Leasing Keywords versus Owning Keywords

PPC (Pay-Per-Click ads, the Sponsored links and purchased ads on Google search) is immediate, but organic is everlasting. Paid is easy, while organic has to be earned. Paid converts, but not as well as organic. So why would you keep spending all of your money on PPC campaigns, while ignoring organic?

You may ask why fix something that isn’t broken? The answer is simple. PPC is like a car lease — you receive a nice new car from a dealership for a certain amount of money per month and put very little money down upfront, but when the lease is up, the car is no longer yours. Just as if you were to pause or stop paying on your PPC campaign, you no longer would rank on Google for the various keywords you are bidding on (unless you are there organically of course). If you own your car, as in organic rankings, it’s your vehicle, your traffic, and your road forever (unless you do something to get blacklisted by the Google/Bing Cops. If you’ve done that, we can help there too!). The point is that like owning a car, you can own keywords and can possibly save money on your paid campaigns.

What many marketers overlook is a unified marriage of marketing channels. Use paid and social to support your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), while using SEO to support your paid and other social efforts. They all work together in harmony-and when done right, the rewards drive traffic, qualified leads, conversions, and ROI. The magic combination comes down to the understanding and optimization of budget allocation, time investment, and strategy in the Paid, Owned, and Earned Media Channels. This combination (when done right), much like my Grandma’s brownie mix, can give your campaign tasty results that keep your users coming back for more. If you use too much butter (yes butter!) or milk, your brownies become heavy, like being served too many remarketing ads when you aren’t in consumption mode. But when you use just the right amount of all the ingredients, the brownies are always going to be the best you’ve ever had, getting better each and every time. Who’s hungry?

Here’s a scenario for you to consider: you have an eBook PDF that your team has created. The PDF has newly conceptualized terminology that represents an evolution in your business function, or in your core offering. It’s exciting, but nobody is searching organically quite yet. So what do you do?! Since your are a B2B company and know the traffic from LinkedIn is very engaged, as well as Google AdWords traffic for the particular subject matter, you should create specific ads that drive traffic to this content. While typical best practices is to send your paid traffic to a navigation-less landing page; here we encounter a different scenario. Let’s do something different- let’s send them to the actual page of the website. Do not gate this particular asset, or offer a scaled down version of it on the main page of the website that will ultimately become the desired ranking page. Send that traffic to the the actual page that you want to rank, so we can maximize impressions, sharing, and bookmarking. This is where the lease becomes a purchase-to-own option!

What we want to think about here is driving traffic to this page so we can get traffic going to it, and minds thinking about the content and the new keywords around this next-generation solution. Think about the keywords/topics that relate to the new concept and use those as the triggers for the ads to display, while relating to existing terminology/needs. While paid traffic will remain paid, and has little impact on your organic rankings (if any); what it will do is stimulate thoughts and keep these ideas top of mind. Further, if you have social sharing functions, and immediate ways to stimulate social sharing and engagements (which do have value to provide your organic rankings), then you are taking even more advantage of the existing opportunities. Are you seeing how each channel can help the other channels?

Take a look at these attribution paths from actual conversions as reported in Google Analytics. These paths ended up in conversions to a sale. Some users actually went through 7 engagements from organic searches, then coming directly back, to then be re-engaged by the effective placement of a paid ad.

multi-channel funnel attribution modeling screenshot showing organic effectiveness

The point at the end of the day is not to focus on the immediate impact, while forgetting about lasting value. The goal is to define your digital footprint in a way that positions your offerings where you can drive traffic, leverage that traffic, and keep that traffic coming back and converting.

The magic happens when you put them all together and supporting the keywords you want to own, by leasing spaces that can give instant positioning. But, if you don’t think about creative paths to programmatically approach your marketing and conversions, and only focus on your paid efforts because it’s immediate (or you think SEO is a joke), your success will always require payment, while ultimately hitting plateaus of ROI and growth.

Is Inbound Marketing Relevant for Large Companies?

Large companies agree on the growing ineffectiveness of outbound, with “approximately 32% of survey respondents whose companies identify as primarily outbound organizations [typically larger companies] call[ing] paid advertising the most overrated marketing tactic” and that they are essentially throwing dollars at big budgets containing traditional media because that’s how it’s always been done.

Download the State of Inbound 2015 Report

With the advent of the Internet, business changed. No longer was it the business telling the consumer what they should expect. The consumer’s voice, which is broadcasted instantly to all those who are searching and listening, now dictates by demand. In today’s day, the consumers tell the businesses what they want, and if a business, big or small, does not reply to the expectation (demand), the consumer will turn to Google (and yes, sometimes Bing) in search of the next best alternative—which is oftentimes just a single click away.

While the consumer has demand on their side now, the businesses have inherited a buffet of information that can be legally obtained, stored, and extrapolated into insights that lead to informed decisions which become the catalysts that can drive ROI. The beauty for businesses of any size is that this journey of expressed needs becomes data that is mined “which prioritizes compelling content over ads, and pull[s] customers to you rather than push[es] your message onto them.”

Diamonds in the rough anybody? This is Inbound…and everyone wins. Just look at these stats, where businesses of every size see higher ROI when they incorporate Inbound marketing methodologies and solutions.

big companies need inbound marketing

Other points from the survey to consider include the facts that…

  • “Getting more leads and converting more of them is a top priority across company sizes and sectors.”
  • “Proving ROI and getting more budget are the leading challenges marketers face.”
  • “Companies are worried about increasing leads and conversions, but not the cost of doing so.”
  • As well as the fact that “reducing cost of acquiring leads/customers 3x less likely to be prioritized as increasing the number of leads/customers.”

It comes down to getting qualified leads that convert into business. This is the mechanism of Inbound and why companies of all sizes are getting more and more into the methodology.

We are in the final stages of transition from traditional media to an era that lives in the worlds of new media opportunities. Technology is allowing for more, and creatively technical minds are not as limited. While billboards and TV will likely never die, they too evolve. Think of HD Animated Billboards that make the traditional Spectaculars more lackluster. As for TV, that too is now a part of the Internet. Big businesses are big, and it takes time to change. Small business with lesser budgets have discovered new opportunity with the Internet, with global presence a click away. Essentially, small businesses have learned to reach their audience guerrilla warfare style! And it’s paid off, as even big businesses are realizing that nurturing your leads, based on their needs, wins more often that bombarding them with generalized messaging that can get ultimately annoying. Much like the billboards and TV, big business must evolve function to compete in this new world of digital marketing.

Inbound is not only great for driving and leading your qualified users, it allows for internal business evolution as well. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between marketing and sales teams “who had a formal agreement between Sales and Marketing were more likely to see higher ROI on marketing dollars in 2015, receive a budget increase, and expand their sales teams.” Not only does the methodology nurture leads effectively, it also unifies your internal teams to work together. And every big business can sing their blues of sales versus marketing.

This too is an immediate benefit for the big business to incorporate Inbound methodology and marketing automation solutions into their core operations. The mechanism is the unification of what sales people need to learn about the consumer, who needs what they are selling. For the marketers, the understanding of what the sales teams need to know, allows for them to communicate with the customer in ways that allow them to learn about these specific factors which can then be reported back to the sales team.

The ideas of programmatic and marketing automation go hand in hand. I have to share my affinity for the automation process from my other life as an audio engineer. I remember when I first encountered the idea of automating a fader to allow the harmonic frequencies to dance around what I just did, so I could focus on what I wanted to do next. The same holds true for marketing automation and the Inbound methodology.

It’s the impressions you leave in your consumers mind, with unobtrusive means that allow them to learn and resolve needs related to the very reasons for which they initiated a search via their chosen search engine. Optimize for Google, blanket paid ads and placement across the web, and nurture social networks and native opportunities. Even if all of these media channels work to triple your leads, if you haven’t created a method to market with naturally engaging experiences for your users, then you aren’t leveraging the principles of Inbound. If you leverage Inbound you unify and nurture respondents who will eventually become your customer, driving that elusive ROI. In fact, “every company we surveyed — regardless of marketing spend — was three times as likely to see a higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound.”

Big companies, it’s time to listen to the results of the hustle of your smaller competitors. Aligning your markets to needs, based on personas and stages of their decision/buyers journey, allows you to stop throwing wasted dollars at traditional outbound methods. Would you rather throw a big net, just to have to further sort your catch? Or would you rather create funnels that bring the fish to their food with order and ease.

The bounty of modern technology rests in the ability to work smarter and not harder. No matter the size of your organization, nor if you have 3 personas or 33; Inbound methodologies allow you to cut the fluff out of your content creation strategy, and focus on the content for which your customers are searching and by which engaging—you must effectively plan for and track these consumption interactions. “Marketers who were involved with sales software selection were 13% more likely to see a positive ROI, and 11% more likely to receive an increased budget.”

If you answer their questions when they raise their hand, and you are properly tracking your website traffic; you can ultimately turn a randomized (predicted) click into a lead, a name, and then a lifetime value to your bottom line. It comes down to identifying the differences of needs that determine your personas, and then aligning your content, your strategy, and your messaging with what and when they search, click, share, and connect. Inbound is mastering the marketing mix of paid, owned, and earned media channels. Big or small, the benefit and ROI from Inbound cannot be dismissed.

How to Nail Your Startup Pitch

There’s a good reason sales execs don’t send nerds into the boardroom. They practice the startup pitch a million times; but that one time when it really matters, well you got it…FAIL!

If you or someone you love spazzes at spiel time, talk to your doctor about Pitch Revolution – a high-energy elevator pitch practice event that will eliminate bad startup pitches forever!

Get ready to be blown away

A national event series, Pitch Revolution gets 100 entrepreneurs together in one electrifying space to craft and polish what they say, and how they say it on their feet. We talked with PitchRev Founder Chicka Elloy and he described it as “speed dating meets Shark Tank.”

You take the 30 different versions of your startup pitch. Whittle them down ‘til you have the best of the best (or so you thought). Practice it live. Get real-time feedback from coaches, investors and VCs. Tweak it, and repeat. The process continues until it’s solid. BAM! Forever cured from looking like a fool! There’s even a pitch-off” with judging and prizes at the end of the day – what entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t love some friendly competition?

The Pitch Revolution event series

Chicka is rolling out his PitchRev series in 9 U.S. cities (next up: Pitch Revolution Atlanta), plus London, Singapore and his own neck of the woods, Sydney, in 2015-16 .

For the love of entrepreneurs everywhere, TCM is sponsoring Pitch Revolution Atlanta this Thursday, Aug. 20. Coaches will include executives from Degreed, Venture Atlanta, Silicon Valley Bank, Georgia Tech Venture Labs, ATDC and others.  If that’s not enough, how about cash and prizes over $2,000 including the world’s smallest drone!

Grab this discount code for Pitch Revolution Atlanta: TCMPREV and register at www.pitchrevolution.com/atlanta. See you there!

A few tidbits about the zany Australian behind PitchRev:

  •  Chicka Elloy earned degrees in Education before moving to Cali
  •  Worked 13 years for a global brain-based communication and consulting company
  •  Was featured in USA Today Education, Target’s first virtual runway, and on Huff Post Live
  •  Communication blog for dads was voted Best Daddy Blog by Parents Magazine 2012-2013 (“The Frequent Flyer Father”)

“It’s so exciting to be able to participate in Pitch Revolution and help business visionaries turn their dreams into reality!”   

- Mary Cleveland – Enterprise Director – Degreed