Many people believe that online relationships follow different rules from “normal” relationships. This is a huge miss! Humans are human. And this means that online relationships follow many of the same dynamics as offline relationships.
Yet, when people approach digital marketing, they seem to instantly forget that there are real human beings behind the mouse, and they tend to act differently.
“This misunderstanding is a huge barrier for small business owners who are trying to find success online” according to Adam Stetzer, Ph.D. an SEO Consultant with 10 years in the Digital Marketing field at HubShout.
According to Stetzer, building trust online follows many of the same dynamics as a face-to-face relationship and it is important to keep this understanding front-and-center as small businesses attempt to build an online presence.
What exactly does this mean?
A focus on your brand will keep quality levels high and help everything that is attempted online. Many small business owners make the mistake of going for quantity of quality. This can be easily seen in their approaches to SEO, advertising and Social Media. Because budgets are so tight, they are likely to gravitate toward low-cost offerings that are more buck-shot and less precision.
Very successful online marketing campaigns approach the marketplace in a more intentional fashion.
- Understand the objectives of the campaign
- Define the target market
- Experiment with different activities that render engagement
- Repeat and refine
- Measure everything and study the data
Using this type of digital marketing strategy will render much stronger results than the “quick and dirty” approach offered by many low-cost providers. Sure, it will take longer to get ads running, or build links for SEO, but the ads you do present will actually bring in customers. Likewise, the SEO efforts will be around good keywords that actually convert.
Poorly executed social media campaigns are almost worse than no social media strategy at all. When a potential customer leaves a comment on Facebook or Twitter, and doesn’t receive a reply, it can result in a negative customer review. Poor reviews are notoriously hard to remove from the Internet (which never forgets anything).
The secret to building strong relationships online is very much like forming relationships offline. Small business owners need to orient themselves correctly, using the strategies above, to intentionally build a strong brand and trusting relationships with potential customers online.