There’s a new all-in-one web tool out there for small businesses and it surfaces a lot of interesting features that can make digital easier. Mind you, it’s not an easy button … you still have to provide content and use the tool adequately, but it’s a start.
Holonis offers an interesting digital content and social management system that leverages a templated marketplace website designed to be a powerful organic search engine magnet. What that means is your Holonis site will look like every other Holonis site and your business will appear as a page hanging off someone else’s domain (i.e. http://holonis.com/yourbusiness) but the centralized activity can help you win searches your own site may have trouble with.
So there’s a good and a bad to it. On one hand, you sacrifice unique branding. On the other, you leverage the power of a robust marketplace website to elevate your own standing in organic search. It’s like hanging your business’s pages off the Huffington Post to leverage its organic SEO value.
Don’t get me wrong — I would seldom recommend such a tool. There’s far too much credibility in your own domain and site to lose if you did. However, for that small business that just wants a powerful tool for not a lot of investment and needs to win search, this is an option.
When you dig past the branding hangup, you see that Holonis is actually a smartly designed digital marketing engine. Your digital assets (content, images, videos, etc.) are centralized. Writing a blog post and promoting it on social networks is no longer two-steps. It’s built into the publishing process. Cursory SEO tools are there for analysis, but algorithms and natural language processing automate much of the search optimization process. You can hack in and manually manage if you wish, but for a small business owner that doesn’t know any better, it’ll do most of your heavy lifting.
A wide variety of social networks, review sites and other inboxes are aggregated here to engaging with customers who reach out to you in various places is easy. The tool manages e-commerce as well, so you can not only write a blog post and publish to social networks, but you can even embed a product in the blog post as a direct response mechanism to drive business.
And the content creation interface is drag and drop, intuitive and while not exactly elegant, certainly serviceable. There’s even an email tie-in for cursory e-marketing and marketing automation processes. Oh … and you can create Groupon-like deals for no additional cost.
If I had my druthers, and a small retail business, I would give Holonis a shot for a couple of reasons. First, it’s all-in-one and prevents me from having to be in a dozen places to manage all my content, social channels and the like. But it’s also built to make it easy for me to include products, coupons, deals and the like in my messaging. And even if I’m hung up on the URL and branding issues presented by its marketplace template approach, the tool gives me a supplement to my main website that can vie for another slot on an organic search result page.
No, it’s not for large businesses that need to manage a brand image. But for all those folks out there clamoring for a single tool to help them manage the day-to-day stuff and then get out of the way, Holonis is worth looking at.
It’s $99 per month for the time being.