Alexandra Samuel recently wrote an interesting article entitled The Social Cost of Bad Online Marketing in which she discusses how clickbait articles, email spamming, and other practices businesses have adopted in an effort to compete in the much flatter market the internet has created and how it has affected the online environment itself. We've discussed before what is currently happening with content marketing and how garbage content does more harm than good. Google has made it one of their highest priorities to incentivize businesses for producing relevant, interesting, and helpful content because they do not want the monetization of the internet to produce a race to the bottom. How should businesses think about their own content in terms of long or longer-term strategizing?
It's a tough world out there, and many small and medium businesses are swimming hard or treading water hoping eventually to make it to solid ground. When you're worried about getting a customer through the door, it's hard to be discriminating in your marketing strategy. However, it's important to stop and think about your company and how you are positioning it with regards to your competitors. Also stop and think about how people socialize in real life. Behind all of those screens and that text, there are real people reading what you put out there and they will react to it as people do - within a social context.
The kinds of print and media advertising companies used to rely on was expensive because you had to pay professional people to produce something that would catch people's attention and - ideally - get them talking about your product or service. If people are talking about your company, they're thinking about it, and you have made an actual impact.
The anonymity of the internet as well as its immense scope makes the same thing harder to accomplish online, since there are so many sites and no one, five, or even ten starting places to begin from. So when you think about your online marketing, think in terms of what your own online experience is like. People will go to great lengths to find or even create communities of like-minded people on the internet. Those same people will spend hours and hours writing, drawing, commenting, vidding, building, photographing, and explaining their interests just for the love of it. The internet is full of content never before detailed or photographed and not just because people love the things, but because they also love sharing those things with other people. We are social creatures. We like to talk about what gets us excited.
When you create your own corner of the internet and plan your social media strategy, it's important to think about what your core audience is interested in. This will vary a lot depending on what your business does. Nearly any audience will respond to things like questions, polls, or pictures, but what those should be depends on are who you're trying to hook. Make a note of what people who frequent your business like to talk about and incorporate that into your online presence.
The point is to build a discussion that will continue on its own momentum. Once that happens, you don't have to strategize as much or pay for expensive consultants because your content will drive its own PR. There's a delicate balance to dealing with the public, however, so make sure to stay away from subjects that tend to result in negativity, complaining, or anything you'd rather not have to moderate.
If you'd like any additional assistance with your website or your social media, we at Corporate Conversions would love to help you brainstorm how to make your online presence work for you instead of you having to be a slave to your website, Facebook, or Twitter.