INBOUND MARKETING FOR SPORTS BUSINESSES
‘Inbound marketing’ is on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days.
People like the idea of gaining more relevant visibility and that sports fans find you because they are interested in your brand, rather than having to hunt for fans’ attention. Here are some tips from our Geneva SEO Agency
What is inbound marketing? And how do you create a digital inbound marketing campaign for sports businesses?
With inbound marketing you can lead specific sports communities to your sports brand instead of investing in costly online advertising.
Here are a few key factors to consider:
Be visible, make sure sports fans can find you. i.e Search Engine Optimisation
Create a great user experience and turn engagement into conversion. Talk about athletes, deliver infographics made by professional sports marketing agencies, deliver videos, transform data into simplified attractive content, and tell engaging stories.
To keep improving, you need to spend time on analysing the visitors journey and behaviour.
Being visible means that you are searchable.
You need to find your niche within your sport business, then pinpoint subjects that are relevant to your business and not too competitive.
If you focus on the user experience, Google will reward you. No need to try and outsmart Google. They are too smart for you.
Content is king and needs time and skills: copywriters, designers, SEO strategists, content planning… Don’t improvise - you need the help of a sport specialist.
What you are going to write about is the first factor to consider. Ask yourself these questions to decide on your topic:
What is your target audience?
Who is searching this topic on Google?
What keywords related to your topic perform well?
What added value are you bringing compared to your competitors?
Do you have the right resources to create high quality content?
How well is your content formatted?
How will your keywords effect your content?
Do you offer a great user experience?
Do you have the right tools to analyse your content?
Here is a list of useful tools to help you navigate through the SEO forest. Don’t start your strategy without putting in this work:
Meta tag analyse
As you can see there is a lot of homework to do before, during and after your content creation. Also only a professional can judge if the content is long enough, well designed, well laid out…
Before creating an article talking about Snow Electric Bikes make sure you know how many people are interested by the topic. A good analysis can help you to review your position and optimise you content.
Too much competition can kill you visibility. It is important to review you positioning and attack a niche sport subject.
You also have to find the right keyword groups that will bring the most traffic to your sports article.
When you have you keywords list ready you need to focus on the copywriting and make sure your article will hold the interest of your readers and not leave you page too early.
Remember you are not writing for Google but for real people! I will never repeat it enough: Google is too smart and no one can trick them anymore. Not only because the algorithm is complex and AI means that it is forever changing, but also Google is spending millions dollars so that real people actually come to your page and check the quality of your content. The days of keywords stuffing have long gone…
Inbound marketing campaigns are about quality. You need to put a lot of effort into regular blogging, not about you, but about your business area. Also you need a SEO specialist to review your article and optimise it accordingly:
Design and Layout
Images and video optimisation
This leads us to SEO.
Search engine optimisation for sport
You need to properly format your content in order to please Google. You need to, if I dare to use the expression: to dope your content! Not very sportsmanlike!
Here is a quick list of what we do for our clients:
A well formatted page title
An H1 tag for the description below the title of the article.
Formatted meta descriptions for Google Serp and widgets.
A well formatted short url
Use anchor text in links (either on your own site or others)
For a few more SEO tips check this site, https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en or contact us for a free workshop.
A crucial part of an inbound marketing strategy is to make sure that your fans and visitors can share easily your article on social media so that more people can come back to your site. Sumo can help you for this task: http://www.go-sumo.com/8396.html
I am going to be very conflictual here but I would not spend to much time on backlinks. I even bet that in a near future backlinks will not count in your indexing. If your website is good backlinks will come.
From engagement to conversion
Your fans are visiting your site, hooray! Well done, but what’s next? Is that it? What are you expecting from this traffic? How will you expose your sponsors and partners that invest in your sport organisation? How will you covert this traffic to more views on TV, on YouTube, to ticketing… It is time now to turn these visitors into leads and capture their details.
Your first goal is to impress them with you content and position yourself as the leader in your area. You are the trusted sources so your community trusts you with their email and likes your social media channels.
From there you can build an online campaign and keep constant contact with your fans. Even if you don’t generate any business directly from that lead, they may nonetheless help your inbound marketing cause by sharing some of the content which you send them via newsletter.
As such, your blog or website should always place a large emphasis on data capture, and you should always:
Make it extremely easy for people to sign up to your mailing list – Place a form on the side of key pages and at the bottom of any posts.
Spell out the value of joining the list - Highlight some of the useful content and resources that your subscribers will receive upon joining the list.
Some fans may not wish to submit an email address, but might feel more comfortable with following you on social media and getting links to your content that way.
Analysing your actions and content is key.
Always analyse you work: Before, during and after. Then repeat. It takes up to a year to build a solid content strategy and to succeed you must not be afraid of failure. Analysis can be cruel at the start. Also consider who will do this for you, it is easy for an agency to select carefully the right parameters so that you get results. You need to work with a trusted agency.
Finally, here are some top tips for creating a solid sports-focused inbound marketing strategy:
Always review your keywords and update your old content.
Blog regularly. Not only will this make your site more keyword rich, it will help it to be taken more seriously by Google’s search algorithms.
Create quality blog posts. You need to focus on the user experience and answer their questions.
Create backlinks or more importantly do more collaborative work with partners.
Use various tools to analyse your content strategy.
Do not underestimate the power of email.
Analyse your site, e-newsletter and social media statistics regularly to see which content is driving the most traffic to your site, and refine your content strategy based on this information.
Please do not hesitate to contact Penceo, a Geneva-based SEO Agency, if you have any questions. We offer a 2 hour free consulting workshop to help you on your way!