It’s just a couple of days after the MonCon 2013 conference, but my mind is still brimming with some of the points that were made and how the landscape of online marketing is once again changing. For those who aren’t familiar with MozCon, it’s a conference put on by Moz, a company that has typically specialized in SEO and attracts, well, mostly people who live and breathe SEO. You can imagine my surprise then when speaker after speaker got on stage and announced each in their own way, that SEO as they know it is over! I won’t lie and say that there was a collective gasp across the 1,100 attendees (because frankly, the SEO folks aren’t really that emotional) but there was some uncomfortable shifting in chairs as the leaders in our industry told us that websites can no longer rely on tricky SEO techniques, but now must have a holistic marketing approach.
Next question: What the HECK is a holistic marketing approach?!
A holistic marketing approach begins with a carefully planned brand. Based on the brand and the customers that would buy into that brand, it integrates several different marketing goals and tactics into your overall marketing strategy. Having a holistic marketing approach is what they taught me in business school. Look at your big picture business goals, set your strategy and use several channels, each with their own tactics, to reach your business goals. Rather than just optimizing your webpage with links and keywords, businesses also need to employ tactics in social marketing, one-to-one programs like email marketing, content marketing such as blogging and on-page articles, participation on image sites such as Pinterest, and/or any of the other channels that make sense for your company.
Another question: What ISN’T a holistic marketing approach?
Short answer here is that being holistic does NOT mean you try to do everything. You are a small business, right? You CAN’T do everything. (Feel free to say this over and over in the mirror like an affirmation. Getting it into your head will save you lots of anxiety down the road.) Your company is one of a kind. It should have a marketing mix that is one of a kind. Pick the channels that make the most sense to you based on where YOUR potential customers hang out, and then plan from there.
Let your brand be the guide
Without sounding too new-agey have to say that your brand should determine where you market and what you do in your marketing. Is your brand fun and whimsical? Make sure that is integrated into your strategy. Post blogs that are fun and whimsical, come up with contents in your social media campaigns that are fun and will both get attention and communicate your style. Make sure whoever is interacting with your customers, both on and offline has a tone that matches your company brand. Don’t be tempted to chase the online opportunities that don’t match your brand. Set 3 to 6 month tactical plans, stick to them, and measure the results.
Yes, the online marketing industry will continue to change. Soon another bright shiny marketing channel will emerge, no doubt. But before your use your company funds to chase it down, remember your pledge to holistic marketing.