If you own a traditional “brick and mortar” business you are probably feeling the pinch of this economic downturn and wondering how to increase your income or possibly even survive. In today’s environment a business must integrate an effective online presence to connect with their customer base. This article will explore strategies for Internet success which includes a company Blog, video marketing and social media as a basis for an effective campaign.
A Blog is similar to a website although typically smaller in size. The original concept of a Blog was to be a personal journal or diary. Businesses have adapted this Internet strategy to create human interaction and a personality on the web in an effort to gain trust with their customer base. There are numerous companies who provide a shell for your blog such as Google Blogger, WordPress, Xanga and the list goes on and on. Just perform a Google search and a multiple of sites are available. Most have shell documents for you to insert or post your content.
My preference is the WordPress Blog. WordPress offers two types of Blog platforms; a WordPress hosted version (free) and a self hosted version (you pay a monthly fee). You can tell the difference of the two by the way the URL or address ends. On WordPress if the URL address ends in a.com it is hosted by WordPress and free. If the address ends in.org that is a self (you) hosted site. This only means that you are providing the domain name and WordPress is providing the shell document. My recommendation no matter which Blog company you choose it is best to use a self hosted version, and this way you have complete control of your content.
I was warned about using a free Blog when I started Internet marketing and found that as my skill level increased so did my desire to incorporate more features into my Blog. I discovered that I was limited with the “free” version, governed by the provider’s guidelines. Consequently when I changed from the “free” to the “paid” version I had to use a tool to migrate the posts from one to the other. Fortunately WordPress makes it pretty easy to facilitate the transition. What I wanted to incorporate into my Blog were simple text widgets such as affiliate banner ads, and an opt-in box. I’m sure there are other restrictions, but that was enough for me.
Video has become the bomb! Did you know that Cisco predicts that in the next 3 years or 2013 the Internet is going to grow by 500%? And this is big…91% of online traffic will be from video. Okay let’s do the math. If we have1.5 billion Internet users a day now and in three years it grows by 500 percent, that means every day 7 billion people will be using the Internet. What’s the world population? 6,800,000,000 is the 2009 estimate from Wikipedia. If my math is correct that 7 billion only represents a little less than one tenth of 1% and if Cisco is correct in three years we’ll be watching 6,370,000,000 videos every day. If we are uploading 200,000 videos a day now, I’d say we have room for growth.
Let’s face it people are in for the quick fix. You have got to be a great writer today: a Bob Bly or Joe Vitale to hold some one attention. Video is exciting, colorful, engaging and easy. Which you rather do read or watch the video? Most would prefer the video version and it’s easy to integrate into social media these days. Here are some tips to put some pizazz in you video!
• Look your best at all times, so when you get inspired your ready. Sometimes it works the opposite way. Just looking your best inspires you to do a quick video. I would say 3 to 4 minutes and be concise you have about 30 seconds to hold someone’s attention. If you can’t capture their attention there gone.
• Body language is important; eye contact, shoulder’s back, smile, and you clothes make an impression. Speak from the heart.
• Use the “Hollywood Secret” and every seven seconds shoot another angle (this is where you editing skills come in). Talk about lifestyle, your vision and educate.
• Drawing is very impressive. There is a tool called the Bamboo Writing Tablet that you can actually draw on your computer. Another cool tool is JingProject.com that lets you record your computer screen and even upload it.
• Create that “Open Loop”. The news channel is famous for this. It works something like this…In this video I am going to show you how this simple Internet strategy will boost you lead generation by 500 percent, but first I would like to share with you this other thing. At the end of the video you “close the loop” and answer the question that they came to the video for.
• Use moderation and cadence in your voice. You should know your material so good it flows out of your mouth almost like a song.
• Shoot a lot of videos to get comfortable so that your message comes from authentic place.
My space, Twitter and Facebook are the three heavy hitters in the Social Media arena. Traditional advertising methods aren’t working any longer. It’s harder and harder for the average business to make contact with a customer today and the cost per customer in this down market makes traditional advertising prohibitive. Utilizing Facebook for instance, you can create a business page or request someone be a fan of your business or group. You can even create an opt-in box on your Facebook page.
The world is definitely changing and with very little money you can gain exposure and market yourself or your business like a real pro. The Internet has created new opportunities that didn’t exist just 10 years ago. If you’re a business owner wanting to position yourself in a global environment no business plan would be complete without creating a strategy for Internet success.