A good strategy begins with the basics. “A successful digital strategy has to be integrated into your traditional marketing strategy,” Coleman says. “Invest in someone to help you create a strategic plan of action in the beginning, even if you decide to execute it yourself—but only after you have a clear strategy and a clear direction.”
Coleman uses a variety of tools with clients but finds value in HootSuite, which lets users manage multiple accounts; Ping.fm, which lets you update multiple social profiles (Ping.fm was acquired in January by Seesmic, which helps Twitter users manage contacts and updates); and TubeMogul, which lets clients distribute, track, and measure user engagement with their videos.
For many entrepreneurs, video is the final piece in a cohesive marketing strategy. It’s also unfamiliar terrain that provides multiple opportunities for missteps.
It’s crucial that those engaging video as part of an overall strategy get it right, says Mary Spio, 37, co-founder and president of Vidaroo Corp. (formerly Gen2Media Corp.), a video technology, production, and marketing company based in Orlando, Florida, with offices in New York City (Read “A View to a Killer Business Model,” Techwatch, December 2009). Why is it crucial? A 2009 report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that online use of video sharing sites is growing: 67% of adults ages 30–49 and 90% of adults in the 18–29 age range now use video sharing sites.
“How-to videos are effective,” notes Spio. “Even product demonstrations should be considered. Being able to demonstrate your products or offering your expertise through tips or telling your story can be valuable.” Still, there are lots of myths about video. The major misconception: it’s expensive. But Vidaroo, for example, offers solutions starting at $99.
Sonya A. Donaldson is an editor-at-large at Black Enterprise.