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8 Old Internet Marketing Tools That Still Work

I went and saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night. It was bad. Awful. Root-for-the-army-ants-because-they-might-end-the-movie-sooner awful.
Seeing a great old franchise turned to so much stinking manure me to thinking about some old things that do still work for us internet marketers:

  1. Blogging Carnivals. I always seem to forget about this, but if you want to build links and network with like-minded folks, blog carnivals are fantastic. Try BlogCarnival.com if you want to see what it’s like. Very little involved in getting started, and the payoffs are enormous.
  2. Pay per click marketing. Yes, it’s more expensive. But no other internet marketing tool beats PPC for control, targeting and the ability to manage ROI.
  3. Search engine optimization. You knew I’d bring this one up. Shoemoney may think I’m a git for believing in it but low-key, visibility-focused SEO is a relatively small investment, and search engines still have the same reason for living: To deliver relevant stuff.
  4. Writing. See, pretty pictures are great, but they don’t tell me a hell of a lot. Two lines of well-written copy will get you more sales than any video, talking-head animation or cheesy design.
  5. Analytics. After everything I’ve written on this blog about analytics, if you don’t have Google Analytics or something else on your site yet, I give up.
  6. Directories. Yes, directories are still around. Sites like shop5.com don’t charge you and list your site where folks come looking for your services and products. It’s true that spamming your link out to 1,000 directories probably won’t help as much with SEO as it used to, but directories are still nice traffic drivers.
  7. E-mail. E-mail marketing is still an amazing direct marketing tool, if you do it right. Don’t ignore the house list.
  8. Old farts. I’m old, or at least approaching old: 40 in 3 weeks. In the last year I’ve ruptured 2 discs, cracked teeth, had my eyes go even worse, have hair falling out faster than ever, and I’ve got freckles that are no longer called freckles – they’re “age spots”. But I’m still pretty useful. Fire off a question now and then and I’ll do my best to answer.

So, my recommendation: Skip Indiana Jones. Work on your website instead.

CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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  1. Great list. However, you left out social media as a means of finding like-minded people.
    BTW: I think you’ve convinced me to purchase Wordze, with your video.

  2. We are in the process of redesigning our website and basically rebranding ourselves in the process. We are adding a interactive marketing arm to enhance the PR aspect of the firm. I have been noticing that many websites in these areas are utilizing a grand flash animation on their homepage (see: http://www.ketchum.com/). My question is do you think this is a wise investment of time and money? Will this make a difference?

  3. @Scott I have VERY strong opinions on this subject. Personally, I think Flash is fine for small animated ‘nuggets’ on a page, but given that you’re a PR agency your money is far better spent on fantastic copy and strong visuals.
    Ketchum’s page comes off, to me anyway, as contrived. It makes me wonder: How will their PR campaigns look?

  4. Hi Kyger,
    I may be dating myself a bit here, but I consider social media ‘new’, not ‘old’…
    Glad you like Wordze! I’ve been very happy with it so far.

  5. Spot-on Ian,
    I agree with you on all these marketing tools,
    some times we forget the best ones are free
    like Google Analytics, blogging, directories, writing…
    but I have you beat by a decade when it comes
    to that last one. Ha! Ha!
    Great advice and…
    “Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.”

  6. Hi Lex,
    I haven’t gotten a great hit from it. Blog carnivals HAVE given me a nice steady flow of links though.

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