Consider SEO & SEM Bones, Social Media the Soul That Embraces

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PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO TMC NET’S MAD MARKETER

In a globalized economy and a world where customer relationships are everything, businesses are finding that “branding socially” is still the most effective means of retaining valuable customers and in acquiring new ones.

Traditionally, high ranking sales professionals found that they did well by keeping in regular contact with those in their Rolodex or their top-secret black book. To keep in contact with hundreds of people on a daily basis  — holding one on one conversation with everyone in that Rolodex – was a difficult and even impossible task to carry out. As the digital world exploded, this all changed.

Now, we can keep thousands of people in the loop at once. We can interact as a group, and short conversations are now the norm. With social media, we can carry many short, private conversations at once. The downfall is, however, that many traditional business models aren’t up to speed and they’re throwing thousands of dollars away just to find no return on their marketing investments.

Social media influences our lives, whether we want to admit it or not. It can influence us for the better. It can influence us for the worse. It can simply be our entertainment. But, it definitely changes our ways of thought.

Chris Sewell, Creative Director and Chief Strategist of Chris Sewell Digital Media in Brooklyn, New York, pulled this concept into the work of cosmetic surgery. He recently released a video for plastic surgeons, breaking down the cold hard facts of marketing in the digital world. In this video, he discusses the reasons some surgeons are reporting a 40% decrease in customer retention and how they are ultimately throwing money into the garbage through their current marketing strategies.

Sure, billboards, for example, are powerful marketing tools. The problem, however, is that most target markets have become spoiled and want everything instantaneously. They have also become so distracted that every time they return to the billboard to grab the details, they either forget that they meant to take down the information or it just so happens to be that moment that their Facebook just got a notification. Consumers want to access information immediately after it cross their minds.

No one uses the yellow pages anymore, because it’s not personal enough. We want to see visuals, check out pricelists and even reach out semi-anonymously at 3 a.m. AdWords is effective, but only if the company knows what they are doing. With Google’s recent removal of sidebar advertisements, SEM advertising has to take advantage of the correct criteria to find themselves ahead. Trust is a major factor in this process.

We want to see what experiences others had with this company, before we waste any of our precious time contacting them. We don’t want to risk being put into the spam or scam loop, either. We’re frightened to give our phone numbers to just anyone anymore… We don’t want to be haunted for months to years later.  

With many companies now paying people to leave biased reviews, personal experiences are more valuable than ever. Interactions with brands and businesses continue to be more meaningful and impactful. We are able to evaluate the caliber of business we are dealing with, as well gauge the people within their walls.

 In the case of life-altering industries, such as Plastic Surgery, almost 50% of patients surveyed admit that that their influence was, indeed, social media. Peer pressure was a major contributor, as selfies have made us take a deeper look at the flaws we want to perfect.

Likewise, it is the actual media content being shared by social savvy clinics that have caused patients to travel hundreds of miles to take advantage of their services. Photos, videos, client testimonials… these all influenced the decision for patients to take advantage of certain treatments at specific facilities. We can blame it all on Facebook and Instagram.

With YouTube’s monetized video platform, more videos from local businesses are being seen on a regular basis. They are low cost advertising, and the younger generations are okay with consuming them before watching a video that interests them. For this, videos on social media channels are equally disruptive. The days of SEM and SEO are more numbered than you think. While they are the basis for more impactful and more aggressive marketing efforts, it’s going to take more – way more – for most businesses to not just be seen but to also be adopted.

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