Optimizing your online marketing mix
Promotion is an essential part of your integrated sales and marketing strategy. If you’ve been following these articles over the past two years, you will recall how marketing and sales work together to drive revenue, brand awareness, and competitive market share. Now we all live in the world of “social media”-those online tools that allow you to stay in constant touch and build your brand through the Internet. How can mobile entertainers optimize those tools? This article takes a look at the options and suggests three action tips for online success.
Why All the Buzz About Social Media?
You’ve heard and read the hype. Facebook has hundreds of millions (!) of online friends and offers “fan pages” that have become full-featured alternative websites. Twitter can be searched and mined to see who might be looking to hire a mobile entertainer in real time, all the time. LinkedIn and Plaxo are more business-to-business, but still offer no-cost and low-cost ways to develop your network of subcontractors, support staff, and even clients. All provide feedback mechanisms and opportunities for you to participate in blogs, forums, and special interest groups.
So why all the buzz about social media? First, it’s essentially free. Second (speaking from experience), it’s fun. Third, it’s the “new website” in the sense that if you are not doing it (using online tools proactively), you risk being ignored or considered hopelessly un-cool.
Where Does Social Media Fit In?
First let’s get some perspective. Social media is just one item on a growing menu of ways to promote your mobile entertainment business. It’s not the ONLY tool, and further, there are no guarantees that your sales and profits will go up just because you tweet hourly or post an occasional YouTube video of your emcee work. To provide context, here’s the list of your top twelve categories of promotional tools:
2.Client endorsements and testimonials
3.Direct marketing (postal, e-mail, telemarketing)
5.Identity items (“swag”)
8.Sales literature and collateral material
11.Trade events (including Mobile Beat’s 2010 Vegas show, MBLVX)
12.Website and e-commerce
Arguably, social media can potentially play a role in ALL TWELVE of the above. That’s part of the appeal-it pulls together your branding efforts and forces you to think creatively about what and how you promote.
How to Optimize Social Media as a Promotional Tool
My first bit of advice is to get started if you haven’t already. If you are already experienced with social media, take it to the next level, because that’s where the market is going. Whether you are a veteran or a novice, here are three action tips for optimizing social media as a promotional tool.
Action Tip 1: Plan ahead. Be sure that you have up to date and complete promotional content to share. Just like your website, you need to offer a steady stream of photos, videos, and text that communicate your brand message in an invitingly professional way.
Action Tip 2: Participate. Each medium (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) is a community made up of your current and prospective clients, team members, competitors, and vendors. Post on their walls or blogs, not just on your own. Be an active citizen of the online world.
Action Tip 3: Track results. While your participation may not cost a lot of dollars, it can take a lot of time. Is it time well spent? Are your revenue and market share trending in the right direction? It may take a while to see results, so be sure that you monitor things like how many friends, followers and connections you have, and how many of those are new clients and fans.
Here’s the Point…
Mobile entertainment people need to have a conscious online marketing and social media strategy. If you don’t, you may end up spending many hours having a great time (nothing wrong with that) but not reaping the business rewards. To prevent that scenario, remember the three action tips: 1) plan ahead, 2) participate, and 3) track results. You’ll be glad that you did-and you’ll still have fun along the way.
John Stiernberg is founder and principal consultant with Stiernberg Consulting, the Sherman Oaks (Los Angeles) CA-based business development firm (www.stiernberg.com). John has over 25 years experience in the music and entertainment technology field. He currently works with audio and music companies and others on strategic planning and market development. His book Succeeding In Music: Business Chops for Performers and Songwriters is published by Hal Leonard Books. Contact John via e-mail at email@example.com. Find John on LinkedIn, Plaxo, and Facebook. Follow John at http://twitter.com/JohnStiernberg.
Filed Under: Business, Issues from 2008, Issues from 2009
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