In marketing, social media is the gift that keeps on giving.
The trouble with traditional communication is that it’s ephemeral. Your print ad, TV spot, outdoor ad or press mention can have tremendous marketing value, but only while you’re paying to make it so. It’s like trying to communicate with rainbows – momentarily fantastic, but always fleeting.
Alternatively, if you find the essence of your expertise (personal or corporate) and create legitimately useful online content around your knowledge, you’ll have a marketing program that pays dividends every day, not just during the media buy.
As long as you’re even moderately thoughtful about search engine optimization, and devote some time to developing relationships and interacting with other folks in your genre, your content WILL get noticed and inbound inquiries will follow.
I wrote my post about the “6 Dangerous Fallacies of Social Media” more than seven months ago. I have written nearly 100 blog posts since then. But yet that post (and many others) get visits nearly every day. From Google. From links to them on other blogs. From Twitter. And the same is true with Webinars, slide decks on Slideshare.net and other content that I’ve atomized and distributed (read Todd Defren’s excellent ebook for more insight into atomizing content into bite-size pieces).
Social Media Marketing Success Story
My friend Kristen is a raw food guru. She’s been to raw food school, and is a consultant and speaker about the raw food movement. (she’s also probably 437% healthier than me, but me and cheeseburgers are great friends). Kristen and her husband Greg wrote several raw food cookbooks (initially as PDF ebooks, and more recently as actual paper volumes available at Amazon.com). With a little search engine know-how and some social network hob-knobbing, they’ve turned Kristen’s expertise into a thriving business.
Would running an ad in a food magazine have delivered the same results? I think not. Results would probably have been greater initially, and then tapered as soon as the advertising stopped. And doing it that way would have been a lot more expensive.
And this isn’t only viable for sole proprietors like Kristen and me. Inbound marketing software tool maker Hubspot creates massive amounts of useful digital marketing content in a variety of formats (Hubspot.TV is my favorite). My friends (client) at ExactTarget have something like 100 blogs, a Webinar series, and more. Even Ford is relying on a content creation strategy to launch the Ford Fiesta – and they’ve outsourced the content creation duties to their customers.
I’ve not foolish enough to suggest you should abandon traditional tactics. After all, offline marketing drives online demand. But, creating content around your expertise is a low cost, high satisfaction strategy that has the unique benefit of paying compounding dividends. It’s marketing that just keeps going, and going, and going.
What content are you creating for yourself or your business?
(photo by MonsterShaq2000)