A real-life solution to content marketing: mastering the digital pull

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Everywhere I turn, my fellow marketers are all abuzz about content marketing, but it's all starting to give me a little anxiety and chest pains. How am I ever going to target my customers (and prospects) with the exact message they are looking for, in their preferred medium, at the time when they are most receptive?

If I knew those answers, I would be on the beach in Hawaii sipping fruity drinks and consulting for an outrageous fee.

I market in the real world and need to look for solutions that will speak to the customers that are ready to purchase today. I suggest that we look to master the digital pull as the first step to successful content marketing.

I want to sell Product A. Actually, I want to sell a lot of Product A, which quite honestly is no different from what my competition offers. If I start by thinking about the digital pull, I can create strategies that will pull customers to me, in their preferred medium, when they are most ready to listen. Here's how:

Start by optimizing the product page, using the best term for optimization based on real searches. Then create a second optimized page on Product A, perhaps an application page that will cleverly link and up-sell to the shopping cart portion of your site.

While waiting for the search engine rankings to climb, set up a paid keyword campaign for the desired terms. You can buy the most popular searched terms as well as your internal terms for pay-per-click since you only pay when a user clicks.

(Tip: Use Google AdWords' Keyword Tool to search your desired terms. Many times I've seen where the term I was most familiar with was not the best candidate for optimization. When mastering SEO, you want to pick the actual terms that customers are searching for regardless of the term you use within your company.)

Since organic search results tend to have more credibility than paid ones in the searcher’s eyes, now is the time to get greedy. How can you get more rankings for your desired terms and find solutions to talk to your customer base in a variety of media?

This is the fun part: Partner with vendors and key customers to provide relevant optimized content for their sites with keyword-rich links back to your optimized pages. Also, send optimized press releases to your media contacts, create a video for your YouTube page (don’t forget to write a description with your keywords and keyword-rich links to your site), tweet about super amazing Product A, and tell Product A’s Facebook fans how it makes their job easier.

The list of ideas goes on and on. By mastering the digital pull I can get over my anxiety and accept the fact that I have been content marketing the entire time. Piña colada, anyone?

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