“Buy” Comes Before “Sell”

Nothing new here for the marketing pros in the audience, but you intermediate guys and newbies will like today’s post on why you need to rank for purchasing oriented terms rather than selling ones, imho… I want to expand on Seth Godin’s bit on making a new market vs taking a share of an existing market.

“Our software enables you to find data and trends that no one else can find.”

“By combining protein and chocolate, we’ve developed a new food that’s both dessert and dinner.”

These are ‘making’ statements. Riskier, sure, but they stand for something, they don’t just steal share. The Dummies guides made a market, the Idiot’s guides took from that market.

You need to be clear with yourself and your team about which one you’re after, because they bring different costs, different benefits and different time frames.

In SEO, you have to prioritize “buy” keywords for your marketplace website. Sellers who know there’s a market will bring their wares (or find some) and hop in. Conversely, buyers can be attracted for other reasons first – a community, for example. Or a terrific suite of software that you’re offering for free. Or interesting content on a blog or a million other reasons.

Sellers fins appear in the wake of schools of buyers.

Most search marketing spending goes to PPC because PPC guarantees you clicks, and traffic. The sellers are following an established presence of buyers.

Most new mom-n-pop retail operations go to established auction sites or markets like eBay, Sitepoint and NamePros because the buyers already there. Spammers knock up Y! Answers and Craigslist because they already have traffic that can convert for whatever it is the spammers are promoting.

And whether we like it or not, SEO doesn’t create awareness, it fulfills it. Our clients are taking market share and therefore we need to prioritize buy keywords for them. We’re responding to demand.

Conversely, if you have a brand-spanking new product and are making a market, you need to do push marketing. Public relations, blogger relationship building and media-buy advertising (i.e. non-search advertising) are where your efforts need to go. This means the PPC content network – preferably with banners if those will increase your CTR.

The reason is that you must create desire for your product. You’re generating demand.

Ironically, as you do these human PR efforts your green PR goes up, too. By the time there is a market searching for your products and services, you’re already ranking.

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Comments

  1. Interesting insight. I will usually try to get a share of an existing market and then create a new market within.

    Comment by Chester - December 21, 2008 @ 10:11am

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