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January 5, 2011

3 Ways to Boost Your In-House Internet Marketing in 2011: Part 1

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Many small businesses and even large corporations have not yet harnessed the power of Internet marketing to its full capacity. And even if you have sort-of focused on online marketing as part of your traditional marketing plan, how do you tackle the beast to stay ahead of the curve and your competition? These are all issues I will tackle in this two-part post on how to boost your in-house Internet marketing in 2011.

1. Actually Focus on Internet Marketing

That might sound shocking to some of us who are in the industry. But, it’s a fact that some companies don’t yet have it as a main focus in their marketing plan.

Before you small businesses and corporations start feeling down, don’t worry. Even if you started focusing on Internet marketing in 2011, you’d still be ahead of the curve.

In fact, many companies that started SEO in the past couple years have had to rethink entire strategies based on all the changes to search that have been occurring, like the move to social and local.

At industry conferences in the past year, BCI has seen a huge shift in more traditional businesses wanting to learn about SEO. We see this in the types of professionals attending the one-day SEO training we offer.

From small companies to large corporations, some businesses in some sectors are just now making Internet marketing a priority.

Internet marketing consultants: If you’re looking to boost your client base in 2011, keep in mind that there is an untapped market of people who need your skills, expertise and guidance to jump start their Internet marketing efforts. Go find them.

eBeam Whiteboard Interactive Whiteboard

2. Get Buy-In

If you’re in a company that doesn’t yet have a solid Internet marketing strategy, but you know it’s the future of marketing, go to the people in charge and start educating them.

If you already have a strategy in place, but you know it needs updating, start talking. You might literally be holding the online success of your company in your hands.

Of course, you’ll need to do a lot of research to form a strong case. Put yourself in “lawyer mode” and start doing the legwork. Collect all the materials you can on how Internet marketing positively affects ROI and the bottom line. This is where you’ll show value.

Find white papers, case studies (highlighting success for businesses in your industry, if you can find ‘em), articles and blog posts. Study them and put together a strategy that addresses the key goals for 2011, before they even ask you for it.

Some won’t receive buy-in right away. Many business leaders know about the Internet marketing buzz, but still have to be taught why it will be valuable to their business success and how it works.

Some might be fearful of shifting focus from what they know works (traditional marketing) to the unknown (online marketing). Many industries still rely heavily on face-to-face marketing, traditional print, e-mail campaigns and more.

This doesn’t mean Internet marketing will replace this (at least not right away). What usually causes the fear is a perceived lack of resources, value, budget and the unknown.

Again, this is where it’s important to teach them not only the value but what’s involved, how it will work and the ROI.

Internet marketing consultants: It’s your duty to educate these businesses that are starting out on the importance of Internet marketing. Create valuable content that these in-house people can use to fuel buy-in. Perform more outreach to your potential target market, not just the people in the industry. I think we’re all a little guilty of sometimes spending too much time talking about Internet marketing to Internet marketers (or is it just me?). How can we increase the value in our communications to help those starting out in Internet marketing? This is one of my goals for 2011.

Classroom

3. Start Training

If you’re just starting out, you could literally spend thousands of hours learning tactical execution from books, blogs and more.

And while I don’t doubt the value of an education via these disjointed sources, if you’re really new to it, invest in some training.

Even if you’re, say, the Internet marketing manager with years of experience, continuing education is key within this fast-moving industry.

There are several ways you can get an education on Internet marketing and stay abreast of changes:

a) Training Courses. Many of the experts out there (and even the not-so-well-known experts), have online or classroom training courses on how to get started with SEO, social media, analytics, conversions, paid search and more.

  • Market Motive training by Avinash Kaushik, Bryan Eisenberg, Greg Jarboe and others. This online training led by industry experts covers social media, PPC, SEO, conversions, analytics and more. It offers access to instructors via phone and certification.
  • Standard and advanced SEO training by Bruce Clay. This hands-on, face-to-face classroom training from SEM industry veteran Bruce Clay offers in-depth East Coast and West Coast Internet marketing courses for beginners, in-house custom training or one-day SEO training at industry conferences. Advanced courses offer certification.
  • Search Engine College. These online courses are offered through Jordan Consulting Group, and teach basic-level SEO, copywriting PPC and more, with tutorial help as needed. Certification is also available.
  • SEMPO Institute. This online education created by the nonprofit Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization offers the ability to take one or more courses, as needed, by topics such as search marketing, SEO, copywriting and more.
  • FanReach.net. This online training course consists of many hours of video that covers all aspects of Facebook marketing for business, from setting up a Fan page correctly to fan acquisition and much more.

b) Industry Conferences. Conferences are not only a great way to dive in head first, but also a valuable way for experts to brush up on their knowledge directly from industry leaders. Attending a conference can be like finishing a mini master’s degree in Internet marketing, and is a great place to network. The big conferences for 2011 will be:

c) Online Self-Education. E-books, industry blogs, news sources, leaders in their fields. These are all valuable resources to learn from and stay on top of trends and changes. But it’s a big job. Not only because there are so many opinions out there, but because it’s so fast-paced. In fact, my job as a blogger is to stay on top of these resources and it’s hard for me sometimes. Best piece of advice is to dedicate a little bit of time every week to catch up from these resources to see what you might be missing. Some blogs to watch out for include:

Last Minute

This is not a complete list by any means. This is literally just a high-level sampling. Countless Internet marketers contribute value to the community through blogs, videos and social media every day. If you have others you feel should be added to the list, please comment with your feedback.

d) Hire consultants. Sometimes the best way to get a tailor-made education in-house is to have the experts come to you. If you can fit consulting services into your budget, then this can be a very valuable experience for your organization. Many of the leading experts in Internet marketing are available for consulting.

Internet marketing consultants: Is there a better way you can culminate your knowledge into a one-stop place for someone to learn the basics of what you do? Having a great blog or offering training can not only help the business community, but also generate revenue for your business and position yourself as a thought leader. Or, maybe this is the year you should speak at a conference to share your knowledge with people gearing up for Internet marketing. Also, what are some other ways you can better assist in-house Internet marketers through your social media efforts?

In tomorrow’s Part II post, I’ll give you another three areas in-house Internet marketers simply cannot ignore in 2011. Stay tuned!

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10 responses to “3 Ways to Boost Your In-House Internet Marketing in 2011: Part 1”

  1. cindy braaksma writes:

    Thank you for the great information you provide on internet marketing. I think this is vital information going forward for any size business. Cindy Braaksma

  2. Jessica Lee writes:

    Hi, mom. ;)

  3. Anthony Burke writes:

    Great post – especially the training section. Technology is driving so much change that for most businesses owners or SMEs it is impossible for them to keep up. Hence your last point about hiring consultants.

  4. Julian "the Lil ol web wizard" Snare writes:

    Wow information overload but so very true. Especially when it come to social marketing such as facebook. FB is one of those marmite moments, you either love it or hate it. But considering that if facebook were a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world beating the USA. I am puzzled at why people/businesses wouldn’t want a presence there.

  5. john pearsall writes:

    fabulous information jessica!!…thanks so much..am a legacy print ad sales exec looking to up grade skill set to move into digital ad sales in nyc.this is a tremendous resource.just started at ibtimes.com and have much to learn…jp

  6. Jessica Lee writes:

    Hi, Anthony! Thanks for joining the discussion. As an in-houser once myself, I remember when I was first looking for training and CE, so I know how a list like this could help. Hope to see you back here!

  7. Jessica Lee writes:

    Yeah, what started out as a meager 450-word post really kinda got out of hand ;). I totally agree with you that Facebook is one of the places we must focus efforts on. I actually talk a little bit about that in the Part 2 of this post. Thanks for reading, Julian!

  8. Jessica Lee writes:

    Hi, John! Nothing makes me happier than knowing I helped someone through a blog post. And what perfect timing as you move from print to digital. Please keep in touch and let us know if we can answer any questions. Take care!

  9. Boise SEO writes:

    Wow, a virtual SEO encyclopedia of information. In my neck of the woods, I usually have to educate most owners or managers about what SEO even is before I can explain how it works. At least 50% of the time, the person says, “Man, I didn’t even know you could control things like that”, (Referring to your Google rankings). I usually let them know that their competition (name some companies) are being SEO’d.

  10. Jessica Lee writes:

    I’m always amazed when I hear that, but it’s a great reminder that we have lots of work to do. Keep on spreading the knowledge!



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