Lee Odden

Top Ten Online Marketing Tactics

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Online Marketing Tactics

Earlier this week we started a poll on what online marketing tactics our readers would use most in 2008. The polling plug-in allows for only one choice and over 100 people have responded so far. We’ll keep the poll running for another week or so, but here are the top ten tactics rankings so far out of 35 listed and the percentage of votes for each.

With the vote count at over 150, I’ve updated the top ten as of 02/13/08:

  • Blogging (27%)
  • Email marketing (16%)
  • Search engine optimization (14%)
  • Pay per click (9%)
  • Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) (5%)
  • Blogger relations (4%)
  • Online public relations (3%)
  • Viral marketing (3%)
  • Free content (white papers) (3%)
  • Corporate web site (3%)

The original top ten are here from 02/05/08:

  • Blogging (25%)
  • Search engine optimization (14%)
  • Email marketing (12%)
  • Pay per click (8%)
  • Blogger relations (6%)
  • Online public relations (5%)
  • Viral marketing (5%)
  • Corporate web site (4%)
  • Social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) (4%)
  • Webinars/Teleconference (3%)

Blogging really does make sense because it can serve as a platform for so many other tactics including SEO, email (archiving newsletters), blogger relations, PR, viral marketing, a compliment to the corporate site, a touchpoint for social networking and a place to promote webinars.

If you’re a company doing business and/or marketing online and aren’t using a blog in some way, you’re really at a disadvantage. The longer a company goes without a blog of some sort, the greater an advantage their blogging competition will have. Of course, not ALL companies need to have a blog, but the number of qualified reasons not to is getting smaller each day.

I am happy to say that of the top ten tactics listed, TopRank specializes in the top 3 (blog marketing, SEO and email marketing) plus several others.

If you haven’t taken the poll yet, please do and we’ll post final numbers in the coming weeks. Also, do you agree or disagree with this list? Are there other internet marketing tactics you think will be on the forefront in 2008?

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (5 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5)
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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Mike Ashworth says:

    Hi Lee, Thanks for this post, it’s an intriguing list.

    I am surprised that webinars / teleconferences didn’t rank higher. I think that these (together with free articles / reports) is a great way for potential Clients to interact with you, and grow your potential for business.

    Also they talk of viral marketing, and I presume they don’t mean word of mouth (as it’s something different), yet “word of mouth” doesn’t get a look in either.

    Mike Ashworth
    Business Coaching and Consultancy
    Brighton and Hove, UK

  2. Hi Lee,

    I do agree that blogging is definitely one of the more important factors. Consumers are already out there having conversations about specific brands, those conversations might as well be with the brands themselves.

    People love to talk, especially when they know that someone is actually listening.

    Jacob
    http://www.jmorganmarketing.com

  3. Pretty surprising really, i thought that search engine optimisation would have ranked top.

    Nick

  4. Thanks Mike. The reality is that the best marketing tactics really depend on the situation. For example, a BtoB marketing effort would do well to use webinars and free articles but a consumer products company might do better with email and comparison shopping.

  5. Just a word of caution about not reading too much into the results of the poll. It should not be surprising that a poll your company conducted found that the 3 areas you specialize in are at the top of the list. An independent poll revealing the same results would be much more useful.

    Adam

  6. Adam, certainly this poll is by no means a statistically relevant poll. But the bias doesn’t come from our company – none of our employees took the poll. The fact that we write about SEO, blogs, etc on this blog is a bigger contributor to those tactics rating highly than the fact that our agency provides those services.

    SEMPO runs polls or surveys fairly often and they sell search marketing training. No one complains about bias there. That said, I do agree it would be interesting to see such a poll run on a more topic neutral site.

    I believe Forrester is running such a survey right now that is specific to BtoB marketers.

  7. Rather fortuitously, I’ve been running a poll of my own as to which is the most popular Social Network — where I’ve managed to snag over 200 votes thus far.

    I say fortuitously because ‘blogging being the leader in the survey would then logically lead to the question I ask for the purposes of my own survey…

  8. After reading that last comment of mine, I can see how vague it might appear, so I’ll clarify.

    The interesting data that Lee uncovered revealed that ‘blogging is the leading marketing activity of those polled.

    Taking ‘blogging in isolation, the question I asked (And your favourite Social Network is?) could help reveal where best to focus your efforts when promoting your company with a ‘blog…

  9. So blogging is top of the list. I’m marketing a web site that sells beach carts and specialty low-pressure beach wheels. http://www.wheeleez.com Maybe I’m totally out of touch, but I don’t know of a single blog that would be appropriate for our business. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    Scott See

  10. Scott, you’re not desperate for links are you? You’ve managed to get three in one comment. 🙂

    [sig removed – please read blog comment policy]

    Any blog that covers vacation destinations in warm climates, travel, accessibility, etc. Try Google Blog Search and Technorati.

  11. It’ll be great to see if the numbers change as the weeks go one. Great idea!

  12. Yes, I am desperate for links. But I really posted out of ignorance and frustration. Great advice. I admit, I’m behind the times when it comes to blogging.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if I had “link popularity” motives for my posting, a link from a completely unrelated site wouldn’t help me at all. And there’s no PageRank for this page, so all the more links from this page wouldn’t help me. Right?

    Scott See

  13. We no follow, so there’s no SEO value. But gratuitous linking is not necessary. If some do it, more will follow and the whole comment thread gets spammy looking.

  14. What about article marketing? We’ve had pretty good success with that for a client.

  15. Hi Catherine, that’s a good point and should have been included. Thank you for mentioning it.

  16. Paul | SameTrafficMoreSales.com says:

    Don’t forget that marketing is only one side of the equation. Sure, getting eyeballs is important, but my goal in 2008 is to get more eyeballs, and to get more of those eyeballs becoming customers.

    I would personally like to see more blogs doing things like split testing – although we wouldn’t know which are doing that anyway, because it would be invisible. I’m just guessing most bloggers aren’t.

    Paul Hancox | SameTrafficMoreSales.com

  17. I have been using Blogs only for a short time, but have seen tremendous results. I hope the trend continues in that direction.

  18. Blogs is the best online marketing element what all you can’t do on website, can do on the blog.

    try Squidoo to create online presence.

  19. In China, SEO & PPC would be topper. Blog not regarded as a populor tool for online marketing, but it will be definitely more popular in the future.
    Thanks! It’s a very good poll.

  20. Interesting results for sure – I’m surprised that blogs rank so high, yet Soc Nets rank relatively low. Likewise I’m surprised more people aren’t pursuing viral marketing activity.

    I’d be interested to know how this data breaks down into affiliate marketing and non-affiliate marketing – see if there’s a big difference between product/service owners and independent promoters.

    Rob

  21. I am very suprised that blogging leads the pack. I am new to using blogging as a marketing tool and how to do so without spamming.Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Does anyone know of any software out there that will help expedite marketing results?

  22. SEO-SEM is something new to me, i am currently working at a company now and am quite curious if anyone is also doing media buying online? I just need a few tips as to how to go about it and what are the best possible strategies that I need to know. This is my first time to work in a marketing group.

    Thanks!

  23. I’m glad to see that email marketing made this list. It’s an often underrated tool that can make a huge difference in any businesses success, plus it’s got one of the highest returns on investment.

  24. I wonder how much of this list is cross contaminated. How many people blog to boost the links and content for their main site ie. SEO. The interesting thing is how little PPC and social networking ranks. Is this because it doesn’t work or because we don’t yet understand how to use it properly!

    Good list though!

  25. Hi Jason, the votes are biased towards the interests of our readers – which may be more involved with SEO and social media than PPC.

  26. What a great idea. It’s interesting to see some of the ones that made the list such as email marketing and Corporate web site even though they are not big percentages.

  27. Michael Brinskton says:

    Interesting article.
    I read a good article on “Active Marketing” via webinars that I recommend. The idea is to respond to prospects’ questions and concerns real time and engage them to purchase right then.
    The link is http://www.omnovia.com/blog/2008/11/how-can-webinars-help-you-market-your-services/

    Mike

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