annual meeting  Post video on YouTube speech  Convert audio to MP3 for downloadable podcast  Transcribe speech and post on blog Customer case studies  Create PowerPoint and post on SlideShare  Record PowerPoint with voiceover as video and post on YouTube  Post video (YouTube embed code) on blog PowerPoint presentations  Record with voiceover as video and post on YouTube  Convert audio to MP3 for downloadable podcast  Rewrite in conversational tone and post on blog Self-published articles  Rewrite in conversational tone and post as a blog series  Record audio to MP3 for downloadable podcast Outdated blog posts  Rewrite with updated titles, references, etc. and post on blog #sherpawebinar
    29. 29. Worksheet: Original content development Format and description of content required Keyword use Date required Assigned to #sherpawebinar
    30. 30. Content Marketing Optimization peopl e 3. People #sherpawebinar
    31. 31. A page that is “too optimized” can be awkward to read. #sherpawebinar
    32. 32. Write for people, not search engines Content creation for SEO works best when you: • Understand your target audience and their behaviors. • Heed their preferences for information discovery, retrieval, consumption and sharing • Address their needs and interests in your topics and keywords #sherpawebinar
    33. 33. Use customer vernacular • The words organizations use to describe their products and services may differ from what their target audiences use • Example: “wireless phone” vs. “cell phone” vs. “mobile phone” Dominant keyword choice is still “cell phone” The impact of customer language on search volumes is even greater after adding the qualifier “best” #sherpawebinar
    34. 34. Develop relevant and compelling content Relevant content • Interesting or useful to search engine user for a keyword search • Answers questions, deepens understanding, expands knowledge Compelling content • Goes beyond relevance • Useful to user at hand -- and those in the user’s social network • Shared and used in building relationships #sherpawebinar
    35. 35. Case study#sherpawebinar
    36. 36. Case Study: Background Experiment ID: Makana Solutions Location: MarketingSherpa Case Study Library Test Protocol Number: #CS31765Research Notes: Problem: Makana provides subscription-based software that helps organizations perform sales compensation planning. But few prospects knew the SaaS solution was available and weren’t actively searching for it. Goal: Become a top destination for advice about sales compensation planning. #sherpawebinar
    37. 37. Step 1: Content creation Aim: • Help prospects answer questions about their sales compensation planning challenges Methods: • Created and offered content based on best practices for sales compensation planning  Sample sales compensation plans  Educational webinars #sherpawebinar
    38. 38. Step 2: Keyword research Aim: • Optimize website around high-value search terms Methods: • Researched broad and longer-tail key terms that reflected targeted searches or specific industry verticals • Identified a list of 600 keywords • Optimized specific web pages around two or three relevant terms per page #sherpawebinar
    39. 39. Step 3: Link building Aim: • Boost inbound links to improve search rankings Methods: • Identified sites with a high Google PageRank from which they could get a link  Online directories  Information sites about sales compensation planning  News sites to target for their press release distribution list #sherpawebinar
    40. 40. Results First page ranking for key industry search terms Key performance metrics Change after 3 months of adopting strategy Website traffic + 200% Lead generation rate + 200% Lead conversion rate + 100% Paid search as % of total traffic - 60% ! "We’re very happy with our success, but I’ll be honest and say we haven’t even touched the potential. The potential is tremendous to be even more successful with the realm of content we can develop for various verticals. The possibilities just go on and on.“ – Alan Gehring, Marketing Director, Makana Solutions #sherpawebinar
    41. 41. Content Marketing Optimization 4. Presentation #sherpawebinar
    42. 42. Conventional wisdom dictates that quality trumps quantity.While this may hold true in other spheres of life, in SEO you need both. #sherpawebinar
    43. 43. Focus on both quality and quantity • Consistently publishing content that is both frequent and of high quality can lead search engines to rank your page and site as an authority on the subject. #sherpawebinar
    44. 44. Quality and quantity content checklist Do: Don’t: • Create content that’s well-researched, well- • Focus too much on keyword density written, and well-received • Disregard the quality of the writing • Understand that quality articles make your site more authoritative and trustworthy • Overlook that search engines have become more capable of recognizing valuable, quality • Give search engines fresh content and regular content over content that is hastily produced updates • Risk looking like you’re only after title and • Establish a pattern for content updates to set heading tags by writing articles that are too expectations and reward visitors short #sherpawebinar
    45. 45. With the right layout, you can make your content both search engine- and reader-friendly. #sherpawebinar
    46. 46. Place keywords carefully Create attention-grabbing title, using the keyword in the title. Use sub-headings that include relevant keywords. Position keywords towards the top of your article, as in the first line or paragraph. Introduce synonyms for your keyword phrase in the second or third paragraphs. Repeat your keyword phrase throughout the text –but don’t force! Use the keyword in links and the image ALT text and captions. #sherpawebinar
    47. 47. Example of keyword placementSource: SEOMoz – The Beginners Guide to SEO #sherpawebinar
    48. 48. Don’t ignore readability Text blocks Break up blocks of text into subcategories Paragraphs Restrict paragraphs to five lines Lists Use bullets, numbering and lists Sentences Use short sentences Space Use plenty of white space Make your links part of your copy, especially if links feature your Links keyword phrases Images Use (and tag) images effectively #sherpawebinar
    49. 49. Choose content formats mindfully • Never choose content formats by default – or because “everyone else is doing that” • Identify formats that connect with your customers • Decide on formats and designs that define and give voice to your brand #sherpawebinar
    50. 50. Case study#sherpawebinar
    51. 51. Case Study: Background Experiment ID: Eloqua, a marketing automation provider Location: MarketingSherpa Library Article ID: #HOW31938Notes: Problem: Faced a strong socially savvy Web 2.0 competitor Solution: Create an independent, comprehensive content marketing department Content Goals: • Fill the top of the sales funnel • Create customer attention and customer satisfaction • Develop content to improve SEO #sherpawebinar
    52. 52. Tactic 1: Be different from the competition Aim: • Get noticed by creating a brand identity based on a design "voice" Methods: • Give everything - from whitepapers to live presentations - a heavier touch of design and graphics than might be expected • Make frequent use of infographics “[The playful feel is] startlingly unexpected, and it absolutely without question triggers conversation because people just arent used to seeing a playful side of a B2B brand." Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua #sherpawebinar
    53. 53. Tactic 2: Brand your content Aim: • Create a groundswell of association between Eloqua and the term "revenue” Methods: • Blog referred to as the “revenue blog” and titled “It’s All About Revenue” • Slideshare, the hub of Eloqua’s content, is called the “revenue hub” • Created video combining playfulness of Eloquas brand identity with concept branding of “revenue performance management” #sherpawebinar
    54. 54. Tactic 3: Inject creativity into whitepapers Aim: • Redesign predictable whitepaper concept Methods: • Splinter large whitepapers into individual “Grande Guides” • Cover topics related to core business and broader issues of interest to Eloqua came up with what it calls its Grande marketers (think 16 ounces of coffee) Guides. The promise is it takes about 15 minutes to drink • Give early recipients (prior to public that coffee and the same amount of time to read the entire guide. release) opportunity to be the first to distribute links to the guides #sherpawebinar
    55. 55. Tactic 4: Hire a brand journalist Aim: • Hire someone to provide content, ideally independent from marketing control, such as blog posts, industry trends and other things of interest to your customers Methods: • Hired a “corporate journalist”, not a PR or Marcom writer • Looked for someone who could speak to 90% of untapped market #sherpawebinar
    56. 56. SEO benefits Focus on design • SEO value comes more from "For me the SEO value isnt what sharing content than creating is embedded in the content we helps content get keyword-rich content, such create. The value is derived when other people host, distribute or noticed – and as a whitepaper, that doesnt talk about our content.” get distributed or republished shared by the audience Joe Chernov VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua • Corporate journalist “loaned out” to other venues – and Eloqua gets a valuable inbound link from these Links come from media outlets in their corporate reporters bio many sources • Larger goal of each Grande Guide is to generate and nurture links #sherpawebinar
    57. 57. Results • $2.5 M in closed business, plus $3.2M in contract stage, from 4 Grande Guides • “It’s All About Revenue” blog reached Ad Age Power 150 within first year • People who discover website through content pieces are 21% more likely to view a product demo, Eloqua’s most desirable lead activity • Viewers of “The Blog Tree” infographic are 32% more likely to fill out a web form #sherpawebinar
    58. 58. Content Marketing Optimization5. Performance #sherpawebinar
    59. 59. The more relevant your content, the better your results. #sherpawebinar
    60. 60. Measure the appeal of your content • Gauge both the popularity and applicability of your content • Look at conversion rates of your most desirable lead activities (e.g. view demo, complete web form, purchase, etc.) • Look at the impact on search rankings and traffic • Look at key indicators of subject matter interest, engagement and relevancy: – Content downloads – Content shares – Comments #sherpawebinar
    61. 61. In summary#sherpawebinar
    62. 62. 5 P’s of content marketing optimization • Set a goal before you start Purpose • Target content to stages in customer engagement cycle • Plot out a process • Gauge the content demand by keyword area Process • Create content themes by month • Inventory existing content and create a gap closure plan • Write for people, not search engines People • Use customer vernacular • Develop relevant and compelling content • Focus on both quantity and quality • Place keywords carefully Presentation • Don’t ignore readability • Choose content formats mindfully Performance • Measure the appeal of your content #sherpawebinar
    63. 63. Attendee question:Are there new best practice tactics in relation to overall contentstrategy impacting social strategy?- K. Owens #sherpawebinar
    64. 64. Register to receive a complementary website analysis! *limited to the first 50 #sherpawebinar
    65. 65. #sherpawebinar
    66. 66. Kaci Bower W. Jeffrey RiceSenior Research Analyst, Senior Research Analyst,MECLABS @wjeffreyr #sherpawebinar