The Internet is a volatile place, with new platforms launching more frequently than most of us do laundry and a constant shifting in the ways that users use the Web. Small business marketers are playing a constant game of catch-up as the online world marches steadily onward. It’s a game that can be very easy to lose when you don’t have a full-time marketing staff to keep tabs on things 24/7.
Think your online marketing strategy might be living in the past? Not even sure what an up-to-date online marketing strategy looks like?
These four signs indicate that it might be time to stir things up a bit and trade those proverbial bell bottoms for app development, Pinterest and Vine.
Your Online Marketing Strategy Might Need an Update If:
You’re Using Somebody Else’s Platform Exclusively
Now, I’m not saying that uploading photos to Facebook is a bad thing. But using big, corporate-owned platforms and not hosting any of your own content on your own website, for example – not such a great idea.
There are two big reasons for this:
- One is the phenomenon of digital sharecropping, in which sites like Instagram and Facebook wind up owning your content and potentially profiting from it.
- Second is that in this day and age, you’re just not going to look like a legitimate business without your own website full of relevant and interesting content.
Not sure how to get started? It might be time to hire a web designer to get you set up.
You’re Four Social Networks Behind
Does MySpace ring a bell? Xanga? LiveJournal? These early social networking sites all had their day, to be sure, but that day is long gone. In fact, many of them are totally shifting gears to appeal to different audiences, or simply aren’t used or functional in any useful capacity anymore.
I know it can be tough for small businesses to keep up with every single new social network, and it’s not always worth it to be an early adopter when you don’t know what’s going to fly – but it is important to find the networks that are thriving and right for your business.
You’re Ignoring ROI (Return on Investment) and Analytics
This more technical side of online marketing can be intimidating and just a little bit bewildering. You’re already running a marketing campaign – now you need to analyze it, too.
True, it takes a little bit more work, but tracking data can go a long way in ensuring that the effort you put into marketing is well-placed. And the good news is, you don’t need to be a math or programming whiz to measure the success of your online marketing strategy.
You’re Trying to Appeal to Everyone
The days when you could churn out content and try to reach everyone with it are over. Now, market segmentation is a necessity. There’s simply so much of the Web to reach that you need to strategize and produce content accordingly.
Even more, you need to post that segmented content in the right places. What you post on Pinterest, for example, is going to be very different from what you post on LinkedIn.
The Magic Word is Strategy
The key to online marketing success is right there in the title of this post: Strategy. The biggest sign that your online marketing strategy is outdated might be the fact that you have no strategy.
If this is the case, it’s time to put your nose to the grindstone, figure out your audience, create an editorial calendar and start writing content that adds up to a greater whole.
And of course, don’t forget to measure the results of your online marketing strategy.
Up-to-Date Strategy Photo via Shutterstock