Get Up to Speed with Online Marketing

Get Up to Speed with Online Marketing by John Reed was originally a book marketed to a UK audience, and while it has been updated to be more global, you can definitely tell its UK focus from the examples it uses and the language it uses. So the first thing you'll need to do is accept that it was written with a certain slant, and expand its message from there.

Reed lays out how important it is to learn how to market online. There are two billion people online right now. They are there, using the web. People are already online talking about your brand, if you have any customers. So you need to be there to know what they're saying and to encourage positive discussion.

You need to be authentic, provide useful content, have a two way conversation, and above all, be patient. These things take time to grow. Make sure your entries have a call to action - what do you want them to do? Also, how are you going to measure success? Figure that out, and track it.

Reed feels it's key to have your own website, something to point all your other efforts at. You want all your tweets, emails, and other posts to drive people to one central site, to build that traffic and ranking.

He talks about how email newsletters are still valuable and how having them opt-in is critical. Don't buy email lists any more - the potential for being labeled a spammer is too high. He gives how-tos on wordpress, twitter, and other systems. He talks about scheduling and batching your efforts. He gives an example of Blendtek boosting sales 700% by creating fun, engaging videos. Tweet out discount codes. Give your users reasons to be a part of your community.

So there's a lot of good information in here. However, I think he gets too specific in many areas. Online systems change hourly. By having screenshots of what Twitter and other systems look at press time, it means they'll be out of date in a few months - for those that are not already out of date. That then takes up valuable book space with incorrect information.

Also, for a book just promoted as cutting-edge and new, it doesn't even mention Google+ or Pinterest, both of which have been around for quite a while.

In the end, I think the book tried to do too much, and it also tried to do things it wasn't well suited for. Yes certainly it should talk about Facebook - but it should have provided far more examples about successful campaigns and ways to use it well. Drop the screenshots and step-by-step info since that will be useless. Focus on what we need to know. We can always, easily, google how to set up a Facebook account with exact, up-to-the-minute step by step instructions. That's not what we need from a book. What we need to know is what to do once we HAVE a Facebook account. How is using Facebook wisely different than using Twitter? How does Google+ differ from both of those? How does one find success on Pinterest? That is all what I would expect from a book like this.

So I think a new version that had that as more of its slant would be ideal. As it is, the book is already quite out of date and getting worse every day.

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