Are you up-to-speed with the next generation of marketing techniques and web 2.0?

Are you up-to-speed with the next generation of marketing techniques and web 2.0?

There’s a common saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. While this may be true for canines, it’s never too late for any human to adopt new practices or discover fresh innovations – no matter what age. Since companies are only clusters of humans (well, usually) it stands to reason they can adapt too. Then why, I hear you ask, are so many companies still caught up with traditional notions about advertising, marketing and PR? At Soul Arch Media and Marketing we love to show our clients great new ways to reach their niche target markets. But for small businesses of any description, here are just three things you should be integrating into your 2008 campaigns:

1. Get Visual with Video Content.

Create an instant connection with buyers via video served directly to their computer screens via your corporate website, in your company newsletter, via social media news releases, or load it and spread it across the web for free via websites with video sharing capabilities like YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook, MetaCafe, the list is endless. Can you think of a more cost-effective way to reach thousands of potential clients and make a great first impression? Didn’t think so!

2. Mine Your Databases.

Are you sending your clients prompt answers to enquiries? Or notifications about sales and specials? Sure you are. But did you know your best bet to retain repeat business is by making people feel like valued customers? So say you’ve done the groundwork and have their details in your database. How about notes to thank customers after purchases, or to extend birthday wishes or holiday greetings? It’s little touches like these that can really show your company’s dedication. Sure, this can be time consuming, but you can automate most of these processes (look into ‘autoresponders’ if you’d like to do much of this via email – and minus print stationary and postage costs!) for very minimal outlay.

3. Finally figure out what Web 2.0 means.

If you’ve really been snoozing, all the recent news references to web 2.0 marketing might really have you confused — especially if you’re not even really sure what web 2.0 means! Well relax, it’s really not that tricky. Web 2.0 is simply a catchphrase coined to describe the shift from information on the world wide web being displayed to viewers via web pages to being created or controlled by audiences thanks to technology breakthroughs allowing immediate reader interaction. The term has evolved and used loosely to refer to or describe modern interfaces like wikis (yep, like Wikipedia) right through to social networking sites (the most famous being Facebook) and anywhere the end user gets to contribute. So where does marketing enter the web 2.0 equation? Well, pretty much everywhere. You could build a free profile on these popular social sites, raising your brand visibility and creating traffic by linking between your main website or online store. Or you can advertise on these sites ( be warned- the prices are staggering). There are also specific business networking sites (like LinkedIn). Or, for businesses in the practice of sending out press releases or trying to increase their website or blog’s visibility, take a look at social bookmarking or user-generated/user-voted news sites like Digg, Technorati, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, and Reddit. Some will let you submit your site or release, which can really spike interest if other users find it (ahem, and actually like it…). Other sites (like Technorati) can really raise the profile of your blog by automatically republishing your fresh content to it’s users. This is just a very simplified condensed list, but to start exploring web 2.0 opportunities take a look around these sites to see if they’d fit your business – they’re all incredibly useful, and they’re all free (that’s if you don’t count time as a commodity!)

Cheers from the crew at Soul Arch Media & Marketing! x

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