This analogy explains how you may feel about your marketing. Are you in control of the direction your marketing is going in?

Are you prepared for the kind of impression you want to make? Do you understand the difference between short tail and long tail marketing and how this impacts the marketing strategy your business should be using?

Read on to get all these marketing questions answered. 


Marketing is a journey

The taxi driver was just not listening. You wanted to go a certain route and he decided another way was better. He promised to get you to your destination, but you were starting to have suspicions. In the back of your mind, you know he'd taken you the “scenic route”, the expensive route. 

Disgruntled, you sit there, clenching your teeth and looking at your watch as you imagine all the things you would say to the cab driver, if you could just prove he had taken you the long way round.

Do you sometimes feel you know exactly what you want to do with your marketing but you can't access your website or your online presence to make any changes? Do you get the sneaky suspicion that things are being made out to be more complex than they are by your marketing team? Sometimes this may be true.

You need a marketing team who empowers you as much as possible so you can stay control of your marketing.

Marketing is all about the arrival

As you hurriedly step out of the cab you notice you are now ten minutes late. You are not quite where you should be at quite the right time. So you quickly dash off push your way past the doorman, have a frantic breathless exchange with the receptionist then charge up the three flights of stairs (you know the lift is going to take forever).

You dash down the long corridor, counting the numbers of doors as you search for the one where your client is waiting. You adjust your tie, wipe your forehead with a tissue and reach your hand to the door handle when a moment of frozen panic sweeps up over you. Where are your notes, your proposal, the contract, where is your briefcase?

This kind of arrival relates to the kind of marketing that is unprepared for what it needs to do.

When your marketing toolkit is in someone else's cab

Your briefcase, your marketing toolkit is sitting in someone else's cab. The cab has left with all of your work, leaving you paralysed outside your potential clients meeting room.

This is what happens when you place your marketing in someone else's hands. Driving your own car and being in the driving seat when it comes to marketing is paramount.

When someone does your marketing, they should be sitting in the back seat whilst you drive, whilst you are in control of the destination. This means you need to know your marketing destination (your goals), you need to know how to drive (have some understanding of marketing), and your must have own car to drive (stay in control of the marketing tools being used).

Measuring social media marketing

Social media marketing has been traditionally very difficult to measure and many businesses have shied away from it. It felt like you were putting your briefcase in the back of someone else's cab and you wouldn't have anything measurable to hand when you needed it. But you can measure your activities, especially the traffic generated by social media like Google+ to your website.

There are essentially two types of social media marketing, short tail and long tail. Understanding this and when to use them is the first step in taking control of your marketing.

Planting marketing flowers

Planting flowers is the best way to describe short tail social media marketing. Short tail social media marketing is the type of communication that has a very short life cycle. You put it out there and within a day or two it is at the bottom of a fast paced feed, often forgotten and lost. For this kind of communication to work, it has to be practiced on a large scale to a loyal following. You have to keep planting these marketing flowers nearly every day. Platforms that support short tail social media marketing are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin

Planting marketing trees

Long tail social media marketing is different. It is communication you place on the web. It is communication that remains there. Long tail marketing is the same as planting a marketing tree. It grows slowly but over a long period of time. It is solid.

The main difference about this kind of marketing is that it is indexed by Google, it is searchable and can be seen in Google search long after it was first posted. Platforms that support long tail social media marketing are:

  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Blogs

Google can index Google+ marketing content and will return quality content in Google search based on its semantic quality. See the article Get Found on Google for more details on semantic search and the semantic web. Google also delivers relevant video results in search, often from Google's own channel, YouTube. Additionally, Google uses Google+ data to drive Google Authorship, which is a term used to describe how Google attributes authority to authors of blog content.

Changing your marketing related horticultural habits

Learning to plant trees, learning to use platforms like Google+, Youtube and blogs should be the foundation of the marketing activities of any business that wants a presence in Google Search. Building for long term influence with social media marketing will be the way that customers are won long term.

But don't pull out the marketing flowers

The temptation might then be to stop planting marketing flowers and just grow marketing trees. However you still need flowers to present to your clients. Flowers are great little reminders about your brand and story, both key parts of your marketing message. 

Did you know trees also produce flowers? When your tree is planted, you can take its flowers and share them on other platforms that have good ground for short tail social media marketing, like Facebook and Twitter. Just make sure you concentrate on planting trees that grow flowers, that way your marketing strategy gets the best of both worlds.

Hiring gardeners and marketers

Sometimes you need to hire gardeners because you don’t have time to do the gardening. You know the value in finding a gardener that knows how to plant trees that flower and that understand what you want in your garden. Similarly, you need to hire marketers who understand your goals, educate and inform you about marketing, who allow you to stay in control.

Don't find yourself in their cab, with you in the back wondering what is going on. And don't leave your briefcase in there!

Marketing with SME Heroes

We are a semantic web company that supplies the seeds and teaches business’ how to grow trees that produce flowers.

-Mark Timberlake

AuthorMark Timberlake