July 14, 2011
SO YOU WANT TO LEARN SEARCH MARKETING?
Let’s imagine you’re brand new to this business of direct marketing. You’ve learned the fundamentals and believe that the way to online success is through Search Engine Marketing—SEM. You know you’ve got to get as close to the top of those Google, Yahoo! and Bing searches as possible because whoever is searching is most likely to respond only to those top few responses. The closer you get to the top, the better it is for your client, your product or service, or whatever you’re trying to promote.
That’s the “what” of SEM. Then your information seems to diverge into two camps when it comes to the “how.” On one side are the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) proponents. They believe that proper SEO management will yield the perfect combination of careful coding and content wording that will result in a web site showing up at the top of most search results. On the other side are the Pay Per Click (PPC) enthusiasts. They think it’s always best to be right at the top and well worth paying for the privilege of being there. Through Google AdWords and other PPC management strategies, they believe that carefully doling out budgets will lead to the exact combination of keywords and ads that will generate results.
But, is there another “side” to this debate? The kinder, gentler side of SEM is a strategy referred to as a holistic marketing campaign. Holistic campaigns look at the end result and develop a “whole body” approach to achieving it. This is the philosophy of doing exactly what is right for each individual situation. Some campaigns might need more SEM, others might need more PPC or, more likely, some combination of the two. Frequently they will even blend in elements of traditional advertising, where appropriate to the client and the end result desired. Holistic plans attempt to integrate the best of all worlds.
It also takes into consideration that there are two audiences for marketers to reach—the human audience that the actual message is intended for, and the electronic mechanism that determines the search engine ranking. Focusing too much on one can prove detrimental to the other. A non-holistic approach might say to load up copy with keywords, but a holistic approach would realize that it still needs to contain a compelling message that is read, understood and enjoyed by a person. Finally, the holistic approach takes into account whether the message is being received via traditional, social, mobile or desktop media and adjusts accordingly.
The best way to learn search marketing is to get knowledge directly from industry experts. Over 10,000 attendees will be learning about the latest in SEM and everything else direct and integrated marketing at this year’s DMA2011 Conference and Exhibition Oct 1-6 in Boston—the global event for real-time marketers.
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