Top 3 online marketing tips for business owners

1- Customers perform searches, be found-able on relevant search results.

2- Listen to your customers and understand what they are saying.

3- Know who you are and be true to that in the online world. Don’t let any so-called gurus “muddy-up” your brand.

The top 5 mistakes business owners make on their online marketing or social media efforts, and how to correct them.

Mistake #1. ‘Follow the crowd’ syndrome. If everybody does this, then I must! I must! It really doesn’t always apply and many times it pays off to be the first on a better spot.

Mistake #2. The ‘keeping up with the Joneses and the Garcias’ syndrome. If they got x numbers of followers and I don’t, I must be doing something wrong. Your fans, your traffic, your metrics, basically, the consumer of YOUR brand, is different than other brand’s consumers. Needless to say, it has no resemblance with the consumer of a different vertical. Concentrate on your results and improving them. Are you getting good return on investment?

Mistake #3. The ‘I don’t know how to write and I don’t trust anybody to do it for me’ syndrome. Content is KING and will always be. Have content generate targeted traffic to your site. Let go of your hangouts and paranoia. Ask people for samples. review their contents, and you will eventually find your match.

Mistake #4. The ‘I don’t have time’ syndrome. I have to run my business, and this is for kids who have nothing else to do! Not being online or on social media is not a choice anymore. If you are not there, your competition is. Make the time or hire somebody to do it for you. Choose your social media channels intelligently. You do not need to be on all of them. Ask yourself, where is my audience and go there.

Mistake #5. ‘My developer handles my SEO and my Social Media efforts’ syndrome. He/she told me he/she has done it for the 70 sites he/she has developed this year! Not to say that there aren’t some brilliant developers out there that know SEO and Social Media very well but I have not seen this as the norm. Your developer has the BEST of intentions in trying to help you but does not have enough knowledge of what NOT to do. And most times those are the things that can get you in deeper trouble. Cute and amusing shortcuts to get more traffic, followers, likes, may come back and bite you in the behind. The last thing you want to to get banned from the party, right? Choose your team as you would anybody else that would work with you in your business.

How the world of online marketing or social media will change over the next two years.

It will continue to grow towards listening to the conversation and the proper analysis and interpretation of big data. More interactive application development, mobile, intelligence and AR and marketing campaigns that mix online and offline elements for increased audience engagement. Further down the road, the new generations will drive the merging of online and broadcast TV and radio. Increased use of nanotechnologies and wearable devices will connect us further to the online/offline conversation.

What’s the best way for a business owner to acquire the knowledge needed to carry out a successful online or social media marketing strategy?

I don’t believe in magical formulas or one size fits all. What is best for some may not be best for others. Are you passionate and have the drive, time and dedication and you promise not to give up on your efforts? Then, attending conferences, listening to webinars from experts, reading their blogs, checking out what they do, researching what other brands on your space do as well, is my advice. Otherwise, you are better off outsourcing it.

What can a business owner do today to get started with online or social media marketing?

My online marketing tips for small business owners can be summed up like this:

Hire an online marketing strategist, an SEO, a conversion specialist, a social media expert and a web developer. Determine your goal. Develop the strategy. Implement it.

Big word of advice. Do not build your site without everybody’s input.