How often do you actually watch a television commercial? When you are looking at something online or checking your Facebook newsfeed, how often do you take time to look at the banner ads? When you receive a piece of snail mail that you know is an advertisement, how often do you actually open it? These are all forms of traditional advertising and thanks to modern technology they are no longer viable methods of sustainable marketing. So what works in the Information Age? To put it quite simply, the answer is information.
The technical term is call Content Marketing. This is when you market to a targeted consumer demographic with information they will find useful, engaging and most importantly valuable. Your customers can tell the difference between useful information and SPAM. By providing them with valuable content that educates them, you are solidifying their loyalty. Here is an example to prove my point. A few months ago the hot water in our house vanished. We paid $220 to a plumbing company who came to our house, traded out a few old parts with new ones and then told us they were not sure if it fixed the problem or not. I had no desire to pay the extortion fee of another plumbing company so I decided I was going to fix the problem myself. I went to the website of a locally owned hardware store who has a great selection of articles on common problems with household appliances. I found quite a bit of information, but none about the hot water heater issue I was having.
What I did learn was that the owner had extensive knowledge about appliance repair and I felt he would be a good person to turn to. I drove to his store, told him about my problem and he informed me it was going to be one of two things. Then he directed me to the parts I would need to fix it and showed me how to make the repair. Before I left he made sure I had the store’s number if I had any questions. It took me one more trip back to his store, but in less than two hours I had fixed the hot water heater and did so for less than $20. I could have bought the part cheaper at a big box store, but I had no way of knowing that the person selling me the part was as knowledgeable as this store owner was. When another problem arises in the future, I know exactly where I will turn and I feel confident it will be the right move.
Aside from search engine optimization, your website’s blog has now become the most important marketing tool you have. Blogging should become a priority because it is your chance to educate your customers and strengthen their trust in you at the same time. I would also recommend using your blog entries in conjunction with a weekly email to your customer base to be more effective. All you have to do is copy and paste half your blog entry into the email and add a link to the entire entry on your website. Make sure you add links throughout your blog entry to other blog entries within your site when it is relevant. This is called making your site more “sticky”. That way you are driving more traffic to your site and keeping them there longer. When the time comes and they need the service or product you provide, they will not question who to turn to. You might have a smaller marketing budget than a large corporation, but you can make up significant ground on your competitors with the most valuable commodity there is… useful information! Content Marketing can not only be applied to your website, but to all of the platforms of Social Media where your potential clients are connecting with friends and possibly promoting their own services or products. In this form of marketing you have to “Give to Get”. What I mean by that is that you must establish rapport with your potential clients for them to trust you enough to do business with you. Impact Media Solutions can assist you with formulating a strategy for your Content Marketing, and in turn help your business thrive by capturing leads through unconventional means. We encourage you to speak with any of our clients in our portfolio about what we have done for their business as there can be no better form of marketing then a referral, and that is and I believe will always be our primary source of new clients.