It’s that time of year again to be thankful, eat lots of turkey, watch football and try to explain to Mom and the rest of the family what inbound marketing is.
It’s probably best to avoid acronyms, words and phrases like CTR, SEO, long tail keywords, indexing, conversion rate optimization, meta data, and call-to-action.
While these words can be exciting for us marketers to talk about, when mixed with the tryptophan from turkey they have the propensity to put non-marketing family members in a food coma. Below are some recommendations for explaining what you do to Mom and the rest of the family.
1) Inbound vs. Outbound
Remind your mom what she used to tell you as a child, that “it’s inconsiderate and rude to interrupt someone.” Then explain how outbound marketing interrupts her day. It’s kind of like that crazy uncle that shows up to Thanksgiving dinner every year – walking around with a huge ego and not caring about who he bothers.
On the other hand, inbound marketing encourages people to join the conversation. It attracts people just like the smell of Mom’s pies when they come out of the oven. It’s the problem solving blog post that shows up near the top of the search engine. It’s the new purse she discovered on Pinterest or the product review she found on Facebook.
2) Search Engine Optimization
The overall concept is pretty easy to explain to anyone that knows what a search engine is. However, explaining how it’s done isn’t quite so straight forward. My advice? Discuss how on-page SEO is the website content equivalent of making sure all the dishes taste and look good – garnished properly and containing the appropriate ingredients for the big meal.
Once that’s done it’s just as critical to make sure guests have the appropriate dinner-wear to consume the food. It’s pretty hard to slice a turkey with a plastic butter knife. Mom certainly wants all of her guests to have a good experience. Just like marketers worry about the user experience of a website visitor.
At some point during the Thanksgiving holiday, politics inevitably comes up. This is the perfect opportunity to explain off-page SEO. Let her know that when a website links to another it’s like a vote in an election. However, not all votes are created equal. The more popular the website, the more the vote is worth.
Jog Mom’s memory and remind her how she’d always say, “eat your vegetables” when you were a kid – especially at Thanksgiving. Mom wanted you to eat your vegetables because she knew they were critical in growing up to become a vibrant and healthy adult.
For brands, writing great entertaining or problem solving content regularly on a blog is like a kid eating their vegetables every meal – some refuse, others need encouragement and some chow down. The end result is that brands that blog consistently over time can find themselves much more vibrant and healthy in the future.
4) Lead Generation
For Thanksgiving dinner to occur, someone had to go to the store; whether it’s Mom, Dad or a combination of both. Explain to your mother how choosing which products to put in the grocery cart is like getting someone to fill out a form on a website. Just because the product is in the cart doesn’t necessarily mean it will be purchased. It can be placed back on the shelf prior to check out.
Brand-trust, value, palate and previous meal planning are all factors considered prior to placing a product in the cart. Similarly, landing page visitors choose to fill out a form based on brand-trust, value proposition and intent.
5) Lead Nurturing
Ask Mom if she’d ever serve a turkey after only two hours in the oven. She’ll probably tell you that she wouldn’t because it would be cold, not cooked enough or not ready to serve. Brands that don’t do lead nurturing would be like Mom always serving the Turkey when it’s not ready.
Lead nurturing ensures that leads aren’t handed over to Sales until they’re hot and ready to serve. It’s important to do a little “basting” to soften them up a bit, too, and after enough time and nurturing, they’re ready for the handoff.
Now Go Get Stuffed, You Turkey
Hopefully, the above provided a good starting point for figuring out how to explain to Mom and the rest of the family what you do over the Thanksgiving holiday. However, if you need more ideas, download a copy of 51 Things Your Mother Taught You About Inbound Marketing onto your laptop or mobile device, and walk through each of the chapters to find fun, simple explanations of the intricacies of inbound marketing.