An Online Presence is No Longer Enough for Marketing

March 11, 2016

I happened upon a blog post the other day about targeting and integrating all your social media marketing efforts. As I read through it, I realized that this is one of the next big hurdles for online marketing. An online preID-100263554sence is now standard, but it’s necessary to do more. Over the years, I’ve worked with countless organizations of all sizes, for which I’ve developed and expanded social media as well as performed some SEO and SEM. Many more recent clients appear to have all the “right” online elements in place but it isn’t helping their bottom line. I have found, through my standard analyses, which look at all outreach efforts, including social media, press, events and public relations, that a few common elements are almost always missing.

“An online presence is now standard, but it’s necessary to do more.”

First, and most important, companies need to keep their customers in mind when creating any marketing materials. This harks back to the most basic of marketing concepts – your core competencies. You need to determine what makes your company or product better than the competition. Why should customers/clients choose you? What makes you stand out? And, what exactly interests your potential customers? What keeps them coming back? Do you have the very best product? Are you the cheapest or quickest? Maybe you have the best customer service.

Core Competencies

A high percentage of social media outreach does not address these questions. It’s not enough anymore to simply have a presence. You have to determine what will attract and keep your clients coming back. What’s in it for them? Why should they read your posts and ultimately become a client?

Target Market

And who are your customers? This is equally important, and a lot of people miss the mark. For example, if your market is executives, you need to talk big picture and return on investment. If your market is the people on the front lines, you can include tips and specific information. Each of these two audiences will not be all that interested in the other information. If your information is not targeted to your main audience, you’ll be overlooked.

Second, you need to cross-promote. Ensure your web site, blog and social media are all connected and all addressing the same message. You can tailor your messages a bit more specifically for the different apps but it should all reinforce your brand and core competences to the correct audience.social-media-marketing-concept-hand-pressing-icons-blue-world-map-background-48170178

Third, online analytics are essential. I worked with a company that had a large social media presence but used mostly Facebook because that’s the app with which they were most comfortable. However, they had no idea where most of their clients found them. I performed an online analysis and determined that 75 percent of their clients found them on LinkedIn. After much grumbling, the company president agreed to increase their LinkedIn activity, and he was surprised to see the business grow. My favorite online app is Twitter, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore all the other channels.

CALL TO ACTION

Lastly, you should include a call to action: email us for a quote, call us for an estimate, sign up for our tips. You get the idea. My call to action: if you’d like some specific suggestions about how to increase your bottom line via your online and other marketing efforts, call or email me. My web site is www.techsavvympa.com. I’ll give you a few tips for free.

Next post: Marketing encompasses more than digital outreach; don’t neglect other outreach vehicles.

 

*First image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advertisements

Tech Terms are Prevalent but Still Misunderstood

January 27, 2014

Every company and every industry has its own ubiquitous acronyms and terms, some of which cross over into other arenas. Information technology is one of the few industries that seeps or creeps into most, if not all, organizations regardless of industry, as well as into our personal lives. Fifteen years ago, I wrote a user manual for my colleagues, explaining new technology. Chapters included:

“What is the world wide web?”

“What is e-mail?”

“How to use e-mail.”

Of course at that time we all had analog mobile phones, which seemingly weighed about 5 pounds.

In the last five years or so, social media has become pervasive. During that time period, I spent countless hours defining social media, explaining its uses, and simplifying its purpose for both colleagues and friends. Texting (in the personal arena) and Twitter (in the personal and business arenas) have been the most confounding across the board. For example:

“What is texting? And why are all the kids using it?”

“I don’t get Twitter. It doesn’t make any sense.”

“I don’t like Twitter because I don’t want to be limited in how many words I can use.” (This one always makes me laugh. Most people would be surprised at how much you can convey using only a few words.)

Three or four years ago, I entered the world of SEO and SEM. At that time, these terms were fairly common, especially SEO, but only amongst the techies. The use of either of those terms outside of technology circles would prompt confused looks and raised eyebrows. No one else knew those acronyms stood for Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, or even if they did hear or know the full terms, they weren’t the least bit interested.

Now, SEO and SEM are the new keywords; their mention becoming more and more prevalent in business marketing conversations. Business owners and executives know that these processes, if implemented correctly, can help grow their company. However, the use of SEO and SEM is much more complex than simply using keywords, counting views or click-throughs, or looking at your search engine ranking. Yes, all these elements are important to measure, but the latter two are merely basic indicators as to whether additional analysis, testing, and marketing is necessary.

In talking recently with marketing executives at a large national corporation about this topic, I was confused as to why we seemed to be in disagreement. Finally it dawned on me that they were talking basic SEO, as outlined above, while I was assuming they were well beyond that and I was talking about conversion rates and competitors. This illustrates that while these terms may be going mainstream, there still exists much confusion and misinformation.

I’m tracking this with enthusiasm to see where the trend takes us. As a professional communicator with a lifelong love of technology, I can’t wait to see what’s next.


A Simple Social Media Strategy

January 24, 2013

What is your social media strategy? Do you have a social media strategy? And is it working?

My last post addressed the growing popularity of Twitter and the need to determine which social media applications may be right for your company. However, for those relatively unfamiliar with the social media landscape, the idea of online marketing can be somewhat daunting.

Perhaps you’ve started a blog and don’t have any comments. Or you have a Twitter handle but no one is following you. Most likely, you told your colleagues and friends about your online presence and asked them to follow you, so you do have a handful of followers. Now what?

Put yourself in the mindset of your customers. Why are they interested in your company/products/services? What will draw them in? What will retain their attention?

Blog. Post. Tweet.

Engage. Interact. Network. Join.

First, provide information in your area of expertise.  For example, if your business is home restoration, outline steps for consumers to take when a disaster occurs. A financial services company can provide tips for retirement planning. A massage business might focus on the benefits of drinking water.

Once you determine what type of information to present, think about your tone. Social media tends to be more informal than business writing, so you want to sound knowledgeable, yet friendly and helpful.

Ask questions, offer contests and deals, provide open-ended discussion points, ask your customers about their experience(s) with your organization and what you can do to improve — all in an attempt to ENGAGE your customers. The key is interaction. People become more engaged when they can voice their opinion or offer information in return – when they feel they are being heard. The days of presenting your information to customers in a vacuum are long gone.

Join groups, post comments on other blogs, participate in discussions, and become a part of your online industry community. Follow people on Twitter and FaceBook who may be interested in your products/services. They all won’t follow you back, but many of them will.

Lastly, integrate your online efforts with your other marketing – publications, advertising, media outreach etc.

The bottom line is this: Your online interaction is directly proportional to the amount of success you will experience with online marketing efforts.

 


%d bloggers like this: