When Universal Orlando went to unveil The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2007, they didn’t take out a $10,000,000 Super Bowl Ad or even a $10,000 Google PPC ad campaign. Instead, Cindy Gordon, VP of Marketing at the Orlando resort, did what is becoming more and more common these days to get the word out; they approached influential Harry Potter bloggers, just seven of them to be exact, and within 24 hours 350 million people worldwide had heard of the new attraction.
This account clearly demonstrates the value of social media and what is becoming the new PR. And while this approach was brilliant, it’s important not to be too impressed by those numbers. While most of those 350 million would love a trip to the Harry Potter World, how many of those can actually afford the trip from Europe, South America, Canada or wherever else they happened to live when they read the news? There are roughly 72 million families in the United States alone. How many of those family breadwinners who would be buying the tickets read those blogs or got the shares on their Facebook walls about the grand opening? And how many of the very targeted consumers searching in Google for family vacation ideas found those blogs in their queries?
So what more could Cindy Gordon have done?
I know you’re thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding! More? She got 350,000,000 views!” I admit that’s impressive, and I say give Cindy and all expense paid trip to Orlando Harry Potter World for that. Ok. Ok. Send her to Paris instead.
But I also say there’s a whole other tree that’s ripe for the picking with some really tasty fruit, so why not go after that as well?
That other tree is clearly seen in the screenshot below showing just a few of the searches made in Google by a very targeted audience looking for family vacation ideas. Those numbers aren’t anything to sneeze at either, especially given the fact that many already had their checkbooks out when they conducted those searches.
Don’t let the ripe fruit fall.
Cindy went after the low-hanging fruit, and with very little effort and no money, the word spread around the world. But if you have fruit trees like I do, then you’ll know that oftentimes the sweetest, ripest fruit is just out of reach – not so easy to pick, but well worth the effort. Targeting the right – and more lucrative – audience with your PR, content marketing, and SEO campaigns can be just as sweet.
So how do you do that?
- First understand what your target audience needs (i.e., their pain). In this example, that could be a family vacation.
- Then decide how THEY might look for it regularly in search engines. For example, “family vacation ideas” or “best vacation spots for kids,” or any number of other targeted keywords.
- Perform research using Google AdWords tool or other SEO tools to find out more phrases that are used.
- Once you know the best terms to use, include them in all your communications about your offering – your press releases, website content, online ads, blog articles, Shares, Tweets, emails, etc.
In Cindy’s case, she could have even killed two birds with one stone. She could have gotten both the low-hanging and the ripe fruit if she also included targeted keywords in the communication she used with the influential bloggers so that they would get those keywords imprinted in their minds and perhaps use them in their blogs too. And why? So that she would have had a broader reach into another market that was ready to buy.
The secret to the success of any PR or SEO campaign is to focus first on your target audience. If you really know who they are, understand their pain and then provide for them the solution they need, you’re going to get the results that matter most – and that might not just be an impressive head count.