Marketing is active storytelling , PR is reactive storytelling – Internet marketing is real time, active and reactive and has a local And global reach.
Everyone in the corporate world is aware of the need to advertise, market and brand the product of their company. Even though there are so many books, experts and plethora of online information about all this available, putting all the 4 Ps of marketing together and being at the right place at the right time with the right message is always a challenging task.
Now, it is more challenging as all this has to be achieved on the internet. Though the virtual world is the reflection of the real world and basically the same laws of ethics and business intelligence apply to both. But yet due to the aura of online marketing media which is new to most of the corporate world to chalk out the path that needs to be followed is still confusing for many.
Internet marketing is a very wide term it includes the presence on search engines , affiliate marketing, social media, Press releases, Banner ads, etc. So the million dollar question is how to decide the right marketing strategy and allocate budgets to get a good ROI?
First of all, take a deep breath and tell yourself that online or offline marketing fundamentals are the same but the only difference is that online presence is about a global reach at the maximum speed if the right online marketing mix is selected.
Next, when your internet marketing company approaches you and starts giving you the information for their SEO packages, ask him to give you a holistic marketing mix overview quote as just SEO of your site is not enough. Share your budget details with him so that he can suggest the best possible immediate marketing mix needed for your brand.
Trust me only getting ranked for organic search is not enough. Your brand should have its presence felt on the web organic search no doubt but on all the options of the search results page found on the LHS of the Google results page.
Search Options On The Search Page:
i.e on the complete list of options in the image above. The efforts required to be put for attaining a presence on all these options is a part of the complete holistic SEO project as each and every effort for attaining presence on one of these options is going to be supplementary and helpful eventually in making the presence and enhance the rankings on the other platform.
As each and every search platform links to your website in some way or other. Apart from these options it is essential to be on the local search platform also as any business would like to be visible locally and globally.
For that the website needs to be added to Google places with the required verification procedures.
Local Search Results:
Pay Per Click Results (PPC)
And if need be incase of a start up or a website with no footprints on the web initially a PPC program also can be decided upon keeping in mind the requirement and the budgets in mind.
Now, when you decide upon the complete SEO program, please do not expect results instantly. Its just not possible. A true SEO will try to establish the long term presence, help you create a brand and set the right footprints at the right place and if possible try to erase any erroneous footprints made earlier. This takes time but the brand visibility created thus generates a lot of credibility for the brand and when people see the same brand on all the search options and on the local and global search platforms it also has more recall value.
We just cannot neglect the social media as only this media can help you know where your brand is heading to and what is the buzz around your brand. In short you can monitor your online reputation by keeping a watchful ear and eye on the social media. Social media sites are many but the largely visited ones where netizens gather to share and exchange news and views are Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and YouTube for videos.
There are many ways by which these conversations about your brand can be tracked and monitored. By creating Google alerts is one of them. Though it is important to have a twitter or a facebook account but having a blog is actually mandatory keeping the current online scenario and the future trends in mind . Blogs are the only social media platform for which you have total control and the social interactions recorded here shall remain till you maintain the blog. Blogs also help add fresh content which helps in the whole SEO program. The social link graph also helps in the overall search presence.
Lately Google started ranking as many as 8 listings for organic search results for a particular brand if the search query is a specific query for the brand.
These searches reflect your online brand presence and reputation.
Hence, plan and chalk out the complete path for creating an online long term presence which will ensure that the brand value is created qualitatively on the internet.
Do not just rush for checking the rankings, the site is bound to get ranked high if you have great content, SEO optimized images and videos, have added the site for local search and maps, maintain a blog which is regularly updated with related fresh content which keeps the business objectives in mind and also creates an interest and makes the reader comment on the topics posted, issue press releases and have a voice on the social media.
Then it is certain that the Word Of Mouth generated thus is going to become the World Of Mouth in a true sense with an increase in traffic to your site for conversions.
Founder of WebPro Technologies a Web solutions company based in India which focuses on building quality web presence for businesses. Bharati Ahuja is a SEO Trainer and speaker, Web Entrepreneur, Blog Writer, Internet Marketing Consultant.