When you learn about marketing in the classical sense, and by this I mean in an educational environment, you may come across differing methods of quantifying the science of marketing. You may learn about the four P’s – product, price, promotion and place. Then there is the alternative four C’s – consumer, cost, communication and convenience. And if you go farther back you may even learn about the compass or cardinal definitions – N=needs, W=wants, S=security and E=education.
However, when I studied marketing we came across another strategy which would also cleanly deal with the blurred lines between digital and traditional marketing.
We studied The Three-Legged Stool which is a very effective way to create an online strategy.
Social Media Marketing
The first leg of our three-legged stool is social media marketing. With current trends consistently showing that social media marketing will continue to be the driver of online marketing strategies for years to come.
The starting point is shortlisting the platforms that you want to use. This is where it’s very important to have an idea of your target market and where they will be. Generally, Facebook is a safe bet for a majority of businesses to start simply because it has a vast audience with diverse interests. Use Facebook wisely, sharing and re-using your content and ensure you engage with your audience and welcome new and old visitors alike. Use contests and giveaways to keep things interesting and users returning to your page.
The second leg of our three-legged stool is search marketing. The SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page) are now littered with as many ads as real search results and although they are highlighted there isn’t always much differentiation. By using keyword advertising you can target specific queries and terms and thereby target your advertising towards your potential customers.
Search marketing isn’t just about advertising though. It also includes Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and off-page SEO too. On-page SEO is focused around keywords etc. in the right place on your website whereas off-page SEO is geared towards other websites, forums, online groups that build the authority and credibility of your site.
The third leg of our three-legged stool is content marketing. Content marketing is playing the long-term game. Different types of content should be produced suited to the audience at which they are aimed, and then distributed via various channels to this audience. Usually, numerous options are used including text (updates, newsletters, blog posts), images (infographics, photo’s) and videos (both live and pre-recorded) to be shared across all relevant platforms.
It is also worth considering that as well as publishing this on all the platforms that you use, it’s always a good strategy to publish to other channels that can provide additional traffic. This could be local newspapers, radio stations, TV stations and newsletters, all of which are constantly looking for fresh content from local businesses.
So you can see there are many ways to approach your online marketing but using a proven strategy is a very sound way to support the rest of your marketing efforts.