What the 2013 Finals are Teaching Us about Marketing

In the season finale of Game of Thrones we learned a crown doesn’t give you power, but an army does. “King James” has played a sizable chunk of these playoffs with a supporting cast that seems disinterested or overwhelmed at times. Dwayne Wade’s fragile knees and Chris Bosh’s determination to shoot threes are poison to the Heat. It didn’t take long for the Spurs to discover that the moment they cage Lebron, the Heat run out of options quickly. If game 5 taught us anything, it’s that if Spurs solid core play well, a boost from the role players will overwhelm the opposition. The Heat rely on James being impossible to stop, while the Spurs have consistent producers they can count on every night. So what has this exciting series taught us about marketing? We have watched two very different teams take turns blowing each other out every other game. It’s time to decide whether your marketing strategy is better off with a flashy Lebron strategy or the old school San Antonio approach.

Let’s break down San Antonio’s strategy. This strategy is great for those companies struggling to keep consistent traffic on their site. Ask yourself – What is the core of your marketing strategy? Are you relying on marketing that lacks consistency? Let’s take a look at the building blocks of the San Antonio Spurs.

Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili make up the core of the Spurs. Their new pieces, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, are new additions they’ve added to their strategy. What is your core strategy—this is what brings you consistent conversions. Once you’ve established your core, you can begin adding pieces to your strategy. Although new additions to your strategy can include risk, you can strike gold with these new techniques (Danny Green now holds the title for the most three’s made in a final series) or your risk won’t pay off; that’s okay, because you know your core is coming through.

Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan

What should be the core of your marketing?

1. Organic Search (SEO) – It’s hard to beat being in the right place at the right time. No one likes to be sold, but everyone likes to discover something great. Google has created an amazing platform for this. You need to be the gold your target audience finds at the end of their Google search.

2. Paid Search – If done right, PPC can generate traffic instantly. If done wrong, you are better off simply flushing your money down the toilet. Building a great campaign is essential to your success.  Get your quality score up and pay attention to it. You need to know exactly where your money is going.

3. Email Marketing- Don’t spam; unless, of course, you are trying to lose your audience as quickly as possible. Learn from the best, Wistia is a great example of a company that sends emails that have personality and include useful information. You will keep your audience if you can provide useful information on a regular basis.

This next technique can be a great tool for companies who are looking to add to their core marketing. This is the Danny Green of your marketing strategy. This is the piece that adds to your core and lifts you above the competition. Video should be a part of every marketing budget. One reason Wistia’s email marketing is so successful is because they include a video in almost every email. The following strategy helps boost your SEO efforts.

Leverage Video for SEO- I never realized the backlink opportunities I was missing out on by posting my videos on YouTube and Vimeo. By posting your video on these sites you do two things: you lose traffic to the next suggested video and eliminate any opportunity for a potential backlink. We discovered a new technique for leveraging video for backlinks. By hosting our videos on Wistia, we give viewers the option to embed the video onto their site. This option is also available on YouTube and Vimeo, but when those videos are embedded the link points back to your profile on those sites. This is beneficial for YouTube, but not you. With some tinkering you can add a backlink into the code of Wistia videos. Every time your video is embedded you will receive a backlink. We’ve had a lot of success stricking deals with customers.

At Ydraw we’ve created Fast and Easy Videos. This new product was built around the idea that companies benefit from producing quality videos to consistently communicate with their audience. Fast and Easy Videos come at a quarter of the price of our other videos and are done in hours, not days.

A detailed post on Leveraging Video for SEO is coming Friday. We’ll give you the step by step guide.

Okay, we have our core; now let’s swing for the fences – Let’s take a Lebron approach – where can we take some risks?

This is a unique way to approach marketing but it can be a perfect approach for certain companies—if a Lebron James is willing to take his talents to your beach.

Partner with Bloggers- in Neil Patel’s latest blog post, he described how he landed 25 thousand hits on a SEO guide he created by linking to Moz (this became his Lebron James). Moz responded with a write up on the guide and the traffic flew in. Patel hit a home run; he now partners with other blogs when he launches new guides. This isn’t a marketing technique that qualifies for the core because it’s hit or miss. A blog has to be willing to advertise your company. You can’t rely on blogs partnering with you every week—they don’t like to give away traffic. However, when you spend the time and money on great content (Neil Patel spent six months on his guide) it can drive traffic for both you and a partnered blog and it can be a massive boost to your company. Then your task becomes giving them a reason to come back.

So, let’s look at the Lebron strategy in a little more detail.

Convincing bloggers to cover your product or service can be a huge boost for your company. In Ryan Holiday’s book, Trust Me, I’m Lying, he breaks down how to leverage bloggers for your marketing efforts. He begins by explaining how bloggers make their money. Some are paid per post and others are paid for traffic. This means a blogger makes the big bucks by constantly producing high quality content that appeals to his/her audience. It also means that an audience won’t stick with a blogger if they feel like they are being sold a product. So, how do you get covered by a popular blogger while keeping their integrity in tact? First things first, keep in mind that they make the big bucks by constantly producing content, so typically they aren’t opposed to a little help if it is going to benefit their readers. Toyota got creative and gave a car to a popular vehicle blogger and told him to write about the car, good or bad. Some companies will naturally draw bloggers to covering them because of new technology or innovation. Other companies may need to nudge a blogger a bit. The first step is to identify popular bloggers in your field. Then approach them with a simple pitch that explains why your message would benefit their readers. If you can pitch your message in the right way and provide enough information that their blog is nearly written for them, they’d be crazy not to consider it.

Discover what approach works best for your company. Are you better off with the slow, methodical San Antonio Spurs approach or will you benefit more from a Lebron James boost. Better yet, find a way to use both.

Tune in next week for a detailed post on leveraging blogs for marketing.

+Wesley Bledsoe

What the 2013 Finals are Teaching Us about Marketing
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Wesley Bledsoe

Wesley Bledsoe

VP of Sales at Ydraw
Wesley Bledsoe

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