Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Everyone on Social Media Is a Lead, so Use Them in Your Marketing Strategy

Small businesses that are new to online marketing often misunderstand the concept of ‘audience’. You have more leads than you may think!

Editor's Note: This post is part of a series on developing an effective Online Marketing Strategy. It tells the story of John, a small business owner, who creates his first online marketing plan, using the Audience Creator. Content Marketing Wizard Tim coaches him along this journey.

Last episode: A Good Marketing Strategy Uses the Past in the Future

Wizard 2 - Audit
Tim introduces an novel idea about who your audience is.

Wizard 2.2 - Current Audience Circle

Current Audience Circle Content Marketing Wizard
'Audience circle??' John asks, when he reads the header above this chapter.
'Aye,' Tim tells him, 'keep in character, please. You're supposed to be a character in the story. I’ll get to that later.'

'Sorry,' says John, grinning.

Tim goes on: 'what about your online marketing? You said you have a newsletter? And a form on your website, so someone can subscribe to that newsletter?'

'Let me think,' says John. 'Yes I have one, everyone who subscribes is added to the mailing list.' He adds it to the marketing efforts that work.

'Good,' says Tim, 'and how many people do you send the newsletter to?'

'Hmm,' John thinks, 'around 300 people.'

'And are they all paying customers?' Tim asks.

'I wish,' John replies with a wry smile, 'only about half of them are.'

'What else?' Tim asks. 'Do you have other online activities? Are you active on Social Media? Do you use Twitter? Google+? LinkedIn? Facebook? Have you done online advertising? Do you know how many people visit your website? And how they found it?'

'Hey, wait a minute,' John stops him. 'No I don’t. And that’s just what the problem is: too many things to think of. That’s why I hired you, didn’t I?' he exclaims.

Tim grins. 'Just teasing you,' he says. 'And you’re right. There is a lot to think of. Most importantly, you have to make a change in mindset. The Internet, and especially Social Media have added a new dimension to the marketing process. First of all, they are a new channel for word-of-mouth. You can either publish your content on social media directly, or you can use social media to notify people when you have told a story somewhere else. Whatever story you tell, share it on social media. Sharing content on social media means it can get repeated and shared by others, so more attention is brought to your business.

It doesn't stop there. Through social networking sites, you can have conversations and interactions with individual followers. It isn't just a one way street. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers and potential customers. Building trust is an important aspect of content marketing.

All people you interact with I collectively call your Audience Circle. Leads, prospects, customers, friends, followers, connections together form your Audience Circle. Content Marketing is about drawing people into your Audience Circle. But I’m getting ahead of myself, we were reviewing past marketing efforts.'

John enters in the Audience Creator:

300 leads on e-newsletter mailing list.
LinkedIn 223 connections, Twitter (no account)
5 corporate customers with a total of 150 participants

In the next episode, John enters wizard 3, that starts out simple enough...

The entire story of John and Tim is also available for reading on your computer or mobile device. Get it from Amazon or Smashwords.

Looking for more information and instructions on how the Audience Creator wizard can work for you? Learn more.

About the Author(s): This article was written by Arno van Boven and Ronald Kloots of Content Marketing Wizard.

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