This is great for businesses that have big budgets and Marketing Departments that can keep up with the trends. But what if you’re a small to medium size company or entrepreneur?
Unless your primary business is marketing and/or advertising, you’re probably one of the millions who is flying by the seat of your pants when it comes to marketing!
Without a cohesive digital marketing strategy, you may not be connecting with prospective customers who need and want to know about your products and services.
But where do you start?
There was a time when a sign on the door and a listing in the local phone book were all that was needed for customers to find you, but that day is long gone. People no longer let their fingers do the walking in the yellow pages. Instead, they tap a few icons on their phone, and if your name doesn’t come up, chances are, you’ve lost the sale to another business whose name did pop up.
But, how do you get your name to pop up? The answer to this is both simple and complicated. The simple answer is:
You Need to Have an Online Presence
- Social Media Profiles
From there, the answer gets more complicated.
Websites, Blogs, Social Media, Online Reviews, Algorithms, Content Marketing, Podcasts, Email Marketing, Digital Newsletters, Facebook Live, Zoom, Ebooks, Webinars, Infographics, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, Webcasts, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Internet of Things, Affiliates, YELP, Niche Branding, Angie’s List, Influencers…. The list goes on and on and on.
It’s a bit like a giant, convoluted jigsaw puzzle with only a handful of clues on topics you’ve never heard of and they’re all written in a language you haven’t yet learned!
Do You Prefer Puzzle or Picnic?
So, would you rather spend your day working on the confusing jigsaw puzzle or going on a picnic? I know, I know; there will be those who prefer the jigsaw puzzle. Personally, I’d rather go on a picnic. It’s much more relaxing.
Getting ready, I get to brainstorm and create a delicious dish to take and share. Then while at the picnic, I get to try a lot of new and interesting foods, and as I visit the other picnic goers, I get to hear about all they’ve been up to since the last picnic! In the process, I build relationships with people I know, like, and trust, and the other people at the picnic grow to know like and trust me, which increases the possibility that they’ll hire me. (Win-win!)
What does this analogy have to do with digital marketing?
Let me explain. In the last couple of years, I’ve had a lot of prospects and clients ask me to help them with Social Media Marketing. Because of my 30+ years of experience in the communications, public relations, and marketing industries, this is not unusual. However, one request last year quite surprised me. It came from a friend who is a food blogger and an excellent writer (why I was surprised she was asking for my help). She said:
“… I’m on Facebook to keep up with family and friends. I have profiles on LinkedIn (which I understand) and Google+ (which I don’t). My business coach has recommended that I learn to use Pinterest and Twitter to promote my food blog and recipes. Food Network Star contestants (which I’d love to be one day) are using Instagram stories to promote their point of view. And now, I’m hearing that I should be publishing articles on Medium.com.
I feel like I’m going to be so busy learning about and posting on different social media platforms that I won’t have time to create my recipes or write my own blog posts. Is there a way to make them all work together like a big crossword puzzle? …”
The answer to my friend’s question is yes, but it takes time. Rather than spending all her time trying to figure out the crossword puzzle, I recommended that she think of her wonderful blog as the food she’s going to take to the social-media marketing picnic.
By putting digital marketing in terms my friend understood and helping her build a strategy around her strengths, I was able to help her get past the confusion that had her stalled and back on track creating delicious recipes, writing her blog, and building her business. I love success stories!
But, what if you don’t have a blog?
That’s been the case with many of the people who’ve asked for help with social media marketing. Most of them don’t have and don’t want to start a blog. There are, in fact, digital marketing companies who allege that blogs are a thing of the past and are discouraging businesses from starting them. These companies contend with some 240-million blogs currently online, there’s already too much noise. My response to this is:
Yes, there’s a lot of noise online.
But if you are creating high-quality original content that connects with your target audience and provides them with valuable, useful, and actionable information, then there’s still room for your blog online.
In addition, consider that:
- Websites that blog typically have 97% more inbound links.
- Websites that blog typically have 434% more indexed pages.
Every year, Hubspot, a developer, and marketer of software products for inbound marketing and sales, polls thousands of online marketers about challenges they face. When the results were tallied in 2017, 63% of respondents had reported their biggest problem was generating enough traffic and leads. See Hubspot’s full report here.
With more indexed pages and more inbound links, companies with business blogs are able to drive more traffic to their websites, generate more leads, and close more sales. For this reason, developing a content marketing strategy that includes a blog is my number two digital marketing recommendation. (Building and promoting a beautiful business website is number one!)
Can You Do Social Media Marketing Without a Blog?
Yes, technically, you can. But why would you want to? If your blog is the food you’re taking to the social-media picnic, doing Social Media Marketing without a blog is like going to the picnic without food. While the picnic grounds are nice and you might meet and talk to a lot of people, at the end of the day, you’re still going to be hungry.
Business Blog Benefits
- Demonstrates your industry knowledge
- Establishes you as an authority in your field
- Shares valuable information about your business
- Builds credibility with prospects and clients
- Provides valuable, actionable information to your readers
- Develops trust in your brand
- Creates a content library
Let’s visit that picnic once again.
Have you ever noticed that the most delicious desserts are always the first ones gone at picnics? Have you ever felt guilty about taking the last piece of Aunt Patty’s chocolate chip cake? I have! But, what if instead of the food you brought to the picnic running out, it was to multiply so that there was enough for everyone?
That’s how your blog’s content library works at the social media picnic. When your readers recognize the value of your blog posts, they share the posts on social media – there’s more than enough for everyone – and as it spreads, the traffic on your blog and website increases. If you’re lucky, one day you’ll write a post that becomes a picnic favorite. It will be so good that everyone both wants a piece of it and wants to share it. When that happens, your post goes viral!
The 2018 digital marketing can seem perplexing at first site. If you look at it as a pleasant picnic rather than a confusing crossword puzzle, it can be much more enjoyable.
What are you bringing to the picnic?
When was the last time you had the copy on your website or your marketing plan reviewed? For a free, no-obligation web copy and digital marketing audit,
Contact Jeanne Noorman
The Writer to Call When You’re Tired of Trying to Do it All!