Online marketing is often confusing, since it’s hard to pin down all of the different parts and how they interact. One way is to think of a company’s online presence as a cloud i.e. a marketing cloud and when the cloud is well seeded, it will rain.
The marketing cloud for many is quite complex today, but understanding the basic principle behind it can help marketers understand how to use the cloud more effectively.
Let’s first take a look at how a corporate web presence has evolved over time.
In the beginning there was a ‘web page’ and maybe even a brochure site with a links page connecting the company to a few more companies.
As the web evolves more pages are created and linked to other sites. Maybe a microsite is created as well that lives at another domain name. E-blasts are sent and the e-mails are located on another web server. And maybe even a blog pops up with even more pages linking back to the corporate website and other sites.
Visibility within the marketing cloud expands as the company’s online presence grows.
Google is born, expanding and manipulating the cloud, deciding who is more relevant and who should be more visible.
Social networking hits the scene. Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and LinkedIn provide locations for companies to plant their seeds. More and more online communities sprout up where visitors can post their own content to directories, blogs and forums.
RSS, mash ups and sites like flickr facilitate the easy streaming of content throughout the cloud.
Tagging and sharing widgets such as digg, del.icio.us and StumbleUpon multiply connections and cross-pollination.
E-blasts and pay per click enter the cloud like lightening, stimulating sales and increasing brand awareness.
And lo and behold the cloud begins to rain and sales increase. For some just a few drops but for others a downpour. The more visible the company is, the more seeded the cloud, the more it rains.
Viewing the Internet as a marketing cloud and understanding how to seed it, is one step in increasing the value of an online marketing presence. And if done properly is less expensive than offline marketing such as direct mail, advertising and trade shows.
Use the eValuator to see how well your marketing cloud is seeded.
Learn more about services that help seed the cloud at bartlettinteractive.com.