Digital Business: 6 Focus Areas For Being Found Online
Question: With so many options for social media and content marketing we are overwhelmed as to how we can maximize our online presence. Where should we start? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
This question is the right one and it is amazing how often people do not ask it. The question should always be "What is the right approach for my business," as anyone who says they can do one size fits all marketing is lying to you.
What does hold some universal truth is that there is a method to understanding what is possible from your social and that comes down to following a plan to scale or as the question stated, "Maximize."
Much like any business strategy, your online presence should be designed with the buyer's journey in mind. How is the content you are sharing and creating informing, supporting, inspiring and ultimately leading to action? Most notably the action would be a purchase, but depending on your mission it may also include advocacy, word-of-mouth or even mere awareness. Again, that comes down to goals.
So for any business interested in growing their online to meet its potential, I highly recommend focusing on the 6 areas.
Planning/Strategy: In this phase the business needs to better understand what their goals are for their online presence. Is it e-commerce, product information, conversation or is it something else entirely? The strategy will drive the next 5 steps so don't skirt over this. You can't just Tweet your way to online success if you have no idea what success looks like. Also, goals need to be set up to grow along with your efforts, Social Media isn't an overnight solution, it is part of a complete go-to-market strategy.
Tools: Probably one of the most underrated parts of any online scale strategy is the use of tools. Too many companies are using no tools or the wrong tools when it comes to sourcing content, listening to social media, sharing and posting content and of course measuring their results. Either way, the wrong tool or no tool, both are a big problem and by correcting this error there is much to be gained in terms of meeting your social media objectives.
Content: At the very core of a scalable business strategy is content. People want to learn, be educated and inspired and they are more and more interested in doing this through online content. To maximize your online presence you must be sharing and creating the right mix of content to connect with your audience. This means targeted and emotionally connected because a silly viral post will not sell more software, however it may sell razors.
Social Engagement: The content is just the start of a scalable strategy. Sprinkling out content is a great way to start the process of being found, but if you are merely just sharing and not interacting you are missing a great opportunity. I cannot tell you how many times I have shared something on Twitter and then had someone reshare or follow me because of this only to connect and have it lead to a sale or a meaningful business relationship. It takes a minute longer to do this, but this is where tools come into place. Nevertheless, businesses must engage!
Consistency: While this may accentuate what I call the plan above. For most social and content strategies to work there needs to be enough consistency that people see and hear from your brand regularly. I can't tell you how many companies think sharing once or twice a day is enough. While for some businesses this may be the case, for most it takes far more consistency both on a daily basis and over time to achieve the measurable results you are seeking.
Measurement: Versus the plan that you set up, how are your results? Are you getting the volume of readers, prospects and activity that you set out to achieve? Goals should be measured regularly with some metrics such as social activity and visibility being measured as often as daily (or weekly). Other goals need to be measured over a longer period such as leads and conversions. Especially since the sales cycle likely has a known incubation period.
Over the next several weeks, our Chief Digital Strategist Brian Fanzo will dig into each of these 6 areas and how you can scale your online efforts through planning, implementation and measurement.
Is your company ready to optimize its online presence?
Do you have a question for "The Mailbag?" Click Here to submit your question and have it featured in an upcoming Mailbag.
Photo Credit: Digital Strategy/shutterstock
Follow Daniel Newman on Twitter