Marketing our businesses online is both necessary and hooey. If you’re not there, you can’t be found, and if you spend all your time driving traffic to your site, there’s no guarantee that ‘traffic’ is your ideal client or that ‘traffic’ buys enough to keep you in business.
Building a recognizable and influential brand is not the same thing as ‘traffic’, ‘sales funnels’, or ‘being everywhere’.
A company with a strong, influential brand has learned how to be a resource. A strong, recognizable, and influential brand should be the banner of a successful business, one that has weathered some storms, negative reviews, and challenges – and grown through it all to offer the very best.
When it comes to using social media, it’s the exact same recipe. Often, a business owner or manager begins to promote on a social channel hoping someone will engage, but has misunderstood the ‘resource’ part. Over the years, I’ve heard so many ‘marketing bullies’ cruelly tell everyone what they should never do, what they should stop doing, why their marketing sucks … I’ve pretty much just had enough of it. No wonder business owners are frustrated and dropping off like flies! Digital marketers have done a very poor job of encouraging their participation when they post like this.
On the flip side, digital marketers know they are pulling teeth to get the local business sector to engage, and if they don’t do every little thing – from creating the content, to posting the social AND engaging – that business won’t do a darn thing to participate. They simply don’t have the time or inclination. Because of this, they often also lack the resources to pay for what those services are truly worth. The irony is, most companies online are only marketers talking to other marketers. But that’s exactly why YOU have an edge.
So it’s hooey. The way digital marketing is done today is primarily a ridiculous waste of time, money, and energy. And everyone knows it. But still … data, you know. Google needs it if they’re gonna show you in a search result.
I wonder if you’ve considered Alexa and Siri? Google Voice search is hammered down on micro-moment searching, and Alexa and Siri limit search results to a very few contenders.
What does it take today to get the attention of the right consumer for YOUR business? Are we destined to chase unending data qualifiers, automatically costing us hundreds of dollars every month just to be in the running? Is spending all your time on PPC bidding the way to go?
Shake it off. How about we look at it inversely. How about we take some personal responsibility for the content we create and provide our prospects, so they can see we’re the resource we claim to be? See, we can throw a fit and walk away from digital marketing, or we can learn how to harness the power of it to get the job done.
Engagement gives you leverage. Not many can do it. My email newsletter gets responses! Our social updates get shares, likes, comments, and more followers! This puts the ball back in my court, and opens up opportunities for deeper, 2nd level conversations that ultimately lead to sales. You can do this, too, and I recommend that you do everything in your power to be an effective resource online, sharing things that make others say, “My audience needs to hear that!”
Here are my suggestions for effective engagement:
Start compiling social updates in a Google Drive spreadsheet so you can access it to add your ideas from all your mobile devices on the go. Take it seriously.
Use short, concise sentences that give shout outs and encouragement to your intended audience.
Consider what hashtags matter to THEM, and seek to engage with your posts.
ALWAYS make other people rock stars by sharing posts that make them look good when they share them.
Here are some examples:
Great tips at @PlanoChamber today! #business #local #success
Your audience can see you’re connected, and @PlanoChamber is happy to follow and share your post because you’ve connected it with what they want to be known for. Unless they are only automated and not engaged, which can happen. This is why a spreadsheet can help, it gives you an opportunity to verify the shout outs you want to use.
Uh-oh, A/C drain lines can get backed up and overflow! Call @FixPlumbingLeak at 972-424-6479 if you see wet ceiling! #plano
Simple sentence cites problem AND solution. This type of post (not identical) can go out every day and people searching during micro-moments are more likely to see it if they search on these terms.
Why to understand your Roth IRA NOW via @JohnJCheckiJr #Richardson #money #investments
‘Why’ has recently replaced ‘How to’ status updates, reflecting how people are more likely to voice search today. This update connects location with topics, helping someone who wants to share local information amplify it, and also topic hashtags, helping people looking specifically for that type of information. In addition, the title reflects urgency, and makes one want to know why things might be different today.
OBA Members enjoy amplified content deployment using Buzz.Tools to first share in community, and then each member can share posts more likely to engage in the business sector – the largest referral group available.
If you’re an OBA Member, you’re invited to show up each Thursday morning to discover how to use all the fabulous resources we have available for you through your membership – including how to easily share, schedule and deploy content that gives you an edge. Go to our event calendar at OffBeatBusiness.com or on the OffBeat Business app to get more information.