Independent professionals who use the Web to promote their services are often surprised to learn, after spending big bucks and a lot of time getting their website designed and finally published, that it's not enough!
"What? Is this some sort of Internet marketing scam? Or some sort of evil hole I'm going to get sucked into?"
Nope. It's the solid truth. A website, no matter how spectacular, is not enough if you want to get found by clients and use the Internet to find clients and make money.
You're likely going to need an e-newsletter, a blog, and profiles on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You need to publish content everywhere, in article directories, audio files for podcasts, and videos on YouTube.
If you want to get found by the people who have problems that you can solve, you must make it easy for people to find you. You must be everywhere. You need content, content, content and not just on your own web pages.
Digital Marketing on the Social Web
But don't believe just me, read the studies: Here are two recent research studies that tell you how companies are spending their marketing budgets in 2009 and 2010. Business blogs will continue to grow.
eMarketer posted a new report yesterday about the growth of blogging and opportunity for businesses. Currently, 27.9 million US Internet users have a blog they update at least once per month, and they represent 14% of the Internet population. By 2013, 37.6 million users will update their blogs at least monthly.
And here is another poll, this one with readers of the popular search marketing blog by Lee Odden, Online Marketing Blog. Odden asked his 18,000 subscribers to pick their top 3 marketing tools out of a list of 45.
Poll respondents cast 1559 votes for their 3 top digital marketing tactics (out of 45) for 2009 with Blogging, Twitter and Search Engine Optimization topping the list. Out of the top 10 tactics, 6 fell into the category of Social Media Marketing.
• Blogging (34%)
• Microblogging (Twitter) (29%)
• Search engine optimization (28%)
• Social network participation (Facebook, LinkedIn) (26%)
• Email marketing (17%)
• Social media monitoring & outreach (17%)
• Pay per click (14%)
• Blogger relations (12%)
• Video marketing (10%)
• Social media advertising (7%)
What does this mean for you and your company? Are you going to rely on the strength of your one website? Do you really believe that you can ignore blogging, or Twitter? Do you really think that publishing a website and a monthly newsletter will be enough?
The obvious question (and panic) for most independent professionals I know is "Where will I find the time?" If you don't know anything about these tools, and you're too busy and think you have enough business without them anyway, then that's okay, for now. Maybe.
You probably can get away with just a few web pages for a while. But for how long? If you wait, you're not creating and building up the body of online content you need in order for you to get "Google juice," and clients won't find you when they do a search. Your web pages won't get good page rankings. Your site won't get found. They will find your competitors instead.
The time to start building up a body of content in multiple forms on multiple social sites is now, not tomorrow.
What's the next question you need to figure out? How can you learn to expand your online marketing presence when you're an independent professional without a large budget or much time to learn all this social media marketing stuff?
I'm saving that question for tomorrow's post. I'm also giving you a few short cuts for building up a body of online content that markets for you. Stay tuned.