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Imagine you’re the new agency, SEO lead, or even junior level assistant for a huge brand. You know, the kind of household brand name people know. The kind of company you read about in college or in case studies for their wicked brand recognition, reach, and authority metrics. Cool feeling, right?

I remember that feeling from working with my first big client and I still get it today, seven years later. But what I don’t remember were any college courses that discussed marketing at scale. In fact, this topic still isn’t getting the blog playback that it should.

Big Brands Have Big Challenges

Sometimes it can take a few presentations, cross-departmental collaborations, and finger-crossing that legal doesn’t rip it apart, to get that big asset out the door. But the biggest challenge of all is time.

It feels like there just are not enough hours in the day. That’s especially true for sites with hundreds of thousands or even millions of pages. How can you touch on all of those pages before growing as old as Father Time?

If you’ve been in our space for at least a few years, then you’re obviously a smart SEO, in-house marketing person, etc. You’ve read about testing metadata, link building, and have even gotten the inside scoop on what journalists really think. On top of this, with the bigger brands, you need to practice scaling through challenging constraints. But, on the bright side, constraints are a breeding ground for resourcefulness. And in this case, the ability to implement scalable marketing practices across thousands of pages can mean big wins for your big brand. You simply need to get creative, which like anything else, leads to great experience.

Scaleable Marketing: 3 Opportunities Pandora Isn’t Maximizing

Let’s take a big brand and use them as an example.

I’ve been using Pandora for years. As a result, they/their marketing efforts pop into my head from time to time. As you’ll learn in the first example, this is not a new occurrence. Below are three scaleable marketing opportunities that I would recommend to Pandora if they were one of Greenlane’s partners.

1. Build Lyrics Pages

I remember thinking a few years back how Pandora could increase their visibility (for some reason during a night feeding this came to me again, which is what inspired this post). I even Tweeted them about it:


Even if Pandora archives just over the 1M+ unique songs they reported on in their 200 Million User Announcement back in 2013, song info pages can present over a million opportunities for visibility. This info also lends itself to building out their artist pages (more on this below) or creating new hub pages for “[artist name] lyrics” type searches:

lyric serp example

2. Improve The Band/Artist Pages

Not long after the Tweet pictured above, Pandora implemented a similar initiative focusing on building out artist pages. The Wayback Machine shows the first crawls for every one of the artist pages that I looked up – Keith Urban, Usher, MF Doom and about 15 others. Awesome, that’s a scaleable way of building visibility.

And it’s worked, kind of. Artist pages hold some rankings, but in the SERPs I dove into most rankings fall between the 15 to 20+ position. Here’s one example:

rankings example

There’s big opportunity to “make these pages better,” a motto here at Greenlane. Some of those opportunities include:

  • Band member info (if applicable).
  • Noteworthy quotes from artists, songs, etc.
  • Recent updates/news feeds/tour dates.
  • Top songs and/or albums.

3. Bolster Human Interaction

While the first two recommendations focus on improving search visibility, this last one is in the “engagement” wheelhouse. Pandora could increase interaction (or at least experiment) with its content. For example, look at what Medium’s doing:

user interaction ryan hoover

Can Pandora test adding features and opportunities for users to interact with its content like Medium does? If given the opportunity, users could tell Pandora more about brand/artist affinity connections, plus Pandora could encourage users to share (like Ryan did), spend more time on site/in app, etc. We can quickly start to see how the benefits of this recommendation could multiply.

Don’t Forget…

Remember, scale is your friend! Just because a brand is big, doesn’t mean it can’t get bigger, there is always an opportunity to grow. We often look for scalability with tools, reports, and general data gathering, but it’s important to keep the S-word in mind when identifying new opportunities for clients, especially the biggest of the big clients. Scale won’t sacrifice quality when done right.

Start thinking about what is actually feasible with these larger sites. For Pandora (and other big brands) 95% of their pages would never justify the time needed to make manual changes. Instead, focus on groups like “topic buckets” and/or page template types.

Now it’s your turn – What challenges or opportunities do you see with scalable marketing?

If you know someone who would appreciate this, please share this article along. We both thank you in advance.

Jonathon Knepper
Jonathon Knepper
After earning his B.S. in Marketing and Economics, Jon set off on weaving a vast patchwork of experience. Before finding Greenlane, he worked at a design agency, was Editor-in-Chief for a tech news blog, wrote and did print prep for a magazine, worked in PR, and more. See? Vast. But everything he does is rooted …
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