This week I had the privilege of serving as a subject expert on the Balance Wealth Talk Radio Show with Coretta Fraser. Top of the mind topic was Internet marketing. Here are some highlights from the show:
Coretta: Please share with the listeners why you’ve chosen this path. Why did you go into marketing?
Patty: When it comes to business, I’m very much about the practical strategies. Marketing is very much a creative process so I think it should also be fun. I favor easy to understand, easy to do marketing and the web is a place where a business owner can do these things, plus there’s nothing more cost effective to date. That’s the biggest reason I choose to specialize in this area of marketing.
Coretta: Why or is it important to have one’s website ranked highly?
Patty: You know when I started in Internet marketing about a decade ago, the name of the game was all about the key word competition and the notorious banner ads! Internet marketing today is very different….key word bidding advantages no longer lie within the depth of a robust marketing budget. Search engines today favor relevant content and all of the places that it resides. Here’s what I mean by that:
An organization, we’ll call it “A” can have the best looking, high tech site with tons of functionality, perhaps they’ve vested in key word purchases to rank high in the engines. More than likely they’ll get some traffic…maybe even return on investment. The question is could they have done more with less?
Let’s take organization “B”, doesn’t have a super dynamic website, low to no marketing budget, but they’ve taken the time to develop great content for it for their site….lots of relevant information that buyers will find valuable. They’ve focused on meeting the people’s needs first, search engine key word algorithms second. By building social activity around your organization, the natural progression there is that the engines pick up on that activity and index that activity anyway. So Organization B could have made the same or more traction by building their Social media activity first.
Coretta: What means can one use to ensure high rankings? eg. social networking, PR, index, key words etc. website. Where do people go wrong in SEO?
Patty: That’s such a common question today Coretta. Let’s go back to Organization B. So they’ve done a good job of creating relevant content that they know is going to garner them attention, now where do they post it? In years past it was all about housing everything in the organization’s website. Today, relevant content needs to be just as viral as the people sharing it. For instance, if you write a blog entry, sure, post it on your website, but also post it for example in your MySpace blog area so your network of friends that are happily surfing MySpace can read it without being asked to leave that activity to go to your site. Also, once it’s posted, don’t forget to post a reference to it on the bulletin board and perhaps tweet about it. The search engines are powered very much like a living, breathing organism…quietly hanging out in the background. If you feed the web with your content regularly, the engines will soon have the resources to naturally do their jobs of indexing you.
The most common mistake made today Coretta is that many organizations are still holding on to the old principles of marketing online by believing that they ONLY need to bid on key words to rank highly. I always tell my clients that the best thing they can do for themselves is to hire a content writer to feed information to the web as often as possible.
The second best thing I tell my clients to do is to subscribe to the member of the online newswires. For only a couple hundred dollars, an organization can submit their white paper or press release to and international newswire. There it will not only be exposed to thousands of reporters, it will garner fantastic leverage in the search optimization game.
The third best practice I suggest to my clients is video. Video is quickly becoming the single most powerful marketing communication tool in history. It can be produced on the fly and does not need to be a Hollywood production. Buyers want relevant ‘white paper’ material delivered via video, illustrating case studies and practical knowledge they can use. This is what keeps them coming back for more and also encourages viral activity. Video also meets the three main learning methods: Visual, audio and interactive. A short video message is much more absorbable and retainable by today’s busy web surfer.
Coretta: With so much competition for high ranking, how does one get listed in search engines now a days? What has produced the best results (for you and your business)?
Patty: Competition…now that’s a word that can mean lots of things in the world of Internet marketing. Competition for ranking can be a direct industry contender touting their brand superiority, or it can be as small as a single person talking about your product or service online. Either can pop up in an engine WAYYYY before the buyer actually sees your site. When it comes to Internet marketing, what I’ve found to be the most successful strategy today is to coach my clients through the process of taking their focus off their industry competitors and industry subject experts. Instead we work on creating a REAL relationship with the audience. With this approach, the game completely changes and the advantage is now in my client’s court.
Coretta: How much should I be spending?
Patty: That’s a variable number. Many marketers go to the staple 10% of your gross profits after cost of goods. That’s okay but Internet marketing goes deeper than traditional marketing department. Internet marketing today is very much an area of customer service….a whole different department. I encourage my clients to vest into knowledgabel customer service reps that can blog and meet SMO (social media) objectives first.
Coretta: What does the future hold in the area of Internet marketing? What should I know?
1) Geomarketing – Location Logic Algorithms – Getting more popular everyday.
2) Mobile Marketing – Smart phone devices getting more integrated so we need to pay attention to the hand held devices and the way they integrate into our customer’s daily life (eg. Reports showing that Gen Y is much more in touch with hand held devices as the medium and Facebook as the platform lately).
3) Video: This is becoming King in the world of marketing. Research firm comScore reported a record count of nearly 28 billion videos watched online in October 2009, with the average online user spending more than 10 hours watching streaming content per month. Consumers desire video supported messages now more than ever.
What a treat it was to spend time with Coretta and her listeners online. Look for upcoming workshops on this topic in late March by checking the Events section of DartMarketing.com.