What does a wilderness/camping survival tool have to do with SEO marketing? More than you might realize. Almost every tool on that knife is like a marketing arsenal. Without those tools your marketing loses its effectiveness.
Let’s look at the most important tools you have available. Each has a place and purpose. Some of those tools are newer than others. Others are revamped versions of tools that have been around for a long time. In both cases, learning how to use your pocket knife will ensure your survival.
The Multi-Tool Knife with All Its Parts — Inbound Marketing
The tools that flip out from their neat little spots on the pocket knife are elements of your overall marketing strategy. They focus on attraction rather than interruption. Not one of the tools goes prospecting because that acquisition channel brings in a mere 0.90% in sales. On the other hand, inbound techniques bring in 3.82% in sales.
The only thing that tops those statistics is the referral channel, and you can’t add that tool to your pocket knife. The knife’s owner holds that power. However, there is a tool that encourages the knife’s owner to become a referral channel. More on that later.
The Scissors — Content Marketing
When you’re trying to reach your audience, there’s a lot of resistance to cut through. That’s why your content must be remarkable. Perfunctory and functional has its place—not everything has to be exciting. Yet, a significant amount of the content you product must cut through the clutter—deliver a clear message. It must focus on providing answers to the problems your customer wants to solve.
Your content must be as welcome as those multi-tool scissors snipping away the irritation of a hang nail. You want an, “Ah…that’s so much better,” response when your prospects interact with your content. If you can “educate, inspire or entertain your audience” and if you “spark interesting dialogue and discussion with your content” you’re doing it right.
The Knife and Can Opener — Webinars
Knives are pretty useful. They’ll cut through a lot of things, and they open boxes and letters. However, faced with a can, they’re frustrating. That’s why there’s a can opener to tackle metal.
That’s where webinars come in handy. Some attendees are as easy to win over as a knife tearing through paper. They’re easy to interest in your products or services. Other’s are as tough as metal. They need some follow-up lead nurturing. They’re skeptical, yet exploring.
Webinars give you the opportunity to answer tough questions through Q&A. They bring ‘white paper cases’ to life, especially if someone who benefited from your product or service is an active participant in the webinar. They capture email addresses for warm leads. Often, they give you the opportunity to demonstrate benefits.
Bottle Opener and Cork-Screw — Opt-in Email
Most of the people you want to reach are like a tightly capped bottle. They’d rather keep their ‘fizz’ to themselves. However, opt-in email is one way to get your prospects to let you pull the cork. It doesn’t seem as dangerous to share an email when it’s clear exactly how much you are going to ‘drink’ after you remove the stopper.
In fact, some marketers leverage a double opt-in tactic to help keep their email lists engaged. According to a study by Mailchimp, double opt-in lists had a 114% increase in click rates when compared to single opt-in lists. If you're looking for a new tool to use from your marketing pocket knife, double opt-in email lists could be the answer.
The Rasp and File — Lead-nurturing Emails and Interactive Marketing
Your carefully crafted lead-nurturing email sequence should be used as wisely as a rasp and file. Rasps take away material quickly. In the same way, sending out frequent emails after initial contact can be effective. These emails might focus on asking questions, gathering more information, etc. However, if the intensity continues when your prospect hasn’t responded at the same pace, you’ll gouge too deeply and irritate.
Thus your email sequence should switch quickly to the subtle nature of a file. Tailor the emails to your prospect. Be sensitive to response times and what prospects show interest in. Taper off when click-from-email rates drop. Remember a file smooths by taking dust-like particles away. Emails should smooth out the objections.
Obviously, you must be far more careful with the rasp than the file.
Lead-nurturing emails are far more effective when they use an interactive approach. Genroe says, “Interactive marketing is called many things. You may have heard it called event based marketing or event driven marketing or even trigger based marketing but it is all the same idea: reacting to what the customer is doing and driving up marketing effectiveness.”
To achieve maximum success you need to put five key processes in place.
- Define Triggers - For example, when a potential customer opts in for a specific ‘free offer’ it could trigger a request to opt-in to another offer—possibly one that isn’t free. Each trigger needs its own custom sequence of email responses.
- Create Custom Responses - Match the response sequence to the trigger, so the emails drive “the right action.” Recognize the first email may not close the deal, so write the emails to build upon the first, yet expand on it.
- Evaluate - Test different email headlines. See if some deliver better response rates.
- Automate - Having software in place that reacts automatically to the customer triggers you define gives your email file-like precision. Effectual marketing spend depends upon automation. When leads haven’t been qualified, you’ll spend far less by writing well-worded emails that match your triggers. This lets customer choices help you qualify them for personal follow-up.
- Optimize - When customers fit more than one trigger category, you don’t want to frustrate them by placing them in every category. This floods them with far too much email. It’s essential you prioritize to avoid rasp-like irritation. Yes, it’s painful for you to make choices. However, you’ll keep far more decision-makers in your sales funnel if your keep them comfortable by focusing on one thing at a time.
The Screw Drivers — Social Media
Social media (SM) has power to fasten relationships, just like a screw driver. The key is choosing the right social media fit. A Phillips’ screw head strips out when you try to use a straight bit. And slot head screws don’t accept Phillips bits. If your social media isn’t working like you think it should, maybe it’s the wrong platform.
It’s also possible your approach to SM needs a tweak or two. You might use Twitter to provide support, LinkedIn to bring new talent on board and stay current on trends, Google to host webinars, Pinterest to share graphics and pictures, and Facebook to host user-generated content and company news. To make SM as effective as a screwdriver, you must match the platform to the customer and the purpose of your SM to the platform’s strengths.
When you use SM like the multi-purpose screw drivers on your knife, it brings you earned social media—links back to you that Google likes and never thinks you bought.
Wire Stripper and Wire Crimper — Pay per click (PPC) and SEO
PPC is like a wire stripper. It cuts through the barriers lack of exposure erect when other brands are already recognized entities in your market—when it’s done right. Otherwise, PPC just drains your bank account. (That’s a topic for another article.)
In contrast, SEO is like the wire crimper. It’s the real driver for long-term success.
PPC is often the process that makes sure the current flows. However, a stripped wire doesn’t complete an electrical circuit—it only prepares for one. SEO puts the two wires together so the customers you attract click through—they flow to and stay on your website if your SEO practices are solid.
Magnifying Glass — Word of Mouth & Viral Marketing
When you pull out the magnifying glass, you might be looking for more detail. Or you could be focusing the sun on something so it ignites! When your marketing is like a magnifying glass, you have two goals. 1) You want others to spread your message and to create the additional detail that makes what you offer irresistible to others. 2) You want them to ignite your growth.
How do you do this?
- Stop trying to please everyone. Embrace your company identity. It’s an idea that’s worked for thousands of years. Look at Christianity. You may like it or hate it, but who doesn’t think they know what it’s all about?
- Smash the box. If your content is the same as everyone elses, who will share it? Be creative. If Blendtec can sell more blenders pulverizing mobile phones, what could you sell by smashing the box?
- Focus on stories. Advertisements have their place, but planning for viral sharing demands stories people want to share. The ways to tell stories are unending, and the desire for them is infinite.
- Follow up. Once a story is out there, people want to know how it ends. If it’s good, a sequel expands your reach.
- Make sharing easy. Use creative commons licensing. It allows people to share your content as long as they give credit and don’t change it. Keep sharing options—Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc.—right there, so sharing is convenient.
- Respond to comments. Sometimes it’s your response to a comment that’s sharable. Even if it isn’t, taking the time to be ‘a person’ makes your company something to share.
- Don’t erect obstacles. If you want viral results, don’t ask for emails. Don’t block access to information with the need to create an account. Trust the power of sharing.
The primary advantage of pulling out your magnifying glass is the ability it gives you to spread your message without depending on your own resources. Creating the potential for word of mouth and viral spread may cost something, yet it’s the best spend you’ll ever make. The marketing after that is free!
Tweezers and Saw — Blogging
Tweezers focus on details. A splinter. An unwanted hair. Blogging is your opportunity to expand on details. Blogs let you tweeze out things your audience doesn’t even know it needs to know.
Saws focus on cutting through obstacles that scissors can’t handle. You can use your blog for the same purpose as well. Identify the questions your prospects are asking and answer them. These can be posted as FAQs or articles.
Whichever purpose you focus on, a blog’s text component expands the content Google can evaluate. When you build up a solid library of articles and answers, you’re creating a place Google can recognize as a helpful resource.
The Pliers — Video
Pliers are the newest addition to the famous Swiss Army knife—an add-on or afterthought. This isn’t the multi-tool pocket knife you want to pattern your marketing after. No, your marketing must be like a Leatherman. A Leatherman uses a pliers as its core. Pattern your marketing strategy with video at its core.
This is why we’ve left video to last. It’s the most important component of your marketing strategy! Consider this. If you aren’t handy, you might think the pliers aren’t as important as the knife. However, if you’ve ever had to fix something, it’s usually the pliers you can’t do without. It subs as a bolt holder. It pinches bent wires straight, or it bends them. It twists things together. It crimps. It does many of the things the tools do that we’ve mentioned above.
That’s video’s power! It’s almost a multi-functional tool in itself. Add a transcript, and it’s a blog post. Place it on an FAQ page, and it’s the preferred way to find answers for many people.
In today’s world, few carry their Swiss army knife or Leatherman around as a survival tool. Instead, it’s the no-nonsense tool that helps them get things done when the heavy toolkit is elsewhere. In contrast, you don’t need a heavy toolkit for marketing survival. When you understand what each tool does, the marketing toolkit is small enough to fit in your pocket, yet large enough to get the job done.