4 Pillars of Online Marketing Success

4 Pillars of Online Marketing SuccessToo many businesses are overwhelmed with social media, and for good reason. Even those with abundant resources cannot manage all of the major social media channels well. Facebook advertising alone is a major undertaking.

If you narrow your focus to one or two channels, then it’s only a matter of building the discipline of doing at least one thing each day to get results. We’ll get to that later; because social media is just one of 4 pillars that comprise a solid online marketing foundation.

Here they are in order of importance.

#1 – An Optimized and Responsive Website

Online marketing always starts with content. So, every business needs an SEO optimized and mobile responsive website as its digital home. This is why I’m partnering with New Rainmaker to help small businesses build and maintain this essential digital marketing asset.

Besides educating your community about how your business can help them, the primary purpose of your website is building your list.

#2 – A Growing Email Newsletter Audience

Yes, growing your email newsletter list is just as important as having a first class website, maybe more. This content marketing asset is your business lifeline. It’s how you can reach out to your community, regardless of what’s happening with the social networks.

#3 – A Regularly Published Blog

Now you need a place on the web to share your content. This could be any of the social media channels, but I’m going to suggest starting with a blog on a domain you own. Here’s why.

Most newsletters only have an open rate of 20%, more or less. So, for a small time investment, why not extend the life of that content in part or full by publishing it to your blog? There it will live forever, and be available for sharing on the social web.

#4 – One or Two Active Social Media Channels

Once you have those three components in place, it’s necessary to choose your best social media networks. Considerations should be YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest. These are the majors.

To give you an example of how this works, take a look at the social shares on this podcast interview with Google+ expert Martin Shervington. Martin focuses on one network – Google+. Those 200+ shares are proof that his engaged Google+ community is enormously responsive to what he shares with them.

That’s all there is to this. Create content that serves a useful purpose. Own it. Then use social media to build a community around it that loves it as much as you do.

Here’s how to build the practice for doing this well.

Build the Discipline of One

This is very simple. Just create a daily or weekly plan of one activity that will improve your online marketing. The key is actually writing out a schedule and sticking with it. If you need a free source for downloading blank calendar templates, try this one.

How is your business doing with each of the 4 pillars?

Most of us need to upgrade our websites. Try breaking that down into small action items. Then do one thing every day that leads to their completion. In regards to your newsletter, blog, and social media updates, your business is either doing them consistently or it isn’t.

In addition to scheduling your online marketing, consider scheduling your other sales and marketing activities. I have a daily schedule for calling and emailing at least one small business association that has hired me in the past for reconnecting and letting them know new ways I can help their members. This can also be a good time to ask for a referral.

Smart marketing is simply doing smart things consistently well. Tweet this

To get there, just start with consistency and the “doing them well” will come along soon enough.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

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Wajam is Social Search

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have immediate access to the wisdom and expertise of your friends when you need it the most?

Meet Wajam – a new search engine that serves up search results from what is shared among your social networking friends.

Ever since Facebook launched the social sharing Like button in April of 2010, there has been a great deal of anticipation about what that social component would do for search. Regrettably, thus far it has been a waiting game.

In the meantime, Google has stepped up their efforts to go social with the Google+1 button taking on Facebook Like.

And just a few days ago Google introduced the Google+ social network to take on Facebook itself.

Why all the activity with regards to social and sharing?

You guessed correctly.  It’s all about search. HADG2EH76FW4


Social is the Future of Search – But it’s Complicated

When it comes to search results, Google and Bing favor different types of content – especially when it comes to social content, which is arguably the most relevant.

Blekko is one search engine that has recently put a spotlight on this situation by challenging the two search giants (who control 95% of the search chess board) to a side-by-side comparison against Blekko’s results via their 3 Engine Monte competition.

The reason the results vary is due to the type and quantity of social data that Google and Bing can respectively index, due to such factors as social permissions.

To give you a better understanding of this, here’s a detailed article published yesterday on social search and social graphs as it relates to Google and Bing – and why it is indeed complicated.

Wajam is Your Friend that Plays Well with Google and Bing

While Google and search partners Bing and Facebook continue to escalate their quest to dominate the entire social media universe, Wajam is ready here and now to help you access the knowledge and wisdom of your friends – that narrow sliver of search you often know to be the most relevant and useful.

Wajam is a browser extension that works in tandem with the major search engines, so you don’t have to change your search habits to get the results you are looking for.  All you have to do is give Wajam the same permissions that you have given Facebook and Twitter, and it does the rest.

That’s the beauty of Wajam. You and your friends have previously granted each other access to data via shared links.  By granting Wajam access to that same, you can now search the word-of-mouth recommendations your friends are making every day on the social networks.

How Wajam Works

On Facebook, Wajam has access to content that you and your friends have shared. This includes any links from Facebook to the open web, as well as content that originated outside of Facebook, such as videos and images you have uploaded.

Wajam does not share content from friends of your friends, as that is against Facebook’s privacy settings. However, you should know that when you Like content on the open web, you have friended that site, and Wajam therefore considers any content from it to be highly relevant.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a public site. So, Wajam delivers results from your friends – and friends of friends, what you know of as your followers.

Here is an example of Wajam results delivered within a Google Search.  Below the Wajam results are the usual Google results.

You can click on options to dial up Twitter or Facebook results, and you can display results shared by specific friends.

Let’s take a look at a specific example to illustrate how Wajam can work for you.

Making Wajam Work for You

I’m in the process of writing an article on QR codes to follow up on a highly popular one written earlier this year entitled How You Can Grow Your Business with QR Codes.  For that first article I interviewed Steve Epstein, who is now in my social circle.  That article introduced me to Roger Smolski and Matthew Gallizzi, who I’ve interviewed for the follow up piece I’m working on.

If I Google QR codes and click on Friends from within the Wajam results, I can easily get a glance of others within my social networks that have shared information on QR codes, thus making them valuable resources for my project.

There is much more to Wajam than I can’t show you here.  The best way to find out how it can work for you is to give it a try.

What are the projects you are working on where you could benefit most from the recommendations of your friends?

Leave a comment below or share this with your social community on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Stumbleupon.

Enjoy your weekend,  Jeff