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.
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.
Below is a presentation I prepared for an upcoming guest lecture I’ll be giving at an undergraduate IMC (integrated marketing communications) class on the basics of online marketing. While introductory, this does provide some pertinent statistics with regards to the main online marketing channels that can be of use to any professional:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing (also known as PPC Advertising)
- Display Advertising
- Social Media
- Influencer Marketing / Blogger Outreach
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Mobile Advertising
The presentation below provides an overview of the social media landscape and the value it provides small businesses and large brands. Even though social media has become more popular over the past couple of years, there are still some businesses that do not know how to properly leverage the latest trend in online marketing. New social platforms continue to emerge every day, as evidenced by the rise in popularity of apps such as Vine and Snapchat over the past year.
Social media marketing provides numerous benefits for brands:
- Community building opportunities.
- Search engine optimization bonus points (social signals can help boost a website’s rankings on Google and Bing).
- Increase brand presence online: ideal for online PR and reputation management campaigns.
- Opportunities to generate both leads and sales.
Additionally, pertinent statistics and facts are provided for the following social media networks:
Lastly, blogs such as WordPress hosted & self hosted, Tumblrs, and Blogspot sites provide brands with opportunities to create fresh and relevant content on an ongoing basis. Blogs can act as the foundation of any social media marketing program, and social sites can be used to push traffic back to the published content.
The presentation has been embedded below.
Even though recent algorithm updates from Google place an emphasis on creating original content and building up social interactions, linking still proves to be an integral component of an SEO professional’s arsenal. Unfortunately, many SEO companies and professionals engage in the practice of spamming blogs to build backlinks in a valiant effort to boost their site’s ranking by a couple of spots. For the typical blog administrator, filtering through hundreds of spam comments can prove to be exasperating, but every now and then, one will find a myriad of highly entertaining comments that have no relation to the posts itself. Below is a quick view into the world of sending comments to the spam folder.
I have enormous ideas and need to keep up wrinting
With everything being available at the click of a button online, it’s normal for users to have a short attention span and avoid slow loading websites like the bubonic plague. However, even a couple of seconds of extra loading time can be detrimental to a company’s entire E-Commerce website performance. An infographic created by SmartBear compiles various statistics illustrating just much a slow website can impact online sales.
Is your website slow to load?
“Lose 25 pounds in 4 weeks with the latest Acai Berry supplements!”.
Sounds like an appealing offer, right? That’s what many performance marketers thought as well until the FTC investigated similar offers and exposed the fraudulent tactics and fake news sites (aka “Flogs”) behind these campaigns. Due to many consumers being cheated out of money spent on products such as the acai berry health supplement that was sure transform you into a bodybuilder in weeks, the FTC brought the hammer down on deceitful affiliate marketers.