Being found on Google brings traffic to your website and increases sales. Being found on the first page for a relevant search can be a goldmine, but what happens if you can’t get there (or your business loses patience waiting for it to happen)? What are your alternatives?
Luckily Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is only one tool in your internet marketing toolbox. Content marketing, social media, email marketing, paid search (Google Adwords), and display ads are all additional staples of an integrated marketing program. Recently, more and more marketers have come to realize there is yet another important marketing opportunity that they should not overlook. This is called “Native Advertising” and it is very effective.
Paid Search (with Google Adwords)
Purchasing Google ads is a popular way of getting your name in front of more people, but this gets very expensive and has been shown to be less effective than natural search. Adwords appear at the top of the search listing. Unfortunately, people tend to ignore them and spend more time looking at the natural listing below the ads list.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social sites can be used for advertising. You can hope that your Facebook page, or Twitter feed gets popular, but this is a tall order. In a way this is similar to the challenge of SEO. It’s hard to get to a position where your company information is actually seen by large amounts of the right people. You can also purchase ads on these sites. Since it can cost up to $15 per click, it can get expensive.
Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool, but it doesn’t work unless you have a good email list Unsolicited email is highly ineffective and will get your emails relegated to the spam bucket. If you have developed a list of prospects and customers, who you know are interested in your message, email marketing is an important, if not necessary, way to keep in touch and reinforce your brand.
Display ads, placed on popular websites, are a common method for diverting web traffic in your direction. The cost depends on the number of predicted viewers. However, the effectiveness of traditional display ads has dropped over time as users have come to ignore them.
Remember the Aston Martin cars in Bond movies, and the Audi R8 in Iron Man Series? These are examples of embedded marketing, which is a form of Native Advertising. These products are placed into the film and become part of the story.
Native advertising is a type of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. In other words, a native article would appear as an entry in a blog or an article on a trade journal. It is formatted and read by the user just like any other content on that site. Links and other indicators may be present to direct the reader to more information, provided on the advertiser’s web site. This concept takes advantage of a popular emailed newsletter, or popular blog. Your advertising piggybacks on the high click rate and relevance of the content surrounding it.