Marketing at its core is connecting with your customers and prospects.
The traditional way of marketing focused on sales and included cold calls, TV spots, trade shows and print ads. The business centered messages on the company and its products.
But let’s face it – those interruption-focused approaches are “one-way” and less effective these days. In fact, most people simply sidestep these marketing pitches for which they have little interest: they screen their calls, these ignore emails or advertisements, and they set aside those direct mail pieces.
In addition to the ineffectiveness of this traditional marketing, buyers have gained considerable power in the buying equation and have gotten much more selective about what they consume.
One major reason for this selectivity is access to the resources on the internet (think about the car buyer who can look up invoice costs for their desired auto). And the buy can do it on their terms and in the time frame they want (no need to visit a showroom).
So what is a business to do to connect with its community of buyers and prospective customers?
A business needs to broaden its Marketing Mix by embracing new techniques such as social media and advanced content marketing.
Social media is a great platform where buyers can engage with brands, share their thoughts with peers including reviewing products and even buy products.
Some of social media’s amazing qualities include its ease of use, massive scale the large amount of time that users spend on it. Consider these 2016 Facebook stats:
- The average amount of time that its users spend on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger is 50 minutes per day. That’s 1/16 of a typical person’s awake time.
- Facebook has 1.65 billion active monthly users worldwide
Certainly not all of this coverage is free- especially for for businesses. In fact, the social networks- especially Facebook, but also Twitter and Pinterest – are rapidly monetizing the messaging to this massive audience. But the good news is that businesses can now supplement their traditional marketing with this effective new approach via social media.
Content Marketing is about creating informative, valuable and even fun content that will be of interest to your prospects. You’ll want to make the content easily findable to users by employing SEO best practices.
The benefit to a business is that the buyer who discovers and finds value in the unbiased content (even before they are looking to make a purchase) will have positive awareness of the company. And this awareness may turn into brand preference and ultimately sales for the company.
Examples of such content are videos, blogs, white papers, podcasts, seminars, and much more. And, of course, all of this content can be virally shared via social media.
In sum, as you look to build the right marketing mix for your company that appeals to a new age of consumers, be sure these new elements- social media and content marketing – play a starring role.