Let’s talk about what makes an online marketing strategy and more importantly what does not. Now if you run a business, or if you’re the marketing person in your company, at some point you may have had a conversation that sounds something like this “We need to get a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog, email newsletter” “OK” Then you go out and you create a profile on whatever platform you chose, and start talking about the stuff you sell. And this is what ends up happening…… (crickets chirping)…… Ok Ok, I’ll cut you some slack, maybe, that’s not the case. Maybe you have all of these things and people are talking to you On a regular basis. (Yay!) But when you ask for a sale… (crickets chirping) ….Now a lot of businesses are just throwing stuff out there and hoping some of it sticks. And what many more do is to create one thing, and distribute that through multiple channels.
Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn’t, but either way this isn’t really an effective social media strategy, this is social media *&^%$#@. (bleh…) I mean, when it comes down to it all, the main reason anyone looks at a huge time suck like Facebook, (clicking through facebook photos etc.) or as hyperactive as Twitter (tweetdeck sped up) and says…”Let’s represent our business there” is because they want to make more money.
It’s the only way you could possibly justify paying an A.D.D. riddled Redbull addict to “participate in the conversation” on Twitter Because eventually you hope there will be a big payout in the end. But Here’s the thing: Making more money by itself is not a goal, it’s a by-product of a successful online marketing strategy.
So, the first step in developing an online marketing strategy is to define your goals (some examples of goals include: acquire new customers, augment customer service, build word of mouth buzz, snipe customers from a competitor, get feedback on a product, crowd source ideas for improving customer experience, create loyalty programs etc.)
Next: Do research to discover who your customers are, what they talk about, where they’re talking about it, and how they interact the platforms they’re using. In other words, once you know what you want to achieve, find your ideal customers “in the wild” and learn everything you can about them. Then, develop content that resonates with them, and moves them towards your goal.
Ok so here’s the thing about content….. When thinking about content development, a lot of people’s minds jump directly to the written word. But content comes in all shapes and sizes. Content is a blog post, or an email or an advertisement or a podcast or a tweet or someone else’s link that you tweet. It can also be a status update, a picture, a forum signature, an app, a landing page, a webinar, a website or a video or you know….. anything else that show’s up on a computer screen.
Everything you publish online is content and, all of your content has to be designed to bring someone from point A, to your goal. The most importantly about content is, IT HAS TO BE GOOD!
Ok next, go back and look at all of the different platforms where your ideal customers are, determine the strengths and weaknesses of those platforms, then play to the strengths of each platform to reinforce your message. YouTube Artist Destorm Power does an excellent job of this. His “Home base” Platform is YouTube, where he releases videos at least once a week and frequently collaborates with and covers other artists.
He uses his Facebook Page to give a behind the scenes look at what’s going on in his schedule, give motivational quotes and showcase his sense of humor. But the main reward for being a fan on Facebook, is that you’re able to hear the music well before the video is released on YouTube! He also consistently uses Facebook to build a perpetual cycle of anticipation for the next release. Let’s take a look at the most recent example. He dropped a recent video “Love a Bitch” at 3pm on December 11th. There was a mention of it being finished on the 10th, a set photo released on the 8th, a set photo was released from when they finished filming at 11:32pm on the 6th. The announcement that they were beginning to film at 2pm on the 6th And the soundcloud track released at 3:14am on the 6th. Soooooo He released his song first thing in the morning, notified his fans that he was recording the video, then gave his fans a photo when they finished filming.
Then gave periodic updates to progress of the video before it was released. In between postings about the song and video, there were motivational quotes, and an announcement of him going on Tour to break it up a little. He’s also on Twitter, where he really plays to the platform’s real time nature and updates about different things going on in his day, communicating one on one with his fans. He shares photos he’s taken with Instagram (where he also has a following) Now how does all of this make him money? As a YouTube partner, he gets a 50/50 split of all of the ad revenue that is generated from his page.
He also sells music through iTunes, and can be hired for a minimum of $5,000 for speaking engagements. So, if you want to follow someone who’s “Doing it right” go to YouTube.com/destorm and see what he has to say.
Lastly when it comes to an Online Marketing Strategy, you have to set up performance indicators and benchmarks to measure your success. Without a way to determine what success is, you will always be stuck in a vacuum unable to determine what parts of your strategy you can improve and what parts to trim.
Please feel free to leave any questions or comments in the space provide below.