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Web presence management proposed as alternative to paid ads

Web presence management software tracks and measures performance of unpaid marketing for specific brands.
Web presence management software tracks and measures performance of unpaid marketing for specific brands.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Is it still possible for a website to attract online attention nowadays even without utilizing paid ads? Conductor seems to think so. The marketing software company based in Flatiron, New York is currently making a bid to put an end to the reliance of paid media as a primary marketing tool. If the addition of new high profile firms to the client roster is any indication, the company may just be on to something.

The end to paid media?
Although a number of online marketing analysts have proclaimed the end of free social media marketing, Conductor is going against the grain by offering a “web presence management” software solution that it says will help users promote their websites even without the use of paid ads. In fact, one of the venture-financed company’s goals is to take paid media out of the marketing equation.

From SEO to web presence management
Founded in 2010 by CEO Seth Besmertnik, Conductor started out primarily as an SEO firm. Today, the company’s primary focus is helping clients expand their online marketing scope. Some of the firm’s latest offerings are designed to track and measure the unpaid marketing performance of particular brands across the web. These products send data back to the users, enabling them to implement new social media campaigns, generate original content, and optimize their sites for search engines.

This approach is markedly different from that implemented in standard SEO, and is the main thrust of Besmertnik's efforts to promote the use of unpaid media. The Conductor CEO believes that despite attracting some attention, banner ads placed alongside site content are not clicked on nearly as much as organic ads. Besmertnik also said that the majority of customers are still drawn to a site by way of free marketing.

The Conductor approach
Although the path taken by Conductor is a logical offshoot of standard SEO procedures, the company is operating in an increasingly more difficult niche. With more and more companies turning to social media for marketing and promotion, it is becoming even more challenging for a particular firm to make an online impression without the use of paid ads.

But the difference of the Conductor approach is that it does not rely on closed networks such as Facebook, or any single marketing channel for that matter. For Besmertnik, the advantage of Conductor’s web presence management solution is that it will enable users to continuously benefit from new organic marketing opportunities that will inevitably surface. The Conductor CEO is optimistic that users will continue to utilize the company’s web presence management solution, and not revert to paid advertising as these opportunities are developed.

Company expansion
Along with the expansion of Conductor’s scope comes a corresponding scaling up of the company’s infrastructure and workforce. Already maintaining an office in New York, the company added a second one in San Francisco in July 2014, and increased its employee base from 100 to 150.

The company also added to its list of clients in 2014, providing their web presence management solution to companies such as AT&T, Aquasana, Johnson & Johnson and Overstock. With the addition of these companies, Conductor now has a client base of almost 500, with 100 having been added from March to August 2014. Besmertnik plans to continue expanding his vision for the company, and to seek out new venture capital in early 2015.