Most of us know already that marketing isn't what it used to be. But the question is, how is this knowledge impacting how we market our business?
The internet is having a significant impact on how people discover the products and services they are looking for today. And, if we are relying exclusively on traditional marketing methods to build our brand, we're likely missing out on important opportunities.
Even if we have social media accounts we may still unwittingly be treating them in the same way we treat traditional media: like push advertising.
And if we haven't updated our website look and platform in the past two years, chances are our website is hard to read on mobile devices and may have an outdated look that sends a message about your business you may not wish to send.
What you do with your website and social networking sites, how you use them, will ultimately determine whether your business is impacted in a positive or negative way by them. Here are 8 questions to ask yourself to get started:
- Is your website fresh or dated? Is it regularly updated and well written? How does it look on mobile devices, iPads and desktop computers?
- Is your branding consistent and easily recognizable, online and offline?
- Are you taking advantage of the social networks you are on and that you've decided will work best for reaching your customers and potential customers? Are they the right networks for your business? Are you trying to do too much and as a result having no impact?
- Do you regularly post updates that are suited to the networks you are on? Updates that your audience (and potential audience) will find interesting, helpful and engaging?
- Do you make it easy for people to find you online?
- Do you 'automate and forget' when you share on your social networks? Or do you regularly check-in and look for opportunities to engage / connect with those who engage with your content?
- Do you persevere when the going gets tough - when it looks like not much is happening?
- Do you evaluate and modify or revise your approach periodically?
If you do these things, and assuming you have good product(s) and service(s), deliver on your promises and take care of your customers, then over time (and it takes time) you can expect to benefit from your online presence.
A website and social media, like almost all marketing, rarely yield immediate results. But when well thought out and maintained, when integrated into an overall marketing strategy, and when coupled with good product(s) and service(s) and great customer service, the benefit to your business can be significant.
Investing time in the process is a critical component in this equation and for most of us, especially small business owners, this is the challenge. We want fast results but, as the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day! And neither is your brand. Building your online presence takes time, just as building your business offline does.