Anyone with a brick and mortar presence who has tried to calculate the true ROI of organic and paid search knows how hard it can be to tie an offline sale with online research. We know shoppers end up conducting multiple searches and visiting multiple sites before they end up buying and that they usually end up buying offline and yet we fail to tie our marketing efforts together with any type of consistency.

That's what Liana Evans addresses today over at the Key Relevance SEMClubHouse blog.

Today, I was on MSNBC, and I clicked to watch a video segment from the Today show about "23 secret beach retreats". It was about a 4 minute segment, with Nilou Motamed from Travel + Leisure magazine. I got interested of course, I'm a beach bum at heart. I then went to Travel + Leisure's website to look for the rest of the list since the Nilou only discussed 4 places with Meredith Vieira, gosh darnit, I wanted to know the 19 others!

Travel + Leisure didn't have the article anywhere on its front page for me to click, not even giving me a tidbit and then have to pay to see the rest. They didn't even have an image of their latest magazine's front page on their site, so that if I wanted to go pick up the magazine because of this article, I would know it's there - I remembered a brief flash of it in the interview and thought I saw it, but wasn't sure. Then there's MSNBC, no link to an actual article on the video.

Thank goodness I'm a bit more technically savvy, and decided to check out the Today Show website. It wasn't on the main page of the Today Show, so from there I clicked into the Travel section, and found the article, it's 2 pages on the site, with very little to really go on.

It's a common problem, one I run across on a regular basis as I try to get more information on a campaign I might like to write about. I see a wonderful commercial or I read about a great promotion, but I simply can't find any information on it online. It's inexcusable, especially considering how easy it is to gather your marketing materials together on your web site these days.

If you've got a great campaign going on, you need to be doing everything you can to facilitate your fans in making it go viral. If you're pushing an event or partnering with a charity, make sure news of that partnership is easy to find on your site. Have your new commercials available on your site. Make sure they can be embedded in blogs and sent to friends. If you don't have that technology, upload them to YouTube and use YouTube's embed code to feature it on your site.

October 31, 2008

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.

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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Online or Off, it's All About Follow Through