Reuters posted an article yesterday entitled, “Is SEO DOA as a core marketing strategy?” and trust me, I know better than to respond and fuel attention to a writer who is either naive or trying to stir up the bee’s nest with a contrarian title. I suspect there may be a bit of both in this situation. Basically, the article makes the argument that entrepreneurs “may want to reconsider pouring money into search engine optimization (SEO) as their primary marketing strategy” based on an ill conceived post by Chris Dixon “SEO is no longer a viable marketing strategy for startups”. The reason I am posting about another “SEO is Dead” diatribe, is that with the right context, I would agree.
Imagine this scenario: Company XYZ has developed a great business creating products and services, developing marketing programs that explain the features and benefits of those offerings and making sales. The mix of SEO, advertising and newsletter is focused on explaining the solutions offered with the intention of educating and persuading prospects to buy. This is the way it’s been done in the past and it’s what current marketing programs are based on. Pretty common right?
But let’s also imagine in our hypothetical situation that sales growth has started to slow down or even slumped. Competitors are starting to eclipse Company XYZ in search results, the blog doesn’t really get many shares, likes, links or comments and it’s nothing but crickets chipring on the Facebook Fan page, on Twitter and the YouTube channel. The staff responsible for creating content are running out of ideas. Seem familiar?
Content Marketing is a near and dear online marketing tactic and there’s been an explosion of attention and advice over the past year. SEOs and PR professionals are “seeing the light” if you will, of the value in creating and curating content that delivers value as part of their online marketing and public relations strategies. In an online marketing model with a defined strategy, goals and understanding of the target audience, what mix of tactics makes the most sense?
Many marketers limit themselves to a handful of content types and formats leaving substantial business to the competition. To be competitive, it’s essential to be open to a mix of content marketing tactics in order to provide relevant information discovery, consumption and sharing experiences for customers. This matters at the top of the funnel as much as it does after the transaction and into engagement and evangelism.
Today I’ll be speaking at ad:tech San Francisco with one of my favorite people in the Search Marketing industry, Melanie Mitchell, who is a Senior VP of Search Strategy at Digitas. She’s tasked a panel including Simon Heseltine, Rob Snell and myself to talk about “Modern Search Engine Optimization”.
While SEO is a billion dollar industry, many companies focused on advertising are quite new to how SEO might fit within an online marketing strategy. With plenty of outdated and mis-information online amidst a fast changing industry, it can be a challenge to have confidence in what’s true and best practices. Few marketers want to invest in something they don’t quite understand. Or at least not understand where it fits for connecting the brand and customers to drive revenue.
QR codes are getting quite a bit of buzz lately and as a self-professed marketing nerd, I find them to be a clever way to connect mobile consumers with online digital content. There have been some pretty creative implementations of QR codes for promotions and mobile marketing too. You can put them anywhere printing is possible and even places it’s not.
But as creative and interesting QR codes are, I’m a bit skeptical in terms of mass adoption. For some reason, I can’t imagine consumer behavior changing to start scanning codes for things when they could just search or enter a URL. There’s also the technology that needs to be adopted by more devices.