News & Opinions
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Digital Search Strategy: Linking Your Business to Your Prospects
David Davila / Market What's Meaningful Blog / April 24, 2014
When the term “integrated marketing” first came on the scene, companies focused on the same look and feel and messaging, so that everything looked the same to the customer. But now, with the confluence of digital marketing with PR and social media, integration takes on a whole new meaning—and it can connect your business to leads and prospects with much greater conversion potential. How? It’s all about the digital search strategy.
Now, when taking on an integrated project, the first place to start is with the customer. What journeys do they take throughout the buying cycle? What are their lifetime experiences with the products? Ultimately, you want to know: How do they find their way to your business? Mapping those journeys and providing relevant content every step of the way is key—and the content can come in many forms, like articles, videos, testimonials, photos…the list goes on. So, for maximum effect, vary your content and seed it over multiple channels. For the best results, make sure at the beginning stage that some of the online channels are third-party, in order to build customer trust.
Since we at CBD have a ton of experience in the building products category, let’s take a look at that as an example, so you can see how our search strategies can bring our clients closer to their most promising new prospects.
Category Vs. Sub-Category
Let’s look at a direct category example: decking. Generally, customers are influenced by what friends and neighbors have, homes they see on TV and images from magazines. So they may start their search by looking at the entire category, entering queries such as, “Deck versus patio,” “How to build a deck,” or “Deck ideas.” At this stage, they’re just looking for information telling them whether or not to build a deck. Information may come from various industry associations and neutral parties, but, as a business, you do have the opportunity to weigh in with content that answers their questions and isn’t too sales-focused.
Now let’s look at how that might differ within a sub-category. If, for example, you supply, manufacture or install one type of decking over another, say wood versus composite, you may now want to begin to influence preference of one type versus another, highlighting features and benefits. Again, an industry association may do some of the heavy lifting here, but you as the manufacturer, installer or dealer may have to provide some information too. Increase your credibility by providing a balanced assessment, so that visitors don’t feel like they are constantly being sold. Search terms to consider are, “Why should I install a…,” “Why buy…,” or “Wood versus composite decking.” Use these terms in your content so that they are found via Google. Consider regional nuances as well—something like “Wood versus composite decking Midwest,” as weather needs differ by region and can heavily influence search results.