Why SEO & Influence are Critical to Pandemic Era Content Marketing

Pandemic Marketing SEO Influence

Pandemic Marketing SEO Influence
On this Memorial Day of 2020, it is important we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country – not only in the military, but those on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to first responders, law enforcement, healthcare workers and all that support them!

The health and economic crisis we are all facing now compounds the many other uncertainties of our time including trust and expectations in the brands we buy from. The COVID-19 pandemic and our society’s reaction to it have changed the reality we have lived with into something different and very digital.

The why of business matters. For those of us in marketing, we have an obligation to seek answers about how social changes, culture, the economy, politics and consumer behaviors will change how business is done. As we peel back the onion for answers, it means revisiting the why of our business, the value of our customers and employees.

Pivot one way or another. Many companies have pivoted their business models and others have adapted their solutions to be more relevant to the time. In most cases, messaging and marketing tactics have changed and along with that goals and how to measure them have changed.

Sales expectations have not gone away. While there has generally been a shift from explicit sales/push marketing content to messaging that is more aligned with the times in terms of being more empathetic to customers, purpose oriented and branding focused, sales expectations still exist. Sales still need to be made and the work still needs to be done – just differently.

Will your brand be the best answer tomorrow? Not only do companies need to mitigate sales losses because of “these uncertain times” but it will be a land grab to be the most relevant for customers when purchasing behavior starts to ramp up again. Because of that, branding goals measured by share of voice for social, share of search and earned media are just as important now as measuring for leads and sales.

SEO more timely than ever. To reach those sales goals but without being “salesly” and tone deaf, there have been many changes in how marketers reach their customers and one in particular has been a shift towards organic search. In fact, 63% of marketers say SEO will be most important marketing tactic during the pandemic according to research from Conductor, as a way to hit lead and sales numbers.

Understanding that B2B buyers already prefer to pull themselves through most of the sales experience with their own research and content, B2B marketers are increasingly emphasizing SEO for the current time when field marketing, events and experiential marketing are no longer an option.

Buyers are in search of B2B technology. More specific to our industry of focus, G2 Crowd has reported B2B tech categories having 200-600% increase in organic search traffic during the pandemic. All capable marketers are closely monitoring changes in organic search traffic and ramping up to meet the increased demand.

Findability meets credibility in crisis marketing.  Customers are as skeptical of brand marketing as ever and are tiring of the “in these uncertain times, we’re here for you” ads and messaging. Bypassing that with search works well for customers but content with 3rd party experts works even better.

Are you optimizing for trust? Demand Gen Report’s study on content preferences showed that 95% of B2B buyers prefer content featuring industry experts. Marketing during a crisis that emphasizes SEO to help buyers pull themselves to brand content that ALSO includes credibility inspiring content from industry experts is what can really create trust and the confidence for buyers to make the connection.

During uncertain times, one thing is true in marketing. There is a lot of uncertainty right now but there is also the truth about what your customers need and the value your brand can deliver to them. Creating useful information, aka content marketing, is more than important than ever, especially in more engaging formats like video, podcasts, interactive and livestreaming.

ABO – Always Be Optimizing. Marketing is about optimizing for improved performance and the role that organic search plays in pulling customers to your brands solutions at the very moment of need is clear. Including trusted industry experts that have the attention and confidence of your customers is even clearer. Here are 5 steps on how to get started.

When it comes to learning more about the intersection of SEO, influence and content marketing, this blog is a useful resource. We have 469 posts about SEO, 159 posts on influencer marketing and over 800 posts on content marketing. Of course if you have unique questions, we are happy to hear and answer them at TopRank Marketing.

Source: SEO blog

Should COVID-19 Stop B2B Marketers From Marketing?

COVID-19 B2B Marketing

COVID-19 B2B Marketing

You’ve read the news, seen the reports, remarkable real-time graphs and updates from the CDC. Virtually all industry conferences are cancelled or postponed, major sporting events are postponed, most schools and many stores are closed and just about any venue for large crowds from malls to theatres are as empty as the toilet paper aisle at Target.

COVID-19 is serious business and is undoubtedly having an impact on business. Should it stop companies from marketing to other businesses?

We all have an obligation to make the changes necessary to minimize COVID-19 transmission through closures, postponements and having employees work from home like we just implemented at TopRank Marketing this week along with many other companies.

While there will be a period of adjustment, these changes do not mean the work stops. It doesn’t mean companies don’t need information, solutions, support, products and services. The evolving environment we find ourselves in presents new challenges and opportunities to be even more relevant and useful for clients.

While some companies may be distracted or paused in some of their efforts to find solutions, that only means marketing needs to do a better job of providing best answer content in formats that are relevant in the new environment: virtual events, video conferencing, podcasts, webinars, interactive content, recorded video, live streaming and other forms of online engagement. Virtual reality or direct mail are considerations as well.

During this time of transition, it’s also important that marketers review their planned advertising, social and marketing messages to be appropriate to what customers are dealing with right now. Publishing marketing messages as if everything is normal will not resonate or be useful.

Additionally, opportunities may reveal themselves either through data or consumer behavior, like the efforts to encourage gift card purchases from local businesses that will lose foot traffic. A few additional tips for B2B marketers include:

  • Stay in close contact with your customers. Learn what you can do to better support them, anticipate changes and offer resources.
  • Make sure your brand digital channels are up to date including website, blog, social network profiles, and Google My Business listings.
  • Commit to video – convert marketing message activities to video and if you have live video access on LinkedIn for execs or your brand – start using it now.
  • Optimize your digital channels: Refresh SEO, social, online advertising and influencer efforts. Identify what is working and reallocate resources and budget as appropriate.
  • Reinforce efforts and communications to support community, employees and customers affected through supply of resources, technology or expertise.

Marketers focused on being the best answer for their customers are agile and understand the importance of being responsive to changes, even as large as the Coronavirus pandemic. Being responsible to the health and safety of employees, customers and community should be the top priority while also understanding that the need for information and solutions might slow or change but not stop. We still need to do our jobs and provide useful information, we just need to do it differently.


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Source: SEO blog