One of the most overlooked opportunities for winning the SEO/social media marketing game today is research. The great thing about our new digital world is your customers and competitors leave a digital footprint that you can examine to better target your marketing campaign.
Think about it. With a little reverse engineering, you can find out how your customers search for solutions that your products and services can help solve. New tools let you easily find important competitive information like back links, campaign length and targeted keywords. Doing this work can give your business a huge competative advantage. The problem is most businesses jump right into social media tactics and skip this important step.
Use this opportunity to your advantage. Here are some key steps to take right now to win the digital marketing advantage. We have a more detailed view of this process in our special report “Digital Forensics”.
1) Keyword Research: This is such an important part of the process but often left to junior staff or worse, outsourced to people who do not understand your business. Identifying keywords and phrases with good volume, less competition, high commercialization and solid economics is tough. Make sure you have a process set up for your business to evaluate your keyword targeting strategy.
2) Competition Inventory: Who is serving your market, what is their USP, how does that translate into keyword targeting, campaign longevity, customer conversion mechanisms and landing pages. Identify what works for your competitors and use it. Find gaps in their strategy and exploit them.
3) Customer Behavior: What do customers want versus need? Find the top 5-6 forums and blogs that your customers are hanging out in and listen. How do they describe their problems and needs. Look for psychological triggers that can help you get an edge in your business positioning and copy.
Make sure you are taking advantage of the research phase of your digital marketing planning. You will be rewarded for it in market share and profits.