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  Online Marketing Whitepaper
 

Online Marketing Whitepaper

Introduction

The Imperfect World of Quantifying Website Traffic

Online Advertising Lingo

Necessities for Every Company with a Website

Paid Advertising

Leveraging the True Power of the Internet

Bootstrap Marketing Online

 

A Dated Introduction to Online Marketing*

*Note: This is the original version of a whitepaper that was authored in 2001 by iCondotta's founder and principal consultant, Stephan Aarstol. It's a useful primer, but dated - pre-Wikipedia (2001), pre-Google AdWords PPC (2002), way pre-YouTube (2005), you get the picture...

Becoming an Expert on Someone Else’s Site

One of the most cost effective ways to create business for your company is to have a member of your staff become a resident expert on one or more high traffic websites that attract your target audience. Accomplishing this may be easier than you think. Sites that generate a lot of traffic are always looking for a means to enrich the content they can provide to their audience. If you offer to serve as a resident expert resource to answer user questions and post periodic content on a topic that you have some experience with, they’ll usually be more than happy to give you the credit. They won’t let it be overtly commercial, but they will surely allow you a byline that lists your company, the line of business needs your company serves, and your position within that company. With a few hours commitment per week, or maybe only a few hours per month, a staff member of your company can become widely known as THE expert in his/her specific field in a short period of time. That’s the power of the web.

Every company, including ones without a website, has employees that could be considered “experts” to a certain degree on one thing or another related to their industry. This relative expertise can be a very valuable asset that attracts business on the web if, and only if, you can draw a substantial audience representative of your target audience. Chances are that a good portion of your target audience is already on the web frequenting the major destination websites that have relevance to the industry your company is in. Your customers probably already consider you somewhat of an expert at what you do, and they probably contact you if they have a relevant question. There’s no reason that you have to limit yourself to your existing customers. Offer your expertise free of charge to a high traffic site and you’re reach and influence increases exponentially. So, too, will your customer base. What’s better, you’ll be riding on the coattails of the hefty marketing budget they spend attracting your potential customers in your target market.

A person doesn’t need to have won a Nobel Prize to qualify as an expert in his/her field. Almost anyone who has been in a business long enough has some expertise. Consider approaching a content-focused website in your industry, or a site that you believe your prospective customers frequent. Offer to write a whitepaper, serve as an expert to answer user questions on a particular topic, etc. They may not necessarily be soliciting experts, but they would probably be more than happy to make this expert resource available to their user base as long as it was kept on a non-commercial, professional level.

Consultants are especially well suited to this type of endeavor. Establishing oneself as THE expert on one or more of the most popular websites in a particular industry is a compelling and influential asset to add to a resume or portfolio.

Some benefits that a potential expert can offer a portal site are to:

  • Contribute a white paper
  • Contribute articles on a recurring basis
  • Offer to moderate a discussion board
  • Offer to moderate an email discussion group
  • Make yourself available by email to answer user questions
  • Periodically staff a live “Ask the Expert” Q&A chat session

Since there is little reason for portal sites to have multiple experts on the same topic, there’s a huge first mover advantage here. Let a competitor beat you to the punch and it is going to be hard to supersede their position as the resident expert on that site.

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Authored in 2001 by Stephan Aarstol
while Director of Business Development
at AuntMinnie.com