Getting Found Online
Some ideas from a digital marketer and woodworker.
I get paid, like countless thousands of others like me, to tell clients (big brands) how they should spend their marketing dollars. I feel fortunate enough to have been able to see the impact of cable (on broadcast TV), and more recently the digital revolution that has greatly impacted how brands consider their marketing allocations. Was this as exciting as the 1960’s MadMen-era of the Ad world? No, but it’s just as easy to order a martini now as it was then. Revolution in my industry is what keeps it exciting, fresh and worth returning to work the next day.
On the other hand, I also am a passionate woodworker. For the last 16 years, I’ve built well over 40 significant pieces, most of which are in my home. Woodworking…Digital Marketing? What’s the connection? Digital technology has a tremendous impact on how we learn new techniques, read about the latest tool reviews, and even whether or not we read publications printed on paper. Even more so, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) and more focused tools like Pinterest, Flickr and FourSquare enable a level of connectivity that delivers extreme relevancy and connections to like-minded individuals. Like Woodworkers.
In fact, I have seen firsthand, from both my woodworking colleagues, and other professional colleagues who promote their own interests online with blogs garner a significant following. They leverage digital publication, social media and technical content optimization to create awareness and a loyal following that brands would pay dearly for. Limited, if not zero budgets, forces woodworkers, knitters, fashionistas and foodies to be focused and efficient in how they get found by others who share the same interests.
It all starts with picking a few topics you (and perhaps others) are interested in and then start to write about them. Develop content that is not only interesting, but also uses the words around the topics your are writing about. Label images with titles and other meta-data that relate to the topic others may search for. This helps you get found on search engines.
Next, share this content with your immediate network of connections (family, friends, colleagues, etc.). Using social media as a mechanism for distribution and sharing allows your potential readers to hit an immediate threshold. Any comments, retweets or shares then begin to expand your audience. Listen to what others have to say, join the conversation and see what people are interested in. This is also not a time to be shy. Promote what you do to others in your peer group. These are the influencers who will with time, become an advocate at select times on your behalf. They also have a bigger network of followers that are your potential future audience. Why? Because you are sharing content that they are interested in reading about. It also becomes a process for refining the topics you chose at the start of this process.
So imagine, if woodworkers can garner a following in the 1000’s, or 10’s of thousands, on a limited budget, imagine the potential for brands with money to spend? This methodology is just as applicable for a CPG brand site as it is for an eCommerce site. If you want to see what I’m talking about, search in Google for “Traveling Anarchist Tool Chest”, “Moxon Vise” and “Glue Creep”. See what you find in images and regular results. Then follow me on Google+ and while logged in, conduct the same searches.
This is the new world of search and can be molded for big brands as well as our own personal interests – like woodworking. It blends content marketing/creation with technical SEO and Social Media into a digital amalgam of relevancy for search engines and more importantly, consumers.