It’s been nearly eight years since I originally wrote the article below and yet most of it still applies in March 2017.  In italics are notes I have added on 3/24/17.  In addition, today I would change the title to “Which Marketing Medium When?” and I might break out the next to last paragraph and title it “Recommended Order of Electronic Marketing Initiatives for Emerging and Small Businesses Based on ROI” but then that sounds  a bit too much like the title of a research paper and not the ruminations of a marketing business owner so I think I’ll leave that one alone.

Although I make a living helping businesses attract new customers and sales through online media, I don’t quickly jump on every new social media platform.

This is because I’ve learned from experience that:

  • some are huge time wasters that provide very little meaningful communication,
  • others don’t last long enough to be proven as effective social networking or marketing systems, and
  • others change format so often that no one wants to keep up with the latest version of the system (over engineering-itis).

Therefore, I read reviews of new systems, question staff, friends and associates about their experiences with the new systems, test some for personal use and wait until there is sufficient evidence that it is worth spending time and energy to fully learn and implement another system.

As a result of this process I have chosen to set up LinkedIn.com and Plaxo.com (strike Plaxo and add Alignable.com) accounts to keep connected with business associates. I also have set up a Twitter.com profile to follow a business associate’s tweets and found that other business associates were looking for me on Twitter. Then I began to set up Facebook.com pages – one for personal use and others for client businesses.

So has this helped business?

Yes and no. It has:

  • increased the number of incoming links and visitors to websites that I manage,
  • helped me keep updated on who’s doing what where, and
  • helped renew and strengthen business relationships.

However, it has not brought significant volumes of new clients or sales yet.

So today when a prospective client asks me whether he/she should invest in social media, I say, “Only if your website, blog and email communications are already optimized and producing new customers and more sales. Websites, blogs and email marketing are still very effective strategies and the new social communication systems do not replace them, they simply augment them.”

As for which order to implement traditional web and newer web marketing strategies, it does depend somewhat on the market niche and the business’ marketing budget. However, the typical succession is

  1. responsive design, quick to load, mobile-friendly website with on page and in site natural search optimization strategies implemented (website may or may not include a blog),
  2. off page optimization of the website (i.e. keyword rich links from other well-optimized, geographically or topically on target websites including local map search sites, online directories and other industry-related web pages),
  3. pay per click marketing,
  4. email marketing,
  5. article marketing, (Switch 3 and 5 if you are focusing on greatest ROI.)
  6. social marketing (selection of specific strategies such as LinkedIn, Plaxo (Change Plaxo to Alignable), Facebook, MySpace (remove MySpace as I don’t know anyone who still uses it, but add Instagram and SnapChat for businesses that want to attract young adults and teens and add Pinterest and Etsy for businesses that move in the interest and hobby markets), etc. depends upon market niche and ideal customer demographics).

To help businesses develop a prioritized outline of possible marketing mediums, I offer a one hour complimentary consultation. To schedule your complimentary consultation, please phone me at 206.244.9092 or email info@4cesi.com. (We have always and still do offer this so feel free to reach out to me!)