Keeping Internal Marketing Afloat
Keeping Internal Marketing Afloat
Web design and online marketing firms like our own have the tendency to put internal marketing on the back burner.
It's understandable. We're doing it for a living, so it's not as if we need to brush up on strategies and the latest and greatest, right? The story usually goes like this....Your web design or online marketing business is booming. You are helping other businesses market themselves online and before you know it, your in-house social media campaigns haven't gotten any love. You let it slide for awhile for the same reasons your social media buzz-resistant clients give you: "We have plenty of business right now. We're too busy for Twitter. Our website will just be a self-serving, all-in-one marketing tool."
You convince yourself you'll get to it after your laundry list of tasks is complete. Oh wait, that means tweeting at 2am when you've finally gotten around to it. Great for your clients on the other side of the world who are just booting up their TweetDeck and checking their Facebook, but not so great for all of your actual followers and potential clients who are asleep at 2am. Ok, you realize they have come out with seven new Facebook versions since you updated your page.
It's time to hire a young whippersnapper of an intern who would love to do that for you. Interns are great, can't live without them, but as digital marketers and gurus, we have to get hands on to stay up to date. Let's face it, you have to walk the walk and talk the talk on the latest ways to market yourselves if you want your clients to successfully compete in the online marketing world. Here are some helpful starting points we have used to keep our in-house marketing afloat.
1. Integrate, integrate, integrate.
If you or your whippersnapper intern are spending all this time manually posting every new blog post, news release, or piece of information to all the different venues of social media marketing, there will be less snap to that whipper at the end of the day. Set up, download, do whatever you have to do, but get some sort of social media integration device that allows you to post one piece of content to multiple mediums. If you're using WordPress, you can download a simple widget or plugin that allows you to post everything to Twitter, Digg, Facebook, or whatever sources you choose.Simply google "wordpress twitter plugin". If you're using Efelle FusionCMS, take advantage of the built-in function that does this for you. As I mentioned before, applications like TweetDeck or Twitterific are excellent and free ways to post to your Facebook and Twitter simultaneously, as well as track twitter feeds on multiple accounts.
2. Tease, please.
Tease has negative connotations, but in marketing we like to think of it as a respectable method for self preservation. Don't divulge an entire news story or piece of content right there on your Facebook page. Link back to your website if the user wants to read the whole thing! Give them a blurb, follow it with a link, and let them decide how far they want to engage with it. Give the title of the new blog post or piece of content, and link over to it on your own website. You want to convert followers into customers, and the best way to do that is to drive them to your website.
3. PR is not dead.
The lines between public relations, advertising, and marketing continue to blur, and especially within the web marketing industry. Game-changers like Facebook, Reddit, and Groupon, amongst many others, have changed the accessibility, quality, and standards of marketing. Public relations, in the traditional sense, means engaging with different audiences to increase awareness, whether that is of a product, service, or initiative. Marketing has always been geared more towards building a relationship with clients and targeted audiences, whereas advertising is engaging with an audience in a paid space with a specific motive, like selling soda. A great way to engage with your clients while internally marketing is to release good old fashioned press releases. This is an opportunity for your company to 'alert the public' of a new contract, product, partnership, while shamelessly getting your own name and your clients name out in the cybersphere. Some free PR websites offer the ability to embed a link, which helps with search engine optimization. Google caches press releases, which helps your company linkbuild, while at the same time the client has a little free publicity as well.
Some free press release websites include:
PR.com (self explanatory)
eComm Wire for ecommerce projects
1888 Press releases
4. Pop the question, get engaged.
It's one thing to spit out blog entries and tweets like it's your job, which it actually could be, but it is a whole new marketing ballgame when you actually engage in discussion with relevant pieces of content and in forums. Retweet interesting articles, great ideas, or little pieces of information about industry leaders, clients, or any news source you find interesting. For some, this could be posting an infographic circulated by FastCompany, or responding to an article on GeekWire you find interesting. If you're going to keep up to speed and market yourself efficiently, it's important that you engage with others in your industry. This goes both ways, open up the floor for people to comment on your own content as well.
5. Everything comes with a side order of SEO.
Everything you do should have search engine optimization in mind. No content should be written without a link for which to build upon. Keep your audience and keywords in mind when writing blog posts. Engaging with others is a great way to do, but make sure you're not just sticking your link in other people's business. Get a feel for the cyber codes of sharing content via links.
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