The time to start is long beforehand, because it takes time to develop relationships.
This article builds on the Internet Marketing Buying-Cycle Roadmap – inspired by Lee Odden in his book Optimize – and the case study of Peter’s company FootwarePlus which sells designer shoes for people with problem feet.
Peter is lamenting about not updating his website and also that his competition is beginning to show up “all over the place” online.
And yet, the opportunity is ripe because there’s a substantial amount of
search volume and interest in the kind of shoes sold by Peter’s company.
Not only are there a lot of people with problem feet, but many suffer from a few common misconceptions: for example, the idea that it’s not possible to buy designer shoes when you have problem feet.
Here we have a classic scenario involving a business with limited time and budget.
One way to approach the situation might involve a blog and an online video telling an engaging story about the shoes’ special features and how they relieve physical pain whilst making their owner look great.
Such videos have the power to explain – in a visual and emotionally engaging way – why Peter’s shoes can make a difference to people’s lives. The video’s scenario – if planned with care – will also address potential clients’ most frequently asked questions.
Except… how would anyone know that his great video exists?
Without a social network in place or a significant advertising budget, it could take Peter weeks or months before he begins attracting significant interest and sales.
An effective way to start nurturing a social network is by creating a Blog: either standalone with its own domain name, or integrated into an existing website.
This Blog is a hub with spokes that serve as channels of distribution. When a business publishes a blog post – in Peter’s case his blog post would consist of attractive titles and text and display the previously mentioned video (published on the YouTube video platform, for example).
Some of these channels of distribution are activated and the blog post is promoted through them.
If you’re new to online marketing, start with a Blog as a Hub. Begin by adding only two or three spokes that represent the online communities where you think your potential buyers have the habit of spending their spend time. At the beginning, it’s only your best guess. Use Google analytics to measure and observe what happens.
By the way, have you created your Buyers’ Personas yet?
As Peter’s content marketing & social media expertise grows and his client relationships firm up, he’ll know which additional spokes are needed.
By now he’s well on the way to appreciating why valuable content is the key to nurturing ongoing and trusting customer relationships.
Are you making your business grow by creating valuable content and distributing it in a smart way?