Sometimes stats draw a clear picture…
Today, around 40% of the world’s population has an internet connection. In 1995, it was less than 1% (internet live stats). Currently, we have more than 3 billion people using the World Wide Web and more that 65% are active social media users. That’s more than 2 billion people actively using social media!
But what does it all mean to us as business-owners? It means that we MUST have a digital presence of our products and services in order to be successful and reduce our costs… and lower costs means greater profit!
In this series of posts, we are going to define a few basic concepts of digital marketing and contextualize them, so that from theory and stats we can move into practice. In this article, we are going to define two basic approaches to marketing, explain the difference between community manager and social media manager, and discuss whether to outsource or manage in-house or our digital marketing.
The first concepts we are going to define are inbound and outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is about attraction, dialogue, and community. Outbound marketing is more about promotion, one-way information, and direct sales. Each of these approaches has its own techniques, which we will explore in our Digital Marketing for Business 201.
To sell, we must build trust and let our potential customers know we genuinely care. It is smart business practice to attract potential customers, get to know them, and engage them. This way we build a community of “followers” or people truly interested in who we are and what we do and most importantly who trust us. We can say that selling is a consequence of caring!
In order to attract potential customers, all enterprises need a digital presence unless they supply a scarce and highly demanded product or service – and even in that case a basic digital presence is important. It is like having a free business card or a free store front. Who wouldn’t want it? In any case, for a stronger digital presence, it might be a smart strategy to dedicate a person – in-house or outsourced – to manage our digital marketing needs. This person can be a community manager or a social media manager.
A community manager actively listens, shares information, participates, and influences. Community managers typically deal with those who haven’t heard of the business they work for and boost awareness for the company (sproutsocial). A social media manager on the other hand, deals with people who have a relationship with, or have heard of the brand. In reality, both roles make sure that all digital media works properly and they can be one and the same depending on our needs and resources.
Either role should accurately know the company: organizational structure, products and services, and the marketplace in which it competes. This knowledge also includes the mission, vision, and objectives of the company. As simple as the roles may seem, they require not only social skills to interact on social media, but also the analytical skills to think and act strategically.
In-house or Outsource? Like our Digital Marketing and Community Management guru friend J.A. would say “it depends!” It depends on the objectives and needs of your business, it depends on your budget, it depends on your time, and it depends on your knowledge.
At 50 Plus Marketing Solutions, Inc. we can help you determine what the best approach for you is. We offer training and development, community management, branding and design.
Contact us for a free consultation and for special pricing.