All Roads Lead To Rome…Online


Timgad ruins
Originally uploaded by gabyu

Just as all roads led to Rome during the Roman Empire, all online roads must lead back to your client and their message, if you are to have a successful comprehensive Internet marketing strategy.

Think of your client, your product, or whatever it is you are marketing as the city of Rome. You must make it as easy as possible for people to find you and travel to your city. The map must be clear and the roads easy to travel.

One of the primary reasons for the construction of was to move the empire’s armies quickly for their many military campaigns. Likewise, you too must build your online roads for your Internet marketing campaigns.

Multi Channel Marketing

The use of the word "channel" in the subheadline is deliberate, evoking, as it does a television metaphor and its content channels. Especially cable channels with their narrowly focused content; for sports, , the , and so on.

Internet channels define content as well: for left-wing politics, for NFL football gossip, and for consumer technology news. But Internet channels also define types of content: has blog posts; has videos; has photos, and has text messages.

Internet audiences are fragmenting because of hugely popular, deeply engaging sites like and YouTube. People are no longer spending a majority of their time at search engines, using them as portal to their final destinations. Now many people are going directly to their favorite online communities and spending a lot of time there. The word "community" is the operative word here because the most important thing most of these sites have in common are some sort of feature.

All of these channels boast large, self-defined audiences: sports or history lovers; online video or photo enthusiasts. They give us the ability to reach the people who are most likely to want what we’ve got.

We know a lot about the audience already by the mere fact of them being there. MySpace users probably want to hook up with one another for whatever reason and because of the large presence of musicians and bands there, MySpace users are more likely than not music fans. YouTube users want to watch video; Flickr users want to share and look at photos; Technorati users want to read blog posts.

If you want to reach your audience online most efficiently, it is essential that you establish a presence at the online channels where your target audiences hang.

When In Rome

But, because of the social networking/media aspects of these channels, merely establishing a presence at these channels is likely not enough.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

The lingua franca of YouTube is video; for Flickr it is photos; for MySpace it is "friending" and comments. Take a look at what content you own and/or produce and match it to the medium. If you produce audio, upload it to . If you blog, make sure you feed your posts to Technorati. If you establish a YouTube account but don’t upload and share your video, what’s the point?

It is not just content type but also the tone of your content that matters.

Formal, Corpspeak on MySpace pages and comments just sounds weird. It’s not in tune with the MySpace culture. Your blog posts that proclaim rather than discuss, announce rather than engage will fail; it’s just not how the blogosphere works.

The Search Engine Glue – It’s All In The Metadata

While, as I said above, people are spending more time at centers of online gravity, search remains a central function that serves as the glue that holds your comprehensive Internet marketing strategy together.

People don’t abandon searching once they leave their favorite search engine; more often than not, they continue searching at the destination site. Search is, in fact, the primary and most efficient way of finding content at YouTube and Flickr and Technorati.

In order to reach the self-selected audience that search provides, you shouldn’t forget to search optimize the content you provide these centers of gravity sites.

Finally, as I discussed in , the content from the YouTubes and Flickrs and MySpaces of the world often rank well in , and .

If you’re skilled and a bit lucky, many of the links will lead to Rome.

Similar Posts:

Rate this post

About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

9 Comments

  1. isedb.com on November 12, 2007 at 4:47 00 pm CDT

    All Roads Lead To Rome…Online – Internet Marketing Blog

    Just as all roads led to Rome during the Roman Empire, all online roads must lead back to your client and their message, if you are to have a successful comprehensive Internet marketing strategy.



  2. isedb.com on November 12, 2007 at 4:47 00 pm CDT

    All Roads Lead To Rome…Online – Internet Marketing Blog

    Just as all roads led to Rome during the Roman Empire, all online roads must lead back to your client and their message, if you are to have a successful comprehensive Internet marketing strategy.



  3. isedb.com on November 12, 2007 at 9:47 22 am CDT

    All Roads Lead To Rome…Online – Internet Marketing Blog

    Just as all roads led to Rome during the Roman Empire, all online roads must lead back to your client and their message, if you are to have a successful comprehensive Internet marketing strategy.



  4. Ralph on November 13, 2007 at 11:57 00 am CDT

    Aha! The media is the message. or as you said it “We know a lot about the audience already by the mere fact of them being there. ” Like it.
    I believe you can include facebook, linkedin and even yahoo answers. Now, comes the question how to fit into the tone of them all [for larger audience coverage] without having to shift too much ones own presentation style.



  5. Ralph on November 13, 2007 at 4:57 39 am CDT

    Aha! The media is the message. or as you said it “We know a lot about the audience already by the mere fact of them being there. ” Like it.
    I believe you can include facebook, linkedin and even yahoo answers. Now, comes the question how to fit into the tone of them all [for larger audience coverage] without having to shift too much ones own presentation style.



  6. Desty on November 13, 2007 at 5:47 00 pm CDT

    While people do go to specific sites for what they are looking for (ie YouTube for videos, MySpace for social interactions, etc) it is possible to convert some of those viewers to your site by offering more or related materials at your site. While the conversion rate from this tactic will be low, make sure to use a deep link to move the traffic directly to the related material on your site; otherwise they’ll just hit the back button if they don’t immediately see what they’re looking for.



  7. Desty on November 13, 2007 at 10:47 58 am CDT

    While people do go to specific sites for what they are looking for (ie YouTube for videos, MySpace for social interactions, etc) it is possible to convert some of those viewers to your site by offering more or related materials at your site. While the conversion rate from this tactic will be low, make sure to use a deep link to move the traffic directly to the related material on your site; otherwise they’ll just hit the back button if they don’t immediately see what they’re looking for.



  8. David Erickson on November 13, 2007 at 9:32 00 pm CDT

    Thanks for the comments, Ralph.

    Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yahoo Answers are definitely included in the types of sites I’m talking about.

    I think the tone for these sites comes in part from the type of content you’re providing: So in Facebook, maybe it’s a group or your RSS feed and in Yahoo Answers, it’s your expertise, and in Flickr it’s fantastic photos. But the other aspect of adopting the tone of the medium comes from actually participating at those sites using a real, HUMAN voice, rather than a third-person sounding “Spokesperson” voice.

    I don’t know if I’ve really addressed your point about presentation; perhaps I don’t fully understand what you mean.

    Desty, great tip about deep linking!



  9. David Erickson on November 13, 2007 at 2:32 48 pm CDT

    Thanks for the comments, Ralph.

    Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yahoo Answers are definitely included in the types of sites I’m talking about.

    I think the tone for these sites comes in part from the type of content you’re providing: So in Facebook, maybe it’s a group or your RSS feed and in Yahoo Answers, it’s your expertise, and in Flickr it’s fantastic photos. But the other aspect of adopting the tone of the medium comes from actually participating at those sites using a real, HUMAN voice, rather than a third-person sounding “Spokesperson” voice.

    I don’t know if I’ve really addressed your point about presentation; perhaps I don’t fully understand what you mean.

    Desty, great tip about deep linking!