What do you think about when hearing of brands seeking online marketing help? The Web has been 'exploding' for some time now. Its popularity blindfolds me at times when conjuring images of clients. I usually think about those with businesses well-footed in the online world. But that's not the case for many. I read an article today about a company having issues stemming from bringing a traditional company online.
It got me thinking about other situations. Then I started thinking of some brick-and-mortar owners who may not see the need for online marketing at all because the online factor has never really been a topic of discussion for the owners. We often don't think about what is not immediately in front of us.
IF storefront owners wanted to engage in some online marketing to connect with more consumers, they could consider:
I hear debates amongst many brands regarding the usefulness in creating or optimizing mobile sites. What should you do? It depends. For instance, if a store front offers food and resides within a seasonal-vacation locale, optimizing for smart phone users could make a difference in seasonal revenue production.
Ideally, creating more avenues to find your brand is great; but, not all owners have tons of money to invest, warranting an allocation of resources. For storefront owners, the question to ask is, "Is my product or service something searched (particularly) via smart phones?" People will search for places to eat and be entertained via smart phones. Would they search for a third-party shipping company using their phone? Perhaps, but it's probably not as likely as the first scenario.
I really like seeing brands use social media; there's so much potential; however, doing a poor job with handles can introduce the opposite influence. I've had brief discussions with a number of offline brands regarding social media. A majority of them 'have heard' but don't quite 'get' what social media can do for their business. I understand. I do online marketing; so, I know social media. If I was a pizza shop owner, I would know food ingredients. Offline brands thinking about social media should ask, "Do I have the discipline to address a social media account regularly, constantly striving to make solid connections with followers?" If not, lay off the task for now. Otherwise, consider seeking the service of someone who can address the need for you.
Let's use the pizza shop example. Hmm…maybe you place an ad by the cash register. "Follow, order, and keep in touch with us on Twitter! - Get a free pizza." Depending on the shop's setup, you could have people tweeting orders rather than calling. What's the difference? All of their followers see them ordering from you…might that appeal to the stomachs of others? It just might.
Video blogging has been on my mind recently. I think it has a lot of potential; it really bridges the personable gap a bit. Sure, you can't replicate the experience of engaging someone in person; yet, video blogs tell viewers a lot about the speakers. Viewers can see body language, facial features, inflection and tone of voice, presenting more of a personality that you can't always get via textual information.
Many storefront owners are 'people persons' by nature or by business necessity. A lot of SEOs will tell you to put content on a Web site to help with optimization. That's true. Putting content online can also help with people optimization. If you're an owner thinking about starting a blog, ask yourself, "Do I feel passionate enough about what I do to share something with viewers (engaging my customers) on an ongoing basis?" I say don't worry so much about 'keywords.' Concern yourself with expressing your business and brand to the public. And realize you don’t have to write. We're not all writers; yet, most business owners feel somewhat comfortable with speaking publicly. Vlogging is not like getting up in front of a room of people; you can edit to your liking as much as possible before posting, just a thought…