Nothing troubles me more than to see a website built by a business (probably the owner him or herself) and content does not change, pictures of staff who no longer work there, or even old addresses from where the business once was
located. A website can be a powerful tool if you maintain it. To throw something up and see if it sticks is insane. I visit a lot with SMB's and I ask them. "How is your website doing?" I get back "Well we have one if that's what you mean." You start talking analytics, key words,
content management, and they all give you this blank look. With today's technology, data streaming, market targeting, and embedded analytics, if you do not understand the real purpose of your website, then you seriously should not
even have one. You have to maintain your website and change the content frequently and you should also embed at the very least Google Analytics to track your hits and see whats working for you. A website can be a powerful marketing tool, but you have to empower it to work for you.
A recent study shows that only 25% of SMB' use any kind of tracking tool So what are the other 75% doing? Nothing. Using reported data properly can tell you not only who is visiting your site but when, what pages they are looking at, and this is just a small sampling of all the data you can use. I am only mentioning Google analytics because it is free for most of its basic services. We are in a digital and competitive world today. With the proper tools, even small businesses can compete with the big boys if you know
your market, use your web site to gain that data, and keep your content rich with key words that will attract todays buyers and market share. I highly encourage you to revisit your website and look at it carefully. Embed an
analytic tool and use it! If you find it too complicated, then hire a web service to do it for you or ask one your employees who may be web savvy to help you. It will be a win-win situation for your entire team.
As if we just start to get a grasp on Instagram and Social Cam, Tumblr now
begins to grow up and out of its diapers. This social media web site has been
around for some time. (2007) As with any unique social media website, Tumblr
has been on a pathway of discovery. As I look at Tumblr even today, I think it
is still evolving to identify what it wants to do. You might call it Social Cam
on steroids. A variety of categories from A to Z can be found on Tumblr and the
subject matter even more so. The users are mostly the under 35 crowd and please
understand, I am not knocking Tumblr. I find it actually pretty cool to surf
For the purpose of my blog this week however, the question is can Tumblr work
from a business marketing perspective? My answer is "maybe". To use Tumblr for
marketing your business, it is going to take several considerations. The most
important one is time. Besides account maintenance, you must have some savvy in
web video presence. This is not social cam where you post 20 or 30 seconds of
unedited "look at me" content. There is a some thought and creativity that goes
into Tumblr productions. Like You Tube, Tumblr strives for some quality from
its users. Pictures can also be used and I would be amis not to say that
Tumblr has an excellent array of photos in various categories as well. How
does all this fit in to the business sector? Considering the age group on
Tumblr, if you have a business that is trying to reach the 35 and under crowd,
then yes, you might want to consider establishing a business account and post
lets say fashion ideas or gaming products, ect. The NFL has a category on there
mixed with individual teams supported by fans. There is even blogging on Tumblr
but I personally don't think Tumblr is the place to blog if you want exposure . I feel
Word Press gets more attention. (or my own web site here (:-)
In conclusion, Tumblr is up and coming but just how far up, I think we need
to take a few steps back and let it evolve some more. In the meantime, check it
out for yourself and surf around! Tumbler can be found at http://www.tumblr.com
OK, so you are a small business and "Those big guys" ae all over the web offering to do it cheaper and wow, they have those fancy attention getting images, Specials on Twitter, Fan Pages on Facebook. So why don't you? What makes you any different. In fact, YOU have the advantage. Really? Yes you do and here is why.
Yes, you can keep it simple stupid. (no offense) The big guys have "wow" graphics, links all over the place on their web creating mass confusion. Ever think your customers just want simple "KISS" help? By keeping your web site simple, you focus more on your customer's needs. They are looking for answers to their problems or shopping for a service. They are not looking for a "theme park" experience.
Be a Problem Solver, Not a Problem Creator
As a SMB owner, you have the upper hand in that you are in the field every day. The big guys are not. You know your customers. You work with them every day. Work with them on their problems and concerns. Don't try to imitate the larger competition, be who you are and use what you know. Your customers will respect that. they want help and answers, not lip service.
Use Counter Moves
As a SMB, you have the flexibility to change quickly and adapt to your customers and the local market. The big guys can not do that right away. You control your brand and you call the shots. The big guys have to answer to Corporate, approve changes, approve budgets, ect. ect. What are you waiting for? Don't stick your head in the sand. Be ready!
You have your customers because you serve them and you help them. Sure your prices might be a bit higher but you provide something the larger stores or offices do not. Service, support, and a smile. That is so important. Price is NOT always everything. Be competitive but also be personable. Excell in customer service and you will be a winner.
As an SMB, you can take certain risks in being creative such as using Social Media, revamping and experimenting with marketing campaigns. Take a chance. See what works for you? I am not saying throw away a couple of thousand dollars on a "What if" but catch up with the times, be creative, use your employees and ask their opinion. Again, those "Big Boys" have no say and they employ and pay huge dollars for a marketing firm that has no clue of your local market. National statistics don't always match up with your local economy or market area. Small risks can be big dividends.
You Too Can Be a Big Brand
Because you may be a small business, does not mean you can't have the image of a big brand. Use Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and your web to create the visibility that you too are a big player and that you want to earn your customers business and respect. Besides, you are out there 24-7 using social media. It does not hurt to see what your larger competition is doing by looking at their marketing campaigns but come up with your own ideas and specials. If you feel you do not have the savy to navigate social media, consult one of your employee who may or contact me. I will be happy to help.