21st Century Marketing is all about Engagement


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Your market is becoming an increasingly crowded space. Consumers have a multitude of choices, and with these come a multitude of marketing messages. So what can you do right now to make sure your message stands out in this sea of noise?

Well, first of all you need to ensure you understand exactly who you are trying to connect with and how they should be reached. Consumers today don’t follow the traditional purchase routes that retailers have become accustomed to – hence why older marketing methods like print, TV and radio ads are becoming less and less effective.

We live in a world where consumers are more empowered than ever before; with global choice, global competition and communication overload.

The old marketing aim was to shout as loud as possible to as many people as you could. Today – regardless of who you are, or who you are selling to – your customers are increasingly informed, fussy, savvy and connected.

Pushing reams of sales messages by email, print, TV and radio is failing to engage with the current consumer audience because they want precisely that – engagement!

And this is why social media can provide huge success for those retailers who take the time to get it right. It’s all about engagement and what’s of interest to the customer : the new challenge is NOT to find customers for your services, but to find services for your customers. The beauty of social media is that it creates a two way dialogue between businesses and their customers. It allows your consumers to have their voice heard.

You need to forget what you learnt about marketing for a pre-digital era. The companies that attract our attention today are not the ones that shout the loudest, have the biggest budgets and the glitziest TV adverts. They definitely aren’t the ones that interrupt our daily lives with irrelevant messages and offers.

Now we pay attention to the companies with great content, the ones that have a conversation with us, the ones who are willing to listen. And all this is welcome news because it levels the playing field. Marketing effectiveness is no longer dependent on how much money you have to throw at it. Anyone with a story can command an audience, and if you tell it well then your followers will be willing to share it with their online community.

To get social right you need to tap into your followers interests. No one on Twitter is going to pay attention and actively seek to engage with the company who only posts discount offers 20+ times a day. But they would be willing to retweet and share a link to a brand video that asks for their fans input, or a piece of really fantastic content that isn’t just a straight-up sales pitch.

Video is a great tool to help brands increase their online visibility. From a search perspective, Forrester Research have reported that brands with video content are 50 times more likely to appear to on the first page of Google than those without. From a marketing perspective, video helps to put a face to a faceless business. Ecommerce, by its very nature, can be quite impersonal. But videos can help demonstrate brand personality, and are far more sharable than any other type of content. Over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute, demonstrating the incredible reach video content can have when combined with social platforms.

If you are considering video content ideas, try to build episodic content as this will sustain long-term interest in your brand and encourage consumers to return. Whilst viral videos have a huge initial impact and are a big boost to brand awareness, they do very little to generate brand loyalty. Episodic content will build a genuine relationship between your brand and your consumers, encouraging them to return to catch the next instalment and to become subscribers to your channel/series.

In a nutshell, you have a stark choice: be the cheapest or be the most attractive and engaging: it’s fairly obvious which one of these is the most profitable and fun!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Guy Arnold
Guy is the author of 'Great or Poor' (www.greatorpoor.com ) … a simple and effective system for delivery of consistent and continually improving customer experiences, 'Go the Extra Inch' the effective way to empower your people, and 'Sales through Service' (www.salesthroughservice.com ) how to sell more through repeat business, referrals, round sales and reputation (the 4 R's). Guy helps Organisations large and small to systematically make more sales for lower costs, through 4 simple principles.


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