Online Marketing: Why Social Media is Good, But Not Enough

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Are all of your eggs in one basket?

In the past three years there has been a whirlwind of marketing activity surrounding social media. Marketing Agencies across the globe have been embracing it, Brands have been utilizing it to create “Brand Advocates”, and small businesses everywhere have been flocking to it.

Social Media has to some degree turned marketing on its head and yet while many of the same core principles remain, Social Media, as any other marketing tool, has its own peculiarities and specifics.

It is an excellent tool for brands and businesses of all make, model and size and we have vouched for it innumerable times on this blog alone.

Social Media, however, it is not the end all be all and it is not a stand-alone method for your business. Every business needs to marketed in a manner that is specific to their industry and their customer base. This is especially true for SMALL BUSINESS.

This type of marketing has a couple of different faces and a names, but for sake of simplicity we will refer to it here as “NICHE MARKETING

Work Smarter not Harder

Work Smarter not Harder

Anyone operating a small business can tell you that profit margins can be tight and as such, marketing budgets can be even tighter. The small business owner must market smarter, not harder. They cannot afford to waste even nickles on anything that won’t generate sales leads and potential.

“The small business owner must market smarter, not harder”

Niche Marketing.

Niche Marketing is not simple, but it is also not as complicated as many fear. What it really boils down to is knowing who to market to. What is interesting is that many times the audience you should be targeting is not necessarily the one you would first assume.

Here is an example from our own personal experience at Transition Marketing last year.

“A Surprising Local Demographic”

We sat down with a real estate agent locally to asses their situation. They were doing well, but were ready to make the next big leap in market share. Living in the Okanagan, there is a large amount of vacation property available. Many would assume between that and local young families, that the dominant target market would be obvious.

It turned out that in the specific region we were dealing with, the most untapped market was in fact a split between older retiring citizens (65+) and elderly population looking to downsize.

Now of course. one does not necessarily want to rely solely on Social Media to chase down a target market such as this. Greater success was made using the medium most accessible to them – printed advertising. Newspapers, buy & sells, coffee shop readers and so on. Quaint, archaic perhaps, but effective and by utilizing this relatively inexpensive medium, we were able to address an often overlooked demographic to great success.

Niche Marketing is all about specific, focused efforts to reach a specific audience. To do so, one cannot rely on “blanket strategies” or “mass marketing“. Likewise Social Media is an excellent tool, but it cannot stand-alone. It is a resource best used in conjunction with other efforts. This may include more traditional avenues such as print, radio and video, or networking events such as trades and sales shows.

There is one area that all Niche Marketing has in common. One that in this day and age cannot be overlooked… a website.

A website is a necessity, not a suggestion.

Fishing for leads is great... if you have a place to land them. That is where a website comes in.

Fishing for leads is great… if you have a place to land them. That is where a website comes in.

It is the 21st century, the year 2013 and businesses that want to success need to recognize the importance of an online presence.

Online searches are the primary means of locating businesses, products and services and online searches while on the move (mobile) are quickly becoming the norm.

Consider these recent statistics:

    • By 2015, mobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop usage. (Microsoft Tag)
    • Mobile traffic increased to over 16% of overall web traffic. Mobile web traffic increased 27% in 2012. (Marketingland)
    • Mobile data traffic globally in 2011 was 8 times greater than in 2010. (Econsultancy)
    • At time of report, there were 6.8 billion people on the planet. 5.1 billion of them owned a cell phone. (Search Engine Watch)
    • 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour (Social Media Today)

    • Use of mobile search has grown by 500% over the past two years.(Econsultancy)

    • Average smart phone usage almost tripled in 2011. (Econsultancy)

    • 50% of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. (Microsoft tag)

If your business does not have a website, how many sales leads are you missing out on? Search engines do index some social media material, but these search results do not come close to touching what the indexing and results that a good website will provide. Here is an example:

I am on a lovely vacation to the south Okanagan Valley with my family. The Okanagan is considered a bit of a tourist hot-spot and many of the local Okanagan businesses benefit from the summer tourism surge.

I have a little spending money and I am looking to sit down and enjoy a nice meal locally with my family. After that I think I will take in some of the local entertainment and maybe do a little shopping.

But where do I go? I suppose I could use a Yellow Pages directory… if PayPhones were still a thing. Let’s face it, I have my smart phone so I am going to just pop in a Google search and see what comes up.

Will it be your business?

Social media has been proven to increase SEO (Search Engine Results) for websites. By using a combination of Social Media WITH a website, you are increasing you websites opportunity to be viewed and (if you are using Social Media properly) you are also engaging your customer base.

Social Media is in itself not a stand-alone marketing strategy. It is a tool to be used in conjunction with more foundational marketing. Its use in online marketing is only truly effective if you have a website.

“Fishing for leads is great… if you have a place to land them. That is where a website comes in.”

If marketing is fishing than consider Social Media to be the fishing line and your website to be the boat. Social Media can reel in leads, but where will you direct them for further information?

Websites are a home base. A place where customers (should) be able to get everything they need to take action immediately. Whether they get there by search engine, referral, social media engagement or other… the website is where they need to land.

Okanagan Small Business Marketing

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

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