As the economy grows grimmer, two things become clear for every e-commerce marketer. The first is that every marketing strategy needs to have a measurable ROI. The second is that we need to compete hard for every opportunity.
By competing hard, I’m talking specifically about winning search –lots of search. As the traditional advertising market crumbles, search stands out as the one tactic that’s growing. This growth is primarily due to the simple fact that search is the only marketing tactic in history where you can intercept a prospect at the point of intent.
In a tough environment it’s not enough to show up on a few search terms and know you will get your share. If demand is shrinking, you have to fight harder for consideration on the fewer opportunities.
Business blogging is beginning to play a big role in addressing these issues. The top trend we are seeing in business blogging? Blogging for search.
Why? Search engine optimization has always been recognized as a secondary benefit of e-commerce blogging. Until recently, blogging has been focused on thought leadership and helpful hints.
Today, smart marketers are recognizing that, like e-mail, comprehensive blogging is actually a powerful database-marketing tactic. If one imagines an e-mail delivering a message to an individual, think about delivering a message to a keyword phrase.
By generating and organizing content around topical blogs targeted to specific keywords, an e-commerce marketer dramatically increases their deliverability of content to those keywords.
Search marketing is, in fact, database marketing. We know which keywords our customers are using to find our products or services, we know the volume and we know the conversion rates.
With data driven blogging, we are simply delivering our message to those keywords organically with very specific blog pages and content, then waiting for our prospects to express their needs through search.
A widespread blogging strategy focused on SEO requires some new thinking–especially around who creates all the content necessary to drive the program’s success. Richard Edelman gives us the answer in his annual Edelman Trust Barometer, which found employees are five times more credible than CEO bloggers.
What he’s telling us is that successful blogging is no longer a top down activity, and to drive meaningful ROI we should empower all of our employees to create content. This makes sense: Who better than people who face the customer, understand their needs and appreciate the solutions. Customers are telling us what their problems are with their search intent, it’s up to marketers to listen and be ready with a relevant solution.
Chris Baggott is CEO/cofounder of Indianapolis-based Compendium Blogware.