Guest post by Adam Hutchinson.
Most digital marketers have a general SEO strategy such as tracking keyword performance and incorporating search terms into their blog posts. Believe it or not, SEO keywords are way more valuable than SEO itself. A sophisticated keyword strategy can help every step of your marketing funnel.
- Brand: For most companies, the majority of their organic search traffic will come in on their own brand name as the search term. While this grouping might not be helpful for your content strategy, tracking all of the derivatives people use to search your brand will be helpful when creating paid ads.
- Competitors: With a sophisticated content strategy, users will still find your site when searching for your competitors or related solutions. Not only can you create comparison blog posts to attract this SEO and SEM traffic, but these keywords are even more important for tracking target leads across other channels.
- Industry: We all have to deal with industry jargon, clichés, and buzzwords, so we might as well generate some leads from them. Keep in mind that these are often top-of-funnel keywords and indicate leads in the exploration and education stage.
- Influencers: Who are the thought leaders in your space? More importantly, who do your prospective buyers look to when making purchasing decisions? GoPRIt is a great platform for tracking your industry’s influencers. Hint: influencers and keywords are an autocatalytic cycle. Searching keywords help you find influencers. Influencers then become your best source for new industry keywords.
- Solution: Find the pain-points that your audience is talking about. People using these keywords are actively looking for a solution, especially on a search engine, and as such, solution- or product-focused keywords are often the most valuable. These keywords are best broken out into more focused groupings, perhaps by product feature, key benefit, or use case.
Act on Keywords
Once you’ve done a thorough keyword mapping exercise and created your groups, it’s time to take action.
Most people track their keywords to inform their content strategy and website design. But what if you could form a proactive strategy? Keyword marketing is about much more than optimization—it’s a chance for real-time, personalized marketing.
Creating different landing pages for each keyword group can help increase conversion rates. Use your SEO keywords in your paid advertising channels, driving industry and influencer keywords to content and brand and solution keywords to your landing page. Listen for keyword usage in other channels as well, such as social media.
For example, in this white paper on lead scoring, Socedo recommends treating social media keywords as lead activities. Anyone Tweeting, posting, or sharing one of your strategic keywords is a potential lead because they are actively expressing interest in this topic. If you include SEO keywords in your lead scoring model, include social keywords along the same line. Additionally, reach out proactively to your target leads when they use a high-value keyword. The time is right!
Follow Up with Leads
Your keyword strategy doesn’t just apply to inbound marketing. In fact, some of your best results can come from proactive outreach. Here are just a few ideas on how you can follow up with leads based on keyword usage:
- For leads who find your site by searching industry terms, place them into an email nurture program with top-of-the-funnel content, and guide them through the buying journey.
- If someone is talking about an influencer, they probably want more of their content. Don’t miss the chance to send them an article or webinar—mentioning your brand of course.
- If you’re not engaging with your prospective customers on social media, you can bet your competitors are. Track mentions of your competitors in social media, and make sure your social team sends those users a friendly Tweet.
- Sales teams love small talk, especially when it’s meaningful. Keep a list of the keywords your sales leads are using, then use one as a catalyst for the next sales call. “Hey! I saw your awesome LinkedIn post about content marketing yesterday. Let’s talk about that…”
Whatever your strategy, keywords are your best opportunities for personalized marketing because they represent the voice of your audience. Apply your keyword mapping anywhere that you can track lead behavior, and you’ll be miles ahead of the competition!
Adam Hutchinson is Socedo’s Marketing Manager. Socedo helps sales and marketing professionals leverage social media to discover leads and build relationships more effectively.