You know that you must promote your business to succeed. After all if no one knows you exist, you kind of don’t. You read in a forum post that Facebook has millions of users and that every business should have a presence. You create a fan page and write updates for a week. Five people like your site.
The next week you see an article that talks about the value of article marketing. The author shares her success with article marketing and how it drove traffic to her site. You write and upload ten articles to article directories.
You receive an email from a well known marketer that shares the value of press releases. You hire a freelancer to write a press release and upload it to press release distribution sites.
Later that day, you read a forum posting touting the value of twitter for small business marketing. Eager to succeed you immediately sign up for twitter and write your first update – “Trying out twitter.”
At the end of three months, your traffic is stagnant, and you have signed up for so many sites you have lost track of where you’ve been. Yet, the only business you have is the result of old fashioned networking and meeting. You go back to one of the online forums and declare that online marketing and social media do not work. You join the ranks of those who profess that this “social media thing” is nothing more than hype that will soon be exposed for a lack of results.
I tried Twitter but it did not work.
I sent a press release but they didn’t respond.
Social media is nothing more than a time suck.
If you have ever uttered any of the above phrases you may be among the hit and run drivers. None of the above tactics are bad but the only results you will get from a hit and run strategy is a pile of bodies in your wake so deep that you will not even remember the roads you traveled.
The best marketing tactic is the one that you do consistently. You do the work in advance to develop a strategy. Where is your target audience? What is the best distribution channel to reach them? What are you goals? What will you measure? How will you measure it?
You plan, implement, monitor, test, tweak and repeat. You refine your approach but you do not give up.
Social media and digital marketing strategies are not a replacement for all other strategies but another tactic for your marketing toolbox. Decide how and where it fits into your business and then choose a tactic that you can sustain.
When you commit to a marketing tactic, give it your best. Do it well and do it consistently. A self promotional update on Twitter every 5 days is not a strategy. Think a self promotional piece of drivel labeled a press release uploaded to a free site is going to land you on the pages of the Wall Street Journal? Think again.
You can market your business successfully using the telephone. If that’s your thing and you commit time to do it consistently, it will work.
If you are looking for a magic bullet that will cost you neither time nor money, then you should pack up your marbles and go back to the ranks of the employed. There is always a cost to marketing even when it’s free. However, if you do the work, you will get the results and with more business you can enhance your marketing even more.
How about you? Have you tried and abandoned techniques believing that they did not work? What marketing do you do consistently?