The evolution of consumer behavior online has created tremendous opportunities to build strong, valued relationships with consumers via social media and content marketing. As this trend continues, so do the opportunities in monetizing various platforms and apps, and using them as viable channels to drive lead and demand generation.
Because of it’s evolutionary nature, its imperative to your business’s overall growth that you remain flexible and on top of the latest changes and trends. Failure to acknowledge, prepare and respond to shifts in social and content marketing will place your company at risk of eventual irrelevance in the mind of the consumer. In a classic example of David and Goliath, your size will become either your greatest strength or biggest weakness. It’s up to you.
Understand Where Your Market Is
To a great extent, much of the online marketing of your products and services takes place prior to a customer ever landing on your website or making a call. In fact much of it takes place on sites you have no control over. This trend has grown quickly and it’s critical to your success that you understand and respond to it. If you only play in your own sandbox, chances are you’ll soon be playing alone. The saying, “fish where the fish are” has never been more true. You need to identify where your potential customers are and become a valued content contributor and part of the conversation that is taking place.
Humanize Your Digital Brand
Online marketing is about engagement and how you control your message and brand in the online space. Its becoming less and less about business and company websites and more about how and where you contribute, interact and participate as a personal part of that brand. Consumers are flocking to businesses that have humanized their brand and created valued relationships through social media and the distribution of valued content.
You Need To Take Part in the Decision Making Process
You must make the effort to interact with consumers in your niche at all stages of the decision-making and purchasing process. Whether a consumer begins the process by asking a question on a forum, posting on Twitter or Facebook, or by simply searching for product-related information and reviews, you need to be there. But don’t be “salesy”- be a valued partner and friend – again humanize your brand. This will make the transition from conversation and content to conversion seamless.
Create a Brand That Sparks Conversations
Social networking and the exchange of information online, outside of the brand space will only continue to increase. As brand messaging becomes less and less about what companies say about themselves and more and more about what others say about them, it will become increasingly important to think beyond your company’s core products and services. Look for ways to drive value and conversation through the creation and distribution of quality content. Become a resource and thought leader in your niche or industry. The rules of marketing are changing and those embrace the changes now will be the leaders tomorrow.
If your business has not yet implemented a social and content marketing strategy – stay tuned, I’ll cover the steps to creating a rock-solid digital marketing strategy in future posts.