In many offices there lies two distinct doors…
In one room you’ll find colleagues hunched over graphs and analytic platforms, plugging away at keywords, URLs and half-made landing pages.
Behind the other door you’ll find a group of creatives, researching, BuzzSumo-ing, and click-clacking away at keyboards with the dream of drafting the perfect content article to drive traffic, capture leads and retain the already-loyals.
While each room offers their own magic formula, finding a way to seamlessly integrate the two teams takes time and a vast knowledge of the target audience. Here are six tried and true tips for creating the most productive inbound marketing team for your startup’s lead generation, user acquisition and retention.
1. Devise an Inbound Marketing Plan
Who better to come up with your brands’ inbound marketing plan than the executioners themselves? By leaving it up your SEO and content marketing team to identify your target audience and devise a plan for increasing engagements and retention, you’ll have your acquisition funnel ready for action.
Inbound marketing is about pulling, rather than pushing, users to engage with your brand. Therefore, having an organic acquisition strategy is critical to driving conversion and retention; the process is about creating the perfect content to inform and enlighten the people within your network.
The best, most surefire way to acquire new users is to deliver positive results, but it's just as critical to socialize those results with key decision makers when they're in research and exploration mode. People make firm decisions when they reach conclusions on their own, and organic acquisition channels provide a gentle nudge.
Developing a backlog of key personas – the people who are most likely to be sold and retained by your product and service – is the best way to begin the journey of identifying your most valued customers. However, this is just the rudimentary step to becoming acquainted with what ‘works’ for your brand.
Identifying keywords, having marketing goals and optimizing everything from landing pages to CTAs, are long-term steps in solidifying your inbound marketing plan – no one in your company should know these processes better than the people behind the analytics and words.
2. Share a Keyword Doc
The goal of inbound marketing is to take people from passive to active with your content, but you have to reach them first. The best way to find your target audience is through targeted keywords. Honing your industries vocabulary and leveraging this to cater to your audience is a surefire way of reaching the ‘right’ people.
You SEO team, as well as your content marketing team, should be constantly updating a keyword doc which lists the most words in your industry and how often they’re being used. By using keyword-centric platforms such as HubSpot and SEMrush, you can also organize your terms into actionable data to support your SEO.
So why is this important to do as a team?
The answer is simple, acquisition teams and content marketers are devouring keywords at an unprecedented rate. However, the keywords spotted by your analytics team versus the ones seen by your content team, are coming from totally different sources.
Doubling the eyeballs you have on your industry’s keywords is a huge bonus in honing the wide spectrum of vocabulary in your startup’s relevant genre. However, having an organized dashboard of all keywords as they arise and change has the potential to turn your company into a powerhouse of URL building and headline crafting fury.
“Both the science and the art of keyword selection should be considered by the team,” Adam Fridman, founder of Mabbly, told me. “A data driven creative approach inspires the analytics team to share data and create a feedback loop with the content team via the dashboards.”
3. Create Interactive Content
If you didn’t already know, interactive content is perhaps one of the most powerful tools for SEO. In the past, it was customary to stuff as many keywords as possible into a single blog post – even if it made the post incoherent – because that’s what Google responded to.
Today, however, Google rewards sites that provide content people will actually enjoy, share, and engage with. In fact, the more viral a post, the better it performs on Google. And nothing goes viral like well-crafted interactive content.
Interactive content includes everything from quizzes, polls, calculators, infographics, interactive ebooks, images, etc. There are great sites out there that help both brands and publishers create engaging, captivating interactive content. Apester, ThingLink and Brackify are just a few platforms that make it easy to create viral and shareable content.
While the content team can offer their creativity, writing skills and imagination, the SEO team can feed them competitive keywords, long tail keywords, and additional tips to encourage maximum shareability. Think of all the backlinks you could get if your quiz goes viral!
Quizzes: Interactive Content
4. Create Landing Pages
There’s no doubt that creating a landing page is a job for two or more. With the influence of both content marketers and an SEO team, landing pages have the potential to be your greatest asset in reaching out to your clientele with your brand’s campaign or promotion.
When creating landing pages, keyword research and page descriptions make all of the difference. The idea behind landing pages (LPs) is to create a one stop shop for the information you wish to relay to your target audience. The first hurdle is to curate this information into concise (it’s just a page) headlines, CTA copy, subheadlines and descriptions.
Everything written on your LP should be optimized not only reach your target audience, but to consolidate and clarify your intended selling point. Landing page building sites such as Optimizely allow for inbound marketing teams to personalize and optimize their outreach methods. After the copy has been crafted, the next hurdle is getting them to click.
5. Refine Your Email Marketing
Emails and newsletters are your best bet in reaching the hearts and inboxes of your customer base. These outreach methods should be used to alert your customers of promotions and company changes, or for some lighthearted entertainment.
Crafting the perfect email marketing campaign takes much more than just a robust emailing platform, it takes a keen and strategic eye to engage your audience the best way. One aspect of this is about what choose to share with your customer base. Anything you send to your subscribers should be in a voice that suits your target audience. For example, if you’re speaking to millennials, use trending topics and current events.
Any great email marketing campaign will not only consider what is said, but which words are used to say it. Effective emails and newsletters will contain optimized CTAs and strategic keywords. However, these inbound marketing strategies are especially crucial for building internal links to your own website and blog – referencing your own internal links will help you to link build while also enlightening your customer base.
6. A/B Test Together
How can you know if you are using your inbound marketing team to its full potential?
The question is asked often and the truth is there’s no one answer because what ‘works’ is always in flux. Enter A/B testing.
A/B testing allows for inbound marketers to test and analyze both your call to actions, descriptions, headlines, layout and images. In other words, the details on your homepage, landing pages or blogs which will most impact the effect of your SEO and content marketing efforts, can be analyzed using A/B testing.
The purpose of making A/B Testing a team effort (SEO, content marketing and UX designers) is so that Version A and Version B can be made equal – so that there are no glitches preventing you from gaining insight into the specifics of each version. Integrating your teams’ wordsmiths with your designers and your SEO, can optimize your A/B Testing capacity and can aid in devising the most relevant samples to be tested.
Team integration is the surest way of creating an inbound marketing team to be reckoned with. When it comes to testing and analyzing, more eyeballs is more power and by combining your two marketing rooms, you are sure to see big results.
Please leave us a comment about your success in integrating SEO and content teams. What worked for you?