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A Pinch of Content, a Sprinkle of SEO and a Dash of Social Media

145,000 – that is the number of results that I got when Googling, “chicken parm recipes.”  My guess is that excluding duplicates, there are recipe variations well into the six figures.  I’ll bet there are some fantastic ones that only the gourmet types – and that wouldn’t include me – can make as well as some that can be whipped up by a novice in a flash.  The bottom line is that the recipe chosen will depend on the need, preference and skill set of the cook.  The same dinner bell rings true for Inbound Marketing programs – there is no one perfect recipe that every firm should use.

Just like most chicken parm recipes include chicken, red sauce and cheese, most inbound marketing programs do include content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media as essential ingredients.  But how much of each to add; when to add them; and how long to keep them all cooking together is where some of the interesting differences come in. Here are the basic ingredients:

Content Marketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.  This content can be in many in forms, including:

  • Blogs
  • Video
  • Audio / Podcasts
  • Whitepapers
  • Web copy
  • Webinars
  • E-newsletters

For some resource-challenged firms, coming up with original content is difficult.  In this case, set up a Google Reader to find and distribute the content of proven thought leaders in your field.   Also, hire an Inbound Marketing Specialist or Senior Copy Director to assist you in developing some original content.  Remember, content is a great long-term investment as there is no expiration date.  Unlike ads that are once and done, a piece of online content keeps working day after day.  Content is one ingredient that you just can’t get enough of – add as much as you possibly can!

 

Search Engine Optimization

Our next essential ingredient is organic SEO to help your firm get found on Google.  Having a lot of great online content is the foundation of organic SEO.  Google will take notice of keyword rich content on your Web site (“On-Page  SEO”).  It also acknowledges when other relevant Web sites link back to content that resides on your Web site (“Off-Page SEO”).   Some tips for improving both On-Page and Off-Page SEO are:

  • Syndicate your Blog.  Business2Community is an open forum for thought leaders in business.  Having our posts syndicated on this site has brought quite a bit of visibility and credibility to the Marketri Blog.
  • Create Meta-Tags for your Web pages.  Most Web developers can write html code to help Google identify what specific Web pages are about.
  • Perform Key Word Research.  What key word or key word phrases do people use to find out information about your products or services or to satisfy a need that they have?  Be sure to use these key words in your Web copy and throughout other content.
  • Use Social Media.  At some point in the not-too-distant future, social influence (likes, +1s, favorites) will work its way into Google’s algorithm.  Better to start now than to be left behind!

Social Media

You’ve got great content sizzling on your Google Reader and have at least some original pieces simmering.  Share, share, share!  Let people get the flavor for your unique perspective and for the content that you find interesting and helpful.  Social Media is the most cost-effective method for distributing content as well as boosting organic SEO.  Our favorite social media tools are:  Linkedin;  YouTube;  SlideShare and Twitter.

When it comes to Inbound Marketing, there’s no perfect recipe – pick the one that’s right for your business based on its resources and goals.  But be sure to include all three essential ingredients! Bon Appetit! 

 

Interested in Dessert?

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