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How to Use Pull Marketing & Knowing When to Push

Discover what pull marketing is, when to use it, and a few examples of pull marketing content you can use in your campaigns.

Push Marketing Andy Betts SEJ

Given the instability in the current business environment, branding, content marketing, and thought leadership have never been so important.

COVID-19 has already had a dramatic impact on consumer behavior.

Entire workforces have gone remote and many workers have seen their jobs disappear completely (even if only temporarily).

Media consumption is up as people seek not only to be entertained but to find solutions to their every need:

  • From getting groceries and household supplies delivered.
  • To learning how to homeschool children.
  • To upgrading their own skills while they have time on their hands.

People are searching for credible, authoritative information on which to base their decisions.

There is a time to push marketing and a time to pull.

Balance is key.

And in times where audiences may not want a full push sell, then pull marketing can slowly help.

What Is Pull Marketing?

Equal parts science and art, pull marketing is the practice of attracting consumers to your brand.

Humans have a psychological need to opt into what it is we’re learning.

When we care and are actually interested in a topic, we are able to learn faster and retain more information.

In fact, consuming that media becomes enjoyable; it is no longer just a task we have to complete.

This is why pull marketing, or inbound, is such an incredibly effective tactic.

That’s not to say that push marketing shouldn’t be a part of your strategy, as well – in fact, they work better together.

Push, or direct, marketing is the act of literally pushing your product or service to a specific audience.

PPC ads, landing pages, traditional advertising, and social media are all examples of push marketing.

Many marketers best use it as part of a 1- 2 stroke strategy.

And while these tactics might do well lower in the funnel, pull marketing is a great way to attract the right audiences to you at the top.

This is how pull marketing can actually increase the efficacy of your push marketing, by giving your paid tactics and direct marketing a warmer, more responsive, and targeted audience.

These integrated, cross-channel campaigns with push and pull marketing working together enable you to not just make a sale, but to:

  • Build a solid relationship.
  • Provide real value to your customers at every stage of their journey.

The key objective of pull marketing is to turn strangers into customers.

Attract - Convert - Close - Delight

5 Pull Marketing Content Types

Here are a few examples of pull marketing content you can use as the basis for an effective journey.

1. Optimized, Top-Of-Funnel Content Designed for Discovery in Search

Informational guides, general interest ebooks, long-form blog posts designed to educate your audience on a specific topic – these are all great opportunities to attract new consumers who are searching for resources on a specific topic.

2. Guest Posts on Another Relevant Site

Guest posting, or being the subject of a feature article on someone else’s site, is a great way of getting in front of a new audience.

Remember that the purpose of pull marketing is to attract them to your brand, not to focus on making a sale right away.

The goal here isn’t to get a link; it’s to gain a fan, an audience member, a potential customer.

3. Co-Created Content

This could be:

  • A webinar.
  • An ebook.
  • A blog post.
  • A video.
  • Any other engaging, interesting content type.

The benefit of co-authoring a piece of content together is that you have someone else to help promote the content to their unique audience, as well.

Choose to partner with someone who is not a competitor, but whose audience is similar to yours.

You might serve two different functions within the same industry, for example.

4. Q&A/FAQs Content

Social listening and search insights can help you uncover great opportunities to educate consumers by being an authoritative, helpful source of information.

The additional benefit of FAQs-type of content is that it is, by nature, optimized for voice search and unique search result types such as position zero.

5. Engaging Social Content

No, I did say above that social media was an example of push marketing, and that is true – it can be.

However, original and high-quality social content that is optimized for discovery in social (using hashtags and specific keywords) can be an effective type of pull marketing content, as well.

Engaging social content can get you in front of new audiences, help you establish thought leadership, and show that you are an engaged part of the community.

Design an Effective Funnel First, Plan Content Around It

These are just a few specific examples.

The overarching theme here in successful pull marketing content is that it focuses on the utility and value it offers the reader or viewer.

In being helpful and interesting, you attract or “pull” consumers to you.

Next, envision the middle of your funnel.

  • What call-to-action will you include in your pull marketing content to drive audience members to a place where they can take their next steps?
  • How will you help them make the next decision in the customer journey?
  • Can you, at this next phase, provide more in-depth information, answer more specific questions, and compel the person to move to the bottom of the funnel – to a sale?

In the current landscape, it is likely that we will see a massive explosion of content as news networks, publishers, businesses of all kinds, and others compete to be heard.

It isn’t enough to simply publish content; this is the time for exceptional content quality, relevance, authority, and optimization.

Bring your own unique point of view and experience to the content you’re creating.

Use push tactics such as social advertising to complement your pull strategy and build your audience.

Most of all, envision your funnel as a whole.

This will help you determine the right content, messaging, and format for your top-of-funnel pull marketing pieces.

More Resources:

Image Credits

Featured Image: Created by author, April 2020
In-Post Image: HubSpot


Andy Betts is a chief marketer, consultant and digital hybrid with more than 20 years of experience in search, content ...

How to Use Pull Marketing & Knowing When to Push

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