The final day of SES New York wrapped up with a series of the top rated sessions from other SES conferences. One of those sessions was a presentation on “Content & Customer Optimization” by my boss TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Odden (@leeodden).
I for one was impressed that on the final day of the conference and the last session of the day the room was packed and people were ready to learn.
Lee began by polling the audience to see what mix online marketing expertise was present in the room. There were a smattering of SEO practitioners, copywriters, agency marketers (like myself), and those working client side. Below I’ve included what I considered to be some of the highlights from Lee’s presentation.
What Would You Do if Google Disappeared Tomorrow?
If Google were to cease existing tomorrow do you know how it would affect your marketing and your business? Now many of you may say that’s ridiculous, Google is going to be around forever. However, should you allow Google dominate your marketing?
Lee recommends that Google should be used to empower marketers do what they really want which is to: attract, engage, and motive customers to purchase products or services. So instead of focusing strictly on optimizing for Google what should you focus on?
Optimize for Customers, Experiences, & Outcomes
Taking a thoughtful approach to the wants and needs of a target audience will go a long way. Customer-centric content planning will inspire customers throughout the sale cycle and give you a leg up over the competition.
Key Questions All Marketers Should Ask:
How do my customers discover information?
- What are their interests?
- What needs and pain points are specific to my customers?
- What search engine(s) are they using to find my company?
What means are used to consume information?
- What are my customers content preferences?
- What media sites do they read or follow?
- Which social sites do they frequent?
- What sort of device is being used to consume this information?
What are the sharing preferences of my customers?
- How do they share information?
- What is their referral process?
- What steps do they take after purchase?
After determining more information about your customers it’s important that you focus on optimizing all of your content to meet their needs. Examples of content that can be optimized include:
- Products & Services
- Corporate Info
- News, PR
- Help, FAQ
- Job Listings
- Landing Pages
- Fulfillment Pieces
- Media: Video, Audio, Images
- Status Updates
- MS Office Docs
- PDF Files
Building an Optimized and Socialized Framework
Throughout the different stages of the buying cycle it is imperative that your strategy is aligned with your customers needs. By creating an optimized and socialized framework optimizing for where your customers are at you can better pinpoint what they are “feeling or thinking” at that given stage. What are the stages to consider?
Stage #1 – Building Awareness: research, customer segments
Stage #2 – Peeking Interest: keywords, topics, messaging
Stage #3 – Consideration to Purchase: content, promotion plan
Stage #4 – Purchase: optimize, socialize, promote
Remember, not everyone is ready to purchase your product or service. However, they may be willing or happy to refer you to someone else who is in the purchasing stage of the sales cycle. Every audience member that you interact with opens up an opportunity to network with additional audience members.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about creating an Optimized and Socialized online marketing strategy be sure to check out Lee’s new book “Optimize” which will be released on April 17, 2012.