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Top 10 for Online Marketing Success in 2009

by Aaron Kahlow  |  
January 13, 2009

Still uncertain how to start your online-marketing efforts this year? Here's some practical guidance that will soon have you on your way to success.

10. Borrow and Share

Share your content, borrow others'. This is a really simple concept, but due to decades of a winner-take-all, competitive scarcity-model mentality, it's a hard philosophy for most marketers to embrace.

All of us have some content that's worth getting out, so we should share it with anyone willing to post it on their site. In the same vein, we should borrow content from others who have supporting information that will enhance the experience of our Web-site customers.

Even those whose business is information—publishers—can't cover all things at all times and need to share. If The New York Times is willing to aggregate and share content from other publications, then it should be possible for the rest of us to do the same.

Recommendation: Find the top two or three publishers/bloggers/reporters who cover your industry and grab an RSS feed. Insert it in your news section of your Web site. This may not produce any results, but it will help you get used to—and begin to understand the value of—the shared-content concept.

9. User-Generated Content as a Strategy

With folks out of work and looking for ways to engage, what better time to encourage participation? You might be surprised to find how many of your customers are more than happy to give insight on their experience with a product, service, or solution that you offer. So why not encourage them to share?

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Aaron Kahlow is founder and executive director of the Online Marketing Summit ( and the Online Marketing for Marketers blog (

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  • by Melinda Tue Jan 13, 2009 via web

    In #9, you say, "Pick a product, service, or area of interest on your site and, with the help of a 30-day trial from one of the many ratings/reviews software vendors, start getting content from your customers. "
    Can you recommend any software vendors?

  • by Karl K Tue Jan 13, 2009 via web


    This may help (, they have a number of tools that can help with user generated content

  • by Jody Tue Jan 13, 2009 via web

    This is a really great article-- thank you!!!!! I've forwarded to my entire department....

  • by Melinda Tue Jan 13, 2009 via web

    Thanks, Karl. I will definitely look into them. P.S. I agree...great article. I've also shared it.

  • by Marc N Wed Jan 14, 2009 via web

    Hey Aaron, great article and one that I'm sure people will refer back to throughout the year.

    You seem to be contradicting yourself with items four and five. Sure, people piss away a lot of time on Twitter but no more than they do on sites like Facebook.

    Twitter, IMHO, is an important place for today's marketers to 'get'. How many of your 3000 followers are members of the media eager for a story? How many are potential customers? How many people are on there now having conversations about your brand?

    'Doing more with less' means that free tools should be squeezed until they sing.

    Looking forward to the OMS.

  • by Hansen Thu Jan 15, 2009 via web

    Another great article Aaron! Can't wait until OMS 09'. #2 is my main focus to keep me ahead of the game this year.

  • by cjbryant Thu Jan 15, 2009 via web

    Good article, but have to agree with Marc N about Twitter. Like everything else we do in marketing, its a matter of having a clear objective of what you expect to gain before jumping into any of the social media sites -- Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc. All can consume a lot of time, but each can also contribute value to marketing efforts.

  • by sahlsmith Sun Jan 18, 2009 via web

    Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, et. al. are valuable in unique ways.

    Twitter helps me spot conversation trends and read about references to our company in a global open-air market.

    Facebook helps me engage in conversations in an invitation-only stall in the same market.

    LinkedIn helps me view the business experiences and relationships of those who accepted my invitation to visit my stall.

    They all offer value. This is why it's called 'Social Media' rather than 'Social Medium.'

  • by Kara Dowdall Wed Jan 21, 2009 via web

    Great article.

    I love the comment re:

    "Instead of clinging to the e-newsletter habit, what about launching a timely, well-segmented email campaign that has relevant information that will be of the most interest to your customer base?

    The day that an e-newsletter becomes the most important tool in your arsenal is the day you become a publisher. Stop spending your time on that low-impact e-newsletter and start spending it on relevancy and segmentation.

    Recommendation: In your next e-newsletter, ask your customers what they are interested in, what they'd like to hear more about, and how often... then segment audiences and build campaigns around this information."

    Appature has this EXACT solution - the ability to aggregate ALL of your customer data sources into a single repository and allow you to build very precise customer segments - for marketing campaigns, market research and personalized communication.

  • by tammygirl25 Thu Feb 12, 2009 via web

    A great article here! I love your countdown format!

    As for what you have said about education as a way to be successful, I totally agree on that…. I mean, with the alterations and advancements happening now globally, you cannot compete in the market with the use of rotten strategy. And of course, we should take out in our system any fear, because being coward on taking risks will get you nowhere. I hope to read more articles from you! By the way, I happen to visit a lens that talks about INTERNET MARKETING. Hope you can check it out!

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