One-way, top-down communication does not work as well as in former days. Today, companies must create conversations with customers and deliver useful content at the moment their prospects, clients or constituents need it. Many firms will need to reinvent their marketing year-to-year.
Marketers can’t push products on people. They have to think like journalists and create a dialogue with their audience to earn a prospect’s trust. Free or low-cost applications such as blogs and podcasts, in addition to social networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, have changed the old rules. In addition, free social networking applications can be used for managing your company’s reputation, conducting market research, monitoring your competitors’ efforts and collaborating with your colleagues. Twitter can also serve as a platform for your company’s customer service.
Ideal clients can now be reached with targeted messages that cost a fraction of the old expensive advertising campaigns. In addition, social media marketing and PR efforts often allow instant feedback and measurable results, so businesses can immediately see which marketing strategies are working for them and which ones are not.
Online marketing these days is not about flashy websites. More than ever, companies need to provide useful information to help customers make their purchasing decisions. Websites cannot be stale – content needs to be fresh and reactions of the visitors should be measured and analyzed, so that the content can be continuously improved.
Your company may have to invest in some “digital assets” such as a video camera or podcasting equipment, as now you can create and control your own media within the communities you are part of. Observe, research and listen carefully before you create your company’s social media strategy. Improve your social media marketing skills or find an expert to assist you. New Web-based applications to support social media marketing are developed and released all the time. Find someone who can evaluate these tools for you and make relevant suggestions.
How can a small business efficiently keep track of its goals, social media marketing efforts, measure related data and improve its marketing? The answer is in creating a marketing SYSTEM for your company. Re-evaluate your marketing strategies if you are not getting desired results. Work on a new marketing plan, document your efforts and create a marketing calendar.
Here’s how to get started:
Be consistent in your marketing activities; follow your system and your efforts will pay off.
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