Recently, I went to Vancouver’s Massive Trade Show and Conference. Two conference tracks I attended are the Online Marketing 101 track (with Chris Breikss from 6s Marketing, David Scott from Entellium, Fred Vallaeys from Google, and Joanne Acri from Yahoo) as well as the New Media track (with Monica Hamburg, Warren Baxley from InterCall, Rebecca Bollwitt from E-xact Transactions, Linda Bustos from Elastic Path). They all had great suggestions for website owners, as well as beginner and advanced online marketers!
What I learned personally overall, I would say that online marketing should be multidimensional and you need to test the waters on the proper mix for your business. Whatever tactics you use online; try, test, measure and tweak your mix constantly – you’ll be on the way to online success. The presenters had summed up some points quite well (better than I could have explained). Below are just a few of the many pointers and tips the speakers shared with the attendees.
Tip #1 – Any site owner should not depend on one tactic at a given time, or it will be one-dimensional and ineffective. Know your consumer and figure out your mix. Have an integrated marketing program. Your mix can include a combination of any of the following:
- E-mail marketing.
- Social Media – Can include blogging, participating in forums and other social media tactics, there are so many now, it is hard to keep up (Facebook, MySpace etc.).
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Trying to show up on the search engine results without paying for ads. This can include making sure your site is crawlable, having outbound/inbound links, good site architecture, and a key-word-rich website. Keep in mind that it is evolving to universal search with images, videos and external pages you have on the social networks as well. Make sure your pages have the proper key words and multi-media are tagged appropriately.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Paid advertising via the search engines (Google, MSN and Yahoo). These usually show up in sponsored search results as well as on ad placements within the content network. Can also include text, image or video ads served through Universal Search.
- Banner Ads being served via third-party or portal-site sponsorships.
- Cost-per-Acquisitions (CPA) – This can include referral program (or even affiliate marketing), where you pay other sites that give you leads or conversions (signups or paying customers). This can include new CPA programs, which will be evolving.
- Traditional Advertising – Any traditional advertising like print, magazine and video should be complementary or enforce whatever you have online and tie in to either convert or track on landing pages.
I am a huge advocate of this Multi-dimensional Marketing, but in the past I have had a hard time trying to convince my clients on the different tactics (before I was with Sitemasher as the in-house marketer). It was hard to convince my clients and explain the “halo” effect and how all the chosen online strategies will sooner or later snowball and show results. Unfortunately most marketers (or business owners) either ignore MDM or simply aren’t aware of the possibilities. I am happy that others (like the presenters at Massive) are advocates of MDM and are trying to educate business owners that there is potential.
Tip #2 – Multidimensional marketing should be looked at as longer-term online exposure versus a one-shot advertising effort. Also, a mix-and-match approach should be adopted at the same time to get the “halo” effect.
So what is the “halo” effect? David Scott explained it as a situation where you use multiple media and tactics to reach your customers and you have “lift” with branding. Chris from 6S marketing mentioned “brand equity.” You should look at efforts as a full campaign and complementary. If you are not Nike or Apple, it may take potential customers to see your brand multiple times (also known as impressions) in different areas (i.e., e-mail marketing, in a forum or on the search results) before they include you into their “consideration set.”
Tip #3 – Multidimensional marketing demands some patience and transparency when it comes to the social media tactics. Be persistent yet very careful when you venture social media.
- Take your time and learn how to interact within the social sphere and don’t rush it. Learn how others use this medium properly. Observe and learn the right etiquette for posting, tagging and interaction with others.
- Don’t expect results right away, this tactic does take time to earn brand equity.
- Be transparent and don’t try to fool members of the community – they are smart consumers. Don’t try to pretend you are a customer of your company and post spam comments on how great you are. They will find out sooner or later (most likely sooner), and you’ll be banned or negatively advertised by the community. Try to add value to the community by participating in the topics and giving value with tips. You will gain trust and credibility from the community and they will sooner or later visit your website or e-mail you for more help or advice.
- If you are blogging for your company, try to focus on building thought leadership before trying to get customers. Customers will see that you have a good knowledge network and will contact you for your product or service after you’ve built trust and credibility.
- Be open to negative and positive feedback. Linda Bustos suggests, “If something falls apart, own up to it and turn it around.” Respond to comments in a timely and honest way. If you screwed up, state how you are going to fix it and you’ll probably win them back.
- Consider a reputation management tool to use and track good or bad comments that are being posted on external blogs (for example: Blogpulse).
- Lightly brand media and widgets, if you overdo it with brand and sales tactics, it probably won’t be distributed by the community.
Tip #4 – Go after the Long Tail. Focus on consumer fragmentation for your multidimensional tactics online. Whatever you choose for your mix, try to focus on areas where you can find fragments of your customers that will have a higher conversion rate. Check your website analytics and know where people are coming from to your site. Find them on other places and look for other opportunities to have a better impact to the “halo” (read my blog on “Web Analytics – Simply Reviewing Referring Sites for Opportunities” for some ideas). They may hang out in communities that are complementary to your business or vertical or they may be a type of customer (persona) who uses certain key word strings to find you on the search engines.
If you want to share similar experiences on this topic, I encourage you to leave a comment!Uncategorized | Tags: email marketing, long tail, massive trade show, multi dimensional marketing, online marketing, search engine optimization, social media, website advertising | Comments (2)