I can’t stress the importance of research, strategy and planning (enough) in any good marketing strategy. I attempted to describe this in my post from this April titled: Moving the Needle with “New Media” – Technically Speaking (under the subheading: Finally, don’t just throw your time or budget away!) A solid digital business strategy will ensure that the work done has an incremental and long-term value for years to come. Is this branding at its best?
Yesterday, I was training a small group on best blogging practices. Good thing, I’m able to use my own blog as an example of how content marketing has a “shelf life of years.”
I have started several blogs over the years either for friends, clients and even myself – all with a variety of different purposes or strategies. This very blog (http://www.freshmenz.wordpress.com) (originally) started in May of 2008 to discuss products that my family uses in our home.
In May of this year, I started using this blog to discuss topics of interest to share certain passions, experiences and stories in my life. Thus, I began writing somewhat regularly on this blog. As it began to pick up popularity with my content on social media and digital marketing, this caused some confusion with some of my audience.
For example, I had a Michigan business coach tell me that he loves my blog but “what is up with Freshmenz Enterprises offering UV air purifiers, laundry products, UV water purifiers, etc?” Although he knows why, I understood what he meant. It is confusing to a user searching for this information (potentially looking for air and water purification products) and end up coming to a blog (mostly talking about digital media and social strategies.)
Back in 2007, I had started an e-commerce website (using the domain http://www.freshmenz.com) and set up a low budget website with a shopping cart to sell these products directly. I mass distributed a press release and was also very active in social communities engaging people with similar interests, sharing and collaborating on information about the green technologies that I was passionate about, used in my home and offered via my e-commerce website.
I originally intended for people to find me and ask me how these products have helped my family. At that time, I found how to becoming a valuable resource for people online (rather than trying to sell directly to them) results in developing many great relationships. I developed a nice customer base with customers all over the United States because they found my content useful and/or informative (via various locations on the Internet.)
Today, I use this domain for my blog yet this content still exists on hundreds of web sites driving traffic to this property. Although, I am still a resource for these products the user experience may be confusing for those who click through looking ti find information on how to clean their clothes without using laundry detergent (e.g. LaundryPure). That is… unless they find this specific post (or some other specific previous post), it is easy to understand how they could easily be lost, confused and annoyed. The fact that this content has a shelf life for many years is exactly why you want to have a solid strategy in place first (and foremost.)
I’ve worked with small brands (e.g. Freshmenz Enterprises), medium brands and large International brands on digital marketing efforts that use content to become an authority in a variety of different areas. Whether you are a major automotive supplier, a non-profit organization, a small business or a professional blogger… your Internet presence needs a strategy for long-term success.
I apologize for (originally) not having a specific plan in how I would use this domain and this blog. However, it has been a great example to show friends, colleagues, prospects and clients. Does your brand have a long-term digital strategy?