How I Met Guy Kawasaki (But Have No Idea How Tall He Is)Guest_Blogger | Apr 23, 2008
Four Online Marketing Tools You Should Be Using
I’m not sure about you, but I know literally hundreds or thousands of people online who I’ve never met in the flesh.
One of them is Guy Kawasaki, the well-known venture capitalist and founder of Truemors and Alltop. Guy Kawasaki is a web celebrity. I’ve never been together with him in the same room – strangely, not even at a conference. For instance, I have absolutely no idea how tall he is.
But I still feel like I’ve met him.
And so do tens of thousands of others. It’s all because we have connected with Guy on some social networking site online or heard him speak via video or audio. We feel a bit of a personal connection with him. His brand – the Guy Kawasaki personal brand – sticks in our minds.
Today we have access to an unprecedented number of online tools – free or almost free – to expand our business interactions. These tools allow us to sit at our desks and still connect with a wide circle of people online – potential service providers, prospective customers, possible employees or business partners.
Not only do these online tools bring us more connections, but they help us maintain and extend our existing connections. Ever met someone for a few minutes at a conference, got a business card, and walked away never to have any further connection with that person? I know I have. With today’s online tools, that interaction doesn’t have to end up as a wasted opportunity – it’s much easier to maintain that connection.
Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or part of a small business with 100 employees, here are five tools that can help you market your business, along with my short take on what each is best suited for:
Facebook – Facebook is one of the hottest social communities online for business right now. Facebook allows you to connect on a personal level – and we all know that we all do business with people, not faceless organizations. Here are some key business uses for Facebook:
- Create a profile page for your business, to extend your brand.
- Create a personal profile page for personal branding and to stay in touch with your “peeps” who you’ve encountered through networking connections. You can meet new people, too, who become your friends.
- Create a Group for your business community, where you can publicize events, have a discussion board, and send messages to keep your network up to date.
To learn more, I highly recommend the "Guide to Creating a Facebook Fan Page for Your Business".
Podcasts – Podcasts are audio recordings that are made available on the web. Podcasts can be downloaded by listeners to portable MP3 players, iPods, iPhones. Or people can listen on their computers.
There are two ways to participate with podcasts: either record your own podcast series, or participate as a guest interviewed on another party’s podcasts.
We're all looking for that extra 10% – 15% boost in marketing, right? Think of podcasts as extending your reach to an additional 10% – 15%. Only about 10% – 15% of customers and the public will take the time to download and listen to a podcast. But of those who do, you will achieve deeper engagement.
That’s because the listener hears a voice, creating a personal connection that doesn’t exist in writing. Also, they are likely to give much more mindshare to you and your recording. They will take your podcast with them on planes, trains, long car trips, while working out …. by listening on their iPods, one-on-one, to YOU. For more on podcasts for marketing purposes, I recommend "Using Podcasts to Grow Your Business”
YouTube – I used to be a video naysayer, thinking videos were fun but didn’t serve a purpose for most businesses. But I’ve changed my tune. Every small business should be thinking of their YouTube video strategy. Here are two reasons:
- Videos by their nature are viral. According to a Pew Internet study, online video tends to be viral. Over half of people who view online video share links to the video they’ve watched with others. And 75% of us have received links to video. So if you want to do viral marketing, try video.
- Google is now displaying YouTube video results mixed in with their regular search results. It’s called universal or blended search. What this means is that with video hosted on YouTube, you now have more chances to get found on that coveted first page of the Google results.
Twitter – Twitter is the hottest social media site out there today – all the business early adopters are heading to Twitter. With Twitter, you go on the Web or on your mobile phone and send short messages (“tweets”) of up to 140 characters – or about one sentence long. You “follow” people in order to be able to read their messages.
Most Twitter messages tend to consist of a mixture of business messages and personal messages. Twitter is an excellent back channel to “overhear” what others are thinking about or doing at the moment. You can get to know those people because you are privy to some of their thoughts.
You can also get to know key industry contacts who you might have trouble meeting otherwise. For instance, a friend of mine said, “Sure Twitter has a lot of useless stuff I have to wade through. But who the heck cares, Guy Kawasaki is following me!” For more about the business benefits of Twitter, read Paul Chaney’s "Twitter’s Manifold Appeal".
Try out some of these marketing tools if you haven’t – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Anita Campbell is a writer, speaker and radio talk show host who closely follows trends in the small business market at her site, Small Business Trends.