However, with use of freely-available tools and a little creative brainstorming, companies use the concept of extending circles of relevancy to spur new ideas for articles which will draw new business which will be truly committed to your ideas.
We’re going to use a business-to-consumer example in this article to ensure the analogy is most easily understood, but it can be easily applied to any B2B situation as well. The business in our example is EarthKind, which sells a natural rodent repellent which comes in pouches versus a spray, pellets, or other delivery mechanism.
Inner circle – directly-related keywords
This is the most obvious grouping. We’re combating infestation of the following:
- and other variations
By mixing and matching those terms then creating strongly optimized articles with good sales copy, a business can tap into the most eager set of buyers. Only problem, is this circle is usually quite small – those people extremely educated about their problem and the “best” solution for them.
Most people searching the web aren’t doing the final comparison shopping – they are looking for a solution to a problem. Thus we extend our circles of relevancy further to get attention of people earlier in their buying process.
While these people may not be as eager to buy right now (but they can be if your sales copy is complete and persuasive), you can then bring them into your followup marketing funnel and be their sole source of education. Since you’re saving them time and giving valuable information they will trust you more than your competitors, thus creating higher customer lifetime value.
So let’s expand into the next circle of relevancy and see what we get.
Second circle – related but not matching PPC/SEO keywords
There are other products and services which don’t carry branded names. In this case, peppermint oil is a generic natural mouse deterrent which is often recommended by people who like to “do it themselves”. In this case we could create an article talking about how peppermint oil is very expensive, does not last long in the open air, is difficult to apply and can be quite inconvenient.
Outlining both the pros and cons of that solution, and then introducing why our product has the same (or better) “pros” without all those irritating “cons”, we have a strong case and now tap into the next circle of keywords.
You can even take this a step further and go after particular brands. Companies tend to use more caution here and this is limited to more B2C applications, as the practice tends to be frowned on in B2B markets.
Third circle – changing people’s minds with solution they were not aware of
“Ick, mouse in the house.” According to Google keyword searches, most people just want the mouse dead…. Now. Which then leads to a search for “mouse trap” or “rodent poison” What are the problems associated with mouse traps?
- They’re messy – what do you do with all those dead mice? Even if you’re okay with cleaning out the traps from an “ick” standpoint, what about the germs/diseases associated with wild animals.
- If you’re using poisons, does the rodent die right then? No way, they crawl behind a wall to pass on and leave us with the smell of a rotting animal. That’s even worse than the initial problem for many.
Writing articles along this route is a bit more difficult because it can be harder to change people’s minds. Some people may enjoy the satisfaction of the ultimate payback against that mouse who was pooping in their bag of potatoes and chewing up the wires in their car engine. But (hopefully) that is the minority and we most people are just searching for traps or poisons because they aren’t aware of the alternatives.
“What, I can just scare the rodents away with this pleasantly woodsy scent – and it’s guaranteed to work or my money back? Sign me up!”
4th circle – “pain point” keywords
Ever been bitten by a mouse or rat? Thousands of people every month either have or are concerned they may. Helping cement their concern is legitimate and providing a solution works.
This is just as applicable to B2B though extremely underutilized. B2B interactions tend to have a higher level of professionalism (aka suppressed emotions), but every business everywhere is filled with employees who have legitimate fears or pain points in their jobs. They have “enemies” (an ideal, preconceived notion, or actual person) whether they want to classify them as such.
“pain point” goes beyond just picking keywords to optimize articles around for your website. Pain points can be subtly worked into an article on any topic where you expect someone to do something. Which is any article – even if we don’t want the visitor to buy something, we may want them to believe something. Changing people’s minds effectively involves both “how great life will be when you do this” but also “how crummy life will be if you don’t.”
5th circle – tangentially-related beliefs
This is the outer edge of relevancy. In our example of rat repellent, “green living”, or “eco friendly products” are on the outer edge of the 5th circle. You may be able to move a bit closer in with relevance by targeting “
Once we get out to this circle, it seems like a gamble of ROI on our time and resources. Or is it?
Yes, optimizing for these types of keywords with PPC is typically only worth it if you have very large traffic levels (e.g. a mass market product) if your cost per sale is extraordinarily high (e.g. SAAS or enterprise-level). SEO is only worth it if they competition is extremely inexperienced with SEO. In either case it’s only for when you’ve exhausted all your other keywords.
The real payoff of brainstorming these keywords is finding affiliate/joint venture partners to help distribute your message. This may come in the form of being featured in their blog, on their email newsletter, speaking at their conference, cobranding some advertising to split the cost, partnering for a more comprehensive solution, etc. The person seeing your message may not have been thinking about your problem 10 minutes ago, but they are now. Targeting at this level for B2B used to be a gamble for most companies but the Internet provides extreme levels of tracking much of offline media was either slow or unwilling to utilize.
Ready to Use Extending Circles of Relevancy to Expand Inroads to Your Products and Services?
Set aside some time this month with a couple of your sales team and some of your best clients to go through this exercise. It doesn’t have to be in the same meeting and it’s probably better if it’s not. In our experience the productivity of a meeting is inversely proportional to the number of people participating.
WSI B2B Marketing can also help by leading the discussion or by doing the research for you. All we’ll need is the participation of some of your team to do some quick interviews and fill out some questionnaires. Once the content is produced and SEO-optimized for the web, you’ll enjoy exponential increases in qualified traffic to your website. You can also reuse much of this content in other marketing collateral for lead generation.
Contact us today to get thorough keyword analysis to grow your revenue and generate a higher lifetime value of customers.