Internet Marketing Strategies for 2013

23 Aug 2013 | written by Dan Garfield for the internet marketing section(s)

Social Media Map

If you’re just now getting around to looking at internet marketing strategies, it might be a little late. But you’re in luck, because it turns out that 2013 and 2014 have a lot in common. To understand where we’re going, we have to go all the way to 2006 when Google threw a small seminar. I forget where it was, but the gist of their message was this, “Build great stuff and our algorithm will catch up.” In 2013 and 2014, the fundamental question to answer is “What do I deserve to show up for?”

Answer the questions your customers are asking

The great thing about internet marketing is that, thanks to Panda and Penguin, we can finally cut the BS and just focus on helping our customers. Do this by helping answer the questions your customers are asking before they know to talk to you.

“…the fundamental question to answer is ‘What do I deserve to show up for?’”

If you specialized in cheese graters, then look at what your customers do before they buy your product. Are they asking for the best way to store cheese? Are they looking for the perfect cheese pairings? Answer those questions with great content and your customers will be ready to buy right after they finish that guide you gave on how to judge a cheese from it’s smell.

That might sound like crazy talk, but any internet marketing strategy that doesn’t have great content behind it is doomed to fail.

Enough philosophy. Here are some of the modern essentials of internet marketing

Video, video, video

YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. The great thing about video is that you can use it everywhere. Embed it on your website, share it on your social media channels, and watch visits fly in from YouTube, Wistia, and Vimeo.

Video is tough for many businesses, because it requires a lot of energy to get started. But once you’re moving, it’s easy.

Mobile friendly everything

I wrote recently on how I thought the static-width (desktop only) web is dead. It’s wishful thinking, but I couldn’t help myself. Declaring the death of things has been in vogue online for a long time. Wishful thinking aside, if you’re not building your website mobile first, then you’re behind the times. Seriously, it’s not that hard, web developers (please don’t look at the sections of our site that aren’t mobile friendly yet)! Design for mobile first, code everything as percentages and relatives, then use media queries to scale up! There are tons of free templates out there for businesses not ready to invest in something totally original. Types and Grids, a free template by SmashingMagazine, has 21 type options, 29 color schemes, and 16 motifs to choose from giving you almost 10,000 possible combinations for your site.

Contribute in communities

LinkedIn is quickly becoming the place to be for B2Bs looking to make a name for themselves just like Facebook has been a B2C hub for a while. Get involved, jump in and participate in the communities your customers frequent. If this guy can break national security using LinkedIn and Facebook for less than 10 hours of work, then you ought to be able to rustle up at least a few customers there.

Participating in communities will help build your business as an authority, it will build your brand and make people think positively of you, they’ll reshare your work and it will spill over into your organic marketing channel.

PPC is great but choose your networks wisely

Google is still the most important name in paid search and display advertising, but there are so many great choices to expand your display network. LinkedIn and Facebook both offer great returns for marketers that can build great experiences inside those networks. They don’t always deliver the sale right off the bat, but with the right engagement, they’ll deliver customers that stick around.

The big opportunity in display is similar to the one in video. There’s room there because getting started is hard and expensive. Once you start running some display ads, you’ll quickly find it’s not so hard to keep them coming.

Testing and iterating quickly is the key

As Brian Chesky said, “You’re not going to A/B test your way to Shakespeare.” But with some vision, A/B should be a regular process. We recently spent a morning redesigning a landing page that yielded a 730% increase in conversion rate and a decrease in our CPL of almost 40%. It was the most effective 4 hours on marketing we ever spent.

Everyone has been doing A/B testing forever; the new wrinkle is that the content should be getting more and more focused on smaller and smaller segments of your customer base.

“It was the most effective 4 hours on marketing we ever spent.”

The more targeted the message, the more impact it will have. For a recent big name example, look no further than Iron Man 3. Hollywood has realized that by tweaking their movies for their different audiences, they’ll have more success. In this case, Iron Man 3 has a U.S. and Chinese version with slightly different subplots. The Chinese edition adds a story featuring popular Chinese actors. Follow their lead with your 2013 internet marketing strategy and you won’t be disappointed.

Image source: http://www.flowtown.com/blog/the-2010-social-networking-map

Dan Garfield
From the world of startups, Dan Garfield is the Senior Brand Manager at OrangeSoda, and author of The 5 Stages of Online Marketing. P.S. He's beat Super Mario Bros 3 without using a warp whistle.
4 Comments

4 Comments

  • Jacob Williams |   Aug 23rd, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I started reading this article already knowing what the secret sauce was that everyone is underrating. When Dan’s first suggestion was, “Video, video, video, I knew Orange Soda hired the right guy.

    You have to think long tail in video. If you produce five three minute videos a week, you’ll have 260 videos in a year. That’s a HUGE net you’ve cast. Each video I add gets about 100 views a month. If we do our math, if I make 260 videos in a year, and do nothing the next, I still get at least 312,000 views that year.

    But, the reality is that I get 100 views a month per video with only having 25 videos and 25 subscribers. When I have 260 videos that average will go up. Because now I have a bigger presence on YouTube, more ways for people to find my content, which means more subs, which means more views. It’s an exponential payout!

    So get this, I use YouTube to get traffic to my business. But, I make ad revenue on my YouTube videos. Which means I’m making money to advertise my company. It’s brilliant!

    People need to start thinking of YouTube like they would a Mutual Fund. That’s what it is. A mutual fund that pays you dividends on the amount of content you have rather than the dollars you’ve invested.

    Shout out to Eric Perez who works at Orange Soda. Shout out to the new CEO as well. The founder did an amazing job building the company to what it is. -Jacob

  • Dan Garfield |   Aug 24th, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks Jacob! When I saw the length of your comment I thought I was about to get yelled at. What’s your business? If you don’t mind sharing I’d like to see how you’re using video.

  • Jacob Williams |   Oct 26th, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Hi Dan,

    Sorry I didn’t respond earlier. I wasn’t notified via email that I had a response. The blog would benefit greatly if comment replying was set up and auto notifications via email. Are you on wordpress or another CMS? I haven’t seen any outreach emails since I gave you my email. Are you building a list? Sell me something! :)

    I founded fix-a-phone here in Utah. We sold it last year to Tricked Out Accessories. I started a design firm last year called WiLD. My most recent startup is hithookups.com.

    I’d love to join the Orange Soda content team. Are you hiring Copywriters? I can do video tutorials for an Orange Soda’s youtube channel.

    http://wildlandscaping.com
    http://hithookup.com
    http://myfixaphone.com

    Some articles I’ve written:
    http://thedeependdesign.com/one-ridiculously-effective-way-to-pick-up-more-clients/

    http://jacobwilliamsmodeling.com/articles/2012/12/9/lisman-studio

    http://thedeependdesign.com/what-graphic-designers-can-learn-from-dr-seuss/

    My youtube channel: http://youtube.com/jakedaywilliams

    My twitter: @jakedaywilliams

    Thanks in advance Dan. My number is 435.671.6972.

  • James wright |   Dec 20th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Recently it’s become a popular trend to promote every product by video marketing and the crazy thing is, it’s working. Video marketing helps customers to find what they are looking for and what they will get if they use the particular product. Videos explain better than any other marketing strategy. The key is a creative idea implemented smartly.

    Reference: http://www.oneproductions.com/four-steps-to-make-your-video-effective/

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