Using Inbound Marketing to Improve Keyword Ranking
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What One San Francisco Video and Photography Studio is Doing
Meets the Eye Studios is a full-service video production studio that is using an inbound marketing strategy to reach new clients. This means that from social media to email marketing, we’ve utilized content marketing and search engine optimization to share their array of services.
By using this strategy, we’re able to help Meet the Eye Studios grow to reach more filmmakers, producers and content creators. Due to their proximity to South Bay and Silicon Valley areas, Meets the Eye Studios works with a variety of clients.
- Out of Town Productions
- Industrial Commercial Productions
- Casting Directors
- Stunt Coordinators
- Event Planners
Because of this diverse group of film and video professionals, we needed to create a cohesive strategy that reaches each of their diverse clients.
Creating an Inbound Marketing Strategy for a Media Company
Inbound marketing gives companies the chance to use their marketing budget in the most effective way possible. It allows you to build a marketing strategy that uses your strengths to help you stand apart from your competition.
Inbound marketing helps you build your brand and generate buzz around your product or service. This is primarily done with content marketing, which means creating multi-use media and sharing it to bring in more customers.
Meets the Eye Studios’ full inbound marketing strategy includes four different pieces:
- Social media (Including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus)
We create four blog posts a month, on a number of topics, like camera lens comparisons, legal necessities of filming in San Francisco, and why photographing subjects in a studio is the ideal choice. By consistently blogging, we’re able to share Meet the Eye Studios’ industry knowledge and build up a cache of content for social media and search engine ranking.
These blog posts can also be used in to create different pieces of content, which is ideal in an inbound marketing strategy, like the below infographic we recently designed.
We also produce four emails a month, including a “did you miss” campaign. Their entire email list receives two emails per month, but a similar email is sent shortly after to those who didn’t open the first. This gives Meets the Eye Studios a second chance to reach their audience. Between these two sets of emails, the click-through rate has increased 14% in the last year.
The email list also grew 267%, which came from website form submissions. If someone used the website’s contact form or if they submitted their email to get a piece of content, their name was added to the list.
One video each month showcases their space and promotes their ability to handle just about anything a video shoot would need. We wanted to highlight their impressive facilities and their industry experience, in addition to their flexibility.
We also take advantage when a client is at the studio by asking them if we can film them for a video testimonial that is added to their YouTube channel.
Social Media Management
We’ve focused their social media strategy primarily on Facebook and Twitter, as that’s where their audience is. On these platforms, we’re able to share the content we create, like the blog posts and videos. On Twitter, we’ve emphasized the virtual tour on their website by “pinning” that tweet.
Facebook is ideal for Meets The Eye Studio’s needs, because they have a physical address. There are reviews highlighting their great standing in the South Bay area, and we also highlight videos and blogs. Instead of linking to YouTube, we’ve taken advantage of Facebook’s native video feature, which helps increase views and gives us more control over keywords and sharing.
The Results of Our Efforts
These four elements have helped increase Meets the Eye Studios’ online presence and has continued to bring in clientele throughout the South Bay and San Francisco area. Since we began working with them, their website visits have increase 161%. These website visits (and ultimately requests to book the studio) have come from well-known brands such as Apple, Hearst Media, and Riot Games.
Using Personas to Craft Keyword Usage
Personas are a crucial piece to an inbound marketing strategy. This gives the marketing team focus, which is important when considering a full strategy that includes content, email marketing, video marketing, and social media.
For Meets The Eye Studios, we’ve developed eight personas. This is based off their targeted industry positions, as listed above. Reaching industrial commercial producers is different than what it takes to attract photographers, which is why we’ve developed these eight personas.
Once we created the personas, we focused on the keywords each would be likely to search. This includes generic search terms like “filmmaking studio” to more specific phrases like “independent filmmaking studio in San Francisco”.
What Every Content Marketing Strategy Needs
A content marketing strategy, though, is useless without the right research. By searching relevant keywords and their competitors, we’re able to provide Meets The Eye Studios with a well-rounded and cohesive marketing strategy aimed at expanding their business.
One of the key performance indicator (KPI) we’re using for Meets The Eye Studios is keyword placement and leads. This means that in order to report the KPI, we needed to find the phrases people were searching in relation to video and photography studios in the South Bay area.
Finding the Search Phrases That Work for Your Business
We found just over 300 relevant keywords or phrases to track. And while this may seem excessive and time consuming, it’s a critical step. And because of the variety of areas the Meets The Eye Studios serves, we have duplicates of certain search terms.
For example, we didn’t just focus on “pre-lit green screen”. Instead, we tracked that phrase in regards to location with additional variations on spelling and punctuation. It’s important to be thorough when working with search keywords, because people will not always search in the same way.
Examples of “pre-lit greenscreen” variations:
- “Pre-lit greenscreen in San Carlos”
- “Pre-lit greenscreen in San Francisco”
- “Pre-lit greenscreen in South Bay”
Examples of “prelit green screen” variations:
- “Prelit green screen in San Carlos”
- “Prelit green screen in San Francisco”
- “Prelit green screen in South Bay”
Example of “prelit greenscreen” variations:
- “Prelit greenscreen in San Carlos”
- “Prelit greenscreen in San Francisco”
- “Prelit greenscreen in South Bay”
When we tracked these variations, we saw that while they were all in the top five in October 2015, by October 2016 they were all ranked first.
By regularly checking the ranking for choice keywords, we’re able to modify our efforts for maximum success. For example, in less than a year, Meets The Eye Studios was able to go from ranking fifth to first for “soundstage in San Carlos.” This may not seem like a significant change, but we only use tested white-hat strategies. No blacklisting from Google here!
Improving Search Engine Ranking with Inbound Marketing
The goal of marketing is to increase business, which includes how your website ranks in search engines like Google. Search engine optimization has gotten significantly more complicated since its inception, which means it’s important to track how a business is performing with different choice keywords.
Out of the 309 keywords we’ve chosen to track, 32% are ranking as number one, as of October 2016. When we began tracking keywords almost exactly a year prior, Meets the Eye Studios were ranking number one in only 15% of keywords.
(The comparison is slightly skewed as we began tracking 201 keywords, but over the course of the year expanded to 310 keywords or phrases.)
Top Keyword Growth
Some of the biggest improvements were in the event space keywords. The following phrases have all moved from placing beyond 100 to placing in the top spot. This is some great improvement!
- “Big event studio in San Carlos”
- “Big event studio South Bay”
- “Big event studio South Bay Peninsula”
- “Big event studio in the Bay Area”
These improvements came from adding these keywords strategically throughout the website. Most notably being on the “Who Works With Us” page. By emphasizing the ease of choosing Meets The Eye Studios for events, we not only used the keywords for the technical improvement, but also shared why event planners should choose the space.
Some of the keywords or phrases we chose for this marketing strategy focused on the amenities of Meets The Eye Studios, like their lighting grid. So we chose variations based on location.
- “Film studio with lighting grids in San Carlos”
- “Film studio with lighting grids in San Francisco”
- “Film studio with lighting grids in SF”
- “Film studio with lighting grids in South Bay”
- “Film studio with lighting grids in South Bay Peninsula”
They began all in the top ten, with “film studio with lighting grids in San Carlos” performing the best at number two. After the year, all were ranking at number one.
Top 3 Keyword Growth
Over the year we spent tracking these keywords and phrases, we’ve seen a spike in the number of top three placement. In October 2015, Meets The Eye Studios placed in the top three of results for 19% of the chosen keywords. A year later, it nearly doubled and they placed in the top three at 37% percent.
- “Studio with lighting grids in San Francisco” moved from ninth to second.
- “Commercial video studios in San Carlos” moved from ninth to third.
- “Wirework studio in South Bay” moved from past 100 to first.
In addition to these changes, the keywords we added throughout the year continued to place well.
Top 10 Keyword Growth
We’ve also tracked the top ten keyword growth for Meets The Eye Studios. In October 2015, 33% of search terms were in the top ten. The following October, though, 48% of the keywords were ranking in the top ten.
Some of these changes include:
- “Independent filmmaking studio in San Carlos” moved from eighth place to first.
- “Commercial studio in South Bay” went from past 100 to ranking fifth.
- “San Francisco video studio” moved from 26 to fifth.
- “Soundstage studio in SF” moved from 26 to eighth.
- “Filming studio with wirework in South Bay” moved from over 100 to first.
These improvements aren’t magic. It’s implementing a well-planned strategy with these tested SEO methods.
(If you’re interested for your own company, we use HubSpot to track these keywords.)
Adding New Keywords to a Marketing Strategy
As mentioned previously, we’ve expanded the number of search terms we watch over the course of 2016. We’ve added just over 100 keywords or phrases. This was due to a number of factors, primarily the growth of certain areas, like photography.
With the rise of eBay and Etsy, more people are realizing the need for high-quality product photography. Many people don’t have the setup they need, especially for larger products, which is why Meets The Eye Studios have begun offering these services. In coordination with this, we’ve expanded our strategy.
We’ve accomplished this by creating photography-focused blog posts, and adding photography related words throughout the website. By making small but significant changes like this, we’re able to reach a new group of potential clients.
Growth of New Keyword Rankings
In three months, we already began seeing improvement in the added photography keywords. Because Meets The Eye Studios saw the trend coming, we’re able to capitalize on the growth by creating the content to help boost their ranking for photography-related keywords.
When we began tracking “benefits of using a photography soundstage”, Meets The Eye Studios was ranking at 24. After three months, they had moved to fifth.
It’s important to realize the complexity of search engine optimization, and how sustainable search engine ranking growth is a long-term plan. In July 2016, 52% of the keywords and phrases tracked ranked top ten. In October, it dropped to 49%.
So what happened? In those three months, we added 40 keywords or phrases, namely more variations on spelling and location. This means that we haven’t been focused on those new phrases for as long as some others.
As we finesse the content and overall strategy, that number will begin to grow once again.
Inbound Marketing is a Long-Term Plan
Utilizing keywords in an inbound marketing strategy is a long-term plan. If someone is telling you that your company will rank first with no preexisting strategy and you aren’t currently in the top 100, stop the conversation. While we would love to say that we (and other capable agencies) could promise short-term success like that, it’s unlikely.
What is likely, though, is long-term success once you implement a marketing strategy like this. By approaching the goal in a number of ways, we’re able to create a strategy that will serve the company for years to come.
While specific inbound marketing strategies and techniques will evolve over the coming years, the principles remain the same. Consistently create high-quality blog posts, videos, emails, and social media posts and success will come.
This consistent monitoring and tweaking is what makes companies like Meets The Eye Studios successful. This is why we’ve developed this inbound marketing strategy for Meets The Eye Studios. By using detailed keyword research to guide blogging, email, social media posts, and video creation, we’re able to improve their search engine rankings in the South Bay and Silicon Valley areas.
By Marc Apple
Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.
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