We all know that marketing is changing. Perhaps in the past you’ve used ads on TV, radio or print to market your business. And they worked. But in today’s environment, we have to move away from traditional mass marketing because consumers have so many tools to tune out marketing messages—DVRs and satellite radio allow us to skip commercials, we read fewer traditional newspapers and magazines and we collect information online instead. So instead of traditional marketing, where you tried to “push” your message into regularly scheduled programming, we have to take a “pull” approach, enticing potential customers and clients to dive deeper into our businesses to learn more.
One phenomenal way to “pull” clients to us, is through the content we put out into the online world. Creating great content is what helps businesses get found online. In addition, good content demonstrates your expertise and builds your credibility.
Think of your website as your hub. It houses information about your company, and how customers can work with you. Your social media channels are satellites around that hub. They help you amplify your content by allowing more people to find it. When they do find your content, it ‘pulls’ them back to your website to learn more. So, people search for a topic, and your blog post, status update, white paper or video comes up in Google… leading them back to your website.
We’ve all heard marketers say this: People do business with companies they Know, Like &Trust. It’s true. What better way to get to know you than to read something you’ve written? How better to be likeable than to showcase your personality on a video? How much could a carefully constructed white paper build trust with a potential customer or client? Good content gets you further down that ‘Know, Like & Trust’ road, so by the time they are pulled back to your business, prospects feel like they already know you. This way of drawing people in creates more qualified leads than the old-school method, because we’ve already given them information about who we are, what we do or what we believe as business owners. Because of this, studies show that social media shortens the sales cycle by 40%.
These days, it’s not enough to talk about your products and services – you have to tell the story of your brand. A list of features and benefits won’t get you nearly as far as building an emotional connection with your prospective customers.
If you think of your website as the credibility piece in your marketing plan, you can think of your social media presence as your authenticity piece. In today’s world, people demand to know more about the things they purchase, and especially the people they purchase them from. Why? Because they can. Now that a social media presence is becoming standard equipment for businesses, consumers can build a deeper connection with the brands they interact with. Today’s ‘marketing’ consists of daily conversation with customers on social channels. Those customers want to see the faces and hear the voices of the people behind your company. They want to read things you’ve written. They want to read things other people have said about you.
You still need a website to showcase your credentials and explain why you’re qualified – But your social media channels show a different side of your business, and yourself as the business owner. It’s the human side. Potential customers get to know you. And hopefully like you – which leads to buying from you.