Archive for March, 2009
The phrase “social media” has become a catch-all for a long list of viral marketing strategies often associated with the chicklets listed under a blog post for well known platforms like Facebook, Wordpress, RSS, Twitter, Stumble Upon, Del.oc.ious, Technorati and others. How to make these platforms work for your business is often a mystery that scares the hell out of many business owners.
Two chef’s in L.A. created a roach-coach success called Kogi that mixes Korean and Mexican flavors in a mobile taco truck experience. When they first started the business no one came. They quickly found that people liked their tacos and created a strategy to get the word out quickly regarding their daily location and specials using Twitter. They now have 8,000 followers. YouTube is another platform that they use to showcase the unique experience Kogi brings to a neighborhood. Notice the very young audience Kogi attracts.
So how do you decide which social media platform is right to promote your business?
- Create compelling content - Kogi’s content is a unique menu as well as a dynamic experience
- Think about your target audience. What social media platforms do they use? If your demographic falls in the age range 30-50 consider email as a social media platform.
- Define measurable business goals to reach that target audience such as selling 20 subscriptions over the 1st quarter.
- Develop a strategy to reach your business goals factoring in how a social media platform can compliment your marketing efforts. If you have a blog, there are plugins to allow your subscribers to share your information with others easily.
Don’t rule out social media altogther. Be creative and think of social media as platform to deliver information much like email (a social media strategy.) If the platform compliments your business goals, test it out. When it comes to the new social media platforms, don’t rule them out completely as millenials are bringing the Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers up to speed quickly.
Start the conversation when interviewing Search Marketing professionals by first implementing 4 strategies that elevate you from spectator to participant in selecting the best Search Marketing partner:
- Know What Your Visitors Are Doing
If you do not have a Web server analytics tool telling you what is happening on your Web site, get one. Google Analytics has a free tool that provides a wealth of knowledge to determine where visitors came from and what they do after they arrive. Understanding current online activity on your Web site is critical in identifying strengths and opportunities to define Search Marketing strategies for your business.
- Identify Your Most Valuable Customer
A Web site that speaks to everyone speaks to no one. Is your most valuable customer the easiest to close, returns often, or costs less to aquire? Think about your customers in terms of total cost to do business with them and how that factors into your bottom line. Discuss your most valuable customer with prospective Search Marketing professionals to observe how they would approach the problem of driving these specific visitors to your Web site. Be ready, a good consultant may question your list and help you to think about your most valuable customer in a different way.
- Take Inventory of Your Marketing Mix
Are you getting the best return on your online marketing investment? If you are investing in Paid Search, traditional PR, or any other online marketing program, review the results of those campaigns by comparing with the results of your Web statistics. Consider reallocating dollars to pay for a campaign that may have better results.
- Define Business Goals
Search relates to action and action can be measured. Once you’ve installed Google Analytics and identified your most valuable customers, business goals require measurement. If your goal is to increase sales of a specific product or service or to increase visitors in order to draw investors, you will begin to understand how many options are available in Search Marketing to achieve those results. As the mystery of Search Marketing begins to unfold, defining or re-defining your business goals will guide you in understanding strategies that any SEO company will propose.
The decision to introduce an SEO company can be a good one. You should not feel at the mercy of the SEO company due to lack of knowledge or experience in implementing Search Marketing strategies.
As the expert in your industry your focus is to collaborate with professionals who will work with you to understand the complex nature of Search Marketing, identify where your strengths lie and what opportunities are out there that fit into your business goals and budget.
Wordpress is an ideal open-source SEO friendly platform that is easy to install and easy to manage. You can buy a template online or have a Wordpress developer create a custom theme for a reasonable cost.
If you’re taking the opportunity to utilize this powerful platform, ensure you read up on security. Avoid making security mistakes by controlling directory and file permissions, backing up your blog site and following these Wordpress Security guidelines.