Recently I got the opportunity to be with a handful of my clients who had been awarded Google eCity award for Effingham, IL. The Google eCity awards recognize the strongest online business community in each state. These cities’ businesses are using the web to find new customers, connect with existing customers and fuel their local economies. On average 97 % of consumers look up a business online before entering their storefront or buying form them.
Google uses an independent research firm to determine the finalists for the eCity award with this methodology . I’ve been fortunate to connect with some fantastic entrepreneurs in the area and have been working with 6 of them for the better part of the last year to build their digital business. This award from Google, comes to this small city of around 12,ooo, as no surprise. This community is a highly engaged group of entrepreneurs who understand that if they aren’t on the web they don’t exists to their clients, consumers, fellow business owners and customers.
These businesses, who I continue to have the pleasure of working with, understand that social media is an integral part of building their brand and building their business in 2014. Many of these serial entrepreneurs place their trust in me and Outlier Marketing Group to build their brand online, to attract quality clients and prospects, to identify areas of improvement, and to set them apart from the hyper-competition that exists. As a business community, Effingham is at the cross-roads of route 57 and route 70 but the question is…how do we get these people off the highway and stop here?
This question has been asked to me at least a 100 times in the past year and my answer is always the same….”match the culture and feel of your business and establishment with your online presence and people will come. It doesn’t happen overnight but it WILL happen.” I distinctly remember talking to a colleague of mine when I first starting working with a client in Effingham and they asked…”where’s that?”. Now… I simply smile.
For me, this is an exciting time in my career. Social media, digital marketing and online effectiveness is ALWAYS difficult to prove. I have been on the cutting edge of social media since it began and spotted this as a way for businesses long before it was the hip thing to do. People have forever been questioning the ROI in Social Media Managers. To me…social media is more than just how many prospects did you generate? How many new likes you received? Social media is a non-negotiable if you want your business to thrive in 2014.
Social media is a a customer service tool. Its a place to build community online. It’s a platform to tell your story. To hear the story of your clients, customers and consumers. To listen. Social media is a platform to build trust. In a world that is increasingly connected, social media is a way the “little guy” can compete with the big fish. Social media is how you can differentiate yourself in the hyper-competitive world we live it. This Google award, while I didn’t win it personally, myself and my company, Outlier Marketing Group, certainly contributed in a BIG way to this little town of Effingham.
I truly believe we at Outlier Marketing Group have cracked the code in digital marketing bridging our knowledge of marketing and social media with leadership techniques to build a community paired with archetypal branding and story telling. #beanoutlier
To see the eCity award ceremony from Google Click Here.