We all want to expand our markets, drive more interest in our products and services and increase quality leads to grow our businesses. The undeniably best way to do that is to engage prospects in such a way that it creates interest, and better yet – demand, for what we offer.
A strong digital presence is a fundamental marketing function every business must exercise – now and forever forward. And unless you’re a known personality/brand, like Ryan Seacrest, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Mark Cuban, etc., your company’s website is basecamp for your digital presence. Making social media, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, retargeting, native advertising, content marketing and any other paid or unpaid function to attract prospects to your website merely an excursion to bring more interested folks to the party that is your website.
Organic traffic is best. Prospective new clients that are already searching for what you have to offer are, without a doubt, the most engaged. They’re *already interested* and are ‘pulling’ for information about your products and services. Organics deliver the most pageviews, have the longest session durations and lowest bounce rates. They are engaged because they feel a need for what you offer.
A quick Google search of, ‘how to increase organic traffic’ delivers 31.5M results in half-a-second – hmm… so if you have a few lifetimes perhaps you can research and learn ‘search engine optimization’ wizardry to grow organic search traffic to your website.
However, by the time you figure all that out – the game will have changed, countless-times-over.
There’s an entire industry around SEO. It’s made of mostly self-taught ‘experts’ who’ve taken the time to research what works, what doesn’t and then try to manipulate the system. That’s why Google, and other search engines, are constantly deploying updates to thwart the system gamers.
Gamers of search engine algorithms even have sides – the White Hats and Black Hats. The White Hat players work within the rules and mostly play it safe. And as you’d imagine, the Black Hat side disregards the rules and runs the risk of winding up in Google’s penalty box – simply no longer being recognized. (Yikes – good luck attracting organics then!)
Like losing weight, there are no shortcuts in building traffic to your businesses website. Sure there are lots of sellers of shortcuts – but don’t buy it. Lots of people get sold on the belief that they can lead sedentary lifestyles while feasting on Happy Meals and take a magic pill that will shred their abs like Michael Phelps. (Again, good luck.)
The reality is that Google has hundreds of factors, which are constantly changing and determine how each website page ranks for any given search query. Some of those factors include:
Quality Content is king in search – just like healthy diet and exercise are king in being fit. The reality is you simply can’t ‘game’ the system – or it’s increasingly difficult and not worth it. Websites packed with redundant content which serves no purpose but to attempt to help it rank high in search haven’t worked for a long time. Search engineers identified and programmed around those tactics long ago – and continue to do so with each update they deploy to their search functionality.
We can’t mention ‘gaming’ the system without a nod to clickbait. A common example would be an online ad that uses a pretty girl and provocative headline to get users to click on an ad. The upside is a user to your website but, the downside is that user won’t stay on your website because it’s highly unlikely they are interested in what you have to offer – because they were only ‘clicking on a chick’. (Yes, it’s a phrase in the industry ‘chicks get clicks.’)
Massive reach story selling – tell your business’s ‘narrative.’ The best way to drive organic search traffic to your website is to reach as many people as you possibly can with your marketing message(s) of differentiation. (We’ll refer to this vague but larger number of people as a ‘sh!t-ton.’) But how do you reach a sh!t-ton of people? Well, you probably don’t do it through digital one-to-one advertising scenarios. Especially if you’re in a highly competitive marketplace where single-click-costs are high. (And let’s face it – who isn’t in a highly competitive marketplace?)
You might try a television campaign – as TV reaches a lot of people. Although TV viewership has been eroding for 30-years. Digital recorders are making it easier and easier to completely skip commercials – aka ‘time-shifting.’ There are a gazillion channels with even more programming options making those audiences even smaller. Plus you have the cost of producing a spot that looks and sounds good… lots of headwinds when you’re really just trying to reach a sh!t-ton of people.
Of course, there is the Super Bowl. And lots of people tune in specifically for the commercials… but a single spot in the Super Bowl surpassed $4.5M last year. And good luck running a one spot TV campaign. And oh yeah, NFL TV ratings have been tanking as Americans are finding other things to do with their Sundays… and Monday and Thursday nights – in the fall and winter months. (Limited to seasonality.)
The ‘massive-est’ reach medium = Radio. Believe it or not, old-school/traditional radio advertising is the go-to reach vehicle that more and more national brands and local marketers alike are realizing they can’t live without. Radio reaches lots of sh!t-tons of people!
Radio overtook TV as the top reach medium last year. And radio’s impact on search is undeniable. A recent client of mine, new to radio, experienced an 81% increase in search traffic, year-over-year, in only 30-days of relatively light advertising on two smaller stations here in Los Angeles. And that’s in the highly competitive home and auto insurance category.
That client was spending between $30k and $65k monthly on search engine marketing and optimization services. Conversely the radio spend was just $25k.
Radio’s return on investment is equally undeniable. A recent study found that businesses advertising on radio experienced as much as $23.21 returned for every dollar spent!
And by the way, take that $4.5M from a single Super Bowl commercial and apply it to radio – boom! You could own the Los Angeles airwaves for an entire year – many stations, many demos, personality endorsements – the works. Or you could take that $4.5M and launch a national campaign with multiple syndicated personalities like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck or the ever polarizing Rush – need I say his last name?
But what about Pandora and Spotify and all the other digital pure-plays eroding traditional radios audiences? It’s a myth. The pure play digital radio companies are impacting the recording industry – not the radio industry. Broadcast radio’s listenership has hovered at 93% for decades. The new shiny things of digital haven’t changed that – they’ve actually enhanced it by encouraging old school media companies to innovate.
The original mobile media and the original social media. For 100-years radio personalities have served as our social connectors throughout each stage of our life. Whether we’re youthfully listening to top new music or, more mature and, tuning into the latest news and commentary of the day – radio continues to be the invisible best friend we rely on to inform and entertain us.
It’s kind of funny that one of the goals of all things ‘digital’ is to achieve elegant simplicity for easiest adoption and use. But, I log onto Facebook and experience anything but elegant or simple. Facebook feels more like fighter jet dashboard with gauges, buttons, knobs and levers everywhere – and they’re all begging me to launch a foolish statement or image that will haunt me forever.
Radio, on the other hand, was way-way ahead of its time in simplicity and elegance. There’s never been buffering that makes you wait for your content. No data to worry about running out of or monthly fees to be concerned about running up. On/off, AM/FM, volume and dial – you can easily picture it can’t you?
The beauty of new digital media technology as it pertains to traditional local radio is that it’s only making your favorite stations and personalities more accessible than ever before. Our smart phones have replaced the AM/FM transistor radio. Headphones/earbuds have been one of the top selling consumer electronic devices with more and more variations coming to market each year. Evidenced by a recent search for headphones (or earbuds) on Amazon immediately delivering 500+ optional results.
With radio’s massive reach, whether you are a B2C or B2B marketer the medium reaches pretty much everyone in the US and the ROI is proven to be tops among any single medium. With marketing being a multi-channel year-round activity – no matter what you’re selling – radio should be leading your marketing mix.
Radio drives organic search traffic. The one-to-many nature of radio engages prospects and creates interest for what your business offers. This interest drives organic search traffic to your website. On your website (aka basecamp) your sales process becomes more one-to-one. This one-to-one setting gives you additional opportunity to create demand, leads and sales. Market expanded – business grown.
If you’d like to learn more about using radio in combination with digital media you happen to be on my basecamp and I’d love to discuss with you. My number is below-left and I look forward to hearing from you.