Continuing our list of web marketing ideas from last week we want to explore the different avenues that are delivering results for us in various markets.
Today we are going to cover 4 key areas (jargon speak is platforms!) that will work for all business ventures. The 4 in question form part of the social media marketing buzz. They are YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Forum Marketing. For the purists reading this, Twitter is a micro blogging platform.
Many of you may be screaming ‘Oh no! not Facebook’. I will hold my hands up and say that from a marketing perspective this is not my favourite avenue… UNTIL NOW. More on that later. Neither was Twitter, we both find it hard to keep our communication to less than 160 characters! The truth is Google now looks for social signals about you and your company online. Social signals being your presence on all the various social media channels.
For instance when you Google ‘fast track your sales’ not only does our website and all its pages appear, we also have our Facebook page (new updated page coming soon) and YouTube channel on page one. As the saying goes all news is good news. When it comes to online marketing, providing your content is positive the same applies.
Here are some key points to be thinking about as your utilise these key marketing mediums.
Twitter allows you to communicate what is going on in your world. Now the general idea is to build a relationship with your market by sharing content and interacting with them. Ideally create your account and follow people in your market and also in the market that is your target. Share great content and ask questions. Unless you want it to swallow up your whole day use one of the various automation services available that will give you a base line of content that goes out.
Share your own and other valuable information. Use some of the basic networking principles in that you add value first. Twitter is a great way to enhance your own brand and particularly your brand essence. It ‘should’ always convey the key elements of your brand. Think about what you want your Tweets to achieve. A rogue tweet after three 250 ml Chardonnay’s might not put you across in the best possible way!
The goal like all social media is to engage and get people to your own authority site where they join your followers and see you as a trusted adviser.
We do have a Fast Track Facebook Fan Page. Currently with not a huge amount of comment or interaction… yet. Amazingly, Google must think it is “Ok” as it appears on page one.
Like we said above, the key thing to remember is that you want your Facebook fans to interact with you at a deeper level at your own website. I know I bark on about this and… you don’t own your Facebook page, or your Twitter or YouTube platforms. However they are a great way to interact with people and point them to where the really good stuff is (i.e. your website).
Facebook is a great way to demonstrate social proof. The more people who like your content the more people notice and assume you are the authority. Remember whenever a fan of yours likes something online, it will show up on their own channel. Think about how many people follow your followers and therefore the potential reach you can have.
Facebook can be incredibly helpful depending on your area of expertise. We have a separate side to our business that has a highly active Facebook page. Facebook pages work well in some of these areas:
- Internet marketing training
- Personal Development
- Transformational coaching
- E commerce
- Visually dominant media- crafting, cooking etc.
- Any industry that sells to under 30’s
There are hundreds of guides online that you can buy that walk you through Facebook marketing. The best thing to do is just start something now. Better still pay someone to do it for you. For less than a few hundred pounds you can get a professional page created for you and a plan to go with it.
Video marketing is big. It will also work in any business. Google owns YouTube and as a result will prioritise good content online. The even better news is that YouTube videos are easy to create and up load. You can create a talking heads video, an image and music video or a computer screen capture. All of which can potentially get found and viewed. An interesting fact is that over 40% of human beings have a preference for visual media. In other words, we need visual instructions to help us. It’s no wonder that YouTube is the 3rd most visited website in the UK. This is ahead of Facebook and the BBC (more on the popularity of news in the final part of this series) with eBay and Hotmail coming up behind.
If you are working in any kind of coaching or training environment a top tip is leverage YouTube. Just last week, this helped a client of ours who was ‘selling in’ one of their training associates to a client. They were able to point them to a video of this particular trainer in action.
As a trainer or coach my guess is you can present 🙂 and pretty well I suspect? Imagine the impact this will have on potential clients, while at the same time demonstrating your thought leadership status. You don’t need millions of views either. Literally thirty or 40 views could bring you in a new client. What next then? Get yourself over to YouTube. Claim your company name as your username. Whilst you are there it is worth creating another YouTube account in your own name, then you have all your bases covered.
Decide on your first video. When you have created and uploaded your video have a link to your website in your description. Like Ruth has below. There you go your first video. Then tell people about it. The video below we helped a friend create nearly 3 years ago. It has never really been promoted and still has nearly 2000 views. The video we shot uses the HD version of the flip video camera. It is still available on Amazon. You can carry it most places with you and within minutes you can take a quick video, or grab a client testimonial (HINT :-))
8. Forum Commenting
This is a great tactic to use that brands you as an expert and can result in incredibly targeted leads. The old fashioned term was ‘discussion boards’. In fact Google has just started using this again. They are easy to find in your market.
Type in a keyword that relates to your market. For us that might be small business marketing, marketing for experts, sales and marketing for coaches. You get the picture? When Google throws up the search look over on the left hand side to where it says either more or discussions. This will then show you some of the most active forums in your market. You can also Google your keyword + forum. This is a starting point. Then go and join the forum and have a look at what is going on.
The most active discussions give you a clue as to the needs of the market. If you can, add to the conversation. You will be amazed how over time this will start people clicking on your name and link and visiting your website. (Side note: Remember this is our ultimate aim).
When it comes to forums there are two types – free and paid. Both have value.
On many free forums, once you have been around a while and have made a certain level of posts you can add a link in your profile back to your website. This helps in creating traffic and in your S.E.O.activities. Your intelligent comments will also get people clicking back to find out more about what you do.
Being a member of a paid forum can give you a range of additional benefits. This includes getting your own questions answered by an expert in your field. In addition branding you as the go to person for particular topics. This can help in forming relationships with potential strategic partners.
I am sure the value of this is now sinking in ? A great forum if you are a service provider in the UK is the UK Business Forums. The image below shows you how active it is. The numbers relate to numbers of comments and numbers of threads. Imagine placing a really good answer to a question that is getting thousands of views, do you think someone might visit your website ?
Click The Image To Enlarge
The final part of this series will focus on two exceptional strategies that few people utilise.
As always if you find this helpful please share, Tweet and ping this out to all concerned. Thanks in advance!
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