We all tend to follow the same set of rules, it’s the approach we add to the whole strategy that creates a different impact. This is why sometimes people ask the same questions over and over again. It’s like nobody wants to share their secrets, when in reality there are just common ways of doing things. Online marketing is possibly one of the easiest things to over-complicate thanks to the vast amounts of information, guides and tips available to the public. I read and follow the same rules that everyone else does. It’s perhaps my own language and style that makes all of the difference. I still spend a lot of time searching for my voice. I know I’ve got it in my hands, but I want to make it a part of me. Building a brand is not an easy task. It doesn’t happen overnight. Neither does online marketing. #1. Compact Information The human attention span has disappeared, and visual content has become the standard. It doesn’t have to be visual data or charts, it has to be visual. Anything visual can capture the users attention more than a wall of text can. This is one of the most talked about topics in online marketing – the ability to capture your users attention before he decides to leave. You are given a maximum of 10 seconds to give your reader a mind blowing introduction. You might be surprised to find out that I don’t really care. I write for the user, not the clerk that only wants to get the best of me. My posts are going to be intellectual and full of information. That is your reward for staying around and not judging the introduction of a post that is far more than just two sentences. He didn’t want to stay for longer? Who cares, someone else will. I’m probably more interested in working together and collaborating with the guy who did decide to stick around for more than just a few mere words. #2. Content Marketing Strategy(-ies) This is and will be your main source of website traffic for many years to come. It’s not a limited term ‘content marketing’ and so it has every type of content imaginable within it’s context. Your business needs a growth plan? Start with providing free and resourceful content to your readers. I’ve often encountered that people ‘avoid sharing’ valuable content because they think it can somehow manipulate the market, and give others access to valuable lessons. In reality, we couldn’t account even for a tiny percentage of what is being shared on the web. It’s all already out there, you just have to look in the right places. Invest in writers, bloggers and publishers who can further help increase your brand visibility through their social media channels and connections. #3. Magnetic Brand Image I think the word we’re looking for here is charismatic. You don’t have to be charismatic from the day you were born to learn how charisma works. You should work hard to acquire some charisma, it will only help you create a brand that people love. Charismatic personalities and people poses power than some marketers can only dream about. Your business needs to show its true leadership personality. Try not to put too much attention on the competition, or what your future clients might think of you – focus on building a strong and charisma driven brand. It will eventually become part of your business. #4. Creative Drive You have to be driven by something in order to more forward and continue developing your business. What is the one thing that drives your business? Why do you wake up every day to begin a new working day? Why is that? How much of your business involves creative and open-minded thinking? Don’t just answer these questions, but actually think about them. I will be more than pleased to hear your answers, as these are vital questions to ask yourself. When you get a creative idea, be it anything, try not to sink that idea for too long and instead consider your options and start creating an action plan and act on that very idea. While it’s not always recommended to be spontaneous and go crazy with new ideas – creativity is often harmless and involves giving back something to the customer. #5. Thinking Ahead and Long-Term There are things – burdens – in online marketing that stick around for decades. The perfect example I already gave away at the beginning of the post, when I wrote about capturing the attention within a couple of seconds. We’ve come a long way in this post and I’m pretty sure there have been a few things that you could take away and reconsider in your tactics. That’s what it’s all about for me. I cannot stand thinking short-term, and even less so when an elitist – money driven – marketer is trying to tell me that it’s all about getting that buck in your pocket as quickly as possible. I want my community to care about what I say, write and research for it – otherwise, who else am I doing it all for? The people who’ve forgotten what attention span means? #6. Social Growth The social media is gaining a lot of attention, in a way where much of the information we consume is being directly found through social media platforms. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it gives us the opportunity to grow and expand our marketing efforts directly to the client. It’s wonderful. There was a new post published on Define Media Group recently, about some claims that a popular online outlet had made. It’s basically a discussion whether or not social media is better than search, and of course – it’s not, but there has been significant grow in the last couple of months and it’s worth taking a look at those statistics. Now, this is important to us – marketers – because it goes to show that there is incredible amount of potential, and that we should be creating connections with almost everyone on social media. It so happens that a single tweet can go a very long way, when the message is clear and concise. You’re not creating them to help you straight away, some relationships will take months of not years to mature and become something more than just a conversation. Ask your community, customers and the general public for advice on that what you love to do. Ask questions directly and be precise. It creates a bond that people will always remembers. It’s easier to keep someone in mind when you’ve helped him, instead to keep someone in mind who passed along the social stream – like everyone else who you follow does. #7. Grow Through Unique Vision Take your vision, your plan for the future – and grow through it. It’s not wise to assume that people will figure it out themselves, so be clear about it and let people see that you are driven by those and those qualities. I’m driven by being able to help people, and help in a way that it inspires them to do more and achieve more with their lives. We all want to be successful, and so we should all work closely together and help each other along the way. Help comes in many forms, and not just giving away free stuff or buying your favorite brands products. We can introduce people to brands and products that we think are exceptionally good. The one talk that comes to my mind right now is from Jane ni Dhulchaointigh – she is an owner of Sguru, a self-setting rubber fix that is now loved by thousands upon thousands of people all around the world. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKjyXtLVs20[/youtube] Jane was spending years and years of trying to develop the perfect product, and she had many obstacles along the way. When she finally launched, a thousand samples that she created in 3 months got sold out in 6 hours, thanks to social media and influential power of blogging. It was pure word of mouth marketing. It’s a wonderful video and I recommend that you watch it, to take a deeper look at how you can grow your business through your vision and passion. Practical Marketing Tips It does not get any more practical than this. It doesn’t get any cheaper than this either. This is the marketing manifesto that you need to carry with yourself whether your business is new or already running for a couple of years. You can always adjust and create better experiences for your customers. What are your marketing tools that seem to work the best for you?