If SEO , Social Media , Content Creation, hosting, etc. are all handled by different agencies with no clear strategic leader coordinating all these activities then there is a lot of confusion and chaos and the blame game begins when the ROI has to be calculated . Such a situation is not less than a catch22 situation.
In 2014 it is all the more challenging as each and every task is becoming more and more specialized and in order to run a decent size online business a team of minimum 3-5 people having specialized knowledge of design, development, SEO, online marketing and overall business sense is needed.
In order to chalk out a path of seamless customer online experience there are a no. of activities which need to work smoothly in the backend. The challenge lies in harnessing the benefits of all these activities so that it results in a cohesive force which will make the seamless customer experience run smoothly .
Businesses today are giving the importance to online presence and are also diverting existing staff to various functions to maintain the web presence but yet most of the businesses are doing so in bits and pieces.
The need of the hour is to manage all the activities for successful online presence in-house by having a dedicated team or outsource it to different specialized agencies by defining the scope of each agency very clearly and appointing a person in-house to co-ordinate with the different agencies to achieve holistic success or find a company which offers turnkey solutions and offers all these services under their hood.
Whoever is appointed to perform the tasks the focus should be on the execution, delivery and organizational transformation.
Today it is primarily necessary to:
· Fundamentally change the marketing operating model
· Build new skills internally
· Get aligned with the right set of partners
· Drive digital orientation throughout the enterprise
Its not only enough to develop a good website and hire SEO services but an overall online presence management is what is needed.
Wikipedia defines Internet Presence Management (IPM) and Online Presence Management (OPM) as follows:
Internet Presence Management (IPM) is comprehensive and progressive approach to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media (SM), and other web based promotion methods. Internet Presence Management is the process of controlling or influencing the Web presence, or Internet-based channels of an organization or company, with the goal of increasing that entity’s online presence and overall internet efficiency.
Online Presence Management is the process of presenting and drawing traffic to a personal or professional brand online. This process combines web design and development, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click marketing, reputation management, directory listings, social media, link sharing, and other avenues to create a long-term positive presence for a person, organization, or product in search engines and on the web in general.
Whether you call it IPM or OPM being found by the people who are searching for the services offered by you plus reaching out to people who you think may need the services offered by you is the way to online success.
Just focusing on one activity is not enough and moreover the Online marketing scene keeps on changing at a very fast pace and every year we have new trends emerging unlike the traditional form of marketing where more than the trend it was the strategies which had to be kept on changing.The emerging online marketing trends are due to the technological changes and the improvements in the internet services which have reached even to the remote and not so developed places .
We have heard statements like Banner Ads. Are Dead, Email is Dead, SEO is Dead in the past years but despite all these claims we still see that these banner ads., email and SEO are still very much alive along with the fast emerging trends like social media.
So, when you have more no. of options available the right attitude, is to make the most of all that you are offered and wisely decide which method of marketing is more suitable for the kind of product or service your company offers.
Every form of marketing has got its strengths and weaknesses and the wise thing is to select a right mix for the best way to promote your product and protect your brand image.
The main challenge lies in integrating all types of media and working out a right strategy based on the location, mindset and the product or service concerned.
The major services required to have a digital presence today are:
1. Domain & Hosting Services
2. Web Design & Development Services
3. SEO – Organic Search & Local Search
4. PPC – Paid Search
5. Content Management
6. Web Analytics (Marketing Analytics & Customer insights/analytics)
7. Social Media Services (Execution & Monitoring)
8. Brand Strategy Development
9. Email Marketing (Especially for existing customer base)
10. Conversion Ratio Optimization (CRO)
11. Improving User Experience
12. Manage ROI
If all these services are offered by one company then minimum coordination is required but if all these services are offered by different companies and your business team has to coordinate with all these companies to achieve the desired online presence then it surely is a challenging task and many may result in a clash when the ROI from each service is calculated.
All the above mentioned activities are interconnected and directly or indirectly influence the search and overall web presence. Its not only about the marketing mix but the management of the marketing mix in such a way that the online and search presence are influenced in a positive way .
The business owner has to focus on the following to achieve the goal:
1. Collaborate with multiple partners/agencies
2. Ensure that the brand and business is understood by all these agencies correctly
3. The person appointed to coordinate and collaborate with all these agencies should have a technical and marketing background.
4. Claim the digital assets by having the login details and passwords created for digital presence
5. Should work on achieving integrated marketing effectiveness.
6. Should efficiently manage and allocate budgets for all the activities
7. Monitor the effective execution of all the activities.
8. Should take quick decisions whenever needed.
9. Effective communication during this coordination plays a key role in this whole scenario.
Needless to say that digital is here to stay and an effective web presence is undoubtedly going to lead to quality search presence. But, this turbulent webosphere along with the opportunities is also all the time posing challenges when it comes to managing it effectively to achieve the set goals.
These challenges faced while managing an optimum web presence is going to be the cause of a lot of frustration but the only solution is to keep pace with the ever changing nature of the web and face the turbulence by constantly updating yourself with the latest trends, creating and keeping in mind from the lessons learnt from the past mistakes made.