Businesses are too often controlled by accountants. Fiscal responsibility is important, but businesses fail when short term profit motive is allowed to gouge the beating heart out of a business. Long term goals, core values, and human engagement, all of which may be responsible for the company's appeal and identity, do not become dispensable just because they are not directly bringing in money. The reason I bring this up is because we have a similar tendency in marketing when it comes to measuring return on investment (ROI).
My job is content. If I want my work to be valued, then I need to bow to the almighty Greenback and show my boss the money. My work needs to have a demonstrable short term ROI. I've worked for a handful of companies, and I've looked at the work of hundreds of competitors, and it looks very much like this is the prevailing strategy in web content today. We need to turn away from this. It's incredibly shallow marketing for shallow business owners, and if you want your business to succeed in the long term, then you need to think much bigger.
I have published several posts on this blog about our need to step... Read more
I recently joined a new e-commerce network. It's a fairly challenging marketing experience, as it lacks the budget and brand authority that normally acts as a good crutch to get specific influencers to take you seriously. Without having those shortcuts, you're forced to be more creative, and really demonstrate the value you can bring to the table.
Marketing from the ground up like this allows you to build up the image and brand you want from scratch. One way we're doing that is by producing content that is relevant to the communities and individuals in our niche.
For one of our retailers, a crossbow store, we decided to go political. Crossbows are controversial in many states, especially their use in hunting. As a crossbow retailer, our position on this debate is entirely predictable, which means that there is no controversy, and no risk, in taking a stance on it. So, to appeal to pro crossbow influencers and hunters, we produced an article on crossbow advocacy and how to advocate for crossbow hunting, which we shared out on social media, and to a number of advocacy groups. This doesn't instantly make us an important part of the niche, but it's the first step... Read more