One of the biggest keys to internet marketing is actively pursuing and participating with your customers, both new and potential. This means not just optimizing your website and content, or putting up a social networking page, or writing an article or buying advertising. It means that you must research your customers, know what they are doing online and what they’re looking for as well as providing them with multiple points of interest and access to you.
In this article, we’ll discuss a method we call “The Wagon wheel.” This is a way to create those multiple touch points and funnel the visitors to a centralized location such as your website. Additionally, the spokes of our wheel will be linked together to further strengthen the effectiveness and to create even more attention from both the human user and the search engines.
This is the final location where your internet traffic comes to take real action. In almost every case, this is your company’s website. There are exceptions to this, however. If you don’t’ have a website for some reason, you might use your Facebook fan page, for example.
The point is, that we must ensure that the hub is set up right and is doing its job right. This might sound simple, but it can get very complex. First of all, it must in some way reflect all the information posted in the spokes of our wagon wheel. We’ll get into specifics there in a moment. Your hub must be set up with text, images, video and audio so as to create a desire in the visitor to take some kind of action.
This action might be to shop at your online store, join your newsletter, enter their name and email for a free offer, contact you with questions, create a membership or learn about a new product or service your company offers in the real world. It’s really up to you.
Just remember, a visitor landing on your website the first time might not be ready to buy yet. So provide them with multiple options for getting tied into you. In this way, your company will be attached to them and you can continue to market to them and prepare them to pull that final trigger.
Here is where you have many options for putting touch points out into the cyber world. It is here that you will essentially be casting a net to capture the attention of those billions of internet fishes swimming by. This is the active portion of the wheel.
To begin, choose at least 6 different methods. Six different places or categories online to post, interact and promote yourself. You might choose from such areas as: article writing, blogging, social media marketing, video marketing, discussion forum postings, paid advertising, free advertising, posting info graphics, guest blogging, commenting, press releases or writing for an e-zine or newsletter.
These are just some examples. To make it clear, let’s say that we choose articles, blogging, forums, videos, social media and pay per click advertising as our six spokes. You can choose more, but at least six is recommended.
So what we would do is continue to write a series of articles with at least three variations for publishing on sites like EzineArticles, articlebase, amazines or buzzle. We would simultaneously create a blog for ourselves where we’d post useful info, tips and tricks, as well as link to or copy and paste other online content that would be of interest to our readers. Make sure that when doing this, you give credit to the source.
As part of our third spoke, we would find a couple of discussion forums that are related to what we do in our company. We can then post questions, answer others’ questions and put updates and other info there as well. Additionally, we create a YouTube channel and publish useful videos that talk about what we do, helpful information and related news. We would also set up a Google AdWords account and display ads that link directly to our website.
Finally, for our last spoke, we want to set up a Facebook and LinkedIn account, at the very least. Depending on what you do, you might also want a Twitter, FourSquare, Pinterest and Instagram account too. It is here that we can go a bit further than just posting information. We can use these resources to gather fans and friends, post upcoming events and specials, and link back to all of our other spokes and hub as often as we want. Which leads us into the final part of our wagon wheel:
The rim of our wheel is what ties it all together. This is where we link all of our spokes together, and not just to our hub. By doing this, we create a cross-stream of traffic that will build upon itself and push more and more traffic into our hub. This is great for search engine rankings too.
This can be a daunting task, even with only six spokes. This is where we have to take an active role. To promote all the other spokes on all the other spokes. To provide customers with multiple avenues to learn, research and participate. While this is a simple task, don’t be fooled. It’s one of the most important parts of our wagon wheel.
You see, the whole point to this is to create an interconnected presence on the web that captures the attention of people who are actively looking for content. Content is king. It is what the internet is all about and what internet marketing is all about. But beyond just putting up ads for ourselves, active content marketing means providing people with truly useful information and methods for attaining more. This is one reason why social media should always be one of your spokes.
If you follow this program, you will see in time some very strong results. Your website traffic numbers will grow, your search engine rankings will grow, and you will become more and more of a resource for existing and potential customers. And when that happens, believe it or not, they will begin to promote you all on their own. And nothing is better than that.