Sometimes, trying to get the attention of web users can feel like an exercise in futility. The easier it gets to create a website, the harder it is to actually draw in visitors and customers. Ventana New Media has come up with something it feels can help solve this.
The company launched Ventana New Media Engine (NME) on August 30, 2011, a product that delivers content-driven search engine-optimized communications using what Ventana describes as "powerful tools for rapidly building corporate and product brand identity and increasing lead generation for long-term business success."
According to Forrester Research, by 2014 interactive marketing in the United States will approach $55 billion. Social media spending alone will be more than $3 billion, up from $716 million in 2009. Not only does this mean getting noticed will be more important, it also means it will be more competitive.
"We started the New Media Engine to fill a gap between social media marketing and search marketing initiatives," says Joe Austin, president and co-founder of Ventana New Media. "Many social media networks are classified as high-quality sites in the eyes of search engines. When [SEO] content is consistently published on those sites [it] can serve to provide brand empowerment."
There were several tasks Ventana wanted to accomplish with the NME, including: decreasing a company's marketing costs while improving brand position; improving its organic keyword search rankings to drive web-based lead generation; building social networking communities to engage the market; and implementing what Austin called "social media marketing without the risk."
This "risk" occurs, Austin says, when companies encourage employees to blog and contribute to social media discussions. He says the employees then become "representatives" of the company, and the content that goes online doesn't go through proper review at the company. "Depending on what their employees say, the company could wind up in trouble because of inaccurate or unauthorized information being released to the internet." Austin says.
The process looks something like this: after companies supply digital content-press releases, blogs, videos, etc.-to Ventana, it is then coded with backlinks and keywords and processed through NME. (While the idea of keywords is nothing new, Ventana analyzes different words and their strengths, and then tells the customer "what keyword is most appropriate for them," Austin says.) The content starts to publish on a framework of about 80 new media sites-including blogs, social networks, etc.-within six hours, and, shortly thereafter, these sites are crawled by search engines. The content then begins to appear in keyword searches. At the same time, the company's corporate URL sees a spike in searchability, due to the increase in URL "authority." Prospective customers then click on backlinks, or the corporate URL, which takes them to the corporate site. Austin stresses the NME is ideal for mid-level companies that already have a lot of content on their sites that just, for various reasons, is going largely unnoticed. "Anyone with existing content is a perfect candidate for this," he says. "It allows you to rejuvenate, reactivate and breathe new life into content that's [already there]."
While NME wasn't publicly available until this week, a beta version has been tested by select companies in recent months. One of the users of the beta version was Metalogix, a provider of content lifecycle management solutions. "We have achieved solid results with this program across five continents accessing significantly more issue-focused media outlets than traditional SEO engines," says Metalogix CEO Steven Murphy. "This has allowed Metalogix to reduce our Google Adword spend by 80% and move our rankings to the top spot on search engine pages in our key market segments."
Another tester, the data integration and data management company Queplix, says that, in the span of three months, it ranked above its competitors in targeted keyword search and web presence. The NME "played an important role in unseating our competitors in strategic areas of web marketing," says Michael Zuckerman, CMO of Queplix. "This provided a substantial return on our marketing investment in a short period of time."
With the beta version of the program a success, Ventana is now ready to offer NME to the public. Austin says his sales and customer service teams are ready to go.
"We are ready to rock and roll," he says.
Pricing for the service starts at $5,000 a month.