By Brian Sherman
How much do you know about SEO and other internet marketing options?
Despite being among the most important activities companies could be capitalizing on, especially those in the IT services space, not enough do. Whether attributed to a lack of understanding around the topic (common) or a limited number of resources (often overestimated), industry experts agree channel partners are not doing enough to boost their online marketing skills.
According to Jason Lavin, CEO of the marketing automation firm GoldenComm, with a little time and the right online marketing strategy in place channel partners can stock their lead funnels much more cost-effectively than using their sales team. “It’s one of the best investments your company will make,” Lavin said. His workshop at the 2015 Fall Ingram Micro ONE event focused on basic strategies and tactics channel partners can use to create and execute a successful online marketing strategy.
The first step is to know the terms and definitions. “Only 30% of those in the business community know what search engine optimization really means. Search engine marketing (SEM) is undervalued - many simply don’t get how it works, including how to get their company into the first few terms in a search or get their ad on the side,” explained Lavin. He offered these insights to attendees:
- The winner is the one that gets clicked, not necessarily the company listed on top. Companies don’t get charged unless someone clicks (in pay per click program).
- The key is to buy “impactful” terms. For example, by adding the term “buy” in your search criteria, you can increase the views of those with a higher purchase intent.
- Every webmaster should know how much it costs to get someone to your website. Once you know that, it’s easy to formulate campaigns. Answers to these three questions are a must (“After that, it’s simple math”):
- What is the cost per lead?
- What is the cost of acquisition?
- What is the LTV (lifetime value)?
- Develop “hedgehog” or microsites. Your website is about you, and the best way to identify and land prospects is creating landing pages with specific messaging that gets their attention. Anything with a low acquisition rate and high conversion should have a hedgehog site.
- Invest in CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) This is the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. It’s not expensive, and if done right will be the best money the organization spends each month.
What else can you do to improve online marketing success?
“Get rid of 800 lines – it’s a sacred cow that’s time has come and gone. Those unfamiliar with your company may not understand it is a local business. They may expect your 800 number to include a phone tree and expect a much longer process before they get to speak to a real person. People are five times more likely to call a local number than toll free when they don’t know you,” said Lavin.
How much should you spend? “For pay per click, start with 2% of your company’s top line revenue and build from there. That may cost $100-$600 per lead to start. Record inbound calls and review them for training purposes,” noted Lavin. In doing so, you will improve sales processes and help reduce the cost per lead as you continue to refine the search terms you pay for.
To read more news from the Ingram Micro ONE event, visit http://www.ingrammicroadvisor.com/one, follow @IngramMicroONE on Twitter and search the hashtag #ONEIngram.