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How To Market Your Company On The Internet – Emerging Business Seminar Debrief

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It was another standing room only crowd at the S&W Emerging Business Seminar on How To Market Your Company On The Internet.  A special thanks to my guest speaker, Ken Bonham of Lucid Agency.

Key takeaways:

* Understand the social media/internet trends:

Web 1.0 – is a standard brochure website
Web 2.0 – is interaction with your customers and social media
Web 3.0 – is personalization for the users of your website

Usability – the functionality of your website
•    Does your website do what it’s supposed to do
•    Do you apply the Rule of 7 to your site?  (making sure a user of your site knows what to do or takes an action within 7 sections of landing on your homepage)
•    Have a plan for the functionality of your website by determining what it should accomplish i.e… a phone call, a download, video, book an appointment
•    Make sure and map it out or “wireframe” it before it is designed. This goes for landing pages as well

Reputation Management
•    Google yourself, company, brand or product to see what comes up
•    If you feel that you may be at risk of discussions in other places such as Forums, Blogs or other Websites use a monitoring tool such as Radian6
•    Determine if you can combat this problem yourself or internally, if you can’t seek the assistance of a professional
•    Don’t be afraid to respond to comments or suggestions, you would be surprised by the response you get from people if they feel that they are being listed to
•    Best practice is to always optimize for your own name, company, product or service

Local / Mobile
•    Interact with your customers and determine if an app or service like Yelp, FourSquare or Chatter Plug makes sense for you
•    Have a mobile friendly website
•    “You need to have a mobile site irrespective of whether people will actually purchase from it.  How good your site looks on mobile determines how people think about your business”  Surojit Chatterjee – Lead Product Mgr Google Mobile Div
•    Optimize for local terms and not generic keywords.  For example “Law Firm” is generic “Arizona Law Firm” is more specific and localized
•    Types of campaigns that succeed on mobile are Text, Banner, Search, Gaming, Apps, and QR

Social Media
•    700M users on Facebook
•    LinkedIn adds a new user every second
•    Retirees and baby boomers have fully embraced social media and are there right now
•    Setting up a Facebook page, Twitter or LinkedIn is not a plan or strategy
•    Have a plan, evaluate your resources and get the right staff to fully engage in the process
•    You either do it or you don’t
•    OraBrush is a great example of a company that succeeded both in B2B and B2C with social media
•    IdeaStorm was created by Dell for customer feedback

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
•    57% of all online purchases start with a “search”
•    Statistically speaking almost all clicks and views on a Google Search are on the first 3 listings
•    Optimizing a website is more than just having keywords or content.  It involves a technical plan, keyword research and analysis, on page optimization, content strategy and also an off page optimization plan
•    Determine your business objectives when selecting keywords
•    Be sure to go after keywords that you can actually achieve rankings with
•    Don’t hesitate to hire a specialist that can either execute a portion of your digital marketing efforts or manage the vendor  / agency relationships
•    Measure your results to metrics that make sense; such as, Leads and Sales

Pay Attention To Legal Issues
•    Make sure you own your intellectual property (i.e., trademark, website, etc.)
•    Protect your IP and pursue infringers
•    Draft and post website Terms of Use and Privacy Statements that comply with applicable law, set the “rules of the game” for use of your website and help shield you against potential liability
•    Comply with the CAN-SPAM Act when sending commercial emails
•    Do not employ unfair or deceptive marketing practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act