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So, it turns out that today is a pretty good day. Not only do we discover that we’ve been written about on Forbes.com, but we’ve also discovered we’re ranking at #3 for the search term “generating leads through content marketing“.
Besides just being good news, this is a great example of two core beliefs of ours.

1) Our own site is far from optimized, for which I blame a case of “I do this all day at work, I don’t want to have to come home and do it for me” syndrome.  Our permalinks are still messed up, our image alt text is based far more on the XKCD “does it make us giggle” principle rather than on strong image search optimization principles, and we play a lot more fast and loose with our keyword research when deciding which posts to publish and what to write about. Despite all this, we’re achieving pretty good ranking on some fairly critical terms. We’ve got multiple page one results for variations on top-tier keywords we’re targeting, and a lot more for longer-tail keywords. For instance, the example from the top of the post doesn’t get a whole lot of searches. It HAS however brought several visitors to the page over the last two days.

The point here is that even with several major optimization problems, we’re still getting ranked well for important keywords. Why? Good, solid content, updated frequently and regularly (ok, sorry, regularly-ish). This is why we’re such huge proponents of inbound content marketing: it works. Generating leads with content marketing can be as easy as…well…writing stories about generating leads with content marketing.

2) I keep hearing friends and acquaintances in PR talk about how difficult it is to get press interested in a product. They whine about having to send out 500 press releases to MAYBE get one person interested. Which makes sense, if you’ve ever read a press release. Usually, they go something like:

“OMG My product is SOOOOO awesome! Let me give you a bunch of useless facts about my AWESOME product that you TOTALLY have to write about because I said so!”

No wonder most of them go straight to trash. We, on the other hand, understand that getting press is as easy as giving out interesting, relevant, and well-written content. We as a company have never sent out a single press release. Ever. We HAVE however approached reporters we know, and some we don’t, and asked if they needed to know anything about our field, or to pitch story ideas we think are interesting, or to offer to guest blog with a minimum of plugging ourselves. And shockingly, it works. It turns out that if you give something, you usually get something.

Even more interesting are things like this Forbes article. We never pitched this woman. In fact, she approached us to particpate in an online marketing survey, because she looked at some of the stuff we were doing and was interested. Then during the survey, she was so impressed with our work for our client, QwikValve, that she spontaneously decided to write an article about it. We actually didn’t find out about it until one of our Google Alerts went off. So now, thanks to our content and our willingness to share without expecting anything in return, we have press for ourselves and one of our clients. And you know what? Unlike a PR agency, we’re not going to charge our client for it because we don’t work on commission. We know if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll get press, and we’ll get followers on social media, and we’ll get leads. And that, ladies and gents, is the power of inbound content marketing.

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