I had a challenging comment from Dan Woodward on my latest search post. He asks whether these Small Business Owners should take the time to learn it themselves:
Search - Still the best reason to blog your company (Unbound Spiral)
But, when it comes to fairly advanced marketing/search engine manipulation, where do they go? Are you suggesting they should take the time to really learn all of this for themselves? Do they hire it out? It's a question that does arise (from those who DO have websites) and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts about how to answer them (being no Internet marketer myself).My point is directed to the brand owner. If the small business owner is the brand champion then they should have a strategy. I've been spelling it out for traditional brand managers in consumer products companies recently. Simplistically, traditionally they were only interested in advertising (reach and frequency) and promotion. If you look at a Brand plan there is no line in it to address Search or social media. All media is now social; all brand plans should now address social media; strategy and tactics.
Recognizing you need a strategy is the first step. Small business owners get it.. just like brand managers do when you suggest they Google their business, google their name, google categories they compete in etc. Concurrently with these searches look at the paid search results. Who's paying and why? Are they competitors? etc.
On should they do it themselves? I'd argue that all brand managers should have some tests they check on. From search engines to buzzmetrics and others. At this stage it is not a science they need. Science and "social media optimization" can come later. At this point its important to accept this is how customers search for your company. This is just part of how internet savvy customers learn about your business. (It goes too far to show them Facebook, or Twitter references at this stage, or introduce additional ways we share information about a business).
As brand champion one of your tasks is to assemble or enable the monitoring of the "brand lifestream" that exists around your brand. Traditionally this was PR clippings, however the social and accelerated nature of media today means that this action can't wait till the end of the month. The manager today needs it in real time at their fingertips. It's just part of understanding conversational marketing. Time for many to learn new tools!
Tags: brand lifestream, brand strategy, brand champion, brand20, conversational marketing,