The rise of online public relations morphed into a whole new world thanks to Internet marketing and who better than Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEO Moz and author of Art of SEO, to connect the dots?
Marketing is transforming from a primarily paid medium to where it is possible to get found organically in exponential ways. Think online public relations!
Why pay for the cow when you can get the milk for free? That saying is often associated with relationships, but it applies perfectly to online public relations too. According to Fishkin, internet marketing tactics that cost nothing to use accounts for 85% of the traffic sent to websites. On the other hand, businesses spent over $31 billion on paid marketing techniques like banner ads and popups, which only account for 15% of website traffic. That’s a lot of cash to pay for a cow producing very little milk.
Rand recently conducted a free webinar for PRWeb titled, ‘Non-Paid Marketing: Get Found Everywhere For Free’ on organic marketing and driving customers to your websites using the proliferation of free methods. He makes the awesome point that while marketing strategies has changed over the years, the way people buy products and services have remained essentially the same.
Buying Behaviors Online
1. They first identify a need
2. They then investigate their options (conduct a search)
3. Ask people in their social network for recommendations
4. Get information from experts
5. Dig deeper into the details to narrow their purchase decision
6. They make the purchase
Nowhere in this process do paid marketing techniques come into play. Oh, a prospective customer may come across an ad while looking for the product in question and may click on it if what’s offered is attractive enough. Most of the time, customers will use organic resources that provide them exactly what they are looking for.
Organic Web vs. Paid Marketing
The problem with paid marketing techniques is they’re based on the interruption model of marketing. Banner ads, splash pages, unsolicited emails; these are all designed to get between the user and the information they are searching for. Organic marketing, on the other hand, IS the information people are searching for. These are the product reviews, video tutorials, and other types of content which help the user achieve their goal.
Paid marketing is also expensive and competitive while organic marketing is free and underutilized.
Tips for Achieving Success with Online PR and Organic Marketing
Your goal is to become the place people go to for great information in your niche. This could include unique research, analysis of trends, expert opinions, contributions from others in the field, and high quality interaction with users. This is not a get rich quick strategy, but those who pursue it will be rewarded with status as a trusted industry source which will lead to links from other sites, web traffic, and qualified leads.
Rand offered these tips for using the organic web to market your business:
– Use search tools to determine what keywords people are using to find information and how competitive it is to rank for.
– Create content that makes searchers happy when they land on your page. Answer their questions, help them with their goals. Unhappy searchers leave and never come back.
– Make sure your site is accessible to search engines
– Get links from quality sources
– Grow your social network. Social content is now integrated into search results which can result in your site being more highly ranked for the people in your networks.
* Social Media
– Only share good quality stuff that people like
– Track your links using a shortener like Google or Bit.ly
– Participate in the social sphere including relevant blogs and forums
* Content Marketing
– Share content via a blog. Readership is up but concentrated on fewer high quality sites
– Post evergreen content. This is content which is comprehensive, long lasting, and/or updated frequently
– Share content over multiple channels like YouTube and Slideshare
* Local Search
– Register your business with the search engines
– Obtain citations (references from other websites)
– Sign up with local portals like Urbanspoon, Yelp, Foursquare
Getting Started with Organic Search
1. Find a strategy that looks good
2. Invest time in contributing value to that niche
3. Track the impact of your efforts
4. Abandon strategies that perform poorly. Continue with those that return a high ROI