Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
March 25, 2010

The Power of the Keyword Phrase &Leveraging Your Network

I’m excited about presenting at the PRSA 2010 Association/Nonprofit Seminar today in Washington, D.C. I’m hoping that I can get folks excited about two things that have made my online marketing plans successful:

  1. Understanding the power of a keyword phrase. The popular ones and the LongTail ones.
  2. Leveraging the goodwill of people who care about your issue to become your grassroots promotional staff, whether they are members of your Facebook page or in-house interns.

In the book The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, he looks at how online searches and traffic work. The basic premise is that online, the power of the many in aggregate generates far more traffic than the most popular terms of the day.�
The new media environment is no longer mass push of messaging on major channels, but is instead about labeling content with your audience’s words (keyword research) and distributing it broadly across the net, allowing others to comment on your message and drive links and traffic back to your site. It’s this approach that made my online marketing plan for EWG’s cell phone report so successful.

The plan was so successful that the traffic crashed our servers for three days and we still received over 1 million visitors that first month and over 5 million pageviews of that content so far!

Here’s how I utilized keyword research and long tail strategies to accomplish our success:

  • Made every piece of online content sharable (including our look up a phone feature).
  • Optimized each piece and item for a unique search term.
  • Pitched the content on the big social media networks, and on the smaller ones that really cared about our subject.
  • Made sure the answers we were providing to consumer questions were on the big Ask & Answer sites (like Yahoo Answers )
  • Individually pitched every blogger who had ever cared about cell phones using a team of volunteers.

That’s not to say that we didn’t pitch the big press outlets, but the majority of our ongoing traffic comes from the huge number of smaller bloggers and social media sites who shared our report with their readers. And after the press buzz died down? We still get traffic to those pages, finding them in their own way, by using their own words.

Mass marketing isn’t as powerful as it once was. Personalized, optimized marketing, powered by social media might just help you test the power of your organization’s servers.

Katherine Watier, director, Online Marketing, Environmental Working Group (EWP) Katherine Watier, director, Online Marketing, Environmental Working Group (EWP) provides her expertise in SEO, PPC, e-mail, social media and web analytics as a freelance online marketing consultant to government agencies, businesses and nonprofits in the D.C. area. She previously directed online marketing efforts for OMP, Points of Light Foundation, and In each of these organizations, she educated nonprofits about best practices for attracting prospects via SEO and marketing-related online tools. Connect with Katherine on LinkedIn and on twitter @kwatier.

Join PRSA at the 2010 Association/Nonprofit Seminar Program on March 25 in Washington, D.C.!

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