Here’s what I see as the big dilemma of online business: people don’t like to be sold. This mindset held by millions of consumers worldwide produces highly fickle shoppers that will bounce from a website quickly if they feel the old “car salesman” push.
Where does that leave growing businesses when trying to get the word out about new products features and benefits? Pay per click campaigns can quickly add up to large amounts of investment for customers who click on your page and then leave. They also can sit idle because consumers who see those links on the search engine as advertisements will simply skip over them and move on to search results that show up organically.
What does this one behavior tell you about online shoppers? I think it says that consumers like recommendations from other consumers over sales pitches from the store that has exactly what they are looking for. This behavior also accounts for the widespread popularity of Social Media and Social Media Marketing. First let’s look at Social Media.
Typically, media refers to news and print. In regards to marketing, using traditional media techniques, called industrial media”, can be so costly that a small business could never hope to invest in marketing of this kind. Social Media is generated by users, not manufacturers. Take YouTube for instance: this highly popular site is filled to the brim with videos ranging from funny animals to business techniques. What is special about YouTube is that the videos posted there are done so by users, not employees of the company.
Social media can take many different forms. These include weblogs or social blogs, podcasts, internet forums, pictures and video. Just about everyone with a MySpace profile has favorite pictures and videos plastered through their site pages, as well as their favorite playlist. What happens in Social Media is that users are now active participants in the whole online experience.
Now, how does this apply to your business? Easy. Keep in mind that people do business with people they know. Up until now, it has been a bit of a difficult task to earn the trust of the average fickle pickle consumer. But for the business owner who utilizes powerful Social Media Marketing techniques, business has never been better. Becoming active on Social Media sites such as Twitter, YouTube or even Facebook and Myspace allows a company to reach out to the public in a way that is non-threatening. Startrankingnow is a good example to this.
Creating a blog is another way to interact with consumers. Setting up and posting regularly about general issues relating to your business without pushing a product or service shows them that you are a good source of information, not a salesperson. When first getting into the blogosphere, it is wise not to talk much about yourself. Here’s another wise tip: people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Show that you care about the thoughts and opinions of others when posting blogs and you will gain a reputation that will eventually lead to increased site traffic and sales.