March 15, 2017
Imagine that search engines didn’t exist. Would “optimizing” your content still matter for online marketing purposes?
The job of any smart marketer is to enter a conversation that’s already taking place in the mind of the prospect and channel the existing desire for solutions and benefits to a specific product or service.
The key to intimately understanding that conversation is to first understand how the people you want to reach think, feel, and view the world.
This is not an “Internet” concept; however, search engines and social media have given us the ability to glean this vital insight in ways that were impossible before.
The Return Of Audience Optimization
The idea is to constantly increase the level of trust the audience has in you, a process I call audience optimization. This, in turn, results in conversion optimization.
Social network fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are definitely part of your audience, but your relationship with them is the relative weakest in the concentric circles of trust. They perform a vital function, however, even if they never become customers and clients — they share your content.
The goal is to continually move your audience from the circle at which they entered into the deeper, stronger relationship circles. (For example, the focused email channel before conversion to customer/client is where an email auto-responder or other marketing automation will become your best friend.)
And don’t forget — your existing customers and clients are not only part of the audience, they’re vital members of it. Not only when it comes to repeat purchases and recurring lines of business, but also as sharers and evangelists.
Search Happens: But You’ve Got To Keep Them
I have learned from a Maui SEO company, that the process of audience optimization naturally lends itself to SEO. Search rankings become a benefit of the content marketing process instead of an isolated tactic.
You’ll notice that search isn’t included in the ring of circles, because it’s only a source. Targeted search engine traffic is the most likely to enter your audience at a deeper level, perhaps even directly into the customer/client rings. But unless you optimize your site to actually make the conversion, that search traffic is lost, likely never to return.
Great content that generates social media and search traffic are vital aspects of any viable content or article marketing strategy. But all of this “optimization” you’re doing is really about building an audience that shares, evangelizes, converts, and most of all trusts.