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Abhishek Kumar Srivastava

3 SEM Alternatives to SEO for Maximum Bang For your Buck

Abhishek Kumar Srivastava| Last updated: December 1, 2016 | 0 Comments

Digital marketing is the wave of the future and any forward looking business must on necessity incorporate this into their marketing efforts if they are to stay relevant in their area of operations. So, what exactly is digital marketing? Wikipedia defines digital marketing as the marketing of products or services by using digital technologies that can be in the form of the internet, mobile phones and display advertising.

There are many ways in which digital marketing can be carried out and some of the most commonly used methods include; Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), digital content marketing, automating content, digital campaign and eCommerce platforms marketing. As you can perceive from the above listing, there are many channels which can be used for digital marketing.

SEM: The Alternatives

SEM, Search Engine Marketing is at the top of the pack and for the uninitiated, this is the type of advertising that you find when you visit a web page, the uncanny adverts that pop up when you are searching for an item. For instance, when you type the keyword, “hotels Miami” on the Google search bar, you will end up with the SERPs for that term (SEO) and sponsored adverts that will attempt to point you in the direction of hotels in Miami. These are a byproduct of SEM and that’s how search engines make their money.

However, SEM is often too expensive for SMBs as the ad buying market is auction based, which simply means that the people with the most bucks (big corporations with big budgets) always carry the day and get their ads served alongside the keywords that apply to their domain. Therefore, for most SEMs, they find it too hard to compete in this league, unless you use the services of a dedicated SEO Company. If you are in this category, you need not lose hope as there are alternate ways in which you can still get your voice heard and push your brand to prospective customers.

In this article, we are going to look at some of these alternatives and how best you can leverage them to get your product widespread recognition and the financial windfall directly related to that;

  • Google Display Network – According to the official page of Google Display Networks, GDN, the network is designed to make advertising on websites for the promotion of business, easy and effective. They further say that they use the technology to enable businesses place their adverts at the right place and time for the benefit of your vertical.

The network allows you to create all types of adverts, such as textual, image and fully multimedia video adverts. The adverts are then placed in front of the audience that is most likely to make a purchase of the product that you are selling and the whole system allows you to track your budget, campaigns and results on the go.

This model depends upon you using your top 15 to 20 keywords as your, Display Select Keywords, DSK; alternately, you can opt to use your SEO and SEM data from previous campaigns in order to set yourself up on the GDN, which is the next big thing on Google’s ad networks after search.

  • Facebook Lookalike Audiences – On the other hand, Facebook Lookalike audiences let you find people on Facebook who fit the profile of the ideal persona that you are trying to sell your product to. That is to say that they are nearly identical to the audience that matters to your business. The FB lookalike audience lets you reach the demographic that matters to you.

To get this going, you need to have created a custom audience on FB, a verified upgraded FB Pixel or an FB page. The process is pretty straightforward and you have quite a number of options on customizing the audience that reflects your ideal personae. After that, you can go ahead and select the audience size and the target country, and you will be good to go.

The platform uses cutting edge AI technology to match your adverts with the target audience and the tighter the demographic the better the results. To succeed here, you need to focus more on the quality of the audience rather than the raw numbers to reach. One way to go about the creation of your target audience is to use the highest lifetime Value customers (LTV) to base your targeting on.

  • Facebook Competition Targeting – The whole idea with digital marketing on social media is that there exist very detailed persona profiles that you can mine extensively and use to win over the audiences that you want. Winning them over means diverting them to come and purchase whatever product that you are offering.

Imitation is the best form of flattery; this goes without saying, and so the best way of getting up quickly from the paddocks is by engaging in some form of competitor espionage. This means that you need to spy on the competition and use that information to target those clients and have them headed your way as opposed to the way of the competition.

Be Sharp

Well, after you are through with the espionage, you can then create a list in which you compare your service vis-a-vis the competitions service. This means that you can come up with an advert, which shows you value proposition and contrasts this with the competitions, prompting the customers to choose your product over the competitions.

This approach will help to make the customers consider your service as an alternative to your competition’s offering, talk about targeted poaching. The beauty is that these methods mentioned above can go a long way in getting you noticed outside the Search SEM audience and you can combine these alternatives cleverly to come up with a bespoke solution that delivers comparable traffic to your eCommerce website in a much similar manner that you would have engaged clients using the SEM methodology.

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