Marketing isn’t what it used to be. I know: obvious statement of the year, right? But the fact is that a lot of business owners are taking old-school habits and applying them to new marketing trends. That’s simply not going to work in the way they want it to!
Here are the essential new-school approaches to essential new-school marketing.
Putting depth over breadth:
For a lot of people, the most important thing you can do in marketing is get your message as widely read as possible. And it’s certainly important that you look into this as a possibility. But there are problems with this approach when it’s taken to mean simply “get all eyes on whatever we’re doing”.
The first problem is that you could end up wasting resources. After all, there could be certain markets or demographics that simply won’t be that interested in your product. Trying to get your advertising out to as many people as possible means that you’re probably not targeting specific audiences. And targeting is precisely what you should be doing. Otherwise, you’re wasting time and money on the people who probably won’t invest in your product anyway.
But the problem more relevant to this article is that you end up spreading yourself too thin. Yes, it’s important for your message to reach a lot of eyes. But if there’s no substance or detail to what you’re sharing, then you’re not going to affect people in the way that you hoped. When presented with a marketing budget, businesses will have a tough choice to make.
On one hand, making a truly brilliant marketing campaign can cost a lot of money. On the other, getting the campaign out there is also an expensive process. Many businesses will choose to put a premium on the latter. This ensures that the focus is on getting the advert seen by people, and not on making the advert itself something unique and brilliant. This is an exercise in quantity over quality. Pay attention to the depth of your marketing campaign, not just the breadth.
Don’t just assume – know:
There was a lot of guesswork involved in traditional marketing. When a marketing campaign was launched and sales figures went up, it was assumed that that was that. The sales figures must have gone up because of the marketing campaign. Of course, correlation doesn’t equal causation. This is something that business would learn over time.
Modern businesses know that things aren’t quite so simple. We know now about the dangers of assuming anything in the world of business. This doesn’t just go for the direct efficacy of a marketing campaign. I’m talking about knowing what customers want. Knowing precisely what the trends in customer sales are and what they imply for your business.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the importance of data in business. Is the importance exaggerated? I’d be hard pushed to say it is. Sure, data isn’t the key ingredient to a successful business. It’s not going to compensate for, say, a shoddy product or terrible customer service. But data is becoming more and more important in business all the time.
It’s not just that we’re only now coming to terms with how many factors there are in customer behavior or marketing impacts. The recent crazes in data have largely come about because we now have access to better technology for analyzing. It’s easier than ever to see exactly what the trends are. To see exactly what customers are thinking (social media, anyone?). Because our ability to cover these bases have increased, the demand for data has gone up accordingly. An advertising management platform that takes data science into consideration is an absolute must. Otherwise, you risk eating the dust of your competitors.
Creating golden content:
Content marketing is something you’re sure to have heard a lot about in recent years. In case you’re in the dark about it, it’s, essentially, this. It’s the creation of content for your website and social media pages that users will want to consume and share. All of this creates a miniature network of people who are consuming your content and, thus, seeing your web page and linking others to it. Just from that description, you can probably see that it’s almost microcosm of how social media functions in general. And that’s precisely what makes content marketing so effective.
But a lot of business owners are going about it in the wrong way. When they hear about the importance of content, they feel that they need to get as much of it as possible. They’ll hire content creators, or outsource the job, and get these guys to deluge their platforms with content. Images. Videos. Blog posts. Anything to try to grab the attention of users, who the business owner hopes will share the content, creating a marketing loop.
The problem is that people don’t end up creating a lot of good content. You want your business pages to be a goldmine of content. That doesn’t just mean you should have a lot of content. It means you should have a lot of good content. Again, we’re getting into quality over quantity territory, here. The objective of content marketing shouldn’t just be to promote your brand, though that should always be the peripheral goal. The fact is that one great, well-researched blog post will always trump five sloppy, basic blog post.
Do you want your business to look like it knows what it’s doing? That it can provide the best service or product in the business? That you hire knowledgeable, expert employees? Then it should be a priority for you to make sure your website is a great resource. It shouldn’t just be a hub from which people can read about or purchase the core product you’re offering. Anyone with an interest in your field of expertise should be able to learn from your content. Don’t withhold all of your knowledge behind empty buzzwords because you’re afraid to reveal your secrets to success. Don’t be afraid to give a few things away. It just shows how well-oiled your inner working systems are. That’s the kind of content that will drive people to your website.