The Ever-Changing Landscape of Online Marketing

Many Internet marketing professionals and advertising gurus are well aware of search engine optimization, or SEO. Marketing in the digital age is a constantly evolving learning process, with new technology and trends that seem to crop up with a high level of frequency. While search engine marketing is still very much an important part of a successful online advertising and marketing campaign, one must also embrace social media.

SMO, or social media optimization, is an integral branch of online marketing and cannot simply be ignored. Diving into the world of social media marketing can be overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, the benefits will make the effort completely worthwhile.

Anyone can have a blog or a Facebook and Twitter account, and many businesses do. However, effectively operating these social media accounts takes time, effort and patience. The key to having a strong presence is the ability to create shareable content. If you currently have personal social media accounts, you've no doubt seen links to interesting articles or blogs posted by your connections. Perhaps you've even shared links that you found intriguing so you could discuss it with others in your network. In a business account, linking to someone else's content is an important way to spark debate and engage your readers. However, actually creating the content yourself makes you the authority on the subject. If you create engaging and interesting content, others will want to share it with their network. In short, the better your content is, the more people will link to it and pass it on to their friends.

Sharing your content should be easy. If you have a blog, you should also include a bookmarking link or widget at the bottom or top of each post. These links allow the user to easily share the link to their connections through Facebook, Twitter, social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit, or through email. The easier you make it for your network to share the information, the more likely they will.

Creating shareable content is only the first step in running an effective SM campaign. It is not enough to write a blog and rest on your laurels. You must actively participate in the follow up discussions that arise from your post. Be sure to openly discuss ideas and points of view from your readers. The whole point of social media is to be "social." Your audience will accept you as a member of their network if you treat them as peers and not a one-way source of information. Sharing and discussing ideas is how new inventions and new methods are devised.

If you are a business owner who is not currently utilizing and social media techniques in your marketing strategy, you're missing out. Anybody can set up a social media account on any number of popular websites. But learning lessons in Social Media Optimization and shareable content will enable you to make the most out of your online presence.

Mr. Abernathy is a marketing agent of NetSearch Direct. For more information on their Search Engine Marketing services please visit their website.
By Bill Abernathy


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