On the phone with a prospective client the other day, I suddenly realized that my hand was making a repetitive circular motion as I explained the way internet marketing for small business works.
Well, after all, it is circular. One event touches off another, which creates another, and so on. Every thing affects all the other things in the cycle.
Your description of the process may vary, depending on basic orientation. But roughly, it’s going to be something like:
- website leads to
- changing content, which leads to
- social media, which leads to
- subscriber list, which leads to
- sales, which leads to
- new website content.
Your online branding, shared via social media, works unceasingly to bring buyers to you. It’s a relatively simple formula.
- Figure out how to represent your biz via recorded media of some kind (written word, audio, video, etc.)
- Create a schedule for ongoing creation of this content – and follow through!
- Offer subscriptions and send valuable information to opt-ins.
- Follow up with honest selling and obsessive customer service.
- Get a recorded testimonial from your thrilled customer. Use the experience of actual sales to create new content.
The term social media is not well understood. Business use of social media, for instance, does not amount to an internet marketing presence. If you just chat with friends and family on Facebook, fine. But don’t expect your Facebook page alone to bring you customers.
Social media is a (relatively small) subset of online inbound marketing. And online inbound marketing is a subset of marketing, which also includes inbound efforts that are offline.
Think: a child is a subset of a family, which is a subset of society. They are all equally important and necessary; but each is very different.
For business, the key to inbound marketing is content. Once you have content, you can use social media as one way to give people access to it.
Additional ways would include building landing pages, posting on your blog, writing guest blog posts, sending out a newsletter, offering content to live networking groups and liaisons, and your pick of the thousands of other distribution opportunities.
Somewhat unfortunately, social media is the term the public has adopted, it seems, to refer to online marketing opportunities. Yes, your sharing should be thorough, respectful, and attractive. But it’s what you share that matters most.