Marketing in the digital age has shifted from content to context. Up until recently, many brands created the content that was used to market their products. Consumers were expected to like their products just because they looked cool or were hip. With the rise of social networking with sites such as Facebook and Twitter, this started to change. People began to express themselves online more and more. Ultimately, this led to sharing their experiences online. Noticing this trend, many brands immediately launched Facebook pages, this lead to the shift from content to context marketing. Instead of creating content, many brands Like Coke and Pepsi had their consumers create content for their marketing campaigns. Customers would upload videos of the products and they would like the brands Facebook pages. Consumers have access to more information about products and services than ever before so brands have to have a compelling message.
Last month, I attended the Pivot Conference in New York City. This conference examines marketing and the social consumer. One theme rang true throughout the whole conference. This theme was that consumers own the content that is created by brands. However, consumers alone and brands alone do not create content. Instead content is co-created. Today a brand is not just about selling and marketing products; it is about creating experiences that both the consumers and brands create. People engage with brands and vice versa.
However, although the tools of marketing may have changed, the basics have not. When marketing products and services it is important to do the following: Identify your target market, create a compelling message that makes people want to buy your products and services, engage your consumers, have your products and services tell a story and promote your content using both traditional and digital platforms.
1 Identifying Your Target market
As I explained in my previous post, it is imperative to identify who is a good fit for your offering. You need to make sure you are sending your message to people who will be receptive to your products and services. Depending on your industry, this may be heavily focused or very broad. Consumer products tend to have a larger potential customer base than other industries.
2 Creating a compelling message
People today are bombarded by marketing and advertising messages. When we see pop up ads and banner advertising we tend to click off them. The results of all this advertising whether it be a television ad or billboard is a severely shortened attention span. As a result, a message has to really compelling to make it through the filters. This objective can be fulfilled by thinking like a copy-writer. You need to craft a headline that will grab the reader’s attention immediately. This headline could take the form of a though provoking question. Something that will make the reader uneasy and have them think I better act now to either gain a benefit or avoid losing one they care about. Life insurance is marketed in this way.
3 Engaging consumers
It is important for brands to engage consumers. Now that brands create experiences in our lives it is important for brands to stay connected to their customers and fan bases. This could be achieved through social media. Many brands use their Facebook page walls to allow their fans to comment, share experiences, like their products and to upload videos of their products being used.
4 Having your products tell a story
Many successful brands have their products tell a story. It is imperative that your brand tells a story that its customers can relate to. The Old Spice and Dos Equis campaigns are great examples of this. Earlier I said the consumers own the marketing content created by a brand. Now content is marketing in the context of a consumer’s life. Brands call on their customers to help create the story of the brand though the sharing of videos, thoughts and ideas.
5 Promoting your content using both digital and traditional platforms
The digital age is here. Social media is the marketing tool for the 21st century. It is tempting to focus all of our marketing and advertising resources on digital media. However, when marketing products and services a one size fits all approach does not work. Many people are on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites but many people are not. As a result, marketers need to make sure these people are included in their marketing messages and that these messages reach people who are not on social networking sites. This is why using print, television and radio ads are still important. In order to reach everyone, brands still need to use traditional means to reach the people who are still not connected and the ones who choose to connect with them on digital platforms. One thing that television is doing to stay relevant is using social media. Almost every show that is on TV is using social media. Specifically they are using Twitter and Facebook to connect with their audience. The stars of these shows have Twitter and Facebook accounts. They tweet live with their fans during and after the show. These shows use hash-tags. A hash-tag consists of a numbers bracket and a word. This is used to create an index on topics on Twitter. These hash-tags allow fans of these shows to share thoughts and ideas that will reach far beyond their followers. Facebook is also used by television to allow their fans to comment, like and share ideas on their favorite shows. Twitter and Facebook is even used by the TV news in the manner I described above.
As you can see, the tools of marketing have changed but the basics have not. It’s about engagement. I will be talking about marketing and social media in later posts. In my next post, I will further explain the skills to be successful in sales. Feel free to send your questions to me. I will include them in the ask Dan section.
Until then, thank you for reading!