When soccer hooligans in the UK used to go to games they used to use the phrase “tooled up”. What this essentially meant was that they would have an assortment of knuckle dusters, knives and other items in case a fight “kicked off” which it invariably did.
The same apples for your web presence. Having a website is really not enough as people are now entering the Internet from a huge variety of places and no longer do they type a URL into the top bar of your browser. I have to take the teenager analogy here on this. My young sons spends a ton of time on YouTube these days and it is a rich source of media for them. They love humorous short sharp impact videos and like most young people their bounce rate is really high if they don’t like what they see.
The same applies to the other end of the spectrum. My wife is a relatively recent convert to the Internet and now uses it at least once a day. She has an extremely short attention span. Usually this is her only computer experience of the day. She wants her information fast and clearly. She does not want to scroll down, click more than twice or linger on a page looking for a link.
The growth of Smartphones like iPhone and Androids is also critical to show you the growth of a new breed of customer. Look on your high street. People are walking around clutching them in their hands all the time. They are constantly glancing at them and when in a wireless zone you see them surfing the net, looking at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Ignore these customers at your peril. You need to be getting your information to them in a wide variety of forms and media. Here are some methods that are are free (bar time invested) to help put your product, brand, or message out there.
It is easy to sniff at YouTube but it is a hugely popular site and people search in it for information. If you are reluctant to video yourself talking about your product why not ask some of your customers to speak about your product. Ass them for a 10 second sound bite and string the videos together with a snappy soundtrack in between or intersperse it with slides or visuals of your product. You don’t even have to actually video your face. Use the product and visuals throughout. Get some good lighting and script and rehearse the video. IF you don’t know how to record video then ask a teenager to help. Believe me they all video these days and are constantly loading media to YouTube.
If you are not blogging regularly about your product, niche or business then start today. Sign up for one of the free services. Do up a blogging plan for 1-2-3 times per week and start writing. The whole nature of a blog is that it is not meant to be Pulitzer prize winning prose. Write what you feel and think. Avoid flowery language. Build content over time. I often use blog posts just to write answers to questions. For instance this blog post can now be my answer to the question to “What else besides a website can I use to improve my web presence and marketing?”
The most common thing I hear people say is that they are not ready to blog just yet or don’t know what to write. IF you are a reluctant writer then start with these items
- Photographs of your latest products. Just add them to the blog with a short one liner.
- Write a short piece on how you design, build , mould, or whatever it is that your product creation process is. Explain how you get from customer request to deliverable. Make this into a 3-4-5 part post and it will build interest.
- Write about interesting things that happened during your work week that relate to your business.
- Write about your customers (with their permission of course). Explain all about your successful interaction and end deliverable.
It doesn’t have to be 2,000 words – 2-3 lines can be good to start with and over time you will get better. Invite comments in the post. Ask for feedback. Tweet about your post.
Facebook and Twitter
I can hear your groans of pain about Facebook and Twitter. A lot of people see Faceboo and Twitter as a waste of time and just a medium for people to spew out crap about what is going on in their lives. All I can say is that millions of people are using it every day. If you use it sensibly and correctly it can be both a valuable marketing and communications tool and become a powerful part of your web arsenal.
Where Am I going to Find the Time?
Its simple – ring fence 15-30 minutes every day to think about your additional strategies for the Internet. Scratch notes for your blog. Find interesting URLs and keep them useful for future blogs, or for Twitter. Start today. These are your knuckle dusters for future success. So get tooled up today!