Industry There’s No All-in-One Method to Marketing By Jessica Brown Why it’s Necessary to Take an Integrative Approach When someone tells me that their blog isn’t getting much traffic, or that they don’t feel like people are reading their posts, the first thing I usually look at are their social media accounts. Most of the time, I guarantee you that they haven’t been doing much to promote the posts, if anything at all. That’s kind of like building a restaurant in the middle of nowhere with the freshest and most delicious recipes around, and then waiting for people to drive by and hopefully stop in on a whim. Having a blog, creating social media accounts, being completely search engine optimized, building a stunning website, or buying a radio spot, will not do anything for your business if it’s the only thing you are doing. In order to see success, you need to take advantage of multiple marketing channels in order to drive traffic to the areas you want customers to see. Here is an example of what can happen when you are not using multiple marketing channels, or when these channels don’t properly speak to one another. An Example Jane Doe has been running a small boutique for the past three years. She worked with a web development company a few years ago to create a beautiful website, but she was too busy to write a lot of content, so the site basically includes her store’s location, mission and history, and photos. To drive people to the website, she put the URL on her business cards and on her store window. After her website launched, Jane realized that most other boutiques were on social media, so she created a Facebook and Twitter account for the store. She never got around to adding the links to these pages on the site, though. Jane likes Facebook and finds it easy to post using her smartphone. She started to upload photos and post daily, providing a lot of useful content for customers on her page. She also shares a lot of fashion articles and design tips from other sites, since she doesn’t have a blog of her own. Because she doesn’t like Twitter very much, she went into her settings and had everything from Facebook post to Twitter so that she wouldn’t have to check it. After a few months, Jane gets complaints from customers that their questions haven’t been answered or that they didn’t know about promotions that were going on in the store. And Jane is frustrated because she isn’t getting as much traffic to her website and starts to wonder if the expensive design she paid for was worth it. What is Jane doing wrong? Well… a lot. Jane is advertising her website as the main point of contact for her business. However, the website isn’t regularly updated with blog posts, news, or photos. In addition to this, there is no link to the boutique’s Facebook page, which IS regularly updated, but not as heavily promoted as the website, which means a lot of people who are looking to Jane’s website for information aren’t finding any. By choosing not to check her Twitter account, Jane is running the risk of missing customer questions and getting a lot of points take off of her great customer service score. Working Together In Jane’s case, I would call her promotion methods “frenemies.” Friends… but enemies. All of her marketing efforts are working to help achieve the same goal: More sales for Jane. But they aren’t working TOGETHER, and are each sending people in different directions. In order for Jane to start seeing real change and more traffic, she needs to think strategically about how someone who is looking for information will actually find it. Jane can start making positive changes today, by adding links to her social accounts to her website and encouraging people to follow her on social media for special updates and company news. All of Jane’s social media sites should, in turn, link back to her website, so that anyone who stumbles upon her Facebook pages because a friend likes it, can visit her website and learn more about the store. Jane should also unlink her Facebook and Twitter pages and start using the platforms as two separate tools. It only takes a few minutes a day to check notifications on social media! Jane can also boost the store’s credibility by starting to write blog posts of her own, so that instead of directing Facebook users to other businesses’ sites, she will be driving traffic back to her site directly. She can also expand her marketing by having an email newsletter. She can use her website to collect emails and include links to her social media sites. One, Big, Happy, Marketing Strategy Jane was previously completely relying on Facebook to bring her customers, even though she had spent a lot of money building her perfect website. By thinking about how her website, social presence, email marketing, and maybe print materials in the future, work together, she can streamline her marketing system to help her reach her goals, which includes more traffic to her site. If you are relying on one method of marketing to bring you business or are neglecting channels that you intended to use, stop now! Going back to my restaurant analogy, no one is just going to walk into your restaurant and become a lifelong customer in a day. You need to spread the word and tell customers what you want them to do – whether it’s stopping in for a bite or going to your website – in order to lay the foundation for great communication with them. 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