Incentives, Marketing and Social Media
To quote marketing guru Seth Godin, it is cheaper to create an innovative product than to heavily market an average one. What you need in that point is an innovation that stands out from the pack that helps you market the product or service. How does this strategy affect SEO, social media marketing and content creation?
The Stand Out Innovation
When you create a new innovation on a product or service, this is what you want to highlight in the product description on product directories and in the webpage descriptions so that you stand out from every other product or page that people see. This is what makes you different – so use it to stand out from the pack.
If you find people who need the benefit of your innovation, you know what type of content to create – articles on how to solve that problem that feature your product as the solution. The content needs search engine optimization for the description of the problem or the query “how do I fix X?”
In contrast, you shouldn’t try to use generic slogans and descriptions, since this won’t entice people to buy your product or service and it certainly won’t improve brand recognition.
When you find that complimentary product or service, you’ve found a new channel to sell through. You can promote the content that the complimentary group makes that sells both your products. You can write content that references both products together and enjoy two groups sharing the links.
When there is a dual effort to promote the combined use of the products, you can choose to alter your main content’s SEO to rank well with this or create new content specifically for the combined use without affecting the main SEO. If you chose the latter, don’t forget brand heavy SEO. This improves the brand’s weight with search engines even if it doesn’t directly improve the rankings of your main content. Also add back-links to your main page on any jointly created and promoted content, since this is still used as a signal by search engines to measure the value of your main page.
The Free Prize
There is a reason free prizes were so often offered in cereal boxes. When the marketplace was crowded and there wasn’t a clear stand out innovation or complimentary value added offering, the perceived greater value was the free prize. “We offer X, but you get a free Y, too!” Now you’re competing on the perks that you offer.
Online content can use a similar methodology, whether it is offering more in depth answers or more specific solutions than anyone else. You can give them access to subscription only content for a month as a reward for a purchase. Or make your product stand out by offering better service, whether it is free shipping, faster shipping, a longer warranty or free maintenance for the item. If you use this type of “free prize” as your differentiator, it must be prominent in the content, the product listings, and the website information. This is why retailers that distinguish themselves by offering free shipping put it in bold text under the website link in search results – to make sure everyone knows that they offer it.
The Niche Approach
Sometimes you don’t have to come up with a unique innovation of your product, simply find an under-served market or unique use for your product and market it that way.
Seth Godin’s curve showed an upward curve for one’s breakeven point as one spent more money on advertising. This curve initially referred to print and radio advertising, where doubling your advertising more than doubled the breakeven point of how much return you have to make on the advertising expenses. What is surprising is how relevant this curve is when applied to key words. For example, “insurance” is a very high cost key word for advertising and very competitive as well. “Insurance in X” zip code costs less and has less competition. When you find the key search terms that have little competition but strong correlation with your business, advertising to that niche in the channels where your most likely customers will be is very cost effective.
When you advertise to someone as a local service provider and community member, your SEO needs to focus on location based references and business directories that all refer to the business with the same information and format. You’ll rank much higher in any location based search than a national service provider – and you won’t waste time and money advertising to people who will never be customers. In this case, being the local and engaged service provider is your “stand out” feature.
What if you promote your product as a solution to a common problem? You’re competing against many brands that are also trying to solve that problem. What if you promote your product as the solution to a hobbyist’s problem or niche demographic? You have less competition for these key terms and marketing channels, so costs are lower, while you’ll see higher conversions for customers. Promoting your product as the solution for a problem no one else is trying to resolve should dominate your SEO, such as citing the issue in the title and section headers of the content.
By: Sergio Buckingham