I wanted to make a quick summary on what internet marketing techniques are perfect to invest in right now. Which ones are too experimental and would be better to invest in the future. And which marketing techniques you’ve missed the boat on and you’re too late.
It’s Too Late
-SEO: People had gangbuster success with SEO in the 2000’s. If you got in early, you not only got loads of free website traffic that generated sales leads, but you also got very valuable real estate on the 1st page of Google. In 2013, the people that are currently on the 1st page of Google usually don’t go anywhere. So if you want to crack the 1st page for keywords that are very competitive, maybe after a lot of hard work, maybe you can reach the 1st page after a year or so. Maybe. No guarantees. To spend a bunch of money in SEO these days with the hope of getting 2005-like results is like spending money on going to California because you think the gold rush is still going on.
-Shopping Carts: For small businesses that have shopping carts, they live and die off organic, seo traffic. They can’t afford to pay what large companies pay per click because the large company will almost always have a higher conversion rate. Why? It will take a large company less clicks to produce a sale on average because consumers are already familiar and will be more likely to trust the big company than some small company they’ve never heard of before. And because brand new SEO campaigns are almost impossible to be successful, the ship has sailed on shopping carts. The only exception would be if you’ve found a niche market and there’s no competition. Then the possibility for seo success and shopping cart success is out there.
-Social Media: The past 5 years have shown that Facebook doesn’t drive up referral and word of mouth business. People just don’t do it. They use Facebook and other social media sites to socialize. Paying for clicks on Facebook is no different than any other form of display advertising, it’s just more expensive. If you’re a small business, you’re way better off letting someone else figure out the social media puzzle.
-Display Advertising: It’s on the rise and looks more appealing, but affiliate networks like Google need to do a better job localizing and properly segmenting the traffic. The conversion rates from clicks to sales leads is still ridiculously low because the location net is too wide and the segmenting isn’t specific enough. But I think Google will eventually get to where they need to be and that display will be a viable form of internet marketing by maybe 2015.
Internet Radio Advertising: I almost put this in the do it now category, but here at Customwave, we’re probably going to wait another year before completely jumping in and recommending it to clients. Too experimental right now, but it definitely has a future. I wrote a separate blog on it here.
Do It Now
-Pay Per Click: This is our bread and butter at Customwave. If you know what you’re doing, it works like gangbusters! You should have to know how to make sure the clicks you’re paying for convert into calls.
-Reputation Management: Lots of demand, not enough competent supply. Business owners are starting to pick up on the importance of their reputation online and it’s very do-able to help people with it.
-Email Marketing: An old school approach that still works as long as the people that are receiving your emails are familiar with you and interested in what you’re selling.