There’s No Such Thing as “Online Marketing”

internet-marketingBy Samuel Scott

Linkbuilders often ask themselves this question (to avoid potential penalties): “Would I want this link if Google did not exist?” The smarter that search engines become, the more I argue that all digital marketers should ask themselves: “How would I market my company and website if Google did not exist?”

A weird thing happens when marketers start to talk about the Internet. The conversation usually turns from traditional practices such as messaging, positioning, and branding to technical minutiae such as keywords, links, and retweets.

Too many Internet marketers view digital marketing as a bag of tricks:

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How to Find Your Audience on Social Media

social media audienceBy Josh Cline

No marketing method will be successful if it targets the wrong audience. As a result, one of the most-important parts of a social-media marketing strategy is to know where on the collection of networks your audience lies.

First, it is important understand your business and marketing goals. After all, social-media networks are PR and communications channels that can be used for a variety of purposes including using Twitter for media relations, performing customer service on Facebook, generating sales leads on Pinterest, getting business leads on LinkedIn, and doing content marketing.

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The “Cloud”: Stud or Dud?

cloud-computingBy Josh Cline

Everyone in the tech world is praising the “Cloud” and software-as-a-service (SaaS) products for supposedly being the greatest things in the digital world. They are viewed as being cheaper, easier, and more efficient. They also talk about them like they are new. But is this really true?

In the 1950s, when mainframe computers first entered the commercial market, people used what was called “time-sharing” to share CPU time on a single mainframe. The practice continued for decades. Then, in the 1990s, telecommunications companies used virtual private network (VPN) services to balance server and network-bandwidth use more efficiently. The roots of the Cloud go back decades.

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Are You a Mobile App or a Business?


By Josh Cline

A mobile application is not a business. An app is only a delivery mechanism for a company’s product or service. The best app in the world will not make a bad product or service successful.

Over the past few years, I have watched the evolution of mobile applications with skepticism. I spend a lot of time working with Israeli start-ups, and everyone there recently has been calling their companies “mobile apps.” But putting the description another way reveals how ludicrous the designation is: If you have a website, are you a computer? Of course not.

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PR Strategies for Digital Marketers (SMX West 2014)

smx-west-samuel-scottBy Samuel Scott

SAN JOSE, California – I had the honor of speaking at Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West for The Cline Group last week on the topic of how digital marketers can use traditional public-relations strategies to build brands, earn links, and get media coverage.

The topic is important because the age of “building” links for SEO – spinning articles, submitting to generic directories, and so on – is rapidly approaching its demise. (And thankfully so!) Although Google considers a link to a website to be a “vote” for its quality and authoritativeness, not all links are created equal. One link from a random directory means little. One link from The New York Times means a lot.

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The Integration of SEO, Content, Social, and PR

google-plus-authorshipBy Samuel Scott

Google+ is the perfect example of how all marketing today needs to be holistic and integrated.

In 2011, Google announced the deployment of the “rel=author” tag that could be used to connect an individual person with an individual piece of content on the Internet. The photo is an example of the tag’s effect on Google search results.

The effects of this change are still unfolding today – it is now crucial to understand the tag’s holistic importance across all marketing disciplines.

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How to Find and Use Online Brand Ambassadors

trust-levels-in-company-spokespersonsBy Samuel Scott

Companies spend so much time on their internal marketing and PR efforts that they often forget to leverage external methods such as brand ambassadors.

And why is this important? The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that people have the most trust in academics, experts, and “people like themselves” when it comes to discussing a company and its actions. In other words, people trust sources of information that are from outside the business.

This is probably obvious. But what is not obvious is how businesses can take advantage of this fact in their marketing and public relations. With a little strategic research, the process to find and use online ambassadors can become a lot less complicated.

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How Much Marketing Should Be Automated?

marketing-automationBy Josh Cline

Doing social media right takes a lot of time; communicating with targeted audiences, influencers, and journalists is more complicated than just sending random tweets. Many companies and start-ups, however, do not have the manpower or time to engage on social channels effectively, so social-media tools have been popping up as a result.

As Scott Gerber at Mashable and Jose Antonio Sanchez at Uberflip note, social-media automation is becoming very hot. HubSpot has received millions in investments from Salesforce, Google, Sequoia, Altimeter Capital, and Cross Creek Capital. Marketo’s investors include Battery Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, InterWest Partners, Mayfield Fund, and Storm Ventures.

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