Lead Generation and Sales Conversion Statistics

Lead generation, as part of the marketing and sales process, boils down to connecting buyers with sellers. The overall process can be very short, such as when a consumer lands on a web page and determines that they will make a purchase right then and there. (For example, buying a book or a DVD).

However, for businesses that have more expensive and/or complex products, as well as businesses that provide service offerings requiring person-to-person conversations, there is an inherently longer sales process. Of course the more expensive or more complex the offering, the longer the sales process.

Lead generation is a vital component of establishing the initial flow of potential customers or clients (beginning with an “inquiry”), who would then move through a sales process, ultimately resulting in money being exchanged. Of course, not every inquiry will turn into a sales-ready lead, and only a percentage of the those leads will become qualified prospects, and in turn, only a percentage of those will become customers or a clients.

Lead Generation Statistics

The above chart represents “Ecommerce Conversion Rate by Product Type.” Pay particulate attention to the different color bars in each product type. The purple represents the “median” conversion rate and the green represents the top 25%. Your first goal would be to get your conversion rate up to the median and then optimize for the top 25%.

Suggestions for Improved Conversions

Improving your conversion rates is a never-ending process. Strive to regularly optimize your performance, or your competitors will pass you by.

It may seem obvious, but your ad and landing page should work together towards the same goal. The more directly they are connected the better. If your ad is for a specific product but the landing page takes the visitor to a category page, you’ve lost many potential customers in the first few seconds.

Split Testing: You should always test at least two ads a time. Keep improving your existing ads and endeavor to come up with new ones that will beat out your higher performing ad.

Make your text easy on the visitor: Your features and benefits calls to action should be simple to read and immediately accessible.

Emphasize your Call to Action: This is worth underscoring. Make it very and clear what the visitor should do. Buy Now. Watch the Video. Subscribe Now. It might seem too obvious, but these CTAs are proven to increase conversions.

Testimonials: Highlight that your product or service works. Show reviews and testimonials and quotes from the press.

How to Test Your Business Idea – The Right Way

Or, How a Small Team Built at Business from 0 to Over $100 Million in 3 Years

OK, so you believe you’ve got a good idea for a product or service. But will it sell? And if so, can you sell it at a profit?

Would it be helpful to know the answers before you invest resources into developing and marketing the product or service?

Hi, I’m George Alger, a long-time, seasoned advertising pro. I’m the owner of Skyworks Marketing and also the producer of a local TV series just north of LA, in between Malibu and Santa Barbara, CA (Our Ventura TV). One career highlight was working on a small team that built a business from nothing to over $100 Million in 3 years. Now, granted, we used national TV advertising to make the big numbers happen. But before we went that route, we started out small, testing the basic premise and then testing details before going big time. It’s a step-by-step process. The whole idea is to invest as little resources as possible to determine if it makes sense to go the next step. It’s like taking baby steps before walking and then eventually running. Or in certain cases, finding out that it’s not worth running or starting the business at all.

If you’re a business person who has spent years developing and marketing a business idea to ultimately learn that it’s only marginally profitable, then you would have wished you had applied this process early on to find out your idea shouldn’t have been launched. Or, alternatively, finding out that it would have worked better if the right adjustments were made.

If you’re an entrepreneur who invested all your savings and maxed your credit cards to make a go at a business idea that ended up crashing your finances, then you know, in hindsight, it would have been much better to test your idea in the beginning. It could have altered the trajectory of your life.

The fact is, you can test your idea before you develop it. And I’m not talking about building a “Minimally Viable Product,” although for certain products, that can be relevant. And even when it is pertinent, it’s a later step. Since it still takes resources to launch a product or service that’s “minimally viable,” wouldn’t it be better to find out if it’s worthwhile to even bother?

Again, the idea here is to invest as little resources (time and money) as necessary to inform any future commitments.

And by the way, you will need to spend some money as you’ll understand in a few seconds. The process requires advertising on a small scale to your potential clients to find out quickly if your idea is workable.

So, how do we do this?

In Brief, Here’s the High Level Overview:

  • You run small, inexpensive advertising tests
  • You advertise to real people
  • These people would “potentially” be spending real money

(More on “potentially” in a moment.)

The Purpose of these Steps is to Learn the Following:

  • Will people buy this product or service?
  • What is the right price?
  • How much does it cost to get a customer?
  • What “offer” generates the most sales or leads?

(Offer includes more than price. It includes things like shipping/handling, customer support, guarantee, time payment options, “sale” discounts, availability, options and more and varies with the product or service.)

There are many variables that can be tested, depending upon your specific product or service. And also depending upon how much data you want before you launch.

An important concept here is that this is not a survey for people who may or may not be real buyers. Nor is it a focus group of people who aren’t spending money. This is a process of creating real-world buying scenarios to uncover real, meaningful answers to the above questions.

If you want to find out more, including how the “potentially” works above, enter your email below for the full report and step-by-step process. The report is called How To Test Your Business Idea – The Right Way, or, How a Small Team Built at Business from 0 to Over $100 Million in 3 Years.

There’s nothing to buy.

The report provides the steps on how to get the results outlined above.

Many of you will be able to start implementing this today and in a short while you’ll know the answer to the above questions, including “Will my business idea work?”

Why?

So what’s in it for Skyworks Marketing? Why provide this testing blueprint?

A small percentage of you will want help, or will want someone to walk them through the process. If that small percentage includes you, then you may want to inquire about our paid services, which includes training or simply performing the step-by-step process for you. Having said that, it’s up to you to seek that help, if you desire it. We do
have the resources to help you but that’s not the real intent behind giving away this process for free. “Testing” other people’s ideas as a business service doesn’t take much time so it’s not a good business model.

Here’s the real reason: Some of you who test your idea will find that you have a winner. And some of you who have a winning idea may want to partner with an agency like Skyworks Marketing to take you much further. For an even smaller percentage of these business idea winners, they might be interested in our pay-for-performance partnership opportunity.

Regardless, you’d have to test your idea first and then reach out to us to make that happen. (If you’d like to know more about our services, visit SkyworksMarketing.com).

Get The Free Report Now

So, get the report. Enter your name and email for instant access. If your business idea is not ready for prime time, then you may wish to send us a “Thank You” email to let us know we saved you from the grief and aggravation that would have transpired in the next few years if you tried to make it happen anyway.

If this testing process proves you have a successful business idea, we hope you’ll consider us a potential partner if we fit your needs. But even if we don’t fit into your future, we wish you much success!

Enter your name and email for instant access.

How to Test Your Business Idea – The Right Way

Download HOW TO TEST YOUR BUSINESS IDEA – THE RIGHT WAY. You’ll also receive the monthly Skyworks Digest on P4P marketing and cutting-edge advertising, including data science and artificial intelligence.

A TV Commercial on the Super Bowl for only $10,000?

Although this is an unusual example for getting a commercial viewed during the Super Bowl, it’s a routine example for running a local TV commercial on most other programs that are not the Super Bowl. Here’s how Slippery Rock University, which is just north of Pittsburgh, PA., got their TV commercial viewed during the 2014 Super Bowl for only $10,000 — in the Pittsburgh area.

That last point is the most important for this story and the most relevant for anyone who wants to benefit from local TV advertising. Even though the commercial was run during the Super Bowl, and even though a number of TV viewers presumed it was being run nationally (like most of the Super Bowl commercials), in this case it was actually being broadcast in the Pittsburgh area only. And at the exact same time, there were completely different local TV commercials being shown in other geographical areas all over the nation.  Which is a typical example of how local TV advertising works.  What is unusual is that they got a local spot during the highest-profile TV advertising afternoon of the year.

In this example, the university already had a 2013 TV commercial that wasn’t currently being used. Their ad agency found and offered a last-minute, local TV slot, in the Pittsburgh area and offered it to the University at a reduced cost of $10,000, since it needed to be filled immediately. All the University had to do was agree to pay for this unusual opportunity and the ad agency plugged in their commercial to make it all happen shortly before the Super Bowl was broadcast.

However, it bears repeating for anyone unfamiliar with local TV advertising that any business can have a TV commercial broadcast on major TV programs in their local area. For businesses that cater to their local geographical areas, such as restaurants, local services and retail stores, local TV advertising can be a very cost-effective way to get the word out about their products and services.

Of course the commercials need to be produced, as well. A critical point to this story was that the University already had a previous commercial that could be plugged in at the last minute.

Skyworks Marketing is a digital advertising agency that not only produces commercials and gets them broadcast on cable, network TV and the Internet, but also manages and executes TV campaigns in coordination with online marketing and social media.

Marketing to Generation Y and Generation X

Marketing is the activity and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers and clients. (Definition of Marketing).

Traditional marketing has broadly relied upon these channels:

• Word-of-mouth
• Fliers, brochures and other printed support materials
• Print ads in newspapers, magazines and trade publications
• Radio and Television commercials
• Billboards
• And much more

However, undercutting all the traditional marketing channels that might potentially carry a message, would be the words of the actual message itself.

• What concepts would inspire a recipient of such a message to seek out more information?

• More specifically, what message would move a person to make a purchase?

By virtue of the myriad experiences that each and every individual already possesses, it could appear to be a complex process to understand the needs and desires of so many unique persons.

As an example, would an individual fresh out of college respond to the same message about purchasing a health book as a middle-aged parent who is seeking to improve their physical fitness?

Heck, do the terms “health” and “physical fitness” even mean the same thing to disparate age groups?

Marketing Messages

Although crafting messages that generate purposeful response can be complex, the art and science of marketing is founded upon a rudimentary concept of seeking to understand similar characteristics of smaller groups, which can then be analyzed to ascertain similar buying behaviors and characteristics. Such segmentation can be by age, gender, geography, interests, and by many other criteria.

Understanding what messages are the most effective at generating interest in any product or service are gained through market research, including surveys and market testing. A common form of market testing is the process of comparing different marketing messages and advertisements, side-by-side, to analyze which generates the best response. Such results are then used to further refine a message to maximize the response of the presentation.

As an example, let’s suppose you happened to be interested in increasing your personal fitness level and you observed two separate advertisements in your local newspaper, which said:

• “Get healthier and feel better now, call 123-456-7890”

• “Increase your personal health and fitness by calling 123-456-0987”

Which might pique your interest the most?

The answer won’t be the same for every person, but one of those messages may be more effective for a majority of individuals at driving responses.

“Health” products and services are potentially appealing to a large swath of individuals in modern societies. Since that’s a pretty broad category of buyers to understand, more useful insights can be gained by looking at similarities associated with a marketing subgroup, characterized by age.

Advertising to different age groups is more sophisticated than simply having young actors in a TV commercial drinking a certain brand’s health drink to promote that product to that group, and/or depicting a mature couple on a beach sipping the same health drink to appeal to older consumers. (Even though effective use of imagery to demonstrate different age groups would be a minimal requisite).

Generational Categories

Marketing as an art and science to generate more potential customers is akin to the way you and I and everyone else in our world relates to each other: we find it easier to understand and trust others that already have similar ideas and views. Understanding the ideas and views of different age groups simply makes it easier to present products and services to subsegments of society in a way that is more likely to be appealing.

Joe Marconi, in his book, Future Marketing, details characteristic pertaining to several age groups, including those briefly summated as follows:

A) Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964): Image-conscious, yet sensitive and nostalgic

B) Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980): Cynical, yet ideological

C) Generation Y (born between 1981 and 2000): Independent, enigmatic

Additional characteristics identified with these age groups have been detailed this way:

A) Baby Boomers are noted as achievement-oriented, confident, career-focused and responsible. They are said to welcome exciting and challenging projects and further desire to make a difference with their lives.

B) Generation X values freedom and responsibility. This generation is typified as being technologically adept and representing a casual resistance to authority and structured work hours, and particularly, a dislike of being micro-managed. Generation Xers are said to work to live rather than live to work.

C) Generation Y represents the youngest age group of talent in the work force. Generation Yers are said to desire attention in the forms of feedback and guidance and wish to be kept in the broader communication loop. More so than any other age group, Generation Y has grown up being plugged-in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is the most technologically savvy of these age groups.

More to the point, how does one use such information to communicate to potential new customers?

Although the best answer to that question would be resolved through surveys and market testing, there is available research that can be readily leveraged for greater promotional effectiveness.

Simplifying The “Ages” for Marketers

Much of the point of this article is simplified by Lisa Johnson in her 2010 book Mind Your X’s and Y’s: Satisfying the 10 Cravings of a New Generation of Consumers. Johnson categorizes the combined Generation X and Generation Y as the “Connected Generation.” She examines the buying behaviors of 18- to 40-year-olds and depicts these “multitasking, constantly upgrading customers who grew up in the Internet era” to base their decisions upon ten “consumer cravings.”

Johnson identifies such cravings by using terms such as:

1) “Extreme personalization”
2) “Adventure”
3) “Loose connections” by way of social networks
4) “Intuitive design”
5) Helping to “sift through the clutter” by way of interpersonal editors and filters
6) “The rejection of push advertising and the rising influence of peer-to-peer networks”
7) “Connected citizens explore their creative power and influence change”
8) Delivering “a dramatic sense of theater”
9) Finding common ground through “Spiritual hunger and modern media”
10) And finally, by giving back through “volunteerism and the meaning of contribution”

Although a separate series of articles could be devoted to the myriad ways all ten of these “cravings” can be extrapolated to better market health products – or any products and services – what is immediately pertinent is the channel that most engages the “Connected Generation”: the Internet, and especially social media.

In other words, although market surveys and testing would yield more responsive messages to engender more clients, customers and patrons, by simply leveraging social media services such as blogs, YouTube, Facebook and many other related platforms, businesses that are seeking to sell to Generation X and Generation Y would be engaging them via media that is already more intuitive to them in terms of making purchases.

Conclusion

The takeaway for this article is that the marketing messages that have been effective at bringing in new business for your company, may or may not be working as effectively as they used to, simply because a large chunk of the buying public has moved their buying research and decision-making to the Internet and to social media.

Although the potential for increasing new sales for your business could be increased via more specific messaging, facilitated by surveys and market testing, easier marketing gains (more sales) may be achieved by conveying your existing messages more effectively via media that is more engaging to both Generation X and particularly Y: The Internet. And more specifically, by way of channels that facilitate user engagement, such as blogs, Facebook, YouTube, and many other types of Social Media.

“Testing” Your Way To Internet Marketing Success

What is Direct Response Testing? (3 minute video)

Advertising performance testing is the ongoing comparison and refinement of marketing elements and campaigns to maximize the impact of copywriting, sales offers and marketing messages to optimize the return on investment of advertising dollars.

Inadequate market testing will not only generate inferior results for your advertising campaigns, it can be the difference between profitability and unprofitability.

Fundamental to Internet Marketing, and Direct Response marketing in general, is the importance of testing, comparing and refining the various elements that generate traffic, leads, subscribers and sales.

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a special type of website sales page. It may be a page that directly sells a product or service. Alternatively, it could be a web page that sells visitors on the benefits of entering their name and email address in exchange for a free download; or to get more information about a product or service (usually for more expensive or complex products or services); or to subscribe to a newsletter; or to register for a contest; or to call for more information; or for any of many other types of lead generation strategies.

In most cases a landing page is not a home page (although there are exceptions – including for certain websites that only sell one product or service).

In certain limited examples, a landing page is not even part of a website’s navigation menu, which means that users would not end up on such a page as a result of browsing a particular website. They would arrive, or land there, by being purposefully directed to that page via an email, or an advertisement. (By the way, the advertisement could be an ad on one’s own site, in addition to other sites).

Landing Page Expectations

Typically, a visitor “lands” on a landing page via an advertisement (such as PPC or other ads), e-mail, or search listing. That initial message establishes the viewer’s expectation for what the user anticipates he or she will see when they click on a link that leads them to your landing page.

An obvious point that contributes to the sales success of any landing page is how well the landing page delivers on the expectation of the ad or email that drove the visitor to the landing page.

If a person clicks on an ad, or email, or search result, desiring a solution to a problem, or more information, or certain details, only to land on a generalized page about a company (such as a home page), then the visitor is forced to search again for the information that brought him or her to the site. Most visitors will leave such a site and look for another website that makes it easier for the searcher to find what they’re after.

For example, if a searcher clicks on an ad that describes a sale for a particular brand of motorcycle tire, only to land on the home page of a motorcycle dealer’s website that features all kinds of motorcycles, helmets, jackets, accessories, parts, mechanical services – as well as motorcycle tires – the visitor would be forced to do further searching on the dealer’s website to find the tire sale. Many visitors will leave such a website disappointed, and continue their search for a site that will show them the exact motorcycle tire they’re after.

A better example would be a searcher who clicks on an ad for a particular brand of motorcycle tire, and arrives on a web page that has a picture of that exact tire, with the regular price, the sale price, the tire’s specifications, shipping details, a phone number to call for any questions, and a very easy-to-see “BUY” button (or “Add to Shopping Cart”), so that such a consumer can get the info they’re after (if they want), but more importantly, so they make their purchase and move on with their day.

Landing Page Call-to-Action

The “call-to-action” is what you want the visitor to do, such as make a purchase, download some information, make a phone call, etc. In the above example, the call-to-action is represented by a very prominent “BUY” button.

Whatever it is you want the visitor to do, be sure to clearly state it on the landing page. Any visitor should be able to quickly identify what their expected action is.

Market Testing Landing Pages

There is more that one can know about landing pages, including not distracting visitors from the main intent of the web page. Hence, landing pages can be made more effective by “not” including other advertisements.

More importantly, landing pages can be made more effective by testing, testing and more testing. Market testing landing page variables such as the wording in the headlines, copywriting, the placement of “more details,” and product images are among some of the fundamental items that should be statistically compared and then refined.

“Keywords: Keys to Internet Marketing”

Keywords are the language that computers use to understand what you and I are searching for. Keyword phrases are the currency of the Internet. This is a rudimentary video about the foundation of internet marketing. Search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising and much of Internet marketing, in general, is built upon the use of keywords.

Keyword marketing refers to the ways keywords can be leveraged to get our messages more prominently distributed via the Internet

How To Start And Grow A Tech Company

Mint CEO, Aaron Patzer, gave a presentation on building startups from the ground up.

He started Mint with an idea about handling personal finances more efficiently. He turned the idea into a company and built it from the ground up and sold it for $170 million in less than three years.

This video is one of the most revelatory resources I have come across in terms of providing real-world finance and start up details.

Following are some notes from the video.

Three Phases of Startup Business Growth

  • Phase 1: Garage (<$100K)
  • Phase 2: Seed (<$1m)
  • Phase 3: Funded (>$1m)

Phase 1: Garage Goal

  • Main goal is to build a prototype
  • Question: How do venture capitalists and angel investors determine the value of a company that has no product and no revenue?
  • Answer: Pre-revenue valuation:
    • +$500K/engineer (prototype development)
    • -$250k/business guy (idea, market research, biz plan)

Phase 1: Garage Expenses

  • Founders: living expenses $30k/yr
  • Engineering First Hires: low salary, high equity (1-5%) $30-50K year
  • Office: by the cube, $400 /cube/month
  • Tech: laptops, couple of servers, development software, $10K
  • Legal: Corporate setup, deferred payment for 0.50 – 0.75% of company
  • TOTAL with 2 founders + 1 engineer/contractor = $150k / year burn (Assumes 1 technical + 1 business founder)
  • Need to raise seed money within 9 months

Phase 2: Seed Goal

  • Main goal is an alpha launch of the prototype
  • The product needs to be usable, but not a polished or scalable product
  • Headcount: 5-6
  • 3-4 engineers
    • 1 product developer / frontend specialist
    • 1 business generalist to do everything: fund raising, sales, marketing, recruiting, etc.

Phase 2: Seed Expenses

  • Salaries: Equity decreases, salaries rise, but below market, $50-90k per yr, total $450K/yr
  • Overhead: Facilities + benefits + taxes + food + laptops, +20%, total $100k/yr
  • Legal: VCs will make you pay for the financing, $25k incorporation, $2k/mo general, total $50k
  • Total burn for 5-6 person team = $600k / yr
  • Need to raise series A funding within 12 month

Phase 2: Seed Revenue Projections

  • Your absolute revenue projections will be worthless.
  • However, projections based on what you will make per product, per user or per transaction is best. If there’s a big market, investors can figure out realistic earnings.
  • Walk investors through your revenue projections very linearly. Go from website, into revenue stream, scaling, etc.

Phase 3: Funded Goal

  • Goal: Launch a real product and grow a profitable business

Phase 3: Funded Expenses

  • Salaries and Overhead: Salaries at market + taxes + facilities – $200k /yr
  • COG’s: Customer service, SMS, bandwidth, servers to scale – widely varying
  • Legal: contracts, patents, employment scale up with headcount – $10-50k / month
  • Total burn with 30 person team = $6.0m / yr
  • “Hidden” expenses:
    • Legal: patents, trademarks, contracts, financing, employment, immigration
    • Consultants: SEO, SEM, design, logos, DB tuning, etc.
  • Need to be profitable with 2 years

See the whole post on TechCrunch: Startups 101: The Complete Mint Presentation.

How To Produce a TV Talk Show, in 2 Minutes

Sept 19, 2009: This month we worked with students to show how to produce a 3-camera television talk show in Ventura, CA. This video highlights the integration of the studio, camera equipment, lights, audio equipment, control room, and of course the Director, student crew and on-camera talent necessary to making it all happen.

In addition to opportunities associated with having the shows broadcast locally as a cable TV program, another advantage is posting video productions onto internet channels for broader viewership, which also allows them to be viewed indefinitely into the future, providing greater exposure for the same production.

Social Media Chocolate Strategy

This week I had the occasion to speak with two friends about Internet marketing and social media. In each case, these ladies were somewhat daunted by all the various opportunities available for communication, connections and/or promotion and were seeking advice on what to do.

My feedback was simple: Eat more chocolate and spend less time on the computer. Well, not really. Arguably, too much of either one can be bad for your health, but if you eat very dark organic chocolate, while simultaneously spending only productive time on the computer, I personally think the health factors turn positive. (Note: I’m not a Doctor and not authorized to give dietary advice, so if you doubt the veracity of such wisdom, please send your chocolate to me).

Health food aside, when assuming the perspective of someone who is “not” availing themselves of a variety of Internet communication channels, I’m sure you can appreciate that such folks could very well be put off by all that can be explored and learned.

So…my real advice is twofold:

1) The Un-Social Media Strategy

This would be somewhat akin to opening a box of chocolates and randomly selecting one, and when ready, randomly picking another to taste.

Stated another way, simply start anywhere with any social media channel that catches your fancy and not concern yourself with any strategy at all – other than to learn and have fun.

You can do one or any of the following:

♦ Establish a profile on Facebook and connect with friends.

♦ Set yourself up on LinkedIn and engage in some business networking.

♦ Find some blogs on topics of interest and post some comments.

♦ Create an account at Instagram and upload some photos.

Or, take advantage of any of the thousands of other social media opportunities in the world that you encounter.

2) Strategic Social Media Marketing

This would be comparable to opening a box of chocolates and planning a campaign to maximize the enjoyment of all those delectables as efficiently as possible.

From a strategic perspective, all those chocolates are NOT equal. And the worst thing to do would be to eat them all at once in an orgy of online gluttony.

So, where to start?

If you are not averse to writing regularly about a topic of interest, then the first online social media chocolate is easy to select:

A) BLOGGING: Start with a blog. No matter how you evolve into the realm of social media, if you really want to strategically leverage your online interactions, then it will all revolve around your blog(s). Hence, establishing a blog is the most important element of all that will follow. Your blog will be the very foundation of every single social channel that you engage. You see, your blog is all yours: you control it and own it (particularly if you have a self-hosted blog). All other social media channels are controlled by the company that is providing the service. It’s like you are a visitor in their home. However, a blog is like your very own home. Again, this needs to be considered from the perspective of a strategic use of online marketing, as opposed to simply enjoying the box of chocolates.

B) LINKEDIN: Presuming your strategic interest is in marketing some product, or especially service (even if it’s simply your services related to personal employment), then you will want to establish a profile on LinkedIn. The purpose of this site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. If you have your own business, you can create a company page as well. LinkedIn should be connected to your blog and your regular blog writings (posts) can, and should be, auto-imported into your LinkedIn profile to further leverage your blog activities. LinkedIn is a worthy chocolate to consume for professional networking.

C) FACEBOOK: You’ll definitely want to establish a profile on Facebook no matter what you’re doing. Of all the social media channels on our little interconnected ball of rock, water, people and computers, Facebook is the big daddy. It’s the largest social networking service in the world. Similar to LinkedIn, Facebook also offers Business Pages, and also has viewership metrics (via the Insights data available to Business Page administrators). Facebook is a rich network, and includes the ability to email and instant message friends, as well as upload photos and keep apprised of what’s going on with your friends and family who also use the service. Further, you can conduct your Internet searches directly from within the service. Facebook is like its own self-contained Internet, or its very own large box of chocolates. But you are a guest. You should definitely promote your blog on Facebook and auto-import your blog posts into your Facebook profile and/or Facebook business Page. Facebook is one of the best tasting chocolates in the box and for the non-strategic participant could be the one and only chocolate to partake.

Strategic Social Media Extra Credit

D) YOUTUBE: If you like movies (or at least have an interest in making simple ones with a video camera), then YouTube is an especially tasty truffle. You already know YouTube is a video sharing website and if you already have videos uploaded there, they should also be embedded within your blog and leveraged via your other social media channels. Video is a Google darling (Google purchased YouTube in November of 2006), and is an important component of any online marketing mix. The only reason it’s listed as “extra credit” instead of within the first list of chocolates is because although the technical skills to publish videos are nominal, it is arguably a bit more than the others.

E) TWITTER: Twitter may be the hot online social media application right now, but that’s not enough of a marketing reason to use it. However, your customers may very well be using Twitter to talk about you today. So, hot or not, Twitter is worth listening to. You’ll be fairly amazed at what you find and at how easy it is to keep abreast of conversations that matter to you.

There are plenty more chocolates in that delectable box of social media channels. Strategically speaking, the main point to recognize is that all you do in social marketing should revolve around a blog, if you are inclined to leverage your impact for marketing purposes. But if the notion of a strategic approach to social media participation seems to lessen the appeal of trying all those chocolates, then “The Un-Social Media Strategy” is right for you. Enjoy!