Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How are customers finding you?

How do you track down information and find solutions to your problems?

Do you respond to direct mail? Turn on the radio? How about channel surfing for a couple of hours? Maybe you flip through a magazine?

If you’re like most people, you’ll be turning on your computer and heading to Google, Yahoo, or another search engine.

David Meerman Scott wrote a fantastic article in the latest edition of EContent titled, "Buyers Knocking at Your Virtual Door".

I'd like to reflect on this article and share his insights along with my thoughts.

Most companies are still engaging in "interruption" advertising. Although I still believe it works to certain extent, it's beginning to declining. Huge national corporations like McDonalds and Walmart have insanely large advertising budgets to invest in traditional "interruption" marketing practices, but if you're like me...your budgets are a bit smaller.

So how do you compete? It's simple.

Potential customer are choosing to seek your business out by using search engines. You're thinking to yourself, "Great, I have a website! I'm ready to go." But having a website is only the beginning.

Do you have engaging content? Are you providing a reason for potential customers to visit your business again and again? So what should you do if you do not have engaging content?

Here are a few things to consider looking into:
- Develop a Blog
- Email Newsletters
- eBooks
- Video (YouTube or custom created)
- Podcasts (audio or video)
- Web 2.0 app (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, etc.)
- Contests
- Promotions
- Forums

The great things about engaging content is that it will create a community. Developing a community is the goal for any business. Who doesn't want a following of loyal customers that are willing to promote you! Another great bonus-search engines will reward this new, engaging content that changes periodically with better search results. YEAAAH! Now we're talking!

Once you establish your content strategy, your next step will be looking into Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Having a place holder site with only contact information is a failing marketing technique for your business.

As a general rule, update your site as often as buying fresh fruit and vegetables. Not only will you be healthier, but so will your business.