I’d like to clarify a few myth’s that I think have been widely spread. In the land of online marketing there are many techniques and tactics used to improve the performance of a website, drive traffic, and grow an online business. In the scheme of marketing as a whole, online marketing is relatively new and it’s practices still evolving.
However, this does not in anyway give validity to the notion that any tactic used by a marketer online isn’t “real” or directly measurable in any way. I’ve heard a number of times now, from people who have some idea that online marketing is a sort of “soft marketing” technique, used to indirectly market brands and businesses. All Search Engine Marketers, Social Media Marketers, and Online Brand Management professionals provide valuable services with measurable results. These are real marketing tactics, that drive real and definable results, not part of some soft marketing campaign.
SEO is Not Soft Marketing
Surprisingly, there seem to be a large number of people out there who seem to think that SEO is some sort of soft marketing technique. I think this is due to the fact that there are now so many fly-by-night “SEO’s” making cold call phone calls to business owners trying to pitch SEO services, and not explaining exactly what type of results they will deliver, or how they will get the work done.
SEO is cold, hard, and directly measurable. Any SEO who is worth a grain of salt will measure the results of the campaign he/she is working on. Rankings equal traffic equal conversions equal cash. SEO equals ROI.
Social Media is Not Soft Marketing
It is a little more understandable that people would think that social media marketing falls into the realm of soft marketing, but it doesn’t. Sure marketing for social media may increase your “brand awareness”, but SMM isn’t a big guessing game when it comes to results for businesses and websites.
The guys who do it best will tell you, social media marketing is a great way to drive traffic and links to your site. AND it isn’t just about setting up a twitter page that looks like your website. There are tons of other ways to market for social media that can drive large quantities of relevant users to your website.
Brand Management is Not Soft Marketing
Out of the three, by FAR brand management is the one that gets hammered the most as a soft marketing scheme. I think this can mostly be blamed on the fact that the majority of people just don’t understand what brand management is. And when you have something that isn’t widely understood, confusion spreads.
Plainly, brand management is when you use various marketing devices to increase the image of a brand. Michael Jordan, as we all know, was largely sponsored by Nike which in turn helped them create one of the strongest, most recognizable brands in the world. Little do most know, he actually preferred Adidas. This was STRONG brand management move on Nike’s part. Not a “soft” attempt to “increase brand awareness.”
I have been apart of several search campaigns where the goal was to push negative results for a brand query off of the first page. If a query for your company’s product returns a listing with an affiliate site with a title tag of “DON’T BUY [PRODUCT NAME]”, as a way to entice clicks — you probably want to get that off the first page.
Brand management is an important part of many businesses marketing strategy that involves clear and defined goals with measurable results. Just like the saying “It pays to advertise.”
Don’t Be Fooled
All marketing campaigns, online or offline, are created equal. Businesses need to make money to make it, and it’s the job of the marketer to help them get more business and make more money. Not all marketing campaigns are successful, but they are all measurable.