Marketing has quickly evolved over the past decade due to the rapid expansion of the Internet and web technologies in general. Quite a while ago, the traditional promotional mix was composed of advertising, PR, direct response marketing, sales promotion, personal selling, and according to some definitions, sponsorship. As of today, online marketing has cemented its position within the promotional mix either as its own component or an alternative platform to traditional marketing (outside of the web). Due to online marketing becoming a far more effective vehicle for brands to generate awareness and revenue, inbound marketing in particular has become far more efficacious than traditional outbound marketing to accomplish certain objectives.
March Madness comes every year and captures the interest of ardent and passive sports fans alike. Despite the amount of time spent on bracketology, most users see their brackets break within the first couple of games. In fact, according to an infographic prepared by Dedicated Media, the odds of picking a perfect bracket 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1. That’s nine quintillion to one, which represents an insanely challenging odds. Some other cool statistics include:
- $7 Million total is wagered on brackets every year.
- 1 in 7 fans have called in sick to work to catch games from the tournament.
- 7.7 Million social media comments are posted during the tournament’s telecasts.
- 181 Million viewers will tune in across all types of platforms (television, online, and mobile).
Businesses that invest in social media and content marketing are likely to analyze the feedback generated in various channels to determine the attitudes consumers have towards their respective brands online. Mention, a company that provides real-time social media and web monitoring, analyzed over 1 Billion company mentions from nearly 200,000 alerts over the past two years to come up with some pretty intriguing insights:
Every year, basketball enthusiasts, passive sports fans, and even the average Joes make an effort to fill out a bracket that indubitably busts within the first day of the Men’s NCAA Basketball tournament. Even this year, there has been a significant amount of upsets, with traditional powerhouses such as Duke, Ohio State, Syracuse, and Kansas falling before making it to the Sweet 16. Upsets within the early rounds are expected to occur, but it never ceases to amaze basketball fans when some of the bigger teams from power conferences are upset by the tournament’s Cinderellas.
This is why Warren Buffet’s idea to create the $1 Billion NCAA Bracket Challenge was a stroke of genius. Dangle a prize big enough to reel in even the most casual of sports fans and you have yourself a campaign that will market itself. With the allure of the biggest prize ever for any sports contest, almost 9 million people completed a bracket on Yahoo!. This lead to a massive amount of user data collection and the opportunity to generate revenue from strategic remarketing of selected offers. Assuming a $5 million dollar estimated cost, the estimated profit clocks in at $9 Million, with potential revenue generating from the following sources (data from the EZAds123 infographic below):
The foundation of any online marketing strategy lies in search engine optimization (SEO). More than ever, Internet users start searching for products and services online with search engine sites such as Google and Bing. Being able to dominate the first page of rankings for pertinent keywords can help your site capture a significant amount of targeted traffic. However, failing to rank anywhere on the first couple of pages on Google and Bing can end up being disastrous, making it difficult to capture enough relevant traffic to generate a positive ROI online.
An infographic below prepared by Appleton Creative provides a sufficient overview of SEO, providing salient facts and figures regarding this online marketing tactic. In fact, three particular statistics stand out and should convince any executive to buy into a sound SEO strategy:
- 92% of users never scroll past the first page of search engine results.
- One out of every three searches on Google are done on mobile devices.
- 93% of online experiences start with search engines.
CMO by Adobe recently prepared an updated social media landscape (for 2014) aimed at helping chief marketing officers and other senior marketing professional to learn about the different platforms online and how to leverage them effectively. The social media platforms covered are:
If you are a regular subscriber of this blog, you will notice that I tend to share interesting infographics related to online marketing and provide my own perspective on the salient statistics/lessons extracted each graphic. There is a strategic reason for this: infographics provide a lot of benefits for both businesses and bloggers alike when it comes to generating interest, engagement, and traffic. An infographic below prepared by M2 Communications illustrates this perfectly, drawing out 8 reasons why businesses need to invest into designing and publishing infographics on a regular basis.
The annual State of Digital Marketing report prepared by Webmarketing123 was released not too long ago, providing insights into the latest trends for both B2B and B2C digital marketing. The interactive company surveyed over 500 marketing professionals to understand the main challenges businesses face, the top objectives for online marketing campaigns, and the overall attitudes towards emerging advertising channels.
In terms of listing the top objectives, the results are rather predictable but still quite interesting. B2B businesses focus a significant amount of resources on developing leads, whereas B2C businesses focus on driving sales from end users. This makes sense as most B2C business that advertise online have an ecommerce website, which can help them reach new geographic markets. While B2B businesses do want to generate sales from any marketing initiative, a large amount of resources go into developing leads and pipelines within the online environment.
If content is king, then backlinks are deities.
At least according to search engines. Although content is more important than ever for search engine optimization, building the right profile of backlinks is essential to increasing your website’s authority for particular keywords, which in turn helps boost organic rankings. An infographic prepared by Vertical Measures illustrates the effect of different types of links one can build, such as organic valuable links, nofollow links (which are useless for SEO efforts) and paid links, which can result in harsh penalties handed down by Google or Bing. Backlinks also need to be analyzed from a technical level to make sure authority is passed over: for example, a 301 redirect can result in a link’s value being slightly affected, whereas a backlink to a broken web page (404 error) can result in no value being passed over whatsoever.
While primarily seen as a tool for increasing brand awareness and responding to customer inquiries/feedback, social media has proven to be quite an effective channel of online marketing for sales generation. Although some marketing professionals are still reticent towards investing resources into social media promotion, more studies are pointing to the efficacy of sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for both lead and sales generation.