Jaymie Scotto Cutaia: Blogging and social media are the
places where you begin conversations, where you foster
communities and where you engage your customers
We all go to the same when we want to buy airline tickets or to research facts on our favourite songs. And it’s the same search engine people are going to when shopping for telecom products — fibre, co-location, gear, network planning, and so on.
Innovations in public relations and inbound marketing mean you can court, track and send interested eyeballs not only to your website but to your sales team.
Tool your message for search engines
We can track which words prospects used on their Google search bar to find you. We can also find what pages they landed on, what content — case studies, press announcements or blog postings — intrigued them and how long it took them to put their contact details into your online form to become sales leads.
We can also track the moment these prospects turn into customers, giving you a full spectrum of valuable marketing data that you can further optimise for future lead acquisition methods.
You need to choose and reinforce the keywords that define you. These keywords can be your product offerings, your top thought leaders and your news. After identifying these keywords — and testing them to make sure they are sending the right people to your site — you then need to take ownership of your keywords.
So if phrases such as “dark fibre”, “low latency routing” or “optical gear”, particularly in your region, consistently send the right people your way, capitalise on it. Write the press releases, the case studies, the e-books, the blog pages and the social media posts that hyperlink to the direct webpages that further define your role as master of this key phrase.
Tune your PR programme so you are being interviewed on your keywords, so eventually journalists and analysts think of you when they want to write more on your keywords. Speak at targeted trade shows about your keywords; submit to the awards that honour your work in these keywords. Post and promote these third party validations, thereby increasing your search engine ranking.
So where to start? Google your company. Know what’s out there. Try to remove anything irrelevant or incorrect.
Next, Google your keywords. Who are the masters of these and why? Often phrases such as “dark fibre” will bring up random content as well, so there may be a lot of opportunity for you. And specificity is king. Consider keywords such as “dark fibre in Chicago” for example, adding locations, even addresses.
After tracking the success of these keywords, then build the content, post and interconnect. Make sure the content includes your keywords and links back to relevant web pages on your site.
Enter the telecom blogosphere
Truth is, if you are not blogging on a regular basis, you should be — or someone from your company or from your PR/marketing firm should be. Why? It’s fresh, relevant content — what Google considers when ranking you.
Most of your current web pages don’t get updated as often as Google would like. For example, when was the last time your “about us” page was refreshed? Unless you have a widget built in that updates your web page every time you post to your blog or social media, then the chances are your content is stale. So blogging is an excellent way to give your site much-needed freshness.
• You should be blogging more than three times a week.
• Your blogs should include relevant links and photos.
• Your blogs should reinforce your collection of keywords.
• Your blogs should be short but punchy.
• Your blogs should be a source of information.
• Your blogs should attract new readers to your site.
There is a certain level of art and commitment involved. If you don’t have the time available or the skill set, outsource this. It’s important.
Engage in the age of social awareness
We all have a presence on social media these days, whether or not we know it. The chances are that your company is being named on social media sites. If you haven’t yet, own your name on social media, as well as keywords.
Which social media sites are worth our time? According to HubSpot and SEOmoz, in a survey of search engine optimisation and internet marketing, 6,400 online marketers listed the top five social networks as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn, in that order.
The top five social networks according to 6,400 online marketers. You need
to have a Facebook company page just as you used to need a website to be
considered legitimate. Source: www.hubspot.com
As much as Facebook is the leader here — and you need to have a Facebook company page just as you used to need a website to be considered legitimate — I would say there are more telecom business opportunities on LinkedIn.
Twitter’s second place sounds right to me; it’s an amazing resource to get the daily headlines out for your company — even the softer news that might not warrant an official press release.
I’m also a big fan of using video. Do you have a YouTube Channel? My surprise here is Google+ which has been slow to the party. Nevertheless, we have seen a lot of buzz in the past few months.
Another newcomer is Pinterest, which was in the number seven spot in the Hubspot survey, with 21% of respondents. This site allows you to tell your company’s stories in a photo collage format. Pinterest is also great with link-back opportunities, helping companies promote own their keywords.
Follow me to the lead source
How does blogging and social media actually turn into real leads you can send over to your sales team? Casual posts are the places where you begin conversations, where you foster communities, where you engage your customers, where you hear from prospects, where you provide information for media and where you intrigue potential investors.
This is not where you forget to ask and respond — where you forget to listen. This is a place for two-way communication — which can build your company’s perception in the marketplace.
One client listened to its social media feedback and created a new product offering as a result. The offering was met with not only great reception but also a slew of ready-to-sign customers.
This is how we marketing is done today. It’s not about interrupting ads that have nothing to do with the reader’s interest; it’s about establishing a targeted dialogue, learning from the client, retooling when necessary, and helping clients be more successful.
And where do these dialogues happen most often and with least cost or time interference? Online — on social media and on popular blog sites.
How do you get leads to your site and interested in your keywords? You need to provide resources — content that is engaging and on point.
As you are the master in your particular offering, chances are you have been studying particular data and surveys. Chances are you have a list of thought leaders that can help you drive your message. Create e-books, case studies, video interviews, webinars, press releases, advertorials, articles and more, where you drive your message home, quoting from these relevant sources.
Next, post your content on your website tied to a contact form so folks can get access to it if they type in their name and email. Then promote it on your blog and in your social media. It’s essentially like setting up a lead generation engine.
Keep your engine oiled with lead nurturing
How can you keep those who have come to your site and downloaded your offer still interested in your company a month later?
The answer is a drip campaign. It’s a series of automated, targeted emails, which are sent out about five days after the initial download, promoting another offer on that keyword.
For example, your first offer might have been an e-book on the top ways to begin your internet marketing programme, and then your next offer might be what to look for when looking for marketing agencies.
You are essentially proving why your keyword is important and then why you are the leader in this field.
If people download this second offer, then another automated email is sent about 10 days later, asking them to participate in a one-on-one consultation with your sales person. At this point of engagement, the lead is well-versed in not only who you are but — more importantly — why they are interested in you. GTB
Jaymie Scotto Cutaia is CEO of Jaymie Scotto & Associates. She welcomes comments on this article, which she might then use in a blog or a future article in Global Telecoms Business. Comment online or use the Global Telecoms Business group on LinkedIn
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