Channel-Specific Growth Skills: Technical SEO, Influencer Marketing, and Account-Based Marketing (Review)

Technical SEO

A technical SEO audit involves identifying all the tech issues of a site which could hurt its performance in organic search. The content optimization portions of SEO (authority & relevance) sit on top of the technical aspects of how search engines crawl websites. The course made a good case for marketers understanding the technical components on which content marketing is built on so they can find and address the issues themselves when something goes wrong. Beyond functional links allowing search engines to crawl and index your website, technical SEO involves proper HTML structure, META tags, META robots, HREFLang, URL structures, crawlability, structured data markups, and sitemaps.

Data-Driven Influencer Marketing

Social media changes quickly, and there’s a lot of noise and guesswork on what works. During my social & digital media marketing class last semester, we briefly covered influencer marketing (takeaway: it exists, it works, but lots of money gets lost due to influencer fraud). During my internship at an ad and PR agency, I reached out to influencers for different clients, but there was no process or best practices. This class really hit the nail on the head for how to meld general marketing best practices with the influencer channel via a value-based approach.

Value

The main value proposition of influencer marketing is to tell a relatable, distinct, and entertaining brand story that cuts through the advertising noise.

  1. Consistency (same story, different flavors)
  2. Social proof (authenticity and content quality)
  3. Liking
  4. Authority
  5. Kindness
  6. Entertainment value

When NOT to use influencer marketing

But it’s not always a good fit. Influencer marketing should not be used when:

  • Social media marketing is still cheaper than longer-standing marketing channels (eg. TV ads), but influencer marketing can get expensive. Influencer marketing focuses on quality of audience rather than quantity, so if you’re trying to reach as many people as possible, PPC is cheaper and more effective for awareness-level goals.
  • The message needs to be hyper-relevant to the influencer’s audience
  • Influencers have a following because they have a certain content niche, style, and tone. If you impose rigid guidelines for your sponsored content, then the post comes off as inauthentic and loses the value of the message.

Working with influencers

If you’ve decided influencer marketing is a good fit, then plan your campaign around your goals and your influencer partners’ goals. The top 5 influencer frustrations with brand collaborations are:

  1. No creative freedom — only 29% of influencers are asked for their opinion on the content direction
  2. Late payments
  3. Short deadlines
  4. Last minute changes to campaign requirements
  5. Unclear briefs

Identifying Influencers: Synergy & Brand Fit

Once you have a campaign outline, you can use tools like HyperAuditor to build a list 3–4x as long as your desired number of influencers — the list is a rough draft, and as you determine fit, the list will reduce to the ¼ you’ve budgeted for.

  1. What is the role of social for my brand? What is the goal of this social campaign?
  2. How creative is the influencers content?
  3. Has the influencer worked with competitors?
  4. Does the tone, voice, and style of influencer match that of my brand?
  5. What type of content will my campaign require?

The Value Exchange

As with all of marketing (and business), relationships are key. The more value brands and influencers can provide each other, the more long-term and successful the partnership will be.

  1. Access to relevant audience
  2. Engagement
  3. Reach/traffic/sales
  4. Product feedback
  5. Authenticity & trust
  6. Testimonials
  7. Commitment
  1. Audience growth
  2. Monetary compensation
  3. Great content
  4. Access (eg. pre-launch products, brand trips)
  5. Exclusivity (eg. custom product line, workflow, or campaign)
  6. Recognition
  7. Commitment
  • How do we let influencers experience the best of our products?
  • How do we incentivize and let our influencers create as freely as possible?
  • How do we as a brand co-create with our influencers?
  • Why should their audiences care, participate, and share?

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a sustained, coordinated, strategic approach to identifying, engaging, closing, and growing the accounts that a brand knows they should win. It takes a very sales-oriented approach to close the gap between sales and marketing.

  1. Strategic ABM: one-to-one accounts, where prospects for $250k+ deal sizes are given individual marketing attention. The campaigns are highly specialized, customized, complex, and strategic.
  2. ABM Lite: one-to-few accounts where marketing programs are lightly customized for clusters of similar accounts.
  3. Programmatic ABM : a one-to-many accounts approach that leverages technology to customize marketing programs at scale.

Channel Section Overview

In total, section 5 out of 8 of the growth marketing Minidegree covered email marketing, PR, Facebook and Google Ads, content strategy, retention, PPC, SEO content, LinkedIn and YouTube ads, technical SEO, influencer marketing, and ABM. The courses were comprehensive but not excessively long, and the information was up to date. Some of the principles of marketing that underlie all channels got a little repetitive, but no so much that I wish certain courses hadn’t been included.

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Sofia Sulikowski

Sofia Sulikowski

Recent undergrad business graduate with a passion for personal growth, professional development, and tech marketing.