Making Marketing Work for You — Sherburne
In my last column, I wrote about adding a multichannel communications element to your marketing efforts. By marketing your own business via multiple media, including print, you can show customers how print plays an important role in a multichannel communications strategy.
One element of a multichannel marketing strategy that is often overlooked and not well understood by many in our industry is the use of search engine optimization to make it easier for buyers to find you on the Internet.
You might wonder why that is important. Increasingly, the geographic boundaries once keeping print a relatively localized business are being smashed, thanks to the Internet becoming an integral part of the buying process for almost everyone. I am sure all of you have experiences with losing business to Internet-based companies, companies from other areas of the country, and even overseas companies.
The purpose of search engine optimization is to make your company more visible to not only help you retain existing customers, but to assist with customer acquisition as well. Managed correctly, this approach will also expand your geographic boundaries and can be the basis of a growth engine for your business.
Believe me, decision makers and buyers of print are busy using the Internet to find the best resources. Research conducted by market research firm IDC recently focused on the technology buying habits of small- and medium-sized businesses and highlights the extent to which executives in these businesses use the Internet.
Executives in small- and medium-sized businesses frequently wear many hats and are often involved in buying decisions for print, as well as buying decisions for technology.
The study found that executives and other personnel within small- and medium-sized businesses are on the Web for information gathering and research purposes for an average of 110 minutes per day, consulting the Internet more than they consult TV, radio, magazines or newspapers. In fact, according to the study, 34 percent visit technology vendor Websites every day and 59 percent use search engines on a daily basis. Thus, the Internet has become a critical customer acquisition tool whose value should not be underestimated. There are several ways to improve your visibility in Internet search results.