By John Eberhard
It’s that time of year when we look ahead to 2009, to our goals and plans for the coming year. Most businesses will be doing planning for the coming year, and individuals will be making New Year’s resolutions shortly.
I wrote earlier that in an economic downturn, the wrong thing to do with your business is to cut your marketing budget or cut down your marketing actions. If you do, you’ll really go into a downward spin. And once the economic recession has ended, other businesses will have persevered and you will have smaller market share than before.
The correct thing to do in such a situation is to INCREASE your promotion. If you can do that, you can maintain and even increase your level of business, despite the economic conditions.
Of course promotion costs money, and if you are in a situation where you have decreased income right now, then figuring out a way to increase your promotion might be tricky. But nevertheless you must figure out a way. If you can do it, then you can bring about an increase in your business when others are cutting back, and YOU will have that larger market share when the recession is ended.
My book, the Internet Marketing Super Book, has many promotional things that you can learn to do that will then be free for you. Of course you can also hire us to do them at an affordable rate.
The Things to Do in 2009
This is sort of a follow up to my article last year when I predicted what the hot things were going to be in Internet marketing for 2008. Here’s my 2009 list:
- Pay per click advertising: Pay per click, or “PPC” as we call it around here, continues to be a proven producer in terms of driving traffic and bringing in leads or sales for your web site. There is a fair amount to know about it, contained in many articles on my blog. I had worried at the beginning of last year that bid prices were going through the roof in some markets, causing this to be a less viable medium. In the past year, this has not really come to pass, and PPC continues to be a great route to getting your site producing. It’s fast, it gets results, and its results are directly trackable.
- Blogs: I’ve become a true believer in blogs. My client Stan Dubin got me interested in blogs, and I now run three blogs, which drive more traffic to my site than any other source right now. Of course you have to do it right, which consists of 1) posting something at least once a week, 2) having your blog on a separate URL and linking from your blog back to your main site, both from the sidebars and content of your posts, and 3) sending a notification (called a “ping”) to the blog search engines after each of your posts. Your posts can be 200-1,000 words. I have one for articles like this, one for press releases, and one for political commentary, and I’ve begun setting these up for clients.
- Online PR: Writing a press release, optimized for the keywords you are trying to target, is very effective. They should be at least 300 words, about something your business is doing, and then should be put up somewhere on your blog or web site (I think it’s better to put them on a separate blog), then submitted to online PR sites. Use a keyword in your title and/or sub-title. I am doing these weekly for my company and for clients.
- Social Media: Last year I was somewhat skeptical of social media. This year I am getting good results from several areas of social media, including Facebook, Squidoo.com and HubPages.com. A friend just gave me a book on Twitter, so stay tuned. All these sites, plus social bookmarking sites, are great for creating links coming to your site. There’s a lot to learn about how to use these sites, so at RealWebMarketing.net we’ll continue to expand in this area in the coming year.
- Video and Audio on Sites and Blogs: It is a big plus to have videos and audio clips on your web site. My own testing along this line has shown that having video and audio elements nearly always increases response, i.e. someone calling you or filling out a lead form or buying something directly online. Since in this business we are working to get responses, you should keep video and audio in mind. Especially with audio, make sure to include a button for people to turn it off if they want.
- Article Directories / Content Hubs: These are still a great way to build up large quantities of links to your web site.
So keep promoting in 2009. Don’t accept the doom and gloom that the media is pouring out. They have odd political and economic reasons for making things seem much worse than they are. If you keep promoting, or even better, find a way to increase your level of promotion, you will do well in 2009. Keep the above points in mind and you’ll do great.