Dave Nelsen, president of Dialog Consulting Group LLC is in the studio during this “National Advisory Showcase” segment to talk about social media marketing techniques to help your business achieve success.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: And welcome back to the show. Texas Business Radio, Texasbusinessradio.com, 844-814-8144 is the 24 hour call in line. Get your calls in. We get the experts in here to get those questions answered. That means call in now, call in later, call in at 3:00 o’clock in the morning. I really don’t have an opinion on it, it’s a 24 hour line. Get your calls in, we’ll get folks in there. A couple of other ways to get in touch with us. We monitor #TBR on Twitter or go to the website and get your questions in that way.
Matt Register: I’m your host, Matt Register. Jay Curry is one sitting over there in the cohost chair. And we are to a time in our show that we like to call the national advisor showcase. There are a lot of national level speakers that come into Texas to talk to CEOs about their business. And they have a wealth of information about growing your business, putting systems in place, doing things that will help you expand, and grow, and professionalize your business. And we’d love to bring those guys in here and talk to them a little bit and pick their brain for free, and see what we can learn, and see what you can learn that may be able to help you in your business.
Matt Register: Dave Nelson is with Dialog Consulting, and we’re going to talk a little bit about social media. Why in the world do you, as a company, need to use social media? And how do you make sure that you are not missing out on all of those people that are burning down Google to solve their problem? If they’re not finding you, they’re finding your competitor, and you need to be in the mix. What do you think about this, Jay?
Jay Curry: Oh, I couldn’t agree more. I’m one of those old guys that it’s hard to buy in to this, but it’s where it is. And I’m telling you, if you’re not into it, you need to get it. You need to listen today. You need to take this serious.
Matt Register: Yep.
Matt Register: Dave Nelson, Dialog Consulting. Dave, welcome to the show.
Dave Nelson: Thanks Matt. Pleased to be here. Nice to see you again, Jay.
Matt Register: So, tell me about Dialog Consulting. What do you do? Who do you do it too, and who are you here to talk to?
Dave Nelson: Well, I’m here to talk to typically midsize business owners. Maybe, if you sell business to consumer, you know some of this. I find the people that sell business to business, there’s a lot to learn. And Dialog Consulting, I actually started podcasting, a company called TalkShoe.com. And, if you want to do your own podcast, it’s still out there 13 years after I started it. But in that space, I learned social media from the inside, sort of as the revolution happened.
Dave Nelson: And I guess here’s the headline, every day half of all Internet traffic starts with a search. And, hey, you want to get found when they’re looking for what you do. And it turns out, when you look inside the clicks on Google, since they’re the big search engine, most of them are free, 77%. So yeah, I’ve got nothing against pay per click advertising. That’s awesome. But that’s a small game. We want to play the big game. And the way you play that game is with content, often delivered through one of these social media vehicles. So, let’s get your fair share and more.
Dave Nelson: And since I spend a lot of time business to business, do you realize that 94% of B to B buyers today research online for their purchase decisions?
Matt Register: Well, just like consumer buyers.
Dave Nelson: Absolutely.
Matt Register: Everybody burns down Google to solve their problem. Right?
Dave Nelson: Right. And people get this on the consumer side. My message is, yeah, everything I’m saying applies to consumer focused companies. But B to B, 94% of people are researching online and they’re making up about two thirds of their purchase decision before they reach out to the very first vendor. If you’re out there with content, you’re not getting found.
Matt Register: Well, and this gets even better because a lot of the B to B guys, the industry generally sucks at it, right? I mean, it very much-
Dave Nelson: I could not agree more. I might’ve put it a little more gently.
Matt Register: I mean, it’s not like consumer- I mean, if you were in the direct consumer spam filtering, but that’s going to be a lot harder fight than it is if you’re in the industrial filters business, right? I mean, the industrial filter- I don’t know anything about that, by the way. I’m making it up as an example, but they’re not going to be as good at that as some of these consumer industries. And there’s low hanging fruit there, right?
Dave Nelson: I agree. I talked to about 120 groups a year, which probably represents collectively a thousand B to B companies. And I’m constantly amazed how bad they are at this, which means that if you decide you want to pick up the ball and run with it, it’s a pretty clear playing field. And I’ve worked with companies that have just seen their traffic goes through the roof because they decided they were going to focus a little bit on creating content and delivering on these social media platforms.
Matt Register: Well, I tell you what, it’s interesting that company- and I’ve read articles about this- and ten years ago in my wife’s real estate brokerage, we put and built a media company in it for that identical purpose, right? To ensure that we had massive amounts of high quality content going out to play that long game with searches. How many companies are going to have to develop something like that within their own company in the near future?
Dave Nelson: I’ll just say, all of the survivors.
Matt Register: Yeah.
Dave Nelson: That’s it.
Matt Register: That’s a good way to put it, yeah.
Dave Nelson: This is really critical, because so much of the traffic starts with a search. You don’t want your competitors getting found and framing that purchase decision, right? You’re gonna lose. And so, we want to play that game.
Dave Nelson: I do have a warning. People are typing in some keywords that represent what you do, and their words are not necessarily your lingo. Right? So we actually have to use some science, some data to figure out what people search for. And happily, Google provides a wonderful free tool. It’s called the Keyword Planner, and it shows you search frequency on any term. And, in fact, when you put in one term, then it’ll show you hundreds of others that are related. And all we want to do is pick terms that have a high enough search volume to be interesting, but they also show you how competitive it is to get ranked. And so, we want the ones that aren’t that competitive, and this tends to point you to more specific search terms, what we talk about the long tail. So, it’s not just one word, it’s usually a combination of words.
Matt Register: But here’s where I see people in the market, and I hate hearing about this, because I hear all the time, I will get you on the first page of Google. They are selling a solution to the wrong problem. You don’t need to be on the first page of Google. You need to be on the first page of Google for hundreds of items. Right?
Dave Nelson: Well, often what they’re talking about, first of all, 99% of those people are shysters.
Matt Register: Yeah. I got it.
Dave Nelson: And if they are legit, what they’re probably talking about is the paid advertising, the pay per click stuff. That’s how somebody can guarantee you’re on because you pay, you can be on page one of Google. That’s not the real game. The real game is let’s get good quality content out there and get the 77% that people aren’t paying for. That’s the big game.
Matt Register: Well, yeah. And, unfortunately, there’s not a painless way to do- I mean, this is going to take some thought by the business. This isn’t something that you write a check, hire your nephew to sit in the back office and handle this for you. There’s got to be some thought, and effort, and energy, organizational energy put into this. Correct?
Dave Nelson: I would call it strategy, right? You have to understand the audience, the customer or prospect you’re trying to reach, and then you have to create content that’s of value to them. And the typical strategy is to do something that’s educational for them. You get to demonstrate your expertise. You get to frame their thinking, which guides the purchase decision.
Matt Register: Establish thought leadership. There’s a lot of pretty things happen with that, right?
Dave Nelson: Yeah, but this is not easy. Let’s acknowledge that. And, in fact, it turns out that- blogging is one of my favorite platforms. Companies that blog, creating regular content, get on average 55% more traffic. And it’s not random traffic, it’s qualified traffic. But the blogs that do best are north of a thousand words in length. So, you think about this, I’ve got to be consistent about blogging because Google ages out content as we go. And so, once or twice a month I’ve got to produce a blog post that’s north of a thousand words that’s actually valuable to my target audience. That’s not easy. So, let’s just acknowledge that’s not easy.
Dave Nelson: But this is the job of a marketer today. You’ve got to create value for your target audience, and by the way, let’s look at how they interact with it. We got to have some measurements to tell when we’re doing well. And I’m talking simple stuff. There’s a button that says, click to read more. If your audience clicks that, they’re saying this is good content. I was interested. If they don’t, they’re telling you, don’t give me more like this. And so, marketing takes a strategy. It’s got to be continuous content creation. It’s got to be good quality as judged not by you, but by your target audience. And that’s not easy.
Matt Register: And you can screw this up. I mean, companies out there can actually damage their brand by not doing this effectively. Correct?
Dave Nelson: Yes, and in fact, if you do take one of those random spam calls that says we’re going to put you on page one of Google, you might find that you’re actually banned from Google. Because when people attempt to go with what I call the black hat techniques, shortcut the system, Google has a way to detect that and they’ll declare the 18 month death penalty on you. So, we’re not going to try to shortcut this. We’re actually going to try to understand our audience and give them content that’s of value to them.
Matt Register: Well, and you’re actually doing exactly what it is search engines are wanting you to do. They’re incenting good behavior. They want you to develop quality content so there are quality results for searches that people, right?
Dave Nelson: Exactly. What is Google’s purpose in life? Somebody types keywords, they’re trying to give you the best possible content. So, if your job and your business, if your goal is to make good content for your target audience, I think we can trust that Google will bring them to you, and that’s how it works.
Matt Register: Interesting stuff. What is the easiest way for somebody to learn more about Dialog Consulting, should they want to learn more?
Dave Nelson: Well, go to Dialogconsulting.com. That’s D I A L O G, the short form of that word, Dialogconsulting.com. And you’ll learn all about how I help companies develop strategies, do the keyword research.
Matt Register: Perfect.
Dave Nelson: It’s a really interesting profession.
Matt Register: Dave Nelson, social media guru, Dialogconsulting.com. We’re going to have that linked right from Texasbusinessradio.com. We’re going to go pay some of our own bills. We’ll be back right after this with a whole lot more of Texas Business Radio.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.