What Can a Business Strategist Learn About Marketing From a Spider?
The path to creating an outstanding online business presence today is far from being a cut-and-dried procedure. While there are certain basics to be considered and a few guidelines to follow, the online marketing game really is one of continuous change and upkeep.
Creating an online presence in order to market your business should include more than relying on one great website to augment your in-person traffic and sales team. A business today needs to be creative about building multiple channels of communication with would-be customers. The creation of an online marketing platform today, you might say, is akin to weaving together a number of well-developed touch points that result in a highly-impactful network of customer communication and conversion opportunities.
The art of creating this online tapestry might be likened to the web-building skills of the Darwin's bark spider (Caerostris darwini). Picture yourself walking through a forest when suddenly you meet up with a spider's web that is stronger in tensile strength than any other web around, and is as large as two big screen televisions put together. Or, more interestingly, picture a web that spans the width of a river and is seemingly suspended in mid air from bank to bank. This spider's web just might be the envy of all the other spiders around. To this spider, the only size that matters is its web size. This spider itself is merely the size of a coin, yet it is skilled at creating a huge web that captures more prey, at one time, than any other spider.
So what does the Darwin's bark spider's web-building skills have to do with a business person creating an online marketing strategy? Well some of the goals are similar:
A Clear Goal: Both the spider and the business strategist have a clear goal which is to catch as many prey as possible. The spider doesn’t set out just to build a pretty web, and a business strategist should do more than build a pretty website. It needs to have interconnections and be effective.
An Identified Location: For the spider, location is everything. Location should be well targeted for the business strategist too. The spider looks for a high prey traffic area to build its web. High traffic areas for the business strategist might look like the social media sites, forums, etc. that its customers and would-be customers frequent.
Good Resources: The spider uses its inborn tools to expertly craft its web. The business strategist might prefer to use an online marketing specialist to develop his marketing web. Alternatively, he can do his own network building by using the many online tools that are available either for free or for a fee, such as easy-to-use business planning and marketing software, website and blog building templates, social media profile building pages, analytics, and so forth. He can even create free podcasts and upload home-made or professionally created videos.
A Unique Angle: No two webs built by the Darwin's bark spider will be identical, and you can bet that, as the wind changes, the spider will alter its web so that it's even more effective. It is also valuable for a business strategist to create a unique marketing platform rather than copying others around him. Finding just the right angle for his business marketing plan is crucial, but it should also be flexible enough to bend with the winds of change.
A Firm Anchor: The spider's web is firmly anchored. The business strategist should also start with good anchors: a solid website, a solid team of professionals, solid products and excellent customer service. The branding itself is also a major anchor.
Multiple Intersections: The spider spins multiple points of intertwined silk that, when combined, makes the web strong enough to catch and hold multiple prey coming from several directions. The Darwin's bark spider is said to catch up to thirty prey at a time. The many intersecting points of business networking include the number of places links to the business appear online. Connecting points can be created through adding links in posts, joining in on conversations on discussion boards or social media sites, adding comments to outside blogs, article marketing that includes a biographical reference, and affiliations with other businesses. Once simple pages and profiles are created, they can be interlinked easily by using apps and widgets.
Ongoing Upkeep: The Darwin's bark spider is vigil. Not only does it enjoy its prey, but it maintains and rebuilds weakened areas of its web on an ongoing basis so that it has a continuous supply of food. The business strategist should be careful about how much time he will devote to maintaining online marketing. It is far too easy to become entangled in the social media web to the point that time is wasted. Then again, it serves no purpose to create a blog, Facebook page or Twitter account and then fail to update it. Posts should be updated regularly, contain factual information, and be written with proficiency. Remember, the basis of online marketing is conversation creation with the goal of customer conversion. It's important to keep the conversation going.
- Rewarded Effort: At the end of the day, the Darwin's bark spider is free to consume the plentiful amount of prey his web has caught in a day. The business strategist's goal is, of course, to also catch prey. He can tally his followers and check for comments, likes and Retweets, but more accurate statistics can be gleaned through the use of analytic programs that are tied to his many online tools. Analytics will tell him where his customers have come from and what they searched for that got them there. Analytic information is vital to knowing how to better target a program. The goal of online marketing, however, is not just to catch the interest of would-be customers, but to make converts that result in sales. The process can be tedious. In the meantime, the business strategist may need to nibble on a few appetizers first while building loyalty. When a new person joins his network, the business strategist should greet him and make him feel special. Building loyalty can be done by posting brilliant and value-added information such as how-to tips, coupons, news updates and whatever else it takes to keep a would-be customer's interest. Always look for ways of building two-way communication perhaps by asking for feedback.
The goal of the Darwin's bark spider is to create a cleverly crafted web that will sustain the high impact of the many prey it catches. The goal of the business strategist is to create an impermeable impact-oriented platform that will capture the attention of as many Internet surfers as possible, with the goal of converting them into customers. Every business strategist should seek to develop a robust plan that is broad reaching, systematically managed and regularly measured, and that is just the beginning.