When I first started in digital marketing back in 2006, I had a dream of helping people take over the internet realm for their particular niche. At the time, I had 4 automotive clients and with the thought that content and links were so powerful for SEO while social media was the future, I pictured a product where my clients were blogging several times a week and posting them on several different blogs that fit in with particular topics.
One of the most amazing parts of my job is spending time reading, watching, and testing the practices of others. It’s conceivable that the true secret to my success over the years has less to do with creativity and more to do with listening and deciphering. You have to listen to the channels like Google and Facebook. You have to listen to your customers. You have to listen to your customers’ customers (if you’re an agency like me).
The annoying part of my job is sifting through the recycled techniques and reinvented terminology that surrounds so many marketing practices. In most cases, it’s the same old things repackaged into a different form or applied from a different angle. Those are valuable, but not gamechanging. Still, it’s important to go through them all in order to find the hidden or not-so-hidden gems that arise. The best practices I’ve found over the years haven’t been on the pages of Mashable, Search Engine Watch, or Social Media Today. The real winners have come from some of the least likely sources.
With all of that out of the way, let’s get to the point. There are three types of marketing. Despite all of the various names – push and pull marketing, social media marketing, gravitational marketing, search marketing, influence marketing, content marketing – the easiest and arguably most pure way of looking at it is to tackle everything from a perspective of venue and intent. Where are the people going and what are they doing when they get there? It’s important for me as well as business owners to look at it from this perspective because the collision of the various marketing types is forcing a holistic marketing model to outperform niche marketing techniques or specialized strategies.
In other words, if you look at venue and intent, you can craft your overall marketing strategy much more easily. We look at it as following the quest – what are they doing, why are thy doing it, and how can we be there to help them choose our clients. When people buy your products, they are fulfilling a quest. No, they’re not slaying an actual dragon, but if they’re on a quest to buy a car, then your dealership selling them a car is the culmination of that particular quest.
Here are the three types of marketing for 2014 (well, early 2014 at least – it changes so quickly) that we like to tackle:
Fulfilling the Quest
This is the easiest to understand and often the hardest to achieve because of the simplicity of purpose. Everyone knows that if someone is interested in buying a car, they’re probably going to go to Google, Bing, or one of the various classified sites to start looking. They might go to review sites and OEM sites as well, but for the most part they’re ready to seek the fulfillment of their quest, they’re going to try to look for cars.
Search engine marketing of all types, whether it’s SEO or PPC, gives you the opportunity to drive them to your website so they may fulfill their quest. They aren’t searching for Honda dealers to have fun. They have a purpose. They’re in buying mode. This is where you have to be in order to help them fulfill their quest.
Renewing the Quest
More businesses are starting to do this. Many of them tried to do it in 2009-2012 and failed miserably. Part of it was because the venues such as Facebook, banner advertisements, retargeting, and other forms of “passive” marketing arenas weren’t developed to the point that they are today.
Now, the goals have come full-circle thanks to the overall availability of the internet. Mobile devices have made checking social media sites and reading websites the common activity when there are no activities to do. As people ride a bus, wait in line at the bank, or even perform other mundane activities like watching television, they are also surfing the internet. They aren’t going to Facebook to buy things, but they’re open to the concept. They’re open to having their quest renewed.
When they go to Fox News to see what’s going on and the retargeting ad pops up in front of them, they are reminded that they are still on a quest even if they aren’t actively on it at that point. When the business they visited last week pops up on their Facebook news feed, they get that reiteration that they still need to buy something. It might take a dozen instances of seeing a brand and its message before they actually click through, but the statistics are showing that it’s working. Not every sale is made through Google. In fact, some of the most important and actionable clicks come through other venues when they’re not in active buying mode.
Creating the Quest
Of the three, this is the one that’s ignored the most. It’s the hardest to do and the least rewarding when not done right. However, it can be the most rewarding when companies are able to make it sing. This is one that we focus on in particular because in our industry, nobody is doing it right.
In many ways it’s like good old fashioned advertising. No, it’s not like the commercials that we see on television today. Think along the lines of the early days of television when brands were built by establishing a problem that people will see in the normal course of their day and then having that problem solved either in the middle of the initial marketing effort or after further research.
The reason that it’s so hard today is because of attention span. We have seconds instead of minutes to get the message out through most advertising and marketing venues. There’s no longer time to tell a story…
…or is there?
The art of creating the quest is about putting the right content on the right venues that will reach people and establish a need whether they’re in the market right now or not. With this particular article already breaking the 1,000-word mark, there’s not enough time to go into it in detail. We’ll do that next time. Instead, watch the following video that shows two commercials that worked well in their day. Today, having a minute-long television commercial isn’t practical for most businesses, but taking advantage of the various channels online to accomplish the same goal and better is something that we know will move the needle. It’s hard. That’s the point. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
More on that next time. For now, here’s the video:
I know the feeling. Despite having worked every weekend for the last two years, I know the desire to let it all go and just focus on the important things in life like faith and family. I’ll get there, someday, but you can get there now and still be strong at social media management.
See, the challenge is that social media for business is ever-so important. The weekends can be, for many pages and social media profiles, have the highest potential for engagement and interaction. A good chunk of people check social media more regularly on weekends than during the week. It’s also a time when money is spent in different ways so having the right engagement to go after the weekend dollars or the dollars that will be spent in the coming week can be achieved more readily on the weekends.
Unfortunately, you probably don’t have a weekend team watching and controlling everything for you. You’re stuck with it, even if you have weekends off. This translates into one of two most likely scenarios: you either spend time on the weekends using social media or you let your business social media accounts go on the weekends. Either way is bad.
There’s an alternative. You can have your weekends (mostly) and still stay on top of social media as a result. Here’s how:
- Set up your mobile alerts. If you have a heavily-trafficked social media presence, you’re probably monitoring manually through the week, so you can turn it off then. For the weekends, yes, it means your phone will be blowing up, but you can still stay on top of it and make a decision about replying or waiting until Monday based upon the urgency. Thankfully, if it’s a casual communication, there’s nothing wrong with waiting until Monday. However, there will be important business communications and you don’t want to make those wait.
- Schedule. When I see businesses that post 5-days a week, it annoys me. Social media doesn’t take weekends off and your presence shouldn’t, either. If it makes it easier, set up a theme for the weekends. Don’t ask questions if you’re not ready to answer the responses. There’s nothing sillier than blowing a weekend with a question that brings in 500 responses blowing up your phone. Save those for the week.
- Get creative help. A part-time employee or contractor that you can trust can cover the weekends for you at a very affordable rate. Students and stay-at-home parents come in handy here. Give them tasks that can help during the week as well such as creating content that will be posted later, scheduling up Mondays that are often meeting-heavy, or vetting the new likes and followers from the week.
Social media might not rest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Do it the right way and either minimize or eliminate the need to be omnipresent all week while still maintaining a strong presence.
Presence is 50% of the game when it comes to social media. You have to be in front of people, accessible, and able to bring to them the other half of the social media equation: message.
A message without a presence brings to mind the old saying about a tree falling in an empty forest. If a Facebook post goes out and nobody saw it in their news feed, did it really get posted at all? Of course, having a presence is great but if the message isn’t powerful, engaging, and resonating, it won’t do your dealership any good.
In this podcast through AutoSuccess, I talk about the ways that dealerships can improve their presence and focus on what really matters: driving more business and keeping customers as happy as they can be.
Are you familiar with social sharing cues? Essentially, they’re the little indicators you see attached to content all over the web (including on this post). They allow you to share the content your enjoying to all of the 3,012,432 social networks in existence, and then they’ll often times display a number indicating how many times the content has been shared. When visitors come to your site and they see numbers on all of the little indicators, they know you’re popular, and who doesn’t want to be friends with the popular kid? This is the reason so many USA SEO companies embrace social cues (Wikimotive included), but some businesses aren’t discerning enough when it comes to what they display, especially in the fledgling stages.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovers out there. How many times will you read a line like that today? If you hang out on the internet for long enough (and don’t we all) the chances are you’ll see it so often you’ll puke up some of those little candy hearts (I guess they weren’t “4 EVA” after all). Still, it IS Valentine’s day, and to not address it to your social audience would seem a little disingenuous. As a business, you have to post something, but Marketing Using Facebook is always a delicate dance between standing out and fitting in…so how do you make your followers Choo Choo Choose you? (more…)
Google’s newest patent will prove to be both beneficial and terrifying to users, which is just about par for the course for the search engine juggernaut. It involves tracking you wherever you go and then collating and analyzing that data for personal identification trends. Creepy? For sure. Useful for Business SEO and social media? You betcha. (more…)
There are many lessons we can take from this Super Bowl this year. Important, crucial information like Beyonce has still got it, always pay your electricity bill before you have company over, and murderers can go on to do great things in life. Even more important though, are the lessons we can learn about Marketing with Twitter and Facebook. Let us here at Wikimotive share some of these with you.
Stumbleupon is one of the most interesting social media sites around, and by interesting, I mean it is a complete and total time-sink. Essentially, it’s a toolbar that has a “Stumble” button you can press that will bring you to a random page on the web based on your interests. You can also upvote and downvote pages, which is how Stumbleupon gets better at finding stuff that you’ll like. If something isn’t already ON Stumbleupon when you vote on it, you’ll be given the option to add it. This is what I’d like to talk about today, as it can be a great little social media addition for Business SEO.
For years, the social media landscape has remained largely unchanged. Sure, you have things like Pinterest and Instagram popping up, but the big things for business have consistently been Marketing with Twitter and Facebook. Google+ was designed to be the Facebook killer, but it hasn’t accomplished that, not by a long-shot. What Google’s social network HAS done, just this week, is take one step up the podium.