Of course, when I say “Barstool Marketing” – I’m not talking about devising your marketing plan at a bar. Although, I like to think that some of my best ideas have come after sitting at the bar for a few hours. But in this instance, I’m talking about a three legged stool. Without one of the legs to hold you up, you tumble over. (Or, sometimes even with the three legs, tumbling can be side-effect of sitting at the bar for too long.)
The three legged approach to internet marketing is a simple one. Each leg has its purpose and with out the other two, is somewhat useless. The first leg is blogging/content marketing, second leg – social media and the third leg, email marketing. Businesses that are successful with their internet marketing efforts have learned to master each of these three legs.
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Content is King‘ – as someone who does this for a living, believe me, I’m sick of hearing it. But it’s absolutely true. The time you spend cultivating and developing the content that goes into your blog and your website is absolutely worth every second. And for those of you who don’t spend time doing it, believe me, your competition is.
There’s a lot of different moving parts here as well, each of which require a lot of hard work. Researching what keywords you want to target/write about, curating a strategy on how often to write, and of course, actually writing the article are all things that need special attention and special skills.
Schedule in some time (1-2 hours a week, minimum) to create content for your site. And that doesn’t always mean new content, spend time updating the content that’s already on your site to ensure it’s still relevant and up-to-date.
If you aren’t a writer, that’s not a deal breaker. Just get started by addressing hot topics in your industry or frequently asked questions, or consider outsourcing your writing to an experienced copywriter.
If your social media strategy is signing up for a Twitter account and having it be dormant for 6 months, you might need to re-think your strategy.
Having a presence on all of the major social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc) is a start. But a true social media marketing strategy begins with a message.
Defining your message on each channel of social media needs to be your first step. Whatever your message is, being conversational needs to be the focus.
So when promoting the content on your site, remember to be conversational, and know who you are being conversational to. LinkedIn is more of a professional crowd than Twitter. Pinterest is more of a female audience than Facebook. Your content may be a great fit for all of these networks, but how you present it needs to be different.
Just having content on your site isn’t enough, you need a way to encourage conversation about it. But you need to be aware of who you are having a conversation with and how to talk to them. Take the time to research who your audience is on each network and how to cultivate content for them. As you begin to hone your message, more people will ‘follow’.
This is the leg that gets the least love. But as we established earlier, a two legged stool isn’t the most balanced approach. If social media marketing is the sexy red sports car that everyone wants, email marketing is the Honda Civic. Often overlooked, but is still as reliable as ever.
Quick poll – I would imagine you know a handful of people that aren’t on Facebook. You probably know even more people that aren’t on Twitter. But how many people do you know that don’t have an email account? Until something more universal comes along as a communication tool, email will remain something that everyone has and everyone uses on a daily basis.
Email marketing is still a very viable use of your marketing budget and time. 60% of consumers have made a purchase based on an email they received from a business. That’s a pretty good percentage to market to, don’t you think?
By building a list of loyal customers and potential customers that you can send your great content to, you are creating an opportunity to connect directly with decision makers. You don’t need to hope that they log on to Facebook to see your message in their News Feed – your email shows up on their phone, their laptop, their tablet and their computer, immediately.
If you haven’t already, start collecting email addresses on your website, on your social media profiles or in your store. While you work on building your list, think about the message that you want to share with your subscribers. Just like anything else, don’t be ‘spammy.’ Send useful information to your list and they will continue to read it. When it comes time for them to buy, they’ll know where to go.