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ONLINE MARKETING

Why Your Online Marketing Isn't Working

Attention spans have gotten shorter and the competition has only grown stronger. What are you doing to rise above the noise?
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Online marketing is not for the timid.

Consider: On the one hand, millions of companies online produce mountains of content. On the other, consumers have pitifully short attention spans, little to no patience, and an unwillingness to take the time to really delve deeply into any online content.

How do you even compete in that environment? In general terms, you can't--unless you're doing three things:

  • You're damned sure you've got something worth saying.
  • You get your message across quickly, briefly, and clearly.
  • You're loud!

Whether you're using your company website, blog, social media activities, or advertising, you have to shout to your target audience, delivering the message that you have real, valuable expertise.

How do you turn up the volume?

At a speaking engagement last month, I spoke about content marketing and how to position yourself as an expert online. I told the crowd that they had to embrace their inner Einstein and be prepared to tell the world just how smart, creative, and innovative they are.

A member of the audience raised his hand and expressed his reservations about presenting himself as an expert or even someone with a particular expertise. A member of the boomer generation, he was uncomfortable with the whole notion of self-promotion.

While sympathetic to what he was saying, I also knew that that attitude would not serve him well in the digital world. In the gentlest possible terms, I suggested to him that he either forget about marketing himself online or that it was time to start tooting his own horn.

Remember, your target audience is demanding and wants only to hear from the best. If you don't have something to brag about, then you are doomed. If you have something to brag about and don't do it, you're doomed.

Your ammunition

Sit down right now and make a list of what differentiates you and your business.

  • What are your academic and professional credentials?
  • What are your best success stories/case studies?
  • What industry/professional awards have you won?
  • What great things are your customers saying about you (testimonials)?
  • What great things have the press said about you?
  • Who are your most impressive clients?
  • Just how successful ($$$) is your company?

Armed with this information broadcast it--loudly--to your target audience.

If you can't convince yourself why customers or clients should be coming to you instead of your competitors, then how are you going to convince your target audience?

However you feel about it, there is little or no place for humility on the Web. In a world where your potential customers are looking for the very best and all of your competitors are just a click away, you've got to make yourself heard.

Last updated: Jun 27, 2012

JON GELBERG | Columnist | Editorial Director, PR News

Jon Gelberg is the editorial director of PR News.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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