I have for the past couple of months been posting here about an ongoing MBA class on content marketing called Marketing with Social Media. The class is being taught by me, Bill Belew, at a university in San Jose (Yes, I know the way).
I don’t know of anybody who has been able to gather a lot (73 MBA students) of bloggers and put them in a controlled setting (controlled inasmuch as they do what I tell them to, which they don’t always) in an academic environment. The students pass or fail based on whether they do the work or not. It is an international university and many of the students’ immigration status is dependent on their final grade. In other words, they are motivated. If they fail, they literally get deported.
The class is a marketing class. The end result of the blogging, aka content marketing, aka inbound marketing is not just traffic. It’s conversions. Business. Clients. Paying customers or in some cases, leads are just enough.
Not the only step mind you. But the most important step.
By chance–I didn’t plan it this way–this past week I attended a Conversion Conference in San Francisco, right up the street from me. We get a lot of that sort of thing in my area. Search Engine Marketing, adTech and and and …
The Conversion Conference was all about, well, converting visitors to web sites to paying customers. Analyzing the people who show up at your site and how they got there from whence they came (I am reading a book that currently has me in the middle ages) and turning them into buyers. Finding the leak in the funnel. That sort of thing.
Before I tell you the first let me tell you the second most important thing I took away from the Conversion Conference: Most, can you say nearly all, marketers, market analysts don’t know what they are talking about.
One of the keynote speakers quite aggressively asked all the attendees by show of hands to answer three marketing questions. Is A better than B, type questions. Out of the 200+ people in the room, only 6, count ’em, got all three questions right. And, I was one of the 6! So, make that 5!
These are the, um, marketing analyst experts! And they barely get 1 or 2 out of 3 options right. Whoa!
But that’s not the most important.
First you have to get people to your web site in the first place. And get the right people to your web site. Driving traffic is no good. That equals pushing people to a site whether they might want to go there or not.
A good site pulls people in. In Europe it is called pull marketing versus push marketing. And pull wins hands down.
Social networking is push marketing.
Sites built on solid search engine optimization principles is pull marketing. Search engine optimized is content that is appealing to real people (first) and search engines (second) but definitely to both.
My students have been working the SEO principles of good titling, images, captions and descriptions, plus linking and so on.
After 8 weeks, three of them are already over 10,000 page views! And the top 10 students are averaging over 5,000 page views … that have been generated by pull marketing. Guess who gets to stay in the US!
So, tell me … which converts better for you, people you asked to come to your site, people who have been sent to your site by hook or by crook or people who have come looking and found that you have what they want?
I know the answer. Do you?