John Milton wrote that a good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit. Today is National Book Lovers Day, and whether or not you are a fan of Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, or you prefer something a tad lighter, the sustenance of a good book has the same potential to garner joy as does a high-level digital marketing strategy engineered and delivered by the best inbound agencies from Los Angeles to New York City and beyond.
There are many genres of literature, and each has its wheel-well of classics and master works that are forever cemented in the literary canon. When it comes to a growth-driven business strategy, we can learn from various types of literature to see how people and search engines make emotional and technical connections with various components that help brands attract consumers, convert them into buyers, and grow their online audiences of satisfied advocates.
Science Fiction – Cyborgs and Artificial Intelligence Power Digital Marketing
Who remembers the 80s Sci-Fi film ‘Robocop’ where a half machine and half human law enforcement officer is trained to do his job while identifying with the people around him? Well, it was also a book. As Robocop learns what emotionally motivates the people in his community he serves and develops the ability to empathize with them, his performance improves and he winds up saving the day.
Enter Google RankBrain, a key algorithm run on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that crawls millions of different search results looking for the best answers to user’s queries. As Google’s bots crawl the results and determine what the human intent is behind each search, it self-educates itself and learns along the way producing better search results each time.
When you write content that educates, triggers your customer’s emotional needs, and lay out textual gold optimized to communicate with Google telling the search engine what it is about, who its for, and why it is valuable, you will see your organic ranking launch upwards like Robocop tossing a bad guy up through the ceiling.
Comic Books – The Super Hero’s Journey is the Inbound Journey
Inbound marketing is the future of digital business growth. This methodology uses customized content to target specific audiences and nurture them through a funnel that will attract, convert and delight them.
Look at Daredevil; a blind lawyer who helped low-income people in Hell’s Kitchen while fighting the bad guys. He relied on the ability to reach out to various types of people to get leads that helped him convert his efforts into pay-dirt. Then you have the X-Men–a world of mutants and non-mutants with two very conflicting influencers who compete against one another to achieve the same goal (create tolerance and acceptance of mutants). They relied on their ability to reach the right people, at the right time, with the right message designed to resonate. Inbound uses a marketing automation system to perform the same methodology, one that is designed to nurture buyers through a journey until they identify that the brand offers the best solution to their need.
Horror / Crime Thriller – Hannibal the Cannibal and Keyword Cannibalization
Before the film starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster came out, Thomas Harris wrote the novel depicting the serial killer who ate his victims and shocked readers around the world. Business owners around the world would be shocked too if they knew a cannibal was attacking their online content and robbing them of the ability to rank and reach new customers. When you are using multiple pages to rank for the same keyword or phrase, keyword cannibalization becomes a massive threat to your organic SEO strategy. Ecommerce businesses are at more risk for internally devouring their ranking efforts by having multiple pages for the same, or similar products.
Rather than trying to rank for the same keyword on multiple pages, pinpoint the unique features to your similar products and use keywords centered around the variations to rank on separate pages. Use some content enhancement to indicate how the various products are related, create a clever internal linking strategy to highlight the similarities for Google bots to identify (and to create a more user friendly experience for the customer), and use longtail keywords. For example, if you sell apparel featuring Los Angeles sports teams, rather than trying to rank for “Dodgers jerseys” on 20 pages, use keywords like these:
- Dodgers home jerseys size XL
- Dodgers away jerseys Size M
- Dodgers jerseys for men size L
- Dodgers jersey Clayton Kershaw size XL
- Authentic Cody Bellinger Dodgers jersey size L
Be more specific to prevent keyword cannibalization, rank for the right kind of keywords, and get more customers.
Romance Novels – Create Content that Wines and Dines Users and Bots
Another factor that will help you rank for the right kind of buyers and increase your customer base is how successful you can optimize your content for Google’s bots and your readers. But you don’t want to just rank for the sake of ranking; you need to create unique content aimed at the types of people who would find value in your products and services. Before that can happen, your technical SEO must be buttoned up. This means your URL structures, tags, meta and schema need to be spot on. Once Google can crawl your site and understand what it’s supposed to be about, and your content supports the technical, it needs to thrill your human audience. When you write content that educates, entertains, sheds hope, inspires ideas, and offers solutions to specific problems, your readers will love you. And when Google bots love your content and take it to bed, you will have a union designed to turn people on just like the romantic pairings you see in those tacky bodice-ripping romance novels (oh my god look what Conan is doing to Google).
Comedy – From Chaucer, to Sedaris, to You
Laughter has always been popular; it works to attract readers to literature, and to draw in buyers via clever content marketing strategies. When Chaucer wrote about farting in people’s faces in the late 14th century, people thought it was the funniest thing ever and flocked to read his Canterbury Tales. Today David Sedaris uses more sophisticated humor to get readers splitting at their sides. Brands should strive to do the same thing. When writing content, make sure the humor is appropriate to your products and services, and to YOUR buyer audiences. When you can make consumers laugh, they will naturally come back for more; they will keep coming back to your blog, they will share it with their friends, and because a more human connection has been made, they are likely to become loyal customers and your biggest brand advocates.