Why should any marketer consider a search-driven marketing plan? Can’t we just take what we did last year, do 80% of that and add some new bits? You know, we’ll add in some social strategery and what not. Create some viral videos. Update our Facebook page…no?
Unfortunately, many marketing plans are built with a few minor modifications to the previous year’s plans and some new buzz words added in. But an analysis of what marketing activities have really worked for many of us in the past will show that something like 80% of what we do is ineffective and does not justify the cost.
So keep the 20% – the best tactics, creative, campaigns and programs – and use the rest of your budget to drive a search-driven marketing plan…
What is a Search-driven marketing plan?
A search-driven marketing plan is the only way to ensure that your marketing activities are aligned to your audience. Through a search-driven marketing plan, you are using the words your customers use. You are using the volume of searches to prioritize their most important issues. From this you can create an audience-focused marketing plan that delivers valuable content on your customers’ hottest topics.
You can group the keywords into appropriate category clusters and analyze their importance by buying stage:
- “what” and “how” searches are generally “early-stage” searches indicating your customer’s desire to get educated on how to solve their problems.
- “who,” “”why” and “where” searches will indicate middle-stage searches when your customer’s are looking to identify the vendors that can solve their problems.
- “how much” and comparison terms like “vs.” (such as “Coke vs. Pepsi”) indicate late-stage searchers who are looking to make a decision.
What exactly is Search?
Search is simply about getting found. Earlier this week I wrote about search engine marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as one of the keys to effective inbound marketing along with social media and content strategy.
Shelly Kramer (@ShellyKramer) also wrote earlier this week a post called SEO 101: How Google Works where she provides a link and overview to Google’s Matt Cutz who attempts to white board his explanation on how Google works by 1) crawling the web, 2) indexing those pages and 3) ranking and serving up the best results to keyword searches.
How to get started:
- Help your marketing team understand that a Search-driven marketing plan is key to your success
- Don’t forget that for most marketers, search is really hard. It does not come naturally to the traditional marketer who thinks in terms of targets, promotional messages and outbound tactics.
- Find SEO resources to help you do the research. You should start with Google’s Keyword Idea tool to understand the important keywords for your audience, group them into clusters and prioritize the clusters based on search volume and conversion.
- Combine this information with your social media and content strategy to create one heck of a killer inbound marketing plan.