Having just started to use internet marketing in our own business and trying to bring together all the different components to deliver a set of desired outcomes, we have discovered it is not a simple task. We have created a huge amount of online content from websites, blog sites, micro-blogging, and social media network participation Nick Sasaki. But and it is a big but, how do you convert all this activity (or lack of it) into a coherent message that brings visitors to your target online content and transcends to registrations and / or sales?
To be honest we have been merrily creating web content, accounts on twitter, Facebook pages, blogs and regularly posting but without paying specific attention to the direction or the message. This has been a conscious choice on our part as we were not ready to join everything up yet, so we just started by increasing our online profile until we were set to go. I think this is one of the big hurdles for most people entering Internet Marketing at any level is… why am I doing this? Why am I posting content onto Blogs, twittering, when no one is visiting anyway? I’m not reading my other 1000 followers tweets, so I am sure they are not reading mine! If I’m the only one ready what I’m writing I’d sooner not bother! 2 Blog posts a day, why? for what? What am I going to say? What difference will it make?
We expect those new to Internet Marketing to blindly accept that ‘you should get a blog, you should use Twitter and join Facebook… trust me… you will see the benefit, later on everything will be much clearer…’
Here then is the issue… of course signing up to these services, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linked in or any other social media platform is not in itself going to make any difference to a business. Just the same as printing some leaflets for a mailshot and leaving them in the garage, or attending networking meetings and not talking to anyone, these won’t make much impact either.
The facts are that Internet Marketing is a complex business. It performs the functions of building individual’s profiles and credibility, Brand awareness and product / service sales via one medium. Each of these areas requires different techniques, services and strategies online, but you can’t go about this in a half baked, apathetic manner. Internet Marketing has the ability to transform businesses, enable small companies to compete with the ‘big boys’ and build new enterprises from nothing but not by making one blog post a week, the odd twitter tweet now and then and complaining that sales haven’t increased yet!
So what is the reality? The reality is this, that Internet marketing provides the ability to reach 100,000’s of people and quickly, but it won’t happen without effort… A LOT OF IT!
Most Small Business’s are owned privately, very often by the entrepreneur who found a niche, designed a new product or took advantage of an opportunity. These individuals are often technical people and suffer from the old ‘Feast and Famine’ syndrome that finds refuge in Micro and small businesses. When we’re in Sales mode we are extremely busy, when servicing customers, prospects dry up… then we’re found scratching around for business again which happens, eventually, months after we needed it.
Now typical business owners don’t think of themselves as sales people and will readily admit they don’t like this part of the business and yet without it the business can’t survive. I’ve heard many a business owner admit they are not sales people, ‘I’m basically too honest to be a sales person’ as if a sales person’s role was to somehow convince someone to buy a product they don’t need and don’t want. Well, let us now separate Marketing from Sales.
Marketing is encouraging people to consider your products and services… visitors if you like, whereas Sales is the matching of the customers requirements to your offerings. At no point in this is there any persuasion or manipulation… better still, much of this sales process can be automated with Internet Marketing. Marketing requires an audience to market too… sales requires us to provide information, substantiate our offering and provide a method to engage with us.