5 Ways Internet Marketing is like Gardening

Hey ladies!  Most of you have gardened, right?  Even if you've only had a tiny herb box in your kitchen, or rely on the Aerogarden to get you through, there are some basic truths about the practice that you can't dispute.  Surprisingly, some of these core principles are required for effective online marketing.  Don't believe me?  Read on.

Spacing is everything.  

Remember the time you put your cucumbers too close to the tomatoes, and you ended up having to untangled tiny little vines from around your precious harvest?  Online marketing works the same way.  If you have a message you want to get across, allow it some breathing room in your online "space" so that it doesn't get all jumbled up with your other messages.  You really don't want those who are looking for cucumbers to have to muddle through your tomatoes (and vice-versa.)

You can't rush the seasons.  

Patiently waiting for the right time for any particular vegetable is tough.  The reward, however, is well worth it.  Just as you can't force pumpkin season to arrive in June, you won't be able to effectively promote your Christmas marketing promotions in July.  Others have tried -- and failed.  If you want your brand messaging to seem authentic, genuine, and centered around the needs of the customer, avoid the urge to jump ahead in your marketing schedule.

The waiting is the hardest part.  

It seems like those first few days after planting a row of seeds is torture.  I go out every day (sometimes, twice a day) and check for signs of life.  Are there any new sprouts?  Will they break through the soil OK?  Did the birds get to them first?  Your first few days of a new online marketing campaign will be the same way.  Avoid the temptation to check and double check the reaction of your audience before it has had time to fully marinate.  While you will want to head off trouble, time will have to pass before any significant feedback can be measured.

There will be bugs.  

A beautiful green bean plant may be nothing but worm holes in a week, assuming you ignore that first bug when it shows up early on.  Likewise, if you hear rumblings of trouble with your online promotion, tackle it head-on and deal with the nuisance.  Maybe it was your fault (a software update that didn't take), maybe it was an outside force (a disgruntled customer that Tweeted fabrications), or perhaps it just happened (your new design didn't quite "pop" as you had expected.)  Accept it, deal with it graciously, learn, and move on.  Your damage will be minimal if dealt with expeditiously.

Enjoy your harvest while it is fresh.  

I can appreciate a full-stocked pantry, filled with jars of canned fruits and veggies waiting to be eaten on a cold winter day.  But can it compare to the crispy first bites of a freshly-steam bowl of snow peas or the juicy tang of a ripe heirloom tomato?  Of course not, and while we understand that "save for later" mentality, good things were meant to be enjoyed in their natural state.

If your marketing campaigns are going well, take the time to bask in the moment and engage your community.  Thank them for their participation, document your successes, and keep your team committed to seeing the campaign through.  Then avoid the common mistake of recycling successful campaigns for later.  They almost never have the same appeal twice.

Do you garden?   Isn't it an amazing feeling to see your hard work come to life?  Let us know what parts of gardening (or online marketing) are most challenging for you.  We'd love to chat about it!

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