Most of the businesses we talk to are frustrated by the whole “internet thing.” They see that their ads aren’t bringing in as much business as they used to; they don’t know how to handle negative reviews. They realize they need internet marketing, but they’re completely lost and a bit scared because they don’t know who to trust.
They get tons of calls every day promising them top placement on Google, and magical promises about making their business go viral on social media. Some of them have been burned in the past, some are confused, and others don’t know why it matters if their business is on page one of Google.
I get it, that’s how I feel as a consumer when I know I need something, but I don’t fully understand it.
So what’s a business to do?
There’s already so much to do when it comes to running a business and there’s not enough time, so I’m not going to say, “Take a class.”
There are some powerful marketing lessons that can be learned from people who live and breathe the internet, bloggers!
For some of them blogging is their business, for others they blog to grow their business (by driving people to their blog via SEO and social media and converting casual readers into customers and clients. Bloggers understand how the internet works and how to leverage it.
In this article here, we’re just talking straight up marketing lessons inspired by creative solopreneurs.
7 Internet Marketing Strategies You Can Learn from Bloggers
1. Lead capture – A website can be a great marketing tool if used correctly. Great bloggers have an email capture form on the home page of their blog/website. This is where they capture the reader’s email (the reader is the lead, or potential customer). Bloggers understand they need to give away something of value for free in order to entice and encourage the person to give their email address. Once the person gives their email address, they are saying “I’m interested in what you offer.”
2. Authority – Bloggers understand they need to be seen as an authority in order to earn the trust of the potential customer. Yes, there is a whole lot more to earning a potential customer’s trust than just simply establishing authority, but that authority certainly helps! One way bloggers show their authority on a subject is by writing and publishing a book. Some become great public speakers. Then they leverage that authority to grow their business. Sometimes they’ll do special give-a-ways too, giving away their book or product, their course, or their service. They know they’ve got to give away some of their best stuff to earn that trust factor. Many local businesses are afraid to give away too much, afraid to discount too much, and the biggest problem we see is that they just don’t know how to do it. Don’t give away the farm for nothing in return. There are strategies to use and implement, which make the give-a-ways work for both the business and the customer. (There will be an article/post on this shortly).
3. Cultivate Relationships – Unless your business doesn’t have repeat customers or need any referrals, you’ll want to come up with a plan to maintain and grow your relationship with your customers. Just because your customer had a great experience doesn’t mean they’ll remember you in the future. Many businesses find this one confusing, but something such as a newsletter can do wonders in this area, add a VIP or customer appreciation program and now you’re cookin’! If you look around the blogosphere, you’ll see this is pretty standard among bloggers. They understand the sales funnel and how it often takes several communications to turn a prospect into a customer, and it takes continued development to turn a customer into a raving fan.
4. Community Building – Talking about turning customers into raving fans, bloggers know a lot about this prized gem! Yes bloggers tend to be natural communicators, content producers and social online. That’s partly what makes them so great at building community. They love comments on their blog, and they encourage comments since that’s one area where community happens. Where is your customer community? Is it with the local chamber, or networking events? Is it in your business location (like restaurants and dance studios)? Can you take your community online and grow its exposure? Bloggers don’t just build community with their costumers/subscribers they build community with fellow bloggers and cross network. Something many businesses don’t bother developing. It’s can be incredibly powerful.
5. SEO – Getting found online when a searcher uses the search engines, is oh so important! But it’s not the end-all-be-all of importance. If your online reputation is a mess, if your website is a turn off, then being found online won’t bring you more business. Bloggers need their posts/articles to be found online, they need their websites to be found online, and they invest the time or money to learn SEO or hire someone to do it for them. So many businesses think they have an online presence just because they have a website, but unless you type in their URL, their website doesn’t show up and that means they actually don’t have much of an online presence at all since no one can find them without typing in the address to their website. When used properly SEO is a fantastic marketing tool. It should be part of a bigger strategy though, since it works best when it’s well-integrated in a complete online marketing plan.
6. Social Media – What makes this one tricky is that many businesses feel they are doing social media “right” when they aren’t. Bloggers tend to be pretty natural about sharing relevant content and engaging their audience, while traditional businesses tend use social media to just promote. There’s nothing wrong with promoting your specials, but only do this a percentage of the time. People are human beings and we don’t like to nagged or shouted at. If we already like your business page, we most likely know about your usual deals and specials you can give us something new, something exclusive, specials etc… But do more than that. Don’t just repeat your promotions. Social media isn’t meant to be a cheaper version of a billboard.
7. Personalize – Leverage the personality and essence of your business; humanize your business. This may take a while to go from concept to mastery, but take steps in this direction. Again, this is a brilliant marketing strategy that bloggers tend to understand and master. They know that the more we (potential customers) see their human side and their essence, the more we feel we know, like and trust them, which is uber important when attracting new customers, and turning them into long-term customers and fans.
There are far more than just seven marketing strategies businesses can learn from bloggers, but you can take and develop these main pillars in several ways.
Just like you wouldn’t build a house in a day, you won’t create and implement your master internet marketing strategy in a day either. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, create a marketing calendar and break it up into small steps. Or you can hire us; we love applying our skills and knowledge to businesses by creating, implementing and maintaining their internet marketing strategy. We’re a boutique internet marketing agency, specializing in building businesses online presence and reputation in a way that reflects the brand’s essence, spirit and personality. With a focus on customer service, our goal is your success!
Evolving Your Business to New Heights, that’ what we do.
Have you tried implementing these strategies? Which have you seen the best results from? Have any of them failed to yield positive results?