15 Feb 2015

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah! Is THIS what you’re saying to your customers?

If you’re only using social media to further advertise your product or service, this MAY be all they are hearing.

15 Feb 2015

We often blog about social media and website marketing, and at holland advertising : interactive, it’s one of our most common topics of discussion with customers new and old. Social media is a great way to connect, but if you’re only using it as an extension of your marketing efforts, your audience will most likely tune you out.

So your company IS using social media to reach out to customers and prospects to generate sales. How is that working for you? We hope it’s going well, but if it’s not, it may be because you’re missing the mark with your posts, tweets, blogs, shares, etc. It may be that you need to improve the content of what you are saying and how you say it instead of blanketing your audience with buckshot attempts to connect.

This concept is called Content Marketing, and here is how Wikipedia defines it: Content Marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.

Information is king. Social media is no longer just tooting your own horn, because if someone is unfamiliar with your brand the message will get lost in the chatter. Provide them with good, no GREAT, information and they will more likely see the value of your brand. As you provide relevant content to your customers, you can position yourself as hero – the service or product provider that can help them succeed.

How do you do this? That is the big question. To connect with customers effectively, there has to be a benefit to them – whether it’s informative or entertaining. Hint: it can also encourage further interaction with some sort of reward, whether it’s a shout out on your Facebook page or a coupon for participating – how you interact with them is up to you. With any interaction remember: providing them with information that will make your product seem indispensible is key.

Here are some great ways to promote your business with effective Content Marketing without hitting your audience over the head:

1. Comments from happy users
2. Information on the best use of the product
3. Reviews of your product
4. Questions (and your answers!) about your product
5. Unique uses for the product that have been submitted by your customers
6. Hero shots of your product

If you are a service, then getting people talking, tweeting, and sharing information about your brand is imperative – and easy. You can apply bullets 1 -4 from above and change “product” to “service” and add the following:

1. Specials that can be earned with repeat patronage of your service
2. Ways for your customer to connect with others via social media – they will share their likes!

An impressive example of quality, employee-driven B2C Content Marketing is the “Store Experts” campaign by Guitar Center. The employees were encouraged to set up individual profiles that highlighted their unique talents, and enabled customers to directly contact the employee – a plus for commissioned employees. It generates 200 qualified leads every day – a success by most standards. It’s a great example of successful Content Marketing, and Marketing Sherpa has a comprehensive case study that is well worth the read. You can access it here:

http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/how-employee-content-drove-2002

There are many great examples of how successful, customer-focused Content Marketing can grow your business by leaps and bounds. Check out the links below for more examples of both B2B and B2C campaigns.

http://sproutsocial.com/insights/2012/10/branded-content-marketing/

http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/11015-five-great-examples-of-b2b-content-marketing

Get help from Holland. We can plan a Content Marketing Strategy that can generate new customers, leads, referrals, and best of all, loyal customers that love your brand. Visit HollandAdvertising.com or call Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001.

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