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November 29, 2011

How Did You Boost In-House Marketing This Year? A 2011 Recap on Tactics

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Audience: In-house marketers
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes 

Back in January of this year, I wrote a post on 3 ways to boost in-house Internet marketing in 2011. Since then, many of us have poured blood, sweat and tears into our Web marketing, and have a lot to show for it. Still, ensuring in-house Web marketing keeps its momentum is no easy task. Since we’re rounding the end of the year, I thought we’d revisit that two-part post I wrote in January 2011, recap some of the information we offered (you can do a little mental checklist of what you’ve done so far this year), and add some additional resources to reference from our blog posts over the year, in case you still need some fresh ideas.

Arrows Pointers Up Right

In the first of the two-part post, I outlined these numbered items as things that can help boost in-house Internet marketing in 2011:

  1. Actually focus on Internet marketing. At the beginning of the year, I said there were still many companies that had not yet made Web marketing a priority. Nearly a year later, reports show some businesses were planning to make strides in that area, but there’s still much work to do – for both in-housers and agencies. In this post, I’ll share some newer data about what planned spend and resources on Web marketing looked like for 2011 since my post was published.
  2. Get Buy-In. Nothing kills budget and resources for Web marketing faster than decision makers who don’t understand the value of it. This ongoing process has many in-housers pulling out hair in an effort to keep colleagues and executives educated on the importance. In the January post, I shared some initial ideas on how to tackle this. In this post, we offer more tips that just might help your in-house Web marketing strategy.
  3. Start training. Training staff in Web marketing, committing to continuing education and partnering with expert consultants are just some of the ways you can make the in-house Web marketing plan solid and fresh. Training keeps you up-to-date on evolving search engine strategies. In the January post, I shared training courses, blogs, websites and events that can help you and your staff do just that. In this post, we’ll recap tactics and insight that emerged from 2011 conferences.

Actually Focus on Internet Marketing

The first tip of the January 2011 post was to well, actually get focused on Internet marketing as part of the mar-comm plan. In the post, I pointed out that many small businesses (and big businesses alike) still had not dedicated resources to this, and it still rings true today – almost one year later.

The truth is, there’s still much work to do in Web marketing across the board, which means plenty of work for in-house online marketers as well as online marketing agencies and consultants.

A SEMPO report released in April 2011 reinforced that notion with its “state of search marketing” data, showing the search engine marketing sector was a growing one, despite other industries that experienced a downturn in the slowed economy. As for the 2011 forecast, the report estimated growth at 16 percent in 2011. We’ll await next year’s report to see how that prediction fared.

And along with the growing sector was a growing interest in businesses to invest in Web marketing this year. The SEMPO report revealed more than half of the companies surveyed planned to increase spend on SEO in 2011. However, it showed that approximately half also reported they spend 10 percent or less of their SEO budget with service providers.

So, if you’re an in-houser with similar stats, the next question is, how do you best utilize that budget and also fill in the gaps? This brings me to the second tip I gave for boosting Web marketing in 2011: receiving buy-in.

Get Buy-In

Making in-house Web marketing successful is an age-old question that seems to never have a definitive answer, but there are certainly many strategies. If you’re still struggling with buy-in and implementation, we offered several blog posts on the topic of in-house tactics here over the past year; check ‘em out:

Start Training

Last but certainly not least is training and education. This can be the single-most important component of a successful Web marketing plan. With the search engines changing rapidly year over year (we saw dramatic changes in 2011 in so many areas of online marketing), keeping up with trends and tactics is a must for any in-house marketer.

In the January post, I gave several training courses, websites and blogs that were great resources for staying up-to-date on all-things Web marketing (including our very own SEO training classroom). And while the tried and true value of that original list still holds true, we did see a lot of new ideas emerge from the 2011 conferences I mentioned in the January post.

We had a packed year of search marketing events and luckily, Bruce Clay, Inc. was there to cover the sessions you may have missed. Here’s a recap of our 2011 conference liveblog coverage, so you can get a sense of the hot topics and trends of the year, and gain insight on how you can continue to tackle them in-house:

What were your big wins in-house this year, and did any of the tips in this post play a part in that? Please weigh in with a comment below, and stay tuned for Part 2 of this post next week!

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