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B2B Start-up Tip on Online Presence Building
Submitted by elannert on 2012-10-15T15:42:25
For businesses looking to enter the online world, how would you rate the importance of: A) a website, B) a blog, C) email marketing, and D) social stream interaction?
Answer: E) All and none of the above.
The first priority by far is content development: figuring out who’s going to talk, what they are going to talk about, and how you are going to stay consistent over the long haul in the face of much more urgent priorities. If that wasn’t enough, the content needs to build an audience. “Build it and they will come” does not work. “Engage and they will follow” doesn’t work either. Content development is only a process. Consistently getting content is milestone 1. Then analytics / email marketing / twitter / linkedIn / etc. can be used to learn what content themes actually build an audience that comes back. We look at content themes in one of four quadrants like this:
For i.c.stars, vision and story blogs are getting strong traction for Sandee, our CEO. Story and client value blogs are generating leads for Carey, our Development Director, and my blogs tend to get the best replies and forwards when they focus on analytical insights from our processes and results from client delivery. Our content strategy is designed to leverage our individual strengths and passion, and it is constantly fine tuned through studying audience response.
How much inventory should you build up?
Because content development is so easy to get behind, we work with clients to build an inventory as a strategy for not missing out on publishing. You don’t want to go silent for a month or two. (all the audience momentum disappears). We strive to have 2 approved blogs in the queue at any point, and to have 2-4 additional blogs at earlier stages at all times with our clients. The funny catch22 here is that when our clients ‘feel’ like they have an inventory, they go dark for several weeks, say ‘whats the problem you have plenty of content’, until we have 1 week left and then they start up again.
What’s the next step once you have your content?
Email marketing is still considered the most effective way to build audience (http://www.business2community.com/infographics/email-marketing-is-alive-and-well-infographic-0298967). We look at the metrics over time to see if the impact is lasting. Interestingly we see a consistent ‘hype cycle’ in email performance over the first 18 months of consistent publishing. You can see our results here.
About the i.c.stars Social Enterprise
We help Technology and Professional Service Companies use Social Media to build prospective client relationships. This Social Venture is being incubated by i.c.stars as part of our efforts to leverage our deep learning expertise to create a self-sustaining business model in the non-profit sector.
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