amazon

2007-11-25

New methods for marketing

These days having other create and distribute your content for you is in vogue, this can mean syndicating your articles for other users to repost, paying users to review or rate your services, guiding users directly on forums or having users sign up to receive exclusive information. In every case, the handiwork of distribution is left to others.

Lets quickly run through some of the new "web 2.0" ways to market on the web, and the reason you should try them:

Blogs - Blogs are a goldmine to both the reader and the writer. Blogging is less time consuming and considerably cheaper than traditional marketing. Blogs give you the ability to convey your personal thoughts on happenings in your industry and your personal and corporate life, letting you really connect with your audience. Another positive is the viral marketing component where you are referenced through various social media websites, search engines and other blogs, increasing both your credibility and searchability, making it easier for consumers to find and trust you.


Forums - Forums give you an insight into what people are talking about, letting you get directly into the heads of potential customers. An easy way to find an appropriate forum is by asking existing customers what forums they frequent. Join in conversations, threads, contribute to the community and become a trusted member, then you can give your professional advice and mention what you do for a living. You should approach this as a way to get insight into what people are talking about, with the side-effect of possibly generating leads. If you approach this as direct marketing the community will quickly tell and either ban you, or develop a healthy disdain of you.

Articles - Articles are a great way to show you are connected to the issues in your industry and the wider world around you. You can either submit your articles through a syndication service, or post it on your blog, even better is a combination of the two: Choose a topic you enjoy talking about and write an article (like this one!) with your personal opinion or some helpful advice. If it is well-written and educates readers, you will already have an edge on your competition.

The theme of the new marketing methods is tailoring your content to the audience. The intent is to create something reader want to read. Marketing is not about trickery or insincerity, it's about communicating your ideas with honesty and authenticity. If it is worthwhile to your users, then they will happily talk about the content and spread it around, you have to communicate authentically with your customers and it simply doesn't happen using "traditional" online marketing.

A word of caution: if you try any of the above methods but approach them traditionally (as a direct marketing channel) then not only will you annoy a great deal of users, you can also damage your company image. Again I stress the above point, make the content something people want to read, not just marketing material.