You control the media: Can you control your marketing results?

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AEC website montage
You can build an effective website inexpensively and truly connect your business to the world (at least the part of the world that would be interested in your services)

These days, your media marketing power is greater than ever. That is, you can truly effectively communicate and control your message, without great expense, and without having to fight to gain access to gatekeeper-controlled media power (or pay through the nose for advertising).

I appreciated the power and potential of the new technologies this December, when on a cruise ship somewhere in Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar, I could watch live streaming video as our son hosted his friends in our Ottawa, Canada family room. The Nest camera could even “talk” to the room, and I could zoom and adjust the volume and hear everything happening there. (There weren’t any privacy violations; our son certainly knew the camera was there, and in any case, he wasn’t doing anything wrong!)

As I watched the show, I thought: “Yes, if I wanted, I could set this so it would stream live on the web, and could be viewed by anyone in the world tuned into the URL.”  Of course, it would be a boring show, and almost no one would be interested in the content . . . but, this sort of “broadcast” just a few years ago would have required a full-scale television broadcasting studio, and would be outrageously expensive to even contemplate.

There may be situations where streaming live videos make sense for your business. However, more practically, your website indeed can be a window to the world, and with some social media and third-party validation, you can create an environment where your business can be relatively easily discovered, and potential customers will form a powerful and positive first impression.

Assuming you have the basics right: Your business does great work, and your clients are happy to recommend their friends and colleagues to you — then, in most cases, you can achieve most of your marketing discovery efforts by building an effective, responsive, website and linking it to relevant social media channels. Updating the stories/news with customer success stories and testimonials, and building content that appeals to influencers and referral sources will magnify your site’s effectiveness.

And all of this can be done dirt cheap because the core website building tools are either free or so inexpensive that they wouldn’t even require a tiny percentage of your budget. The biggest cost, in fact, is the learning curve in developing the skills to build, maintain and enhance your site’s content, and because of the time required, you may quite reasonably pay for professional marketing consultants to oversee these tasks. But even if you are doing it that way, you are talking about a budget of a few thousand dollars, not tens or hundreds of thousands.

Great marketing, essentially, need not cost very much these days. Focus on what counts the most, and you’ll achieve incredible results with relatively little cost or effort.

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