When I began marketing online in 2006, SEO, keywords and keyword placement was all the rage and I wasn’t afraid to learn it, and learn it I did. You could say I “cut my teeth” on SEO.
I was using the software developed by Ken Evoy at Sitesell at the time and I read and ingested that 601-page manual, “Make Your Site Sell” on the importance of search, warming your marketing and PREselling.
I owe my basic understanding of SEO to Ken Evoy.
I also remember taking primary spots on pages one, two and three of Google for John Reese’s Traffic Secrets course over Internet Marketers who had way more experience than I did, but I knew how to get ranked in the search engines and I did it without knowing all the ins and outs of SEO.
Then Social Media Came Knocking At My Door
And by social media, I’m omitting YouTube here for now, since I knew how to get on the first page of Google and YouTube itself back then too.
But when it came to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I would have a jolly time associating with like-minded business owners, but the business I received in comparison to people finding me in the search results were sparse at best.
And I foolishly let others persuade me that SEO was old hat and Facebook was the place to be.
Now before I proceed, I just need to say …
I’m not here to bash Facebook or those who still hail Facebook as today’s Google, but I am going to challenge this assumption. 🙂
And Facebook Works!
Yes, it does! It works for those who work it, who do their targeting well so both their posts and their ads are shown to the relevant target audience, and it certainly works well (again if worked) as an excellent relationship marketing tool. But compared to SEO …
I have a big issue with Facebook
And it’s not because I’m not personable or relatable, because I am. With Facebook and Twitter at least, you have to keep “feeding the beast.” In other words, you have to consistently post updates, liaise with people, ensure you pull rather than push in terms of marketing, and if I’m honest, sometimes Facebook feels like an egotistical playground for people to show off rather than teach, inspire and empower.
But I want to stress that I am not advocating that as an online business owner you ignore social media, but what I am advocating is that you include social media as part of their overall marketing strategy. So don’t just go on Facebook for example and have a jolly good time talking to folk and then boasting that after a day’s’ work that 3 people interacted with your post. No way! Your time is much more precious than that.
Choose One Hare and One Tortoise Strategy
I first heard James Wedmore talk about the Hare and the Tortoise strategy and he put into simple terms what I try to explain to my clients all the time when it comes to generating traffic. Mike Filsaime used to refer to the Tortoise strategy as Evergreen. He likened it to throwing seed out there and whilst it wouldn’t produce a crop immediately, as you water, nurture and give it light, the seeds will grow and produce.
So What Is The Hare and Tortoise Strategy?
First of all, I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with the children’s story, The Hare and the Tortoise. They are both in a race, and the hare speeds away at the starting line and leaves the slow tortoise behind. Part way around the course the overconfident hare stops to eat carrots because he knows how slow the tortoise is and so he has plenty of time to just chill. But the hare was was so chilled, he fell asleep!
Well, the story ends with the slow tortoise plodding along and winning the race despite being slow because he was consistent … He just kept his steady slow pace, didn’t stop, and didn’t look back.
Your Tortoise Strategy Online
Your tortoise strategy would include your SEO, YouTube and organic reach on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram – just to name a few. You won’t necessarily get traffic immediately, but your consistency ensures that you build momentum and your audience. Once built, you can almost attract traffic on demand.
Your hare strategy …
On the other hand, would include Google or Facebook ads where you are paying for instant traffic. A great strategy especially for those just starting out to build momentum and get visibility, but the minute you stop paying so does the traffic.
And that’s the reason I suggest having a traffic strategy that incorporates at least one hare and one tortoise strategy, so you end up with a traffic generation system that will work for you 24/7.
In other words, two marketing tactics working for you to create a system of long-term and short-term, or instant, traffic.
In addition to this, if you’re an information provider online or any kind … whether a coach, consultant, speaker, or even your local florist who provides information about plants and flowers, you really ought to have what I call a Blog and Spoke marketing strategy. In other words, a place that you can call home (your blog or the hub) and then places (your social media platforms or spokes) from which you can invite visitors (traffic) to your home.
It’s a basic though simple strategy which I’ll talk more about in a future post – and of course, I’ll link to it from here. But for now, I want to encourage you to consider whether your efforts to share your story, sell your products and services and getting your message out there, is based on marketing tactics or a business strategy. If your business is heavily reliant on marketing tactics, work backward by keep asking the “why” question until you get to the reason you’re doing what you’re doing.
Not MBA level strategy, but it’s absolutely better than no strategy at all.
Ciao for now,