Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz wrote an interesting blog post exploring the question, “Which Internet marketing channel would you choose if you had $1 million?” Or something along those lines.
This is an interesting question because most small businesses don’t have a million dollars to invest in their marketing plan. But by asking the question you can imagine what the most important marketing channels are for your business. Every business is different so the answer depends a great deal on what your individual goals are. But there are some principles behind each marketing channel that you’d want to base your decision on as well.
To sum up, Rand identifies the following Internet marketing channels:
- Display advertising
- E-mail marketing
- Pay per click advertising
- Online public relations
- Search engine optimization
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media marketing
- Viral content campaigns
- Conversion rate optimization
Some of these channels, like affiliate marketing and viral content campaigns, just aren’t feasible for most small businesses. But some of these are absolutely essential.
For instance, why you’d do away with SEO – search engine optimization – is beyond me. E-mail marketing is another channel that I’d say is almost essential no matter what your business is. The optional channels are PPC and display advertising. The rest of us could be left to personal preferences.
So which is right for you?
To answer the question, you have to ask yourself some very serious questions, starting with “What is your budget?” If you don’t have a large budget for Internet marketing – and most small businesses don’t – then you’ll be limited in what you can accomplish. You also need to ask, “What kind of time do I have for performing tasks myself?” Time and money are perhaps your two most precious resources. It helps, then, to identify early on just how much of both that you have to contribute to Internet marketing. Before you do anything else, those questions must be asked.
Next, what kind of internal resources do you have? If you’re not going to do it yourself then you’ll need someone who can do it for you. Will it be a staff person? Will you outsource it? *If you have more money resources than you have time or internal human resources then outsourcing it is your best option. If you are limited in money, but you have a staff person who is underutilized then you might dedicate someone internally to the tasks of Internet marketing that you have identified to be of interest to you. So you can see that it isn’t all cut and dry.
If you feel yourself to be in need of a second head then why not ask for an Internet marketing consultation to help you figure out the best direction to move?