I have always been one of the biggest critics of the idea that the SEM industry is moving as fast as some people claim. For me, business is business and marketing is marketing. There is going to be millions of diggs, YouTubes and Facebooks. These are just trends. This is not what marketing is about. Marketing will always be about people and understanding their needs and emotions. So before you start that blog, write that list for digg submission or shoot that video, stop and think, do you really need it?
We all have to process ton of information on a daily basis and as an online marketer or advertiser you probably read dozens of pieces of search engine marketing advice every single day. Black hat, white hat, old school SEO, new school SEO. It’s enough to make your head spin. But in order to make sure you don’t go into a cardiac arrest from the information overflow, you need to learn how to filter all of this data.
One of the readers of this website asked me an interesting question. He sells flashlights online and was wondering whether he should start a blog. After all, everyone is getting one, right? He pointed me to one of his competitors who was running a blog for a while now and had no comments whatsoever. Why do you think that is? I don’t know much about flashlight industry but I think it would be very difficult to run an interesting blog on the topic and have people respond to the things you are talking about. Blog is a powerful marketing tool but only in the situations where it makes sense to have one.
Another case in point. Many businesses are wondering why the traffic from digg and other social media sites is not converting. Well, imagine you are selling gourmet dog food. You hire a clever search engine marketer who quickly realizes that digg audience likes geeky, tech content in the form of a list. So he comes up with an a great linkbait, titled “Turn Your Pet Food into a Microchip in 10 Easy Steps”. While he’s at it, he also creates a video titled “Paris Hilton Stuffs Dog Food Up Her Nose”. In the background of the video it says “for more cool stuff, visit gourmetdogfood.com.” Both campaigns work and bring your business a ton of traffic. Now, how many sales do you think you’re going to get?
So think for yourself. Accept any advice you can get but don’t take it at the face value. As Kevin has stated a week ago, there are no best practices. Experiment but don’t do what’s “hot” or “in”. Do what makes sense for your business.