I talk to a lot of people who have heard that they need to do “Web 2.0 marketing” but have no idea what that involves or how they would begin doing it.
Here are 3 simple starting points:
1. Go find 3 blogs that are relevant to your target market and start reading them on a regular basis. Particularly look for blogs by thought leaders in your industry, competitors, business partners, and prospects.
You can use Technorati or Google Blog Search or just do a simple Google search – search on keywords that are important to your industry and add the word “blog”.
For those who are new to reading blogs… You don’t actually have to visit the blogsite regularly to check if there is a new post. Most blogs give you the ability to subscribe so new posts are sent to you automatically.
When there is a blog post that resonates with you, post a comment on the blog. If you see another comment on the blog that you think is particularly good, comment on the comment. Or rate the comment, if that is an option.
2. Find an online community that is relevant to your market. The best places to look are on the websites of the top publications for your industry or on an association’s website.
See how they let you participate. More likely than not, there will be discussion forums. If subscribing to their forums is an option, do that. (You might want to put a filter on your email client so these emails go into a folder you can check when you have time rather than cluttering your inbox.) Otherwise, check back every week or so (depending on the volume of traffic) to see what’s new.
Is there anything else you can do in the community? Upload an article? Comment on a blog? If there is anything that strikes your fancy, do it.
3. Get a Twitter account. Don’t worry about tweeting yet. Just search on keywords that are relevant for you, and choose a dozen people to follow. As with the blogs, good people to follow include industry thought leaders, editors, consultants, competitors, partners, prospects and customers. (Don’t be surprised if they follow you back.)
Then check back every day or two to see what’s going on. It’s fine to just lurk. But if there’s a discussion you have an opinion about, go ahead and contribute.
There you go – 3 easy ways to get your feet wet with Web 2.0 marketing.
And if, by chance, you are wondering why you would even want to do Web 2.0 marketing…
Web 2.0 is all about going out to your market and talking directly with your customers and prospects. It’s about building connections, collaborating, sharing information – being more transparent than you have been in the past – and getting prospects and customers more involved in your business and with each other than they have been before.
Here’s a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:
The Secrets of Marketing in a Web 2.0 World
Here’s a slightly older blog post from FutureLab that has some good insights too:
15 Golden Rules for Web 2.0