Reach is often wrongfully relegated to search marketing efforts, but the reality is that ravenous readers are present across the rest of the Internet as well. The ability to amplify your online voice depends on a holistic marketing presence encompassing everything from industry blogs to actual one-on-one social network interaction with potential customers. Below, I recommend why and how you should extend your brand across multiple channels for maximum impact.
Consider the Internet a Community, not a Medium
At the heart of a holistic online presence is a belief that a brand builds itself organically. The origins of the inbound marketing discipline depend entirely on the organic nature of the Internet, but an omnipresent online presence requires a reworking of traditional inbound marketing techniques.
Often inbound marketing relies on the relevance of search engine queries to drive traffic, but this reaches only one segment of Internet traffic: those searching for information. The real test of a customer is not how much information he or she consumes but how much information about your brand he or she relays to other interested parties. For this reason, social media influencers, often known as brand advocates, are highly sought after by brands.
In many cases, your brand advocates will be active on community sites and forums in which you don’t have the time or inclination to develop a presence. RELATED CLASS: Brand Advocate Playbook
Be The Go-To Resource For New Users
Every industry has its combination of old codgers and fresh-out-of-university interns. One of the ultimate goals of a brand interested in building a holistic presence is capturing the young market. One of the reasons the Lexus brand continues to be a success is because, each and every day, 10,000 people in America turn 50. Likewise, there are always tens of thousands of young, innovative thinkers joining your industry, and unlike the old codgers, they haven’t the slightest idea who the most trusted thought leader in your industry is. So while many inbound marketing gurus hype the importance of being a thought leader, creating content that furthers the industry in creative and exciting new ways, this type of content appeals more to experienced practitioners than to new students. RELATED CLASS: Targeting Millennials Through Social
The alternative to thought leadership is comprehensive coverage. By developing a large knowledge base of resources from the very simple to the complex, you become the go-to resource as our young and eager knowledge-seekers enter the industry. This provides a platform that promises a permanent place in the peripatetic minds of future generations.
Open Your Mind To New Opportunities
While every industry has its leading communities, there are hundreds of micro-niche communities that exist in different mediums and for different reasons. These communities might not be focused on your particular industry at all. It’s obvious to you and every other marketer out there that building an inbound marketing funnel from the largest communities, particularly through the use of paid advertising, is a net-profit enterprise, but higher ROIs can be achieved through paid advertising on smaller communities. By thinking outside the box, you can play the long-tail traffic game with hundreds of small investments in affiliated communities rather than one large community.
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