You need to have a marketing strategy first

I’m seeing a lot of advertising on the Internet lately, but very little in the way of a marketing strategy. It seems most companies have not gotten the message that they need to be on line somehow, and some have even heard the call of all this “social media” jazz. The problem now is that they don’t know what to say.

Just blaring, “buy our stuff” is not a marketing strategy – at least, not a very good one, and certainly not one that’s been thought out. I think the problem is that while we all have these tools to amplify our voice, we aren’t that sure of what we should be saying.

Before you start thinking about how much you should budget for paid search or you hire somebody to build you a WordPress blog, sit down and think of what it is you really want to share with people about your business. Is there anything that would interest your potential clients?

You can find out pretty quickly by doing some Twitter searches. Maybe there isn’t a lot of talk in social about what you sell, but there’s a ton of traffic on search engines. (You can check this pretty easily too – Google Insights is great for this.) If you’ve got more potential clients on search than social, you need to switch focus to that.

Once you know that, you can start to talk to your potential customers about what they want to talk about.

This short piece by Robert Middleton explains the importance of messaging pretty well. It’s just a starting point, but if you’re trying to put together what you should be saying, instead of just how you should be saying it, the end of his piece is a brilliant starting point for you:

“Focus your marketing message on ‘what the client gets’ instead of on ‘what you do.’ It almost seems too simple, but it makes all the difference.”

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