In the world of advertising, we think of the methods that it takes to get our products in front of consumers where they in turn see value in it and choose to purchase. Although the definition is correct, it doesn’t even begin to cover what advertising and marketing in today’s world means. We now have content marketing, news, magazines, social media and the traditional forms of radio and television as an outlet to get our information out. Over the last 10 years I have seen a change not only in marketing but in ethics and honor. We are now competing against traditional opponents, a global economy, hackers who are interested in stealing our identities, and my new favorite, “Fake News”.

As a growing business, how do we compete in a world of so many choices and unethical competitors? Creating our own advertising to rise above the rest and put ethics back in marketing on a global scale. We need to learn to achieve this balance? With a few steps, you can put honor back in advertising, and rise above the rest.

What are the steps to be successful in advertising, while keeping your honor?  Let’s talk about our choices one at a time and find out how each of them can be successful for you and your business.     

Social Media Marketing.

One of the top forms of marketing today comes from social media marketing. If you are just starting in social media there are classes and boot camps on learning how to grow your business. If you chose to only practiced one form of advertising, this would be my suggestion.

Social media is defined by so many different websites, the most popular being Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Is it the best choice to just throw your time and money into these outlets? If you have never used social media for marketing and advertising before, it would be wise to learn the basics. You will need to know who your target audience is to know which social media will work best for you.

Pinterest is incredibly popular for women between the ages of 18 and 50 who have more of an interest in home, health, and craft. If you have a lawn care business, you would want to create post that show lawns that target this audience. Advertising that shows pretty lawns that are well cared for and decorated would get noticed more than an ad for lawn maintenance with pictures of men laying sod.

This is a great medium to promote blogs and news outlets that have women as a target audiences, children’s products, arts and crafts, health and fitness specific to women, and home décor.

 Facebook is very similar, but it has mostly woman between 20 and 50 who are also professionals. What a great place to market a clothing line, or products and services that ease the daily life of the woman who wants it all, family and career.

Don’t forget LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and so many others. The trick here is to know your audience, know the medium, and know the latest trends. Social media is not only successful, but very affordable when you use it correctly. Your business can thrive on social media alone if done right.

Content Marketing.

Content Marketing is a fairly new term in marketing, it made an appearance about 5 to 8 years ago, when every website designer and developer decided to become SEO professionals because Google started emphasizing content. Before this, blogs had been a way for housewives to display their ideas on the internet for everyone to see. When Google updated the rules to include content, every website had to have a blog that was updated frequently. This quickly became time consuming for businesses to maintain, and paying someone to write content turned into a game where somebody with no knowledge of a subject would write like a professional. The returns on this were low and because of that you will find millions of blogs that have been abandoned and now lack new content. It was a great way for unethical marketing companies to use the fear of losing Google rank, to make money with little to no return on their customer's investment. This is a great example of businesses without honor.

The SEO industry has been lacking in honesty and honor almost since the beginning. Knowing how to get to the top is important, but cheating has caused the major search engines to create an ever-changing algorithm making it difficult to keep up. What hasn’t changed much is the core rules of SEO. So instead of paying a company with no honor, find a local company that keeps on top of the rules, doesn’t charge excessive amounts of money, and can not only create a successful blog on your website, but knows how to use it for SEO purposes. For the DIY business owner, read about the top ten SEO tips to get you started.

An alternative is to find a great local niche magazine with a successful online presence and advertise your articles with them.  Many of these e-zines will charge you a minimal fee, write the articles for you, and put them on their websites with links to your website pages. You put the responsibility of SEO in their hands and Google puts great credit on both websites that have these powerful inbound links. By following this route, you not only give yourself SEO points, but points to the magazine or news website that you publish on.

Business Marketing Magazine is a great example, if you read the articles here you are getting great news from us and those companies that have products and services promoted here. Dark Twin Marketing and Publications also sponsors a great health and wellness magazine  If you have a product or service in the health and wellness field, this would be a great first stop for your business.

Business Directories

Also on the topic of Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the use of Business Directories. If you have a brick and mortar store and you have in the past used radio and newspaper advertising to promote your business on a local level, you may have also notices that these formats are becoming less successful. Nobody takes the newspaper anymore, the younger generations of the past have become the generation of today and have computers, tablets, and smart phones. With the popularity of these new devices, we no longer get our music from radio but our own personal play lists that are ad free, and news comes on either social media or websites. Who sits down at the table in the morning and reads the news while eating breakfast anymore? With the removal of home phones, giving way to smart phones, the old traditional phone book is used more for holding up wobbly tables. So where do people go for contact information.

Find a local business directory that is popular in your area, one that everyone knows about and know they can find the best companies. Most of these directories will let you submit your company for free, they make their money in other formats, but getting your company listed is important for them to get the traffic they need to be successful.  Although, I am a great supporter of business directories, I also warn against those directories that allow consumers to write reviews. The majority of all reviews are fake, you can write 100 reviews under assumed names destroying your competitors, or pay 100 students to go in and write good reviews. This devalues the review process, so stay away from these sites. There is no value here.

In a world where fake news and advertising is everywhere, we as consumers are also getting wise to the threats out there in the form of advertising. Keep your integrity intact, become successful in business by knowing that consumers can sense danger in a world of national marketing. Follow the rules, do some research, or hire a company that can help you build and online presence that is not only successful, but honest.

Christy Smith is a professional marketer, author, Web Developer for Dark Twin Marketing and Publications. She has a B.S. in marketing and a Master's in Business Administration. If you need to have some successful honor in your advertising, give her a call and build your business.

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