Outreach potential with Twitter, Blogging, Websites, Facebook and YouTube.
We’re all want to generate more leads and more sales. Isn’t that a key function of your Internet Marketing Plan?
We keep hearing about lots of different online marketing tools and how all of these different companies are using social media, websites, blogs, etc. to gain huge followings and tons of sales.
A lot of our clients are asking…where are the large sales? How do we tap into social media to generate huge sales? Should we even have a website anymore?
All valid questions, thoughts and concerns.
As we look at different online marketing approaches, we too evaluate the outreach potential for our clients. Many come to us and they tell us, “We’ve seen this Twitter thing. I think I want to Twitter because I heard that XYZ company (a fortune 500 company) uses twitter and sold $x last month.”
As a consultant to them, our first round of questions obviously come at them with a focus on their website and their current online marketing presence. How strong is it?
Then, we jump into questions about how tech savvy they (and their staff) are.
And finally, we hit on budget. Sure, you can shoot for the moon (like these huge fortune 500 companies), but not on a $500/month budget.
Obviously, we need to get some perspective and focus.
Below, we’ve outlined our current position with respect to outreach on 5 different online marketing tools.
(and obviously, technology changes very quickly, and so can our opinion of where these different tools rank. Yes, this has happened in the past and we continually educate/update our clients on what is best for their situation.)
Internet Marketing Tools: Which Provides the Best Outreach for a Small/Medium Business?
Before we get a lot of negative comments on this post, we need to clear the air first. From what we know, the Google search engine still maintains 65% of all search volume. Bing/Yahoo occupy about 30% combined. And the rest of the search engines (aol, ask, etc.) are scrounging for the remaining 5 % or so.
Also, we totally understand that some tools provide more of a “referral” type of service.
We’ve taken all of these different things into account as we’ve developed this blog article. And, we fully realize that things will/may change over time. However, all of these tools can become part of your Internet Marketing Plan.
OK, on to the rest of the post.
In this article, we’ve looked at 5 different tools; Websites, Bloggs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Each of these tools has their own strengths and weaknesses. So, let’s get started.
- Websites: Overall, websites are probably the most effective outreach tool the companies have at their disposal. Most companies have already developed a website and their real problem is that they need the website optimized for the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). In our book, the website is usually the place for a business to start. After all, it allows the business to be completely hands off while having a strong presence on the search engines.
- Blogging: Blogging comes in at a close #2 in our book. Blogging has some really positive aspects related to it. For example, the look and feel of the site can be quickly an easily adjusted. Also, a company can quickly use the built in CMS (content management system) to easily make changes, add content or edit posts on the site. This tool allows a business to be very functional and flexible. The only reason it slides in at #2 (vs. in a tie for #1) is that there can be a little more hands on applications with a blog. What we are thinking of specifically is the constant desire/need to add relevant content 2-3 times per week to the site.
- Twitter: We next look at Twitter. And or overall impression of twitter (at the current time and depending on your business model) is that you may want to hold off on Twitter until you have some of the other tools locked down and effectively bringing in leads for your business. In a recent book about Twitter (yes, we read about everything we can get our hands on) the author likens this tool to feeling like you are on a crowded beach trying to get your message out there. There tends to be a lot of conversations going on with Twitter and standing out is going to be the real key. Recently, HubSpot ( http://www.hubspot.com )had reported in an online webinar that the average social media link online has a shelf life of 3 hours. What this means is that you’d need to be tweeting about 3-5 times per day to keep your message fresh and out there. In the defense of Twitter, there are different tools you can use that help you manage your tweeting and keep on top of your conversation much more effectively and efficiently. However, again, these tools require you to be familiar with a computer and to be using a computer on a consistent basis.
- Facebook is the next tool we identified. All in all, Facebook has a slightly higher level of outreach than Twitter. If you were to be using Facebook on its own. However, if you use Facebook in conjunction with your website and your previous clients, then the outreach potential goes up in a hurt. When you are using Facebook in conjunction with your website you can truly go viral in a hurry. And, when your clients “like” you, that action shows up on your clients friends’ pages. Hence, a great referral for your business.
- YouTube: Lastly, we looked at YouTube. This is a great tool for outreach. There are two reasons this tool works so well for outreach. First, the YouTube video can be very keyword relevant. This means that when a consumer is searching for your products and services they are able to find you on the first page of the search results. How awesome is that! Secondly, the video itself is like a miniature sales pitch. What do you want the client to do? Call? Ask them to give you a call on the video. Your phone will get some use.
All in all, we see websites and blogging as being the primary way for businesses to be able to reach out to potential clients. The main focus would be to have a strong presence on the search engines and that will lead to generating more leads and more sales.
As a second tier implementation, we’d encourage YouTube and Facebook. YouTube will help your business gain exposure online and on the first page of the search engines while also acting as a sales tool. Facebook will help you grow through people you know and people that are your “friends”.
Third would be Twitter. While this tool my currently come last on this list, rest assured that it is our belief that EVERYONE will end up with a twitter account at some point in the future.
One of the best ways to implement some of these tools would be to bundle them together. For example, there are many Internet Marketing Companies that are starting to offer Facebook/Twitter packages. These packages include some tweeting as well as some Facebook wall postings.
To see if your business is ready to implement some of these tools contact Jeff Hensiek by calling 866-503-7673, email or through our Internet Marketing Plan Proposal form.
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