Pop Star Mika Offers Web Marketing Advice - Diversify Your Online Marketing Channels
Diversify Your Online Marketing Channels
I believe it’s easy for a company to fall into the dangerous practice of focusing on a limited number of online marketing channels to support their business. For example, some companies may focus entirely on search (Organic Search and Paid Search revenue). With the dynamic and competitive nature of Paid Search and Google dominated Organic Search, you shouldn’t rely entirely on your search marketing channel to completely support your business. I love search marketing, but what if Google tweaks their algorithm and your rankings drop for a month or two? It could happen. Another example would be relying entirely on your in-house list. Although I believe your in-house email list is one of the strongest assets you can have as a web marketer, you shouldn’t entirely rely on it to support your business. What happens if your current customers start to go elsewhere? What if they simply aren’t buying that month, quarter or year! Again, this happens.
So What Works? How Many Online Marketing Channels are Enough?
The answer to this question completely depends on your specific business, but I can tell you that you should test as many channels as you can to determine their viability. And…test them while your current online marketing channel(s) are humming. You might find that you need to grow your in-house list and that search marketing is the vehicle you will use to accomplish this task. Then you might find that within search marketing, Paid Search yields the most registrants where Organic Search yields the most revenue. Then as you grow you in-house list, you can use email marketing and other communications to build a solid base of revenue per month. You might test Social Media to see how much quality traffic and/or links you can build, which can increase revenue directly (from Social Media traffic) or indirectly (by increasing your link popularity and Organic Search rankings). You might find that banner advertising doesn’t do anything for your business, but that blog advertising does. Then, within blog advertising, you might find that paid bloggers don’t impact revenue, but forming relationships with bloggers in your industry does. You get the gist!
My point is that if you find something that works, but you don’t expand your marketing efforts outside of what works at that point in time, then you are taking a huge long-term risk. Think about it, you probably wouldn’t invest all of your hard earned money in one stock, right? You would probably diversify your investment to lessen your risk. You should follow the same philosophy with online marketing.
A Hypothetical Example
Cookies, Pies and Pastries Inc. (CPPI) launched two years ago and although they have the best homemade pies in the region, their online business has struggled out of the gates. They rely heavily on Organic Search to gain most of their visitors and revenue. Their site has gained a good amount of natural search power since its inception and it ranks for several competitive keywords. They have a small in-house list and most of their customers from search have been one time buyers. They are hitting their revenue goals, but here’s the problem…although Organic Search is a low cost (technically free other than paying for their SEO consultant), search visitors can be extremely transient. Think about it, compare someone who has bought from you in the past versus someone searching for what you provide. There’s a huge difference in the type of visitor, right? Also, your Natural Search rankings might bounce around and you might be on page 1 this week and then on Page 3 the next, only to return to Page 1 a few weeks later. Relying entirely on search traffic isn’t a viable path for CPPI. So, their web marketing consultant recommends that they expand their online marketing efforts to include Paid Search, Word of Mouth Marketing (WOM), and other online marketing campaigns (both on-site and off-site) to increase their in-house list. WOM would leverage their current customers to help get the word out about CPPI’s great homemade pies, Paid Search would be used to increase registrants and revenue, and CPPI will test several online marketing campaigns (both on-site and off-site) to increase the size of their in-house email list. In addition, to keep Organic Search moving in the right direction, their consultant believes they should launch a link-building campaign. One idea is to invest in their blog and use Social Media to gain inbound links. I think you get the idea…
This is just an example, but as you can see, there are several ways to help diversify CPPI’s online marketing channels...and hopefully while they are already hitting their revenue goals. Leveraging one or two channels is downright dangerous and if you are like me, you are a contingency nut. If one channel starts losing its power, you don’t want to be in a dire situation…like trying to do everything I listed above in 2 weeks since revenue dropped off a table! :-)
So, Mika knows more than you thought about Internet Marketing, huh? I was surprised too. ;-) The next time a teenager turns on a new song, keep your ears open and see if there are any good marketing lessons to learn. You never know, maybe Mika’s tour next year will be in front of corporate executives and not teenagers!