Before you create that next piece of content—whether it’s a blog, social media ad, or email newsletter— stop and ask yourself, “Why am I writing this?”
When it comes down to it, there are two main types of marketing content you can write: “push” or “pull.” You may have never considered it this way, but think of it like this:
- Pull content is primarily created for search engine optimization and is designed to pull your potential target audience to your website from organic search. This type of content, which usually sits on a website, is an important aspect of your inbound marketing strategy because rather than pushing a product, you can instead pull new customers to you and allow them to explore, evaluate, and decide what they want from you, themselves.
- Push content is primarily created to push prospects towards your website using promotional marketing tactics; for instance, if you want to get a potential customer to read a piece of “pull” content sitting on your site, you may offer a teaser of the information in an email or social media post and then have a link to the website where interested users see it, click it, and then go to the full post to learn more.
To sum up, push content creates intent while pull content captures that intent.
Why would anyone need to differentiate or think about whether content is “push” or “pull” prior to creating it? The reason is because the success of both types of content requires different marketing approaches and, if not considered upfront, there is an increased chance that it will not perform as desired.
Ask Yourself: Why Are You Writing This?
There are many reasons as to why you may be writing something, whether or not you have consciously or subconsciously put into words the reason. These digital marketing objectives include:
- Enhancing brand awareness
- Demonstrating thought leadership
- Improving search results for a keyword
- Encouraging downloads from a site
- Providing high-end technical information on a product
- Increasing engagement levels with your audience
- Driving high-quality traffic to a webpage
Whatever the goal may be, it should be clarified to begin with in order to decide which content—either push or pull—is then required to meet the objectives. You choices of content are below:
Examples of Push Marketing
- Social media advertising – Paid promotion to support your content on a social network.
- Direct marketing – Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements on search engines.
- Promotional emails/newsletters – Email marketing to push your latest promotions or to push people to read your content on your website.
- Email advertising – The placement of your promotional strategy/content on other people’s emails
- Editorial advertising – Offline and digital content on television, newspaper, radio, etc.
- Signage – Promotional displays to attract prospects, such as signs, flyers, billboards, point-of-sale displays, etc.
- Product endorsement. Displayed product usage by a celebrity, high-profile expert, distributor, or influencer.
- Public relations – Press releases, press mentions, or guest-contributed articles that are distributed either by a PR company or on a news website.
- Backlinks – Content on another website that links to your website using an anchor text.
- Referral marketing – Comes from trusted sources in a variety of formats such as ratings, reviews, social media, email, or word-of-mouth.
Examples of Pull Marketing
- Landing page – SEO-optimized content designed to pull your potential target audience to your website from organic search.
- Blog – Also designed to pull people to your site from organic search, a blog is easily-digestible content on a variety of topics that can be directly—or sometimes indirectly— related to your product or service.
- Social media marketing – This content aims to engage visitors providing them with not just sales promotional content but valuable information.
- Email content – Valuable and often promotion-free content in which the reader has signed up for an email list.
- Whitepapers – Long-form, informational document to promote a product or service that sits on a website but can often be an incentive to download.
- Case Studies – Persuasive content that uses real-world examples to demonstrate the value of your product, service, or brand.
- Video content – Any type of video that offers valuable information related to your product, service, or brand.
Which Should You Choose?
Differences between the two that may help you decide…
The differences between push and pull marketing plans primarily revolve around your relationship to the customer base that you are targeting and the sales goals you are trying to reach. Here are some examples of when one should be used over the other.
- Push marketing focuses on short-term sales.
- Pull marketing builds a target audience over time that’s, in many cases, from scratch.
- Push marketing works with the products that people are already familiar with or have an established interest.
- Pull marketing can help start demand for a new product where there was little to none to begin with, like if you’re selling something people may have never seen or heard of before.
- Reputation of the brand
- Push marketing helps new brands generate buzz in order to get a startup off the ground.
- Pull marketing works better for more established companies that have customers with brand loyalty.
- Product type:
- Push marketing products are already familiar to audiences and usually require little to no researching or comparison shopping.
- Pull marketing products may be one-of-a-kind in some ways and therefore may require additional information to learn more.
- Push marketing may be more expensive, especially if you go the route of using paid advertisements.
- Pull marketing costs less since so much of it relies on organic search to reach a target market for a particular product.
Questions to Ask When Starting Push Content
When you are considering the forms of push marketing strategies, you want to think about these things first:
- What is the goal of this content?
- Are you trying to get an announcement out? Are you trying to help build company culture? Are you sharing something fun you think your target audience may be interested in? The goal should be clearly defined before you start this type of outbound marketing.
- Where will you be sharing this content?
- Is it a press release that will be shared across a network of news websites? Is it going to be used in a newsletter? Will it be shared on your brand’s social media marketing channels like Linkedin, Facebook, etc.? Be sure to list all of the areas in which you can promote a piece.
Questions to Ask When Starting Pull Content
When you are considering pull marketing strategies, you want to think about these things first:
- What is the target keyword phrase?
- This is the single most important step, without clear direction as to what you are targeting then you should not continue.
- Is there actual search interest in that keyword phrase?
- Did you research to see if people are searching on the target keyword phrase? If not, then you are creating content that may rank in a top position but will never really drive any new organic search traffic to the website.
- Are you using the optimal/searched version of the keyword phrase?
- What is the specific vernacular of your target audience? Are you using the optimal version of a keyword phrase? This can make a tremendous difference in the ability of the content to rank well.
- Is there already relevant content on the website for that keyword phrase?
- Are you cannibalizing current content that may be targeting and/or already ranking for the target keyword phrase? Doing this creates confusion with the search engines and ultimately decreases your chances of getting any of the content to index and rank well.
The Key to Writing Successful Content
Overall, implementing both types of marketing campaigns may be necessary in order to achieve your business objectives and make the most of your marketing efforts. After all, with content being generated and distributed from a wider range of online sources, it will have a stronger support system and will therefore be more effective.
If done well, your content marketing strategy will use pull marketing and push marketing in order to gain better brand awareness, increased customer engagement, improved user experience, and overall higher-quality leads.
Want Help? Get in Touch With Digital Strike
Digital Strike takes a holistic approach to all types of content. We’ll develop a customized content strategy for you that uses a good mix of both push and pull tactics to address any and every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Useful, helpful content gives prospects the nudge they need to advance researchers → to leads → to paying customers.
….and we can help give them that nudge! Get in touch with Digital Strike now.