“There are lots of different things you can do online… When do you use them and how do they all work together?”
I’ve had three people ask me that same question recently so I thought the topic deserved its own blog post! The people who asked me were a realtor, the owner of a bacon factory (I’m not kidding), and a trainer/educator at my client’s office.
Here’s my answer to them (but slightly generalized for everyone). Now, I should clarify a something first: This isn’t the only way to piece your content channels together, and you can certainly add or take away as necessary. I’m just outlining the basics for someone who wants to get started. I’ve seen this work effectively for all kinds of different businesses.
You want to have several different content channels because each one acts as a sort-of “interface” with your prospective market and each one has its own purpose in your sales funnel.
START WITH A WEBSITE
Create a central place to drive your traffic. This site can be fairly static (i.e. you can update the content but you don’t have to do it daily). It should be the place where prospects ultimately go to convert into customers. This can be a somewhat salesy site and acts very much like a brochure and salesperson.
NEXT START A BLOG
Now you need something to showcase just how smart you are while it also works as a search engine optimized magnet of readers. Update your blog regularly — perhaps once a day or a couple times a week.
THEN OPEN AN ACCOUNT ON TWITTER
Open a Twitter account. Tweet daily. Follow your prospects. Listen to them and communicate with them.
THEN CREATE A FACEBOOK PAGE
Create a Facebook business page for your business or brand. Start sharing information about your business. Engage fans. Post pictures and video. Start discussions.
NOW TIE IT ALL TOGETHER
Once you have all four of these content channels created, it’s time to tie them together. Here’s what you might consider:
- Put a link on your blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page pointing to your website.
- Connect your blog to your Twitter account so you send out an automatic tweet every time you publish a blogpost.
- Connect your blog and your Twitter account to your Facebook page so that you gather all of your communication points into your Facebook interface.
Now you have four very different content channels that work together to bring in leads, turn them into prospects, and ultimately into customers. They work together to capture the attention of leads and to convince prospects to buy. In most cases, your blog and your Twitter account will capture their attention. Then your Facebook page and your blog and your Twitter account will slowly convince them that you are the right vendor for their needs. Then your website will provide the way for them to buy from you. (That doesn’t mean they’ll visit your content channels in the exact order I’ve described — they might hop around — but I believe those are the roles that each content channel plays in your sales funnel).
And you can build from here: Maybe you serve a business niche so you want to add LinkedIn. Or maybe there’s a forum where you can post links to some of your sites. Or maybe you serve a local market and want to use Foursquare as a way to get some location-based marketing.
But don’t get too carried away too early. Start with the four I’ve described and build from there!