The question business people need to ask is "will blogging and social media really affect my business?" Social media opportunities might be a great venue for your business.
The speed at which consumers are migrating to these mediums is something to be aware of.
Ignoring it means ignoring a tool that could be valuable in helping you get more customers.
As you consider advertising opportunities via the web here are some things to think about.
Understand the web's reach.
Here's the current ranking of the top media contenders.
Television continues to deliver the highest percentage of adults as a single medium.
Broadcast TV alone will reach 90% or more of the total adult (18+) population.
Radio comes in at #2 and the WWW is currently in the #3 position.
Remember that communicating remains the number one reason why people are on-line.
Make sure your target audience is online.
Just like you research other media opportunities and find out if your prospects are watching / listening / reading what is being presented, do some research to see if your target is on-line.
The internet and social media tools are useless if the people who see your stuff don't want what you offer.
Develop a plan.
Be clear about what you're trying to accomplish, how much you're willing to invest and what time frame you are working on.
Like any aspect of your business - plan ahead.
Create good content.
Just like your traditional ads, delivering messages that are relevant and reach your prospects heart are needed when employing on-line campaigns.
We've all seen sites that have hundreds of pages and useless content.
If you want your prospect to leave your site, just load it up with lots of pages and information they don't really care about.
0 is the social web but it's still content-driven.
Lousy content leads to lousy marketing, no matter how flashy it is.
Make your content relevant, interesting and real.
Put yourself in your customer's shoes and answer their questions with your content.
Make your site easy to navigate.
Nothing will frustrate your visitors more than having to jump all over your site in an attempt to find what they want.
Simple fact - they won't do it.
They'll just go somewhere else.
SEO and PPC.
Two of the biggest buzz-words & tactics you'll encounter are Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click advertising.
This is a very simple overview: There are two aspects to SEO.
The first deals with the notion that everyone wants to be on page1 and the top listing as well.
How much money do you have?Before you hire an SEO expert, ask yourself "do I really need to be positioned so that the entire world will find me on page one?" The 2nd aspect to SEO is making yourself easy to find when they go looking for you.
This is easily attainable and highly recommended.
When a potential customer enters your name in the search box, you want them to find you.
Pay Per Click.
The easiest description is you bid (yes, PPC is an auction) for certain key words and search phrases.
If and when someone enters the word or phrase you have submitted and, you have bid the most money, your ad will appear with a link to your web site.
Once they click on your ad, you pay.
Inform & educate.
Information-based marketing is currently king.
Remember that people love to buy stuff, but the hate to be sold.
Help, inform, educate, and provide e-books and white papers.
Give visitors what they want and see how fast they will send your info to their friends and peers.
Most important, make it easy for people to communicate with you.
Don't hide behind e-mail.
Frequent web users rank lack of responding to an inquiry as one of their greatest annoyances.
Post your phone number where it's easy to see and answer those e-mails.