Online Marketing Risks Worth Taking

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“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William G.T. Shedd

The most successful moments of your life are the result of risk. Getting that new job, starting a relationship, pitching that surprisingly successful marketing campaign – it’s impossible to experience high levels of success without risk. The same is especially true online. The web is a medium of unlimited opportunities and exciting new ideas where bold risks can really pay off.

In fact, online risks are better than offline risks for a number of reasons. For instance, if your idea fails, it can usually be undone quicker and easier than offline in the “real world.” J.Crew, uses this to its advantage by trying web promotions that aren’t available in store. This provides a great testing ground which gives quick customer feedback and useful insights for physical stores. If a promotion isn’t working on the web, it can be immediately changed or removed.

Taking a chance on a web marketing idea is also typically less expensive and more flexible than traditional media. We’ve seen a recent print ad campaign which sent out mailers with the individual’s name on a URL, such as It’s personalized and will get people’s attention – great idea, right? The results were very poor. Unfortunately thousands of mailers had been printed, distribution was coordinated, and it couldn’t simply be turned off or changed like an online campaign.

Your brand can benefit from a bold online marketing risk. The rules of internet marketing are still being established – you have a great opportunity to do something fresh and new. Here are a few time-tested ideas that we have seen be very profitable for our clients, and may be just what your online presence needs:

Post One New Blog a Week
Adding quality, original content is the best thing you can do to boost website visits. We have seen good blog writing be incredibly effective nearly every time it’s implemented. Yet, so few companies put resources towards creating content. Imagine what could happen to your website and social media presence if you had a great new blog every week. Try setting up a blog writing schedule with a different member of your team responsible for a new blog each week. Connect with a web copywriter. Get help from a good web firm. You’ll be amazed with the results.

Put all Your Print Ads Budget Towards Search Engine Marketing
We have seen a lot of clients greatly benefit from a transition to online ads. As recent stats show, usage of many print media such as the phonebook continues to decrease. Your audience is using online tools to find what they’re looking for. Services like Google AdWords, LinkedIn Ads, or Facebook promotions can provide a great ROI. Of course there’s always a place for print – but with the rise of mobile devices and more tech-savvy consumers, your audience is increasingly moving to the web.

Use Established Publishers To Promote Your Content
Need to promote a new product or service? Try something different than just a new page on your own website. Plenty of sources exist online to bring attention to your cause. Create a different perspective with your content (remove the sales pitch) and take advantage of the inherited trust and authority behind established content sources. This style of content promotion is typically budget-friendly, has a quick development time, ranks exceptionally fast, and is a great way to clearly focus visitors on one aspect of your offering. Published content can also exist within your current website, and thus bring benefit to both sources.

If you keep doing what you’ve done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got. What could a unique approach with your time and marketing dollars do for your brand? Taking some risks with your online marketing program may be exactly what your brand needs.

A 30-something living in Miami Beach. Founder of MarketKarma and CouponMate. I can be contacted via LinkedIn or my blog.

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