Wednesday, 12 February 2014

SEO and Marketing - My Challenge for 2014

I love SEO, it's a great and cheap way to build your brand, business and product. But I also know there are a number of other marketing channels out there which are just as important and relevant to any business. I say this because any business focusing on SEO only doesn't really stand a chance, what with Google messing around so much and playing master with so many business and brands out there.

So, what other marketing channels am I talking about?

I just had to 'borrow' this diagram from Rand in his talk about T-shaped Web Marketer

The diagram is fairly straightforward but for me it really got me thinking. Yes, SEO is my strength, but what about the other marketing channels? (I've added a few other channels which I believe weren't included above)

Email Marketing - Sending out newsletters, managing subscribing, creating content suitable for one's subscribers (this usually overlaps with the Content team), carrying out A/B testing to find what type of content/template and timing works best to get the highest response rate. It's not just about sending newsletters, its about understanding the psychology of your readers clicking on the newsletter and getting them to convert in some way. Some newsletter companies are Get Response and MailChimp

Pay-Per Click (PPC) - The most popular choices out there are Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. As the name implies, you pay for every click (or something impression) to your website. It is quick and easy but you need a budget to run the campaign so is this really a sustainable marketing approach? I think it depends on the strategy behind it but this cannot be primary marketing strategy.

Display - Most times, I associate this with PPC because it involves displaying a business/brand banner on a list of network website. The main display network I know once again is Google AdSense (do you notice a trend here...). I know some companies actually have teams that focus on this and re-marketing (you know, when it seems a product you just looked at on a website is stalking you all over the Internet! very annoying) which explains why it probably is it's own standalone channel.

Video - This is one of those marketing channels which gets little or no love in most small businesses. Websites like Youtube, Vimeo, Vine even Instagram have helped promote this underdog though and its slowly involving. Most times, this is contracted off to external agencies where they sometimes work on the bigger offline TV ads and such.

HTML/UX/Mobile - This is Web Development (PHP, Javascript, .NET, HTML5, etc) which I would mix a little bit with User Experience (UX). The look and feel of a website, including the template, how content/images are displayed on a website and all. UX is actually a very big topic which I only realised when I attended the SearchLove Conference last year - its just mind-boggling the things one possibly needs to consider when thinking about designing and building a website.

SEO/Analytics - Well this blog speaks for itself...

Social/Public Relations (PR) - Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc... I've also added PR to this myself as I believe it's a form of marketing which in recent times is part of the whole mix (especially Online PR), what with newspapers and magazines growing their online presence everyday. Building relationships and managing online/offline reputation/campaigns is not a small job!

Community(or Forum)/Blogging/Content - I've grouped this together because I feel community is one of those marketing channels that is dying due to Blogging and Social Media. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of communities and forums which still exist but it is hit and miss right now. Content and Blogging go hand in hand, you can't have one without the other and it is a very important marketing channel for informing and educating customers.

Based on these channels, I know I have strengthens and weaknesses, no surprises there but I'm looking to branch out a little more this year. My working at Money Supermarket has definitely opened my eyes to these other marketing channels and how they're connected and in an ideal world should be integrated! Having a better understanding of each of these channels will go a long way in fostering integration and team work across the board.

In a nutshell, that is my 2014 challenge - Learn more about the different marketing channels. So if you see be blogging about Email marketing or User experience or some other random marketing thing, don't be scared, it's still just me... :)

Happy 2014.

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