Last month, DevPro Journal shared some results of a joint marketing survey conducted with value-added distributor BlueStar (via their ISV Connect program). Seventy-nine ISVs shared their experiences with marketing — what was working and what wasn’t. In digging further into the data, we learned (not surprisingly) that some ISVs have had the most success generating inbound traffic and leads with a competent SEO strategy. Unfortunately, based on the survey, most ISVs are falling short when it comes to generating content to drive such a strategy for themselves.
Many believe that press releases are only applicable to new product announcements. In fact, the survey indicated that just over 44 percent of ISVs issue press releases only as needed. About 20 percent issue a press release quarterly. Unbelievably, nearly 28 percent of ISVs never issue press releases.
Successful ISV marketers use press releases for a variety of newsworthy reasons that extend far beyond new products. Here are some other reasons to issue a press release on your site:
- Exhibiting at a trade show or conference — This is a great way to show that your company is plugged into the industry. If it’s a vertical event, it aligns you with that market. If you’re sharing booth space with another vendor, it’s a good opportunity to piggyback off that vendor’s brand recognition.
- Any public speaking — If you or a staff member have the expertise to speak at a conference or vertical show, that’s worth telling customers and prospective customers about.
- Customer wins — Landing a big customer or a series of small customers shows your company is on a growth path and helps customers and prospects feel better about working with you.
- Business growth — If you’ve increased headcount, moved into a larger space, experience sales growth, or moved into a new region, you’re showing signs of success worth sharing.
- Employee growth — If employees earn advanced degrees, certifications, or market specializations, it highlights the expertise you have on staff.
- Any awards — If you receive awards from vendors, distributors, the local chamber of commerce, or some other organization, it highlights your proven expertise.
As you can see, there are many reasons to publish press releases. Building a repository on your site can help build your SEO score. Of course, you’ll receive an additional benefit if you have the press releases distributed to customers, prospects, partners, and more.
Blogs, Case Studies, and Other Digital Content
Blogs, case studies, and other content should be no-brainer methods of building SEO on your site, but according to the ISVs in our study, many are falling short. In fact, 42 percent indicated that they only publish such pieces “As needed.” Only 6 percent publish weekly and 22 percent publish one item monthly.
I’m not surprised. As a custom content ghostwriter for many companies, it’s common to hear that clients don’t have the time or in-house expertise necessary to create their own content. Unfortunately, it’s not a valid excuse for not having content.
Google continually places a higher emphasis on sites that are home to original content that’s updated regularly. If you want to help your SEO, start with content. If you really want that content to resonate, keep it free from promoting your own stuff. People can see right through a commercial, so stick to education and thought leadership.
So, you need to produce press releases, write blogs, create case studies, and more. There’s no secret or shortcut to getting it done. It takes time and expertise. If you don’t have it in-house, contract with someone who can help. Either way, get content flowing through your site.
A good first step is to build out an editorial calendar. This is where you write in your target deadlines along with potential topics for each article or press release. You can select topics based on the time of year (holidays, seasons, etc.), upcoming events (tied to a tradeshow or conference), news, industry regulations, common customer talking points, and more.
Once you have a calendar, try your best to stick to it. Publish with regularity and get all your great content in front of your customers in your email newsletter.
Put an emphasis on creating good original web content and you’ll see an improvement in your marketing performance in no time.