Marketing Shifts for Small Business Owners
Marketing is shifting at an unprecedented rate. Many small business owners and consultants are struggling to implement and understand these new tools with limited staff, resources and budget. Traditional forms of “interruption” marketing, such as television, radio, and print are becoming less effective. Whereas, new forms of “attraction” marketing, such as social and search, are increasing in reach. Marketers are starting to think like socializers and publishers and less like advertisers.
One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the foundations of a company’s marketing – message, positioning, audience, and branding. Social media is not a marketing strategy, it is a marketing channel. Owners first need to understand their unique positioning to determine the types of articles and content to promote across their websites and social media channels. Owners also need to research and listen to their customers and find out where their specific audience gets their information (Youtube, Linked-In, Facebook, Google Search, Twitter, etc…).
One of the first questions owners face is if their website is still relevant and how it works with social and search. First of all, it is not an either/or situation. A company’s website, search, Email, and social media profiles work in conjunction with each other. In most cases, a company website is the hub of their marketing activity. Social media and search direct traffic to a website and the website itself converts the “suspects” into potential prospects, leads and then sales. Social media requires consistency and the content posted is short-lived. Furthermore, social media channels popularity can change and a company does not “own” the vehicle, so the company’s content and branding can be diminished. Finally, most social media profiles can enhance branding concepts, but it is just the beginning of the brand story.
Social Media also affects search engine ranking. A company blog is an integral part of social media strategy. Blog article links on your social media profiles help direct people to a company’s website. Search engines are also starting to display more personalized results. Search engines are beginning to show you results based on your social media connections, “likes”, and geographical location. Overall, new marketing is about attracting clients through valuable content and interactivity published primarily through blogs and social media tools.
When evaluating social media, small business owners should understand the importance of consistency, message and how to combine it with their existing marketing activities. Tracking is increasingly important so an owner can determine which activities are receiving the best return. Company’s should evaluate campaigns instead of just channels and learn how to convert people into leads through compelling offers.
MTECH Internet Marketing provides assistance in equipping small business owners to understand and implement successful Internet marketing strategies. If you would like a free consultation, please call us at 970-731-6325 for more details.