Marketing in an Online Age

online-marketingIt’s becoming increasingly obvious that strategic online marketing is a vital part of successful businesses today. Whether it’s an interactive website, a viral campaign via YouTube, a Facebook page, or a Twitter account, companies are doing whatever it takes to keep up with the changing technology.

But it seems like many companies are falling into the trap of using the innovations of today with the mindset of yesterday. To that end, they might post regular updates to their Twitter account, but there is a line of red tape, approvals, and edits that are undertaken before any of that content hits the internet. Social media and online marketing, however, is all about instant communication. It’s about human interaction, which means for companies the ability to talk on a personal level with their customers.

But by closely censoring, monitoring, tweaking, and tailoring the content in these social venues, nothing appear genuine to the customer (or potential customer). Customers are savvy to when they are reading something that’s been worked over by a professional, and it puts them automatically on alert. We’re trained to basically dismiss anything we hear or see in more traditional forms of marketing such as television commercials, print ads, radio spots, or anything else. Through years of inundation, we’re trained to believe that an advertisement will say anything to get customers interested in the product, even if it’s not true.

But there isn’t that associated jadedness with online marketing (as of yet, anyway). When done right, there is a ring of honesty, truth, humanity, and personality in the messages through these venues. And this is exactly what’s often lacking in much of the generic ad copy created through the more traditional (or “old”) means.

With this in mind, it’s important that established companies actually take the lead from younger, more socially-connected companies. While the younger companies might not be making comparable revenue right now, internet marketing is definitely here to stay, so established companies run the risk of being left in the dust once their current marketing techniques make them entirely irrelevant.

To that end, the greatest lesson that these established companies can glean from younger companies is that agility is one of the major keys to making social media work towards your company’s positive reputation. Companies have to react to events and news quickly. It’s the very premise of social venues. This means companies have to relinquish that need to bounce content from department to department before publishing. It has to be real time, and it has to be relevant. Just think how ridiculous a Twitter update would be relating something your company accomplished two weeks prior.

In addition to agility, it also means a competent and trusted team of online marketers might just be the best investment companies can make nowadays to stay on top of those online channels of communication.

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