Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Strategic Management + Search Engine Marketing = Strategic Keyword Marketing

Today, I'm coining a phrase: strategic keyword marketing.

It might not be the catchiest catch-phrase out there, but understanding it is vital to your business; be it online, offline or hybrid. At least, that's my position: and I'll do my best to explain it to you in the next few hundred words.

It all starts with marketing, and as discussed in "The Marketing Book" by Michael Baker and Susan Hart (an excellent read if you really want to get into the guts of modern marketing), the fact that a lot of people miss out on the opportunities offered by marketing.

The reason is that marketing is one of those iceberg topics, where we all see the tip, and try to base our marketing around that, without a deeper understanding of 75% of what goes into a proper marketing plan.

For the record, the iceberg idea, as applied to marketing, is presented by Baker & Hart on page 5 in the very first chapter What is Marketing? It's that important.

They also identify three items at the tip:
  • Advertising
  • Promotions
  • PR
These are the obvious external signs of a marketing campaign. A campaign.

As consumers, that's all we every really see: the adverts, the money off promotions and the PR stunts or press releases.

The rest, all of which has been vital in getting the organisation to the point at which they can construct adverts, promotions and manage the PR around a product launch, is below the marketing iceberg's waterline.

Those activities are aligned with their strategic marketing efforts, and consumers never really see them.

Strategic Marketing

Any organisation, from a one person blogger pushing products as an affiliate, through to international, multi-tiered behemoths that have become something of a hallmark of globalisation need to have some kind of strategy.

There are many strategies, and this isn't the place to go into them all.

Everything from a low-price, high volume discount through to a high price, low volume, quality differentiated product line represents a strategy. And, all aspects of a business need to align with a central strategy, that is usually linked to a core vision and mission statement.

In "Applied Strategic Marketing", by du Plessis, Jooste and Strydom, the field of strategic management (which pulls together all the aspects of a strategy) is merged with that of marketing to give a marketer's viewpoint of the development of strategy.

Specifically of interest is how the below-the-waterline stuff relates to an ongoing strategy. This includes:
  • Selling
  • Market Testing
  • Innovation & New Product Development
  • Identification of Marketing Opportunities
  • Market Intelligence
  • Researching Customer's Needs
(List adapted from Baker & Hart)

All of the above need to be aligned in order to derive competitive advantage from the marketing activity. Advertising, Promotions and PR are important, too, but the business is won or lost on the basis of the other stuff.

So, what does this mean for modern business?

Search Engine Marketing

One of the most popular ways for dynamic, modern businesses to satisfy the tip of the iceberg is by engaging in search engine marketing, and there are any number of SEO and search engine marketing books to choose from that will help you construct an entirely online-biased business view.

That's okay, as far as it goes: but it doesn't really deal with the strategy behind the advertising or promotional push.

Current books deal with the nuts and bolts. How to get ranked. What keyword phrases to target. Where to try and get back-links from for best effect. How to create content, where to post it, and, importantly, how to get your message across.

This is all important stuff, but worthless if you get the underlying product, market and customer needs wrong.

Enter strategic keyword marketing.

Strategic Keyword Marketing

The one thing that ties this all together is keyword research. But, on its own, KWR isn't enough; it's just a series of tools and methods to work out what the target market is trying to communicate to us, the entrepreneurs.

Keywords are a means of communication. We use them to communicate with search engines, to tell them what we're about. Our customers use them to communicate with search engines to tell them what they want.

Our advertising copy uses keywords to impress on the customer the value of our products.

Keywords, trigger words, words that allow us to imply buyer intent: these are all important things to research, track, and make part of an integrated online, offline, or hybrid marketing strategy.

Even if you don't have a web site, strategic keyword marketing is vital for the insights that it gives you into your market, and your future markets.

All aspects of the marketing iceberg can be influenced and enhanced by a proper understanding of strategic keyword marketing.

As more and more people use online means to communicate, research, and reveal their wants, needs, and desires, it is up to us to make sure that we tap into this cheap, reliable business and market intelligence resource.

That's why I'm writing the book on Strategic Keyword Marketing.

To get on the list, and receive the discounted version of the book, just join The Keyword Coach private mastermind group on Facebook. Let's unlock your web site's true potential as a strategic marketing asset.

(And make you some real money at the same time!)