Training in Social Marketing
Training in Social Marketing
Search engine optimization will only go so far and for some businesses the keywords they may wish to target are all too highly competitive to be able to gain a first search engine result page for a term with sufficient searches to bring traffic. You need to get some training in Social Marketing and may need to brush up on new social skills - social marketing skills that is!
There are two ways to get a lot of traffic. You can pay to advertise with a search engine using pay per click (PPC) advertising. Or you can get some training in social marketing and leverage several highly trafficked sites to get your new visitors.
PPC v Social Marketing
Pay Per Click advertising will bring you fast traffic but it is a complex form of advertising. If done well you can get highly targeted traffic that converts well for you. If done poorly you can go broke on traffic that hits and bounces.
If you have a large budget for advertising then you can afford a PPC expert to put together a good campaign that you can co-ordinate with your web designer to get very good results. For most people, doing it themselves, this form of advertising, like most other forms of advertising, will be wasting a lot of money for very little return on your investment, at least until you have learned enough to make it work.
It always comes down to time or money. For PPC as for most forms of advertising, once the money dries up, so does the traffic.
The better way is to use social media marketing. You write some articles, create audio interviews or videos and you add them to social media sites with a link back to your site. This takes time to do but the published media you place on these sites will stay there "forever". Immediately you stop paying "per click" you are no better off than you were before.
So if you take your demographic information, start searching for social sites that are likely to be the kind of places where your audience will "hang out". Social media is not a pure advertising means. You cannot go in and say "buy this from here", you need to be more subtle and first provide something that people are looking for.
If they like what you are showing them then they will perhaps click through to your site and see what else you have to show them and where they may expect to see a sales message. Then it is up to your site to "convert" them - To give you a call or to visit your store, or if you are selling products there, to buy from you online.
Start Training in Social Marketing
Most social media sites with very high traffic such as Facebook, My Space, Twitter, You Tube etc. These have a "friend" system where people can connect with other subscribers and be updated when their friends place new content on their pages or profile. It is this "news" aspect where you will gain most exposure but it is the ability to link to your main site where you gain the most benefit from joining such sites.
Social media is not something you can set and forget. You will need to update with new content on a regular basis. Even though old content stays available - unless new content refreshes it, the old content will slip down the ratings slope until it is invisible and well of the first SERP radar.
Automating Shared Content
This is why blogs are so often used. A main web site can become an authority site and can change and be updated but it is not an easy matter for you to update it regularly unless you use a content management system. A WordPress blog is easy to update and the blog platform is perfect for adding new content on a regular basis and also for syndicating this new content so that summaries of it can appear on other sites or pages easily via an RSS feed.
A summary of new content can also be set to automatically be sent via the autoresponder system you use to send emails to a list of newsletter contacts. Once an autoresponder is set up to detect the blog, any new posts can be sent to subscribers automatically at set periods such as weekly or monthly. You do not need to know much about web publishing to use a blog although the more you do know, the better the control you have over how your blog looks and what you can add to it.
The last step if you are using social media is to link all your work together.
This is done by using plugins or widgets that show content from one site on other sites. You can comment on Twitter and have your last few comments appear on your blog under an invitation to follow you on Twitter. You can enter a new post on your blog and when you publish it, the link to the new blog post automatically appears on Twitter. You can invite people to "friend" you on Facebook or to become a fan of a page you have there, and on the page on Facebook you can display a summary of the last five posts you have published on your blog.
Social Marketing Training
As Twitter and Facebook have the highest traffic I have used these sites as examples. There are many great videos and guides out now that help people with their social marketing training. If the whole thing is too time consuming to do it yourself, outsource it. You know your business, social media marketers know theirs. You won't be able to get out of it entirely, the creation of your marketing message should not be done without your approval so you'll need to be hands on about content, even if you use a ghost writer.
The system can easily be set up by someone else though, someone who knows which plugins and widgets to use and will install them all for you, so your actual input is done in a few key spots but is distributed to many more.
There are many varieties of social media sites. You can have a You Tube channel where you upload videos. These can then be embedded on your blog and at Facebook. You can upload pictures to Flikr and use a plugin to show them on your blog or link to them in an article. You can write articles and contribute to ezines and this content can be republished on other people's sites if they wish and this is good because they must republish including the link back to your site.
There are many other smaller but similar sites with high traffic where you can place content that can lead people back to your main site. Every link back helps you to build your rank with search engines and provides a way for people to find you if they like your content. Some of these sites are specific to certain topics so you will want to look out for sites that specialize in content that relates to your business.
That is where your audience will want to hang out. That is where you should be too.