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Monday, February 2, 2009

Web Marketing: What Does Obama's Success Using The Web Say About The Power It Has For Small Businesses?

In case you really didn't follow the happenings, Obama, I believe with the help of MoveOn.Org used the web extensively to recruit for his grassroots organization and to collect money at an unprecedented rate. He has changed presidential elections forever.

I believe it was his web marketing strategies that paid a big part in his winning.

What does this say about the web as a tool for small businesses to have more than just a simple static brochure on their sites? Is it proof that the web is going to become the primary source of business in the very near future? Does it say you can clobber your competition if you find the right strategies?

1) His website wasn't a static "here's what I believe in and stand for" website. It was a Community Builder that encouraged interaction and feedback. Blogs, video, you name it.
2) He used this model to expand to practically every social media network possible that fell in line with giving-and-taking feedback from potential voters.
3) His team was relentlessly dedicated to communicating on a daily basis via email/text with everyone who opted in to receiving communication from the campaign. 4) Even after the election was over, this communication from the campaign continued.

I think a big part of success on the web is about being found (i.e. search engine marketing) and then when you are found, being relevant, current and accessible on your site. In other words, you can't make your website all about you. If you can't show understanding of your target audience and the current challenges they're facing, it doesn't do much good to talk about your core values and when the company was founded. Think about what kind of interactive tools you can incorporate into the site to encourage communication and repeat visits such as blogs, podcasts, video chats, downloadable White Papers, etc. Then -- just as importantly -- use these tools consistently. When does the communication stop? Just as Obama's campaign shows, it never stops.

The web has tremendous potential potency for a company that knows how their specific audience likes to communicate and receive info online. So much so that it can be the greatest source of leads in any company's brand strategy if used correctly.

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