Lately, I’ve been spending a whole lot more time talking about blogging than actually blogging. The good thing about this is that I’ve started to notice some trends and central themes that exist in the conversations I’ve been having, and this is one of the big ones.
In this age of the Google-dominated web, everyone researches everything before they make a purchase. Be it a microwave, a camera, a car, or a house, you can bet that people are going to develop their opinions first and foremost from what they learn through the searches they perform on the product. Forget about the TV, print, radio, and billboard ads. The only thing you can do, as a marketer, to influence people’s purchasing decisions is to get your message high up on Google’s organic search rankings.
Assuming you’re marketing a service, your job as a marketer is to convey your expertise as accurately, thoroughly, and regularly as possible to Google, so that Google may refer the specific masses to you. Google is in the business of organizing the world’s content, and the best way to woo them is by putting lots of specific expert content on your website. Let’s look at an example.
Say you own a high-end women’s fashion store in one of the country’s larger cities. You’re in business, and doing exceptionally well, for two reasons: you’ve got a great eye, and you know how to create a meaningful and personal shopping experience that your clients can’t get anywhere else. Because of these things, and probably a few other factors, you happen to have exclusive relationships with clothing and jewelry designers from around the world. Since you’re in a big city, you’re able to do well with local business accounting for 90% of your sales. But what if that city falls on hard times? Tying your fate to a specific locale is never a good plan if it can be helped, and it can almost always be helped.
In this case, how many women around the world would be thrilled to have you show up at their door, with a few outfits in tow, that they could never get if they didn’t have a relationship with you? In this economy, who knows, but we can be sure that there are far more around the globe, or even just across the country, than there are in any one city.
If you’re doing this well, you probably get great press, and that is wonderful; it establishes notoriety and credibility. What great press doesn’t do, however, is give your “clients-to-be” a sense of what it might be like to work with you.
In this case, a perfect strategy would be a blogging strategy. Blog from the big fashion events around the world about what you’re seeing and what your thoughts are. Blog about your (anonymous) client interactions, past and present; blog about the service moments that have defined your career and success; blog about what you love about what you do, because that is why you’re good at it. Blog blog blog blog blog. Blog for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, and you are going to have an impressive wealth of content on your site before too long. Have key members of your firm participate as well.
The web is the dominant marketing medium for four reasons. A web marketing investment is quicker, cheaper, far more measurable, and much, much longer lasting than any other marketing investment one can make. This particular point on blogging highlights this last benefit. Your expert blog content will never stop working for you. Fashion changes daily. Service, intelligence, and insight shine on forever, and your great content detailing these aspects of your business will serve as an effective, passive, sales tool that works for you every moment of every day and never expires.
Convey the subtleties of your expertise to Google. Let the select corner of the world you care about know that you are here to serve them. Let Google tell them. That’s who they’re asking anyway.