The Future of Search Marketing Is “IBSO”

The fact is, 95% of marketers are already utilizing some form of marketing and 90% of buyers say “they’ll find you” when they’re ready to buy… so search marketing is quite simply: unavoidable!

And why would you want to avoid it?

Many companies are relying on SEO, and when it alone does not work, people often become frustrated and think SEO is a scam, or is dead. Trust me, SEO isn’t dead, but it has changed.

There’s just one problem: Most search marketers are still acting like it’s 2009. They’re the proverbial ostrich with their head stuck in the sand…unwilling to admit that search has changed. Thanks to Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, the old rules of SEO no longer apply. If you’re still relying on keywords – it’s time to update your SEO. Today, to get ranked (and STAY ranked), site owners need to emphasize user experience over traditional variables such as links and keyword density.

More importantly, they need to optimize based on the user’s intent of search (and not just the search bots). This is quite simply the biggest shift to occur in Search Marketing since the launch of Google.

It’s called: IBSO. “Intent Based Search Optimization”.

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Right now, at this very moment, there are cash-in-hand buyers looking for your product or service, and if you can ensure that these find YOU (instead of your competitors), most of the truly “hard work” of marketing is done.

That’s where InSilico Media Group comes to the rescue. Specifically, we help brands accomplish IBSO through:

  • an establish an organic traffic strategy that generates more inbound traffic and leads through multiple search channels (not just Google).
  • identify and remove crippling search issues.
  • use of UXO and RXO best practice to build a “white hat”, sustainable search strategy that plays by post-Penguin and Panda rules.
    identify and remove crippling search issues that must be fixed first.
  • leveraging Google’s “QDF algorithm”, breathing new life into the content you’ve already spent time and energy creating.
    build authoritative backlinks to your website.

The rules of search have changed and will continue to change and develop to keep up with technology, and if you want to compete in the search channels today, you need to hire a team that understands these new rules and the step-by-step process for implementing them.

Why Your Marketing Plan Needs Digital Advertising

Nowadays, marketing plans that do not include a huge portion of digital advertising are frightening outdated, immediately upon implementation.  Today’s audience is heavily fragmented, and is largely necessary, especially for Mid-Ohio Valley small businesses.  Digital advertising eliminates the “spray and pray” of traditional advertising – meaning, you’re not longer investing in a billboard, radio ad, newspaper ad, television commercial, placing all trust in the fluffed analytics of “we swear, these numbers are accurate” and left wondering “do people really listen/watch/read/notice my ad?” ….

Sure, anyone can tune their station to 95.1 – but how many of us turn down the volume while focusing on finding our destination, or engaging in a conversation via phone or with individuals in our cars?  How many of us flip to another station during commercials, or when a song we aren’t fond of comes on?  Pretty sure we’re all “guilty as charged” …  Same with television.  And what’s worse – local sales reps push for us business owners to trust the viewership ratings of shows, encouraging us to buy commercials at $60 a piece for The Walking Dead, fighting for what minimal space is left in their inventory – using smoke and mirrors to make us forget our own habits – we use commercial breaks to refill our drinks, grab a snack, use the restroom, lock the doors to avoid zombies entering our homes…

And let’s not forget the large portion of today’s audience who prefers satellite radio over traditional stations (even mom and pop restaurants now use these services as they are far more “consistent” in music preference than today’s broadcast station) …. or those of us who have ditched cable for online streaming networks such as Sling, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now.  (Even the team at InSilico has ditched ‘traditional’ television and DirecTV in preference for streaming television on our devices.  We made the transition two months ago and have not looked back since!)

We’re wasting our money when we place a significant portion of our advertising budgets into traditional advertising.  Now, before I progress, I would like to say I have nothing against our newspapers, traditional radio and cable services, and billboard companies.  I’ve worked in all four industries early in my career, and know they do provide some value to a portion of today’s shoppers still who prefer the traditional to the new-age digital options.  However, I also know relying 100% on these mediums without splitting your advertising budget into digital marketing platforms is a huge gamble – one many people lose.

Which leads me to the point of this article…

Why the focus on Digital Advertising?

1. Digital advertising encourages new clients to connect.  It’s simple – think about why you are loyal to a brand, or why you’ve tried a new brand.  It’s probably got a story behind it, and it’s likely a story you tell all of your friends when they ask for a referral to a product/service/business.

Through this strategy of using automated, user-friendly online communication tools, you can optimize and simplify the prospect-conversion process – allowing your business to double the total number of contact requests it can take in. By expanding your contact web-based engagement capabilities, it also allows potential leads to reach out to you on their own time and easily interact online when it’s convenient for them.

Often, online visitors need help to initiate interaction. An easy way to encourage engagement is to offer a free consultation or review a new client’s previous year’s returns to see if any deductions were overlooked. However, simplicity is key, no matter what the call-to-action may be. Asking a prospect to perform too many additional steps or requirements will diminish their interest in connecting.

Whenever these online visitors do connect and initiate interaction, they become your brand ambassadors, which essentially is “track-able word-of-mouth advertising” … and this opens the door for your brand to respond to their enthusiasm, encouraging more interaction, deepening the relationship, and visibly showing your brand cares about the reviews it receives and cares about taking care of, or in the very least – thanking, your customers for their loyalty.

It’s imperative to incorporate widgets or buttons with a clear, simple call-to-action on your website and emails to enable potential new clients to immediately engage with you.

2. Digital advertising allows you to nurture the client relationship. Email marketing is a great example of a tool that continues to be one of the best for nurturing and extending client relationships, and ensuring clients return again and again. Remember: Email marketing should be segmented and tailored to a specific audience around a certain topic, as not all clients are alike.

Email campaigns alerting clients of upcoming deadlines, changes in your company, and even seasonal tips can prove cost-effective in both time and resources. Even something as simple as a friendly reminder to book appointments early for upcoming back-to-school services – with a scheduling link embedded in the email – can prove profitable.  Many parents wait until last minute to book their children’s hair cuts, eye exams, dental exams, etc. and are often caught off-guard by scheduling, resulting in many children missing a few hours of school within the first few weeks because they have to visit the dentist or optometrist during school hours.

3. Digital advertising is a medium where you can provide exceptional customer service. For most small businesses, staying connected with clients usually means a phone call or conversation at the store during business hours. But, staying connected after-hours is essential to delivering unparalleled service and differentiating your business from the pack. Developing a streamlined strategy to stay engaged is critical for your business to stay top of mind. Consider a holistic approach to engagement by offering clients the ability to reach you via phone, email, website, mobile, and social media platforms. You can ensure optimal interaction and engagement with each client and prospect by providing them the option to communicate with you on their terms.

4. Digital advertising helps you secure the relationship. Offering services that build or reflect trust-building opportunities only deepens the customer relationship. Offering special services or promotions to your most loyal of customers is a way to ensure your customers are building trust with your brand, and will convert to being brand advocates, recommending your services, products, etc. to their friends first, before any other brand.

5. Digital Advertising enables you to build on momentum with technology. Weaving in online engagement capabilities, like web-based scheduling, online payments and invoicing, and online document sharing, can complement all traditional client interactions by allowing a business to automate customer management processes while enhancing engagement. These tools can also encourage re-engagement by making interactions easier and improving customer satisfaction.  Why wouldn’t you want to grow your business? What better way to do so than through use of digital mediums that offer real-time scheduling, sharing, etc.  Now you won’t have to wait for someone to return your call when it is convenient, or pay their bill when the check arrives in the mail.

6. Digital Advertising levels the playing field for small businesses.  When competing with a big box store, or a larger competitor in your industry, keeping up in the print or broadcast world can be daunting.  Traditional advertising gets expensive, and then you are left hoping your target audience sees your ads as much as your competitors so you can gain market share and top-of-mind awareness.  However, many small businesses miss the opportunity to level the playing field on the digital store front.  Many times, heavy traditional advertising investors are not so strong on the digital medium advertising front, leaving an opportunity for a smaller competitor to gain market share by investing a smaller amount of money for often more advertising space and options, resulting in a more enthusiastic audience, more engaged customer base, and better return on their investment.

7. Digital Advertising allows you to see what is working with track-able analytics.  It’s a goofy concept – spending money and knowing exactly how many people truly see your ad, engage with your ad, and convert from your ad.  It’s one traditional advertising can’t keep up with.  Your newspaper rep can not tell you how many people truly read the newspaper. Sure, they can tell you how many were sold, but then they fluff their numbers with the percentage of papers that are passed around – so the number your company is investing in is truly an estimate, because newspapers must factor in the “average” amount of eyes that read “community papers” (such as those that are delivered to restaurants, accountant offices, doctors offices, etc.).  They also can not give you an accurate amount of people who read that specific section your ad was in, or how many people clipped out your ad for future purchasing decisions.

Yet, digital advertising allows you to know how many saw your ad, clicked on your ad, went to your website, which pages they viewed on your website, and if they engaged with your brand through a contact form, or through purchasing something in your online store.

All this is to say that small businesses can set up for success by being proactive with their customer base year-round.

Traditional advertising is important. Word of mouth is important. But supplementing that with strategic outreach can have a snowball effect that multiplies the impact of your activities, making it possible for any small business to up-level their game simply by leveraging available online tools.