Acronyms, acronyms and more acronyms! As a digital solutions company that is primarily focused on the delivery of website and online services to the membership and not-for-profit sectors, acronyms... short-forms... abbreviations... call them what you will, are everywhere; just take a look at our website portfolio to see exactly what I mean! Only recently, a very truncated conversation between colleagues was overheard as following the lines of “The CMS WYSIWYG allows RMT to place a URL for improved SEO”! ... I’ll spare you the UX, UI, PPC and PNG elements of this exchange!

Similarly, there are various business and strategy models employed by both marketers and business development people; I need only mention the SWOT analysis and, of course, the ‘7 (some say 4) Ps of marketing’!

Had enough yet? OK ... Now let me introduce you to the much eulogised ‘5 S of Internet marketing’. Actually, if you’re a seasoned digital marketer you’ll no doubt know about this as they’ve been around since around 2006, having been established by the renowned e-marketing authors Smith and Chaffey. However, if you’re less familiar, then let me enlighten you – the rest of you, go and put the kettle on for a paragraph or two!

The Original 5 Ss of Internet Marketing

Probably the best way to summarise Smith and Chaffey’s 5 Ss of Internet marketing is to think of them as a holistic set of basic principles that should be applied, or at least considered when thinking about the delivery of any online or digital initiative – be that a website, mobile app or whatever it may be. So for a membership or not-for-profit, this could be, for example:

Sell

The Internet provides a wealth of financial opportunity for memberships and not-for-profits. This, for example, could include the utilisation of digital campaigns to increase revenue through membership, or using campaign websites to leverage donations for a charity.

Serve

Being sure to highlight the benefits of being online. So this could be about providing speed and simplicity for those applying for, or renewing their membership. Similarly, this could also be about showing users how your website provides them with an easy and convenient way of being able to support your charity through making a charitable donation online, or getting in touch to volunteer for a local project.

Speak

This is all about getting closer to your members and supporters by making your organisation accessible to them 24-7, and in line with their everyday lives – be that at home, at work or on the move, through the use of various mobile technologies.

Save

Here we think about the ability to reduce organisational overheads through the use of certain technologies that make it more efficient. This could include, for example, techniques such as website to back-office system integration, which, in turn allows your members or supporters to update their profiles online and also directly to your CRM, MRM or supporter database. The benefit to your organisation is that it keeps your back-office system continually up-to-date and eliminates manual administration costs. Other benefits could include the saving of postage with e-newsletters, or online document libraries for fast and easy distribution of meeting minutes, documentation and other information. There are myriad ways for such organisations to better utilise their online presence and save time, money and other resources.

For more examples of this, visit the NetXtra Case Study pages on our website, or call us on 01787 319393.   

Sizzle

Here we seek to create, broaden and establish our online presence, and its effectiveness, by selling the ‘sizzle’ of why someone should become a member, or make that donation to support your charity. As the old adage goes, it’s the ‘sizzle’ that sells the sausage - not just the sausage alone! So focus your online content to highlight the real benefits, the ‘tangibles’ and the value of being associated and interacting with your organisation.

If you’re a charity, then the objectives, of course, are different to that of a membership organisation. So, for example, you may want to tell a potential supporter what they can expect when giving in support of your cause – so this could be the ‘feel good’ factor upon making a donation, regular newsletters telling them how their money will be and has been used, and most importantly, regular updates, through online and email, showing how their act of giving has made a difference to those that needed it in the first place.

In essence, don’t simply focus on just the cause itself, or on the features of being a member.

But hang on... aren’t we missing something here? Those who opted out earlier in this article to make a brew can now rejoin us!

What about Social Media?

Back in 2006, when Smith and Chaffey created the 5 Ss of Internet marketing, social media was, of course, still very much in its infancy, and certainly wasn’t the force we know today.

It goes without saying that now, when developing an effective Internet strategy, social media has a major role to play. Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or any of the other many networking mediums out there, the role of social media is an integral part of any Internet marketer’s digital strategy. These many ‘channels’ of digital are woven into people’s everyday lives and, when done correctly, their strategic combination can help drive awareness of your brand and convert previously unaware people into active members or supporters.

With various people now using so many different touch points, it’s important to determine which channels of communication are relevant to your organisation, and then make sure there is a consistency in your brand in terms of message, tone of voice, look and feel. It’s also important to make sure that you have the right resource in place to keep these multiple channels up-to-date and that you respond to any questions, feedback or other interactions left by others - particularly when using platforms such as  Twitter and Facebook.

Most importantly, remember that content is king! So be sure to provide your visitors with what they came to your site for, i.e. really valuable and engaging content that, ultimately, people will want to share with others. Give readers a 'take away' - something that has real added value and is tangibly beneficial. This might be a new piece of advice or learning, a free downloadable guide or even an action to review or even change what they already have perhaps?

And, of course, don’t forget the social media sharing options to disseminate and proliferate your content to other networking platforms and audiences, and thus potential new visitors, members and supporters.

 

Coming soon - we take the ‘6 S’ approaches a stage further and look at the 6 Ss of Internet marketing optimisation – including, story optimisation, strategy optimisation, search engine optimisation, spend optimisation and site optimisation.