Monthly Archives - July 2012

Are You Taking Advantage of All the Social Media Marketing Options Available to You?

Don’t Miss Social Media Network Golden Opportunities

Social Media and Digital Marketing

By now most companies have a Facebook and Twitter account to announce special deals and incentives for “Followers” and “Likes”.  That’s a great place to start your social marketing efforts, but if that’s all your company in doing in the social media marketing arena, you’re missing some golden opportunities and you need to seriously consider expanding your social media marketing in new areas.

Unlike more traditional marketing, social media marketing centers on creating content that attracts consumers’ attention and encourages them to share it with their social networks.  Your corporate message spreads from user to user because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company.

Here are some other social marketing sites that you need to seriously consider using:

BlogsOkay, technically a blog isn’t a social network or even part of any social networking site.  But blogs are social and blog comments integrate into other social media tools, helping spread the word about your business.  A blog is a low-cost, high-return tool that can handle marketing and public relations, raise the company profile and build the brand.  If you’re not already blogging, you need to start – ASAP.

Using a blog gives your company an identity and helps you gain visibility on the web.  Utilize your blog to educate and help clients and you’ll build trust and strengthen your credibility as an expert in your industry.

Blogging requires a time commitment and some writing skills, which not every small business has in-house.   Fortunately, blogging is something that can be contracted out. Even though your postings are almost instantaneous, tangible results can take time.

LinkedInLinkedIn is a social network for business professionals. It’s big, with 161 million members in over 200 countries.  People are joining LinkedIn at a rate of approximately two new members per second.  And more than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.  Use this business social network as an extended business card.  As people hear your name or mentions about your business, there is a good chance that they’ll check you out on LinkedIn.  So fill out your personal and business profiles and link them back to your business website.

YouTube.  The best known and largest video site is YouTube.  Although you don’t have to, you should consider producing your own videos for your marketing efforts.  For example, if you post a video to your blog, upload it to YouTube to reach a broader audience, and embed the video content in your blog posts. YouTube has a powerful analytics tools available so that you can evaluate the effectiveness of your video content.  While your customers might not be on YouTube, you can still use it as a place to store and tag your videos, and then distribute them to other social networks where you might prefer to invest more time and effort.

Flickr.  Start a Flickr account for your business and post photos of your customers or your products (or both).  Flickr offers a place where people can share photos with others, but also has discussion groups, many focused on local markets that offer additional opportunities for you to market your business.  Like YouTube, your customers might not be on Flickr, but you can still use it as a place to store and tag your photos, and then distribute them to other social networks.

PinterestPinterest allows account holders to create a virtual bulletin board – posting pictures of what interests them – and other users can drop by and evaluate your taste.  If others see something they like, they can repin that image to their own Pinterest account.  In other words, Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to take images, videos and other objects from your board and “pin” them to their board.  But what does it all mean from a marketing perspective?  Pinterest can effectively showcase your products on boards with links to your e-commerce or designated website. Such pins can be easily tagged with prices, repinned, and ultimately purchased.

There are hundreds of other social media sites – too many to mention all of them here.  There are benefits and drawbacks to using each site.  Explore the different sites to find which ones fit into your marketing philosophy and needs.  Using the various social networks effectively, will help your brand reach more customers, drive more traffic, and sell more products.

Just remember, it’s about consistency and your social media marketing campaigns are part of your company’s overall marketing strategy.  Make sure each message is aligned with your brand and marketing strategy as well as company philosophy and values, regardless of the medium.

digital marketing momentum

Maintaining Momentum is Critical to Your Marketing Efforts

A Consistent Marketing Strategy Keeps Business Flowing

digital marketing momentum

Too few small business owners realize the value of creating and maintaining momentum in their marketing strategy. Many think they can flip a switch and marketing will be busy producing results, but marketing doesn’t work like that.

Marketing builds momentum over time. This is true with online marketing, social media marketing or offline marketing. With each impression, people become aware of your brand and they begin to form an opinion of your business, products and services. If they like what they see, they will move from a disinterested by-stander to serious prospect and, eventually, a loyal customer.

So what is momentum? Webster’s Dictionary defines momentum as a “strength or force that keeps growing”. That means if you want to get your profits growing and keep growing month after month, your business needs to have the power of momentum working for you.

Inertia kills momentum. Marketing has been compared to rolling a heavy rock up a steep hill. Too many marketers give the rock a push, stop, rest, chat, give it another push, stand back, then too late they realize the rock has returned to the bottom of the hill and they must start all over again.

Many businesses struggle to maintain a consistent level of marketing activity. Energies and resources are often diverted to deliver work for paying customers. Indeed, many business owners don’t see the point in spending precious budget and time when they have plenty of work. It can create a dilemma that causes marketing efforts to slip to the bottom of their to-do list. If you want to grow your business, marketing must be maintained at a constant level.

Many business owners ask, “Why keep marketing when I’m already busy?”  Because marketing for growth means marketing consistently. Here are some reasons why marketing must be consistent:

1. Marketing builds a steady and predictable sales pipeline

Many small businesses constantly find themselves in ‘feast or famine’ mode. Consistent marketing can break this cycle. If you know how long the buying cycle takes, then you know for how long you need to be generating leads. When you forget to do your prospecting because you’re too busy that’s when famine happens.

2. Consistent marketing doesn’t waste resources by constantly repeating yourself

If you haven’t done any marketing for a while, people may not immediately recall who you are and what you do. But, a program of regular marketing can continually keep you in their minds when they are ready to make that purchase.

3. Consistent marketing generates the right kind of work for your business

You want to attract the right kind of work for your business – it’s more profitable, enjoyable and it builds credibility. Consistent marketing allows you to generate the right kind of work. The wrong kind simply takes up time and barely turns a profit. Being busy does not always equate to being profitable, or fulfilled. Consistent marketing allow you to present yourself as the expert in your field – leading to more of the right kind of work for your business.

4. Consistent marketing helps you maintain your marketing skills

Marketing is made up of many different skills and techniques. If you only practice them occasionally, you’re likely to need to re-learn what you once knew. What’s more, with digital marketing techniques are growing and changing at a staggering pace, if you are not constantly marketing new techniques may have passed you by. Regular, consistent marketing activities will embed the skills so that they become second nature.