See Each Other: A New Way of Thinking about SEO & Content
Ever heard of the red phone in the White House that serves as a direct hotline to the Kremlin? Well, there isn’t one, and there never was. The infamous “red phone” is the stuff of Hollywood lore, hooey-based history, a crock of you-know-what. Still, I love to picture Reagan and Gorbachev sitting up yammering by phone in their ‘80s jammies at 3 a.m. (wearing long-tailed, old-timey night caps, if I’m being honest). It sounds like a good way to get things done, to curb crises, to cut through red tape.
I used to wish I had a red phone for clients. It was more of a longing to know them better so that I could write for them better. A copywriter can do only so much with some keywords, a site map, and a blank computer screen. That’s why I now work hard to keep up my own kind of SEO. It’s called seeing each other.
Successful content marketing takes root when the copywriter comes to the pow-wow
It’s easy to hyper-focus on the high-tech side of digital marketing. That’s where a lot of the magic happens. It’s why we bother with things like keywords, inbound and outbound links, meta-tags, H1s, alt tags, page-load times, image sitemaps, and so on. But I’ve got to give those SEO geeks some good material to work with first! Much of their tech magic will be wasted if creative magic hasn’t happened first. Creative magic has its best chance to unfold when the copywriter and client get face time.
Don’t think I mean Face Time, the app. Video teleconferencing certainly does the trick, but just as Washington and Moscow never needed that red phone, we don’t need LCD screens with each other’s faces on them. A meeting or conference-call are just as useful. Talking with you will help me discern important truths about your brand and customers. When I say we need to “see” each other, I mean it in a Titanic way, like this:
Go ahead. Try to tell me what that food I’ve never tasted before tastes like
My sister is deathly allergic to fish. She’s never eaten it, and no matter how many times she’s asked, I can’t explain to her how it tastes. A taste of salmon is a unique sensory experience. In many ways, “seeing” a client is the same. It can’t be done vicariously, not with much accuracy. Yes, a salesperson or account rep can ferry their impressions to me. They can relay product descriptions or store photos. These are all to the good! But there’s no substitute for a strategy meeting with someone in content-creation, a time set aside for the so-called creatives to “see” you and your business firsthand.
So, what does this content strategy meeting look like?
It’s simple. We talk. Techies and creatives and you, together looking over existing marketing material and future marketing plans through the lens of content-creation. It’s quick and painless. We’re taking care of serious business, but it’s not formal. Think one step up from Gorbachev and Reagan in their jammies. The ultimate goal is to stay true to your brand while giving it the byline for original, creative, and useful content. That’s the kind of content consumers want, so that’s the kind search engines favor.