What is Surround Sound Content Marketing?
Surround Sound Content Strategy is a term dubbed by HubSpot which refers to surrounding content or organic search engine results around related keywords to your business. This works best with keywords like “best” or “top” plus your search term.
It’s easier to explain with an example: Often Google responds with listicles or directories as search results for search terms like Top Solution X or Best Service Y. For instance, when searching for Best SEO Marketing Tools, all 10 search results Google shows me organically are listicles or directories like G2.com or TechRadar.
It’s not uncommon to find your own website among competitors in the sea of those directories.
We refer to Surround Sound to only independent websites excluding yours and your competition.
How to conduct a Surround Sound Content Audit?
Now, that we know what Surround Sound Content is, we want to audit how often your service or solution is mentioned on page 1 or even page 2 results for the specific keyword.
Go through each independent search result and see if you’re present, i.e. click the link and go through the list.
There are 3 potential outcomes:
Your profile is present and easily discoverable.
Your profile is not listed and you aren’t present in the directory at all. For example, G2.com is listed but you don’t have a profile there.
Your profile is not listed in the top results but you do have a profile. Sticking with the same example, your profile doesn’t appear on G2.com but you do have a profile on the page.
Mark in a simple spreadsheet the result for each page/directory you look at.
For small business owners, it’s especially important to be found for local search terms like Best X [Location] and to align with your Local SEO marketing strategy.
After you went through the search results and built your spreadsheet you can determine actions to improve your Surround Sound.
What can you do to improve your Surround Sound Content Marketing?
Depending on the result you can take various actions to improve your Surround Sound Marketing.
But first, let’s take a step back and look at your referral traffic in Google Analytics:
Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Referrals
Analyze your current referral traffic to help you prioritize your Surround Sound approach. Let’s say you have a really good ranking on G2.com and you are present but don’t see much traffic or not many conversions from that traffic you can take those insights to help you draft the next steps. Also, think about where your target audience engages with content. B2B decision-makers probably value Capterra more than Yelp.
Circling back on the actions you can take for the three above scenarios:
Optimize even further if you think this is your best bet with clearer Call-to-Actions, new images, updated product descriptions, etc.
Create a profile in the directory or contact the site owner and make a case why they should include you in the listing. However, high-ranking listicle results get a ton of messages like that. Please, make sure to communicate the value for the site owner and their readers rather than focussing on your benefits.
Optimize and actively manage the profile. Audit what other profiles that are appearing as top results have in common and beat the competition. This could be the number of reviews, very clear product description, appealing CTA or offer, just to name a few.
How can you measure the success of the Surrounding Sound Content Marketing Campaigns?
Unfortunately, you will have to repeat the audit process again and see if your presence has improved.
Another way is to watch your referral traffic from these sites.
Final word, why everyone should do this right now and constantly.
I will give you three benefits from that approach:
Brand recognition from trusted 3rd-party sources. There’s a reason why those results are on page 1.
SEO improvements: some pages will give you backlinks and if you build business profiles like on Yelp they will help your Google My Business listing.
Referral Traffic: You may get some high intent traffic from those sites. Think about it! The user is already in the evaluating process and very likely to buy
If you need help conducting and improving your Surround Sound Content Marketing please reach out to me and I can help you get started.