Interactive marketing is racing at cheetah speed, practically forcing businesses into the online arena. It’s only natural that marketing and communications firms offer services that coincide with the switch.

Billion Dollar Stats

In 2011, 19 percent of all ad spending in the U.S. was dedicated to interactive marketing, according to a forecast completed by Forrester Research. That’s over $34 billion. The kicker? In the next five years, that percentage is set to increase to 35 percent, stacking up to an estimated $77 billion in ad spending.

So what’s the interactive marketing sector with the most cash?

Search marketing.

Businesses invested more than 50 percent of interactive marketing spending in search in 2011, yet there are still some agencies not offering search to clients.

Perhaps it’s the fear of change or the sense of comfort in traditional marketing services and structures. Is the staff not capable? Does the agency not have the resources or time to invest in acquiring the necessary knowledge?

Stop Making Excuses and Jump on the Lead Gen Bandwagon

Clients are either craving search marketing or yearning for the impeccable results that follow when it’s done correctly.

Search marketing is not just about getting a client’s site to rank or getting thousands of people to visit a site. Frankly, rankings and site traffic really don’t matter if the site isn’t structured properly for usability and conversion.

Essentially, search is a driving force behind lead generation, which Webmarketing123’s State of Digital Marketing Report reveals is the most important digital marketing objective in 2011.

When asked what makes the biggest impact on lead generation goals, B2B and B2C firms agreed on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), surpassing Pay Per Click (PPC) and social media, therefore solidifying its importance in marketing strategy.

 

Provide Added Value to Clients

If you’re still cold calling and unhappy with results, it’s about time to migrate to the land of search.

In my opinion, SEO is ideal for generating leads because it’s non-invasive. Sites appear in search results pages (SERPs) and searchers click on the listing that appeals to them. An ad doesn’t annoyingly pop up and disrupt the online experience, nor does a video ad’s blasting volume deafen ears.

Plus, the great thing about SEO is that it applies to every industry. Whether the client is solely an information provider or selling a product or service, search can benefit them.

When working with a client, ask them what the goal of their website is. You may discover that many businesses simply have a website for the sake of having one. I’ve found that quite a few business owners don’t fully understand the marketing power behind their online presence.

By expanding your portfolio of services to include search, you can aid in revealing this potential to your clients. You can offer them a new avenue for lead generation and increasing revenue, ultimately adding value to your client relationship.

 

Charts courtesy of Webmarketing 123 and Forrester Research.

Originally published Dec 11, 2011 1:00:38 AM, updated December 02 2014

Topics:

SEO Lead Generation