Alternate title: Buzzword 101, or Maximizing Your Viral Inbound Social-Media SEO
I’ve been in high-tech marketing for almost thirty years. Every era has its buzzwords, but the amount of jargon conjured up for online marketing is amazing, even by my standards.
Here’s the secret to buzzwords in online marketing: There’s nothing new about marketing. The same principles apply no matter what era we live in, what language we speak, or whether the marketplace is a small town in Wisconsin or the entire globe. Marketing jargon is effectively a giant recycling program. Slap a new buzzword on an established idea and it sounds like something new and special.
Here is the definition of marketing from my Marketing 101 textbook, circa 1983:
Identifying the needs and wants of a target audience
and meeting those needs.
Marketing online seems bewildering – perhaps even intimidating – at first. But it’s really just new channels for doing what you already do instinctively: identify the needs and wants of your target audience and meet those needs. You can do this. To assist you, I’ve put together a little Rosetta Stone to help you translate online marketing buzzwords into traditional marketing principles. Without further ado, I present…
The Streamline Studio Online Marketing Buzzword Tranlate-O-Matic™
(Yes, I am aware that I’m lampooning marketing jargon by coming up with a buzzword. I’m in marketing. I can’t help it.)
Buzzword #1: Inbound Marketing
What this really means: Coming up with marketing strategy and implementing it via a multifaceted approach in a disciplined, measurable way. (See also: Identifying the needs and wants of a target audience and meeting those needs.) Yup, this is marketing 101 with a fancy adjective in front of it. Without the special adjective, it’s been done for eons without the Internet.
So, how do I do it? In our connected world, this entails getting found online by blogging (see below), making good SEO keyword choices (see below), and posting applicable content to Social Media (see below).
Buzzword #2: SEO, or Search Engine Optimization
What this really means: Getting as close as possible to the top of page one of Google’s search results. (Yes, there are other search engines, but honestly when was the last time you consciously went to Bing or Yahoo to do a search? I thought so.) This is the most important thing to master in online marketing. Google complicates the matter by constantly refining its rules to make its search results more accurate, and also to foil our attempts to manipulate it.
So, how do I do it? With the right tools, it’s doable by mere mortals such as ourselves. You don’t need to take seminar classes or buy books or pay someone else to do it. I can show you how.
Buzzword #3: Content Marketing
What this really means: Using a good design, creating interesting visuals and writing good copy for your marketing materials – including your web site. This one’s particularly irksome, since all successful marketing depends on good content. Lumping the difficult, professional work of creative people into a single word – content – devalues its importance. Getting your message right and differentiating yourself from your competition is essential. It deserves better than to be tossed of as “content.”
So, how do I do it? I know, hiring creative professionals is expensive. But it’s important to work with professionals to help you establish your look and your message. .
Buzzword #4: Social Media Marketing
What this really means:
- Advertising on Facebook. Just another channel for advertising, where the call to action is to click on something.
- Promoting your brand by posting to Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest. Akin to little press releases. Do not kid yourself that your followers don’t know exactly what you’re up to.
So, how do I do it? Post information your ideal customers can really use.
Buzzword #5: Blogging
What this really means: Writing online about what you know.
So, how do I do it? I can hear the voice in your head: “I can’t write!!!!” Yes you can. You are an expert on your business. Whether it’s sharing helpful tips to your customers or announcing new products or sharing a photo of the frost on your store’s front window, write about what you do; write what you care deeply about. It won’t take very long before you get comfortable doing it, and the ideas will begin to flow.
Buzzword #6: Viral Marketing
What this really means: Trying to capture lightning in a bottle. Some large companies have managed this, but these companies have something you probably don’t have: a multi-millions-dollar ad budget. They’re also employing a shotgun strategy, putting their message out in front of as many people as possible and hoping it resonates. Marketing to the crowd is really inefficient. The Marketing 101 definition of marketing is not “Get your message in front of as many people as possible and hope it sticks to someone.”
So, how do I do it? You don’t. It’s pointless to spend any time trying to get something to “go viral.” You’re much better off to stay disciplined, focus on your ideal customer and get that customer to love you.
Buzzword #7: Microblogging
What this really means: Tweeting. Using the term “microblogging” is designed to make Twitter usage sound more sophisticated than it really is. Unfortunately, using the word “blog” to describe anything does not lend sophistication.
In conclusion, online marketing provides some new and confusing ways to reach your prospective audience, but online marketing is not different from regular-old marketing. Anyone who tells you this doesn’t understand marketing.