SMB Branding Help

Share

SMB Branding HELP!

Developing your SMB branding and social media strategy is clearly not a fast easy job. It can literally take months for such a campaign to kick in. Anyone who promises overnight success is most likely a scam artist since search engines don’t guarantee results and can take months to index websites, blogs and social media. On top of that content must be comprehensive or the search engines may ignore the content. It does take quite a bit of work, but the good news is that there are plenty of inbound marketing companies to turn to for help.

Choosing the Right Inbound Marketer

Unfortunately, not every inbound marketing company has your best interests in mind, there are many that have their own best interests in mind. The internet is filled with Bring In the Clownsscam artists looking to make a quick buck and the easiest prey are newbies looking for direction. If you haven’t yet learned about how branding works online, take some time to learn the basics then choose a company that meets your checklist of requirements. This list should include affordability, flexibility, clear communication skills, white hat SEO knowledge, content development skills, social media skills, blogging skills and a successful track record.

The object of inbound marketing is to fuse the best ideas of content development with the best ideas of online marketing. This fusion is known as inbound marketing, which is a broad campaign to get people to engage with your brand online instead of bombarding them with interruptive advertising. A subset of inbound marketing is content marketing, which involves tailoring content and social media to attract users through search engines. Content marketing can also be a subset of outbound marketing, which involves reaching customers through various media exposure.

Content Development

The success of your SMB branding and social media strategies rides mostly on the quality as well as the quantity of content development, along with communication skills and SEO expertise. Online content comes in many forms beyond web pages, blogs and social media. Effective content tools that attract online surfers include videos, photos, webinars, podcasts and infographics. You can also go deeper into details with whitepapers and eBooks. Content marketing can also involve direct interaction with clients through emails.

When it comes to SMB branding and social media strategy, you should only work with companies that know a lot about your business and goals. This entire campaign hinges on product knowledge and the way it is presented to users to build trust and brand loyalty. The last thing you need is a company that only understands the tech side of the internet without much concern about your actual business. Make sure that the company can articulate your business model.

Metrics

A credible inbound marketer will provide metrics that help you gauge the effectiveness of your campaign. Modern marketers will use software to measure analytics that can be summarized as metrics. An important metric for all online businesses is bounce rate, which is when a surfer visits a website then immediately leaves without further exploration. High bounce rates of 50 percent or higher need to be improved down to 20 percent or lower.

The number of visitors to your website, blog or social media profile is another universally important metric. Tracking the growth of this development provides indicators whether or not the campaign is working. Ecommerce metrics definitely matter if you are selling products online. You should also be aware of what percentage of customers disengage with your site before completing a purchase. This information will help you refine your content development, product pages, SMB branding and social media strategy.



Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.

Share

Social Media – Luxury or Necessity

Share

Ask yourself this question. Will my business succeed without regular interaction with my customers and employees? I think most business people recognise that they will not be successful if they eliminate or restrict communication with their customers and employees.

What is Social Media? Quoting direct from Wikipedia,  … define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”[1] Social media is media for social interaction as a super-set beyond social communication. Enabled by ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques, social media has substantially changed the way organizations, communities, and individuals communicate.”

Well that was a mouthful … in simpler terms social media allows people and business to communicate and interact within a public forum. Customers and employees are expecting companies today to listen, engage and respond and that is what Social Media does best.

The ever-present fear from many businesses is that if we implement a Social Media platform for our business, people or employees will say something bad about the company, our services or products. The truth is they are saying it regardless and what a Social Media strategy accomplishes is to allow you to monitor your reputation and deliver your message. The other side of that coin is people are going to say good things about your company, services and products. Social Media interacts with every touch-point within your business from sales to customer service to human resources.

Another aspect of Social Media or what is now often called Social Business is the corporate blog which allows for you to become recognised as an expert in your field. People read what you write and you give them the opportunity to ask questions and you answer … well it doesn’t get much better than that for positive reinforcement of your business. Another benefit of the corporate blog is that it adds regular pages of fresh content to your website and I cannot think of a single search engine that does not like that to take place. People read your blog, “like” your blog on Facebook, share your post or Tweet your post and all that creates links and traffic to your website. So aside from interacting with your customers and employees you are also building traffic to your website!

Again quoting from Wikipedia,  … According to a report by Nielson “In the U.S. alone, total minutes spent on social networking sites has increased 83 percent year-over-year. In fact, total minutes spent on Facebook increased nearly 700 percent year-over-year, growing from 1.7 billion minutes in April 2008 to 13.9 billion in April 2009, making it the No. 1 social networking site for the month.”

The concluding fact is that business cannot ignore Social Media and they must participate and have a Social Media strategy in place. Social Media is not a luxury or even a necessary evil, it is a positive tool for business to hear, communicate and interact with their customers and employees. Without a Social Media platform and strategy in place, you risk being left behind your competition.

What is a blog post without a call to action … if you recognise that your business needs to participate in Social Media, OTR Web has solutions for your company. Visit our website, our Facebook page or contact OTR and we will discuss how we can help work with your business.

Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Share