I first started talking about Internet Marketing by using a dandelion back in 2007. At that time, Internet industry buzz centered on Web 2.0 – forgot about that one, didn’t you? While the terminology Web 2.0 no longer applies, the basic principles of web-based social sharing have become the norm. Given the fully integrated role the web, mobile devices, and social sites now play in our lives, it’s time to look again at the concept of Dandelion Marketing and how you, as a small business owner, can make it work for you.
It starts with an idea; think of that idea as the seed of a dandelion. The seed can be a new product or service announcement, an informative article, your expertise on a subject related to your business, or a free offer. It represents something of value that you have to share with a wider audience. This is content creation, and it is vital to the marketing efforts of any business, regardless of size. Today’s Web offers tools for sharing these seeds (your content), giving small businesses the opportunity to expand their reach to targeted groups of potential customers at very little cost.
Extending the metaphor, think of your online marketing efforts as the act of blowing the dandelion (the collection of your content/ideas). In doing so, you are distributing these ideas to a wider audience. As with a dandelion, you don’t really know the final destination of your ideas. Once you distribute the idea across the Internet using your website and social outlets, it can then be shared and re-shared by others, reaching a far wider audience and landing and growing in unpredicted places. This is the power of Dandelion Marketing. It is the marriage of your ideas and expertise with the technology and sharing behaviors of today’s business environment.
Make It Work For You
What seed can you create, disperse, and plant that will grow like a weed? Here’s your challenge: brainstorm possible story ideas, focusing on topics where your expertise and experience in your industry are your competitive advantages. Then, share, share, share.
Here is a checklist to get you started:
- Brainstorm ideas and assign them to a team member, with a date. If at all possible, try to plan out at least six months.
- Ensure that you have social profiles in all the outlets that make sense for your business. Fish where the fish are. The social mix that makes sense for your business will be unique based on your industry and its norms.
- Check those profiles to ensure that the information and messaging are current.
- Update your profile image;
- Update your cover image;
- Update your business description and contact information.
- Share, share, share. Create the content on your website and then share that link in all your profiles. Take it one step further and reach out to contacts within the industry directly and share the link with them. Not only does this build important relationships, but you never know what they might do with the link.
As we all turn our focus to planning and goal setting for the upcoming year, Dandelion Marketing is a great way to kick off your online efforts. All the best to you in 2016!