The emergence of the Internet as a mainstream form of media has certainly changed the way entrepreneurs can now market their products and services. From utility software to traps for mosquitoes, the kinds of things being sold or shared online is as varied as the people that use this medium. You can think of the Internet as a vast marketplace filled with sellers and traders, each vying for customer attention. If you’re pushing a business online, it’s necessary that you establish your visibility and find the best way to reach your audience
A Different Approach
Traditional PR or marketing methods follow the route of first circulating the message to a broad audience in the hope of reaching the few who will actually find your product relevant. Creating a buzz and using the word-of-mouth approach on the other hand requires more targeted tactics.
Instead of simply casting a wide net, you look for specific communities or venues that are very likely to listen to and adopt your message. Coming up and fielding snappy ads and articles are certainly important components of an online marketing campaign. But you’ll also need to create and nurture relationships with your customers. What you need are advocates, people who find your message so compelling that they would naturally spread the word.
People are tired of watching or reading ads. Especially now that social media and all of its forms have become so widespread, putting your target audience in a passive role is not likely the best way to compel them. The tools for publishing or producing online content are so user-friendly now that anyone with a little familiarization can put up a website. Social media goes one step further by providing communicative and participatory tools that can add social networking elements to a site.
Your target audience isn’t just going to sit down and read or listen and watch. They’re going to post a comment, write a review, blog, or Tweet about what you just offered them. Unlike in print, radio or TV, you no longer have full control of your message on the Internet. This may seem like a disadvantage on the surface. But if you think about it in terms of word-of-mouth marketing, this can actually be quite fertile ground.
People now have the means to immediately talk back and interact, and you can be certain that they’re going to use those tools. Whether you’re putting out podcasts or managing an email group, creating online buzz for your business means starting and carrying on a conversation with your prospective costumers. Hopefully with consistent effort those small initial ripples will spread out and maybe even reach places that you didn’t expect to actually have a demand for your product or service.
This guest post was written by James, who enjoys blogging about ways owners of businesses, like those selling traps for mosquitoes, can use social media to generate sales.