With changes in algorithms and credibility with consumers–social media changes affect how small business will build new prospects and leads.
The burden is shifting more to the small business owner to be seen in an online world; getting customers to provide positive ratings and reviews as well as shareable content is booming in online branding.
What we use to do with testimonials and word of mouth is now front and center in prospects minds in making decisions.
Small business owners need to have a grasp of how to make this shift and enhance their brand to get more customers and reviews of their experience.
Today’s Digital Marketing Update
In today’s Digital Marketing Update, Video Podcast #86, host John D. Verlin discusses How Is Your Business Building Ratings And Shares?
When it comes to marketing a small business, there’s a new reality. It’s getting incredibly more expensive and difficult for small business owners to make their brand standout from the competition.
This challenge dates back to my earlier days in radio, when I would consult with small business owners about how they can exceed the exposure of their competitors.
In many cases–the idea of sponsored radio show or :60 radio vignette featuring the owner hit a nerve.
I had many clients love the idea–but were mic shy. But we persisted and they soon began being known for their business.
This was a unique branding situation–because never before had a prospect commented on their ads, their voice or recognize them in grocery stores (after hearing them talking to someone–which actually happened) etc.
Today, with online streaming and podcasting–hosting your own weekly radio show is a brilliant idea whose time has come.
In today’s Digital Marketing Update, podcast #50, host John D. Verlin discusses why doing a weekly podcast show is no different than the old radio shows of bygone years. With his focus on rich content and engaging interview questions–customers get quick answers and get to know the business owner like in a dive deep reality!
It’s all a part of our three-part strategy to drive SEO and web traffic and to make your business exceed the profile and exposure of your competitors!
We do this through an extended marketing platform–the perfect compliment to current advertising campaigns!
My theater director was Dr. Lewis Fulks, who himself studied under Cecil B. DeMille of Hollywood fame.
I originally was introduced to theater by my high school theater director, Gerald Snider to portray one of the three murders in Shakespeare’s MacBeth.
After two years in theater–I went on to finish my BA-Mass Communications degree (Radio-TV specialty) at Abilene Christian.
I worked for a Christian radio station, KCAD (located in the basement of a shopping mall) at the Sunday morning (graveyard) shift, then eventually took over the all night slot at Top-40 leader, KRBC one year later.
The life of a college all-night DJ did give me some exposure to fame (I had my share of groupies) as well as getting to meet KISS and other celebs.
But I began (out of being bored most of the night) doing some impersonations that I worked up.
After a while–I began to realize how powerful radio was–not only for information, music and entertainment, but in forming emotional connections to the audience.
In podcast #44, John Verlin delves in to the magic of audio (one reason he does podcasts) and how they can emotionally connect with his audience.
And yes–he does do his Jimmy Stewart and Jerry Lewis impersonations!
It’s all a part of our three-part strategy to drive SEO and web traffic and make your business exceed the profile and exposure of your competitors with an extended marketing platform–the perfect compliment to a Google Adwords campaign!
A house is only as solid as it’s foundation. When it comes to your small business, how solid is your small business marketing platform?
Too many small businesses neglect content and image of their website, social media pages and blogs–and that can affect brand perception!
Today’s video podcast discusses the importance a marketing platform has in relation to brand perception and your other marketing touch points (business cards, uniforms, marketing materials, etc).
Small business owners should never overlook how important their website, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages are as more prospects utilize their mobile devices to check them out before engaging the business.
You can listen to all of our strictly podcasts here.
I wanted to share with you today, a lady I met a few weeks ago at a chamber coffee. I want to follow up more about the marketing platform…why this is so important. And how solid this is for your business.
I want to kind of define that a little more, to give you a better idea of what I’m referring to.
A marketing platform is basically a combination of the things that represent you online, whether it’s your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, whatever platforms you’re using to promote yourself.
That’s pretty much what I’m when I talk about your marketing platform primarily. Now you’re going to have your customer touch points, like your business cards, uniform, any kind of direct mail pieces, anything outside of the online capability.
But primarily, I’m referring to an online platform. Because this is where people are going to end up at one point or another in doing business with you.
Whether it’s researching you, finding out where you are…communicating with you, getting your phone number, whatever. Finding reviews about your business. This is really, really critical because more and more people now are doing this. Prior to even driving two miles to get a bottle of milk, they’re checking out the supermarket perhaps, depending on the type of business it is.
At any rate, I wanted to point this out because if you’re a small business, be aware of this because it can make or break the fact you may or may not get new customers.
And you don’t know why this is happening, and it very well mean that your marketing platform is not very well built.
And that’s what I’m trying to do to help small businesses. How you can maximize the visits that you get to your website by having a good, solid platform.
Case in point—I was looking up an eye doctor And there was a practice with eight doctors. And the website looked good. Now I had heard about them, based on a referral. But I didn’t know anything about them.
And I had gone to them twenty years ago but they have a whole new group of doctors. When I checked them out online, they seemed to have good reviews. When I went to their blog, they had like four blog posts. And they were about a year a part.
Now that may not sound like a big deal. But I thought, you know—eight doctors and they can’t afford to hire someone to do blog posts? Or something?
That was my first impression. Whether that’s accurate or not, I have no idea. Cause I hadn’t even been there yet. But that’s what I’m talking about.
That was an impression. And we have a short window with which to make an impression in a customers mind before if they decide if they’re valid or not. Trust can also come into that. Do you trust them if you see that haven’t had blog posts, engagement so to speak with customers, comments, whatever that it.
That’s a brand perception. That’s why this is so important. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re a small shoe shop or a practice with eight physicians…you need to have a presence online that says, we are engaged with you, we are mindful of our online presence. We have invested in it because we want you to believe us.
Because that’s really your new scorecard whether we like it or not.
The other thing I wanted to point out, is that I met this woman at a chamber coffee…as I started to say. They repair cars—a car maintenance place. Actually a few miles from where I live.
I had seen them online occasionally on Twitter. And, you know I knew they were around, but I didn’t even see their building because they were behind some trees…and I never really stopped by.
I didn’t have a reason to actually because I wasn’t in need of an oil change or repair. But as we were talking at this chamber event, she ended up getting interviewed by the president for a new feature they were doing—five minute interview about chamber members, that they then posted on the chamber Facebook page.
When I talked to her afterwards I said, you know you did a really good and it’s a great idea of them doing this. To get video imaging of them on their Facebook page. It adds a lot of credibility. Being on the chamber Facebook page.
I told her what I did and she said, yeah—I know. But we aren’t that crazy about social media, and I understand that—it takes effort, but you’ve got to realize, that’s where your customers are in many cases.
We talked a little bit about how she can use this video…and things like that. I ended up going into their website, checked out, they had a blog—but again…there was some sparseness between blog posts…like six months to a year.
They had linked to that video from the chamber Facebook page which was great. I thought she could do a lot more than that by having a blog—or tying that video into their blog. Because they could add content to that which is searched by Google.
And you can promote people not just back to that website where the video is but they can see other content from the blog when you do promote it from the blog.
Great to get them back to your website, but the blog gives you flexibility on your platform to launch that link out so all sorts of media. And it all adds up in the Google search engines to be seen—because you can add written content to that. About what this is, what we talked about, etc.
Several days after I talked with her—I received a direct mail postcard from them, with coupons, etc.
That’s fine—they’re doing direct mail. That’s part of the overall branding. But my point is, after I saw this…I thought she’s got a gold mine with that video that the chamber did for her.
There is where your blog comes in, where you, you can post them on your website but the blog is an on-going platform. It’s almost like a mini-website. To add content to on a regular basis that the search engines will find, that you can use to promote through direct mail through anything really. To get people to learn specifics about your business.
And that’s why I like, whether it’s a podcast like this, or a video…a cartoon video, written content…you name it. They are an extension of your platform. They’re a vital part of it because they add so much credibility, creativity to your brand.
That’s why when people go to visit and they see blogpost after blogpost of not just cut and paste stuff, but this is original content. That’s why I like these podcasts because I not only put these on as a video podcasts for my clients—but I also transcribe it in writing so you can read it as well. This is all original. Everything that I’m saying is original content.
I’m not copying and pasting from anyone. And Google favors that. So that’s why these podcasts can be really powerful and your blog can be really powerful for videos and podcasts.
That’s kind of what I wanted to share with you. The stability and how solid your marketing platform is because you can add so much of this content to it to help promote you and form your brand perception.