In 2001, we had to sell online advertising by giving away free classifieds. As we placed their free classified ad, we were able, in about 45 minutes, to load enough technical understanding into what we invented and were selling to make a sale.
Selling new media technology and methods in old, over-ripe bricks and mortar markets like retail clothing, sports equipment, bars and lounges, car dealerships is more education than it is selling: the cheese has already moved and is moving.
Early adopters like these, are dominating search results, social networks, Facebook…these are our sponsors for our little Coos Bay Social Network. Three months ago, these search results were dominated by the yellow pages, the chamber of commerce, Meetup.com was number one even though the nearest group was 69 miles away. But no outdated manufactured behemoth is any match for properly optimized and promoted local content: my local clients rank for every conceivable desired search, cumulatively, for MERIT, in perpetuity!
Yet many bricks and mortar businesses are just getting websites now for the first time; they are lacking in many search areas such as social networks and images and YouTube; and they are still spending way over the required budget on things like the yellow pages – lead generators who get almost no traffic, and who charge $300 month or more for minuscule ads on pages populated by every competitor in town – I hope your name is 1-A!
Somewhere between changing everything that was working, and to some extent still does, over to something unknown, risking failure; or watching a slowly slipping away market fade until you are out of business, there is sanity, survival, and profits at less than the outdated yellow page ad alone costs…
In change is opportunity, and risk. What used to be called S.E.O. (search engine optimization), was a fuzzy combined discipline of onsite optimization, black hat and grey hat hacker tricks, and taking advantage of what others do not know; but has now evolved into what I call S.M.O (social media optimization), now that social media and new media have become digital media, THE MEDIA, larger than all four of the major M.S.M. (main stream media) networks combined.
The failure of main stream media, due to the way that it has been manipulated, diluted, bought, corrupted, politicized and corrupted by special interests (the proverbial “Man”), has leveled certain playing fields (we all have a voice) while corrupting others: to say that Fox, CNN, CBS or ABC offer hard, no-spin news is a joke!
At the very least, you all need these:
- A modern, integrated website that you can edit and change at will, linked to all your other online assets.
- Google+, Google Places, Linkedin.com, Facebook and niche profiles, optimized for reputation management and organic search.
- An ongoing strategy of content production and distribution through social networks and groups linked-back to the website, building traffic and rankings organically.
- Pictures and Videos and Opinions to share, the more the better.
- An understanding of basic rules for formatting Meta Data on all of the above for long-term cumulative success.
- An ever-increasing list of customers, employees, contacts, friends and neighbors resulting from the above, whom you can reach anytime with any message in nothing flat for free!