We usually make our own videos at MadPipe, but we also like to include material “from the horse’s mouth”. Too often “SEO” companies act as if there are deep technical secrets surrounding internet marketing success – a mixture of voodoo from a guru and their own bottled up brand of search engine secret sauce. A salesperson calls you and tosses around the pain points of what you’re ‘missing’ in technical language, and then promises to do it all for you, at a reasonable monthly fee. They say they don’t even need your web site login info (because they don’t intend to do anything that takes a lot of work). And once they have your money and commitment, they plug your URL/link into an automated system that spits out automated and purely technical solutions – never mind that this is NOT what Google itself says will be effective, and that it’s working hard to ban, block, and remove as irrelevant. In short, a lot of self-professed representatives of the Google model are working directly against the Google model, and the cost to your business is likely to be wasted effort and time (at best).
Want to know the real deal?
- SEO is dead. Content lives: Google publishes what they want from small business web sites, and always have, in one form or another. Give Google what it’s asking for, and it’ll give you better results. Right now, that’s content, and a small handful of other things in the area of web PR (like Google Authorship and local review sites) that help them better index continually added content. In fact, content marketing and PR enhance your reach far more than any laundry list of technical tweaks. Google hasn’t been looking at your ‘keywords’ for years. If your focus is old fashioned search engine optimization (SEO), you simply need to revamp.
- The gold goes to active marketing. Active marketing means it’s not all about inbound traffic (why wait – go where your prospects are right now), your one main web site (each social and local web presence you have, is a web site too), or even Google as the only search engine (for example, Youtube and Linkedin are search engines too). With passive marketing, you get to sit and wait on the phone to ring. And it sells well, when the only ring you’re getting is a telemarketer from some search optimization company that tells you they’re partnered with Google (who isn’t?), because it sounds easier. But active marketing is how the social web (Web 2.0) actually works. If you’re ignoring the social character of the web, you’re betting against it, not with it.
- Flip your dial – it’s a multi-channel universe. Cross-channel marketing means you’re utilizing content from each of your marketing channels (e.g. your blog & your videos) in the corresponding channel and each of your other channels (e.g. your e-mail marketing and other social media). Content marketing is more work than less effective or ineffective methods, but it’s not that much more. And if you ignore it, you end up sinking into irrelevancy. In a multi-channel universe, you’re competing against content creators, so the focus is your content, and how consistently and widely you can share it.
- The one with the plan outlives the competition. Planned marketing means not haphazardly throwing money and time at random marketing channels with very little sustained commitment and no consistency. Remember the tortoise and the hare? In this scenario, the rascal rabbit spends lots of energy on short-term quick sprints, hoping it will pay off. The tortoise keeps it steady, amping it up a bit at a time. He doesn’t wear out, and his enthusiasm doesn’t wear off. If you’re in it for the quick fix, you not only don’t get it, you end up concluding this ‘web stuff’ doesn’t work at all, while your competition creeps ahead.
- The brave and creative come out ahead. It’s all new – that’s true – Twitter, Pinterest… The brave get over the newness barrier and make it work for them. It’s OK that you don’t know how the new social platforms work – no one does – because they’re just platforms – there’s no script that you have follow. You can do anything with them. That’s good news – it’s like someone handed you free billboard space and said, ‘there are a lot of other billboards out there – do you think you can turn anyone’s head?’ In that sense, it’s like dating in college. You don’t have to get everyone’s attention, you just have to get *some* attention, and you can.
- Athletes retain a coach. No one you know, knows how to make your business succeed. The worst advice comes from the people you already know, because they’re too close to you. That’s not true in most areas of life. But it is in internet marketing. Why? Because 1. clients and prospects are two different things. Ask your clients what they want, like, do, need, and you’re still only hearing from the people who already know and like your business, not the ones that don’t know you or owe you. It’s precisely the people you’re missing out on that are answering loudest, by *not* being there. And we know what they’re doing, because we have good statistics that tell us. But we also know you’re not currently reaching them. If you’re fine with the level of business you have, you stick with what your clients say. If you want new prospects, you go outside that box. And 2. friends, family, and colleagues only know what they know. They do not know what they do not know, and that blind spot is very costly to your business. It sounds familiar, welcome, even expert, but it’s tainted, because those people are already in your life, want the best for you, and are committed to helping you have it, but they only have a piece of it, not the wider perspective – while your unknown business prospects don’t know you from Adam, and are off giving business to someone else – not because one simple piece is missing, but because somehow you’re not reaching them as a company yet. And you will, but you must exceed what’s already familiar to get beyond what’s already happening.
Social marketing, video marketing, blogging, e-mail marketing, and localized or ad marketing are not separated channels that don’t interact. Cross-channel marketing helps you bridge those. And they’re not primarily technical venues, where SEO is king – they’re content venues, where effective content marketing is what matters, and where you have a lot more say over your results. Putting those channels into a plan, actively marketing in them, and retaining a coach to monitor your consistency and keep you gaining traction, puts you in line with the web as it really is, and lets you engage web venues like Google with the confidence that the rules of the game are neither hidden nor impossible.
Appoint MadPipe to forge a customized strategy, assemble your team, and lead your brand’s marketing.