Most business processes and competencies have not changed much in hundreds of years. Take accounting for example. Other than the introduction of computers and software, which was huge, and various changes in regulations, accounting is performed just as it was 500 years ago. And, for the most part, the same was true for marketing. That is until the invention and acceptance of the Internet. Since then, marketing has been turned on its ear. If you are a small business that is still marketing they same way you did 10-15 years ago, chances are you are wasting a lot of marketing dollars and your results are far less than they could and should be.
As a small business counselor/advocate, lately, I am bombarded with questions about “social media and networking”. It is certainly a buzz phrase these days, but, not many in the small business community seem to know a lot about it. Furthermore, they fail to realize that in most cases, social media and networking is not a stand alone strategy/technique but rather an extension or enhancement of other types of online marketing. Nonetheless, it should be an integral component as it is hot, inexpensive and effective when used correctly and in conjunction with a total online marketing strategy/technique. So let’s start with by watching a video that explains the “social media” part of Web 2.0 Marketing.
As a result of intense interest by my clients and others, I have decided to take on the dangerous task of explaining the total Web 2.0 Online marketing strategy (including social media/networking) through a series of posts (of which this is the first) as it is far too comprehensive and detailed to address in a singe article. I describe this task as dangerous because I know it will stimulate a lot of comments due to definitions (it means different things to different people), what is included and what is not, and my approach to certain issues. To minimize these risks, I have invited others to assist me and contribute in areas where they are more knowledgeable and skilled than am I in order to bring you the best education possible.
This article is simply an overview of the various aspects of Web 2.0 online marketing. Each of the ensuing articles in the series will drill down on a single aspect.
One reason you have not seen articles on this subject from me sooner is that I have been trying to figure out the best way to explain it. Recently, I saw a great graphic created in 2008 by Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends that illustrated the ROI impact of various aspects of Web 2.0 online marketing. However, it left out a couple of things I wanted to cover and many things have changed since 2008. So inspired by Campbell’s concept, I recreated her graphic representing how the most significant ROI impact begins with an effective website and radiates outward.
Now, I realize that it looks rather intimidating. It really isn’t, once you understand what each activity is and how it works. So, I will give you a short overview of each below and will go into depth on each of these strategies/techniques in subsequent articles in the series over the next few weeks.
In the graphic, your website is the “bulls-eye” or center of your Web 2.0 online marketing strategy. Think of it as your virtual store/office. This is where business is conducted and, as such, provides the highest return on investment (ROI). Everything else represented on the graphic is available to increase the amount of business you do at your website. Expect an article on websites within the next week or so as it is the next up in the series.
Located in this ring are initiatives such as autoresponders, blogs, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, online press releases, and search engine optimization (SEO). Once your website is in place, the marketing activities/techniques in this second ring should be your next priority consideration because they are critical to increasing the activity at your website and will net you the next highest ROI.
The strategies/techniques in the third ring are not necessarily less important than those in the second ring but simply net a smaller ROI relative to the amount of time and/or expense required to execute them. Take affiliate programs for example. If your business is totally web-based and you are selling products, offering an affiliate program might be among the most important things you do. However, you will need to pay a commission (25%-50%) on each sale generated by your affiliates. So unless you can sell your product with huge margins, there is a substantial cost associated with it. Many of these strategies/techniques require an investment of time but are usually totally or mostly free. And, they can have a very positive impact on traffic and orders.
In conclusion, other than alerting you to your choice of Web 2.0 online marketing strategies/techniques with a fancy graphic, I realize that I have not provided many details. Rest assured that in the weeks to come, I will provide you with detailed information on each of these strategies/techniques. You won’t want to miss a single post in this series. So how can you prevent that from happening? There are a couple of things you can do:
- Subscribe to my RSS feed by either email or reader (see upper right hand sidebar). If you are unfamiliar with RSS Readers, then select “Subscribe By Email” and every time I post a new article, you will receive an email about the article. With one click you will be at the new article.
- Bookmark this page and come back to check it whenever you can as I will add links to this page each time I post a new article in the series. However, if your memory is anything like mine and your “Favorites” has as many bookmarks as mine, you will probably find that the first option will work better for you.
Those that enjoyed this article, also enjoyed:
The Elements of a Web 2.0 Website
Web 2.0 Blogging For Business
Web 2.0 SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Web 2.0 Email Marketing & Autoresponders
Web 2.0 Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Web 2.0 Online Press Releases& Articles
Web 2.0 Forum & Blog Commenting
Web 2.0 Professional & Social Networking
Web 2.0 RSS Feeds and Widgets
Web 2.0 Video & Podcasting
Web 2.0 Wikis & Open Source Marketing
Web 2.0 Bookmarking & Reviewing Sites
Web 2.0 Affiliate Marketing Programs
Posted by: Mike Clough