We will walk through the process for evaluating your competitor and landscape’s organic channels; how to implement without spending too much time writing and producing content.

What is organic marketing?

Generally, when people are talking about organic marketing, it’s in the context of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – the very popular marketing vertical everyone has heard of and that is related to the gradual build-up of search engine rankings through keyword plugging and tons of content.

For SMBs in 2002, that was a pretty solid definition of organic marketing. But now, SEO is only a fraction of the picture; really, organic marketing encompasses anything not involving paid ads.

The verdict on SEO: Google’s “laws”and algorithm are constantly changing. I’m not going to pretend to tell you that it can be gamed, or learned very quickly. It can’t. The best course of action is to build an incredble product, and incredible content valuable to that audience – an expert SEO firm can help, but is not going to generate returns in absence of other marketing – especially in niche startup industries where there isn’t a ton of direct search traffic.

You Are A Media Company

One of the most common pop-business going around for a while is that you as a company must be producing content; in other words, you must become a media company. This is true. The internet is the center of consumption for everything information-driven;  many sites (Facebook, Google) control the traffic and audience and offer access for money.

To acquire that audience organically is to build your own platform – and consequently an audience with this. Publishing creatives for your company; promotions etc is not a good way to build an audience. Regardless of industry, due to bandwidth, only 1% of a target audience will engage and donate “effort” for something (signing up for a trial, scheduling a meeting) on the first exposure. 

Just like with a sales funnel, you need to use a marketing funnel to build trust with your audience.

What Is Good Content? Watch The Market

This is where the competitor research comes in – your competitors are the most valuable source of information about content distribution; we are talking about blogs, influencers, networking groups, events – anywhere people in your industry or target demographic congregate online should be a place where you distribute your content.

Building A List

First, you should assemble anybody on your team or community who is involved in your industry. You can brainstorm locations – search for top 10 lists, etc. Here’s a brainstorming list to get your mind going:

  • Reddit
  • FB Groups
  • Meetups
  • Local Industry Associationss
  • Instagram Pages
  • LinkedIn Groups, Posts
  • Blogs, especially those of other, similar companies.

and many, many more. People overcomplicate this.

As our MVP tactics dictate, you should always look at your competitors. There are two simple ways to find this.
1. Use SEO Research: Find backlinks on a Moz or a Spyfu; most will have filter options for different website types (ex: forum, government etc) – we like Ahref’s feature on this the best.
2. Use Reverse Search: This is actually my favorite because it is the simplest and most comprehensive; just search your competitors URLs and names on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn – look for mentions. Have someone copy it out into your master list.

Getting Your Content Seen

The Ask

Ok Chris – you might say – we’ve got the lists – what do I actually do? I can’t control their pages…

Just post. Really. That’s all it is – whether its Reddit or a deep industry blog; all you have to do is post your content and explain how it is valuable. The best posts are tied somehow into the topic of the page or topic of discussion; hence the word “organic”. As always, search for your competitors on forums and social networks (Reddit) and mirror their copy.

But ultimately, all you have to do is get your content out there – people are naturally curious. If you have the bandwidth, we recomend simultaneously having team members reach out to group and page organizers/owners via DM; and request a partnership of mutual benefit. Many will acquiesce quite easily if your content is valuable.

Future lessons will provide context on how to engage with potential distribution sources; templates, different kinds of campaigns (backlink outreach etc) and tools to go more in depth for influencers.

As always, we advocate including some portion of an ad budget; if you observed in prior chapters your competitors are advertising content (ebooks, blogs) rather than CTA focused ads, this is good signal that you will need some kind of paid marketing to augment your organic.

Retaining the audience can often be more important than attracting them in the first place; in our final chapter, we will break down how to deploy and actually gain results from the MVP – what to look for, and what to adapt with.

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