Take Your Eggs Out of the Basket

Marketing

by Kenny Hyder

Egg BasketThe inter­net today is like an active vol­cano: highly vola­tile and cons­tantly chan­ging the lands­cape. It’s impos­si­ble to know when something new will erupt and become the new giant to out-shadow all others.

Because of this, now every time there’s a new erup­tion, mar­ke­ters flood in to stake their claim at the top. But where does your site fit in? Do you strug­gle to keep up with every new out­let? Or are you focu­sed on what you know to be tried and true?

Your Big­gest Love Is Your Wea­kest Link

In the recent Goo­gle hea­rings, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stop­pel­man tes­ti­fied: “about 75% of Yelp’s traf­fic, ove­rall, is sour­ced through Goo­gle one way or another.” He con­ti­nued to explain how Goo­gle could have a very big nega­tive impact on the traf­fic and suc­cess of Yelp, desc­ri­bing the poten­tial absence of Goo­gle from their mar­ke­ting stra­tegy as “devastating.”

Yelp Loves Google

This is obviously a big pro­blem for Yelp. While Goo­gle may be a strong source of traf­fic and reve­nue for them, it’s actually a weak link. With 75% of their traf­fic coming from Goo­gle, Yelp is depen­dent on Goo­gle. And in this case, depen­dency is weakness.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Goo­gle Basket

As we have recently seen through the Panda debacle, Goo­gle can change in an ins­tant. If like in Yelp’s case, your site recei­ves the majo­rity of its traf­fic from Goo­gle, the next update has the poten­tial to wipe your site off the map.

That’s why every solid online mar­ke­ting plan should spread its eggs around, don’t put them all in the Goo­gle basket!

Diver­sify Your Marketing

We need to start thin­king about diver­sity. Just like any invest­ment plan, suc­cess is best achie­ved through diversity.

So, how do we diver­sify? First, let’s take a look at some statistics:

% of inter­net Users Who Do Each Activity

Internet Usage Statistics

Source: The Pew Research Center’s Inter­net & Ame­ri­can Life Project

 

How Inter­net Users Spend Their Time

Internet Usage Statistics, Time Spent Online

Source: Niel­sen

Reports show that email and search are the most popu­lar acti­vi­ties online, but social media domi­na­tes when it comes to where users actually spend their time.

To me this means that at the very core, every online mar­ke­ting plan NEEDS to inc­lude: email, search, and social media.

Email

EmailEmail mar­ke­ting is one of the oldest and most widely used forms of online mar­ke­ting. And there’s a rea­son: it works.

The rea­son this form of mar­ke­ting is so popu­lar is because it’s the best way to directly com­mu­ni­cate with your audience. With email, you gain the abi­lity to send your audience upda­tes, pro­duct offers and news whe­ne­ver you want.

The best email mar­ke­ting goes un-noticed. Not that it doesn’t get read, but the best email mar­ke­ting doesn’t feel like mar­ke­ting to the reci­pient. That’s because when your audience signs up for your email list, they want you to email them!

A well built opt-in email cam­paign is the per­fect plat­form for your busi­ness to mar­ket con­tent, pro­ducts, and deals to peo­ple who asked to hear about them.

Tips for get­ting started:

  • Sign-up for a service

Awe­ber and Mail Chimp are the only two ser­vi­ces to con­si­der, both have affor­da­ble pri­cing models so you can get started.

  • Add the forms to your site

Most ser­vi­ces will have an easy step-by-step tuto­rial on how to create and add a form to your web­site. There are plenty of plu­gins and add-on’s that can assist you with any popu­lar plat­form such as Word­Press. For more tips on where to put your forms, see this article.

  • Add Popups

While some may con­si­der pop-ups anno­ying, they work! Just make sure to con­trol where your pop-ups occur manually, as long as they don’t show up all the time, you shouldn’t scare peo­ple away. Sug­ges­ted ser­vi­ces: Popup Domi­na­tion or Pip­pity.

  • Con­tent

Once you’ve mas­te­red the above, you’re should be set to go. Now it’s time to pump up the con­tent and start collec­ting addresses!

Search

SearchAs we can see from the report above, search has been a close second to email for a decade, and con­ti­nues to be on the rise.  This makes search a vital part of any healthy online mar­ke­ting campaign.

While for many, like Yelp, search is a major piece of the traf­fic pie, many still have fai­led to capi­ta­lize on search opportunities.

While it’s great to be found in search when someone is loo­king for you (some don’t even show up for their own name!), the poten­tial to show up for what you’re selling is even better.

The trick is to figure out how peo­ple are searching for your pro­ducts, and then show up in those results.

Tips for get­ting started:

  • Key­word Research

Figu­ring out what you should rank for is a cru­cial step to suc­cess­ful SEO. There are a num­ber of tools avai­la­ble that can help you with your key­word research. If you’re just star­ting out, check out Google’s free Adwords Key­word Tool. Start out with the key­words that come to mind, and then refine your list with sug­ges­tions from the tool. For more infor­ma­tion on how I do key­word research, check out this article I wrote.

  • On-site Opti­mi­za­tion

Next it’s time to start get­ting your site in order. Sim­ple things like title tags, url struc­tu­res and adding an XML Site­map have the poten­tial to make big dif­fe­ren­ces in your search per­for­mance. For a good basic over­view, check out the Goo­gle Guide.

  • Links

Lastly, to per­form well in any com­pe­ti­tive envi­ron­ment, you’ll need to get some links. Link buil­ding is an often deba­ted topic among SEOs. Tac­tics and tech­ni­ques for link buil­ding are somewhat of a debate. But the gist of it is: the more that other web­si­tes link to you using the phrase that you are trying to rank for, the more likely it is that you will rank highly for that phrase. So the goal is to try to influence other web­si­tes to link to you. There will be more on this in a later post, for now simply stray away from any paid lin­king pro­grams or networks.

Social Media

Social MediaWhile still an under­dog in num­ber of users, social media is a major force when it comes to online acti­vity. Inter­net users spend far more time on social media web­si­tes than any other form of website.

Social media is also still in a growth phase, mea­ning more and more users will be on social media web­si­tes every year.

This make social media a man­da­tory piece of your mar­ke­ting strategy.

Tips for get­ting started:

  • Focus Your Efforts

Refine your focus in social media, don’t worry about having the most friends on every site. Be active and engage your audience on a per­so­nal level. Nobody cares for accounts that friend ever­yone and post links all day.

  • Go Niche

Did you know there is a social net­work just for whis­key drin­kers? Today, no mat­ter what industry you’re in, there is a place online where peo­ple are tal­king about what you do. Whether it be a forum, a sub-reddit, or a full blown social net­work, peo­ple are tal­king and they want to lis­ten to you. Find the com­mu­ni­ties online that are spe­ci­fic to what you do and get involved.

  • Sha­ring Is Caring

Social media is and should be exactly that: social. Get over your­self and share stuff. Share your own stuff too, but make your­self valua­ble to others by sha­ring and sprea­ding use­ful infor­ma­tion and ideas. In turn others will share your use­ful con­tent, when you have it ;)

Spread Your Eggs Around

The key to a suc­cess­ful mar­ke­ting stra­tegy that will last is diver­sity. Not put­ting all of your eggs in one bas­ket will help you to withs­tand the tides of the internet.

Not only will you be pro­tec­ting your­self from beco­ming depen­dent, you will in-turn have a bet­ter and more well roun­ded mar­ke­ting cam­paign that will last.

For more infor­ma­tion and tips on how run a suc­cess­ful mar­ke­ting cam­paign sign up below!

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