Joel Widmer knows more than a thing or two about social media and digital marketing. His website, Fluxe Digital Marketing, lets readers in on how to create great content, get conversions, ramp up traffic, and get the results they want.

Here, he shares some of this insight for those looking to bolster their own online presence for the betterment of their business.

Social media is an incredibly powerful force when it comes to marketing. What are the best rules of thumb one can take when working with social media?

Social media can be very powerful, but it can’t exist alone without the rest of your marketing strategy. Social media is just the channel your content strategy is disseminated through, so always start with your content strategy first.

As strong as social media is, what kind of power do you think email lists have that social media doesn’t possess?

One simple and huge difference: you own your email list and you don’t own your social media profiles. Facebook owns your Facebook profile, LinkedIn owns your LinkedIn profile and content, etc. If LinkedIn disappears tomorrow and that’s where you’re spending all your money to generate leads, those leads will go away tomorrow as well. But you own your email list; and in many cases, email still has higher conversion rates and engagement rates than social media.

Blogging is a quintessential piece of a successful website. What kind of advice do you offer clients regarding the creation of great content?

The blog is the foundation of all of your content, but it’s not as simple as coming up with a great topic and writing about it. A lot goes into writing a powerful and effective blog post. For example, here are 11 steps that are crucial to a good post.

What are your thoughts on SEO and its implementation? Do you think people are using it effectively? Why or why not?

SEO is becoming more difficult to keep up with, but you can always stay ahead of it if your main goal is creating useful and customer-focused content.

Maintaining a web presence takes a significant amount of time. How much time and energy would you recommend to clients looking to beef up their online presence?

I don’t think you should measure it in time. I think it’s a measure of what it will take to accomplish the goals you want to achieve through your website. If any of your goals include converting prospects through your site or email list, you need to have at least one person championing the website. They should be the person who is in charge of the content and marketing for the website and who makes sure things get done.

What do you think about using guest blogging? What are some recommendations you can offer about the use of guest blogs/bloggers?

I’m a huge advocate of guest blogging and have helped 30+ authors from independent to NYT bestsellers launch their books with the help of guest blogging. I’ve learned that nothing goes further than taking the extra time to personalize your message and understand exactly who you’re talking to before you contact them.

Guest blogging is getting harder and harder, and it’s easy to see through a poorly planned pitch, so it’s critical to make it a win for everyone.

What are some marketing practices individuals can make better use of to increase their online presence?

I think LinkedIn is still one that’s overlooked by most companies. It’s just not as sexy as Facebook or Twitter, but it’s the one place that is a professionals-only social network. It can be an incredible way to drive conversions and thought leadership.

Guest blogging can also be a fantastic way to increase your online presence. If you can find a quality blog that shares your audience demographics and write a fantastic post for them, you can double your traffic overnight.

Most people don’t want to put in that kind of work; but if you consider the alternatives, it’s much less expensive than anything else you could do to get the same quantity and quality traffic.

How do you think things will continue to grow in terms of online marketing?

I think Google will continue cracking down on people trying to take shortcuts, and good quality content will continue to rise to the top.

What changes do you see happening with your own website/business that you can share with us?

I’m going to continue creating good quality content and using that as a foundation for my social strategy.

Interview Blogging, one of the main services my business offers, allows busy CEOs who don’t have the time to sit down and write articles to quickly create content through a conversation. This is becoming more popular and I’m continuing to grow the service.

I’m also creating a lot more online courses about these topics to help business owners and entrepreneurs improve their marketing and focus on work that matters. One of my most popular courses, Entrepreneur Productivity Hacks, has helped over 4,000 entrepreneurs; and I’m releasing similar courses in the coming months!

Please share anything else you would like people to know about the services you offer or web marketing.

The biggest problem I see in businesses and their marketing is the failure to understand their target audience. In most cases you are not your target audience, but it’s easy to make that mistake and create marketing messages that appeal to you rather than your audience.

Build feedback loops into your marketing so you’re constantly getting feedback from your audience and learning their wants and needs. This will save you an immense amount of time and money in the long run.

You can also download my Free Business Blogging Toolkit. It includes these 3 Cheatsheets:

    • 32 Blog Post Ideas
    • Blog Post Publishing Checklist
    • Blog Post Promotion Checklist