Web Marketing Solutions for Small Business

This article sets out several Web marketing solutions – presenting the pros and cons of various complementary Web marketing activities.

5 Complementary Web Marketing Activity Combinations

  1. Article and Video Marketing (my favorite)
  2. PPC and Facebook Ads (paid advertising)
  3. Affiliate Programs
  4. Social Media Campaigns
  5. Blogging, bookmarking, and organic SEO

I started with blogging and organic SEO. Once I started ranking very well, I added article marketing. Recently, I ventured into video marketing. If I were to do it again, I would have started article marketing earlier.

My core activities are complementary – they focus on publishing content. I leverage that content by publishing it in my business blog, in EzineArticles, and then creating videos from that content.

That said, I’ve also dabbled in PPC, Facebook Ads, and social media campaigns. I like publishing content the most; consequently I did this consistently and did it better.

I’ll briefly set out the pros and cons of each combination of Web marketing activities.

  1. Article and Video Marketing

Pros

  • You can do it for free
  • If done well, builds credibility and can be very effective.
  • Can easily leverage the content.
  • Residual benefits – the published content works for your business indefinitely – as long as it remains published.
  • Relatively easily outsourced. You’ll need to be judicious who you hire. You tend to get what you pay for.
  • Huge leverage opportunity if other websites publish your articles and/or videos. Could go viral. This is the best-case scenario.
  • The backlinks can help your website’s organic SEO – especially if your content is syndicated.

Cons

  • It’s time consuming to create the content.
  • It takes a while to see results (especially compared to paid advertising).
  • May take a little while to get the right people doing it for you.
  • Scaling up takes a little while because you need to generate the content.
  1. PPC and Facebook Ads

Pros

  • Immediate results. You may have to test and tweak some, but you can get website visitors very, very quickly.
  • Easily scalable. If you want more traffic, pay more money.
  • Target as many keywords as you like immediately.
  • Quickly measurable. Because results are immediate, you can test and tweak very quickly.
  • Costs are variable in that you pay when you get desired action (i.e. click thrus to your website).
  • Fairly easy to outsource – you’ll want to shop around. There are many ineffective and/or costly PPC and Facebook consultants.

Cons

  • Costs money. In fact, if your target keywords become more competitive, you costs can rise.
  • Likely lower conversion rate on your business website because visitors are not pre-sold (like they are with content publishing).
  • If you don’t do organic SEO, you miss out on traffic from the organic search engine listings.
  1. Running an Affiliate Program

If you offer a product or service for which you can recruit affiliates to promote your business, then you could have a ready-made army of sales-people very quickly.

The key is having a very high converting sales funnel and offer excellent incentives to attract affiliate marketers.

Pros

  • You can build a massive Web presence very quickly if you attract a lot of affiliate marketers (or a few effective affiliate marketers).
  • Your costs are associated directly with sales or some form of action. In other words, the costs are attached to sales or some form of action that you pay commissions on.
  • High conversion rates if your affiliate marketers pre-sell your website visitors.
  • Improve organic SEO rankings with many incoming links from affiliate marketers (assuming some of them link to you via DoFollow links).
  • Residual benefits with the content your affiliates publish (assuming your affiliates don’t remove the published content).
  • Easy to hire an affiliate manager to run the operation.

Cons

  • Costs money. You share the revenues.
  • If you don’t recruit affiliates, you’ll have wasted time establishing an affiliate program.
  • Time investment in managing your affiliate program – working with affiliates, developing sales tools and resources, etc.
  • You’re dependent on the efforts of your affiliates. If they are not effective, you’ll not only lose them as affiliates, but you won’t make sales.
  • Legal issues may arise if your affiliates breach any regulations in promoting your products/services.
  1. Social Media Campaigns

I’m referring to Facebook, Twitter, online profiles, forum participation, blog posting, and other community participation activities.

Pros

  • Build trust among your community. You can establish credibility and expert status with ongoing contribution. If you succeed developing expert status, this can be extremely effective. Your products/services will sell well – in fact, you’ll create demand for your business specifically.
  • It’s a social activity, which may appeal to you.
  • No or low cost. You can build Facebook pages, use Twitter, comment on blogs, and join forums for no cost.

Cons

  • Requires ongoing participation. Once you stop, your presence dwindles.
  • Difficult to outsource. It’s you the community wants to dialogue with.
  • Not effective for every type of market. If your customers don’t participate in social media, then this approach may not be as effective.
  1. Blogging, Bookmarking, and Organic SEO

These three work well together. In fact, blogging results in organic SEO if you apply some simple on-site and off-site SEO techniques. When you write great content, it makes sense to get attention to it by bookmarking it with the prominent bookmarking services (Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc.).

Pros

  • Blogging has the same pros as article marketing. The activity is the same – only the platform differs.
  • Bookmarking is a very quick way to get attention to your business. Be sure you bookmark truly interesting content. Don’t bookmark sales pages.
  • Organic SEO is free and can bring you a lot of business.

Cons

  • Blogging has the same cons as article marketing.
  • Social bookmarking is time-consuming and may not result in conversion. If you attract visitors because of an interesting article, those visitors may not be interested in what you have to offer. It’s difficult for some types of businesses to use social bookmarking that results in sales.
  • Organic SEO takes a long time to get results. If you outsource it, it can be very expensive. However, if you rank well in the search engines, the potential sales is huge.
  • Also with organic SEO, you must continue working on it to stay ahead of your competitors.

When choosing Web marketing solutions, consider the following:

  • If you’ll be doing it yourself, do you like the activity? If you hate writing, then article marketing isn’t for you unless you’re prepared to hire writers.
  • Know your market. Will you find them or they you through your chosen Web marketing activities? For instance, if your market doesn’t use Twitter, then there’s little point in using Twitter.
  • Don’t do something just because you heard it’s effective. This results in jumping from one activity to another. Pick and stick.