A hot debate among content marketers today is on demand generation vs. demand capture.
Some are for the former over the latter, while others disagree.
You need both.
But whether you should prioritize demand generation over capture depends on the size and stage of your company. If you’re marketing a startup or early stage, we say invest more in demand capture. It is the lower-hanging fruit. So your priority from day one should be using content to convert prospects actively searching for your product or service. Brand awareness can come later.
A good advice for smaller companies is to first have a strong demand capture strategy before beginning demand generation.
And an effective strategy you can employ is SEO.
Hear it from Evan Sanchez, Digital Marketing Manager at Carrot-Top Industries:
Capture Untapped Demand Via SEO Monitoring
First, there are two types of demand on search engines: Branded & Unbranded. Both are important and can be acquired via ongoing site monitoring.
Branded search contains the brand’s name (or variations) and shows the demand surrounding that particular brand’s product or service.
By default, the larger the company, the more their branded search demand. Uberall’s survey shows that Smaller companies only have 19% of branded search, as opposed to 42% for global companies.
This is because more people know them and will enter their names directly on Google. Examples of branded search terms include ‘WriterZen pricing’ and ‘WriterZen review.’
It’s also known as direct search and is more common than its branded counterpart. Instead of search demand targeted at a specific brand’s product, it’s general and a free field for all players. E.g., ‘content workflow’ and ‘search engine optimization.’
Asides from demand capturing, there are some other advantages of brand monitoring on search engines.
The Benefits of SEO Monitoring
Following basic SEO rules increases your site’s organic traffic, positions you at the top of search queries, and ensures your site is the go-to for searchers. Cumulatively, it boosts a brand’s awareness and visibility.
It’s common knowledge that many search ranking content are copycats and worthless. They don’t solve any problem for the reader and generally cause searchers to be wary. By providing quality, problem-solving content on Google, people will associate your brand with the hallmark of quality, increasing brand trust and credibility.
Another outcome of effective brand monitoring on search engines is the community of loyal fans you get.
Aaron Agius, Co-Founder of Louder.Online put it best when he said:
People stay true to brands that put them first.
We’ve been going on about the rewards of SEO monitoring: demand capture, brand loyalty, trust, & visibility. It’s time to look at the ‘how.’
How to Monitor Search Engines
To capture demand from brand monitoring on social media effectively, you need to stay on top of fluctuations in audiences’ needs and provide solutions via content.
That’s where WriterZen comes in.
A single unifying platform, it helps brands identify, measure, and capture blind spot demands on Google.
It does so in the following ways:
Identify Hidden Demand
Uncover untapped customer needs in real-time by utilizing ‘Wild card’ search. Wild card is an advanced search technique used to maximize search results. It is a Google trick you can leverage in a few clicks with WriterZen to stay up-to-date on demand.
Say we want specific information for creating content more likely to capture demand on ‘nomad visas.’ I’ll log into ‘Keyword Explorer’, switch to the wildcard tab and include an asterisk (*) input alongside our seed keyword.
The asterisk is necessary for the wildcard option:
This quick search presents hundreds (sometimes thousands) of results to sift through and discover unique ideas normally missed by other keyword research paths:
These ideas can then be developed into content that answers the searcher’s need, ultimately capturing their demand.
To showcase the uniqueness of wild card search over regular keyword research, here are the first 20 results for ‘nomad visa’:
And for ‘nomad * visa’ aka the wild card search:
See how the second one uncovered more uncommon results? That’s the power of wild card search:
Monitor and Categorize User Intent
One of the greatest SEO mistakes you can make is to mistake user intent. If you do, searchers will exit your page faster than they landed, and Google may respond by pushing your content down the SERPs:
Don’t believe us?
Brian Dean and his ‘SEO Strategy case study’ piece fiasco is a good example. He spent time and resources creating a high-quality piece, but it didn’t rank because it didn’t align with the search intent.
Confirming search intent is important because what you think searchers have in mind for a query might be different from what they actually want.
The four major search intents you need to satisfy are:
Ideally, before content creation, you should analyze the top 10 ranking pieces to determine user intent. But WriterZen takes this process one step further.
The SEO monitoring tool further groups similar keyword intents automatically to provide you with a clearer understanding and help you create content that converts.
This grouping or cluster is named ‘Insights’ and is found beside the keyword data tab when doing a regular (not wild card) search:
See what a customer said about the grouping feature:
Create and Optimize Content
Finally, you need to create and optimize content around the identified ideas to capture demand. Without optimization, the content won’t rank, and searchers won’t find it.
Content optimization is made easier with WriterZen.
For instance, you can identify competitors and opportunities keywords to add to your content in ‘Content creator.’
Tip: turn on Google NLP for more intuitive results. Here’s an example:
Then introduce these keywords into your content naturally after writing. You’ll get a prompt if you over or under-optimize your piece.
The example below needs more keywords, and WriterZen alerted me:
In the end, you can monitor and capture demand on search engines by first identifying hidden keywords, determining search intent, and optimizing with WriterZen.
3 Key Questions for Search Engine Monitoring
Before you start the SEO keyword monitoring process, you need answers to the questions below. They provide a clearer picture of how to approach monitoring. So, spend hours researching, thinking, and consulting with other departments (product, sales) to provide the best answers.
“What is the total addressable market of my brand/ brand assets/ product/ service on search engines?”
Total addressable market (TAM) is defined on Hubspot as:
It includes both branded and unbranded search demand and is an essential metric to determine. Lack of knowledge about your product’s TAM means you’ll leave a lot of money on the table as you won’t fully know the opportunities open to your brand. This article is a great resource on how to calculate TAM.
“How much has our brand captured the said market? And how much of the market is being captured by our competitors on search engines?”
Next, ask yourself how much of the TAM you have captured so far. Compare your answer to your competitors’ share of the market to ascertain where you’re lacking. Then devise a strategy to one-up them.
“What does my brand’s demand journey look like?”
The three stages of the customer journey are:
Awareness: Customer notices a problem and knows they need a resolution
Consideration: Starts researching for potential solutions
Conversion: Settles on a company that offers the solution (preferably yours).
Finally, study your current customers’ journey. Is there any stage you could do better? How can you personalize each stage? Figure out the gaps in their journey, and plug them.
The whole plan of capturing demand on search engines hinges on content production. Great SEO content is what generates traffic and converts readers to leads.
Turn to WriterZen. It helps boost content marketing for SEO: