A popular soft drink company is adapting their marketing tactics in the developing world.  In many communities where poverty is widespread, store owners have bars and chains on the majority of their products, including soft drinks.  Many sleep, gun-in-hand, in their store to ward off any potential night raids.  The threat of crime essentially hinders any relationships that might form between a business owner and their clients.

Online Marketing Strategies often need hand holding for client guidance

Realizing this, the soft drink company decided to put the trust back into the hands of the business owners and their customers.  They issued upright refrigerators and asked the store owners to put them outside their shops, right on the streets, so that passers-by could grab their own drink.  Store owners thought this was truly crazy.  Eventually they agreed and since the campaign began, what shop owners are finding is something amazing: bottles are not being stolen.  Isaiah Sakwara, a local patron, says “as a customer, it shows they believe in us, so you definitely won’t steal”.

Online Marketing Strategies:  Knowing Your Client

So what does this have to do with understanding SEO & SMM?  Putting all politics aside about the soft drink industry, I began thinking about this in two ways:  1) By empowering the business owners and essentially the customers, you are building your brand. 2)  There is an immediate reward when you build trust with your clients.  In this case, it is a win-win situation where brand identity and trust come full circle.

What interested me about this story the most was the idea of building trust with a client and how challenging that can be when you are trying to help them with understanding SEO & SMM.  Most often, there is little comprehension of what online marketing strategists do, and even less understanding of how they do it.  Business owners know they need Search Engine Optimization & Social Media Marketing and it is our job to make them understand why.  Here are some suggestions for helping clients in understanding SEO & SMM:

Understanding SEO & SMM with a hand on th shoulder to help them through it

1)    Ask the Client – Just as you would ask customers what they know about your brand, you want to find out what information and misinformation the client has about Search Engine Optimization & Social Media Marketing.  Once you have a good grasp on what they understand about SEO & SMM, you can determine the appropriate next steps.

2)    Define Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing – Often times we start to dive right into the online marketing strategies for a client and forget that stepping back and giving simple explanations is helpful to set the tone for the rest of the conversation.

3)    Don’t Always KISS –In the US, we shake hands, in Portugal, they kiss on both cheeks; remember that not every client is the same.  Although the “Keep It Simple Stupid” motto can be useful for some clients, it is not always appropriate for them all.  Know who you are talking to and adjust you language for that client.  For example, if you are talking to a technology based firm, you can talk about 301 redirects, analytics, coding issues, improving website ranking, etc., but if you are talking to the small boutique business owner, they are going to feel like they just dialed the wrong number.  Yes you have a vast understanding of SEO & SMM but you don’t need to prove it to the client.  What you need to prove is that you can connect with them and meet their needs.

4)    Talk About What SEO & SMM Can Do for Them – People don’t buy products, they buy benefits.  Help them in understanding SEO & SMM in terms of how it is going to benefit their business.  It is not just about driving traffic to their site but about driving the right type of traffic.

5)    Give Examples – Whether you are explaining how Search Engine Spiders work, relevant keywords are crucial, anchor text drives traffic, or being on the right social sites is key to their online marketing strategies, use examples and make them appropriate for the client.  For instance, if you are speaking to a client in the arts, you wouldn’t use car parts as an example for a keyword.  Making it pertinent to their business will help them better understand Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing.

6)    Provide Patience & Guidance – These traits go a long way in helping clients with understanding SEO & SMM.  Remember that this is a new venture for many business owners and they need the assurance and confidence from you that the online marketing strategies you recommend are going to work for them.

Online marketing strategies for SEO and SMM require a pinky swear between parties

Search Engine Optimization & Social Media Marketing Services

Trust is a vital part of any business relationship, not matter where you live or what    social class you belong to.  Helping clients in understanding SEO & SMM creates an atmosphere of trust.  With that in place, you can build the clients online marking strategies, all while creating a relationship that is meaningful and beneficial to both parties.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 20, 2010 and is filed under Search Engine Optimization.

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