Marketing is basically a fancy word for communication. As a business, we need to be aware of our communication, not only with employees and customers, but also those who are not familiar with our brand. If someone were to hear something good about you, even if they were not a customer, it will give you an advantage down the road when you are being considered for your products and services. However, if that same person hears negative comments about your brand, they are less likely to use you in the future.
Communication is challenging, especially in marketing, where you have limited time to get your message out there. Consumers have less and less time to read and listen to your content and that means you have to hit them with the information fast and let them make the decision whether or not they wish to move forward with your content.
The content quality has a lot to do with whether or not a consumer takes a real interest. However, that has little to do with the cost to produce the content. Some of the top viewed pieces of content in your field were shot on cell phones or written in less than an hour. They come from businesses and experts who may not have a big marketing budget, but have a lot to share and that’s what the consumers want, real, reliable information from credible sources.
Forms Of Communication You Have Available
There are several ways you can communicate with existing and potential customers. This content can be seen immediately upon being deployed, or months or even years later. However, it can still have an immediate impact on the consumer as they see it and the better the quality, the longer it will stay relevant. Communicate with consumers utilizing these proven platforms:
- Email: Your best friend in the long-term battle of keeping communication open with a consumer is going to be email. This is where you can communicate with an individual, a group of consumers or the entire audience. Email marketing allows you to inform dedicated consumers about new news that you have, promotions and more. It’s also one of the more cost-effective ways to quickly get content out to your audience.
- Social media: While organic reach has become more and more limited over the years, social media still offers you an opportunity to share important information and updates with dedicated followers. You also have the ability to test out content on this audience and see what gets more engagement.
- Direct mail: While a bit more expensive, sometimes the best way to keep people updated on a big event is to send them a physical letter informing them of it. Classic mail still works and can be huge, especially for any in-person events you plan on having.
- Banner ads: One of the most underrated but effective ways to keep consumers updated is with banner ads, especially if they frequently visit your website. By adding some retargeting banner ads, you can have content follow your visitors around the web and change it by the day, keeping them informed on new promotions or events you are having.
- Press releases: If you are in a popular industry and have trending topics or events going on, a press release is a great way to build up some more interest in your brand and also introduce yourself to those who are passionate about the field. Businesses that find relevant use of press releases are able to use the content to introduce their brand to tens of thousands of people who follow the industry in its entirety and are always looking for the latest and greatest bits they can find.
- Videos: Platforms like YouTube are still great because they allow you to load and describe your videos for free. Those videos can generate traffic for you from day one and continue to work for years as long as the content remains relevant and people are still sharing it. If you can create videos that are relevant to your brand and provide consumers with something they want to watch over and over again and also share with other people, you have a winner.
- Blogs: One of the most affordable and effective ways to build your brand and communicate with consumers is with a blog. This is where you can educate people on who you are, your industry and also the products and services you offer. Blogs are great because you can center the content around common questions you are asked by consumers. Utilizing these questions as topics allows you to create content that consumers will have an interest in and also showcases your knowledge of the industry.
- Search engines: You should never overlook the value of search engine marketing, especially when it comes to driving organic traffic to your site and your content. Search engines are where people go to get fast answers. Your ability to convince the search engine that you can provide that answer for the user is going to influence your rise in rankings which influences the amount of content you generate. Keep creating great content, the search engines will reward you for it.
Consider what it will take for you to create content on a regular basis. Make sure that you are committed to a certain level of quality because this will determine if your content is utilized over and over again or just used once. The more frequently your content is used, the more your brand will benefit from it.
Common Communication Mistakes
While communication does lead to a lot of the success your brand will have, it can also create some challenges, especially with taking shortcuts. While not every piece of content you create will be a homerun, you do need to do your best to stick to a certain level of both quality and frequency. Try to avoid these common mistakes, especially when you start really cranking out the marketing.
- Poor content quality: Often, people think of poor content quality as something like spelling errors, poor punctuation or something like that. In marketing, poor quality has more to do with not including the logo or website in the message, not getting the dates correct or trying to sell rather than inform.
- Erratic frequency: Last week you sent out two emails and this week you haven’t sent out a single one. Why is that? Consumers appreciate frequency and hitting them with a ton of messages one week and then going ghost isn’t exactly a winning strategy. You can increase frequency if there are reasons to call for it but do not go silent and expect results from each campaign. Get a regular frequency going with your content, especially if you have a lot of sales and promotions.
- Low budget: Every brand has a budget they have to stick to. However, that budget needs to not be noticeable by the recipient of your content. Never cut corners when it comes to content quality. Instead, cut corners on things like luxury or boosting. Your video does not need to include you skydiving to get your point across and it also does not need to be boosted to 100,000 people when a simple production and half that audience will get you the same results.
- Poor timing: This weekend is a holiday weekend meaning consumers are getting bombarded with messages from brands wanting to alert them of big sales that are going on. You are competing with those brands, even if they are not in your industry. You need to make sure that you are reaching out to those consumers and that your content is not getting lost in the shuffle. Do not wait until the Saturday of a holiday weekend to start sending out emails. Instead focus on how you can inform consumers about your big sales early on and hit them with content each day to keep them informed and prepared.
Maintaining the quality and frequency of your messaging is important and it can make a world of difference in how your content is received by consumers. The more information you can provide them in videos and blogs, the more successful your marketing efforts will be. However, you need to make sure that you are getting your point across in a format that works best for the consumer. For example, email marketing may be the best way to inform a consumer about new content.
Managing Email Marketing
Imagine writing a blog that talks about the top 10 things people need to know about before they buy your product. This blog is going to be a huge deal for you and you want to share it with your email list of 100,000 consumers. However, before you do that you should ask yourself, do you really expect your consumers to receive this message, stop what they are doing and read your blog?
Probably not, even if they find what’s in it to be helpful. Instead, consider looking at giving the recipient information that can benefit them. Perhaps your email gives them an update on an event that’s coming up, a new product you have in stock and that great blog you wrote. Now you are giving the recipient more options to take action and communicate with you. They can choose if they want to just shop, meet you in person or get more information. Giving them the option to move forward and how can be an easier way of getting interest in your message than just by hoping they do exactly what you want.
How Your Brand Should Be More Social
Social media is still huge in the world of digital marketing and plenty of companies are seeing far more affordable results from these sites than they are from others. Consumers are committed to these sites and spend hours a day on them. They utilize them to communicate with friends, get updates on things they are interested in and more. This is where you have to focus on your targeting and also ask yourself what type of action you hope to get from a consumer on these platforms?
If you have a restaurant, you may run an ad on Instagram with the hope of getting some online orders, but the reality is that you want customers to come into your restaurant and dine there. That’s fine and that means your content needs to motivate people to do that like a 20% discount for those dining in today. However, if you sell a special light for trucks, your target audience would be much different and you also would expect them to take a different action with your content. Understanding how to market on social media comes down to understanding how your audience would utilize social media with a brand like yours.
Remember, Content Is Still King
You do not need to invest tens of thousands of dollars into videos and other types of content in order to build an audience and get a response. However, content still needs to be made of the highest possible quality and sometimes that means more about the information that’s in them and not just how things look.
A 10 minute video of you talking at your desk may not have fancy images and stuff like that. However, it may outperform a 30 second video that has all the bells and whistles. Why is that? Because what you talk about in your video is something that viewers and consumers actually care about. The more you can talk about something that people care about, the more interest they will have in your content, regardless of its quality.
Questions To Improve Content Strategy
People always talk about the challenge of building content, especially for different types of brands. Restaurant content may be way easier to build and get traffic to than something like insurance or mortgage content. Consumers will take interest in different options on different platforms. However, you can take a single topic and use it in multiple formats. For example, if you are writing a blog about a book that talks about losing weight, you can write the blog, write a short review, make a short video and create other forms of content that share your opinion and generate more interest in your brand. The same topic can work on dozens of platforms and formats as long as they answer important questions for the consumers:
- Can you resolve an issue for the reader? Your consumers rely on you for a service or product. While it’s great that they rely on you for this, they can also rely on you for information that impacts them. Make sure that when you publish new content that it tries to resolve an issue that your consumers tend to have and not just from a sales standpoint. For example, a plumber may write about DIY leak fixing only because that’s what the consumer will have more interest in at first until they need to hire the plumber for their services.
- What is coming up? Big events and holidays are always coming up and it’s good to mention it in your content as much as possible, especially if it’s something that’s expected among your consumers and those who are interested in the industry. Try to have your titles and descriptions be as similar to any popular ones in the field because it will make your content stand out.
- What is new that they should know? When a consumer who has shopped with you in the past gets an email from you, aside from a new sale you are having, the best way to keep them interested in the email is by talking about a new product or service that may be relevant to them. Talking about this in your content gives them more incentive to keep following you for more updates, even if they are not always buying something.
- Can you offer them more? Offering a new deal is something that consumers will be happy with. However, if there is something else you can add to the mix, consider that as well. Do not just focus on sales because consumers will eventually go elsewhere for their information and when they do, they eventually go elsewhere for sales.
It’s impossible to underestimate the value that relevant topics can have in a marketing campaign. By simply showing your connection to something trending, you can open up your content to a much larger audience. If you are publishing your content on other sites, make sure that some of it links back to your site because you never want it to be difficult for a consumer to figure out who is creator of this content so that they can follow to get more.
Keep Collecting Those Emails
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to communicate with a large audience. Every month, your team should set a goal of expanding your email list with qualified consumers. Be sure to dedicate a portion of your marketing budget and time to this because the bigger your list, the better the traffic when you promote new content and communicate with your audience.