One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is focusing the majority of their advertising budget on print ads and local newspapers, fortunately, a new approach is starting to take root to solve this problem.
Local search online is starting to cause a flurry of excitement for some businesses who are taking advantage of the technology.
More and more people are performing local searches on the internet before they ever leave their home. It allows them to do all their research online and make decisions on where to find what they need right from the comfort of their home.
Less and less, people are using the phone book or newspaper because of this. On top of that, there are too many phone books circulating and it makes it nearly impossible to decide which to use.
Companies who still spend hundreds if not thousands on newspaper ads and other print advertising and are passing up on a golden opportunity to get in front of their target audience by using outdated, archaeic methods.
The internet is changing the way people find products and services.
Local search is a form of advertising that allows you to lower your overall costs, it is cheaper than print advertising and gets you in front of more people when they are ready to buy. The overall ROI of leveraging the power of local internet searches are only going to increase and it makes perfect sense to ride the wave.
I was browsing one of the internet marketing forums the other day, and stumbled on a thread titled “What happened to the 4 pillars of Internet Marketing?”.
For those of you who don’t know what the 4 original pillars of internet marketing are, here’s a quick recap:
1. Product. Product is very important, I mean, that is what you are selling, right?
2. Price. 95% of all the selling propositions are being turned down because of the price. Probably this is the reason 1$ trials work so well.
3. Promotion. Traffic, Copywriting, PPC and basically anything related to generating traffic and driving leads.
4. Place. You can’t go to a synagogue and try to sell pork chops. I mean, you can, but…Trust me, you don’t want to. *Hint: big rocks and your head.
Those are the 4 pillars of internet marketing, according to the old school Gurus. However, world is rapidly changing, and we must keep up with it.
Those pillars no longer apply when it comes down to 21st century’s internet marketing industry. They probably still do when selling tea or rice, but when it comes to sophisticated customers who shop online, nahah! Different approach is required!
After taking a cold hard look at the internet marketing industry today as we know it, I have created a new internet marketing pillar blueprint. I am not saying this is going to go global right away, but I do believe it what is needed to be done, if you want to build a profitable internet marketing business.
1. Traffic. You can say it goes under promotion, but Traffic is not about promotion anymore. Today, when the customer gets destructed so easily, traffic has became more about grabbing attention. If you know how to grab person’s attention when he is surfing the web, you got traffic!
2. Conversion. Internet Marketing is all about conversions, are you kidding me? Capture pages, click through rates, bounce rates etc. Everything is needed to be tested, modified, customized and tested some more!
3. Growth. Growth applies to you, the person behind the product. The only way you can be providing more value and getting more sales is by growing. Not in height, but in mind. Growing your knowledge base and raising your personal value through the roof.
4. Content. This is actually an inevitable byproduct of growth. Providing quality content is what is going to separate you from the spammers, self promoters and uneducated newbies who have no clue how to market online.
This is my personal view on the 4 new age pillars of internet marketing. You can support me, or you can dispute me, the choice is yours and comments are welcomed, however, remember that marketing isn’t about you or your product going viral, it is always about the consumer.
If business owners want to gain a competitive edge online in 2009, a comprehensive strategy is the way to go.
Businesses of any size will succeed with online marketing – and blow past the competition – by focusing on multiple fronts at one time to deliver the most favorable ROI.
The Internet offers a dizzyingly array of services, everything from search engine optimization and link building to paid search, banner advertising and video marketing. Each has merit and can improve profits.
How could it make any sense to let them operate as silos?
We tie these and other services together in what we call the Battle Plan. To get the best results, you need to hit your target market with everything you have available.
Regardless of what you call it, a Battle Plan approach requires a good deal of coordination that can become a way of life with practice.
Here are 8 tips to help you get started:
1. Cultivate Teams.
A plan on paper won’t work in reality if the people involved can’t cooperate. Long before our Battle Plan took shape, we made sure to involve the entire staff in team building exercises, contests and social outings. We also have regular staff meetings and hold internal mini workshops so each service line can let everyone else get a sense of what they do.
2. Nail Down Processes.
Yes, it can be tedious, but only good things can happen when everyone follows the same system.
3. Achieve Excellence.
It’s not always easy to define quality, but you need to continually provide exceptional service in each area. Our Battle Plan would suffer enormously if one service dropped the ball. In the military, for example, ground troops would fail more often without air support.
4. Think ROI.
At the end of the day, it’s about leads and sales. Time and time again, we’ve managed through SEO to achieve high rankings and traffic. Unfortunately, the website we inherit sometimes lacks clear Calls to Action. Adding a well placed, unique phone number or a special offer can work wonders.
5. Track and Adapt Conversion Opportunities.
Calls to Action can appear just about anywhere. With the basic website design, you may have any number of response forms or buy/call signals. Similar or different ones may be developed for paid search or video marketing campaigns. In our case, we learn from what each area is doing and adapt or repeat their Calls to Action. In other words, lead forms that work for video may perform as well or better in paid search.
6. A Central Project Manager Is Essential.
Obviously, plenty of work must happen behind the scenes. Yet, it’s also critical to have a project manager in place for each program to keep the lines of communication open. The project manager is in a good position to make sure everyone – from internal staff to clients – is on the same page and up to speed.
7. Share Data.
I’ve hinted at it already, but shared information is paramount to a comprehensive approach that crosses multiple disciplines. For example, when a SEO specialist gets a top ranking on Google, that information must get in the hands of a paid search expert who can help decide if an ad should be paused or continued depending on whether branding or conversion objectives are being met. You can exchange data from many areas – paid search ads, landing pages, banner ads, meta descriptions, inbound link anchor text, video marketing campaigns and much more.
8. Reinforce Efforts.
You have to find ways to stay in touch with prospects. For us, one of the easiest is an opt-in e-mail marketing system. I’m dumbfounded by the number of companies that I hear about that don’t consistently use structured emails to follow up with different types of leads. Sometimes businesses do send emails, but it’s not always well planned. Why not craft automated messages for designated dates, such as 7 days, 30 days and 60 days out from the first point of contact?
In today’s economy, at the moment in time someone is searching for what you offer, how fiercely are you competing to be found?